Booktopia Buzz
APRIL 2011 | Edition 31
April, it is always a busy month in the book world - school holidays, Anzac Day, Easter, with Mother's Day around the corner.  And that's before we even get to the royal wedding.

I have so many good things on offer for you this month. A free book, movie tickets, giveaways on some great kids and teen titles, even a chance to meet Stephenie Meyer in person (follow the links to her new book)! It has been a long wait people for Jean Auel, Wilbur Smith and Cassandra Clare - at last, we can get those pre-orders out to you.

I read some great books this month - it was hard to come up with my favourite. Honestly, if you don't like at least one of Last Chance Cafe, The Tiger's Wife or When God was a Rabbit, you are one tricky customer!

All in all, I have a feast of fiction and non-fiction for you here.

Happy reading!

Toni Whitmont
Get a movie double pass by going here NEVER LET ME GO by Kazuo Ishiguro

You loved it last month when we had the book + movie tickets for The Lincoln Lawyer. Well, here we go again.

The first 35 people to order Never Let Me Go will receive at no cost whatsoever a double movie pass to the movie of the same name which starts on March 31.

Your movie pass will be sent out with the book, and I will inform all recipients of the pass by email as well.

Short-listed for the Man Booker prize in 2005, Ishiguro's novel positions Kathy, Ruth and Tommy as pupils at Hailsham - an idyllic establishment situated deep in the English countryside. The children there were tenderly sheltered from the outside world, brought up to believe they were special, and that their personal welfare was crucial. But why were they really there? It is only years later that Kathy, now aged 31, finally allows herself to yield to the pull of memory. What unfolds is the haunting story of how Kathy, Ruth and Tommy, slowly come to face the truth about their seemingly happy childhoods - and about their futures. Never Let Me Go is a uniquely moving novel, charged throughout with a sense of the fragility of our lives.

Go here for the trailer.

Click here to buy Never Let Me Go + two movie tickets
35 book and movie ticket packages only.
Booktopia Price: $22.95  INCREDIBLE VALUE
We are getting close to Mother's Day and will be going decidedly girlie in the next week or two. Well, there is nothing girlie about this promotion.





2 for 1 pack 2 for 1 packTHIS GREEN HELL plus RETURN OF THE PROPHET by Greig Beck

Two great action thrillers for one low price. In This Green Hell, Alex Hunter is back and the stakes are huge as a contaminant is proving to be lethal in the jungles of Paraguay. Return of the Prophet sees Hunter's Arcadian team in the ruins of Persepolis as nuclear war, or something even worse, threatens to engulf the region.

Click here to buy This Green Hell + Return of the Prophet
Retail Price: $65.99
Booktopia Price: $26.95 SAVE 59%
School holidays are knocking at the door. Don't panic. We've got you sorted.  Click on the image below to see our latest range of books for primary age kids plus our wonderful Battle Boy giveaway.

See the entire newsletter

And if you don't want to do speed choosing, you only need to think of one, two three. One - Andy Griffiths, yes please. Two - Battle Boy with five packages of all the backlist titles to be given away. Three - Alex Rider, Scorpia Rising. What on earth are you waiting for?

Have you seen the latest addition to our stable? The YA 13+ Buzz is written especially for readers of teen fiction and cross-over fiction - young adults, and adults who are young at heart. Click on the masthead below to have a look at our first edition, including its great giveaways. If you would like to receive it regularly, you need to log on to your account here, and click through to update your preferences.


Pre-order Dead Reckoning hereAs for the goodies in our first edition, it doesn't get much better than this. There is a new Sookie Stackhouse coming - Dead Reckoning. You can pre-order it here.

We have giveaways on Stephenie Meyer's new The Twilight Saga: The Official Illustrated Guide plus a chance to meet the author in person . Details of the latter are in the YA 13+ newsletter.

We have an Australian exclusive from Cassandra Clare with City of Fallen Angels. Booktopia is the only place in Australia where you can get Jace's letter to Clary.

Plus, we have five of the most adorable Monster High dolls for five lucky customers of The Ghoul Next Door.

Click on the jacket images below to get all of the details.


Keep an eye on your inbox over the next day or so because I am about to send you the best range of Mother's Day books that you will see anywhere! We will also have on-site a terrific Mother's Day catalogue and if I can twist his arm, I might just get our Booktopia Book Guru to do one of his gift guides, complete with his inimitable spin.

So if you have a mother, are a mother, want to be a mother, know a mother, or just want something special for yourself, we'll have you sorted.

And just to get you in the mood, have a look at the latest from the MasterChef stable.


Adam stunned us with his special brand of intelligence, creativity and simplicity and having pawed through the book over the last couple of weeks, it is clear to see why he won. Adam answered our Ten Terrifying Questions here. And while we are all waiting for the book, Adam has a special message (below) especially for Booktopia. We also have some exclusive recipes from him here.

Go here to see inside the book and to order

Click here to buy Two Asian Kitchens
Australian author
Retail Price: $49.95
Booktopia Price: $39.95  SAVE 20%

go here to see inside this book BLOSSOM: EAT, SPRAY, LOVE by Joan Sauers

Why go all the way to India when the truth of the universe lies within?

