7PM INTERVIEW: Peter Fitzsimons and Andrew Cattanach discuss Peter’s new book Gallipoli

Some interviews are easier than others. While one could be like two old friends reuniting and having a chat over a beer. Another could be like stepping into a lion’s den. Taming the enthusiastic and exuberant red banner wearing Peter Fitzsimons was always going to be a challenge. He’s so passionate about his subject. So we sent in our most genial of interviewers, Mr Andrew Cattanach. And what do you know, the plucky little guy did the job.

Click here for more details or to buy Gallipoli

Gallipoli

By Peter Fitzsimons

On 25 April 1915, Allied forces landed on the Gallipoli Peninsula in present-day Turkey to secure the sea route between Britain and France in the west and Russia in the east. After eight months of terrible fighting, they would fail.

Turkey regards the victory to this day as a defining moment in its history, a heroic last stand in the defence of the nation’s Ottoman Empire. But, counter-intuitively, it would signify something perhaps even greater for the defeated Australians and New Zealanders involved: the birth of their countries’ sense of nationhood.

Now approaching its centenary, the Gallipoli campaign, commemorated each year on Anzac Day, reverberates with importance as the origin and symbol of Australian and New Zealand identity. As such, the facts of the battle – which was minor against the scale of the First World War and cost less than a sixth of the Australian deaths on the Western Front – are often forgotten or obscured. Peter FitzSimons, with his trademark vibrancy and expert melding of writing and research, recreates the disaster as experienced by those who endured it or perished in the attempt.

Order your copy of Gallipoli here

7PM INTERVIEW: Dr Karl Kruszelnicki on his brilliant new book, climate science, and the big questions

Now there’s a reason why we call Dr Karl, Dr Karl. Taking on his last name is, well, fraught with danger. We are not all SBS news readers. Some of us stumble when faced with complex surnames. And Kruszelnicki is a doozy. But when John Purcell sat across from Dr Karl and prepared to pronounce Karl’s full name, the ever helpful educator leant forward and walked him through it. Think you know how to say Dr Karl Kruszelnicki? Think again.

house-of-karlsHouse of Karls

by Dr Karl Kruszelnicki

Australia’s favourite popular scientist returns with a new book of scintillating science. His latest book is packed with fun facts and breakthrough science to thrill, amuse and entertain. Dazzling and daring, the inimitable Dr Karl has all the answers to the questions you never thought to ask!

Prepare to discover the truth about Green Tea; why crime pays (but not very well); how you can out-run a deer; the world of Big Data; why Space is the Hostile Frontier; and just what takes the title of the world’s most expensive book.

Click here to grab a copy of House of Karls 

THE 2014 BOOKTOPIA BOOKS OF THE YEAR

the-narrow-road-to-the-deep-north2014 will be remembered as the year Australian Richard Flanagan won the Man Booker prize for The Narrow Road to the Deep North. We’re sure you’ll all recall that Narrow Road featured in our Best Books of 2013 list, along with Pulitzer Prize winning The Goldfinch and Stella Prize winning The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka, so we feel very confident proclaiming that somewhere in this list, The 2014 Booktopia Books of the Year, is the winner of next year’s Man Booker. And probably The Stella and The Pulitzer… It makes sense, right?

So what goes into making such a list? Blood, sweat and tears. Firstly, the blood – a paper cut while shuffling the longlists. It hurt. Second, the sweat – wrestling all of our individual long lists into a short list. And lastly, the tears… We’re a passionate lot when it comes to books and each is stubborn in their own way. And we didn’t get our way all the time, hence the tears. But after many a vocal meeting we came to an agreement.

So here it is, the final list: The 2014 Booktopia Books of the Year

These selections are not in order, and while some amazing books have missed out, and such lists make a mockery out of art, we can’t resist a list, so here we are. Hopefully you see some of your favourites too.

LITERATURE

LILA
by Marilynne Robinson

A triumph from one of the world’s finest writers, Robinson returns to Gilead, Iowa, the scene of her acclaimed novels Gilead and Home in this incredible story of human frailty and redemption.

Click here for more details


GOLDEN BOYS
by Sonya Hartnett

Hartnett’s mesmerising tale of blurred lines in working class suburbia struck a chord with all readers, hauntingly told from the eyes of the children involved.

