Deck the halls: Booktopia Buzz for December is up!

Booktopia Buzz Sept 2010

What a cracker of an edition I have for you for December. How is this for a line-up?

Gifts, give-aways and goodies to win include: Continue reading

Booktopia’s great Facebook Christmas giveaway

You know how we love give-aways and promotions at Booktopia? Well, this time we are really playing Santa.

Five weeks, five prizes to be won, each prize being the winner’s choice of books with an RRP of $100.

Want to be in the running? All you have to do is click on the either of the images and follow the prompts.

Too easy!

My top books for 2011 by Toni Whitmont

For a person who spends at least 50% of her working hours meeting with publishers about up coming books, I spend a lot of time talking about the next big thing.

Want to know what the run away hit single is going to be for next March? I’m your person. Unless of course it’s not because, well,  readers are a fickle lot, and that’s before the media juggernaut rolls into town and changes everyone’s minds about what they want and what they don’t want.

Right now a heart beat away from Christmas, you may be making yours lists and checking them twice, but I am being sold in books for Valentine’s Day, and, heaven help me, key titles for Mother’s Day 2012.

This is not a job where you can live in the moment. But there are some advantages of being so focused on where the action might be. I can justify ignoring all the big, bossy, Christmas books that quite frankly are going to be taken up in droves whether I get behind them or not. Readers don’t need me to convince them to try Matthew Reilly’s Scarecrow and the Army of Thieves or Di Morrissey’s The Opal Desert. If that is your sort of book, you are going to find it anyway just by driving Continue reading

NOW AVAILABLE: MasterChef Australia: The Cookbook – Volume 3

Buy MasterChef Australia The Cookbook Series 3 from Booktopia and if you act quickly you could receive a special MasterChef timer.


This will be the years biggest selling book so get in quickly and secure this cool memento of MasterChef 2011.

MasterChef Australia: The Cookbook – Volume 3

MasterChef has ignited the tastebuds of the nation. The new book gets behind the scenes of the show with your favourite contestants, and back to basics with ingredients and cooking techniques.

Organised in a week-by-week format, the new look cookbook allows you to take a trip back through the highs and lows of series 3 and flex your own culinary muscle with hundreds of fabulous MasterChef recipes from your favourite celebrity chefs and contestants.

Join Hayden, Michael, Dani, Sun, Billy and the rest of our jolly band of culinary heroes on their action-packed adventure from a farmer’s field in country Victoria to the farther-flung pastures of Central Park, New York City.

It’s one treat after another as you turn the pages of this tantalising cookbook – let “Dessert Queen” Billy show you how to create the perfect Swiss Roll or follow the gospel according to Hayden in the production of the perfect moules and frites. Let Kumar guide you through the essentials of a Sri Lankan curry and hold Mum Kate’s hand as she shows you the way of her elimination-evading apple pie and custard. Yum! If that’s not enough let the experts show you how: indulge in Nigella’s Red Velvet Cupcakes and George’s Mum’s authentic koupes, hummus and tzatziki.

Click here to order your copy of MasterChef Australia: The Cookbook – Volume 3 from Booktopia, Australia’s No.1 Online Book Shop


H. J. (Holly) Harper : Five Fiction Favourites for 2011

H. J. (Holly) Harper

author of the Star League series


The 5 best novels I read this year are…

The Fear

By Charlie Higson

Holly Harper: The third in Charlie Higson’s The Enemy series, this is the zombie apocalypse at its best. A huge cast of characters means you never know who’s safe and who isn’t.

The Blurb:


The sickness struck everyone over the age of fourteen.

Mothers and fathers, older brothers, sisters and best friends. No one escaped its touch. And now children across London are being hunted by ferocious grown-ups . . . Continue reading

The Freudian Slip by Marion von Alderstein

Reading The Freudian Slip has confirmed what I have long suspected. I was definitely born in the wrong time. There is a wonderful sense of authenticity about this engaging debut novel, most likely because Marion von Adlerstein is the real deal. She is not merely paying homage to a bygone era but drawing on personal experience to evoke a real sense of time and place. In this instance, the time is 1963, the place is Sydney and the result is a charming Chick Lit romp with a retro twist. This is the kind of addictive summer read that will no doubt provide many a nostalgic pang to those lucky enough to have experienced Sydney in the 1960s. For those who only wish they were that lucky, The Freudian Slip is even better than an episode of Mad Men.

Given the premise of Marion Von Adlerstein’s debut novel, comparisons to Mad Men are inevitable. Set in an advertising agency during the “swinging sixties” the plot is rife with backstabbing office politics and extra-marital bed hopping. That being said, if you happen to be one of those rare and incomprehensible people who does not enjoy Mad Men, do not be discouraged. The Freudian Slip is essentially a timeless tale about three women from very different backgrounds, each one trying to decide want she wants out of life and how best to go about getting it.


Our rollcall of leading ladies begins with Bea. Effortlessly chic and radiating raw talent, Bea is a successful copywriter in her early thirties struggling to move on after a failed marriage – not that anyone would ever guess. Bea is an expert at keeping the details of her private life secret.

Next up we have Desiree Whittleford AKA “Desi”. A statuesque blonde heiress hailing from the Eastern suburbs, Desi’s private life has an alarming tendency to end up splashed all over the front page of the newspaper. Engaged to one of Sydney’s most eligible bachelors, Desi keeps forgetting to wear her engagement ring and can’t quite figure out why the thought of getting married has her feeling so glum.

Stella is the classic “wannabe”. She’s bound and determined to transform herself from a dowdy secretary into a successful career woman. Described by an astute colleague as being, “all show and no content”, Stella knows what she wants and she’s not about to let pesky concepts such as “ethics” or “integrity” stand in her way. Unfortunately, she is missing the two most important qualities needed to achieve her goals, namely talent and common sense. Almost wholly lacking any kind of creative instinct, Stella had a habit of “reappropriating” the ideas of her co-workers and passing them of as her own. One such idea is a racy advertising campaign for the eponymous “Freudian Slip” – a line of ladies lingerie that is set to take Sydney by storm in a rather unexpected fashion.

Readers will find the plot of The Freudian Slip evenly paced, the dialogue clever and the characters engaging. However, the real star of the show here is Sydney circa 1963. Being a person with a tendency to squeal in delight over rotary dial telephones, shag pile carpet, vinyl records and other such trapping of the time period, I found myself very much enamoured of the 1960’s setting. With a deft hand and a flawless eye for detail, Marion Von Adlerstein takes us back to a version of Sydney in which Bennelong Point boasts an ugly construction site in place of an Opera House, where Paddington is described as a “seedy” area and King’s Cross is considered “bohemian”. This is an era in which the average woman accepted her place in the kitchen and men were permitted – nay expected! – to knock back hard liquor in the office and take three hour lunch breaks at fancy restaurants. In short, it is the perfect stage for a story about enterprising young women, full of old fashioned moxie, to prove once and for all that they are just as capable of selling breakfast cereal and hair dye as the menfolk.

At the end of the day, once you finish The Freudian Slip you’ll most likely be asking yourself the same question that has been niggling at me since I flipped the last page. Where is my time machine?

Guest reviewer, Booktopia’s Sarah McDuling.

Editor’s note:

I can’t give you a time machine, but I can point you to Marion reminiscing about hers.


Can’t get enough of Marion? Here she is again with our Ten Terrifying Questions.

Order the book through Booktopia here.

A Twitter Year: 365 Days in 140 Characters compiled by Kate Bussmann

The first of its kind, A Twitter Year distills a year of conversation, argument, revelation and revolution into a ‘review of the year’ as written by the Twitter community.

Where can you find first-hand accounts of the Arab Spring, Japan’s nuclear disaster or the Norwegian atrocities? Thousands flouting celebrity superinjunctions? X-rated snaps of politicians? A babysitter mistaken for a cricket match? The answer, of course: on Twitter.

The first of its kind, A Twitter Year distills a year of conversation, argument, revelation and revolution into a ‘review of the year’ as written by the Twitter community. With profiles of top users and fascinating stats, it captures the biggest events in current affairs, culture and sport – from the death of Osama bin Laden to the demise of the News of the World, the panic at the London Riots to the excitement of the Royal Wedding.

In the year the social network celebrates its 5th birthday, Twitter continues to grow at an incredible rate. There are now over 200 million accounts across the world, including Lady Gaga, the British monarchy, Lord Voldemort and a lot of pets. A Twitter Year gathers some of the funniest and sharpest tweets to bring you a unique celebration of the way we talk now.

‘As millions of devotees have discovered, Twitter turns out to have unsuspected depth…In short, the most fascinating thing about Twitter is not what it’s doing to us. It’s what we’re doing to it’  – Stephen Johnson, Time

‘I like to follow my [something] Martha Stewart, ‘cause Martha Stewart she keeps it scuttered and buttered, baked and flaked and she love to wake and bake with the big Snoop Dogg. You feel me?’ – Snoop Dogg

Kate Bussmann is a magazine and newspaper journalist and blogger. Her writing has been published in the Guardian, Observer, Sunday Times, Sunday Telegraph, Red, Marie Claire, Grazia, Stylist, Shortlist and many more around the world. She is based in London, and has just returned from three years living and working in New York.


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