A Bookish Night at the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards

AACTALast night’s Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards (the AACTA awards for those short of breath) had a particularly bookish feel.

The Babadook, the acclaimed thriller about a mother and son haunted by a mysterious storybook, shared Best Film honours with Russell Crowe’s directorial debut The Water Diviner, which was recently adapted into a novel by screenwriter Andrew Anastasios.

Sarah Snook was awarded Best Lead Actress for her role in Predestination, an adaptation of a Robert A. Heinlein short story, while The Railway Man, based on Eric Lomax’s acclaimed memoir, won for Best Adapted Screenplay.

Which just goes to show, behind every great movie is usually an even better book.

For trivia lovers, Booktopia’s Book Guru John Purcell has a special connection with The Babadook. His younger brother Tim actually played the Babadook in the film, the terrifying six-foot-seven monster. John is only six-foot-six. He’s quite sensitive about it.

Check out our full range of Film & TV tie-ins

A ‘Mr Men and Little Miss’ film in the works

mr-tickleReally, it’s about time.

44 years, 85 characters and more 120 million copies after Roger Hargreaves wrote his first book, inspired by his son asking what a tickle looked like, film rights for the Mr Men and Little Miss characters have been secured by Fox Animation, the studio behind the Ice Age and Rio franchises.

Fox Animation president Vanessa Morrison added: “The Mr Men and Little Miss characters have delighted readers from around the world for decades.”

Shawn Levy, who produced and directed the Night at the Museum films starring Ben Stiller, will produce the movie.

Do you have a favourite Mr or Miss? Tell us in the comments below.


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The 2015 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards Announced

The Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards have just been announced at a function in Melbourne.

Let’s take a look at the winners!


to-name-those-lostFICTION

To Name Those Lost

by Rohan Wilson

From the bestselling author of The Roving Party, comes a moving father and son story set amidst the beauty and the violence of the poor and preyed upon of our colonial past.

Summer 1874, and Launceston teeters on the brink of anarchy. After abandoning his wife and child many years ago, the Black War veteran Thomas Toosey must return to the city to search for William, his now motherless twelve-year-old son. He travels through the island’s northern districts during a time of impossible hardship – hardship that has left its mark on him too.

Rohan WilsonArriving in Launceston, however, Toosey discovers a town in chaos. He is desperate to find his son amid the looting and destruction, but at every turn he is confronted by the Irish transportee Fitheal Flynn and his companion, the hooded man, to whom Toosey owes a debt that he must repay.

To Name Those Lost is the story of a father’s journey. Wilson has an eye for the dirt, the hardness, the sheer dog-eat-doggedness of the lives of the poor. Human nature is revealed in all its horror and beauty as Thomas Toosey struggles with the good and the vile in himself and learns what he holds important.

Grab your copy of To Name Those Lost here


the-europeans-in-australia-nationalityNON FICTION

The Europeans in Australia: Vol 3

by Alan Atkinson

This is the third and final volume of the landmark, award-winning series The Europeans in Australia that gives an account of settlement by Britain. It tells of the various ways in which that experience shaped imagination and belief among the settler people from the eighteenth century to the end of World War I.

Volume Three, Nation, tells the story of Australian Federation and the war with a focus, as ever on ordinary habits of thought and feeling. In this period, for the first time the settler people began to grasp the vastness of the continent, and to think of it as their own.

AlanThere was a massive funding of education, and the intellectual reach of men and women was suddenly expanded, to an extent that seemed dazzling to many at the time. Women began to shape public imagination as they had not done before. At the same time, the worship of mere ideas had its victims, most obviously the Aboriginal people, and the war itself proved what vast tragedies it could unleash.

The culmination of an extraordinary career in the writing and teaching of Australian history, The Europeans in Australia grapples with the Australian historical experience as a whole from the point of view of the settlers from Europe. Ambitious and unique, it is the first such large, single-author account since Manning Clark’s A History of Australia.

Grab your copy of The Europeans in Australia: Vol 3 here


the-protectedYOUNG ADULT

The Protected

by Claire Zorn

I have three months left to call Katie my older sister. Then the gap will close and I will pass her. I will get older. But Katie will always be fifteen, eleven months and twenty-one days old.

Hannah’s world is in pieces and she doesn’t need the school counsellor to tell her she has deep-seated psychological issues. With a seriously depressed mum, an injured dad and a dead sister, who wouldn’t have problems?

0003269Hannah should feel terrible but for the first time in ages, she feels a glimmer of hope and isn’t afraid anymore. Is it because the elusive Josh is taking an interest in her? Or does it run deeper than that?

