VOTE NOW: Australia’s Favourite Author 2016 – Heat 2

AustralianStories_SocialMediaPostcard-720x479_Heat2Our annual vote to discover Australia’s Favourite Author is here again! Over 100,000 Australians had their say last year, and this year will be even bigger!

It’s your chance to champion your favourite Australian authors and vote them through to next week’s final round of voting. You can vote for as many authors as you like, with the poll closing at midnight tonight.

Remember, this is only Heat 2 (check out the results of yesterday’s vote here). we still have 3 more heats to run!

Click here, to see more details about the process, and don’t forget to check out last year’s results here!

So what are you waiting for? Get voting!

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Looking for a Great Australian Read?
AustralianStories_RotatingHomepageBanner-770x200px-categoriesCheck out our Australian Stories collection, with over 6,000 local titles to choose from!


Need help deciding who to vote for?
Listen to our chats with some of our fave Aussie authors.

Kate Grenville

 

Aaron Blabey

 

Fiona McIntosh

 

Jay Kristoff

Would you pay $4o million for a cup of tea? Someone did and Dr. Karl tells us why! All in his new book Short Back and Science

Why would anyone pay $40 million for a cup of tea? How did a toilet seat help to end the First World War? And why are there scientists running around naked in the Antarctic? All these questions and more are answered in Short Back and Science, Dr Karl’s brilliant and insightful new book.

 

Grab your copy of Short Back and Science here!


Dr. Karl’s Short Back & Science

Dr. Karl Kruszelnicki

Short Back and Science Lean back and settle in for cutting-edge scientific snippets from the trend-setting Dr Karl Kruszelnicki.

In Short Back & Science, Dr Karl combs through some of the greatest scientific conundrums of our age, such as what is killing half the bacteria on Earth every two days and why don’t mole rats get cancer? Are bananas really slippery, radioactive and loaded with potassium?

Brushing aside any hype about coconuts and antioxidants, there is no one better to trim down to the facts than Australia’s most trusted scientist, Dr Karl … Read more.

Grab your copy of Short Back and Science here!

 

GUEST BLOG: What Katie Read – The 2015 Round Up (by award-winning author Kate Forsyth)

One of Australia’s favourite novelists Kate Forsyth, author of The Impossible Quest, Bitter Greens, The Wild Girl and now The Beast’s Garden, continues her monthly blog with us, giving her verdict on the books she read in November and December.

NOVEMBER

I spent quite a lot of time on planes this month, which meant I had plenty of time for reading (the best thing about spending so much time in airports and hotels!) I read eight books in total, with my usual mix of fiction and non-fiction (not counting research tomes!) – Kate Forsyth

The Light Between Us

by Laura Lynne Jackson

the-light-between-usA fascinating memoir from a young American woman who first began to realise she had psychic talents when she was a child. Her story chronicles her struggle to understand her gift, her search to learn to use it wisely, and some anecdotes of the many people who she has helped along the way.

Simply and beautifully told, Laura Lynne Jackson has tried hard to find a new vocabulary for her strange and uncanny experiences (though the book is, of course, laden with phrases such as ‘the Other Side’ and ‘spirits crossing’, which may set off sceptics’ alarm bells).

Some of the most fascinating chapters are on the scientific tests she has submitted to in order to better understand and validate her gifts … and the book is filled with a quiet wisdom that will resonate even with those who do not believe in an afterlife.

Grab your copy of The Light Between Us here!


The Goddess and the Thief

by Essie Fox

the-goddess-and-the-thiefAlice was born and raised in India during the time of the British Raj, and so when she is sent to live with an aunt in England, she is uprooted from all she knows and loves. Her aunt is cold and unkind – much like the weather – and scratches out a living by holding séances.

When Queen Victoria’s beloved prince-consort dies, she consults with Alice’s aunt in a desperate bid to connect with her dead husband. Alice finds herself drawn into a conspiracy to steal the priceless – and cursed – Koh-i-Noor diamond. As the coils of obsession, desire, and murder tighten inexorably around her, Alice finds it impossible to know who to trust, or even what is real.

Dark, suspenseful, and lushly written, The Goddess and the Thief is an utterly compelling and uncanny Victorian mystery.

Grab your copy of The Goddess and the Thief here!


Small Acts of Disappearance: Essays on Hunger

by Fiona Wright

small-acts-of-disappearanceSmall Acts of Disappearance is a series of interlinked essays inspired by the author’s struggle with an eating disorder.

Fiona Wright is an award-winning poet currently undertaking a doctorate in writing at University of Western Sydney. Each essay on its own is superbly crafted and exquisitely written. Some are deeply personal and gut-wrenchingly emotional, while others take her obsession with not eating as a springboard to explore other territories, such as issues of anorexia in Australian literature. Together they create an utterly extraordinary collection – intelligent, fierce and deeply informative.

Grab your copy of Small Acts of Disappearance here!


The Lake House

by Kate Morton

Lake HouseA new Kate Morton is always cause for celebration! The Lake House is once again set in Cornwall, and moves between the mysterious disappearance of a child in 1933, and a policewoman’s struggle to overcome her guilt at being unable to solve the mystery of a missing woman in modern times.

Mysteries and secrets have always been at the heart of Kate Morton’s books, but with this one she takes a step closer to the crime genre. The result is as beguiling and suspenseful as always – the book is a massive 591 pages long but I whizzed through, the pages seemingly turning themselves. Now I can only wait in breathless anticipation for the next one!

Grab your copy of The Lake House here!


A Profound Secret

by Josceline Dimbleby

a profound secretJosceline Dimbleby has been one of Britain’s favourite food writers for a long time. A Profound Secret is a departure for her – it is the story of how an old portrait inspired her to dig deeper into her family’s past and its many secrets and mysteries. The portrait was of her great-aunt Amy Gaskell, and it was painted by the Pre-Raphaelite artists Edward Burne-Jones. As a girl, Josceline was told her great-aunt had died young of a broken heart.