Blossom is a cat on a journey of self-discovery, a journey that never requires her to leave home. In the tradition of Eat, Pray, Love , and with a considerable degree more humour, Blossom (with a little bit of help from her alterego Joan Sauers,) is  a plain but houseproud cat who believes in keeping her carbon pawprint small.

Want a glimpse of this beautiful, humorous and endearing little gift book? We have plenty of images of here.

Meanwhile, for an insight into Blossom herself, go to her answers to our Ten Terrifying Questions here. It includes such gems as: "Eat, Spray, Love is a celebration of life's simple pleasures and a response to Elizabeth Gilbert's charming ode to international air travel and the scattergun approach to dating, Eat, Pray, Love . As one who likes to keep her carbon paw print small and who is also highly selective when it comes to romance, I realised I could help others to find joy and wisdom without ever leaving home".

Eat, Spray, Love makes the perfect gift for the cat loving mother on a journey.

Never eat out of plastic. You deserve better.

Click here to buy Eat, Spray, Love
Australian Author
Retail Price:$19.95
Booktopia Price: $15.95  SAVE 15%


More details hereANDREW MORTON

Will and Kate. They are everywhere. We are awash with coverage of the upcoming nuptials but I don't think there is anyone better qualified to give us the real story of the couple and the wedding than Andrew Morton.
The book won't be finished of course, until after the wedding, and the jacket image is still to be finalised, but the whole thing is being rushed to market around the world and will be ready to be posted to you after May 11. It is going to be worth the wait!

Click here to pre-order
William and Catherine: Their Lives, Their Wedding
Available from May 11
Retail Price: $45.00
Booktopia Price: $35.95  SAVE 20%

Wikileaks from the sourceJULIAN ASSANGE

It seems that the only thing that can keep the WikiLeaks story off the front pages are either acts of nature or collapses of regimes. There are so many books around about WikiLeaks right now but THE book on the subject would have to be the one that will be published on April 7 written by the man at the eye of the global storm, Julian Assange.

Click here to buy
WikiLeaks vs the World
Australian author
Available from April 7
Retail Price: $34.95
Booktopia Price: $27.95 SAVE 20%
More details here LAST CHANCE CAFÉ by Liz Byrski

Last Chance Café is a particular pleasure. The story revolves around two women in their early 70s, both of whom used to be members of the Sydney Push, who grew up as activists and collectivists, and who are now wondering how to channel their enormous energies and experiences as they age. But it is their relationships that hold the most interest - with former lovers and sparring partners, with their daughters, with younger women who are facing feminism's latest onslaught - the sexualisation of children.

Liz Bryrski has long been fascinated with relationships between women.

"A profoundly important book was Marilyn French's The Women's Room, which I read in 1978.  It was hugely successful and it proved to me what I had always thought  -  that women can connect with each other in ways that transcend  the boundaries of class, education and frequently of race", she said in an interview with Booktopia recently. (Read the rest of the interview here).

Last Chance Café explores those connections,  particularly those between women who are  largely deemed invisible by wider society by virtue of their age. What was touched on in say, Gang of Four, is developed in the most nuanced of ways in this latest book. Just one example - Emma, the cosmetically enhanced publicist for the local shopping centre, doesn't notice the incongruity between the images of the women in the boutiques and the actual women who frequent them, searching in vain for clothes that are practical, attractive, comfortable and affordable.

While the book may be about feminism on one level, on a broader level, it is about the challenges and dare I say it, the joys, of ageing.

"(My novel is really about) mid-life and old age as opportunities for change, and about the pleasures of experiencing ageing and valuing it rather than trying to fight it", she said to us recently.

Read more about Liz and the book here.

I thoroughly enjoyed Last Chance Café , and having had the opportunity to spend some time with Liz lately, I can only wish for more of her books, and more of her company. I am delighted to choose Last Chance Café as my book of the month.

Click here to buy Last Chance Café
Australian author
Retail Price: $32.99
Booktopia Price: $26.95  SAVE 18%

More details here SARAH WINMAN

At the London Book Fair last April, the big money was on Sarah Winman's debut novel, When God Was a Rabbit, which is publishing in Australia and the UK this month while at the same time, rights have been snaffled up around the world.
The book was presented to me a couple of months ago as the "it" book for the first half of the year. It came to me as "a little piece of heaven", "a rare and moving novel about the power of families and friendships", "something truly unique and magical".  Hmmm.
It is hard for publishers to get attention for the next great book, to differentiate it from their last great book but can I tell you, I am hopping on the Winman bandwagon? I read it in a day or two, loving every moment of it, sneaking in pages between other committments, and going back over lovely little gems of passages.
Basically we are talking a coming-of-age story in two parts, one seen through the eyes of a young English girl and the second set in New York some 20 years later. When God Was a Rabbit is a mesmerizing portrait of childhood, with very dark and quirky humour.  Stripped down to its bare bones, it's the story the unbreakable bond between a brother and sister and while its take on loss of innocence, familial bonds and eccentricity are perhaps familiar themes, Winman's treatment of them  is subtle and original.

To read the rest of my review and to see the book trailer, go here.

To read Sarah Winman's responses to our Ten Terrifying Questions, go here.

