Booktopia Buzz
June 2010 | Edition 21
SPECIAL NOTE FROM TONY NASH, BOOKTOPIA'S CEO: A hearty congratulations goes to Toni Whitmont for producing her 21st Booktopia Buzz. Well done! Many thanks from me and the rest of the management team for establishing the benchmark newsletter from online bookstores that our competitors aspire to achieve. I have had the good fortune this time to edit this newsletter and I throw down a challenge to all of our avid book readers and lovers of exquisite literature... read this newsletter in its entirety and try and tell me that there isn't a plethora of good quality interesting books this month, from children's to fiction and non-fiction and so many of them from our home grown authors and publishers. But let's face it, Toni certainly knows how to pick 'em. Congrats again Toni and may there be many more. If you feel compelled to congratulate her or tell her which books you have loved reading the most from her newsletters or you just simply love reading the Booktopia Buzz then please let her know. She loves her job and I think she would be quite touched if she heard from you.
Click here to email Toni Whitmont any feedback or kind wishes.
Regards, Tony Nash  
*** Oh yes, one more thing, I really slashed the prices of the Buzz books this month to celebrate, so there are no excuses not to buy a box full of these books!

Hello readers,

Welcome to a very celebratory edition of Booktopia Buzz. Its our 21st Birthday Edition and the treats are on us.

First up, we are going to give 21 customers are lovely surprise. We are going to select 21 of you at random and shower you with extra, free books. Best of all, you don't need to do a thing except order any of the books reviewed in this newsletter. How good is that?

And if that is not enough for you, I have copies of So Cold the River to give away as well as the most divine signed children's picture book packs yours for the asking (almost).

Now to the new releases for June, and I have to tell you, I am seriously excited about what's on offer this month.

You would think that Bill Bryson, Scott Turow, David Mitchell and Bret Easton Ellis was strong enough, but no. This month I've got everything from a steam punk android to gold panners, the febrile musings of a Filippino street poet to a middle aged Mum's  defiant first tattoo. Empires are crumbling, the Berlin wall is falling, there are tree changers and reds under the beds,  a judge is up on a murder charge and a man heading north with a consignment of toothbrushes is having an intimate relationship with his satnav system. And I haven't even got to non-fiction yet.

Now we come to fatwahs and the Finn brothers, bondage in jail and bondage in leather, we work out what makes Dubai tick and sort out insomnia, go on the road in search of love, and track down our best artists on the Oodnadatta track.  You can meet local crime bosses and Yemeni news editors, be-French-woman thin, rekindle your libido and unravel the mystery of your teenage boys (preferably not at the same time). You can sort out  religion, war, get to know the significance of everyday objects and the global economy all from the comfort of our couch, while somewhere a long the line you can make a cockatrice for dinner, relive your childhood Lego obsession and crochet an alienbot. And oh yes, you can walk around Perth and finally come to grips with algebra.

What's not to like about the June issue of Booktopia Buzz? Absolutely nothing. Happy 21st!

Toni Whitmont
Booktopia Buzz
So Cold The River by Michael Koryta SO COLD THE RIVER by Michael Koryta

It starts with a beautiful woman and a challenge to kick-start his career, when Eric Shaw is approached out of the blue by Alyssa Bradford and asked to investigate and film a documentary about her father-in-law's mysterious past.

Eric finds himself travelling to the rural Indiana town of West Baden Springs to investigate Campbell Bradford's past where he stays at a gloriously refurbished 1920s spa resort. But just hours after his arrival, he experiences a frighteningly vivid vision and as as the days pass, the visions increase in intensity, drawing him deeper and deeper into the town's dark history.

Michael Koryta was inspired to write So Cold the River by the real West Baden Springs Hotel, abandoned and in disrepair since the Depression. In its heyday it was frequented by movie stars, presidents, athletes and mobsters, all drawn to the mineral springs which were claimed to cure everything from insomnia to malaria.

In So Cold the River, Koryta gives us a paranormal thriller that will appeal to fans of John Connolly, Dean Koontz and Stephen King.

Click here to read our interview with Michael Koryta.

Now the good news:


To go into the draw



The winners will be announced in next month's Booktopia Buzz

Click here to buy So Cold the River
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David Mitchell has long held a special place in the anthology of contemporary authors. Twice short listed for the Man Booker, a Granta Best of Young British Novelist and in receipt of numerous other accolades, the author of The Cloud Atlas bursts back into print with a huge canvas bursting with ideas, diversions, inventiveness, ambition and skill. Don’t be put off if that seems too big a call.

THE THOUSAND AUTUMNS OF JACOB DE ZOET by David MitchellThe Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoët is in fact an absolutely absorbing story and a glitteringly fabulous read.

The year is 1799 and Japan has denied the influence of the west for close to two hundred years. Its only contact comes through the land bridge that links the island of Dejima to Nagasaki, an island which is leased rather precariously to the Dutch East Indies Company for its mercantile trading ventures. To this island comes a young clerk, Jacob de Zoët, whose charge is to rid the company of corruption. But while the land bridge may prevent foot traffic between a feudal nation and its impatient, bumptious trading partner, it cannot prevent the leaking of ideas, nor the meeting of  hearts.

The Dutch are virtual prisoners on Dejima. They spend their time negotiating over concessions, playing a game of bluff and counter bluff, all the while locking themselves into internecine disputes. Meanwhile, across the narrow strip of water, the Japanese are themselves riven with rival factions locked in an intricate dance of power and influence. Neither have any idea the Dutch East Indies company has in fact collapsed and that Japan is firmly in the sights of the British naval juggernaut.

I waxed lyrical about The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoët in the blog mid-March, so I won’t repeat myself here. Suffice to say that this is a book to savour, to revel in. It has Man Booker written all over it. Stunning!

Meanwhile, we have the opening chapter and a book trailer for you here.

Click here to buy The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoët
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There are two stand outs in the non fiction list this month, one local author and one a much beloved expat Yank in Britain. Terrific reads, both.

Few Australians are aware that their homeland was once the British Empire’s Guantanamo Bay, or that we had political leaders exiled here who at the time enjoyed a stature as martyrs not unlike Nelson Mandela.
They had an enormous influence on both world and Australian politics and culture, from democracy and free speech to larrikinism and the fair go.

I hope Australians will celebrate and commemorate the political convicts in part because their often inspiring stories link us to the great revolutionary movements then sweeping the western world, but also because these rebels and reformers contributed much to who we are and bring to passionate life an Australian and empire history that is wrongly thought of as boring.

The words of author Tony Moore in his interview with Booktopia. Click here to read the rest of the interview.

Tony Moore has written an engaging and lively narrative history that brings together the stories of the political prisoners who were sent from all parts of the British Empire to this fatal shore. In so doing he raises questions about violence, conviction, idealism and courage, as relevant then as they are today.

Click here to buy Death or Liberty
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AT HOME by Bill Bryson

What can I say? Bill Bryson is a treasure! In his first major work for four years, At Home does for social history what A Short History of Nearly Everything did for the history of science.

