Booktopia Buzz with Caroline Baum
September 2013 | Breaking News
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BUZZ IN BRIEF
Whatever you are passionate about, you'll find a book that matches your passion this month.
Food? Check.
Historical fiction? Step right up.
Dark stories of crime and obsession? Look no further.
Traveller's tales? You've come to the right place.

There's an intensity to this month's selection, heightening sensation as if someone just turned up the volume and the sound and made all the colours sharper. So if you are feeling a bit blah about life or searching for an escape from the political hoopla, this month's books will help you get your mojo back in time for spring.

Kind Regards

Caroline Baum
Editorial Director

Booktopia Buzz

Follow me on Twitter: @mscarobaum
Follow Booktopia on Twitter: @booktopia

N.B. Former Buzz editor, Toni Whitmont, and I will be chairing sessions at a Sydney Jewish Writer's Festival event on 1st Sept 2013. Participating authors include Laurent Binet, Professor Bryan Gaensler, Andrea Goldsmith, John M Green, Kooshyar Karimi, Hugh Mackay, Nikki Stern, Boaz Bismuth, Michael Bar-Zohar... More details here.

Can't see the bottom of this newsletter? Click 'view online' above. And don't forget to add us to your email contacts so you never miss a catalogue.
BOOK OF THE MONTH
Click here for more details or to order MASTERING THE ART OF SOVIET COOKING
by Anya von Bremzen


Caroline Baum: You know how sometimes you feel a book is so special that it has been written with you and only you in mind?

Well, that's how I felt about this book. Having known several Soviet citizens at very close quarters, I understand how central food and the lack of it is to the national psyche. And I once celebrated the fall of the Berlin wall with a themed New Year's Eve dinner of which the centrepiece was a fiendishly difficult dish: Coulibiac, a traditional Russian fish pie with a yeast dough casing that took two days to make and which my friend and I baked in the shape of a hammer and sickle for extra effect. (It was spectacular, I have to say, but never to be repeated.)

So this book had me at hello, comrade.

Anya von Bremzen is already an acknowledged authority on the cuisine of her homeland thanks to her award-winning Please To The Table cookbook. Now she has written a substantial, tasty, bittersweet memoir which uses food to examine the disastrous agricultural and social policies of the communist regime under Stalin, Khrushchev and even Gorbachev, when hardships and privations forced a nation to queue for meagre rations even when there was no war on.

Drinking the brine of irony that pickled a nation's sanity - only just - Bremzen composes a personal menu memoir of great anecdotes and characters but the book really belongs to her superb, indomitable mother, her cooking and her spirit.

Na zdarovie, tovarisch!


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THE POWER AND THE PASSION
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by Blanche D'Alpuget


Caroline Baum: It's been a long time since Blanche D'Alpuget turned her hand to fiction and it's good to have her back. This time she's decided to tackle historical fiction, which allows her to revisit her longstanding interest in power and passion in a story about the ascendancy of the Plantagenets, the most powerful dynasty to rule England.

The twelfth century in England and France is a time of abundance and intrigue, of endless strategy, plotting and insurgency, of illicit bedchamber visits and risky liaisons. D'Alpuget wears her research lightly, takes permissible liberties with confidence, relishes the opportunity to explore  the dark motives of her ambitious men and women and keeps a tight rein on plot and pace.

You can almost hear her young lion roar.
 
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Australian author
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TRAGIC TRUTH
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by Lloyd Jones


Caroline Baum: The Christchurch Earthquake caused more than buildings to crumble and the very earth to liquefy. It opened up chasms in a family's memories and exposed its long buried secrets. In this remarkable unsettling and sad, sad memoir, Lloyd Jones harnesses his unsentimental, unvarnished prose to exhuming the tragic truth around his mother's yearning for her own mother and to a closer examination of the unhappiness that corroded his family without ever being named. A painful book to read, and, one imagines, an even more painful one to write.

By the end, far more than the ground has shifted.


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ATMOSPHERIC
Click here for more details or to order THE RAVEN'S EYE
by Barry Maitland


Caroline Baum: Barry Maitland delivers another  polished and atmospheric whodunnit, set on the canals and waterways of London. He's really got a feel for the close-knit community of slightly damp, offbeat house boat dwellers where a woman is found dead, apparently asphyxiated by a faulty gas stove.
 
Making investigations more difficult, DI Kathy Kolla and DCI Brock are struggling against the impact of budget cuts, restricting their ability to do their job thoroughly as their bosses apply pressure to make savings. God knows why anyone would want to join the police force under these circumstances.

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ENCHANTING, ORIGINAL AND BOLD
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by Fiona McFarlane


Caroline Baum: Ladies and gents, could I have a drum roll please?

Writing a novel is like walking a highwire. So when  a new artiste makes her debut, you expect a wobble or two. But not in this case. I don't know where she's been hiding up to now, but Fiona McFarlane is a bright new star in Australian fiction.  She's got all the  assurance and the confidence of a seasoned performer. Here she enters the ring with a story about fear, trust, ageing and death; to borrow from another profession where skill is paramount, she handles her themes with a light deft touch, like an expert pastry chef blessed with cool fingers.

Ruth is a widow who lives by the sea. Sometimes alert, sometimes confused. At night she thinks she hears a tiger prowling inside her house. Then, out of the blue,  Frida appears as a home help, a carer companion who can keep the tiger at bay.  At least for a while. But perhaps the tiger is not the only predator and there are other things to fear...

This is a book about serious things but it made me smile.  I felt I was in capable hands right to the very end. Enchanting, original and bold, McFarlane is a tiger tamer indeed.