Click here for more details


AMNESIA
by Peter Carey
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Great Sporting Stories to Inspire You these Summer Holidays

Whether on the field, the pitch, the track or commentating from the sidelines, these men are amongst the biggest names in sport today. Their inspiring stories are a must for any sport fanatics summer reading collection.

Pushing the Limits

by Kurt Fearnley with Warwick Green

When Kurt Fearnley was a kid, he would leave his wheelechair at the front gate and go exploring with his brothers and sisters. ‘You’re going to have to be stronger than we are,’ they told him, ‘and we know you will be.’

The kid from Carcoar was raised to believe he could do anything. At fifteen, he won his first medal. Then he conquered the world, winning three Paralympic gold medals, seven world championships and more than 35 marathons. A world-beater in and out of his wheelchair, Kurt is a true Australian champion.

Inspiring, exhilarating and highly entertaining, Pushing the Limits takes us inside the mind of a kid with a disability growing up in a tiny town, a teenager finding his place in the world, and an elite sportsman who refuses to give up, no matter how extreme the challenge.

World-beater Kurt Fearnley was born without the lower portion of his spine. He grew up in tiny Carcoar in NSW, and took up wheelchair racing in his teens. He has gone on to be a three-time Paralympic gold medallist and has won marathons all around the world, including the prestigious New York, London and Chicago marathons multiple times. His exploits are not confined to wheelchair racing – he has crawled the Kokoda track and the Great Wall of China and sailed with a winning Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race crew. Kurt’s exploits both in and out of sport saw him recognised as the 2009 NSW Young Australian of the Year. He lives in Newcastle with his wife and son.

Order a copy from Booktopia, Australia’s Local Bookstore


KP: The Autobiography

by Kevin Pietersen

The long-awaited autobiography of England’s most colourful cricketer.

The fascinating life story of professional cricketer Kevin Pietersen, MBE, from his childhood in South Africa to his recent experiences as one of the leading lights in the world of international cricket. Kevin was dropped from the England squad in February of this year, seemingly calling time on an international career that began nearly ten years earlier. The decision puzzled many observers – although the England team had failed miserably in the Ashes tour of 2013-14, Kevin was the tourists’ leading run scorer across the series, and he remains the country’s highest run scorer of all time across all formats of the game.

This autumn Kevin will reveal all in his autobiography, telling the stories behind the many other highs and lows of his incredible career. Giving readers the full story of his life, from his childhood in South Africa to his recent experiences as one of the leading lights in the world of international cricket, this will be an autobiography that entertains and fascinates readers in equal measure.

Kevin Peter Pietersen is a 34 year-old professional cricketer, and the highest England run scorer in all international forms of the game combined.

Order a copy from Booktopia, Australia’s Local Bookstore


The Second Half

by Roy Keane with Roddy Doyle

In an eighteen-year playing career for Cobh Ramblers, Nottingham Forest, and Manchester United (under Sir Alex Ferguson) and Celtic, Roy Keane dominated every midfield he led to glory. Aggressive and highly competitive, his attitude helped him to excel as captain of Manchester United from 1997 until his departure in 2005. He played at an international level for nearly all of his career, representing the Republic of Ireland over fourteen years, mainly as team captain, until an incident with national coach Mick McCarthy resulted in Keane’s walk-out from the 2002 World Cup.

Since retiring as a player, Keane has managed Sunderland and Ipswich and become a notably contrarian pundit for ITV. He is assistant (to Martin O’Neill) manager of the Ireland team. The TV analyst reflects the manager, the player, and the man himself, the unique Roy Keane – Keano. As part of a tiny elite of football players, Roy Keane has lived and experienced what very few people could ever imagine. His status one of football’s greatest stars is undisputed, but what of the challenges beyond the pitch? How did he succeed in coming to terms with life as a former Manchester United and Ireland leader and champion, reinvent himself as a broadcaster, and cope with the psychological struggles this entailed? This book is a personal odyssey, a blend of anecdote and reflection which re-evaluates the meaning of success.

In following his personal struggle to reinvent himself, confronting a few demons along the way, The Second Half blends memoir and motivational writing in a manner which both disquiets and reassures in Roy Keane’s original voice, in a stunning collaboration brilliantly captured with Man Booker Prize-winning writer Roddy Doyle.

Order a copy from Booktopia, Australia’s Local


Adam Gilchrist: The Man. The Cricketer. The Legend.

by Adam Gilchrist

Going in first or seventh, wearing whites or colours, Adam Gilchrist was the most exhilarating cricketer of the modern age.

This is the most complete, intimate and fascinating illustrated autobiography of ‘Gilly’, one of the most loved sportsmen of his generation.

Featuring personal photographs, stories and precious keepsakes from Gilchrist’s private life and illustrious career, this book provides unprecedented access to Gilly, on and off the field. Peppered with anecdotes, reflections and jibes from friends, family and many of the biggest names in Australian and world cricket, this is the ultimate collection for sporting enthusiasts.

Many critics believe Adam Gilchrist is the greatest wicketkeeper/batsman to have played the game, but Adam’s huge popularity does not rest solely on his incredible track record. To his millions of fans around the world, it is the way he plays the game – rather than simply the sum of his achievements – that marks him out as one of the best-loved cricketers of his generation. He is both a swashbuckling batsman and record-breaking wicketkeeper, yet perhaps his true impact has come from the manner in which he plays his cricket – with an integrity and sense of values that many thought had departed the game forever.

Order a copy from Booktopia, Australia’s Local Bookstore


Captain’s Diary

by Michael Clarke

The inside story of the 2013 – 14 Ashes triumph.

After a three year losing streak in the Ashes, complete with a painfully recent 3-0 loss in England, facing the victorious English cricket team so soon was never going to be an easy battle. The public’s faith in the young Australian team was waning.

Despite their failures, captain Michael Clarke records in his diary a feeling of hunger in his team: a hunger to strike back, a hunger to prove their talent to the world. A hunger to return the urn.

Michael Clarke led his team to an Ashes victory at home in a 5-0 triumph over the 2013-14 summer. Along the way, the tide of public affection turned in his favour for the first time. Clarke had previously been respected for his deeds as a batsman, but had not truly won the hearts of sports fans.

This Ashes series changed that. Clarke showed the grit, talent, charisma and aggression Australian sports fans look for in their leaders. Revealing and insightful, Clarke once again puts his unique mark on the sport, giving us his account of how he rallied both the team and public behind him to bring the urn home.

 

Order a copy from Booktopia, Australia’s Local Bookstore


Iron Eagle

by Dean Cox & Digby Beacham

In the tough, adrenaline-fueled world of Australian Football, Dean Cox is a legend.

In 2014, the big man from the Dampier Archipelago played his 15th season of AFL, having played more games for the West Coast Eagles than any other man. To fans, Coxy was – and always will be – the Iron Eagle. Iron Eagle is Dean Cox’s incredible and inspiring autobiography – a no-holds-barred chronicle of a wild childhood in the Pilbara that evolved into a glorious career in the AFL and placed him front-and-centre in one of Australian sport’s most amazing rise-and-fall stories.

Tough, loyal, relentless and gifted, the two-metre-tall, seemingly indestructible Eagles ruckman rose from his humble beginnings to fuel the fast and unlikely rise of Western Australia’s first team in the AFL and became a lynch-pin in the Eagle’s famous 2006 premiership, a one-point win over Sydney. With unflinching honesty, Cox’s autobiography Iron Eagle takes us inside West Coast’s glory years – the big games, magic moments and epic battles, including the thrilling clashes with Sydney where just 13 points separated the sides over six amazing games – and also lifts the lid on the off-field scandals that left the Eagles and their fans stranded in a dirty world of drugs, death and heartbreak.

Bullishly upfront and admirably candid, full of up-close revelations and earthy humour and tall-but-true tales, Dean Cox’s Iron Eagle is the uplifting tale of a bush kid with a gift, an Eagle who dared to dream, and a big man who flew into the record books and became an AFL legend.

Order a copy from Booktopia, Australia’s Local


Playing It My Way

by Sachin Tendulkar

The autobiography of the highest scoring batsman of all time.

The greatest run-scorer in the history of cricket, Sachin Tendulkar retired in 2013 after an astonishing 24 years at the top. The most celebrated Indian cricketer of all time, he received the Bharat Ratna Award – India’s highest civilian honour – on the day of his retirement. Now Sachin Tendulkar tells his own remarkable story – from his first Test cap at the age of 16 to his 100th international century and the emotional final farewell that brought his country to a standstill. When a boisterous Mumbai youngster’s excess energies were channelled into cricket, the result was record-breaking schoolboy batting exploits that launched the career of a cricketing phenomenon. Before long Sachin Tendulkar was the cornerstone of India’s batting line-up, his every move watched by a cricket-mad nation’s devoted followers.

