Booktopia Buzz
MARCH 2009 | Edition 8
 
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BUZZ IN BRIEF
March already, and as usual, a very full Booktopia Buzz for you.

First of all, subscribers to the Buzz certainly got into the birthday spirit last month when we had our fifth birthday give-away promotion. I hope you enjoyed your free gifts, and thanks again to everyone who participated. I am sorry that I wasn't able to reward you all. In fact, we got absolutely flooded with responses.  I would have liked to respond individually to each of you but it became obvious that  wasn't going to happen about six hours after we sent the last newsletter.
Thanks also for all your feedback and comments, and I hereby officially apologise for the apostrophe gremlin that occasionally creeps in.

Now to the business at hand. This month we have:
And just so you don't get lost, we've included a contents section (in the right hand column).
We are starting the month with most of the books in stock so enjoy the selection, and happy reading.

Toni Whitmont
Booktopia Buzz Editor

IN STOCK = Means that we have stock. If we sell out then we will order more and it will take a little longer to deliver to you.
THE DEAL(S) FOR MARCH
Here we go. Two great deals.

Where do you go to find the best online buys from around the world? The Global Shopper.

Where do you go to find more than 300 new sites? The Global Shopper 2.

Nicole Hopkinson has done the leg-work to enable you to buy with confidence from all over the English speaking world. From baby's clothing to eco-shopping to everything else weird and wonderful in between, she has it covered. Booktopia has packaged the books together and can offer them to you at half price.

Buy Global Shopper 1  + Global Shopper 2 - $49.90 worth of books for only $24.95.
IN STOCK

Dummies guides are huge. They have a growing following of loyal repeat customers. Whether its Weight Training or Watercolour Painting, Sudoku or Schizophrenia, March is Dummies month and every customer benefits.

Dummies month is simple.
Step One: Buy any Dummies title this month to qualify for a $5 rebate by mail from the supplier.
Step Two: Customers who apply for a rebate in March will receive another special offer with their cheque - another $5 off any Dummies book purchased during May, June and July.

Click here to take advantage of this great offer and to see our extensive range of Dummies titles.  IN STOCK
TONI'S BOOK OF THE MONTH
TRAIL OF CRUMBS: HUNGER, LOVE AND THE SEARCH FOR HOME: A MEMOIR
Kim Sunee  IN STOCK

I normally avoid the memoir + menu style of book. You know the type - a woman finding herself in a strange country, telling her story with a liberal dose of regional receipes of France/Italy/Spain. However, I am so glad that my rep put Kim Sunee's Trail of Crumbs in my hands.
First published in hardback this time last year, the paperback edition is about to hit the shelves and the lower price should put it well within the reach of women looking for an interesting, original piece of non-fiction and a glimpse into someone else's life.
Kim Sunee, who is probably about 30 years old, traces her first memories back to a three day wait on the steps of a public building in Seoul, waiting (in vain) for her mother to return. She was three years old at the time. She was eventually found and placed in an orphanage, from where she was adopted, along with another Korean girl, to an American family whom were returning from a stint in Okinawa. Kim was raised in New Orleans where she always felt an outsider. She had a fractured and difficult relationship with her parents, and developed a real closeness with her grandfather, who expressed his emotions through cooking  regional specialties from Louisiana. Kim's solution was to disappear into Europe as soon as she left school. Becoming in fluent in Swedish and French, it was in Stockholm that she met Olivier, the founder of the rapidly expanding Provencal cosmetics company, "L'Occitane". Twenty years her senior, Olivier quickly installed her in a huge rambling country house, in charge of staff, frequent huge lunch and dinner parties, his daughter and his happiness. At her heart however, was always the emptiness of not belonging.
Sunee writes about her journey to adulthood and self discovery with clarity and honesty. And yes, those recipes are delicious. I have road tested a few of them. Sunee now lives in Alabama and is food editor of Cottage Living. Her website is worth a look.
Click here to buy this book.
FICTION: FAST AND FURIOUS
DRINK, PLAY, F@#K
A Jilted Man's Quest for Nirvana in Dublin, Vegas and Bangkok
Andrew Gottlieb  IN STOCK

First up, a confession: I have not read Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat Pray Love. I have read the spoof from the bloke's point of view, the amusingly titled Drink Play F@#K. I can't tell you about the no doubt clever references from the spin-off to the original. What I can tell you is that I consumed this book in one long sitting, glass of wine appropriately in hand, and when I wasn't chuckling, I was reflecting on how this supposed send-up rings pretty true. This lad's version of self-help navel-gazing could almost be the real thing, except that it a work of fiction.
Bob Sullivan, an also-ran advertising executive, sets off to re-discover himself after his wife of eight years runs off with another man. Over the course of the next year he spends four months each in Dublin (drinking), Vegas (playing) and Bangkok (you get the idea). At the airport in each city, he meets a guru of sorts, who guides his journey of self-discovery and makes sure he doesn't take anything too seriously. The question is, will Bob mend his broken heart and find true love at last? The ending is delightful if predictable and all in all this makes for an entertaining read for both men and women.
Click here to buy this book.
THE BOY'S CLUB
  VLAD: THE LAST CONFESSION
  SIX SECONDS
Wendy Squires

