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

Random House Australia joins our Booktoberfest celebration – you could win a prize pack worth over $800!

How would you like to give everyone you love a book for Christmas… without you having to pay a cent?

To help us celebrate Booktoberfest our friends at Random House are giving you the chance to win all of the books in their Booktoberfest Showcase.

Order any of the books in the Random House Booktoberfest Showcase to go into the draw to win the entire collection – worth over $800!

Click here to enter the Random House showcase

Random House Booktoberfest Highlight

Ned Kelly

by Peter FitzSimons

Love him or loathe him, Ned Kelly has been at the heart of Australian culture and identity since he and his gang were tracked down in bushland by the Victorian police and came out fighting, dressed in bulletproof iron armour made from farmers’ ploughs.

Historians still disagree over virtually every aspect of the eldest Kelly boy’s brushes with the law. Did he or did he not shoot Constable Fitzpatrick at their family home? Was he a lawless thug or a noble Robin Hood, a remorseless killer or a crusader against oppression and discrimination? Was he even a political revolutionary, an Australian republican channelling the spirit of Eureka?

Peter FitzSimons, bestselling chronicler of many of the great defining moments and people of this nation’s history, is the perfect person to tell this most iconic of all Australian stories. From Kelly’s early days in Beveridge, Victoria, in the mid-1800s, to the Felons’ Apprehension Act, which made it possible for anyone to shoot the Kelly gang, to Ned’s appearance in his now-famous armour, prompting the shocked and bewildered police to exclaim ‘He is the devil!’ and ‘He is the bunyip!’, FitzSimons brings the history of Ned Kelly and his gang exuberantly to life, weighing in on all of the myths, legends and controversies generated by this compelling and divisive Irish-Australian rebel.

Click here to buy Ned Kelly from Booktopia,
Australia’s Local Bookstore

Peter FitzSimons, author of Eureka Stockade: The Unfinished Revolution, answers Six Sharp Questions

The Booktopia Book Guru asks

Peter FitzSimons

author of Eureka Stockade: The Unfinished Revolution, Mawson, Batavia, Kokoda and many more…

Six Sharp Questions

————————————–

1. Congratulations, you have a new book. What is it about and what does it mean to you?

Eureka Stockade: The Unfinished Revolution, details the birth of democracy in Australia. Our version of the Boston Tea Party, it was the moment when Australians insisted that they had rights, rights that they were prepared to fight for, the British bayonets notwithstanding.

2. Time passes. Things change. What are the best and worst moments that you have experienced in the past year or so?

The best moment was being at the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games in London. The worst moment? I dinkum can’t think of anything particularly bad this year – touch wood!

3. Do you have a favourite quote or passage you would be happy to share with us?

Yes, I love this part, where one of the diggers, is exhorting his brethren to take it further, and fight!

Typically, Thomas Kennedy goes further.

“The press,” he says, “has called us demagogues, who must be put down. But I for one will die a free man, though I drink the poison as Socrates of yore. We have come 15,000 miles, and left the enlightenment of the age and of the press, not to suffer insult, but to obtain greater liberty. We want men to rule over us, [not such as we have.] Most of all, we have to think of our children, who will grow up in this great colony, and all of us must never forget their own dearest interests.”

And yet, he asks, is this the way to proceed? Constantly signing petitions and passing resolutions, all for no result?

“Moral persuasion,” Thomas Kennedy says, with everyone leaning forward as before, to catch every word, “is all humbug. Nothing convinces like a lick in the lug!”

Love that “lick in the lug,” line! It wonderfully summed up the view of the vast body of diggers – we have had a gutful, and are now going to take arms against a sea of troubles.

 4. Writers have often been described as being difficult to live with. Do you conform to the stereotype or defy it?

I don’t really think I am – primarily because I love what I do. Though, I must say, when I am in full writing mode, I am doing one of two things: either writing my book, or resenting the fact that I am not writing my book. I am involved in many activities and travel a lot, but wherever I am, I always have my laptop close, and write my books in planes, trains, automobiles and hotel lobbies, as well as at home, lying supine on the coach. Overall, though, I have noticed that I am at my most productive when on long-haul flights, where there are no interruptions.

5. Some writers claim not to be influenced by the needs of the marketplace, while others seem obsessed by it. Would you please describe how the marketplace affects your writing (come on, tell the truth!).

Writing books is hard. Of course I want my books to sell. Thus, in the range of the many subjects I want to write about, I do choose the ones that will sell well in the marketplace.

6. Unlikely Scenario: You’ve been charged with civilising twenty ill-educated adolescents but you may take only three books with you. What do you take and why?

Charles Dickens –  Great Expectations: most impressive novel ever written, in my view.

Kahlil Gibran –  The Prophet – the values it evinces, without any religious gibberish, are wonderful.

Bob Dylan –  The Complete Lyrics of Bob Dylan. Even without him singing, and instrumentals, his lyrics are poetry for the soul:

Suddenly, I turned around, and she was standing there,

With silver bracelets on her wrist, and flowers in her hair,

She walked up to me so gracefully, and took my crown of thorns,

Come in, she said, I’ll give ya, shelter from the storm.”

Peter, thank you for playing.

Click here to buy Eureka: The Unfinished Revolution from Booktopia,
Australia’s No.1 Online Book Shop

Three Authors Offer Advice for Writers: Craig Silvey, Peter FitzSimons and Susan Maushart

I interview writers every week here on the Booktopia Blog. My Ten Terrifying Questions have been answered by over 250 published authors ranging from mega selling global stars like Jackie Collins and Lee Child to brilliant, relatively unknown debut authors such as Miles Franklin shortlisted Favel Parret and  Rebecca James.

