Booktopia Buzz with Caroline Baum
October 2013 | Breaking News
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BUZZ IN BRIEF
By sheer coincidence there is a lot of pain and sorrow in this month's selection. Loss, grief and forgiving... is it something in the air? There is a certain pleasure in melancholy, if it is well expressed, not self-indulgent.

But it's not all gloom and doom: my choice for Book of the Month - oh hell, make that the year - is not just marvellously written but will make you smile, if not laugh out loud at the originality and audacity of its remarkable heroine. If you don't fall in love with Alma Whittacker, there is something wrong with you.

So be prepared for high impact emotion and don't be afraid to have a little sniffle over some of these books. They are not about cheap sentiment, so you won't feel manipulated. Besides, sometimes a cry can be very satisfying and cathartic. Perhaps we should have thought of a Tear Rating.

Kind Regards

Caroline Baum
Editorial Director

Booktopia Buzz

Follow me on Twitter: @mscarobaum

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BOOK OF THE MONTH
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THE SIGNATURE OF ALL THINGS
by Elizabeth Gilbert


Caroline Baum: I love this book without reservation. For its breadth, ambition and generosity of spirit, its curiosity and sense of inquiry, its connection to the natural world and the life of the mind and its celebration of the body. I love the fact that it celebrates a brilliant woman who although fictional, could have existed. I love the fact that it is all about knowledge as a noble pursuit and about pleasure for pleasure's sake.

Click here for more details or to order Alma Whittacker is an unforgettable character: plain but clever, pulsating with curiosity about all things, big and small. Born in privilege at the beginning of the nineteenth century, she is a lady botanist but soon discovers desires of her own that are anything but ladylike. Her quest for knowledge and love take her to Tahiti and beyond, on a journey that is as much of an adventure for the reader as it is for Alma.

I don't want to say more, because the joy of this book is to discover the world as Alma does, while being grateful that we live in more enlightened times. The book is full of wonder and such well-timed surprises, that laughter and tears stole up on me without warning. It also left me in awe of Gilbert's luminous prose, and her ability to be both light of touch and profound of meaning, dispelling any notion that Eat Pray Love was her defining work. A triumph that should win everything.


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ELOQUENT AND POWERFUL
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THE NARROW ROAD TO THE DEEP NORTH
by Richard Flanagan


Caroline Baum: When Richard Flanagan produces a new book, you know it will come freighted with Big Themes. As an essayist, Flanagan is political, provocative, passionate. As a novelist, he is capable of shape-shifting across genres, from high literary gothic to popular psychological thriller.

His latest novel is as eloquent and powerful an Click here for more details or to order affirmation of his empathy and understanding of humanity as anything he's ever written. An elegy to the men of the Thai Burma railroad and their Japanese masters, it's a book about so many things: brutality, barbarity, tenderness, regret, heroism, friendship, betrayal, the manufacturing of national heroism and the mythologizing of one man as a symbol for a nation's pain and pride.

Basing his central character Dorrigo Evans on that of legendary war hero and surgeon Weary Dunlop is a bold move, Dunlop is a sacrosanct figure in Australia's war narrative, an untouchable icon of sacrifice, honour, resilience and courage.

Evans is flawed, with a weakness for women in general and one woman in particular, allowing Flanagan to contrast the prisoner-of-war chapters with flashbacks to moments of stolen intimacy for some relief from the relentless sadism and degradation.
 
PS the new Colin Firth film, The Railway Man seems to explore similar territory. The two might make interesting, if harrowing, companions.  


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Australian author
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WAR/PSYCHOLOGY/JOURNALISM
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by David Finkel


Caroline Baum: Anyone who read The Yellow Birds, the stunning debut from US ex-soldier Kevin Powers will be in no doubt about the trauma that comes home with soldiers after their tour of duty is over.

Now David Finkel has written a profoundly humane and compassionate portrait of the men broken by PTSD and their wives, partners and families as they battle for sanity to be restored to those who fought for their country.

We see these bewildered women and children at home and we visit the mental health facilities swamped with vets struggling to make sense of life and contemplating suicide. Some post-combat programs are more successful than others, but all are overwhelmed by demand as symptoms reach epidemic proportions, with acute social consequences no one can afford to ignore.

This is first class un-intrusive, unshowy fly-on-the-wall observational journalism, the very best of what American non-fiction can be: powerful, purposeful, eloquent, urgent and central to a national conversation. Did someone say Pulitzer?


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IF YOU LOVED THE ROSIE PROJECT
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THE FULL RIDICULOUS
by Mark Lamprell

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Caroline Baum: When Michael O'Dell is hit by a car he is not seriously injured. But although he is pleased to have been so lucky, somehow his life goes off and tilts at an angle, making it hard to recover his internal equilibrium. Small things niggle and soon seem bigger. His daughter is having problems at school and his son is keeping a stash of drugs in his room. A policeman starts harassing the family and Michael can't quite get his working mojo as a film critic back.

As the narrator of his own melt down, Michael is charming, funny and self-deprecating, making this is a very likeable, amusing debut about what it means to fall apart.


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FINGER ON THE PULSE
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NO PLACE LIKE HOME
by Caroline Overington


Caroline Baum: Deploying her considerable journalistic savvy, Caroline Overington has established herself as a storyteller who comes up with dramatically plausible scenarios based on the sorts of events we watch on the nightly news. She's got a finger on the pulse for current issues and for the thoughts and attitudes that animate talkback culture.

Click here for more details or to orderHer scenario here is simple: a boy wearing what appears to be a bomb takes several people hostage in a Sydney shopping mall. He does not talk to police or communicate any ultimatum and his motives are unclear. Police are puzzled by his appearance and his identity. Can they diffuse the situation without loss of life?

The story is narrated by a priest who witnesses the drama and acts as counsellor in its aftermath, allowing us to hear the story from multiple points of view, piecing together fragments of lives brought into a random collision with devastating consequences.


Australian author
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A FRIEND FOR LIFE
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 by Delia Ephron


Caroline Baum: For those of us still mourning the loss of Nora Ephron, at least there is Delia. 

Delia misses Nora too as she tell us in the first essay in this wonderfully new Yorker-ish, neurotic and confessional collection. Delia was eclipsed by Nora but now she is our consolation prize. Fortunately, she too can be very, very funny. Her account of a pilot announcement on a flight to Tulsa made me snort, but there are many  gems in these autobiographical fragments that are touching as well as comic, and sometimes painful in their honesty: for example she has real 'issues' with her alcoholic mother and lays it all out squarely and without sentiment.

