Booktopia Buzz
NOVEMBER 2011 | Edition 38
This month is all about gorgeous gift books and big fiction! I have discounted everything, put in as many internal images as possible so you can really buy with confidence, and even put together an exclusive crime thriller deal for you.

We have three great competitions this month - so get clicking if you like Patricia Cornwell, John Grisham and Donna Hay.

I have a handful of signed editions and a gorgeous plush toy for buyers of Matthew Reilly, Alex Miller, Dannii Minogue and Sophie the Dog - (now there's a collection of names you don't usually find in the one sentence!)

And you have until midnight on October 31 to take advantage of our terrific Booktoberfest promotion with $10,000 worth of giveaways.

Why would you shop anywhere else?

Toni Whitmont
Go here for Booktoberfest offers

It is festival time at Booktopia this month and you have just a few days left to take advantage of $10,000 worth of prizes and giveaways.

Prizes range from shopping sprees at Booktopia worth $250, to $200 worth of petrol, to $400 restaurant vouchers, to an iTV, to $1000 worth of books to the school of your choice and that is just the start of it!

All the prizes are tied to purchases of the carefully chosen hand-picked Booktoberfest new releases so go here to take advantage of this before the clock ticks over into November.

Here are the books that I am reviewing in this issue that have Booktoberfest prizes associated with them . We have prizes up for grabs for all of them. Click on the titles to see the details of the promotions but remember, it's all over at midnight on October 31 so get moving.

Click for more detail or to order The William Ryan DoubleTHE BLOODY MEADOW + THE HOLY THIEF by WILLIAM RYAN

If you love Tom Robb Smith or Martin Cruz Smith, you will love William Ryan. No one does Russian espionage quite like him and his new one, The Bloody Meadow is a corker.

Better still is our exclusive two for one deal on The Bloody Meadow and The Holy Thief.

These books are absolutely perfect for this busy time of year when our heads are too full of stuff to have to deal with dull but worthy reads.

When we reviewed The Holy Thief last year, this is what we said:
Introducing Captain Alexei Dimitrevich Korolev, and an outstanding new voice in historical crime fiction.

Moscow, 1936 and Stalin's Great Terror is beginning. In a deconsecrated Church, a young woman is tortured to death, her mutilated body displayed on the altar for all to see. Captain Alexei Dimitrevich Korolev, finally beginning to enjoy the benefits of his success with the Criminal Investigation Division of the Moscow Militia, is asked to investigate.

But when he discovers that the victim is an American citizen, the NKVD - the most feared organisation in Russia - becomes involved. Soon, Korolev's every move is under close scrutiny and the Zone - the place where not only Russia's criminals are dispatched, but anyone deemed to be an Enemy of the State - doesn't seem quite so distant.

William Ryan is a great new talent. Enjoy this one - it's terrific! Like me you will be itching for the next.

Now Captain Alexei Korolev returns in The Bloody Meadow.

Following his investigations in The Holy Thief, which implicated those at the very top of authority in Soviet Russia, Captain Alexei Korolev finds himself decorated and hailed as an example to all Soviet workers. But Korolev lives in an uneasy peace - his new-found knowledge is dangerous, and if it is discovered what his real actions were during the case, he will face deportation to the frozen camps of the far north.

But when the knock on the door comes, in the dead of night, it is not Siberia Korolev is destined for. Instead, Colonel Rodinov of the NKVD security service asks the detective to look into the suspected suicide of a young woman: Maria Alexandovna Lenskaya - Masha, a model citizen. Korolev is unnerved to learn that Masha had been of interest to Ezhov, the feared Commissar for State Security. Ezhov himself wants the matter looked into.

And when the detective arrives in the bleak, battle-scarred Ukraine, he soon discovers that there is more to Masha's death than meets the eye...

Click here to buy William Ryan pack: The Holy Thief + The Bloody Meadow
Available November 8
Retail Price: $57.99
Booktopia Price: $29.99  SAVE 48%
Click for more detail or to buy The Dovekeepers When it came to making my Buzz Club selection this month the choice was obvious. The Dovekeepers is a stunner of a novel and we already have a long line of people eager to read it.

Read on for my take on it. Meanwhile, as it is Booktoberfest, you have a few days to take advantage of The Dovekeepers promotion. If you order between now and midnight and October 31, you will go in the draw to win a wonderfully unique prize - your very own shofar, which is the ancient musical instrument featured in the novel.

The Hebrew month of Elul - the last month of the year - is ushered in with the sound of the shofar (the ram's horn). This primal ancient call is supposed to wake the spirit to repentance and renewal. It is also a month of granting and asking for forgiveness. It is the month to search one's heart and come close to God in preparation for the coming days of judgement.

Alice Hoffman has chosen the calendar settings wisely for her upcoming novel The Dovekeepers , which is a remarkable re-telling of the Masada story. Set between 70 CE and 73 CE, the story tracks the rhythm of the weeks, the months, the seasons in the period from the Roman destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem to the mass martyrdom of 900 Jews in their desert fortress the night before the invaders breached the walls to discover they had achieved a completely empty victory. The Israelites had already determined their own day of judgement.

Masada has a place in Jewish history not unlike Gallipoli does in Australian. It is a site of a magnificently pointless clash of civilisations, a loss of epic proportions, a place of ghosts and spirits. Visit Masada today and it is easy to imagine the sound of the shofar blown in Elul that very last time.

It certainly fired Alice Hoffman's imagination. Her story of four women who were there until the very end is compelling, powerful, evocative and more. Her characterisation is detailed and believable. The plot is interesting and well developed and for those unfamiliar with the history, it would no doubt be fascinating. Hoffman's gift is her cadence and tone. She treats both her characters and her story with respect. Her imagery is finely crafted, and it is  rendered with considerable literary skill.

MasadaHoffman has constructed The Dovekeepers in four parts, each told in the voice of one of the four women. The motherless Yael seeks refuge at Masada with her father, an assassin still bitter from the loss of his wife. Revka and her two grandsons have survived a massacre by the Romans. Aziza is the Boadica of the piece, a woman who fights like a man despite the strictures against her. Shirah is the midwife, a woman versed in herbs, magic and medicine. All four women work in the dovecote at the highest point in the fortress.

I must confess I have always had a soft spot for women's fiction based on Biblical "events". Rebecca Kohn's The Gilded Chamber about Queen Esther completely sucked me although I certainly wouldn't describe it as a good book. Ditto Marek Sarah Halter's Zipporah: Wife of Moses. Anita Diamant's The Red Tent is "a woman's-eye view" of early Jewish history and it has a huge and devoted fan base. What was fascinating about that book, at least to me, is the depiction of  a people wrestling with the responsibility of moving from chaos into civilisation. Personally however, I find The Dovekeepers  a much more substantial novel and certainly as a piece of writing, it is a pleasure.

Go here to read Hoffman's answers to our Ten Terrifying Questions.

Click here to buy The Dovekeepers
Retail Price: $29.99
Booktopia Price: $23.95  SAVE 20%
Inheritance Booktopia

What started with Eragon 7 years ago has grown into an international publishing sensation amongst kids and adults alike. Quest, mystery, adventure, tales of courage, triumph and tragedy, swords and dragons, Christopher Paolini's four book Inheritance Cycle is completing with a world-wide release on November 9.

Go here to for details of the book, a trailer, and for a very cool video message from Paolini to Booktopia.

