The book every Australian should read in 2016

Stan Grant

Stan Grant

In July 2015, as the debate over Adam Goodes being booed at AFL games raged and got ever more heated and ugly, Stan Grant wrote a short but powerful piece for The Guardian that went viral, not only in Australia but right around the world, shared over 100,000 times on social media.

His was a personal, passionate and powerful response to racism in Australian and the sorrow, shame, anger and hardship of being an indigenous man. ‘We are the detritus of the brutality of the Australian frontier’, he wrote, ‘We remained a reminder of what was lost, what was taken, what was destroyed to scaffold the building of this nation’s prosperity.’

Stan Grant is an Indigenous man who’s become one of our leading journalists. He spent many years outside Australia, working in Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Africa, a time that liberated him and gave him a unique perspective on Australia.

His upcoming book Talking To My Country is his very personal meditation on what it means to be Australian, what it means to be indigenous, and what racism really means in this country.

Grab your copy of Talking To My Country here!


Articles by Stan Grant

The Guardian Online, 30 July 2015:
I can tell you how Adam Goodes feels. Every Indigenous person has felt it.

The Guardian Online, 21 September 2015:
Adam Goodes showed us the festering sores of Australia’s history can rip open at any moment

Adam Goodes

Adam Goodes

Article about Stan Grant

The Sydney Morning Herald Online, 18 July 2015:
Two of Us: Tracey Holmes and Stan Grant (Interview by Stephen Lacey)

Stan and Tracey

Stan and his wife, Tracey Holmes


Talking To My Country

Stan Grant

stanTalking To My Country is that rare and special book that talks to every Australian about their country – what it is, and what it could be.

It is not just about race, or about indigenous people but all of us, our shared identity. Direct, honest and forthright, Stan is talking to us all.

He might not have all the answers but he wants us to keep on asking the question: how can we be better?

Grab your copy of Talking To My Country here!

 

Remembrance Day: 10 Reads on the Costs of War

The one thing Australia and the Commonwealth should never forget is its history, in particular the sacrifices our ancestors made during World World 1 and in subsequent times of conflict.

Today, on Remembrance Day, we remember those that have fallen, sacrificing their very lives to provide a better life for us. The below ten books detail the horrors and costs of war, helping us never forget that behind every great victory is great loss.

 

Thin Red LineThe Thin Red Line
James Jones

‘Is it really worth it to die, to be dead, just to prove to everybody that you’re not a coward?’

On Guadalcanal in the south Pacific, the soldiers of C Company are about to enter the war. The men know they face their baptism of fire. But none know if they will be one of ‘the lucky ones’ to make it safely off the island. From Captain Stein, who feels like a father to his troops, and ‘Mad’ Sergeant Welsh, condemning all nations while swigging gin from his canteen, to Private Bell, who just wants to get home to his wife, they will discover the line that divides sanity from madness, and life from death …

Read more or grab your copy of The Thin Red Line here!


the-middle-parts-of-fortuneThe Middle Parts of Fortune
Frederic Manning

Bourne is a private fighting on the front. Self-reliant and articulate, he is under pressure to accept a commission, but he prefers to be among the ranks, drawn into the universal struggle for survival in a world gone mad. An attempt to understand the inexplicable, Manning’s moving and powerful work is unlike any other First World War novel in its depiction of the life of the ordinary British soldier, which was as much concerned with drill, transportation, rest and relaxation, as the trauma and brutalities of combat. Its use of swearing and its highly disturbing realism give The Middle Parts of Fortune a startling contemporaneity …

 

Read more or grab your copy of The Middle Parts of Fortune here!


all-quiet-on-the-western-front

All Quiet on the Western Front
Erich Maria Remarque

The most famous anti-war novel ever written.

One by one the boys begin to fall. In 1914 a room full of German schoolboys, fresh-faced and idealistic, are goaded by their schoolmaster to troop off to the ‘glorious war’. With the fire and patriotism of youth they sign up. What follows is the moving story of a young ‘unknown soldier’ experiencing the horror and disillusionment of life in the trenches …

 

 

 

Read more or grab your copy of All Quiet On The Western Front here!


