Booktopia Buzz with Caroline Baum
September 2012 | Edition 48
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BUZZ IN BRIEF
What's your take on coincidence? Sometimes it's hard not to ask yourself how themes and ideas come to share  the same moment in the ether... so when I read Courtney Collins' The Burial this month, a remarkable debut novel based on the true story of a female bushranger, swiftly followed by Amanda Coplin's The Orchardist, another very polished first novel from the US, the parallels were striking: female characters who were loners, with strong relationships to horses, living outside the conventions of the times. What would they say to each other if they could leap off the page and into each other's worlds? The Burial

There are many differences between these two powerful novels but what links them and all the others I've chosen this month is a shared connection to place, anchored in specific locations captured so evocatively that I can almost smell or see them. 

In The Burial , the almost medicinal scent of eucalyptus hovers around the defiant figure of Jessie, as she rides across a rugged landscape and into a hidden valleys  searching for freedom.

In The Orchardist I can almost hear the bees buzzing around the apple blossom before the trees begin to bear fruit. Such a lovely place for so much tragedy to unfold. 

In Debra Dean's The Mirrored World , it's St Petersburg's court under the reign of the Empress Catherine that sparkles on the page, both glamorous and ruthless. 
The Orchardist
In Zadie Smith's eagerly anticipated NW , London comes to life through the local lingo, almost a patois, of four people from a council estate confronting what it means to be an urban citizen in the 21st century

Naughty Howard Jacobson: Zoo Time shifts from literary London to Monkey Mia via a detour to the Adelaide Writer's Festival with savage mischief, satirising the increasingly desperate landscape for a white male writer lusting after his mother in law.

Tara's Moss's Assassin starts in Barcelona before  taking us on the run; Stella Rimington uses Switzerland as her starting point for an espionage plot that disregards borders in The Geneva Trap; Mark Tedeschi's Eugenia redraws the industrial city of Sydney, its factories, bars and  boarding houses in the nineteenth century to investigate a real life story of identity and crime. And in The Engagement, Chloe Hooper shifts the erotic tension from Melbourne real estate to a country house in Victoria's wealthy western districts. 

You don't need a visa or luggage to embark on these journeys into worlds both familiar and imagined: with these writers as your guides, you are in the safest of hands.


Kind Regards

Caroline Baum
Editorial Director

Booktopia Buzz

Follow me on Twitter: @mscarobaum

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For even more great titles visit our September Favourites catalogue - here

P.S. Some email clients clip off the bottom and sides of this email which show the index and Bestsellers.  Be sure to read the complete version of the BUZZ by clicking 'To view this email as a web page' prompt at the very top.
BOOK OF THE MONTH
Click here for more details or to order THE BURIAL
by Courtney Collins


Caroline Baum: It's such a thrill when you can plunge headlong into a book that you love unequivocally from the first paragraph and that holds you in its spell for its entirety, never faltering, never releasing you from its exquisite reality.  That's how I feel about The Burial, a debut that takes the somewhat dusty genre of bushranger stories and gives it an invigorating shake.

True, the material Collins has to work with is a gift, based on the true story of Jessie Hickman a former circus rider turned bushranger who roamed the Widden Ranges of NSW in the early part of the twentieth century. In her version of events, Jessie is on a freedom quest, fleeing  an abusive marriage, resorting to murder, but finding tenderness and redemption  in a valley of fellow horse rustlers, who accept her into their company providing her with a brief respite and sanctuary. But  there's an aboriginal tracker on her trail, a man with whom she has an emotional connection, a man with whom she could perhaps have shared a different destiny. 

Gritty, but romantic,  gothic and yet realistic, Collins deploys an impressively assured arsenal of tools, roping the reader in as smoothly as Jessie rustles horses, branding our consciousness with her narrator's  disquieting voice from the underworld with prose that is visceral yet poetic, compelling and unsentimental.

Comparisons will be made with other works of contemporary fiction about Ned Kelly and Captain Starlight. For me, this is up there with the very best.

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SURE TO DELIGHT
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THE CASUAL VACANCY
by J.K. Rowling


John Purcell: This is the book which is making the bookworld nervous. The publisher is printing truckloads of the thing. Booksellers are playing along. No one knows if the readers will come out to play. JK's first book for adults... Will it be any good? Because of a strict embargo no one will know until the day of publication when bloggers worldwide will race each other to be first to post a review.

Personally, I think it will be good. I think people will be delighted. And as soon as readers hear that it is good, they will flood into stores. This may not be a pre-order dream but it will be the biggest non-bondage book of the year. 

So be one of the cool kids. Get it before everyone else. Your faith will be rewarded.

Click here for more details or to orderBlurb: When Barry Fair's brother dies in his early forties, the town of Pagford is left in shock. Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty façade is a town at war.

Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils...Pagford is not what it first seems.

And the empty seat left by Barry on the parish council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen. Who will triumph in an election fraught with passion, duplicity and unexpected revelations?

A big novel about a small town, The Casual Vacancy is J.K. Rowling's first novel for adults. It is the work of a storyteller like no other.

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JACK REACHER RETURNS
Click here for details Click here for more details or to orderA WANTED MAN
by Lee Child


Nebraska - and Jack Reacher, huge, hulking and with a freshly busted nose, is still trying to hitch a ride east to Virginia. He's picked up by three strangers - two men and a woman.

Immediately he knows they're all lying about something - and then they run into a police roadblock on the highway.

But they get through.

Because the three are innocent?

Or because the three are now four?

Is Reacher a decoy?

