British study reveals author, librarian and academic three most desirable careers

WritingBooklovers know it, and it appears the rest of the world is starting to catch on.

A bookish job is a great job!

The “aura of prestige” connected with a career in writing or academia is preferable to jobs that brought promises of wealth and celebrity status, according to a survey conducted by UK market research firm Yougov with more than 14,000 respondents.

Being an author was the most popular choice among both men and women, with more than 60 per cent selecting it as their dream job. It was followed by a career as a librarian (54 per cent) and in academia (51 per cent). Lawyers came in fourth place, with journalism in sixth behind interior design.

GUEST BLOG: Emily Webb, author of Angels of Death, on getting away with murder

Angels of DeathOne of the things I have discovered from my years of reading true crime – and now writing it – is that some people do get away with murder. Really bad things happen and the person or people responsible may never face court or punishment. This is despite the tireless efforts of police and lawyers.

I have spent the past three years doing lots of research for my books Murder in Suburbia and the latest one Angels of Death and what is endlessly intriguing to me is how someone could do the worst to people and just get on with their lives. Of course, some perpetrators of murder and violent crime may be in jail for other crimes or may have died but it’s true that there are people going about their lives that have done the most horrible things and the families and loved ones of their victims are still waiting for answers.

In Murder in Suburbia, I featured several cases where families are desperate for answers – the unsolved 1984 murder of Melbourne mother Nanette Ellis who was stabbed to death in her home and discovered by her then 16-year-old son. The Victoria Police’s cold case unit are reinvestigating this case and are very hopeful it will be solved. Then there’s Lyle Allan whose lawyer brother Keith was murdered in 2000 by his law clerk and two other men. The men are now in jail but Lyle, from Melbourne, just wants to know where the body of his brother has been buried.

When cases are not solved it can be for many reasons – lack of evidence, lack of resources (DNA and scientific advances mean there are things that can be done now that just weren’t possible decades ago), inadequate police work, people giving false alibis… There are also cases where people are sent to trial and are found “not guilty”.Emily Webb

In Angels of Death I wrote about the case of Texas nurse Genene Jones who was convicted of the murder of a 15-month-old girl and the attempted murder of an 18-month-old boy. Jones was jailed in 1985 but under a Texan law that was introduced to reduce prison overcrowding, her 99-year sentence was reduced to a third.  Jones is suspected of killing many babies between 1971 and 1984 when she worked as a paediatric nurse at several Texas hospitals and a clinic. Some believe she may have killed more than 40 children. Now, she is eligible for mandatory release in early 2018 unless prosecutors can bring new charges against Jones, who will be 68 when her sentence is finished. There is an active Facebook page called “Victims of Genene Ann Jones” whose membership is made up of many people who believe their siblings, sons, daughters died at her hand. I spoke to one woman for the chapter who believes her baby sister was killed by Jones in 1981.

In many of the cases in Angels of Death, these serial killers were preying on victims for years before they were caught. When I was researching the cases for this book it became clear that a hospital provides a ready-made hunting ground for killers who were in an industry that is all about looking after people and in many cases, preserving life.

Grab a copy of Angels of Death here

Emily Webb is a Melbourne-based journalist for Leader Community Newspapers whose first true crime book Murder In Suburbia was released in January 2014.

Emily is Aussie-born and spent several years living in London where she tripped about, did lots of different jobs (including transcribing undercover police tapes at The city of London Police), married a Welshman and had a career diversion where she retrained as a high school English teacher.

She lives in suburbia with her husband and two children.

Angels of DeathAngels of Death

by Emily Webb

It’s hard to imagine that anyone in the healthcare industry could have murder on his or her mind.

But some do.

The nineteen cases in this book range across Europe, US and Australia, documenting horrifying and sinister betrayals of trust.

From Harold Shipman, Britain’s worst serial killer who murdered over 200 patients, to Roger Dean the Sydney nurse who in 2011 set fire to the nursing home where he worked killing 11 patients, these stories will make you wary and leave you shaking your head in horror.

Grab a copy of Angels of Death here

THE 2014 BOOKTOPIA BOOKS OF THE YEAR

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

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

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

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

LITERATURE

LILA
by Marilynne Robinson

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

Click here for more details


GOLDEN BOYS
by Sonya Hartnett

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

Click here for more details


AMNESIA
by Peter Carey
Continue reading

PHOTOS: Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt at the première of ‘Unbroken’

Big thanks to HarperCollins Australia for the invitations to the première of Angelina Jolie’s new film Unbroken. In particular Kelly Fagan and Kate Mayes. The film is based on the book, Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand which is an account of the life of Louis Zamperini – Olympian, bombardier, castaway, prisoner of war and inspiration. Angelina Jolie directed and produced Unbroken which was filmed in NSW and Queensland, Australia.

