Booktopia Buzz
JANUARY 2010 | EDITION 16
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BUZZ IN BRIEF
Dear Booktopia Buzz readers,

January books before Christmas? What are we on about?

Well, we figured that you must be just about done and dusted with the present buying extravaganza by now and perhaps you want to get some orders in for your holiday reading, before you start off on that heady round of eating and drinking that constitutes the festive season.

After all the focus on giving over the last couple of months, I have picked out the very best in summer reading so you can pre-order now, safe in the knowledge that your holiday reading will arrive just as you are ready to put your feet up and relax. Most of these books will be in stock in our warehouse come release day although some of the publishers do close over the Christmas/New Year period which can cause havoc with delivery times.

At Booktopia the joy doesn't stop on December 25. Our January highlights includes:
Of course, I include my usual eclectic list of fiction and non-fiction. For my money, you can't get a more engaging read than The Swan Thieves.  As for non fiction, my favourite is Telling Tales - nothing like spinning a year about spinning a yarn. Garth Nix fans can pre-order Lord Sunday and I've included the results of the very popular Stieg Larsson collection competition.

Keep an eye on the site in January. We will be taking care of all those new year's resolutions for you, and we will have something for Twilight fans needing another fix.

That's enough from me right now. I do hope you enjoy this (shorter) January Buzz.

Toni Whitmont
Editor in Chief
Booktopia Buzz

GREAT DEALS ON SUMMER READING
BOOKS AND BAGS

Swimming pools, sandy beaches and books all go together but they go a lot better with a beach bag to protect that precious reading material.

Four great summer reads, each with a free beach bag. While the books are in plentiful supply, there are only limited numbers of the bags so get in quick. This offer is available with:

Roadside Sisters
by Wendy Harmer
RRP $23.99, Booktopia Price: $20.39

After the Fall by Kylie Ladd RRP $23.99, Booktopia Price: $20.39

Smack Express: How Organised Crime Got Hooked on Drugs by Clive Small and Tom Gilling RRP $24.99, Booktopia Price: $21.24

Left for Dead: How I Survived 71 Days Lost in a Desert Hell by Ricky Megee and Greg McLean RRP $24.99, Booktopia Price: $21.24


TWO BOOKS FOR THE PRICE OF ONE

Peter Corris has been delighting Australians with his gritty Cliff Hardy detective novels since the early 80s. Hardy is a heady mix of gruff charm, shambolic presence and unflinching realism.
Corris' creation was born and raised in working class Maroubra and is an ex-army, law student drop-out, insurance company investigator turned Private Eye, with a love-hate relationship with his time and place. He embraces the best aspects of Australian life - the tolerance, the classlessness, the vigorous urban and rural culture - while despising the greed and the conservatism that are constantly threatening to undercut what he sees as "real Australia". Inevitably drawn into the ambit of the people he deplores, Hardy struggles to resolve his cases while remaining true to his own threatened values. The professional challenges spill over into his personal life where he is never on firm ground.

And if that doesn't interest you, let me just tell you that Hardy is a tough and gritty Australian problem solver who has to deal with some pretty messy business.

Torn Apart, the latest Cliff Hardy novel, is  Corris' take on the sex-filled, adrenaline-charged nakedly ambitious world of the international talent agency.
This comes after the success of Open File in which Hardy re-visits a case from twenty years ago involving corruption in very high places in Sydney. Prescient?

For a short time only, we will throw in a copy of Open File absolutely free when you order Torn Apart. We have limited numbers of the free Open File so get your order in quickly.

Torn Apart  RRP  $29.99, Booktopia price $25.45
FICTION
Ah January! After all the hoopla of Christmas, the four weeks of January are the perfect opportunity to settle back and read. But while there is plenty to choose from in the "beach reads department" January can be a bit challenging for the more thoughtful reader who will have already consumed the latest Peter Carey or Alex Miller. Don't despair - I've picked the eyes out of the January offerings and there are some gems in there. Here are my top four holiday reads for a more discerning reader who still wants to relax on holidays.
THE SWAN THIEVES CONSOLATION
Elizabeth Kostova

Don't be put off by the fact that this is a January release. Elizabeth Kostova's new book is eagerly anticipated and will be reviewed extensively. Kostova garnered herself legions of supporters with the publication about five years ago of The Historian, a chilling historical mystery that reaches from the present day into the medieval past of Vlad the Impaler, Wallachia's barbarous 15th century ruler whose gruesome deeds gave rise to the legend of Dracula. In The Historian, Kostova's characters hunt the immortal Prince Vlad across twentieth century Europe, from ancient village to dank crypt in a quest to destroy the vampire. And no, we are not talking Twilight here.
The Swan Thieves is about art and obsession, revolving around a psychiatrist trying to unravel the mystery behind a talented painter and his attempt to destroy an impressionist masterpiece in a Washington gallery.
While I didn't ever get a round to The Historian, I was aware that  Kostova generates a lot of excitement, so I have to say that I approached The Swan Thieves gingerly for fear of over-hype. Wrong! For the last week or two, all my stolen minutes have been spent in the company of Robert Olivier and his various women. The Swan Thieves is immensely satisfying on many levels and would be enjoyed by men and women alike. I highly recommend this book.
Kostova will be in Australia for the Perth Writers Festival at the end of February and will also be visiting the east coast.