In a family torn apart by grief and guilt, one girl’s struggle to come to terms with years of torment shows just how long old wounds can take to heal.

‘The Protected captures the volatility of adolescence, the fragility of family, and the importance of a good friend.’ AJ Betts, author of Zac & Mia

Grab your copy of The Protected here


where-song-beganPEOPLE’S CHOICE

Where Song Began

by Tim Low

Tim Low, award-winning author of Feral Future, in an eye-opening book on the unique nature of Australian birds and their role in ecology and global evolution.

Renowned for its unusual mammals, Australia is a land of birds that are just as unusual, just as striking, a result of the continent’s tens of millions of years of isolation. Compared with birds elsewhere, ours are more likely to be intelligent, aggressive and loud, to live in complex societies, and are long-lived. They’re also ecologically more powerful, exerting more influences on forests than other birds.

But unlike the mammals, the birds did not keep to Australia; they spread around the globe. Australia provided the world with its songbirds and parrots, the most intelligent of all bird groups. It was thought in Darwin’s time that species generated in the Southern Hemisphere could not succeed in the Northern, an idea that was proven wrong in respect of birds in the 1980s but not properly accepted by the world’s scientists until 2004 – because, says Tim Low, most ornithologists live in the Northern Hemisphere. As a result, few Australians are aware of the ramifications, something which prompted the writing of this book.

Tim LowTim Low has a rare gift for illuminating complex ideas in highly readable prose, and making of the whole a dynamic story. Here he brilliantly explains how our birds came to be so extraordinary, including the large role played by the foods they consume (birds, too, are what they eat), and by our climate, soil, fire, and Australia’s legacy as a part of Gondwana. The story of its birds, it turns out, is inseparable from the story of Australia itself, and one that continues to unfold, so much having changed in the last decade about what we know of our ancient past.

Where Song Began also shines a light on New Guinea as a biological region of Australia, as much a part of the continent as Tasmania. This is a work that goes far beyond the birds themselves to explore the relationships between Australia’s birds and its people, and the ways in which scientific prejudice have hindered our understanding.

Grab your copy of Where Song Began here

REVIEW: The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion (Review by Benison O’Reilly)

the-rosie-effectEarly in 2013, I wrote a Booktopia review of The Rosie Project, the home-grown literary phenomenon that has gone on to be published in thirty-eight languages and sell over a million copies worldwide. I had originally approached Graeme Simsion’s debut novel with trepidation, being the mother of a boy on the autism spectrum and thus a little thin-skinned on the subject. Could Simsion create a portrait of Professor Don Tillman, our unlikely Aspergian hero, which was both sympathetic, but at the same time believable? The answer turned out to be a resounding yes.

Not, for that matter, that Don thinks he has Asperger’s syndrome. When the Asperger’s label raises its head in an early scene in The Rosie Effect — hitherto referred to as the BlueFin Tuna Incident — he is bemused. Don regards Asperger’s syndrome with academic detachment: yes, he’s admittedly ‘somewhat socially incompetent’, yes, he once delivered a lecture on the topic back in Melbourne so best friend Gene could pursue ‘a sexual opportunity’, but apart from that, what’s its relevance to him?

This is entirely believable. Simsion has revealed in interviews that he based Don not on textbook descriptions of Asperger’s , but on real people he met in his former life in academia. People who’ve gone through life without any label except for ‘eccentric’ or ‘odd’. We can find lots of Dons in society if we care to look hard enough.

It’s during this same Bluefin Tuna Incident that Don is told by Lydia, an off-duty social worker: ‘Don’t ever have children.’ Unfortunately, Rosie has other ideas.

Benison-OReilly

Author: Benison O’Reilly

In The Rosie Effect, Don and Rosie have moved to live, work and study in New York, allowing Simsion to introduce a raft of new characters, including, George, a beer-collecting former rock drummer, Lydia, and a lesbian mothers collective. The novel follows the trajectory of Rosie’s unplanned pregnancy and, as you’d expect, it’s anything but smooth sailing. In marrying Rosie, Don has taken a huge step into what John Elder Robison called the ‘anxiety-filled, bright and disorderly world of people’, where his autistic traits — his honesty, his literal worldview, his capacity to absorb greats tracts of information (and perhaps less helpfully to reveal this knowledge to others) and his ability to pursue scientific enquiry without emotion or agenda — prove both a blessing and a curse.