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If you haven't read Lee Child and want to start, now is the time - Booktopia has slashed the price of the entire Jack Reacher backlist - now only $9.95 each! This is price is for a limited time only - Go here to see the range

SISTERS IN CRIME
Caroline Baum: A feast for crime readers this month with new books from some of the most popular names in the biz, women at the top of  their game in the genre.

You can't get past the fact that with Rimington, the Dame knows of what she speaks. There is always, for me at least, the frisson of knowing that she has been part of this world of British Intelligence. But while things may have moved on since the end of the Cold War (and this plot references those times) , the motives of the bad guys  don't change: it's merely the weapons and threats at their disposal which are different.
 
Rimington's plots have got tighter with experience. Now she moves her pawns across the board with greater confidence, criss-crossing the globe, embracing the complexities of technology and satellite systems as part of the world of global terrorism and counter espionage.

THE
GENEVA TRAPClick here for more details or to order
by Stella Rimington

Caroline Baum: The Geneva Trap is the sixth in the Liz Carlyle series and again confirms her cynically cool-headed approach to the often byzantine internal MI5 dynamics while a more personal sub-plot gives us the chance to see Liz's softer side.

Blurb: Geneva, 2012. When a Russian intelligence officer approaches MI5 with vital information about the imminent cyber-sabotage of an Anglo-American Defence programme, he refuses to talk to anyone but Liz Carlyle. But who is he, and what is his connection to the British agent?

At a tracking station in Nevada, US Navy officers watch in horror as one of their unmanned drones plummets out of the sky, and panic spreads through the British and American Intelligence services. Is this a Russian plot to disable the West's defences? Or is the threat coming from elsewhere?

As Liz and her team hunt for a mole inside the MOD, the trail leads them from Geneva, to Marseilles and into a labyrinth of international intrigue, in a race against time to stop the Cold War heating up once again...

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Click here for details or to orderDEATH BY BEAUTY
by Gabrielle Lord

Caroline Baum: Death By Beauty Gabrielle Lord's latest, demonstrates her acute sense of topicality: ageing, genetics and even the current craze for vampires all get a work-out. The big news is that Gemma is now a mother, and finding that the demands of parenting and private investigation are hardly compatible.

Perhaps too eager to prove she's still got what it takes professionally, she breezily takes risks that no sane mother should contemplate, luring a suspect through an internet dating site. Meanwhile  her own heart is divided between Mike, the sincere and caring man she lives with and Steve, the father of her child and a hopeless old flame cop who is under suspicion for corruption.

Lord is clever at giving Gemma access to information through her close personal  friendship with police detective Angie. Their jaunty  camaraderie also  offsets the gruesome  aspects of  a particularly grizzly  series of murders involving beautiful young women.  She's also up to date on the latest in forensics: bet you don't know what a palynologist is.

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Click here for details or to order ASSASSIN + FREE copy of SIREN
by Tara Moss

Caroline Baum: 'It's illuminating to know what you're worth dead' - is the great opening line to Assassin, Tara Moss's latest sleek, international thriller, in which her ex model turned PI Mak Vanderwall has to disguise her striking beauty to evade assassination at the hands of a powerful Sydney family with blood on their hands. 

Moss loves the contrast between society power and glamour and the grubby world of contract killers, enhanced here by a series of picturesque locations, beginning with the seductive streets of Barcelona. And she loves mixing it with the forensic experts who provide her with background information and detail to help thicken her plot. The high adrenaline pace suits her athletic Glock-accessorised super-heroine.  But she's about to discover that she and Gemma Lincoln have something more than their shared profession in common.....

STOP THE PRESS!

On 5th September at 2.30pm, Tara Moss will be visiting Booktopia to sign copies of ASSASSIN and to chat live with you on Booktopia's Facebook page. Mark the 5th in you diary so you do not miss out!

All PRE-ORDERED COPIES OF ASSASSIN WILL BE SIGNED!

TWO GREAT BOOKS FOR ONLY $23.95
Click here to order Assassin + FREE copy of SIREN

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MASTERCLASS
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by Zadie Smith

Caroline Baum: Novels don't come much more eagerly awaited than this in the world of literary fiction. Smith has outgrown the prodigy status that began with White Teeth, demonstrating  her mature poise with On Beauty . Here she's mashing up class, race and geography with her incredible talent for believable street  dialogue, creating a  layering  patchwork of patois from a north west London council estate. Her quartet of characters navigate their daily urban social lives negotiating complex webs of identity, love and  friendship,  absorbing a constant barrage of pop culture, advertising, social media  and white noise that thrums around them with its  Afro-Caribbean beat, hairweaves,  addictions, desires, deals and petty crimes.

Its a heady, dazzling, potent mix and Smith pulls it off with her usual cool panache, contrasting the brutality and beauty of London as it is lived in by foreigners and locals, expressing an ambivalence about the city she knows so well, colliding public and private worlds, pulsating to a score of clashing rhythms and cultures.

John Purcell: Started this book on the weekend. It is the real thing. Fiction as it is meant to be - beautiful, confronting, moving, disturbing and true. More true than the plain facts could ever be.

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WIN A PSYCHIC READING

Click here for details SENSING PSYCHIC
by Mitchell Coombes


The telephone rings. You rush to answer it. The person you have been thinking about says, 'Hello.'

For some inexplicable reason, you feel compelled to take the long way home from work. Only later you discover a tragic accident would have blocked your usual route home.

Someone you haven't seen in years comes to mind. A few days later, you bump into him or her.

Everyone is naturally psychic. Perhaps you regularly solve problems in your dreams--or experience 'ah-ha' moments out-of-the blue. Maybe your 'inner voice' guides the decisions you make. Or are you someone who just knows something without knowing why you know it? Perhaps you can recall a time when you had a hunch and trusted it because it felt right.