The Swan Thieves  RRP  $32.99, Booktopia price $27.99
 Anna Gavalda

Those of you who have read Hunting and Gathering will definitely remember it fondly. Likewise, those who have seen the film with the gamine Audrey Tatou. In Hunting and Gathering  Gavalda combines a genius for storytelling with vivid, exquisite writing and characters who leap from the pages of this funny, tenderly ironic story of a collection of misfits in contemporary Paris.
Where to after such a book? Well, to Consolation, which was the best selling French novel of 2008, where it is called La Consolante, apparently after the play off match for runner-ups in a boules match.
This dense and complex novel revolves around an architect, Charles, two women and a transvestite.
Charles hears about the death of a woman whom he once loved and his life starts to unravel. Turning his back on the present, he goes in search of her past and his childhood. After a single devastating incident, he meets an enchanting young but damaged woman.
Consolation is witty and vivid with sparkling dialogue and brilliant characters.

Consolation RRP  $32.95, Booktopia price $27.99

KINGDOM OF OHIO
 THE BLASPHEMER
Matthew Flaming

Sometimes a debut author just  ticks all the right boxes and so it is with Flaming. The Kingdom of Ohio was the book that its US publisher's sales reps enjoyed selling in the most, this year and if you trawl around in cyberspace, you'll find plenty of positive reviews from real readers.
Part mystery, part scientific novel, part love story, The Kingdom of Ohio is about an old book seller who discovers a photograph that brings him back to a time he has tried to forget. In the story within the story, a young man named Peter Force makes his way across the country to New York City in the year 1901. To survive, he gets a job digging the first subway tunnels beneath the city's sleepless streets. There, on a bleak day, he meets Cheri-Anne Toledo, a young prodigy who claims to have travelled through time, seven years into the future to be exact, from the illusive Kingdom of Ohio, where her father was the ruler. As Peter and Cheri-Anne fall for one another, they learn more about her past, their future, and the technology unfolding in front of them. Told from present time, the book tells the tale of the ingenious technology (even when it might be scary) and the birth of America.
This is alternative history, a love story and technology. Striding the stage are giants like JP Morgan and Thomas Edison, and what is it about Nikola Tesla? Back again in fiction, although I defy anyone to have him in a more central role than Toni Jordan in Addition.
To read an excerpt, click here.

The Kingdom of Ohio RRP  $32.95, Booktopia price $27.99

 Nigel Farndale

There is a lot of expectation building up in anticipation of The Blasphemer, which is being published in the UK and Australia simultaneously on January 21. Farndale has a solid reputation as a non-fiction writer, as well as a columnist, but The Blasphemer is his first foray into fiction and it seems that everyone who has read a proof has loved it (including me for what it is worth).
The Blasphemer is two contemporary interlinked plot lines that reach back from the terrorist-besieged streets of London today to the trenches of the first World War.
The author's grandfather was a soldier at Passchendaele and it is clear that his stories have echoed down through the decades.
The Blasphemer will appeal to lovers of Sebastian Faulks Birdsong, Louis de Bernieres' Captian Corelli's Mandolin and Ian McEwan's Atonement.

The Blasphemer RRP  $32.95, Booktopia price $27.99


HOLIDAY READS
STILLWATER CREEK
 BOOK OF SOULS
Alison Booth

This is a first novel for Booth, a professor of economics who obviously has a break-out side. Stillwater Creek is set in the late 50s in a remote NSW coastal village and it involves a woman who is a camp survivor from Latvia trying to re-cast her life as a piano teacher.
Reminiscent of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, with its colourful cast and evocative settings, this is one for fans of Kate Morton and Belinda Alexandra and comes with the imprimatur of Debra Adelaide no less! Stillwater Creek is currently being translated into French and has also been picked up for American audiences. Reading group questions and an author Q&A are included in the back.

Stillwater Creek RRP $32.95, Booktopia price $27.99


 Glenn Cooper

Last summer sizzled with Library of the Dead. Now FBI agent Will Piper is back again, this time entangled within the secrets of the ancient library, secrets that may change the the future forever.
I wondered if Cooper could match the gripping  conspiracy and intrigue of Library of the Dead, but he has done so in spades.
Picking up the action one year on, Will Piper’s life has been forever changed by the astonishing secret he’s discovered hidden at the government’s clandestine installation deep under the Nevada desert.
His uneasy retirement from the FBI is interrupted when a long-missing book surfaces at an auction house in London. Will is recruited to help obtain the book which should solve  a mystery that will affect the fate of all mankind.
Remarkably, a newly-found puzzle sonnet by a young William Shakespeare seems to have been inspired by the book.
As Will peels back the onion to solve a series of clues hidden in the poem, he finds the book has influenced not only Shakespeare but also the religious philosophy of John Calvin, the father of predestination and the prophesies of the seer, Nostradamus.
Book of Souls is stickered with a "money back guarantee offer". If page-turners like The Da Vinci Code are your thing, then this one is for you.