This book is great fun. Actually it is a whole lot of stress plus great fun.
Rosie is a recently divorced mother trying to bring up her child while holding down a high (and I mean HIGH) pressure job in network television. At the same time she is trying to deal with  her mother (to whom she is a perpetual disappointment) and get her act together with a new man.  Meanwhile at work, she is  swimming with the sharks and they seem to be winning.
Wendy Squires has a long pedigree in newspapers and magazines and for one perilous year she worked in a very senior position at the Nine Network and I can tell you from my own experience in that industry, she writes in a completely authentic voice (and no, she does not exaggerate).
With her ensemble cast of Fellini-like characters, Squires has written a very funny, very insightful tale.
To hear her in conversation, click here.
Click here to buy this book.
  C.C. Humphreys
IN STOCK
Blood, lust, terror - this is the true story of Dracula, or Vlad the Impaler as he was known at the time. Forget all the romantic, vampire stuff that is around at the moment. If you want an insight into the real-life man who was a tyrant and a lawgiver, a crusader and a mass slaughterer, a torturer and a hero, C. C. Humphreys' fast-paced novel is for you.
From the Canadian Globe and Mail:
Vlad is...an accessible, fast-paced, narrative-driven, damn-near-irresistible historical thriller. Humphreys' research infuses every page, but never calls attention to itself. The story always has centre stage. It's the consummate "good read" for a winter weekend, pulpy and engrossing and just gross enough to satisfy that monster craving.
To read an extract, click here and follow the prompts.
Click here to buy this book.


  Rick Mofina

Rick Mofina comes with glowing support from the likes of James Patterson, Jeffrey Deaver and Lee Child.
In  Six Seconds, a vengeful woman aching for her place in paradise, an anguished mother desperate to find her child and a detective who needs to redeem himself become entangled, in the lead up to the six seconds which could see a terrorist plot change the face of the world. If you like your fiction fast and furious, this one is for you.
Want to check it out before you buy? Click here for an extract.
Click here to buy this book.

CRIME FICTION: THE BIG KILL
Judging from the orders that come through our warehouse, I can see we have a lot of lovers of crime fiction. It certainly is a fantastic genre. Here are three of the best for March - each different, each engaging, each with lots to offer the voracious reader. 
DOG ON IT
  BAIT
  BRUNO CHIEF OF POLICE
A Chet & Bernie Mystery Spencer Quinn

"I could smell him - or rather the booze on his breath - before he even opened the door, but my sense of smell is pretty good, probably better than yours".
Enter - on all four paws  - Chet, the narrator of this off-beat detective story about his own exploits, as well as his somewhat disreputable private investigator owner Bernie.
Chet and Bernie are trying to get to the bottom of the disappearance of a teenage girl but the real story is about their relationship, not to mention Chet's take on the human world. This one is for crime fans and dog lovers alike.
And once Chet has charmed you, you'll want to keep up with his daily exploits at his very own blogsite.
Click here to buy this book.
  Nick Brownlee
IN STOCK

Ex-Flying Squad cop Jake Moore's career was cut short by a bullet. Ten years on he runs a game fishing business. But old habits die hard and when cerebral Mombasa detective Daniel Jouma asks for his help solving a baffling murder case, they discover the crime surrounding them stretches far beyond the reaches of Africa.
This thriller strips away Kenya's tourist glitz and exposes the country's dark and treacherous underbelly.
High tension, high energy and high enjoyment.
Click here to buy this book.





  Martin Walker
IN STOCK

Take a rural commune in the heart of France's Dordogne and a one-man police department by the name of Bruno. Add a brutal murder with the hallmarks of a racial crime against immigrant workers from North Africa. Season with clues that point to unsettled feuds from the Nazi legacy of WWII. Serve with Gallic charm.
Bruno Chief of Police is   the first of a new crime series that will appeal to fans of Hamish McBeth, Alexander McCall Smith, and Jacqueline Winspear's Maisie Dobbs series.
Martin Walker  has written three non-fiction books and divides his time between Washington DC and Dordogne. The character of Bruno is based on his best friend, tennis partner and local policeman in the French village in which he lives.
To hear an interview with him, click here.
Click here to buy this book.
FICTION: THE ART OF WRITING
THE WOMEN
  AFTER THE FALL
T. C. Boyle

A few years ago I read Boyle's engrossing Inner Circle, a gripping and clinical fictional dissection of Alfred Kinsey, the zoologist who shocked the world in the 1950s with his research on human sexual behaviour. Boyle has made quite a name for himself with his fictionalised biographies of seminal characters from the past.
In The Women, Boyle turns his attention to iconic American architect Frank Lloyd Wright, his creative and personal passions. By all accounts Wright wove a tangled personal and professional web. Arrogant and unyielding, Wright was both a force of nature and an avalanche of needs. I   can't wait to read The Women. In the meantime, I have to content myself with the New York Times review.
Click here to buy this book.
  Kylie Ladd

Two married couples: Kate and Cary, Cressida and Luke. Four people who meet, click, and become firm friends. But then Kate and Luke discover a growing attraction, which becomes an obsession. They fall in love, then fall into an affair. It blows their worlds apart. After the fall, nothing will ever be the same again.
After the Fall is a gripping insight into the anatomy of an affair in the tradition of Anita Shreve, Josephine Hart and Anne Tyler.
This is Kylie Ladd's fictional debut, and it is going to get everyone talking.
Click here to buy this book.
THE GIRL ON THE LANDING
  THE KINDLY ONES
Paul Torday
IN STOCK

Many of you will have read (and therefore loved) Torday's first novel, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen. The Girl on the Landing is equally as captivating.
Seeing a girl on the landing  in a painting that no one else can see is Michael Gascoigne's first hint that something might be wrong. In fact, what we discover later, is that he is suffering from schizophrenia, but as his condition deteriorates, his wife Elizabeth finds herself re-connecting with him in entirely unexpected ways. Part ghost story, part psychological thriller, this is Torday at his best. This book is dark, comic and is beautifully written throughout.
To read The Times Online review of this book, click here.
Click here to buy this book.
  Jonathan Littell