Never has a cricketer been burdened with so many expectations; never has a cricketer performed at such a high level for so long and with such style – scoring more runs and making more centuries than any other player, in both Tests and one-day games. And perhaps only one cricketer could have brought together a shocked nation by defiantly scoring a Test century shortly after terrorist attacks rocked Mumbai. His many achievements with India include winning the World Cup and topping the world Test rankings.

Yet he has also known his fair share of frustration and failure – from injuries and early World Cup exits to stinging criticism from the press, especially during his unhappy tenure as captain. Despite his celebrity status, Sachin Tendulkar has always remained a very private man, devoted to his family and his country. Now, for the first time, he provides a fascinating insight into his personal life and gives a frank and revealing account of a sporting life like no other.

Order a copy from Booktopia, Australia’s Local Bookstore


Cricket as I See it

by Allan Border

The forthright, fascinating and informed views and thoughts on world cricket by former Australian captain, Allan ‘A.B.’ Border.

In the twenty years since Allan Border retired as Australian cricket captain he’s been one of the game’s closest and most astute observers. His views on cricket – based on his experiences as a player, a captain, a selector and a commentator – are fascinating, forthright and informed by more than three decades of involvement at the game’s highest level.

In Cricket as I See It he gives us his wisdom and opinions on the game he loves – from epic Tests, the rising power of India, and the Twenty20 revolution, through to his thoughts on captaincy, and the essential arts of batting, bowling and sledging. He reflects on the great players and contests of his generation, as well as controversies such as the underarm bowling affair, the turbulent events that led to him shouldering the captaincy, the rebel tour of South Africa, Steve Waugh’s dropping as one-day captain, and the divisive ‘Monkeygate’ scandal. With cricket, Allan calls it as he sees it, and the result is a book to be savoured and enjoyed by cricket lovers everywhere. overdue.

Order a copy from Booktopia, Australia’s Local


The Voice

by Ray Warren & Andrew Webster

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 Melbourne Cups, Commonwealth and Olympic Games swimming, and countless rugby league matches alongside his mates Fatty, Sterlo and Gus.

Here, for the first time, Ray reveals the man behind the microphone. He speaks of the great highs and devastating lows of his career and life in the same way he calls every sporting event: with great passion, colour and candour.

Ray “Rabbits” Warren in Junee, New South Wales is an Australian sports commentator, most famous for his coverage of televised professional rugby league matches on the Nine Network. On occasion he is referred to as “The Voice of Rugby League”. Ray also calls the action for Australian swimming team events. On Saturday mornings, he is a member of the panel on Triple M Sydney’s radio sports program Dead Set Legends. Warren also writes columns for sports website The Serve.

Order a copy from Booktopia, Australia’s Local

Rabia Siddique, author of Equal Justice, answers Ten Terrifying Questions

The Booktopia Book Guru asks

Rabia Siddique

author of Equal Justice

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 am a first generation Australian. My father is a Muslim Indian, my mother a British/Scottish Australian. I spent my early years in India and we immigrated to Perth in the late 1970’s. I attended a Government primary school in a fairly Anglo, post war, working class neighbourhood and was very fortunate to attend Penrhos College, a Uniting Church Private Girls school for my secondary education.

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

From a young age I decided I wanted to help others obtain access to justice and find their voice, largely as a result of experiences I had as a child which gave me a strong sense of social justice and equality, so after obtain a BA and LLB from the University of WA I started my career in the law in Perth.

rabia

Author: Rabia Siddique

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

As an 18 year old I saw things in a very black and white way.  As I have got older I realise that not everything, in fact very few things are black and white, and that life is filled with many shades of grey. I have always been a tolerant person, but life and the various journey I have had has taught me to be even more accepting, compassionate and forgiving.

4. What were three big events – in the family circle or on the world stage or in your reading life, for example – you can now say, had a great effect on you and influenced you in your career path?

The three most significant and influential events in my life have been experiencing first-hand; the discrimination and prejudice my father suffered as a dark skinned Muslim immigrant to what was then a very conservative Australia in the 1970’s, which gave me an early sense of equality and social justice, the powerlessness I felt as a young child of 9 after having been sexually abused my a neighbour for many months and then being told by my parents to never speak of the abuse to anyone, and the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks on the US, days before I commissioned as a Legal Officer in the British Army.