Deciding to find out more, Josceline uncovered a box of secret love letters between the famous artist and Amy’s mother, May. Both were married to others. Josceline also discovered the tragic truth of Amy’s early demise.

The book is as much about Josceline’s search as it is about what she discovered, and so it is as much a detective story as it is a story of a secret love affair.

Grab your copy of A Profound Secret here!


Ophelia’s Muse

by Rita Cameron

ophelia-s-museThe tragic love affair of the Pre-Raphaelite artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti and his muse and model Lizzie Siddal has been surprisingly under-utilised in fiction. Most people know the basic storyline, however, thanks to numerous films and TV series such as ‘Desperate Romantics’. Lizzie was discovered in a milliner’s shop and became the ‘face’ of early Pre-Raphaelite art, modelling for quite a few of the brotherhood and becoming famous as Ophelia in John Everett Millais’s painting of the same name. She and Rossetti had a tumultuous affair and eventually married, only for Lizzie to die of a laudanum overdose.

Rita Cameron has taken this basic storyline, and built it into a satisfying novel of art, desire and tragedy. The mid-Victorian setting is vividly created, and the inner world of Lizzie Siddal brought touchingly to life. For anyone interested in the story of Lizzie Siddal, this is a good place to start (I should probably say that I’m currently writing a novel about the Pre-Raphaelites too – but that mine will be very different!)

Grab your copy of Ophelia’s Curse here!


The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot

by Robert Macfarlane

the-old-waysThe British travel writer Robert Macfarlane has been a new and wondrous discovery for me. He brings an incisive mind, a poet’s feel for language, and a deep knowledge of place and time to his writing. The Old Ways is about journeys he has taken – usually but not always on foot – through landscapes as diverse as Essex, Spain, Palestine and Tibet. Most of his walks are through British landscapes, though, and are rich in folklore, history and fascinating characters. It’s the kind of book where you want to keep underlining passages for their sheer and precise beauty – here’s just on example:

The whole foot is a document of motion, inscribed by repeated action. Babies—from those first foetal footfalls, the kneading of the sole against womb-wall, turning themselves like astronauts in black space—have already creased their soles by the time they emerge into the world.

Grab your copy of The Old Ways here!


Where Angels Fear To Tread

by E. M. Forster

where-angels-fear-to-treadEvery month I try to re-read an old beloved book that I haven’t read in years. Where Angels Fear To Tread was my choice this month. It was E. M. Forster’s first novel, and is so small it is nearly a novella. It’s a quite exquisite work, however, laying bare the snobbery and insularity of the British middle classes before the First World War. It tells the story of how a dashing young widow named Lilia falls in love with a much younger Italian man and marries him, much to the horror of her former husband’s family, who think she has brought scandal and dishonour upon them. When a child is born and Lilia dies, her brother-in-law Philip and former companion Caroline Abbott set out to Italy to try and save the little boy …. only to set tragedy and heartbreak in motion. It is such a sad story, and so surprising too – a perfect little gem of a novel.

Grab your copy of Where Angels Fear To Tread here!


DECEMBER

A lot of my reading time in the past month has been taken up with research for the new novel I am working on, but I always make time for reading for pleasure as well. This month my reading list includes some fascinating non-fiction, some tattered old favourites, and a few new books hot off the presses. Oh, and some poetry! I hope you find something here to inspire and entertain you.
– Kate Forsyth

Girl In Hyacinth Blue

by Susan Vreeland

girl in hbOne of my all-time favourite books by one of my all-time favourite authors, Girl In Hyacinth Blue tells the story of a painting in a series of interlinked vignettes moving backwards in time. The first is set in contemporary times, telling the story of a middle-aged man who has in his possession an extraordinary painting of a young girl which he believes is a lost Vermeer. He cannot prove it, however, for the painting has no provenance. And he cannot show it to any specialists, because the painting was, he believes, stolen by his father from a Jewish family in the Second World War.

The next vignette is told from the point of view of a young Jewish girl in Amsterdam, bewildered as her world is destroyed around her by the invasion of the Nazis.

Backwards in time each story goes, connected only by the silent presence of the painting, until we reach the 17th century and the story of the girl who sat as the model for the painting. Each story is told with a marvellous economy of style, giving us just enough to understand what has happened before the scene shifts to the next point of view, yet the overall effect is almost unbearably moving. A wonderful book.

Grab your copy of Girl In Hyacinth Blue here!


Fasting Girls: The History of Anorexia Nervosa

by Joan Jacobs Brumberg

fasting girlsMany people think of anorexia nervosa as a modern-day problem, but as Dr Brumberg shows in this biography of the disease, young women have been starving themselves to death from at least the 13th century onwards. The reasons that drive such an obsession change from century to century, but the tragic results are the same. Fasting Girls looks at cases from medieval martyrs to contemporary celebrities, always searching to illuminate the complex reasons that led to such self-destructive behaviour. Although Dr Brumberg is a historian, she draws upon medical and psychiatric studies of the times in her research, to create a truly illuminating look at the emotional disorder that has destroyed so many lives.

Grab your copy of Fasting Girls here!


Career of Evil

by Robert Galbraith

careerThe third in the series of detective novels written by J.K. Rowling under the pen-name Robert Galbraith, Career of Evil is a gripping and atmospheric page-turner.

It begins with the delivery of a severed leg to the office of private detective Cormoran Strike, addressed to his pretty and about-to-be-married sidekick Robin. What follows is a desperate race against time to find the murderer before he kills again … with Robin as his next target.

I’ve just been loving this series, which has the perfect mix of mystery, suspense, and character development.

 

 

Grab your copy of Career of Evil here!


Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia & Bulimia

by Marya Hornbacher

wastedFirst published in 1998, Wasted has recently been reissued with a new Afterword by the author Marya Hornbacher. Her eating disorder began at the age of eight and dominated her life from that point onwards, leading her to ever more destructive behaviours until it almost claimed her life. She was hospitalised and institutionalised, got better and relapsed, fought new battles, and relapsed again, and slowly and painfully inched her way back to health.

