AUGUST 2009 | Edition 11
Hello Booklovers,

Hold on to your hats, August is going to be huge. A plethora of new titles, a special Father's Day edition of Booktopia Buzz going out next week, the national 50 Books You Can't Put Down campaign starts at the end of the month, the Melbourne Writers' Festival, Children's Book Week... it's all happening.

In the Booktopia world, we have also had a pretty full dance card. We moved over the weekend which was very exciting and more than a little bit complicated. For those of you who like to do pick-ups, our new address can be found here. So far things have proceeded relatively smoothly but if you are experiencing delays in deliveries, I do apologise. We're all working flat out to get things back to normal as quickly as possible. The best thing about the move as far as I am concerned, is that the warehouse is ENORMOUS. We have just quadrupled in size. That means space for many more books!

I am constantly amazed at the number of new books that are published each month and my biggest challenge is how to distill them into a newsletter that doesn't end up longer than the books themselves. To that end, I've picked out my top 200 for the month and put them all together in one convenient location so you can easily browse my favourite fiction, non fiction, young adult and children's titles for August.

And because I don't want to clutter up The Buzz with all those specific books that have devoted but select followers, we have just launched two other genre newsletters.

Have a look at the Mind Body Spirit Buzz. Its editor, Mick Neal, is a long-time  passionate reader in the genre, so if matters other worldly are you, make sure you subscribe. And our own Karen Coleman, she of the boundless and creative energy, is now putting together the Craft Buzz. Please feel free to share both newsletters among your like-minded friends.

We are now nurturing two new writers whom we hope will be coming onto our team soon to give you even more choice, and I am always interested in any suggestions you readers might have so email me. To see the full list of genre newsletters, click here.

Thank you to all who entered last month's competitions or took advantage of those terrific deals. I am sorry that we don't get to reply to everyone. Most of the prizes get snaffled up very early, so my message to you is, get your bids in fast! The July prize winners are listed here.

What else to tell you? I have some terrific deals and giveways and an absolutely wonderful book as my monthly favourite and you can catch up on the long list for the Man Booker prize. Oh, and last but very definitely not least, we have a world-beating (I kid you not) price on pre-orders for Dan Brown's new book The Lost Symbol. We sure aren't making any money out of it so PLEASE keep the business in Australia and buy from us. Pre-orders are in the thousands already.

OK, that's it by way of an introduction. Have fun with the newsletter!

Toni Whitmont
Booktopia Buzz
Goodies up for grabs this month.

When Don Watson wrote Death Sentence, a torrent of letters and emails began from people rebelling against managerial language. Since then, Watson's Dictionary of Weasel Words, Contemporary Clichés, Cant & Management Jargon has been published.

An invaluable handbook and guide to modern managerial language, newspeak, and linguistic political chicanery, Weasel Words is also an essential reference for victims and saboteurs. Like Death Sentence, it is both serious and amusing - deadly serious and soberingly amusing.

Today’s corporations, government departments, news media, and - perhaps most dangerously -  politician, speak to each other and to us in clichéd, impenetrable, lifeless sludge. Don Watson can bear it no longer. In Death Sentence, part diatribe, part cool reflection on the state of Australia’s public language, he takes a blowtorch to the words – and their users – who kill joy, imagination and clarity. Scathing, funny and brilliant, it is a small book of profound weight – and timeliness.

Don Watson is for people who have silently wept into a crumpled copy of their company's mission statement, for teachers who want to work in classrooms and not customer service points, and for all those who have been underpinned by an innovative, value adding, creative, sustainable, diverse and optimised framework.

Booktopia Buzz has eight slipcased hard cover sets of Death Sentence and Weasel Words to GIVE AWAY to people who spend more than $75 on Buzz titles this month.

To go into the draw, just email me, with your order number of $75 or more. I'll publish the winners' names next Buzz.

And just so the kids don't miss out on all the fun, I have a single set of books one to three of Sandy Fussell's fabulous series Samurai Kids to GIVE AWAY.

Fussell is an Australian author who knows what makes kids tick. Samurai Kids is perfect for both boys and girls from 8 - 12. The series now consists of four books:

White Crane
Owl Ninja
Shaolin Tiger
Monkey Fist
(released this month).

There is some wonderful information on Samurai Kids on the web, with all sorts of interactive downloads and activities, so have a google, and you will get a real idea of what the series is all about.

Booktopia Buzz has  White Crane, Owl Ninja and Shaolin Tiger to GIVE AWAY to someone who purchases Monkey Fist.

You know the drill. To go into the draw, just email me, with your order number. I'll publish the winners' names next Buzz.


Fairways of the World + Greg Norman's The Way of the Shark

Over $500 worth of books for only $275.

I have just picked up the last 17 of Fairways of the World, a suburb volume published by Rizzoli (which is recommendation enough) which  sells normally for $480. It is a beautiful limited edition (only 5,000 worldwide)  featuring the best golf courses of the world. It is huge - 16 inches x 12 inches - with 200 photographs as full spreads and gate folds.

And what better book to team it with than Greg Norman's The Way of the Shark in which The Shark shares practical lessons on and off the course in his trademark style?

