Booktopia Buzz
JULY 2009 | Edition Ten
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BUZZ IN BRIEF
Hello Readers,

First up, congratulations to Sharon Ayre of Hawthorn Victoria who won the free Microsoft Office 2007 suite of software, plus Vista, in our Microsoft Press Step by Step promotion last month.
Congratulations also to Annaliese Appleton and Caroline Beare whose daughters are now devouring the hardback Ugenia Lavender collections.

There is plenty of fun to be had in July. We have a library of Vintage classics up for grabs, a pack of Maisy books and two, very precious SIGNED copies of The Ask and The Answer all to be won. Plus a simply gorgeous original artwork of Sarah and Her Heavy Heart created for us by author and illustrator Peter Carnavas.

What else?
One last thing. You may not know that we are now producing regular newsletters with all the "newest, bestest, latest" of science fiction and fantasy, romance,  food and drink and very, very soon, mind body and spirit and craft. All of our writers are passionate and knowledgeable about their genres and they all have an eye out for a great deal. Go to the links on the right to see the latest newsletters or update your newsletters preferences here to make sure you are included in the distribution lists when the new ones come on stream.

A bumper edition. Enjoy!

Toni Whitmont
Editor
Booktopia Buzz

By the way, we do our best to only feature books that we have in stock or that are in stock at the suppliers but what we anticipate is what happens after the Buzz goes out. Apologies if you have to occasionally wait for a title.
EXCLUSIVE GIVE AWAYS
I always like to start the Booktopia Buzz with a give away and judging from your responses, you like it too. This month I have four giveaways, each one perfect for chasing away those mid-winter blues.         
  
                    WIN A COLLECTION OF 8 VINTAGE CLASSIC NOVELS


Always wondered what all the fuss is about with Jane Austen, Thomas Hardy or Charles Dickens? The reason that they have been in continuous print since being penned is because they are all wonderful, wonderful stories written with exceptional talent and style.

Buy any of the 8 titles below and go in the draw to this collection of eight Vintage Classics.
Just click to buy and EMAIL ME with your order number. I'll announce the winner in the August edition of Booktopia Buzz.

Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton IN STOCK
Emma by Jane Austen IN STOCK
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens IN STOCK
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde IN STOCK
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy IN STOCK
The Woman in White by Wilke Collins IN STOCK

Click on the title to order.


FREE ORIGINAL SIGNED COLOUR PEN AND INK ILLUSTRATION BY PETER CARNAVAS

Perfect for framing and hanging.

There are picture books for littlies, there are picture books for older kids and then there are those gems of picture books that delightfully ignore age, race and gender and light up the life of everyone who is fortunate enough to read them. Sarah's Heavy Heart, written and illustrated by Peter Carnavas, falls easily into the last category.

This is a simply gorgeous book about friendship. Sarah is a little girl whose burden is to carry around her heart which is too heavy, until at last she meets a little boy whose heart gets carried away by the lightest tug of the breeze.
I fell in love with this book when it was released several months ago and was delighted to meet Carnavas at a recent industry event. He very generously made this illustration of especially for readers of Booktopia Buzz.

Click to order Sarah's Heavy Heart, and EMAIL ME with your order number. I'll announce the winner next month.


TWO SIGNED HARDBACK COPIES OF THE ASK AND THE ANSWER (CHAOS WALKING 2) TO GIVE AWAY.

IN STOCK

The first of Patrick Ness' fabulous fantasy series Chaos Walking, The Knife of Never Letting Go, was my very first book of the month when Booktopia Buzz was launched 12 months ago. Ostensibly a book for young adults, I found this an intriguing and absorbing read which left me gasping for the sequel.

To recap that original review:
The Knife of Never Letting Go is set in a future world, the new world, and Todd Hewitt is the last boy in a settlement called Prentisstown. But Prentisstown isn't like other towns. Everyone can hear everyone else's thoughts in a constant, overwhelming, never-ending "noise". There is no privacy. There are no secrets. Or are there? Just one month away from the birthday that will make him a man, Todd unexpectedly stumbles upon a spot of complete silence. And it is the silence that makes Todd run.
Patrick Ness, an American who now lives in the UK, has created a frighteningly eerie world where technology and ideas have regressed, where superstition and prejudice flourish, where knowledge is deadly and thoughts give you away. In Todd Hewitt, we have a startlingly fresh voice. The villain of the piece is suitably psychotic and Todd's companion is absolutely compelling. With The Knife of Never Letting Go, Patrick Ness joins the ranks of authors like Meg Rosoff and Ally Kennan, who write for teenagers but whose story telling and prose is too good to be ignored by those who are older. But be warned, when you finish this late at night because you couldn't put it down, you're not going to be able to sleep. And you're going to have to read the sequel.