This is not an easy read – it is raw, brutal, honest, and frightening – but also brilliant, poetic, illuminating and very brave.

 

Grab your copy of Wasted here!


Charity Girl and Sylvester

by Georgette Heyer

charity girlMy copies of Georgette Heyer’s novels are so tattered that they are in danger of falling apart, for they are the books I turn to whenever I am feeling particularly tired or unwell. They never fail to delight me, no matter how often I read them. Her touch is so light, her characters so deftly drawn, her situations so absurd and yet somehow so poignant too. I first read them as a teenager at my grandmother’s house, and must have read many of them twenty times or more.

Sylvester is one of my personal favourites – perhaps because the heroine Phoebe has written a book, which pitches her into all sorts of Scrapes and Scandals … and Charity Girl is almost as good, with its array of laugh-out-loud minor characters. If you love light-hearted Regency romances, then you’ll already be a Georgette Heyer fan … but if you’ve never read one of her books, please do so, now! You will not regret it.

Grab your copy of Charity Girl here! / Grab your copy of Sylvester here!


Mademoiselle Chanel

by C.W. Gortner

mademoiselle-chanelLike many people, I have long been fascinated by the life of Coco Chanel, the famous French designer, and have read a number of biographies about her life. Christopher Gortner is one of my favourite contemporary historical novelists and – with his background in the fashion world – is ideally suited to bringing this enigmatic woman to life.

The first person voice rings startlingly true, revealing her steely determination to escape her childhood of poverty and abandonment, her passionate and impetuous nature, her loneliness and longing. Gortner does not shy away from the more troubling aspects of her life, such as her involvement with the Nazis in German-occupied France, and her hard-heartedness towards many around her. This clear-sightedness makes the book feel much more true than some of the biographies I have read – this is a must-read for anyone who has ever longed to know the story behind the creation of the iconic Chanel No 5. Perfume and the famous little black dress.

Grab your copy of Mademoiselle Chanel here!


Why Kings Confess

by C.S Harris

xwhy-kings-confess.jpg.pagespeed.ic.6FipmUa9RVWhy Kings Confess is the latest in a series of historical murder mysteries set in Regency England, featuring as its amateur detectives a lynx-eyed viscount with a troubled past and a strong-willed bluestocking noblewoman, the daughter of the viscount’s greatest enemy. The plots are always devious and surprising, the setting is suitably dark and foggy, and the interplay between the characters is fascinating.

As always, if this series is new to you, start with the first, called What Angels Fear.

 

 

 

 

Grab your copy of Why Kings Confess here!


A Year With Rilke:
Daily Readings from the Best of Rainer Maria Rilke

Translated & edited by Joanna Macy & Anita Barrows

xa-year-with-rilke.jpg.pagespeed.ic.cChCZHF9rNI first encountered Rainer Maria Rilke when a friend gave me a copy of Letters to a Young Poet when I was in my early twenties. It spoke to me very powerfully, and I went on to read many of Rilke’s poems and letters.

I re-discovered Rilke again when I was writing my latest novel The Beast’s Garden, which is a retelling of Beauty & the Beast set in Nazi Germany. I was drawn to read his work again because I remembered that Rilke was obsessed with roses, (a potent motif in the fairy tale) and wrote many poems about them.

As part of my journey of rediscovery, I bought A Year With Rilke. It brings together a collection of his writings – excerpts from poetry (both published and unpublished), letters, and diaries – each chosen to match a certain day of the year. The idea is to read one page a day, every day, for the full year. I have kept the book next to my bed to read, and did so most evenings. Occasionally I had to read two or three – or even ten – pages to catch up. It didn’t matter. The excerpts are each so small and so easily read, and sometimes I would read the same poem over and over again, trying to let it soak into my soul. Occasionally the reading for the day was so uncannily prescient, so necessary to what I needed to read just then, it seemed fore-ordained.

It’s a beautiful way to read his work – and a perfect way to be introduced to him.

The only complaint I have to make is that it is designed for an audience in the northern hemisphere and so some of the seasonal pieces (like the poem for March 21, which was ‘Spring!’) are out-of-whack for an Australian reader. But it’s a minor complaint – and I simply went back and read them again at the tight time.

Grab your copy of A Year With Rilke here!


Kate Forsyth

Forsyth, KateKate Forsyth is the bestselling and award-winning author of more than twenty books, ranging from picture books to poetry to novels for both children and adults.

She was recently voted one of Australia’s Favourite Novelists. She has been called one of ‘the finest writers of this generation”, and “quite possibly … one of the best story tellers of our modern age.’

Kate’s books have been published in 14 countries around the world, including the UK, the US, Russia, Germany, Japan, Turkey, Spain, Italy, Poland and Slovenia.

Visit Kate Forsyth’s Booktopia author page


The Beast’s Garden

by Kate Forsyth

Forsyth, Kate - The Beast's GardenA retelling of Beauty and The Beast set in Nazi Germany.

The Grimm Brothers published a beautiful version of the Beauty & the Beast tale called The Singing, Springing Lark in 1819. It combines the well-known story of a daughter who marries a beast in order to save her father with another key fairy tale motif, the search for the lost bridegroom.

In The Singing, Springing Lark, the daughter grows to love her beast but unwittingly betrays him and he is turned into a dove. She follows the trail of blood and white feathers he leaves behind him for seven years, and, when she loses the trail, seeks help from … Read more

Grab your copy of The Beast’s Garden here

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!

 

Booktopia’s Top 50 Bestselling Books for 2015

With 2015 about to come to a close, and our Booktopia Books of the Year already announced, it’s time to present our Top 50 Bestselling Books of 2015.

How many have you read?