Click here to see the details of this wonderful package but be quick. When these 17 go, there will be no more.
Next week we are going to send out an unashamedly blokey Booktopia Buzz especially for Father's Day so if you are hanging out for boy-books, you will just have to wait a little bit longer.

It is choc full of new releases, great bargains as well as some spectacular deals with signed copies, interviews and more. We should be able to cater to just about all the major patri-types. We will have a lot of titles in stock, but please order quickly. D-day is September 6 and we may have to take into account both delivery from the publisher (if we run out and have to order more in) as well as delivery to your door. Don't forget our gift wrapping option.
Here's a heads up on our best deals.

SIGNED copies of In Search for the Sydney (David Mearns) + A Merciful Journey (for dads into history). This pack will be delivered towards the end of August because Mearns isn't yet in Australia to do our signings and interview.

SIGNED copies of Tony Park's Ivory + Jeffrey Archer's Cat O' Nine Tales (for dads who love a great rollicking read). They'll be interested in my interview with Tony Parks as well.

SIGNED copies of Pete Evans' My Grill + Greg Duncan Powell's Beer: A Gauge for Enthusiasts (for dads who like a barbie). I had a chat to Pete late afternoon yesterday and I'll bring you the interview in the Father's Day Buzz.


A terrific price on 1001 Ridiculous Ways to Die (for dads who like to live with risk).

Click on the titles to order.

Too, too divine.

Numbered 1 to 1000, all 23 complete and unabridged tales in one deluxe book. With original illustrations and presented with the stories in their original sequence, this absolutely charming edition is printed with a cloth-like cover and special end papers.
The pièce de résistance?
Four additional artworks by Beatrix Potter that were not published in her life time. 
This is an heirloom in the making and will be a treasure for both children and adults alike.

Click here to order this book. Please note this book is being released on August 25.
  Some of the best, most significant writing produced in Australia over more than two centuries is gathered in this landmark anthology. Covering all genres - from fiction, poetry and drama to diaries, letters, essays and speeches - the anthology maps the development of one of the great literatures in English in all its energy and variety.
The writing reflects the diverse experiences of Australians in their encounter with their extraordinary environment and with themselves. This is literature of struggle, conflict and creative survival. It is literature of lives lived at the extremes, of frontiers between cultures, of new dimensions of experience, where imagination expands.
Do have a look at the excellent website on this book. It is full of detail, resources, clips and is a must for any one with more than a passing interest in Australian literature.

We are very excited to have secured a few copies of the 100 signed and numbered, gold foiled, slip cased limited editions.

Also available, for a much more modest price, is the standard edition. It is destined to become THE reference for Australian writing and will make a fantastic present.

Click here to order the LIMITED edition.

Click here to order the standard edition.
Every now and then I get to fall into a book so completely that I can’t help feel delighted that the gods have somehow conspired to allow me to read and write about books for a living.

From the opening paragraphs of Timothée de Fombelle’s Toby Alone, I was hooked.

Toby was just one and a half millimetres tall, not exactly big for a boy of his age. Only his toes were sticking out of the hole in the bark where he was hiding.
Looking up through the enormous russet-coloured leaves to the starry sky above, Toby felt there had never been a night as dark and shiny as this one. When there’s no moon, the stars dance more brightly. Even if there were a sky in Heaven, he told himself, it couldn’t possibly be as deep or as magical as this.

Well, there is only one place to go after an opening like that and that is head on into the story with the diminutive Toby whose whole universe is described by the giant oak tree in which he, and his crisis-riven people, live. Toby Lolness is on the run. His father has made a ground-breaking discovery, tapping into the very heart of the Tree’s energy, but he knows that to exploit it would be to put their civilization in serious danger. For refusing to reveal his secret, the family has been exiled, imprisoned and sentenced to death. It is up to Toby to save them.

Part allegory, part adventure, I am certainly not alone in falling for the charms of Toby. Translated from the French by Sarah Adams, and illustrated by the renown François Place, Toby Alone is already available in 22 languages. The story is captivating, the characters engrossing and the whole book has been printed using vegetable inks on recycled paper,  is entirely appropriate given its theme.

The story of Toby Alone is a story for our times. A ruthless obsessed dictator manages to subvert an essentially good society, exploiting people’s fears, xenophobia and greed. This is climate change and globalisation shrunk to  the scale of a single, ancient tree. It put me in mind of  both the dystopian Stalinist vision of George Orwell’s Animal Farm as well as the moral and allegorical weight of  Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s Le Petit Prince. In terms of the charm of its presentation, its pure Gallic flair banishes all before it.

Of course, for a child reading the book (it is aimed at nine to 12 year olds who are not afraid of a thick volume), you can forget the didactics. The focus is on the  adventure, the suspense, the pluck of Toby and Elisha and the dastardly deeds of Joe Mitch whose McMansions and housing estates are slowly poisoning The Tree.

The UK’s Guardian Newspaper gave a huge wrap to Toby Alone. The book comes out in paperback this month. Once you've read it, you will want its sequel, Toby and the Secrets of the Tree also available this month as a hardback.