Click here to buy
When God Was a Rabbit
Retail Price: $29.99
Booktopia Price: $23.95  SAVE 20%

More details here...TEA OBRECHT

The Tiger's Wife by Téa Obrecht is  a revelatory and completely engrossing read. It is a book that demands a second reading, not just for the haunting story but also for the beautifully crafted prose.
The story is set across several generations in an unnamed Balkan city (which I have subsquently pin-pointed as Belgrade because I couldn't stand not knowing). Told in two voices, it concerns the circumstances of the death of a doctor, and the unravelling of his final few days, by his grand-daughter, Natalia. Natalia is also a doctor. She has crossed the border into hostile territory to administer medicines to a remote village orphanage ostensibly left resourceless after the war in the 90s. From there she travels to the village where her grandfather died,  hoping both to retrieve his belongings and to get some clue as to his demise. She muses over the stories about his childhood, when, on the cusp of World War Two, internecine conflict was played out with bizarre and unpredictable twists by villagers whose lives were as much about superstition as they were about politics and ideologies.
Along the way, Natalia pieces it all together with her own childhood memories - the tale of a rogue tiger, the deaf-mute young woman said to be the tiger's wife, her grandfather's obsession with his pocket copy of The Jungle Book, the "deathless man" whose predictions of mortality proved to be strangely prescient.
The Tiger's Wife has a fable-like magic realist quality to it. The story is certainly intriguing but it is the prose that is the real drawcard. Obrecht's writing is lucid and she handles words with the confidence of a much more experienced writer. Indeed, it is no surprise that she was included (as the youngest) on the New Yorker's top 20 writers under 40 list.

To read the rest of my review, go here.

Click here to buy The Tiger's Wife
Retail Price: $29.99
Booktopia Price: $23.95 SAVE 20%
Connelly is hot Michael Connelly

April 5 is D-day for Connelly fans in the US and Australia with the latest blistering Mickey Haller court room drama about to hit the shelves.

Crime-fiction megastar Connelly can always be counted on to try something a little different. In The Reversal (2010), his last Mickey Haller novel, starring the L.A. lawyer who prefers to work out of his Lincoln Town Car, Connelly offered a tour de force of plotting on multiple levels. Here, he narrows the focus considerably, concentrating almost exclusively on what happens inside the courtroom but bringing to the traditional give-and-take of prosecutor, defender, judge, and jury an altogether more complex commingling of personality and legal strategy than is typically on view in legal thrillers. He accomplishes this with a particularly rich first-person narration in which Haller takes us through the courtroom drama as it happens, noting his blunders and praising himself for quick-thinking improvisations. It doesn't hurt, either, that the plot is meaty: a woman whom Haller was representing in a suit against the bank attempting to foreclose on her mortgage is accused of killing the bank official in charge of foreclosures. Combining ripped-from-the-headlines information on the mortgage crisis with a cast of characters that defies stereotypes at every turn of the plot, Connelly shows once again that he will never simply ride the wave of past success. And, neither, apparently, will Mickey Haller, as he reveals a shocking change of direction in the novel's final pages. (Booklist starred review)

Want a taste? We have an extract and a clip here.

Click here to buy The Fifth Witness
Available April 5
Retail Price: $32.99
Booktopia Price: $26.95  SAVE 18%
Check out our great price! THE LAND OF PAINTED CAVES

We have hundreds of customers lining up for this one, the final in the prehistoric Earth's Children series. Whether you are a new comer to Ayla or a devotee from the 80s, this has "winner" written all over it.

Go here for Auel's answers to our Ten Terrifying Questions.

Click here to buy
The Land of Painted Caves
Retail Price: $49.99
Booktopia Price: $32.95  SAVE 34%

more details here SING YOU HOME

Love, desire, science and the law - Picoult's special talent is put you bang slap in the middle of a minefield of relationship consequences and she is in fine form with her latest book.

Go here for the book trailer.

Click here to buy Sing You Home
Retail Price: $32.99
Booktopia Price: $27.95  SAVE 15%

Check out our great price!THOSE IN PERIL

Think Africa, think adventure, think Wilbur Smith. Our warehouse will be going into overtime on April 1 because Smithsonians will be in no mood to wait for their next fix.

Go here for Smith's answers to our Ten Terrifying Questions

Click here to buy Those in Peril
Retail Price: $49.99
Booktopia Price: $32.95 SAVE 34%

More details here FRIENDS LIKE THESE

OK, I realise that Australia's best-known comedienne is not quite in the stratosphere with Picoult, Smith and Auel, but she still delivers in spades when it comes to an intoxicating mixture of laughs, tears, wit and enviable female relationships. This is a modern, witty and wise comedy of manners set in Sydney's wealthy eastern suburbs where a glittering harbour view is the ultimate prize.