Available November 9

Click here to buy Inheritance
Retail Price: $29.95
Booktopia Price: $19.95  SAVE 33%

Inheritance will also be available with an adult jacket and as a hardback.

Go here for our Paolini author page and the rest of the series.

Make way for the juggernaut!

The biggest names in fiction are all rolled out in November and who better to start off with than MICHAEL CONNELLY? Read on for the low down on THE DROP or scroll down for the rest of the honour roll.

Click for more detail or to buy The DropTHE DROP by MICHAEL CONNELLY

Everyone's favourite crime writer is back with everyone's favourite detective.

In the open-unsolved unit, where Harry Bosch is one of the detectives investigating cases going back fifty years, what you pray for is a cold hit - when new technology matches old DNA evidence to someone who thought they'd got away with murder. For Harry, the thrill of that knock on the door, when justice finally catches up with a killer, is what he lives for.

But this time, when the lab result links the brutal rape-murder of a teenage girl in 1989 to a convicted rapist named Arthur Pell, it's anything but the slam-dunk it seems. Arthur Pell's DNA was found on the victim - but impossibly, he was only eight years old at the time. Harry needs to solve the mystery fast - or the validity of DNA evidence in dozens of other cases could be challenged alongside this one.

Intrigued? You should be.

Go here to watch Connelly talking about this book.

Click here to buy The Drop
Retail Price: $32.99
Booktopia Price: $25.95  SAVE 21%
11.22.63 by STEPHEN KING
Click for more detail or to order 11.22.63

A riveting, high-stakes political story like Under the Dome, a love story like Bag of Bones, a 1950s community like IT, Stephen King's incredibly ambitious, heartstoppingly dramatic time travel novel, 11.22.63 is a WHAT IF story like no one's ever read before.

PS The title refers to the date of Kennedy's assassination. But what if it didn't take place?

Available November 8

Click here to buy 11.22.63
Retail Price: $32.99
Booktopia Price: $25.95 SAVE 21%
Click for more detail or to order Red Mist

Chief medical examiner Dr. Kay Scarpetta has agreed to meet with a convicted sex offender and the mother of a vicious and diabolically brilliant killer -  against the advice of her FBI criminal intelligence agent-husband Benton Wesley.
Driven by inner forces, Scarpetta discovers connections that compel her to conclude that what she thought ended with the murder six months previously of her former deputy and an attempt on her own life is only the beginning of something far more destructive: a terrifying terrain of conspiracy and potential terrorism on an international scale.
And she is the only one who can stop it.

Now the fun bit!

I have 2 17-copy Scarpetta backlist packs to give away each valued at $340. That is a whole summer's worth of  reading. All you have to do to go into the draw to win the prize is to order Red Mist before December 1.

Available November 24

Click here to buy
Red Mist
Retail Price: $39.95
Booktopia Price: $29.95 SAVE 25%
Click for more detail or to order The Litigators

The incomparable master of the legal thriller takes us deep into the labyrinthine American justice system, always drawing us in with an irresistible hook, pulling the thread of tension tighter and tighter and then knocking us out with a conclusion that is totally unexpected.
A new John Grisham is incentive enough for anyone to jump online and buy but there is a special sweetener with this one.
Grisham's publisher, Hachette, is running a consumer competition with the prize of a trip for two to Litigator-land - aka Chicago. Details are on the book.

And yes, we have a very exciting competition with this book.

I have 2 nine-copy DVD packs each worth $340 to give away and anyone ordering The Litigators before December 1 goes automatically into the draw. Check out these great movies, each one based on a Grisham book. No wonder we are all hooked on him!
A Time to Kill - starring Matthew McConaughey
The Runaway Jury - starring John Cusack
The Firm - Starring Tom Cruise
The Pelican Brief - starring Julia Roberts
The Rain Maker - starring Matt Damon
The Client - starring Susan Sarandon
The Chamber - starring Chris O'Donnell
Christmas with the Cranks - starring Tim Allen (yes it is a Grisham title and quite fitting for the season I think)
The Gingerbread Man - Starring Robert Downy Jnr.

Go here to see
The Litigators traile

Click here to buy
The Litigators
Retail Price: $39.99
Booktopia Price: $29.95 SAVE 25%

I don't know how she does it! Nora Roberts is the author of 190 novels (yes, you read that correctly) and people just lap them up. In her spare time, she restores and runs a bed and breakfast in a small town in Maryland - as you do.
Why am I telling you this? Well, her new series is set at her B&B. It is called The Next Always and there is a chance to win a trip for two to stay there if you buy the book (which is stickered with the details of this consumer competition).

Available November 8

Click here to buy
The Next Always
Retail Price: $29.99
Booktopia Price: $23.95 SAVE 20%
Happiness is two Stephanie Plum novels in one year and this one is going to be dynamite.
Smokin' Seventee n ended on a cliff hanger.
If you are an Evanovich fan, you are going to NEED this and you won't be able to resist our price.

Available November 22

Click here to buy
Explosive Eighteen
Retail Price: $32.99
Booktopia Price: $24.95 SAVE 24%
Perfect timing.
The game and the book are being released at the same time, and with author Andy McNab working on both platforms, gamers are sure to want to get both.
This is the perfect gift for any gamer and the book includes codes which will help enhance the play.

Click here to buy
Battlefield 3

Retail Price: $29.99
Booktopia Price: $23.95 SAVE 20%

Di Morrissey has written 20 books in 20 years.
There is no one quite like her for Australian sagas.
We have a great promotion on The Opal Desert as part of Booktoberfest - a signed library of all 19 of her books still available -  but be quick! You have to get your order in by midnight on October 31 to be eligible for the prize.

Click here for your chance of winning the signed Morrissey library worth $380.

Click here to buy
The Opal Desert
Australian author
Retail Price: $32.99
Booktopia Price: $25.95 SAVE 21%
Sherlock Holmes is everywhere at the moment what with movies, TV series and kids books. The estate of Conan Doyle commissioned Horowitz to write another Holmes story and he has done a stirling job. Faster paced than the originals but in authentic style, The House of Silk has got  everyone talking.
From Booksellers' Choice in the UK: It's unputdownable. For big-hitting fiction it has to be The House of Silk for me. Anthony Horowitz takes on the mantle of Arthur Conan Doyle and delivers a brilliant new Sherlock Holmes novel. I thoroughly enjoyed this - the tone of voice is pitch-perfect, the sense of place and time spot on. It certainly won't disappoint the many Holmes fans who will be waiting for publication. It is an ideal Christmas present for fans of Sherlock on film, TV, and of course in novel form.

Click here to buy
The House of Silk
Retail Price: $32.95
Booktopia Price: $25.95 SAVE 21%
Click for more detail or to order Zero Day

It is only three weeks since the one millionth Baldacci book was sold in Australia. He must be doing something right!
While people loved his romance novel One Summer earlier in the year, Baldacci's real strength is as a modern master of the thriller.
With a new hero - a lone Army Special Agent taking on the toughest crimes facing the nation -  Zero Day is where it all begins.

Click here to buy
Zero Day
Retail Price: $29.99
Booktopia Price: $23.95 SAVE 20%
It has been a long October waiting for this one. Finally on our shelves right at the end of the month, I am presenting it again for November in case you missed my initial promotion.

Tiger Men - go here for all the details

Go here to read Judy Nunn's answers to our Ten Terrifying Questions.

