Booktopia Buzz with Caroline Baum
January 2013 | Breaking News
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BUZZ IN BRIEF
I like making resolutions. Lots of them, so that if I fail at most of them, I still have a few achievable ones in reserve. It's part of being an over achieving list-aholic.

While everyone else probably wants to try and read more books it is the perverse nature of my job that makes me think it might be a good idea for me to try and read fewer books, more discerningly, bingeing less, savouring more. I doubt it will happen, but it's an aspiration. Here are a few other ideas. Let me know how you go.

New Year's Reading Resolutions

I will read one classic (and no that's not the same as vintage clothing, which is anything that is more than ten years old. I mean something by one of the greats you've been avoiding since school or university. For me the challenge will be Proust) 

I will read one poem every month (not the kind you find in a greeting card. If you want to read a poem who writes about real life, try Les Murray, or the American Billy Collins, who writes about trying to give up smoking.) Click here to read more resolutions)

Happy Reading Year

Caroline Baum
Editorial Director
Booktopia Buzz

Follow me on Twitter: @mscarobaum

Follow Booktopia on Twitter: @booktopia



Don't forget the Booktopia Year Ending Clearance Sale is still running with thousands of titles discounted by up to 95% off. It ends at midnight on New Years Eve, so get in quick before you miss out

A GEM OF A NOVEL
Click here for more details or to order THE LAST RUNAWAY
by Tracy Chevalier


Caroline Baum: If you like Geraldine Brooks' historical fiction (particularly The Year of Wonders and March) you will enjoy this atmospheric, evocative story of Quaker woman Honor Bright, who sails from England to America with her sister but finds herself alone and vulnerable in a new world.

Ohio in the 1850s is hot and tough and Honor is shocked by coming face to face with the brutal realities of slavery. She takes refuge in her sewing skills, and her quick neat stitches and talents as a quilter soon draw admiration. But a single woman good at needlework is vulnerable and Honor struggles to find a place that will live up to her name and her beliefs.

As she did in The Girl with a Pearl Earring, Chevalier brings to life a modest, almost invisible woman, illuminating the unacknowledged corners of an ordinary life, giving her character quiet dignity and power as she faces inner turmoil.

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A PUBLISHING MILESTONE
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A MEMORY OF LIGHT
The Final Book in The Wheel of Time
by Robert Jordan


Order A Memory of Light from Booktopia before January 31st 2013 to go in the draw to win the entire Wheel of Time backlist in the amazing uniform black covers.
Doesn't your collection need a facelift?

For twenty years, The Wheel of Time has enthralled more than forty million readers in over thirty-two languages. A Memory of Light brings this majestic fantasy creation to its richly satisfying conclusion.

'And it came to pass in those days, as it had come before and would come again, that the Dark lay heavy on the land and weighed down the hearts of men, and the green things failed, and hope died.' - From Charal Drianaan te Calamon, The Cycle of the Dragon.

In the Field of Merrilor the rulers of the nations Click here for more details or to buy gather to join behind Rand al'Thor, or to stop him from his plan to break the seals on the Dark One's prison - which may be a sign of his madness, or the last hope of humankind. Egwene, the Amyrlin Seat, leans toward the former. In Andor, the Trollocs seize Caemlyn.

In the wolf dream, Perrin Aybara battles Slayer.
Approaching Ebou Dar, Mat Cauthon plans to visit his wife Tuon, now Fortuona, Empress of the Seanchan.

All humanity is in peril - and the outcome will be decided in Shayol Ghul itself. The Wheel is turning, and the Age is coming to its end.

The Last Battle will determine the fate of the world. . .

Working from notes and partials left by Robert Jordan when he died in 2007, and consulting with Jordan's widow, who edited all of Jordan's books, established fantasy writer Brandon Sanderson has recreated the vision Jordan left behind.

Click here to order A Memory of Light:
the Final Book in The Wheel of Time

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STARK TRUTHS
Click here for more details or to order BIG RAY
by Michael Kimball


Caroline Baum: After the death of his father, known as Big Ray, thirty eight year old Daniel weighs up his abusive childhood in five hundred episodes, matching his father's five hundred pounds. The burden of memory becomes increasingly heavy as  his recollections grow darker and we sense that sinister revelations are only a few pages away. But Daniel's feelings about his father are as nuanced and complex as those of any child grappling with loss and conflict,  divided loyalties and a desire to protect a younger sibling.

