Winter’s come – time to eat.

I bet you’re hungry. It’s the cold weather, you know. Every year around this time I start thinking of beef casseroles, of thick, hearty soups, crusty bread and of roast dinners.

I love feasting in winter, especially if its cold and rainy outside. And baking too. Who doesn’t like to be sitting on the couch near the heater, the rain pelting  against the window pane, when the aroma of muffins, or cakes, or brownies baking in the oven comes wafting through the house?

Well, there has to be some pros to balance the cons of winter!

Oops, almost forgot, there’s a good reason why you’re receiving this newsletter, I want to show you all of the exciting and scrumptious new food and drink titles just out or just about to be released. So here goes – Bon appétit!



It Tastes Better : Over 100 New Recipes Using My Favourite Sustainable Produce


‘This book is a celebration of all the growers, farmers, fishermen, artisans and food providores I have met . . . a tribute to the people behind the food I love.’

In It Tastes Better, Kylie Kwong has created over 100 recipes inspired by fresh, seasonal and sustainably produced food, including Salad of Poached Squid with Pickled Cucumber, Dill & Chilli, Red-Braised Lamb Shoulder with Roast Garlic & Tamari Dressing, and an irresistible Pavlova.

Embarking on a journey around Australia to meet the people behind the sustainable produce she is so passionate about, Kylie learns about the care they take to produce food that literally tastes better. By sharing her simple, vibrant recipes, Kylie shows that you don’t need exotic ingredients to create magical dishes – just fresh, flavoursome food that has been produced in the most beneficial way for us and the planet.

Click here to buy It Tastes Better:
RRP: $69.95, Booktopia Price: $55.95 SAVE 20%


Rump and a Rough Red

Greg Duncan Powell

‘When ingredients are limited, the most important ingredient is ingenuity.’

There is a real art to cooking on a budget, an art that food and wine writer Greg Duncan Powell revives in Rump and a Rough Red. Each chapter focuses on a single classic ingredient and different ways to cook and serve it, always with an eye to thrift and flavour, and the glass of wine you’re going to drink with the dish. Whether it’s a peppered rump, lamb curry or apple and walnut cake, Greg complements his recipes with witty, engaging anecdotes about food and wine.

Click here to buy Rump and a Rough Red:
RRP: $29.95, Booktopia Price: $25.95 SAVE 13%


The Soup Book

Sophie Grigson

Delicious soup recipes for the whole family.

Discover over 150 tried-and-tested soup recipes organised by ingredient. From pasta and noodles to meat and winter vegetables, turn surplus food in your fridge into mouth-watering meals.

Handy tips on preparation and cooking times, freezing advice, nutrition information and ‘cheap eat’ symbols will help you choose the best soup to whip up. Step-by-step instructions make cooking simple, guiding you through all the essential techniques from how to puree to making stock.

Click here to buy The Soup Book:
RRP: $33.00, Booktopia Price: $27.95 SAVE 20%


My Table

Pete Evans

Pete Evans is a chef, restaurateur, television presenter and fisherman. He’s also a man who believes entertaining should be as much fun for the cook as for the guests around the table. This collection of recipes is what Pete serves to family and friends at his own table – simply prepared, stylishly casual, unbelievably great food.

Click here to ORDER My Table: Food With Friends:
RRP: $45.00, Booktopia Price: $38.95 SAVE 13%

NB: Books Discounted For A Limited Time Only

P.S. If you like the look of any of Booktopia’s books as you browse, throw them into your Wish List. There is no obligation to buy and you’ll find it very handy later when you sort the must have nows from the maybes and the why did I pick thats!

Also, as we charge $6.50 postage per order and not per book, buying more books at one time will save you money. So fill your wish list and buy in batches when convenient – it’s the cheapest and easiest way to shop on Booktopia.

Family Album by Penelope Lively

Penelope Lively is, in my humble opinion, one of the few truly fine writers working today and I use the word ‘fine’ intentionally for when I think of her writing I think of spare, uncluttered prose, clearly drawn characters, efficiently described  but physically real settings, effectively communicated emotions and precisely imagined and true-to-life behaviour.

Penelope Lively’s novel Family Album was released in hardcover late last year and received favourable reviews. Family Album is now available in the an affordable paperback.

Click Here to Buy Family Album $18.95 SAVE 24%

Family Album: Allersmead is a big shabby Victorian suburban house. The perfect place to grow up for elegant Sandra, difficult Gina, destructive Paul, considerate Katie, clever Roger and flighty Clare.

But was it?