Click here to buy Tiger Men
Australian author
Retail Price: $32.95
Booktopia Price: $22.95  SAVE 30%
Click for more detail or to buy 1Q84IQ84 by MURAKAMI

Be warned, if you pick up Murakami's latest novel your sense of what is real will be given a nudge. Just a nudge to start, mind, which is the secret to its success. Murakami takes his time with us, pulling gently at the loose threads hanging from the fabric of our being. And we let him.

Getting us to agree to being unravelled isn't an easy thing to do.

To this end, 1Q84 has to be a long novel. Part of Murakami's challenge is to convince his reader that what he is telling them is not only possible but most likely probable. The reader must come to this conclusion gradually, like someone accepting the crazier parts of a religion.

1Q84 is a novel made up of three books. I am just about to start book three and I have already accepted most of the crazier parts of Murakami's new religion.

I feel certain he wants me to accept them all.

In exchange for my sanity Murakami has already offered me thrills, kills, sex, nipples, fantasy, alternative history, a bit of Chekhov, advice on writing, sex, jazz, stretching techniques, testicles, a bucket of cool, a gun and sex. That's a lot of interesting stuff. The offer is tempting.

Look,  if Murakami can keep up the pace and continues to give me more good stuff as I move through book three, he can have my sanity. I don't have much use for it these days, anyway.

Review from John Purcell - Booktopia Book Guru

Click here to buy IQ84
Retail Price: $39.95
Booktopia Price: $31.95 SAVE 20%

Click for more detail or to buy SilenceSILENCE by RODNEY HALL

Rodney Hall's newest book, Silence, comes with a cover quote by David Mitchell - "I read Silence in a single day. Brilliant. Brilliant".

Both men are known for their very fine writing, and yes, Silence is "Brilliant. Brilliant".

I couldn't possibly,  however,  read it in a day. Or maybe I could, if I was alone, in a profoundly beautiful place, but I would have to be completely relaxed and completely solitary. And I would have to have the right tea to hand. And maybe the a reflection pool to stroll around.

It is not that the book is too long. In fact, at less than 200 well-spaced pages it is almost the length of a novella.  No, the reason I couldn't complete a reading of this shimmering collection of short stories is that that would leave no time at all to savour, to contemplate and to well, pause.

Silence deserves so much more than a day. It deserves being approached completely in the present moment, senses attuned to the sounds, images, and emotions that are evoked by this master story teller. Each of the 20 or more tales deserves your undivided attention, each deserves its own space and time.

Rodney Hall has won the Miles Franklin not once but twice. He has been shortlisted another three times. He is a poet, activist, essayist and author. Sadly, and inexplicably, most of his earlier books are very difficult to track down these days. I still remember the palpable excitement of reading Just Relations in the mid 80s. It is currently not stocked in Australia. Last year he wrote a memoir, Popeye Never Told You, which was garnered enormous praise.

At the time he commented  (in his answers to our Ten Terrifying Questions) "All my novels aim at one thing, really: to engage the reader, moment by moment in the experience. Vivid and intense experience is of central importance to me. That's what illuminates us for one another".

And that is exactly what he does in Silence - he engages us, moment by moment, vividly and intensely, in his imaginary worlds.

The stories in Silence cover continents and ages. They are told from the points of view of rulers and minions, victors and vanquished, even occasionally animals (well, a dreaming bird). The stories are not linked, other than perhaps thematically. Most seem to be about spaces in between, different kinds of emptiness, the gaps between the narrator and the other. Reading Silence is like chasing a rainbow - it illuminates everything but it remains tantalisingly just out of reach.

After I finished reading the stories, sipping at them over a couple of weeks, I saw Hall's notes and acknowledements.

"A contributing factor to the silences being explored is that most of these pieces engage with a 'silent' partner".

He then pays tribute for inspiration to Sir Joseph Banks, Charles Dickens, Henry James, Gertrude Stein, Wolfgang Borchert (who enormously influenced his writing style over the decades - see Ten Terrifying Questions), Gabriel Garcia Marquez amongst others.

"Of course, these tributes do not pretend to be more than echoes, intonations and the structures of reason".

I would like to re-read Silence, given this new interpretation, but I wonder if it will take away from that first pass at it. I came to the book unprepared, and I was completely overwhelmed by the tapestry of its imagery and the echoes of its stillness. And I still wouldn't want to read it in a day.

Click here to buy Silence
Australian author
Retail price: $24.99
Booktopia Price: $19.95 SAVE 20%

Click for more detail or to order Cold Light

This is a month for long awaited returns, and how richly we are being rewarded.
In an Australian publishing event, Frank Moorhouse has finally delivered the final part in this trilogy based around Edith Campbell Berry and the League of Nations.
I won't disclose when I started reading Moorhouse but suffice to say that the first "Edith" book, Grand Days, published in 1993 was certainly not my first Moorhouse. In any case, I still remember the sense of excitement reading that one, and then its sequel, Dark Palace.
Now, in the words of the author:
For a while after Dark Palace I thought that my character Edith, a young Australian trying to make her way in international diplomacy in the 1920s and 1930s, had found her ambitions at a deadend with the collapse of the League of Nations. She had come through this great disaster in human vision - what some saw as the greatest diplomatic embarrassment of the 20c - the new UN had rejected her, and some of her friends at the League had suicided because of their failure to stop World War 2. In the new book Cold Light Edith flees back to Australia in some personal and professional disarray.
But in Canberra, Edith again confronts all the great problems of the human race -and her own personal dilemmas - all staring at her again. Wherever we go the existential questions follow us.
Edith is a woman in her prime, also woman still trying to understand her sexuality even if it means crossing sexual borders or trying to live without borders.
She is a woman who wrestles for her say in the world; to find a family life; she wrestles with alcohol, and she strives for a sexual life which fits her personality and she searches for peace of mind.
In Canberra, she tries to create her own an unconventional elite, her own 'Bloomsbury set', of bright new people with bright ideas about how we should arrange our ways of living together on the planet as it drifts towards nuclear and other disasters.
Finally, as a special envoy, Edith is sent to Vienna where the rest of the world trying to control uranium and all its horrifying consequences.
The book has taken over five years to write and the three Edith novels, together, have been written over the last 21 years - in Geneva, in France, in Washington DC, in Cambridge, in Canberra, and in places around Jaspers Brush on the NSW south coast, where Edith began her life.

Click here to buy
In Cold Light

Australian author
Retail Price: $32.95
Booktopia Price: $25.95  SAVE 21%

It has been a 16 year wait for a new book from Mears, but one definitely worth it.
Set in hardscrabble farming country and around the country show high-jumping circuit that prevailed in rural NSW prior to WWII, this is an intergenerational story of a family and its fortunes on the land.
Foal's Bread takes its title from a small object that, on rare occasions, is found in a new foal's mouth at birth. It looks like bread, hence the name, but nobody really knows what it is. It is thought to be lucky however....
The relationships between the characters are rich and varied and Mears rarely takes the obvious route as she explores emotions of love, jealousy, frustration and disappointment. Despite their many flaws and foibles, I found it impossible not to feel for each of the characters as they grappled with their problems...
Foal's Bread
is a book to be read slowly and savoured. The country setting and language of the time are beautifully captured and the characters are intricately observed. Mears obviously loves horses and the horse-jumping shows, with their smells and sounds, come alive on the page. She is up there with Tim Winton and Kate Grenville.
(Adapted from Bookseller + Publisher: 5 stars).

