Indonesia has a Lady Terminator? Turkey remade E.T? Marc Fennell spills the beans on the weird and wonderful world of cinema in his new book, Planet According to the Movies

Australia’s most listened-to film critic, Marc Fennell, tells the hidden stories behind the movies you know and love whilst also introducing you to a (bizarre) world of cinema you never knew existed.

Did you know that there are messed up filmic versions of fairytales? Take for example the ancient Russian version of Beauty and the Beast which shows that all it takes to marry a prince is non-consensual sex with a drunken (from vodka, naturally) reptile. A Scottish interpretation of Snow White culminates in an erotic three-way. Ahhh Disney …

Also … did you know that North Korea’s very own Kim Jong-il executive-produced his own version of Godzilla? Or that Japan has The Calamari Wrestler which follows the life of a professional wrestler who becomes a giant squid like creature after developing a terminal illness. Interesting, right? This book is jam-packed with these gems of information!



Planet According to the Movies

Marc Fennell

Awesome, weird and wonderful flicks from four corners of the globe.

Which nation is best equipped to survive a zombie apocalypse? Why do obese moustachioed Tamil action stars make the best politicians? What fictional country links Predator, Commando and Die Hard 2?

Planet According to the Movies is your official armchair guide to our tiny, weird planet as projected on cinema screens. It’s 30% travel guide, 30% film reviews, 10% racial profiling handbook and 45% testament to the fact that maths is hard.

Australia’s most listened-to film critic, Marc Fennell (triple j, SBS TV, That Movie Book), tells the hidden stories behind the movies you know and love – from the Wizard of Oz to Life of Pi – and introduces you to a world of cinema you never knew existed. Discover Japan’s Calamari Wrestler, Indonesia’s Lady Terminator, Turkey’s remake of E.T. and North Korea’s answer to Godzilla, which was executive-produced by Kim Jong-Il himself. Who needs a plane to travel the world when you can do it all from your couch, you shameful slob!

Grab your  signed copy of Planet According to the Movies here!

Takeaway food that’s healthy? Surely you jest! Australia’s favourite home cook Julie Goodwin talks to Booktopia TV about her new book, Homemade Takeaway

Forgoing fast and junk food because we’re of the mind that a moment on the lips is a lifetime on the hips is just hard work! Sometimes we really need to indulge in a little comfort food like that delicious pad thai from our trusty Thai shop around the corner or a mouthwatering cheese burger from that fast food chain which shall not be named. So when that urge once again persists – turn to Julie Goodwin, not your local fast food store!

Julie’s new book Homemade Takeaway will teach you how to make your favourite takeaway dishes and desserts from the comfort of your home, all using fresh, healthy ingredients. And you know what that means? More money in your pocket … and a healthier you.



Homemade Takeaway

Julie Goodwin

Let Julie Goodwin, Australia’s favourite family cook, show you how to make your favourite takeaway dishes – at home, from scratch!

Cheaper, healthier, and even faster than waiting for your order! Feel good about enjoying take away and save money at the same time. Julie Goodwin is back with Homemade Takeaway. In this beautiful new fully illustrated cookbook, Julie will teach you how to make all your best-loved take away meals. Whether it’s the local bakery or the corner store, chicken shop or your favourite Thai or Indian … Read more.

Grab your signed copy of Homemade Takeaway here!

A Wuthering Heights inspired tale: Debra Adelaide, author of The Women’s Pages answers Six Sharp Questions

Debra AdelaideThe Booktopia Book Guru asks

Debra Adelaide

author of The Women’s Pages

Six Sharp Questions


1. Congratulations, you have a new book. What is it about and what does it mean to you?

My novel The Women’s Pages is based on a short story of mine that introduced two characters in a multilayered story about loss, silences, relationships between mothers and daughters, and above all about the power of the written word.