Have sensations like 'butterflies' in your stomach--or the hairs standing up on the back of your neck--ever alerted you to danger? Maybe you've glimpsed the future, heard a voice from Beyond, or acted upon an Click here for more details or to order impulse that has saved your life. Every day people from all walks of life sense the unspoken, read between the lines and experience events that defy logic. Subtle or dramatic, these are all hallmarks of natural psychic ability.

In this book , Mitchell Coombes will share with you remarkable real-life stories about extraordinary moments of psychic awakening by everyday people. Astonished parents talk about the amazing psychic gifts of their young children. Pet lovers recall heartbreaking moments when saying goodbye to a much loved pet--only to sense their welcomed return from the spirit world days, months, or even years later.

These and many more heartfelt, surprising and profound psychic moments will give you the keys to open the doors for your very own psychic journey...

Buy Sensing Psychic from Booktopia before the end of September to go in the draw to win a phone reading with Australia's most trusted psychic medium, Mitchell Coombes.

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SEXUAL GAMES
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THE ENGAGEMENT
by Chloe Hooper


Caroline Baum: There are two sides to Chloe Hooper. The brilliant, courageous, methodical, even-handed, unflinching journalist who documented the death of Cameron Doomadgee on Palm Island turning it into a work of enduring  importance in The Tall Man, one of the most compelling, unsettling and significant reads of recent years.

Then there's Hooper the novelist, whose previous, much-heralded fictional debut, A Child's History of True Crime flummoxed me and many others. Now she's written a much less artificial but still enigmatic contemporary gothic erotic thriller that will intrigue some readers and irritate others.

Just what is Liese Campbell, her unreliable narrator, playing at when she entices  awkward bachelor Alexander Colquhoun into a sexual game to pay off her debts? Redefining the term open for inspection, Liese uses her job as a real estate agent to arrange encounters with Colquhoun before accepting an invitation to stay at his pastoral property in Victoria's Western Districts.
 
Click here for more details or to orderSome may think she's got what's coming to her. But then, what does Colquhoun really want and what is the secret in his shadowy past? Just who is setting a trap for whom here, who is the stalker and who is the prey?

The Engagement raises tantalising questions. Hooper knows how to create tension and build a mood of atmospheric uncertainty with dark material. Her prose is elegant, cool and  poised. And Hooper's sense of timing in delivering this classy slice of sexual and romantic intrigue is uncannily impeccable given the appetite created by Fifty Shades of Grey and its many imitations. Talk about having your finger on the pulse.  

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FICTION
BLOCKBUSTER FICTION
Click here for more details or to order THE MYSTERY OF MERCY CLOSE
by Marian Keyes


'I employ this thing called The Shovel List.'
'A shovel . . . ?'
'No. A Shovel List. It's more of a conceptual thing. It's a list of all the people and things I hate so much that I want to hit them in the face with a shovel.'

Meet Helen - youngest of the Walsh sisters and a law unto herself. She's easily bored, has an inability to filter her thoughts and was fired from every job she ever had before she found her true calling as a private investigator. But times are tough for PIs and Helen's had no choice but to take on the search for AWOL boyband has-been Wayne Diffney - The Wacky One.

It's not all bad this game of Where's Wayne. It may have brought her charming crook of an ex Jay Parker back into her life, but it's giving her an excuse to avoid the usual Walsh family dramas and the intense looks from her gorgeous boyfriend Artie that make her heart beat wildly with lust and panic in equal measure. But most of all it's an excellent distraction from the huge swarm of black vultures gathering over her head. If she hides out in her target's empty house on Mercy Close for long enough maybe they'll go away . . .

But as Helen begins to unravel the mysteries secreted on Mercy Close she discovers a kindred spirit in a man unwilling to be found. Could someone be telling her to look a little closer to home . . . ?

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Click here for details or to orderBONES ARE FOREVER
by Kathy Reichs

A newborn baby is found wedged in a vanity cabinet in a rundown apartment near Montreal.

Dr Temperance Brennan, forensic anthropologist to the province of Quebec, is brought in to investigate. While there, she discovers the mummified remains of two more babies within the same room.

Shocked and distressed, Tempe must use all her skills and inner strength to focus on the facts. But when the autopsies reveal that the children died of unnatural causes, the hunt for the mother - a young woman with a seedy past and at least three aliases - is on.

The trail leads Tempe to Yellowknife, a cold, desolate diamond-mining town on the edge of the Arctic Circle, where her quest for the truth only throws up more questions, more secrets, and more dead bodies.

Taking risks and working alone, Tempe refuses to give up until she has discovered why the babies died. But in such a hostile environment, can she avoid being the next victim?

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BOOKTOPIA EXCLUSIVE
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Get Reading is the Australian book industry's annual promotion of books developed through the Australia Council for the Arts. It runs from August 26 to September 30.

This year the Get Reading "50 Books You Can't Put Down" project is not able to supply us a "free book" as it has in years gone by, so Booktopia has decided to continue this great concept at our own cost and we our offering all our customers one free book for each book purchased from the list. We have four (4) different FREE books on offer to choose from.

To mark this terrific nationwide celebration of great reading and great books and our bold step to go it alone by offering a free book with each purchase we have two special prizes on offer. Booktopia has two (2) entire 50 book Get Reading collections to give away to two (2) Booktopia customers who buy from the selection of 50 titles during the month of September. Each pack of 50 books is valued at over $1,250. What a wonderful prize to win.

