Charlotte Wood’s The Natural Way of Things optioned for film

Australian author Charlotte Wood should be mighty pleased with herself.

Her most recent book, The Natural Way of Things, was this month shortlisted for the 2016 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award, is the front-runner for the 2016 Miles Franklin Literary Award and has now been optioned for a film by producers Katia Nizic and Emma Dockery.

Released last year, the book opens with two women awakening from a drug-induced sleep, only to find themselves imprisoned in a dilapidated property in the middle of the Australian outback. Their heads have been shaven and they’ve been placed in restrictive clothing. They have no idea where they are, how they came to be in their present state or what their connection is to the eight other woman facing the same situation. The women all have something in common, but what is it?

 

At its core, the book explores issues of misogyny and corporate control.

“We knew instantly this was a story that needed to be told,” said Nizic and Dockery. “It feels personal and specific, but also speaks to women the world over. It is incredible to be given this opportunity to feature so many women in prominent, meaningful roles, in front of and behind the camera.”

And Wood’s opinion of the female producers:

“One of the things they said in their pitch was that there hasn’t been an Australian film with an extensive young, female ensemble cast like this since Picnic at Hanging Rock – that stuck in my head and would not let go,” Wood’s told The Guardian. “I thought, imagine if this could be the next Picnic? I have total faith in these young women to make something astonishing.”

Learn more about The Natural Way of Things here!

BOOK REVIEW: My Sister Rosa by Justine Larbalestier (Review by Sarah McDuling)

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Review by Sarah McDuling

Oh boy. This book scared me silly, in the best possible way. A tightly written psychological thriller, My Sister Rosa combines compelling characterisation with an expertly paced plot and an atmosphere fraught with tension. The result is a chilling page-turner that will leave your emotions tied up in knots.

Che’s 10-year-old sister Rosa isn’t like other little girls. She doesn’t understand concepts like right and wrong, or good and bad. She is very intelligent, frighteningly manipulative and wholly lacking in empathy. She’s a psychopath.

Che’s parents are blind to Rosa’s real nature and don’t believe him when he tries to make them see the truth. And so it’s left up to Che to be his sister’s keeper. He watches over Rosa, monitoring her actions, trying his best to control her behaviour and teach her how to act normal and fit in.

But Rosa doesn’t like being controlled and when the family relocates to New York, suddenly Che realises he might not be able to prevent Rosa from hurting someone …

Grab your SIGNED copy of My Sister Rosa here!


My Sister Rosa

by Justine Larbalestier

MySisterRosa_RCcvr.inddWhat if the most terrifying person you’d ever met was your ten-year old sister? A spine-chilling psychological thriller from one of Australia’s finest YA authors.

‘I promise,’ said Rosa. ‘I won’t kill and I won’t make anyone else kill.’

I can’t see the loophole. Since the guinea pig there’s been nothing. Months now without Rosa killing as much as a mosquito. As far as I know.

Che Taylor has four items on his list: 1. He wants to spar, not just train in the boxing gym. 2. He wants a girlfriend. 3. He wants to go home. 4. He wants to keep Rosa under control … Read More

 

Grab your SIGNED copy of My Sister Rosa here!

 

The Top 20 Most Lied About Books

Let’s be honest, we’ve all lied about something – about how often we floss, how much we weigh, or how our partner really looks in that outfit. But lying about which books we’ve read? Seems like it’s a thing.

A study of 2000 Brits commissioned by the BBC Store found that one in four fibbed about reading a classic when a TV adaptation of it was shown on TV. Why? Because they didn’t want to miss out on the conversation …and because they wanted to appear more intelligent –  for 60% of Brits also admitted that a well-read person appeared more attractive.

Children’s favourite Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll is the most fibbed about book, followed by George Orwell’s 1984 and J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy.

alice pic

While the TV series War and Peace might be the UK’s most popular new drama, only 9% of people have read the novel – but plenty more have lied about it. That brings it to number 4 on our most lied about book list.

Here are the BBC Store’s top 20 most lied about books. Which ones have you read?