5. Considering the innumerable electronic media avenues open to you – blogs, online newspapers, TV, radio, etc – why have you chosen to write a book? aren’t they obsolete?

I guess you could say in some ways I am a traditionalist and I still believe there is no replacement to the experience of reading a remarkable or beautiful book.  Books are the purest and most authentic way of sharing stories, and whilst Equal Justice is also available as an eBook, I believe my story and the messages I convey were worthy of more than a newspaper article or blog.

6. Please tell us about your latest book…

Equal Justice is the story about my life and my journey. It is a memoir about strength, resilience, courage and grit.  It shines a light on authentic and ethical leadership, equality and deals openly with the challenging topics of abuse, war, physical and psychological suffering and a woman excelling in a man’s world. It is a book I am very proud of and a story that has resonated with so many.

Grab a copy of  Rabia Siddique book Equal Justice here

7. If your work could change one thing in this world – what would it be?

If my work could do one thing it would be to inspire others to be agents for change – in their relationships, households, communities and workplaces.

8. Whom do you most admire and why?

Mahatma Gandhi has always been my hero.  He said “Be the change you wish to see in this world” and that has been my life’s mantra and my life’s work.

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

I have been so fortunate and blessed to have achieved and realised so many of my goals and dreams, but I continue to dedicate my life to being the best parent, partner and friend and I can be, and to doing what I can to make a difference and inspire others to also make our communities and societies more tolerant, inclusive and diverse – so we can work and live together in genuine harmony and peace. I believe in dreaming big and striving for the highest. That is something I will impart to my children and something that will always define me as a human being and citizen of the world.

10. What advice do you give aspiring writers?

I believe nearly everyone has a story to tell. Don’t focus on the reasons not to write your stories, but ask yourself why not? Stories are the most effective way to break down barriers and connect with people. Have a focus on what you hope to achieve and make it happen. I truly believe that when you do something for the right reasons it always has a way of working out – joy and success will inevitably follow.

For writers seeking publishing deals – invest in a good literary agent!

Rabia, thank you for playing.

Grab a copy of Equal Justice here


Equal Justice

by Rabia Siddique

Rabia Siddique is a woman with an extraordinary perspective. Growing up as a Muslim in the conservative and monocultural landscape of 1970s suburban Perth, she knew what it was like to be different. It gave her an abiding passion for equality and social justice that was to guide the course of her life. She trained as a lawyer, and found herself working in the UK on that fateful day in September 2001 when Islamic terrorists attacked the US.

She joined the British army in the Judge Advocates’ division as a military lawyer. She served in Iraq and was taken hostage by Islamic insurgents as she tried to negotiate the release of two kidnapped British soldiers. She battled for hours to save their lives, using her legal expertise, knowledge of Islam and Arabic to negotiate with their captors. After their release, her colleague received a Military Cross. Rabia received nothing. Her subsequent sex and race discrimination case against the British Army made headlines around the world. After leaving the army, she joined the Crown Prosecution Service as a prosecutor working on terrorism cases. Last year she returned to Perth to raise her triplet sons.

Her perspective as a feminist, a social justice crusader, a lawyer, a soldier, a former hostage, a terrorism prosecutor and a Muslim is unique, and her memoir is a story of grit, courage and conviction like no other.

 Grab a copy of Equal Justice here

Biographies Rock These Summer Holidays

Their music has inspired millions, but what what do you really know about them?

The sex and the drugs and the rock and the roll, it’s all here, laid bare.

Dancing with Myself

by Billy Idol

In this original memoir following Billy Idol from his childhood in England to his fame at the height of the punk-pop revolution, the iconic superstar tells the real story behind the sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll that he is famous for.

A member of the punk rock revolution whose music crossed over into the pop mainstream during the 1980s, Billy Idol is a rock ‘n’ roll legend. Dancing with Myself will cover the events and the people who shaped his life, his music and his career, including accounts of his childhood both in England and the U.S., his year at Sussex University, his membership in the Bromley Contingent, his period spent hanging out with the Sex Pistols, his time in Siouxsie and the Banshees, Chelsea and Generation X. Idol also tackles his successful solo career, which involved collaboration with Steve Stevens and, ultimately, some of the most influential, ground-breaking music videos ever seen on MTV. In Dancing with Myself , Idol renders detailed accounts of his life’s highs and lows with the unapologetically in-your-face attitude and exuberance that made him famous. In part a survivor’s story,Dancing with Myself is equally a very funny and always riveting account of one man’s creative drive.