Click here to view or download the free Get Reading Guide for 2012.
THE WRATH OF ANGELS
by John Connolly
  DARK STORM
by Christine Feehan
  RUSH OF BLOOD
by Mark Billingham
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The Wrath of Angels

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Dark Storm

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ROBERT LUDLUM'S THE JANUS REPRISAL
by Robert Ludlum
  STORMDANCER
by Jay Kristoff
  VELOCITY
by Steve Worland
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LAST TO DIE
by Tess Gerritsen
  THE SHADOW GIRLS
by Henning Mankell
  DODGER
by Terry Pratchett
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Last To Die

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The Shadow Girls

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AUSTRALIAN FICTION
Click here for more details or to order IN THE COMPANY OF STRANGERS
by Liz Byrski


Ruby and Cat's friendship was forged on an English dockside over sixty years ago when, both fearful, they boarded a ship bound for Australia. It was a friendship that was supposed to last a lifetime but when news of Cat's death reaches Ruby back in London, it comes after a painful estrangement.

Declan has also drifted away from Cat, but he is forced back to his aunt's lavender farm, Benson's Reach, when he learns that he and Ruby are co-beneficiaries.

As these two very different people come together in Margaret River they must learn to trust each other and to deal with the staff and guests. Can the legacy of Benson's Reach triumph over the hurt of the past? Or is Cat's duty-laden legacy simply too much for Ruby and Declan to keep alive?


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NINE DAYS
by Toni Jordan

It is 1939 and although Australia is about to go to war, it doesn't quite realise yet that the situation is serious. Deep in the working-class Melbourne suburb of Richmond it is business - your own and everyone else's - as usual. And young Kip Westaway, failed scholar and stablehand, is living the most important day of his life.

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Kip's momentous day is one of nine that will set the course for each member of the Westaway clan in the years that follow. Kip's mother, his brother Francis and, eventually, Kip's wife Annabel and their daughters and grandson: all find their own turning points, their triumphs and catastrophes, in days to come.

But at the heart of all their stories is Kip, and at the centre of Kip's fifteen-year-old heart is his adored sister Connie. They hold the threads that will weave a family.

In Nine Days Toni Jordan has harnessed all the spiky wit, compassion and lust for life that drew readers in droves to Addition and Fall Girl. Ambitious in scope and structure, triumphantly realised, this is a novel about one family and every family. It is about dreams and fights and sacrifices. And finally, of course, it is-as it must be-about love.

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ABSOLUTION CREEK
by Nicole Alexander

In 1923 nineteen-year-old Jack Manning watches the construction of the mighty Harbour Bridge and dreams of being more than just a grocer's son. So when he's offered the chance to manage Absolution Creek, a sheep property 800 miles from Sydney, he seizes the opportunity.

But outback life is tough, particularly if you're young, inexperienced and have only a few textbooks to guide you. Then a thirteen-year-old girl, Squib Hamilton, quite literally washes up on his doorstep - setting in motion a devastating chain of events...

F Click here for details or to order orty years later and Cora Hamilton is waging a constant battle to keep Absolution Creek in business. She's ostracized by the local community and hindered by her inability to move on from the terrible events of her past, which haunt her both physically and emotionally.

Only one man knows what really happened in 1923. A dying man who is riding towards Absolution Creek, seeking his own salvation...

From the gleaming foreshores of Sydney Harbour to the vast Australian outback, this is a story of betrayal and redemption and of an enduring love which defies even death.

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HAPPY VALLEY
by Patrick White
  THE TOWER MILL
by James Moloney
  MR CHEN'S EMPORIUM
by Deborah O'Brien
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The Tower Mill

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Mr Chen's Emporium

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MIDNIGHT EMPIRE
by Andrew Croome
  LIGHTHOUSE BAY
by Kimberley Freeman
  FISHING FOR TIGERS
by Emily Maguire
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INTERNATIONAL LITERATURE
Click here for more details or to order ZOO TIME
by Howard Jacobson


Caroline Baum: 'Cheeky Monkey'  is how novelist  Guy Ableman's mother-in-law, Poppy,  also his object of desire, describes him.  She's not wrong. Ableman, who bears more than a passing resemblance to Jacobson in many of his opinions and his garulous, ribald, caustic  satire, is a piece of work: insecure, horny, competitive, incensed and frustrated by the implosion of the literary world.  His  publisher has committed suicide, his agent is in hiding and the audience for his work is getting older and smaller  by the day. To make matter worse his gorgeous wife Vanessa has decided, after years of empty threats, to write her own novel.

This hilarious, farcical completely un PC romp takes a scattergun approach to literary  and social pieties. What it lacks in subtlety it more than makes up for in comedy. Playful, mischievous, provocative, irreverent, Jacobson is at his best - and worst -  here.  It's as if winning the Booker has freed him from any vestige of  inhibition; he's luxuriating in  being offensive, mocking and self-indulgent, playing to the gallery,  relishing the role of joker/jester. Literary fiction rarely mocks itself, especially in times when it is something of an endangered species, but this is about as entertaining as it gets.

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Click here for details or to orderTHE ORCHARDIST
by Amanda Coplin

Caroline Baum: How does a first novel appear that is so assured? Where is the beginner's stumble or novice's wobble? Not  here, in this beautiful, lyrical, story set in a remote  part of the American northwest at the turn of the twentieth century.

Talmadge is a solitary orchardist growing apples and apricots. One day two teenage girls steal his fruit at the market. Both are pregnant and seeking sanctuary. He asks no questions, but leaves food out for them, as he might for an animal. When  armed men arrive in the orchard, things take a tragic turn. Talmadge finds himself foster father to an orphaned baby girl, Angelene, with the wise counsel of his spinster friend, Caroline Middey.

But while Angelene blossoms in to a sober young woman,  tending to the orchard with the skill she has learned from Talmadge, their life is not destined to be peaceful for long.