Click here to buy Foal's Bread
Australian author
Retail Price: $32.99
Booktopia Price: $25.95 SAVE 21%
Click for more detail or to order I've Been There (and Back Again)I'VE BEEN THERE (AND BACK AGAIN): SLIM DUSTY by JOY McKEAN

This is a gorgeous memoir and keepsake from Joy McKean who shared songs, lyrics and life with Australia's country music legend Slim Dusty for more than 50 years.

Through the lyrics of their much loved songs, McKean takes readers into the life she shared at home, on the stage and on the road singing, writing and performing. It includes many never before seen images from their own family albums as well as lyrics from their iconic songs and musings about where and why they were written.

Bush ballads and bush life are recounted in detail as Joy tells of an Australian way of life that is almost gone. From the old showgrounds of the 50s to the grand theatres of the big cities, the old-time music halls of country Australia and some of the most remote areas of the continent, this is a tribute to a great country music love affair.

Go here to watch McKean talk about I've Been There.

Click here to buy I've Been There (And Back Again)
Australian author
Retail Price: $39.99
Booktopia Price: $31.95  SAVE 20%

Click for more detail or to order Chasing the Dragon CHASING THE DRAGON: THE LIFE AND DEATH OF MARC HUNTER by JEFF APTER

Friends and lovers compared him to Jack Nicholson, Peter O'Toole, Jim Morrison, even Beatle John Lennon. Marc Hunter was the real deal and who better to write this biography than the master of rock bios, Jeff Apter?

Hunter was by one account "scary, sexy, threatening, deeply intelligent - and really, on occasion, a perfectly charming fellow. But, man, he had a tongue like a viper".

According to Apter, putting the story of the Dragon front man together was "one of the most compelling and heartbreaking writing journeys I've ever undertaken".

Click here to buy Chasing the Dragon
Australian author
Retail Price: $29.99
Booktopia Price: $23.95  SAVE 20%

Click for more detail or to order Herge HERGÉ: THE GENIUS OF TINTIN by RAPHAEL TAYLOR

With the Steven Spielberg-Peter Jackson animated movie just around the corner, everyone's favourite comic character, Tintin, is the man of the moment.

This book gives us a comprehensive and enjoyable new biography of the man who created Tintin. Georges Remi, better known as Hergé, is widely regarded as the greatest twentieth-century master of the European graphic tradition. His Tintin books have sold well over 200 million copies worldwide.

Drawing from private archives, exclusive interviews and thousands of hours of research, Taylor explores Hergé the man, covering his youth, his controversial life in Nazi-occupied Brussels during the Second World War, his depressive crises, the break-up of his first marriage and the manner in which his later life became a 'practice of philosophy'. And for each Tintin story, Taylor provides succinct descriptions of the secrets of Hergé's workshop, with a special focus on Tintin in Tibet - Herge's most personal Tintin story.

For fans, Taylor's painstakingly researched biography will bring many new insights; for those who know less about Hergé, this is a beautifully written, sympathetic portrait of a fascinating writer and artist whose work has enchanted millions.

Click here to buy Hergé
Retail Price: $32.99
Booktopia Price: $25.95  SAVE 21%

Click for more detail or to order Steve Jobs STEVE JOBS: THE EXCLUSIVE BIOGRAPHY by WALTER ISAACSON

Walter Isaacson's biography of the man behind Apple can be read in several ways. It is on the one hand a history of the most exciting time in the age of computers, when the machines first became personal and later fashionable accessories. It is also a textbook study of the rise and fall and rise of Apple and the brutal clashes that destroyed friendships and careers. And it is a gadget lover's dream, with fabulous, inside accounts of how the Macintosh, iPod, iPhone and iPad came into being.

But more than anything, Isaacson has crafted a biography of a complicated, peculiar personality - Jobs was charming, loathsome, lovable, obsessive, maddening - and the author shows how Jobs's character was instrumental in shaping some of the greatest technological innovations of our time. As Isaacson rightly puts it, the Jobs-inspired products are bold and simple, in essence "poetry connected to engineering, arts and creativity intersecting with technology."

Though Jobs delighted in his well-known and much-rehearsed onstage persona, he was extremely private. Yet he allowed Isaacson unfettered access to his life, his colleagues and his family because he wanted his children to know what he had accomplished while he was away so much. Jobs, who died this month, exerted no control over the story Isaacson wrote and in fact told his biographer near his death that he would probably dislike the book.

As part of our Booktoberfest promotion, you have the opportunity of winning in iTV. All you have to do is order Steve Jobs before November 1. The details of this promotion are here.

Click here to buy Steve Jobs

Retail Price: $45.00
Booktopia Price: $35.95  SAVE 20%
I can feel Christmas knocking on the door with this selection. Could there be a stronger list of Australian non-fiction? I think not!

Click for more detail or to order MawsonMAWSON by PETER FITZSIMONS

Australia's biggest selling non-fiction author is back, doing what he does best. This is going to be THE big historical biography this Christmas.

A staggering tale of survival from the heroic age of polar exploration, the jaw-dropping events of this bygone era are brought dazzlingly back to life. From the author of Nancy Wake, to Tobruk, Kokoda and most recently, the bestselling Batavia, Fitzy was born to write this book!

"Douglas Mawson was a great scientist, a great explorer and a great Australian. I knew little details of his exploits when I began this book, but have loved writing it and from the perspective of the 21st century, am in awe of what he, and other explorers - Scott of the Antarctic, Shackleton and Amundsen - accomplished in such a short time. I never really understood why people got obsessed with stories of Antarctica, but now I do".
(Peter FitzSimons)

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

Click for more detail or to order After WordsAFTER WORDS: POST PRIME MINISTERIAL SPEECHES by PAUL KEATING

With his famous turn of phrase, his rapier wit, economic acumen and prescience, Paul Keating has always been able to see the Big Picture.

After Words is Paul Keating's post-prime ministerial speeches put together in one handsome collectable hardback publication for the first time. With more than 200,000 words, across several sections, Keating looks back on landmark engagements in context. Here you will find thirteen years of talking on every subject under the sun - from John Howard and sworn enemies, to architecture, friendship and privacy, art, history, music, politics, economics, native title, Australia's role in Asia, international relations and financial systems, neoclassicism and his continuing commitment to a better Australia.

This is a truly remarkable record of the thoughts of a great man and his singular vision. For the curious of mind and for the legion of Keating fans, this is as close to an autobiography from the most quotable prime minister as we are ever going to get. This one is on my shopping list.

After Words is part of our Booktoberfest celebration which means that if you order it before November 1, you will go into the draw to win the $299 signed collector's edition (see below for details).

Go here to see the After Words - Booktoberfest promotion details.

Click here to buy After Words
Australian author
Retail Price: $59.99
Booktopia Price: $47.95  SAVE 20%

The COLLECTOR'S EDITION is also available - each one individually numbered and signed, with leather quarter binding, a ribbon marker, head and tail bands, slipcased with gold blocking on the cover and spine.

Click here to buy After Words Collector's Edition
Australian author
Retail Price: $299.00
Booktopia Price: $253.95  SAVE 15%

Click for more detail or to order The Master THE MASTER: A PERSONAL PORTRAIT OF BART CUMMINGS by LES CARLYON

We have all gone to Bart over the decades, thinking we might stumble on to the secret, the reason he has been so successful, the reason for the Bradmanesque statistic of twelve Melbourne Cups. And finally the truth comes out to meet you...
(Les Carlyon).