At Home by Bill BrysonBill Bryson and his family live in a Victorian parsonage in a part of England where nothing of any great significance has happened since the Romans decamped. Yet one day, he began to consider how very little he knew about the ordinary things of life as he found it in that comfortable home. To remedy this, he formed the idea of journeying about his house from room to room to "write a history of the world without leaving home." The bathroom provides the occasion for a history of hygiene; the bedroom, sex, death, and sleep; the kitchen, nutrition and the spice trade and so on, as Bryson shows how each has figured in the evolution of private life. Whatever happens in the world, he demonstrates, ends up in our house, in the paint and the pipes and the pillows and every item of furniture.

Bill Bryson has one of the liveliest, most inquisitive minds on the planet, and he is a master at turning the seemingly isolated or mundane fact into an occasion for the most diverting exposition imaginable. His wit and sheer prose fluency make At Home one of the most entertaining books ever written about private life.

Here is an inwards look at all human life through a domestic telescope because, as he says, our homes are not refuges from history. They are where history begins and ends.

Click here to buy At Home
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The Important Things by Peter Carnavas THE IMPORTANT THINGS by Peter Carnavas

Every now and then a children's picture book comes along that is so special that it speaks to a universal audience. The Important Things is one of those books. Of course, your under-sixes will love it but it is one of those kids' books that adults will be just as pleased they were introduced to. In fact, I have read it now three times, and each time I have felt somehow nourished by its message.

The Important Things is about Christopher, his mother and the father "who has faded from their lives". Christopher is trying to remember, mother is trying to forget. The Important Things follows what happens when mother packs up some of father's old bits and pieces into a box to take to the second hand shop.

Carnavas is one of those rare gems whose way with words perfectly supports his lovely, whimsical illustrations. He is not a big name yet, but he certainly deserves a lot more attention. He won't appeal to the red-fire-truck kind of audience but if you or your child are interested in life's big questions, you won't find a more satisfying book.

Click here to see some internal images from The Important Things.

To celebrate the release of The Important Things, we have
3 Carnavas packs to give away!

Each pack contains
How to win a Carnavas pack

The winners will be announced in Booktopia Buzz next month.

Meanwhile, click here to read our interview with Peter Carnavas.

Click here to buy The Important Things
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Scott Turow

For those of us old enough to remember,  the it book of 1987 was Scott Turow’s Presumed Innocent. It
was The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo of its times. By that I mean that everyone read it – from the reader of quality fiction to the person who only ever bought their paperbacks at the newsagent. Scott Turow defined the courtroom drama, the legal thriller and in a genre that is crowded now he still arguably holds the crown. 
Enter the sequel.

Twenty years later and it is now Judge Rusty Sabich aged 60. Twenty years later he is still being stalked by district attorney Tommy Molto. Two decades ago, when he was a prosecutor, Sabich found himself accused of the murder of a former lover. Now his nightmare is relived as Judge Sabich is accused of the murder of his wife.

Time for me to fess up. I was so engrossed that I had to sneak in a page or two while sitting in the car at traffic lights and I certainly haven't done that before. It is that good. Innocent is an absolute rip-snorter of murder mystery. It is a legal drama that had me staying up late and waking early just so I could find out what actually happened. Scott Turow writes with clarity and precision and with an eye to character development that could be the envy of many a more serious literary fiction author.

For my fuller review, click here.

Click here to buy Innocent
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 Jim Powell

Last April, Weidenfeld & Nicolson paid a six-figure sum for the world publishing rights for the literary debut, The Breaking of Eggs by Jim Powell. I don’t know whether the six figures was closer to $US100,000 or $US900,000,  I reckon they got a bargain.

Powell starts his story with restraint and a fair degree of dry humour. Enough to whet the appetite. But this is so much more than another quirky novel with an unusual setting. This is really a novel about the barriers and restraints of a life led in principle.

The year is 1991 and 61-year-old Feliks Zhukowski, an expatriate Pole who lives in Paris, finds himself in a crumbling world. An ex-communist with modest business links to eastern bloc countries, the Berlin Wall has come down and the Americans want to buy him out. All of a sudden, everything he once held dear, is coming into question. This leads Zhukowski to revisit his past, to re-evaluate the circumstances under which his mother sent him and his brother away in August of 1939, to re-engage with a woman who at one time held the secret to a life of shared happiness, to pick apart his long held beliefs about life, love, politics and well, everything.

Powell’s special talent is to shrink major themes of the twentieth century to the canvas of just one figure. High-minded stuff but don’t be put off. This novel is not polemic. These questions bubble up through the very engaging story of Zhukowski’s shedding of his past. The Breaking of Eggs is going to appeal to fans of both commercial and literary fiction and we are all going to be hearing a lot more about it. And if you are in a reading group – look no further. It will keep the discussion going for hours!

For my fuller review, click here.

Click here to read our interview with Jim Powell.

Click here to buy The Breaking of Eggs
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In the meantime, for a visual reminder of Zhukowski's world, have a look at Red Star Over Russia by David King.
Red Star Over Russia by David King
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Red Star Over Russia
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Pity the Booktopia Book Guru. He has just heard that Quirk Classics has brought down the once proud tower of Tolstoy in  its offering of Android Karenina. While our very own guru has been fulminating, he is not a man to stand in the way of progress - especially as customers can't get enough of these mash-ups.

Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters co-author Ben H. Winters is back with an all-new collaborator, legendary Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy, and the result is Android Karenina: an enhanced edition of the classic love story set in a strange new world of robots, cyborgs, and interplanetary travel. As in the original novel, our story follows two relationships: the tragic adulterous romance of Anna Karenina and Count Alexei Vronsky, and the much more hopeful marriage of Nikolai Levin and Kitty Shcherbatskaya. These four, yearning for true love, live in a steampunk-inspired 19th century of mechanical butlers, extraterrestrial-worshiping cults, and airborne débutante balls.

Their passions alone would be enough to consume them - but when a secret cabal of radical scientific revolutionaries launches an attack on Russian high society’s high-tech lifestyle, our heroes must fight back with all their courage, all their gadgets, and all the power of a sleek new cyborg model like nothing the world has ever seen.

Filled with the same blend of romance, drama, and fantasy that made the first two Quirk Classics New York Times best sellers, Android Karenina brings this celebrated series into the exciting world of science fiction.

Click here to buy Android Karenina
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Gunshot Road by Adrian Hyland Adrian Hyland

Having won the 2007 Ned Kelly award for best new crime novel with Diamond Dove, Hyland is back with a cracking follow-on. This is an outback murder mystery from a rising Australian literary talent. Watch this space!

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Gunshot Road
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 Elegy for April by Benjamin BlackBenjamin Black

Man Booker prize winner John Banville has an alter ego and that is crime writer Benjamin Black.
The fog of Dublin, a woman missing, a scandal that shakes the Ireland of the 50s like no other.
This is another story featuring the wonderfully gritty Quirke, a consultant pathologist in the Dublin city morgue — a tall, powerful character more at ease among the cold silent slabs than the company of his fellow men. And despite his reticence, mystery and danger are his constant companions.

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Elegy for April
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 A Few Right Thinking Men by Sulari GentillSulari Gentill

With witty
dialogue, lively characters and a shred of political awareness of the times, Gentill takes us back to Australia of the 1930s when the unemployed lined the streets and the Great Depression started to bite. With Jack Lang in power and reds under the beds, the gentlemanly world of Rowland Sinclair is disturbed by both murder and treasonous conspiracy.

