Top of the Pile is a Simon & Schuster Australia podcast where you'll find some of the most interesting authors in conversation about everything from their lives, their books and their big ideas. From Health, Science and True Crime, to Fiction, History and Romance, we'll bring you fascinating conversations about subjects you never even knew about, and some that you do.
Start listening to The Mother Fault by Kate Mildenhall
Mim’s husband is missing. No one knows where Ben is, but everyone wants to find him – especially The Department. And they should know, the all-seeing government body has fitted the entire population with a universal tracking chip to keep them ‘safe’.
But suddenly Ben can’t be tracked. And Mim is questioned, made to surrender her passport and threatened with the unthinkable – her two children being taken into care at the notorious BestLife.
Cornered, Mim risks everything to go on the run to find her husband – and a part of herself, long gone, that is brave enough to tackle the journey ahead.
From the stark backroads of the Australian outback to a terrifying sea voyage, Mim is forced to shuck off who she was – mother, daughter, wife, sister – and become the woman she needs to be to save her family and herself.
Imagining a near-future Australia that is all too disturbingly familiar, The Mother Fault is an addictive thriller, a heart-pounding adventure and a moving portrayal of the lengths a mother will go to save her family.
Read by Claudia Karvan.
To purchase visit: https://www.simonandschuster.com.au/books/The-Mother-Fault/Kate-Mildenhall/9781760854492
Listen to the first chapters of The Matriarch: The Story of 'Granny Evil' Kathy Pettingill
Kathy Pettingill is a name that’s both respected and feared, not only by Australia’s criminal underworld, but by many in the Victorian police force. As the matriarch at the head of the most notorious and violent family of habitual offenders in Australian criminal history, her life has revolved around murder, drugs, prison, prostitution and bent coppers – and the intrigue and horror that surround such crimes.
Her eldest son, Dennis Allen, was a mass murderer and a $70,000-a-week drug dealer who dismembered a Hell’s Angel with a chainsaw. Two younger sons were acquitted of the Walsh Street murders, the cold-blooded assassination of two police officers that changed the face of crime in Melbourne forever. One of the two, Victor, was gunned down himself in the street 14 years later, becoming the third son Kathy has buried.
In this revised and updated authorised edition of Adrian Tame’s bestselling The Matriarch, Kathy Pettingill reveals the chilling truth behind many of the myths and legends that surround her family, including her experiences in the blood-spattered charnel house at the centre of Dennis Allen’s empire of drugs and violence.
But this is no plea for pity. Forthright and deeply disturbing, like its subject, The Matriarch pulls no punches.
Updated and revised for a new generation, this true crime classic is as terrifying and powerful as when it was first published.
Read by Lewis Fitz-Gerald and Kelly Butler.
To purchase visit: https://www.simonandschuster.com.au/books/The-Matriarch/Adrian-Tame/9781760852214
Mikey Robins reads from his book Seven Deadly Sins and One Very Naughty Fruit
In this irreverent romp through the history of food via the Seven Deadly Sins, Mikey Robins uncovers the most bizarre food-related stories of all time. From the Ancient Egyptians to the Romans, from the medieval monarchs to our current obsession with celebrity chefs, our forebears have left their mark on our habits and social mores, our plates and our palates, telling us one truth above all: where there is food, there is folly.
On the topic of GLUTTONY, Mikey exposes our obsession with outlandish overconsumption and the thrill of competitive eating. PRIDE reveals some of the most arrogant dinner hosts in history, and how the once humble chef has now achieved rock-god status. LUST sheds light on our aphrodisiac fixations and the most desired foods through time. SLOTH charts the curious evolution of the fork and the etiquette of flatulence. WRATH tells of sausage duels and poisonous spite, while GREED will make you blush at the indulgences of the rich and famous. And who hasn’t experienced ENVY when your dining companion’s plate sings while yours sputters?
Mikey Robins is your personal guide down history’s gullet and into the underbelly of our wildest desires, darkest fears and guiltiest pleasures.
To purchase visit: https://www.simonandschuster.com.au/books/Seven-Deadly-Sins-and-One-Very-Naughty-Fruit/Mikey-Robins/9781760852269
Mary Moody reads from her memoir The Accidental Tour Guide: Adventures in Life and Death
Mary Moody’s bestselling memoirs about her adventures in France, Au Revoir and Last Tango in Toulouse, inspired thousands of women. The Accidental Tour Guide completes the circle by sharing another major turning point in her life.
When Mary loses her beloved husband, her world is turned upside down. Part of her journey to reignite her passion for living is to boldly go where she has never been before – in her travels and in her everyday life.
A powerful, moving and inspiring true story about how to rebuild your life without the people who matter most.
To purchase visit: https://www.simonandschuster.com.au/books/The-Accidental-Tour-Guide/Mary-Moody/9781760852559
Gianni Russo reads from his memoir Hollywood Godfather: My Life in the Movies and the Mob
Gianni Russo was a handsome 25-year-old mobster with no acting experience when he walked onto the set of The Godfather and entered Hollywood history. He played Carlo Rizzi, the husband of Connie Corleone, who set her brother Sonny?played by James Caan?up for a mob hit, which led to one of the most unforgettable moments in cinema. Russo didn't have to act. He knew the mob inside and out: from his childhood in Little Italy, where Mafia legend Frank Costello took him under his wing, acting as messenger for New Orleans mob boss Carlos Marcello during the Kennedy assassination, to being forced on the lam after shooting a member of the Colombian drug cartel in his Vegas club.
Along the way, Russo befriended Frank Sinatra, who became his son's godfather, and Marlon Brando, had passionate affairs with Marilyn Monroe, Liza Minelli and scores of other stars, all the while walking the tightrope of mob life.
A no-holds-barred rollercoaster ride of life lived on the edge: shocking, thoroughly entertaining, full of glamour, sex, violence, cheek - and fun.
Read by Gianni Russo with Patrick Picciarelli.
To purchase visit: https://www.simonandschuster.com.au/books/Hollywood-Godfather/Gianni-Russo/9781760852030
Virginia Trioli reads from her book Generation F: Why We Still Struggle with Sex and Power
Twenty-five years ago, Australia was in the grip of another debate about sex and power.
The Master of Ormond College at the University of Melbourne had been acquitted of indecent assault after complaints by two female students. Helen Garner’s bestselling book about the case, The First Stone, polarised readers over whether the students had been right to take their allegations to the law. Was the feminist movement poisoning gender relations?
In Generation F, the young award-winning journalist Virginia Trioli offered a vigorous, incisive and compelling argument for the ongoing need for feminism, while exploring her own bewilderment and anger. She described the real state of sexual harassment, violence, the workplace and the law in Australia: how most women just copped it, but those who felt able to confront it needed all the support they could get.
Now – as women around the world speak up about how sexual harassment has destroyed their work, families and lives – Trioli revisits that cultural moment in a new foreword, and in a new afterword considers the situation women face today.
Dismayingly, her original text is just as relevant, and her call to action just as powerful.
To purchase visit: https://www.simonandschuster.com.au/books/Generation-F/Virginia-Trioli/9781760855345