The Kindly Ones arrived on my desk with a thump and a letter from the publisher the likes of which I had never read. This massive work of fiction was originally written in French. It was a huge hit in its native language,  selling over one million copies and receiving enormous critical acclaim, a massive literary achievement and a huge book to boot, all 1000 amazing pages. Back to that letter:
"I've read a lot of advanced title information sheets but when I read through the summary of The Kindly Ones a few months ago I was curious at just how much praise was being heaped on this supposed masterpiece - unique, controversial, brilliant, halluncinatory, seductive, frightening, furious, apocalyptic, explosive, Faustian, etc etc. ...The Kindly Ones is a remarkable book and very readable. It challenged my thinking on a number of issues and has been the source of dozens of conversations since. I am in awe of Mr Littell's fictional autobiography of a SS intelligence officer, its humanity, its subject, its level of historical detail but above all, I thoroughly enjoyed reading it, every single page".
The publishers have got it right with this one - it is an exceptional novel. Please, please don't be put off by its length. It demands our full attention. To read the first chapter, click here.
Click here to buy this book.
THINGS WE DIDN'T SEE COMING
  A MOST IMMORAL WOMAN
Steven Amsterdam
IN STOCK

It’s the anxious eve of the millennium. The car is packed to capacity, and as midnight approaches, a family flees the city in a fit of panic, paranoia and conflicting emotions.
The ensuing journey spans decades and offers a sharp-eyed perspective on a hardscrabble future, as a boy
jettisons his family and all other ties in order to survive as a journeyman in an uncertain landscape. By turns led by love, larceny, and a new sexual order, he must avoid capture and imprisonment, starvation, pandemic, and some particularly bad weather.
In Things We Didn’t See Coming, Steven Amsterdam links together nine luminous narratives through the mind
of one peripatetic and resourceful wanderer.
This book, by a new Melbourne writer, is being praised from one end of the country to the other, with phrases like "the most breathtaking experience of my reading life". It has been likened to Cormac McCarthy's The Road. The manuscript has been by my bed for a couple of months and on the strength of the reviews, has just made it to the top of the pile.
Click here to buy this book.
  Linda Jaivan
IN STOCK

Set in the early years of the twentieth century, Australian-born doctor, adventurer, author and China-expert George Ernest Morrison is living in Peking writing for the London Times, witnessing the machinations of power as Japan, Russia and China become locked in a deadly struggle for power. To his great surprise, he becomes obsessed with Mae Perkins, the beautiful free-spirited American heiress who is doing time in the Far East after a series of sexual scandals and indiscretions. Mae redefines the female sexuality of the day while Morrison finds himself less and less able to conduct the relationship as he would want.
Inspired by true characters‚ A Most Immoral Woman is a surprising‚ witty and erotic tale of  obsessions set in the 'floating world' of Westerners in China and Japan at the turn of the twentieth century. At its heart stands an original and devastatingly honest woman‚ as seen from the perspective of the extraordinary man who was drawn to love her. With themes such as these, and the historical and political context, there is plenty here to engage a very wide audience. A Most Immoral Woman would also make an excellent bookclub choice.
Click here to buy this book.
THE PARIS ENIGMA
  THE MAO CASE
Pablo de Santis
IN STOCK

Twelve of the greatest European detectives have gathered in Paris at the turn of the twentieth century to discuss their most famous cases and debate the nature of misery. When one is found viciously murdered‚ however‚ the symposium becomes an elite task force dedicated to solving the outrage.
The Paris Enigma is an elegant, atmospheric literary puzzle thriller that will delight equally fans of crime fiction and of Carlos Ruiz Zafon (The Shadow of the Wind). de Santis is an Argentinian journalist,  writer and comic-strip creator and this book has been huge in the Spanish speaking world.
Click here to buy this book.
  Qiu Xiaolong

Tucked away from the building sites of modern Shanghai are the beautiful mansions once owned by the smartest families in 1930s China. They have since been bought by rich businessmen and high ranking members of the Communist Party. All except one. The owner is an old painter. Each day he teaches his students, all beautiful girls in their twenties. Each night he holds a glittering party. But questions are being asked. How can he afford such a lifestyle? His paintings? Blackmail? A triad connection? Prostitution?
Inspector Chen is asked to investigate but before he can, one of the girls is found dead.
Xiaolong was born in China (where his books are apparently banned) but lives in the US and writes in English.
Click here to buy this book.
AN EQUAL STILLNESS
  STILL ALICE
Francesca Kay
IN STOCK

Jennet Mallow grows up in an austere rectory in Yorkshire. Entranced by the act of drawing from an early age, she moves to London on a scholarship to art school where she meets the handsome and enigmatic painter David Feaver. The two embark on a tempestuous relationship that leads to marriage and parenthood but as David becomes increasingly reliant on drink, Jennet's career flourishes with potentially tragic consequences for both.
This is a debut novel and the strength of its prose and the beauty of its language has everyone talking literary prizes.
Click here to buy this book.
  Lisa Genova
IN STOCK

What makes for a meaningful life? Why do we matter? How do we connect to the people we love?
These are the questions that neuroscientist and debut novelist Genova grappled with while watching her grandmother disappear into Alzheimer's. The result of her questioning is the story of a 50 year old Harvard physicist, Alice, and her rapid descent into the disease. It is the fact that Alice is the narrator that makes this novel so powerful. As she descends from such cerebral heights, from a position where all her worth in the world is tied up in her work, she tries desperately to remain, still Alice.
Genova gets inside the mind of the Alzheimer's sufferer with enormous sensitivity. She has written a beautiful and poignant novel which will give all of its readers plenty to think about.
This book would make an excellent bookclub choice. To explore suggested areas of discussion, click here.
Click here to buy this book.
NON-FICTION: MEMOIR
SIDEWAYS
  LEAVE TO REMAIN
  TUNNEL VISION
Travels with Kafka, Hunter S & Kerouac
Patrick O'Neil
IN STOCK