Book of Souls RRP $32.95, Booktopia price $27.99

THE MERRY MYSOGINIST
 THE LEFT HAND OF GOD
Colin Cotterill

According to author and reviewer Dianne Dempsey, detectives come in all shapes and sizes but none so beguiling as Dr Siri Paiboun. The child of Hmong parents, Dr Siri was sent to medical school in Paris and came home to Laos to attend the soldiers who fought the French in the 1930s. He was appointed national coroner for the People's Democratic Republic of Laos in 1976 (aged 72) mainly because he was the only doctor who stayed around after the revolution.
Cotterill's Dr Siri has no illusions about the competency or effectiveness of the communists. As he says "The nicer thing about socialism is that everyone - no matter what their physical or mental state gets treated equally... badly."
And so to the fifth Dr Siri mystery, The Merry Mysoginist, in which someone is wooing Laotian women and killing them on their honeymoons.
It is inevitable with Cotterill,  one time Australian resident now living in the Chang Mai Hills in Thailand, that he is compared with a certain Alexander McCall Smith whose Mme Precious Ramotswe has so delighted readers (and soon TV watchers). However Cotterill's stories, while they do fit into the quirky-crime-in-exotic-location genre, are richer, darker and denser. Give him a try!

The Merry Mysoginist RRP $29.95, Booktopia price $25.45

 Paul Hoffman

Fourteen year old hero, the remarkable Cale, dominates The Left Hand of God. He is the truest of heroes, one that stands distant from the crowd, ready for one moment in time and for one singular purpose. It was written in the Scriptures that he would come. He is the left hand of God... the last Redeemer... the Angel of Death.
They say he will destroy the World.
This trilogy which starts with The Left Hand of God has been picked up by some pretty perspicacious names in publishing and certainly has garnered a huge following in every language it has been printed in.
From the UK publisher:
"Only once in a while does a writer come along who is able to fire the imagination so completely, and who is able to enthral every reader with a fictive world unlike anything that has come before. Only time will tell, but I think Paul Hoffman has crafted an epic narrative that would easily stand amongst the greats of heroic fiction. Imagine for a moment if The Name of the Rose met Harry Potter. We are determined to make publication of The Left Hand of God one of the publishing events of the year."

The Left Hand of God RRP $32.95, Booktopia price $27.99

WANT MORE ACTION?
 CLASSIC OF THE MONTH
AVALANCHE PASS by John A. Flanagan

Since the publication last year of Storm Peak, Flanagan has been making a name for himself in the competitive realm of adventure thriller writing.
Jesse Parker is back again in Avalanche Pass, this time having to deal with mercenaries and hostages on the freezing slopes of Utah.

Avalanche Pass RRP  $32.95, Booktopia price $27.99


WINTERLAND  by Alan Glynn
Dublin noir as two men with the same name, from the same family, die on the same night in Dublin. One is a gangland murder and the other is apparently a road accident? Big business and corruption, Irish style.

Winterland RRP  $32.99, Booktopia price $27.99


TESS GERRIGSEN BOX SET
Four crime suspense thrillers and one low, low price.
Never Say Die, Call After Midnight, Under the Knife and In their Footsteps - all designed to keep you on the edge of your seat and looking over your shoulder.

Tess Gerritsen Box Set RRP  $29.99, Booktopia price $25.49

 VANITY FAIR by William Thackeray
Our resident Book Guru has been making his presence felt on our site recently with his pithy selections and subversive connections. Last month he reviewed The Count of Monte Christo and you responded in droves. Here he is again with Vanity Fair.

Make sure that you read William Thackeray’s novel Vanity Fair in public, not in the hope that someone may spot you reading a classic, but so that you may see the characters of this wonderfully perceptive (and prophetic) novel wandering about in the flesh. Vanity Fair is populated not by characters but by real people and thus, will never date.
Thackeray is masterful, he allows his characters the freedom to do as they please; they are autonomous and must make decisions on their own, as must we all. Some choose poorly, and yet succeed. Some choose well and yet are rewarded by misfortune. Some grab and grumble, some laugh and give, some believe they are masters of their own destinies while some are cut down in their prime.
In Vanity Fair Thackeray has captured humanity in the raw - just after getting out of bed and before our first cup of coffee. You will delight in discovering people you know in its pages. You may smile when they reveal themselves as cads, you may cry when those who deserve better are treated cruelly and you may laugh when the frauds get their comeuppance.
But be warned, read Vanity Fair and enjoy the show, but know that somewhere within is pages lurks a soul much like your own, and when you least expect it, maybe when you’re laughing hardest at the foibles of another, you will recognise yourself and be silenced.
For whether you know it or not, we all live in the pages of Vanity Fair.

Vanity Fair RRP  $12.95, Booktopia price $10.36

GIRLIE BOOKS
I know I shouldn't generalise, but really, would you come across a bloke on the beach reading any of these?

THE NANNY RETURNS
by Nicola Kraus and Emma McLaughlin
More than four million readers fell in love with Nan, the smart, spirited, and sympathetic heroine of the The Nanny Diaries.
Now she's back. After living abroad for twelve years, she and her husband, Ryan, have returned to New York to make a life for themselves. In the midst of getting her new business off the ground and fixing up their fixer-upper, Ryan announces his sudden desire to start a family. His timing simply couldn't be worse.
To compound the mounting construction and marital chaos, her former charge, Grayer X, now sixteen years old, makes a drunken, late-night visit, wanting to know why she abandoned him all those years ago. But how can she explain to Grayer what she still hasn't come to terms with herself? In an attempt to assuage her guilt, yet against every instinct, Nan tries to help Grayer and his younger brother, Stilton, through their parents' brutal divorce, drawing her back into the ever-bizarre life of Mrs. X and her Upper East Side enclave of power and privilege.
After putting miles and years between herself and this world, Nan finds she's once again on the front line of the battle with the couture-clad elite for their children's wellbeing.
For a chapter sampler, click here.