When Gene suggests to the expectant dad that he ‘watch some kids’ to prepare himself for parenthood, Don takes himself off, alone, to video children at a playground, earning himself a visit from the NYPD. The policeman, who has a nephew like Don, quickly surmises that our hero poses no threat to the city’s children, but refers him for a psychiatric assessment:

‘I don’t think you’re a danger to kids, but I can’t just let you walk away. If next week you go and shoot up a school, and I’ve done nothing —‘

‘It seems statistically unlikely—‘

‘Don’t say anything. You’ll talk yourself into trouble.’

the-rosie-projectDon regards this as good advice, but unfortunately doesn’t follow it. But if he did we wouldn’t have a book, would we?

While there are plenty of laughs in The Rosie Effect, there is less humour to be had in Don’s floundering marriage. Rosie, he knows, is his only shot of happiness, and as an autism mum I could not help but take it personally. For much of the book we’re kept in the dark about what Rosie is up to, and Don, being Don, isn’t great at intuiting what she’s thinking.

But Simsion knows his readership: we’re expecting a happy ending and he’s not about to disappoint us. The climactic scene at JFK airport is classic screwball comedy, in typically unorthodox fashion.

How will Don adjust to fatherhood? We’ll have to wait for the next instalment to find out.

Grab a copy of The Rosie Effect here


Benison O’Reilly is the co-author of The Australian Autism Handbook. A new edition of the bestselling Handbook was released recently. You can follow her on twitter here.

the-australian-autism-handbookThe Australian Autism Handbook

by Benison O’Reilly & Kathryn Wicks

When first published in 2008, the Australian Autism Handbook quickly became the go-to guide for parents whose children have been diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. In this new edition, the book has been updated with all the latest research, the ratings guide for early interventions, new chapters on teens; Asperger’s syndrome; DSM5 diagnostic criteria; and advice for dads by dads.

Its new resources section ensures you make the most of your funding and lists every website and phone number you could ever need. Australian Autism Handbook is a practical and comprehensive guide to every aspect of raising an ASD child.

Grab a copy of The Australian Autism Handbook here

US critics name their 12 best novels of the 21st century to date

A group of American critics have named Junot Díaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, a take on the life of an overweight Dominican-American nerd, as the best novel of the 21st century to date.

Diaz

Junot Díaz

BBC Culture, the arts section of the international BBC site, polled several dozen US critics to find the greatest novels written so far this century, with 156 novels in all named by experts from papers including the New York Times, Time magazine, Newsday, Kirkus Reviews and Booklist.

Since book lists are all the rage at the moment, we thought we’d share the full dozen with you. How many have you read?


12. Middlesex
by Jeffrey Eugenides

The internationally bestselling 2003 Pulitzer Prize winner.9781408825693

I was born twice: first, as a baby girl, on a remarkably smogless Detroit day of January 1960; and then again, as a teenage boy, in an emergency room near Petoskey, Michigan, in August of 1974?My birth certificate lists my name as Calliope Helen Stephanides. My most recent driver’s license records my first name simply as Cal.’ So begins the breathtaking story of Calliope Stephanides, and three generations of the Greek-American Stephanides family …

Grab a copy of Middlesex here


11. White Teeth
by Zadie Smith

white-teethOne of the most talked about fictional debuts of recent years, White Teeth is a funny, generous, big-hearted novel, adored by critics and readers alike. Dealing – among many other things – with friendship, love, war, three cultures and three families over three generations, one brown mouse, and the tricky way the past has of coming back and biting you on the ankle, it is a life-affirming, riotous must-read of a book.

Grab a copy of White Teeth here


10. Half of a Yellow Sun
by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

9780007506071Winner of the Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction 2007, this is a heartbreaking, exquisitely written literary masterpiece.

In 1960s Nigeria, Ugwu, a boy from a poor village, goes to work for Odenigbo, a radical university professor. Soon they are joined by Olanna, a young woman who has abandoned a life of privilege to live with her charismatic lover. Into their world comes Richard, an English writer, who has fallen for Olanna’s sharp-tongued sister Kainene.But when the shocking horror of civil war engulfs the nation, their loves and loyalties are severely tested, while their lives pull apart and collide once again in ways none of them could have imagined …

Grab a copy of Half a Yellow Sun here


9780099597636-1-edition.default.original-19. Atonement
by Ian McEwan

‘There were horrors enough, but it was the unexpected detail that threw him and afterwards would not let him go’

On the hottest day of the summer of 1934, thirteen-year-old Briony Tallis sees her sister Cecilia strip off her clothes and plunge into the fountain in the garden of their country house. Watching her is Robbie Turner, her childhood friend who, like Cecilia, has recently come down from Cambridge.