50. SPECIAL DELIVERYspecial-delivery.jpg
by Annabel Crabb

In Special Delivery, Annabel has teamed up with her best friend from childhood, fellow food tragic and Kitchen Cabinet recipe consultant Wendy Sharpe, to bring you recipes for those knockout desserts as well as tons more ideas for soups, salads, pastries, breads and other treats ideally suited to make and take to those you love.

Click here for more details


49. THAT SUGAR BOOK
by Damon Gameau

That Sugar Book follows actor and filmmaker Damon Gameau on his journey and blows the lid on how the food industries make and sell our food, and how they are complicit in, and indeed determined to, maintain the status quo on the world’s alarming and health-destroying sugar consumption.

It also contains sensible advice on kicking the habit, foods to avoid, how to shop, how to read labels and how to cook sugar-free food, with the help of over thirty delicious, nurturing and easily prepared recipes.

Click here for more details


48. ADAM SPENCER’S WORLD OF NUMBERS
by Adam Spencer

A funny and enlightening romp through the world of numbers with one of Australia’s best-loved broadcasters. By popular demand, Australia’s funniest and most famous mathematician is back with a brilliant new book.

Adam Spencer’s World of Numbers takes the reader on a fun filled ride, explaining the crucial role numbers play in our understanding of sport and space, computers and cooking, and a whole lot in between.

Click here for more details


47. GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS 2016
by Guinness World Records

As well as all your favourite records, relating to talented pets, superhuman achievements, big stuff and extreme vehicles, you’ll find show-stopping superlatives from brand-new categories.

Topics making their Guinness World Records debut include waterfalls, twins, ballooning, apps, lightning, manga, archaeology, drones, and pirates – and that’s just for starters!

Click here for more details


46. THE CROSSING
by Michael Connelly

Harry Bosch had left the game before the LAPD could fire him, until fast talking Defence Attorney Mickey Haller asks him to help on one of his cases, and Harry finds himself back where he belongs, in the centre of a puzzling murder mystery. But this time Harry is working for the defence, aiming to prevent the accused from being convicted. And not only does the prosecution seem to have a cast-iron case, but Harry is in danger of betraying the very principles he’s lived by his whole career.

With the secret help of his former LAPD partner Lucia Soto, he turns the investigation inside the police department. And as Bosch gets closer to discovering the truth, he makes himself a target.

Click here for more details


45. THE RED QUEEN
by Isobelle Carmody

The time has come at last for Elspeth Gordie to leave the Land on her quest to find and stop the computer-machine Sentinel from unleashing the deadly Balance of Terror arsenal. But before she can embark on her quest, she must find a lost key; and although she has long prepared for this day, nothing is as she imagined.

This is the final, dramatic volume in series of books that undoubtedly shines as one of the most fantastic, and fantastical, tapestries ever woven.

Click here for more details


44. A MOTHER’S STORY
by Rosie Batty

Inspiring, heartfelt and profoundly moving, this is Rosie’s story.

In an incident that shocked Australia, Rosie Batty’s 11-year-old son was killed by his father in a violent incident in February 2014. Greg Anderson murdered Luke Batty at cricket training and was then himself shot by police. Rosie has since become a passionate campaigner on the issue of family violence. She won the Pride of Australia Award in 2014, and was named Australian of the Year in January 2015.

Click here for more details


43. LOST OCEAN
by Johanna Basford

With Lost Ocean, Johanna Basford invites colour-inners of all ages to discover an enchanting underwater world hidden within the depths of the sea.

With intricate pen and ink illustrations to complete, colour and embellish, readers will meet shoals of exotic fish, visit coral reefs and barnacle-studded shipwrecks, and discover intricate shells and pirate treasure. Secret Garden and Enchanted Forest fans and newcomers alike will delight in this creative journey into an inky new world.

Click here for more details


42. GRANDPA’S GREAT ESCAPE
by David Walliams

The brilliantly funny novel from David Walliams, Number One bestselling author! The much anticipated next book from bestselling phenomenon David Walliams; packed with excitement, adventure, hilarity and heart! Not to be missed!

Grandpa’s Great Escape is the story of the bond between a small boy and his beloved Grandpa – this book takes readers on an incredible journey with Spitfires over London and Great Escapes through the city in a high octane adventure full of comedy and heart.

Click here for more details


41. LEGACY
by Tim Cahill

The most anticipated autobiography of the year, the story of international football star Tim Cahill, one of the most admired Australian sportsmen of all time.

With his trademark honesty and directness, Tim reflects on what it takes to make it to the top – the sacrifices, the physical cost, the mental stamina, the uncompromising self-belief and self-determination, the ruthlessness, but also the decency, the integrity, and the generosity. An autobiography that is more than a record of the goals and the games, Tim Cahill’s story is a universal reminder of the importance of making your moment count.

Click here for more details


40. SELFISH
by Kim Kardashian

A natural leader of the selfie movement, in Selfish Kim Kardashian shares her eye in print. A highly personal glimpse into Kim’s daily life, the photos give descriptive behind-the-scenes captions that will appeal to her devoted fan base.

A follow-up to her highly successful Kardashian Konfidential where she and her sisters confess stories and give fans advice, this book is 100% devoted to Kim and her life through her own lens.

Click here for more details


39. SPIRITS OF THE GHAN
by Judy Nunn

It is 2001 and a century-old dream is about to be realised in the Red Centre of Australia: the completion of the mighty Ghan railway,  a line that will finally link Adelaide with the Top End. But construction of the final leg between Alice Springs and Darwin will not be without its complications, for much of the desert it will cross is Aboriginal land.

Hired as a negotiator, Jessica Manning must walk a delicate line to reassure the Elders their sacred sites will be protected. Will her innate understanding of the spiritual landscape, rooted in her own Arunta heritage, win their trust? As they struggle against time to solve the puzzle, an ancient wrong is awakened and calls hauntingly across the vastness of the outback…

Click here for more details


38. THE BAD GUYS: EPISODE 1
by Aaron Blabey

They sound like the Bad Guys, they look like the Bad Guys…and they even smell like the Bad Guys. But Mr Wolf, Mr Piranha, Mr Snake and Mr Shark are about to change all of that!