Go here for Harmer's answers to our Ten Terrifying Questions

Click here to buy Friends Like These
Australian author
Retail Price: $32.99
Booktopia Price: $26.95 SAVE 18%

Wonderful story, and a beautifully produced edition. More details here ELIZABETH HOLDSWORTH

The narrator in Those Who Come After, Juliana Stolburg, is an Australian intelligence specialist in the NATO sphere of influence. She is at the end of her career and is being recalled to Canberra but the day before she is due to leave, she learns that her last relative is dying in The Hague. Before she dies, Lady Katrien Stolburg tells her niece that she should write the family history.
Juliana rejoins her husband on his mother's farm outside Goulburn in NSW. Against the backdrop of drought and the realisation that her marriage is disintegrating, she begins her story, recalling her early childhood, the events that led to family's decision to migrate, the trauma of her father's sudden death and the inability of her mother to hold on to her sanity.
This is a powerful work of fiction which I enjoyed enormously. It has a very authentic feel, which is hardly surprising since Holdsworth herself emigrated from Holland to Australia. After a long career here as a public servant, she settled  down to write essays, poetry and short stories from her Southern Tablelands base.
The publishers have gone to a lot of trouble with this debut novel. It is presented as a lovely hardback edition, with beautiful photographic end papers and a lovely jacket with flaps. Best of all, it is extremely well priced.

Go here for Holdsworth's answers to our Ten Terrifying Questions

Click here to buy
Those Who Came After
Australian author
Retail Price: $29.99
Booktopia Price: $23.95  SAVE 20%

More details here JANE SULLIVAN

Inspired by the real life tour by a troupe of "little people" to Australia in 1870, this quirky novel is the second from literary journalist Jane Sullivan. It is ostensibly the story of Mary Ann, recently released from employment by the amorous father of her ward and bearing his child. Standing on the banks of the Yarra contemplating suicide, she sees a child fall from a bridge and rushes to its rescue. The child is in fact Charles Stratton, known as General Tom Thumb, the charismatic entertainer who along with his wife, the beautiful and perfectly formed Lavinia, her restless and willful sister Minnie, and rival for lead Commodore George Washington Nutt, inhabit a world of barefy restrained, savage curiosity in the employ of PT Barnum. Taken as dresser by the two diminutive ladies, Mary Ann is exposed to the strange and transient life they lead but as time passes, she begins to guess that her position there may have more to do with the child she carries than her act of heroism...The language and voices of the characters do a fine job of placing the story in its historical context and the story itself is interestingly textured and set in a fascinating milieu. This is a most enjoyable read.
Review from Bookseller and Publisher Magazine.

Go here for Sullivan's answers to our Ten Terrifying Questions.

Click here to buy Little People
Australian author
Retail Price: $32.95
Booktopia Price: $27.95 SAVE 15%

A grown up Harry Potter meets the Fuzz? BEN AARONOVITCH

CSI London, Urban Fantasy-style! Ben Aaronovitch has written for Doctor Who (his 'Remembrance of the Daleks' is a classic), Casualty and the late-lamented space soap Jupiter Moon.
Rivers of London is a fast-moving, plot-driven urban fantasy adventure centring on one of the greatest and most historically rich cities in the world: London. This is the first of a series of urban fantasy/police procedurals featuring a rookie copper-turned-apprentice-wizard on the beat and his boss, the last wizard in England and it comes with the thumbs up from both Charlaine Harris and Diana Gabaldon.

Click here to buy Rivers of London
Retail Price: $32.99
Booktopia Price: $26.95  SAVE 18%
Available from April 8

Click here to buy Rivers of London hardback edition
Booktopia Price: $27.95  SAVE 44%

Welcome to the Future - details hereDAVID WINGROVE

Chung Kuo means 'Middle Kingdom', and since 221 bc, when the first emperor Ch'in Shih Huang Ti, unified the seven Warring States, it is what the Han, or Chinese, have called their great country.
The first eight Chung Kuo books were published between 1988 and 1998 to resounding international acclaim. The series has now been recast, remastered, rewritten in 20 volumes, including two new 'prequel' volumes and an entirely new ending; there are over 500,000 additional words of new story.
The author, David Wingrove, says 'this is no Director's Cut, but a total revision, giving the series the power and breadth of vision it was always meant to have. In Son of Heaven (book 1) I depict a world in the throes of violent change, a world in which all that is now familiar is about to pass. As the two great empires of our age clash there can only be one winner, that victory effectively ending the centuries-long rule of the West. When I began writing In 1988, the idea of a world dominated by China seemed outlandish, but two decades later, Chung Kuo's vision of the future seems all too plausible.'

Click here to buy Son of Heaven
Retail Price: $32.99
Booktopia Price: $26.95 SAVE 20%

Lovely hardback edition NATASHA SOLOMONS

From the author of the enchanting Mr Rosenblum's List comes a new novel of love and loss.
In the spring of 1938, Elise Landau arrives at Tyneford, the great house on the bay. A bright young thing from Vienna forced to become a parlour-maid, she knows nothing about England, except that she won't like it.
As servants polish silver and serve drinks on the lawn, Elise wears her mother's pearls beneath her uniform and causes outrage by dancing with a boy called Kit. But war is coming and the world is changing.
At Tyneford, Elise learns that you can be more than one person, and that you can love more than once.

Go here to see the book trailer and for the score the music that is so crucial to Elise's story.

Go here for Natasha Solomons answers to our Ten Terrifying Questions.

The Novel in the Viola is produced as a pretty, well-priced hardback.

