REVIEW: Your Fathers, Where are They? And the Prophets, Do They Live Forever? by Dave Eggers (Review by Andrew Cattanach)

your-fathers-where-are-they-and-the-prophets-do-they-live-forever-The irony of Dave Eggers’ somewhat pretentiously named new novel Your Fathers, Where are They? And the Prophets, Do They Live Forever? is that it is a decidedly unpretentious work. But Dave Eggers knows that. He has more fun with his titles than most, from his breakout memoir A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius to his 2004 novel The Unforbidden is Compulsory; or, Optimism.

Your Fathers is a compelling meditation on the world we now live in. I say now because things are changing too fast for many of us, particularly for Eggers and his scatterbrained protagonist Thomas. His world is spinning out of control and the only way to halt it is to bunker down and ask the big questions. Not just of himself, but of the people who have ‘helped’ shape his life. His college hero, his mother, an old teacher, a politician, his soulmate. But he can’t just walk up to them in the street and grill them. He has a better idea.

It’s better if he has some time with them. Time to ask questions.

While they’re tied up in an abandoned military base.

While Your Fathers shines a light in uncomfortable corners, it’s raucously funny in many places, typical of all of Eggers’ work. It goes without saying that a man who, as legend has in, enlists friends to streak and heckle him during book readings would it difficult to hide that subversive humour from his writing. His acid wit works perfectly in tandem with some of the heavy territory Your Fathers explores.

Your Fathers is not a long book, but a dense one. It needs only 224 pages to engulf you. It’s a novel made up of frenzied brushstrokes that, only when you stand back, do you get to see the true genius of.

The brilliant thing about Your Fathers is that, despite his mania, I’m envious of Thomas. I feel like following his lead, although perhaps with less chains. A few days devoted entirely to questions.

But will Thomas get the answers he’s looking for before it’s too late?

Grab a copy of Dave Eggers’ Your Fathers, Where are They? And the Prophets, Do They Live Forever? here

———————————————

Andrew Cattanach is a regular contributor to The Booktopia Blog and was shortlisted for The Age Short Story Prize. He enjoys reading, writing and sleeping, though finds it difficult to do them all at once.

You can follow his ramblings on twitter at @andrew__cat

 

Booktopia’s Top 20 Father’s Day Books

Fathers DayLooking for something for Father’s Day?

We’ve made it very easy for you!*

Here are our top 20 Father’s Day titles -
books make the best gifts.


9780593073834Personal

Jack Reacher : Book 19

by Lee Child

Jack Reacher walks alone. Once a go-to hard man in the US military police, now he’s a drifter of no fixed abode. But the army tracks him down. Because someone has taken a long-range shot at the French president. Only one man could have done it. And Reacher is the one man who can find him. This new heart stopping, nail biting book in Lee Child’s number-one bestselling series takes Reacher across the Atlantic to Paris – and then to London. The stakes have never been higher – because this time, it’s personal.

Click here for more details


9780751552898Life or Death

by Michael Robotham

Why would a man escape from prison the day before he’s due to be released?

Audie Palmer has spent a decade in prison for an armed robbery in which four people died, including two of the gang. Seven million dollars has never been recovered and everybody believes that Audie knows where the money is. For ten years he has been beaten, stabbed, throttled and threatened almost daily by prison guards, inmates and criminal gangs, who all want to answer this same question, but more…

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9781846558337Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage

by Haruki Murakami

The new novel–a book that sold more than a million copies the first week it went on sale in Japan–from the internationally acclaimed author, his first since 1Q84

In high school, Tsukuru Tazaki belonged to an extremely tight-knit group of friends who pledged to stay together forever. But when Tsukuru returns home from his first year of college in Tokyo, he finds that they want nothing to do with him. Something has changed, but nobody will tell him what – and he never sees them again. Years later, Tsukuru has become a successful engineer, but is also more…

Click here for more details


9781921901744Hey, True Blue

by John Williamson

The long-awaited life story of John Williamson: an Australian icon, a much-loved legend of the music industry and man of the land.

Williamson takes us through his life, from growing up on the land in the Mallee and Moree in a family of five boys, to being the voice of Australia.

John got a lucky break that kickstarted his music career with ‘Old Man Emu’, which he wrote and performed on more…

Click here for more details


9781408704035The Silkworm

by Robert Galbraith

A compulsively readable crime novel with twists at every turn, The Silkworm is the second in the highly acclaimed series featuring Cormoran Strike and his determined young assistant Robin Ellacott.

When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. At first, she just thinks he has gone off by himself for a few days – as he has done before – and she wants Strike to find him and bring him home. But as Strike investigates, it becomes clear that there is more to Quine’s disappearance than his wife realises. The novelist has just completed a more…

Click here for more details


9781863956758The Voice

by Ray Warren

Ray ‘Rabbits’ Warren is the legendary voice of Australian sports commentary. People tell him he must have drunk a bottle of scotch and smoked a packet of cigarettes every day to have the voice that he has. That’s not the case – at least, not anymore . . .

The son of a railway worker, Ray placed his first bet on a horse called Playboy at the age of just six, and won. A lifelong love of the track – and the punt – was born. During his remarkable broadcasting career, which has now spanned almost five decades, Ray has called three more…

Click here for more details


9781921383304Favourites

by Gary Mehigan

Masterchef Australia co-judge Gary Mehigan lives and breathes food. When he’s not working the stoves at his Maribyrnong Boathouse restaurant in Melbourne or talking about food on TV or social media, you’ll find him breakfasting at a newly-opened cafe, trawling the growers’ market for ingredients for dinner, or taking culinary sojourns to the countryside to seek out the finest regional produce.