Reading this feels deliciously, almost wickedly gossipy and intrusive, it is at times so personal. By the end, you feel as you did with everything that Nora wrote, that Delia is your closest friend.

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COLONIAL STORIES REVITALISED
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by Lenny Bartulin


Caroline Baum: Wild colonial stories are back. They've swapped the sepia tones of history for a more contemporary, Technicolor approach borrowing energy, style and dialogue from cinema.

This is muscular, visceral storytelling, breathing new life into a genre that was in danger of getting swamped in clichés. Call it Deadwood meets The Fatal Shore.

Australian author
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A MASTER RETURNS
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by Alex Miller


Caroline Baum: Every line of this novel reads like poetry. It's the story of a young man in the bush, with no education, who goes to work for the new local policeman, who does not understand how the place has always functioned. When he and his wife set about introducing new rules and values, the consequences are tragic.

Miller invests this masculine elegy to mateship and the ways of his beloved back country of Queensland with hypnotically rhythmic cadences, heavy with portent and signalling that trouble lies ahead. Stark powerful prose from a master.

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Australian author
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MOVING, POIGNANT, NECESSARY
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by Susan Wyndham


Caroline Baum: What  he contributors to this Aussie collection (including Helen Garner, Tom Kenneally, Kathryn Heyman and Susan Duncan) share is an experience of grief  at the loss of a parent and a willingness to be candid about the different ways they've dealt with it. It's a decisive experience, one you are never fully prepared for and one that alters you forever.

This is, by necessity, a sad anthology, but one that will hopefully provide comfort to those who share the same experience, even if the circumstances are always unique. It could be a consoling gift for someone still raw in their mourning. Just don't attempt to read this entire collection straight through and do make sure you've got a box of tissues with you.
(Disclaimer: I am a contributor to this collection)

Australian author
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AN IMPORTANT BOOK
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by Jesmyn Warm


Caroline Baum: So much sorrow, so much pain, so much anger in such a slim book. In the wake of the Trayvon Martin case, this is a timely and searing memoir of loss by a gifted young writer who has seen too many people she loved die before their time. The only thing they have in common is the colour of their skin.

An angry elegy to unnecessary loss, Men We Reaped stares down the disadvantage, drugs and violence that make being young black and urban in America today the curse of a generation.

This is an important, tough book that should - indeed, must - become the subject of a national conversation in the US, even though it will be a difficult one to have. But to turn away from the social causes and consequences of so much despair will only make the problem bigger.

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INSPIRING
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by Patricia Edgar


Caroline Baum: I expect this book will be as popular as Anne Deveson's Resilience was a few years ago. It's a similarly good idea, written by a similarly impressive energetic woman with a strong commitment to social justice and to a meaningful life.

Anglo cultures are dreadful in the way they perceive the elderly and look after them, or fail to. They rob them of purpose and dignity in so many small and insulting ways. Other cultures (Asian, Scandinavian, Middle European, Mediterranean) venerate their elders, and are enriched by their wisdom.

Why are we guilty of such indifference and neglect and what does it say about us? Nothing very flattering.

Well, Edgar is having one of it. I applaud her rejection of ageism wholeheartedly. Her case histories provide inspiration in many forms, although there's no escaping the fact that good genes account for a lot of her subjects' longevity. What we need now is a new revitalised social policy around ageing and a public education campaign that sends out a deeper message than the facile 'sixty is the new fifty'-style slogan that marketers dream up to sell us more stuff we don't need.

Australian author
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A CUT ABOVE
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by Robert Harris


Caroline Baum: I love a book that does two things at once: teach you history and entertain you with a gripping story of espionage. Master spy storyteller Harris got the idea for this revisiting of the Dreyfus scandal from a conversation with Roman Polanski. His extensive research of historical sources has trawled through the original case: in 1894 French society was ripped in two over the fate of a Jewish captain accused of betraying national secrets to the Germans and famously championed by Emile Zola in his 'J'accuse' speech. Families were divided and the national conversation rose to a level of hysteria prompting unrest and political destabilisation until the matter was finally settled in 1906.

With paranoia about intelligence a feverish topic today, the choice and timing of Harris' latest could not be more perfect. You can't help but think of Wikileaks and Ed Snowden while reading this true story of one of the most grotesque examples of a miscarriage of justice in modern history and the shameful cover-up that attempted to conceal its rotten core of prejudice. 

An important story given new vigour in the hands of a master of intrigue. He has, apparently, also written a film version for Polanski to direct.
 
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AN UPLIFTING READ
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by Tim Ferguson

Order now to secure a SIGNED COPY of Carry a Big Stick! Hurry, only while stocks last.


Caroline Baum: In the eighties and nineties, the Doug Anthony Allstars - Tim Ferguson, Paul McDermott, Richard Fidler - were pioneers of subversive, in-your-face, politically incorrect comedy. Starting as buskers in Canberra, they conquered the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and became Australia's favourite bad boys with their naughty lyrics, outrageous skits and fishnets.

Ferguson comes from a media savvy, high achieving family, but one which also harboured warning signs that something was not quite right. When symptoms of numbness, tingling, impaired vision and limping announced themselves, Ferguson harnessed his tremendous stamina and will to ignoring them - until he could no longer do so. The diagnosis of MS brings not one ounce of self-pity to this candid, playful and defiantly resilient memoir. An uplifting read for anyone interested in comedy, celebrity and self-re-invention in the face of disability.

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COMING IN NOVEMBER
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by Donna Tartt


Caroline Baum: Few works of literary fiction will have been anticipated more than this hefty novel by an author already mythologised before she turned thirty thanks to her cult debut The Secret History.

It's been more than ten years since her second novel, The Little Friend. Since then, she's been off the radar. Rumours have swirled, deadlines have slipped.

Now Tartt is back and back in fine form, writing a dense, intelligent, complex and dark story about a small jewel of a painting that goes missing from the Metropolitan Museum following a bomb attack.