Click here to buy
The Novel in the Viola
Retail Price: $29.99
Booktopia Price: $24.95  SAVE 17%

Details, trailer and interview hereSTEPHEN KELMAN

Stephen Kelman's debut novel Pigeon English was the subject of a twelve publisher bidding war.
At the centre of the tale is Harri Opoku, an 11-year-old Ghanaian immigrant caught up in gang warfare on a south London estate.
Pigeon English opens as Harri has just moved to the Dell Farm estate with his mother and older sister, Lydia, leaving his father, grandmother and baby sister, Agnes, behind in Ghana. Along with the shock of emigration and the usual preoccupations of growing up - whether lovely blonde Poppy Morgan will sit next to him in art class, whether his Diadora trainers can outrun his classmates' Nike Air Max - he must negotiate tougher problems.
Harri's surroundings bristle with half-understood menace, most obviously from the alcoholics, dealers, petty criminals and teenage members of the Dell Farm Crew gang who shadow the estate. But gradually his sister, aunt and even his mother, forced into moral compromise in her struggle to give her children a better life, are implicated in the violence that pervades estate life.
Pigeon English , which draws heavily on the killing of 10-year-old Damilola Taylor on a Peckham estate in 2000, weaves this suffering into a murder-mystery of sorts. After the seemingly random stabbing of an older boy outside a fried chicken shop, Harri and his friend Dean turn amateur detectives, scrutinising the estate and its dysfunctional inhabitants for clues.

Go here for Kelman's answers to our Ten Terrifying Questions.

Go here for a book trailer and author clip.

Click here to buy Pigeon English
Retail Price: $29.99
Booktopia Price: $25.95 SAVE 13%

More details hereJAMES FREY

James Frey became the bad boy of the US literary establishment when it emerged sections of his best-selling 2003 debut "memoir", A Million Little Pieces, were fabricated. His latest book, a fictional tale of how Jesus Christ would live in the 21st century, will do little to appease his critics.
Frey's forthcoming novel The Final Testament of the Holy Bible will explore the Second Coming in the form of "Ben Jones", the Messiah, who smokes marijuana and has sex with prostitutes.
Frey has said previously that the book was his "idea of what the Messiah would be like if he were walking the streets of New York today".
The protagonist Ben Jones's real name is Zion Avrohom, and he lives in a dirty apartment in the Bronx, New York. His tale is told through the stories of his friends, family, and followers, and explores what it means to be Christian in present-day society.
"It's supposed to be a theoretical third volume of the Bible," Frey told the New York Post. "There was the Old, there was the New, and this is the Final."
In expectation of ensuing controversy, Frey added: "I'm sure the religious right will go crazy because of the story of Ben."
Review from The Independent online.

Click here to buy
The Final Testament of the Holy Bible
Available April 12
Retail Price: $32.99
Booktopia Price: $26.95  SAVE 18%

More details hereAnd while we are on the subject of matters messianic, Leslie Cannold's THE BOOK OF RACHAEL is a thoughtful novel that traces the life of Jesus' young sister in a society where the lives of women revolved around producing and nurturing men. In this imagining, Rachael falls in love with Judah of Icariot, Joseph's (ie Jesus') best friend. According to Bookseller and Publisher Magazine (which gave the book 4/5 stars) it is "a compelling read, not just for those interested in religious history but for readers who enjoy quality fiction about family, kinship and love".

Click here to buy
The Book of Rachael
Australian author
Retail Price: $32.95
Booktopia Price $26.95 SAVE 18%

More details hereRICHARD ZIMLER

I was so excited to see this new Zimler, as I have been a big fan since the intriguing The Last Kabbalist of Lisbon which came out in the late 90s.
I haven't had a chance to read it myself yet but here is what The Independent online has to say.
Erik, a distinguished elderly psychoanalyst, has to leave his comfortable flat and move into the Warsaw Ghetto, the walled "island" where the Jews were confined during the Nazi occupation of Poland. In the tiny flat of his niece, Stefa, and her nine year-old son Adam, he must not just adapt to a frozen, starving life on the edge of death, but learn to overcome his selfishness. It is the child Adam who sets the old man on this road.
In his eighth novel, Richard Zimler reaches the very heart of his essential theme: the Holocaust itself. It is as if, in his previous books dealing with the persecutions of Jews in the 16th, 18th and 20th centuries, he had been approaching, in narrowing circles, this extraordinarily painful moment.
This book is set in 1940-41 inside the Ghetto itself. It is narrated by a dead man. How could it be otherwise? This is no story of heroic struggle and escape. The Warsaw Anagrams is about the everyday frailties and courage of a varied cast.
The Warsaw Anagrams is a highly realist (despite being narrated by an ibbur or a spirit) murder mystery. The narrator sets out in the midst of massacre to solve one killing. One might wonder, why bother with one person's death, when slaughter is all around? "We owe uniqueness to our dead" is the imperative that Erik comes to understand. By remembering the uniqueness of each dead person, that person's humanity is maintained and the Nazis defeated in their desire to reduce the Jews to nameless ash.
Surprisingly perhaps, Zimler's book has an optimistic feel. If you look squarely at brutality and find that even in the harshest situations people are capable of kindness and loyalty, then optimism can sprout. As in all Zimler's fiction, there are bad and good Jews and non-Jews, people with mixed motives - including. non-Jewish Poles who die because they protect Jews. His style too assists optimism. It is clear, direct, full of ordinary pleasures: a cigarette, the joy of children singing or the sun peeking through storm clouds. This straightforward style is not sentimental or simple, but laced with subtle psychology.
The Warsaw Anagrams is both a fast-moving, very readable mystery novel and a rich, serious book, in which Zimler makes us face the worst and pays tribute to those who died in the Holocaust.