This is a haunting, disturbing book, written in stark, unadorned prose that echoes with seemingly authentic pain (the author reveals that his own deceased father was as obese as Ray) and leaves the reader with uncomfortable questions.

P.S. Obesity is going to be a hot topic for fiction in 2013. Look out in May for Lionel Shriver's take on the subject, the cleverly named Big Brother, inspired by the early death of her own overweight sibling.

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FROM THE CREATOR OF TV'S LAW & ORDER
Click here for more details or to order THE INTERCEPT
by Dick Wolf


Caroline Baum: When the guy who created Law and Order decides to write a thriller, you know you are in good hands.

This one has a disturbingly believable plot in which a plane is hijacked, only for the attack to be foiled by five passengers and one crew member, who become overnight heroes and media celebrities. But something does not add up for New York police investigator Jeremy Fisk. It's all too pat and the terrorist they are holding does not fit with the intel gleaned from the debris of Osama Bin Laden's Abbotabad compound. Could the incident on the plane be a diversion for a much bigger and more sinister plot? When a Saudi passenger from the same flight disappears, Fisk and his female colleague Krina Gersten embark on a classic race against time scenario that has the same degree of nail-biting urgency and plausibility as The Day of the Jackal.

Written with the polish and paranoia that makes Homeland such compulsive viewing, this is an entirely satisfying read, full of well executed, unforeseen and sometimes shocking twists. It's going to make a terrific movie but if you need a fix of adrenalin, why wait?


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TAKE THIS TO THE BEACH
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by Lisa Walker


Caroline Baum: Summer chick-lit perfect for the beach. Set in a sleepy surfing community, this is the story of Edie, recently dumped by text.

In revenge, she kidnaps the bonsai she bought her ex. She also harbours fantasies about the sexy but married professor she draws crab larvae for, and writes erotic fiction in secret while longing to meet her very own Heathcliff. Her friend Sally, a life coach, tries to give Edie some new rules by which to rebuild her life.

Written with funny, likeable, breezy charm.

Australian author
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TAKE THE WEEKEND OFF
Click here for more details or to order THE MONDAY TO FRIDAY DIET
by Susie Burrell


Caroline Baum: I am not a fan of diet books. But I am a fan of Susie Burrell. I forget how her weekly newsletter first arrived in my inbox, but ever since it did, I have forwarded it to friends watching their weight because it always seems so sane, so full of common sense, so supportive and yet firm. I trust her not to be gimmicky or to over-rev her motivational speak to that annoying Yes You Can pitch of fervour of some hysterical personal growth zealots.

So if you are looking to start the new year with some good eating habits, you'll find realistic and achievable suggestions here. Oh and despite the title, there's advice about how to cope with Saturday and Sunday (arguably the most dangerous days of lapsed good intentions) too.

Click here to order The Monday to Friday Diet
Australian author
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FICTION
BLOCKBUSTER FICTION
Click here for more details or to order THE HOST
by Stephenie Meyer


Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away. The earth has been invaded by a species that takes over the minds of their human hosts while leaving their bodies intact, and most of humanity has succumbed.

Wanderer, the invading 'soul' who has been given Melanie's body, knew about the challenges of living inside a human: the overwhelming emotions, the too-vivid memories. But there was one difficulty Wanderer didn't expect: the former tenant of her body refusing to relinquish possession of her mind.

Melanie fills Wanderer's thoughts with visions of the man Melanie loves - Jared, a human who still lives in hiding. Unable to separate herself from her body's desires, Wanderer yearns for a man she's never met. As outside forces make Wanderer and Melanie unwilling allies, they set off to search for the man they both love.

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PRIVATE BERLIN
by James Patterson


Tragedy strikes Private's Berlin office - and exposes a hidden past.

Private, the world's most powerful investigation firm, has branches around the world. Each is staffed with brilliant agents and has the kind of forensic tools that police investigators dream of. One of Private Berlin's most respected agents has disappeared. The Private team traces Chris Schneider's footsteps to the cases he was investigating before his disappearance. They were the last people to see Chris alive - and they're all suspects.