Mr Wolf has a daring plan for the Bad Guys first good mission. The gang are going to break 200 dogs out of the Maximum Security City Dog Pound.  Will Operation Dog Pound go smoothly? Will the Bad Guys become the Good Guys?

Click here for more details


37. FAST FOOD FOR BUSY FAMILIES
by Pete Evans

Fast Food for Busy Families is packed full of delicious and nourishing recipes – most of which can be made in around 30 minutes. Pete also proves that saving time doesn’t mean cutting down on flavour – he shows you how to make the most of spices, herbs and good fats to bring flavour to even the simplest of dishes.

Chapters include breakfasts, kids’ lunches, salads, main meals, sides and basics, and there are heaps of quick ideas for snacks, salad dressings, entertaining and lots more.

Click here for more details


36. THE RABBIT WHO WANTS TO FALL ASLEEP
by Carl-Johan Forssen Ehrlin

In The Rabbit Who Wants To Fall Asleep you will follow Roger The Rabbit when he gets help from Uncle Yawn and other friends to fall asleep in the evening. Your child is quickly compelled by the story and falls asleep when you read it or after. The story is in a lovely way sleep-inducing and helps children all over the world to fall asleep.

This is a new safe and innovative way to help your child fall asleep and is recommended by psychologists and therapists. The Rabbit Who Wants To Fall Asleep will help you accomplish the task of getting your child to have its beauty sleep and sleep well all night.

Click here for more details


35. RECKONING
by Magda Szubanski

In this extraordinary memoir, Magda describes her journey of self-discovery from a suburban childhood, haunted by the demons of her father’s espionage activities in wartime Poland and by her secret awareness of her sexuality, to the complex dramas of adulthood and her need to find out the truth about herself and her family.

With courage and compassion she addresses her own frailties and fears, and asks the big questions about life, about the shadows we inherit and the gifts we pass on.

Click here for more details


34. FRANK LOWY: A SECOND LIFE
by Jill Margo

Depending on the day, Frank Lowy is either the richest or the second richest man in Australia. His story – from refugee to multi-billionaire – has become part of Australian folklore.

Now in his mid 80s, Frank Lowy is still a juggernaut. Since 2000, when his first biography, the bestselling Pushing the Limits, was published, he’s kept pushing ahead. Rather than retreating into retirement, Frank Lowy has in fact achieved more in his ‘second life’ than most do in a lifetime.

Covering his successes and failures, the controversies and the triumphs, Frank Lowy: A Second Life gives rare insight into this extraordinary man, his strategies, his pain and his achievements.

Click here for more details


33. THE SECRET CHORD
by Geraldine Brooks

A unique and vivid novel that retells the story of King David’s extraordinary rise to power and fall from grace, from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of People of the Book, Year of Wonders and March, Geraldine Brooks.

With stunning originality, Brooks offers us a compelling portrait of a morally complex hero from this strange age – part legend, part history. Full of drama and richly drawn detail, The Secret Chord is a vivid story of faith, family, desire and power that brings David magnificently alive.

Click here for more details


32. FLESH WOUNDS
by Richard Glover

Richard Glover’s favourite dinner party game is called ‘Who’s Got the Weirdest Parents?’. It’s a game he always thinks he’ll win.

There was his mother, a deluded snob, who made up large swathes of her past and who ran away with Richard’s English teacher, a Tolkien devotee, nudist and stuffed-toy collector. There was his father, a distant alcoholic, who ran through a gamut of wives, yachts and failed dreams. And there was Richard himself, a confused teenager, vulnerable to strange men, trying to find a family he could belong to. As he eventually accepted, the only way to make sense of the present was to go back to the past – but beware of what you might find there.

Truth can leave wounds – even if they are only flesh wounds.

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31. ISLAND HOME
by Tim Winton

Island Home is the story of how Tim Winton’s relationship with the Australian landscape came to be, and how it has determined his ideas, his writing and his life. It is also a passionate exhortation for all of us to feel the ground beneath our feet.

Much more powerfully than a political idea, or an economy, Australia is a physical entity. Where we are defines who we are, in ways we too often forget to our detriment, and the country’s.

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30. MAGNUS CHASE AND THE SWORD OF SUMMER
by Rick Riordan

The first book in the incredible new series from the author of Percy Jackson, the Kane Chronicles and Heroes of Olympus.

Magnus Chase has always been a troubled kid. Since his mother’s mysterious death, he’s lived alone on the streets of Boston, surviving by his wits, keeping one step ahead of the police and the truant officers. One day, he’s tracked down by an uncle he’s never met – a man his mother claimed was dangerous. His uncle tells him an impossible secret: Magnus is the son of a Norse god. The Viking myths are true.

And the gods of Asgard are preparing for war…

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29. BIG MAGIC
by Elizabeth Gilbert

By sharing stories from her own life, as well as those from her friends and the people that have inspired her, Elizabeth Gilbert challenges us to embrace our curiosity, tackle what we most love and face down what we most fear.

Whether you long to write a book, create art, cope with challenges at work, embark on a long-held dream, or simply to make your everyday life more vivid and rewarding, Big Magic will take you on a journey of exploration filled with wonder and unexpected joys.

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28. SLOW COOKER CENTRAL
by Paulene Christie

Slow Cooker Central is a fantastic collection of dishes that have been created and shared by Paulene and this passionate network of slow cooker devotees – proving just how deliciously easy and versatile this style of cooking can be.

With just a few simple ingredients in the slow cooker, you can make a huge variety of meals for the whole family, as well as soups and sides, desserts, cakes, sweets and preserves – almost anything you want to eat can be cooked in a slow cooker. Tried and tested, these recipes not only taste great, they will also save you time and money.

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27. A LITTLE LIFE
by Hanya Yanagihara

Brace yourself for the most astonishing, challenging, upsetting and profoundly moving book in many a season. An epic about love and friendship in the twenty-first century that goes into some of the darkest places fiction has ever travelled and yet somehow improbably breaks through into the light.