This book is the result of Gary’s ongoing food obsession: a collection of his favourite recipes garnered from more…

Click here for more details


9780733332265Drover

by Bruce Simpson, Darren Clark (Photographer)

Based on Where the Outback Drovers Ride, the much-loved memoir of bushman and drover Bruce Simpson, Drover celebrates a way of life that has all but vanished – and records how it’s changed with time. From saddling up at dawn, through long days of heat, dust and sheer hard graft working cattle, to evenings spent joking around the campfire, photographer Darren Clark was there to record contemporary outback life. In doing so he has captured the more…

Click here for more details


9781743319352The Good Fight 

by Wayne Swan

A highly personal account of the Rudd and Gillard governments from the heart of the Cabinet and the real story of how Australia avoided the Great Recession from the man recognised as the best treasurer in the world

This is Wayne Swan’s very personal account of an extraordinary period in Australian politics.

Despite the divisions within the Labor Party as the Rudd government fell into disunity and as Julia Gillard was undermined by disloyalty from within, Wayne Swan steered the more…

Click here for more details


9780718159535Jamie’s Comfort Food

by Jamie Oliver

Jamie’s new cookbook brings together 100 ultimate comfort food recipes from around the world. It’s all about the dishes that are close to your heart, that put a smile on your face and make you feel happy, loved, safe and secure. Inspired by everything from childhood memories to the changing of the seasons, and taking into account the guilty pleasures and sweet indulgences that everyone enjoys, it’s brimming with exciting recipes you’ll fall in love with.

Jamie’s Comfort Food is all about more…

Click here for more details


9780732298937The Heist

by Daniel Silva

Gabriel Allon, art restorer and occasional spy, searches for a stolen masterpiece by Caravaggio in #1 New York Times bestselling author Daniel Silva’s latest action-packed tale of high stakes international intrigue. Legendary spy and art restorer Gabriel Allon is in Venice repairing an altarpiece by Veronese when he receives an urgent summons from the Italian police. The eccentric London art dealer Julian Isherwood has stumbled upon a chilling murder scene in Lake Como, and is being held as a suspect. To save his friend, Gabriel must more…

Click here for more details


9780732294755The Mandarin Code 

by Steve Lewis, Chris Uhlmann

Politics peeled bare. The second darkly satirical thriller from the authors of The Marmalade Files.

POLITICS JUST GOT DEADLY. A body pulled from the murky waters of Lake Burley Griffin links Canberra, Beijing and Washington in a titanic struggle where war is just a mouse click away. Veteran reporter Harry Dunkley is chasing the scoop of his career, hunting for his best friend’s killer. Navigating treacherous political waters where a desperate minority government edges ever closer to disaster, he delves into a cyber world where there are more…

Click here for more details


a-song-of-ice-and-fire-box-set-buy-this-and-get-dangerous-women-free-A Song of Ice and Fire Box Set

by George R. R. Martin

HBO’s hit series A Game Of Thrones is based on George R R Martin’s internationally bestselling series A Song Of Ice And Fire, the greatest fantasy epic of the modern age. George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series has set the benchmark for contemporary epic fantasy. Labelled by Time magazine as one of the top 100 most influential people in the world, Martin has conjured a world as complex and vibrant as that of J.R.R. Tolkien, populated by a huge cast of fascinating, complex characters, and boasting a history that stretches back twelve thousand years.

Three great storylines weave through the books, charting the civil war for control of the Seven Kingdoms; the defence of the towering Wall of ice in the uttermost north against the more…

Click here for more details


9780732297893The Fictional Woman

by Tara Moss

Tara Moss has worn many labels in her time, including ‘author’, ‘model’, ‘gold-digger’, ‘commentator’, ‘inspiration’, ‘dumb blonde’, ‘feminist’ and ‘mother’, among many others.

Now, in her first work of non-fiction, she blends memoir and social analysis to examine the common fictions about women. She traces key moments in her life – from small-town tomboy in Canada, to international fashion model in the 90s, to bestselling author taking a polygraph test in 2002 to prove she writes her own work – and weaves her own experiences into a broader look at everyday sexism and issues surrounding the underrepresentation of women, modern motherhood, body image and the portrayal of more…

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9780007539383Waterloo

by Bernard Cornwell

Bestselling author Bernard Cornwell is celebrated for his ability to bring history to life. Here, in his first work of non-fiction, he has written the true story of the epic battle of Waterloo – a momentous turning point in European history – a tale of one campaign, four days and three armies. He focuses on what it was like to be fighting in that long battle, whether officer or private, whether British, Prussian or French; he makes you feel you are present at the scene.

The combination of his vivid, gripping style and detailed historical research make this, his first non-fiction book, the number one book for the upcoming 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo. It is a magnificent story. There was heroism on both sides, tragedy too and more…

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97818647114311914: The Year the World Ended

by Paul Ham

Few years can justly be said to have transformed the earth: 1914 did.

In July that year, Germany, Austria-Hungary, Russia, Britain and France were poised to plunge the world into a war that would kill or wound 37 million people, tear down the fabric of society, uproot ancient political systems and set the course for the bloodiest century in human history. In the longer run, the events of 1914 set the world on the path toward the Russian Revolution, the Treaty of Versailles, the rise of Nazism and the Cold War.