Don’t let the kids have all the fun. Toby is a delight from start to finish - for all ages.

Click here to buy Toby Alone.

Click here to buy Toby and the Secrets of the Tree.

Christmas is coming early at Booktopia. We have decided to offer our customers what is arguably the most popular book in the world at an unbelievably low price.

We are determined that our customers get the best deal, that they don't have to wait weeks for an overseas delivery. And we are happy to provide it to them at below cost price. We sure aren't making any money on this one.

So....Get ready for the world-wide release of Dan Brown's new blockbuster,  The Lost Symbol. Tell your friends, work colleagues and spread the word. We are making this $49.95 hardback a very special $19.95.

SPECIAL NOTE: To ensure everyone gets a copy we have the price set at $19.95 for one copy per order. The price for multiple copies is $29.95 each so I recommend getting ONE COPY per order.

With a print run of 6.5 million (you read that correctly) and a world wide embargo until 9am (Sydney time) September 15, we have extra crews on standby to make sure everyone's copy leaves the warehouse that morning.  We already have well over a thousand books pre-ordered by our customers so get in quick to ensure you are in the first drop. Of course, you are welcome to come by the warehouse to pick up your copy any time after 9 should you want to.

So what is it all about?

Well, as you can imagine, the eagerly anticipated follow-up to The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown's No. 1 international phenomenon with 81 million copies in print worldwide,  is currently being printed day and night under lock and key.

What we do know is that once again Dan Brown's unforgettable protagonist Robert Langdon is in the hot seat.  Readers will caterpault through  a heady 12 hours in Langdon's life, feeling the thrill of discovery as they follow him through a masterful and unexpected new landscape.

The Lost Symbol is going to be THE book of 2009 and beyond! Dan Brown writes a brilliant and compelling thriller and with his prodigious talent for storytelling, infused with history, codes and intrigue, everyone is going to be talking about it.

Click here to pre-order The Lost Symbol for delivery from September 15.

Well, did I have fun with fiction this month!

Everyone is talking about Judith Lanigan's The True History of the Hula Hoop, written by someone who has made her living with hula hoop routines. Do look at her website, and check out her Dying Swan act. At the other end of the spectrum is Sydney author Philip Hui's Superbia, - think a noughties version of Brett Easton Ellis.
There is a very gorgeous special edition out of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, which includes the first chapter of Stieg Larsson's second book, The Girl Who Played with Fire. By the way, the movie of "Dragon Tattoo" is being released in October. Can't wait for that one.
Tempe Brennan, forensic anthropologist is back in Kathy Reichs 206 Bones (August 20 release).
I wish I had time this month for Marele Day's The Sea Bed. She wrote the very wonderful Mrs Cook: The Real and Imagined Life of the Captain's Wife. I am also really looking forward to Jim Lynch's Border Songs. He wrote The Highest Tide which I loved.
The Blue Notebook looks great - it is published by the person who discovered Khaled Hosseini (The Kite Runner). And of course, there is Thomas Keneally's The People Train based on a true story of a Russian emigré living in Brisbane (also available on CD).

Of course, I do have a few reviews below, but for the full list of  my fiction picks for August which are all available to browse in one easy place, right here.

Click on the title to buy the book.
  On to non fiction. The God v mammon debate continues with The Genesis Enigma. James Patterson reopened the cold case in the true crime investigation The Murder of King Tut. The design classic S, M, L, XL is back in print again and film buffs will be interested in Lumina, which is the first in a journal/series on the film industry put together by the Australian Film and Television School. And on the subject of film, there is Anthony Buckley's Behind the Velvet Light Trap: from Cinesound to Cannes, a Film Maker's Journey.

I have reviewed below lots of other really interesting non fiction titles and the landing page (click here) has the best of the rest of them all together in one easy place.

Click on the title to buy the book.

  I am really wary of making these arbitrary distinctions about readers especially when it comes people too young to vote. There is such a huge range in interests and abilities. What I do know is about 30% of all books are bought in this segment of the market, and that Harry Potter and the Twilight series have been record beaters, and they were not written for adults (which is not to say that adults don't like them).
I have isolated my favourite young adult titles for the month here, as well as those for babies through to the end of primary school on a separate page here. And of course my very top picks are reviewed below.
I might just point out some non fiction titles that took my fancy - One World, One Day (a lovely photographic essay of kids around the world for readers 10 and up, the IQ series (Body IQ, Space IQ) which is as cheap as chips and has pull out posters (5 - 7 year olds) and Tanya Ha's very engaging Green Stuff for Kids.
For littlies, a personal favourite in our household, Going Home by Margaret Wild and Wayne Harris is back in print and there is an cute-as-a-button board book version of Old MacDonald, with flaps, collages and a few extra-terrestrial friends. Charlie Caldor  has written and illustrated a lovely picture book about a kite up in a tree called Stuck!.
The two that stand out as favourite reads of my reps are Billy Bones by Christopher Lincoln and The Dragons of Ordinary Farm by Tad Williams and Deborah Beale (both for about nine and up).