By the end of that day, the lives of all three will have been changed for ever. Robbie and Cecilia will have crossed a boundary they had not even imagined at its start, and will have become victims of the younger girl’s imagination. Briony will have witnessed mysteries, and committed a crime for which she will spend the rest of her life trying to atone …

Grab a copy of Atonement here


8. Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain
by Ben Fountain

9780857864529Era-defining satire – ‘This book will be the Catch 22 of the Iraq War’ Karl Marlantes.

Nineteen-year-old Billy Lynn is home from war. Back in Texas, he has become a national celebrity. A Fox News crew filmed Billy and the rest of Bravo squad defeating Iraqi insurgents in a ferocious firefight. Now Billy is a decorated soldier and Bravo’s three minutes of extreme bravery under fire are a YouTube sensation.

Seizing on this PR gift, The Bush administration has sent the surviving members of Bravo on a nationwide ‘Victory Tour’ to reassure the homeland …

Grab a copy of Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain


7. A Visit from the Good Squad
by Jennifer Egan

9781780330969Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, The Los Angeles Times Book Award, National Book Circle Critics Award for fiction in the US and Longlisted for the Orange Prize.

Jennifer Egan’s spelling binding novel circles the lives of Bennie Salazar, an aging former punk rocker and record executive and Sasha, the passionate, troubled young woman he employs. Although Bennie and Sasha never discover each other’s pasts, the reader does, in intimate detail, along with the secret lives of a host of other characters …

Grab a copy of A Visit from the Goon Squad here


6. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
by Michael Chabon

9781841154930 (1)Winner of the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay is a heart-wrenching story of escape, love and comic-book heroes set in Prague, New York and the Arctic.

One night in 1939, Josef Kavalier shuffles into his cousin Sam Clay’s cramped New York bedroom, his nerve-racking escape from Prague finally achieved. Little does he realise that this is the beginning of an extraordinary friendship …

Grab a copy of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay here


5. The Corrections
by Jonathan Franzen

The winner of the National Book Award, the New York Times No.1 Bestseller and the worldwide literary sensation, The Corrections has established itself as a truly great 9780007232444American novel.

The Lamberts – Enid and Alfred and their three grown-up children – are a troubled family living in a troubled age. Alfred is ill and as his condition worsens the whole family must face the failures, secrets and long-buried hurts that haunt them if they are to make the corrections that each desperately needs …

Grab a copy of The Corrections here


4. Gilead
by Marilynne Robinson

gileadWinner of Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 2005.

In 1956, toward the end of Reverend John Ames’ life, he begins a letter to his young son, a kind of last testament to his remarkable forebears.

‘It is a book of such meditative calm, such spiritual intensity that is seems miraculous that her silence was only for 23 years; such measure of wisdom is the fruit of a lifetime. Robinson’s prose, aligned with the sublime simplicity of the language of the bible, is nothing short of a benediction …

Grab a copy of Gilead here


3. Wolf Hall
by Hilary Mantell

Winner of the 2009 Man Booker Prize.wolf-hall

Go backstage during the most dramatic period in English history: the reign of Henry VIII.

England, the 1520s. Henry VIII is on the throne, but has no heir. Cardinal Wolsey is his chief advisor, charged with securing the divorce the pope refuses to grant. Into this atmosphere of distrust and need comes Thomas Cromwell, first as Wolsey’s clerk, and later his successor …

Grab a copy of Wolf Hall here


2. The Known World
by Edward P Jones

9780007195305Masterful, Pulitzer-prize winning literary epic about the painful and complex realities of slave life on a Southern plantation. Henry Townsend, a black farmer, boot maker, and former slave, becomes proprietor of his own plantation – as well as his own slaves. When he dies, his widow, Caldonia, succumbs to profound grief, and things begin to fall apart: slaves take to escaping under the cover of night, and families who had once found love beneath the weight of slavery begin to betray one another ….

Grab a copy of The Known World here


1. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
by Junot Diaz

Things have never been easy for Oscar. A ghetto nerd living with his Dominican family in New Jersey, he’s sweet but disastrously overweight. He dreams of becoming the next the-brief-wondrous-life-of-oscar-waoJ.R.R. Tolkien and he keeps falling hopelessly in love.

Poor Oscar may never get what he wants, thanks to the Fuku – the curse that has haunted his family for generations

With dazzling energy and insight Diaz immerses us in the tumultuous lives of Oscar; his runaway sister Lola; their beautiful mother Belicia; and in the family’s uproarious journey from the Dominican Republic to the US and back.

Grab a copy of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao here

Australia’s Favourite Author 2015 – The Top 10

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The day has arrived. Today we announce Australia’s Top 10 Favourite Authors, as voted by you.

Before anything, we want to extend a HUGE thanks to everyone involved with this poll. To all authors, we owe you thanks on so many levels, but on this occasion thank you for rallying your fans and supporting other authors with such vigour. Oh, and for writing the books that we adore. We love you all.

