Booktopia Buzz with Caroline Baum
May 2014 | Breaking News
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BUZZ IN BRIEF
It happens every time. I start the month with a 'Meh, there's nothing I really fancy' kind of feeling and then the parcels arrive thick and fast (the postie and I have a very special relationship). Suddenly there is an avalanche of wonderful books. This month it was almost impossible to choose a book of the month from a bumper crop.

Of course, my choices are completely arbitrary and highly subjective. It's slightly scary to make pronouncement about books and champion them without having anyone else to compare notes with. But it's also exciting to discover new talent, new voices, new fresh ways of seeing the world. Sometimes it feels like an addiction, but at least it's a harmless one that prevents world-weary cynicism and tops up a sense of wonder: a tonic for the mind.

If I could bottle this feeling, I would. Instead, in this season of colds and sniffles, I prescribe the following for any kind of blues: administer a book, in daily doses, with or without liquids for optimal health, wellbeing and continuing pleasure.

Kind Regards

Caroline Baum
Editorial Director

Booktopia Buzz

Australia's largest locally owned and operated online bookstore.

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Click here to browse our Mother's Day Catalogue

BOOK OF THE MONTH
Click here for more details or to order THE STRAYS
by Emily Bitto


Caroline Baum: Inspired by the bohemian art world of 1930s Melbourne this is a marvellously accomplished and assured debut, announcing a major new talent. Rich in atmosphere and beautifully observed, it tells the story of only child Lily who makes friends with Eva at school and then becomes infatuated with her family, particularly larger-than-life painter Evan and his glamorous wife Helena. 

Lily tells the story of her progressive enchantment with their home, their garden, their friends and their expanding creative circle of strays from a retrospective point of view, as an adult now faced with the prospect of reunion with Eva after a long separation: a gallery opening invitation brings back sharp and painful memories of intense relationships.

Poetic, richly visual and faultlessly judged in terms of pace, character and atmosphere, this is writing that has the rich patina of an enduring classic. A stylish and mature addition to the rites of passage, coming of age genre.

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Australian author
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MEMOIR
Click here for more details or to order LET'S JUST SAY IT WASN'T PRETTY
by Diane Keaton


Caroline Baum: You know that if Diane Keaton writes a book about beauty and ageing, it is not going to be full of make-up tips and diet advice. It's going to be quirky. This one sure is. I'm told by an actor friend that her previous volume of memoir, Then Again, was equally refreshing and unexpected, and mercifully free of the kind of mindless self-absorption that passes for insight (it was in fact mostly about her mother). Yes, there are comments here about Warren and Woody and Jack but there are also really left-of-field observations about shopping with her daughter, turtlenecks (also Nora Ephron's favourites) and her collection of photographs of men.
 

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AMERICAN FICTION/FOOD
Click here for more details or to order DELICIOUS!
by Ruth Reichl


Caroline Baum: At last! Ruth Reichl, my favourite food writer on the planet (together with Nigel Slater and  Anthony Bourdain) doyenne restaurant critic, renowned for her exceptional spookily accurate palate has written a fun novel based on her own experience as the editor of a foodie magazine. In this case, her heroine Billie has a far lowlier job on a publication called Delicious and is blessed with the same remarkable taste buds, capable of detecting the slightest whiff of any ingredient, no matter how obscure.

Reichl makes a bold move towards intrigue creating a mystery correspondence between a young girl called Lulu and world famous food writer James Beard during World War Two. Discovering their letters, Billie is forced to confront her own truths and address her fears.

Reichl also uses her fictional alter ego to say a few things that matter to her professionally: she mocks New Yorkers' obsession with the latest foodie trends and ingredients while celebrating the artisanal care of real producers who live their job 24/7. As gentle, pleasant and light as a soufflé.

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AUSTRALIAN HISTORY
Click here for more details or to order THE BLACK WAR
by Nicolas Clements


Caroline Baum: No, don't skip this and think that's not for me. I promise you, this is as compelling as Australian history gets and makes a really valuable and accessible contribution to an overheated and painful debate. Looking at the conflict between Indigenous inhabitants of Tasmania and the island's white settlers, it documents the attitudes, skirmishes, and battles between two cultures who found themselves tragically ill-equipped for peaceful co-habitation.

Without shrillness, the author tackles the question of 'was it genocide' taking a calm and level headed approach and always, always basing his opinions on historical evidence. Alternating chapters presenting the white and black perspective give a balanced view, supported by newspaper articles, letters and diary entries.


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BRITISH FICTION
Click here for more details or to order FALLOUT
by Sadie Jones


Caroline Baum: Sadie Jones made an impressive debut with The Outcast. Now she's back with an evocative, atmospheric novel about four young people in 1970s London pursuing their dreams and ambitions in the world of theatre. 

Luke is a young playwright burning to make a radical contribution to drama. As a producer, Paul has to weigh up commercial concerns while searching for new material. The two share a flat with stage manager Leigh, who wavers, in her affection for both men. While Nina, a fragile actress (her Chekhovian name hints at doom) has beauty and talent but thanks to insecurities about her mother's own failed career on the stage, makes poor choices.   

