The Winners of the ABIA & Booktopia People’s Choice Awards are…

A couple of awards that weren’t announced at Friday night’s ABIA Awards were the ABIA & Booktopia People’s Choice Awards.

We asked you to vote for your favourite fiction and children’s books, and we received a huge response. Thanks to everyone who voted!

After thousands of votes cast, we’re proud to announce the winners of the inaugural ABIA & Booktopia People’s Choice Awards.

Fiction Book of the Year

Burial Rites

by Hannah Kent

Winner of the ABIA & Booktopia People’s Choice Award

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 on the farm of District Officer Jon Jonsson and his family, who are horrified and avoid Agnes. Only Toti, the young assistant reverend appointed as Agnes’s spiritual guardian, is compelled to try to understand her.

As the summer months fall away to winter, Agnes’s story begins to emerge. And as the days to her execution draw closer, the question burns: did she or didn’t she?

Based on a true story, Burial Rites is a deeply moving novel about freedom and the ways we will risk everything for love. In beautiful, cut-glass prose, Hannah Kent portrays Iceland’s formidable landscape, and asks: how can one woman endure when her life depends upon the stories told by others?

Grab a copy of Burial Rites here

Children’s Book of the Year

The 39-Storey Treehouse

by Andy Griffiths

Winner of the ABIA & Booktopia People’s Choice Award

Andy and Terry’s amazing treehouse has 13 new levels including a chocolate waterfall, a non-erupting active volcano, an opera house, a baby-dinosaur petting zoo, Andy and Terry’s Believe it or Else! museum, a not-very-merry merry-go-round, a boxing elephant called the Trunkinator, an X-Ray room, a disco with light-up dance floor, the world’s scariest roller-coaster and a top secret 39th level that hasn’t even been finished yet!

Well, what are you waiting for?

Come on up!

Grab a copy of The 39-Storey Treehouse here

Congratulations to Hannah Kent and Andy Griffiths. Click here for a full list of winners from the Australian Book Industry Awards.

Booktopia wins Best Online Retailer at the 2014 Australian Book Industry Awards

We are so proud to announce that Booktopia was awarded Best Online Retailer at the 2014 Australian Book Industry Awards in Sydney on Friday night.

The award served to recognise ‘the retailer that best demonstrated excellence and innovation in the marketplace and that supported the local industry’.

ABIA - Booktopia

In a evening dedicated to celebrating the Australian Book Industry, Graeme Simsion’s celebrated novel The Rosie Project took out the coveted Book of the Year award.

Other big winners included the recipient of the 2013 Man Booker Prize, The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton, for International Book of the Year and the multi-award-winning debut Burial Rites by Hannah Kent, who beat illustrious fellow contenders Richard Flanagan, Fiona McFarlane, Christos Tsiolkas and Tim Winton to scoop Literary Fiction Book of the Year. The full list of winners is below.

the-rosie-projectGeneral Fiction Book Of The Year

The Rosie Project

by Graeme Simsion

The feel-good hit of 2013, The Rosie Project is a classic screwball romance. Simsion’s book has been sold to 30 different countries and advances have well exceeded $1 million.

Grab a copy of The Rosie Project here

Literary Fiction Book Of The Year

Burial Rites

by 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… read more

Grab a copy of Burial Rites here

General Non-Fiction Book Of The Year

The Stalking Of Julia Gillard

by Kerry-Anne Walsh

This is the story of one of the most extraordinary episodes in recent Australian political history, of how a powerful media pack, a vicious commentariat and some of those within her own party contrived to bring down Australia’s first woman prime minister.

Grab a copy of The Stalking of Julia Gillard here

Illustrated Book Of The Year

I Quit Sugar

by Sarah Wilson

Quitting sugar is not a diet. Quitting sugar is a way of living without processed food and eating like our great-grandparents used to before the crap.

With her bestselling book, I Quit Sugar, Sarah Wilson helped tens of thousands of Australians to kick the habit. In I Quit Sugar for Life, Sarah shows you how to be sugar-free forever.