The case leads to an abandoned Nazi slaughterhouse, and all hope vanishes. As the Private crew digs further into Chris's past, a terrifying history is revealed - and someone very dangerous and depraved is responsible. And he's not finished in Berlin.

Private Berlin has more twists, action, and deception than any other James Patterson thriller ever.

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BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR
by Gemma Crisp
  CHRIS RYAN EXTREME
by Chris Ryan
  DREAM EYES
by Jayne Ann Krentz
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Be Careful What You Wish For

Australian author
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MIDNIGHT IN DEATH/INTERLUDE IN DEATH
by J. D. Robb
  SHADOW WOMAN
by Linda Howard
  CLOSE TO THE BONE
by Stuart MacBride
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BOOKTOPIA BLOGGER, ANDREW CATTANACH'S TOP SIX BOOKS OF 2012
TRIBURBIA
by Karl Taro Greenfeld
  THE LAST HOLIDAY
by Gil Scott-Heron
  WAGING HEAVY PEACE
by Neil Young
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The Last Holiday

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ON WARNE
by Gideon Haigh
  THE ORCHARDIST
by Amanda Coplin
  NW
by Zadie Smith
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On Warne

Australian author
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The Orchardist

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AUSTRALIAN FICTION
Click here for more details or to order THE DUNBAR CASE
by Peter Corris


Private Investigator Cliff Hardy's 39th case sees him leaving the mean streets of Sydney for Newcastle, investigating what a famous 19th century shipwreck has to do with a multi-million dollar heist with a cast of characters that shouldn't be trusted.

This wasn't Hardy's usual brief--uncover the mysteries of a nineteenth-century shipwreck--but he could do with an easy case and the retainer was generous.

But is it ever that simple? Not with a notorious crime family tearing itself apart, and an undercover cop playing both sides against the middle. These and an alluring but fiercely ambitious female journalist give Hardy all the trouble he can handle.

'Ever feel manipulated?' Hardy asks. The body count mounts up as he pushes closer to the truth about the mystery and the loot.

Australian author
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MAN DROUGHT
by Rachael Johns
 
Imogen Bates moved to the small rural town of Gibson's Find to start a new life for herself after the death of her husband. Tired of being haunted by the painful memories of her old life, Imogen set her last remaining hopes on the little town and, in particular, pouring her heart and savings into restoring The Majestic Hotel to its former glory. But while the female-starved town might be glad to see a young woman move in, not everyone is happy about Imogen's arrival.

Sheep and crop farmer Gibson Black once dreamed of having the kind of family his grandfather reminisces about, but he's learnt not to dream anymore. Living in the mostly male town suits Gibson down to the ground...and he won't have anyone - least of all a hot redhead from the city - change a thing.

Imogen has never been one to back down from a challenge, especially when it concerns her last chance at happiness. She's determined to rebuild the pub and create a future for the little town. But can she create a future for Gibson and herself, too?

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THE GIRL IN THE HARD HAT
by Loretta Hill

 
From the author of The Girl in Steel-Capped Boots comes another funny and deliciously romantic tale of a woman in a man's world.

Wendy Hopkins arrives in the Pilbara to search for the father who abandoned her at birth.

Getting mixed up in construction site politics at the Iron Ore wharf just out of town was not high on her 'to do' list.

But when she takes a job as their new Safety Manager she becomes the most hated person in the area. Nicknamed 'The Sergeant', she is the butt of every joke and the prime target of notorious womanizer, Gavin Jones.

Giving up is not an option, though.

For, as it turns out, only Wendy can save these workers from the coming storm, find a man who wants to stay buried and ... put a bad boy firmly in his place.

Australian author
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INTERNATIONAL FICTION
Click here for more details or to order THE TWELVE TRIBES OF HATTIE
by Ayana Mathis


For fans of Toni Morrison, an unforgettably powerful novel about a mother's courage, sacrifice and love, set against the volatile history of twentieth century America.

When Hattie clambered from a train, her skirt still hemmed with Georgia mud and the dream of Philadelphia sitting round as a marble in her mouth, she couldn't guess that two years later, aged sixteen, she'd be fighting to keep her baby twins alive.

Saddled with a husband who will bring her nothing but disappointment, she raises nine children with grit and monumental courage, but no tenderness. She knows the world will not be kind to them and wants to prepare them as best she can. As her sons and daughters buck against their fates, she feels every one of their triumphs and heartbreaks, for they are all bound together.

A searing portrait of twentieth century America told through the story of an unforgettable family, a transfixing drama of bitterness and love and a ferocious vision of humanity at its rawest; The Twelve Tribes of Hattie is a debut of extraordinary distinction.

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ONE LAST THING BEFORE I GO
by Jonathan Tropper
  LIGHT SHINING IN THE FOREST
by Paul Torday
  THE RAINBOW TROOPS
by Andrea Hirata
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One Last Thing Before I Go

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The Rainbow Troops

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TWO CLASSICS TO DEVOUR OVER THE HOLIDAYS
Click here for more details or to order THE STORY OF A NOBODY
by Anton Chekhov


This story is... a wonderful piece of literature. I know this because I have read it several times, and it is only excellent writing that improves with rereading - Louis de Bernieres

A secret terrorist group infiltrates the household of a government official's son, with a view to spying on the father and, ultimately, assassinating him. But the young man entrusted with the task - an ailing, world-weary "nobody" - seized with the purposelessness of life and a sense of his own impending death, gradually becomes disillusioned with his mission, and decides to embark on a new path which will lead him to tragedy.

Combining psychological detail with a strong sense of place and time, The Story of a Nobody bears all the hallmarks of Chekhov's genius, and perfectly captures the political and social tensions of its day.

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LES MISERABLES
by Victor Hugo, Christine Donougher


He was no longer Jean Valjean, but No. 24601

Jean Valjean, an escaped convict, is determined to put his criminal past behind him. But his attempt to become a respected member of the community are threatened by the relentless investigations of the dogged policeman Javert when, owing to a case of mistaken identity, another man is arrested in his place.

It is not simply for himself that Valjean must stay free, however, for he has sworn to protect the baby daughter of Fantine, driven to prostitution by poverty. Victor Hugo's epic take of injustice, heroism and love is a timeless classic, not to be missed.

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CATCHING UP ON SOME OF THE BEST BOOKS OF 2012

Click here for details or to orderHEAVY HITTER OF 2012

BRING UP THE BODIES
by Hilary Mantel


Caroline Baum: What is there left to say? I just wanted to join the chorus of universal admiration for the second volume of Mantel's remarkable feat of embodying Henry Vlll's chief strategist, Thomas Cromwell. Like many, I found it easier to read than Wolf Hall, because the narrative treads more familiar ground (the waning of Anne Boleyn's power and Henry's manoeuvring to rid himself of her) and because the point of view is well established so that being inside Cromwell's head seems entirely comfortable.

My favourite moments in the book are the telling details: Henry recycling jewellery to offer to prospective wife Jane Seymour, careless of whether evidence of the previous owner's initials have been quite erased; Cromwell calculating that the king will want his discarded first wife Catherine's costly ermine furs back on her death. And a brilliant scene in which Henry falls at jousting, is feared dead and Cromwell, like a modern day spin doctor, swings into immediate damage control mode.

Chilling in its portrait of the arbitrary raising and lowering of individual fates and fortunes at Henry's intrigue riddled court, this is a sumptuously entertaining majestic pageant of human ambition. Hurry up Hilary, and write the third volume.

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BEST BIOGRAPHY OF 2012

PATRICK LEIGH FERMOR
Artemis Cooper
 
Caroline Baum: If I'd been born a man, this is the kind of life I'd like to have lived. Charming, handsome, debonair (now there's a word no one uses anymore) courageous, witty, bohemian, Fermor was a natural and prodigiously talented writer, as his classic A Time of Gifts demonstrated. An account of his walk across Europe in 1933 it is fresh with adventure and enthusiasm, truffled with anecdotes and characters from a world that has vanished, written in language opulent with imagery and playfulness.

This biography captures the spirit of that journey as the opening chapter of an eventful arc of ridiculously rich experiences. Fermor embraced every kind of social encounter with equal curiosity whether talking to a Greek fisherman or a Transylvanian Countess. Cooper knew Fermor well and her affection for her subject shines on every page of this well researched, lively portrait of one of the true originals of the twentieth century, who deserves to be more widely known. It will make you want to jump on a plane to Greece immediately, in search of the country that Fermor fell in love with and where he eventually made his home after a life of nomadic wanderings.

Click here to order Patrick Leigh Fermor
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Click here for details or to orderBEST OF CRIME

LIVE BY NIGHT
Dennis Lehane


Caroline Baum: Denis Lehane is the bomb when it comes to gritty American crime fiction. But as well as his work about contemporary America (including his episodes of The Wire) he can summon up the past with equal muscularity.

His latest offering is a sequel to The Given Day but can easily be read as a stand alone. It's the story of Joe Coughlin, the youngest son of a top ranking Boston police family, who falls in with the bad guys and develops a taste for a life of crime in the Prohibition era when mobster rule is at its height.

The flamboyant characters in Lehane's gritty world live by night, operating by a different set of rules and values to the rest of society who go about their legitimate business in daylight.

The writing is harsh, brutal and explicitly violent but also full of subtlety, tenderness and humor. It pulsates with the vitality of violence.

The fast-paced action, punctuated by unpredictable double crosses, shifts from Boston to Florida where the steamy locale provides welcome colour. Lehane gives some of his gangsters the swagger and charisma of movie stars but the glamour cannot mask their ugliness forever. Chilling, gripping and full of dark menace.

P.S. if you want to stay in gangster mode, this is the perfect companion to Sutton (reviewed in the November Buzz)

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 JUST TWO MORE...
Click here for more details or to order BEST IN THRILLS

GONE GIRL

by Gillian Flynn

How well do you know your lover?

Just how well can you ever know the person you love? This is the question that Nick Dunne must ask himself on the morning of his fifth wedding anniversary, when his wife Amy suddenly disappears.

The police immediately suspect Nick. Amy's friends reveal that she was afraid of him, that she kept secrets from him. He swears it isn't true. A police examination of his computer shows strange searches. He says they aren't his. And then there are the persistent calls on his mobile phone.

So what did really did happen to Nick's beautiful wife? And what was left in that half-wrapped box left so casually on their marital bed? In this novel, marriage truly is the art of war.

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BEST IN THE KITCHEN
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JERUSALEM
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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NON-FICTION
NEW YEAR, NEW YOU
Click here for more details or to order THE NEW RULES
by Ellen Fein, Sherrie Schneider


'The Rules' Girls are back with the dating bible for the modern, digital age.

The Rules taught a generation of women how to turn their dating misery into marriage success. Dating gurus Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider showed millions of women how 'playing hard to get' could help them capture the heart of Mr Right. Their book proved controversial, sparked worldwide debate and became a publishing phenomenon.

But that was all before Twitter, Facebook, online dating, texting and BBM. There are now even more ways to mess up your dating life. Ellen and Sherrie are regularly inundated with messages from women wanting to know: how to maintain a good profile on Facebook, the rules for texting, emailing and tweeting, and how to spot cheaters and players. This is the new dating bible for Rules Girls who want to have a good time dating without getting hurt or played.

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CLEAN AND LEAN WARRIOR:
YOUR BLUEPRINT FOR A STRONG LEAN BODY
by James Duigan


Go from soft paunch to six-pack in 14 days.

Continues James Duigan's bestselling Clean & Lean philosophy - a body has to be clean before it can be lean - and explains how men can achieve their best-ever shape. With maximum-impact, targeted exercises illustrated with step-by-step photography, chapters cover:

  • Why sitting in an office all day is turning men into women, with 'moobs' (male boobs) and womanly hips.
  • How men can find their inner warrior to get fighting fit and stay strong for life.
  • Stress-busting food, tips and advice, 5-minute suppers and instant energy boosters.


Packed with motivational advice and James's trademark 'Bad, Better, Best' columns, The Clean & Lean Warrior is guaranteed to transform your soft paunch to a six-pack.

About the Author: James Duigan is one of the top personal trainers in the world; his many celebrity clients include Elle Macpherson, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Hugh Grant and David Gandy. He also runs an exclusive gym in London.

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JANELLA PURCELL'S ELIXIR
  SILENCE YOUR MIND
by Dr. Ramesh Manocha
  LOVE YOUR LIFE
by Domonque Bertolucci
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Love Your Life

Australian author
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RAW FOOD DETOX
by Anya Ladra
  FREE YOURSELF FROM DEBT
by Paul Clitheroe
  MICHELLE BRIDGES' CALORIE COUNTER
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Raw Food Detox

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MEMOIR
Click here for more details or to order NOT YOUR ORDINARY HOUSEWIFE
by Nikki Stern


The fascinating and extraordinary true story of how a young woman from a privileged background found herself drawn into the dark world of petty prostitution and pornography by the troubled man she loved.

When Nikki Stern left suburban Melbourne for Europe in the early 1980s, little did she know that her life was about to change dramatically.

Adopted into a well-connected family and educated at an exclusive school, she fell instantly and hopelessly in love with a charming and charismatic cartoonist in Amsterdam. Paul and Nikki embarked on a passionate love affair, enjoying the hedonistic days of the 80s before eloping and returning to Australia.

But soon Nikki found herself in a world she never imagined. Descending into the depths of the sex industry - as a dominatrix, stripper, prostitute and porn star - there was almost nothing she didn't do. Despite a stormy marriage, she and Paul starred in and marketed their highly successful Horny Housewife X-rated videos as she became the queen of Australian erotica.

Leading a double life as a mother of three small children, Nikki struggled not merely with censorship but with child welfare authorities and the judgement of mainstream society.

In this extraordinary memoir, Nikki vividly recounts her intriguing past with emotional honesty and great insight, making it an unflinching and absorbing account of the incredible life of the Horny Housewife.

Australian author
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BOUND TO YOU
by Nichi Hodgson


How does it feel to fall in love with a real-life Christian Grey? A true story of obsession and possession that will leave you breathless for more.

"I was lovelorn and unsure of my path in life when I first met Sebastian. The chemistry was intense and immediate. I could feel all my defences breaking down when he first took my hand. But Sebastian was as beautiful on the outside as he was tormented on the inside. Through him, I found myself drawn to the darkest of pleasures... Ours was a love story that proved impossible to resist."

Darkly sensual and completely addictive, Bound To You is a true story of obsession and possession that will leave you breathless for more. Fans of FIFTY SHADES OF GREY and BARED TO YOU will find themselves devouring Bound To You late into the night... 

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BUSINESS
GET RICH SLOW
by Sarah Riegelhuth
  HOW TO PRESENT
by Michelle Bowden
  GETTING STARTED IN SMALL BUSINESS
FOR DUMMIES
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Get Rich Slow

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How to Present

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SCIENCE
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by Jared Diamond


Visionary, prize-winning author Jared Diamond changed the way we think about the rise and fall of human civilizations with his previous international bestsellers Guns, Germs and Steel and Collapse. Now he returns with another epic - and groundbreaking - journey into our rapidly receding past.

In The World Until Yesterday, Diamond reveals how traditional societies around the world offer an extraordinary window onto how our ancestors lived for the majority of human history - until virtually yesterday, in evolutionary terms - and provide unique, often overlooked insights into human nature.

Drawing extensively on his decades working in the jungles of Papua New Guinea, Diamond explores how tribal societies approach essential human problems, from childrearing to conflict resolution to health, and discovers we have much to learn from traditional ways of life. He unearths remarkable findings - from the reason why modern afflictions like diabetes, obesity and Alzheimer's are virtually non-existent in tribal societies to the surprising benefits of multilingualism.

Panoramic in scope and thrillingly original, The World Until Yesterday provides an enthralling first-hand picture of the human past that also suggests profound lessons for how to live well today.

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CULTURE
FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT:
AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY
  A HISTORY OF VENICE
by John Julius Norwich
  LA FOLIE BAUDELAIRE
by Roberto Calasso
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A History of Venice

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La Folie Baudelaire

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FASHION
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by Jean-Louis Froment


A look inside the inspiration behind one of the world's most revered luxury houses.

