Booktopia Buzz
SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2008 | Edition #3
 
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Dear Reader

Well done to Toni, our editor, on putting together the most comprehensive newsletter yet. There really is something for everybody. My picks are Gone and the Layne Beachley autobiography.

On another note, as the market tightens and Australians are getting a little more careful on how they spend their money, we have noticed more of you buying self-education, learning and self-improvement books. So to assist you in your quest to further your career and work qualifications we have been able to organise exclusively for all Booktopia Buzz readers, a $200 Study scholarship from one of our long term education partners, Cengage Education. For 100+ online and distance education courses, please click on this banner.

To receive the Study scholarship you must enrol by phoning 1300 853 033 by 5pm on September 30, 2008 and mention Booktopia.

Kind regards

Tony Nash
General Manager

BUZZ IN BRIEF

What an issue we have for you this month! As you can see by the number of reviews, it is absolutely overflowing with descriptions of some really wonderful books as it is at this time of year that we start to see the big titles and the exceptionally beautiful books that are all about giving and indulging. And of course, it wouldn't be a Booktopia Buzz without a great special offer and terrific competition. Click here to read more...

Toni Whitmont
Editor


GREAT BOOKS, GREAT DEALS
We just love to bring you really special books at really special prices and this month we have something that we know are you are not going to be able to resist.

First up, a reminder, that Christopher Paolini's Brisingr is being released on Saturday September 20 and we have it at the very tempting price of $24.95 - $10 off.

Even more exciting is from the series, Icons of World Sport: Don Bradman, the official commemorative book for the Don Bradman centenary. It is beautiful to look at, content-rich, full of new and original material. 

Do you know that Don Bradman's test average was 99.94 runs per innings?

Well, we have a special deal for $99.94, you can buy the Don Bradman book and Glenn McGrath's latest release, Line & Strength. Save over $30.

         +  = $99.94

Click to buy
TONI'S BOOK OF THE MONTH   EXTRAORDINARY OPPORTUNITY

The Gargoyle
Andrew Davidson

Some books are to be enjoyed like a fine wine. They are to be savoured, and sipped. You want to pause during the reading, perhaps go back and luxuriate in re-reading  a particular passage purely for the delight of the words. They are to be opened, then allowed to breathe, before being enjoyed gradually.

The Gargoyle is not one of those books. The Gargoyle is a one-sitting book. It grabs you by the throat at the beginning and it doesn’t let you go until you hurtle out at the other end a day or so later. That is not to say that Andrew Davidson’s debut novel is not finely written. In fact, the writing is elegant and well-constructed. But it is the subject matter and story line which are so compelling from the very first page. + READ MORE

 

Earth Blue
Millenium House

There was a huge queue at BookExpo America a few months ago to look at Earth Blue, and when it was finally our turn, it took our breath away. For a start, it is huge. Delivered with its own plinth, Earth Blue stands at 61cm high, and once the stunning gatefolds open, its breadth is 2 metres. It weighs 30 kg. Once we got over the sheer size of this leather-bound slip-cased volume however, it was its beauty and comprehensive coverage that left the most lasting impression. Quite simply, this is the most beautiful atlas in the world. Only 3,000 copies of this highly prized volume will be printed. For the map enthusiast, the collector, the armchair traveller, or for those who enjoy luxury, this beautiful  limited edition is a "must-have". It retails for $5000, Booktopia is selling this collectible for $4499.
+ READ MORE

TRIP DOWN MEMORY LANE

Penguin Classics - They're Back

What is it about those familiar orange and cream jackets that immediately takes you back to another time? Why, seventy years after the appearance of that little penguin silhouette, do we still associate the brand with quality fiction? And how good is it that you can still buy brilliant, timeless classics at such a reasonable price?
In 1935, publisher Allen Lane found himself returning by train after visiting Agatha Christie wishing he had a good book to read that could slip into his pocket. Enter the Penguin!
This month sees the launch of 49 perennial classics for less than $9 (Booktopia price). If there was ever a time to finally get around to reading Truman Capote's In Cold Blood or Jack Kerouac's On the Road, it is now.

+ READ MORE


BOOK BUZZ
Here it is, the best of the best. These are the books we've loved reading this month.
CONSEQUENCES OF LOVE
  DEWEY
Sulaiman Addonia

Every now and then a book comes along that captures the imagination so thoroughly that it takes over your life. Appointments are delayed or postponed, domestic chores are put aside, suddenly every spare minute is squeezed into reading just another page or two. Such was the case when Sulaiman Addonia's debut novel, The Consequences of Love, was put into my hands. The novel, based on the author's real life experiences, is set in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in the 1980s. Addonia's special and exquisite skill is to paint a picture of a world so foreign to us, and so extraordinary, that one is instantly transported there.
+ READ MORE
  Vicky Myron

"Dewey didn't do one heroic thing: he did something heroic every day. He spent his time changing lives right here in Spencer, Iowa, one lap at a time".