Perhaps there is a bit of Patrick O'Neil in everyone because his memoir (if you can use the term at his young age) has certainly taken the fancy of a lot of people. Three times during his twenties he threw in a desk job, ended relationships and flung himself at the world. With the words of his literary heroes ringing in his ears, he set off determined to pursue adventure and a grander, more romantic vision of life.
Tripping from the Sahara to the Amazonian jungle, Sideways reveals that the way forward isn't always straight ahead.
Click here to buy this book.
  Abbas El-Zein
IN STOCK

Abbas El-Zein was born and raised in Beirut. He was twelve years old when the civil war broke out in 1975. He lived in Beirut through most of the war and, like many Lebanese of his generation, experienced shelling, car bombs, shootings and displacement. Although he came from a family of Shia religious scholars, he attended a French secular school and studied civil engineering (in which he now lectures in Sydney, his adopted home).
Part autobiography, part observation,  Leave to Remain is an intriguing memoir - an insider's view of Beirut written in sparse, strong style.
Click here to buy this book.

  The True Story of My Probably Insane Quest to Become a Professional Surfer
Sullivan McLeod

Jack-of-all-trades, and part-time stand-up comic Sullivan McLeod decides to combine his two favourite things - surfing and travelling - in a last-ditch attempt to get a career. Despite the fact that he is unfit physically, financially and possibly mentally, his grand plan is to become a professional surfer.
"Sully's" quest takes him to competitions in Indonesia, South Africa, England, France Portugal, Spain, Brazil and Hawaii in most of which he is wildly unsuccessful.
But adventure it is, and it makes for a great book.
Click here to buy this book.
BOOKS TO INSPIRE
OLD GROWTH
  THE ROOTS OF CIVILISATION
Australia's Remaining Ancient Forest
Peter McConchie

Old Growth is a collection of breathtaking photographs showcasing some of Australia's most beautiful - and most endangered - old growth trees. These magnificent haunting landscapes are in equal parts a tribute and a call to action. Melbourne born Peter McConchie has produced a stunning book and the forward by Peter Cundall is characteristically blunt, authoritative and inspiring. This book is sitting on my desk right now and I can't get enough of it.
Click here to see some images from the book.
Click here to buy this book.

  Plants that Changed the World
John Newton
IN STOCK

What a pleasure this book is! Fabric hard cover, lavish belly band, this is a gorgeous production which takes a closer look at the plants that have changed the world for better or for worse - plants that most of us don't often think about - tobacco, cotton, the orchid, opium. This is the story not only of nature's genius but of the rise and fall of civilizations which have staked their all on the seeds of these seemingly humble crops. This book makes the perfect gift for lovers of gardens and lovers of history. To get the flavour of The Roots of Civilisation, click here.
Click here to buy this book.
LIFE MATTERS
THE SEX DIARIES
Bettina Arndt
IN STOCK

'From the time I started working as a sex therapist back in the early 1970s, people have been talking to me about their sex lives. What I hear about most is the business of negotiating the sex supply.'
In The Sex Diaries Australia's leading sex therapist, Bettina Arndt, uncovers the night-time drama being played out in bedrooms across Australia. She recruited ninety-eight couples to keep diaries, revealing their intimate negotiations over sex. She draws on her thirty-five years of experience as a sex therapist and psychologist to provide a provocative analysis that challenges our basic assumptions about sex. With her characteristic humour and insight, Bettina Arndt proposes a new approach to how couples can enjoy regular sex - and sustain loving relationships.
Click here to buy this book.

CONSEQUENCES OF SEX
SHEYNE ROWLEY'S DREAM BABY GUIDE
  WHEN YOUR CHILD IS ILL
  AUSTRALIAN KIDS' HEALTH BOOK
Positive Routine Management for Happy Days and Peaceful Nights

Sheyne Rowley


After studying early childhood, running a child care centre, spending six year's talking about sleep and babies on television, and running a successful program of workshops and seminars on sleep problems, Sheyne Rowley knows what she is on about.
Dream Baby is a complete program for caring and interacting with your baby aged 0-2 years, particularly focusing on sleep, play, communication and routine.  Sheyne is known as "the baby whisperer", and in this book, she is prepared to share her secrets with  her readers.
Click here to buy this book.
  Dr Bernard Valman
IN STOCK

This Dorlling Kindersley book is a home guide for parents that comes with the imprimatur of the Royal Australian Society of General Practitioners.
With comprehensive charts and coverage  of everything from administering first aid to when to rush to hospital, this makes an invaluable home reference.
To look inside, click here.
Click here to buy this book.