Well the sequel is finally here. The Ask and the Answer is a more than fitting response and is equally as gripping as the first.

I am really excited to tell you that we have had two SIGNED hardback copies of The Ask and the Answer shipped to us from the UK and we are willing to GIVE THEM AWAY to purchasers of The Knife of Never Letting Go. Thank you Patrick Ness. Simply order book one ("The Knife"), and EMAIL ME with your order number. I'll announce the winner next month.


MAISY GIVE AWAYS
Where would we be without Lucy Cousin's wonderful creation, Maisy?
Is there a child starting school that hasn't enjoyed reading, play and imagination with that little mouse and her friends?

This month sees the release of Sweet Dreams Maisy, a cute pop-up lift the flap board book in which Maisy enjoys the sunset before going through her bed time rituals and settling in for a long night of sweet dreams.

We have to a Maisy pack to give away. It includes three books - Happy Birthday Maisy, Maisy's Rainbow Dream and Maisy Goes to the Museum - plus a colouring-in sheet, some sheets of Maisy stickers and several very cute Maisy badges.

To win the pack, place an order from Booktopia of over $30 in value, including Sweet Dreams Maisy, and EMAIL ME with your order number. I'll announce the winner next month.

By the way, have a look at the Maisy website. There are lots of ideas and activities there, perfect for sharing with littlies.

BOOKTOPIA EXCLUSIVE PACKAGES
We know that you like a good deal and here are two beauties!
CHARLES KINGSFORD SMITH AND THOSE MAGNIFICENT MEN PACK
  GRUG JUST KEEPS GETTING BETTER - TWO NEW PACKS

IN STOCK

We had such a huge response for our Charles Kingsford Smith and Those Magnificent Men package last month, we've decided to run with it again.

Enjoy Peter FitzSimons' gripping retelling of the Smithy story, each hardback SIGNED by the author himself, plus Peter Heller's The Whale Warrior, a story of adventure and drama with whale hunters and their opponents in the icy waters off Antarctica.

Booktopia has put these two compelling tales together at one incredibly attractive price. You should be paying $50 for an unsigned Charles Kingsford Smith, or $78 for the two books. Our price is just $49.95. What a great gift idea!

Click here to buy this exclusive package.
  Well, have we been having fun with Grug! And so have readers right across Australia. Grug is perfect for children learning to read but I have a sneaking suspicion that it is the adults who are enjoying his return to print after twenty years just as much. After all, they are the ones that loved him when they were kids.

We have two new Grug packs on sale this month, exclusive to Booktopia
of course. Each pack comprises 6 books. That's $30 worth of Grug for
$22.95. Of course, the books retail individually for $4.99 (our price $4.46) but once you have one you will definitely want the lot.

And don't forget that the 25th Grug book by Ted Prior, Grug Learns to Read, is the free book that will be the flagship of the Australia-wide 50 Titles You Can't Put Down campaign that launches on August 26.

New for July Grug Pack 3
Grug Plays Soccer, Grug at the Zoo, Grug at the Snow, Grug and His Bicycle, Grug Plays Cricket, Grug and His Music.

New for July Grug Pack 4
Grug Builds a Car, Grug Learns to Cook, Grug Builds a Boat, Grug and
His Kite, Grug Learns to Dance, Grug Goes Shopping
.

Click on any of the titles to buy.
FREE BOOK
No one does treachery, turmoil and intrigue better than CJ Sansom. His series, in an England riven into factions by Henry VIII, Cromwell and zealots on each side of the political divide, all feature investigator, reformer and lawyer Dr Matthew Shardlake.

The latest book, Revelation, is a powerful testimony to the madness that can overtake a society in the grip of religious fanaticism. Against a backdrop of murder, heresy and accusations of witchcraft, Shardlake's journey takes him to Bedlam, the London insane asylum, where the dark prophecies of the Book of Revelation appear to be coming true.

Included with Revelation is a FREE COPY of a previous Shardlake tale, Dissolution.

I haven't read Revelation, but I now have it on my wish list having just consumed this fascinating Independent review. Two books for the price of one, who could ask for more?

Click here to order Revelation plus a free Dissolution.
TONI'S BOOK OF THE MONTH - IN THE SANCTUARY OF OUTCASTS
Neil White’s memoir was introduced to me as a book that can change lives. Big call. A very risky thing to say to someone who looks at hundreds of new books every week with an eye to their saleability. Even more so because it came from someone whose job it is to move a lot of said stock.

