Booktopia Buzz with Caroline Baum
May 2013 | Breaking News
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BUZZ IN BRIEF
If there is one word that defines this month's selection it is this: strength.

Strength of ideas, of language, of imagination. There is nothing timid here. These are books that expect readers to be as bold as their authors, to go along for the ride without a map or a safety net. To Iceland, to Iran, to the dark side of who we are, and to our most ingenious and resourceful selves. So be strong. Keep calm and carry on reading.

(If this newsletter is cut off in your email program, or you cannot see the right-hand side with the index, please be sure to click on the link at the top of this email to view it online.)

And remember, all the books listed are discounted and until Sunday night we are running a free shipping offer. Scroll down to the bottom of this newsletter to discover the free shipping code.

Kind Regards

Caroline Baum
Editorial Director

Booktopia Buzz

Follow me on Twitter: @mscarobaum

P.S. Take is a sneak peek at my new page on Booktopia - here
BOOK OF THE MONTH
Click here for more details or to order BURIAL RITES
by Hannah Kent


Caroline Baum: This book stinks, in a good way. Of fish and blood and guts and unwashed bodies and earth and death.

In fact, it reeks of those things and more. This austere love letter to Iceland takes a true story of murder as its foundation. Based on records from the trial of the two women and one man convicted of killing and burning two men on a remote farm this is richly and darkly imagined in prose thick with atmospherics.

Kent is a precocious talent who understands how to animate research and transform it into compelling narrative. She shows mature prowess in creating the life of her central character, Agnes, one of the accused, a fierce woman with pale blue eyes who spends the last few weeks of her life re-examining the circumstances that brought her to her fate.

The assistant priest who comes to give her counsel is soon tormented by the spectre of Agnes' execution, as are the family she lives with in her final weeks. A scene in which they all make sausages together, up to their elbows in blood and guts, is particularly visceral and vivid.
  
This book comes with heavy industry hype, having earned an unusually high advance for a first novel. So many books burdened with extreme expectations fizzle out and are soon forgotten, fated to be embarrassing items on their publisher's balance sheet. I doubt this will happen to Burial Rites, which delivers a chilly story of brutality steeped in authentic detail that fills every sense. After reading it, you'll be extra grateful for that hot bath and nice cup of tea.

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Australian author
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A BOOK CLUB MUST
Click here for more details or to order INTO MY ARMS
by Kylie Ladd


Caroline Baum: You've probably never heard of GSA: Genetic Sexual Attraction. I hadn't. But thanks to Kylie Ladd I now know that it is a form of unconscious incest that occurs between people who do not know they are related (ie through adoption or egg donation). As you can imagine, the potential such attraction has to wreak havoc in normal lives is huge and Ladd makes this her subject without sensationalising it.

John Purcell: I just finished Into My Arms and I can't recommend it enough. Anyone who has read and enjoyed Caroline Overington's novels or Jodi Picoult's will love it. Kylie Ladd engages the reader from the first page to the very last. One of the most interesting and moving books of 2013.

This book will get people talking - great for book clubs and reading groups. Order it today.


Australian author
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AUTHOR OF THE KITE RUNNER
Click here for more details or to order AND THE MOUNTAINS ECHOED
by Khaled Hosseini


Available May 21st

Caroline Baum: This book comes freighted with expectations and anticipation as the first book in six years from the author of the now classic The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns.

A saga of several generations of an Afghan family it begins with the harrowing story of a brother and sister who are separated in the most tender years of childhood. By the time it reaches its conclusion the story has shifted around the globe, mirroring the diaspora of the dispossessed, and embracing those who return from overseas to reclaim what is left of their home after war has done its work.

Profound sadness and loss hover over every page and the ending is heart-crunching, as you know it has to be.


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POWERFUL STORYTELLING
Click here for more details or to order THE ROUND HOUSE
by Louise Erdrich


Caroline Baum: Louise Erdrich summons powerful storytelling forces to address the issue of rape in native American Indian communities. In this sombre tale of compounded tragedies, she creates a thirteen year old boy, wise beyond his years, faced with his  mother's rape. When she withdraws into herself, the boy and his father, a tribal law judge of great dignity and wisdom try to discover the identity of her attacker.

Gradually the complexities of the case unfold, resonant with issues of race, identity and definitions of justice. This is a marvellous but solemn book about so many things: a classic rite of passage story with a very dark side, a story about indigenous culture eroded through the  constant attrition  of entrenched prejudice, reminiscent in its sense of integrity of To Kill a Mockingbird. An austere and masterly story of spoiled innocence.


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MARRIAGE UNDER THE MICROSCOPE
Click here for more details or to order THE MEMORY TRAP
by Andrea Goldsmith


Caroline Baum: Ho hum, I thought. Another book about marital infidelity and a middle aged woman coming to terms with betrayal and loneliness.

But this is more than that. Goldsmith has given Nora, her main character, a really interesting professional life creating monuments for groups that wish to commemorate an event.  The nature of her work causes her to reflect on collective memory while trying to address the markers in her own path that determined the course and choices  of her own life.

At the same time, her rather unpleasant brother-in-law, Eliot, is finishing off his latest biography in a series of what he calls his Big Ladies, and is facing the turmoil in his own sterile marriage.

Yes, it's middle class and polite, a little slow to gather momentum and perhaps a little earnest in the telling, but  readers who like writing that puts marriage under the microscope may enjoy what is growing in this petri dish. 

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COMICAL MODERN DAY FABLE
Click here for more details or to order BIG BROTHER
by Lionel Shriver


Caroline Baum: You know that if Lionel Shriver is going to tackle obesity she's going to do it head on, without pulling any punches. It's a very personal subject, given that her own brother was morbidly obese before his early death. Lean and fit herself, she brings a sinewy tone to her prose.

Her narrator is as harsh, mocking and unsympathetic as we have come to expect. Pandora is all sharp elbows and sarcasm, a successful businesswoman who makes bespoke talking dolls, married to an equally angular furniture maker. When her obese jazz player brother comes to stay and takes over the kitchen to make giant fry ups, tensions between the couple erupt and  Pandora leaves, determined to save her brother from himself.

A topical comical modern day fable written with Shriver's characteristic ferocity and unforgiving psychological insight into the unappealing aspects of human nature.

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A FRESH NEW VOICE
Click here for more details or to order THE CHINA FACTORY
by Mary Costello


Caroline Baum: Dip anywhere into this collection of short stories and right away, you know you are in the hands a real pro, a fresh new voice in the grand tradition of Irish storytellers.

These are deceptively modest stories about ordinary lives, written with a clear eyed concision and the odd phrase that suddenly stops you in your tracks with its king hit emotional accuracy.

No wonder Anne Enright, queen of the genre, is a fan.





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BEAUTIFULLY CALIBRATED STORY
Click here for more details or to order MY BEAUTIFUL ENEMY
by Cory Taylor


Caroline Baum: I'll admit, sometimes I pick up a book with a sense of duty.

So it's a real joy when duty turns to pleasure, as it did reading this beautifully calibrated story of Arthur a young man who falls in love with Stanley, a Japanese  enemy alien at the WW2 internment camp where he is a guard.

Longing, desire, fear, confusion and self-delusion are all expressed with finesse and subtlety in a distinctive, memorable voice and assured, elegant prose. 

Australian author
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ERUDITE AND ENTERTAINING
Click here for more details or to order COOKED: A NATURAL HISTORY OF TRANSFORMATION
by Michael Pollan


Caroline Baum: I am a huge fan of Michael Pollan's writing on just about anything, from building himself a writing cabin in the woods (A Room of My Own), to his elegantly plausible theories about plants (the Botany of Desire is one of my most favourite titles, even before you get to the compelling analysis) and his call to arms for us to eat less processed food in The Omnivore's Dilemma.

In Cooked, he explores the history and culture of how raw ingredients are transformed by fire, water, air and earth. He digresses jauntily into politics and philosophy.

It is a nourishingly erudite and entertaining book, with lots of practical tips. Pollan's always boundless curiosity energises the prose to the point where it's not just your taste buds that are salivating, it's your entire brain.

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SHARP SOCIAL SATIRE
Click here for more details or to order IN THE MEMORIAL ROOM
by Janet Frame


Caroline Baum: Well, who'd have thought! Forget the thin skinned sensitivity of the Janet Frame you associate with An Angel at My Table. This gem, written in in the 70s but unpublished until now (why?) shows a very different and much lighter personality.

Harry Gill is thirty-three, and a moderately successful writer in New Zealand when he wins a literary fellowship named after a poet, Margaret Rose Hurndell. When he arrives in the Riviera town of Menton to take up the fellowship he discovers that the Memorial Room where he is expected to write is completely inadequate. A coterie of bored retired expats who fancy themselves as keepers of the Hurndell flame vie for him as their tenant while Harry discovers to his horror that his eyesight and his hearing are failing.

A deliciously mischievous piece of fun, this is sharp social satire, ruthless in its mockery of literary pretension. 

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RAW AND REAL
Click here for more details or to order THE GOLDEN BOY
by Abigail Tarttelin


Caroline Baum: Anyone who read Jeffrey Eugenides utterly brilliant Middlesex will be familiar with people known as  intersex (they used to be called hermaphrodite). Due to a chromosomal glitch, they are born with both  male and female genitalia. Adolescence is a particularly traumatic stage in this condition, as first fumbling forays into the sexual jungle can lead to confusion, shock and shame.

Max Walker is the proverbial golden boy at school. Cute, popular, smart. But he also harbours a secret that causes him real anguish. When he is raped by his cousin, Max has to confront some very adult  choices that impact on everyone in his close knit, nuclear family.

The story is told from the point of view of every member of the family plus the doctor that Max confides in, and offers a very sympathetic perspective on intersexuality. The fact that it was written by a twenty-five year old makes it a very impressive achievement indeed. It's brave, confronting, tender, raw and real, a coming of age story like no other.

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FICTION
INTERNATIONAL FICTION
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by Audrey Niffenegger


Once there was a Postman who fell in love with a Raven...

So begins the tale of a postman who encounters a fledgling raven while on the edge of his route and decides to take her home. The unlikely couple falls in love and conceives a child - an extraordinary Raven Girl trapped in a human body. The Raven Girl feels imprisoned by her arms and legs and covets wings and the ability to fly. Betwixt and between, she reluctantly grows into a young woman, until one day she meets an unorthodox doctor who is willing to change her.

One of the world's most beloved storytellers has created a dark fairytale full of wonderment and longing. Illustrated with Audrey Niffenegger's bewitching etchings and paintings, Raven Girl explores the bounds of transformation and possibility.

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Click here for details or to orderTHE ACCIDENTAL APPRENTICE
by Vikas Swarup


Life pivots on a few key moments. This is one of them. Sapna Sinha works in an electronics store in downtown Delhi. She hates her job, but she is ambitious and determined to succeed, and she knows without the money she brings in, her family won't be able to survive. Little does she know it but her life is about to change forever. As she leaves the shop on her lunchbreak one day, she is approached by a man who claims to be CEO of one of India's biggest companies. He tells her he is looking for an heir for his business empire. And that he has decided it should be her. There are just seven tests she must pass. And then the biggest lottery ticket of all time will be hers.

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THE HIRED MAN
by Aminatta Forna
  FLORA
by Gail Godwin
  GRACE AND MARY
by Melvyn Bragg
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The Hired Man

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BLOOD AND BEAUTY
by Sarah Dunant
  MAYA'S NOTEBOOK
by Isabel Allende
  THE WEEPING GIRL
by Hakan Nesser
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The Weeping Girl

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AUSTRALIAN FICTION
Click here for more details or to order ME AND RORY MACBEATH
by Richard Beasley


Adelaide, 1977. The year Elvis died. And the year twelve-year-old Jake Taylor meets Rory Macbeath. Until then, Jake's world was small, revolving around his street, his school, and the courthouse where his mum, Harry, was a barrister. His best friend lives only a few houses away.