In 1914: The Year the World Ended, award-winning historian Paul Ham tells the story of the outbreak of the Great War from German, British, French, Austria-Hungarian, Russian and Serbian perspectives. Along the way, he debunks more…

Click here for more details


9780733331930Stop the Presses!

by Ben Hills

How has the Fairfax empire arrived at its current shabby, sorry state – and what does its demise mean for the future of independent journalism?

A decade ago Fairfax Media was one of the most powerful institutions in the country; staffed by gun reporters, funded by its ‘rivers of gold’, offering up high quality, fearless journalism. Since then, it has become a car wreck in slow motion. But how did it come to this? Why did one overpaid, underwhelming manager after the next fail to see the future coming – or come up with a coherent plan? Why were they fighting with each other more…

Click here for more details


9780007444199Fool’s Assassin

by Robin Hobb

Tom Badgerlock has been living peaceably in the manor house at Withywoods with his beloved wife Molly these many years, the estate a reward to his family for loyal service to the crown. But behind the facade of respectable middle-age lies a turbulent and violent past. For Tom Badgerlock is actually FitzChivalry Farseer, bastard scion of the Farseer line, convicted user of Beast-magic, and assassin.

A man who has risked much for his king and lost more… On a shelf in his den sits a triptych carved in memory stone of more…

Click here for more details


9781405914376The Eye of Heaven

by Clive Cussler

Baffin Island: Sam and Remi Fargo are on a climate-control expedition in the Arctic, when they discover a Viking ship in the ice, perfectly preserved-and filled with pre-Columbian artefacts from Mexico.

How can that be? As they research, clues about a link between the Vikings and the legendary Toltec, feathered serpent-god Quetzalcoatl and a fabled object known as the Eye of Heaven – soon emerge. And the Fargos find themselves on the run from treasure hunters, crime cartels, and those with far more more…

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9781742707273James Halliday Australian Wine Companion 2015

The James Halliday Australian Wine Companion 2015 is the number one bestselling guide to wineries and wine in Australia. Keenly anticipated by winemakers, faithful collectors and wine lovers alike, the 2015 edition has been completely revised and updated to bring you up-to-the-minute information.

Halliday shares his extensive knowledge via detailed tasting notes, each of which includes vintage-specific ratings and advice on optimal drinking, as well as alcohol content, price and a value rating. He provides important details on wineries – including more…

Click here for more details


*Father’s Day Presents? Order In Stock products only and be sure to place your order before our 27th August cut-off for eastern states¹, and 25th August for all other states².

Hot Tip: this is another big year for online shopping – place your order for In Stock products sooner rather than later to give Australia Post the best chance to deliver before for Father’s Day*.

*Order non-stocked products for delivery after Father’s Day, September 7th.
¹Eastern states include QLD, VIC, NSW & ACT
²Other states include WA, NT, SA, TAS

Claire Zorn, author of The Protected, answers Ten Terrifying Questions

The Booktopia Book Guru asks

Claire Zorn

author of  The Protected and The Sky So Heavy  

Ten Terrifying Questions
____________

1. To begin with why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself – where were you born? Raised? Schooled?

I was born, raised and schooled in the lower Blue Mountains. I lived there until I was about 24 when I moved to Sydney’s Inner West. Now I live in Wollongong.

2. What did you want to be when you were twelve, eighteen and thirty? And why?

Twelve: Artist/writer/Olympian show-jumper/horse-breeder. Why? Why on earth not.

Eighteen: Artist/jewellery designer for Dinosaur Designs. My obsession with Dinosaur Designs started at seventeen when I went into their Sydney Strand Arcade Store. I was so inspired that I changed my university plans from equestrian science to visual arts. I continue to squander all my money on DD stuff and am in the habit of writing them occasional fan mail.

Thirty: Writer. I’ve always imagined stories and characters. While film-making would probably be more fun, all you need to write a story is some paper and a pencil. It’s simpler and more direct. If anyone wants to spot me a few thousand dollars to make a film, I’m up for it.

3. What strongly held belief did you have at eighteen that you do not have now?

I was convinced there was no God. Now I’m 99.9 percent sure there is one.

Author: Claire Zorn

4. What were three works of art – book or painting or piece of music, etc – you can now say, had a great effect on you and influenced your own development as a writer?

Only three? Cruel. Radiohead’s Hail to the Thief and King of Limbs (Can’t choose.) Zadie Smith’s White Teeth and Pipilotti Rist’s video installation Sip My Ocean

5. Considering the innumerable artistic avenues open to you, why did you choose to write a novel?

Because I love stories most of all. It’s that simple. I find story-making to be the most satisfying pursuit aside from swimming in the ocean, and no one’s offered me money to do that. Writing seems to be the most direct way of getting stuff out of my head. I mentioned film before, but to cram all the details and tangents novels allow for into a film, you need tens of hours. You also need to collaborate with multiple people and schedule stuff and there’s probably diagrams involved. I’m not organised enough for all of that.

6. Please tell us about your latest novel…

Hannah is just shy of sixteen and her family has recently been ripped apart by tragedy: her sister – whom she loved but didn’t like – has been killed. An unexpected ramification of this is that the bullying she has endured throughout high school has ceased, something that puts her in a strange place emotionally. While she is trying to come to grips with this she begins to form her first friendship in years – with the crossword-obsessed delinquent, Josh.