Read an extract, and more, here.

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A Few Right Thinking
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Spooner by Pete Dexter Pete Dexter

This book has been getting some seriously good press. I haven't had a chance to read this one yet but this is part of what The New York Times had to say about it:
Spooner has little in common with Dexter’s previous work. Typically, in his books and screenplays - Rush, Mulholland Falls for example -  he coils a psychologically charged drama around one signal incident or relationship — as he did in his 1988 novel Paris Trout (winner of the National Book Award). In Spooner he unearths the experiences that underlie this nuanced sensibility, exposing the familial archetypes that shade his characters and directly engaging the potent emotions that emerge obliquely in his other books. It’s a conversational novel, roving and inclusive, packed with Southern color and Northeastern grit, with rueful reflection and the contretemps of daily life that can’t be avoided even on a remote island in the Puget Sound.
I can't wait. Meanwhile, its Australian publisher can't stop singing its praises.

Click here to buy Spooner
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 The Terrible Privacy Of Maxwell Sim by Jonathan Coe Jonathan Coe

What if someone asked you to identify the great human characteristic of our age, what would you say? Gender equality? Wealth? Social mobility? Sexual freedom? It seems to me the answer could just as easily be solitariness. This, surely, is one of the oddities of the present: at a time when there have never been more of us crowded onto a small island, it has never been easier to be isolated.
Maxwell Sim is a man unsuccessful in almost any shared endeavour, from the maintenance of his marriage to making conversation at dinner. The places he likes are the junk food outlets, motorways, chain hotels, petrol stations and supermarkets that cater to an atomised society in which it is every man for himself. Sim is the human being who has taken semi-detached dwelling and made it complete. He has no social guidance system. Instead, he has a relationship of sorts with the woman's voice on his satnav, as he sets out on a drive from Reading to the far north of Scotland on a mission to deliver a consignment of toothbrushes.
Coe is a clever, talented writer who consistently produces engaging novels. He has always suffered the condescension of literary Britain, probably because he writes books people enjoy reading and it is true  that there are things in this novel that don't quite work. But he has noticed something interesting about modern Britain, and fashioned an engaging parable from it.

To read the above review in full (from The Guardian), click here.

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The Terrible Privacy of Maxwell Sim
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Indelible Ink by Fiona McGregor Fiona McGregor

Indelible Ink
comes with a huge push from Christos Tsoilkas and I can see why. In fact, what Tsoilkas did for inner city Melbourne in his hugely influential The Slap, McGregor does for Sydney's affluent upper north shore.
This is a very contemporary novel of Sydney life. It counterpoints the recently divorced and rather well to do Marie King with the demi-monde she encounters through her new found friend, tattoo artist Rhys.
The novel is a meeting of opposite worlds covering a range of themes from conservatism, transgression, subversion, real estate, family, death, spirit of place and attitudes to the body.
If you like Anne Tyler, Sarah Waters, Alice Munro, Jonathan Franzen and Alan Hollinghurst,  you will like Fiona McGregor.

Click here to buy Indelible Ink
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 Milk Fever by Lisa Reece-Lane Lisa Reece-Lane

Tom sees the world through extra-ordinary senses.  For example, he'd be able to see the energy surrounding you, the colours that are uniquely yours.  He'd probably like what he saw.
And Tom would hear the note you sing.  Tom is a dairy farmer in the town of Lovely.  He is perhaps the only "lovely" thing there.  He's handsome.  He's kind.  He's been living in a world of his own fantasy.
But that's about to change.
When Julia Heath and her yoga teacher husband move to Lovely, cracks appear.  Julia is trying hard to be the perfect mother and perfect wife. She ignores her past and an ever increasing sense of discontent and pretends that her life is wonderful. That worked in the city.  She had friends, her favourite cafes, a beautiful house. But since the move to Lovely the pretence is beginning to wobble.
Milk Fever is definitely an uncommon romance.

To read an extract, click here.

Click here to read our interview with Lisa Reece-Hall.

Click here to buy Milk Fever
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Speak to Me by Sarah Hopkins Sarah Hopkins

Speak to Me
is a compelling domestic drama about contemporary family life, about the fragile connections between parents, about the parenting of wilful teenagers, and about how one family navigates its way through crisis.
Hopkins' first novel, The Crimes of Billy Fish was published in 2007 and was highly commended in the inaugural ABC Fiction Awards. She is a criminal lawyer, the wife of Matt Moran and the mother of two young children.
Speak to Me will appeal to women readers but the story also has a fantastic male lead character. Thematically, it is dealing with the shape of families today and particularly changing gender roles. Hopkins is asking the questions that so many of us grapple with - who is the breadwinner, who makes the decisions, how do we balance family relationships and working life?

Click here to buy Speak to Me
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 Mosquito Creek by Robert EngwerdaRobert Engwerda

For the down-at-heel and the desperate, for free men and fugitives, the Victorian gold fields are a chance to dig up a future or bury the past.
Strangers ask no questions before shaking hands and working a claim together. The conditions are beyond harsh. The possibilities of meeting a tragic end are ever present.
At the failing Mosquito Creek diggings, the Murray has burst its banks and groups of diggers are stranded and starving. Meanwhile a miner has disappeared and the secretive Commissioner has his own dark past he is determined to protect.
This is a haunting and expansive crime novel whose appeal goes far beyond that genre. It puts me in mind of both Kate Grenville's The Secret River and Richard Flanagan's Wanting, all three in peculiarly Australian settings as the old world and the new collide.

Click here to buy Mosquito Creek
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Ilustrado by Miguel Syjuco Miguel Syjuco

Winner of the 2008 Man Asian Prize before it was even published, this dizzying and ambitious novel marks an auspicious start to Syjuco's career.
The apparent suicide of famous, down-on-his luck Filipino author Crispin Salvador sends narrator Miguel Syjuco home to the Philippines to come to terms with the death of his literary mentor, research a biography he plans to write and find the author's lost manuscript.
Despite its expansive scope, this novel is tightly structured as a series of fragments and shows considerable ingenuity in binding its divergent threads into a satisfying, meaningful story.
It has had almost universal acclaim.

To read an excerpt, click here.

Syjuco will be in Australia for the Melbourne Writers Festival later this month.

Click here to buy Ilustrado
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 Less Than Zero by Bret Easton Ellis Bret Easton Ellis

Twenty five years since its original publication, Less Than Zero is back, and still as sharp and as relevant as ever.
From Mr Brat Pack himself, the author of later wonders such as American Psycho and The Rules of Attraction, Less Than Zero is the precursor to the publication next month of Imperial Bedrooms.
Less Than Zero shocked us all with its hedonism and nihilism as Clay sought to find his place in the LA of the 80s. In Imperial Bedrooms, Clay has darker demons to face, namely the annihilation of middle age.

Click here to pre-order
Imperial Bedrooms

For delivery after July 1.

Click here to buy Less Than Zero
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Lolita by Vladimir NabokovLOLITA by Vladimr Nabokov

Lolita is a book which both gains and suffers from a reputation for being immoral.