Having grown up in London in the era Jones writes about and having witnessed the explosion of talent in the independent theatre scene that came from the regions and from non-establishment voices, I can attest to the novel's authenticity.

Jones nails the mood of the times, the sense of breaking with tradition and with the constraints of class, the nerves and heightened emotion of opening nights, the intense relationships that solidify and fracture in the course of a production: it all feels and sounds just right.

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AMERICAN FICTION
Click here for more details or to order LIFE DRAWING
by Robin Black


Caroline Baum: Oh my goodness this is SO good: a really intelligent portrait of a long term marriage between two mature, smart, creative, self-aware people. As pleasing as a well-polished pebble.

Augusta and Owen live in the country where they lead a contentedly isolated life devoted to each other and their art. When Alison moves into the empty house next door, their focus and social habits change and a new dynamic begins. Then an unexpected arrival shows up, and new tension breaks the existing harmony irrevocably.

Black has real psychological acuity, insight and compassion for her characters, who are as three-dimensional as anyone you know in real life with their contradictions, complexities and hidden motives and doubts. She writes with generosity, affection and knowing about the destabilising impact that change can have on long established intimacy and routine.  Avoiding cliché, she tackles the challenges of long term familiarity and domesticity with clear eyed accuracy and elegance. A gem.

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Click here to browse our Mother's Day Catalogue

AUSTRALIAN FICTION
Click here for more details or to order ONLY THE ANIMALS
by Ceridwen Dovey


Caroline Baum: Golly. This is a totally original, really bold idea: a collection of short stories told by animals. Animals in the human world, interacting with us and observing how we behave in times of conflict. And not just that, but these animals are literary creatures: Colette's cat taking a stroll through a trench on the Western Front; a tortoise once owned by the Tolstoy family drifting through space during the Cold War; a dolphin trained by the US navy that writes a letter to Sylvia Plath. Unlike anything I've come across, this is writing that takes enormous risks, is funny, surreal, unpredictable. Without preachiness, Dovey has found a really fresh and interesting way to examine our brutality and our humanity, to remind us of what we share with other creatures and what separates us from our animal companions. A major talent with something universal to say.

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Australian author
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AMERICAN FICTION
Click here for more details or to order LOVERS AT THE CHAMELEON CLUB, PARIS 1932
by Francine Prose


Caroline Baum: A richly imagined and stunningly inventive literary masterpiece of love, art, and betrayal, exploring the genesis of evil, the unforeseen consequences of love, and the ultimate unreliability of storytelling itself.

Paris in the 1920s. It is a city of intoxicating ambition, passion, art, and discontent, where louche jazz venues like the Chameleon Club draw expats, artists, libertines, and parvenus looking to indulge their true selves. It is at the Chameleon where the striking Lou Villars, an extraordinary athlete and scandalous cross-dressing lesbian, finds refuge among the club's loyal denizens, including the rising photographer Gabor Tsenyi, the socialite and art patron Baroness Lily de Rossignol, and the caustic American writer Lionel Maine.

As the years pass, their fortunes-and the world itself-evolve. Lou falls in love and finds success as a race car driver. Gabor builds his reputation with vivid and imaginative photographs, including a haunting portrait of Lou and her lover, which will resonate through all their lives. As the exuberant twenties give way to darker times, Lou experiences another metamorphosis that will warp her earnest desire for love and approval into something far more sinister: collaboration with the Nazis.

Told in a kaleidoscope of voices, Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932 evokes this incandescent city with brio, humour, and intimacy. A brilliant work of fiction and a mesmerising read, it is Francine Prose's finest novel yet.

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Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932

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AMERICAN FICTION
Click here for more details or to order ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE
by Anthony Doerr


Caroline Baum: A big book in every sense: told in parallel narratives following the fates of two young people caught up in the turmoil of World War Two on opposite sides. Most affecting is the story of Marie Laure, a blind girl who flees Paris with her father to the walled city of Saint Malo ahead of the German invasion.

Meanwhile, Werner, a young orphan with a talent for fixing things, is picked out by the Nazis to be trained at an elite school for the war effort. The poignant and sweeping arcs of these characters connect as they move into the most turbulent period of twentieth century history. Although their fate is heavy with foreboding, Doerr raises familiar moral questions with fresh dramatic intensity.

If you think you don't need to read another novel about World War Two, this book may change your mind. It's a welcome addition to an already ample genre, bound to appeal especially to lovers of classics such as The Book Thief.

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AUSTRALIAN FICTION
Click here for more details or to order SAREE
by Su Dharmapala


Caroline Baum: If you like a sweeping saga, this is for you. Using the fate of a gorgeously woven saree to tell a story that travels from war-torn Sri Lanka and India to Australia, Dharmapala animates a large cast of exotic characters and places.

Destiny, choice, spirituality, freedom and love make up the warp and weft of this rich and colourful cross-cultural epic tale.