Grab a copy of Claire’s book The Protected here

7. What do you hope people take away with them after reading your work?

Golly, I hate that question! Perhaps some small sense of camaraderie for those who were/are miserable in high school. I also wanted to pay homage to the lovely, genuine, noble guys I have known over the years. You don’t come across them all that often in books.

8. Whom do you most admire in the realm of writing and why?

This is one that tends to change a lot. I’m going to break the rules and choose two! Vince Gilligan: the character arcs he created in Breaking Bad were nothing short of Shakespearian. And Sonya Hartnett. I don’t have words to describe how great her writing is. I also like how she doesn’t seem to give a brass razoo about genres or markets or any of that annoying stuff. She seems to just write what she wants.

9. Many artists set themselves very ambitious goals. What are yours?

Oh dear. This is going to be embarrassing. May as well aim high: the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award would be quite nice. That would mean I could stop renting! Or perhaps if we are going to be absurd I could write the first YA to win the Booker. I’m pretty sure that’s impossible, although I dare say Harper Lee could have won it. On a more achievable level: I really, really want to write and illustrate a picture book. 

10. What advice do you give aspiring writers?

Choose carefully whose opinion of your work you listen to. And write. It sounds obvious but until you get the words out on the page, nothing will ever come of them.

Claire, thank you for playing.

Grab a copy of The Protected here


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?

Hannah 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.

 Grab a copy of The Protected here

Read an extract from Adultery by Paulo Coelho – bestselling author of The Alchemist

adulteryAdultery

by Paulo Coelho

I live in the safest country in the world, I have no problems to speak of, and I’m a good wife and mother. I was brought up as a strict Protestant and intend to pass that education on to my children. I never take a false step because I know how easy it is to ruin everything. I do what I have to do efficiently and put as little of myself into it as possible. When I was younger, I experienced the pain of unrequited love, just like any other normal person.

Since I married, though, time has stopped.

Until, that is, I came across that horrible writer and his answer to my question. I mean, what’s wrong with routine and boredom?

To be honest, nothing at all. It’s just . . . it’s just the secret fear that everything could change from one moment to the next, catching me completely unawares.

From the moment I had that ominous thought that bright, beautiful morning, I began to feel afraid. Would I be cap able of facing the world alone if my husband died? ‘Yes,’ I told myself, because the money he left behind would be enough to support several generations. And if I died, who would look after my children? My beloved husband. But he would surely remarry, because he’s rich, charming, and intelligent. Would my children be in good hands?

The first thing I did was try to answer all my questions. And the more questions I answered, the more questions appeared. Will he take a mistress when I get old? We don’t make love as often as we used to — does he already have someone else? Does he think I’ve found someone else because I haven’t shown much interest in sex for the last three years?

We never have jealous spats, and I used to think that was great, but after that spring morning, I began to suspect that perhaps our lack of jealousy meant a complete lack of love on both sides.

I did my best not to think about the matter anymore.

Grab a copy of Paulo Coelho’s Adultery here

For a whole week, whenever I left work, I would go and buy something in one of the expensive shops on Rue du Rhône. There was nothing I really wanted, but at least I felt that I was — how should I say this? — changing something, discovering something I didn’t even know I needed, like some new domestic appliance — although, it has to be said, novelties in the world of domestic appliances are few and far between. I avoided toy shops, because I didn’t want to spoil my children by giving them a present every day. I didn’t go into any men’s shops, either, just in case my husband might grow suspicious of my sudden extreme generosity.

When I got home and entered the enchanted realm of my domestic world, everything would seem marvelous for a few hours, until everyone went to bed. Then, slowly, the nightmare would begin.

I think that passion is strictly for the young. Presumably, its absence is normal at my age, but that isn’t what terrifies me.

Today I am a woman torn between the terror that every – thing might change and the equal terror that everything might carry on exactly the same for the rest of my days. Some people say that, as summer approaches, we start to have weird ideas; we feel smaller because we spend more time out in the open air, and that makes us aware of how large the world is. The horizon seems farther away, beyond the clouds and the walls of our house.

That may be true, but I just can’t sleep anymore, and it isn’t because of the heat. When night comes and no one is watching, I feel afraid of everything: life, death, love or the feeling that I’m wasting the best years of my life in a pattern that will be repeated over and over until I die; and sheer panic at facing the unknown, however exciting and adventurous that might be.

Naturally, I seek consolation in other people’s suffering.

I turn on the TV and watch the news. I see endless reports about accidents, people made homeless by natural disasters, refugees. How many people on the planet are ill right now? How many, whether in silence or not, are suffering injustices and betrayals? How many poor people are there, how many unemployed or imprisoned?

Grab a copy of Paulo Coelho’s Adultery here

I change channels. I watch a soap or a movie and for a few minutes or hours I forget everything. I’m terrified my husband might wake up and ask: ‘What’s wrong, babe?’ Because then I would have to say that everything’s fine. It would be even worse if — as happened a few times last month — he put his hand on my thigh, slid it slowly upward and started caressing me. I can fake orgasms — I often have — but I can’t just decide to get wet with excitement.

the-alchemistI would have to say that I’m really tired, and he, never for one moment admitting that he was annoyed, would give me a kiss, turn over, and watch the latest news on his tablet, waiting until the next day. And then I would hope against hope that when the next day comes, he’d be tired. Very tired.