It suffers because many people purchase the book for the wrong reasons. They buy it for the smut. Truth is, there is no smut. But Lolita gains, too. How so? Works of great literary merit are seldom bestsellers. They seldom make it onto the shelf of the average reader. Without its bad reputation, its reputation for wickedness, Lolita would not have gained access to the very people Nabokov intended to stimulate, the great suburban mass.

Of course, many of these readers having searched desperately for the dirty bits to no avail, abandon the attempt. But some are persuaded by the prose, and it is sublime prose, to read on and on.

To read the rest of this review by  the Booktopia Book Guru, click here.

Click here to buy Lolita
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To coincide with the publisher Weidenfeld and Nicolson's 60th anniversary, a special limited edition of nine classic novels has been produced all designed by the award-winning advertising agency Fallon with special endpapers commissioned from ground-breaking artists. The endpapers of  Lolita have been designed by Louisa Scarlet Gray.

Others in this series include:  A Suitable Boy, One Day in the Life of Ivan DenisovichSophie's World, The Color Purple, The Reader, The Siege of Krishnapur, The World According to Garp and The Shadow of the Wind.
Nomad by Ayaan Hirsi Ali Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Hirsi Ali must have courage in spades. And determination. And resolve.
This Somalian born one-time Dutch and one-time parliamentarian  is an outspoken critic of some aspects of Islam, and she certainly has paid the price, being the subject of death threats and living much of her life under guard.
Following on from Infidel, comes Nomad in which she examines the cost of freedom, loneliness, honour, reconciliation and duty. This is memoir mixed with reportage and is told in her usual, disarmingly honest style.  Dare I use the word "unputdownable"? It is!

Click here to buy Nomad
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The Butterfly Mosque by G. Willow WilsonCustomers may also be interested in the book THE BUTTERFLY MOSQUE by G. Willow Wilson in which the author recalls her conversion to Islam, her move to Egypt, her relationship with a local man and her struggle to find a way between the secular west and the Muslim east in a turbulent post-9/11 world.

Click here to buy
The Butterfly Mosque

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 Together Alone by Jeff Apter Jeff Apter

Apter's chronicles of Silverchair, Keith Urban and Jeff Buckley proved that he could write a decent rock biography. In Together Alone however, he lifts to a higher standard.
This is the story of breakthroughs, breakdowns, sibling rivalry and respect - and some of the best pop songs this side of Lennon and McCartney.
Together Alone is the first biography about the New Zealand sensation of the Finn brothers, Tim the closet drummer and accidental band leader and Neil the guarded family man.
We've loved them for 30 years. This book is a must-read for any Finn fan - and heaven knows, there are legions of them.

Click here to buy Together Alone
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War Dogs by Shane Bryant and Tony Park Shane Bryant & Tony Park

Tony Park is known to many Australians through his rollicking African adventure novels. But before he re-cast his life as an author, he served with the Australian army in Afghanistan.
Shane Bryant is a boy from Port Kembla who is contracted to the US army in Afghanistan as a civilian dog handler.
Bring the two together and you get War Dogs - a fascinating account of the hidden war in the mountains of the world's most dangerous conflict, and the companionship between man and dog.
Both man and dog rely on that bond, for sometimes all that stands between coalition troops and death or serious injury is the instincts and training of the dog and his handler.
This book will appeal to both military buffs and animal lovers.

Click here to buy War Dogs
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 Love And Other Uturns by Deasey Louisa Louisa Deasey

Towards the end of her engaging travel memoir cum self-help book, Louisa Deasey refers to her year-long road trip with Jim as "Survivor - Romance Style". For me, it conjured up Eat Pray Love meets Tim Winton and Martin Mischkulnig's Smalltown.
Almost on a whim, freelance journalist Louisa throws in her lot with the peripatetic Jim, leaving the comforts of her lattes, her daily newspaper and her city girlfriends to wander seemingly aimlessly the length and breadth of Australia, chasing the ultimate pub gig that is bread, butter and soul food for her new man. Louisa and Jim are road warriors, sleeping in swags, eschewing showers and just about every other comfort for the experience of living truly in the moment. But while she is able to divest herself of almost all of her possessions, she finds freedom elusive and love confounding.
This is a road movie in a book and Deasey is able to evoke the greasy bain-marie at the truck stop as evocatively as the chance sighting of whales in the Bight. She also does a great line in that claustrophobic paranoia that can accrue from hours spent in a car on an empty outback road.
This book will be enjoyed by anyone who has ever run away only to discover that the one person you can't escape from is yourself.
(Review by TW for Bookseller + Publisher, quoted here with its kind permission).

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Love and Other U-Turns

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Madam Lash by Sam Everingham Sam Everingham

Gretel Pinniger, dominatrix, fetishist, artist, and courtesan to the rich and famous has been shocking and outraging Australia for decades. Never shy of publicity, this daughter of a handsome war hero and philanderer from the Melbourne establishment once wanted to become a nun. Instead, she threw her leather-clad body into a wild world of sex, drugs and riotous parties. She danced with Elton John, catered to Clyde Packer’s more creative sexual fantasies and knocked around with Sydney underworld boss Lennie McPherson. She also found herself a fabulously wealthy patron, who bequeathed her a generous stipend so long as his name is never disclosed by her. Despite once marrying and becoming a mother, there is nothing ordinary about the outlandish Madam Lash. Join Sam Everingham as he takes you into the most colourful corners of Gretel Pinniger’s scandalous life.

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 Young Mandela by David James Smith David James Smith

Nelson Mandela is the greatest political figure of our age and is universally known as a heroic leader who symbolises freedom and moral authority. He will soon be 90 years old and is fixed in the public mind as the world's elder statesman - the dignified, grey-haired man with a kindly smile who spent 27 years in prison from 1962 and somehow emerged intact to become the first black President of a newly liberated South Africa. But Nelson Mandela was not always elderly or benign.
This book is about the man that people have forgotten - young Mandela, the committed terrorist who left his wife and children behind to spend a year living on the run in the racist South Africa of the early 1960s, adopting false names and disguises and sleeping in safe houses as he organised and prepared the first strikes in a campaign of violence to overthrow the apartheid state.

Click here to buy Young Mandela
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Nelson Mandela by Martin MeredithNELSON MANDELA
by Martin Meredith

From the respected author of Diamonds, Gold and War comes an authoritative and up-to-date biography of Mandela - his whole life - published in time for the FIFA World Cup and the one hundredth anniversary of the founding of South Africa.

Click here to buy Nelson Mandela
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Hitch 22 by Christopher Hitchens Christopher Hitchens

Over the course of his 60 years, Christopher Hitchens has been a citizen of both the United States and the United Kingdom. He has been both a socialist opposed to the war in Vietnam and a supporter of the U.S. war against Islamic extremism in Iraq. He has been both a foreign correspondent in some of the world's most dangerous places and a legendary bon vivant with an unquenchable thirst for alcohol and literature. He is a fervent atheist, raised as a Christian, by a mother whose Jewish heritage was not revealed to him until her suicide.
In other words, Christopher Hitchens contains multitudes. He sees all sides of an argument. And he believes the personal is political.
This is the story of his life, lived large.
Hitchens is currently in Australia for various writers festivals and speaking engagements.

We have a Google Preview here.

For more on Hitch, read our blog here.

Click here to buy Hitch-22
Retail Price: $35.00
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 Mary Poppins She Wrote by Valerie Lawson Valerie Lawson

OK all you Queensland customers.  Pamela Lyndon Travers created Mary Poppins, but where was she born?*

The fascinating biography of Australian writer, better known as P. L. Travers, has been republished in paperback to coincide with Mary Poppins: The New Musical which will be opening  in  Melbourne in July.  This is an updated edition, with an extensive new afterword and includes 16 pages of black and white photographs.

*The answer is Maryborough, where much is made of her early years, although the author herself seemed happy to turn her back on her Australian background.

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Mary Poppins She Wrote

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Joe Bennett Hello Dubai by Joe Bennett

A master at both vivid and amusing travel writing, Bennett is perhaps best known for his off beat Where Underpants Come From, which shows the inner workings of China's economic miracle and the origins of just about everything we buy.
His humour and clear-eyed take on our wonderful world has now been applied to that complete artifice of a boom town, Dubai, whose airport alone  seems to have more building equipment than the entire Snowy Mountains Scheme had in its heyday, (and I saw it after the recent economic meltdown there so heaven knows what it must be like when things are really humming).
Will it all eventually be covered with sands again? What will happen to those geometrically perfect spits of land once sea levels really start to rise? Bennett goes there to find out.

Click here to buy Hello Dubai
Retail Price: $35.00
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Dubai Live Work Explore by Explorer PublishingMeanwhile, if you are going to live there, you won't be able to do without DUBAI: LIVE, WORK, EXPLORE, just updated for its 14th edition.

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Dubai: The Complete Residents' Guide: Love, Work, Explore

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 Wide Awake by Patricia Morrisroe Patricia Morrisroe

Why is it so easy for some people to sleep, and so hard for others? Can science help? What is the relationship between sleep and mental health? Is chemical sleep better than no sleep at all? And why is sleeplessness afflicting women now much more than men?
Morrisroe describes herself as a fourth generation insomniac (scary thought). In Wide Awake, she examines these questions and more through her own battles with the maddening world of insomnia, exploring the subject scientifically, socially and emotionally. Her mix of personal experience with science and social insights, makes lively reading for the millions of us who are wide awake while others sleep.

Click here to buy Wide Awake
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Lego : A Love Story by Jonathan Bender Jonathan Bender

Bender is a man on a mission. The mission is to explain the world of Adult Fans of LEGO. With 62 LEGO bricks for every person in the world (true fact) Bender decided at the age of 30 that he was going to reconsider his childhood dream of becoming a master model maker.
LEGO: The Love Story explores the quirky and addictive world of LEGO.
By the way, if you are a closet LEGO-ite, here are his first five rules for living the dream:
1. Always have two of the parts you need when building something with a left and right side.
2. Leave your nails a little on the longer side, you're going to need them to pry apart bricks and plates; but not so long that you're headed for the Guinness Book of World Records.
3. Build what you're fascinated by in real life - you're more likely to pay attention to details and have a better eye for spacing.
4. It is always okay to begin building without an idea of what you're looking to build.
5. You can never have enough LEGO bricks. You'll always need more. This must be how vampires feel, if they had a thirst for plastic bricks and didn't eat people.

Click here to buy Lego: A Love Story
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 Reach for the Skies by Richard Branson Ballooning, Birdmen and Blasting into Space

Richard Branson

An exhilarating and highly personal story of flight by the world famous adventurer and businessman.
First there was the autobiography, then the business book, and now Branson reveals his adventurous side as he presents a personal illustrated celebration of his aviation heroes as well as stories of his own achievements.
Branson was the first person ever to cross the Atlantic ocean in a hot-air balloon in 1987, a record breaking escapade that nearly killed him.
This makes a great book for anyone interested in flight, from the famous to the lesser-known trailblazers.
As Branson says:
This is their story. It is also, in a small way, my own.

Click here to buy Reach for the Skies
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The Woman who Fell from the Sky by Jennifer Steil THE WOMAN WHO FELL FROM THE SKY by Jennifer Steil
Earlier in the year I told you the fascinating story of Nothing to Envy in which Barbara Demick recounted her version of North Korea based on her career as a journalist covering one of the world's most secret countries.

Now, I have had the great good fortune to read Steil's account of Yemen.

It is hard to believe that one of the most influential newspapers in Osama Bin Laden's homeland could be run by an agnostic 30-something single woman from Manhattan. She jumped at the chance to train young journalists at the Yemen Observer, despite the fact that she didn't speak a word of Arabic, loathed hot weather and had never taught a class in her life.

When she agreed to take over as editor-in-chief, the real challenges of living and working in a conservative Muslim country hit home, while at the same time, she found love in the most unlikely of places.

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Sin City by Tim Girling-ButcherSIN CITY: CRIME AND CORRUPTION IN 20TH CENTURY SYDNEY by Tim Girling-Butcher

This is a visual history of everything we have come to know about crime and corruption, Sydney style. With a strong emphasis on The Cross, Sin City has been produced in conjunction with a fascinating exhibition which is currently on at the Crime and Justice Museum.

The thoughtful forward has been written by Hon. Justice Michael Kirby.

Click here to see inside this book.

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I, Mick Gatto by Mick Gatto and Tom NobleI, MICK GATTO: UNCUT by Mick Gatto and Tim Noble

From a colourful character with an extraordinary life, I, Mick Gatto delivered all the makings of a fascinating biography and Australian true crime at its best. Now, an uncut version is the newly updated edition of last year's bestselling title of 2009.

This is the story of a kid with a passion for boxing, the illegal gambling rackets that brought huge wealth to so few and ruin to so many, and it is the story of Australia's very own violent underworld. No book offers a more brutally honest insider's account of the crime scene in Australia than I, Mick Gatto: Uncut.

Click here to buy I Mick Gatto: Uncut
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Mr Asia by Jim ShepherdMR ASIA: LAST MAN STANDING by Jim Shepherd

Do not think for one instant that a life of crime is glamorous and exciting. It is not. It is a life of degradation, dishonesty, misery, violence, and loss of liberty.

So says Jim Shepherd, a "career criminal" who was jailed for 25 years in 1986 for his involvement in the Mr Asia Drug Syndicate.

The continuing success of the Underbelly series is proof that there is a huge audience for true, homegrown stories of organised crime. Shepherd's voice is truly authentic. He speaks from the heart and doesn't hold back on the grimier details,  even when he is implicated.

Click here to buy Mr Asia: Last Man Standing
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Where Did My Libido Go? by Rosie King Dr Rosie King

Rosie King is Australia's best known sex therapist. She has over 20 years of clinical practice, works with doctors both here and overseas, and has a weekly advice column in Woman's Day.
King is best known for her ground breaking book Good Loving Great Sex, which we, (and others) have sold endlessly. Now she has turned her attention to that trickest of questions - how to get your sex life back on track?
How sexual desire works, how to maximise your libido, how to increase your sexual enjoyment - King covers it all and best of all at Booktopia, you don't have the embarrassment of walking into your local bookshop to buy it.

For more on this book, read our blog here.

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Where Did My Libido Go?