Les Carlyon is well known as serious chronicler of Australian stories - Gallipoli being the most obvious case in point. What is less well known is that he started off his career as a racing journalist and he has known Bart Cummings, that taciturn doyen of the track with Midas touch, for more than four decades.

The Master is a glorious book combining Carlyon's elegant prose with more than 100 colour plates of photos and paintings. Just in time for the Tuesday in November!

Click here to see inside The Master

Click here to buy The Master
Australian author
Retail Price: $59.99
Booktopia Price: $47.95  SAVE 20%

Click for more detai or to order Hazel HAZEL: MY MOTHER'S STORY by SUE PIETERS-HAWKE

There is going to be enormous interest in this book. The Australian public has long loved and revered Hazel Hawke. We have all followed her journey from long suffering wife, to First Lady, raising family and charity work, through marriage break up and recently into dementia.

Written by Bob and Hazel's daughter, this book promises to set the record straight on her life, her work, her family and dealing with her husband and the other woman.

"If you read the book, you will see the positives about Dad, and I don't apologise for also portraying things that were difficult, because they were part of Mum's journey. You can't explain Mum if you don't have them there as well as the great things", said Pieters-Hawke in an interview last week.

According to the interview, Pieters-Hawke has long wanted to correct a perception that her much-loved mum was a "dowdy doormat" who only stayed with unfaithful Bob in order to become First Lady. With Hazel, 82, now suffering advanced dementia, Sue felt compelled to publicly defend her mother and put right some misconceptions arising from publicity for Blanche D'Alpuget's revised biography, Hawke: The Prime Minister, and for a telemovie about him, which premiered at the same time on Channel Ten.

Click here to buy Hazel: My Mother's Story
Australian author
Retail Price: $49.95
Booktopia Price: $39.95  SAVE 20%

Click for more detail or to order Ray Martin's Favourites RAY MARTIN'S FAVOURTIES by RAY MARTIN

There is a reason why Ray Martin remains one of Australia's best loved media personalities, and that is because he is a warm, personable, everyman, albeit with a killer journalistic instinct when necessary.

In this lovely gift book, Ray (I can call him that - although I have met him, the entire continent is on first name terms with him) shares his favourite interviews from his remarkable journalistic career. He presents us with princes and paupers, Aussies and internationals, celebrities and nobodies. Accompanying each interview is a photographic section.

If you liked Parky's People,  you will love Ray Martin's Favourites. What a great Christmas gift.

Click here to buy Ray Martin's Favourites
Retail Price: $49.95
Booktopia Price: $39.95  SAVE 20%

Bestselling author Thomas Keneally brings to life the vast range of characters who have formed our national story, in the second volume of a unique history of Australia.

Click here to see a Google preview or to buy Australians: Eureka to the Diggers
Australian author
Retail Price: $59.99
Booktopia Price: $47.95 SAVE 20%
Written with great authority and attention to detail, this is the definitive guide for both those going to the front and those with an interest in Australian history. The book includes walking and driving tours of 28 battlefields, detailed maps and co-ordinates, then and now photogrqaphs, rare archived images, profiles of key figures, candid extracts from official histories and soldier diaries and more.

Take advantage of Booktoberfest with this one! Order before November 1 for your chance of winning related prizes worth a total of $300.
Go here to see the details of this promotion.

Click here to buy Anzacs on the Western Front
Australian author
Retail Price: $49.95
Booktopia Price: $39.95 SAVE 20%
This book, from award-winning bestselling author of Vietnam and Kokoda, uncovers the gripping human story behind this horrific turning point in our history.
Bound to excite controversy, Hiroshima Nagasaki reminds us that these two cities were living, breathing communities, rich with history and full of people. Ham challenges the view that their destruction was America's "least abhorent choice", arguing that the bombings were the culmination of a strategic Allied air war on enemy civilians.

Go here to read Ham's answers to our Ten Terrifying Questions.

Click here to buy Hiroshima Nagasaki
Australian author
Retail Price: $55.00
Booktopia Price: $43.95 SAVE 20%

Greed, pollution, murder - Matthew Benns is not afraid of controversy and he certainly knows about investigative journalism. Mining, it seems, is a dirty business and in this book, we get the story behind Australia's vast mineral wealth and the men and companies gouging it out of the ground.

Click here to buy
Dirty Money
Australian author
Retail Price: $34.95
Booktopia Price: $27.95 SAVE 20%
Colleen on her writing career, the death of her beloved brother, the story of her parents (her thoughtlessly cruel mother and miserly absentee father), the truth behind The Thorn Birds, being a feisty single woman and a whole lot more. And she tells us this isn't an autobiography!

Click here to buy
Life Without the Boring Bits
Australian author
Retail Price: $39.99
Booktopia Price: $31.95 SAVE 20%
Click for more detail or to order Enigma

Where to start with this one? It is certainly well named. Musical and medical entrepreneur, sports club owner, a man who has been on both sides of the jail gate, who has been both on and stuck off the medical register, who recently married  a woman almost one third his age at a wedding MC'ed by Jason Alexander, who has delivered something like 20,000 babies and survived a heart attack, losing one eye and a brain hemorrhage, Geoffrey Edelsten certainly has a way of being noticed. Read his story here.

Click here to buy

Australian author
Retail Price: $40.00
Booktopia Price: $31.95 SAVE 20%


This is THE outdoor design and inspiration book for the year. Drawn from his Australian and international gardens, Durie has put together a stunning collection.

Go here to see inside.

Click here to buy 100 Gardens
Australian author
Retail Price: $59.99
Booktopia Price: $47.95  SAVE 20%

Indira told me recently that she spends 10 minutes a day on her 13th floor balcony. 10 minutes a day and she has created an edible oasis! Too easy!

Go here to see inside .

Click here to buy The Edible Balcony
Australian author
Retail Price: $39.95
Booktopia Price: $31.95 SAVE 20%
It constantly amazes me how many beautiful books around food there are at this time of year. Whether you are buying for looking at or cooking from, there is definitely something for everyone.

Heston Blumenthal lovers, for example, are going to want to see how to actually apply all that science in the home kitchen in Heston at Home .  On the other hand, Kitchen Coquette is the polar opposite - this one would make a great gift for a 20 something who isn't crash hot in front of the stove. We have loaded up a great book trailer so you get the idea.

Charmaine Solomon's The Complete Asian Kitchen has had a complete makeover. If you had the original in the 80s, you'll want a new one. If you have used and loved it for thirty years, you'll want a nice, shiny, updated edition to give to your kids.

Junior Masterchefs Sylvana and Sophia Bliss have a family cookbook, A Little Bit of This and a Little Bit of That - while George and Gary are back with 20 Masterchef techniques in Cook with Us.

The legions of Paris Cutler fans will be delighted with Planet Cake Celebrate while 4 Ingredients Christmas is just about perfect for people who want to keep it simple.

For the pure beauty of the book, try Indochine or Bali: The Food of my Island Home.

And there are three great Booktoberfest promotions still going until midnight on October 31. You could win a Charmaine Solomon hamper of spices and sauces with The Complete Asian Cookbook here, $195 prize pack of Silverstone pans and 4 Ingredients DVDs with 4 Ingredients Christmas or a $400 gift voucher for Marque with Marque: Evolution here.