Admittedly, the premise of this tale which takes place on a backward flowing bend in the Mississippi River in Louisiana, is intriguing. In May 1993, Neil White was jailed for a year in Carville for bank fraud. He owed more than $1 million in debts from his collapsed publishing business. What he didn’t realise until he got there was that Carville was also America’s national leprosarium. Its 130 patients were effectively forcibly quarantined there, incarcerated for life.

In the Federal Medical Center in Carville, White witnessed an unprecedented convergence of cultures – federal inmates and prison guards were thrown together with leprosy patients, public health works and an order of nuns. For White, it was a year of reflection, self discovery and eventual humility as he learnt from this community of men and women who survived unimaginable injustice and tragedy.

In the Sanctuary of Outcasts is neither mawkish nor saccharine. It is not sanctimonious or proselytising. It doesn’t wallow, it is not voyeuristic. In fact, it is a pretty straight up and down read.

According to John Grisham this is a remarkable story of a young man’s loss of everything he deemed important, his imprisonment in a place that would terrify anyone and his ultimate discovery that redemption can be taught by society’s most dreaded outcasts.

Well put. I don’t know about changing lives. What I can say is that this is a book that you will want to read. It wraps itself around you and keeps you warm and cosseted long after that last page. I am delighted to nominate In the Sanctuary of Outcasts as my book of the month.

Click here to read an interview with Neil White.

To order, click here.
GREAT READS - EVEN MORE POPULAR PENGUINS
In 1935, English publisher Allen Lane found himself returning by train after visiting Agatha Christie wishing he had a good book to read that could slip into his pocket. And so a publishing phenomenon was born.
Last September, Penguin books re-launched the first 50 of their more popular books in Allen Lane's classic orange and cream jackets at a very appealing price.
This month sees the next 50 of those classics (fiction and non fiction) available for less than $9 (Booktopia price).

If you want to read extracts and blurbs of the entire range, click here.

To order the titles, click here.

FICTION
What's new in fiction this month?
I've gone through the lot for you and grouped together on one page the ones that I think you'll like.
There's Leah Giarratano's new thriller Black Ice, Nick Earls' The True
Story of Butterfish
, and Brock and Lolla are back on the case when the red-haired mysterious Marion Summers dies in horrendous circumstances in Barry Maitland's Dark Mirror.
There's Nicki Gemmell's The Book of Rapture, a blowtorch to the belly of religion much the same way the The Bride Stripped Bare was to marital sexuality. For a beautifully written fable  in a gorgeous demi-hardback, Heather Rose's The River Wife is the one to linger over. Man Booker prize winner Aravinda Adiga (The White Tiger) has a new novel Between the Assassinations. I could go on and on. There is something for everyone in Booktopia's July Fiction Favourites, so please have a browse. In the meantime, I am going to highlight only six (don't shoot me). I've chosen ones out of left field, the ones that you might not otherwise have picked yourself, ones that are out of the box - oh, and a handful of page-turning thrillers.
I DO NOT COME TO YOU BY CHANCE   EVENING IS THE WHOLE DAY   WE ARE ALL MADE OF GLUE
Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani

I do not come to you  by chance. Upon my quest for a trusted and reliable foreign business man or company, I was given your contact by the Nigerian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. I hope that you can be
trusted to handle a transaction of this magnitude.
Following the sudden death of my husband, general Sani Abacha, the
former head of state of Nigeria, I have been thrown into a state of utter confusion. Sometime ago, I deposited the sum of $US58 million cash of my late husband's money in a security firm whose name I cannot disclose until I am sure I can trust you. I will be very grateful if you could receive these funds for safe keeping.
Sound familiar? Who hasn't received one of the fabled Nigerian email
scams?
Kings is a young man studying hard to find a job that uses the years
of study he has had but jobs are scarce and his family is relying on
him to support them. I Do Not Come to You By Chance has been described as funny, brilliant and clever. It puts a human face to those who write and disseminate scam emails. At the same time it will make you think deeply about inequality and wealth.

Click here to read a Q&A with Nwaubani.

Click here to buy this book.
  Preeta Samarasan

When the family's rubber-plantation servant girl is dismissed for unnamed crimes, it is only the latest in a series of precipitous losses that have shaken six-year-old Aasha's life.  In the space of several weeks her grandmother died under mysterious circumstances and her older sister, Uma, left for Columbia University, gone forever. 
Circling through years of family history to arrive at the moment of
Uma's departure — standing her worshipful younger sister in a family, and a country, slowly going to pieces — Evening Is the Whole Day illuminates in heartbreaking detail one Indian immigrant family's
layers of secrets and lies, while exposing the complex underbelly of
Malaysia itself.  Sweeping in scope, exuberantly lyrical, and
masterfully constructed, Preeta Samarasan's debut is a mesmerising and vital achievement sure to earn her a place alongside Arundhati Roy,
Kiran Desai, and Zadie Smith.  Translation rights have been sold in
fourteen territories.