Click here to buy Warsaw Anagrams
Retail Price: $24.99
Booktopia Price: $17.40 SAVE 30%

More details here.... PAULA MCLAIN

A deeply evocative story of ambition and betrayal, The Paris Wife captures a remarkable period of time-Paris in the twenties-and an extraordinary love affair between two unforgettable people: Ernest Hemingway and his wife Hadley.
In Chicago in 1920, Hadley Richardson is a quiet twenty-eight-year-old who has all but given up on love and happiness-until she meets Ernest Hemingway and finds herself captivated by his good looks, intensity, and passionate desire to write. Following a whirlwind courtship and wedding, the pair set sail for Paris, where they become the golden couple in a lively and volatile group of expatriates that includes Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, and F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald.
But the hard-drinking and fast-living café life does not celebrate traditional notions of family and monogamy. As Hadley struggles with jealousy and self-doubt and Ernest wrestles with his burgeoning writing career, they must confront a deception that could prove the undoing of one of the great romances in literary history.
Much of the raw material in The Paris Wife will be familiar to Hemingway fans from The Sun Also Rises, his first novel, and A Moveable Feast , his posthumously published memoir of Paris in the Twenties but McLain's beautifully imagined novel is a worthy addition to the Hemingway canon. It is sharp, unsparing and delivered in a pared-down prose that the great man himself would have applauded.

Click here to buy The Paris Wife
Retail Price: $29.99
Booktopia Price: $25.95  SAVE 13%

More details hereGLEN DUNCAN

Glen Duncan's The Last Werewolf may be about a supernatural being but this is no ordinary fantasy. The novel is framed as the diary of 200-year-old Jacob Marlowe, the last werewolf on earth, who is pursued by government-sanctioned hunters and is resigned to death until he discovers a secret that makes him yearn for life. As in past offerings, Duncan's novel deftly eludes categorisation. It's part thriller, part romance, part existential mystery, and every other page is spattered with either blood or semen. Moreover, it's suffused with cultural allusions that span the breadth of film and literary history, from Jane Eyre to David Fincher's film Se7en.
But these achievements are simultaneously the book's downfall. Duncan's prose is often too crowded and sometimes too self-aware to properly digest its apocalyptic tone. It's only in the middle of the novel, when Marlowe makes his life-changing discovery, that the story starts to fulfil its racy potential and begins the ascent towards its electrifying final pages.
Review from The List

Click here to buy The Last Werewolf
Retail Price: $32.95
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  THE 33

The story of the courage and endurance of three generations of women from a Tibetan family which fled across the mountains from a country that no longer exists. This Tibetan version of Wild Swans gives a brilliant account of Tibet's history and customs through the unique and gripping story of Brauen's grandmother's life in and flight from her homeland.

Click here to buy
Across Many Mountains
Retail Price: $32.95
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With all the sad news in current affairs at the moment, it is hard to even remember the hopeful heady days when the 33 miners were finally winched up to the surface of Chile's Atacama desert. Despite nearly 70 days isolated in the dark, they survived, every one of them. Here is their amazing story.

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The 33
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MALCOLM SPEED with an introduction by RICHIE BENAUD

You can't get a better placed insider in Australian and international cricket than the much maligned Malcolm Speed. Here he lays bare the last decade - the scandals, the crimes, the dramas,  - examining it all with his unflinching gaze.

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 Sticky Wicket
Australian author
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Great story, great price


At the close of the nineteenth century, when its empire was on its knees, China hand picked 120 young boys and sent them into exile into America to learn what they could about how the west won. When they were eventually allowed to return, they worked to reshape their ancient kingdom. This fascinating book is their story, and is based on their own letters and memoirs. Best of all, this hardcover edition is at an cracker of a price.

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If you think that the world is spinning on an Indian axis, you are probably right. The European Young Science Writer of the Year uses  witty first-hand reportage and penetrating analysis, to explain what this means for the rest of the world, and how a spiritual nation squares its soul with hard rationality. Full of curious, colourful characters and gripping stories, it describes India through its people, a nation of geeks.

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Geek Nation
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Calling this a travel book is really selling it short. Poolman has gone back and forth along Russia's Vadimirka track many, many times and in so doing, re-tells the Russian story from its first settlers to the oil rich oligarchy that dominates this huge country today. This is a compelling, anecdotal and deeply personal account of one man's attempt to expiate the ghosts of his late friend's past. In the shadow of Stalin, and completely dominated by an extraordinarily harsh climate, this grim tale is lit with bleak Russian humour. I couldn't put this one down.