Grab a copy of I Quit Sugar here

Biography Of The Year

The Crossroad

by Mark Donaldson, VC

On 2 September 2008, in a valley in eastern Afghanistan, Trooper Mark Donaldson made a split-second decision that would change his life. His display of extraordinary courage that day saw him awarded the Victoria Cross for Australia, making him the first Australian to receive our highest award for bravery in wartime since Keith Payne in 1969.

Grab a copy of The Crossroad here

Book Of The Year For Younger Children

The 39-Storey Treehouse

by Andy Griffiths And Terry Denton

Andy and Terry’s amazing treehouse has 13 new levels including a chocolate waterfall, a non-erupting active volcano, an opera house, a baby-dinosaur petting zoo, Andy and Terry’s Believe it or Else! museum, a not-very-merry merry-go-round, a boxing elephant called the Trunkinator, an X-Ray room, a disco with light-up dance floor, the world’s scariest roller-coaster and a top secret 39th level that hasn’t even been finished yet!

Grab a copy of The 39-Storey Treehouse here

Book Of The Year For Older Children


by Anh Do

My parents could have given me any first name at all, like John, Kevin, Shmevin … ANYTHING. Instead I’m stuck with the worst name since Mrs Face called her son Bum.

Weir Do’s the new kid in school. With an unforgettable name, a crazy family and some seriously weird habits, fitting in won’t be easy… But it will be funny!

Grab a copy of Weirdo here

International Book Of The Year

The Luminaries

by Eleanor Catton

The Luminaries is an extraordinary piece of fiction, which more than fulfils the promise of The Rehearsal. Like that novel, it is full of narrative, linguistic and psychological pleasures, and has a fiendishly clever and original structuring device. Written in pitch-perfect historical register, richly evoking a mid-19th century world of shipping and banking and goldrush boom and bust, it is also a ghost story, and a gripping mystery.

Grab a copy of The Luminaries here

the-rosie-projectBook Of The Year

The Rosie Project

by Graeme Simsion

Irresistibly charming, genuinely funny and cleverly plotted this is intelligent romance for grown ups whose arteries have not hardened with cynicism.

Grab a copy of The Rosie Project here

Booktopia is Ten Years Old

Ten years ago Tony Nash started Booktopia on a $10 per day budget. It took 3 days to sell the first book. Now we sell one book every 10 seconds and employee 70 people.

Over 900,000 Australians have bought from Booktopia over the years. Each and every customer should be very proud that we have been able to donate over $300K worth of books in the last year as well as be the major sponsor of Writers Festivals, Readers Conferences and Literacy Programs.

We believe it is our duty to give back as much as we can and the only way to do that is to continue to serve the Australian book loving community as best we can.

Congrats to everyone and Happy 10th Birthday Booktopia!

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Staying connected with Australia’s Local Bookstore has never been easier.

You can now get all the latest news, views and reviews on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.

Explore the world with us one page at a time and join in the fun!

Australia’s Favourite Novelist 2014 – You decide

2013 winner Kate Morton

This month we’re back with the poll that stops the nation, as we ask you who is Australia’s Favourite Novelist for 2014.

Booktopia is Australia’s Local Bookstore, Australia’s truly locally owned and operated online bookstore, full of people who love books and more importantly, Australian books.

January at Booktopia is the month of Australian Stories. To celebrate, we need your help to discover Australia’s Favourite Novelist, living or dead, via the incredible history of Australian writing.

Could last year’s runner up Tim Winton win on the back of 2013’s Eyrie?

Please help us by lodging your favourite authors over the next week. At the end of the week we’ll take all your suggestions and put them into heats where you can champion your favourite. The process is all underneath to let you know how this huge event is taking place.

Once we have a top 50, we’ll put it to a worldwide vote right here, on our blog, where thousands come to visit every day. If you love Australian writers, this is your chance to speak up and be heard!

Then, on the week leading up to Australia Day, we’ll count down your votes from 50 to 1, with Australia’s favourite novelist to be announced on Friday the 24th of January, just in time for Australia Day celebrations!


WEEK ONE – JAN 1-5 – Let us know your nominations for your favourite Australian novelists. As many as you like, anyone who you think deserves recognition. If you are lucky enough to have a friend who is a writer who you believe in, champion them! You can do this through….