Booktopia's Andrew Cattanach has also reviewed The Night Guest - read his review here

Australian author
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TENDER, FUNNY AND WISE
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by Matt Greene


Caroline Baum: By now we are pretty used to books written in the voice of clever, slightly smart alec  kids.

Sometimes they are slightly aspergers-ish, and we savour the way that distorts their understanding of the simplest expressions; sometimes they are outsider geek types, sometimes they have lost a parent and sometimes they are ill. So the set up for this novel is not new. But what sets it apart is that  Alex, the boy who narrates this story is irresistibly charming. He's intelligent but not annoyingly so. He's perceptive but he still gets the wrong end of the stick, comically so. He's got a brain tumour and ever since he's had surgery, things in his life have shifted a bit.

Tender, funny and wise.

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LIKEABLE YARN
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by Catherine Titasey


Caroline Baum: Remember that TV series RAN (Remote Area Nurse)? Well, this has the same feel as that.  It's set on Thursday Island in the Torres Strait and written with such a lovely sense of place that you can almost feel the warm air on your skin.

When Thea takes a job as the officer in charge of the local police station, she reconnects with her mother's islander roots, but instead of a relaxed idyll she finds herself  caught up in a community divided by a brutal crime. What's more, the locals believe that maydh, their version of black magic, is involved.

Fortunately for Thea, life is not all crime solving. An encounter with a dishy fisherman shows her the potential for another life in the tropics.

The author, who lived on TI and fell in love with her own fisherman, writes with a genuine affection and respect for Islander people and their culture and captures the slower rhythms of their days in this very likeable yarn.


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COMPELLING
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by Chris Womersley


Caroline Baum: When it comes to unsolved crimes, few are as intriguing as the mystery of who stole Picasso's Weeping Woman from the National Gallery of Victoria in 1986. It was the perfect crime in every way, and the beauty of it was, no one was harmed. Sure, reputations were bruised, but ultimately the painting was safely returned.

Womersley uses the theft as the basis for a really meaty set-up; his narrator Tom is an innocent young man who moves from the country to bohemian Melbourne, falling in with a louche crowd of artists, who live in the same apartment building called Cairo and  involve him in their plan to steal the Weeping Woman.

Seduced by his more sophisticated friends, their unconventional charisma and flamboyance, Tom is eager to please, particularly if it means he can be with Sally, the beautiful singer married to the dangerous, arrogant Max Cheever.

With the identity of the real thieves still unknown, there is plenty of room for speculation about who the Australian Cultural Terrorists really were and their motives. Womersley seizes the opportunity that these uncertainties offer, and fashions a compelling and almost plausible story.

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Australian author
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GENTLE AND THOUGHTFUL
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by Michael Katakis


Caroline Baum: I love a slim volume that feels substantial.

This collection is a gem. A quiet, understated, un-flashy series of notes, observations, sketches of places  which do not  hinge on the  author's personality. In fact, the author here is so self-effacing as to almost disappear. He visits places  popular and remote, peaceful and war ravaged, talks to strangers, goes to a concert, visits monuments and homes, always listening carefully. Gentle, thoughtful, refined impressions free of clichés and assumptions.

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AMERICAN FICTION
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by Jonathan Dee


Caroline Baum: You'd think that a contemporary fable about public relations would have to be fairly hollow but this sharply observed satirical novel confounds expectations.

When Ben and Helen's marriage collapses, their life of privilege ends abruptly. Helen takes their teenage daughter Sara and heads to Manhattan to look for work. There she gets her first job in years in PR discovering that she has a rare gift for  handling the trickiest clients, getting arrogant  business types to admit their mistakes and apologise. But can she apply her principles of forgiveness to her wayward husband and increasingly distant daughter?

A playful take on self-invention, self-destruction  and second chances.

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AMERICAN FICTION
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by Marisha Pessl


Caroline Baum: This slick glossy psychological thriller is a knowing, clever, noir-ish puzzle.

Cult horror director Stanislas Cordova has not been seen in public since 1971 but is the subject of extreme fan cult status. Now his daughter Ashley  is dead. Did journalist Scott McGrath see her at night in Central Park? Together with an aspiring actress called Nora and a young man called Hopper he decides to investigate. Their inquiries lead them into dark places real and imagined. A very contemporary take on obsession, celluloid celebrity and  manufactured mythology, this is a teasing and  manipulative narrative written with smart New York polish and sophistication, announcing Marisha Pessl as a major new talent. Images and clippings taken from media sources  and underground web sites add an extra layer of disinformation and intrigue.


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FAMILIES
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by Heather Taylor Johnson


Caroline Baum: Show me a writer who does not love a wedding: it's such a perfect vehicle for drama and extreme behaviour, misunderstandings and secrets. This impressively confident debut adopts a patchwork approach to the inner worlds of the Smith family, who are all heading for Adelaide for Luna's wedding. They're bringing their neuroses, fears and illnesses along with them, together with their conflicting desires and clashing personalities, so the nuptials promise to be explosive.

Funny, poignant and messy, this is a family as unique and as similar as anyone's, with its own language of jokes, its own no-go territory and  infuriating habits. Hold it up like a mirror and you may recognise yourself.


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Australian author
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AMERICAN FICTION
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by Paul Harding


Caroline Baum: Grief is such a rich seam. No wonder  writers cannot resist visiting it. And yet it is fraught with clichés and sentiment. Not here, though. This marvelously economical book  avoids the pitfalls thanks to writing that is both  refined and truthful.