In each of these interviews I ask the following question:

Q. What advice do you give aspiring writers?

Now, for the edification of aspiring writers everywhere, I will pull together answers to this question from three very different writers and post them here once week. Some will inspire, some will confound but all will be interesting and helpful in their own way…


CRAIG SILVEY

“I would urge any aspiring writer to be patient and stubborn and driven. Writing is incremental, it’s done by degrees. Every day you show up, you nurse the same doubts, you field the same concerns, you fret, you worry, you panic, you prevaricate, and inside that painful, delicate act, you finally let the story come to you in small sparks. It takes time. Reams and reams of it. You should have a healthy appetite for solitude.

The longer I write, the more I come to understand that authors are really just conduits for stories, we are the guardians of their development. For me, my writing works the best when it feels meditative and unforced, which means I need to forget that I’m a fretful author in a dim room with debts and a deadline. I need to almost remove myself from the process altogether, and let the story weave itself on the back of some kind of subconscious intuition.

I would especially urge them against concerning themselves with pointless, external exercises like Word Counts and so forth. Volume is the last thing you need to worry about. Songwriters don’t work to Note Counts. It is what it is. Don’t force it.

And, finally, practice the craft because you love it. It’s a privilege, and it’s good for you. Kurt Vonnegut used to say that practising any art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow. And I’m inclined to agree. Then again, I’ve got no idea what I’m doing.”

Read the full interview here…

Click here to buy Jasper Jones from Booktopia
Australia’s No.1 Online Bookshop


PETER FITZSIMONS

“Get width of experience in your life. To be a writer you need to have something to say that others will care about and if you can have had experiences that your readers have not, it will help. Read as widely as you travel, and try to write with the same spirit.

Read the full interview here…

Click here to buy Mawson from Booktopia,
Australia’s No.1 Online Book Shop


SUSAN MAUSHART

“Read, for heaven’s sake! An aspiring writer who doesn’t read constantly is like an aspiring musician who plays Guitar Hero all day.”

Read the full interview here…

Click here to buy The Winter of Our Disconnect from Booktopia,
Australia’s No.1 Online Book Shop


For more advice from published writers go here

Books for the men in your life for Christmas

Stop panicking.

Here are some great gift ideas this Christmas for all the men in your life. With historical must-reads from Peter FitzSimons on Sir Douglas Mawson, to the brilliant fiction that is Elliot Perlman’s The Street Sweeper,   to highly anticipated autobiographies from  cricket fast bowler Brett Lee and Tour de France Green Jersey winner Robbie McEwen you will have all your Christmas gifts covered for your grandpa, dad, brother, son, uncle and friends . . . in fact all the men in your life.

Order in stock books from Booktopia by December 12 to ensure delivery by Christmas.

Peter FitzSimons, author of Batavia, answers Ten Terrifying Questions

The Booktopia Book Guru asks

Peter FitzSimons

author of Batavia, Kokoda, Tobruk, A Simpler Time, Nene and many more…

Ten Terrifying Questions

—————————-

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

This question reminds me of a great book I read recently, and as a matter of fact, I wrote it – A Simpler Time. I was born and raised on a citrus orchard at Peats Ridge, the youngest of seven children, and after going to Peats Ridge Public School, went boarding at Knox Grammar School.

2. What did you want to be when you were twelve, eighteen and thirty? And why?

At twelve I wanted to be a writer and Prime Minister and play cricket for Australia and win Wimbledon and take over our farm. At eighteen I wanted to be a writer and Prime Minister and play rugby for Australia. At thirty, I wanted to write, all day long, and into the night. And I do . . .

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

That the fount of all goodness was the Liberal Party, and the root of all evil was the Labor Party.

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?

When I was fourteen, my brother lent me his tape of bob Dylan’s greatest hits, starting me on a lifetime’s passion for his songs and poetry – and I’d like to think some of that spirit has infused me. When I was 24 a friend told me she was going to be published in the herald in a reader’s column, and I decided I wanted to be published before her, so I wrote a story on rugby and my life changed. When I was 31, the TV personality Liz Hayes invited me to afternoon tea to meet a friend of hers, Lisa Wilkinson. Nine months later I married her. (Lisa, I mean.)

5. Considering the innumerable electronic media avenues open to you – blogs, online newspapers, TV, radio, etc – why have you chosen to write a book? Continue reading

July’s Booktopia Buzz – The Passage, Popular Penguins, Sizzling Sixteen – great deals, great books

Hello Booktopia Readers,

I’ve got a winter warming selection for you this month, starting (of course) with a great deal on Janet Evanovich and another one on the hardback 50th anniversary edition of To Kill a Mockingbird.

There is also $800 worth of Popular Penguins to give away – more particularly, four 20 volume collections, a choose-your-own library adventure!

Darren Groth’s Kindling is my book of the month and you certainly won’t be disappointed if you take a risk on this little known Canadian living ex-pat. Peter FitzSimons is back with his own memoir and for a block buster that is set to blow everyone away, stand by for The Passage. In fiction, I present everything from Geoffrey Chaucer to Lynda la Plante. There are reds under the beds (The Family File) and a dead author society (the biography of Stieg Larsson),EVIL IN THE SUBURBS, stand over tactics and interesting things to do with pubic hair. I’ve covered the world’s best architect, an iconic Australian brewery and werewolves (vampires are so yesterday). Who says that reading is boring?

This July issue is a beauty. Enjoy!

Toni Whitmont

Editor-in-chief

Booktopia Buzz

To read the full issue of Booktopia Buzz for July, click here.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,162 other followers

%d bloggers like this: