5 reasons you should check out our Christmas in July Sale

ChristmasInJuly_NewsletterBanner-616x150px1. Because books. Right?

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You know that time when there’s nothing to do and you’re bored out of your mind.

Yeah, neither do we.

2. You’ll thank yourself in December

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Think of that awkward cousin who invites themselves to Christmas lunch last minute. Or that weird co-worker who smells of onions who gets you a present on the last day of work for the year. Or the Secret Santa that you forgot about.

Buy up big while the prices are this ridiculous (over 10,000 titles for less than $10), and you’ll thank yourself when the silly season rolls around in a few months.

3. You can never have too many books

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Plug those gaps in your shelves, fill your draws, have a pile sitting on the floor in your living room like you’re a 1950s playwright. You have room for more books, TRUST US!

4. A truckload of kids books

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It’s always nice to treat the little ones to a gorgeous masterpiece, but that shouldn’t mean that you should spend the big bucks on every kids book. With nearly 5,000 kids titles for less than $5, get some easy winners for the kids to keep them on their toes during story time.

5. It ends really soon

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July is nearly over, which mean Christmas in July is nearly over!

You only have a few days left to snap up a huge bargain, with most prices never to be repeated.

So, what are you waiting for? Get to it!

ChristmasInJuly_NewsletterBanner-616x150pxClick here to check out our Christmas in July Sale!

3 reasons why…JON SNOW IS ALIVE!

SPOILER ALERT: THIS ARTICLE ABOUT SPOILERS CONTAINS SPOILERS THAT MAY SPOIL POTENTIAL SPOILERS

The final episode of Season 5 of Game of Thrones marked the first time readers of the book and watchers on the wall of the television series achieving a level of parity, plot-wise.

This means that all disciples of Westeros and beyond are waiting for one question to be answered.

Is Jon Snow really dead?

To answer this we’re not even going to go into theories within the Song Of Ice And Fire world. We’re talking about real life, citing logistical facts around the production of the TV series.

With George R.R. Martin serving as an executive producer, it’s all but certain that what happens in the show, is what happens in the next book (which we think will be published midway through next year).

Jon Snow is alive. 100%. And here’s why…

1. The Hair!

Harington famously has a clause in his HBO contract that he isn’t allowed to cut his hair while under contract to play Jon Snow, a clause so ironclad that he had to hide his curls under a wig for his performance in the recent Testament of Youth.

Harington has always said how much it annoys him having to live with his famous lion’s mane, and looked forward to cutting his locks when his time on the show was over.

So, Kit, explain this photo, taken at Wimbledon weeks after the finale had aired, and months after completing filming…

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Glorious curls = Contract still in action = Still on the show = Jon Snow is alive

2. The Beautiful Death?

Recently HBO commissioned a series of Game of Thrones “Beautiful Death” artworks, an official episode-by-episode guide to the most iconic deaths in the realm.

So which death is featured as the most ‘iconic’ in the Season 5 finale?

Stannis Baratheon. Over Jon Snow.

It’s nearly as if Jon….didn’t….die.

Right?

3. Kit Harington flew to Belfast yesterday

This one is the most compelling reason that Jon Snow is still alive.

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Consider these points.

a) Kit Harington flew to Belfast yesterday

b) Actors from the series are currently in Belfast where the cast is reading through the scripts for season six.

c) Filming for season six of Game of Thrones begins in Belfast at the end of the month.

d) He’s rocking a man bun. The hair is still there.

Sure, he could be there for a funeral scene, which would be a strong possibility if he were spotted flying at the end of the month. But surely playing a corpse doesn’t involve weeks of rehearsals?

All this can only mean one thing.

JON SNOW IS ALIVE!

Time to start forgiving Melisandre…

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VIDEO: Steve Toltz on his brilliant new novel Quicksand

Steve Toltz’s first novel, A Fraction of the Whole, was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and the 2008 Guardian First Book Award. He chats to Booktopia’s Andrew Cattanach.

Quicksand

by Steve Toltz

The literary event of 2015. Steve Toltz follows his extraordinary debut, the Booker-shortlisted A Fraction of the Whole, with a novel that’s just as edgy, hilarious and compelling: Quicksand, at once unmistakeably Toltzean and unlike anything that’s come before.

‘Why should I let you write about me?’

‘Because you’ll inspire people. To count their blessings.’

Aldo has been so relentlessly unlucky – in business, in love, in life – that the universe seems to have taken against him personally. Even Liam, his best friend, describes him as ‘a well-known parasite and failure’. Aldo has always faced the future with optimism and despair in equal measure, but this last twist of fate may finally have brought him undone.