 

parade-s-endParade’s End
Ford Madox Ford

Parade’s End is the great British war novel and Ford Madox Ford’s major achievement as a novelist. Originally published as four linked novels between 1924 and 1928, it follows the story of Christopher Tietjens, as his life is shattered by his wife’s infidelities and overturned by the mud, blood and destruction of the First World War. Tietjens, with his old-fashioned Tory values, is already out of step with the corrupt political culture of Edwardian England: his experiences at the Front and his developing relationship with the suffragette Valentine Wannop force him into a radical reconfiguring of his values as he participates in the …

 

Read more or grab your copy of Parade’s End here!


xthe-periodic-table.jpg.pagespeed.ic.RQrx3ox2YtThe Periodic Table
Primo Levi

‘So it happens, therefore, that every element says something to someone’

Inspired by the rhythms of the Periodic Table, Primo Levi assesses his life in terms of the chemical elements he associates with his past. From his birth into an Italian Jewish family through his training as a chemist, to the pain and darkness of the Holocaust and its aftermath, Levi reflects on the difficult course of his life in this heartfelt and deeply moving book.

Written with characteristically understated eloquence, The Periodic Table is one of the key testaments of the last century …

 

Read more or grab your copy of The Periodic Table here!


 

life-and-fateLife and Fate
Vasily Grossman

At the centre of this epic novel, overshadowing the lives of its huge cast of Russian and German characters, looms the battle of Stalingrad. Within a world torn apart by ideological tyranny and war, Grossman’s characters must work out their destinies.

Completed in 1960 but confiscated by the KGB, this sweeping panorama of Soviet Society rejected the compromises of a lifetime and earned its author denunciation and disgrace. It remained unpublished until it was smuggled into the West in 1980, where it was hailed as a masterpiece …

 

Read more or grab your copy of Life and Fate here!


 

Yellow Birds

The Yellow Birds
Kevin Powers

An unforgettable depiction of the psychological impact of war, by a young Iraq veteran and poet, The Yellow Birds is already being hailed as a modern classic.

A soldier’s broken promise … a mother’s loss … an agonizing truth. THE YELLOW BIRDS gives a powerful, emotional insight into the human cost of war – its impact on soldiers, their families, and most of all what it is like to return home, but never be able to leave the memories behind. Kevin Powers served two terms as a machine gunner with the US army in Iraq. On his return, he was asked one question more than any other …

Read more or grab your copy of The Yellow Birds here!


 

matterhorn

Matterhorn
Karl Marlantes

Grey-green mountain jungle. Cold monsoon clouds wreath its mile-high summit, concealing a battery of 105-mm howitzers surrounded by deep bunkers, carefully constructed fields of fire and the 180 marines of Bravo Company.

Just three kilometres from Laos and two from North Vietnam, there is no more isolated outpost of America’s increasingly desperate war in Vietnam. Lieutenant Waino Mellas, 21 years old and just a few days into his 13-month tour, has barely arrived at Matterhorn before Bravo Company is ordered to abandon their mountain and sent deep in-country in pursuit of a North Vietnamese Army unit of unknown …

Read more or  grab your copy of Matterhorn here!


 

testament-of-youthTestament of Youth
Vera Brittain

A film tie-in edition of Vera Brittain’s classic autobiography, published to coincide with the major motion picture adaptation starring Dominic West, Emily Watson, Colin Morgan and Kit Harington.

In 1914 Vera Brittain was eighteen and, as war was declared, she was preparing to study at Oxford. Four years later her life – and the life of her whole generation – had changed in a way that was unimaginable in the tranquil pre-war era. Testament of Youth, one of the most famous autobiographies of the First World War, is Brittain’s account of how she survived the period; how she lost the man she loved …

Read more or grab your copy of Testament of Youth here!