Click on the title to buy the book.
Salley Vickers

Since the word of mouth success of her first novel, Miss Garnett’s Angel, in 2000, Salley Vickers has established a reputation as a superior romantic novelist. Her books examine the consequences of love affairs gone wrong. Her female characters are typically stuck in loveless marriages, or find love too late, or are drawn to unsuitable men. An early trauma tends to come back to haunt them, and we are reminded of the shadow the past can cast over a life.
Vickers’ fans will recognise many aspects of this novel from her earlier work. Here again we find discussions of mythology, religion and the supernatural, as well as a belief in the power of art to console.
A new Salley Vickers is always to be greeted with excitement (I am still in the thrall of Mr Golightly's Holiday after many years).
Vickers herself has had a rich and varied life and her website is full of fascinating detail as well as extracts of all her novels, including this one, which by the way, I recommend wholeheartedly.

Click here to buy this book.

  Philippa Gregory

Described as the "the queen of royal fiction," Phillipa Gregory
presents the first of a new series set amid the
deadly feudal Wars of the Roses.
Brother turns on brother to win the ultimate prize, the throne of England, in this dazzling account of the wars of the Plantagenets. Gregory brings them to life through the dramatic and intimate stories of the secret players: the indomitable women, starting with Elizabeth Woodville, the White Queen.
The White Queen tells the story of a woman of extraordinary beauty and ambition who, catching the eye of the newly crowned boy king, marries him in secret and ascends to royalty. While Elizabeth rises to the demands of her exalted position and fights for the success of her family, her two sons become central figures in a mystery that has confounded historians for centuries: the missing princes in the Tower of London whose fate is still unknown. From her uniquely qualified perspective, Gregory explores this most famous unsolved mystery of English history, informed by impeccable research and framed by her inimitable storytelling skills.

The White Queen is under a strict world wide embargo until August 18 (although those of us lucky enough to have an uncorrected proof have enjoyed it enormously). It is being published as a hardback with a gorgeous jacket at a very competitive (almost paperback price). Booktopia will be ready to ship on release date.

Click here to buy this book.

Click here to buy the CD.

  Nick Cave
Put Cormac McCarthy, Franz Kafka and Benny Hill together in a Brighton seaside guesthouse and they might just come up with Bunny Munro. A compulsive read possessing all Nick Cave’s trademark horror and humanity, often thinly disguised in a galloping, playful romp.
    Well, that is Irvine Welsh's opinion and I have just watched  Cave read a chapter and been completely engrossed.
Bunny Munro sells beauty products and the scent of adventure to the lonely housewives of England’s south coast. Set adrift by his wife’s death he hits the road one last time—with his young son in tow.
As Bunny swaggers from door-to-door hawking his wares and feeding his libido, nine-year-old Bunny Junior waits in the car seeking the comfort of his mother’s ghost and watching his father self-destruct.
Haunted by his appetites, jealous husbands and a serial killer in a devil suit, Bunny Munro is a desperate man.
And he’s going to die.
Stylish, angry and engrossing, The Death of Bunny Munro is at once blackly comic, raw with heartache and bursting with Nick Cave’s hallmark wit and lyricism.

Click here to buy this book.

OF BEES AND MIST by Erick Setiawan

As you can imagine, I get to hear about a lot of books, and I certainly only read a handful. Similarly, the publishers are dealing with long lists of new releases every month and they have to sort the wheat from the chaff as well. This month, the book with the most passionate  publisher advocat is Setiawan's Of Bees and Mist.
Apparently it has absolutely captivated everyone in house. Indonesian born Setiawan moved to San Francisco as a teenager, speaking no English, but discovering in his new adopted language a mesmerising story-telling ability. Of Bees and Mist spans three generations of secrets and lives, and  Setiawan is obviously someone to watch.

Click here to buy this book.
OUTLAW by Angus Donald

Ooh, I loved this book. A year or two in Sherwood Forest, as seen by the young minstrel-in-training-cum-woodsman-cum-fighter Alan Dale.

This version of the Robin Hood story is dark and bloody, and presents Robin as a complex, chameleon-like character. England meanwhile is still in portrayed in transition from a pagan tribal society to one dominated by God and King. Outlaw  is packed with marauding wolves, blood-stained swords and a fair amount of slicing and dicing and it captures the essence of the legend brilliantly.

The publisher competed for Outlaw, outbidding another three rivals. If you are a fan of Bernard Cornwell, Conn Iggulden or Robyn Young, this one is for you.

Click here to buy this book.
Michael Cathcart

In The Water Dreamers, historian and broadcaster Michael Cathcart tells the story of the settlement of Australia: of the scarcity of water and the need to fill an imagined silence with the sounds of civilisation. From the moment the First Fleeters stepped ashore, water determined progress. The Tank Stream that flowed through what is now the Sydney CBD provided fresh water until settlers and their livestock fouled it. Then water from a nearby swamp was piped into the growing settlement. When it ran dry sights were set further afield.
The Water Dreamers is an illuminating account of the ways people have imagined and interpreted Australia while struggling to understand this continent and striving to conquer its obstacles. It’s an environmental history and a cultural history with an unmistakable sense of how, today, we are part of that continuing story.
To hear more, listen to the ABC podcast here.