In a remarkable and precise prose, Yanagihara has fashioned a tragic and transcendent hymn to brotherly love, a masterful depiction of heartbreak, and a dark examination of the tyranny of memory and the limits of human endurance.

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26. AUSSIE GRIT
by Mark Webber

In this candid book Australian Formula One legend Mark Webber divulges the personal struggles that formed his Aussie grit character and reveals for the first time what really went down at Red Bull and the truth behind his rivalry with teammate Sebastian Vettel.

From his near career-ending injury in 2008, his breakthrough ‘not bad for a number two driver’ win in 2009 to the ‘Multi 21’ controversy of 2011 and his new beginning with Porche and the challenge of Le Mans 2014, Mark Webber pulls no punches in this captivating, personal story.

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25. THE DAY THE CRAYONS CAME HOME
by Drew Daywalt & Oliver Jeffers

The crayons are back and they’re crosser than ever!

One day Duncan receives a set of postcards from his crayons who been lost, forgotten, broken – even melted in a clothes dryer and stuck to a pair of underpants!

A hilarious text and joyful illustrations combine to show that crayons have feelings too in this laugh-out-loud sequel to bestselling picture book The Day the Crayons Quit.

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24. THE HAPPY COOKBOOK
by Lola Berry

Based around nutritionally dense wholefoods, Lola’s recipes are gluten- and wheat- free, with very little dairy and no refined sugar. This truly is food that will make you glow with good health, inside and out.

While eating well is vital for good health, it’s just one piece of the puzzle. As well as sharing her nutritious recipes, Lola discusses the other key pillars of good health – including exercise, mindfulness and mental health – offering insights both professional and personal

Happiness is within your grasp and it starts with eating well. These recipes are not about substitutions or restrictions, they’re about eating food in its purest and most delicious state. Dig in!

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23. THE CSIRO TOTAL WELLBEING DIET
by The CSIRO

The CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet is Australia’s favourite weight-loss program and has inspired thousands of Australians to lose weight and improve their overall health. And to celebrate 10 years since the Total Wellbeing Diet was first introduced to us, we’ve gathered together more than 400 CSIRO recipes together in one volume.

You’ll be able to enjoy all of these healthy, mouth-watering dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner, with plenty of options everyone in the family will enjoy.

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22. MAKE ME
by Lee Child

Jack Reacher has no place to go, and all the time in the world to get there, so a remote railroad stop on the prairie with the curious name of Mother’s Rest seems perfect for an aimless one-day stopover. He expects to find a lonely pioneer tombstone in a sea of nearly-ripe wheat … but instead there is a woman waiting for a missing colleague, a cryptic note about two hundred deaths, and a small town full of silent, watchful people.

Reacher’s one-day stopover becomes an open-ended quest…into the heart of darkness. Prepare to be nailed to your seat by another hair-raising, heart-pounding adventure from the kick ass master of the thriller genre!

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21. GUT
by Giulia Enders

In this charming book, young scientist Giulia Enders takes us on a fascinating tour of our insides. Her message is simple — if we treat our gut well, it will treat us well in return. But how do we do that? And why do we need to?

Beginning with the personal experience of illness that inspired her research, and going on to explain everything from the basics of nutrient absorption to the latest science linking bowel bacteria with depression, Enders has written an entertaining, informative health handbook. Gut shows that we can all benefit from getting to know the wondrous world of our inner workings.

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20. FROMELLES & POZIERES
by Peter FitzSimons

On 19 July 1916, 7000 Australian soldiers – in the first major action of the AIF on the Western Front – attacked entrenched German positions at Fromelles, in northern France. By the next day, no fewer than 5500 were wounded and just under 1900 were dead – a bloodbath that the Australian War Memorial describes as ‘the worst 24 hours in Australia’s entire history’.

Just days later, three Australian Divisions attacked German positions at nearby Pozières, and over the next six weeks they suffered another 23,000 casualties. Of that bitter battle, the great Australian war correspondent Charles Bean would write, ‘The field of Pozières is more consecrated by Australian fighting and more hallowed by Australian blood than any field which has ever existed…

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19. GOING PALEO
by Pete Evans & Nora Gedgaudas

Going Paleo is the only book you’ll need to transform the way you eat – and change the way you look and feel – for good.

This comprehensive and user-friendly guide shows you both why to go paleo and how to go paleo, with over 80 essential recipes to get you started. Paleo expert and bestselling US author Nora Gedgaudas explains the why of going paleo and Pete Evans explains the how, with a run-down on the foods that have to go and what to replace them with; a detailed guide to setting up your paleo kitchen; and a 10-week kickstart eating plan to help you get started.

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18. KEATING
by Kerry O’Brien

The life of one of Australia’s most intriguing public figures, former Prime Minister Paul Keating, as told to the country’s most influential political interviewer, Kerry O’Brien.

What emerges is a treasure trove of anecdotes, insights, reflections and occasional admissions from one of the most loved and hated political leaders we have known – a man who either led or was the driving force through thirteen years of Labor government that changed the face of Australia.

We’ll never get an autobiography or a memoir from Keating. This is as good as it gets – funny, sweeping, angry, imaginative, mischievous, with arrogance, a glimmer of humility and more than a touch of creative madness. Keating unplugged.

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17. PIG THE FIBBER
by Aaron Blabey

He’s Back!

But this time Pig – the world’s greediest Pug – is telling great, big lies.

Won’t he ever learn?!

The laugh-out-loud sequel to the best-selling PIG the PUG.

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16. PAPER PLANES
by Steve Worland

Twelve-year-old Dylan Webber lives in outback Western Australia in a small country town. When he discovers he has a talent for folding and flying paper planes, Dylan begins a journey to reach the World Junior Paper Plane Championships in Japan.

Along the way he makes unlikely new friends, clashes with powerful rivals and comes to terms with his family’s past before facing his greatest challenge – to create a paper plane that will compete with the best in the world.