Its fate is told by a young unreliable narrator, Theo Decker- thirteen when we meet him - who has lost his mother in the museum explosion and attended the dying moments of an old man, prompting him, irrationally, to take the small painting and keep it hidden through the ensuing turmoil of his life: first with the marvellously preppy uptown Barbour family who take him in and then in the  squalid chaos of Vegas, where he lives for a brief moment with his hopeless gambler father and his new girlfriend Xandra, (a piece of work who gives Tartt the opportunity to deploy her considerable comic skills )

When Theo moves back to New York, he learns the antiques trade from the gentle Hobie, a true craftsman with no head for business. There are brilliant set pieces and a cast of characters who echo Dickens, and Henry James, pinpointing every nuance of social standing with forensic detail. Boris, a shady Russian who befriends Theo in Vegas, is the book's most memorable scene stealer, navigating the underworld and a druggy twilight zone with Slavic charm.   

The book is really a love letter to New York, uptown and downtown, and to the opaque and often dubious world of antiques and their collectors. It's long and demanding and its pace is frustratingly languid at times but as a stylist, Tartt has such mastery that she keeps you in her thrall till the narrative picks up momentum.

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BOND IS BACK
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Click here for more details or to orderSOLO
by William Boyd


In a global event to mark the publication of the new James Bond novel SOLO , 7 copies of the novel, signed and stamped by author William Boyd, were sent on 7 SOLO missions around the world in association with British Airways.

Booktopia is proud to announce that we are the recipient of the copy sent all the way out to Sydney, Australia. The handover took place early this morning and after a quick tour of the sights of Sydney the Perspex case containing SOLO was brought back to Booktopia HQ where it will stay until we draw the prize and one lucky Booktopian will own a piece of history.

Buy William Boyd's SOLO or any James Bond Vintage Classics Editions before 31st October 2013 for your chance to win an exclusive signed copy of the new James Bond novel, SOLO. Only one in Australia!

James Bond in Australia: Booktopia takes Solo on a Bond Voyage. Click here to view the full story.

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FICTION
AUSTRALIAN LITERATURE
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EYRIE
by Tim Winton


Tom Keely's reputation is in ruins.
And that's the upside.

Divorced and unemployed, he's lost faith in everything precious to him. Holed up in a grim highrise, cultivating his newfound isolation, Keely looks down at a society from which he's retired hurt and angry. He's done fighting the good fight, and well past caring.

Click here for more details or to order But even in his seedy flat, ducking the neighbours, he's not safe from entanglement. All it takes is an awkward encounter in the lobby. A woman from his past, a boy the likes of which he's never met before. Two strangers leading a life beyond his experience and into whose orbit he falls despite himself.

What follows is a heart-stopping, groundbreaking novel for our times - funny, confronting, exhilarating and haunting. Inhabited by unforgettable characters, Eyrie asks how, in an impossibly compromised world, we can ever hope to do the right thing.


Australian author
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BLOCKBUSTERS


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 DOCTOR SLEEP
by
Stephen King


John Purcell: Stephen King is the master of horror. The Shining is one of his best known and best loved books. It is also one of his most frightening. The very sight of Redrum will give most readers the heebie-jeebies.

Now Stephen King returns having written a sequel to The Shining. Critics are already claiming the sequel, Doctor Sleep , is King at his creepy best. And you know what that means? Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

Order before December 10th 2013 to go in the draw to win the most awesome Stephen King book collection ever - over 50 titles!

Winners will be announced on December 16th 2013 via the Booktopia Blog.
 
Blurb: An epic war between good and evil, a Click here for more details or to order gory, glorious story that will thrill the millions of hyper-devoted readers of THE SHINING and wildly satisfy anyone new to the territory of this icon in the King canon.

King says he wanted to know what happened to Danny Torrance, the boy at the heart of THE SHINING, after his terrible experience in the Overlook Hotel. The instantly riveting Doctor Sleep picks up the story of the now middle-aged Dan, working at a hospice in rural New Hampshire, and the very special twelve-year old girl he must save from a tribe of murderous paranormals.

On highways across America, a tribe of people called The True Knot travel in search of sustenance. They look harmless - mostly old, lots of polyester, and married to their RVs. But as Dan Torrance knows, and tween Abra Stone learns, The True Knot are more...

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EXCLUSIVE TO BOOKTOPIA

Click here for more details or to order SYCAMORE ROW: TRUNK EDITION
by
John Grisham

Only 5000 Printed Worldwide: Includes Exclusive Short Story

Booktopia has a very limited number. Pre-order now or you will miss out.

To celebrate the publication of the thrilling new sequel to A Time to Kill, the first edition of Sycamore Row is limited to only 5,000 copies. This Trunk Edition also contains an exclusive short story and a facsimile of the author's signature.

Sycamore Row is the spectacular sequel to John Grisham's A Time to Kill.

When A Time to Kill was published in 1989, the first - and, at the time, the only - print run was a mere 5,000 copies. John Grisham was so worried that they wouldn't find buyers that he bought all 5,000 and sold them out of the trunk of his car. The rest is history.

Booktopia price: $39.99*

*Sorry, no extra discount on this special edition.
Click here for more details or to order SYCAMORE ROW (Standard Edition)
by
John Grisham

Does not include extra short story.


For almost a quarter of a century, John Grisham's A Time to Kill has captivated readers with its raw exploration of race, retribution, and justice. Now, its hero, Jake Brigance, returns to the courtroom in a dramatic showdown as Ford County again confronts its tortured history.


Filled with the intrigue, suspense and plot twists that are the hallmarks of the world's favourite storyteller, Sycamore Row is the thrilling story of the elusive search for justice in a small American town.


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WINNERS
by Danielle Steel
  CONFESSIONS OF A WILD CHILD
by Jackie Collins
  THE KILL LIST
by Frederick Forsyth
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INTERNATIONAL FICTION
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THE PURE GOLD BABY
by Margaret Drabble

 
The Pure Gold Baby will both raise you up and break your heart, as it follows Anna, a child of special, unknowable qualities, who also presents profound parental challenges. Over decades, we observe her touch the lives and loves of those around her.

Margaret Drabble writes with great beauty, wisdom and stealthy power about parenthood, about friendship and ultimately about the ways in which we care for one another.

The Pure Gold Baby is a captivating novel from one of Britain's most admired literary figures.

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GHOST MOTH
by Michele Forbes

LION HEART
by Justin Cartwright
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A stunning new voice reminiscent of Maggie O'Farrell and Jon McGregor, which has already been acclaimed by John Banville, Roddy Doyle and Anne Enright.

Ghost Moth will transport you to two hot summers, twenty years apart.

Northern Ireland, 1949. Katherine must choose between George Bedford - solid, reliable, devoted George - and Tom McKinley, who makes her feel alive.