When Charlie Crosby loses his beloved thirteen year old daughter Kate  in an accident, he is paralysed by loss. His marriage crumbles and he finds himself alone in the small town of Enon, Maine, where his family have lived for generations. Flooded with memories, he loses himself physically in intoxication and solitude,  holding his pain close.

Harding's elegiac, tender prose captures the closeness between Charlie and Kate, their easy companionship and shared rituals together with some wonderfully drawn local characters -  cemetery caretaker Aloysius Shank and grandfather clock owner Mrs Hale make  two memorable cameos.


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LIVELY AND TIMELY
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by Malcolm Knox


Caroline Baum: Mining is like meat eating, says Malcolm Knox. It's an intriguing comparison, typical of this lively and timely take on the national preoccupation with digging up our resources.

Although the subject may not be of universal appeal, you can be sure that award-winning journalist and novelist Knox has created a compelling narrative that blends history and current social and political debate. He animates the industrial landscape with a cast of erratic characters, from the early diggers to today's magnates, making the facts and figures human.

It's a significant contribution to our understanding of who we are economically and culturally.


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Australian author
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IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: MUSIC
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by Brendan Ward


Caroline Baum: Brendan Ward never does things by halves. I know this, because  we were briefly colleagues and I've witnessed his uncompromising intensity and dedication first hand. Still, he does not  expect more of others than he does of himself. I never knew that Beethoven mattered to him to such a degree, thanks to his mother's passion, which she passed on to her only son from the earliest age,  when he learned the piano in a modest Queensland  home. 

Now Ward tells the surprising story of where this obsession has led him: into  a seemingly crazy project to record all of Beethoven's piano sonatas with an Australian pianist on a unique Australian made piano. It's a terrific yarn about so much more than music: it's about friendship, audacity, vision and innovation. It's about why some dreams fail but are worth dreaming anyway. It's about how the spirit of the Olympics lit more than one torch, allowing  us for a moment to think  bigger, better, bolder, before spluttering out, extinguished by cold realities.

With characteristic commitment and willingness to embrace the newest methods,  Ward has also produced a richly curated e-book version which includes one hundred music files and images, making it a great gift for anyone who loves classical music and  technology.

Australian author
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FICTION

AUSTRALIAN FICTION
FLOODLINE
by Kathryn Heyman
  WHAT WAS LEFT
by Eleanor Limprecht
  SUNSET RIDGE
by Nicole Alexander
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THE NARROW ROAD TO THE DEEP NORTH
by Richard Flanagan
  THE FOLLOWING
by Roger McDonald
  THORNWOOD HOUSE
by Anna Romer
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INTERNATIONAL FICTION
Click here for more details or to order MADDADDAM
by Margaret Atwood


In a little enclave called the cob house a motley crew of survivors live alongside the green-eyed Crakers, a gentle, inquisitive species bio-engineered to replace humans.

Toby, a member of the now-defunct Gods Gardeners, is still in love with Zeb. The Crakers' reluctant prophet, Snowman (or Jimmy, or SnowmantheJimmy), has been seriously injured, Amanda is still in shock from the Painballer attack and Ivory Bill simply can't take his eyes off the nubile Swift Fox.

As their relationship with the Crakers becomes intertwined they are approached by a natural enemy for help. Will Toby find the inspiration she needs? Will Zeb ever see his brother again? And will they ever be able to make their world stable enough for future generations?

Told with wit, dizzying imagination, dark humour and a breathtaking command of language, Booker-prize-winning Margaret Atwood's unpredictable and chilling Maddaddam takes us into a carefully-crafted dystopian world and holds up a mirror to our future.

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IMAGINING ALEXANDRIA
by Louis De Bernieres

THE MAN WITH THE COMPOUND EYES
by Ming-Yi Wu
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Poetry was Louis de Bernières' first literary love and Imagining Alexandria is his debut poetry collection. Here the author of the much-loved Captain Corelli's Mandolin returns us to the vivid Mediterranean landscape of his fiction.

De Bernières was introduced to Greek poetry while in Corfu in 1983, and since then he has always travelled with a book of Cavafy's poetry in his pocket. Not surprisingly, his own poems about the distant past, the erotic and the philosophical owe much to the influence of the great Alexandrian poet.

Beautifully illustrated with line drawings by Donald Sammut, this is a collection rich in sensuality, nostalgia, and music.

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Imagining Alexandria

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A Taiwanese Life of Pi

On the island of Wayo Wayo, every second son must leave on the day he turns fifteen as a sacrifice to the Sea God. Atile'i is one such boy, but as the strongest swimmer and best sailor, he is determined to defy destiny and become the first to survive.

Alice Shih, who has lost her husband and son in a climbing accident, is quietly preparing to commit suicide in her house by the sea. But her plan is interrupted when a vast trash vortex comes crashing onto the shore of Taiwan, bringing Atile'i with it.

In the aftermath of the more...

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The Man With The Compound Eyes

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DADDY LOVE
by Joyce Carol Oates

BLEEDING EDGE
by Thomas Pynchon
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From the towering, terrifying imagination of Joyce Carol Oates, a controversial novel about every parent's worst nightmare.

Daddy Love, aka Reverend Chester Cash, has for years abducted, tortured, and raped young boys. His latest victim is Robbie, now renamed 'Gideon,' and brainwashed into believing that he is Daddy Love's real son. Any time the boy resists or rebels he is met with punishment beyond his wildest nightmares. As Robbie grows older he begins to realize that the longer he is locked in the shackles of this demon, the greater chance he'll end up like Daddy Love's other 'sons' who were never heard from more...
 