It’s based loosely on Wuthering Heights, which presents numerous themes big and small, but particularly for me is very much about storytelling, given the novel’s many intriguing narrative layers. I’ve not rewritten that extraordinary novel by any means, but simply responded to its elements and especially leapt into some of its most compelling imagined spaces, such as the unspoken, untold, age-old story of the mother and daughter dynamic. Wuthering Heights features only absent, silent, missing, dead or dying mothers: The Women’s Pages is partly about finding or restoring mothers to a narrative.

2. Time passes. Things change. What are the best and worst moments that you have experienced in the past year or so?

In the past year I have had two books published and as a writer with a full time job (at a university) I can’t hope for better than that. My last book was the collection The Simple Act of Reading, which was done in collaboration and for the Sydney Story Factory. Being able to present essays by authors on the topic of what reading means to them, and with the support of organisations like CA’s cultural fund and Random House publishers, all for the cause of fostering reading and writing in children, was a total pleasure and privilege. It’s been a very satisfying moment of my wDebra Adelaideriting life in every way.

Having a novel come next, especially one that’s so much about the act of reading – I must have a bit of a theme or obsession here! – only consolidates this pleasure. The day your publisher rings and says she loves your manuscript, the one you wrote in desperation, for yourself alone, and wants to publish it, is a unique joy, one you cherish forever.

The worst moments in recent times have involved the serious illness of two friends and the terrible swift death of one and the ongoing illness of one of my closest family members: not being able to help or heal someone you love is just devastating. But on that note, love always offers the very best moments, and I am blessed with an abundance of that in my life.

3. Do you have a favourite quote or passage you would be happy to share with us? It doesn’t need to be deep but it would be great if it meant something to you.

My home email address signature includes this quotation from Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary: ‘Human language is like a cracked kettledrum on which we beat out tunes for bears to dance to, when what we long to do is make music that will move the stars to pity.’

I love this quotation because it reminds me almost every day what my job as a writer is, and how big the challenge is, that is, to take language that is tired and worn out, or lowly, cliched and undistinguished in every way, and turn it into something moving and beautiful and uniquely mine. I don’t achieve this all the time of course, but at least I am reminded to aspire to it.

MB quote

4. Writers have often been described as being difficult to live with. Do you conform to the stereotype or defy it? Please tell us a little about the day to day of your writing life.

My writing life itself is messy, ad hoc, organic and irregular in every way. However once I am engaged in a writing project, a story, or a novel, once I am ‘in the zone’ I become very disciplined and write to a schedule that I set myself (and deadlines that I always meet).

Despite this I think I am supremely easy to live with! At least, I still do the household tasks and meet my family obligations and certainly never disappear into my study with bottles of whisky or boxes of chocolate biscuits, muttering or ranting when I do emerge. However I know I become distracted when I’m in the zone, and am really thinking deeply only about the work, so perhaps those I live with would differ on this.

5. Some writers claim not to be influenced by the needs of the marketplace, while others seem obsessed by it. Would you please describe how the marketplace affects your writing (come on, tell the truth!).

The only time I have tried to think about and respond to the marketplace the writing has failed. The marketplace is a terrible distraction: if I were a genre writer, say of crime or speculative fiction, this probably wouldn’t be the case. But for me I have learned I cannot hope to second guess the market or my readers. I write for myself first: everything I write I have assumed no one else in the world would want to read (but of course at the same time have secretly hoped that millions would). the-household-guide-to-dying

When I completed my last novel, The Household Guide to Dying, I gave the manuscript to my agent and without a trace of irony told her that if she didn’t like it I would just go away and bury it because I had another novel underway. Perhaps I am always preparing myself for rejection: that might imply some bleakness in my background, but in fact I think this is healthy for a writer. You need rejection, and you need failure, so confronting it yourself right from the start is helpful.

The market is far too protean and slippery to grasp with confidence: it can make you unconsciously censor the work, or stop you from concentrating on what the story might need.

6. Unlikely Scenario: You’ve been charged with civilising twenty ill-educated adolescents but you may take only five books with you. What do you take and why?