The reverberations of that summer - of the passions that were spilled, the lies that were told and the bargains that were made - still clamour to be heard in 1969. Northern Ireland has become a tinderbox but tragedy also lurks closer more...

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Richard Cathar was named after his father's hero, Richard the Lionheart. Richard remembers his recently-deceased father, Alfric, as a delusional hippy, who saw himself as an intellectual and historian. Alfric believed that Richard the Lionheart and Robin Hood had met and he found and lost a document which was to prove this.

In his father's footsteps, Richard travels to Jerusalem where he falls deeply in love with an Arab Canadian journalist; a few weeks later she is kidnapped in Cairo. In the course of writing about the Crusades, Richard discovers that the True Cross, lost to Saladin in 1187, was recovered by a small band of Richard's knights.

He embarks on a quest of his own, both to find the True Cross, and to discover whether more...

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EXPO 58
by Jonathan Coe

THREE BROTHERS
by Peter Ackroyd
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London, 1958: unassuming civil servant Thomas Foley is plucked from his desk at the Central Office of Information and sent on a six-month trip to Brussels. His task: to keep an eye on The Brittania, a brand new pub which will form the heart of the British presence at Expo 58 - the biggest World's Fair of the century, and the first to be held since the Second World War.

As soon as he arrives at the site, Thomas feels that he has escaped a repressed, backward-looking country and fallen headlong into an era of modernity and optimism. He is equally bewitched by the surreal, gigantic Atomium, which stands at the heart of this brave new world, and by Anneke, the lovely Flemish hostess who meets him off his plane. But Thomas's new-found sense  more...

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Rapier-sharp, witty, intriguing and mysterious: a new novel from Peter Ackroyd, set in 1960s London

Three Brothers follows the fortunes of Harry, Daniel and Sam Hanway, born on a post-war council estate in Camden Town. Marked out from the start by curious coincidence, each boy is forced to make his own way in the world - a world of dodgy deals and big business, of criminal gangs and crooked landlords, of newspaper magnates, back-biters and petty thieves.

London is the backdrop and the connecting fabric of these three lives, reinforcing Ackroyd's grand theme that place and history create, surround and engulf us. From bustling, cut-throat Fleet Street to more...
 
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AUSTRALIAN FICTION
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BITTERSWEET
by Colleen McCullough


Bittersweet is an enthralling tale of women - and of love.

This is the story of two sets of twins, Edda and Grace, Tufts and Kitty, who struggle against all the restraints, prohibitions, laws and prejudices of 1920s Australia. Only the sub Click here for more details or to ordermissive yet steely Grace burns for marriage; the sleekly sophisticated Edda burns to be a doctor, the down-to-earth but courageous Tufts burns never to marry, and the too-beautiful, internally scarred Kitty burns for a love free from male ownership.

Turbulent times, terrible torments, but the four magnificent Latimer sisters, each so different, love as women do: with tenderness as well as passion, and with hearts roomy enough to hold their men, their children, their careers and their sisters.

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Australian author
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PERFECT NORTH
by Jenny Bond
  THE BIRDWATCHER
by William McInnes
  THE ANTIBIOGRAPHY OF ROBERT F. MENZIES
by Bernard Cohen
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CRIME
MURDER AND MENDELSSOHN
by Kerry Greenwood
  THE MINOR ADJUSTMENT BEAUTY SALON
by Alexander McCall Smith
  CROSS AND BURN
by Val McDermid
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FOR THE YOUNG OR THE YOUNG AT HEART

BABIES
Click here for more details or to order MR. MO
by Roger Hargreaves


Mr Mo is one of the nicest and most helpful residents in all of Dillydale. Then one day, he visits the barber for his regular snip, and falls fast asleep in the chair. When he wakes he discovers his mo is long gone - and so too are his manners. All of Dillydale is thrown off kilter, but as Mr Mo's moustache starts to grow back, the balance is restored.

Mr Mo has been the ambassador for Movember for the last three years, and now finally has his own story! In collaboration with the Movember cause, this new title has been penned to raise awareness and money for Men's Health issues, with 20% of each copy sold being donated to Movember.


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WOMBAT GOES TO SCHOOL
by Jackie French

ALPHABETICAL SYDNEY
by Hilary Bell
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She sleeps. She eats. She scratches - and finds a hole. When Mothball discovers a new hole, it unexpectedly leads her to the local school. The children learn that wombats love carrots and grass, while Mothball learns that lunch boxes contain very few carrots, that sports sheds can be a good place to have a nap, and that when you're brown and round, it's not a good idea to get too close to a ball...

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Wombat Goes to School

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This is our Sydney, the brightest and best of it, North to the south to the east and the west of it. Bats and cicadas, lawn bowls and the zoo, This is our town. Let us share it with you.







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Alphabetical Sydney

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NONI THE PONY
by Alison Lester

KISSED BY THE MOON
by Alison Lester
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Noni the pony is friendly and funny.

Her shimmering tail is the colour of honey.

She lives on a farm at Waratah Bay,

and likes eating apples and more...


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May you, my baby, sleep softly at night, and when dawn lights the world, may you wake up to birdsong.

Part poem, part lullaby, this gentle story celebrates a baby's wonder at our beautiful world. From much-loved Australian Children's Laureate Alison Lester comes a timeless book to share and to treasure.

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Kissed by the Moon

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CHILDREN

Click here for more details or to orderTHE ROYAL RANGER
by
John Flanagan

John Flanagan makes a spectacular return to the world of Ranger's Apprentice - but what has happened since you last saw Will and his friends might shock you!

Will took an oath when he joined the Ranger Corps. Does it mean nothing to him now?

After a senseless tragedy destroys his life, Will is obsessed with punishing those responsible - even if it means leaving the Ranger Corps. His worried friends must find a way to stop him taking such a dark path.

It is Halt who suggests the solution: Will must take an apprentice. The candidate Halt has in mind surprises everyone - and it's a request Will cannot refuse.

Training a rebellious, unwilling apprentice is hard enough. But when a routine mission uncovers a shocking web of crime, Will must

Australian author
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RULES OF SUMMER
by Shaun Tan

Tan's new book, RULES OF SUMMER, is a deceptively simple story about two boys, one older and one younger, and the kind of rules that might govern any relationship between close friends or siblings. Rules that are often so strange or arbitrary, they seem impossible to understand from the outside. Yet through each exquisite illustration of this nearly wordless narrative, we can enjoy wandering around an emotional landscape that is oddly familiar to us all.