There’s hope, but not for Aldo.

Liam hasn’t been doing much better himself: a failed writer with a rocky marriage and a dangerous job he never wanted. But something good may come out of Aldo’s lowest point. Liam may finally have found his inspiration. Together, maybe they can turn bad luck into an art form.

What begins as a document of Aldo’s disasters develops into a profound story of love lost, found and betrayed; of freedom and incarceration; of suffering and transcendence; of fate, faith and friendship; of taking risks – in art, work, love and life – and finding inspiration in all the wrong places.

Quicksand is a fearlessly funny, outrageously inventive dark comedy that looks contemporary life unblinkingly in the eye. It confirms Steve Toltz as one of our most original and insightful novelists.

Grab a copy of Quicksand here

BREAKING NEWS: Baileys Women’s Prize For Fiction Announce 2015 Shortlist

While you were sleeping the shortlist for the 2015 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction was announced, an intriguing list selected by this year’s judges.

This year’s six shortlisted books were whittled down from a twenty-strong longlist, which can be found here. The shortlist selection includes five previously shortlisted authors and one debut novelist, playwright Laline Paull.

The award will be announced on the 3rd June. Why not pick up a few of them and be your own judge…


outline-a-novelOutline

by Rachel Cusk

A novel about writing and talking, self-effacement and self-expression, about the desire to create and the human art of self-portraiture in which that desire finds its universal form.

A woman writer goes to Athens in the height of summer to teach a writing course. Though her own circumstances remain indistinct, she becomes the audience to a chain of narratives, as the people she meets tell her one after another the stories of their lives.

Beginning with the neighbouring passenger on the flight out and his tales of fast boats and failed marriages, the storytellers talk of their loves and ambitions and pains, their anxieties, their perceptions and daily lives. In the stifling heat and noise of the city the sequence of voice begins to weave a complex human tapestry. The more they talk the more elliptical their listener becomes, as she shapes and directs their accounts until certain themes begin to emerge: the experience of loss, the nature of family life, the difficulty of intimacy and the mystery of creativity itself.

Outline is a novel about writing and talking, about self-effacement and self-expression, about the desire to create and the human art of self-portraiture in which that desire finds its universal form.

Grab a copy of Outline here

Author Rachel Cusk

About the Author

Rachel Cusk was born in 1967 and is the author of seven novels: Saving Agnes, which won the Whitbread First Novel Award, The Temporary, The Country Life, which won a Somerset Maugham Award, The Lucky Ones, which was shortlisted for the Whitbread Novel Award, In the Fold and Arlington Park which was shortlisted for the Orange Prize and The Bradshaw Variations. Her non-fiction books are A Life’s Work, The Last Supper and Aftermath. In 2003 she was chosen as one of Granta’s Best of Young Novelists.


the-beesThe Bees

by Laline Paull

Born into the lowest class of her society, Flora 717 is a sanitation bee, only fit to clean her orchard hive. Living to accept, obey and serve, she is prepared to sacrifice everything for her beloved holy mother, the Queen. But Flora is not like other bees. Despite her ugliness she has talents that are not typical of her kin. While mutant bees are usually instantly destroyed, Flora is removed from sanitation duty and is allowed to feed the newborns, before becoming a forager, collecting pollen on the wing.

She also finds her way into the Queen’s inner sanctum, where she discovers secrets both sublime and ominous. But enemies are everywhere, from the fearsome fertility police to the high priestesses who jealously guard the Hive Mind. And when Flora breaks the most sacred law of all her instinct to serve is overshadowed by an even deeper desire, a fierce maternal love that will lead to the unthinkable . . .

Laline Paull’s chilling yet ultimately triumphant novel creates a luminous world both alien and uncannily familiar. Thrilling and imaginative, The Bees is the story of a heroinelaline_paull_a_p who, in the face of an increasingly desperate struggle for survival, changes her destiny and her world.

Grab a copy of The Bees here

About the Author

Laline Paull, 49, studied English at Oxford, screenwriting in Los Angeles, and theatre in London, where she has had two plays performed at the Royal National Theatre. She is a member of BAFTA and the Writers’ Guild of America. She lives in England by the sea with her husband, the photographer Adrian Peacock, and their three children.


a-god-in-every-stoneA God in Every Stone

by Kamila Shamsie

July 1914. A young Englishwoman, Vivian Rose Spencer is running up a mountainside in an ancient land. She picks up a fig and holds it to her nose. Around her is a maze of broken columns, taller than the tallest of men. Nearby is the familiar lean form of her father’s old friend, Tahsin Bey, an archeologist. Viv is about to discover the Temple of Zeus, the call of adventure and the ecstasy of love.

July, 1915. An Englishwoman and an Indian man meet on a train to Peshawar. Viv Spencer is following a cryptic message sent to her by the man she loves, from whom she has been separated by war. Qayyum Gul is returning home after losing an eye at Ypres while fighting for the British Indian army, his allegiances in tatters. When they disembark the train at Peshawar they are unaware that a connection is about to be forged between their lives – one of which they will be unaware until fifteen years later when anti-colonial resistance, an ancient artefact and a mysterious green-eyed woman will bring them together again over seventy-two hours of heartbreak, frayed loyalties and hope.

Grab a copy of A God in Every Stone herekamila-shamsie

About the Author

Kamila Shamsie is the author of five novels: In the City by the Sea, Kartography (both shortlisted for the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize), Salt and Saffron, Broken Verses and Burnt Shadows which was shortlisted for the Orange Prize and has been translated into more than twenty languages. Three of her novels have received awards from Pakistan’s Academy of Letters. She is a trustee of English PEN and Free Word, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.


how-to-be-bothHow To Be Both

by Ali Smith

How to be Both is a novel all about art’s versatility. Borrowing from painting’s fresco technique to make an original literary double-take, it’s a fast-moving genre-bending conversation between forms, times, truths and fictions. There’s a renaissance artist of the 1460s. There’s the child of a child of the 1960s.

Two tales of love and injustice twist into a singular yarn where time gets timeless, structural gets playful, knowing gets mysterious, fictional gets real – and all life’s givens get given a second chance.

Grab a copy of How To Be Both here

About the AuthorAli-Smith-006

Ali Smith is the author of several fiction novels, including the novel Hotel World, which was shortlisted for both the Orange Prize and the Booker Prize in 2001 and won the Encore Award and the Scottish Arts Council Book of the Year Award in 2002. Her story collections include Free Love, which won the Saltire First Book Award and a Scottish Arts Council Award, and The Whole Story and Other Stories. Her latest novel is How to be Both. Born in Inverness, Scotland, in 1962, Smith now lives in Cambridge, England.


a-spool-of-blue-threadA Spool of Blue Thread

by Anne Tyler

‘It was a beautiful, breezy, yellow-and-green afternoon…’

This is the way Abby Whitshank always begins the story of how she and Red fell in love that day in July 1959. The whole family on the porch, relaxed, half-listening as their mother tells the same tale they have heard so many times before. And yet this gathering is different. Abby and Red are getting older, and decisions must be made about how best to look after them and their beloved family home. They’ve all come, even Denny, who can usually be relied on only to please himself.

From that porch we spool back through three generations of the Whitshanks, witnessing the events, secrets and unguarded moments that have come to define who and what they are. And while all families like to believe they are special, round that kitchen table over all those years we see played out the hopes and fears, the rivalries and tensions of families everywhere – the essential nature of family life.anne tyler

Grab a copy of A Spool of Blue Thread here

About the Author

Anne Tyler was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1941 and grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina. She graduated at nineteen from Duke University and went on to do graduate work in Russian studies at Columbia University. The Beginner’s Goodbye is Anne Tyler’s nineteenth novel; her eleventh, Breathing Lessons , was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1988. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.


the-paying-guestsThe Paying Guests

by Sarah Waters

It is 1922, and London is tense. Ex-servicemen are disillusioned, the out-of-work and the hungry are demanding change. And in South London, in a genteel Camberwell villa, a large silent house now bereft of brothers, husband and even servants, life is about to be transformed, as impoverished widow Mrs Wray and her spinster daughter, Frances, are obliged to take in lodgers.

For with the arrival of Lilian and Leonard Barber, a modern young couple of the ‘clerk class’, the routines of the house will be shaken up in unexpected ways. And as passions mount and frustration gathers, no one can foresee just how far-reaching, and how devastating, the disturbances will be.

This is vintage Sarah Waters: beautifully described with excruciating tension, real tenderness, believable characters, and surprises. It is above all, a wonderful, compelling story.

Grab a copy of The Paying Guests here

About the AuthorWriter-Sarah-Waters-006

Sarah Waters was born in Wales in 1966. She has been shortlisted for the Man Booker and Orange prizes and has won The South Bank Show Award and The Somerset Maugham Award. Four of her novels have been adapted for television. She has been named as author of the Year four times – by the Booksellers Association, Sunday Times, Waterstone’s and The British Book Awards.

VIDEO: Jacqueline Harvey on her amazing success and what’s in store for Alice-Miranda and Clementine Rose

Jacqueline Harvey’s bestselling Alice-Miranda series began as an idea for a picture book but it soon became apparent that this perpetually positive seven-and-a-quarter-year-old had a lot more to say. The series has been sold to the United States, United Kingdom, Indonesia and Turkey and has been shortlisted for children’s book awards in Australia. She chats to John Purcell.

alice-miranda-at-the-palaceAlice-Miranda at the Palace

by Jacqueline Harvey

Alice-Miranda is off on a royal adventure!

It’s Queen Georgiana’s silver jubilee, and Alice-Miranda and her friends are invited. While Evesbury Palace is every bit as magnificent as they’d imagined, some of the staff are behaving strangely. Edgar and Louis, Aunty Gee’s grandsons and the palace’s resident mischief-makers, don’t exactly give their guests a friendly welcome. When they team up with an unexpected visitor, things soon go from bad to worse.

Behind the scenes it seems something much more sinister is at play. Why is Aunty Gee so determined to keep Alice-Miranda at the palace for the rest of the holidays? And who is her mysterious milliner? With the help of her friends and a trusty butler, can Alice-Miranda uncover what threatens to bring down the royal family?

Click here to view the Alice-Miranda series

VIDEO: Ros Reines on her new novel The Social Diary and the difference between gossip and news

Ros Reines is one of Australia’s best known gossip columnists. She chats to John Purcell about her new novel The Social Diary, which is set among Sydney’s A-list in the Eighties The Social Diary is her second novel after the well received Gossip in 2005.

the-social-diary-a-novel-signed-copies-available-The Social Diary : A Novel

by Ros Reines

A gossipy and glamorous novel of 80s excess from the author of the real-life gossip column Guess Who Don’t Sue.

When Savannah Stephens returns to her hometown Sydney after a stint as a music journalist in London, she is thrown into the burgeoning world of society parties and the excesses of the eighties social scene.

Savannah’s first job back on home soil is as the editor of the newly created Social Diary. Her days are spent battling old fashioned newspaper colleagues, who frown upon the so-called ‘women’s pages’ and tut when her stories make front page splashes.

By night she is awash in a sea of expensive champagne at the biggest and best parties the city has to offer. It is there that she collides with the unbelievable characters and larger-than-life personalities who are fast becoming legendary for their jaw-dropping antics.

Will Savannah manage to prove her critics wrong or will she be distracted by a very handsome yet mysterious man?

Funny and satirical, The Social Diary reads at times like an extended version of Ros Reines’ real-life gossip column feature Guess Who Don’t Sue, and is written by someone who has been through it all and lived to tell the tale.

For a limited time only, order The Social Diary and you will receive a signed copy.

VIDEO: The Incompetent Cook battles breakfast with Janella Purcell

Janella Purcell is one of Australia’s favourite nutritionists and cookbook authors. She shares the secrets of her delicious Bircher Muesli with The Incompetent Cook.

Janella’s Super Natural Foods

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Janella’s Super Natural Foods

by Janella Purcell

Keeping it deliciously simple is Janella’s healthy food philosophy. Using many superfoods and grains, she has created over 150 fantastic recipes that the whole family will love.

Superfoods. Food as medicine. Supergrains. Fermented foods. Wholefoods. Keep it simple.

In Janella’s Super Natural Foods every recipe will help you to achieve better health and beauty.

With over 150 delicious recipes for healthy breakfasts, lunches, dinners, desserts, snacks, drinks and sauces, Janella uses wholefoods to satisfy everyone. A dynamic mix of superfoods and a good old-fashioned plant-based diet, Janella’s philosophy of using food as medicine is simple and easy to follow.

Many of the recipes have been influenced by Janella’s travels to Italy, Japan, India, the Middle East and South East Asia – healthy food has never been so tantalising nor so easy to create in your kitchen. Clearly marked throughout with symbols for gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free, raw, soy-free, nut-free or grain-free, each recipe also contains alternative ingredient suggestions to please all your friends and family.

As a talented naturopath, nutritionist, wellness coach, herbalist and environmentalist, Janella Purcell is eager to share her wealth of knowledge and experience. Her passion for cooking and keeping things simple means that staying healthy has never been easier.

Grab your copy of Janella’s Super Natural Foods here

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