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Australian author
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DON'T MISS
Click here for more details or to order THE WORD EXCHANGE
by Alena Graedon


Caroline Baum: Technology is generating a terrific new strand of narratives, the mystery of its codes and algorithms providing an irresistible web (forgive the pun) for stories of intrigue and layers of reality. This one is a playful, erudite mystery taking the reader down a twenty first century rabbit hole. When Anana Johnson's father Doug disappears from his office at the North American Dictionary of English Language, he leaves a single clue: the word Alice. It's a signal he and Anana had devised to signal if either of them was in danger. Joined by her book nerd colleague Bart, Anana searches for her father in a labyrinthine world of reading rooms, secret meetings and eventually the hallowed hall of the Oxford English Dictionary. A satisfyingly clever adventure for those who love words and mind games.

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STELLA PRIZE WINNER
Click here for more details or to order THE FORGOTTEN REBELS OF EUREKA
by Clare Wright

Paperback available from May 8th!

The Eureka Stockade. The story is one of Australia's foundation legends, but until now it has been told as though only half the participants were there.

What if the hot-tempered, free-wheeling gold miners we learnt about in school were actually husbands and fathers, brothers and sons? And what if there were women and children inside the Eureka Stockade, defending their rights while defending themselves against a barrage of bullets?

As Clare Wright reveals, there were thousands of women on the goldfields and many of them were active in pivotal roles. The stories of how they arrived there, why they came and how they sustained themselves make for fascinating reading in their own right. But it is in the rebellion itself that the unbiddable women of Ballarat come into their own.

Groundbreaking, absorbing, crucially important-The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka is the uncut story of the day the Australian people found their voice.

When accepting the award, Clare said:

No one writes books to win prizes, but holy flip it feels astonishingly good to have won the Stella. Of all the prizes on offer, I reckon this one is the sweetest of all. The Stella Prize is like the Brownlow Medal of the literary world: all muscle and spine, with a touch of glamour. Without fail, the books on the 2014 Stella short and long lists demonstrate astonishing grunt, tenacity, courage, grace, vision, skill and sheer determination to reveal the world at its potential fairest. The Stella helps to keep the playing field at its level best. I am honoured to be in the company of these brilliant authors.

My thanks to the Stella judges, the Stella board, the many donors and sponsors who make this a truly grassroots award, my family for their constant love and support in the face of absence and Eureka madness, and to my magnificent publishers, Text Publishing, for taking the plunge on a big book of historical nonfiction about a bunch of noisy sheilas getting up to no good on the nineteenth-­century frontier.

Click here to read what the Chair of the 2014 Stella Prize judging panel had to say.


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VOGEL WINNER

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Click here for more details or to orderAFTER DARKNESS
by Christine Piper

Winner of The 2014 Australian/Vogel's Literary Award.

It is early 1942 and Australia is in the midst of war.

While working at a Japanese hospital in the pearling port of Broome, Dr Ibaraki is arrested as an enemy alien and sent to Loveday internment camp in a remote corner of South Australia. There, he learns to live among a group of men who are divided by culture and allegiance.

As tensions at the isolated camp escalate, the doctor's long-held beliefs are thrown into question and he is forced to confront his dark past: the promise he made in Japan and its devastating consequences.

When accepting the award, Christine said:

The Australian/Vogel's Literary Award is a rare and generous thing, a means for unknown writers, such as I, to have a shot at success.

In many ways, modern Australia is built on immigrant's tales, and Vogel's founder Niels, a Danish immigrant, created his own story when he established the award as a way of giving back to his adopted community. So I feel as if I'm adding to the diversity as a half Japanese Australian, born in Korea, now living in New York, who writes about Japanese immigrants.

When I started working on this novel, five years ago, I was still in my twenties, had never published a piece of fiction, yet had an ambitious dream to write a novel from the point of view of a Japanese internee. Now I'm older, wearier, and pushing the middle aged category of writer, yet thanks to this award I'm absolutely looking forward to what lies ahead.


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Australian author
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BLOCKBUSTER FICTION
Click here for more details or to order CHESTNUT STREET
by Maeve Binchy


A delightful collection of linked stories from No.1 bestselling author Maeve Binchy - simply the best

Just round the corner from St Jarlath's Crescent (featured in MINDING FRANKIE) is Chestnut Street. Here, the lives of the residents are revealed in Maeve Binchy's wonderful collection of stories

Bucket Maquire, the window cleaner, who must do more than he bargained for to protect his son.

Nessa Byrne, who's aunt comes to visit from America for six weeks every summer and turns the house - and Nessa's world - upside down.

Lilian, the generous girl with a big heart, and the fiance not everyone approves of.

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INTERNATIONAL FICTION
Click here for more details or to order THE SNOW QUEEN
by Michael Cunningham


Michael Cunningham's luminous, compassionate new novel begins with a vision.

It's November 2004. Barrett Meeks, having lost love yet again, is walking through Central Park when he is suddenly and inexplicably inspired to look up at the sky, where he sees a pale, translucent light that seems to regard him in a distinctly godlike way. Although Barrett doesn't believe in visions - or in god, for that matter - he can't deny what he's seen. At the same time, in the not-quite-gentrified Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn, Beth, who's engaged to Barrett's older brother ,Tyler, is dying of colon cancer. Beth, Tyler, and Barrett have cobbled together a more or less happy home. Tyler, a struggling musician with a drug problem, is trying and failing to write a wedding song for his wife-to-be - something that will be not merely a sentimental ballad but an enduring expression of eternal love. Barrett, haunted by the light, turns more... 