-          Email us at

-          Tweet us on @booktopia

-          Let us know on Facebook at

WEEK TWO – JAN 6-12 – The Heats! We’ll take all your nominations and split them up into groups you can vote on. Every day from Monday to Friday a new list will appear with new names. This will decide who makes the final cut! With so many names, just a few votes could take your favourite from yesterday’s news to immortality.

WEEK THREE – JAN 13-19 – Only the best of the best will make it through to the final poll. We’ll have this poll up all week. This will be the final chance to cheer for your favourite Australian Novelist.

WEEK FOUR – A WEEK OF AUSTRALIAN STORY-TELLERS – Voting will close on Monday the 20th of January at 9am. From Monday we’ll count up the top 50 and announce them in order, unveiling 10 every day, and then…..

Australia’s 10 favourite novelists will be announced on Friday the 24th of January. We’ll be profiling all of the top 10 authors and the books that have made them your favourites. It’s a online festival of Australian writing!

Caroline Baum Wrap-Up: All About Me

Caroline Baum’s author interviews have been one of the biggest highlights of our year at Booktopia. Join us as we revisit the best interviews of 2013, and perhaps discover a new favourite author along the way.

Writing a memoir is something of a balancing act; trying to reveal as much as possible, without oversharing or overexposing those involved. It also requires a great deal of vulnerability and a knack for picking up on the small details which make day-to-day events interesting. Each of the authors in this post share their thoughts on that process with sincerity and self-awareness, which makes for seriously fascinating viewing.

all-good-thingsSarah Turnbull- “All Good Things”

I grew up in a French-speaking suburb of Sydney, and Sarah Turnbull’s Almost French was something of a bible for parents navigating cross-cultural relationships. Sarah is back with All Good Things, which recounts Sarah and Frédéric’s move from Paris to idyllic Tahiti. It takes something very special to be able to recount your own personal story in a way that makes for good reading, and Sarah has perfected that art. She opens up with characteristic candor in our interview below.

Best quote:  “I didn’t want to write another personal book, or I thought I didn’t want to write another personal book. So I did fight this book… I’ve it heard said that it’s the book that you fight the most that you most need to write.”

Click here for more details

Check out Caroline’s interview below:

Pick up a copy of All Good Things today

a-history-of-silenceLloyd Jones- “A History of Silence”

Lloyd Jones is a simply phenomenal writer, and this interview demonstrates exactly why. In his earnest, softly-spoken sentences you can see the bare bones of his beautiful prose. Similiarly to Sarah and Brendan, he holds nothing back from Caroline’s questions and answers very personal questions with honesty and insight. A must-see interview from a must-read author.     

Best quote - “It could be just a face filled with gloom standing on a railway train platform, and it’ll have an echoing sense of recognition for me, I’ll think ‘I know that feeling, that look.’ Actually, in the case of Wales it always seemed to be gloom and a kind of a… vacancy.”

Click here for more details

Check out Caroline’s interview below:

Pick up a copy of A History of Silence today

Brendan Ward – “The Beethoven Obsession”the-beethoven-obsession

What is the difference between a personal experience and an engaging tale? In this interview, Brendan explains that timing and luck are the necessary ingredients, both of which were present in his quest to record Beethoven’s music in Australia for the first time.

Best quote - “That’s what makes such an amazing story because of all these serendipitous events that happened in the nineties in the lead up to the Olympics. Had it not been for the Olympics… it may not have had the same gloss, because everything around Sydney had cachet.”

Click here for more details

Check out Caroline’s interview below:

Pick up a copy of The Beethoven Obsession today

Have a Bookish Boxing Day with our massive sale and holiday collections

imageIf you love a sale, then Boxing Day is for you, and with Booktopia you can get a great deal from the comfort of your couch and a plate of Christmas leftovers.

Our massive Christmas to New Year Sale is now on, with thousands of books at up to 95% off. Don’t miss out on huge discounts on big names like Bryce Courtenay, James Patterson and Danielle Steel.

Looking for your next great read? Look no further than our Summer Reading collection, full of the most acclaimed novels of 2013 for you to enjoy.