Louis Zamperini’s life story is one of extraordinary hardship, which makes for some tense viewing, but his indomitable spirit leaves you cheering for each of his small victories. This is a movie for those who want to regain their faith in the human spirit and for those who just like a good movie.

Unbroken is on general release in Australia on 15th January 2015 which gives everyone time to… READ THE BOOK!

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9780008108342Unbroken

by Laura Hillenbrand

The incredible true story of Louis Zamperini – Now a major motion picture

On a May afternoon in 1943, a US bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean. After an agonising delay, a young lieutenant finally bobbed to the surface and struggled aboard a life raft.

So begins one of the most extraordinary odysseys of the Second World War. The lieutenant’s name was Louis Zamperini. As a boy, he turned to petty crime until he discovered a remarkable talent for running, which took him to the Berlin Olympics. But as war loomed, he joined up and was soon embroiled in the ferocious battle for the Pacific.

Now Zamperini faced a journey of thousands of miles of open ocean on a failing raft, dogged by sharks, starvation and the enemy. Driven to limits of endurance, Zamperini’s fate, whether triumph or tragedy, would depend on the strength of his will…

Grab a copy of Unbroken here

New trailer for Insurgent released!

insurgent

Spoil yourself…

Insurgent

Divergent Series : Book 2

I have done bad things. I can’t take them back, and they are part of who I am.

Tris has survived a brutal attack on her former home and family. But she has paid a terrible price.

Wracked by grief and guilt, she becomes ever more reckless as she struggles to accept her new future.

Yet if Tris wants to uncover the truth about her world, she must be stronger than ever… because more shocking choices and sacrifices lie ahead.

Spoil yourself, grab your copy of Insurgent here

 

The Art of Neil Gaiman: The story of one of the world’s most creative forces

the-art-of-neil-gaiman

The Art of Neil Gaiman

by Hayley Campbell and Audrey Niffenegger

With characters like Coraline and the Sandman to his name, Neil Gaiman is one of the best-loved authors in the world today; a creative force in comics, fiction, and the movies and TV, a serial award-winner, and a social media phenomenon whose every work is a guaranteed #1 bestseller.

His passionate following of fans numbers millions, yet few know the story of how he became the world-wide star he is today, or the private side of the many creative collaborations that have consistently inspired others to produce some of their best work. The Art of Neil Gaiman changes this, told in Neil’s own words and enriched with visuals from his own archive.

Author Hayley Campbell brilliantly evokes the literary and comics scene of 1980s London, and places pop-culture milestones in the context of a busy, multi-stranded creative life – making sense of Gaiman’s diverse career, relating it to his storytelling gi!s, his talent for being in the right place at the right time, and his passionate drive to – as he himself has put it “Make Good Art”.

Grab a copy of The Art of Neil Gaiman here

Grab a copy of The Art of Neil Gaiman here

The lucky winner of our The Art of Neil Gaiman FB giveaway is: Charmaine Ohl!

Charmaine, email us at promos@booktopia.com.au with your details and we’ll get your prize out to you ASAP!

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for more giveaways leading up to Christmas!

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NEWS: Netflix to adapt Lemony Snicket’s ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events’!

the-bad-beginningFrom the LA Times: Netflix has secured the rights to Lemony Snicket’s “A Series of Unfortunate Events,” according to Deadline, with the bestselling series of books for kids to be adapted as a live-action series for the online streaming network.

There are 13 books in the “Unfortunate Events” series, beginning with 1999’s “The Bad Beginning” and ending with “The End” in 2006. The books, which are for middle-grade readers, have sold more than 60 million copies worldwide.

A Series of Unfortunate Events” tracks the lives of orphan siblings Violet, Klaus and Sunny Baudelaire and their evil uncle Olaf, who conspires to steal their inheritance. Funny and dark, the series inverts many assumptions about what children’s books should be. The books are supposedly written by Lemony Snicket, a character created by author Daniel Handler.

Click here to read more at latimes.com

Click here to view the entire series of  A Series of Unfortunate Events 

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