Fans of Annie Proulx will welcome Coplin's quiet unshowy  style and slow unfurling of a story that takes its own time, following a rhythm set by nature. Fans of Richard Ford will appreciate  the spare prose, finely drawn evocation of country and understated compassion that  characterise this sombre gem. As satisfying as a draught of unsweetened cider.

Click here to read a review of The Orchardist by Booktopia's Andrew Cattanach

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Click here for details or to orderTHE MIRRORED WORLD
by Debra Dean

Caroline Baum: I am something of a Russophile. Can't resist a troika,  sable hat,  the stirring soulfulness  of Russian church music, the sight of birch trees in the snow....I'm  a sucker for all that.

But I'm also something of a factoid pedant, always on the prowl for a jarring note, or an inaccuracy, but I could not fault  this. Probably because the author is clearly a Russophile herself,  having previously written The Madonnas of Leningrad.  

There are  three sisters at the heart of this story- this is Chekhov country, after all -  but the book focusses on  Xenia, who has the gift of prophecy from childhood. When tragedy strikes, she retreats into grief and becomes a soothsayer,  living on the streets of St Petersburg despite the rescue attempts of her younger sister Dasha, who narrates the story of her family with innocence and charm.

Dean contrasts the extravagant glamour of the Imperial court played out at opulent balls and other grand social occasions with its petty  ruthlessness, as the Tsarina exercises her power in demonstrations of  capricious cruelty.

This is the classiest kind of historical fiction, authentic and atmospheric, capturing both the sweep of history on the big canvas with the domestic intimacy of a typically privileged family anxious to maintain its position.

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THE DOG STARS
by Peter Heller
  THE YELLOW BIRDS
by Kevin Powers
  THE TIME KEEPER
by Mitch Albom
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The Dog Stars

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The Yellow Birds

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The Time Keeper

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TELEGRAPH AVENUE
by Michael Chabon
  A POSSIBLE LIFE
by Sebastian Faulks
  THE DAYLIGHT GATE
by Jeanette Winterson
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A Possible Life

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The Daylight Gate

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MERIVEL
by Rose Tremain
  PARADE'S END
by Ford Madox Ford
  PHILIDA
by Andre Brink
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John Purcell: One of the finest works in literature.
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NON-FICTION
THE STORY BEHIND THE STORIES

Click here for more details or to order JOSEPH ANTON
by Salman Rushie


On 14 February 1989, Valentine's Day, Salman Rushdie was telephoned by a BBC journalist and told that he had been 'sentenced to death' by the Ayatollah Khomeini. For the first time he heard the word fatwa. His crime? To have written a novel called The Satanic Verses, which was accused of being 'against Islam, the Prophet and the Quran'.

So begins the extraordinary story of how a writer was forced underground, moving from house to house, with the constant presence of an armed police protection team. He was asked to choose an alias that the police could call him by. He thought of writers he loved and combinations of their names; then it came to him: Conrad and Chekhov - Joseph Anton.

How do a writer and his family live with the threat of murder for over nine years? How does he go on working? How does he fall in and out of love? How does despair shape his thoughts and actions, how and why does he stumble, how does he learn to fight back? In this remarkable memoir Rushdie tells that story for the first time; the story of one of the crucial battles, in our time, for freedom of speech. He talks about the sometimes grim, sometimes comic realities of living with armed policemen, and of the close bonds he formed with his protectors; of his struggle for support and understanding from governments, intelligence chiefs, publishers, journalists, and fellow writers; and of how he regained his freedom.

It is a book of exceptional frankness and honesty, compelling, provocative, moving, and of vital importance. Because what happened to Salman Rushdie was the first act of a drama that is still unfolding somewhere in the world every day.

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MARTIN AMIS
by Richard Bradford
  HOPE STREET, JERUSALEM
by Irris Makler
  BAD
by Michael Duffy
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COOL
THE RISE OF THE FIFTH ESTATE
by Greg Jerico
  THE SARTORIALIST: CLOSER
by Scott Schuman
  NEW PARIS STYLE
by Danielle Miller
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The Rise Of The Fifth Estate

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New Paris Style

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HOME
Click here for more details or to order THE SIMPLE THINGS
by Antonia Kidman
and Sally Collings

Life's most joyful pleasures are often the simplest.

In The Simple Things Antonia Kidman and Sally Collings encourage us to embrace a simpler life - a life that is happier, healthier and less hurried, a life in which we are able to slow down enough to make meaningful connections with family, friends and community, as well as the world around us.

With advice on everything from organising your household, fixing your finances and nurturing your family, to ideas for craft and gardening projects, making your own beauty treatments, and having fun with your kids, The Simple Things will help you to rediscover what is good and important in your life.

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Australian author
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IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE SO HARD
by Joanne Fedler and Graeme Friedman
  THE PARTY BOOK
by Kathryn Porritt
  AT HOME:
SKILLS AND TIPS
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It Doesn't Have To Be So Hard

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The Party Book

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At Home

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FOOD
Click here for details or to orderNIGELLISSIMA
Instant Italian Inspiration from bestselling food writer Nigella Lawson

Nigella's mouthwatering dishes have their roots in tradition but take us into fresh territory; knowledge worn light of touch but full on taste. While she stays true to the spirit of Italian cooking, her recipes are always quick and easy, designed to elevate everyday eating into no-fuss feasts for those days when we need to get supper on the table pronto.

Italian food now plays a familiar role in our everyday eating but Nigellissima goes beyond Bolognese to bring to our table 120 inspired recipes - from the crustless Meatzza to Long Fusilli with a no-cook Sicilian sauce (see jacket illustration), Italian Roast Chicken with Peppers and Olives to a Venetian Stew and a One-Step No-Churn Coffee Ice Cream -- in a round-Italy culinary quick cook's tour that culminates in a festive chapter of party food, with an Italian-inspired Christmas spread as its celebratory centrepiece.