Click here to buy this book.
  Marina Lewycka

A Short History of Tractors in the Ukraine was a Man Booker Prize long-listed novel and has been translated into nearly 30 languages. Now Lewycka brings us We Are All Made of Glue, a fusion of Holocaust drama and knockabout comedy (yes) for those strong of stomach.
There is a particularly good review of this book on the Guardian's website, after which having read, leads me to think that We Are All Made of Glue will have both the popular and critical acclaim that was afforded "Tractors" but alluded her second book, Two Caravans.

In the meantime, you can read an extract here.

Click here to buy the book.

Click here to buy the CD.



SIX GRAVES TO MUNICH   SHELLEY'S HEART
  THE ZERO OPTION
Mario Puzo

Author, screenwriter and novelist, Mario Puzo, died ten years ago (almost to the day). Most famous for The Godfather, Puzo was born into a poor migrant family from Naples, and grew up in the appropriately named Hell's Kitchen neighbourhood of New York. He started being
published in the 1950s and many of his works were written under the
pseudonym Mario Cleri.
Six Graves to Munich was originally published under that pen name and has been unavailable for many years.
In the final days of the Second World War, Michael Rogan, an American intelligence officer, is tortured by a group of seven senior Gestapo officers who need to discover the secrets he alone can give them.
Ten years later, when he has recovered from the appalling injuries he
suffered, and determined to revenge the death of his wife at the hands
of the same men, he begins a quest to track down and kill each one of his tormentors. Dark, violent, and graphic, this is an addictive thriller about how far one man will go to exact his own justice.

Click here to buy this book.

  Charles McClarry

Poet Percy Bysshe Shelley drowned at the age of 30 on July 8, 1822 when a sudden storm engulfed his small schooner sailing off the Italian coast. Many believed his death was not accidental, some even thought that he may have been murdered because he was suspected of being an intelligence agent. His heart was snatched from the funeral pyre and kept by Mary Shelley for the rest of her life until it was eventually interred next to her grave.
All that is by way of introduction to Charles McCarry's new political
thriller, Shelley's Heart, which is set in Washington DC.
The story is so gripping and so striking, even frightening, in its plausibility, that McCarry's devoted readers may have difficulty bearing in mind that this tale of love, murder, betrayal, and life-or-death struggles for the political soul of America is a work of the
imagination rather than an act of prophecy.
And why shouldn't it be? After all, Charles McCarry who has been building his international reputation as a novelist since the mid 70s,  was himself a CIA officer who operated under deep cover in Europe, Africa, and Asia. He is able to write with the conviction of experience.

Click here to buy this book.

  David Rollins

Another thriller, this time moving backwards and forwards from the Cold War machinations of the early 80s to the present, reconstructing the disappearance of KAL 007 which  was shot down into the sea of Sakhalin Island. Or was it?
Three decades later a missing radar tape is uncovered by the daughter of one of those fated passengers and both the Americans and the Russians are playing a deadly game.
David Rollins writes a mean political thriller.

To get an idea of the pace and suspense, click here to see his book trailer.

Click here to buy the book.

NON FICTION
A wonderful cornucopia of choice for you this month in the non-fiction department! I've reviewed a handful and grouped the best of the rest so you can browse easily (click here).

In the meantime, the highlights include James Castrission Crossing the Ditch (ie paddling from Australia to New Zealand), a biography of Rufus Wainwright (There Will be Rainbows by Kirk Lake) and Poppy King's Lessons of a Lipstick Queen. For those interested in popular culture there is Ed Hardy: Art for Life and Ten Songs That Changed the World. There's Screening for Good Health,(a kind of hypochondriac's hand book), God is Back: How the Global Rise of Faith Will Change the World, and Karen Armstrong's The Case for God as well as a look into the future with Physics of the Impossible: A Scientific Exploration of the World of Phasers, Force Fields, Teleportation and Time Travel.  We've got superannuation (Salvage Your Super), team building (Scores on the Board) and a Bumper Book of Cricket just in time for the Ashes. And below are a few highlights.

THE NIGHT MY BUM DROPPED
  WESLEY THE OWL
Gretel Killeen

Killeen is perhaps best  known as a television host, but she has had a rich and varied career as a stand up comic, an entertainer, an author of books for kids, teenagers and adults and even as a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF and a volunteer worker with AIDS orphans in Zambia.
The Night My Bum Dropped, described as a "gleefully exaggerated memoir", is Killeen's response to the vicissitudes of life that have been heaped upon her in recent years all of which have left her wondering what she is going to do with what she has left.