It’s not always like that, though. Sometimes I have to take the initiative. If I reject him two nights in a row, he might go looking for a mistress, and I really don’t want to lose him. If I masturbate beforehand, then I’m ready and everything’s normal again.

‘Normal’ means that nothing will ever be as it was in the days when we were still a mystery to each other.

Keeping the same fire burning after ten years of marriage seems a complete impossibility to me. And each time I fake an orgasm, I die a little inside. A little? I think I’m dying more quickly than I thought.

My friends tell me how lucky I am, because I lie to them and tell them that we often make love, just as they lie to me when they say that they don’t know how their husbands can still be so interested in sex. They say that sex in marriage is interesting only for the first five years, and after that calls for a little ‘imagination.’

Closing your eyes and imagining your neighbor lying on top of you, doing things your husband would never dare to do. Imagining having sex with him and your husband at the same time. Imagining every possible perversion, every forbidden game…

Grab a copy of Paulo Coelho’s Adultery here

And the winners of the Big Little Lies Girls Night In prize packs are…

During July we gave you the chance to win 1 of 3 Girls Night In prize packs which not only included books but chocolates and a blanket. 

All you needed to do to enter was buy Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty!

And the lucky winners are…

S.Costin, Limpinwood, NSW

R.Davino, Merrylands, NSW

B.Hill, Cheltenham, NSW

BigLittleLiesNewsletterBanner

big-little-liesBig Little Lies

by Liane Moriarty

‘I guess it started with the mothers.’
‘It was all just a terrible misunderstanding.’

‘I’ll tell you exactly why it happened.’

Pirriwee Public’s annual school Trivia Night has ended in a shocking riot. A parent is dead.

Liane Moriarty’s new novel is funny and heartbreaking, challenging and compassionate. The No. 1 New York Times bestselling author turns her unique gaze on parenting and playground politics, showing us what really goes on behind closed suburban doors.

‘Let me be clear. This is not a circus. This is a murder investigation.’

Grab a copy of Big Little Lies here

Grab a copy of Big Little Lies here


Congratulations to the winners!
For your chance to enter a Booktopia Competition click here

A Sneak Peek at the Design Process of James Ellroy’s new novel Perfidia

If you’re a book nerd, you’re all in or nothing. That means you don’t just love reading, but everything about books. You love the look, the feel, the smell…

…and especially seeing how they’re made.

We take a step behind the curtain to see the design process of printing posters and covers for James Ellroy’s highly anticipated new novel Perfidia, the first book in his second ‘L.A. Quartet’. The first contained The Black Dahlia, The Big Nowhere, L.A. Confidential and White Jazz, all of which were critically acclaimed bestsellers.

Order your copy of Perfidia here

perfidiaPerfidia

by James Ellroy

A new novel from Ellroy is always a publishing event. That Perfidia is the first volume of his ‘Second L.A. Quartet’ makes this publication even more exciting.

It is December 6 1941. America stands at the brink of World War II. Last hopes for peace are shattered when Japanese squadrons bomb Pearl Harbor. Los Angeles has been a haven for loyal Japanese-Americans – but now, war fever and race hate grip the city and the Japanese internment begins.

The hellish murder of a Japanese family summons three men and one woman. William H. Parker is a captain on the Los Angeles Police. He’s superbly gifted, corrosively ambitious, liquored-up and consumed by dubious ideology. He is bitterly at odds with Sergeant Dudley Smith – Irish émigré, ex-IRA killer, fledgling war profiteer. Kay Lake is a 21-year-old dilettante looking for adventure. Hideo Ashida is a police chemist and the only Japanese on the L.A. cop payroll. The investigation throws them together and rips them apart. The crime becomes a political storm centre that brilliantly illuminates these four driven souls – comrades, rivals, lovers, history’s pawns.

Perfidia is a novel of astonishments. It is World War II as you have never seen it, and Los Angeles as James Ellroy has never written it before. Here, he gives us the party at the edge of the abyss and the precipice of America’s ascendance. Perfidia is that moment, spellbindingly captured. It beckons us to solve a great crime that, in its turn, explicates the crime of war itself. It is a great American novel.

Order your copy of Perfidia here

 

Booktopia’s Picks of the Month for August

The year is heating up!

Not the temperature of course, it’s still ridiculously cold in most parts of the country, but the hearts of book lovers everything are beating a little faster as we start to see some huge names released this month to flex their literary muscles.

This collection of must-read August authors have sold over 100 million books worldwide and between them have been included in five Miles Franklin shortlists, three Man Booker shortlists, amassing three Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards for Fiction, two Irish Children’s Book Awards, a Commonwealth Writers Prize, the World Fantasy Award for Best Novel, the Parker Romantic Novel of the Year award, the Golden Medal of Galicia and a Gold Logie.

Not a bad August eh?


colorless-tsukuru-tazaki-and-his-years-of-pilgrimageColorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage

by Haruki Murakami

The new novel–a book that sold more than a million copies the first week it went on sale in Japan–from the internationally acclaimed author, his first since 1Q84

In high school, Tsukuru Tazaki belonged to an extremely tight-knit group of friends who pledged to stay together forever. But when Tsukuru returns home from his first year of college in Tokyo, he finds that they want nothing to do with him. Something has changed, but nobody will tell him what – and he never sees them again.