Shaun Tan draws upon his own personal experiences with a surreal snapshot of fishing adventures with his older brother, leaving a sock on the clothes line, and buildings inspired by Brunswick and greater Melbourne. As you venture deep into the story, these poetic images become darker, more mysterious and unsettling, drawing towards a redemptive ending that affirms the depth of true friendship, a bond that is equally wonderful and inexplicable. Moments of humour, surreal fantasy, and the sometimes devastating ways we interact with the people we love the most, are presented in Shaun Tan's typical thought-provoking style.

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CHILDREN - FANTASY

HOUSE OF HADES
by Rick Riordan

FORTUNATELY, THE MILK...
by Neil Gaiman
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Order House of Hades from Booktopia before October 31st 2013 and receive a copy of Lost Hero: Heroes of Olympus absolutely free!

At the conclusion of The Mark of Athena, Annabeth and Percy tumble into a pit leading straight to the Underworld. The other five demigods have to put aside their grief and follow Percy's instructions to find the mortal side of the Doors of Death. If they can fight their way through the Gaea's forces, and Percy and Annabeth can survive the House of Hades, then the Seven will be able to seal the Doors both sides and prevent the giants from raising Gaea. But, Leo wonders, if the Doors are sealed, how will Percy and Annabeth be able to escape?

They have no choice. If the demigods don't succeed, Gaea's armies will more...


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You know what it's like when your mum goes away on a business trip and Dad's in charge. She leaves a really, really long list of what he's got to do. And the most important thing is DON'T FORGET TO GET THE MILK. Unfortunately, Dad forgets. So the next morning, before breakfast, he has to go to the corner shop, and this is the story of why it takes him a very, very long time to get back.

Featuring: Professor Steg (a time-travelling dinosaur), some green globby things, the Queen of the Pirates, the famed jewel that is the Eye of Splod, some wumpires, and a perfectly normal but very important carton of milk.

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Fortunately, the Milk...

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GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS 2014

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Awesome and then some! The planet's biggest-selling copyright book is back, and trust us: it's Officially Amazing!

  • Work up a sweat on the world's largest rideable bicycle
  • Keep your distance from the deadliest spiders, snakes and scorpions
  • Batman, Spider-Man or Iron Man - who is the highest-grossing superhero ever?
  • Celebrate 20 years of "The Simpsons", the longest-running animated sit- com
  •     Find out which dinosaurs were the largest creatures to walk the Earth
  •     Pump iron with the most macho men and the greatest wonder women
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DORK DIARIES OMG by Rachel Renee Russell
  THE BIG BOOK OF BILLIE
by Sally Rippin
  DEMON DENTIST
by David Walliams
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LEGO

 Click here for more details or to order LEGO MINIFIGURE YEAR BY YEAR
by
Dorling Kindersley

A visual history of the amazing LEGO minifigure phenomenon, with three minifigures included

Take a trip down memory lane and explore the origins and growth of the amazing LEGO minifigure with LEGO Minifigures Year by Year: A Visual History.

Year by year, every range of LEGO minifigures is included chronologically and by theme, running from the first minifigures introduced in 1978 to the brand-new LEGO Legends of Chima, LEGO Star Wars, LEGO Batman and LEGO Ninjago minifigures popular today. Perfect for any LEGO fan, this visual chronicle is filled with more than 2,000 of the most significant, popular and rarest minifigures complete with stunning photos and additional information on key favourites. Plus, with 3 minifigures embedded in the cover, a LEGO City townsperson, LEGO City robber, and a LEGO Star Wars stormtrooper, it's the ultimate guide to the world of LEGO minifigures.

LEGO Minifigures Year by Year: A Visual History is a must-have for LEGO fans of all ages.

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LEGO FRIENDS OFFICIAL ANNUAL 2014

LEGO LEGENDS OF CHIMA OFFICIAL ANNUAL 2014
This first ever LEGO Friends Official Annual is packed with stories, games and activities, all starring Mia, Emma, Andrea, Stephanie, Olivia and the rest of the Heartlake City residents.

With LEGO bricks included for added build and play fun, this is the perfect Christmas gift for the Friend in your life.

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LEGO Friends Official Annual 2014
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Bursting with brilliant stories and activities from the awesome new Legends of Chima range, this wicked annual is a must-have for LEGO fans.

With LEGO bricks included for added build and play fun, this is the perfect Christmas gift.

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LEGO Legends of Chima Official Annual 2014
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ASTERIX AND THE PICTS
by Jean-Yves Ferri
  CHARLOTTE'S WEB
by E.B. White
  WHEN DID YOU LAST SEE HER LAST?
by Lemony Snicket
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YOUNG ADULT

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TEARDROP
by
Lauren Kate

Never, ever cry. . . . Eureka Boudreaux's mother drilled that rule into her daughter years ago. But now her mother is gone, and everywhere Eureka goes he is there: Ander, the tall, pale blond boy who seems to know things he shouldn't, who tells Eureka she is in grave danger, who comes closer to making her cry than anyone has before.

 Click here for more details or to order But Ander doesn't know Eureka's darkest secret: ever since her mother drowned in a freak accident, Eureka wishes she were dead, too. She has little left that she cares about, just her oldest friend, Brooks, and a strange inheritance-a locket, a letter, a mysterious stone, and an ancient book no one understands. The book contains a haunting tale about a girl who got her heart broken and cried an entire continent into the sea. Eureka is about to discover that the ancient tale is more than a story, that Ander might be telling the truth . . . and that her life has far darker undercurrents than she ever imagined.

From Lauren Kate comes an epic saga of heart-stopping romance, devastating secrets, and dark magic . . . a world where everything you love can be washed away.

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FALLEN, TORMENT, PASSION - 3 BOOK BOXSET
by Lauren Kat
e

These are the first three books of the incredible "Fallen" series, collected together in a deluxe box set. Relive every passionate moment of Luce and Daniel's epic romance across 5,000 years of history. This bestselling gothic romance is for all adult and teenage fans of supernatural fiction. It includes Fallen, Torment and Passion. Get ready to fall...

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THE EYE OF MINDS
by James Dashner
  ALL THE TRUTH THAT'S IN ME
by Julie Berry
  THE FAULT IN OUR STARS (Gift Hardcover Edition)
by John Green
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NON-FICTION

AUSTRALIAN STORY
Click here for more details or to order KINGS CROSS
by Louis Nowra


Louis Nowra burrows beneath the sensationalist Underbelly 'sex and sin' narrative, revealing stories and a cast of characters - some household names others little-known - that not even a writer could conjure up.