The Nanny Returns
RRP $29.95, Booktopia price $27.99

ME & MISS M by Jemma Forte

A movie star from hell, her ambitious PA and one very sticky situation. If you liked The Devil Wears Prada, you'll love this tale of working for a superstar diva and suffering the consequences.

Me & Miss M RRP $24.99, Booktopia price $14.95

THE AGENCY
by Ally O'Brien

And while we are on the subject of big egos, this novel (by a writing duo that includes an international bestselling author and a well-known entertainment agent based in London) is an insider's take on the book biz.
According to New York Daily News this is 'a surprisingly single-minded page-turner, packed with a colourful assortment of egomanicas and more plot twists than Lindsay Lohan's love life... the literary equivalent of a dry martini: salty, intoxicating and curiously delicious".
Tempted?

The Agency RRP $23.99, Booktopia price $20.39

THE PI**ED-OFF PARENTS CLUB by Mink Elliott

Starting off with the premise of a club for parents disappointed with their progeny, Eliott (a former deputy editor of Practical Parenting magazine), has written a first-person narrative with a realistic heroine that will be enjoyed by mothers and grandmothers of all ages.
Something to read while you get over the aftermath of Schoolies perhaps?

The Pi**ed Off Parents Club RRP $22.99, Booktopia price $19.54

WHAT KATE DID NEXT
by Lisa Heidke

For a more Australian take on the same dilemma, try What Kate Did Next, a tale of Kate Cavendish who tries to re-ignite her blindsighted career after marriage to a workaholic and many, many years of commitment to family and children.

What Kate Did Next RRP $29.95, Booktopia price $25.49

TRUE STORIES
ARTHUR PHILLIP
 BORN TO RUN AND BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN'S AMERICAN VISION
Derek Parker

While we all know about Captain Arthur Phillip, how many of us have updated our view since mandatory history in school days?
Parker's great love is Australian history although as a writer he can turn his hand to anything from erotic fiction to astrology.
In Arthur Phillip he has written an immensely readable and fine biography of the first governor of the colony of New South Wales, placing him firmly within the context of the time.
Click here to see read the first chapter and see some images from the book.

Arthur Phillip
RRP $44.95, Booktopia price $38.20

 Louis P Masur

Long time Springsteen fans will need no convincing that the street poet cum musician has long chronicled the hopes, failings and dreams of the American people. As much as anyone in the entertainment industry, he has been a consistent (and sometimes) lone witness to the political process.
Masur puts Springsteen's iconic album in its place as an icon of American cultural history. This is a rich history of Springsteen’s greatest album, celebrating its themes of youth, escape, and possibility, just in time for the Boss’s sixtieth birthday.

Born to Run and Bruce Springsteen's American Vision

RRP $39.95, Booktopia price $30.95

JUNGLE SOLDIER
Brian Moynahan

Freddy Spencer Chapman was a British special operations officer on the run from the Japanese in Malaysia in 1942 and his tale of daring, grit, courage and survival is the stuff of legends.
This is the most amazing story.
Read this review - it speaks volumes!

Jungle Soldier
RRP $34.95, Booktopia price $29.70
THE WORLD WE LIVE IN
GANGLAND CRIMES THAT SHOCKED AUSTRALIA
 HOW TO BE FAMOUS
 MAFIA: THE GOVERNMENT'S SECRET FILE ON ORGANISED CRIME














Ian Ferguson

I rarely cover true crime in the Buzz but I know there is a huge interest out there in this genre. Ferguson's book has been  updated and revised and is fully up to date for January. Its all here - down to the last shocking detail.

Gangland Crimes That Shocked Australia 
RRP $19.99, Booktopia price $16.99

 Heidi Montag & Spencer Pratt

True crime aside, the other thing we can't get enough of is fame. Blond hair, long legs, a killer instinct for a headline and you've just about got it in the bag.
Don't blame me for this one but there is some kind of weird fascination for people who are famous for just being famous.
So if you are interested in the triumph of vacuousness, or if you want to have a tilt at it yourself, this is for you.
Click here for a run-down on the book.

How to Be Famous 
RRP
$35.00, Booktopia price $26.40

 













US Treasury Department, Bureau of Narcotics

A couple of month's ago I brought you a world almanac written by the CIA. Now we have a primer on the Mafia courtesy of the US Treasury!
One thousand pages of the who's who of the American crime world.
Now all we have to do is to wait for the English translation of the book published in Italian earlier this month by Francesco Forgione, the president of the Italian Anti-Mafia Parliamentary Commission which names names, and suburbs, right across Australia.

Mafia: The Government's Secret File on Organised Crime
RRP  $22.95, Booktopia price $19.50

UNFAITHFULLY YOURS
 SHOWGIRLS, TEEN WOLVES AND ASTRO ZOMBIES
 HOW DOCTORS THINK













Dr Zita Weber

Zita Weber has written a number of books relating to women's issues and is a regular guest on chat shows.
In Unfaithfully Yours she dissects the real life stories of 12 Australian women who have defied expectations of marriage, had affairs, and then were willing to talk candidly about it.