Nigella's gastronomic heart is in Italy and in Nigellissima she conjures up, with passionate relish, the warmth, the simplicity and the directness of Italian cooking, illustrated here with gorgeous photographs to instruct and delight (and accompanied by a new BBC TV series).

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Click here for more details or to orderJERUSALEM
by Sami Tamimi


Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi are the men behind the bestselling Ottolenghi: The Cookbook. Their chain of restaurants is famous for its innovative flavours, stylish design and superb cooking. At the heart of Yotam and Sami's food is a shared home city: Jerusalem.

Both were born there in the same year, Sami on the Arab east side and Yotam in the Jewish west. The two only met when they worked together in London nearly 30 years later, and discovered they shared a language, a history, and a love of great food. Jerusalem sets 120 of Yotam and Sami's inspired, accessible recipes within the cultural and religious melting pot of this diverse city.

With culinary influences coming from its Muslim, Jewish, Arab, Christian and Armenian communities and with a Mediterranean climate, the range of ingredients and styles is stunning. From soups (frikkeh, chicken with kneidelach), meat and fish (chicken with cardamom rice, sharmula bream with rose petals), vegetables and salads (chargrilled squash with labneh and pickled walnut salsa), pulses and grains (beetroot and saffron rice), to cakes and desserts (fig and arak trifle, clementine and almond cake), there is something new for everyone to discover.

Packed with beautiful food and location photography, thoughtfully designed and inspired by two very different childhoods in the same city, Jerusalem showcases sumptuous Ottolenghi dishes in a dazzling setting.

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DECORATING CAKES

This beautiful book is full of magical decorated cakes - for weddings, christenings, birthdays, anniversaries - any occasion at all that calls for a celebration.

It's divided into three chapters. The first is made up of easy recipes, especially for cake decorating novices.The second chapter is for more experienced decorators, but with a bit of practice, anyone can do it.

The third chapter introduces piping and modelling paste. You'll need time and patience for these beautiful creations, but it's within the scope of everyone with a passionate interest. Every recipe comes with clear step-by-step photographs and a picture of the finished cake.

At the back of the book there are pages of information to help you master the art of cake decorating.

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THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD GOOD FOOD GUIDE
  THE AGE GOOD FOOD GUIDE 2013
  COOKING FOR YOUR BABY AND TODDLER
by Louise Fulton Keats
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HAVE YOU EATEN?
by Billy Law
  SIMPLE PLEASURES
by Annabel Langbein
  THE GOURMET FARMER DELI BOOK
by Mathew Evans, Nick Haddow, Ross O'Meara
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MY BARCELONA KITCHEN
by Sophie Ruggles
  MASTERING THE ART OF POULTRY, MEAT AND GAME
by Anneka Manning
  THEO AND CO TAKE 2
by Theo Kalogeracos
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My Barcelona Kitchen

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Theo And Co Take 2

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CRAFT
WHAT TO KNIT WHEN YOU'RE EXPECTING by Nikki Van De Car
  FARMYARD KNITS
by Fiona Goble
  LONG-LEGGED FRIENDS
by Hisako Okawa, Shizue Okawa
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GARDENING
LITTLE VEGGIE PATCH CO'S GUIDE TO BACKYARD FARMING
by Fabian Capomolla, Mat Pember
  THE GARDENIST
by Michael McCoy
  CONTEMPORARY AUSTRALIAN GARDEN DESIGN
by John Patrick, Jenny Wade
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The Gardenist

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BUSINESS
FIRST BE NIMBLE
by Graham Winter
  SUCCESSFUL ONLINE START-UPS FOR DUMMIES
by Stefan Korn
  GREEKONOMICS
by Vicky Pryce
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First Be Nimble

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SCIENCE
SINCERITY
by R. Jay Magill Jr
  DREAMLAND
by David K. Randall
  BRAIN BUGS
by Dean Buonomano
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AUSTRALIAN STORIES
Click here for more details or to order EUGENIA FALLENI
by Mark Tedeschi


Caroline Baum: Mark Tedeschi is adept at cross examination. As chief prosecutor for the DPDD in  NSW, he has overseen some of its most high profile convictions. Now he applies his  forensic legal mind to a historical case that has fascinated him for decades: that of Eugenia Falleni,  a nineteenth century Italian migrant woman who, having  been raped on the journey to Australia,  assumed male identity,  becoming Harry Crawford and marrying not once, but twice. Accused of the murder of her first wife, Eugenia's true identity was revealed and became a public scandal, as details of her bedroom manoeuvres became sensational fodder for the press.

Tedeschi applies a cool rational mind to this overheated material, and makes it clear how poorly served Falleni was by her defence who missed  several opportunities to  demonstrate her innocence in a  trial full of twists and turns that  involved  testimony from the daughter she had abandoned and the stepson  who failed to suspect her erratic behaviour.

Methodical in its attention to detail, this is a riveting reconstruction of  legal and social history.

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Click here for details or to orderMY JOURNEY
by Jim Stynes

Unflinching in its honesty, My Journey is the extraordinary memoir of Jim Stynes: Irishman, footballer, Brownlow Medallist, Reach co-founder and former president of Melbourne Football Club whose very public battle with cancer touched the lives of everyone who knew him.

When Jim was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 43, he was given nine months to live. The diagnosis caught him by surprise - and he didn't have time for illness. He was a busy father, husband, brother, mentor and businessman.