Kings Cross is a no-holds barred place, where backpackers, prostitutes, strippers, chefs, mad men, poets, beggars, booksellers, doctors, gangsters, sailors, musicians, drug traffickers, eccentrics, judges and artists live side by side. Part flaneur, part historian and part eyewitness, Louis Nowra is the best possible guide to a place both real, and a state of mind.

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MEMOIR - COURAGE
Click here for more details or to order I AM MALALA
by Malala Yousafzai


I come from a country that was created at midnight. When I almost died it was just after midday. We'd finished for the day and I was on the open-back truck we use as a school bus. There were no windows, just thick plastic sheeting that flapped at the sides and a postage stamp of open sky at the back through which I caught a glimpse of a kite wheeling up and down. It was pink, my favourite colour.

In 2009 Malala Yousafzai began writing an anonymous blog for BBC Urdu about life in the Swat Valley as the Taliban gained control, at times banning girls from attending school. When her identity was discovered, Malala began to appear in Pakistani and international media, campaigning for education for all. On 9 October 2012, Malala was shot at point-blank range by a member of the Taliban on the way home from school. Remarkably, she survived. In April 2013, Time magazine named her one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World.

I AM MALALA tells the inspiring story of a schoolgirl who was determined not to be intimidated by extremists, and faced the Taliban with immense courage. Malala speaks of her continuing campaign for every girl's right to an education, shining a light into the lives of those children who cannot attend school. This is just the beginning. . .

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MEDIA

Click here for more details or to order BREAKING NEWS
by
Paul Barry

At the age of 82, Rupert Murdoch is divorcing his third wife Wendi Deng and gearing up for the toughest challenge of his life: to hand his empire on to his children. But is this the end of the Murdoch dynasty?

Lachlan doesn't want to succeed him. James is in disgrace. And Elisabeth is not a serious contender. His grip on the group has also been weakened by scandal. His British tabloids have been caught hacking phones and bribing officials on an industrial scale. At least twenty journalists will soon face trial for hacking and corruption and could be jailed.

But Rupert thrives on crisis. He has recently split News Corp in two, doubled his fortune to US$9 billion, and is bouncing around like a man in his prime.

So can he win this one last battle and keep it all in the family?

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MEMOIR
AN APPETITE FOR WONDER
by Richard Dawkins

MY BRIEF HISTORY
by Stephen Hawking

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 Wonder we join him on a personal journey back to an enchanting childhood in colonial Africa. There the exotic natural world was his more...

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An Appetite for Wonder

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Stephen Hawking has dazzled readers worldwide with a string of bestsellers exploring the mysteries of the universe. Now, for the first time, the most brilliant cosmologist of our age turns his gaze inward for a revealing look at his own life and intellectual evolution.

My Brief History recounts Stephen Hawking's improbable journey, from his post-war London boyhood to his years of international acclaim and celebrity. Lavishly illustrated with rarely seen photographs, this concise, witty and candid account introduces readers to a Hawking rarely more...


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HISTORY
ONE SUMMER
by Bill Bryson

1914: THE YEAR THE WORLD ENDED
by Paul Ham
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In the summer of 1927, America had a booming stock market, a president who worked just four hours a day (and slept much of the rest of the time), a semi-crazed sculptor with a mad plan to carve four giant heads into an inaccessible mountain called Rushmore, a devastating flood of the Mississippi, a sensational murder trial, and a youthful aviator named Charles Lindbergh who started the summer wholly unknown and finished it as the most famous man on earth. (So famous that Minnesota considered renaming itself after him.)

It was the summer that saw the birth of talking pictures, the invention of television, the peak of Al Capone's reign of terror, the horrifying bombing of a school in Michigan by a madman, the ill-conceived decision that more...

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In July that year, Germany, Austria-Hungary, Russia, Britain and France were poised to plunge the world into a war that would kill or wound 37 million people, tear down the fabric of society, uproot ancient political systems and set the course for the bloodiest century in human history.

In the longer run, the events of 1914 set the world on the path toward the Russian Revolution, the Treaty of Versailles, the rise of Nazism and the Cold War.

In 1914: The Year the World Ended, award-winning historian Paul Ham tells the story of the outbreak of the Great War from German, British, French, Austria-Hungarian, Russian and Serbian perspectives. Along the more...

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EMPRESS DOWAGER CIXI
by Jung Chang

FIRST VICTORY
by Mike Carlton
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Empress Dowager Cixi (1835-1908) is the most important woman in Chinese history. She ruled China for decades and brought a medieval empire into the modern age.

At the age of 16, in a nationwide selection for royal consorts, Cixi was chosen as one of the emperor's numerous concubines and sexual partners. When he died in 1861, their 5-year-old son succeeded to the throne. Cixi at once launched a palace coup against the regents appointed by her husband and made herself the real ruler of China - behind the throne, literally, with a silk screen separating her from her officials who were all male.

In this ground-breaking biography, Jung Chang vividly describes how Cixi fought against more...

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The Empress Dowager Cixi

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In the opening months of the First World War, Emden's trail of destruction was tremendous. This one small ship and her skilled and gallant captain wrought havoc on the maritime trade of the British Empire, capturing and sinking ships at will.

Australia, sending wool, wheat and gold across the Indian Ocean to sustain the Mother Country and despatching tens of thousands of young men to join the fight, had a vital interest in bringing Emden to her end. The battle, when it came, was short and bloody, an emphatic First Victory at sea for the newborn Royal Australian Navy. It remains to this day a celebrated epic of naval warfare.

In the century since, many writers have been there before Mike Carlton. Most were German, some of them survivors of the battle, others later more...

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THOUGHTFUL

Click here for more details or to order DAVID AND GOLIATH
by
Malcolm Gladwell

Why do underdogs succeed so much more than they should? How do the weak outsmart the strong? In David and Goliath Malcolm Gladwell takes us on a scintillating and surprising journey to uncover the hidden dynamics that shape the balance of power between the small and the mighty.

From the conflicts in Northern Ireland and Vietnam, through the tactics of civil rights leaders and the problem of privilege, Gladwell demonstrates how terribly we misunderstand the true meaning of advantage and disadvantage. When is a traumatic childhood a good thing? How can a disability leave someone better off? And do you really want your child to go to the best school he or she can get into?