For them daylight is for spinning a cricket ball, riding bikes around the neighbourhood and swimming at the pool until their skin is wrinkled and the zinc on their noses has washed away. But then Rory Macbeath moves into the red-brick house at the end of Rose Avenue and everything changes.

At first Jake has his doubts about Rory. But after long days and nights of swimming, fishing and daring each other into trouble, Jake discovers Rory has talents and courage beyond anyone he's ever known. Then, early one evening, Rory disappears. And everyone on Rose Avenue is about to discover why.

For Jake and Rory, nothing will ever be the same.

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Australian author
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THE SHADOW YEAR
by Hannah Richell
  BONE ASH SKY
by Katerina Cosgrove
  DARK HORSE
by Honey Brown
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The Shadow Year

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BLOCKBUSTER FICTION

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INFERNO
by Dan Brown


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Booktopia is bringing the biggest book of the year to you at an amazing price - pre-order the hardcover of Inferno from Booktopia for just $17.95!
Don't miss out!

 EXCLUSIVE: 3 bookplates signed by Dan Brown to be won.
To go in the draw, order by May 14th, 2013.

Dan Brown's new novel, Inferno, features renowned Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon and is set in the heart of Europe, where Langdon is drawn into a harrowing world centred around one of history's most enduring and mysterious literary masterpieces.

As Dan Brown comments: "Although I studied Dante's Inferno as a student, it wasn't until recently, while researching in Florence, that I came to appreciate the enduring influence of Dante's work on the modern world. With this new novel, I am excited to take readers on a journey deep into this mysterious realm...a landscape of codes, symbols, and more than a few secret passageways."

RED MOON
by Benjamin Percy
  PARIS
by Edward Rutherfurd
  DEAD EVER AFTER
by Charlaine Harris
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Red Moon

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MAGICIAN'S END
by Raymond E. Feist
  ENTWINED WITH YOU
by Sylvia Day
  A DELICATE TRUTH
by John Le Carre
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A Delicate Truth

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NON-FICTION
AUSTRALIAN STORIES
Click here for more details or to order GURRUMUL: HIS LIFE AND MUSIC
by Robert Hillman


On a November afternoon in 2010, Gurrumul sat in a studio in Sydney to be photographed for the cover of Rolling Stone. The studio was 3000 kilometres from where he was born on Elcho Island off the coast of East Arnhem Land. A bare three years had passed since the release of Gurrumul, his critically acclaimed debut solo album.

Those years of critical acclaim, all the years before them, and the illness that threatened to end it all, combine in one of the most inspiring music stories of our generation.

Pre-order a copy of Gurrumul, the beautifully illustrated account of Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu's life and art, before 1st May 2013 to go in the draw to win an original print of an extraordinary photo of Gurrumul's hands, one of only 25, which will be signed by the photographer (on the back) and mounted in a nice white frame. Value is $800.

From concert halls to recording studios and into the Yolngu heartland, this is the story of Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu. It's the story of a great talent revealed and of an astonishing musical gift that has left audiences all over the world spellbound. Part road trip, part biography, Robert Hillman's illustrated account of Gurrumul's life and artistry takes you behind the scenes and offers rare insights into the sources of his inspiration. In interviews with family and friends, Gurrumul emerges as a man of his people, shaped by the beliefs, rites and ceremonies of a richly engaging culture.

Featuring images from family, friends and some of the world's best rock photographers, Gurrumul: His Life and Music provides in words, pictures and song, unforgettable insight into the story of one of Australia's most original performers. Accompanying the book is a Bonus CD of exclusive remixed versions of 15 songs from the Triple Platinum and Platinum albums Gurrumul and Rrakala including the songs Bäpa and Gurrumul History (I was Born Blind) and Warwu. 

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MORON TO MORON
by Tom Doig
  ALL GOOD THINGS
by Sarah Turnbull
  LANI'S STORY
by Lani Brennan
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 All Good Things

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LIFE CHANGERS
THE GOOD LIFE
by Hugh Mackay
  PULL YOUR
FINGER OUT
by Craig Harper
  FINDING YOUR ELEMENT
by Ken Robinson
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The Good Life

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Pull Your Finger Out

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PAUSE FOR THOUGHT
Click here for more details or to order THE NEW DIGITAL AGE
by Eric Schmidt & Jared Cohen
of Google

From two leading thinkers, the widely anticipated book that describes a new, hugely connected world of the future, full of challenges and benefits which are ours to meet and harness.

The New Digital Age is the product of an unparalleled collaboration: full of the brilliant insights of one of Silicon Valley's great innovators - what Bill Gates was to Microsoft and Steve Jobs was to Apple, Schmidt (along with Larry Page and Sergey Brin) was to Google - and the Director of Google Ideas, Jared Cohen, formerly an advisor to both Secretaries of State Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Clinton.

Never before has the future been so vividly and transparently imagined. From technologies that will change lives (information systems that greatly increase productivity, safety and our quality of life, thought-controlled motion technology that can revolutionise medical procedures, and near-perfect translation technology that allows us to have more diversified interactions) to our most important future considerations (curating our online identity and fighting those who would do harm with it) to the widespread political change that will transform the globe (through transformations in conflict, increasingly active and global citizenries, a new wave of cyber-terrorism and states operating simultaneously in the physical and virtual realms) to the ever present threats to our privacy and security, Schmidt and Cohen outline in great detail and scope all the promise and peril awaiting us in the coming decades.

A breakthrough book - pragmatic, inspirational and totally fascinating. Whether a government, a business or an individual, we must understand technology if we want to understand the future.

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DESTROYING THE JOINT
by Jane Caro
  THE END
by Bianca Nogrady
  KARL MARX
by Jonathan Sperber
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Karl Marx

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TRUE STORIES
ANYONE WHO HAD A HEART
by Burt Bacharach, Robert Greenfield
  WAITING TO BE HEARD
by Amanda Knox
  FATHER BOB
by Sue Williams
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LITERATURE AND HISTORY
Click here for more details or to order THE DIVINE COMEDY
by Clive James


Renowned critic and poet Clive James presents the crowning achievement of his career: a monumental translation of Dante's The Divine Comedy. The Divine Comedy is the precursor of modern literature, and Clive James's new translation - his life's work and decades in the making - presents Dante's entire epic poem in a single song.

While many poets and translators have attempted to capture the full glory of The Divine Comedy in English, many have fallen short, according to Clive James. Victorian verse translations established an unfortunate tradition of reproducing the sprightly rhyming measures of Dante but at the same time betraying the strain on the translator's powers of invention. For Dante, the dramatic human stories of Hell were exciting, but the spiritual studies of Purgatory and the sublime panoramas of Heaven were no less so.

In this incantatory new translation, James - defying the convention by writing in quatrains - tackles these problems head-on and creates a striking and hugely accessible translation that gives us The Divine Comedy as a whole, unified, and dramatic work.

Australian author
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THE PERILOUS QUESTION 
by Antonia Fraser
  HOW TO READ LITERATURE
by Terry Eagleton
  ALGERIAN CHRONICLES
by Albert Camus
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The Perilous Question

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How to Read Literature 

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FOOD
MARGARET FULTON BAKING
  HOMEMADE PATISSERIE
by Vincent Gadan, Michelle Guberina
  WHAT'S FOR DINNER? by Curtis Stone
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SPORT
80 NOT OUT
by Dickie Bird
  THE ANNA MEARES STORY
  THE OUTSIDER
by Jimmy Connors
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80 Not Out

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FOR THE YOUNG AND YOUNG AT HEART
BABIES
Click here for more details or to order IT WASN'T ME
by Oliver Jeffers


A fight has broken out amongst The Hueys.

"It was not me! It was him!"

But no one can remember what they're fighting about.

If only they could find an interesting distraction...