Wuthering Heights, of course: this is a no-brainer given the context of my new book, but also because it is one of those novels that can bear endless re-readings, and one that for all its mysteries and even frustrations, has the capacity to speak across the generations. And then the characters are so bold and wild and wilful and out there, which I imagine might strike a chord. And finally because it can and should be read aloud, so I imagine sitting down reading this novel to commence the civilising process with some sense of community and even ritual.

The Little PrinWuthering Heightsce, because it is exquisitely beautiful and wise and clever and delightful, and would remind adolescents, who are always pretending to be so much more grown up than they are, of the importance of child-like wonder and imagination.

If the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy is cheating (three novels) then definitely The Hobbit, mainly because I loved it when I was a child but have loved it and re-read it forever since; but also because it was a real breakthrough for so-called children’s literature, coming from that vast and intricate and complete fantasy world that Tolkien created.

Thea Astley’s A Descant for Gossips, which I have recently re-read, because it demonstrates the terrible consequences of prejudice and alienation in the way a vulnerable schoolgirl is picked on and ostracised. I think it would touch these readers in sensitive emotional spots. And because readers always learn a new word or two reading an Astley novel.

Definitely cheating, but The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, which of course would be read aloud and performed with plenty of roles for the 20 adolescents; it would be marvellously civilising in every way. And they would also learn many new words.

Debra, thank you for playing!

Grab your copy of The Women’s Pages here!

The Women’s Pages

Debra Adelaide

Debra AdelaideEllis, an ordinary suburban young woman of the 1960s, is troubled by secrets and gaps in her past that become more puzzling as her creator, Dove, writes her story fifty years later. Having read Wuthering Heights to her dying mother, Dove finds she cannot shake off the influence of that singular novel: it has infected her like a disease. Instead of returning to her normal life she follows the story it has inspired to discover more about Ellis, who has emerged from the pages of fiction herself – or has she? – to become a modern successful career woman.

The Women’s Pages is about the choices and compromises women must make, their griefs and losses, and their need to fill in the absent spaces where other women … Read More.

Grab your copy of The Women’s Pages here!


Di Morrissey visits Booktopia + win her entire book collection – signed!

We’ve all either read one of her 23 books, have a few decorating our bookshelves or heard someone we know rave about how great her books are. Who am I talking about? Di Morrissey, of course.

Fans of this legendary Australian writer – you’re in for a treat. Ms Morrissey visited us at Booktopia HQ to chat and sign copies of her new book, Rain Music … and for one lucky reader who purchases this book before December 31st – they could WIN Di Morrissey’s ENTIRE COLLECTIONall signed!

Di Morrissey signing copies of Rain Music for some very lucky fans!

Di Morrissey signing copies of Rain Music for some very lucky fans!

Time to grab those headphones, this is one podcast you don’t want to miss…


Grab your signed copy of Rain Music here!

Rain Music

Di Morrissey

Rain MusicDi writes about the Australia she knows, she loves, she’s explored.

Rain Music is inspired by her adventures in far north Queensland – its characters, its forgotten history, its modern dilemmas.

A brother and sister, Ned and Bella Chisolm, are struggling with a family tragedy that has set them on opposite paths. After Ned takes off to pursue his musical dreams in far north Queensland, he disappears. When Bella goes in search of her brother, she ends up in remote Cooktown and both their lives are dramatically changed in the isolated, little-known far north of Australia.

One story through two sets of eyes …


Di Morrrisey

Di Morrissey’s entire book collection – signed! Purchase Rain Music for your chance to win

Grab your signed copy of Rain Music here!

Judy Nunn comes to Booktopia!

One of Australia’s most loved authors, Judy Nunn, came to Booktopia HQ to sign copies of her new book Spirits of the Ghan!

Judy signed A LOT of copies, but as she’s also one of Australia’s bestselling authors make sure you place your order now to secure your signed copy!


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Grab your signed copy of Spirits of the Ghan here!