Jim Stynes never took the easy road, on or off the field. He loved a challenge. He pushed himself, and worked hard to help others realise their potential. The same could be said about his cancer journey. Knowing his odds weren't good, Jim gave his all to trying to beat the disease. He embraced life, and made his journey public. His ability to use mind over matter, to never give in, to overcome pain, to believe in himself and his will to succeed gave him two extra years on the prognosis.

He worked hard to keep hope alive for himself and his family, and for other cancer sufferers too, defying expectations time and time again. Jim died on 27 March 2012, a month shy of his forty-sixth birthday. A state funeral was held at St Paul's Cathedral in Melbourne, with thousands of mourners watching from Federation Square. A memorial service was also held at his local Ballyroan parish church in Dublin.

Jim kept diary notes throughout his battle with cancer, and spent many months talking about his life with his long-time friend, journalist Warwick Green. My Journey celebrates the legacy of Jim Stynes, offering an intimate portrait of a man learning to face his fears and get the most out of every single day.

'If you don't have cancer, cherish life. If you do, cherish it even more.' - Jim Stynes, My Journey

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THE WISH
by Angela Donovan
  A SAPPERS' WAR
by Jimmy Thomson
  TUNNEL RATS
by Jimmy Thomson, Sandy MacGregor
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The Wish

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A Sappers' War

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A STORY OF SEVEN SUMMERS
by Hilary Burden
  ONLY IN SPAIN
by Nellie Bennett
  LAID BARE
by Jesse Fink
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A Story Of Seven Summers

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Only In Spain

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Laid Bare

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GREAT AUSTRALIAN UTE STORIES
by John Bryant
  BLOOD TIES
by John Suter Linton
  IN ANY CASE
by Andrew Fraser
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In Any Case

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MIXED NON-FICTION
PHOTOGRAPHY EXPLAINED
by Ken Duncan and Leo Meier
  MIRCOSTYLE
by Christopher Johnson
  THE 20/20 DIET
by Lola Berry
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The 20/20 Diet

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THE FIELD GUIDE TO THE BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA
by Graham Pizzey, Frank Knight
  THE HOLLYWOOD SURVIVAL GUIDE
by Kym Jackson
  SYMPHONY OF AUSTRALIA THE MUSIC BOOK
by Gavin Lockley
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The Field Guide To The Birds Of Australia

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Australian author
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Australian author
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FOR THE YOUNG AND THE YOUNG AT HEART
ZERO TO FIVE
Click here for more details or to order THIS MOOSE BELONGS TO ME
by Oliver Jeffers


"Wilfred owned a moose. He hadn't always owned a moose. The moose came to him a while ago and he knew, just KNEW that it was meant to be his. He called it Marcel."

Most of the time Marcel is very obedient, abiding by Wilbur's book of extensive rules on how to be a good pet. But sometimes he doesn't quite seem to be listening, plus he has a tendency to wander off wherever he pleases when they go out walking. But Wilfred is still very proud to have a pet like Marcel.

Until one day, deep in the woods, someone else seems to recognise Marcel! Is Marcel really Wilfred's pet after all?

A lavishly-llustrated, thought-provoking story, which cleverly and light-heartedly examines the concept of ownership.

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Click here for details or to orderONE VERY TIRED WOMBAT
by Renee Treml

One wombat is very tired, and he just wants to rest. The birds try to be quiet - well, some of them, anyway - but it seems that they're not as quiet as they think.

Poor tired wombat. Will he ever get some sleep?

One Very Tired Wombat is a charming counting book featuring some very cheeky Australian animals.

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HEDGEHOG'S MAGIC TRICKS
by Ruth Paul

Hedgehog is performing magic tricks for his friends. But will they work?

Hedgehog does magic tricks. Today his helper is Mouse. Hedgehog is going to make Mouse disappear.

Free Magic Wand while stocks last (magic not included... )

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HEATHER FELL IN THE WATER
by Doug MacLeod
  PUSHKA
by Stephen Mackey
  EGG by Alex Smith
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Australian author
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Click here to order Egg
Australian author
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WOMBAT STEW
by Marcia Vaughan
  POSSUM MAGIC: NUMBERS
by Mem Fox
  OLIVIA AND THE FAIRY PRINCESSES
by Ian Falconer
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SNIFF
by Mathew Van Fleet
  PATONE BOX OF COLOR
  CHARLEY'S FIRST NIGHT
by Amy Hest
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SIX TO TWELVE
Click here for more details or to orderUNFORGOTTEN
by Tohby Riddle


Nobody knows where they come from.
But they come.
Impossible birds of the big sky
and the long night...

So begins this timely and timeless story, told in magnificent images and words by master storyteller, Tohby Riddle. A triumph of quiet beauty.

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Australian author
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Click here for details or to orderGUINNESS WORLD RECORDS 2013

*Great Price* SAVE 30%

Discover a world of new superlatives in the newest edition of the world's bestselling record book:

- Meet the new shortest living man and measure the tallest mohawk hair-do (yes, it's bigger than the shortest man!)

- Take a spin in the lowest road-legal car

- Visit the hottest planet in the solar system

- Go trekking with the world's youngest polar explorer

- Witness the fiercest predators in the ocean

- Feast your eyes on the planet's largest commercially available hot dog and dine out with the fastest eaters!

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Click here for details or to orderCAPTAIN UNDERPANTS AND THE TERRIFYING RETURN OF TIPPY TINKLETROUSERS

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When we last saw our heroes, George and Harold, they were under arrest and headed for prison. Then Harold foolishly uttered the fateful words "What could be worse than going to jail for the rest of our lives?" and changed the course of human history.