To the publishers, we couldn’t have done this without your tireless support, and your incredible passion for Australian books.

And last but not least, to all the lovers of Australian books who have voted in this poll, thank you. Booktopia is a proudly Australian owned and operated bookstore, created for Australians by Australians. Your support means the world to us.

That’s why we set up this poll, and made January our month of Australian Stories. We think Australian authors are pretty damn important, and want to do whatever we can to support them.

But for now, before we get any more emotional, on with the show…


10. John Marsden

A trained educator with a natural gift for storytelling, John Marsden is arguably Australia’s foremost writer of Young Adult fiction.

Whilst working at the prestigious Geelong Grammar School, Marsden made the decision to write for teenagers, following his dissatisfaction with his students’ apathy towards reading and the observation that teenagers simply weren’t reading any more. Marsden then wrote So Much To Tell You in only three weeks, and the book was published in 1987. The book sold record numbers and won numerous awards including “Book of the Year” as awarded by the Children’s Book Council of Australia.

In 1993 Marsden published Tomorrow, When the War Began the first book in the Tomorrow Series and his most acclaimed and best-selling work to date. Recently it was selected in the American Library Association list of 100 Best Books for Teens since 1966.

south-of-darkness

Our Pick

Marsden has won every major writing award in Australia for young people’s fiction, including what Marsden describes as one of the highlights of his career, the 2006 Lloyd O’Neil Award for contributions to Australian publishing. This award means that Marsden is one of only five authors to be honoured for lifelong services to the Australian book industry. John Marsden was also nominated for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award in 2008, the world’s largest children’s and youth literature award, and the second largest literature prize in the world.

Click here to go to John Marsden’s author page


9. Mem Fox

Mem Fox was born in Australia, grew up in Africa, studied drama in England, and returned to Adelaide, Australia in 1970. She is Australia’s best loved picture-book author. Her first book, Possum Magic, has sold over four million copies and is still the best selling children’s book in Australia, 29 years after its publication.

She has written over 40 books for children among which are the perennial favourites: Possum Magic, Time for Bed and Where Is The Green Sheep?; and several books for adults also, including her best selling book for parents: Reading Magic: how your child can learn to read before school and other read aloud miracles. Her book: Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes was on the New York Times best-seller list for 18 weeks in 2008—2009 and also won best book for young children at the 2010 Turin International Book Festival in its Italian edition. Her books have been translated into 19 languages.

Our Pick

Mem Fox was an Associate Professor of Education at Flinders University in Adelaide where she taught teachers for 24 years until her early retirement in 1996. She has received many honors and awards from various Australian governments and other organisations for services to literature, as well as three honorary doctorates for her work in literacy. She has visited the USA over 100 times as both a consultant in literacy and as an author. She keeps threatening to retire but never quite gets around to it as she is always finding something new to write about or shout about.

Click here to go to Mem Fox’s author page


8. Markus Zusak

Markus Zusak grew up hearing stories about Nazi Germany, about the bombing of Munich and about Jews being marched through his mother’s small, German town. He always knew it was a story he wanted to tell.

“We have these images of the straight-marching lines of boys and the ‘Heil Hitlers’ and this idea that everyone in Germany was in it together. But there still were rebellious children and people who didn’t follow the rules and people who hid Jews and other people in their houses. So there’s another side to Nazi Germany,” said Zusak in an interview with The Sydney Morning Herald.

Our Pick

At just 37, Zusak has already asserted himself as one of today’s most innovative and poetic novelists. Upon the publication of The Book Thief he was dubbed a ‘literary phenomenon’ by Australian and U.S. critics. Zusak is also the award-winning author of four previous books for young adults: The Underdog, Fighting Ruben Wolfe, Getting the Girl, and I Am the Messenger, recipient of a 2006 Printz Honor for excellence in young adult literature. He lives in Sydney.

Click here to go to Markus Zusak’s author page


7. Andy Griffiths

Andy Griffiths is one of Australia’s most popular children’s writers. He is the author of over 20 books, including nonsense verse, short stories, comic novels and plays. Over the past 20 years Andy’s books have been New York Times bestsellers, won over 50 children’s choice awards, been adapted as a television cartoon series and sold over 5 million copies worldwide.

the-52-storey-treehouse

Our Pick

Andy is passionate about inspiring a love of books and reading, and this passion drives his work as an ambassador with The Indigenous Literacy Foundation, an initiative of the Australian Publishing Industry, to provide books and literacy resources to remote Indigenous communities around Australia. Andy regularly participates in field trips to remote areas of New South Wales, the Northern Territory and Western Australia to run writing workshops with Indigenous children and to help facilitate the Foundation’s work.