Unfaithfully Yours
RRP $26.95, Booktopia price $22.90

 Michael Adams

Lightening up a bit, this book is loads of fun.
While Julie Powell decided to cook her way through a year with Mastering the Art of French Cooking, her Julie and Julia project, film critic Michael Adams spent a year answering the question, what is the worst film ever made?
That's right - 365 awful movies in 365 days.
The results are a hilarious trawl through schmaltz and trash with some pretty pithy critical analysis thrown in.

Show Girls, Teen Wolves and Astro Zombies
RRP $39.95, Booktopia price $33.95
 Jerome Groopman

This is a scary one.
Jerome Groopman has made it his business to understand how doctors think, how they make snap decisions and how they sometimes make mistakes.
A doctor himself, he has learned many lessons the hard way and has written this book to help both the medicos, and the patients, to come to the right decisions together.
This is a fascinating, insider look!
To read the afterward, click here.
To read an excerpt, click here.

How Doctors Think

RRP $29.95, Booktopia price $25.95
ON WRITING

TALKING ABOUT DETECTIVE FICTION by PD James
The queen mother of British detective fiction, PD James, who has given us Adam Dalgleish amongst others, gives us her special take on the genre, coming from a lifetime of reading and writing noir. Her view is both historical and global. What a treasure she is.
To listen to PD James discussing detective fiction and writing, click here.


Talking About Detective Fiction
RRP $26.99, Booktopia price $22.94


TELLING TALES: A HISTORY OF LITERARY HOAXES by Melissa Katsoulis
Conning the reading public has been going on for more than 2000 years and this compendium of delicious debacles gives this topic worthy coverage. The stage is set with one glimpse of that clever cover, with the jacket design and cuckoo bearing more than a passing resemblance to a certain penguin. Katsoulis covers her subject well and includes famous Australian hoaxes including the Demidenko and Khouri disasters. Anyone with an interest in the book world, or indeed in tricksters and conns, will fall in love with this one - and will never trust the written word again!

Telling Tales: A History of Literary Hoaxes RRP $24.95, Booktopia price $21.20

HISTORY

THE IMPERIAL CRUISE:  A SECRET HISTORY OF EMPIRE AND WAR by James Bradley
This is  a startling new look at the events that set the stage for WWII and the role of Teddy Roosevelt in fostering American territorial ambitions. In retelling the story of one particularly strategic 1905 cruise, Bradley re-casts American and Asian history in a completely new light. From William Taft, to the feisty Alice Roosevelt, to an opium-addled emperor, the characters in it are unforgettable. This book lifts the  the curtain on America's experience in Asia - and the events that laid the groundwork for World War II. It is a fascinating work of investigation and discovery.
There is a particularly interesting review, from a not disinterested Filippino perspective, here.

The Imperial Cruise RRP $29.99, Booktopia price $25.45

WHERE ARE THEY BURIED by Ted Benoit
Mother Teresa, Louis Armstrong, Curt Cobain and Sigmund Freud - Benoit has taken more than 500 cultural icons from all spheres of human accomplishment and explained about their deaths and final resting places. And before you write this off as bizarre, ask yourself why just about everyone visiting Paris makes the trek to Pere Lachaise cemetery to check out the graves of Robespierre, Oscar Wilde and Jim Morrison.

Where Are They Buried RRP $27.99, Booktopia price $20.25


FIRST AUSTRALIANS by Perkins and Langton (eds)
Earlier in the year SBS television screened an epic series that chronicled the history of modern Australia from the point of view of its first people. The accompanying book was taken up with great interest, despite its rather hefty price tag.
This new edition, which is in paperback, is UNILLUSTRATED and a whole lot less expensive, will bring this fascinating and thought provoking book to a new wider audience.


First Australians RRP $29.99, Booktopia price $25.49
RE-SHAPING YOURSELF
What's the first word that comes to mind with "new year"? For many people, it is "resolution". Yep, in January, it is all about getting thin, stopping smoking, re-casting careers, shedding yourself of toxic relationships and sorting out your finances. In early January we will be putting together a list for you of the very best of those resolution books. In the meantime, however, these ones are stand outs.

LUCK FACTOR
: WHY SOME PEOPLE ARE LUCKIER THAN OTHERS AND HOW YOU CAN BECOME ONE OF THEM by Max Gunther.

With the numbers of Australians placing their hopes on Lotto every week, you'd reckon we are a nation that puts its faith in Lady Luck.
Max Gunther's gem of a book has mercifully been brought back into print after an absence of thirty years. It takes us on a richly anecdotal ride through the more popular theories and histories of luck - from pseudo-science to paganism, maths to magic - and arrives eventually at a careful set of scientific conclusions as to the nature of luck and the possibility of managing it. Gunther shows how anyone can use this approach to improve their own luck. Better go out and buy myself a lottery ticket.

You might also be interested in THE LUCKY BUGGER'S CASEBOOK by Daniel M Smith, full of tales of serendipity and outrageous good fortune.

Luck Factor  RRP $24.95, Booktopia price $21.20
The Lucky Bugger's Casebook  RRP $32.99, Booktopia price $28.04


DON'T PICTURE ME NAKED by Michelle Bowden
Bowden's client list reads like a who's who of Australia's top companies. She has got there because she is an absolute expert in helping people easily and effortlessly master the art of confident,  clear, influential communication. So if you want to discover the art of influence, how to command attention, gain respect and sell your ideas to anyone, this is absolutely, 100% for you.
While you wait for the book to be delivered, check out her blog,  It's Time to be Heard.