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Road of Bones
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As the director of the National Gallery of Australia in the 1990s, Churcher is well known for her blockbuster exhibitions. Her passion for great art and her ability to communicate its qualities without pretention is one of the biggest strengths of this book which is a tour of her favourite works around the world. When Churcher discovered that her eyesight was failing these were the paintings that she sought out one last time. Her analysis is wide-ranging and also deeply personal and the book includes some of her sketches reproduced alongside the originals....This is a beautiful coffee table book that will appeal to lovers of art, history and travel.
Review from Bookseller and Publisher

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 Betty Churcher's Notebooks
Australian author
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Customers may also be interested in David Walker's touching and moving memoir of macular degeneration, NOT DARK YET.
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This is the tragic, joyful, instructive story two parents confronting the changes in their lives as they watched their son descent into autism.
When Horse Became Saw is an extraordinary account of Alex Macris' regression and his family's search for answers, an invaluable guide through the obstacles and decisions faced by anyone in their situation.  It beautifully paints the emotional world of a father who finds himself in the strange country of autism - and something of a stranger in his own country, whose government refused to fund the therapy his son so desperately needed.
Above all it enriches our understanding of those who are profoundly different yet have so much to give.

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When Horse Became Saw
Australian author
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This is the inspiring life story of Louisa Lawson: poet, publisher, feminist and social reformer - and mother of Henry Lawson. Louisa Lawson was acknowledged as Australia's foremost feminist writer in the 1800's.
Henry's view of his mother was as a domineering, interfering mother, and she was often painted as a careless, uncaring and sexually repressed wife. Towards the end of her life, two doctors certified her and she was committed to the Hospital for the Insane, Gladesville. At the time, many people who knew her would have said that she had always been mad. Despite this view of her, when women achieved the vote in Australia in 1902, Louisa was publicly acknowledged as 'the mother of womanhood suffrage in New South Wales.
An admirer of Henry Lawson's work from his youth, after reading about Louisa Lawson, the author researched her life in an attempt to clearly establish her place as 'one of the grand figures of Australian history' and a pioneer of the women's movement.

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Mad Louisa
Australian author
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9781742570693losing it in france resizeSALLY USHER

This is a lovely small hardback with a jacket, a combined memoir and diet book written by a woman who was a self-confessed former dieting pro who found a better way to lasting weight loss while living in France.
Some recipes, lifestyle discussion, a bit of psychology, all makes for living in the French style and staying fit for life.

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Losing it in France
Australian Author
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More details here BELLA VENDRAMINI

More true-life adventures from the author of Biting the Big Apple. Think Sex and the City with an Australian in Carrie's shoes. Aussies overseas always make for great travel memoirs.  Now Bella adds New York to the list, with all its grit and its sparkle. Fall in love with Bella all over again .

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Australian author
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more details and internal images here NO DIRECTION HOME by Robert Shelton

Keith Richards, Patti Smith, Leonard Cohen - all musical artists who have shaped our times and whose stories we can't get enough of. Bob Dylan will be back in Australia this month and to celebrate, his friend and confidante of a lifetime, Robert Shelton, has reworked, updated and modernised his master work, No Direction Home. The original book was published in the 1980s and itself took 20 years to complete. Now, in time for Dylan's 70th birthday, we get the retrospective that we have been waiting on the musician who started it all.

Go here to see inside this book.

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more details here 1001 AUSTRALIAN NIGHTS  by Dave Graney

A must for music lovers and Graney fans, this was never going to  be a straight up memoir. Graney's 1001 nights across Australia are separated by vivid observations, memories and various admirable sartorial ensembles with lyrics weaving in and out of the text...On stage and on paper, he is a consumate entertainer: witty, literary, anarchic and displaying more self-love than Narcissus!
Based on Bookseller and Publisher review.

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Australian author
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More details here TIM ADAM

Any one who has idled away an hour or two on the gorgeous Etsy site dreaming of throwing in the day job will love this book. Etsy of course is the go-to online marketplace for anything crafty and handmade and what a cornucopia of delights it is. Adams has written a no nonsense guide which will help you turn your inspiration into cash.

Go here for a glimpse inside the book.

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How to Make Money Using Etsy
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Your future...hereSERENA STAR-LEONARD

Speaking of turning passion into profit, the recently retired 31 year old Star-Leonard gives us her tips for success  in creating the lifestyle you want. She shares her personal journey and shows how you can apply her lessons to your own circumstance. Don't knock it - she's at the beach and I am writing this newsletter! Hmmm.

Her clip, and an excerpt are here.

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How to Retire in Twelve Months
Australian author
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More details here.... NICOLE AVERY

From the author to Booktopia:
Planning With Kids is not your traditional parenting book.  The emphasis is not on how to parent, but to share ideas that can help you get organised and leave more time for parenting.  My approach is to streamline the known repetitive tasks of family life (eating, cleaning, getting ready for school etc), so you can then better manage the unpredictable (sick kids, fighting, tantrums and so on).
It is written so parents can read one chapter, take actions from the summary at the end and begin making a difference to their family's life.  But I don't believe that one person in the family has to do everything to keep family life ticking along.  The book highlights ways for partners and kids to become involved in all areas of the home, letting the primary carer to have time out too.
The book is action orientated.  Through out the book there are links to downloads on the blog for tools and templates which will help readers make changes to the way they are currently managing their family.l
Editor's note : I have spent a bit of time on Avery's website and it is a dream come true if you are frazzled and don't know where to start sorting out your life. In one handy volume, the book promises so much more.