  A Quick A-Z Guide to emergencies, Baby Care and Common Childhood Illnesses
 Dr Jonny Taitz
IN STOCK

Dr Taitz has a distinguished career in pediatrics, especially treating children with rare conditions. This book is written in a reassuring, clear style and covers the most common ailments that carers and new parents need to be informed of. This is a must-have for every household and is being promoted through the hospital system.
Click here to buy this book.
THE MESS WE ARE IN

FOOL'S GOLD
  KOCHIE'S 101 WAYS TO SURVIVE 2009

Gillian Tett

The inside story of how the credit crunch unfolded by the first journalist to predict it.  Where did it all start? And could it have been prevented? In this fast-paced, revealing book, award-winning Financial Times journalist and social anthropologist Gillian Tett takes us inside the shadowy world of complex finance and derivatives and explains how the business of slicing and dicing debt led us to the devastating global credit crunch.
Click here to pre-order this book for April delivery.
  David Koch
IN STOCK

This handy little pocket guide is packed with easy ideas to save money - in fact, about $10,000 a year - and the book itself won't break the bank. Practical, understandable, do-able, Koch will show you how you can commit to changing your bad financial habits so that 2009 will be a whole lot easier.
Click here to buy this book.
MORTGAGE STRESSBUSTER
  CREDIT CARD STRESSBUSTER
Alex Brooks
IN STOCK

Property and finance secrets to save buyers time, money and heartache whether they are buying their first home or are more frequent investors, all presented in any easy to follow Q&A format.
Click here to buy this book.
  Allison Tait
IN STOCK

This is a very practical, well set out guide about how to slash your credit card debt within 90 days, how to choose the right sort of card and how to formulate action plans to take the stress out of credit.
Click here to buy this book.

OBJECTS OF DESIRE
PLANET CAKE
  COUNTRY HOUSES OF TASMANIA
Paris Cutler
This beautiful and contemporary cake decorating book is set out in the style of a cooking course, working from learning how to make and decorate the simplest of cupcakes to the creation of stunning elaborate cakes. All the recipes are tried and true, all being winners from Cutler's Sydney shop, Planet Cake. There is a comprehensive basic techniques section complete with learning outcomes, troubleshooting hints and equipment lists while each design is explained with step-by-step instructions and photographs. With 30 different cake and cupcake designs,   Planet Cake is irresistible.
To see some sample pages, click here.
Click here to buy this book.

  Behind the Closed Doors of our Finest Colonial Estates
Alice Bennett and Georgia Warner

This book is a stunning visual treat and chronicles a heritage that has largely been lost on Australia's mainland.
'The homes you enter in this book are private. Unless you are part of their inner circle you might not have even known they existed,' write Georgia Warner and Alice Bennett.
So the next time you glimpse a Georgian chimney pot over the top of a high hedge in rural Tasmania, or view a stately pile off in the distance down a tree-lined drive, open Country Houses of Tasmania and you will know what rare treasures lie inside.
Click here to buy this book.
FOR THE RIGHT PERSON
GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS GAMERS' EDITION, 2009
IN STOCK

What can I say? Last year, the  first edition of this book was snaffled up by those in the know. Edition two promises to be bigger and better. Record scores, the people behind the games, interviews with gaming celebrities and consoles of facts and figures. It's all here, and perfect for just the right person (the one that doesn't usually get into books).
Click here to buy this book.

NON FICTION: THE BEST OF THE REST
THE BONE READERS
  CATCHING THE WOLF ON WALL STREET
  FAT BLOKE SLIM
Atoms, Genes and the Politics of Australia's Deep Past
Tuniz, Gillespie and Jones

The Bone Readers examines the facts and myths about the first human arrival in Australia and its region - what modern DNA tells us about the origin of Australian Aborigines, theories on the Indonesian hobbits and who or what killed off Australia's giant marsupials. The findings from Australia and its neighbours are echoed in debates over the mysterious demise of the Neanderthals and shed light on human evolution
but, as ever, the scientists are divided. The Bone Readers exposes a hidden world of colourful characters and passionate debate - and some truly weird ideas.
Click here to buy this book.

  Jordan Belfort
IN STOCK

Jordan Belfort was born in the suburbs of New York City. He hustled ice creams to put himself through college. His first business sent him bankrupt at 24. A year later he was making $50 million on Wall Street.  He built one of the largest brokerages in America before it all came crashing down when he was arrested and had the book thrown at him. After getting out of jail on $10 million bail, he had to choose whether to plead guilty and act as a government witness or whether to fight the charges and see his wife in jail as well. Belfort co-operated.
His first book, The Wolf of Wall Street, is currently  in film production with Martin Scorsese directing Leonardo DiCaprio. Catching the Wolf of Wall Street tells of his dizzy fall from grace  - fortunes made and lost, money-making schemes, parties, sex, drugs, marriage, divorce and prison.
Click here to buy this book.
  How I Lost Three Stone
Bruce Byron
IN STOCK

Better known to his legion of fans as DC Terry Perkins from The Bill, Bruce Byron very publicly chronicled his battle with mid-life bulge, and mid-life sorrows, in his serialised fortnightly column in the UK's Good Health magazine. Looking tauter, trimmer and infinitely happier, here is the bloke's guide to better diet and lifestyle.
Click here to buy this book.

DARWIN'S ARMADA
  BODIES   MOVIE MAKERS
How Four Voyages to Australasia Won the Battle for Evolution and Changed the World
Iain McCalman

There has been an explosion of books about Charles Darwin this year in celebration of the two anniversaries of his life and work. This one however is a bit different and is particularly relevant to our part of the world.
Four men - Charles Darwin, Alfred Wallace, Thomas Huxley and Joseph Hooker - were all men of science, all working around the same time, all inspired by the Australasian region.  Together their theories about natural selection - and the battles they fought to have them accepted - changed the world. Darwin's Armada is both a great adventure and gripping history and has had very positive reviews.
To read an extract, click here.
Click here to buy this book.
  Susie Orbach

Probably one of the  most famous psychotherapists to have set up couch since Sigmund Freud, Professor Orbach has come to realise that the way we view our bodies is the mirror of how we view ourselves: our body becomes the measure of our worth.
In this book, she finally raises the fundamental questions about how we got to the point where we are watching the last generation of people who do not routinely surgically enhance their bodies.
Orbach treated Princess Diana for her eating disorders and is most famous for her book Fat is a Feminist Issue.
Click here to buy this book.