Drawing on the stories of remarkable underdogs, history, science, psychology and his unparalleled ability to make the connections other miss, David and Goliath is a brilliant, illuminating book that overturns conventional thinking, and brings home the incredible leverage of the unexpected.

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HEAVEN ON EARTH
by Stephanie Dowrick

EAT MOVE SLEEP
by Tom Rath
Here is a prayer book that offers you the wisest, most comforting of prayers, while also guiding you on how to pray. Whatever your experience of prayer, you will find a new depth of inspiration and support in these pages. From the most ancient heartfelt prayers to those newly written by the author herself, this is a collection that meets us where we are - and takes us where we most want to go.

As a writer and spiritual leader who has supported and guided many thousands of people to live more hopefully, Stephanie Dowrick has a rare understanding of what prayer is and how steadfastly it can support you, whatever your faith background or journey. Some of the world?s most beautiful words are more...

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Eat Move Sleep will help make good decisions automatic - more than a book - this is a new way to live.

From Tom Rath, author of StrengthsFinders 2.0, comes a powerful book about what people can do to lead healthier lives. Eat Move Sleep features Tom's deeply personal story, supported by practical, credible, and timeless ideas from more than a decade of research.

In contrast to books that focus primarily on one diet, workout, or a single element of health, Eat Move Sleep focuses on all three components and their interconnectedness. Comprehensive yet simple, rooted in cutting edge research, and sound advice that's valuable to everyone.

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TRUE CRIME

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MURDER IN MISSISSIPPI
by
John Safran

When filming his TV series Race Relations, John Safran spent an uneasy couple of days with one of Mississippi's most notorious white supremacists. A year later, he heard that Click here for more details or to orderthe man had been murdered - and what was more, the killer was black.

At first the murder seemed a twist on the old Deep South race crimes. But then more news rolled in. Maybe it was a dispute over money, or most intriguingly, over sex. Could the infamous racist actually have been secretly gay, with a thing for black men? Did Safran have the last footage of him alive? Could this be the story of a lifetime? Seizing his Truman Capote moment, he jumped on a plane to cover the trial.

Over six months, Safran got more...

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BABY BOOMERS

Click here for more details or to order THE BEATLES - ALL THESE YEARS
by
Mark Lewisohn

The Beatles have been at the top for fifty years, their music remains exciting, their influence is still huge, their acclaim and achievements cannot be surpassed. But who really were the Beatles, and how did they and everything else in the 1960s fuse so explosively?

Mark Lewisohn's three-part biography is the first true and accurate account of the Beatles, a contextual history built upon impeccable research and written with energy, style, objectivity and insight. This first volume covers the crucial and less-known early period - the Liverpool and Hamburg years of a hungry rock and roll band, when all the sharp characters and situations take shape.

This is the Beatles like you've never read them before. It isn't just 'another book', it's the book, from the world-acknowledged authority. Forget what you know and discover the complete story.

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FILM BUFF

Click here for more details or to order WIZARD OF OZ COLLECTIBLE SET
by
Running Press

For 75 years, generation after generation has been enthralled by The Wizard of Oz. This one-of-a-kind kit celebrating some of the most popular elements of the film will delight fans young and old.

This officially-licensed kit contains:
  •  A poster tied with ribbon
  •  Ruby Slippers pendant
  • Ceramic 75th anniversary commemorative plate with gold gilding and easel
  • A 64-page hardcover book with foil stamping on the case. In it, a 75 Years of Oz Introduction is followed by a novelization of the story, illustrated with full color photos from the film.

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FOOD AND DRINK

WIN AN AGRARIAN EXPERIENCE CLASS FOR 2 PEOPLE, WORTH $700*

Click here for more details or to order THE AGRARIAN KITCHEN
by
Rodney Dunn

*Order The Agrarian Kitchen from Booktopia by 30th November 2013 to go into the draw to win an Agrarian Experience class for 2 people, worth $700 (flights and accommodation not included).

Click here for more details or to orderThe Agrarian Experience

The Agrarian Experience is a celebration of the seasons. The day begins with guests donning gumboots and foraging in the garden for the ripest fruit and vegetables, other ingredients are sourced from local farmers and producers.

Once harvesting is complete we continue in the kitchen preparing and cooking together a seasonal feast. Central to the experience is the Alan Scott-designed wood-fired oven. 6 to 7 dishes are usually prepared and the day will culminate with lunch including premium Tasmanian wines and artisanal ales. Read More

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Click here for more details or to orderEAT IN
by Anna Gare


As a host on Australian Junior MasterChef and host of Great Australian Bake-Off, Anna Gare knows a thing or two about balancing busy days with eating well. In her new book, Eat In, she brings together her favourite collection of recipes.

Anna gives plenty of hints and tips for shopping, meal planning and store cupboard standbys-her mantra is you deserve to eat well and, with just a little thought and preparation, you can.Anna's down-to-earth advice on preparing healthy and tasty food will be welcomed by busy and hungry people everywhere.

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ASIAN AFTER WORK
by Adam Liaw

THE FOOD OF VIETNAM
by Luke Nguyen
Asian After Work is a cookbook for busy people.

Taking a simple and practical approach, and using easy-to-find ingredients, Adam Liaw shows how anyone can create authentic and affordable Asian dishes at home without spending hours in the kitchen.

From Chicken Kra-Pow, Black Pepper Beef and Grilled Prawns with Salty Lime, to Lychee and Coconut Granita, Leche Flan and Sesame and Honey Ice Cream, Asian After Work brings you family favourites and more...

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Tying in with Luke's immensely popular SBS TV show, Luke Nguyen's Vietnam, this book follows his trip from southern Vietnam up to the north, through the marketplaces, backyards and kitchens of strangers and family alike.

In addition to the stunning location photography and mouth-watering food shots, Luke's records of his experiences with the people he meets and the places he visits along the way pepper the pages of this book, breathing life into the classic recipes of Vietnam, from pho to banh mi and everything in between.

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The Food of Vietnam

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MAGGIE'S CHRISTMAS
by
Maggie Beer

Christmas is Maggie Beer's favourite time of year, a time for everything she loves - for hugs from the grandchildren, for giving, and for creating special memories. But most of all, it is a time for family and friends to gather around a table groaning with delicious food.