See Avery's answers to our Ten Terrifying Questions here.

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Australian author
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More details here....SALLY COLLINGS

And for another take on parenthood, try Sally Collings (in her own words):
I often feel stretched beyond my limits, at the edge of endurance, ready to give in to exhaustion or irritation.
Life doesn't stand still and wait for us to catch up: somehow we get through each day, and we go on to another one. We are doing this?
Do you want the good news? Parenting with soul is really not that hard. In fact, you're probably already doing some of it every day. Any time you breathe a quiet word to God over the dishes, take that deep breath you know you need, look at your child and see an angel looking back at you ... each of those things represents a bit of the divine in your day. You are doing this.

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Australian author
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more details here ATLAS OF OCEANS: AUSTRALIAN GEOGRAPHIC  by John Farndon

We all know from the fabulous 25 Years of Australian Geographic Photography how good these kinds of books are. From the same stable comes this ecological survey of this fascinating hidden world. With spectacular full colour photography and mapping throughout, this is both a magnificent coffee table book, and a well researched and cleverly put together reference book.

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Australian author
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Read More... OF NATURE: JOHN GOULD AND AUSTRALIA by Roslyn Russell

John Gould's classic volumes, The Birds of Australia and The Mammals of Australia, have been admired by generations of Australians. This new book is beautifully illustrated with over 130 full colour plates of some of Australia's favourites birds and mammals and will delight both collectors of Australiana as well as those who appreciate a very beautiful and well put together volume on nature.

We have internal images of the book here for you to see

Click here to buy The Business of Nature
Australian author
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More details hereHUMAN PLANET: Nature's Greatest Human Stories by Brian Leith and Dale Templar

Just in case you are not watching this fabulous series on TV, we have internal images and a clip here for you to see. This is a simply stunning book based on a fascinating and compelling series. Who wouldn't want this?

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Read More..

More details here... SEBASTIAN FAULKS

Frustration! The BBC episodes of this most marvellous book are no longer available to download, although we do have some terrific excerpts in interviews here.
Meanwhile, Faulks gives us his view on why England is, well, England - all based on heroes, villains, lovers and snobs from the most influential of books from Robinson Crusoe to Brick Lane. I so want to read this! Methinks it will be my Easter break distraction.

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See inside the book here....RICHARD PRECHT

Books on philosophy can be a bit hit and miss but Precht's take on it all has netted him sales of more than one million copies in Europe and translations into 18 languages. In English at last, and in Australia before anywhere else, this international bestseller that takes you on a journey through your mind and gives you the answers to the big philosophical questions. Never before has anyone introduced readers so expertly and, at the same time, so light-heartedly and elegantly to the big philosophical questions.
Drawing on neuroscience, psychology, history, and even pop culture, Richard David Precht deftly elucidates the questions at the heart of human existence - What is truth? Does life have meaning? Why should I be good? - and presents them in concise, witty, and engaging prose. The result is an exhilarating journey through the history of philosophy and a wonderfully accessible introduction to current research on the brain.

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Who Am I and if so How Many?
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In This Issue

Never Let Me Go book and movie offer

Greig Beck 2 for 1 offer

Giveaways and exclusives on kids and young adult books

Mother's Day

Royal Weddings and WikiLeaks

Toni's Book of the Month

The two runners-up

Big four in fiction

A feast of fiction

Around the world

Personal journeys

Musical journeys

How to's

The natural world

Brain Food

Crime, mystery and thrillers

Bestsellers in lower price formats

ANZAC Day books


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Not reading the Booktopia Blog? You are missing out on some daily breaking news, exclusive author interviews, funny observations, fascinating insights, titbits, gossip and a whole lot more.

Featured authors from this newsletter include Wilbur Smith, Jean Auel, Andy Griffiths, Liz Byrski, Adam Liaw, Wendy Harmer, Sarah Winman, Elizabeth Holdsworth, Jane Sullivan, Stephen Kelman, Simon Toyne, Lee Childs, Natasha Solomons, Tea Obrecht, Nicole Avery and the cat Blossom.

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Lock your doors, close your windows, these are the best of the best for April.

revelation, desecration...a huge read and a great price

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The master - now in paperback
the incomparable Philippa Gregory
For a full range of Anzac Day books, go here. In the meantime, here are my picks of the newest titles.

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An Australian attack in Vietnam - great images here
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Louisa Young

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Any novel that is reminiscent of the emblematic Birdsong gets my attention and so it is with My Dear I Wanted to Tell You.
This book comes with high praise indeed but it is this comment from its publishing director that bears repeating.
"The vivid scene-setting, the deftly drawn characters, the pared down but powerful prose style which is both distinct and immediately accessible, the convincing portrait of class division, and above all the compelling an moving story - I am a huge fan of Pat Barker and Sebastian Faulks and I feel this stands alongside Regeneration and Birdsong as a potent, emotionally riveting novel about the First World War. It is a work that lingers in the imagination."
High praise indeed.

See the book trailer here.

My Dear I Wanted to Tell You
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