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It is 2001 in New York City, in the lull between the collapse of the dotcom boom and the terrible events of September 11th. Silicon Alley is a ghost town, Web 1.0 is having adolescent angst, Google has yet to IPO, Microsoft is still considered the Evil Empire. There may not be quite as much money around as there was at the height of the tech bubble, but there's no shortage of swindlers looking to grab a piece of what's left.

Maxine Tarnow is running a nice little fraud investigation business on the Upper West Side, chasing down different kinds of small-scalre con artist. She used to be legally certified but her licence got pulled a while back, which as actually turned out to be more...

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CRAZY RICH ASIANS
by Kevin Kwan
  A HEART BENT OUT OF SHAPE
by Emylia Hall
  AFTER HER
by Joyce Maynard
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BERTIE'S GUIDE TO LIFE AND MOTHERS
by Alexander McCall Smith
  LET THE GAMES BEGIN
by Niccolo Ammaniti
  THE ORCHARD OF LOST SOULS
by Nadifa Mohamed
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HISTORICAL FICTION
THE LUMINARIES
by Eleanor Catton

ONE NIGHT IN WINTER
by Simon Sebag Montefiore
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The astonishing and epic second novel from the prize-winning author of The Rehearsal - a sure contender for every major literary prize.

It is 1866, and Walter Moody has come to make his fortune upon the New Zealand goldfields. On the night of his arrival, he stumbles across a tense gathering of twelve local men, who have met in secret to discuss a series of unsolved crimes. A wealthy man has vanished, a whore has tried to end her life, and an enormous fortune has been discovered in the home of a luckless drunk. Moody is soon drawn into the mystery: a network of fates and fortunes that is as complex and exquisitely patterned as more...


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If your children were forced to testify against you, what terrible secrets would they reveal?

Moscow 1945. As Stalin and his courtiers celebrate victory over Hitler, shots ring out. On a nearby bridge, a teenage boy and girl lie dead.

But this is no ordinary tragedy and these are no ordinary teenagers, but the children of Russia's most important leaders who attend the most exclusive school in Moscow.

Is it murder? A suicide pact? Or a conspiracy against the state?

Directed by more...

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 One Night in Winter

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BLOCKBUSTERS
NEVER GO BACK
by Lee Child
  BONES OF THE LOST
by Kathy Reichs
  WRONGFUL DEATH
by Lynda La Plante
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CRIME
AUNTY LEE'S DELIGHTS
by Ovidia Yu

POLICE
by Jo Nesbo
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This delectable and witty mystery introduces Rosie "Aunty" Lee, feisty widow, amateur sleuth and proprietor of Singapore's best-loved home cooking restaurant.

After losing her husband, Rosie Lee could easily have become one of Singapore's "tai tai", an idle rich lady devoted to an aimless life of mah-jongg and luxury shopping. Instead she threw herself into building a culinary empire from her restaurant, Aunty Lee's Delights, where spicy Singaporean home cooking is graciously served by Rosie Lee to locals and tourists alike. But when a body is found in one of Singapore's beautiful tourist havens, and when one of her wealthy guests fails to show more...

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Aunty Lee's Delights

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The victims are carefully chosen. The locations former crime scenes. The killings no accident. The target: police.

After recovering from a near fatal shooting, Harry Hole has finally retired from active duty. He hears about the case but keeps his distance, determined to protect those he loves from the danger that he can never seem to escape.

But as the media pressure intensifies, Harry finds himself advising an unofficial task force investigating the murders. Drawn into a dangerous web of cold cases and precarious allegiances, Harry can't guarantee protection for anyone. Least of all himself. 


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NEW ADULT
THE BONE SEASON
by Samantha Shannon

SCHOOLED IN REVENGE
by Jesse Lasky
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The year is 2059. Nineteen-year-old Paige Mahoney is working in the criminal underworld of Scion London, based at Seven Dials, employed by a man named Jaxon Hall. Her job: to scout for information by breaking into people's minds. For Paige is a dreamwalker, a clairvoyant and, in the world of Scion, she commits treason simply by breathing.

It is raining the day her life changes for ever. Attacked, drugged and kidnapped, Paige is transported to Oxford - a city kept secret for two hundred years, controlled by a powerful, otherworldly race. Paige is assigned to Warden, a Rephaite with mysterious motives. He is her master. Her trainer. Her natural enemy. But if Paige wants to regain her freedom she must more...


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Ava Winters is young, beautiful and the heiress to Napa's prize Starling Vineyards. She is also in love with the perfect guy ... at least that's what she thinks until he helps take everything that was once hers. With no place left to turn, Ava finds herself on Rebun Island, Japan, the site of Takeda's Revenge School where she trains to be mentally and physically strong enough to enact Revenge. On Rebun Island, Ava meets Emily Thorne who has recently returned to her training with Takeda. Emily shares her wisdom about Revenge and the importance of looking for justice in a world where enemies thrive. Four other trainees are on the island preparing for their own personal vengeance a handsome yet guarded guy, a feisty young woman and the man who will do anything to more...

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Schooled in Revenge

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GREAT PRIZE
Click here for more details or to order THE SPY WHO CAME IN FROM THE COLD
by John Le Carr
é

Order The 50th Anniversary Edition of The Spy Who Came in from the Cold from Booktopia before 31st October 2013 to go in the draw to win one of two signed copies of the UK hardcover edition of A Delicate Truth by John le Carré.

In 1963 John le Carré published his third book, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold. Written in a great rush over a period of about five weeks in response to the fear and ugliness of the Berlin Wall, its bitter, devastating story crystallised the doubts and moral dilemmas of the time. It altered irrevocably our understanding of the Cold War, the shape of the spy novel, and John le Carre's writing career, propelling him to international fame.