Want to see all those books I have just talked about? Click on the jacket images below and as well as on the right hand side here. We have loaded up as many internal images as possible so you can have a really good look. Meanwhile, I just have to draw your attention to.....

Click for more detail or to order Simple DinnersSIMPLE DINNERS by Donna Hay

From the author:
I have always been of the view that if you have an egg in the fridge, you have a meal on the table. I feel the same way about quite a few pantry items and fresh staples, from bread and pasta to canned beans, couscous and rice. They're bound to found in every home and in every kitchen. My new book is about showing off their versatility and ease of preparation as well as giving you simple and flavoursome ideas for the week ahead.

Donna Hay has a winning formula with her latest cook book and you will never be at a loose end for dinner again. With over 140 completely new recipes written just for this book, she shows you how to make the most of everything in your pantry.

Now for the good bit. I have two of Donna's own BEST EVER BROWNIE KIT to give away this month

Anyone who loves Donna's decadent bake-at-home brownies will be excited to receive this beautiful kit complete with two brownie mixes and a tin to bake them in, not to mention a few little extra kitchen essentials.

All you have to do is order the book between now and November 30 for your chance of winning.

Click here to buy Simple Dinners
Australian author
Retail Price: $39.99
Booktopia Price: $31.95  SAVE 20%

Click for more detial or to order

Click here to buy
Heston Bluementhal At Home

Retail Price: $65.00
Booktopia Price: $51.95  SAVE 20%

Click here to buy Cook With Us
Australian author
Retail Price: $49.95
Booktopia Price: $39.95 SAVE 20%


Click here to buy Kitchen Coquette
Australian author

Retail Price: $39.99
Booktopia Price: $31.95  SAVE 20%

Click here to buy The Complete Asian Cookbook
Australian author

Retail Price: $59.95
Booktopia Price: $47.95 SAVE 20%

Click here to buy
Planet cake Celebrate

Australian author
Retail Price: $29.99
Booktopia Price: $23.95  SAVE 20%

Click here to buy
4 Ingredients Christmas

Australian author
Retail Price: $29.99
Booktopia Price: $23.95 SAVE 20%

The rugby world cup is behind us (the shame, the shame), the cricket season is just around the corner, and we are all frocked up for the Melbourne Cup. Still, we are all still talking about one one skinny bloke  and yes, it is all about the bike. Read on for Cadel and more.

Click for more detail or to order Cadel EvansCADEL EVANS: THE LONG ROAD TO PARIS by CADEL EVANS

People have been lining up for this book for months and I finally got to see a finished copy a couple of weeks ago. Wow. It is gorgeous! Big, glossy, stunning photographs and chock full of inspirational insights from our most famous of cyclists. This is one is cyclists, sport lovers and any one with a zest for life!

Click here to buy Cadel Evans: The Long Road to Paris
Australian author
Retail Price: $39.95
Booktopia Price: $31.95  SAVE 20%

Click for more detail or to order Australia AUSTRALIA: STORY OF A CRICKET COUNTRY edited by CHRISTIAN RYAN

This was always going to be a big, ambitious publishing project and it has come together beautifully. At 400 pages, with more than 200 photographs, this is a comprehensive yet affectionate look Australia's relationship with cricket. It is definitely a landmark volume and it is essential for all cricket fans.

Click here to buy
Australia: Story of a Cricket Country

Australian author
Retail Price: $89.95
Booktopia Price: $71.95  SAVE 20%

Click for more detail or to order Brett Lee BRETT LEE: MY LIFE by BRETT LEE & JAMES KNIGHT
Brett Lee has a place in the hearts of many Australians, not just for his cricketing successes (and there have been many) but also for his groundedness and his off-pitch activities. The boy from Wollongong, a champion fast bowler, is universally liked and respected.

As part of our Booktoberfest promotion, I have one cricket ball signed by Brett Lee to give away to one lucky person ordering the book before November 1 so get in quick to be in the draw to win.

Go here to see details of the Booktoberfest-Brett Lee promotion.

Click here to buy Brett Lee
Australian author
Retail Price: $49.95
Booktopia Price: $39.95  SAVE 20%


The Depression, a very special horse, a story of hope in difficult times. Think Sea Biscuit and go to Melbourne. By the way, Jessica Owens is a serious horse and racing enthusiast.

Click here to buy Peter Pan
Australian author
Retail Price: $34.95
Booktopia Price: $27.95 SAVE 20%

An aging surfing writer, a car trip with the wife and kids, and a stop at just about every beach on the Australian coastline. Everyone dreams of being able to just go - Tim Baker is living our dream!

Click here to buy Surfari
Australian author
Retail Price: $34.95
Booktopia Price: $27.95 SAVE 20%


Bill, as in the William Webb Ellis, as in the world cup trophy. This book was only finished on Monday - literally hot of the press for rugby fans everywhere.

Click here to buy In Pursuit of Bill
Australian author
Retail Price: $32.95
Booktopia Price: $25.95  SAVE 21%

Played Strong, Done Good.
Jack Gibson died in 2008 only three weeks after being named as the Coach of the Century. This is a compelling account of a knockabout larrikin with a natural gift for sport, who became one of the most innovative brains behind Rugby League. A man known for rubbing shoulders with crooks and businessmen, and for his legendary laconic wit, much of the material in this book has been sourced from Gibson's private journals.

Click here to buy Supercoach
Australian author
Retail Price: $29.99
Booktopia Price: $23.95 SAVE 20%

Click for more detail or to order Rock Seen ROCK SEEN by BOB GRUEN

Go backstage with 40 years' worth of rock-and-roll images from the legendary lens of Bob Gruen, who was once John Lennon's personal photographer. From over-the-top action shots of Elton John's acrobatics to private pics of Lennon and Yoko in bed with baby Sean to boozy plane rides with the Sex Pistols, the glossy pages act as your VIP pass to the rock-star lifestyle you've dreamed of.

Click here to buy Rock Seen
Retail Price: $56.00
Booktopia Price: $44.95 SAVE 20%


With the number one Australian album of all time (according to Triple J), Powderfinger split up last year. This is a warts and all look starting with the break and working backwards to childhood, written by band members, with their long time friend, rock journo Scatena. With volume 2 of their greatest hits releasing at the same time, this is going to be the biggest Australian rock book of the season.

More exciting still is the Limited Edition which includes an exclusive hardback edition of Footprints: The Inside Story of Australia's Best Loved Band , volume 1 (fingerprints) and volume 2 (footprints) of Powderfinger's Greatest  Hits collections, a numbered VIP lanyard and 5 limited edition photographs, all wrapped up in a special slipcase.

You really need to be quick if you are interested in this one. I  know I have a couple coming into the warehouse but I am not sure if I will be able to secure any more.

Both editions will be available from November 8.

Click here to buy Footprints LIMITED EDITION
Australian author
Retail Price: $120.00
Booktopia Price: $95.95 SAVE 20%

Click here to buy Footprints
Australian author
Retail Price: $45.00
Booktopia Price: $35.95 SAVE 20%
Read more..
Click for more detail or to order Swainston's Fishes Of AustraliaSWAINSTON'S FISHES OF AUSTRALIA by ROGER SWAINSTON

I remember this book from a sell-in last year but it never made it onto the shelves. The entire print run got scrapped because the red ribbon marker inside bled on the pages. The reason I remember it is because it is an incredible work of art and I am not even remotely interested in matters pescatorial.