Steve Worland brings you the exciting, heartwarming story of Paper Planes, adapted from the award-winning family film.

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15. THE BRAIN’S WAY OF HEALING
by Norman Doidge

Norman Doidge’s record-breaking bestseller The Brain That Changes Itself described the most important development in our understanding of the brain in four hundred years: the discovery that the brain can change its own structure and function in response to mental experience what we call neuroplasticity.

Now The Brain’s Way of Healing shows how this amazing discovery really works, significantly broadening the field from traumatic brain injury to all manner of diseases and conditions in which brain functioning is a factor including multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, cerebral palsy, and dementia and describes how patients have retrained their brains and learned to walk, speak, or hear, while others have reset the brain’s energy patterns and circuits to overcome or reduce chronic pain or alleviate anxiety, trauma, learning disorders, and many other impairing syndromes.

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14. I QUIT SUGAR: SIMPLICIOUS
by Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson taught the world how to quit sugar in eight weeks, then how to quit sugar for life, incorporating mindful, sustainable practices across real, whole wellness.

Now she strips things back to the essentials, simply and deliciously. She shows us how to shop, cook and eat like we used to in the days before sugar-laced processed food hit our shelves. Sarah gives us the ‘simplicious flow’, a modern manifesto that sets out how to buy in bulk, freeze and preserve, and use leftovers with flair.

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13. THE LAKE HOUSE
by Kate Morton

An abandoned house…..A missing child…..An unsolved mystery…..

Seventy years later, in the attic writing room of her elegant Hampstead home, the formidable Alice Edevane, leads a life as neatly plotted as the bestselling detective novels she writes.

Until a young police detective starts asking questions about her family’s past and seeking to resurrect the complex tangle of secrets Alice has spent her life trying to escape…

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12. THE GIRL IN THE SPIDER’S WEB
by David Lagercrantz

She is the girl with the dragon tattoo. Lisbeth Salander. He is a campaigning journalist. Mikael Blomkvist.

The call comes in late at night: a superhacker has gained access to critical, top secret U.S. intelligence. Blomkvist knows only one person who could crack the best security systems in the world. This case has all the hallmarks of Salander. She is accused of acting without reason, taking risks just because she can, but though they have lost touch, Blomkvist knows Lisbeth better than that.

There must be something deeper at the heart of this – maybe even the scoop that Millennium magazine so desperately needs for its survival. A tangled web of truth that someone is prepared to kill to protect…

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11. EVERYDAY SUPER FOOD
by Jamie Oliver

No matter how busy you are, you’ll find that healthy eating the Jamie way is both straightforward and achievable, making it super easy to choose exactly the kind of meals that suit you.

The book is divided into breakfasts, lunches and dinners, and every tasty meal is nutritionally balanced so that any combination over the day will bring you in under your recommended daily allowance of calories, allowing you to enjoy snacks and drinks on the side. Whether you dip in and out of it, eat from the book Monday to Friday or use it faithfully every day for a month, it’s totally up to you.

In Everyday Super Food, Jamie’s done all the hard work for you – all you need to do is choose a delicious recipe, cook it up and, most importantly, enjoy it.

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10. SUPER GREEN SMOOTHIES
by Sally Obermeder & Maha Koraiem

When Sally Obermeder wanted to regain her health after her life threatening cancer battle, she turned to the green smoothie lifestyle. Here, she shares her nutritious, delicious recipes to help you feel great, lose weight and gain energy.

Sally and her sister Maha have created 60 healthy and delicious green smoothie recipes that are easy to make and packed full of benefits. Kick-start your way to weight-loss, energy and all-round good health with Super Green Smoothies, and look and feel great, starting now. Let the transition begin!

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9. GREY
by E. L. James

Christian Grey exercises control in all things; his world is neat, disciplined, and utterly empty—until the day that Anastasia Steele falls into his office, in a tangle of shapely limbs and tumbling brown hair. He tries to forget her, but instead is swept up in a storm of emotion he cannot comprehend and cannot resist. Unlike any woman he has known before, shy, unworldly Ana seems to see right through him—past the business prodigy and the penthouse lifestyle to Christian’s cold, wounded heart.

Will being with Ana dispel the horrors of his childhood that haunt Christian every night? Or will his dark sexual desires, his compulsion to control, and the self-loathing that fills his soul drive this girl away and destroy the fragile hope she offers him?

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8. THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN
by Paula Hawkins

Rachel catches the same commuter train every morning. She knows it will wait at the same signal each time, overlooking a row of back gardens. She’s even started to feel like she knows the people who live in one of the houses. ‘Jess and Jason’, she calls them. Their life – as she sees it – is perfect. If only Rachel could be that happy.

And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Now Rachel has a chance to become a part of the lives she’s only watched from afar.

Now they’ll see; she’s much more than just the girl on the train…

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7. THE ANTI-COOL GIRL
by Rosie Waterland

A dark, funny and subversive memoir about surviving the very worst that life can throw at you, Rosie Waterland’s story of her coming of age is a blackly comic Australian memoir for our times and a clarion call for all anti-cool girls everywhere.

The quality that lies at the heart of Rosie’s appeal is her straight-up, unaffected directness – her ability to say what she really thinks, to call it as she sees it. She’s kind of an Everygirl. The Anti-Cool Girl that we all want to be.

She’s funny, honest and inspirational. She is our Caitlin Moran, our very own Lena Dunham, and she will tell a uniquely Australian story, in only the way that a straight-talking Australian girl can say it.

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6. DIARY OF A WIMPY KID: OLD SCHOOL
by Jeff Kinney

The Diary of the Wimpy Kid series of books, by best-selling author Jeff Kinney, charts the highs and lows of our middle school hero, Greg, as he stumbles from childhood to teenhood via school-hood.

Life was better in the old days. Or was it? That’s the question Greg Heffley is asking as his town voluntarily unplugs and goes electronics-free. But modern life has its conveniences, and Greg isn’t cut out for an old-fashioned world.

