News of the Week: the latest from John Green, Zoe Foster Blake, Kate Millett and more.

by |September 8, 2017

Turtles All the Way Down by John GreenJohn Green reads excerpt from his latest book, Turtles All the Way Down.

Nearly six years after the release of The Fault in Our Stars, internationally bestselling author John Green is to release Turtles All the Way Down on October 10, 2017. This new story will follow sixteen-year-old Aza Holmes, a young woman looking for clues in the disappearance of a fugitive billionaire, while grappling with mental illness.

Turtles All the Way Down begins with a fugitive billionaire and a cash reward. It is about lifelong friendship, the intimacy of an unexpected reunion, Star Wars fan fiction, and tuatara. But at its heart is Aza Holmes, a young woman navigating daily existence within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.

John Green just this week read the first chapter of Turtles All the Way Down on his YouTube channel, Vlog Brothers. Listen to him below.


Extinctions by Josephine WilsonJosephine Wilson is awarded the 2017 Miles Franklin Literary Award.

Josephine Wilson has been awarded the 60th Miles Franklin Literary Award for Extinctions, one of Australia’s most high-profile literary prizes for fiction. She takes home the $60,000 in prize money.

Extinctions follows retired engineer Frederick Lothian, an expert on concrete who, at 69, relocates himself to a retirement village. His life changes when he strikes up a friendship with his neighbour, Jan, where he begins to realise the damage done by the accumulation of a lifetime’s secrets and lies. Humorous, poignant and galvanising by turns, Extinctions is a novel about all kinds of extinction – natural, racial, national and personal – and what we can do to prevent them.

Wilson has described Extinctions as a novel “trying to come to understand the emotional complexity of belonging”. Learn more.


Love Your Sister by Samuel Johnson and Connie JohnsonLove Your Sister’s Connie Johnson awarded Medal of Order of Australia.

Australian actor Sam Johnson has taken to Facebook to announce that his sister, Connie Johnson, has been awarded the Medal of Order of Australia. Sam writes, “The Governor General ‘popped in’ on Connie today [at the hospice]. Can you see that shiny thing on her chest? It’s a Medal of The Order of Australia, awarded for her services to our community and humanity! Her eyes danced like when we were kids. She looked so alive.

Afterwards, she looked at me sideways, coz she can’t move her head too well, and she kept saying, in her weak and raspy voice…’Can you believe it? Can you believe it? Look what we did. We did something!’

This was just in time. I wanted to tell you first before you hear about it through the media – her time is nigh. Let’s prepare, villagers. It’ll be very soon….”

Together Connie and Sam have raised millions for cancer research, including more than $2 million during the Big Heart Project in May that saw a Canberra netball court become a silver sea of 5 cent coins. They have also written a book together, Love Your Sister. Listen to them discuss it below.


Zoe Foster Blake to write children’s book. 

Zoe has taken to Instagram to reveal that she will be writing a picture book. Details have yet to be released as to when it will be published.

Zoë has published four novels, Air Kisses, Playing the Field, The Younger Man and The Wrong Girl, as well as the dating and relationship book, Textbook Romance (written in conjunction with Hamish Blake). A collection of her best beauty tips and tricks, Amazing Face, was released in 2011. An updated edition, Amazinger Face, was released in 2016.

The Wrong Girl has been adapted as a TV series starring Jessica Marais for Channel 10 Australia. The second season is currently airing.


Sexual Politics by Kate MillettKate Millett, pioneering second-wave feminist, dies aged 82.

From The Guardian: Kate Millett, the wayward artist, thinker and activist whose 1970 book Sexual Politics became a keystone of second-wave feminism, has died at the age of 82.

Perhaps aptly for someone who wrote widely and fervently of her pursuit of love, she succumbed to a heart attack during an annual holiday in Paris to celebrate her birthday with her wife and longtime collaborator, the photojournalist Sophie Keir. “Let’s always be having an affair. Wherever we meet, however many times a year – let it always be an affair,” Millett wrote in Sita, her 1976 account of an earlier lesbian relationship, which, like subsequent autobiographical works, became an exploration of forms of love.

Lena Dunham was among those who paid immediate tribute to her cultural importance, and its continuing impact on a new generation of readers and writers… Read the full article here.


Set aside one hour on Thursday September 13 to read a book.

On Thursday September 14 2017, stop what you’re doing for one hour and pick up a book as part of Australian Reading Hour. The aim is to help Australians rediscover or introduce them to the benefits of reading.

In children, reading has been shown to help with identity formation, setting them up for success in the future.

In adults, reading has been shown to reduce stress by 68% more than listening to music, going for a walk, or having a cup of tea. Learn more about the Australian Reading Hour here.


Escape From Berlin by Peter NashThe father of Booktopia’s founders pens book about life as a Holocaust survivor.

Booktopia would not be what it is today if it wasn’t for Peter Nash, the author of Escape from Berlin. Peter is the father of Tony, Simon and Elana. He is also the father-in-law of Steve. The founders of Booktopia.

In Escape from Berlin, Peter, a Holocaust survivor, tells his compelling family story of escape and survival in China and Australia during WWII.

Read the article published in The Australian Financial Review about Peter.


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About the Contributor

Anastasia Hadjidemetri is the former editor of The Booktopian and star of Booktopia's weekly YouTube show, Booked with Anastasia. A big reader and lover of books, Anastasia relishes the opportunity to bring you all the latest news from the world of books.

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