Don't Picture Me Naked  RRP $29.95, Booktopia price $25.45


THE BEGINNER'$ GUIDE TO WEALTH by Noel Whittaker & James Whittaker
Noel Whittaker has been advising Australians on personal finance through his newspaper columns for more years than he cares to remember. In this, his latest book, (written with his son) he unwraps the secrets of a successful financial future by focusing on building the skills to make money in this rapidly changing world.

I am very excited to be able to offer Booktopia customers two very special opportunities.

Firstly, Whittaker has written a personal and interesting perspective on the book especially for Booktopia customers.

Better still, he  has agreed to give a personal half hour one-on-one telephone consultation  to one lucky purchaser of the book. This is an invaluable opportunity and is worth many hundreds of dollars.

Simply purchase the book and email me with your order number and  an answer to the question, what you wished your parents had told you about creating wealth, to have a chance of having your own free phone consultation.

The Beginner's Guide to Wealth  RRP $24.99, Booktopia price $21.24


NO NONSENSE GUIDE TO BUYING AND SELLING PROPERTY by Andrew Winter
If Steve McKnight is the start and finish of acquiring property (From 0 - 130 Properties in 3.5 Years), then Andrew Winter is the expert on finding, buying and selling your home.
Winter's cable TV program, Selling Houses Australia, is enormously popular, and there is no one better than him to give you a behinds-the-scene, wart-and-all view on how to get it on the market and get it sold.

No Nonsense Guide to Buying and Selling Property RRP $29.95, Booktopia price $25.45

MORE LOOKING THAN READING
Whether you are a browser, you just like to look or you are exceptionally visually attuned, here is my pick of the crop for January.

EMMA CALDER'S MOODY DAYS STICKER BOOK by Emma Calder
Who said that sticker books are only for kids? This one is a keeper, and I have ordered several for various girlfriends and daughters. This is Charlie and Lola for grown ups and with 65 removable stickers, it will certainly get you through those days when previously the only answer had been chocolate!
We have some really good images on the site, so have a look.

Emma Calder's Moody Days Sticker Book RRP $24.95, Booktopia price $21.20

1000 TIPS BY 100 ARCHITECTS
The title says it all - simply a superlative source book.

1000 Tips by 100 Architects RRP $75.00, Booktopia price $52.50

And speaking of source books, have a look at the internal images from FASHION ILLUSTRATOR (2nd ed) by Bethan Morris. This is informative, Australian and aimed clearly at the student market.

Fashion Illustrator RRP $49.95, Booktopia price $42.45

THE CINEMATIC ART OF WORLD OF WARCRAFT:  WRATH OF THE LICH KING
Journey across the icy steppes and into the uncharted mountains of Northrend through the imagination and art of the creative team responsible for the epic cinematic storytelling in Wrath of the Lich King, the acclaimed expansion to World of Warcraft. With more than 150 drawings, concept-art pieces, and final renders, World of Warcraft: The Cinematic Art of Wrath of the Lich King is a fascinating look behind the scenes as well a fine rendering of the fame, the mythology and its cinematic art. If you are into World of Warcraft, this is most definitely lustworthy. A must for all serious gamers.

The Cinematic Art of Wrath of the Lich King
RRP $60.00, Booktopia price $39.50

Also available is THE CINEMATIC ART OF STARCRAFT II: THE TERRANS which is full of concept art and storyboards for the much anticipated new game.

The Cinematic Art of Starcraft II: The Terrans RRP $60.00, Booktopia price $51.00


And while we are on popular culture, albeit certainly more nostalgic, look at 100 GREATEST LOONEY TUNES CARTOONS by the incomparable animated historian and cartoon producer, Jerry Beck.
This hardback will be irresistible to fans.

100 Greatest Looney Tunes Cartoons RRP $49.99, Booktopia price $33.45


TATTOO MYSTIQUE: THE ART AND WORLD OF ANGELIQUE HOUTKAMP
by Angelique Houtkamp

Angelique Houtkamp is a Dutch tattoo artist, painter and shoe designer who brings her own take on the graphic romance of old school tattoos, the heyday of the wild west and the mystery of Spain.
Sultry pin-ups, broken hearts, swallows, sailing ships, black panthers, mermaids, spunky cowgirls, horseshoes, cacti and a good-hearted sense of nostalgia all feature in her world.
Angelique's work is also used in magazines, on cd covers, postcards, buttons and clothing.
This fascinating monograph happily traverses her nostalgic, eclectic and beautifully rendered artistic wonderland with a strong focus on her fine art practice.
Check out these images!

Tattoo Mystique RRP $35.00, Booktopia price $29.75


MRS O: THE FACE OF FASHION DEMOCRACY by Mary Tomer

Not since Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis have people been as obsessed with White House fashion. And Mary Tomer should know. While she is a contributing editor and co-founder of www.mrs-o.org, she cut her fashion teeth on that icon of  style, the original Mrs O. As for Michelle Obama's style, and the impact of it on the wider population, no one could be more qualified to address it. When it comes to the current first lady, hers is really the only authoritarian voice.
This book is filled with exclusive photos and interviews with Michelle Obama's designers as well as other important voices in the world of style.  It also covers the Obama stamp on the White House interiors.