Spirits of the Ghan

by Judy Nunn

spirits-of-the-ghanMaster storyteller Judy Nunn has now sold over 1 million books worldwide. In her spellbinding new bestseller she takes us on a breathtaking journey deep into the red heart of Australia.

It is 2001 and as the world charges into the new Millennium, a century-old dream is about to be realised in the Red Centre of Australia: the completion of the mighty Ghan railway, a long-lived vision to create the ‘backbone of the continent’, a line that will finally link Adelaide with the Top End.

But construction of the final leg between Alice Springs and Darwin will not be without its complications, for much of the desert it will cross is Aboriginal land … Read more.

Heartache. Failure. Success. Sporting legend Chris Judd chats to Booktopia TV about his insightful new memoir, Inside.

How does a man end up captaining two of the greatest footy clubs in the league? Win a Brownlow Medal twice? Be selected as an All Australian six times? Find out how Chris Judd did exactly that and cemented his status as an Australian sporting legend in his new memoir, Inside. We’ve got signed copies for fans, so get in quick. Only limited numbers left!

Grab your signed copy of Chris Judd: Inside here!
Please note: very limited stock left

Chris Judd: Inside

The Autobiography

Chris JuddIntelligent, surprising, and head and shoulders above its competition – the autobiography of Chris Judd is the football book of the decade. A rare and intimate look inside the world of the elite sportsman.

Few people know Australian Rules football better than Chris Judd. He’s one of the game’s out-and-out champions, having captained two of the greatest clubs in the league – the West Coast Eagles and Carlton – and taken the Eagles to premiership victory in 2006. He’s won the Brownlow Medal twice, been a dual Leigh Matthews trophy winner – awarded to the AFL’s MVP as voted by the players – and selected as an All Australian six times.

His autobiography is a unique journey into the game, describing with … Read more.

Grab your signed copy of Chris Judd: Inside here!
Please note: very limited stock left

Nine naughty questions with… Trish Morey, author of upcoming Cherry Season

The Booktopia Book Guru asksCherry Season

Trish Morey

author of Cherry Season

Nine Naughty Questions

1. I wonder, is a Romance writer born or made? Please tell us little about your life before publication

I think, maybe a bit of both. I came to writing like so many of my colleagues, via a totally unrelated career. I was a mild-mannered chartered accountant before the writing bug bit hard and wouldn’t let go.

However as a teen I always fancied myself a writer (until talk of the real world and needing a “proper” job intervened).

(PS: I was kind of kidding about the mild-mannered bit…)

2. For all the glitz and the glam associated with the idea of Romance novels, writing about and from the heart is personal and very revealing. Do you think this is why Romance Readers are such devoted fans? And do you ever feel exposed?

A romance writer can’t just pay lip service to the emotions – romance readers will spot insincerity at fifty paces. So if you want to connect with your readers, you have to be prepared to pour yourself onto the page. Sure, sometimes it’s hard or confronting, but then, we’re not writing autobiography, we’re writing fiction. It’s about tapping into our experiences, our heartbreaks and highs, our joys and our grief, and putting the characters in that place instead.

Ultimately it’s not about you, the writer, and you have to be able to let that go.

3. Please tell us about your latest novel…

Cherry Season is a story about what happens when polar opposites attract. Dan Faraday is a 37 year old uptight third generation cherry orchardist with both age and an overblown sense of responsibility weighing down on his shoulders.

Lucy Marino is a 24 year old California girl backpacking her way around Australia and who gets a job picking cherries on the orchard, and immediately the two are at loggerheads.

It’s a story about spark, finding home and finding love where you least expect it. And it’s a book about cherries too, of course :)

4. Is the life of a published Romance writer… well… Romantic?

If ugg boots, too much coffee, screaming deadlines and mad hair 99% of the time is romantic, then sure.

But there are times you have to go to Santorini and watch a sunset, or visit a winery and learn how to dosage and disgorge a bottle of sparkling wine that you can later crack open and taste, all in the name of research.