You can read an extract and watch her talking about her book as well . She is as ever, warm, witty and engaging. And she won't fess up as to which parts are true and which are not.

Click here to buy this book.

By the way, if this is up your alley, you will also be interested in Cooking with Baz: How I Got to Know My Father by Sean Dooley. Dooley is part of the writing team for the ABC's Spicks and Specks. This is a lovely bitter sweet memoir about fathers and sons.


  The Remarkable Love Story of an Owl and His Girl

Stacey O'Brien

If you are the sort of person that melted with Marley and Me, or Dewey the Small Town Library Cat Who Touched the World, you are going to fall in love with Wesley.
Wesley the Owl is a love story that begins when a young, compassionate biologist who adopts a baby bird. Unknowingly she has embarked on a relationship that will last almost two decades.
Told with both wit and wonder, this memoir relates the touching, frustrating, and funny events of Wesley's "growing up". After being rescued from a fall that ensures he will never be able to survive in the wild, Wesley finds a new home with biologist Stacey O'Brien. With affection and a scientist's eye, O'Brien narrates Wesley's growth from a helpless ball of fuzz to a playful and clumsy adolescent - and finally to a macho adult owl who admires himself in the mirror, eats up to six mice a day, and objects to any other male (animal or human) invading "his" territory. Ultimately, the biologist who saved the life of a helpless baby bird is herself rescued by the insistent love and protective strength of this wild animal. O'Brien's anecdotes are enhanced by wonderful photos of their life together.

Click here to buy this book.
WAR AND LIFE COLLIDE
THE GHOST AT THE WEDDING   THE WOLF
Three generations, two world wars, one family

Shirley Walker


In the year of 1914, in the canefields of northern New South Wales, the young men couldn't wait to set off for the adventure of war.  The women coped as best they could, raised the children, lived in fear of being next to receive an official telegram.  They grieved their dead, and came to learn that for returned men there are worse things than death in combat.  They bore more children to replace those lost in the First World War, and the sons were just the right age to go off to the second.
The Ghost at the Wedding is like no other account of war, chronicling events from both sides – the horror of the battlefields and the women who were left at home.  Shirley Walker's depictions of those battles – Gallipoli, the Western Front, the Kokoda Track – are grittily accurate, their reverberations haunting.
If you have spent any time in small Australian towns,  especially around ANZAC day, maybe reading the Cenotaphs and wondering at those endless lists of men all with the same few names, thinking about the lives they left broken and bleeding behind them, you will want to read this book. The ghosts are still haunting us.

To read an extract, click here.

Click here to buy this book.
  The Most Audacious Warship of World War One and Its 15-Month campaign of Terror Against Australia and the World

Richard Guilliatt & Peter Hohnen

July 1917: the First World War is about to enter its fourth horrendous year and ships are mysteriously disappearing off Australia and New Zealand as a young Australian woman named Mary Cameron sails with her husband and daughter across the Pacific Ocean from San Francisco to Sydney. Less than a thousand miles from Sydney, a black-hulled freighter appears out of the vast blue emptiness, and Mary and her daughter rush to the deck to greet her. Suddenly, two hinged iron sections of the freighter's bulwarks drop down to reveal she is bristling with guns. She is in fact the German warship the Wolf, and the Cameron family are about to find themselves captive on one of the century's most extraordinary wartime sea voyages.
Sent by Germany on a suicide mission to the far side of the world, the Wolf was a formidable and ingenious commerce-raider. Her task was to inflict maximum destruction on Allied shipping using all the latest technology of warfare. It was an assignment so secret that she could never pull in to port or transmit any radio signal. In one continual 64,000-mile voyage, the ship caused havoc across three oceans, launched Germany's first direct attacks on Australia and New Zealand and captured over 400 men, women and children.
Written like a thriller but packed with details that are so relevant to its Australian readership, The Wolf is utterly compelling.

Click here to buy this book.


LOOKING BACK TO 1959
  AND THEN THERE WAS THE MINI
1959: The Year Everything Changed

Fred Kaplan

Forget the sixties, argues Fred Kaplan. It was 1959 that ushered in the wave of tremendous cultural, political and scientific shifts that would play out in the turbulent decades that followed. Think Norman Mailer, Allen Ginsberg and Miles Davis. Think the unshackling of previously banned books. The introduction of the birth control pill. America went into Vietnam. The invention of the microchip. The Space Race. Big changes that launched the world as we know it today.