In this ninth epic novel, Dav Pilkey takes readers back in time to the carefree days of kindergarten, when the worst thing George and Harold had to face was NOT evil mad scientists or alien cafeteria ladies but a sixth-grade bully named Kipper Krupp, the nephew of their clueless school principal. And because George and Harold don't actually invent Captain Underpants until fourth grade, the two clever kindergartners are on their own -- using their brains to beat the bully.

Hold on to your UNDERPANTS -- the Captain is back!

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Captain Underpants And The Terrifying Return Of Tippy Tinkletrousers

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Click here for details or to orderA MUTINY IN TIME
by James Dashner

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History is broken, and three kids must travel back in time to set it right!

When best friends Dak Smyth and Sera Froste stumble upon the secret of time travel -- a hand-held device known as the Infinity Ring -- they're swept up in a centuries-long secret war for the fate of mankind. Recruited by the Hystorians, a secret society that dates back to Aristotle, the kids learn that history has gone disastrously off course.

Now it's up to Dak, Sera, and teenage Hystorian-in-training Riq to travel back in time to fix the Great Breaks . . . and to save Dak's missing parents while they're at it. First stop: Spain, 1492, where a sailor named Christopher Columbus is about to be thrown overboard in a deadly mutiny!

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Click here for details or to orderSTAR WARS BOOK OF SITH
by Daniel Wallace

The Sith have existed for centuries. As Sith Lords rose to power, some chose to record their philosophy, exploits, and schemes to seize control of the galaxy. When they fell, their knowledge vanished. Or so it seemed...

Over the years, their writings were passed among select Sith-and even Jedi-who added their comments to the rare pages. In his quest for total domination, Darth Sidious tracked down what remained of the five most legendary dark side texts. Drawing from that knowledge, he wrote a sixth text-his own manifesto. These documents, along with several collected Sith objects, form the... Book of Sith.

Within a black-and-red pyramid-shaped case, this collection has remained hidden for generations. Now with the touch of a button, all who are tempted may unlock the power and madness, and delve into the dark side...

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THE GRUNTS IN TROUBLE
by Philip Ardagh
  THE 26-STOREY TREEHOUSE
by Andy Griffiths
  CLEMENTINE ROSE AND THE SURPRISE VISITOR
by Jacqueline Harvey
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The Grunts In Touble

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  Australian author
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NANNY PIGGINS AND THE DARING RESCUE
by R.A. Spratt
  CAHILLS VS VESPERS: SHATTERPROOF
by Roland Smith
  LULU WALKS THE DOGS
by Judith Viorst
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Lulu Walks the Dogs

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THE SECRET OF THE FORTUNE WOOKIE
by Tom Angleberger
  WHERE'S WALLY?
by Martin Handford
  ROSIE'S MAGIC HORSE
by Russell Hoban
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CONSPIRACY 365: CODE BLACK - THE FIRST COLLECTION
by Gabrielle Lord
  AROUND THE WORLD IN EIGHTY DAYS
by Jules Verne
  VINNI VERSUS BLUEBOTTLE
by Gerry Bobsien
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  Australian author
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YOUNG ADULTS
Click here for details or to order THE RISE OF NINE
by Pittacus Lore

In the beginning we were a group of nine.

Nine aliens who left our home planet of Lorien when it fell under attack from the deadly Mogodorians.

We scattered on earth and went into hiding.
We look like ordinary teenagers.
We are not.
Until I met John Smith, Number Four, I'd been on the run alone, hiding and fighting to stay alive. Together we are much more powerful. But it could only last so long before we had to separate.

They caught Number One in Malaysia.
Number Two in England.
And Number Three in Kenya.
They caught me in New York - but I escaped.

I am Number Six. The Mogodorians want to finish what they started.

But they'll have to fight us first.

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INTO THAT FORESTClick here for more details or to order
by Louis Nowra

Me name be Hannah O'Brien and I be seventy-six years old. Me first thing is an apology - me language is bad cos I lost it and had to learn it again. But here's me story and I be glad to tell it before I hop the twig.

So begins this extraordinary novel, which will transport you to Australia's wild frontier and stay in your mind long after you've finished reading.

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THE COMING OF THE WHIRLPOOL
by Andrew McGahan
  STRAVAGANZA: CITY OF SWORDS
by Mary Hoffman
  THE EDGE OF NOWHERE
by Elizabeth George
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The Coming of The Whirlpool

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The Edge of Nowhere

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WHITE NINJA
by Tiffiny Hall
  SILENCE
by Becca Fitzpatrick
  ENVY
by Elizabeth Miles
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ONE LAST THING...
Click here for more details or to order THE TWELVE ROOMS OF THE NILE
by Enid Shomer


It may seem bizarre to imagine that Florence Nightingale provided the inspiration for Gustave Flaubert's Madame Bovary, yet in The Twelve Rooms of the Nile we are invited to do just that.

Set in 1850, Enid Shomer's debut novel imagines a blossoming relationship between Nightingale and Gustave Flaubert as they tour the ruins of Egypt. I should make clear that this is a work of fiction; although both Nightingale and Flaubert were in Egypt at the same time, there is no evidence that they ever even met, let alone formed the close bond they do in Shomer's work. However, in this remarkable piece of alternate history, they find the impetus for their future successes in each other.

Shomer's Nightingale is achingly unfulfilled and despairs that she will never fulfil what she sees as God's calling for her. Although she loves her family dearly, she resents their expectation that she make a good marriage, that she be chaperoned at all times and that she always behave with docility. Indeed, there are many instances throughout the novel where she is (sometimes severely) chastised for her exuberance and determination. Nightingale finds an outlet for her unconventional ideas in Flaubert, and the relationship strengthens her resolve to defy the wishes of her family and forge Click here to continue reading this review by Booktopia's Catherine Horne

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