Our Holiday Haven is the perfect destination for a bookish Boxing Day, with our Boredom Busters and Back to School sections overflowing with great titles for the kids while our Beach Reads collection is packed with brilliant page-turners.

And finally, our Australia Wide collection is a tribute to the awe-inspiring beauty of the Australian Landscape, with hundreds of gorgeous coffee table books and travel guides.

So this Boxing Day sit back, enjoy that turkey sandwich, and check out some great books with Booktopia, Australia’s Local Bookstore.

Click here to check out our Christmas to New Year Sale


Walter Mason, author of Destination Cambodia, answers Ten Terrifying Questions

The Booktopia Book Guru asks

Walter Mason

author of Destination Cambodia and Destination Saigon

Ten Terrifying Questions


1. To begin with why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself – where were you born? Raised? Schooled?

I was born and raised in a small town in North Queensland – Ingham. I don’t get back there very often, but most of my family is still there. Most people are surprised to discover I am a boy from the bush, but that shy and unsophisticated little boy still lurks deep within me.

2. What did you want to be when you were 12, 18 and 30? And why?

Twelve – an actor – I excelled in character parts in the local theatre group. At twelve I had already produced my primary school’s first ever drag act – it was fabulous.

Eighteen – still an actor – I was attending theatre school by this time.

By thirty I already had firm plans to become a writer. I was a bookseller, but compulsively attending writing classes and writing down writing goals (instead of actually writing).

3. What strongly held belief did you have at 18 that you do not have now?

Oh dear – how to answer this one without losing friends? Oh, I know – I think that human sexuality is much more fluid, flexible and complex than I had imagined at eighteen. I was an angry young Queer then, at the height of ACT UP and the AIDS crisis – I was outing people and attending protests. Now I know that people are all on different journeys, especially with something as personal and psychologically fraught as sex and intimacy.

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

You will laugh, but seeing Boy George on TV for the first time when I was a kid was an incredible moment. I took one look at him, did some quick calculations re. gender, and said to myself: “Wow, there is someone else like me out there in the world.” He really transformed the way a whole generation thought about themselves – an incredibly influential figure, I think.

Then came reading the works of Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh in my 20s – he encouraged me to “come out” as a spiritual person.

The third is probably reading Marianne Williamson and studying A Course in Miracles and learning to be less judgemental and more loving.

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

I am a devout bibliophile. I have collected books since I was a teenager. I grew up surrounded by books and had a writer grandfather who gave me books constantly. I love them as objects, and I don’t think they are obsolete. That said, I think the industry will continue to undergo tremendous changes, and I think that writers should be thinking ahead, instead of sticking their heads in the sand. I blog, I am a social media maniac, I am very interested in new forms of transmission and distribution. I think I can handle any changes.

6. Please tell us about your latest book…

Destination Cambodia is the end result of a sixteen year obsession with Cambodia. I have visited the place many times, and I always wanted to write about it, almost as much as I wanted to write about Vietnam, the subject of my first book. It is an affectionate and quirky journey through a place that can be difficult, especially if you spend a lot of time there. And ultimately it is my attempt to come to terms with the magic and mysticism that informs everything in Cambodia. I am testing to see if I possibly have any place in the complex system of mystical beliefs that dominate people’s lives there.

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

That people might travel seeking to make connections with other people, not just to visit exotic locations for rest and relaxation. I think that the world is changed one relationship at a time, and it is quite rare and difficult for travellers to make real connections at the places they visit. My books hopefully convince them that it is worth trying.

8. Whom do you most admire and why?

Oscar Wilde – he had so much style, was so outrageous and he just confounded the haters. His name has lived across centuries now.destination-saigon

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

I’d very much like to make films or TV shows similar in theme to my books. Odd travel to odd places in search of small moments of enlightenment, meeting lots of fabulous people along the way.

10. What advice do you give aspiring writers?

Get involved in the industry in any way you can, meet everybody, go to everything and work out how you can be of use. Read like crazy, promote other writers. And just produce work and submit it. Don’t dream about it for 20 years like I did. You don’t have plenty of time.

Walter, thank you for playing.

Grab a copy of Walter’s wonderful new book Destination Cambodia here


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