As adults, the children return to Allersmead one by one. To their home-making mother and aloof writer father, and a house that for years has played silent witness to a family’s secrets. And one devastating secret of which no one speaks . . .

FAMILY ALBUM is one of those ridiculously simple, ridiculously readable novels whose artistry only becomes apparent when you put it down with a sigh of regret, having devoured it in a sitting.
It is probably too low-key to make a literary splash, but more than 20 years after winning the Booker with
MOON TIGER, Lively still displays an economy and an elegance that put younger writers to shame. David Robson, Sunday Telegraph.

I have come to associate Penelope Lively with William Trevor, Marilynne Robinson, Alice Munro and even Anita Brookner –  writers whose obvious shared attribute is their plain but powerful prose and their individual search for perfection in form and expression.

If you’re already a fan of one or all of these authors then we recommend Lively’s Family Album, but, if some of these authors are unknown to you, we heartily recommend them all. In fact, we are slightly jealous, experiencing writers like Lively, Trevor or Munro for the first time is a pleasure one can only experience once.

Shiver and Linger by Maggie Stiefvater

Vampires are soooo yesterday. I can’t believe I ever thought they were cool. How embarrassment!

Now… Werewolves, on the other hand, they are something altogether different.

What could be better? Part lover, part pet? Hmmm… looks a bit weird now that I’ve written it… but what the hey, in the competition between red blooded Jacob and bloodless Edward, there was only ever going to be one winner!

Prediction: Shiver will be the Paranormal YA book of 2010.

For years, Grace has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf – her wolf – is a chilling presence she can’t seem to live without. Meanwhile, Sam has lived two lives: in winter, the frozen woods, the protection of the pack, and the silent company of a fearless girl; and in summer, a few precious months of being human . . . until the cold makes him shift back again.

Now, Grace meets a yellow-eyed boy whose familiarity takes her breath away. It’s her wolf. It has to be. But as winter nears, Sam must fight to stay human-or risk losing himself, and Grace, forever.

And there isn’t a long wait for the sequel… Linger comes out 1 Aug 2010! Yay! Click here to pre-order…

Werewolves, sound great don’t they?

Oh, who am I kidding! Edward! Edward! I’ll never leave you! …Ahem! Did I say that out aloud? Surely we can all get along together – human, vampire and werewolf?

Click Here to Pre-Order SHIVER for the Low, Low Price of $12.95 SAVE  35%

An audio edition of Shiver will be available on CD (click here) & MP3 (click here).

Promises to Keep by Jane Green (Love Verb in the UK)

Do you think its time for a fun read? Yes?

I offer you Jane Green.

If you have not read Jane Green in the past – a gentle warning – she is addictive. For those already hooked on her fun, vibrant, moving novels – your new fix is almost here!

Jane Green, was born in London and has lived in Connecticut for seven years. One of the founding writers behind the genre known as ‘chick lit’, Green now writes novels that reflect the lives of real women today, with all the trials and tribulations that come with real life: from in-laws, motherhood, mid-life crises and loss, all of which are told with Green’s trademark warmth, wit and wisdom.

About Promises to Keep: Love is not an abstract idea. It is not saying ‘I’m here for you, let me know if you need me’. It’s making the decision, when someone close to you is in trouble, about what you will DO to fix as much as you can for them. It’s a ‘doing’ thing. A verb.

For Callie, love is about looking after her family – her husband and two children – and their beautiful home.

For Steff, Callie’s younger sister, love is about experiencing all that life has to offer without having to ever settle down.

For Lila, Callie’s best friend, love is about finding a soulmate. And when she meets divorced father-of-two Eddie, she knows her search is over.

For Walter and Honor, Callie and Steff’s divorced parents, love is about caring for the daughters they share.
Then Callie gets some life-changing news. And suddenly the whole family is about to understand what ‘love’ really, really means . . .

Click here to read an extract. (just press the tab – Extract)

Jane Green has always been a favourite amongst ‘chick-lit’ readers but we know she pushes out beyond that label. I don’t hesitate recommending Jane Green to those who love Sex and the City, Marian Keyes and Bridget Jones, but I  also don’t it think  it a stretch to suggest that those who love Anita Shreve, Jodi Picoult or Erica James might find themselves quite enjoying her too!

You deserve a Jane Green break!