Click here to buy this book.

  Tim Priest

Tim Priest was a cop who loved his job and gave everything he had to fight crime on the drug-ridden streets of Sydney's Cabramatta. Yet his biggest battle was not against the gangs but against the very organisation he worked for. Eventually he could stand it no longer and spoke out about the politics, the bungling, the chronic lack of resources and the skewed policy decisions that seemed endemic. Ultimately the whistleblower was pushed out of the force.
Priest has already written To Protect and Serve. In Enemies of the State he examines police scandals, cover-ups and blunders that have been kept from the public until now.
This book is going to make a lot of noise.

Click here to buy this book.

The Akubra has been part of Australian life since 1912. In this book Turner takes us on a journey of Australians through their hats - Aussies have lived, loved, and died under them and wearing one is long-standing traditions. Featuring the combined functionality of shade provider, snake tamer, water jug and flaw swat, the Akubra can even be worn on the head!
This witty and light-hearted history breathes Aussie attitude - no worries so long as your Akubra's either in hand or on your head.
Akubra is very attractively put together with lovely colour photos of real people wearing their hats, as well as short profiles on them, from all across Australia.
This book makes for a great present and in its paperback format, is a terrific gift to send overseas.

Click here to buy this book.

  The 2010 edition of Australia's favourite travel bible is bigger and better than ever! Explore Australia 2010 has been completely updated, with a fresh and user friendly design, and all new images.
Other great, new features include selected food and accommodation listings for almost every major town across Australia, and a more practical flexi-bound cover.
Key tourist towns are also highlighted in the A-Z town sections for each state, and the atlas section includes new city and regional mapping.
With over a million copies sold since 1980, Explore Australia has become the essential Australian travel companion. Covering 700 towns in detail, each of the country's capital cities and over 70 holiday regions, Explore Australia 2010 will inspire you to get out there and see more of this truly amazing country. A comprehensive, 140-page road atlas makes the book an important navigational tool.

Click here to buy this book.


You love lying in the park on a summer’s day and looking for shapes in the cumulus clouds. You think a mackerel sky of puffy altocumulus stretching off towards the setting sun is one of the most beautiful sights in the world. In short, you love clouds. And yet everyone else just seems to complain about them. Are you the only one who thinks life would be poorer without these glorious ‘patron goddesses of idle fellows’? You are not alone, and you should join The Cloud Appreciation Society.

Meanwhile, for those of you new to this past-time, you could need The Cloud Collector's Handbook.  It fits into the pocket, allowing cloudspotters to identify cloud formations any time and anywhere. All the common cloud types are represented, as are many of the rare ones, each fully described and illustrated with a range of photographs. Not only is The Cloud Collector's Handbook an invaluable resource for anyone who wants to be able to identify and understand every cloud that floats by, it also caters for the competitive cloudspotter. Points are awarded for each cloud type identified - the rarer the cloud, the greater points - and there's space to fill in where and when it was sighted. Beautifully designed, in colour throughout, and full of the humour that made The Cloudspotter's Guide so engaging, The Cloud Collector's Handbook is the essential reference for anyone with their head in the clouds.

Only the English!

Click here to buy this book.


This safari guide delivers up a series of hair-raising and hilarious campfire stories from Allison's time working in South Africa, Botswana and Namibia. As an elephant charges his beaten-up jeep or a peckish crocodile looks at him sideways, Allison just seems to laugh. By the time he's gone round a few times, you would think he'd know his way, but you'd be wrong. In between avoiding territorial hippos, half-starved lions and dodging landmines, Allison gets lost in the Savanna. Yet despite his suspicion that the land is trying to kill him, he can't shake the love of it, its animals and its people.

Allison lives in Sydney and his previous book, Whatever You Do, Don't Run, has been a bestseller. Click here to read an extract from Allison's first book.

Click here to buy this book.

Nigel Latta

Clinical psychologist Nigel Latta  specalises in working with kids in the ‘too hard’ basket.
A sought-after speaker and trainer, Nigel is also a regular media commentator and he has perfected the art of cutting through unnecessarily complicated issues and making them really, really simple.
Having already earned his stripes with Before Your Teenagers Drive You Crazy, Read This, now Latta has written a terrific, straight up and down handbook for mums and their sons.
If you are interested, take a look at his website. You'll be inspired.

Click here to buy this book.
  A Manual for New Fathers

Scott Lancaster, Eric Mooij & Stefan Korn

Down to earth? Upbeat? Humourous? Inspiring? Yes all of those descriptors are apt in this manual for new dads.
It covers from pre-birth to the first 12 months out in the world and covers just about everything you could think of - all from the man's point of view.
Call Me Dad has been put together carefully so it can reach new fathers from all backgrounds.
And the blokes behind is know their stuff. Their website is a forum for ideas, clips and discussions all about men and parenting.

Click here to buy this book.