The Top 20 Lied About Books

  1. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
  2. 1984 – George Orwell
  3. The Lord Of The Rings trilogy – J.R.R. Tolkien
  4. War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
  5. Anna Karenina  – Leo Tolstoy
  6. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Arthur Conan Doyle
  7. To Kill A Mockingbird – Harper Lee
  8. David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
  9. Crime and Punishment  – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  10. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
  11. Bleak House – Charles Dickens
  12. Harry Potter (series) – J.K. Rowling
  13. Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
  14. The Diary of Anne Frank – Anne Frank
  15. Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
  16. Fifty Shades trilogy – E.L. James
  17. And Then There Were None – Agatha Christie
  18. The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald
  19. Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
  20. The Catcher In The Rye – J.D. Salinger

BOOK REVIEW: Max by Sarah Cohen-Scali (Review by Emily Meredith)

maxReview by Emily Meredith

Max is a fascinating fictionalisation of a very real piece of World War II history.

The title character is the first child born in the Lebensborn program, a terrifying Nazi eugenics initiative to create perfect Aryan children. We are first introduced to Max before he is born, and he is already determined to be a perfect Nazi, with plans to be born on Hitler’s birthday.

Although it was a little strange to have the story narrated by a newborn, the content was so interesting that I didn’t really notice the oddity while I was immersed in the story. We follow Max from his birth until the end of the war, when he is almost seven.

Provocative and confronting, Max raised a plethora of important questions about human morality. It also highlighted the evils done to German women and children, as well as the Jewish and Polish populations, during WWII.

Grab your copy of Max here!


Max

by Sarah Cohen-Scali

maxWhen you first meet Max it’s 1936, in Bavaria, and he’s still a baby inside his blonde, blue-eyed mother. Utterly indoctrinated in the Nazi ideology, Max will address you and tell you his story until 1945—his destiny as an exceptional being, the prototype of the ‘Lebensborn’ (Fountains of Life) program, designed to produce perfect specimens of the Aryan race to regenerate the Reich. But when Max meets Lukas, a young Polish boy who resembles him but who rebels against the Nazi system, cracks starts to appear in Max’s convictions…

Max is compulsive reading. Against all your instincts to despise what Max tells you, about his childish cruelty, his attempts to eliminate any aspect of weakness … Read More

Grab your copy of Max here!

BOOK REVIEW: Yellow by Megan Jacobson (Review by Sarah McDuling)

yellowReview by Sarah McDuling

Yellow is brilliant. Really. It’s one of those books that as soon as you finish it you want to read it all over again because it’s just that good.

Set in the late ’90s, in the time of Spice Girls and Friends, Yellow is the story of a girl called Kirra who lives in a small coastal town. Her charming yet useless father has left to shack up with another woman. Her mother is drowning her sorrows in a bottle. Neither of Kirra’s parents have any idea that she is being bullied at school and to make matters worse (not to mention pretty weird) Kirra has starting having conversations with a boy who has been dead for twenty years …

Despite the nostalgic ’90s setting and the ghostly flashbacks to the ’70s, Yellow is essentially a timeless story. It’s a story very much grounded in reality, touching on issues like alcoholism, depression and bullying, and yet it’s also a story with a supernatural subplot about a dead boy haunting a telephone booth. But more than anything else, Yellow is a story about growing up, figuring out who you are and who you want to be.

Part ghost story, part murder mystery, and part coming of age, Yellow is a stunning debut from an amazing new talent. After devouring this book in a single sitting, you can bet I will be eagerly waiting to see what Megan Jacobson does next.

Grab your copy of Yellow here!


Yellow

by Megan Jacobson

yellowIf fourteen-year-old Kirra is having a mid-life crisis now then it doesn’t bode well for her life expectancy. Her so-called friends bully her, whatever semblance of a mother she had has been drowned at the bottom of a gin bottle ever since her dad left them for another woman, and now a teenage ghost is speaking to her through a broken phone booth.

Kirra and the ghost make a pact. She’ll prove who murdered him almost twenty years ago if he makes her popular, gets her parents back together, and he promises not to haunt her. Things aren’t so simple, however, and Kirra realises that people can be haunted in more ways than one.

Grab your copy of Yellow here!

 

12th Birthday Treat – Booktopia’s Website Through the Years

Booktopia turns 12 today. Nearly a teenager! To celebrate, we open the photo album and take a look at the early years, right up to today!


2004

Our very first website! A screenshot from the 7th of February 2004, the day that we sold our very first book!

Our very first website! A screenshot from the 7th of February 2004. Why this date? Because on this very day Booktopia sold its very first book!