Melanie Milburne, an Award Winning Harlequin Mills and Boon author, Answers Ten Terrifying Questions

The Booktopia Book Guru Asks

Melanie Milburne,

a Harlequin Mills and Boon author,

Ten Terrifying Questions


1. To begin with why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself-where you were born? Raised? Schooled?

I was born in the north western suburbs of Sydney in a little market garden community called Schofields. I went to school at Plumpton Primary (which no longer exists) and then to high school first at Rooty Hill and then from year nine at Riverstone. I hated high school. I desperately wanted to go to a private school but my farming parents could never afford it. I felt frustrated by being at school with students who didn’t want to learn and who were disruptive. It was probably the makings of me but I hated every minute of it!

2. What did you want to be when you were twelve, eighteen and thirty? And why?

I can always remember wanting to be famous. I am not sure why. It wasn’t about ego or anything. I just felt I was called to do something important with my life. I guess I couldn’t see myself eking out a fragile living off the land like my parents. I always wanted to be a writer and wrote my first story as soon as I could read and write. But for most of my childhood I wanted to be a nurse. I was always looking after sick animals on the farm. But at eighteen I changed my mind and decided to teach. At thirty I started to panic as I really wanted to write but wasn’t sure if my family commitments were going to allow it. I had two lively little boys and a surgeon husband whose working hours made it impossible for me to do anything but back him up at home.

3. What strongly held belief did you have at eighteen that you do not have now?

I was a devout Christian who believed anyone who didn’t believe the same why I did was going to hell. I can’t believe how bigoted and ignorant I was. I am a naturalist now. I am uncomfortable with the term atheist. It alienates people of faith and I don’t want to do that. I admire those who can sustain their faith in the absence of evidence and evidence of absence of a loving God.

4. What were three works of art-book or painting or piece of music, etc-you can now say, had a great effect on you and influenced your own development as a writer?

I have three answers to this: The book I think of as most influential is Nine Coaches Waiting by Mary Stewart. I read it first when I was eighteen and fell in love with Ms Stewart’s voice. She wrote across genres but my favourite was always her romantic suspense. I have yet to find a writer who even comes close to her command of the English language and her ability to characterise.

The painting I love best is Elioth Gruner’s Spring Frost. It hangs in the NSW Art Gallery in Sydney. It is so reminiscent of early frosty mornings on the farm when I used to help my Dad milk the cows.

The piece of music that is like a soft feather stroking my soul is Allegri’s Miserere. I have heard it performed live by the Tallis scholars some years ago and it lifted every hair on my scalp. The soaring perfection of boy sopranos always gets to me.

5. Considering the innumerable artistic avenues open to you, why did you choose to write a novel?

There is a lot of creativity in my family of origin and now in my own family. Most of them are artists of some sort but I always was a reader and writer. I just love words and the worlds you can make with them. I love characterising. It’s a grown up way of playing with dolls!

6. Please tell us about your latest novel…

I have just finished some revisions on Book Three of a Trilogy I have done for Harlequin Mills and Boon Presents. Because I write for two category lines (four Presents/Modern/Sexy and two Medical romances each year) I am now working on my 40th novel, a Medical.

7. What hope do you hope people take away with them after reading your work?

Writers write because they have something to say. I think it is no surprise I write romances with a guaranteed happy ending. I believe in the power of love to overcome the worst life can throw at you. I like exploring difficult issues in my novels and watching as my characters grow and develop as they overcome them. I would hope that people would not just read my books for entertainment but also to think about life’s bigger questions as they do so.

8. Whom do you most admire in the realm of writing and why?

Of course Mary Stewart as I said earlier, but in the present I would have to say Nora Roberts. I am often called prolific but she is off the scale! Does she even have a life apart from writing?!

9. Many artists set themselves very ambitious goals. What are yours?

I come from an athletic background so I am competitive by nature. I would love to win more awards for my work. I love getting 5 out of 5 reviews and number one spots on the best seller lists, but then who doesn’t? I guess a RITA nomination would be brilliant. Winning one would be even better. But also I am keen to write a television series. I have some ideas floating around so when I set aside some time I will get down to it. I think it is tremendously important to set goals. If you aim for nothing you hit it every time.

10. What advice do you give aspiring writers?

I cannot emphasise enough how important it is to read and not just your preferred genre. I never used to read crime fiction or thrillers and then one day I decided I would and I have read thousands since. I am addicted!

Also, it is terribly important to write. Writing is like a sport. If you don’t train you don’t improve. There is no magic bullet workshop; there is no writing guru who can tell you a sure fire way to do it. You just have to WRITE. In fact I have an acronym for it:



Interest in people-listen and learn, be inspired by friends, family or even strangers

Tenacity of spirit (you’ll need it for the submission rejection rollercoaster!)