  Ian Freer
IN STOCK

With a background as assistant editor of Empire, the world's largest circulation movie magazine, Ian Freer is well qualified to write this book. Movie Makers is a great reference work for any one with an interest in film. It has a concise profile of 50 of the world's greatest and most influential film directors with lots of black and white photos. It also includes a list of "must see" movies for each section. With its logical order and simple layout, this is really a no brainer for the movie lover.
Click here to buy this book.

KILL BIN LADEN
  ARABIAN PLIGHTS
  KILL KHALID
A Delta Force Commander's Account of the Hunt for the World's Most Wanted Man
Dalton
Fury
 IN STOCK


Counter-terrorism, intrigue, action, a siege and a battle. Why was the world's most elite and secretive fighting force unable to capture Bin Laden when he was holed up in the caves of eastern Afghanistan? What actually happened at the Battle of Tora Bora? Ground force commander Dalton Fury was there, and in this book, he tells all.
Scary stuff.
Click here to buy this book.

  The Future of the Middle East
Peter Rodgers
IN STOCK

Ex-Australian ambassador to Israel, Peter Rodgers, has an incisive way of cutting through the issues and getting to the heart of the problem, as he proved with his first book Herzl's Nightmare: One Land Two People. In Arabian Plights, he now turns his attention to the broader canvas of the middle east.
From Bookseller & Publisher:
Rodgers' book is a great primer on the region and everything that is wrong with it including the poisonous grip it holds over the economy of the rest of the world. He plainly outlines the cornerstones that underpin Arabian history and explains how they have resulted in the culturally and politically stalled states we have today.
Click here to buy this book.



,
Mossad's Failed Hit and the Rise of Hamas
Paul McGeough

September 1997, in an Amman street in broad daylight, five men purporting to be Canadian tourists, accost a Palestinian and inject a mysterious chemical into his ear. Within 48 hours it should kill him and leave no trace. The perfect political assassination.
In fact, the assailants were Mossad agents; their target was Khalid Mishal, at that time head of Hamas's political bureau in Jordan. But, after 48 hours, Khalid was not dead; instead, the Prime Minister of Israel, the President of the United States and the King of Jordan were locked in intense negotiations to save his life.
Paul McGeough is well-known to Australians because of his dogged coverage from Afghanistan to Israel. This compelling book charting the rise of Hamas makes for compelling reading.
To read an extract, click here.
Click here to buy this book.
KIDS: THE BIG THREE
CAT   DARIUS BELL AND THE GLITTER POOL
  MORTAL INSTRUMENTS SERIES
Matthew Van Fleet
IN STOCK

Hurray, another gorgeous creation from the very inventive Matthew Van Fleet. A companion volume to Dog, Cat is a board book with a difference. With plenty of moving parts and wonderfully touchable bits and pieces, this hardy little gem will delight both young and old. With 23 different breeds of felines featured, this is all the pouncing, purring and preening that you can cope with.
Ages 0 - 4.
Click here to buy this book.

  Odo Hirsch

When it comes to children's writing, Odo Hirsch is a national treasure. His winning form continues with his latest novel, Darius Bell and the Glitter Pool, a captivating story with a lovely message of optimism and hope.
The wonderful thing about Hirsch, and Darius Bell is certainly no exception, is his grasp of characterization. His stories are always populated by the most marvellously eccentric characters. In fact, his command of theme and character are so masterful that he doesn’t need to prop up the story with convoluted plot lines. His tales come as a welcome relief from the adrenaline-bloated missives we are so often served.
Darius is the youngest of generations of Arbuthnot-Huntingdon-Castleton-Bells, whose rapidly impoverished family manages to get by on its inherited estate, with a barter system involving the descendants of their former retainers. The family is facing ruin, however, unless it manages to come up with its once-in-a-generation Gift to the rapacious and vindictive local authorities. Darius’ discovery of riches under the ancestral wood appear to be the perfect solution.
Odo Hirsch has written a delightful story, with just the right mix of humour, gentleness and philosophical musings. It could be enjoyed by a good reader of 8 plus, as well as become a read-aloud favourite of their lucky parent or teacher.
Click here to buy this book.


  City of Bones (out now)
IN STOCK

City of Ashes
(out now)
IN STOCK

City of Glass
(world-wide release March 24)

Cassandra Clare


About four years ago, I started to read some of Clare’s unpublished work on the internet, and fell in love with her wit, humour and imagination. Two years later she wrote her first novel, City of Bones, and I was head over heels again. Her trilogy, follows Clary Fray, a fifteen-year-old New Yorker whose mother disappears, leaving behind a trail of clues about a life of which Clary never knew. Her mother, Jocelyn, was a Shadowhunter, a warrior who fights demons and other Downworlders. Jocelyn fled her world, Alicante, to raise Clary as a human, away from the endless danger of her previous life. Clary must team up with her best friend, Simon, and the Shadowhunters Jace, Alec and Isabelle to find her mother and save Alicante from impending doom.
Although it sounds like just another fantasy series, Mortal Instruments is so much more. It has a fascinating plot and its characters ring absolutely true. The mix of gritty New York and the fantastical Alicante will entice even the most obstinate fantasy-aphobe.
Cassandra Clare is now writing a prequel series, Infernal Devices, which promises to be just as inviting. To read more about it, click here.
(Guest reviewer Shoshana Booth).
(Editor's note: You need to read this series in order. You'll want to pass it on to your friends).
To see Clare's video made for her Australian fans, click here.
Ages 13 +
Click here for:
City of Bones.
City of Ashes.
City of Glass.
PRE-SCHOOLERS

THE TERRIBLE PLOP

Ursula Dubosarky & Andrew Joyner
IN STOCK

Here is the story
Of the Terrible PLOP,
With a bear and a rabbit
And a hop hop hop.
But what is the PLOP?
And where does it hide?
Open the book
And look inside . . .