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 What's Happening To Our Boys? by Maggie Hamilton How the new technologies, drugs and alcohol, peer pressure and porn affect our boys

Maggie Hamilton

The title says it all and there is no one in Australia better equipped to write on such a topic as Hamilton, the author of What Men Don't Talk About and What's Happening to Our Girls?
Hamilton is at the centre of the discussion on the different approaches needed for raising boys compared to girls. She is well known among parent and teacher groups, professional associations, community organisations and parliamentary committees.
What's Happening to Our Boys? taps into the hot-button debate about the exposure to new media: How much is enough? Are our kids losing valuable social skills? Do violent games create violent children?
If you are a parent of a teen boy, you need to read this.

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What is Happening to our Boys?

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An Inconceivable Notion by Justine Davies Justine Davies

Davies is a blogger and author who has dared to delve into a pretty tricky subject, namely, how do people reconcile their desire to have a child with their inability to have one?
While we are constantly being impressed with the latest miracle medical technology that makes this dream come true for many, there are just as many who are unable to conceive.
Failure of fertility treatment, underlying medical conditions, not meeting a partner until too late, or not meeting the right partner at all, are just a few of the countless reasons why someone’s desire to be a parent may never be fulfilled. An Inconceivable Notion is a collection of frank and honest stories from women and men who have been unable to conceive, either from physical reasons or through other circumstance.

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An Inconceivable Notion

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 The two great diet books that everyone is talking about.


by Zoe Harcombe.

Throw The Harcombe Diet by Zoe Harcombeout what you've been told and start working with your body rather than against it. Harcombe has been researching food disorders for more than twenty years and what she has come up with will change your life.

Click here to see inside the book.

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Stop Counting Calories and Start Losing Weight

Retail Price: $19.99,
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The Dukan Diet by Pierre DukanTHE DUKAN DIET
by Pierre Dukan

The Dukan Diet has sold over 1.2 million copies in France and  has been absolutely embraced by the English speaking world. Want to know how  Jennifer Lopez and Gisele Bundchen lost their baby weight? The answer apparently is Dukan.
Now this international weight loss phenomenon is about to hit Australia.

Click here to buy The Dukan Diet
Retail Price: $29.99,
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Fishing For Dummies by Steve StarlingSteve Starling

Apparently fishing has the highest participation rate of any sport in Australia. Who knew?
Well, Australia's most respected fishing journalist, Steve Starling, certainly did and he is back with the second edition of this Australia & New Zealand title.
Everything you need to know about catching, cleaning and cooking your dinner while enjoying the great outdoors, including how to plan your next fishing holiday, and how to "fish green".

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Fishing for Dummies
Australia &
New Zealand Edition

Retail Price: $39.95
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Hook, Line & 
Sinister by T. Jefferson ParkerAnd while we are on the subject, what about a copy of Hook, Line and Sinister: Mysteries to Reel You in? This is a collection of short stories with a fishing theme edited by T Jefferson Parker, with contributions from mystery writers such as Michael Connolly and Don Winslow.

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Hook Line and Sinister

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 Our Great Game by John Murray The Photographic
History of Australian

John Murray

The history of Australia's most famous sporting code is told here through stunning photography.
This is the most complete collection of photographs ever published on the game - some never before seen by the sporting public. Best of all, it is presented as a beautiful, hardback coffee table book which makes a perfect keepsake for all ages.

Click here to see inside this book.

Click here to buy Our Great Game
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God Is Not One by Stephen Prothero Stephen Prothero

At last - a sensible book about why religion matters? Prothero has written from the perspective of an outsider about how the world's great eight religions have a huge influence on our world, and how you cannot understand the world without understanding the differences between these religions.
I haven't had a chance to read this yet, but his book trailer (for the more expensive US edition) is completely compelling.

See the book trailer here.

Click here to buy God is Not One
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 War by Sebastian Junger Sebastian Junger

From the author of The Perfect Storm and expert in the ordeals of men in extreme circumstances, comes War.
For fifteen months, Junger followed a single platoon that was based at a remote outpost in eastern Afghanistan. His objective was both simple and ambitious: to convey what soldiers experience – what war actually feels like.
This is a story of fear, of killing, and of love. Much has been written about the foreign presence in Afghanistan, but not nearly enough attention has been focused on the soldiers themselves. War's lasting contribution will be its acutely observed and heartfelt depiction of a defining experience that, for most of us, remains both a mystery and the ultimate test of character.

Click here to buy War
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Plenitude by Juliet Schor Juliet Schor

At a moment of ecological and financial crisis, bestselling author and economist Juliet Schor presents a revolutionary strategy for transitioning toward a richer, more balanced life.  
Schor's work has always been cutting edge — she began writing about consumerism and ecological decline over a decade ago with the publication of The Overworked American. She has been studying these issues for longer than anyone else and her unparalleled experience yields remarkable observations.
Schor articulates how we came to the very broken place we now find ourselves in, and how to find our way toward a more ecologically and financially stable, more meaningful life.
This is a book for our times.

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 Robert McCrum Globish by Robert McCrum

Here is a question for you. How come English as a language seems unprecedentedly unassailable just at a time when non-English speaking economies are challenging the American powerhouse at every turn? It is counter-intuitive, is it not?
Globish takes us on a riveting and enlightening journey of the spread of a global English, from the icy swamps of pre-Roman Saxony to the shopping malls of Seoul, from the study of 'Crazy English' TM in China to crowds of juvenile wizards mobbing bookshop tills across the world. Along the way it gives new meaning to a faded old brown parchment (the Magna Carta), a 272 word presidential speech (the Gettysburg address) and a scratchy black and white film of a couple of men in space suits.

Click here to buy Globish
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Heston's Fantastical Feasts by Heston Blumenthal Heston Blumenthal

Once upon a time there was a Chef called Heston who opened a small restaurant called the Fat Duck. At first, he served only simple French classics but gradually, as is the way of things, the Chef’s curiosity got the better of him and he began thinking up more unusual dishes, such as Snail Porridge and Chocolate Wine. There was even talk of a meringue that made diners snort plumes of vapour, like a dragon.
Word spread and reached the ears of the executives who ran a television channel, and they summoned the Chef to their glass fortress. “We command you to create six Fantastical Feasts,” they said. “These must be based on history, but you may draw on fairytales and legends. We should warn you that the Quest will involve journeys to Transylvania in search of the legendary Leech Recipe of Sibiu, and to the Black Forest to eat the eyes of the Wild Boar of Münstertal. You must resist the temptations of the Burlesque Girls, and you must turn chocolate cake into a raging fireball and chicken’s testicles into jelly beans. There will be hunting for hallucinogenic mushrooms and cooking with Play-Doh. Out of this, you must create the most magical dishes imaginable.”
“Oh, and once you have achieved the Quest, you must bring us proof, in the form of a Book. But not just any Book. We want tales of extravagant ingredients, of revolutionary techniques, of familiar kitchen appliances put to unfamiliar uses. We want to see what you see. Taste what you taste. In short, we want complete and unparalleled access to your fantastical world.”
I couldn't get enough of this completely engrossing, over the top series. I can't wait to re-live it all with the book. And no, I am not going to try and actually make that Alice in Wonderland Drink Me Potion.

Click here to see some footage from the series.