Andy Griffiths

Booktopia was introduced to small business expert Andy Griffiths at a recent conference and he has a fascinating story to tell. Next month will see the release of his own very personal memoir (The Me Myth - pre-order your copy now). Andrew Griffiths has been through tough times and survived them.
In Bulletproof Your Business Now he tells you how he survived the hard times by adopting some fundamental philosophies that changed his life and the way he runs his businesses.
Andrew Griffiths is a street smart success story - Bulletproof Your Business Now reflects the best of what he has learned along the way.  Get a feel for it all here.

Click here to buy this book.
  Uncovering the Global Food Scandal

Tristam Stuart

Waste is certainly one of the most important environmental books to come out in years. But it is more than that. It is an indictment of our consumer culture that should make us all feel deeply ashamed. The scale of our food waste problem – and its effect on the developing world – revealed in this book will leave you shocked. And, the author hopes, demanding change. ... This book exposes all of these effects clearly, logically and readably. It made me more angry than any book I have read for a long time.
(This from the Financial Times. To read the whole review, click here).
Stuart is passionate and thought provoking and deftly illuminates the consequences of what we eat.

Click here to buy this book.

  Chris Anderson

What happens when advances in technology allow many things to be produced for more or less nothing? And what happens when those things are then made available to the consumer for free?
In his groundbreaking new book, The Long Tail author Chris Anderson considers a brave new world where the old economic certainties are being undermined by a growing flood of free goods. He explains why this has become possible – why  the internet has  caused costs in many sectors to plummet. He shows how the flexibility provided by the online world allows producers to trade ever more creatively, offering items for free to make real or perceived gains elsewhere. He pinpoints the winners and the losers and he demonstrates the ways in which our decisions to make use of them will be determined by popular reputation of what is on offer and the time we have available for it.

Click here to buy this book.

The Best Poetry of Our Times

Michael Schmidt (ed)

If you are interested in poetry and are looking for a global anthology, you really should consider this book.
We have both the table of contents and the Google preview on our site (click here) so you really can get an idea of the scope and depth of this seminal work.
This book sold out when it was available in paperback. With such demand, the publisher is now bringing in the hardback from their overseas supplier.

Click here to buy this book.
  History's Most Memorable Words and the Stories Behind Them

Terry Breverton

Yes, I know there are lots of quote books, but then again, there are lots of occasions you need them. What I really like about Immortal Words is that the information is presented chronologically, the quotes are in context and each one is presented with a succinct biography of its originator. The selection is broad and thorough.
This book is going to come in handy very often, not to mention that it is a great one to dip in and out of.

Click here to buy this book.
Meg Rosoff

That rare, rare thing, a novel with a sustained, magical and utterly faultless voice.  After five pages I knew that she could persuade me to believe anything.
(Mark Haddon on Meg Rosoff)

I can't think of a finer, more engaging writer for young adults than Meg Rosoff. Rosoff came to writing in her forties, but her relatively late start hasn't been a hindrance. How I Live Now and What I Was are absolute stand outs.
Now comes The Bride's Farewell, love and loss in a nineteenth century setting - definitely new territory for her. Rosoff has taken her inspiration from Hardy and Dickens and I for one, can't wait to read it.

Click here for an extract.

Click here to buy this book.
  Jack Heath

At the opposite end of the spectrum in terms of theme and pace  is Jack Heath, local boy, whose first novel The Lab burst onto the scene a few years ago when he was the tender age of 19. Third Transmission is his fourth high adrenaline, all action work out.
Heath is inspired by the likes of Lee Child, Cormac McCarthy, Matthew Reilley and John Fowles so the parent in me is definitely putting this one in the 13 and up category.
Having said that, all of his novels race off the shelves.

Click here to buy this book.

  Chrissie Keighery

Better known more recently for her writing for young girls, especially as an author in the Go Girl! series, Chrissie Keighery is back with a moving novella about the physical and emotional roller coaster that is a teenager's life.
Outside In focuses on Jordan's struggle to cope with her newly divorced parents, but friendship, body image and self discovery are all themes in this lyrical and moving book.

The same readers may also be interested in Kevin Brooks' latest book, Killing God, although the later will also appeal to boys. 

Click here to buy Outside In.

Paul McNeil & Barry Divola

Rockin' Alphabets has a bit of cult following with its very funny alphabet books and range of T-shirts and other add-ons.
The people that brought you Never Mind Your  Ps and Qs - Here's the Punk Alphabet and M is for Metal have come back with a third offering - with twanging heart strings. With the absurd humour that kids like, and all the bootskootin' an adult will ever really need, Johnny and Willie have never looked so good.

D is for Dolly really is best
From Hollywood to Dollywood, she gets things off her chest.

Click here to buy this book. This book is being released on August 25.
  Salvatore Rubbino

Anther picture book that will find its niche with both children and adults alike is A Walk in New York.
Adults will love its fine sense of design and funky layout. Kids will revel in all the interesting bits and pieces, the layout and, incidentally, they will learn a fair bit of map-reading and geography as well.
Rubbino is a rising star in the British design world and his story of a father , his son, and his dog takes us all on a wonderful wander through mid-town Manhattan.

Click here to buy this book.