Years later, Tsukuru has become a successful engineer, but is also something of more…

Click here for more details


this-house-of-griefThis House of Grief

by Helen Garner

Anyone can see the place where the children died. You take the Princes Highway past Geelong, and keep going west in the direction of Colac. Late in August 2006, soon after I had watched a magistrate commit Robert Farquharson to stand trial before a jury on three charges of murder, I headed out that way on a Sunday morning, across the great volcanic plain.

On the evening of 4 September 2005, Father’s Day, Robert Farquharson, a separated husband, was driving his three sons home to their mother, Cindy, when his car left the road and plunged into a dam. The boys, aged ten, seven and two, drowned. Was this an act of revenge or more…

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golden-boysGolden Boys

by Sonya Hartnett

Sonya Hartnett’s third novel for adults is perfectly formed and utterly compelling, an unflinching and disquieting work from one of Australia’s finest writers.

Colt Jenson and his younger brother Bastian live in a world of shiny, new things – skateboards, slot cars, train sets and even the latest BMX. Their affluent father, Rex, has made sure that they’ll be the envy of the new, working-class suburb they’ve moved to. But underneath the surface of the perfect family, is there something unsettling about the Jensons? To the local kids, Rex becomes a kind of hero, but Colt senses there’s something in his father that could destroy their fragile new lives.

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adulteryAdultery

by Paulo Coelho

The thought-provoking new novel from the international bestselling author whose words change lives.

This is Linda’s story.

She’s lucky. She knows that.

It’s what makes being unhappy even worse.

Her friends advise taking medication. But Linda wants to feel more, not less.

A meeting with a politician, and ex-boyfriend, reawakens a side of her that she – respectable wife, devoted mother and more…

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when-the-night-comesWhen the Night Comes

by Favel Parrett

The hauntingly beautiful story of a young girl transformed by the power of kindness from award-winning author Favel Parrett.

Running away from the mainland was supposed to make their lives better. But, for Isla and her brother, their mother’s sadness and the cold, damp greyness of Hobart’s stone streets seeps into everything.

Then, one morning, Isla sees a red ship. That colour lights her day. And when a sailor from the ship befriends her mother, he shares his stories with them all – of Antarctica, his home in Denmark and more…

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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 more…

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karl-cooks-be-a-legend-with-these-easy-no-fuss-recipes-with-free-stubby-holder-Karl Cooks

by Karl Stefanovic

*For a limited time only, pre-order Karl Cooks and you will also receive a free stubby holder.(*Offer available while stocks last).

From the co-host of Australia’s popular Today show comes this easy to use cookbook full of delicious recipes for any Aussie home chef that wants to be able to eat like Karl.

Whether you’re planning a weekend with mates, looking to spoil your lady friend or need a no-fuss breakfast to ease your hangover – Karl Cooks has a recipe for every occasion. Let Karl show you how to create a mouth-watering roast or stack a juicy burger, with more…

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where-is-daniel-Where is Daniel?

by Bruce Morcombe, Denise Morcombe, Lindsay Simpson

A percentage of the sales from the book will go to the Daniel Morcombe Foundation.

On 7 December 2003 Daniel Morcombe disappeared on the Sunshine Coast, while waiting for a bus. For Bruce and Denise Morcombe – the parents of Daniel – and his brothers, Bradley and Dean, it was apparent within hours that something was very wrong. In the first few days following Daniels disappearance, Bruce and Denise made a promise to their son that they would never ever stop looking for him, and bring who was responsible to justice.

We will never give up. As the nightmare of hours became days then weeks, and months and years, the family mobilised to become the moral force behind more…

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revenge-of-seven
Lorien Legacies: The Revenge of 7

by Lore Pittacus

The Garde have suffered the ultimate betrayal: Number Five has allied himself with the Mogadorians, killing Eight and helping the Mogs to abduct Ella from the safe house. Now the fight for Earth’s survival has just become that much more impossible.

The Garde may not have time to mourn their fallen ally, but they’ll make sure to avenge him. And help is at hand from the most unlikely of sources: Adam, a Mogadorian, has turned his back on his people. He might just be their lifeline, but are the Garde repeating past mistakes by putting their trust in him?

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the-king-s-curseThe King’s Curse

by Philippa Gregory

From the bestselling author of The Other Boleyn Girl and The White Princess comes the riveting story of Margaret Pole, daughter of George, Duke of Clarence, and was one of the few surviving members of the Plantagenet dynasty after the Wars of the Roses. Plantagenet, once carried proudly by Margaret like a crown upon her head, is now, at the end of the 15th century, the most dangerous name in England…

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the-imaginary-world-of-The Imaginary World of…

by Keri Smith

‘What kind of world would you like to inhabit?’ Here, Keri Smith begins with a list. Writing down everything the reader is drawn to, from things they love or collect to things that fascinate and excite, including objects, colours, sounds, textures, memories, places and people, the list serves as the building block for the creation of a new world. This world is based entirely on who the reader is as an individual, and as such is completely unique.

Prompted to think about landscape, place names, maps, currency and more Keri Smith encourages everyone to push their imaginations to the limit.

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the-dying-of-the-light
Skulduggery Pleasant: The Dying of the Light

by Derek Landy

The FINAL shocking, heart-wrenching book in the jaw-droppingly stupendous Skulduggery Pleasant series.