 

for-whom-the-bell-tollsFor Whom The Bell Tolls
Ernest Hemingway

High in the pine forests of the Spanish Sierra, a guerrilla band prepares to blow up a vital bridge. Robert Jordan, a young American volunteer, has been sent to handle the dynamiting. There, in the mountains, he finds the dangers and the intense comradeship of war. And there he discovers Maria, a young woman who has escaped from Franco’s rebels.

For Whom The Bell Tolls is Ernest Hemingway’s finest novel, a passionate evocation of the pride and the tragedy of the Civil War that tore Spain apart …

 

 

Read more or grab your copy of For Whom the Bell Tolls here!

Australian National Living Treasure, Tom Keneally, chats with Booktopia about his new book, Napoleon’s Last Island.

Australian author, playwright and novelist Tom Keneally dropped by to sign a few books and chat with us about his latest masterpiece, Napoleon’s Last Island. This enthusiastic and effervescent man has an extraordinary talent for bringing history to life, riveting readers (and listeners) with his compelling storytelling. But don’t take our word for it … have a listen to his podcast below and let us know what you think.

Did you know: Tom Keneally won the Man Booker Prize in 1982 with Schindler’s Ark, which Steven Spielberg later turned into the Academy Award-winning film Schindler’s List!

 

 

Tom Keneally

Grab your signed copy of Napoleon’s Last Island here!


Napoleon’s Last Island

Tom Keneally

Napoleon's Last IslandWhilst living in exile on St Helena, Napoleon exerted an extraordinary influence on young Betsy Balcombe. How did she get from Napoleon’s side to the Australian bush?

Betsy Balcombe as a young woman lived with her family on St Helena. They befriended, served and were ruined by their relationship with Napoleon. To redeem the family’s fortunes William Balcombe, Betsy’s father, betrays Napoleon and accepts a job as the colonial treasurer of NSW, bringing his family with him. William never recovers from the ups and downs of association with Napoleon. His family however flourish in Australia and remain renowned pastoralists in Victoria … Read more.

 

Grab your signed copy of Napoleon’s Last Island here!

 

 

BREAKING NEWS: 2015 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards Shortlists Announced

Premiers-literary-awards

The shortlists for this year’s NSW Premier’s Literary Awards have been announced, featuring some of Australia’s most celebrated writers and young up and comers.

How many have you read?

CHRISTINA STEAD PRIZE FOR FICTION

* Ceridwen Dovey – Only the Animals golden-boys(More…)

* Elizabeth Harrower In Certain Circles (More…)

* Sonya Hartnett – Golden Boys (More…)

* Mark Henshaw – The Snow Kimono (More…)

* Joan London – The Golden Age (More…)

* Gerald Murnane – A Million Windows (More…)

UTS GLENDA ADAMS AWARD FOR NEW WRITING

* Michael Mohammed Ahmad – The Tribe (More…)9781922213211

* Maxine Beneba Clarke – Foreign Soil (More…)

* Emily Bitto – The Strays (More…)

* Luke Carman – An Elegant Young Man (More…)

* Omar Musa – Here Come the Dogs (More…)

* Ellen van Neerven – Heat and Light (More…)

DOUGLAS STEWART PRIZE FOR NON-FICTION

* Alan Atkinson – The Europeans in Australia (More…)the-bush

* Philip Dwyer – Citizen Emperor: Napoleon in Power 1799 ‐ 1815 (More…)

* Helen Garner – This House of Grief (More…)

* Iain McCalman – The Reef: A Passionate History (More…)

* Biff Ward – In My Mother’s Hands (More…)

* Don Watson – The Bush (More…)

PATRICIA WRIGHTSON PRIZE FOR CHILDREN’S LITERATURE

* Allan Baillie – The First Voyage (More…)9780143307679

* Trace Balla – Rivertime (More…)

* Tamsin Janu – Figgy in the World (More…)

* Glenda Millard, Stephen Michael King (Illustrator) – The Duck and the Darklings (More…)

* Catherine Norton – Crossing (More…)

* James O’Loghlin – The Adventures of Sir Roderick, the Not-Very Brave (More…)

ETHEL TURNER PRIZE FOR YOUNG ADULT’S LITERATURE

* K.A. Barker – The Book of Days (More…)9781742614175

* Jackie French – The Road to Gundagai (More…)

* Darren Groth – Are You Seeing Me? (More…)

* Justine Larb alestier – Razorhurst (More…)

* Jaclyn Moriarty – The Cracks in the Kingdom (More…)

* Clare Strahan – Cracked (More…)

 

Order Testament of Youth and receive a double pass to see it in Cinemas!

