EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Richie Lovett, Author, former Pro-Surfer, and Cancer Survivor, talks to Caroline Baum

The Big Sea

by Richie Lovett & Sean Doherty

‘Richie is one of the most inspiring people I’ve ever met, and his story is testament to the healing power of the ocean.’ Kelly Slater

Richie Lovett might be the world s unluckiest surfer . . . or its luckiest. We re not quite sure which.

He’s been attacked by a shark, washed into the Indonesian jungle by a tsunami, before finally being diagnosed with cancer. Unlucky? Possibly. One thing we know for sure, Richie Lovett is a survivor; he’s still here today, and what hasn ‘t killed him has only made him stronger.

When doctors told him the cancer in his leg was buried so deep he’d never surf again, Richie one of the world’s best surfers begged to differ. After radical surgery to rebuild his leg, Rich set about the challenge of learning to surf all over again, discovering plenty about life, and himself, in the process.

The Big Sea is one of sport s most inspiring stories. But you don t have to be a surfer or a sportsperson to know what it feels like to confront challenges. This is vital reading for anyone who s had to face adversity or felt like they were about to be wiped out.

Engagingly honest, Richie Lovett shows us that attitude is everything.

Grab a copy of The Big Sea: One Man’s Inspirational Story here

IN THE NEWS: 2014 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards – Full Profile

The shortlists for the 2014 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards have been announced, with some old favourites mixing with some exciting new authors.

In fiction one of Australia’s brightest new stars Hannah Kent joins established names Tim Winton, Alex Miller and Alexis Wright while 2013 Miles Franklin winner Michelle de Kretser finds herself in the same field as the early favourite for the 2014 gong Richard Flanagan.

Check out the full lists below.


Fiction

burial-ritesBurial Rites - Hannah Kent

In northern Iceland, 1829, Agnes Magnusdottir is condemned to death for her part in the brutal murder of two men.

Agnes is sent to wait out the time leading to her execution on the farm of District Officer Jon Jonsson, his wife and their two daughters. Horrified to have a convicted murderess in their midst, the family avoids speaking with Agnes. Only Toti, the young assistant reverend appointed as Agnes’ spiritual guardian, is compelled to try to understand her, as he attempts to salvage her soul.

.

Click here for more details…


The Narrow Road to the Deep North – Richard Flanaganthe-narrow-road-to-the-deep-north

When Richard Flanagan produces a new book, you know it will come freighted with Big Themes. As an essayist, Flanagan is political, provocative, passionate. As a novelist, he is capable of shape-shifting across genres, from high literary gothic to popular psychological thriller.

His latest novel is as eloquent and powerful an affirmation of his empathy and understanding of humanity as anything he’s ever written.

Click here for more details…


Coal Creek - Alex Millercoal-creek

Miller’s exquisite depictions of the country of the Queensland highlands form the background of this simply told but deeply significant novel of friendship, love, loyalty and the tragic consequences of misunderstanding and mistrust. Coal Creek is a wonderfully satisfying novel with a gratifying resolution.

It carries all the wisdom and emotional depth we have come to expect from Miller’s richly evocative novels.

Click here for more details…


The Swan Book – Alexis Wrightthe-swan-book

The Swan Book is set in the future, with Aboriginals still living under the Intervention in the north, in an environment fundamentally altered by climate change. It follows the life of a mute teenager called Oblivia, the victim of gang-rape by petrol-sniffing youths, from the displaced community where she lives in a hulk, in a swamp filled with rusting boats, and thousands of black swans driven from other parts of the country, to her marriage to Warren Finch, the first Aboriginal president of Australia, and her elevation to the position of First Lady, confined to a tower in a flooded and lawless southern city.

Click here for more details…


Eyrie – Tim Wintoneyrie

Tom Keely’s reputation is in ruins. And that’s the upside.

Divorced and unemployed, he’s lost faith in everything precious to him. Holed up in a grim highrise, cultivating his newfound isolation, Keely looks down at a society from which he’s retired hurt and angry. He’s done fighting the good fight, and well past caring.

But even in his seedy flat, ducking the neighbours, he’s not safe from entanglement…

Click here for more details…


Questions of Travel – Michelle de Kretserquestions-of-travel

A mesmerising literary novel, Questions of Travel charts two very different lives. Laura travels the world before returning to Sydney, where she works for a publisher of travel guides. Ravi dreams of being a tourist until he is driven from Sri Lanka by devastating events.

Around these two superbly drawn characters, a double narrative assembles an enthralling array of people, places and stories – from Theo, whose life plays out in the long shadow of the past, to Hana, an Ethiopian woman determined to reinvent herself in Australia.

Click here for more details…


Non-Fiction

Gardens of Fire: An investigative memoir - Robert Kennygardens-of-fire

In 2009, as the Black Saturday wildfires swept through the state of Victoria, Australia, writer and historian Robert Kenny defended his home in Redesdale. His fire plan was sound and he was prepared. But, the reality of the fire was more ferocious and more unpredictable than he could have imagined. By the end of the day, Kenny’s house and the life contained within were gone.

The years that followed were marked by grieving, recovering, and eventually rebuilding – a process starkly framed by the choice between remembering and forgetting.

Click here for more details…


White Beech – Germaine Greerwhite-beech

One bright day in December 2001, sixty-two-year-old Germaine Greer found herself confronted by an irresistible challenge in the shape of sixty hectares of dairy farm, one of many in south-east Queensland that, after a century of logging, clearing and downright devastation, had been abandoned to their fate.

She didn’t think for a minute that by restoring the land she was saving the world. She was in search of heart’s ease. Beyond the acres of exotic pasture grass and soft weed and the impenetrable curtains of tangled Lantana canes there were Macadamias dangling their strings of unripe nuts, and Black Beans with red and yellow pea flowers growing on their branches … and the few remaining White Beeches, stupendous trees up to forty metres in height, logged out within forty years of the arrival of the first white settlers.

Click here for more details…


boy-lostBoy, Lost – Kristina Olsson

Kristina Olsson’s mother lost her infant son, Peter, when he was snatched from her arms as she boarded a train in the hot summer of 1950. Yvonne was young and frightened, trying to escape a brutal marriage, but despite the violence and cruelty she’d endured, she was not prepared for this final blow, this breathtaking punishment. Yvonne would not see her son again for nearly forty years.

Kristina was the first child of her mother’s subsequent, much gentler marriage and, like her siblings, grew up unaware of the reasons behind her mother’s sorrow, though Peter’s absence resounded through the family, marking each one.

Click here for more details…


Forgotten War - Henry Reynolds

forgotten-warAustralia is dotted with memorials to soldiers who fought in wars overseas. Why are there no official memorials or commemorations of the wars that were fought on Australian soil between Aborigines and white colonists? Why is it more controversial to talk about the frontier war now than it was one hundred years ago?

Forgotten War continues the story told in Henry Reynolds seminal book The Other Side of the Frontier, which argued that the settlement of Australia had a high level of violence and conflict that we chose to ignore.

This powerful book makes it clear that there can be no reconciliation without acknowledging the wars fought on our own soil.

Click here for more details…


Madeleine: A Life of Madeleine St John – Helen Trinca

madeleineHelen Trinca has captured the troubled life of Madeleine St John in this moving account of a remarkable writer. After the death of her mother when Madeleine was just twelve, she struggled to find her place in the world.

Estranging herself from her family, and from Australia, she lived for a time in the US before moving to London where Robert Hughes, Germaine Greer, Bruce Beresford, Barry Humphries and Clive James were making their mark.

In 1993, when The Women in Black was published, it became clear what a marvellous writer Madeleine St John was.

Click here for more details…


On Warne – Gideon Haighon-warne

Now that the cricketer who dominated airwaves and headlines for twenty years has turned full-time celebrity, his sporting conquests and controversies are receding into the past. But what was it like to watch Warne at his long peak, the man of a thousand international wickets, the incarnation of Australian audacity and cheek?

Gideon Haigh lived and loved the Warne era, when the impossible was everyday, and the sensational every other day. In On Warne, he relives the highs, the lows, the fun and the follies.

Click here for more details…


Poetry

liquid-nitrogenLiquid Nitrogen – Jennifer Maiden

Jennifer Maiden’s poems are like verse essays, subjecting the political issues of our time and the figures who dominate them to a fierce scrutiny, while allowing the personal aspects of experience to be portrayed in the most delicate and imaginative ways.

This is the quality of liquid nitrogen which gives the book its title – the frozen suspension which is risky, but also fecund. It is a substance which permits the most intense and heated interactions, and at the same time, the survival of delicate organisms.

Click here for more details…


Autoethnographic – Michael Brennanautoethnographic

Michael Brennan’s third collection of poetry tunes into the feedback loops of consciousness in these fluid modern times. It develops the surrealism of his earlier poetry with an anarchic openness to experience underwritten by anxiety, dysfunction and the endless hunger for community.

Set in a radically changed but recognizable Australia, one that has evolved through the collapse of the West and the rise of Asia, Autoethnographic jaunts into late capitalism, following six characters who struggle to imagine their place in this brave new world.

Click here for more details…


travelling-through-the-familyTravelling Through the Family – Brendan Ryan

Travelling Through the Family bring rural Australia to life through a clear-eyed and provocative vision of the way the land and our treatment of animals moulds the people who work with them.

Family, its histories, inheritances and bonds form a powerful core to the collection. There are homages to fathers and daughters as well as self-portraits where the influence of a country upbringing is rendered in sobering, resonant style. Travelling Through the Family is an assured and beautifully crafted new book from one of Australia’s finest contemporary poets.

Click here for more details…


Young Adult

Friday Brown - Vikki Wakefieldfriday-brown

Seventeen-year-old Friday Brown is on the run – running to escape memories of her mother and of the family curse. And of a grandfather who’d like her to stay. She’s lost, alone and afraid.

Silence, a street kid, finds Friday and she joins him in a gang led by beautiful, charismatic Arden. When Silence is involved in a crime, the gang escapes to a ghost town in the outback. In Murungal Creek, the town of never leaving, Friday must face the ghosts of her past. She will learn that sometimes you have to stay to finish what you started – and often, before you can find out who you are, you have to become someone you were never meant to be.

Click here for more details…


Wildlife - Fiona Wood

wildlife“In the holidays before the dreaded term at Crowthorne Grammar’s outdoor education camp two things out of the ordinary happened. A picture of me was plastered all over a twenty-metre billboard. And I kissed Ben Capaldi.” Boarding for a term in the wilderness, sixteen-year-old Sibylla expects the gruesome outdoor education program – but friendship complications, and love that goes wrong? They’re extra-curricula.

Enter Lou from Six Impossible Things – the reluctant new girl for this term in the great outdoors. Fragile behind an implacable mask, she is grieving a death that occurred almost a year ago. Despite herself, Lou becomes intrigued by the unfolding drama between her housemates Sibylla and Holly, and has to decide whether to end her self-imposed detachment and join the fray.

Click here for more details…


My Life as an Alphabet Barry Jonsberg

my-life-as-an-alphabetThis isn’t just about me. It’s also about the other people in my life – my mother, my father, my dead sister Sky, my penpal Denille, Rich Uncle Brian, Earth-Pig Fish and Douglas Benson From Another Dimension. These are people [with the exception of Earth-Pig Fish, who is a fish] who have shaped me, made me what I am. I cannot recount my life without recounting elements of theirs. This is a big task, but I am confident I am up to it.

Introducing Candice Phee: twelve years old, hilariously honest and a little … odd. But she has a big heart, the very best of intentions and an unwavering determination to ensure everyone is happy. So she sets about trying to ‘fix’ all the problems of all the people [and pets] in her life.

Click here for more details…

EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: How Ricky Ponting Helped Booktopia Build The MCG

Ricky Ponting visited Booktopia recently, and to celebrate we decided to put together a little surprise for him. To scale, so to speak.

Grab a copy of Ricky Ponting: At The Close of Play here

Building…

Building…

Built!

image(9)

Grab a copy of Ricky Ponting: At The Close of Play here

BONUS VIDEO

Check out our chat with Ricky, and watch his OFFICIAL final game of Test Match Cricket

Win Tickets To The Australian Open with Game Changer by Paul McNamee

Okay, let’s cut to the chance. Our friends at Text Publishing are giving you the chance to win this amazing prize:

- Two courtside tickets to the 2014 Australian Open day-8 (4th round) centre court night.

- Return flights to Melbourne from any Australian capital city

- A night at a 5-star hotel.

AND you’ll be spending your night at the tennis with one of Australia’s greatest ever tennis players Paul McNamee!

All you need to do to enter the draw is buy a copy of his wonderful memoir Game Changer, the perfect Christmas gift for any sports nut!

Grab a copy of Game Changer here

Game Changer

by Paul McNamee

Paul McNamee is a legendary figure in Australian tennis. From his early days as a talented Melbourne teenager, McNamee became a top international player, conquering Wimbledon and the Australian Open with his doubles partner, Peter McNamara. Along the way he shared a court with such luminaries as Rod Laver, Martina Navratilova, John McEnroe and Bjorn Borg.

Just as important have been his contributions to the evolution of the sport: as the driving force behind the Hopman Cup and the reinvention of the Australian Open, and as a coach. This is his story—candid, compelling and insightful—of an ever-changing life in tennis.