Click here to go to Andy Griffiths’ author page


6. Monica McInerney

One of the stars of Australian fiction, Monica McInerney is the author of the internationally bestselling novels, A Taste for It, Upside Down Inside Out, Spin the Bottle, The Alphabet Sisters, Family Baggage, Those Faraday Girls and At Home with the Templetons. Those Faraday Girls was the winner of the General Fiction Book of the Year at the 2008 Australian Book Industry Awards.

Her collection of short fiction, All Together Now, was shortlisted for the same award in 2009. At Home with the Templetons was shortlisted in the Popular Fiction category of the 2010 Irish Book Awards and in the Romantic Elements category of the 2011 Australian Romantic Book of the Year Awards.

hello-from-the-gillespies

Our Pick

In 2006 she was the ambassador for the Australian Government initiative Books Alive, with her novella Odd One Out.

Monica grew up in a family of seven children in the Clare Valley of South Australia and has been living between Australia and Ireland for twenty years. She and her Irish husband currently live in Dublin.

Click here to go to Monica McInerney’s author page


5. Kerry Greenwood

Kerry has written twenty novels, a number of plays, including The Troubadours with Stephen D’Arcy, is an award-winning children’s writer and has edited and contributed to several anthologies. In 1996 she published a book of essays on female murderers called Things She Loves: Why women Kill.

murder-and-mendelssohn

Our Pick

The Phryne Fisher series began in 1989 with Cocaine Blues which was a great success. Kerry has written sixteen books in this series and says that as long as people want to read them, she can keep writing them.

When she is not writing she is an advocate in Magistrates’ Court for the Legal Aid Commission. She is not married, has no children and lives with a registered Wizard.

Click here to go to Kerry Greenwood’s author page


4. Matthew Reilly

Matthew Reilly is the international bestselling author of 12 novels. In 2005, Matthew was the first author to participate in the Australian Government’s ‘Books Alive’ initiative, for which he wrote the short novel Hell Island, featuring Shane Schofield. Over 200,000 copies of that work were given away for free in August of 2005.

the-great-zoo-of-china

Our Pick

Matthew’s books are published in over 20 languages and he has sold over 3.5 million books worldwide: over 1 million in Australia alone; over a million in the US; and over a million in the UK.

Walt Disney Pictures have optioned the movie rights to his children’s book, Hover Car Racer, while Ice Station was optioned by Paramount Pictures.

Click here to go to Matthew Reilly’s author page


3. Tim Winton

One of the novelists of his generation, Tim Winton’s literary reputation was established early when his first novel, An Open Swimmer, won the 1981 Australian Vogel Award; his second novel Shallows, won the Miles Franklin Award in 1984; and his third book, Scission, a collection of short stories, won the West Australian Council Literary Award in 1985.

Winton’s fifth novel, Cloudstreet, the story of two working-class families rebuilding their lives, was a huge literary and commercial success. It has been a best seller since its publication in 1991 and was recently voted the most popular Australian novel by the Australian Society of Authors. Awards include National Book Council Banjo Award for Fiction, 1991; West Australian Fiction Award 1991; Deo Gloria Award (UK), 1991 and the 1992 Miles Franklin Award.

Our Pick

In 2001 his novel, Dirt Music, was published to considerable critical acclaim and impressive reviews. The book was shortlisted for the 2002 Mann Booker Prize and won the 2002 Miles Franklin Award, the West Australian Fiction Award and the Christina Stead Award for Fiction. Film rights have been optioned to Phil Noyce’s film company, Rumbalara Films, with Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz reportedly set to star in the film.

Winton’s most recent novel, Eyrie, was another triumph, being nominated by many critics as their favourite book of 2013.

Click here to go to Tim Winton’s author page


moriartyliane012. Liane Moriarty

Liane Moriarty is the Australian author of six internationally best-selling novels, including Three Wishes, The Last Anniversary, What Alice Forgot, The Hypnotist’s Love Story and the number 1 New York Times bestsellers, The Husband’s Secret and Big Little Lies.

The Husband’s Secret has sold over 2 million copies worldwide and is set to be translated into over 35 languages. CBS Films has acquired the film rights.

big-little-lies

Our Pick

With the launch of her most recent novel, Big Little Lies, Liane became the first Australian author to have a novel debut at number one on the New York Times bestseller list. Film and television rights have already been snapped up by Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon.

Writing as L.M. Moriarty, Liane has also written a series of books for children.