Published here in its fiftieth year, this special edition contains original archival material from the time of the novel's writing.

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FOR THE YOUNG AND THE YOUNG AT HEART

BABIES
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by Matthew Van Fleet


From international bestselling novelty creator, Matt Van Fleet, comes a humorous look at how animals munch, crunch and eat!

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THE DANCE TEACHER
by Simon Milne
  I GOT THIS HAT
by Jol Temple
  A CAUTIONARY TAIL
by Erica Harrison
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CHILDREN
Click here for more details or to order ONE DIRECTION: WHERE WE ARE (100% OFFICIAL)
by One Direction


There's no disputing that One Direction are currently the hottest boy band on the planet. They caused mass hysteria during a brief promotional visit to Australia last year, their group autobiography, Dare to Dream, was a worldwide bestseller, and all concerts for their 2013 Aussie tour sold out within minutes, leaving those fans who missed out heartbroken and inconsolable.

This next official memoir from the popular lads picks up where Dare to Dream left off. Packed with never-before-seen photos and exclusive information, this book provides brand new insights into the world of One Direction, straight from the heart and in their own words. With their much-anticipated movie releasing in our cinemas on 19th September, and an Australian tour in September and October, the One Direction phenomenon continues to grow.

This is the book for anyone who ever dreamed what it would be like to join the boys on the road, and one that no fan will be able to live without.

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Click here for more details or to order THE 39-STOREY TREEHOUSE
by Andy Griffiths


Andy and Terry's amazing treehouse has 13 new levels including a chocolate waterfall, a non-erupting active volcano, an opera house, a baby-dinosaur petting zoo, Andy and Terry's Believe it or Else! museum, a not-very-merry merry-go-round, a boxing elephant called the Trunkinator, an X-Ray room, a disco with light-up dance floor, the world's scariest roller-coaster and a top secret 39th level that hasn't even been finished yet!

Well, what are you waiting for? Come on up!

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Click here for more details or to order ALICE-MIRANDA SHINES BRIGHT
by Jacqueline Harvey


Mysteries abound and Alice-Miranda is on the case

Alice-Miranda and Millie have made a dazzling discovery in the woodlands near their school. They vow to keep the secret to themselves, but it seems that a greedy politician and a pair of old friends are searching for the same treasure.

Back at school, the sixth grade girls are preparing for a change to high school. Jacinta is being particularly grumpy with everyone and even with the most persistent questioning, no one quite knows why.

When Myrtle Parker's husband awakes from his coma and disappears, Alice-Miranda puts on her detective hat. She's determined to find Reginald Parker, deter the politician and uncover exactly why Jacinta is playing up.


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Australian author
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LEGO STAR WARS BRICKMASTER BATTLE FOR THE STOLEN CRYSTALS
LEGO PLAY BOOK
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Embark on a new LEGO Star Wars adventure and find the stolen lightsaber crystals, includes 2 minifigures and all the LEGO bricks you need

Play and read all at the same time with LEGO Star Wars Brickmaster Battle for the Stolen Crystals. Create fantastic models with the help of an exciting storybook, filled with step-by-step instructions.

Join Clone trooper Commander Gree as he hunts down the valuable lightsaber crystals stolen by a Separatists droid captain, using your bricks to build weapons and vehicles to help him fight along the way. Assemble your bricks in time to fight battles in canyons, deserts and ice mountains, and fend off an ambush in the forest. Build weapons and vehicles like the more...
 
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LEGO Star Wars Brickmaster Battle for the Stolen Crystals

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LEGO Play Book proves it. You can build anything with a LEGO brick in your hand.

LEGO Play Book contains a collection of all-new LEGO building ideas that will inspire you to play with your favourite LEGO models in new and exciting ways.

Organised in imaginatively themed chapters, covering everything from a LEGO safari and life under the sea to extreme sports and beach scenes. This book is designed to teach you how to get the most play out of your LEGO models. With over 200 building ideas and tips, including suggestions for 'ten-minute builds', 'cool brick' features and 'a handful of bricks', you'll discover endless LEGO possibilities. Advice from LEGO fan builders encourages you to get creative while developing your LEGO skills and knowledge more...


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LOCKWOOD & CO:
THE SCREAMING STAIRCASE
by Jonathan Stroud
  GENERAL DOURAKINE
with bonus FFREE
A ROOM AT GUARDIAN ANGEL INN
by Comtesse De Segur
  THE BOY ON THE WOODEN BOX
by Leon Leyson
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YOUNG ADULT

Click here for more details or to order PRETTY GIRL
by
J.C. Burke

Paige, Sarah, Jess and Tallulah were best friends at school. Now they've begun university and are living together at college, but it's not turning out like it's meant to. Tallulah's partying too hard, Jess is being secretive, Paige is embarrassing herself with an unrequited crush, and Sarah's struggling to keep up with her wealthier friends.

One night, Sarah saves Paige from drowning in the university swimming pool. Paige can't remember why she was there, and Sarah's too afraid to say what she thought she saw. Then Jess's body is found outside the college laundry.

It's not until Sarah meets the gorgeous and charming Jonny that she can tell someone her suspicions. But what really did happen that night at the pool? And what connects Paige's accident with Jess's death? As Paige starts to piece together her memories, the most terrifying question becomes clear: could it be happening again?

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Australian author
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Click here for more details or to order MORE THAN THIS
by Patrick Ness


Order before 30th September to go in the draw to win THE ULTIMATE PATRICK NESS PACK - which includes a signed and numbered SUPER proof of More Than This plus signed copies of the three Chaos Walking books!