9780349005928-Testament-of-Youth-Rotating-Home-PageBanner-

In celebration of the release of Testament of Youth, which has been described by the Evening Standard as “Stunningly good…desperately moving”,  we are giving you a free double pass to see the film when you order a copy of the book.

Synopsis: Testament of Youth is a powerful story of love, war and remembrance, based on the First World War memoir by Vera Brittain, which has become the classic testimony of that war from a woman’s point of view. A searing journey from youthful hopes and dreams to the edge of despair and back again, it’s a film about young love, the futility of war and how to make sense of the darkest times.

Order Testament of Youth and receive a free double pass to see this breathtaking film on the big screen.


testament-of-youth-order-this-book-receive-a-free-double-pass-Testament of Youth

by Vera Brittain

A film tie-in edition of Vera Brittain’s classic autobiography, published to coincide with the major motion picture adaptation starring Dominic West, Emily Watson, Colin Morgan and Kit Harington.

In 1914 Vera Brittain was eighteen and, as war was declared, she was preparing to study at Oxford. Four years later her life – and the life of her whole generation – had changed in a way that was unimaginable in the tranquil pre-war era. Testament of Youth, one of the most famous autobiographies of the First World War, is Brittain’s account of how she survived the period; how she lost the more…

Grab a copy of Testament of Youth here


Vera Brittain (1893-1970) grew up in the north of England. At the end of the war she moved to Oxford where she met Winifred Holtby, author of South Riding. poet-brittain.

And the Week 4 winner of our March into Reading with Scholastic competition is….

John Staker, Dungog, NSW
CONGRATULATIONS!

Prize: Scholastic book pack, worth $200!


The prize pack includes:

Marvel The Avengers : Age of Ultron Activity Bag
Marvel The Avengers : Age of Ultron Activity Bag
Friends and Foes : Ready to Read Level 2
Hulk to the Rescue : Ready to Read Level 2
Little Barry Bilby Had a Fly Upon His Nose
We’re Going on an Egg Hunt
Anzac Biscuits
Gallipoli
Me and Moo
Alice in Wonderland
False Note : EJ12 Girl Hero
The Sin Eater’s Daughter
Shoes from Grandpa


Congratulations to the winner!
Not a winner? Don’t worry, we have more prizes to giveaway! You could win an awesome Mother’s Day gift. Check them out here.

promotions

And the Week 3 winner of our March into Reading with Scholastic competition is….

T.Irlam, Blayney, NSW
CONGRATULATIONS!

Prize: Scholastic book pack, worth $200!


Order from our March into Reading with Scholastic collection by March 31st and you’ll not only get 30% off Scholastic’s news releases but go in the weekly draw to win a prize pack, worth $200! We have one more weekly prize pack to be won and will be announcing the winner of Week 4, April 2nd.

The prize pack includes:

Marvel The Avengers : Age of Ultron Activity Bag
Marvel The Avengers : Age of Ultron Activity Bag
Friends and Foes : Ready to Read Level 2
Hulk to the Rescue : Ready to Read Level 2
Little Barry Bilby Had a Fly Upon His Nose
We’re Going on an Egg Hunt
Anzac Biscuits
Gallipoli
Me and Moo
Alice in Wonderland
False Note : EJ12 Girl Hero
The Sin Eater’s Daughter
Shoes from Grandpa

Booktopia_Scholastic_FrontPageRotatingBannerClick here to check out our March into Reading with Scholastic collection

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