Click here to go to Liane Moriarty’s author page


Booktopia is proud to announce, after thousands of your nominations and over 100,000 votes from Australian readers, that Australia’s Favourite Author for 2015 is…

1. John Flanagan

John Flanagan grew up in Sydney, Australia hoping to be a writer. It wasn’t until he wrote a highly uncomplimentary poem about a senior executive at the agency where he worked, however, that his talent was revealed.

John Flanagan’s Ranger’s Apprentice series originally comprised twenty short stories, which John wrote to encourage his twelve-year-old son, Michael, to enjoy reading. Ten years after writing them he decided to turn them into a novel to publish.

The series has come a long way since then, having been on The New York Times Best Seller list for over 80 weeks, with over 5 million copies being sold in the US alone.

scorpion-mountain-no-more-signed-copies-available-

Our Pick

The Ranger’s Apprentice series and his Brotherband series are available in more than one hundred countries, and have had multiple award shortlistings and wins in Australia and overseas.

A $100 million film adaptation of The Ranger’s Apprentice is expected to commence in the next year.

Congratulations John on being voted by Australian readers Australia’s Favourite Author for 2015!

Click here to go to John Flanagan’s author page on Booktopia

Love Australian books?

Don’t forget to check out our Australian Stories collection!

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Australia’s Favourite Author 2015 – Places 20-11

Australian Stories - BannerJanuary is the month of Australian Stories at Booktopia, and to celebrate we’re counting down Australia’s 50 Favourite Authors, as voted by you!

Today’s collection of authors is amazing! Don’t forget, tomorrow we unveil Australia’s Favourite Author for 2015.

Let the countdown begin!


20. Fiona McIntosh

Fiona McIntosh is an internationally bestselling author of novels for adults and children.

Originally born in Brighton, England, at the age of nineteen, McIntosh travelled first to Paris and later to Australia, where she has lived ever since.

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She is a travel columnist and co-founded an award-winning travel magazine with her husband, which they ran for fifteen years before Fiona became a full-time author.

Fiona now roams the world researching and drawing inspiration for her novels. Although Adelaide is her family’s home, she admits her best writing is done from the peace of Tasmania.

Click here to go to Fiona McIntosh’s author page


19. Isobelle Carmody

Isobelle Carmody is one of Australia’s most acclaimed fantasy authors.

She began her first book, Obernewtyn, when she was fourteen and since then she has written some of our greatest works of fantasy. She is perhaps best known for her Obernewtyn Chronicles and for her novel The Gathering (joint winner of the 1993 Children’s Literature Peace Prize and the 1994 CBC Book of the Year Award).

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Another of her novels, Greylands, was joint winner of the 1997 Aurealis Award for Excellence in Speculative Fiction – Young Adult Division, and was named a White Raven at the 1998 Bologna Children’s Book Fair. She has also written many short stories for both children and adults.

Isobelle divides her time between Prague in the Czech Republic and her home on the Great Ocean Road in Australia.

Click here to go to Isobelle Carmody’s author page


graeme-base-201418. Graeme Base

Graeme Base is one of the world’s leading creators of picture books. His alphabet book Animalia, received international acclaim when it was first published in 1986, and has achieved classic status with worldwide sales approaching three million copies. It has now inspired an animated TV series.

Other favourites by Graeme Base include The Eleventh Hour, My Grandma Lived in Gooligulch, The Sign of the Seahorse, The Discovery of Dragons, The Worst Band in the Universe,The Waterhole (and The Waterhole Board Book), Jungle Drums and Uno’s Garden. In 2007 this last title featured in six major awards and was winner of three: Speech Pathology Book of the Year, younger readers; The Green Earth Book, USA; The Wilderness Society Environment Award.

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In 2003, his first novel for young readers, TruckDogs, was released. It was short-listed for the Children’s Book Council of Australia Book of the Year Awards the following year. In 2009 Graeme produced the the fascinating, beautiful and challenging book Enigma; can you crack the code? Graeme’s most recent book is The Last King of Angkor Wat.

Click here to go to Graeme Base’s author page


17. Kate Morton

Raised on a healthy diet of Enid Blyton, Morton decided to become a writer after completing a summer Shakespeare course at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. Putting her dreams of acting aside she concentrated on writing and completed two manuscripts and began to construct the narrative of what would eventually become the bestseller The Shifting Fog.

Kate Morton’s books are published in 38 countries. The House at Riverton was a Sunday Times #1 bestseller in the UK in 2007 and a New York Times bestseller in 2008. The Shifting Fog won General Fiction Book of the Year at the 2007 Australian Book Industry Awards, and The House at Riverton was nominated for Most Popular Book at the British Book Awards in 2008.

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Her second book, The Forgotten Garden, was a #1 bestseller in Australia and Spain, and a Sunday Times #1 bestseller in the UK in 2008. It won General Fiction Book of the Year at the 2009 Australian Book Industry Awards and was a New York Times bestseller in 2009. The Distant Hours was an international bestseller in 2010 and won General Fiction Book of the Year at the 2011 ABIAs. Kate was voted Australia’s Favourite Novelist by Booktopians in 2013.

Click here to go to Kate Morton’s author page


A110158_246x55016. Banjo Paterson

Andrew Barton “Banjo” Paterson was an Australian bush poet, journalist and author.

He wrote many ballads and poems about Australian life, focusing particularly on the rural and outback areas, including the district around Binalong, New South Wales, where he spent much of his childhood.

Paterson’s more notable poems include Waltzing Matilda, The Man from Snowy River and Clancy of the Overflow.

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On the night of Paterson’s death, Vance Palmer broadcasted a tribute: ‘He laid hold both of our affections and imaginations; he made himself a vital part of the country we all know and love, and it would not only have been a poorer country but one far less united in bonds of intimate feeling, if he had never lived and written’.

Click here to go to Banjo Paterson’s author page


15. Richard Flanagan

Richard Flanagan was born in Longford, Tasmania, in 1961. He is descended from Irish convicts transported to Van Diemen’s Land in the 1840s. His father is a survivor of the Burma Death Railway. One of his three brothers is Australian Rules football journalist Martin Flanagan. He grew up in the remote mining town of Rosebery on Tasmania’s western coast.

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His novels, Death Of A River Guide, The Sound Of One Hand Clapping, Gould’s Book Of Fish, The Unknown Terrorist, Wanting and The Narrow Road to the Deep North have received numerous honours and are published in twenty-six countries.

He directed a feature film version of The Sound Of One Hand Clapping. A collection of his essays is published as And What Do You Do, Mr Gable?

His latest book The Narrow Road to the Deep North won the 2014 Man Booker Prize for Fiction.

Click here to go to Richard Flanagan’s author page


14. Garth Nix

Garth Nix was born in 1963 in Melbourne, Australia. A full-time writer since 2001, he has worked as a literary agent, marketing consultant, book editor, book publicist, book sales representative, bookseller, and as a part-time soldier in the Australian Army Reserve.

Garth’s books include the award-winning fantasy novels Sabriel, Lirael and Abhorsen; and the cult favourite YA SF novel Shade’s Children. His fantasy novels for children include The Ragwitch; the six books of The Seventh Tower sequence, and The Keys to the Kingdom series.

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More than five million copies of his books have been sold around the world, his books have appeared on the bestseller lists of The New York Times, Publishers Weekly, The Guardian and The Australian, and his work has been translated into 37 languages.

He lives in a Sydney beach suburb with his wife and two children.

Click here to go to Garth Nix’ author page


13. Tony Park

Tony Park was born in 1964 and grew up in the western suburbs of Sydney. He has worked as a newspaper reporter in Australia and England, a government press secretary, a public relations consultant, and freelance writer. His novels have been acclaimed bestsellers since his very first, Far Horizon.

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He is also a Major in the Australian Army Reserve and served six months in Afghanistan in 2002 as the public affairs officer for the Australian ground forces.

He and his wife, Nicola, divide their time between their home in Sydney and South Africa, where they own a tent and a Series III Land Rover.

Click here to go to Tony Park’s author page


12. Rachael Treasure

Rachael Treasure currently lives in southern rural Tasmania with her two young children, Rosie and Charlie. Her three novels, Jillaroo, The Stockmen, and The Rouseabout, have all been bestsellers in Australia, selling more than 100,000 combined copies by the end of 2007. In 2008 Random House signed her to a 4 book contract for British release.

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A former jillaroo and reporter for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation on rural affairs, she is a passionate working dog trainer and in 2007 received Tasmania’s rural woman of the year award.

Click here to go to Rachael Treasure’s author page


11. Bryce Courtenay

From the unlikeliest of beginnings, Bryce Courtenay’s sweeping epics found a place in the hearts of Australians everywhere.

Courtenay began writing novels at a relatively late stage in his life after over three decades in the advertising industry.

His first and arguably most well known book, The Power Of One, was first published in 1989 and was adapted soon after into an award-winning film.

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His consistency of style and warmth of voice has kept readers enthralled since those early days, and he established himself as one of Australia’s most popular novelists. He has remained one of Australia’s most popular writers even after his passing in November 2012.

Click here to go to Bryce Courtenay’s author page


Don’t forget to comeback at midday tomorrow, when we announce Australia’s Favourite Author for 2015!

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