Roger Swainston is both a highly trained zoologist and an extraordinarily talented painter. This magnificent compendium is his life's work and it will be treasured by whoever buys it.

Go  here to see a clip of the author and artist in his studio and you will certainly understand what I am talking about.

Click here to buy Swainston's Fishes of Australia
Australian author
Retail Price: $125.00
Booktopia Price: $99.95  SAVE 20%

Click for more detail or to order Luminous LUMINOUS: CELEBRATING 50 YEARS OF THE AUSTRALIAN BALLET

Luminous captures 50 years of The Australian Ballet, revealing dancers at work and at play, on stage and on tour, in rehearsals and in love, and the designers, director and choreographers who nurtured its artistic vision. This handsome coffee table book features defining images and never-before-seen photos accompanied by essays by Australia's leading arts writers.

I have seen this book and idled through its pages. It really is something special for ballet lovers and comes in a handsome slipcase.

Click here to buy Luminous
Australian author
Retail Price: $99.00
Booktopia Price: $79.95  SAVE 20%
Read More.

Click for more detail or to order The Batman Files THE BATMAN FILES by MATTHEW K MANNING

This is a fabulous collection for Batman fans. Very high production values have gone into this collection of comics, memorabilia and ephemera created in conjunction with DC Comics. This is sleek, stylish and authentic.

A must-have for the right person.

Have a look here at internals from the boxed set.

Click here to buy The Batman Files
Retail Price: $115.00
Booktopia Price: $91.95  SAVE 20%
Read More.

Click for more detail or to order The Louvre THE LOUVRE: ALL THE PAINTINGS by ERICH LESSING & VINCENT POMAREDE

Well, this is certainly the heaviest book of the season and we are going to lose a fortune on shipping. I shouldn't be flippant. This tome of more than 2kgs is a very beautiful volume, several years in the making, with more than 2,900 colour images.

The Louvre is the most visited and esteemed museum in the world and every painting on exhibit in the permanent collection is presented here in this volume, all organised and divided into the four main painting collections of the museum, each presented chronologically by the artist's date of birth.  There are more than 400 300-word essays by art historians as well as a DVD which allows the reader to tour the museum room by room.

This is a beautiful and meticulously crafted book, and a lot less expensive than the trip to Paris.

Click here to buy The Louvre
Retail Price: $89.99
Booktopia Price: $71.95 SAVE 20%
Read More



This is a glorious celebration of the car in Australia, how it changed us and how it changed the country.

Share the memories of more than forty motor enthusiasts - including Jack Brabham, Reg Mombassa, Paul Keating, Jean Kittson, Jac Nasser, Bev Brock, Allan Moffat, Vince Sorrenti, Colin Bond, John Bowe - as they rationalise, ruminate, reminisce and occasionally rave on about our enduring love affair with the car.

This is a wonderful, glossy, coffee table book for anyone who has had a love affair with a car!

Go here to see inside this book.

Now the best bit. If you buy Wide Open Road before November 1, you will go into the draw for your chance to win a $200 petrol voucher. Be quick! Booktoberfest ends at midnight on October 31. Go here for details.

Click here to buy Wide Open Road
Australian author
Retail Price: $65.00
Booktopia Price: $51.95  SAVE 20%

Breakfast of boffins, added brain enhancers, high fallutin' - in his brand new book, Dr Karl places the food industry under the microscope, gives an insight to your insides , reveals how hamburgers can kill and puts his palate on the line - all in the name of scientific entertainment.

This is popular science for ages 8 to eighty with no artificial facts or flavours. a delightful blend of finger-lickin' science, with tasty chunks of brain-boosting goodness.

Click here to buy Dr Karl's Brain Food
Australian author
Retail Price: $32.99
Booktopia Price: $25.95 SAVE 21%
Click for more detail or to order Nomad

From the author:
In my latest book Nomad, I have created a beautiful photographic collection of travel shots & styled spaces to show how to bring your travels home in the most unexpected of ways. It will sit comfortably beside Etcetera and is brimming with decorating tips and inspiring pictures. I globetrotted and treasure hunted to Syria, Mexico, Italy, India and Japan. I was influence by everything from door knobs and street signs to roadside shrines and household brooms - many things that often go unnoticed. I use the ideas, photographs and mementos from my travels to inspire room settings in stunning private residences through simple, practical and surprising ways showing that any decorative background can be restyled with travel touches. Nomad will help open your eyes to what's around you and fuel your imagination long after the suitcase is unpacked.

Look inside Nomad here.

Click here to buy

Australian author
Retail Price: $59.99
Booktopia Price: $47.95 SAVE 20%
Brisbane based Matt Granfield set himself a challenge - to become the ultimate hipster, complete with knitting his own scarves, becoming a vegetarian, wearing specs with no prescriptions, trying to get published his pointless existentialist poems and drinking way too much fair trade coffee.
Funny and revealing, this is an hilarious cultural commentary and the perfect Christmas gift for the earnest young person in your life.

Read some of
HipsterMattic here

Click here to buy

Australian author
Retail Price: $24.99
Booktopia Price: $19.95 SAVE 20%
An addiction, an obsession, this is the story of the surfers who have ridden the biggest wave on the planet since the discovery only 10 years ago of the Cortes Bank, a ghost wave which forms off a sunken island 100 miles off the Californian coast.

Have a look at the book trailer here. You won't be able to forget the images of that towering wall of water. Terrifying.

Click here to buy
Ghost Wave
Retail Price: $32.99
Booktopia Price: $25.95 SAVE 21%

Maintaining an appropriately fashionable abode, with appropriately massive TV screen and appropriately loud home-theatre system is an expensive task. E Chas, McSween et al. have compiled this in-depth historical, sociological, geographic and cultural study that traces bogan culture back to society's very foundation.

From the team that brought you Things Bogans Like.

Click here to buy Boganomics
Australian author
Retail Price: $29.99
Booktopia Price: $23.95 SAVE 20%
This is a lovely collection of photos and words by an Australian woman who has woman living in Paris who has taken the fashion world by storm over the last decade or so. She gave up a cushy job to follow her passion and the results are plain for us all to see - this book is full of light, love and laughter.

Go here to see inside Chasing a Dream.

Click here to buy
Chasing a Dream
Australian author
Retail Price: $59.95
Booktopia Price: $47.95 SAVE 20%
With more than a decade of experience as a professional fund manager, Kidman deconstructs the share market, explodes the myths and turns traditional thinking on its head to show new and experienced investors alike that the share market can be a lot of fun and you can make a lot of money. And PS, this is a very readable "how to" book.

Click here to buy
Bulls, Bears and a Croupier
Australian author
Retail Price: $34.95
Booktopia Price: $27.95 SAVE 20%

Clare Press is all about fashion, fantasies, frivolities and distractions form the daily grind. This is a gorgeous book for the style queen in your life.

Go here to see inside The Dressing Table

Click here to buy
The Dressing Table
Australian author
Retail Price: $45.00
Booktopia Price: $35.95 SAVE 20%
Call it a travel memoir if you like, in the same way that Emergency Sex is.
Gilmour lives in Sydney, works as a paramedic and has put together his experiences and stories of the adrenalin charged paramedic experiences from his travels around the world.