Valkerie. Darquesse. Stephanie. The world ain’t big enough for the three of them. The end will come…

The War of the Sanctuaries has been won, but it was not without its casualties. Following the loss of Valkyrie Cain, Skulduggery Pleasant must use any and all means to track down and stop more…

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5The Last Thirteen: 5

by James Phelan

Sam heads to Japan with Tobias to meet the next Dreamer, a famous professional gamer. While at a tournament in Tokyo, Stella arrives forcing Sam and Dreamer number nine to take extreme evasive action. As ever, Solaris is on the scene in a flash…

Meanwhile, Alex and Shiva are captive in Shiva’s New York apartment after being fitted with wrist bombs that will detonate if they attempt to escape, and Eva learns how participating in the Four Corners competition will help discover Solaris’s location, and where he is keeping the Gears he has stolen from them. Sam must find the last 13. Our fate lies with them alone.

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lego-architecture-order-now-for-your-chance-to-win-Lego Architecture

by Dorling Kindersley

Pre-order a copy of LEGO Architecture the Visual Guide by August 26th and you could win 1 of 10 copies of LEGO Minifigure Year by Year! (*Ts & Cs apply)

Iconic buildings re-imagined in LEGO® bricks

LEGO® Architecture: The Visual Guide is a stunning guide to the LEGO Architecture series and to the iconic buildings that inspired it.

Celebrate the past, present and future of more…

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Georgia Clark, author of Parched, answers Ten Terrifying Questions

The Booktopia Book Guru asks

Georgia Clark

author of Parched and She’s with the Band

Ten Terrifying Questions
____________

1. To begin with why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself – where were you born? Raised? Schooled?

I was born in Manly, which is ironic because I certainly am not. Raised in Hornsby Heights where I shunned the bush to keep my nose in a book. I went to school at Gosford High School, which I commuted 2 hours each way to! Had a great time at school: I loved my friends and I was pretty good at the learning.

2. What did you want to be when you were twelve, eighteen and thirty? And why?

I have a very early memory of wanting to be a policewoman, but I think that was more about being in charge than upholding the will of the state. Eighteen I was dead-set on becoming a film director, which is what I went to uni for. By 30, that had changed into novelist, mostly because it was easier and cheaper, and I could do it in my pajamas.

3. What strongly held belief did you have at eighteen that you do not have now?

Author: Georgia Clark

I strongly believed there would be a revolution in Australia. After starting at uni, I quickly fell into the left wing movement, and learnt about anarchism and socialism and all sorts of wonderful trouble-making. I really believed there would be an uprising, and that I would be a part of it! I also believed in cutting my own hair and dying it blue. I was fun.

4. What were three works of art – book or painting or piece of music, etc – you can now say, had a great effect on you and influenced your own development as a writer?

Manhattan by Woody Allen. I grew up watching this movie. From my lounge chair in suburban NSW, Woody’s New York was impossibly smart and cool and complex. I loved his intellectual points of reference and his characters’ shifting morality. I’m sure this early obsession led me to New York and a love of clever, modern characters from my socio-economic world.

The Dark is Rising series, by Susan Cooper. This series fanned the flame of my love for fantasy and adventure. I still remember inhaling these books when I was 12, 13, 14… I grew up without the internet or TV, so books were my everything. When I finished the fifth book in the series, I immediately started re-reading it again. Set in Cornwall, England, in the 1950s (when it was first published) this is a story about a group of plucky young kids, Barney, Simon, and Jane, who embark an ancient quest in an underworld that exists alongside out own. It’s ambitious, exciting, and original, I was riveted the entire time. Think Narnia meets Harry Potter. Yes, that good.

Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins. It’s no accident that Parched has been compared to this handbook for dystopic action: I’ve read the book, listened to the audiobook and seen the movie many times. I set out to create something as tense, political and exciting as this fantastic book.

5. Considering the innumerable artistic avenues open to you, why did you choose to write a novel?

Writing a marathon is a bit like what I imagine running a marathon is like: so hard to do your first one, but then you’re hooked. I love creating fictional worlds and imagining dialogue and scenes. I tried TV writing and directing, but couldn’t break into it. I found my niche with books.

6. Please tell us about your latest novel…

Parched is about a sixteen-year-old girl, Tess Rockwood, who joins an underground rebel group called Kudzu to help stop the development of an ‘artilect’; an artificial intelligence prototype. It’s set in a future world without much water, and features robots and kickass girls and a cute/mysterious guy. Some reviews have compared it to Divergent and Hunger Games, which of course I’m totally thrilled about!

Grab a copy of Parched here

7. What do you hope people take away with them after reading your work?

I hope Parched takes them on a rollercoaster ride, complete with sweaty palms and racing hearts. I hope they swoon and sigh over the romance, cheer on Kudzu, and root for Tess. And I hope they think about climate change and sustainability, and ponder the ethical issues of artificial intelligence.

8. Whom do you most admire in the realm of writing and why?

Anyone who speaks their truth and maintains a healthy output. YA authors I love include Maggie Steifvater, David Leviathan, Rainbow Rowell, Cassandra Clare, and Lauren Oliver.

9. Many artists set themselves very ambitious goals. What are yours?

I’d love to get a six-figure advance to write a No. 1 New York Times-best selling novel that gets turned into a fantastic movie, thus entering the pop culture Hall of Fame forever. I’d also like to write something that concretely affects people’s lives, and gives them a greater sense of hope and self-worth.  