Throughout her life, Gabrielle Chanel was close to the greatest artists of her time, including poets Jean Cocteau and Pierre Reverdy, painters Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dali and composer Igor Stravinsky.

The creative heritage of the House of Chanel has continued throughout the decades, from Gabrielle Chanel to Karl Lagerfeld, in the form of a dialogue established between artists and authors. The impact of these individuals and others on Chanel's designs is explored in detail throughout the book.

Paintings, sketches, letters, documents and rare archival photographs illustrate the influence of different eras and inspirations on the clothing, jewellery and perfumes that have shaped fashion throughout the decades.

Moving from the little black dress to the women's suit to Chanel N°5, Culture Chanel explores the bold path of a brand that has always known how to express the essence of its times, a fashion house that continues to be an enduring symbol of modernity.

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PRADA
by Miuccia Prada, Patrizio Bertelli
  INSPIRATION DIOR
by Florence Muller
  LOUIS VUITTON
by Paul-Gerard Pasols, Pierre Leonforte
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FOR THE YOUNG AND THE YOUNG AT HEART
BOOKS FOR THE BUBS
CHU'S DAY
by Neil Gaiman
  THINGS I LOVE SERIES GIFT SET
by Tracey Moroney
  AT THE WATER HOLE
by Jane Clarke
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At The Water Hole

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NO-BOT, THE ROBOT WITH NO BOTTOM
by Sue Hendra
  GRANNY GROMMET AND ME
by Dianne Wolfer, Karen Blair
  TOM AND TILLY
by Jedda Robaard
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Tom and Tilly

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SIX TO TWELVE
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by Jacqueline Harvey

Will Clementine Rose's first day at school be everything she wants it to be?

Clementine Rose is so excited! She's going to start school with her best friends Sophie and Poppy and she can't wait. But when she gets there, instead of the lovely Miss Critchley, her teacher is the much sterner and shoutier Mrs Bottomley. And then there's Angus, a little boy who delights in tormenting her from the moment they first meet.

After her first day, Clementine decides school may not be so much fun after all. But the announcement of a Pet Day changes everything. If Lavender the teacup pig can come to school with Clementine, everything will be all right . . . won't it?

A gorgeous new series from the bestselling author of the Alice-Miranda series.

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THE SPIN
by Rebecca Lisle
  ANGRY BIRDS - JOKE BOOK
  THE VERY FAIRY PRINCESS FOLLOWS HER HEART
by Julie Andrews
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The Spin

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RAINBOW MAGIC: JENNIFER THE BABYSITTER FAIRY
by Daisy Meadows
  BILLIE B. BROWN: THE SECRET MESSAGE
by Sally Rippin
  CATCH THE ZOLT
by Phillip Gwynne
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YOUNG ADULT
Click here for more details or to order THE VINCENT BROTHERS
by Abbi Glines


Sawyer Vincent is still heartbroken over his breakup with Ashton Gray - made worse because he lost her to his brother - but Lana McDaniel thinks she might just have a cure.

Lana's lived in her cousin Ashton's shadow all her life, but now she's taking the lead and is determined to make Sawyer her man. But can she be sure that Sawyer's not just using her to get back at Ashton?

And what if Sawyer sees through her new sexy version of herself and discovers the shy, geeky girl she used to be?

"The Vincent Brothers" picks up where "The Vincent Boys" left off - with twice the fun, twice the excitement and twice the sexy.

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UNDER THE NEVER SKY
by Veronica Rossi
  CODE
by Kathy Reichs
  THE GATES OF PARADISE
by Melissa De La Cruz
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STRUCK BY LIGHTNING
by Chris Colfer
  THE NEW RECRUIT
by Andy McNab
  THROUGH TO YOU
by Emily Hainsworth
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The New Recruit

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ONE LAST THING... THESE ARE TOO GOOD TO MISS
Click here for more details or to order YOU ARE NOT SO SMART
by David McRaney


Caroline Baum: You are deluding yourself. Don't worry, you are not alone, we all do it according to this witty whirlwind through human consciousness. Each of the forty eight chapters tackles a common misconception and presents the latest research with clarity and humor to set you straight. So find out what really happens when disaster strikes (trusting your fight or flight instincts may not be as reliable as you think) and when you are being influenced (your unconscious has more to say than you know). Smart, revealing, engaging popular psychology.

