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.

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

Signed Copies Make Great Gifts – Part 1 of our signed book bonanza!

We love to give books as gifts. All booklovers do. But when we can give a book which is signed by the author, well, that is perfect. Tell someone how much you love them by giving them something that’ll go ‘straight to the poolroom!’

But hurry as stock will not last!

Scorpion Mountain: Brotherband Series : Book 5

by John Flanagan

Click here for more details or to buy Scorpian Mountain

When the worlds of Ranger’s Apprentice and Brotherband cross over, action and adventure are guaranteed!

King Duncan of Araluen has an urgent mission for Hal and the Heron Brotherband. One assassination attempt on Princess Cassandra was foiled. But the killers won’t be satisfied until they have fulfilled their honour-bound duty.

The Herons, along with Ranger Gilan, set off for Arrida. There they must track the cult of killers across the desert, and infiltrate the cult’s mountain lair to find their leader – and stop him. But the giant assassin isn’t the only threat they will face. There is a seaside battle looming, and the Herons are called upon to help an old friend of Araluen in his fight.

Trapped in an unfamiliar land, their forces split between searing hot land and treacherous seas, can the Herons complete their mission – before the killers find their royal target?

John Flanagan’s Ranger’s Apprentice and Brotherband adventure series have sold more than eight million copies worldwide. His books are available in more than 100 countries, are regularly on the New York Times bestseller list, and have had multiple award shortlistings in Australia and overseas. John, a former television and advertising writer, lives with his wife in a Sydney beachside suburb.

Order a signed copy from Booktopia, Australia’s Local Bookstore


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.’

Order a signed copy from Booktopia, Australia’s Local Bookstore


Pushing the Limits

by Kurt Fearnley

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.

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 signed copy from Booktopia, Australia’s Local Bookstore


Adam Gilchrist – The Man. The Cricketer. The Legend.

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 signed copy from Booktopia, Australia’s Local Bookstore


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 a signed copy from Booktopia, Australia’s Local Bookstore


The Road Back

by Di Morrissey

Is it ever too late to change your life?

From the mountains to the valleys, from big cities to tiny towns, to the outback and our islands, Di Morrissey knows this country. She’s been there.

In The Road Back, Di weaves a tale of reconnection and starting over.

Journalist Chris Baxter is at a crossroads. Returning with his teenage daughter to his mother’s house in the beautiful township of Neverend, Chris hopes to pick up the pieces after his life takes an unexpected turn.

Sometimes taking the road back is the start of a journey forward.

Order a signed copy from Booktopia, Australia’s Local

Adam Gilchrist plays Office Cricket at Booktopia HQ!

And who got him out? Watch the video and find out!

(PS: For a limited time, order your signed copy of Gilly’s illustrated memoir here)

adam-gilchrist-signed-copies-available-Adam Gilchrist

The Man, The Cricketer, The Legend

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.

Grab a copy of Adam Gilchrist: The Man, The Cricketer, The Legend here

9781922213310-4 9781922213310-3

Grab a copy of Adam Gilchrist: The Man, The Cricketer, The Legend here

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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

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