Beatrice Rodriguez

A rustic scene, an animal picnic, and then, suddenly, fox rushes in from the bushes picks up a squawking hen and runs off. Bear, rabbit and another hen give chase, but it gradually becomes apparent that fox is after a friend, not a meal, and eventually, after a chase over mountains and sea, the friends are reunited, peace is made and the three chasers depart waving to fox and hen who wave arm in wing from the shore. Evocative illustrations  convey movement, emotion and the passing of time without a word, and lovely touches such as rabbit and hen using bear as a boat substitute all work together to make this a remarkable - and wordless - book about how wrong our assumptions can be.
This is a great book for the under sixes and is perfect as a conversation starter.
We have put some images on the site for you to enjoy.

Click here to buy this book.
  John Heffernan & Gwyn Perkins

When it comes to a story, whether for littlies like this one or much older children, Heffernan never disappoints. And when his words are combined with Gwyn Perkins' whimsical and amusing illustrations, you have a great combination.
One of Those Days is all about Samantha and her very active imagination which somehow manages to re-interpret just about everything happening around her. Reminiscent of Just Another Ordinary Day, One of Those Days is a rollicking flight of fantasy.

We have put some images on the site for you to enjoy.

Click here to buy this book
  Mem Fox & Julie Vivas

Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge was a second collaboration for Mem Fox and Julie Vivas, author and illustrator of Possum Magic. First published in 1984, it was similarly an instant success, later translated into several languages and published in the US and the UK. Its classic themes and beautiful artwork have also seen it adapted to the stage as a play for children, but its enduring appeal is in the simple words of a story thoughtfully told. Adults will of course recognise a story of dementia. To children it is simply a delight. I remember very clearly reading, and re-reading this to my own children when they were pre-schoolers.
This is the 25th anniversary edition, in mini format. It has been recoloured and is very lovely but there are also hardback and paperback editions available.

We have put some images on the site for you to enjoy.

Click here to see all editions.
Angie Sage

If the bespectacled wizard has you yearning for more fantasy stories, then you're going to love the Septimus Heap series, now into its fourth book. With a screen play now in production, the series is about to go to a whole new level.
Angie Sage has written many, many books including the gorgeous Araminta Sprout series. In Septimus we have  wild adventures and quirky characters, imaginative spells and bizarre contraptions - not to mention wizards (including an ExtraOrdinary Wizard), witches, evil schemes, hidden royalty, dragons, spell charms, human-munching trees, vicious beasts, ghosts and much more. These books sparkle with laugh-out-loud humour and, thanks to the characters' close-knit family ties, warm the heart as well.
There are four titles in the Septimus Heap series:
The are Magyke, Flyte, Physike and Queste. There is also a lovely boxed set.
This month sees the release of The Magykal Papers, a marvellous compendium of bits and pieces, maps, illustrations and errata that make Sage's world come even more alive to her fans.

Ages 9 - 13.

Click here to see the interview with Angie Sage.

Click here to buy The Magykal Papers
  David Beckham is a household name across the globe . He  is undeniably the world's most famous soccer player and a hero to millions of children.
With this in mind, he established the David Beckham Academy in London which aims to engage youngsters with a variety of on-pitch and in-classroom challenges to develop both their football skills as well as teaching the value of team work and leading a healthy lifestyle.
Inspired by the academy comes a series of action books aimed at football mad kids over the age of seven.
The books have a good clear layout, plenty of pictures, and make a great little starter set for newly independent readers. Each book includes the first chapter of the next one, although they can be read in any order.

The four titles are:
Twin Trouble
Le Football
Save the Day
Bossy Boots

Also available is The David Beckham Academy How-to Handbook, a spiral bound book in five sections containing information on health and fitness, tactics, training, team work and more. It also has soccer related puzzles, two sticker sheets and a pro-poster.

Click on the individual titles to order.
  Joseph Delaney

Number 6 in the dark and brooding Wardstone Chronicle series, The Spook's Sacrifice is much anticipated.
Billed as a series for nine and up, I definitely wouldn't be introducing this one any younger. I have read the first two, and I was scared (although I am somewhat of a wimp). My son, on the other hand, loved them.
The series has recently been rejacketed and the new look is certainly proving to be more popular than the original sombre cover.
Like Septimus Heap, this series is best enjoyed in order.

Click here to see the whole series - The Spook's Apprentice, The Spook's Secret, The Spook's Battle,  The Spook's Curse, The Spook's Mistake and The Spook's Sacrifice.

While the earlier titles are all available in paperback now, the The Spook's Sacrifice is, like the others, being released as a hard cover. And the film of The Spook's Apprentice is currently in pre-production.

Click here to buy this book.

Richard Newsome

The Billionaire's Curse comes with the word winner stamped all over it. Richard Newsome has written a terrific page-turner adventure that will have children between 9 and 12 waiting impatiently for its sequel.
Thirteen year old Gerald is whisked from Melbourne to London on the death of his unknown great aunt, who just happens to be the richest woman in the Europe. Gerald, her unwitting heir, manages to attract the ire of just about everyone, from his now excluded English relatives to the very peeved butler, especially when he suspects that Aunt Geraldine has been murdered and it is something to do with the theft of the world's most valuable diamond.
We are on familiar ground here - a quest - but Newsome handles this with such pace, humour and wit that the reader can't help but be drawn in. Throw in some particularly eccentric characters and a good dose of post-colonial separation anxiety and you have a great whodunit.
I gave this four stars in a recent review in Bookseller + Publisher.