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Click here for more details or to order A NASTY PIECE OF WORK
by Robert Littell


Former homicide detective and CIA agent Lemuel Gunn left behind the Afghanistan battlefield for a trailer in New Mexico to forge a new career as a private investigator. Out of nowhere comes Ornella Neppi, a woman making a mess of her uncle's bail bonds business. She asks Gunn to track down the source of her troubles, a man named Emilio Gava, who has jumped bail after being arrested for buying cocaine. But no photos of Gava seem to exist.

As Gunn begins his search for a man it seems that someone is protecting, hitting dead end after dead end, he starts to suspect that Gava might not exist at all... The grittiest novel yet from the masterful Robert Littell, A Nasty Piece of Work is unmissable, powerful reading. As Gunn's game of cat and mouse unfolds - every step leading him closer to the truth - he draws ever closer to an unseen enemy's line of fire.

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THE PEARL THAT BROKE ITS SHELL
by Nadia Hashimi
  LOVE AND TREASURE
by Ayelet Waldman
  THE TRUTH ABOUT THE HARRY QUEBERT AFFAIR
by Joel Dicker
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THE PINK SUIT
by Nicole Mary Kelby
  FROM A DISTANCE
by Raffaella Barker
  A GOD IN EVERY STONE
by Kamila Shamsie
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HISTORY OF THE RAIN
by Niall Williams
  THE HEADMASTER'S WIFE
by Thomas Christopher Greene
  BODIES OF LIGHT
by Sarah Moss
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THE BEES
by Laline Paull
  THE STEADY RUNNING OF THE HOUR
by Justin Go
  THE GIRL WHO SAVED THE KING OF SWEDEN
by Jonas Jonasson
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AUSTRALIAN FICTION
Click here for more details or to order THE CLAIMANT
by Janette Turner Hospital


A brilliant and compulsively readable story of truth, lies and identity from one of Australia's finest writers.

'So then, here it is. The unadorned un-self-flattering gospel, the never-before-told story our intricately intertwined lives ... Listen: I know things that no one else knows. Trust me. ' Manhattan, 1996: the trial of the Vanderbilt claimant is finally coming to an end. The case - long, complex, riven with unknowns, attracting huge media and social interest - has been seeking to establish whether or not a certain man is the son of the fabulously wealthy and well-connected Vanderbilt family.

The son went missing, presumed dead, while serving in the Vietnam war. There is huge fortune, prestige and status at stake. But is the man - a handsome cattle farmer from Queensland - really the more... 

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THE PROMISE
by Tony Birch
  WILD THINGS
by Brigid Delaney
  A PLACE OF HER OWN
by Deborah O'Brien
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CHASING SHADOWS by Leila Yusaf Chung
  IN CERTAIN CIRCLES by Elizabeth Harrower
  FOREIGN SOIL
by Maxine Beneba Clarke
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THROUGH THE CRACKS
by Honey Brown
  THE UNKNOWN WOMAN
by Jacqueline Lunn
  CAPTIVES
by Angela Meyer
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NON-FICTION
MEMOIR

Click here for more details or to order UNDER MAGNOLIA
by Frances Mayes


The long-awaited memoir of her Southern childhood from the bestselling author of Under the Tuscan Sun.

The long-awaited memoir of her Southern childhood from the bestselling author of Under the Tuscan Sun. Growing up, Frances Mayes longed to leave the small town of Fitzgerald, Georgia, but now she's been drawn back to explore her past ... Beautifully written and very intimate, this memoir evokes the Deep South in all its steamy warmth, fascinating characters, murky depths and disturbing undercurrents. With her signature style and grace, Mayes delves deeply into her roots, the bitter and sweet stories of her complicated family, and Southern traditions and her connections to them. A lyrically written, searingly honest and affecting account of Mayes' rediscovery of her past.

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TRUE CRIME
Click here for more details or to order FINDING ME
by Michelle Knight


A memoir of the Cleveland kidnapping

Michelle Knight was just 21 when she was kidnapped by Ariel Castro. Held captive for eleven years in Cleveland, she finally made her escape in 2013. In Finding Me, MIchelle tells the story of her early life, her abduction and the present day. She reveals new details about her year alone in captivity as Castro's first victim, as well as her escape, and draws upon the thoughts and prayers that helped her to survive an unthinkable situation. She was the woman no one was looking for, the victim entirely forgotten, but Michelle Knight is now an inspiration to the world.


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AUSTRALIAN STORY
Click here for more details or to order SMALL BAMBOO
by Tracy Vo


An extraordinary story of escaping Vietnam to create a happier life in Australia.

In 1978, following a dramatic escape from war torn Vietnam, Tracy Vo's parents boarded a leaky boat not knowing what their future held or whether they would live. The couple had fled Vietnam under the cover of darkness, exchanged wedding rings en route to Malaysia, then sold them and their scant possessions to feed themselves and their 10 relatives on the journey. They were declared refugees.