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Heston's Fantastical Feasts

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 Rasoi New Indian Kitchen by Vineet Bhatia Vineet Bhatia

Attention all foodies looking for the next big thing!
Bhatia is very much the Indian chef’s chef and an
inspiration to his peers.
The first Indian chef to be awarded a Michelin star, his worldwide celebrity has seen him open restaurants in Moscow, Geneva, Mauritius, Dubai and London. When he isn’t travelling the globe for personal appearances or to open new restaurants, he is to be found supervising the kitchens in his Knightsbridge restaurant, Rasoi.
I have to tell you this is a stunning looking book. This is about as far from your local curry place as you can go. Think Tetsuya, think eBulli, think Fat Duck. You may not get around to cooking this yourself, but you are definitely going to want to know about it.

Click here to buy New Indian Kitchen
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The Big, Red Wine Book 2010-2011 by Campbell Mattinson Campbell Mattinson & Gary Walsh

If you’ve ever asked your host, ‘This white wine is lovely but do you have any
real wines?’ then this is the wine guide for you. There is a glut of wine guides out there, but Campbell Mattinson and Gary Walsh reckon that most people buy them for the sections on red wine, and that reds are pretty tricky for most people to navigate. So this is the only guide of its kind in Australia: one for those wanting to know the best quality and best value red wines available.
The authors share their knowledge and expert tasting notes on more than 1000 red wines, including more than 500 new releases across all prices and styles. Each is rated on price, value for money and investment potential, with notes on past vintages. There is even a new chapter on organic and biodynamic reds.

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Big Red Wine Book 2010-2011

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 I Love Macarons by Hisako Ogita Hisako Ogita

Cup cakes are out and macarons are in and no one makes them better than Japanese pastry chef extraordinaire, Hisako Ogita.
These old-time-favourites are back in fashion with the popularity of this bite-size treat skyrocketing! (Am I allowed to be a pain? They were absolutely everywhere when I was in Paris earlier in the year.)
Macarons are a delicious, colourful and sweet gift for birthdays or "just because".
This is a gorgeous little book, well laid out, with easy to follow instructions. and lots of clear, stylish photography.

To see inside the book, click here.

Click here to buy I Love Macarons
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Oculi : Photographic Book

The Oculi
photographic collective has been around for a decade and it has just published this marvellous photographic  record of its travelling exhibition which is doing the rounds at the moment.
Oculi is a photographic essay on globalism, climate change, youth cultures, sub-cultures, social rituals and the human condition. Oculi delves into contemporary urban and remote indigenous issues alongside regional life and mainstreamsociety.
The exhibition is interesting and provocative. The book is a great record of where photography in Australia is at right now.

To see inside the book, click here.

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 William Creek And Beyond by Ken McGrego and Ashley Crawford Rejoice!
This major Australian art book, which has been unavailable for about 18 months, is back some $45 less than its former price,  just in time for its 10th anniversary.
With their disparate styles, artists John Olsen, Tim Storrier, David Larwill, Robert Jacks, Rodney Pople, Mark Schaller, Jason Benjamin, Jeff Makin, Hazel Donney and Andrew Sibley, tackled one of the most spectacular landscapes
on the planet. They set up their base at the William Creek Hotel, on the rugged Oodnadatta Track, while a remote encampment, accessible only by a one-hour helicopter flight was established in the even more remote Simpson Desert.
From Lake Eyre a number of the artists continued on to Coober Pedy, Dalhousie Springs, Chambers Pillar, Alice Springs, Kings Canyon, and the imposing natural monolith of Uluru (Ayers Rock) and Kata Tjuta (The Olgas). The journey embraced the Aboriginal townships of Papunya and Kintore where the travellers met many noted indigenous artists.
The result is an aesthetic and creative tour de force, a roller-coaster ride of ideas, images and personalities, a unique physical and artistic adventure and a book
about an unforgettable journey.

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William Creek and

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 Henri Cartier-Bresson by Peter Galassi Peter Galessi

Cartier-Bresson is one of the most influential and beloved figures in the history of photography. Released in conjunction with an exhibition at The Museum of Modern Art in New York, this is the first major publication to make full use of the extensive holdings of the Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson in Paris.
The heart of the book surveys his career through 300 images divided into 12 chapters. While many famous pictures appear, there are a great number which will be unfamiliar even to specialists.

Click here to see images from the book.

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Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Modern Century

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by John McDonald

Woodblock Painting Of Cressida Campbell by John McdonaldThis is an absolute must for the art collector. Campbell's glorious painted woodblocks and woodblock prints are of everyday objects, industrial maritime scenes and Sydney roosfcapes.
The first edition sold out in the flash. This re-printing (on the most beautiful paper stock) won't last long.

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Woodblock Painting of Cressida Campbell

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CROBOTS by Nelly PaillouxCrobotsby Nelly Pailloux

How cute are these little crochet robots? Alienbot, zombiebot, babybot - you really have to make them all. This is the hands-on step-by-step guide to making these pint-size stuffed dolls. Better still, you can really get creative and make them all your own.

To see inside the book, click here.

Click here to buy Crobots
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The Crafty Kid by Kelly DoustTHE CRAFTY KID by Kelly Doust

This compendium of ideas for children made from inexpensive and recycled materials is put together by the Crafty Minx people so you know it is going to be good.

Click here to buy The Crafty Kid
Retail Price: $39.95, Booktopia Price: $31.95 SAVE 20%


Those clever people from the whip up site have put together this marvellous "how-to" showcasing an artful approach to design basics plus lay-flat binding and tuck away pattern sheets.

To see inside the book, click here.

Click here to buy Whip Up Mini Quilts
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Fashioning Felt by Susan BrownFASHIONING FELT by Susan Brown & Andrew Dent

Felt as a design tool? You bet. Check out the clip here. If that whets your appetite, this book is for you.

To see inside the book, click here.

Click here to buy Fashioning Felt
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We all know and love the Dummies series. Now students who are prepping for exams, preparing to study new material, or who just need a refresher can have a concise, easy-to-understand review guide that covers and entire course by concentrating solely on the most important concepts. From alegbra and chemistry to grammar and Spanish, these expert authors focus on the skills students most need to succeed in a subject.

This Essentials series is perfect for final year school students, people doing bridging courses for university and mature age students needing a refresher.

Best of all, they are a great low price!

Click on the titles to order
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Chemistry Essentials for Dummies

Physics  Essentials for Dummies

Statistics Essentials for Dummies

Calculus Essentials for Dummies

Pre-Algebra Essentials for Dummies

Algebra 1 Essentials for Dummies

Algebra 2 Essentials for Dummies

Spanish  Essentials for Dummies
Vampire Kisses 6 : Royal Blood by Ellen Schreiber Ellen Schreiber

A new guy in town.
Rumours of vampires. Dangerous first love. This is where it all begins.
There seems to be an absolutely unquenchable thirst for vampire books.
Seven vampire books, all at a wonderfully low price, which will bring local readers up to speed with this very popular US series.