Click here to read and extract.

Click here to buy this book.


  Mini: The True and Secret History of the Making of the Motor Car

Simon Garfield

OK, I am showing my age here but I have very fond memories of being driven around in a Mini and I am not talking about the Mini Cooper a la James Bond.
This book will be of enormous interest to both car buffs, and to the large numbers of people who are nostalgic about those little work horses that  to own was to love.
As does 1959, my other favourite history book this month, Mini explores the industrial and social changes in the last half-century but this time, the vehicle (sorry about that) is through the story of  one car. The book is split into two parts - 1959 and 2009 - telling the history of these two linked worlds 50 years apart. This is the human story behind a beautiful box of metal and wires.

Click here to buy this book.

More anniversaries, this time forty years. Forty years since "one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind".

There is an absolute plethora of books being published this month relating to the moon landing which took place on July 16, 1969. For my money, two of the most interesting are Magnificent Desolation and Moon Landing.

Magnificent Desolation: The Long Journey Home From the Moon is Buzz Aldrin's account of Apollo 11. It is an insider's view on the space program and heroism, on depression, alcoholism and renewal and a rallying cry for Mars and beyond.

Click here to buy this book.


Moon Landing by Richard Platt and David Howcock is an altogether different kind of animal. Endorsed by Aldrin, this is a celebration of that spectacular feat, all presented in a range of clever pop-up page spreads that have you inside the space craft, out in space and on the surface of the moon itself. This is one of those books that will appeal to people from 8 to 80.

Click here to buy this book.
YOUR MOTHER WOULD BE PROUD   THE LOST ART OF SLEEP   THE COLONY
Scandalous Tales of Mayhem, Mischief and Misadventure
Tamara


Sheward & Jenny Valentish (eds)

The editors of Your Mother Would Be Proud have managed to persuade a host of Australia's best-known celebrities, writers, comedians, actors and musos to immortalise some of their most scurrilous secrets in print. The result is one of the most revealing collections of true life confessions ever to be compiled - and it's all for a good cause! All royalties from this irresistible collection of hilarious, outrageous and true stories of Australia's best-known "wild ones" go to the Mirabel Foundation

Click here to buy this book.

  Michael McGirr

I have to tell you that I absolutely love this book. I have been dipping in and out of it for weeks and been amused and educated  by all sorts of ephemera and trivia relating to those precious hours of rest. McGirr is a gifted and erudite writer, something of an achievement given that he penned this anecdotal collection while attending to new born twins and a feisty toddler. That perhaps explains the meandering structure that takes you to the Greece of Homer, the wanderings of the Hebrews in the desert, to the frenzied nocturnal world of Thomas Edison and to the contemporary pharmaceutical smorgasbord of sleep enhancers, all in no particular order. A delight from start to finish!

Click here to buy this book.

  A History of Early Sydney

Grace Karskens

Dr Karskens, is somewhat of an expert on the early years of the colony. She won the 1998 Premiers Award for Local and Regional History with her book on The Rocks: Life in Early Sydney.
The Colony  is a landmark account of the birthplace of modern Australia, and a fascinating and richly textured narrative of people and place.
And it has already got the critics talking.
This is a spellbinding saga of the beginnings of modern Australia. The Colony is a stunning achievement. It will change the way you feel about Australian history.
High praise indeed.

Click here to buy this book.



YOUNG ADULT
 For my money, there are three stand out young adult books being published this month. If these don't do it for you, have a look at the young adult July long list here.

The first, Patrick Ness' The Ask and the Answer, I have already dealt with at the beginning of this newsletter. Suffice to say, I am a big fan. Just as a little treat, you can have a sneak peak of The New World, a story of Chaos Walking. This is a free short story that deals with Viola's arrival and will whet your appetite for  part three (may it come quickly).

IN STOCK

Click here to buy this book.


Raw Blue by Kirsty Eagar is an altogether different kind of reading experience. A teenage girl recovering from a painful past, set in the surfing culture of Sydney's northern beaches, Carly would do anything to forget what happened a couple of years ago at  schoolies week.
You can get a pretty good feel for the novel by reading the extract and watching the author interview.

Click here to buy this book.


Lisa McMann's newest book, Wake: Your Dreams Are Not Your Own has created a sensation in the US and has certainly set the tone for conversation in our household.

Here is an interview with the author, in which she talks about her trilogy (Wake, Gone and Fade), her rocket rise to the top of the New York Times list and how to get through the tough stuff as a teen.

Click here to buy this book.

Click here to browse all of McMann's books. [NB: Wake and Fade are available now, Gone is due for release in the US in February 2010].
TWELVE AND UNDER
And for those twelve and under, the following are sure fire winners, while there is a more extensive list to choose from here.


Just Macbeth by Andy Griffiths

    Take one Shakespearean tragedy: Macbeth.
• Add Andy, Danny and Lisa – the Just trio, whose madcap exploits have already delighted hundreds of thousands of readers for the last ten years.
• Mix them all together to create one of the most hilarious, most dramatic, moving stories of love, Whizz Fizz, witches, murder and madness, from the bestselling and funniest children's authors in Australia.
You need to read this before you tackle the original version.

Click here to buy this book.

Click here to browse this book as an audiobook.


The Greatest Blogger in the World by Andrew McDonald

OK, this is a load of fun. Charlie Ridge has a secret ambition and that is to be the greatest blogger in the world. The only problem is that everyone thinks he is a nerd.
Charlie Ridge's alter ego is Andrew McDonald, who works in a bookshop in Melbourne. His book is supported by a really cool website and there is a blogging competition with two Apple Macs up for grabs. This one has winner written all over it.
Ages 8 plus.

Click here to buy this book.


Don't Breathe a Word by Marianne Musgrove

Perhaps it is because she is a self confessed worry wart that Musgrove can tackle tricky subjects for kids with a lightness of touch that is both engaging and amusing. The much lauded writer of The Worry Tree has penned a marvellous new novel for children aged 9 and up in which Kenzie and Tahlia have to keep a host of relatives, friends and neighbours from discovering that their grandfather and carer is becoming demented.  This is a delight from start to finish.

Click here to buy this book.
HELLO BABY   ON THE NIGHT YOU WERE BORN   THE SHARK IN THE DARK
Mem Fox and Steve Jenkins

Clever monkey babies,
dusty lion babies,
sleepy leopard babies,
hairy warthog babies.

In fact, lots of lovely animal babies in gorgeous collate style illustrations.
You won't be able to go past this picture book for the very young.

To look inside, click here.

Click here to buy this book.



  Nancy Tillman

On the night you were born, the moon shone with such wonder that the stars peeked in to see you and the night wind whispered, 'Life will never be the same.'

What a beautiful picture book! This is the one to take to a naming ceremony, or to give a much longed for first baby. It is the one to really savour, with your little one snuggled in on your lap. This is the one that will still be on the shelf years and years later. In rich collage style and lilting poetic text, this is the perfect book to share.

Ages three plus.

Click here to buy this book.
  Peter Bently

Down at the bottom of the deep dark sea
Something is stirring and it wants its tea!

The Shark in the Dark is big, mean and greedy and he enjoys tormenting all the little fishes in the depths of the ocean. Until one day, a squid comes up with a cunning plan to unite the fish and teach the shark a lesson he'll remember forever.
With rhyming text and lots of colour, this is loads of fun.

Ages 3+

Click here to buy this book.
   
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In This Issue

FOUR exclusive Booktopia give aways

Signed copies of Peter FitzSimons book about Charles Kingsford Smith

Two new exclusive Grug packs

Revelation plus a free Dissolution

Toni's Book of the Month

Popular Penguins

Fiction

Non Fiction

Young Adult

Twelve and Under

Coming Soon

Late Drop In

Literature Australian Style

Australian Book Industry Awards

First Tuesday Book Club

Brain Food

Will Eisner: Classic Graphic Novelist

What the Publishers are Saying

Foreign Language books with bite

LINKS

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Booktopia Blog

SF & Fantasy Buzz

Romance Buzz

What's After Twilight?

Food & Drink Buzz

Booktopia's July Favourites


COMING SOON

First of all, on the subject of blockbusters, we know you are going to want the new small format  Stephenie Meyers - Twilight, Eclipse, New Moon and Breaking Dawn. These are small editions, perfectly formed, with to-die-for blood red page edges. Available in early August.

Click here to order.


We will be sending out two editions of Booktopia Buzz in August. There will be a special Father's Day edition, unashamedly blokey, with great deals, new titles and some terrific titles. And for the non-dads among us, there will be lots of goodies in the regular monthly missive. Don't forget to give yourself plenty of time to get your books out of our warehouse and into your mailbox before September 6. If you want to get Dad sorted now, you may want to pre-order from the list below.
LITERATURE AUSTRALIAN STYLE

I can't wait to see what is in the Macquarie PEN Anthology of Australian Literature - a 1464 page volume edited by Nicholas Jose and a host of others. It will be published next month by Allen and Unwin. Modelled on the US Norton anthologies, it is a sampler of writing from colonial journals and letters to contemporary prose, places and poetry - its collection comprises 300 authors and 500 works. For more information, click here. Click here to watch a video of David Malouf speaking about his work included in the anthology, or click here to see Tom Keneally speak about his. Click here to read a guide to the key texts featured.

Whilst waiting for the anthology's release in August, you can pre-order here.

We are very excited to have secured a few copies of the 100 signed and numbered, gold foiled, slip cased limited editions. Click here to pre-order.
AUSTRALIAN BOOK INDUSTRY AWARDS 2009

The Oscars of the Australian book industry have been announced. Congratulations to the winners amongst the booksellers and publishers. In the meantime, here are some of the titles that won all the accolades. Click to order.
THE BOAT
Nam Le
Newcomer of the Year 2009

IN STOCK
THE SLAP
Christos Tsoilkas
Book of the Year 2009 & Literary Fiction Book of the Year

TALES OF OUTER SUBURBIA
Shaun Tan
Illustrated Book of the Year 2009

IN STOCK
TEN LITTLE FINGERS AND TEN LITTLE TOES
Mem Fox & Helen Oxenbury
Book of the Year for Younger Children 2009

IN STOCK
FINNIKIN ROCK
Melina Marchetta
Book of the Year for Older Children 2009

Also singled out were:

The biography of the year 2009 - The Lucy Family Alphabet by Judith Lucy

General non- fiction book of the year 2009 - The Tall Man by Chloe Hooper

General fiction book of the year 2009 - The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton
IN STOCK
LATE DROP IN

Michael Jackson - Life of a Legend

Michael Heatley

This must be some kind of record. Eight days after the death of Michael Jackson, we got word of the publication of Michael Jackson - Life of a Legend, which is being rushed to print and to our shores for July 31. It is 192 pages, hard cover, full colour throughout, the size of an LP (yes, an LP) and is definitely one for the fans.
 
Click here to see inside.

Click here to pre-order.

*Please note: This book is due for release from the publishers on the 25th July. Booktopia will make every effort to deliver it as soon as possible.*
FIRST TUESDAY BOOK CLUB

For the fans of the very wonderful First Tuesday Book Club on the ABC, here are the August titles. I for one can't wait for the discussion of Middlesex. It is a brilliant read.
MIDDLESEX
Jeffrey Eugenides
GONE TOMORROW
Lee Child

BRAIN FOOD
BRAINMATICS LOGIC PUZZLES
Ivan Moscovich

BRAINMATICS MORE LOGIC PUZZLES
Ivan Moscovich
BILL BRYSON'S DICTIONARY
Bill Bryson
Now in paperback
ATLAS OF ANATOMY
Sobotta Atlas

WILL EISNER, FOR THE COLLECTORS

When I  read my first graphic novel a couple of weeks ago (yes,  I know, a couple of weeks ago is what I said) I made sure it was an Eisner.
Will Eisner is known as the father of the graphic novel. In fact, so respected is the creator of The Spirit amongst many others, that the American manga and graphic awards are named The Eisners. In the last couple of years since his death, there have been more and more of his earlier works made available. I have to say that I found The Name of the Game morality tale of Jewish migrants and their assimilation into America in the nineteenth and twentieth century completely compelling and captivating. Not the kind of fodder I would have imagined for a graphic novel. Suffice to say, I have been able to get neither the images, nor the text, out of my head. That makes for a great story telling experience. There are three new Eisner's available this month. Click on the title to order.
LIFE ON ANOTHER PLANET
Will Eisner
MINOR MIRACLES
Will Eisner
A FAMILY MATTER
Will Eisner
WHAT THE PUBLISHERS ARE SAYING

Want to see what the publishers are saying about their books for July? After all, they are the ones that have nurtured the authors and massaged those manuscripts into shape.
Click on the images below to see their best and brightest.
You can then click straight through to the book on our site should you want to order.
And to see some book trailers from Random House (including Nick Earls' The True Story of Butterfish), click here.














FOREIGN LANGUAGE BOOKS WITH A BITE

Here is a range of smart looking, funny and dare I say it, particularly useful foreign language books. What is so different about them? They have all the phrases and words that people actually use rather than the ones that are taught in formal classes.

These unabashed and saucy dictionaries of the colloquial and vulgar are are a must for anyone who wants to take their learning out of the classroom and onto the street. Part of the new bilingual range from Chambers, the definitions are bang up-to-date with the latest idioms and insults. You will be able to parler like a native and you won't be taking  merde from anyone.

*Please note, due to popular demand these books have been delayed by the publishers. Booktopia will make every effort to deliver them as soon as possible.*

Click on the title to order.
PARDON MY FRENCH
PARDON MY GERMAN
PARDON MY SPANISH