From two-time Carnegie Medal winner Patrick Ness comes an enthralling and provocative new novel chronicling the life - or perhaps afterlife - of a teen trapped in a crumbling, abandoned world.

A boy named Seth drowns, desperate and alone in his final moments, losing his life as the pounding sea claims him. But then he wakes. He is naked, thirsty, starving. But alive. How is that possible? He remembers dying, his bones breaking, his skull dashed upon the rocks. So how is he here? And where is this place? It looks like the suburban English town where he lived as a child, before an unthinkable tragedy happened and his family moved to America. But the neighbourhood around his old house is overgrown, covered in dust, and completely abandoned. What s going on? And why is it that whenever he closes his eyes, he falls prey to vivid, agonising memories that seem more real than the world around him?

Seth begins a search for answers, hoping that he might not be alone, that this might not be the hell he fears it to be, that there might be more than just this...

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RUSSIAN ROULETTE
by Anthony Horowitz


The highly anticipated prequel to the bestselling Alex Rider series, charting the journey of a young assassin.

A gripping insight into the teenage life of Yassen Gregorovich, set against a backdrop of violence and corruption. From Yassen s training to become a deadly assassin, to his later orders to kill a young Alex Rider, this gripping adventure will be the deadliest yet...

 

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THE FURY
by Alexander Gordon Smith

CROWN OF MIDNIGHT
by Sarah J. Maas
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John Purcell: Both the kids at home (12yo girl, 15yo boy) loved this. He read it first and raved so she secretly read it. Both now obsessed. This book contains book one and two in the one volume!

Imagine if one day, without warning, the entire human race turns against you. Every single person you meet becomes a bloodthirsty, mindless savage, hell-bent on killing you - and only you. Friends, family, even your mum and dad, will turn on you. They will murder you more...

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Our 12yo girl devoured book one and bugged me with - 'when's book two coming, when's book two coming...' for ages. She read the proof of book two last month. Since then it's been 'when's book three coming, when's book three coming...' I think she REALLY likes this series.

 Eighteen-year-old Celaena Sardothien is bold, daring and beautiful - the perfect seductress and the greatest assassin her world has ever known. But though she won the King's contest and became his champion, Celaena has been granted neither her liberty nor the freedom to follow her more...

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AUSTRALIAN YA

Click here for more details or to order HATE IS SUCH A STRONG WORD
by Sarah Ayoub


I hate being invisible.

I hate that I can't fight my own battles.

I hate that I'm stuck in social Siberia.

Sophie Kazzi is in Year 12 at an all-Lebanese, all-Catholic school where she is invisible, uncool and bored out of her brain. While she′s grown up surrounded by Lebanese friends, Lebanese neighbours and Lebanese shops, she knows there′s more to life than Samboosik and Baklawa, and she desperately wants to find it.

Unfortunately, her father has antiquated ideas about women, curfews and the Lebanese ′way′. Bad news for Sophie, who was hoping to spend Year 12 fitting in and having fun - not babysitting her four younger siblings, or studying for final exams that will land her in an Accounting course she has no interest in.

Just when it looks like Sophie′s year couldn't get any more complicated, Shehadie Goldsmith arrives at school. With an Australian father and a Lebanese mother, he's even more of a misfit than Sophie. And with his arrogant, questioning attitude, he also has a way of getting under her skin...

But when simmering cultural tensions erupt in violence, Sophie must make a choice that will threaten her family, friends and the cultural ties that have protected her all her life.

Are her hates and complaints worth it? Or will she let go ... and somehow find her place?

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Australian author
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NON-FICTION

AUSTRALIAN STORIES
Click here for more details or to order IN GREAT SPIRITS
by Archie Barwick


Archie Albert Barwick was an enthusiastic young 24 year old when he joined the First AIF in late August 1914 - his service number was 914. When he learnt that he'd been accepted into the army, he was so happy he turned two somersaults for pure joy. This is his diary, that he kept throughout the war - from Cairo to Gallipoli, from Marseilles through to the terrible winter of 1916 in the Somme, from Ypres to Pozieres. He was wounded three times and sent back to the fighting, before finally travelling back home in December 1918.

This diary is simply a treasure - vivid, alive, compelling. His description of the war is by turns down-to-earth, horrifying, illuminating, funny, touching and terribly sad. Yet his voice and personality shine through. In his diary, Archie describes someone as being 'merry & bright & never downhearted' and this could be a description of Archie himself.

Readable, spirited and humming with life, In Great Spirits is a unique and incredibly moving tribute to the Australian character and the ANZAC spirit.

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Australian author
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TOO BOLD TO DIE
by Ian McPhedran

WALKING WOUNDED
by Brian Freeman
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An unputdownable account of the courage and bravery under fire of our Australian soldiers on the frontline - from WWII to Afghanistan.

From Gallipoli to Afghanistan, many Australians have been awarded military honours for acts of selfless courage. Others have missed out. Bestselling author Ian McPhedran uncovers new stories of extreme bravery in action from WWII to today, and hears from those on the front line about what courage really means. Some of these stories, including Medals for Gallantry awarded in the face of the enemy in East Timor and Afghanistan, are quite extraordinary. This book also explores why some become national heroes and others are overlooked. 
 
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Australian author
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Brian Freeman, former special forces soldier, Kokoda Track record-breaker and discoverer of the lost battlefield of Kokoda, had a belief that walking the track could have a special benefit for wounded Australian servicemen and the families of those killed in Afghanistan or Iraq.

In 2012, he proved his theory right by organising two treks that produced some extraordinary results for those who took part - from the former commando who lost both legs in Afghanistan to the father who lost his son there. Walking Wounded is the inspiring accounts of the men and women on those treks - how walking in the footsteps of those who fought on the track has helped them piece their lives more...

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Australian author
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UGLY
by Robert Hoge
  EYRE
by Ivan Rudolph
  IAN FRAZER
by Madonna King
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MEMOIRS
Click here for more details or to order AN APPETITE FOR WONDER
by Richard Dawkins


An early memoir from the world's most famous atheist, and scientist.

Born to parents who were enthusiastic naturalists, and linked through his wider family to a clutch of accomplished scientists, Richard Dawkins was bound to have biology in his genes. But what were the influences that shaped his life and intellectual development? And who inspired him to become the pioneering scientist and public thinker now famous (and infamous to some) around the world?

In An Appetite for Wonde r we join him on a personal journey back to an enchanting childhood in colonial Africa. There the exotic natural world was his constant companion. Boarding school in England aged 8, and later, public school at Oundle introduce him, and the reader, to strange rules and eccentric school masters vividly described with both humorous affection and some reservation. An initial fervent attachment to Church of England religion soon gives way to disaffection and, later, teenage rebellion. Early signs of a preference for music, poetry and reading over practical matters become apparent as he recalls the opportunities that entered his small world.

Oxford, however, is the more...

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LADY CATHERINE AND THE REAL DOWNTOWN ABBEY
by The Countess of Carnarvon
  GADDADI'S HAREM
by Annick Cojean
  DRINK
by Ann Dowsett Johnston
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ON MY KNEES
by Periel Aschenbrand
  DAMNED IF I DO
by Philip Nitschke
  SALINGER
by David Shields
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GARDENING
Click here for more details or to order GARDEN
by Jennifer Stackhouse


Garden is an invaluable guide to maintaining a garden - from the plants to the paving - all year round. Starting with the vital task of watering, Australian gardening expert Jennifer Stackhouse provides detailed advice and insights on fertilising, weeding, pruning, looking after pots, lawns, keeping an organic garden and even how best to maintain outdoor areas, including paving, furniture, swimming pools and ponds.

Featuring plenty of photographs, helpful tables and tips, as well as an invaluable seasonal maintenance calendar and planting suggestions, this is the ideal book for anyone who wants a healthy, flourishing garden to enjoy throughout the year.

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Australian author
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FOOD
Click here for more details or to order SAVE WITH JAMIE
by Jamie Oliver


Jamie gets the nation cooking clever, shopping smart and wasting less with his new cookbook, Save with Jamie.

This year, I've got the message loud and clear that as everyone comes under bigger and bigger financial pressure, they want help to cook tasty, nutritious food on a budget - so this book was born completely out of public demand. Save with Jamie draws on knowledge and cooking skills to help you make better choices, showing you how to buy economically and efficiently, get the most out of your ingredients, save time and prevent food waste.

And there's no compromise - I'm talking big flavours, comfort food that makes you happy, and colourful, optimistic dishes. Our biggest luxury is knowledge, whether times are hard or not, so get kitchen smart and smash the recession.

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LEITHS: HOW TO COOK

SEASONAL KITCHEN
by  Serge Dansereau
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Leiths School of Food and Wine is a renowned London-based cookery school with a first-class international reputation. This comprehensive book takes the reader - subject by subject - through every aspect of food preparation and cooking from the masters themselves. Skills are completely explained and clearly illustrated with step-by-step photographs throughout. Here you will find the essentials that most cookbooks leave out: how to prepare every ingredient from scratch, including vegetables, fish, shellfish, poultry and game; how to judge when meat is perfectly cooked and the best way to carve roasts; the correct texture at every stage of pastry, cake and bread making; and how to make the perfect pasta and risotto. And if things don't turn out quite right, there more...

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Leiths: How to Cook

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Seasonal Kitchen gives you 220 new recipes that celebrate Australian produce. In this eclectic collection of recipes, which draws its inspiration from the Mediterranean, as well as India and China, Serge continues to use his chef know-how to demonstrate how to turn modern-day classics from good dishes into great ones. Capitalising on his reputation as the 'father of the fresh food movement', Serge moves us through the year, listing in-season produce and offering us recipes that will show them at their best.

In Autumn, there is cauliflower,leek and cider soup, chicken piccata with lemon and parsley and lavender pannacotta with pistachio biscuits.

In Winter, eat Serge's pork belly with ginger and shallots, with a raisin and treacle tart. Spring heralds artichokes with more...

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Australian author
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HEALTH
Click here for more details or to order UNDERSTANDING ALZHEIMER'S
by Ralph Martins


There are over 321,600 Australians living with dementia, with the most common type of dementia being Alzheimer's. Each week, there are 1,700 new cases of dementia in Australia; approximately one person every 6 minutes.

This timely book is a practical and compassionate guide to understanding and living with a condition that affects one in four people over 85. The lead author is Professor Ralph Martins, AO, one of the country's most respected researchers. The book is aimed at those in the early stages of the disease, as well as the families, friends and professionals who take on the care of Alzheimer sufferers.

There are chapters on diagnosis, research, prevention, treatment, legal issues, impact on loved ones and decision making to do with caring for patients. In addition to practical information and advice, each chapter contains a case study; these detailed accounts provide a personal and heartfelt perspective on the disease.