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LIFE GOES ON
by Hans Keilson


Caroline Baum: The endless fascination with the  climate that gave rise to the Nazis shows no sign of abating as publishers scramble to find forgotten classics they can reissue to satisfy the appetite of readers. For those who enjoyed books like Suite Française and Alone in Berlin, Hans Keilson's debut, published when he was an astonishing twenty three, demonstrates his precociously assured talent. 

It tells the story of a Jewish store owner (modelled on the author's own father) a textile merchant and decorated  World War 1 veteran who encounters more and more obstacles and ominous signs in everyday life as Germany teeters on the edge of economic oblivion. It's a carefully calibrated account, which owes its stealthy power to its restraint.   

Banned by the Nazis in 1934, the book was reissued when the author was one hundred years old. After fleeing Germany for the Netherlands  where he joined the Dutch resistance, the author pursued a career as a psychotherapist, pioneering the  treatment of war trauma in children, further demonstration of his intelligence and compassion.
 
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FURTHER RESOLUTIONS
I will wake up fifteen minutes earlier so I can read in the mornings, instead of when I am a zombie at night (anyone with kids has a dispensation from this one, as it's simply impossible, even during holidays).

I will read the book BEFORE I see the film especially when it comes to The Great Gatsby (and, for that matter, Midnight's Children, The Life of Pi, Anna Karenina)

I will read one thing outside my comfort zone or read one thing from a genre I have a prejudice against (for me it's sci-fi-/fantasy and I just cannot crack it. I also don't get the whole vampire thing, though I really have tried)

I will not cheat and read the ending before I get to it. (I'd love a psychologist to explain this behaviour)

I will not spoil other readers' pleasure by giving away crucial plot details in conversation, no matter how enthusiastic, indignant or intoxicated I am

I will not be a book snob: I won't put down someone because I think their taste in books is trashier than mine (guilty as charged, but I am working on it.)

I will return any book I borrow in perfect condition. If I dropped it in the bath or spilt coffee or wine on it, I will buy a new copy to replace it.

I will not crack the spines of books unless they belong to me(Sorry, but I  like that sound, it's like the noise of the book surrendering itself)

I will not show up to reading group without having read the book for three months in a row ( a personal bugbear and a complaint I hear from reading group members all the time)

I will not give up on a book because I don't like/can't identify with the central character. What kind of a pathetic excuse is that? (Do you have to like Raskolnikov to appreciate Crime and Punishment? Unpleasant characters are all too human and so much more interesting in their complexity)

I will give away books I don't intend to reread once I have read them to my local library or to a community book drive or charity

I will reread something I loved as a child /adolescent so that I can enjoy it all over again and rediscover my original joy at discovering it

I will leave a book in a public place for someone to find as a surprise ( to find out more about this, go to www.bookcrossing.com)

If I never read fiction, I will give it a go (yes, I am talking to you guys : I keep hearing men say they don't read novels.

If I only read fiction, I'll try some non-fiction for a change (now this is one one I often hear from women)

I will read something written by an Australian author (no sense of duty there, but because there's such great local talent to discover. 2012 saw a bumper crop.)

I won't get hung up on technology (really, it does not matter what the delivery system is, whether it's a tablet or on paper, it's the writing that counts.)

   
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In This Issue

A publishing milestone

Blockbuster fiction

Australian fiction

Baum's best of 2012

New year, new you

For the young and young at heart

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OUR NON-FICTION
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OUR CHILDREN BESTSELLERS

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GREAT GRAPHIC BOOKS DESIGNED TO ENCOURAGE KIDS TO READ THE CLASSICS

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LITTLE BOOK OF VINTAGE...

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A RIDICULOUSLY GORGEOUS NEW
RANGE OF CLASSICS FROM PENGUIN

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Fall in love with Penguin Drop Caps, a new series of twenty-six collectable hardcover editions, each with a type cover showcasing a gorgeously illustrated letter of the alphabet.

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