So yeah, there are moments of sheer unadulterated romance that make up for that other mental 99% of the time.

5. Of all of the Romantic moments in your life is there one moment, more dear than all the rest, against which you judge all the Romantic elements in your writing? If so can you tell us about that special moment?

This is funny. Ever heard that expression “about as romantic as a road accident”? Well, that could have been coined for my hubby. Don’t get me wrong, he’s one amazing guy, but he’s not the most romantic man on the planet (which may or may not explain why I feel the need to make stuff up :) Then again, we’ve been married longer than twenty-seven years now and I’m crazier about him now than ever.

I figure if I can give my characters a taste of that kind of romance and a love that turns into a bone deep commitment, that means your characters are going to stick together whatever life hurls at them, then I’ve done my job.

Trish Morey6. Sex in Romance writing today ranges from ‘I can’t believe they’re allowed to publish this stuff’ explicit to ‘turn the light back on I can’t see a thing’ mild. How important do you think sex is in a Romance novel?

Sex is one part, and often a very important part, of any romantic relationship. But in romance, it’s not about the sex per se – it’s about the emotion, for without that, the sex is nothing more than a physical act that comes as no surprise to anyone.

Intimacy is a huge, risky step and takes courage and trust, because when our characters take off their clothes, they’re not only baring their bodies, they’re often baring their souls. Now they’ve got nothing to hide behind, and all sorts of secrets and fears and hang ups can be exposed, exposing the characters to all kinds of grief in the process.

I like to put my characters through the wringer in all kinds of ways. Sex is just one way.

7. Romance writers are often Romance readers – please tell us your five favourite (read and re-read) Romance Novels or five novels that influenced your work most?

It was a box of Mills & Boons from my Granny’s nursing home that I devoured when I was fifteen that made me want to be and believe I could be a writer – I so wish I’d taken note of the author names (back then I do believe I was much more interested in some much needed sex ed:-))

When I caught the bug again, it was Emma Darcy (love love love her Holly Christmas!), Miranda Lee (fabulous sex!) and Alison Kelly’s strong sexy stories that I loved. All our fabulous Downunder Sexy authors really, because that strong, confident voice resonated with me.

And then I discovered Jennifer Crusie and her full length contemporaries, like Welcome to Temptation and that leapt out and smacked me over the head and said, it’s okay, you can do sexy *and* funny.

So here I am now, writing sexy and funny and having a ball.

Emma DarcyMiranda Lee











8. Erotic Romance writing is ‘so hot right now’, do you have any thoughts on why?

Haha, could it be the sex, perchance? Writing has become much more graphic sexually over the last forty or fifty years, and men’s fiction has led the way. Women’s fiction is catching up. And now you can read on a Kindle or similar and nobody on the bus on the way to work knows what you’re reading – it’s liberating and discrete at the same time.

9. Lastly, what advice do you give aspiring writers?

To writers in general – just write. The more you write, the better you’ll get. And don’t believe it when people tell you that you have to write a certain way. Just write the story, and sort the rest out later.

To romance writers in particular – all of the above – and join Romance Writers of Australia if you are serious about pursuing a career in romance writing.

Trish, thank you for playing!

Pre-Order your copy of Cherry Season here!

Cherry Season

Trish Morey Cherry Season

Dan Faraday is too busy for love. With the long hours running the family orchard, he doesn’t have time to go on dates, and if he did, he would be looking for someone who fits into his ten-year plan. Someone traditional, reliable and dependable – someone just like him.

Someone the total opposite of beautiful drifter Lucy Marino. A free spirit who chases the moment, she’s in town for the fruit-picking season. The only certain thing in her life is constant change and while she’s tempted to see how cute Dan might be if only he smiled, she’s not the type of girl to wait around.

But as the cherry trees blossom, Lucy and Dan are increasingly drawn … Read more.

Pre-Order your copy of Cherry Season here!


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