Click here to buy Paramedico
Australian author
Retail Price: $29.99
Booktopia Price: $23.95 SAVE 20%
Click here for more details or to buy Animal People ANIMAL PEOPLE by Charlotte Wood

I read Charlotte Wood's novel Animal People twice. I think it's one of the best contemporary novels I have read. But I cannot review it. I tried a number of times and failed each time. I only recently realised why this is. I don't want to review Animal People. I want to recommend it.

The trouble is, I can't recommend it to just anybody.

Sure, some part of me wants to help encourage complacent book club readers the world over to read it. I would like to think it would do them good (and Charlotte Wood's bank balance good). But, if the truth be told, I don't want them to.

If they read it they may want to discuss it, as few people these days can understand a book without first discussing it with their peers. They may take the central character of Animal People, Stephen, and compare him with people they know. They may debate whether he is a sympathetic character or not. They may ask what the significance of the dog might be, what the title means, what the ending means. I don't want them to do any of these things. I want them to wander away from the safety of the group. I want them to let their guard down. I want them to be smacked in the face by Animal People . If they're not willing to take a few hits, I don't think they deserve to read Animal People.

So who can I recommend it to?

I felt I had been dismantled, cleaned and reassembled by the novel. The novel did not change me. It reintroduced me to the important parts that make up who I am.

And this is why I have had such difficulty writing about Animal People.
Read John Purcell - The Booktopia Book Guru's full non-review review here...

Publisher's synopsis:
A sharply observed, 24-hour urban love story that follows Stephen Connolly - a character from the bestselling novel The Children - through one of the worst days of his life. The day he has decided to dump his girlfriend.

On a stiflingly hot December day, Stephen has decided it's time to break up with his girlfriend Fiona. He's 39, aimless and unfulfilled, he's without a clue working out how to make his life better. All he has are his instincts - and unfortunately they might just be his downfall . . . Click for more detail or to buy The Children

As he makes his way through the pitiless city and the hours of a single day, Stephen must fend off his demanding family, endure another shift of his dead-end job at the zoo (including an excruciating team building event), face up to Fiona's aggressive ex-husband and the hysteria of a children's birthday party that goes terribly wrong. As an ordinary day develops into an existential crisis, Stephen begins to understand - perhaps too late - that love is not a trap, and only he can free himself.

Hilarious, tender and heartbreaking, Animal People is a portrait of urban life, a meditation on the conflicted nature of human-animal relationships, and a masterpiece of storytelling.

Animal People invites readers to question the way we think about animals - what makes an 'animal person'? What value do we, as a society, place on the lives of creatures? Do we brutalise our pets even as we love them? What's wrong with anthropomorphism anyway? Filled with challenging ideas and shocks of recognition and revelation, Animal People shows a writer of great depth and compassion at work.

Order this title before 1st November and you could win the Allen & Unwin Booktoberfest Showcase. Details here.

Click here to buy Animal People
Australian author
Retail Price: $29.99
Booktopia Price: $23.95  SAVE 20%

buzz in brief

Booktoberfest prizes to be won

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Toni's book of the month

Paolini's Inheritance

fiction everyone will want to read

literary fiction


must read non-fiction





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more great non-fiction

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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 Paul Ham, Andrew McGahan, Alice Hoffman, Jessica Adams,  Frank Moorhouse, Judy Nunn and Rodney Hall.

Click here for our author interviews.

Click here for the Booktopia Blog.


From farm lit to Genghis Khan, a gift edition of Shantaram to an Australian political rom com, fast rides from John Birmingham and Robert Harris and yes, even the Kardashians have a go at ficiton. We've got you covered in November whatever your reading taste.

Click for more detail or to order The Traders Wife

Click for more detail or to order Devil's Gate

Click for more detail or to order Ruby Blues

Click for more detail or to order Conqueror

Click for more detail or to order Angels Of Vengeance

Click for more detail or to order The Fear Index

Click for more detail or to order Snuff

Click for more detail or to order Hotel Vendome

Click for more detail or to order The Pacific

Click for more detail or to order Shantaram

Click for more detail or to order The Secret Ingredient

Click for more detail or to order Dollhouse


The ten all time best sellers in Gollancz spec fict have been put re-released and now is a terrific time to buy them.

As part of our Booktoberfest promotion, everyone buying these titles between now and the end of October will go into the draw to win a single prize pack of the lot. That sounds like Christmas sorted for one lucky winner!

Go here to see the details of the Gollancz Booktoberfest promotion.

Meanwhile, click on the jacket images below for details of the individual books.

Click for more detail or to order The Name of the Wind


Click for more detail or to order James Halliday's 1001 Wines Under $20

Click for more detial or to order Marque

Click for more detail or to order Cumulus Inc

Click for more detail or to order PS Desserts

Click for more detail or to order Marie Claire Fresh and Easy

Click for more detial or to order Bali

Click for more detail or to order Delicious. Simply The Best

Click for more detail or to order Indochine

Click for more detail or to order The AWW Retro Cookbook

Click for more detail or to order The AWW Classic Collection

Click for more detail or to order My Favourite Food For All Seasons

Click for more detail or to order A Little Bit Of This A Little Bit Of That


Click for more detail or to order Christian Louboutin

We've had a lot of interest in this one already and why am I not surprised?
An extraordinary monograph created by Christian Louboutin, renowned for his beautifully crafted handmade shoes, in particular his elegantly sexy stilettos. This stunning volume, with a fanciful and intricate pop-up, an elaborate foldout cover, and dramatic still-life photography, evokes the artistry and theatricality of Louboutin's shoe designs.
Celebrated for his vertiginously high stilettos with their signature lacquer-red soles, Louboutin has achieved cult status with celebrities as well as fashionistas. His eclectic and exotic designs, often incorporating feathers, beads, and sequins, are a constant and dramatic presence on the red carpet and in nightclubs and restaurants the world over.
Intriguingly, there is a forward by John Malkovich.

Details here.
Way too many terrific reads this month! From this list, my personal favourite is Double Entry which is about Venice, the Renaissance, art and accounting. Like Mark Kurlansky's Salt and Simon Winchester's Atlantic , this will appeal to readers of single-subject narrative history.

At the other end of the scale is Misery Bear, a cute little gift book based on the internet sensation. It is unlikely that readers of Misery Bear and Double Entry will intersect! (Misery Bear answered our Ten Terrifying Questions )

Click on the jacket images for details.

Click for more detail or to order Outlaws

Click for more detail or to order Double Entry


Click on the jacket images for more details.

Click for more detail or to order Shannon Bennett's Paris

What is it about France? Well, you have a whole new way of uncovering its secrets now. Shannon Bennett's France: Guide to Fine Dining is a pocket size guide that you can take with you on your gastronomic wanderings through out the country. I can speak for his guides, with personal (and most enjoyable) experience of his guide to Paris.

One that is probably too big to take with you, but makes a most marvellous reference and keepsake, is Paris: A guide to the city's creative heart by Janelle McCulloch. She has spent 20 years discovering its design and style soul and she shares it here in this handbook of inspiring shops, cafes,museums and more. The book is in three sections - design, style and flavour.

The Holiday Goddess edited by Jessica Adams is loads of girlie fun if you are going to London, Paris, Rome or New York, or if you are just dreaming about it.


Under my desk I have a handful of SIGNED COPIES each of




I also have the most divine, big, cuddly plush toy of SOPHIE THE DOG.

To stake  your claim for any of them, simply order the book and then email me at signededitions
giving me your order number and the name of the book in question.

It could be an early Christmas for you. First in best dressed.