Mrs O: The Face of Fashion Democracy RRP $45.00, Booktopia price $34.50


Now if you are looking for an Australian art perspective,  you will be interested in these:

40 YEARS: KALDOR PUBLIC ART PROJECTS

While John Kaldor's name is a by-word in business, it is perhaps in the art world that he has made his most distinctive mark. This book celebrates four decades of his public art patronage and is being published in time for a major exhibition at the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

40 Years: Kaldor Public Art Projects HARD BACK EDITION RRP $89.95, Booktopia price $76.45
40 Years: Kaldor Public Art Projects PAPER BACK EDITION RRP $59.95, Booktopia price $50.95


MCCULLOCH'S CONTEMPORARY ABORIGINAL ART: THE COMPLETE GUIDE (UPDATED ED.)
Accessible, authoritative and comprehensive, this new version of McCulloch's has extra material from Central Australia, the Kimberley, Torres Strait and a whole lot more.

McCulloch's Contemporary Aboriginal Art  RRP $49.95, Booktopia price $42.45
EAT, PRAY LOVE AND THEN SURPRISE YOURSELF WITH MARRIAGE
COMMITTED: A SCEPTIC MAKES PEACE WITH MARRIAGE by Elizabeth Gilbert

Who would have thought it? After swearing off the institution completely, Gilbert has in fact succumbed to marriage, although for practical reasons to do with visas, work permits and the like.
Gilbert's mega-best selling spiritual travelogue, Eat, Pray, Love gave entertainment and solace to the multitudes. It concluded with her and her partner in love but unfettered.
In exploring her deep ambivalence about marriage — having vowed never to remarry after the painful divorce that triggered the wanderings chronicled in Eat, Pray, Love — she read historical and sociological studies. She also interviewed family members and friends, and talked to people whom she and José Nunes (then her companion, called Felipe in the book), met during 10 months in Southeast Asia. In Committed she weaves her reflections on this material into her own experiences.
Gilbert's account of her unexpected journey into second marriage makes compulsive reading, although she herself has realistic expectations.
"There’s something very scary about having millions of people waiting to see what you’re going to do next,” she said. “The people who love Eat, Pray, Love are very dear and are very encouraging, but they also have their expectations. But the impossibilities of meeting the expectations of millions of people have been well chronicled”, she told a recent reviewer.

Committed RRP $32.99, Booktopia price $27.95

   
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In This Issue

Great Deals on Summer Reading

Fiction

Holiday Reads

Want More Action?

Classic of the Month

Girlie Books

True Stories

The World We Live In

On Writing

History

Reshaping Yourself

More Looking than Reading

Eat Pray Love Marriage

The Best from our Publishers

The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency

Twilight Watch, and what comes next

Just For Kids

Booktopia Buzz Best Books of 2009

Teens, Young Adult and Cross Over Fiction

Garth Nix and Lord Sundy

Last Month's Winner

Book Guru's Beach Read Guide
WANT TO KEEP UP WITH THE LATEST BUZZ?

Food & Drink
Craft
SF & Fantasy
Romance
Zero to Five
Six to Twelve


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THE BEST FROM OUR PUBLISHERS

Click on the images below to see the pick of the January releases from selected publishers.






























NO. 1 LADIES DETECTIVE AGENCY


Alexander McCall Smith's delightful series set in Botswana has long captivated those who have read it but the imminent screening of the series on cable will introduce the charming Precious Ramotswe to a whole new audience.
We will have the new editions of the first four books in stock on release day in January.
We also have a copy of the DVD of the new series to give away to the first person to buy all four of these editions. Just email me with your order number and keep your fingers crossed.
In the meantime, click here to see the trailer.

The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency
RRP: $22.99
Booktopia Price     $19.54
Tears of the Giraffe
RRP: $22.99
Booktopia Price     $19.54
Morality for Beautiful Girls
RRP: $22.99
Booktopia Price     $19.54
In the Company of Cheerful Ladies
RRP: $22.99
Booktopia Price     $19.54

TWILIGHT WATCH
or WHAT TO READ NEXT

Simple! Its got to be
LONELY WEREWOLF GIRL
by Martin Millar
Meet Scottish teenager Kalix MacRinnalch - she's a werewolf with attitude.
Martin Millar has created a genre-bending expansive tale of werewolves in the modern world - friendly werewolves, fashionista werewolves, troubled teenage werewolves, cross-dressing werewolves, werewolves of every sort. Originally self-published, this book was a word-of-mouth success before being picked up by a mainstream publisher. This is urban fantasy with a complex political intrigue subplot plus a big dollop of comedy.
Move over vampires!
Lonely Werewolf Girl
RRP: $19.99, Booktopia Price: $16.99

JUST FOR KIDS

When it comes to books for children, I leave it to the very capable Kate Mayes and Amelia Vahtrick, who write our 0 - 5 Buzz and 6 - 12 Buzz respectively.
However, I can't help but point out two perennial favourites both of which are ideal for those rainy days when you are stuck indoors.

MY MUMMY'S BAG

For ages three and up, this sturdy carbboard construction is full of all the things that are in the real thing - a laptop, a mobile, a wallet, keys, a bottle of mineral water, an apple. In all, 75 objects and 30 activities to flip, slide, unfold and discover.
And best of all, we have it at a phenomenally good price.