10. What advice do you give aspiring writers?

Write stories in genres you read, and that you personally, would love to pick up in a bookstore. Commit to a regular writing schedule, ideally in a space away from home. Try the app Freedom if the internet distracts you. Don’t worry about the lacklustre first chapter; you’ll find your writing gathers steam later and you’ll go back and rewrite it anyway. Remember that talent is persistence: most writers don’t sell their first book, they sell their third or fourth. Writing is the long game: stick at it. Live a life worth writing about: take risks, say yes, follow your heart, and me, on Twitter: @georgialouclark

Georgia, thank you for playing.

Grab a copy of Parched here

GUEST BLOG: Oh, What Fun! By Anna Campbell

Anna Campbell has been one of Australia’s favourite romance writers for a long time now, charming readers everywhere with her unforgettable characters and turn of phrase.

In this exclusive blog, Anna talks about the F word. Fun.

Recently there has been a spate of very earnest articles about how reading romance can improve your mind, your health, your fine motor skills, and your love life, not to mention help you win the lottery and give you a free mowing service for the next twenty years. I’ve even written one, “Romance Mythbusting”, which appeared in the Queensland Writers Centre newsletter and is now available on my website here.

Anna Campbell 43970006

Author Anna Campbell

While all these articles (including, I hope, mine!) make a lot of sense, I think in many ways they miss the point. Do people read romance because it makes a feminist statement or because it helps people to understand the intricacies of a Regency wardrobe? Well, partly, I’m sure. I have to say I personally love the clothes in a historical romance, but that’s by the by.

However I suspect the most honest answer to that question would be no.

I think people read romance because it’s fun! Even when it’s packed with angst, as some are.

the-wickedest-lord-aliveThere’s the delicious thrill of watching two people who are perfect for each other slowly wake up to the fact – or wake up at the start of the story and struggle past whatever barriers are keeping them apart. Any good romance involves that lovely simmer of sexual tension that frequently blazes out into a full-scale inferno. There’s watching the characters make mistakes and try and correct them, often by making bigger mistakes. There’s great dialogue! Read a Georgette Heyer or a Christina Brooke or a Susan Elizabeth Phillips, and you’ll find yourself chortling away at the way the prickly dialogue goes nowhere near hiding how deeply drawn the hero and heroine are to each other. There’s the chance to go through a profound emotional journey with these people.

And the best fun of all? The fact that if you pick up a romance, you know there’s going to be a happy ending. Whether it’s in a dramatic, emotion-racked story or a sweet romantic comedy, these people will end up together, better, wiser, happier. There’s something marvelously reassuring about that. And when you’re going through a tough time in your own life, believe me, knowing that somewhere holds a guaranteed happy ending is reward enough on its own!

Is that unrealistic? Personally I don’t think so. I don’t believe that all human effort comes to dust. I think most people have as much chance for happiness as unhappiness. Hmm, perhaps you should call me a cockeyed optimist. Or a romance reader!

what-a-duke-daresThis August, I have got a new historical romance out. What a Duke Dares, book 3 of the award-winning Sons of Sin series, was great fun to write (I hope I’m not overusing the ‘F’ word!). Partly because I love the characters – falling in love with your own creations is an occupational hazard in romance. Even if they don’t start out as people you’d want living next door, they often end up that way. Partly because I got to travel through Italy in the company of my hero and heroine and observe how hard they’re fighting against succumbing to irresistible attraction. Partly because I got to hang out with the great and the good in the London season of 1828, not to mention visit a few extravagant stately homes along the way. I must say I’m a sucker for the glamour elements! Partly because when Cam and Pen from WHAT A DUKE DARES finally get their happy ending. They have really had to battle for it. Watching two people work their way, despite everything ranged against them, toward each other is always a wonderful experience.

And I guess there in a nutshell, you have the secret of why reading romance in any setting is fun!

So why do you read romance? Do you think it’s fun? Why?

My website is: http://www.annacampbell.info
You can read an excerpt of What a Duke Dares here.


Sons of Sin Trilogy Pack – Exclusive to Booktopia

Three Great Books – One Low Price!

by Anna Campbell

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Steve Lewis and Chris Uhlmann, authors of The Marmalade Files and The Mandarin Code, chat to John Purcell

After the runaway success of The Marmalade Files, it was inevitable that Steve Lewis and Chris Uhlmann would be returning for another healthy dose of political intrigue.

They chat to John Purcell about their latest book The Mandarin Code, the difficulties of co-writing, and how life in Canberra can often be stranger than fiction.

Grab a copy of The Mandarin Code here

Grab a copy of The Mandarin Code here

The Mandarin Code

by Steve Lewis and Chris Uhlmann

A body pulled from the murky waters of Lake Burley Griffin links Canberra, Beijing and Washington in a titanic struggle where war is just a mouse click away. Veteran reporter Harry Dunkley is chasing the scoop of his career, hunting for his best friend’s killer. Navigating treacherous political waters where a desperate minority government edges ever closer to disaster, he delves into a cyber world where there are no secrets.

Friendship and loyalty give way to betrayal and revenge as Dunkley stumbles into the sights of the mandarins who wield real power – and who’ll stop at nothing to retain it. Political insiders Steve Lewis and Chris Uhlmann bring biting wit and behind-the-headlines insights to this sharply observed sequel to the bestselling The Marmalade Files, once again lifting the veil on the lust and lies that stain the corridors of power.

Grab a copy of The Mandarin Code here

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