Click here to buy this book.

  Morris Gleitzman

Grace's family are special. They are part of a special church - the only people in the whole world who will be allowed to go to heaven. Because they are special, they are not allowed to talk to people from outside the church, or really to have anything to do with them at all. The problem is, Grace and her dad are special in another way as well. They like to think for themselves and they like to ask questions. The Elders don't like this and they take an action that will change the family forever. How can Grace make things right with both her family and her faith?
Gleitzman has long been the master of turning issues into engrossing stories. He has a reputation for being in equal measure serious minded and very funny. And he certainly has real heart.
Grace is not anti-religious but is very definitely anti-intolerance. Grace's faith and her relationship with God are central to her life and are handled well. Her character drives the action of the story.
There is an extract and video on the publisher's website.
This book would be best enjoyed by upper-primary level children.

Click here to buy this book.

Click here to buy this on CD.
In This Issue


Deals and Give Aways

Heads Up for Father's

Limited Editions

Toni's Book of the Month

The Lost Symbol

Toni's Favourites for August


Non Fiction


Young Adults

Picture Books for Grown Ups

Picture Books for Kids

Great Reads for Kids

Booktopia has moved

Prize Winners


Food & Drink
SF & Fantasy
Mind, Body Spirit

Have a look at these terrific new titles from our publishers. Click on the images to view their latest books.

The most coveted literary prize in the world has announced its long list, with two previous winners, four previously listed and two debut authors all lined up. The short list will be announced on September 8, and the winner on October 6.
And the local connection? J M Coetzee (recently Australian) with his autobiographical novel Summertime, which is being published here next month.

The long list includes:

A S Byatt for The Children's Book

Adam Foulds for The Quickening Maze

J M Coetzee for Summertime

Sarah Hall for How to Paint a Dead Man

Samantha Harvey for The Wilderness

James Lever for Me, Cheeta

Hilary Mantel for Wolf Hall

Simon Mawer for The Glass Room

Ed O'Loughlin for Not Untrue and Not Unkind

James Scudamore
for Heliopolis

Colm Toibin for Brooklyn

Trevor William for Love and Summer

Sarah Waters for The Little Stranger


August sees three big events:

The Byron Bay Writers Festival kicks off officially on August 7 although workshops start today.

Further south, people are gearing up for The Melbourne Writers Festival from August 21, with a keynote address from Bernhard Schlink, an absolutely jam packed program full of words, music and a whole lot more. It looks like it is going to be absolutely wonderful.

Click here for details.

August 21 is the biggest day on the calendar for those interested in children's books with the announcement of the Children's Book Council's winner and honour books for 2009.
To see what's on the shortlist, click here.

Book Safari is the theme of Children's Book week (August 22 - 28).
Tim Winton
Christos Tsoilkas
Stieg Larsson
Muriel Barbery
Mary Ann Shaffer
Stieg Larsson
Andy Griffiths
Barak Obama
Norman Doidge
Edmonde Charles-Roux


We moved locations over the weekend and are now ensconced  in our brand new, and very large, warehouse. For customers wanting to pick up orders, we can now be found at:

Level 1, 27 Sirius Rd, Lane Cove West, 2066

Dan Brown

Matthew Reilly
J M Coetzee
Barry Humphries
Susan Duncan





Not surprisingly there have been a plethora of books about the life and times of Michael Jackson rushed to market over the last week.
Our pick is 
Michael Jackson: Life of a Legend by Michael Heatley (in stock in our warehouse now).

Michael Jackson: Remember the Time is also worth a look, for its Australian angle. It is full of images taken  by our own Tony Mott who worked with Jackson for many years, while  writers Jeff Jenkins and Miranda Young put an Australian spin on things.


We can't keep up with the demand for Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series.

August 13 sees the release of the stunningly goth, red-tipped formats of Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse and Breaking Dawn.

What we do have in stock now however are the Twilight Companion: The Unauthorized Guide and Catherine Hardwicke's to the Series Twilight Director's Notebook.

Click on the titles to buy.


These are great value. Gloriously photographed, lavishly laid out guides to hotels, all for the price of a Lonely Planet:

Cool Hotels Asia Pacific

Seaside Hotels

Cool Hotels Europe

Almost as good as being there!


We had a huge response to our give away's last month.

Robbie Spence of Woodridge, Queensland, won a collection of 8 Vintage classic novels. Lots of late nights reading for you Robbie!

Jenny Shears of Williamstown, Victoria, won the Maisy pack, so you must have a very happy little one.

The original illustration from Sarah's Heavy Heart went to David and Tracey Barrie of Pullenvale, Queensland.

The signed hardback editions of The Ask and the Answer went to Sian Hubert of Lysterfield, Victoria and Elina Loo of Melbourne.

Congratulations all!