Billy Idol is a multi-platinum recording artist, Grammy nominee and rock legend. Known for successfully merging his signature punk attitude with the mainstream music scene, Idol has written some of pop’s most iconic songs, including ‘White Wedding,’ ‘Rebel Yell’ and ‘Cradle of Love’. Idol maintains an active touring schedule and released a career spanning greatest hits album in 2008, ‘The Very Best of Billy Idol: Idolize Yourself’. He lives in Los Angeles.

Order a copy from Booktopia, Australia’s Local Bookstore


Ed Sheeran: A Visual Journey

by Ed Sheeran & Phillip Butah

Take one acclaimed singer-songwriter and pair him with one of the most talented young artists of his generation and what do you get? A stunningly original visual documentary of one of the world’s best-loved and most successful musicians of his generation. With words by Ed Sheeran and illustrations by his childhood friend, artist Phillip Butah (who produces artwork for Sheeran’s albums and singles), and accompanying photos, Ed Sheeran: A Visual Journey is an exclusive, fully authorised, first-person account by Ed of how he became an internationally renowned singer-songwriter.

In the book, Ed explores his early musical experiences and influences as well as his time recording and touring, right up to the release of his second album, ‘x’. The book reveals what drives and inspires Ed as he continues to evolve as an artist, while coping with stratospheric success, and is an honest account of what it takes to make it in the music business.

With Phillip Butah’s distinctive portraits of Ed throughout, this is a unique book celebrating a unique musician. It includes Ed’s recollections of working tirelessly on the London gig circuit and self-releasing EPs, working hard on finding his sound, signing to Asylum Records and recording his huge hit album, ‘+’, performing at the Grammys, touring with Taylor Swift and sell-out headline gigs at Madison Square Garden. It takes us up to Ed as a musician today, including recording his new album, ‘x’.

Order a copy from Booktopia, Australia’s Local Bookstore


Anger is an Energy: My Life Uncensored

by John Lydon

John Lydon has secured prime position as one of the most recognizable icons in the annals of music history. As Johnny Rotten, he was the lead singer of the Sex Pistols – the world’s most notorious band, who shot to fame in the mid-1970s with singles such as ‘Anarchy in the UK’ and ‘God Save the Queen’. So revolutionary was his influence, he was even discussed in the Houses of Parliament, under the Traitors and Treasons Act, which still carries the death penalty. Via his music and invective he spearheaded a generation of young people across the world who were clamouring for change – and found it in the style and attitude of this most unlikely figurehead.

With his next band, Public Image Ltd (PiL) Lydon expressed an equally urgent impulse in his make-up – the constant need to reinvent himself, to keep moving. From their beginnings in 1978 he set the groundbreaking template for a band that continues to challenge and thrive in the 2010s. He also found time for making innovative new dance records with the likes of Afrika Baambaata and Leftfield.

Following the release of a solo record in 1997, John took a sabbatical from his music career into other media, most memorably his own Rotten TV show for VH1 and as the most outrageous contestant ever on I’m a Celebrity…. Get Me Out of Here! He then fronted the Megabugs series and one-off nature documentaries and even turned his hand to a series of much loved TV advertisements for Country Life butter.

Lydon has remained a compelling and dynamic figure – both as a musician, and, thanks to his outspoken, controversial, yet always heartfelt and honest statements, as a cultural commentator.

The book is a fresh and mature look back on a life full of incident from his beginnings as a sickly child of immigrant Irish parents who grew up in post-war London, to his present status as a vibrant, alternative national hero.

Order a copy from Booktopia, Australia’s Local Bookstore


I’m Talking: My Life, My Words, My Music

by Kate Ceberano & Tom Gilling

For the first time, Kate Ceberano, one of Australia’s best-loved entertainers, shares her story.

In her own unmistakeable voice, Kate Ceberano takes us on a very personal journey from her suburban childhood, her immersion in the Melbourne club scene of the eighties and her rise to stardom at the age of fourteen when she fronted the wildly popular funk band I’m Talking, to the life of a female performer and recording artist in London, Los Angeles and New York.

With parallel careers as a pop and jazz singer and songwriter, Kate has received the highest awards in the Australian music industry including the ARIA for Best Female Artist. She has delighted audiences in Harry M. Miller’s hugely successful ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’, won a legion of fans when she won ‘Dancing with the Stars’, and made a triumphant debut for Opera Australia in ‘South Pacific’. Now she reveals, for the first time, just what that was like.