I didn't want to enjoy Dewey. I didn't want to fall under its spell. But having first heard of it earlier in the year when it was the talk of BookExpo America, I felt compelled to read it. Vicky Myron has penned a remarkably likable and readable story about one little cat, one little town and the power of compassion. You don't need to be a cat lover to enjoy this book although you will certainly end up as one. You do need a box of tissues however.
+ READ MORE
DECEPTION
  THE 19th WIFE
Michael Meehan

From the blood-soaked streets of the 1870 siege of Paris to the student riots of the 1960s,  from a barren, windswept Australian desert landscape to the appalling penal colonies of 19th century New Caledonia,  Deception tells an epic, dramatic and sweeping story. It is a novel about history and memory and how the passage of time can sometimes leave fiction as the only reliable historical record.

The story is told through the experiences of Nick, a young Australian student in Paris in search of lost memories. Nick gradually assembles the fragments of his family's story  until its entire history is unearthed, but not without the pain that seems to cling to the bad memories, disinterred from the dark silence of a half-forgotten past.
+ READ MORE
  David Eberschoff

The 19th Wife combines epic historical fiction with a modern murder mystery to create a pretty classy novel full of literary suspense.
 
Part fact, part fiction, Ebershoff re-introduces us to the true story of Ann Eliza Young, who in 1875 had recently separated from her powerful husband, Brigham Young, prophet and leader of the Mormon Church.

Soon after Ann Eliza's story begins, a second (completely fictional) narrative unfolds - a tale of murder involving a polygamist family in present-day Utah. As the two narratives intertwine,  readers are pulled deeper into the mysteries of love and faith.
+ READ MORE
MORE GREAT READS

Not surprisingly at this time of year, there is a huge amount of really wonderful material being published. Other new fiction titles we love at the moment are:

Egyptian author al Aswany takes us to post-September 11 Chicago where a group of Egyptian and American characters centred around a university intersect in surprising ways.

Perhaps best known for Brokeback Mountain, Annie Proulx is back to her best with this latest collection of short stories all deeply sympathetic to the men and women fighting to survive in Wyoming.

Inspired by the 1790 notebooks of William Dawes, The Lieutenant  is a story about a man discovering his true self in extraordinary circumstances. At the dawn of the English settlement in Australia,  Lieutenant Thomas Rooke makes contact with an Aboriginal woman called Tarunga and nothing is ever the same again for either of them.

From the acclaimed author of Affection comes a gripping historical novel which takes place in 1899 while cyclone Mahina was bearing down on the far north Queensland coast.

Capturing the character of Japan in the midst of revolution and faced with the onset of modernity, Mitsugu Saotome's masterful novel manages to blend historical detail with a timeless tale of romance, self-discovery and growing up.

From the author of Maps for Lost Lovers, a new novel, beautiful and blistering, about war today told through the lives of five people who come together by chance in post 9/11 Afghanistan.
+ READ MORE
YOU READ ABOUT IT HERE FIRST
Each issue, Booktopia Buzz likes to bring you the best of the best, no matter where it comes from. So if you like what we like, and you can't wait for the local publishers to catch up, we are more than happy to deliver these titles from their US suppliers, to your door!
+ READ MORE
THE TOSS OF A LEMON
Padma Viswanathan

In a fiction debut to rival The God of Small Things, Padma Viswanathan gives us a rich, detailed and intimate vision of an India we've never seen.
Inspired by her family history, Viswanathan brings us deep inside the private lives of a Brahmin family as the subcontinent moves through sixty years of intense social and political change.  The Toss of a Lemon is heartbreaking and exhilarating, profoundly exotic and yet utterly readable.
+ READ MORE
  THE FLYING TROUTMANS
Miriam Toews


Meet the Troutmans. Mum has checked into the psych ward and her sister Hattie has bundled up the two kids and headed off on a road trip looking for their long vanished father.

Funny, engaging and captivating, full of richly skewed delicious details, this is a refreshing clarion call to a re-examination of matters of hearth and home.
+ READ MORE
  IN HOVERING FLIGHT
Joyce Hinnefeld

The mother-daughter dynamic has never been so taut.  The prose has rarely been so evocative. In Hovering Flight is the debut novel from an American writer who has been curiously overlooked in Australia. Musical and dramatic,  multi-layered and intricate,   In Hovering Flight  explores the competition that exists among the closest of women.
+ READ MORE
FROM THE VAULT
MIDNIGHT'S CHILDREN - Salman Rushdie
There is a reason why Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children was recently voted the best of the best out of all 40 Man Booker prize winners. Quite simply it is densely written and lavish, a magical haunting tale of both fragmentation and the struggle for identity that links personal lives with national history.  Booktopia Buzz revisited this epic novel recently, and consumed it all over again, with great relish.

+ READ MORE
REALITY BITES
GONE
  STUFF WHITE PEOPLE LIKE
A Woman's Search for her Abducted Daughter
Margaret Wilcox

Margaret popped out to the shops one day to buy medicines for her daughter, only to come back to find that she had been abducted by her father. It took a fourteen year search to get her back again. Gone is the searing, passionate story of that search, and of the rebuilding of their relationship.
+ READ MORE
  A Definitive Guide to the Unique Taste of Millions
Christian Lander

Christian Lander puts a blowtorch to the belly of white, middle class cultural pretension and he is one very funny guy. We've heard him speak and laughed out loud. And he is just as funny on paper as he is face to face. Guaranteed to put a smile on the dial.
+ READ MORE
AUSTRALIAN GREATS
  LAYNE BEACHLEY
Peter Cochrane

This is a fascinating and wide-ranging collection of pieces by noteworthy writers, commentators, larrikins and curmudgeons on distinctive and sometimes surprising aspects of Australian life and history. With more than 500 entries, this is veritable cornucopia of antipodean lore.
+ READ MORE
  Beneath the Waves
Layne Beachley and Michael Gordon

Don't write this off as just a  surfing autobiography. Layne has an amazing story to tell, from her very conception to her record breaking champion winning streak. This is one powerful, poignant and moving book.
+ READ MORE
More cheap, fast and fabulous receipes from this dynamic Brisbane-based team. If you are busy or on a tight budget, you'll want this on your kitchen shelf and you'll use it every day.

Truth sure can be stranger than fiction. Kent Whitaker recounts the murder of most of his family, and his ability to forgive the perpetrator, even though it was one of his son's that pulled the trigger. This is Jodi Picoult territory - only for real.

Imagine cheering on your national foothball team as your country falls apart, or risking suicide bombers and kidnappers in the quest to get your daily groceries,  or driving your wife to hospital through roadblocks manned by terrorists as she is about to give birth. Oliver Poole has lived and breathed Iraq for years and this is his extraordinary account what passes for daily life for Baghdadis.

What could be more timely than Mike Moore's take on democracy, US style? After all, "it is easily the best system in the world, ever. which is why so many countries are desperate to have it enforced on them by soldiers". Behind the posturing and the preselections, this is what makes "the home of the brave and the land of the free" really tick.

David Hill artfully reconstructs the experiences of the famous and infamous men and women of the First Fleet,  combining narrative skill with an eye for detail and an exceptional empathy for the people of the past.

The astonishing life stories of 14 remarkable women -  full of life's triumphs and tragedies, completely life-affirming, and so uniquely Australian.

+ READ MORE
LAVISH BOOKS TO LINGER OVER
Naming the Rose: Discovering Who Roses Are Named For
Roger Mann

This is gorgeous - over one hundred stories of the special individuals for whom the blooms are named, double page spreads for each entry, and huge lucsious photos of the roses. This is a treat for the gardener, or anyone who loves to linger over a beautifully produced book.
+ READ MORE
  Vanity Fair Portraits: A Century of Iconic Images

What can we say? Landmark images, the pictures that have charted our cultural history, all sourced  from the magazine that itself has become the benchmark of  modern style.  Vanity Fair Portraits presents an authoritative roster of fame, talent, glamour amidst the  defining moments of  global affairs.
+ READ MORE
  Work: The World in Photographs
Ferdinand Protzman

Culled from National Geographic's vast photographic archive, this is a wonderfully varied  portrait of people at work. This photographic essay covers cities and villages, fields, factories, food carts and four star restaurants and just about everywhere else we earn our keep.
+ READ MORE
LATE EXTRA -  JUST BECAUSE WE CAN'T RESIST
SKELETONS AT THE FEAST
  ANTONIO'S SEED
Chris Bohjalian

We've been up late all week with this one and it simply couldn't bear to hold it over another month.

Skeletons at the Feast is the European theatre of WWII like you have never read before. It is set in Poland and Germany during the last desperate months of the German retreat to the west. It has a cast of characters that only the chaos of war could possibly throw together. Bohjalian is the consummate story teller who weaves  "a rich tapestry that puts a face on one of the 20th century's greatest tragedies while creating a masterpiece that will haunt readers ." Buy it here.
  Merry Watson

Booktopia Buzz would like to congratulate local author and Booktopia "discovery" Merry Watson, whose book Antonio's Seed has been shortlisted for the Victorian Premier's Literary Awards Grollo Ruzzene Foundation Prize for writing about Italians in Australia.

Based on true life events, Watson's particular skill as a novelist is to inculcate in the reader the same fear that is felt by the characters in the story - a fear caused by the  protagonist, the bitter Antonio, who presides over his family in a reign of terror that is described in prescient, chilling detail. Buy it here.
MY AMALFI COAST
  THE OTHER HAND
Amanda Tabberer and Carla Coulson

Amanda Tabberer lived in Positano with her Italian partner for more than a decade. This is a sumptuous memoir, perfectly complimented by Carla Coulson's evocative photography.
+ READ MORE
  Chris Cleave


An ambitious and fearless gallop from the jungles of Africa via a shocking encounter on a Nigerian beach, to the media offices of London and the domesticity in leafy suburbia, from the author of the searing Incendiary.
+ READ MORE
BOOKS FOR THE VERY YOUNG - AND THE YOUNG AT HEART
EMILY AND THE BIG BAD BUNYIP 
By Jackie French
Much loved, lauded and certainly prolific picture book author Jackie French has been on a roll with her charming stories of Australian animals which are just as much fun for adults as they are for their fans of two to six year olds. All wittily illustrated by Bruce Whatley, Emily and the Big Bad Bunyip joins the ranks of Diary of a WombatPete the Sheep and Josephine Wants to Dance, winners all of them.
Read More
TEN LITTLE FINGERS
Helen Oxenbury and Mem Fox

Two towering presences in picture books have come together to create a simple, beautiful and delightful story with all the essential ingredients for a really good picture book. This one is sure to become a classic.
+ READ MORE
  VICTOR'S QUEST
Pamela Freeman and Kim Gamble

A delightful first chapter book for newly confident readers up to the age of eight, about Prince Victor, who is not very bright, his horse Quince, who is, and a quest to find not just an ordinary princess.
+ READ MORE
  OCTAVIUS O'MALLEY & THE MYSTERY OF THE CRIMINAL CATS
Alan Sunderland

We have been  fans of this delightful series of funny, action-packed and irreverent adventures of Octavius the private detective rat from the beginning and this latest stand alone episode certainly doesn't disappoint.
+ READ MORE
BIG READS FOR TEENS
BOOFHEADS
Mo Johnson

Almost a primer on how boys in their late teens can behave, Boofheads is an issue book which is funny and engaging and for once, will appeal to precisely the sort of people it is aimed squarely at - young men and women, 16 plus.
+ READ MORE
  INTO WHITE SILENCE
Anthony Eaton

Satisfying for young adults and older readers alike, Into White Silence is the story of one long cold winter in 1922 when an exploration vessel became trapped in Antarctic pack ice, entombing the 28 men aboard in the dark polar night.
+ READ MORE
  ABSOLUTELY TRUE STORY OF A PART-TIME INDIAN
Alexie Sherman

This book is creating a storm of excitement and little wonder. It is original, honest, funny, wonderfully memorable account of a young native American who charts a course part-way between his white and indigenous heritages. A treat for both teens and adults alike.
+ READ MORE
This is the fifth stand-alone adventure of James Bond , still spy-in-waiting , still attending Eton. Set in the Alps while he is on hoildays, By Royal Command involves, secrets, lies and yes, even a beautiful girl.

You couldn't get a more well known Australian author of young adult's books than John Marsden, and he couldn't tackle a more courageous subject. Marsden's novelised version of Hamlet is at once accessible, and masterful.

Lanagan treads the dark paths of fantasy like no other, so if you like your Grimm's Tales with a real twist, and you are over fifteen, you will be relish Tender Morsels.

The Declaration was her outstanding debut. Now Malley is back with the frighteningly topical The Resistance and her chilling take on our obsession with staying young.

A big, beautiful, graphic novel of 120 lavishly illustrated pages, this one is for people who respond to the interplay between great story telling and incredible visual stimulation. Definitely for teens.

Having made a name for herself on the Fan Fiction website, Cassandra Clare has stepped out into the real world of publishing with Mortal Instruments, a witty, action-packed urban fantasy of vampires, warlocks and shapeshifters. Welcome back to New York's Downworld, where love is never safe and power becomes the deadliest of weapons.

+ READ MORE
UP COMING EVENTS
September 12 - October 27
2008 Inky Awards
Vote on line for these awards which honour the best Australian and international writing for young adults.
To find out more how to vote, click here.
September 16
Queensland Premier's Literary Awards
Announcement of winners.
For more information, click here.
September 17 - 21
Brisbane Writers' Festival
A feast of activities for lovers of great books and writing, featuring Yann Martel, Kate Grenville and Robert Drewe amongst many others.
For information, click here
October 1 - 5
Australian Family Therapists' Award for Children's Literature to be presented in Brisbane.
Contact Margaret Hodge for further information on 03 - 97271958
October 14
Winner of the 2008 Man Booker Prize announced.
To see the short list (which features Booktopia Buzz' favourites A Fraction of the Whole and Sea of Poppies), click here.
October 15 - 19
Frankfurt Book Fair
The biggest annual event on the international publishing calendar.
October 25 - 27
The Sixth International Conference on the Book
The Catholic University of America, Washington DC
Is the book doomed or will it thrive as a cultural and commercial artifact?
For more details, click here.

TECHNO BUZZ
Macs
Paul McFedries

The clever people at Mac are putting together a new series of books called Portable Genius which are fun, hip and straightforward. This one tells you everything you need to know about pushing  your Mac to the max.
+ READ MORE
  MacBook
Brad Miser

Number two in the series - how to connect to other Macs, how to use Expose to its fullest potential, how to troubleshoot etc. This is guide to really make your MacBook IQ soar.

+ READ MORE
  MacBook Pro
Brad Miser

A savvy Portable Genius guide for the MacBook Pro, with useful tips, insider secrets, full-colour screenshots and pages of easy-to-access shortcuts.
+ READ MORE
BARGAIN BOOKS

There's no doubt about it, Booktopia Buzz readers sure do like a bargain.
For those of you who haven't caught up with the news, we now have many new titles at bargain prices. All of these titles are in stock at our warehouse,  ready to ship straight away. They make for ideal gifts as well as really good reads at an exceptionally low price. The two that are racing off our shelves at the moment are Greg Iles' suspense thriller True Evil, and Louise Rennison's teen/movie-goers'" favourite author, Then He Ate My Boy Entrancers.

Our Bargain Books are fast becoming one of our best selling categories. Stock changes all the time. Click here to buy.

   
 
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WHISPERS
What to look out for over the next few months.

Tales of the Beedle Bard by JK Rowling
Five stories, translated by Hermoine, essential reading for all Harry Potter fans, with part of the profit going to charity.
Available December.
Click here to pre-order.

Kick! by
Rufus Butler Seder

Another scanimation book from the person behind the Gallop!, which has turned out to be the best selling novelty book for ages six to sixty in the last year.
Available November.
Click here to pre-order.

The Mighty Book of Boosh by Julian Barratt and Noel Fielding
Anarchic UK comedians, who enjoy a cult late night following on TV here, will have their mighty book of mighty humour on the shelves here in late November. The perfect Christmas gift for those under 25s that you don't know so well.
Click here to pre-order.
EXCLUSIVE OFFER TO BOOKTOPIA CUSTOMERS

Win a Ranger's Apprentice Library consisting of all 8 books (including the forthcoming Kings of Clonmel) personalised with  your name, signed  by John Flanagan.

Ranger's Apprentice 8: The Kings of Clonmel is being released in early November. Go into the draw to win this fabulous prize by clicking here to pre-order "Kings". Email us here with your name  and your order number to go into the draw. And if you want us to ask John any questions on your behalf, use the same address. We'll bring you his answers with the next edition of Booktopia Buzz.

Buy Rangers Apprentice books here
BESTSELLERS
Breaking Dawn
STEPHENIE MEYER
Twilight
STEPHENIE MEYER
4 Ingredients 2
MCCOSKER & BERMINGHAM
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
J.K. ROWLING
New Moon
STEPHENIE MEYER
The Forgotten Garden
KATE MORTON
Eclipse
STEPHENIE MEYER
Eat, Pray, Love
ELIZABETH GILBERT
A Thousand Splendid Suns
KHALED HOSSEINI

LATE NEWS

Top selling Linda La Plante has been accused of plagarism with her 1993 novel Entwinted, parts of which are supposedly lifted from Olga Lengyel's Holocaust memorial, Five Chimneys. La Plante has blamed her former research assistant.

JK Rowling has won a legal victory in the US with the prevention of the publishing of the Harry Potter Lexicon, an unauthorised encyclopedia of all things Hogwarts, based on a fan website.

NZ author Margaret Mahy has been nominated for the prestigious Astrid Lindgren award for writing for children and young people. With $A920,000 up for grabs, this is the richest prize of its type and was last won by Australian Sonya Hartnett.

 
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