Now, almost 40 years later, their decision to flee Vietnam has been rewarded by a happy and successful life for their family in Australia, the country they are now proud to call home. Here, their daughter Tracy reflects on that life changing journey and the amazing life it created for them in Australia. Today, Tracy is a more...

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FOOD

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Click here for more details or to orderSAME SAME BUT DIFFERENT
by Poh Ling Yeow


The new cookbook from popular TV cook Poh Ling Yeow.

Come on a new journey with Poh Ling Yeow with her long awaited cookbook Same Same But Different, the follow-up to her bestselling 'Poh's Kitchen - My Cooking Adventures', which stayed in the top 10 Australian bestsellers list for six weeks.

The 100 brand new recipes in the book are organised in pairs that share a common process, ingredient or texture - so a 'bite sized spice' could be Kunyit (turmeric) Fried Chicken or a Curry Puff, and a 'yummy curry' could be Prawn and Pineapple Curry or a Beef Rendang.

Full of mouth-watering recipes and as stylish as its author, Same Same But Different will inspire you to go in new culinary directions with familiar ingredients.

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MY PETITE KITCHEN COOKBOOK by Eleanor Ozich
COMMUNITY
by Hetty McKinnon

My Petite Kitchen Cookbook
is a complete menu of more than 100 simple, wholefood, gluten-free recipes that feed body and soul.

Eleanor Ozich has first-hand experience of the health benefits of clean, whole food - the recipes in this book were created as part of her family's 'road to simple eating', adopted as a means of trying (successfully) to cure her four-year-old daughter's severe eczema.

Replacing sugar and grains with natural, unprocessed alternatives, Eleanor's recipes show how easy it is to prepare healthy food that is bursting with more...

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My Petite Kitchen Cookbook

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Community is all about sharing good food, giving you endless ideas on delicious salads to serve up for your family, friends and neighbours. These simple, sustainable and healthy recipes feature fresh, seasonal produce and inject colour, life and flair into that most modest of everyday meals: the salad. Rather than being simply sides, Community's salads are meals in their own right, giving vegetables, legumes, herbs and nuts their moment to shine.

The recipes in Community are inspired by author Hetty McKinnon's community kitchen, Arthur Street Kitchen, where Hetty single-handedly makes and delivers homemade salads to residents in Surry Hills, Sydney, on Thursday and Friday every week. All by more...

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Australian author
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TESSA KIROS: THE RECIPE COLLECTION

WILD BLACKBERRIES
by Rosie Belton


Over 130 family-friendly recipes from some of Tessa Kiros's most-popular cookbooks.


Tessa Kiros: The Recipe Collection is a carefully curated selection of recipes from the author's culinary publishing career to date. With over 130 family- friendly meal ideas pulled from some of Tessa's most-popular books, The Recipe Collection focuses solely on the recipes she has lovingly collected and created on her many travels. Food from Tessa's own Finnish and Greek Cypriot heritage appear alongside dishes she has discovered in the osterias, tavernas, street stalls and neighborhood kitchens of the many countries she has called home: Italy, Portugal and South Africa.

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'The preparation of food, the smells and tastes and textures, have accompanied me throughout the journeys of my life. In fact looking back the food memories have become the marker posts - defining boundaries in the years, demarcating the challenges and the changes.

'In times of joy, food has enhanced the celebration, in times of sadness, it has coloured and comforted. And in times of anxiety and emptiness its preparation has given rhythm and meaning to the day, and its offering to others continues to bring a sense of accomplishment and fulfilment.

'When all else fails - cook!'


In Wild Blackberries Rosie Belton has written not only her more...


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HEALTH/SANITY

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by Jean Kittson


The mission for this book is simple. Women need more information on menopause and this won't happen unless we, you know, talk about it.

In a world where everything from drug addiction to Brazilian waxes is discussed over tea, why is menopause still considered taboo?

Jean Kittson thinks it's time to break menopause out of the closet, throw it in a fabulous dress and march it through town. Women are hitting menopause at the peak of their careers; many are still actively parenting; most are starting to care for ageing parents. As if they didn't have enough on their plate. Breaking through the cone of silence with trademark wit and wisdom, she tackles the difficult questions about common symptoms (would you like hot flushes with that?), how to more...

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CURRENT AFFAIRS
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by Ramita Navai


Far removed from the picture of Tehran we glimpse in news stories, there is another, hidden city, where survival depends on an intricate network of lies and falsehoods. It is a place where Mullahs visit prostitutes, gangs sell guns supplied by corrupt Revolutionary Guards, cosmetic surgeons restore girls' virginity and homemade porn is bought and sold in the bazaars.

It is also the home of our eight protagonists, drawn from across the spectrum of Iranian society: the gun runner, the aging socialite, the porn star, the assassin and enemy of the state who ends up working for the Republic, the volunteer religious policeman who undergoes a sex change, and the dutiful housewife who files for divorce.

These are ordinary people forced to live more...

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FILM
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by Dan Bischoff


An intimate, intelligent portrait of a man destined to be regarded as one of television's most enduring icons.