Enjoy the journey of writing; stop thinking of publication as the destination

Melanie, thank you for playing

Before you leap into Imperial Bedrooms by Bret Easton Ellis you really must read, or re-read Less Than Zero

Haven’t read the book or seen the movie version of Less Than Zero? Spoiler alert! Scroll down to read about Less Than Zero and then decide if you want to read about Imperial Bedrooms. Or you could just take our word for it when we say – buy them both, you won’t regret it.


About Imperial Bedrooms:

Twenty-five years on from Less Than Zero, we pick up again with Clay.

In 1985, Bret Easton Ellis shocked, stunned and disturbed with Less Than Zero, his “extraordinarily accomplished first novel” (New Yorker), successfully chronicling the frightening consequences of unmitigated hedonism within the ranks of the ethically bereft youth of 80s Los Angeles. Now, twenty-five years later, Ellis returns to those same characters: to Clay and the band of infamous teenagers whose lives weave sporadically through his. But now, some years on, they face an even greater period of disaffection: their own middle age.

Clay seems to have moved on – he’s become a successful screenwriter – but when he returns from New York to Los Angeles, to help cast his new movie, he’s soon drifting through a long-familiar circle. Blair, his former girlfriend, is now married to Trent, and their Beverly Hills parties attract excessive levels of fame and fortune, though for all that Trent is a powerful manager, his baser instincts remain: he’s still a bisexual philanderer.

Then there’s Clay’s childhood friend, Julian – who’s now a recovering addict – and their old dealer, Rip – face-lifted beyond recognition and seemingly even more sinister than he was in his notorious past. Clay, too, struggles with his own demons after a meeting with a gorgeous actress determined to win a role in his movie. And with his life careening out of control, he’s forced to come to terms with the deepest recesses of his character – and with his seemingly endless proclivity for betrayal.

About Less Than Zero :

The cult classic has been re-issued to celebrate its 25th anniversary, and before the publication of the sequel, Imperial Bedrooms

“One of the most disturbing novels I’ve read in a long time. It possesses an unnerving air of documentary reality” Michiko Kakutani, New York Times

In 1985, Bret Easton Ellis shocked, stunned and disturbed with his début novel, Less Than Zero. Published when he was just twenty-one, this extraordinary and instantly infamous work has done more than simply define a genre, it has become a rare thing: a cult classic and a timeless embodiment of the zeitgeist. Twenty-five years on, Less Than Zero continues to be a landmark in the lives of successive generations of readers across the globe.

Filled with relentless drinking in seamy bars and glamorous nightclubs, wild, drug-fuelled parties, and dispassionate sexual encounters, Less Than Zero – narrated by Clay, an eighteen-year-old student returning home to Los Angeles for Christmas – is a fierce coming-of-age story, justifiably celebrated for its unflinching depiction of hedonistic youth, its brutal portrayal of the inexorable consequences of such moral depravity, and its author’s refusal to condone or chastise such behaviour.

La Bella Lingua : My Love Affair with Italy and the Most Enchanting Language in the World By Dianne Hales

‘Pronto! (Ready!), Italians say when they answer the telephone. And ready they are – to talk, laugh, curse, debate, woo, sing, lament. Their native tongue conveys a sense of something coming alive …’

For anyone who has ever travelled to Italy or simply dreams of going there one day, the fantasy of living la dolce vita is powerfully seductive. Dianne Hales is no exception, but she also fell truly, madly and deeply in love with the language, fascinated by its story and its stories, tantalised by its adventures and ever eager to spend more time in its company. Italians say that someone who acquires a new language ‘possesses’ it. ‘In my case, Italian possesses me. With Italian racing like blood through my veins, I do indeed see with different eyes, hear with different ears, and drink in the world with all my senses…’

The result is La Bella Lingua, a joyous, funny and warmly affectionate celebration of Italy, its history, literature, food, music, movies and its people, who helped her not only to learn the world’s most loved and lovable language but how to really live like a true Italian.

Click here for more details or to buy La Bella Lingua

Q & A with Diane Hales

Why and when did you start studying Italian?
I decided to study Italian more than twenty years ago so I could communicate with the friendly people we met on our travels in Italy. My goal was just to understand and be understood. However, the more Italian I learned, the more I wanted to know about Italian—where it came from, how it evolved, why it’s so musical and vibrant. I had so much fun in Italian classes and conversation groups that I didn’t want to stop my Italian education—and I never have.

How do you explain your passion for Italian? Continue reading


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 15,966 other followers

%d bloggers like this: