Booktopia Buzz
MAY 2010 | Edition 20
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BUZZ IN BRIEF
Dear Booktopia Buzz readers,

Mother's Day is just around the corner. We've got an amazing range of terrific titles that will get you sorted and if you are very quick, we'll be able to get a signed edition of Ray Martin's memoir (new to paperback) hopefully in time for the big day.

There are some gems this month - the much anticipated finale to Patrick Ness' Chaos Walking series and some great European fiction available here for the very first time. Jostein Gaarder, Isabel Allende and Joanne Harris are all back in print with new novels to thrill and entrance. On a quieter note, I absolutely loved Hotel Iris by Yoko Ogawa, making it one of my two books of the month. I have highlighted some great new fiction, some of which as at a special low introductory price.

As for nonfiction, my pick is The Winter of Our Disconnect. It is funny, relevant and gosh, did it speak to me! We'll be hearing a lot more about Susan Maushart over coming weeks as she is back in Australia for some major literary festivals.

I've got the best of sport, some great craft titles (because I know you love them), memoir and more. And do have a look at my young adult's selection. They can be so tricky to buy for but this month there an embarrassment of riches.

The navigation bar is on the right - go to town!

Until next month,

Toni Whitmont
Editor in Chief
Booktopia Buzz
SIGNED EDITIONS
 
RAY: STORIES OF MY LIFE by Ray Martin

The bestselling autobiography of one of Australia's most loved personalities is now in paperback and if you pre-order today, we might just be able to rush a signed copy to you in time for Mother's Day.

We will take delivery of signed Ray Martin stock on  late Friday afternoon  APRIL 30. We can have them out of the warehouse and in the post first thing on Monday, and (Australia Post willing) to your door in time for Mother's Day.

The hardback edition of this book was a pre-Christmas favourite. Now this funny, deeply honest thought-provoking and ultimately inspiring autobiography is available in paperback.

This is a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the machinations of big TV corporations, as well as an insight into the characters that run our television broadcasting, all from the perspective of one of Australia's most trusted and beloved TV personalities.

Click here to order signed Ray: Stories of My Life.
Retail Price: $34.95, Booktopia Price: $27.95 SAVE 20%

SKULDUGGERY PLEASANT: DARK DAYS by Derek Landy

If you want to wow your kids, get them into Skulduggery Pleasant. I am speaking from experience here. Both of my kids (one boy, one girl) loved Landy's skeleton detective when in their late primary years, as did I. What they would have loved even more was their very own signed copy.

We have limited numbers of signed copies of Dark Days in stock now.

For the full bottle on Skulduggery, click here to read the interview Landy did recently with Amelia Vahtrick, the editor of our 6 - 12 Buzz.

Click here to buy signed Dark Days.
Retail Price: $19.99, Booktopia Price: $16.95 SAVE 15%
IN STOCK NOW
TONI'S BOOKS OF THE MONTH
HOTEL IRIS by Yoko Ogawa

Mari is the much exploited 17 year old daughter of a woman who runs the Hotel Iris, a small Japanese hotel which comes alive for three months of the year. When her mother ejects a middle-aged man and a prostitute from one of the rooms, Mari falls under the spell of the calm authority of his voice. The man turns out to be a translator who lives on a nearby island. Mari pursues the man and a secret liaison ensues. However the relationship has its own peculiar logic. The man is warm and respectful on the mainland. In the privacy of his home, he switches to a perverse and sadistic lover. For her part, Mari takes as much solace from pain as from pleasure.

Yoko Ogawa is a much feted author in Japan and her prize-winning works have gradually been translated into other languages. She is best known in the west for The Housekeeper and the Professor. She writes with clarity, restraint and despite the often graphic subject matter of this particular novel, a great deal of precision and beauty.

While Hotel Iris fits into the stereotypes of misogynist sexual violence that stalks the underbelly of Japanese culture, what is interesting about this novel is the complicity of Mari’s behaviour. Indeed it is she who courts the translator, and it is she who returns for the ritual of humiliation. But despite her active pursuit of the older man, (and for a short time his younger much more wholesome nephew) as a character, Mari remains underdeveloped, enigmatic and limited. For this reason more than any other then, I found it interesting that the creator of this utterly prescribed figure is herself female.

Of course, in the west there is a strong tradition of pleasure and pain in literature, starting most famously with the Marquis de Sade. And there is no shortage of women writing explicit work,
particularly in recent years. What I am not familiar with however, is whether there is a tradition of this kind of female writing in Japan.

Kenzaburō Ōe (who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1994) says of Ogawa that she is able to give expression to the most subtle workings of human psychology in prose that is gentle yet penetrating. The subtlety in part lies in the fact that Ogawa's characters often seem not to know why they are doing what they are doing. She works by accumulation of detail. The reader is presented with an acute description of what the (mainly female) protagonists observe and feel. Their somewhat alienated self-observations seem to be a reflection of Japanese society and especially women's roles within it.

I have not had the opportunity to read any of her other works, but this summary certainly rings true in the case of Hotel Iris. It is psychologically ambiguous and disturbing, but at the same time completely compelling, but be warned, this is definitely not a run of the mill bodice-ripper.

Click here to read a Q&A with Ogawa and the first chapter of the book.

Click here to order Hotel Iris
RRP $27.95 Booktopia price $18.95 SAVE 32%

MONSTERS OF MEN by Patrick Ness

The electrifying finale in Patrick Ness’s multi-award-winning Chaos Walking trilogy is but days away!
 
Monsters of Men is the most anticipated crossover novel of 2010. It is the sequel to the critically acclaimed, multi-award winning The Knife of Never Letting Go and The Ask and the Answer. Set in a sinister world where men can hear each others thoughts, this is an epic, unflinching tale about the devastating realities of war. Since first publication in 2008, Chaos Walking has won seven major awards, won critical acclaim from every national newspaper and he has been heralded as a literary sensation for teens and adults alike.
 
In Monsters of Men, Todd and Viola face monstrous decisions as a world-ending war surges to life around them. The indigenous Spackle, thinking and acting as one, have mobilised to avenge their murdered people. Ruthless human leaders prepare to defend their factions at all costs, even as a convoy of new settlers approaches. And all the time, the ceaseless Noise lays all thoughts bare. The consequences of each action, each word, are unspeakably vast: to follow a tyrant or a terrorist? To save the life of the one you love most, or thousands of strangers? Todd and Viola are left questioning all they have known, as they hurtle towards a shocking finale.
 
Click here to read about our encounter with Patrick Ness when he was in Australia.

Click here to read Ness' answers to our "Ten Terrifying Questions".

Click here to buy all Patrick Ness titles.

Click here to order Monsters of Men
RRP $32.95 Booktopia price $25.95  SAVE 21%

BIG NAMES IN QUALITY FICTION
THE CASTLE IN THE PYRENEES by Jostein Gaarder

Two former lovers meet across space and time but what really brings them back together and how can they really trust their view of their pasts?
There are few authors who can boast 20 million copies of a single book but the Norwegian  author of Sophie's World can. The Castle in the Pyrenees returns to some of the ideas  of that seminal novel - much of the action takes place through correspondence which contemplates some of life's big questions about  differing views of reality and the tricks memory can play on us. Castle in the Pyrenees is also  an  intimate love story of rediscovery. A welcome return to print, and a lovely demi-hardback edition.

Click here to buy The Castle in the Pyrenees:
Retail Price: $29.99, Booktopia Price: $23.95 SAVE 20%

BLUEEYEDBOY by Joanne Harris

This gripping psychological thriller played out in cyberspace is a very different offering from Joanne Harris, author of Chocolat and Five Quarters of the Orange.

From the author:
I started out three years ago, with nothing but fragments of plotline and my narrator’s voice to guide me. I’d been going through some troublesome times, and my sunny disposition had taken something of a blow. I found I didn’t want to write, and spent far too much time online, hanging around various sites and searching out ever more ingenious ways of evading reality. Under a pseudonym, I made a number of online friends, wrote a great deal of fanfic, and began to take an increasing interest in the way people interact online, the communities they create and join, and the way they choose to portray themselves. I understood too, how emotionally dependent people can sometimes become reliant on their virtual friends and their virtual communities, even though there can be no way of knowing how honest these avenues of communication really are.
From all this came Blueeyedboy, a dark psychological thriller set in the world of the internet, where no-one is quite what they seem to be, and every taste is catered for, even the ones to which we dare not confess.

If you really want to get into this, follow blueeyedboy on My Space.

Click here for a clip of Harris reading the first chilling chapter.

Click here to buy Blueeyedboy:
Retail Price: $32.95, Booktopia Price: $25.95 SAVE 21%

ISLAND BENEATH THE SEA by Isabel Allende

Isabel Allende’s triumphant return to historical fiction tells the story of Zarité, a nine-year-old mulatto girl who is sold as a slave in eighteenth-century Santo Domingo. This sweeping novel follows her and other slaves over forty years, telling the story of their exploitation and the miserable conditions of their lives. In Zarité, Isabel Allende has created another of her unforgettable characters: a fighter, a heroine, a woman who will prevail, regardless of what the future might hold.
Portraying the only successful slave rebellion in history, which resulted in the creation of Haiti, Allende vividly captures the sights and sounds, fears and prejudices of this tumultuous era.
Island Beneath the Sea is extensively researched and all too timely, demonstrating that the recent earthquakes are only the latest in a long string of disasters and misfortune for the nation. I can't imagine how any writer  on the legacy of slavery could eclipse The Long Song by Andrea Levy (with her dissection of the Jamaican experience). However, Allende has a huge following and the pre-publication reviews have been very positive (with one notable exception).

Click here to read an extract.

Click here to buy Island Beneath the Sea:
Retail Price: $32.99, Booktopia Price: $25.95  SAVE 21%
AUSTRALIAN FICTION
BEAUTIFUL MALICE by Rebecca James

Unknown author Rebecca James made headlines last November when her new novel was the  subject of a bidding war at the Frankfurt Book Fair. With bids topping out at more than $1 million, Beautiful Malice was described as a "brilliantly plotted sexy psychological page-turner" billed as Stephenie Meyer without the vampires by the Wall Street Journal.
James's novel depicts the relationship between Katherine, a solitary girl whose sister was brutally murdered, and gorgeous fun-loving Alice, who befriends her. Alice's influence is transformative, but as Katherine emerges from her grief, she discovers her new best friend can be chilling as well as charming.
This book is going to be huge and will appeal to teenager girls as well as women.

Rebecca James answers Booktopia's Ten Terrifying Questions here.

Read chapter one here.

Click here to buy Beautiful Malice.
Retail Price: $24.99, Booktopia Price: $19.95 SAVE 20%


THORN ON THE ROSE by Joy Dettman

Another great offering from Dettman, who swept readers away with Pearl in a Cage. If you like Kate Morton and Belinda Alexandra, then Dettman is for you, with her stories of rural Australia at war. Thorn on the Rose can be read as a stand alone novel, although it does follow on from Pearl in a Cage.

Click here to buy Thorn on the Rose.
Retail Price: $32.99, Booktopia Price: $25.95 SAVE 21%


SUNFLOWER by Colin McLaren

This one caught my eye as it is something very different from ex-cop and Mafia expert, author of Infiltration, Colin McLaren.
McLaren has fashioned a romantic novel based on the life of his grandfather, a larrikin whose was character was forged at Gallipoli. Sunflower roams from outback Australia to the Bedouin markets of Cairo, on to the Somme and then back again.

Click here to buy Sunflower.
Retail Price: $32.99, Booktopia Price: $25.95 SAVE 21%


TRUST by Kate Veitch

Trust is a novel about two very different sisters, and their families - about secrets and how they unfold, about loyalty, and betrayal, and finding the strength to grasp the truth about your self. Veitch garnered a lot of support with her first novel, Listen. Trust promises to be just as gripping.
 
Kate Veitch answers Booktopia's Ten Terrifying Questions here.

Read an excerpt here.

Click here to buy Trust.
Retail Price: $32.95, Booktopia Price: $25.95 SAVE 21%
TO DIE FOR - TWO NEW CRIME WRITERS YOU SIMPLY HAVE TO READ
KILLING RICHARD DAWSON
 THE HOLY THIEF
Robin Baker

According to Nick Earls, Robin Baker "doesn't miss a beat, all the way to an ending that'll knock you sideways".

Baker hails from Perth where his work as a funeral director has stood him in good stead for this slow-burn thriller. A startling, original  voice on the crime scene.

Click here to read an excerpt

Click here to buy Killing Richard Dawson
Retail Price: $24.99,
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  William Ryan

Moscow, 1936 and Stalin's Great Terror is beginning. In a deconsecrated Church, a young woman is found dead, her mutilated body displayed on the altar for all to see. Captain Alexei Dimitrevich Korolev, finally beginning to enjoy the benefits of his success with the Criminal Investigation Division of the Moscow Militia, is asked to investigate. But when he discovers that the victim is an American citizen, the NKVD, the most feared organisation in Russia, becomes involved.
The Holy Thief is a wonderful evocation of time and place - a bit of crime, a bit of history, a bit of love interest - brought to you by the people who discovered C.J. Sansom. Best of all, it comes to you at a great introductory price.

Click here to buy The Holy Thief
Retail Price: $25.00,
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GRAPHICS AND MASH UPS
ABRAHAM LINCOLN
VAMPIRE HUNTER
by Seth Grahame-Smith

He really started something with Pride an Prejudice and Zombies. Now Seth Grahame-Smith is back with Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter.
This is the never-before-told story of the great US emancipator.
The author is a regular contributor to the Huffinton Post. Why am I not suprised?

Click here to see the book trailer.

Click here to buy
Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter:
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PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND
ZOMBIES: DAWN OF THE
DREADFULS
by Steve Hockensmith (& Jane Austen)

This is the terrifying and hilarious prequel in which we witness the genesis of the zombie plague in early nineteenth century England. Zombies was the surprise publishing phenomenon of 2009. Who would have thought that Regency England was the Land of the Undead?

Click here to buy
PPZ: Dawn of the Dreadfuls

Retail Price: $24.99,
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 FIVE WOUNDS: AN
ILLUMINATED NOVEL
by Jonathan Walker & Dan Hallett

In a cruel and arbitrary world, where disturbing lapses in logic are commonplace, five orphans must face their traumatic origins. Each has a special ability, each is connected to all of the others, and each gets exactly what they deserve.
Or do they?
This is a most unusual book,  laid out in chapter and verse, putting one immediately in mind of an illuminated Bible. It is full of parables, symbols, illustrations and some particularly detailed colour plates.

Click here to buy Five Wounds:
Retail Price: $39.99,
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Hardback edition


KICK-ASS: THE GRAPHIC
NOVEL
by Mark Millar

Well, the film has been controversial enough (at least among parents of some teen and younger children), and the original graphic novel makes it clear why. This anti super-hero story takes comic book realism to a whole new level.
For adults only.

Click here to buy Kick-Ass:
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BOOKS OUR PUBLISHERS LOVE
HEARTS AND MINDS
by Amanda Craig

Maggie O'Farrell describes this as very special, ambitious, compelling and utterly gripping.
For some reason, Hearts and Minds was overlooked when it originally came out but it is so worth picking up now at the lower price.
This thought-provoking, entertaining and topical novel has received brilliant reviews overseas and has quickly become a staff pick.
Although the marketplace is crowded, Craig's tome will still hold its own because she eschews laboured profundity. Her style is immediate and precise, and convincingly dramatic. She skilfully mixes skilled reportage (once a journalist, always a journalist) with a filmic sensibility.
Click here to read the full review from The Independent

Click here to buy Hearts and Minds
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THE HAND THAT FIRST
HELD MINE

by Maggie O'Farrell

And speaking of Maggie O'Farrell, the wonderful author of The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox is back with what promises to be an even more alluring read.
From the 1950s art scene to present day London, O'Farrell brings us an extraordinary portrait of two women, separated by fifty years but connected in ways that neither could have ever expected.
This is the first time O'Farrell has tackled the subject of motherhood so directly, and she does so with characteristic bravery, passion and intelligence. The Hand That First Held Mine is the brilliant retort to insipid 'mum lit' that readers have been clamouring for.

Click here to buy
The Hand That First Held Mine
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 ETERNAL ON THE WATER
by Joseph Monninger

A poignant novel about a timeless love between two people and a devastating disease that forces them to make drastic decisions. If you liked Still Alice (and who didn't?), you'll love this one.
'Unashamedly but never overwhelmingly romantic. A completely absorbing story of absolute and unconditional love, the possibility of a true communion with nature and the simple joy inherent in lives lived well. I loved Eternal on the Water, the characters are true and remarkable in their integrity and the writing is believable and magnetic.'
Lou Johnson, Sales and Marketing Director, Simon and Schuster

Click here to read an excerpt

Click here to buy Eternal on the Water
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DAY FOR NIGHT
by Joseph Monninger

Literary fiction at its finest, Day for Night explores with insight and intelligence different notions of family and just how unrelated lives might interconnect. The scope and cleverness of the story, coupled with amazing prose, all point to Frederick Reiken becoming a literary novelist of real note. Day for Night will appeal to fans of Michael Chabon and Paul Auster.
And what do other booksellers say? Try this.
'Drop what you're doing and read the new Frederick Reiken novel, Day for Night. I don't care if you're busy--this is more important. And it's not a slow read either, so I don't want to hear any whining about how you don't have the time.
The story zigs and zags, and coincidences are anything but and other puzzle pieces that seem to be related are just coincidence. Reiken's got an elegant simplicity about his writing, but the characters and plotlines and themes interconnect, not like a tapestry, but a video game with all this hidden programming.'

Click here to buy Day for Night
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IN ENGLISH AT LAST
Here are some names that will probably be new to you. They are all authors whose novels have sold in the hundreds of thousands but have been unavailable in English until now. Before you turn your nose up, can I just say "The Elegance of the Hedgehog" and "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"? So here it is,  my take on the best of the best out of Europe this month.


THE TULIP VIRUS by Daniëlle Hermans

Perfume meets The Da Vinci Code in Amsterdam? Daniëlle Hermans is a Dutch journalist and crime writer and her fast-paced thriller set in contemporary London with its roots in the 17th century tulip trade of the Netherlands has seen more than 400,000 copies sold in her home land alone.

Click here to order The Tulip Virus.
RRP $32.99 Booktopia price $25.95 SAVE 21%


THE FROZEN HEART by Almudena Grandes

Mario Vargas Llosa has described her as "one of the great writers of our time". Grandes is a Spanish author whose sales go into the millions. This is a sweeping saga that covers the Spanish Civil War and moves from the provincial heartlands of the Iberian peninsula to the frozen wastes of Russia.  The Frozen Heart is a journey through a war that tore families apart and turned fathers against sons, brothers against brothers, wives against husbands. Against such a past, where do faith and loyalty lie? This is perfect for fans of epic stories like Dr Zhivago and The Shadow of the Wind.

Click here to order The Frozen Heart.
RRP $35.00 Booktopia price $27.95 SAVE 20%

HECTOR AND THE SEARCH FOR HAPPINESS by François Lelord

Can we learn to be happy? Hector wants to find out. Over two million people have engaged with this modern fable which is now translated into English. The film version is being released later this year. This book has been nurtured by the same people who brought The Elegance of the Hedgehog, so I reckon they know how to sort the wheat from the chaff.

Click here to pre-order Hector and the Search for Happiness.
RRP $19.95 Booktopia price $15.95 SAVE 20%
Available May 20.

DESERT by Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clezio

Immigrant life in France contrasts with the north African experience of the early twentieth century in Nobel Prize winner JMG Le Clezio's Desert, now available in English for the first time.


Click here to pre-order Desert.
RRP $32.99 Booktopia price $25.95 SAVE 21%
Available May 17.
 NON FICTION

I always feel like the Grim Reaper putting together this section. So many wonderful books, across a huge range of topics, and only room for the very select few. Here is what has caught my eye in nonfiction this month. There's something for everyone.
WINTER OF OUR DISCONNECT
 EAARTH: MAKING A LIFE ON A TOUGH NEW PLANET
How three totally wired teenagers (and a mother who slept with her iPhone) pulled the plug on their technology and lived to tell the tale.

Susan Maushart

This book is for anyone who has a creeping fear about their addiction to technology. Columnist, author, social commentator and mother of three, Maushart, decides to un-plug for six months, dragging her reluctant daughters into a electronic-media-less world.
This is a very readable, very funny, but very interesting account of those fraught six months - what it meant for family, what it meant for friends, what it meant for work.
This account of one family's self-imposed exile from the Information Age will leave you gasping with recognition. It makes a perfect talking point and led to an hilarious and heated debate around our kitchen table.

Susan Maushart answers Booktopia's Ten Terrifying Questions here.

Click here to buy
The Winter of Our Disconnect:
Retail Price: $34.95,
Booktopia Price
: $27.95 SAVE 20%

  Bill McKibben

McKibben was our unheeded canary in the coal mine with the publication twenty years ago of The End of Nature.
Hopefully we have learnt to listen to him.
McKibben now brings us the guidebook on how to actually ensure our future.
Bill McKibben foresaw 'the end of nature' very early on, and in this new book he blazes a path to help preserve nature's greatest treasures. (James E. Hansen, director, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies).
What I have to say about this book is very simple: read it, please.  Straight through to the end.  Whatever else you were planning to do next, nothing could be more important. (Barbara Kingsolver, biologist and author of The Poisonwood Bible)

Click here to buy Eaarth:
Retail Price: $32.95,
Booktopia Price: $25.95 SAVE 21%
TOO MUCH SPORT IS BARELY ENOUGH
QUEENSLANDER! by Mike Colman.

It has been thirty years since the first state of origin, what better time than now for an illustrated celebration of Queensland rugby league? Perfect for "maroon lovers" and Rugby League afficionados!


Click here to buy Queenslander.
Retail Price: $35.00, Booktopia Price: $27.95 SAVE 20%

FOZZ ON FOOTBALL by Craig Foster.

Are we a great football nation? Can we be a serious contender? Do we have a national style? This is an accessible yet knowledgeable backgrounder to "the beautiful game", the perfect primer for the World Cup.


Click here to buy Fozz on Football.
Retail Price: $29.95, Booktopia Price: $23.95 SAVE 20%

IT'S A JUNGLE OUT THERE by Ricky Nixon.

You might not know his name but you sure know his charges - Ablett, Carey, Cousins. The big men of AFL who are as well known for their off field bad behaviour as well as the brilliance of their play. Nixon is the most powerful AFL player manager of his generation and in this book he reveals the incendiary world of sports management.

Click here to buy It's a Jungle Out There.
Retail Price: $34.99, Booktopia Price: $27.95 SAVE 20%
BREATHLESS HOMICIDAL SLIME MUTANTS
 AFFORDABLE ARCHITECTURE: GREAT HOUSES ON A BUDGET
Steven Brower

How can you go past a title like that? Slime Mutants celebrates the art of the mass-market paperback. This is a vibrant tour of mystery, love,  westerns, highbrow literature and everything in between. I haven't actually clapped eyes on this art and design book yet but it is published by Rizzoli so it is a pretty sure thing.

Click here to buy
Breathless Homicidal Slime Mutants
Retail Price: $35.00
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  Stephen Crafti

With more than 50 projects, many of which are Australian, this book gives new meaning into the term "kit home". I've looked through this book - it is simply stunning. Packed full of colour photos, plans and elevations, this is the answer to everyone with big ideas and a limited budget.

Click here to buy
Affordable Architecture
Retail Price: $59.95
Booktopia
Price $47.95 SAVE 20%


Customers interested in innovative design may also be interested in Melbourne: Global Smart City by Ken Maher and Richard Florida. This book is designed for readers who are curious about a successful city and its growth plans.

Click here to buy
Melbourne: Global Smart City
Retail Price: $49.95
Booktopia
Price $39.95 SAVE 20%
HEARTS AND MINDS
If it is inspiration you are in need of, look no further than life lessons from the irrepressible spirit of Michael J Fox. A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FUTURE is more life lessons than memoir, and will appeal to both his fans as well as readers of people like Mitch Albom (of Tuesdays with Morrie fame).


Click here to buy A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Future
Retail Price: $19.99, Booktopia Price $15.95 SAVE 20%
SECRETS OF THE GROWN-UP BRAIN: THE SURPRISING TALENTS OF THE MIDDLE AGED MIND
 MANUFACTURING DEPRESSION: THE SECRET HISTORY OF A MODERN DISEASE
 Barbara Strauch

Strauch is somewhat of an expert when it comes to grey matter, having written a number of well researched books on the inner workings of the brain. This latest one will come as something of a relief to many. It seems that when it comes to the brain middle age doesn't mean mediocre performance! Based on the latest neuroscientific and psychological research, the brain apparently re-organises itself as it ages, proving yet again, to be flexible and up to the challenge.

Click here to buy
Secrets of the Grown-Up Brain
Retail Price: $27.95
Booktopia
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Gary Greenberg

This is a fascinating study of the relationship between psychiatric diagnosis and the pharmaceutical industry that grows fat from it. It examines the role of the corporate sector in creating the idea of depression.

Click here to buy
Manufacturing Depression
Retail Price: $32.99
Booktopia
Price $25.95 SAVE 21%


Meanwhile, one wonders what Sonya Melbourne would make of it all. With a mother who suffered a lifetime of severe mental illness, Melbourne has put together a compilation of true stories of Australians who have experienced mental illness and have achieved recovery. INSPIRED RECOVERY is really all about the triumph of the human spirit.

Click here to buy Inspired Recovery
Retail Price: $27.50
Booktopia
Price $21.95 SAVE 20%

THE MYSTERY OF YOU
 COMING OF AGE IN OUR 50S AND 60S
Ronald Goldschlager &
Adin Steinsaltz


Humanity, community, the individual, this inspirational book combines philosophy with practical and creative perspectives on the big questions of life.
The text is combined with some really inspirational colour plates featuring the art work of Victor Majzner.

Click here to buy The Mystery of You
Retail Price: $39.95
Booktopia
Price $31.95 SAVE 20%
  Kaye Healey

Subtitled Continuing the journey of discovery for women, this is a very positive book on ageing and retirement issues, covering it all from nurturing creativity to the art of solitude. Part memoir, part self-help, this is a ready reckoner which is going to prove a godsend for a great many women.

Click here to buy
Coming of Age in our 50s and 60s
Retail Price: $25.00
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ARRESTING IMAGES
Here are my two favourite "coffee table books" for the month. Both visual feasts, but oh, so different.


YVON'S PARIS by Robert Stevens

With an eye for starling viewpoints and unusual weather conditions, Pierre Yves-Petit , who called himself Yvon, photographed Paris between the wars. These are the images that have come to be synonymous with the city of love - the city awakening at dawn, the shimmering afterglow of rain, the shoulder of a gargoyle atop a cathedral. Yvon's Paris  reproduces more than one hundred of his loveliest images, many made from recently discovered glass negatives. This is an elegant and poetic collection capturing Paris at its most photogenic.

Click here to see inside this book.

Click here to pre-order Yvon's Paris
RRP $52.95 Booktopia price $41.95 SAVE 21%


AWKWARD FAMILY PHOTOS by Mike Bender & Doug Chernack

And speaking of elegant and poetic, this book is certainly NOT! We've had a lot of fun with this one around the office. It is a collection of the most hilarious, awkward, cringe-worthy family photos based on (but not included in) the hugely popular website of the same name. The funny part of this is not that the photos exist, but that people have actually sent them in to be part of a public collection. This one is my gift of choice for 2010.

Click here to see inside some Awkward images.

Click here to buy Awkward Family Photos
RRP $22.99 Booktopia price $18.95 SAVE 22%

TRUE STORIES FROM THE HEART
THE CIRCLE OF SILENCE
 LISTENING TO COUNTRY
Shirley Shackleton

There seems hardly a time in the last 30 years that Shirley Shackleton hasn't stalked the collective conscience. Even more so now with a couple of films in commercial release concerning her late husband Greg who was killed  in East Timor in 1975.
The Circle of Silence is not another book about Balibo. It is a woman's quest  for both inner peace and outer justice and her unexpected journey as a human rights activist.

Click here to buy The Circle of Silence
Retail Price: $34.95
Booktopia
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 Ros Moriarty

It is easy to overlook the Tanami as the dead heart of Australia but Ros Moriarty has long since learned differently. As a white woman married to an Aboriginal man, she has spent a lot of time in country.
This book is her account of one particular journey through the Tanami, with about 200 women performing particular ceremonies. It was then that she learnt about the richness of culture, and the depth of humanity, that is often much overlooked in the popular imagery concerning remote communities.
This is a warm and wonderful memoir.

Click here to buy Listening to Country
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WESTBROOK
 HEART MATTERS: PERSONAL STORIES ABOUT THAT HEART STOPPING MOMENT
 William Stokes

If you grew up in Queensland in the 60s and 70s you would have heard of the notorious reform school, Westbrook. Locking a kid up in Westbrook was condemning him to a life of poverty, misery and brutality. That is of course, if he went on to live a full life.
William Stokes tells his story of Westbrook from the inside with a searing honesty that is both disturbing and compelling.

Click here to buy Westbrook
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 Peter Corris & Michael
Wilding (editors)


Alex Miller, David Williamson, Max Gilles, Gillian Mears among others, all come together to write about their own experiences of what happened when their hearts nearly let them down.
Moving, funny, sad, honest - this is both an insight into the writers' at pivotal points in their lives as well as perhaps lessons for us all.

Click here to buy Heart Matters
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WHEN HUNGRY, EAT
 DRESSED TO KILL
Joanne Fedler

Joanne Fedler and her partner left South Africa in October 2001 for Sydney, with their two small children. After an act of random violence devastated her family, Joanne knew that it was her duty to take her daughter out of the country. She arrived in Australia, a reluctant immigrant. As the losses of immigration set in – identity, history, culture, family, friendships, and life’s purpose – Joanne faltered. All she wanted was to go ‘home’. Approaching her 40th birthday,
Joanne did not know who she was or even what mattered. Then came the photo on the beach. It was a turning point. Joanne sets herself one goal over the next two years: to regain her figure by losing the weight she has put on since the birth of her children. But she soon discovers she has a lot more to lose that a couple of kilos.

Click here to read Fedler's answers to Booktopia's Ten Terrifying Questions.


Click here to buy When Hungry, Eat
Retail Price: $32.99
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 Charlotte Madison

The extraordinary and unique memoir of the first ever British female Apache helicopter pilot. We have, quite simply, never seen the landscape of 21st-century frontline conflict from a perspective like Madison's before. Dressed to Kill will appeal to anyone interested in current affairs, but it will also speak to a whole generation of young women who will relate to 27-year-old Charlotte in a way they never imagined possible. Charlotte is a  real-life Lara Croft. She is the only pilot ever to have gone 'Winchester' - used every single piece of ammunition in the Apache's awesome armoury - in a single sortie. At only 27-years-old Charlotte is a veteran of two (soon to be three) tours of duty in Afghanistan.

Click here to buy Dressed to Kill
Retail Price: $35.00
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HAND MADE
PRINTS CHARMING
 AMSTERDAM: MADE BY HAND
 SIMPLE  KNITTING
Cath Derksema &
Kirsten Junor


There is a huge appetite for craft as patrons of this Sydney shop by the same name will attest.
Prints Charming, the studio, specialises in original modern hand made fabrics and crafts. Prints Charming, the book, guides you through the world of paper cut screen printing and also includes 40 wonderful projects for you to make. Each chapter comes with a copyright-free motif for you to use when screen printing. Create the fabric and then use it in your clothes and homewares. 
Beautifully photographed,  this is more than just an instruction manual. Spiral bound to make for easy browsing and an envelope at the back of the book with pattern sheets, Prints Charming would make a great gift for you or a friend.

Click here for a look inside.

Click here to buy
Prints Charming:
Retail Price: $45.00,
Booktopia Price $35.95
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  Pia Jane
Bijerk


With an unparalleled eye for innovative design, art and all things handmade, Australian Bijerk has made a name for herself, styling internationally for everyone from Vogue Entertaining to Philips. Today the internationally acclaimed stylist and photographer continues to use her home (a barge on an Amsterdam canal) as her workshop. She delights in stepping off the beaten path and discovering the unexpected.
This book, for all lovers of things handmade, the chic and unique, whether professional or not, follows in the footsteps of her previous Paris: Made By Hand.
Gorgeous.

Click here for a look inside.

 
Click here to buy
Amsterdam: Made by
Hand
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Erika Knight

Knitting has undergone something of a renaissance over the last five years or so and this is so the time of year for a simple yet stylish workbook to get you going for the cooler months.
I have drooled over this book. Yuki Sugiara's photography works beautifully. If you are going to learn to knit, this is the book you need.

Click here to buy
Simple Knitting:

Retail Price: $39.95,
Booktopia Price $31.95 SAVE 20%
ORIGAMI BONSAI
 PLAYING WITH BOOKS
 Benjamin Coleman

This is complete indulgence on my part and then wonder about the skill (and time) required to make such intricate works.
Origami Bonsai takes your breath away. An added bonus for the craftsperson or professional artists, is that the book contains instructions on how to actually create these mini masterpieces of paper.

Click here to buy Origami Bonsai
Retail Price: $39.99,
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And on the subject of out-of-it paper crafts, check out Karakuri by Keisuki Saka. Gears, cranks, levers - paper machines a la The Hungry Beast. This book comes with directions to make 14 full-sized models.

Click here to buy Karakuri
Retail Price: $44.99,
Booktopia Price $33.95 SAVE 25%
  Jason Thompson

There has to be at least one person out there who would be inspired by this amazing book.
Thompson has curated an extensive and artistic range of both achievable upcycled crafts made from books and book pages. In addition, he includes a gallery that contains thought-provoking and beautiful works that transform books into art.
Techniques and step-by-step projects that deconstruct and rebuild books and their parts into unique, objects are all explained. The book combines in equal measure bookbinding, woodworking, paper crafting, origami, and textile and decorative arts techniques, along with a healthy dose of experimentation and funks, and paper craft.

Click here to buy Playing with Books
Retail Price: $46.99,
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AT THE TABLE
ESSENTIALLY THAI: SPIRIT HOUSE
by Helen Brierty & Annette Fear.

If you have ever had the great good fortune to sit in those fabulous pavilions and eat that wonderful food, you will know what a treat Spirit House is. Essentially Thai is the third book from the team behind the Sunshine Coast cooking school and restaurant. A hardback with silver foil on the spine, this is one very gorgeous cookbook.

Click here to see internal images.

Click here to buy Essentially Thai: Spirit House.
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ROCKPOOL by Neil Perry.

Back by popular demand, with a new format, new design and thoroughly updated, is Neil Perry's classic Rockpool. More than 75,000 copies have been sold of previous editions. With the book as stunning as the restaurant, it is easy to see why.

Click here to buy Rockpool
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THE CSIRO DIET TOTAL WELL BEING RECIPE BOOK

Out of the restaurant and into the kitchen. Its time to get real. The CSIRO diet has had real impact on the every day health of a great many Australians. Here are 130 new recipes for everyday living - breakfasts on the go, simple lunches, quick weeknight dinners. All delicious, all do-able, all delightfully healthy.

Click here to buy The CSIRO Diet Total Well Being Recipe Book.
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THIRTEEN AND UP
This is one of the strongest months in young adult fiction I have seen for a long time. For a start, there are three really impressive cross-over titles:

BEAUTIFUL MALICE by Rebecca James

MONSTERS OF MEN by Patrick Ness

JASPER JONES (ya edition) by Craig Silvey

James, Ness and Silvey answer Booktopia's Ten Terrifying Questions here.

There is a young adult edition of Delphine de Vigan's No and Me (which has created a sensation in France with both teenage and adult readers alike). I am cursing that I haven't had time to read yet John Green's Will Grayson Will Grayson, because I am a major Green fan, as are all the teens I know. Alice Kuipers (wife of Yann Martel - now there is a power couple) is back with The Worst Thing She Ever Did. There is a new one from Sally Gardner - in her historical drama series - The Silver Blade. An old Markus Zusak is back in print after an absence of some years (When Dogs Cry) and there is plenty for the vampire lovers with Richelle Mead's Spirit Bound amongst others.

Don't just take my word for it. Get the teen in your family to look at our May selection. The perfect study break.

Click on the titles to order.

   
Booktopia.com.au
Archives
In This Issue

Editorial

Signed copies

Toni's two books of the month

Big names in quality fiction


Australian fiction

Best new crime writing

Graphics and mashups

Books our publishers love

Bestsellers overseas, now in English

Non Fiction - the world we live in

Sport

Design

Hearts and minds

Best coffee table books

Memoir and more

Handmade

At the table

Thirteen and up

Booktopia's favourites for May

Affordable new editions

Huge names return to print
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THE BEST FROM OUR PUBLISHERS

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




















STILL NOT ENOUGH CHOICE? Booktopia's  May Favourites
Categories

Fiction

Non Fiction

Babies and Children

Young Adults

GREAT FICTION - LOWER PRICE

Here is an opportunity to pick up the new editions of some absolute best sellers, now at a much lower price.

PARROT AND OLIVIER IN AMERICA
Peter Carey
Booktopia Price: $25.95  SAVE 21%








BETWEEN THE ASSASSINATIONS

Aravind Adiga
Booktopia Price: $16.95  SAVE 26%
INFINITIES
John Banville
Booktopia Price: $16.95  SAVE26%
JASPER JONES
Craig Silvey
Booktopia Price: $23.95
JASPER JONES (ya edition)
Craig Silvey
Booktopia Price: $19.95








THE FIVE GREATEST WARRIORS

Matthew Reilly
Booktopia Price: $25.95  SAVE 21%
THE SECRET RIVER
Kate Grenville
Booktopia Price$19.95  SAVE 20%








THE SCARECROW

Michael Connelly
Booktopia Price: $12.95 SAVE 35%
LESS THAN ZERO (new edition)
Brett Easton Ellis LIMITED STOCK AVAILABLE
Booktopia Price:     $16.95  SAVE 26%
THE KINDLY ONES
Jonathan Littell
Booktopia Price:     $18.95  SAVE 32%

MOTHER'S DAY
You better be quick. Click on the image above for all our best suggestions for that special day.
Lots of in stock items ready to ship.

COMPLETELY UNIQUE
After the death of her brother, poet Anne Carson made a beautiful handmade book with her timeless words about loss as well as photos, snippets, stamps, aerograms and handwritten fragments. Nox is a facsimile of her original book and it is presented in a superb silver box. This is a moving work and a beautiful object.

Click here to buy Nox.
Retail Price: $39.95, Booktopia Price: $31.95 SAVE 20%
BIG NAMES IN HOLLYWOOD WITH BIG NEW STORIES



DIMITER
by William Peter Blatty

A master story teller, William Peter Blatty has been working on since 1974. Blatty has thrilled generations of readers with his iconic bestseller The Exorcist. Now Blatty gives us Dimiter, a riveting story of violence, murder, and suspense. Laced with themes of faith and love, sin and forgiveness, vengeance and compassion, it is a novel in the grand tradition of Morris West's The Devil's Advocate and the Catholic novels of Graham Greene.  Dimiter is part detective story and part religious thriller and has been likened to The Name of the Rose.

Click here to buy Dimiter
Retail Price: $32.99
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THE CARRIE DIARIES
by Candace Bushnell

Before Manolos, before Cosmopolitans, and before she was queen of the NYC social scene, Carrie was just a high school kid like any other. Written as a prequel to Sex and the City, this is Carrie's story as a high school girl, long before New York was even a dream.
Fans will be lining up to see the second movie next month (June), and the movie guide, Sex and the CitySex in the City 2: The Official Movie Companion is available to pre-order for June delivery.

Click here for a clip of Candace Bushnell.

The Carrie Diaries
Retail Price: $24.99
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FICTION SHORTS














36 ARGUMENTS FOR THE EXISTENCE OF GOD: A NOVEL by Rebecca Goldstein

This is a clever, funny take on belief, atheism and the things one does to get ahead. Click here to read my blog on this book.

36 Arguments for the Existence of God: A Novel
Retail Price: $29.99
Booktopia Price:    $23.95 SAVE 20%

THE GOOD MAN JESUS AND THE SCOUNDREL CHRIST by Philip Pullman

And while we are on the subject, who else but Pullman could pull this off? His own fictionalised account of matters weighty some 2000 years ago.

Click here to read an extract.

The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ
Retail Price: $32.95
Booktopia Price:
$25.95 SAVE 21%