About the Author

Paul McNamee AM is the only player to have changed from a one-handed to a two-handed backhand midcareer.

He became the Australian number one in singles, reaching the semi-final of the Australian Open, and in doubles won five Grand Slam titles and held the world number-one ranking.

He is credited with invigorating the Australian Open, positioning it as the Grand Slam of Asia/Pacific and instigating the night final—the highest rating show in Australian television history.

As co-founder of the Hopman Cup, Paul helped turn the tournament into a prestigious international event. He is a professorial fellow at Monash University.

Grab a copy of Game Changer here

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Mark Greig, son of Tony Greig, talks about his new book Tony Greig : Love, War and Cricket

Grab a copy of Tony Greig : Love, War and Cricket here

Tony Greig: Love, War and Cricket

by Mark Greig and Joyce Greig

Tony Greig was a fearless cricketer, a born entertainer, a stalwart friend and a loving son and father. His death in December 2012 was met with an outpouring of grief from friends, family, fans and colleagues alike. Summer in Australia will never be the same.

This enthralling memoir begins in Tony’s birthplace, South Africa, as his mother Joyce embarks on an extraordinary war time love affair with a man not her husband, Sandy Greig. Tony’s life encompassed more than half a century of cricket, from school boy cricket in his beloved South Africa, to his early days in Sussex, through to his captaincy of England. Whether he was loved or hated, on or off the field, all respected the big man’s courageous spirit and skills as an all-rounder. Through his controversial friendship with Kerry Packer and his involvement in World Series Cricket, Tony helped change the game forever. Turning from foe to friend, Tony won over Australian audiences becoming one of the most beloved sports commentators of all time. A legend beyond the cricket pitch, Tony’s enthralling story is told by the people who knew him best, his mother Joyce and his son Mark.

An intriguing and charming family memoir of one of Australia’s favourite adopted sons.

Grab a copy of Tony Greig : Love, War and Cricket here

EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Ricky Ponting Plays His Final Game Of Test Match Cricket At Booktopia

A fact that may baffle statisticians for years to come is that Ricky Ponting didn’t play his final test in Perth.

He actually played his final game of Test Match Cricket in the Booktopia offices, just a few weeks ago, and we have the video to prove it!

Ricky came in to sign 1000 copies of his memoir Ponting: At The Close of Play and sat down to have a chat with Booktopia’s resident cricket nerd Andrew Cattanach. It was then Ricky was challenged to a game of Test Match Cricket.

How did he fare? Watch the video the find out, and also learn a little about Ricky’s early life, the pressures of being labeled ‘the next big thing’, and what captaining his country meant to him.

You can find a copy of Ricky Ponting’s At The Close of Play here

Ponting: At the Close of Play

by Ricky Ponting

Order now for your signed copy

Ricky Ponting is one of the greatest Australian cricketers to have worn the baggy green. His autobiography details his journey from his childhood protégé, to the highs and lows of an extraordinary international cricket career, to retirement.

Test captain of Australia in 2004 until handing the job to Michael Clarke in 2011, he is the highest Australian run-scorer of all time in Tests and one-day international cricket, behind only India’s Sachin Tendulkar among batsmen from all countries. Ricky’s awards in cricket include ICC Player of the Year (twice), Wisden Leading Cricketer in the World, Cricinfo Player of the Decade and Allan Border Medallist (four times). This autobiography of a very private man and one of Australia’s most public figures will resonate with lovers of cricket as well as anyone who strives to reach the top of their chosen field.

Off the field, Ricky and his wife Rianna have raised in excess of $10 million since 2002 to help young Australians and their families beat cancer. In 2008 Ricky and Rianna established the Ponting Foundation to provide focus to their fundraising efforts.

You can find a copy of Ricky Ponting’s At The Close of Play here

IN THE NEWS: Tom Carroll – World Champion. Businessman. Journalist. Father. Drug Addict.

The long-awaited autobiography of one of Australia’s surfing legends.

On the surface he was Tom Carroll, dreamer, cheeky grommet, brilliant surfer, Australian sporting hero, fitness fanatic, businessman, family man, big wave charger. Inside turned the terrible wheel of drug addiction, part family curse, part legacy of the footloose surf culture he’d done so much to legitimise.

Tom’s family and friends struggled with him, kept his secrets, and looked on in anger and fear as the wheel began to grind him down.

Then a window opened – but getting through it made charging Pipeline look like a piece of cake …

This is the story of an unlikely moral education: of humility, family, damage, brotherhood, youth, stupidity, glory, single-mindedness and surrender, and about the feeling of water moving under a surfboard, how it can bind past to present and make sense of lives.

TC by Tom & Nick Carroll is available here

REVIEW: Undisputed Truth by Mike Tyson (review by Andrew Cattanach)

I’ll let you behind the curtain of having the best job in the world. Publishers are awesome, and very generous. So when a book comes along that excites and surprises a publisher, so much so that we only get to look at a quick teaser before release instead of the entire book, we tend to take notice.

Mike Tyson’s autobiography Undisputed Truth is one of those books.

As the sports nerd in the office I came in one day to find a sampler of Undisputed Truth on my desk. I flicked through it and expected a pretty watered down version of events, a fallen star trying to dig himself out of trouble with a ghostwriter and PR manager at hand.

What I got blew my socks off. This is Mike Tyson, leaving his support staff at the door. A naive street kid who had it all and then threw it all away. He lays it all down, every thought, every feeling, every emotion. At 23 he was hailed as possibly the greatest fighter to ever live, married to a movie star, earning millions of dollars for fights that rarely went past the first round. By 24 he was broke, in jail and a worldwide disgrace. He writes of his sentencing that “it took me a long time to realise that that little white woman judge who sent me to prison just might have saved my life.”

It’s difficult to decide whether this is a story of ‘how did it all go wrong’ so much as ‘how did it all go right’, if only in his early days. He was raised as a gang member, a fat kid with a lisp who tried to stay quiet and not get hurt. How did he become a national celebrity, and what happened when he discovered the only thing that knocked him off his perch was himself?

Undisputed Truth isn’t so much a story about Tyson as a story of a world of scatter gun celebrity worship. A study in what happens when the music stops but the camera keeps rolling.

A book like this doesn’t come around very often. Don’t miss out.

Click here for more about Undisputed Truth by Mike Tyson

New Alex Ferguson Autobiography Labels Beckham Obsessed With Fame

Legendary Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has spent a lifetime in football, but it appears he’s saved some of his best kicks for his former players in his long awaited autobiography.

In it Ferguson has labeled his former golden boy David Beckham as “the only player I managed who chose to be famous”.

Ferguson said he decided to sell Beckham after he accidentally kicked a boot into the player’s face during a post-match argument.

“The next day the story was in the press. In public an Alice band (a bandage worn by Beckham) highlighted the damage inflicted by the boot,” Ferguson said.

“It was in those days that I told the board David had to go. The minute a Manchester United player thought he was bigger than the manager, he had to go. That was the death knell for him.”

Ferguson said at his book launch overnight that Beckham’s focus shifted after he married the pop star Victoria Adams in 1999.

“The big problem for me is that he fell in love with Victoria. That changed everything,” he said.

Ferguson also sunk the boot into Australian charge Mark Bosnich in his autobiography, calling the goalkeeper a “terrible professional”.

“We played down at Wimbledon and Bosnich was tucking into everything: sandwiches, soups, steaks. He was going through the menu.

“I told him, ‘For Christ’s sake, Mark, we’ve got the weight off you. Why are you tucking into all that stuff?’

“We arrived back in Manchester, and Mark was on mobile phone to a Chinese restaurant to order a takeaway.

“Is there no end to you?

“I just couldn’t make an impact on him.”

The question is, with David Beckham also releasing his own book in a couple of weeks, who will win the Battle of Manchester this Christmas?

Click here to buy Alex Ferguson: My Autobiography from Booktopia,
Australia’s Local Bookstore

or

Click here to buy David Beckham from Booktopia,
Australia’s Local Bookstore

Stephen Fry Calls On Great Britain To Boycott 2014 Winter Games In Russia

Last night Stephen Fry posted an open letter on his blog to David Cameron, Sebastian Coe and members of the IOC, asking them to boycott the next Winter Olympics, due to be held in Russia in 2014.

Fry’s comparison of Vladimir Putin’s current stance on the LGBT community to Hitler’s treatment of Jews during the 1936 Berlin Olympics is terrifying. As he states, “…the notorious Berlin Olympiad…provided a stage for a gleeful Führer and only increased his status at home and abroad”.

Putin’s stance on Gay Rights is utterly disgraceful, and Stephen Fry has once again used his intellect and influence for betterment of society, hopefully to some effect. Let’s hope the UK government listen, and let’s hope the Australian Government do so as well. Continue reading

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