This book is delightful - a funny story, rhyming text, gorgeous illustrations and just a hint of a twist in its tale.
Perfect for 4 - 6 year olds.
To look inside, click here.
Click here to buy this book.
BIG TRUCKS AND DIGGERS MATCHING GAME
  BILLY AND BELLA
Caterpillar

The name says it all with this one. More trucks and diggers than you could possibly want, 72 brightly coloured sturdy cards all with clear photographic images, all presented in an easily containable magnetised box.
Concentration, memory and matching skills plus a whole lot of fun!
Ages 3 - 5.
Click here to buy this kit.

  Jane Bowring
IN STOCK

This is a very sweet, illustrated picture book about two young elephants, Billy and Bella and their close (and sometimes competitive) relationship.
It would make a gorgeous addition to the bookshelf of a pre-schooler. An added bonus is the relatively low-price of this attractive hardback book.
Click here to buy this book.
THE PRIMARY SCHOOL YEARS
ADVENTURES OF NANNY PIGGINS
  FOLLOW THE LINE THROUGH THE HOUSE
R. A. Spratt

A take on the Mary Poppins story, Nanny Piggins, the world's most glamorous pig, is the only person prepared to take on the completely self-obsessed Mr Green (with his miserly, orderly ways) as well as his much neglected children Derrick, Samantha and Michael. This is a funny, slap-stick little chapter book, just the kind of crazy stuff that 8 - 11 year olds will love.
Click here to buy this book.
  Laura Ljungkvist
IN STOCK

Laura Ljungkvist designs books that are both a delight to their target market, (children 6 - 9) and to the adults who have the luck to read to them. Follow the Line Through the House is an activity book of sorts. It is certainly full of surprises and things to discover. The very clever thing about it however is that the entire book is composed of one line.
To get an idea of the book, click here.
Click here to buy this book.
ALMOST ADULTS
GUANTANAMO BOY
  THE NEST
  THE HUNGER GAMES
Anna Perera

Anna Perera gets inside the head of the fictional fifteen year old Khalid, who reluctantly leaves his home in the British Midlands to visit family in Pakistan, only to find himself plunged head first into a nightmare of kidnapping and secret imprisonment. Khalid's eventual lengthy and surreal incarceration in Guantanamo Bay is related with authenticity  and while the book is eventually uplifting, it certainly portrays well the dilemma of an underclass of people who become marginalised in the country they previously considered to be home. While this book obviously has some pretty serious themes, I don't want to make it sound ponderous. Guantanamo Boy makes for absolutely compelling reading for anyone (including adults) fourteen and up.
This book has been well road-tested in my house and has got the thumbs-up from all.
Click here to buy this book.
  Paul Jennings
IN STOCK

In his first novel for older readers, Paul Jennings weaves together an intriguingly layered tale that creeps up on the reader with stunning originality and an unexpected  twist. 
Sixteen-year-old Robin lives in the Victorian Alps. His father is a tyrant and his mother disappeared when he was only a baby. All he has left of her is a white gold ring, an antique hairbrush with a few strands of her long red hair, and uncanny clues which mysteriously appear in his own writing.
He’s nuts about Charlie, daughter of the local ranger, and in a moment of wild impulse he’s pledged to donate $500 to help her bring some Somali kids from Melbourne to the snowfields. The problem is he doesn’t have the money. 
Dark, tense and subversive, The Nest is the  story of a boy who dares to stare into the spider holes of his own mind. 
This title is also available in CD format (click here).
Ages 15 +
Click here to buy this book.
  Suzanne Collins
IN STOCK

The Hunger Games is a gripping, futuristic novel set in post-apocalyptic North America. It centres on Katniss Everdeen, a dirt-poor teenager from District 12. Each year the autocratic government holds "The Hunger Games" in which they randomly select two participants from each of the 12 districts to compete and there is only one rule - kill or be killed.
Wow! The Hunger Games was gobbled up on two consecutive nights by two teens - one boy, one girl. It is definitely a winner.
If you would like to hear a teen's take on this book, click here.
Click here to buy this book.

 


EASTER
You probably don't want to think about it yet but Easter is just around the corner. There is always a huge range of bunny books to choose from but we've combed through them for you, and narrowed the choice down to just four sure-fire winners. What could be more simple?
THE SMALLEST BILBY AND THE  EASTER GAMES
  FAIR DINKUM AUSSIE EASTER
Nette Hilton & Bruce Whatley

A very Australian response to too much of the Easter bunny, this is the third in Hilton and Whatley's delightfully whimsical series, thankfully now in paperback.
When the rabbits decide to stop delivering Easter eggs, all the bush animals want to be the new Easter Bunny. After all, Easter wouldn't be the same without eggs! But how can the rabbits choose the best animal for the job? The lop-eared rabbit has an idea - and that's when the Easter games begin.
Click here to buy this book.
  Colin Buchanan
IN STOCK

It's Easter time in Australia mate
And we're searching high and low
It's the Great Big Aussie Easter Egg Hunt
Get ready . . . Get set . . . And, go!