My Mummy's Bag
IN STOCK
RRP: $24.95, Booktopia Price: $15.95

Older kids (and definitely their parents) will love DOODLE NUMBERS by Taro Gomi. Gomi's original Doodle Book is still much imitated but not surpassed. Now that fantastic forumla for daydreamers and doodlers has been applied to the world of numbers.

Doodle Numbers
RRP: $29.95, Booktopia Price: $20.50

Doodle Book
RRP: $29.95, Booktopia Price: $25.45

BOOKTOPIA BUZZ
BEST BOOKS OF 2009

We will bring you a definitive list of Booktopia best sellers for 2009 early in the new year. In the meantime, just for fun, I have put together a list of  Booktopia Buzz  favourites for the year. This is a list of treasures and surprises - all exceptional reads, exceptionally beautiful or else absolute must have's for one reason or another. So here it is, the one's that have given us the most pleasure, in the year that was, 2009.

JANUARY

The Book Of Unholy Mischief
by Elle Newmark


FEBRUARY

An Awkward Truth: The Bombing of Darwin
by Peter Grose

The Red Tent (anniversary edition)
by Anita Diamant

Paper Towns
by John Green

MARCH

The Sex Diaries
by
Bettina Arndt

The Roots of Civilisation
by John Newton

Cat
by Matthew Fleet

Planet Cake
by Paris Cutler

APRIL

Ransom
by David Malouf
(everything else paled into insignificance)

MAY

Jasper Jones
by Craig Silvey

The Selected Works of TS Spivet
by Reif Larson

The Composer is Dead
by Lemony Snicket

JUNE

American Rust
by Philipp Meyer

Jane Austen's Sewing Box
by Jennifer Forest

JULY

In the Sanctuary of Outcasts
by Neil White

The Lost Art of Sleep
by Michael McGirr

AUGUST

Toby Alone
by Timothee de Fombelle

SEPTEMBER

The Red Book
by Carl Jung

OCTOBER

No Ordinary Bloke: Signed Copies
by Donny Paterson

Black Water Rising
by Attica Locke

Wonders of a Godless World
by Andrew McGahan

Faerie-ality Source Book
by David Ellwand

Small Town
by Martin Mischkuling and Tim Winton

NOVEMBER

Love Song
by Alex Miller

Stitches: A Memoir
by David Small

Botanica Magnifica
by Kress & Hachadtourian

DECEMBER

On-ibus
(for ideas)

Twitterature (for fun)
 
TEENAGERS, YOUNG ADULT AND CROSS OVER FICTION

What on earth to you buy them?
Well, Michael Grant took them on a no-holds-barred ride of a life with Gone. Now he is back with Hunger. It is a world without adults and let me tell you, you don't want to be there.

Hunger
RRP: $19.95
Booktopia Price     $16.95

If you need more thrills and adrenaline, you'll want to know about the FURNACE series - Lockdown, Solitary and now Death Sentence. Glimpse inside Alexander Gordon Smith's mind. Its a scary place.

Death Sentence
RRP: $16.99
Booktopia Price     $14.44

The first in this series is also available as an audio book.

Furnace: Lockdown Audio CD
RRP: $36.50
Booktopia Price     $31.90



Fantasy lovers will be waiting for CROWDED SHADOWS, Celine Kiernan's second book in the Moorehawke Trilogy.

Crowded Shadows
RRP: $19.99
Booktopia Price     $16.99


For something more realistic, and with an authentic Australian feel, try Maureen McCarthy's SOMEBODY'S CRYING. McCarthy is a staple of young adult literature with Queen Kat, Carmel and St Jude Get a Life and more recently Rose By Any Other Name.

Somebody's Crying
RRP: $17.99
Booktopia Price     $15.29


More for bereft Twilighters....
BEAUTIFUL CREATURES by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Beautiful Creatures
RRP: $19.95
Booktopia Price     $16.95


MY LOVE LIES BLEEDING by Alyxandra Harvey
How do you resist a vampire's kiss? Apparently not easily.

My Love Lies Bleeding
RRP: $14.99
Booktopia Price     $12.74


INTERTWINED by Gina Showalter.
This one should appeal to boys as well as girls, and to anyone else with the souls of four humans residing inside them, as is the case with our hapless hero Adam.

Intertwined
RRP: $19.99
Booktopia Price     $16.95


STOP PRESS
 
LORD SUNDAY, the stunning conclusion to Garth Nix' seminal time traveller series, the Keys to the Kingdom, will be published in February.
Pre-order this now.
With more than 4.5 million Garth Nix books sold worldwide, this one is going to be massive as we all wait to see if Arthur's Penhaligon's six of the seven Keys to Kingdom will be enough to defeat Lord Sunday.

Lord Sunday
RRP: $15.99
Booktopia price: $13.59

LAST MONTH'S WINNER

Congratulations to Deborah Healey of Petersham NSW who won the three handsome hardback editions of Stieg Larsson's Millenium Trilogy. Do enjoy them Deborah. You are in for a ride!
By the way, I saw a sneak peak of the movie of first one, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo the other night. In a word, wow! (It starts in capital cities in March).




CLEAVING: A STORY OF MARRIAGE, MEAT & OBSESSION

Julie Powell

The author of Julie and Julia returns in her inimitable witty style. Also available as an audio CD.

Click here to buy Cleaving:
RRP $32.95, Booktopia price $28.95