With tension building inside and outside the Heffley home, will Greg find a way to survive? Or is going ‘old school’ just too hard for a kid like Greg?

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5. GO SET A WATCHMAN
by Harper Lee

Set during the mid-1950s, Go Set a Watchman features many of the characters from To Kill a Mockingbird some twenty years later.

Scout has returned to Maycomb from New York to visit her father Atticus. She is forced to grapple with issues both personal and political as she tries to understand both her father’s attitude toward society, and her own feelings about the place where she was born and spent her childhood.

An instant classic.

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4. THE OFFICIAL HARRY POTTER COLOURING BOOK
by Insight Editions & J. K. Rowling

Packed with stunning pieces of artwork from the Warner Bros. archive, this book gives fans the chance to colour in the vivid settings and beloved characters of J.K. Rowling’s wizarding world.

Containing intricate line drawings used in the making of the Harry Potter films, this coloring book includes all of the fan-favorite scenes, creatures, and characters of the series, from Dobby and baby Norbert to Quidditch games and the unforgettable final battle between Harry and Lord Voldemort. Unique and interactive, Harry Potter: The Official Coloring Book is a perfect collector’s item for fans of the blockbuster saga.

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3. ENCHANTED FOREST
by Johanna Basford

This stunning new colouring book by Johanna Basford takes readers on an inky quest through an enchanted forest to discover what lies in the castle at its heart. As well as drawings to complete, colour and embellish, there are hidden objects to be found along the way including wild flowers, animals and birds, gems, lanterns, keys and treasure chests.

Beginning at the entrance to the forest, the journey progresses through woodland, rocky caves and tree-lined mazes, over streams and a waterfall, across the trees tops, to finally reach the castle. Also hidden throughout the book are nine symbols. Readers must find all the symbols to unlock the castle door at the end of the quest and discover what lies within.

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2. THE MINDFULNESS COLOURING BOOK
by Emma Farrarons

Working with your hands is one of the best ways to soothe anxiety and eliminate stress. This stunning, pocket-sized colouring book offers a practical exercise in mindfulness that draws on your creativity and hones your focus.

Beautifully illustrated, The Mindfulness Colouring Book is filled with templates for exquisite scenes and intricate, sophisticated patterns, prompting you to meditate on your artwork as you mindfully and creatively fill these pages with colour. Take a few minutes out of your day, wherever you are, and colour your way to peace and calm.

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1. THE 65-STOREY TREEHOUSE
by Andy Griffiths

Andy and Terry’s amazing 65-Storey Treehouse now has a pet-grooming salon, a birthday room where it’s always your birthday (even when it’s not), a room full of exploding eyeballs, a lollipop shop, a quicksand pit, an ant farm, a time machine and Tree-NN: a 24-hour-a-day TV news centre keeping you up to date with all the latest treehouse news, current events and gossip.

Well, what are you waiting for? Come on up!

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Check out Booktopia’s Bestsellers every day at our Bestsellers Page!

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Our favourite Sleater-Kinney tracks in celebration of Carrie Brownstein’s Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl

One of our favourite books of 2015 was Carrie Brownstein’s memoir Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl, a funny and self depreciating meditation about growing up as one of the most influential figures on the punk rock landscape in the US.

Brownstein beautifully captures what it feels like to be known and adored by an entire subculture as lead guitarist of acclaimed band Sleater-Kinney, before she really even knew herself.

You might also know her from the always amazing Portlandia. It’s worth a binge watch…

To celebrate Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl we’ve thrown together a playlist of our favourite Sleater-Kinney tracks.

Damn they are good. But so is Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl, you know?

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Grab your copy of Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl here

hunger-makes-me-a-modern-girlHunger Makes Me a Modern Girl

by Carrie Brownstein

From the guitarist of the pioneering band Sleater-Kinney, a candid, funny, and deeply personal look at making a life-and finding yourself-in music.

Before Carrie Brownstein became a music icon, she was a young girl growing up in the Pacific Northwest just as it was becoming the setting for one the most important movements in rock history. Seeking a sense of home and identity, she would discover both while moving from spectator to creator in experiencing the power and mystery of a live performance. With Sleater-Kinney, Brownstein and her bandmates rose to prominence in the burgeoning underground feminist punk-rock movement that would define music and pop culture in the 1990s. They would be cited as “America’s best rock band” by legendary music critic Greil Marcus for their defiant, exuberant brand of punk that resisted labels and limitations, and redefined notions of gender in rock.

Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl is an intimate and revealing narrative of her escape from a turbulent family life into a world where music was the means toward self-invention, community, and rescue. Along the way, Brownstein chronicles the excitement and contradictions within the era’s flourishing and fiercely independent music subculture, including experiences that sowed the seeds for the observational satire of the popular television series Portlandia years later.With deft, lucid prose Brownstein proves herself as formidable on the page as on the stage. Accessibly raw, honest and heartfelt, this book captures the experience of being a young woman, a born performer and an outsider, and ultimately finding one’s true calling through hard work, courage and the intoxicating power of rock and roll.

Grab your copy of Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl here

THE 2015 BOOKTOPIA BOOKS OF THE YEAR

We’re a passionate lot at Booktopia, and it has taken weeks of reading, re-reading, meetings, angry coffee dates and re-re-reading to come up with The 2015 Booktopia Books of the Year

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

LITERATURE

A LITTLE LIFE
by Hanya Yanagihara

An emotionally brutal story about adulthood and the demons of the past, very unlucky not to have taken out the Man Booker Prize. Marked Hanya Yanagihara as one of the most exciting and ambitious novelists working today.

Click here for more details


9781760111236THE NATURAL WAY OF THINGS
by Charlotte Wood

One of Australia’s finest novelists delivers again with an intense, unsettling dystopian fable of misogyny, power and the dark corners of the human condition.

Click here for more details


THE STORY OF THE LOST CHILD
by Elena Ferrante
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