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Australian author
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HISTORY
DANUBIA
by Simon Winder

THE STORY OF THE JEWS
by Simon Schama
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For centuries much of Europe was in the hands of the very peculiar Habsburg family. An unstable mixture of wizards, obsessives, melancholics, bores, musicians and warriors, they saw off - through luck, guile and sheer mulishness - any number of rivals, until finally packing up in 1918. From their principal lairs along the Danube they ruled most of Central Europe and Germany and interfered everywhere - indeed the history of Europe hardly makes sense without them.

Simon Winder's extremely funny new book plunges the reader into a maelstrom of alchemy, skeletons, jewels, bear-moats, unfortunate marriages and a guinea-pig village. Danubia is full of music, piracy, religion more...

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It is a story like no other: an epic of endurance against destruction, of creativity in oppression, joy amidst grief, the affirmation of life against the steepest of odds. It spans the millennia and the continents - from India to Andalusia and from the bazaars of Cairo to the streets of Oxford. It takes you to unimagined places: to a Jewish kingdom in the mountains of southern Arabia; a Syrian synagogue glowing with radiant wall paintings; the palm groves of the Jewish dead in the Roman catacombs. And its voices ring loud and clear, from the severities and ecstasies of the Bible writers to the love poems of wine bibbers in a garden in Muslim Spain. Within these pages, the Talmud burns in the streets of Paris, massed gibbets hang over the more...

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The Story of the Jews

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POLITICS
WAR FROM THE GROUND UP
by Emile Simpson

THE NEW FRONT PAGE
by Tim Dunlop
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As a British infantry officer in the Royal Gurkha Rifles, Emile Simpson completed three tours of Southern Afghanistan. Drawing on that experience, and on a range of revealing case studies ranging from Nepal to Borneo, War From The Ground Up offers a distinctive perspective on contemporary armed conflict. While most accounts of war look down at the battlefield from an academic perspective, or across it as a personal narrative, the author looks up from the battlefield to consider the concepts that  more...

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War from the Ground Up

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A provocative, timely account of the changing face of jounalism from a pioneer of the new-media revolution.

For a long time, media organisations have controlled the news, treating their audiences as products for advertisers. Yet as journalism has moved online and behind paywalls, the public is demanding more say in how the news is created. They are using blogs, Twitter, and Facebook to share stories, and selecting their sources to create more...
 

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The New Front Page

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RELIGION
Click here for more details or to order DAVID MARR ON GEORGE PELL
by David Marr


George Pell: leader of the Catholic Church in Australia, confessor to Tony Abbott.

David Marr: the nation's leading biographer and investigative journalist.

Cardinal George Pell is the most prominent Catholic leader in Australia at a time when the Church's handling of sexual abuse is being closely investigated. He is also the confessor of prime-minister-in-waiting Tony Abbott.

In Quarterly Essay 51 , David Marr investigates the character and actions of George Pell: how does he wield his authority? How did he rise to prominence? How has he handled abuse claims in the past? What is the source of his authority? How deep does his political influence go?

This will be a news-breaking and definitive portrait of Pell, at a time of maximum tension and scrutiny for both him and the church.

Following up the explosive Political Animal, Marr's essay is certain to be one of the most discussed pieces of writing of the year.

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Australian author
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WORTHY
Click here for more details or to order ON OFFENCE
by Richard King


Most of us know what it is to be offended. In a society bound by complicated behavioural codes, the potential for offence is ever-present, the varieties of emotional trespass legion. A person who claimed never to have taken offence would either be lying or uniquely tolerant, while someone who claimed never to have given offence would most likely be delusional. Offence, it seems, is as intimately mapped into the human condition as hunger and lust.

Yet in the last 50 years, the way in which we take offence has undergone a radical change. Everyone is offended; hurt feelings are paraded like union banners. Offence has been democractised - and that is not good for democracy. It has opened the door to a new mood of censoriousness, self-pity and self-righteousness: a world of 'offensitivity'.

This mood is poisoning public debate not because it creates division, but because it is intellectually void: suddenly, it is how we feel that counts, not what we think. Political and religious leaders seek to more...


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SCIENCE
Click here for more details or to order THE COSMIC TOURIST
by Brian May, Patrick Moore, Chris Lintott


Take your seats for the greatest tour ever - one that encompasses no less than the whole of the Universe. En route, we stop off to gaze at 100 amazing sights - from asteroids to zodiacal dust and from orbit around the Earth to beyond the most distant galaxies. We start right here on Earth, with your tour guides: the three intrepid cosmic voyagers Patrick Moore, Brian May and Chris Lintott. They explain the sights - what they are, and how they fit into the astronomical zoo of familiar and curious objects and phenomena - and convey their own personal enthusiasm for each marvel you encounter. The images present the extraordinary beauty of the Universe as seen through the eyes of the biggest and best telescopes on Earth and in space, and occasionally in the backyards of expert amateur observers.

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HOT PRE-ORDERS

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THE TOURNAMENT
by Matthew Reilly
  SAINTS OF THE SHADOW BIBLE
by Ian Rankin
  BARRACUDA
by Christos Tsiolkas
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THE GOLDFISH
by Donna Tartt
  THE SIGNATURE OF ALL THINGS
by Elizabeth Gilbert
  DOCTOR SLEEP
by Stephen King
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NO PLACE LIKE HOME
by Caroline Overington
  SYCAMORE ROW
by John Grisham
  TEARDROP
by Lauren Kate
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NON-FICTION
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THIS MONTH'S CLASSIC
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GREAT THRILLS NOW IN CHEAPER FORMATS
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ON TOUR NOW
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THE FRENCH COUNTRY DIARY 2014
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 FOR THE FOODIES
 
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FASHIONISTAS
MUST
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