When James Gandolfini died suddenly at the age of 51, there was an outpouring of sympathy and sorrow around the world. As Tony Soprano, Gandolfini was the face of a new golden age of television, and his portrayal of the New Jersey mobster has become part of American mythology.

In Gandolfini: The Real Life of the Man Who Made Tony Soprano , journalist Dan Bischoff pays tribute to this remarkable actor. Bischoff shows us how a boy from a typical Italian-American family became one of the world's biggest stars, and examines not only Gandolfini's struggles with fame and relationships, but also the cultural significance of his career.

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HISTORY
Click here for more details or to order PARIS AT THE END OF THE WORLD
by John Baxter


From the best-selling author of THE MOST BEAUTIFUL WALK IN THE WORLD comes the story of life in Paris during WWI, a time when the German advance threatened to overtake the city and Parisian society lived life like there was no tomorrow.

Through a lively blend of memoirs, reminiscences, and modern day adventure, John Baxter takes us into the heart of Paris during The Great War. One of the most fascinating periods in the city's history, 1914-18 saw the citizens of France under constant threat of German invasion, leading them to live like there was no tomorrow. Tracing the experiences of his own grandfather - an Australian serviceman who found himself in Paris in 1914 - Baxter explores firsthand the mythology of the period, researching the cafes these young men would have frequented, the romances they might have had, and the transformative mix of fear and freedom among the people that gave rise to the France of modern day.

Paris at the End of the World
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LAVISH
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by Lesley Ellis Miller


In 1764, British Customs confiscated a book containing hundreds of silk samples of different qualities from French agents who were attempting to sell them illegally in London. The merchant's sample book acquired in 1972 by the V&A may be this very book, a fascinating record of the eighteenth-century French and English silk industries and their commercial practices.


Alongside a full and faithful reproduction of the whole album, Lesley Miller sets in context the role of the book as a marketing tool from the premier European silk-weaving centre of Lyon and as a model for Spitalfields manufacturers. This publication makes accessible the contents of an extremely rare and fragile object. Translations of French inscriptions, identification of how samples have migrated from one page to another, and technical analysis of some of the silks, as well as a glossary and biographical data on the Lyonnais suppliers make this an invaluable resource for historians, collectors and designers.

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DECORATING
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by David Clark, Meryl Hare


Whether it's a dark, traditional Federation home transformed by light and modern styling or an artefact-filled eco lodge, Hare + Klein seamlessly strike the balance between casual living and elegant design. They are synonymous with relaxed, timeless and richly-layered interiors. This book celebrates their most enviable homes, showcasing an abundance of soft textures, warm colour palettes and uncompromised comfort. Featuring alluring photography, sketches, mood boards and fabric samples, Hare + Klein offers a glimpse into the design process of this acclaimed Australian practice and the beautiful homes they create.

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MAKE YOU THINK
TRYING NOT TO TRY
by Edward Slingerland

THINK LIKE A FREAK
by Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner
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A deeply original exploration of the power of spontaneity - and why it's essential to our wellbeing, both as individuals and as a society.

Why is it hard to fall asleep the night before an important meeting? Or be charming and relaxed on a first date? What is it about a comedian whose jokes fall flat or an athlete who chokes? In all these cases, spontaneity is elusive. In Trying Not to Try, Edward Slingerland shows us how we can harness its power and become more effective.

We've long been told that the way to achieve our goals is through more...

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The Freakonomics books have come to stand for challenging conventional wisdom; using data rather than emotion to answer questions. Now Levitt and Dubner have turned what they've learned into a readable and practical toolkit for thinking smarter, harder, and different - thinking, that is, like a Freak.

Think Like a Freak offers rules like 'Put Your Moral Compass in Your Pocket,' 'The Upside of Quitting,' 'Just Because You're Great at Something Doesn't Mean You're Good at Everything,' and 'If You Have No Talent, Follow Levitt's Path to Success.'

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Think Like a Freak

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YOU ARE NOT SPECIAL AND OTHER ENCOURAGEMENTS
by David McCullough, Jr.
  STRUCK BY GENIUS  by Jason Padgett, Maureen Seaberg
  ALEX THROUGH THE LOOKING-GLASS
by Alex Bellos
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PARENTING
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by June Loves


An extensive, imaginative and entertaining resource containing over 180 games and activities to enjoy with your grandchildren.

The 55+ age group in Australia counts for 24 per cent of the population and 56 per cent of the wealth (ABS). However, with greater wealth, better health and longevity comes increased responsibility to help out young families, especially when both parents have to work to make ends meet. Modern Grandparenting is a comforting, friendly and useful read for grandparents, especially those who are feeling bewildered about the options available to entertain children in today's tech-dominated world. Grandparents play a vital role in their grandchildren's lives.

Grandparenting can be joyous, but it can also be tricky, challenging and more...

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POLITICS
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by Malcolm Fraser


We need the US for defence, but we only need defence because of the US

Australia has always been reliant on 'great and powerful friends' for its sense of national security and for direction on its foreign policy-first on the British Empire and now on the United States. Australia has actively pursued a policy of strategic dependence, believing that making a grand bargain with a powerful ally was the best policy to ensure its security and prosperity.