People have been talking about Kate Ceberano since she was a teenager: Hugh Jackman described her as having ‘truly one of the great voices this country has produced'; for Rolling Stone she is ‘pure, soulful and powerful’. Now Kate is talking for herself.

Accompanied by never before published photos.

Order a copy from Booktopia, Australia’s Local Bookstore


The Best Years of Our Lives

by Richard Clapton

Welcome to the party that never ends…

When he was 16 he inveigled his way into a Sydney hotel to hang out with the Rolling Stones. From that day on, Richard Clapton knew he was going to be a rock star. It’s now almost 50 years since that fateful day -years filled with a lifetime of incredible experiences, outrageous good times and a catalogue of iconic and timeless songs. Through the glory years of rock’n’ roll, in cities as varied as London, Berlin, Sydney, Los Angeles and Paris, Richard forged his own career and built up a significant body of work while living, loving and partying with the biggest names in the Australian and international music world.

By his own frank admission, these were years fuelled by prodigious quantities of alcohol and drugs, set against a backdrop of constant recording and touring, of endless partying and wild times. It was to be a rollercoaster ride of euphoric highs and deep, shattering lows.

For 40 years, Richard Clapton has been, above all else, a songwriter-a wry observer of human behaviour and an astute commentator on the Australian condition. His best songs- ‘Deep Water’, ‘The Best Years of Our Lives’, ‘Goodbye Tiger’, ‘Glory Road’, ‘Lucky Country’, ‘Girls on the Avenue’, ‘Trust Somebody’ and ‘Capricorn Dancer’-capture the essence of this country and the meaning of our lives like few others.

In this extraordinary memoir, Richard employs his songwriter’s keen powers of observation, portraiture and storytelling to tell the best story of all: the remarkable one of his own life. Outrageous, funny, insightful and poignant, this is the rock memoir to beat them all. In celebration of 40 years of fabulous music and iconic songs, welcome to The Best Years of Our Lives.

Order a copy from Booktopia, Australia’s Local Bookstore


7PM INTERVIEW: Caroline Overington on her incredible new book, Last Woman Hanged

When Caroline Overington heard about the plight of Louisa Collins she was desperate to discover whether a great injustice had been committed. Using all of her skills as an investigative journalist Caroline dug deep into the archives. What she discovered was far more complex and murky than she had imagined. She talks to John Purcell about her final verdict. Did Louisa murder her husband?

last-woman-hanged-order-your-signed-copy-Last Woman Hanged

by Caroline Overington

ONE WOMAN. TWO HUSBANDS. FOUR TRIALS. ONE BLOODY EXECUTION.

In January 1889, Louisa Collins, a 41-year-old mother of ten children, became the first woman hanged at Darlinghurst Gaol and the last woman hanged in New South Wales. Both of Louisa’s husbands died suddenly. The Crown was convinced that Louisa poisoned them with arsenic and, to the horror of many in the legal community, put her on trial an extraordinary FOUR TIMES in order to get a conviction. Louisa protested her innocence until the end. Now, in Last Woman Hanged, writer and journalist Caroline Overington delves into the archives to re-examine the original, forensic reports, court documents, judges notebooks, witness statements and police and gaol records, in an effort to discover the truth.

Much of the evidence against Louisa was circumstantial. Some of the most important testimony was given by her only daughter, May, who was just 10-years-old when asked to take the stand.

The historical context is also important: Louisa Collins was hanged at a time when women were in no sense equal under the law – except when it came to the gallows.

Women could not vote or stand for parliament – or sit on juries. There were no female politicians and no women judges.

Against this background, a small group of women rose up to try to save Louisa’s life, arguing that a legal system comprised only of men – male judges, all-male jury, male prosecutor, governor and Premier – could not with any integrity hang a woman.

The tenacity of these women would not save Louisa but it would ultimately carry women from their homes all the way to Parliament House.

Less than 15 years after Louisa was hanged, Australian women would become some of the first in the world to get the vote. They would take seats in State parliament, and in Canberra. They would become doctors, lawyers, judges, premiers – even the Prime Minister.

Caroline says: ‘My hope is that Last Woman Hanged will be read not only as a true crime story but as a letter of profound thanks to that generation of women who fought so hard for the rights we still enjoy today.’

Click here to grab a copy of Last Woman Hanged

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