 

Australian author
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HOW TO CATCH A MONSTER
by Christina Bollenbach
  10 HOOTING OWLS  
by Simon Williams
  SOMEBODY'S HOUSE
by Katrina Germein
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How to Catch a Monster

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10 Hooting Owls

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CHILDREN
Click here for more details or to order W.A.R.P.: THE RELUCTANT ASSASSIN
by Eoin Colfer

It all began with the F.B.I. and W.A.R.P. (Witness Anonymous Relocation Programme) hiding witnesses in the past to protect the future - until now . . .

Riley is a Victorian orphan, hurtled into the twenty-first century and on the run from his evil master . . .

Albert Garrick, the terrifying assassin-for-hire pursuing Riley through time, along with . . .

Chevie Savano, the F.B.I.'s youngest and most impulsive special agent.

As Garrick relentlessly hunts them down, Riley and Chevie face a desperate race to stay alive and stop Garrick from returning to his own time - armed with knowledge and power that could change the world forever.

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FYRE
by Angie Sage
  YOKO'S DIARY
by Paul Ham
  CLEMENTINE ROSE AND THE PERFECT PRESENT
by Jacqueline Harvey
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Yoko's Diary

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YOUNG ADULT

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by Jessica Shirvington


THE PERFECT LIFE OR THE PERFECT LOVE. YOU CHOOSE.

For as long as she can remember, Sabine has lived two lives. Every 24 hours she Shifts to her ′other′ life - a life where she is exactly the same, but absolutely everything else is different: different family, different friends, different social expectations. In one life she has a sister, in the other she does not. In one life she′s a straight-A student with the perfect boyfriend, in the other she′s considered a reckless delinquent. Nothing about her situation has ever changed, until the day when she discovers a glitch: the arm she breaks in one life is perfectly fine in the other.

With this new knowledge, Sabine begins a series of increasingly risky experiments which bring her dangerously close to the life she′s always wanted... But just what - and who - is she really risking?

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SUMMER AND THE CITY
by Candace Bushnell
  DEATH & Co.
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  THE ORIGINALS
by Cat Patrick
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DEAR MUM
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Dear Mum

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THE WILD GIRL
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ALICE-MIRANDA IN PARIS
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UNTIL THE END OF TIME
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Until the End of Time

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The French Promise

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ALEX CROSS, RUN
by James Patterson
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by Ross Coulthart
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by Di Morrissey
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Alex Cross, Run

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The Golden Land

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THE SIREN
by Tiffany Reisz
D
THE PRINCE
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  THE ANGEL
by Tiffany Reisz
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The Angel

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NOW EVERY KITCHEN CAN AFFORD TO HAVE...
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by Stephanie Alexander


The Cook's Companion. has established itself as the kitchen 'bible' in over 300 000 homes since it was first published in 1996.

Stephanie Alexander has added over 300 new recipes as well as 12 new chapters to this thoroughly revised and updated edition.

Stephanie believes that good food is essential to living well: her book is for everyone, every day.

She has invaluable information about ingredients, cooking techniques and kitchen equipment, along with inspiration, advice and encouragement and close to 1000 failsafe recipes.

Australian author
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FREE SHIPPING OFFER
The Free Shipping Code should apply automatically if you click through to the website from this email. If it doesn't, type the Free Shipping Code - ANZAC - in the promotion box at the last step of the ordering process.

Simply place an order before midnight Sunday 28th April (wherever you are in Australia) with the promotion code -
ANZAC - and you will receive free shipping on your order. The promotion code can be used as many times as you, or your family and friends, want on any orders between now and then.

Place the code - ANZAC - in the PROMOTION CODE FIELD ON THE LAST PAGE OF THE CHECKOUT PROCESS.

*** The promotion code field where you enter the word
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This offer is only available to Australian shipping addresses. If you are overseas and want to ship to an Australian address then you can use this promotional code too.


It is not applicable to free pick up from our warehouse OR eBooks as the discount code applies only to the shipping cost and not to the overall order.
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