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.
|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...
|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
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
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
+ = $99.94
Click to buy
BOOK OF THE MONTH
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
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|
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
|Here it is, the best of the best. These are the books we've
loved reading this month.|
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
"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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
|YOU READ ABOUT IT HERE
|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
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.
THE FLYING TROUTMANS
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.
IN HOVERING FLIGHT|
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.
|FROM THE VAULT|
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.
WHITE PEOPLE LIKE|
A Woman's Search for her Abducted
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.
A Definitive Guide to the Unique Taste
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.
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
Beneath the Waves|
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.
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
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
|LAVISH BOOKS TO LINGER
Naming the Rose: Discovering Who Roses
Are Named For
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.
Vanity Fair Portraits: A Century of
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.
Work: The World in Photographs|
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.
|LATE EXTRA -
JUST BECAUSE WE CAN'T RESIST|
AT THE FEAST
| 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.
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.
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.
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.
|BOOKS FOR THE VERY
YOUNG - AND THE YOUNG AT HEART|
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 Wombat,
Pete the Sheep and Josephine Wants to Dance, winners all
TEN LITTLE FINGERS
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
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.
OCTAVIUS O'MALLEY & THE MYSTERY OF
THE CRIMINAL CATS|
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.
|BIG READS FOR TEENS|
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.
INTO WHITE SILENCE
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
ABSOLUTELY TRUE STORY OF A PART-TIME
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.
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
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.
|UP COMING EVENTS|
September 12 - October 27
Inky AwardsSeptember 16
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
Premier's Literary Awards September 17 - 21
Announcement of winners.
For more information, click here
October 1 - 5
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
Family Therapists' Award for Children's Literature to be
presented in Brisbane.October 14
Contact Margaret Hodge for further information on 03 - 97271958
of the 2008 Man Booker Prize announced.October 15 - 19
To see the short list (which features Booktopia
' favourites A Fraction of
and Sea of Poppies
Book FairOctober 25 - 27
The biggest annual event on the international publishing calendar.
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
For more details, click here
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.
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.
A savvy Portable Genius guide
for the MacBook Pro, with useful tips, insider secrets, full-colour
screenshots and pages of easy-to-access shortcuts.
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.
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.
Click here to pre-order.
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.
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
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
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.