With Buchanan's characteristically humorous ocker take on all things Easter, this picture book comes with a bonus CD. You'll know the tunes. A celebration of Easter Oz style that the whole family can enjoy.
Click here to buy this book.

SPOT'S FIRST EASTER
  PETER RABBIT AND THE EGG HUNT
Eric Hill
IN STOCK

Spot has perennial appeal to toddlers and Spot's First Easter is a tried and true winner for an Easter basket. This version of the lift-the-flap board book is smarter than ever with its rescanned art work and bright jacket finishes.
Click here to buy this book.

  Beatrix Potter
IN STOCK

With gorgeous soft pastel artwork taken from the original Beatrix Potter illustrations, this is a cute-as -a-button board book with lots of flaps, tabs and hidden surprises. Perfect for little hands testing out their new found dexterity.
Click here to buy this book.
-
 
 
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IN THIS ISSUE
(click to navigate)
Toni's Book of the Month
FICTION
Fast & Furious
Crime
The Art of Writing
NON FICTION
Memoir
Books to Inspire
Life Matters
The Mess We Are In
Objects of Desire
The Best of the Rest
KIDS
The Big Three
Pre-schoolers
The Primary Years
Almost Adults
EASTER


MOST MENTIONED BOOKS LAST WEEK
(click to order)
AN AWKWARD TRUTH
Peter Grose
PATHS OF GLORY
Jeffrey Archer
SWEETNESS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PIE
Alan Bradley
POMPEII: THE LIFE OF A ROMAN TOWN
Mary Beard
THE ROAR OF THE BUTTERFLIES
Reginald Hill

BOOKTOPIA DOES ROMANCE

Attention all you romance readers out there.
We will be launching the Romance Buzz this coming Friday, March 6.
Click here to subscribe to this monthly newsletter packed full of brand new romance titles.


TOURING THIS MONTH

A veritable feast of writers are coming our way this month, including Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now, A New Earth),
Sydney Bauer (Alibi), Cathy Kelly (Once in a Lifetime), Mohamed Khadra (The Patient), and Andy Griffiths (Mascot Madness).


BEST FILM TIE-INS
Now that you've watched the Oscars and seen the movie, how about the real thing? Yes, the book!
THE BOY IN STRIPED PYJAMAS
John Boyne
THE READER
Bernard Schlink
Q&A (Slum Dog Millionaire)
Vikas Swarup
SECRET LIFE OF BEES
Sue Monk Kidd
REVOLUTIONARY ROAD
Richard Yates

BOOK TRAILER AWARDS...WHERE
FILM  MEETS PRINT

Creating some excitement about books, especially with young people, are the newly launched Book Video Awards.
The idea is simple. Would-be film makers are being asked to go into a competition with prizes to the value of $14,000 up for grabs. There is one very clear brief - create a book trailer for one of three new Australian titles being released by Random House in July. The titles include Leah Giarratano's Black Ice, Nick Earls' The True Story of Butterfish and Sam Fisher's State of Emergency.
With film and publishing heavyhitters as judges, and a "People's Choice" award, Random House is hoping that the Book Video Awards will eventually take off. Entries close May 12 with winners announced in July.
In the meantime, to find out more, click here.
WHAT LOOKS GOOD FOR APRIL
(click to pre-order)
FEED ME NOW
Bill Granger
RANSOM
David Malouf
ROADSIDE SISTERS
Wendy Harmer
JOURNEY TO THE EDGE OF THE WORLD
Billy Connelly
RICH BROTHER, RICH SISTER
Emi & Robert Kiyosaki

WHAT'S ON FOR MARCH

Book and related cultural events in Australia and overseas

BRUSSELS BOOK FAIR
March 5 - 9

AUSTRALIAN COPYRIGHT COUNCIL 2009 PERTH TRAINING
March 17 - 20

ABU DHABI INTERNATIONAL BOOK FAIR
March 17 - 22

BOLOGNA CHILDREN'S BOOK FAIR
March 23 - 26

BRISBANE FESTIVAL OF IDEAS
March 25 - 29

PROGRAM LAUNCH
SYDNEY WRITERS FESTIVAL
March 26

BANGKOK INTERNATIONAL BOOK FAIR
March 26 - March 31

TEN DAYS ON THE ISLAND
March 27 - April 5

NORMAN LINDSAY FESTIVAL OF CHILDREN'S LITERATURE
March 29 - 30
TASCHEN 25'S

Taschen makes the most divine art and architecture books and the 25's series bring all of its wonderful qualities together with recession busting prices.
Our local supplier has these  titles ahead of the US and UK so enjoy these beautifully produced full-size hard cover editions (all between 228 and about 500  pages packed with gorgeous images).
The books are well below $50.
Also available for just a little bit more are  Julius Shulman's Modernism Rediscovered,
(previously only available at as a 3 volume $550 set) and New Erotic Photography (420 pages, 55 photographers) which sold out in the original more expensive version.
Click on the title to order.
POLLOCK
ISLAM - WORLD ARCHITECTURE
HARING
ROTHKO
INDIAN INTERIORS
LONDON INTERIORS
MODIGLIANI
GREECE
EGYPT
KAHLO

LATE DROP IN

What-the-Dickens

The irrepressible Gregory Maguire has written a magical, wonderful story for 8 - 12 year olds at last available in paperback.
Led by a roguish tooth fairy called What-the-Dickens, Gregory Maguire does for the dark and stormy night what he did for witches in Wicked.
Click here to buy this book.



BACK IN STOCK

Jared Cohen's Children of Jihad: A Young American's Travels Among the Youth of the Middle East (reviewed last month in the Booktopia Buzz) is now back in stock.
Click here to buy this book.




















 
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