Dangerous Allies examines Australia's history of strategic dependence and questions the continuation of this position. It argues that international circumstances, in the world and in the Western Pacific especially, now make such a policy highly questionable. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, the United States has also changed dramatically, making it less relevant to more...

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SEXISM
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by Laura Bates


Are you #ShoutingBack?

After experiencing a series of escalating sexist incidents, Laura Bates, a young journalist, started a project called 'everyday sexism' to raise the profile of these previously untold stories.

Astounded by the response she received and the wide range of stories that came pouring in from all over the world, she quickly realised that the situation was far worse than she'd initially thought.

Enough was enough. From being harassed and wolf-whistled at on the street, to discrimination in the workplace and serious sexual assault, it was clear that sexism had become normalised. Bates decided it was time for women to lead a more...

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FOR THE YOUNG AND THE YOUNG AT HEART
BABIES

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by Oliver Jeffers


Meet the Hueys - a fabulously quirky group of characters from international bestselling, award-winning author/illustrator, Oliver Jeffers, creator of How to Catch a Star and Lost and Found.

The thing about the Hueys was that they loved numbers: 0, 1, 2, 3... Wait! 0? Is 'none' a number? Join the Hueys for a counting conundrum! This witty and lively pictorial debate makes numbers interesting and fun!

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BABIES
INCY WINCY SPIDER
by Karen Erasmus

FIVE LITTLE PLATYPUSES
by Karen Erasmus
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We all know that the rain washed the Incy Wincy spider down the water spout. But where else did he try to shelter before the sun came out? In this fun and lively story, Incy tries to find a place to rest but keeps getting into strife! When he crawls under the house, he comes face to face with a hungry cat. In the living room, he nearly gets sucked up by Gran's vacuum cleaner, and his comfy resting place in the laundry hamper leads to a wet and wild ride in the washing machine. The adventures of this determined little spider are brought to life by Karen Erasmus' brightly coloured and irresistible illustrations.

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Incy Wincy Spider

Australian author
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A fresh Aussie twist is given to the classic song Five Little Ducks Went Out One Day in this gorgeous picture book.

Five platypuses when out one day,
Over in the puddle and far away.
Mummy platypus called, 'Come back here!'
But only four platypuses appeared.

Toddlers will love singing along and following the adventures of these five naughty little platypuses in Karen Erasmus' delightfully illustrated picture book.



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Five Little Platypuses

Australian author
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MIKE I DON'T LIKE
by Jol Temple, Kate Temple
  WOMBAT STEW
by Marcia Vaughan
  SUGARLUMP AND THE UNICORN
by Julia Donaldson
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BABIES: MAISY
MAISY'S PLANE
by Lucy Cousins

MAISY'S TRACTOR
by Lucy Cousins
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Maisy is flying high in this delightful plane-shaped book of fun and learning!

Get set to go flying in Maisy's plane.  It's Eddie's birthday and our little mouse has an extra special surprise.

Go up, up and away as she passes Tallulah in her hot air balloon, and loops the loop in the skies, before delivering a "happy birthday" message - all in time for Eddie's party!

It is a super-sturdy, wipe-clean board book that will make the ideal birthday gift.

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Maisy's busy on her farm in this delightful tractor-shaped book of fun and learning!

Chug, chug! Jump on board Maisy's tractor as she ploughs the field, feeds and milks the cows, and brings the lambs back to the barn. But, wait one moment...one of the lambs has gone missing!

Will Maisy be able to find her woolly friend? Find out in this baa-rilliant chunky board book! It features a super-sturdy, wipe-clean board book complete with sound words to encourage interactive play!

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CHILDREN/TWEEN

Click here for more details or to order DEEP BLUE
by
Jennifer Donnelly

When Serafina, a mermaid of the Mediterranean Sea, awakens on the morning of her betrothal, her biggest worry should be about reuniting with handsome Prince Mahdi, her childhood crush. Instead she finds herself haunted by strange dreams foretelling the return of an ancient evil, and dealing with the deaths of her parents as assassins storm the betrothal ceremony, plunging the city into chaos. Led only by her shadowy dreams and pursued by the invading army, Serafina and her best friend Neela embark on a quest to avenge her parents' death and prevent a war between the mer nations. In the process they discover a plot that threatens their - and our - world's very existence.

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CURIOUS CHILDREN - IN 3D

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by
Matthias Picard

Jim Curious portrays the story of a young boy who goes on an adventure to the bottom of the sea in an old-fashioned diving suit. But there are no words telling his tale, only intricately illustrated images in exceptionally effective 3-D. (Two pairs of the traditional red & blue 3-D glasses are included in an envelope in the back of the book.)

On his journey, Jim initially passes the detritus tossed into the waters by land-dwellers, but soon he goes deeper and deeper, immersing himself in the wonders of the waters. (At the very end, there's a double gatefold that includes chart-of-sorts of all the marine wildlife he encounters.)