Click here for more details or to order With her hallmark generosity and warmth, Maggie invites you to join her Christmas celebrations in South Australia's beautiful Barossa Valley. From roasting the perfect turkey and transforming leftovers into fabulous meals, to turning ripe summer fruits into luscious desserts and creating a glamorous formal dinner to welcome in the New Year in style, Maggie shares her most cherished recipes. With plenty of advice for stress-free entertaining, Maggie shows you how to celebrate this special time of year with panache and joy.

'I have never lost the excitement of Christmas and all it entails. From by earliest memories, it's always been about celebrating the season and the pleasures of a bountiful table with family and friends. In sharing the recipes and rituals that make this such a special time of year for me, I hope to inspire you to create your own traditions.'


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Click here for more details or to orderSILVIA'S CUCINA
by Silvia Colloca


'Italians are passionate and opinionated about their food and I am no exception!'

Italian-born food lover, blogger and actress Silvia Colloca offers us her personal insight into authentic Italian home cooking. Now living in Australia, she is quick to correct the misconception that every dish must be drowned in olive oil or topped with a thick coating of parmesan. On the contrary, Silvia's everyday recipes are simple, light and healthy, and based on fresh, seasonal ingredients. This is the food she grew up with. This is how Italians really eat.

Step into Silvia's kitchen and sample such goodies as twice-cooked cinnamon galettes, watermelon rind jam, white wine and fennel crackers, Abruzzese fisherman's stew with garlic toast, ricotta gnocchi with cavolo nero pesto, and strawberry and mascarpone cake. Silvia's warmth, humour and thoughtful instructions show you how easily it can be done in your own kitchen.
 

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GARDENING

Click here for more details or to order THE GARDEN AT STONEFIELDS
by
Paul Bangay

'A truly great garden should enrich your soul, and those of many others - hopefully for generations to come.'

This is celebrated landscape designer Paul Bangay's inspirational story of creating Stonefields, one of Australia's most beautiful country gardens. The Garden at Stonefields reveals the triumphs and trials of designing and building this extraordinary house and garden - Paul's most challenging and personal project yet.

Photographed by Paul's long-time collaborator Simon Griffiths, the stunning photos reveal the evolution of the site from conception to completion, and capture the unique beauty of each area of the garden. The book also features extracts from Paul's personal diary, an intimate and compelling account of dealing with drought, bushfires and the threat of mining in contemporary rural Australia.

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DECORATING

Click here for more details or to order GYPSY
by
Sibella Court

Internationally renowned stylist Sibella Court is a gypsy at heart, spending much of her time on the road, tinkering, travelling ancient trade routes and fossicking for treasure.

In her latest book, Gypsy, be inspired by the softly painted buildings of Ecuador and Galapagos; the moody highlands of Scotland; the wild woods of Transylvania; the Iznik tiles of Turkey; and the ancient tranquility of Indochine.

Gypsy is a sumptuous stylist's guide featuring Sibella's unforgettable interiors that will inspire you to interpret faraway lands in your very own styling. Featuring Sibella's favourite sources, trade secrets and suppliers,Gypsy also shows you how to create your own colour palettes from what you have more...

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ART

Click here for more details or to order BREAKFAST WITH LUCIAN
by Geordie Greig


For ten years Geordie Greig was among a very small group of friends who regularly met Lucian Freud for breakfast at Clarke's restaurant on Kensington Church Street. Over tea and the morning papers, Freud would recount stories of his past and discuss art. It was, in effect, Freud's private salon.

In this kaleidoscopic memoir, Greig remembers Freud's stories: of death threats; escaping from Nazi Germany; falling out with his brother Clement; loathing his mother; painting David Hockney; sleeping with horses; escaping the Krays; painting the Queen; his controversial role as a father; and why Velázquez was the greatest painter. It is revelatory about his art, his lovers, his children, his enemies and his love of gambling. Freud dared never to do dull, speaking candidly of dancing with Garbo as well as painting Kate Moss naked.

Those closest to him, after decades of silence and secrecy, have spoken frankly about what life was like living, loving or more...
 
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DICTIONARY
Click here for more details or to order MACQUARIE DICTIONARY - 6th Edition

Since the Macquarie Dictionary was first published in 1981, its reputation as Australia's national dictionary has gone from strength to strength. It is now nationally and internationally regarded as the standard reference on Australian English. A comprehensive and up-to-date account of our variety of English, it not only includes all those words and senses peculiar to Australian English, but also those common to the whole English-speaking world.

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HUMOUR
Click here for more details or to order THE MOANING OF LIFE
by Karl Pilkington


Karl Pilkington is back on the road, and this time he's on a journey of self-discovery...

'I've been on the planet for forty years now and I'm still none the wiser as to what it's all about really. I've never worried about life's big questions. People at my age sit about pondering "why are we here?" The only time I ever asked myself that is when Suzanne booked us a surprise holiday to Lanzarote.'

Karl Pilkington is forty years old. He's not married, he doesn't have kids, and he's got a job where he's known as an 'idiot'. It's time for him to take stock and face up to life's big question - what does it all mean?

Karl is no stranger to travel, and now he's off on a series of madcap adventures around the globe to find out how other cultures approach life's big issues. Travelling from far-flung tribes to high-tech cities, Karl encounters everything from a traditional Indian wedding to an ancient Tibetan sky burial, from a drive-through funeral in LA to a man who married a robot. Have his experiences changed him? Find out in this hilarious new book where Karl shares his stories (and opinions) in his inimitable style.

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LETTERS
Click here for more details or to order DARLING MONSTER
by Diana Cooper


Society darling, actress, wife of key WW2 politician Duff Cooper ... Here are Lady Diana Cooper's sparkling letters to her son John Julius

Lady Diana Cooper was an aristocrat, society darling, an actress of stage and early screen. When she married rising political star Duff Cooper, they became the golden couple who knew everyone who was anyone; they sat at the very heart of British public life.

Diana's letters to her only son, John Julius Norwich, cover the period 1939 to 1952. They take us from the rumblings of war, through the Blitz, which the Coopers spent holed up in the Dorchester (because it was newer, and therefore less vulnerable, than the Ritz), to rurual Sussex where we see Diana blissfully setting up a smallholding as part of the war effort. After a spell with the Free French in Algiers, Duff was appointed British Ambassador to France and the couple settled into the glorious embassy in post-Liberation Paris.

Over and beyond all the glitz, Diana emerges in these letters as highly intelligent, funny, fiercely loyal: a woman who disliked more...

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