2004

The green has arrived! The website at 6 months old.
Fun Fact: The photo of the fern in the top right was taken by Booktopia’s CEO and co-founder Tony Nash, on the day he came up with the name Booktopia!

The green has arrived! The website after operated for around 6 months. Fun Fact: The photo of the fern in the top right was taken by Booktopia's CEO and co-founder Tony Nash, on the day he came up with the name Booktopia!


2007

Three years later, and by March of 2007 we had a new and improved website and had moved into our very first warehouse space, wondering how on earth we were ever going to fill it!

Three years later, and by March of 2007 we had a new and improved website and had moved into our very first warehouse space, wondering how on earth we were ever going to fill it. We were very keen about our bestsellers, their covers...not so much.


2008

August 2008 and we were very excited about Michael Robotham (you know, before he started beating J.K. Rowling in international prizes and all that), and riding the Eat, Pray, Love express. Ah, the memories…

August 2008 and we were very excited about Michael Robotham (you know, before he started beating J.K. Rowling in international prizes and all that), and riding the Eat, Pray, Love express. Ah, the memories...


2012

By 2012 we had not only filled our warehouse, but outgrown it, and were looking for more space for all our beautiful books!
And, tada, we started selling DVDs. As you can see, we were pretty excited about it. But what happened next was even more exciting…

By 2012 we had not only filled our warehouse, but outgrown it, and were looking for more space for all our beautiful books! And, tada, we started selling DVDs. As you can see, we were pretty excited about it. But what happened next was even more exciting...


2013

Look at that pretty new website! That’s right, the website you see today, pictured here in 2013.
Just a few months earlier we’d moved into a 10,000 square metre HQ and taken out Best Online Bookstore at the 2013 Australian Book Industry Awards, and were voted Australia’s Favourite Bookstore by readers. 2013 was a big year!

Look at that pretty new website! That's right, the website you see today, pictured here in 2013. In this month we also moved into a 10,000 square metre HQ. We also won Best Online Bookstore at the 2013 Australian Book Industry Awards, and were voted Australia's Favourite Bookstore by readers. Big year!


2016

And here we are today. 12 years to the day after starting on a $10 a day budget, and 4374 days after selling our first book.
Still Australian, still independent, still here for Australian readers!

And here we are today. 12 years to the day after starting on a $10 a day budget, and 4374 days after selling our first book. Still Australian, still independent., still here for Australian readers!


Love Australian books?

Visit Australia’s Local Bookstore, Booktopia, with over 100,000 titles in stock, ready to be shipped to your door.

BOOK REVIEW: Summer Skin by Kirsty Eagar (Review by Sarah McDuling)

summer skinReview by Sarah McDuling

Summer Skin really and truly blew me away. I can’t remember the last time I had a reading experience that was so wonderfully surprising! When I picked up this book I expected a cute, fluffy YA romance and instead what I got was a smart, hard-hitting and emotionally weighted love story full of incredibly rich and layered characters. At turns shockingly honest and wildly funny, with moments of such raw vulnerability that it just breaks your heart … Summer Skin does not pull any punches. This is no-holds-barred storytelling at its best!

Covering a range of topics such as gender politics, sexual desire, slut shaming and rape culture, Summer Skin has a lot of important things to say – and it says them without once preaching or lecturing. Summer Skin deals with a lot of topical issues within the framework of a very engaging love story. Well written and sharply focused, it offers readers an authentic snapshot of Australian youth culture.

Ideal for fans of Melina Marchetta, Vikki Wakefield and Maureen McCarthy.

* Please note this book is marketed at teens aged 17+ and contains some material that may be considered unsuitable for younger readers.

Grab your SIGNED copy of Summer Skin here!


Summer Skin

by Kirsty Eagar

summer skinA searingly honest and achingly funny story about love and sex amid the hotbed of university colleges by the award-winning author of Raw Blue. Jess Gordon is out for revenge. Last year the jocks from Knights College tried to shame her best friend. This year she and a hand-picked college girl gang are going to get even.

The lesson: don’t mess with Unity girls. The target: Blondie, a typical Knights stud, arrogant, cold…and smart enough to keep up with Jess.

A neo-riot grrl with a penchant for fanning the flames meets a rugby-playing sexist pig – sworn enemies or two people who happen to find each other when they’re at their most vulnerable?

Grab your SIGNED copy of Summer Skin here!

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