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CHILDREN: BILLY SLATER PRESENTS
BILLY SLATER: TRY TIME
by Patrick Loughlin

BILLY SLATER: BANANA KICK
by Patrick Loughlin
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A junior fiction series for boys about a local boys' rugby league team who get special coaching and advice from star NRL player Billy Slater.

Josh can play footy. He's fast and fleet-footed and a blur down the sideline. But every time he steps onto the field a stampede of elephant-sized butterflies invade his stomach and he fumbles the ball.

Having his footy-mad grandad screaming from the sidelines doesn't help. To top it off, he blows an easy try and loses his team the opening game of the season. Josh starts thinking about giving up football forever. That is, until NRL legend and Josh's hero, Billy Slater, turns up at  more...

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A junior fiction series for boys about a local boys' rugby league team who get special coaching and advice from star NRL player Billy Slater.

Junior is the youngest player for the West Hill Ravens. He is also the biggest. Everyone on the team starts to call him Cannonball because, when he makes a bust, he's virtually unstoppable.

Even though Junior is helping his team score more tries than ever, no one seems to be able to see past his size. When team mentor, Billy Slater, sets the Ravens a challenge, Junior's bad feeling gets even worse.

Will Billy be able to help Junior  more...

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CHILDREN
INFINITY DRAKE
by John McNally
  THE ISLANDS OF CHALDEA
by Diana Wynne Jones & Ursula Jones
  THE SEQUIN STAR
by Belinda Murrell
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THE DISMAL DAFFODIL
by Ursula Dubosarsky
  NO STARS TO WISH ON
by Zana Fraillon
  HOW MANY PLANETS CIRCLE THE SUN?
by Mary Kay Carson
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THE HUNT FOR THE GOLDEN BOOK
by Geronimo Stilton
  A TINY BIT LUCKY
by Tom Gates
  THE ADVENTURES OF SIR RODERICK THE NOT-VERY BRAVE
by James O'Loghlin
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THE TREASURE OF DEAD MAN'S COVE
by George Ivanoff
  8: THE LAST THIRTEEN
by James Phelan
  MISSING, PRESUMED EVIL
by Garth Nix & Sean Williams
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YOUNG ADULT

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by Cassandra Clare


Darkness has descended on the Shadowhunter world. Chaos and destruction overwhelm the Nephilim as Clary, Jace, Simon, and their friends band together to fight the greatest evil they have ever faced: Clary's own brother. Nothing in this world can defeat Sebastian-but if they journey to the realm of demons, they just might have a chance...

Lives will be lost, love sacrificed, and the whole world will change. Who will survive the explosive sixth and final installment of the Mortal Instruments series?

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YOUNG ADULT: FILM TIE-IN

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by John Green


The movie (which stars Willem Dafoe, Laura Dern, Sam Trammell, amongst others) opens in Australian cinemas on June 5th.

Despite the tumour-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten.

Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning author John Green's most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.

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BZRK APOCALYPSE
by Michael Grant
  PANDORA JONES: ADMISSION
by Barry Jonsberg
  RIOT
by Sarah Mussi
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TRAVEL AND HOLIDAY

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by Patrick Leigh Fermor


The long-awaited final volume of the trilogy by Patrick Leigh Fermor - hailed as the greatest travel writer of his generation.

A Time of Gifts and Between the Woods and the Water were the first two volumes in a projected trilogy that would describe the walk that Patrick Leigh Fermor undertook at the age of eighteen from the Hook of Holland to Constantinople. 'When are you going to finish Vol. III ' was the cry from his fans; but although he wished he could, the words refused to come. The curious thing was that he had not only written an early draft of the last part of the walk, but that it predated the other two. It remains unfinished but The Broken Road - edited and introduced by Colin Thubron and Artemis Cooper - completes an extraordinary journey.

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LONELY PLANET: DISCOVER LONDON
  LONELY PLANET: HIKING & TRAMPING IN NEW ZEALAND
  LONELY PLANET: DISCOVER USA
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DK EYEWITNESS TRAVEL :
FAMILY GUIDE : FRANCE

LUXE CITY GUIDES :
CHINA TRAVEL SET
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DK's Family Guide France, from the groundbreaking family travel series, is written by parents and guarantees the entire family will enjoy their trip. With child-friendly sleeping and eating options, detailed maps of main sightseeing areas, travel info, budget guidance, age range suitability and activities for each sight, Family Guide France is the ultimate guide to stress-free family travel.

In Family Guide France:

- 'Hubs', built around more...

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Along with all the finest and funkiest places to dine, drink and dance, Luxe incorporates invaluable, bespoke shopping and activity itineraries for you to mix and match, secret shops and services you'd simply never find as a visitor as well as the latest beautiful spas, salons and aestheticians. And what's more, Luxe comes with online city updates - simply visit our website and log-in. This China Travel Set contains three guides for the most popular Chinese cities, all for a 10% discount on each title, in a handy box.
 

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LUXE City Guides: China Travel Set

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J'AIME LONDON
by Alain Ducasse
  THE FOOD LOVER'S GUIDE TO PARIS
by Patricia Wells
  NYC BASIC TIPS AND ETIQUETTE
by Nathan W. Pyle
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