VK 1: The Beginning
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VK 2: Kissing Coffins

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VK 3: Vampireville

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VK 4: Dance with a

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VK5: The Coffin Club

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VK 6: Royal Blood

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Out 1st June

VK 7: Vampire Bites

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Out 1st June
 Happy As Larry by Scot Gardner Scot Gardner

Gardner is in a position to have special insight into the problems of high-risk teenagers, especially young men and Aboriginal youths. He has been a counsellor and a youth worker for disadvantaged teenagers and has helped establish programs for high-risk youths in Victoria. He has used this experience to guide some of the most gripping reading for young adults. If you have read Burning Eddy, you will definitely know what I mean!
Happy as Larry is exemplary of Scot's belief in the connection between storytelling and resilience. It grew out of his experiences after the tragedy of September 11th, 2001.
Says Gardner:
The life of one young man, drawn against the tumult of the world around him - on a small scale and a large scale. It is,  a discourse on resilience. This is the story of every man, the battle we all face in various shapes and shades - the struggle to remain happy in a world rife with tragedy and struggle. It’s a tale of family survival.

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Happy as Larry

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The Cardturner by Louis Sachar Louis Sachar

Tell a teen to read a novel about bridge and watch them go back to the playstation. Tell them it is by Louis Sachar and the playstation is switched off.
The author of Holes and Small Steps is back with another off-beat story of down and outs and misfits, this time about a seventeen year old boy, a rich blind uncle, the chance for fame and fortunes and a young woman who is turning everyone's heads.
We've road tested this one. It is Sachar at his best!

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The Cardturner

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Perth's Best Bush, Coast and City WalksThe latest edition in this best selling walking series is out now, so all you Western Australians take note! Perth's Best Bush, Coast and City Walks is the sixth book in this terrific range. I don't know Perth, but I have definitely checked out the Sydney version, and let me tell you, it is a must for both local residents and visitors alike. The Perth guide covers metropolitan and coastal walks, the Swan and Canning Rivers, wetlands and the Darling Ranges.

With more than 40 walks per book, these guides  have concise directions and easy-to-use mapping with over 150 full-colour photographs which compliment the text. There are detailed walking notes which cover the local history and environment.

Click here to buy Perth's Best Bush, Coast and City Walks
Retail Price: $29.95, Booktopia Price: $23.95 SAVE 20%  Out July 10

Other titles in the series include:

Best Bush and Coastal Walks of the Central Coast

Sydney's Best Harbour and Coastal Walks - 2nd ed.

Sydney's Best Dog Parks, Walks and Places to Play
In This Issue

Buzz in Brief

Great Thriller, Great Give-away

Toni's fiction of the month

Toni's nonfiction of the month

Toni's picture book of the month



Fiction bites

Classic of the month

Memoirs and autobiographies

Popular culture

True crime: Australian stories



Serious stuff

Food fetish


Getting crafty

Calling all students

Young adult

Taking a hike

Booktopia Buzz' 21st edition give-away

Sure fire best sellers

Best sellers now available in a cheaper format

Classic hardbacks

Aussie icons

Upcoming for July
I can't believe this is our 21st edition of Booktopia Buzz. Must be party time!

To celebrate, I am going to choose, at random, 21 lucky customers, and you will receive some pretty wonderful free books. Best of all, you don't have to do a thing except buy any of the titles featured in this edition and then cross your fingers.

The winners will be announced in next month's Booktopia Buzz.

Meanwhile, to get your hands on free copies of So Cold the River click here.

For the three absolutely fantastic Peter Carnavas packs for lovers of children's picture books, click here.



We can send you newsletters for the following categories:

Children 6 - 12  & more.



Not reading the Booktopia Blog? You are missing out on some daily breaking news, exclusive author interviews, funny observations, fascinating insights, titbits, gossip and a whole lot more.

Featured authors from this newsletter include Scott Turow, David Mitchell, Jim Powell, Peter Carnavas, Christopher Hitchens, Tony Moore, Leah Giarratano, Michael Koryta, Lisa Reece-Lane, Rosie King and Vladimir Nabokov.

Click here for our author interviews.

Click here for the Booktopia Blog.
For bookaholics only.






Click to buy:

Jeffrey Archer
Robert Ludlum's The Bourne Objective by Eric Van LustbaderTHE BOURNE OBJECTIVE

Eric Van Lustbader
In The Name Of Honour by Richard North PattersonIN THE NAME OF HONOUR

Richard North Patterson
Private by James PattersonPRIVATE

James Patterson
Desire by Louise BagshaweDESIRE

Louise Bagshawe

Watch The World Burn by Leah GiarratanoWATCH THE WORLD BURN

Leah Giarratano
The White Tiger by Adiga AravindTHE WHITE TIGER

Aravind Adiga


James Patterson
206 Bones by Kathy Reichs206 BONES

Kathy Reichs
Ford County by John GrishamFORD COUNTY

John Grisham
Blood Born by Kathryn FoxBLOOD BORN

Kathryn Fox
Juliet, Naked by Nick HornbyJULIET NAKED

Nick Hornby

LOLITALolita by Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov
One Day In The Life Of Ivan DenisovichONE DAY IN THE LIVE OF IVAN DENISO-

Alexandr Solzhenitsyn
The Reader by Bernhard SchlinkTHE READER

Bernard Schlink
The Color Purple by Alice WalkerTHE COLOR PURPLE

Alice Walker
A Suitable Boy by Vikram SethA SUITABLE BOY

Vikram Seth
The World According To Garp by John IrvingTHE WORLD ACCORD- ING TO GARP

John Irving
Sophie's World by Jostein GaarderSOPHIE'S WORLD

Jostein Gaarder

Admittedly Australian only in the very broadest sense of the word, these two biographies will nonetheless hit the mark.


Russell Crowe - The Biography by Martin HowdenRusell Crowe is every-
where at the moment, and this is a great primer covering his humble beginnings across the ditch, to his very recent Hollywood successes (complete with colour photographs).

Click here to buy Russell Crowe the Biography
Retail Price:
Booktopia Price
: $23.95 SAVE 20%

by Derek Parker

Governor Macquarie by Derek ParkerWho better to have a good, long look at Macquarie than Parker? This year marks the 200th anniversary of Governor Macquarie's 12 year tenure as the 5th governor of the colony of New South Wales, and Parker's is the first new biography in decades.

Click here to buy Governor Macquarie
Retail Price:
Booktopia Price
: $19.95 SAVE 20%

Now for something really Australian.

by Lennard Bickel is available again.
This Accursed Land by Lennard BickelThis classic book on Antarctic exploration has been out of print for years. It covers the single most harrowing journey Douglas Mawson ever experienced, and has a new foreword by Tim Jarvis who recreated the Mawson expedition in 2007.

Click here to buy
This Accursed Land
Retail Price: $29.95,
Booktopia Price: $23.95 SAVE 20%

The Passage by Justin CroninTHE PASSAGE

Justin Cronin
Kindling by Darren GrothKINDLING

Darren Groth
Matt Skinner's Wine Guide 2011 by Matt SkinnerMATT SKINNER'S WINE GUIDE 2011
I Kill by Giorgio FalettiI KILL

Giorgio Faletti
Rise of the Ruddbot by Annabel CrabbTHE RISE RISE OF THE RUDDBOT

Annabel Crabb
It Tastes Better by Kylie KwongIT TASTES BETTER

Kylie Kwong
The Canterbury Tales by Peter Ackroyd and Geoffrey ChaucerTHE CANTERBURY

Peter Ackroyd
Shiver by Maggie StiefvaterSHIVER

Maggie Stiefvater