Rupert Murdoch : An investigation of political power by David McKnight

When Rupert Murdoch called, Prime Ministers and Presidents picked up the phone.

David McKnight exposes Murdoch’s unflinching use of his media empire to further his political agenda over decades. This is the story behind the hacking scandal that rocked the world and shook the Murdoch empire.

‘A study of dangerous media abuse of power and of abject government weakness in regard to it. This is a disturbing book.’ – From the foreword by Robert Manne

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation is the most powerful media organisation in the world. Murdoch’s commercial success is obvious, but less well understood is his successful pursuit of political goals, using News Corporation as his vehicle.

David McKnight tracks Murdoch’s influence, from his support for Reagan and Thatcher, to his attacks on Barack Obama and the Rudd and Gillard governments. He examines the secretive corporate culture of News Corporation: its private political seminars for editors, its sponsorship of think tanks and its recurring editorial campaigns around the world. Its success is reflected in the fact that the campaigns are familiar to us all: small government and market deregulation, skepticism on climate change, support for neo-conservative adventures such as Iraq and criticism of all things ‘liberal’.

While the phone hacking crisis has tarnished his reputation, Rupert Murdoch’s influence is far from finished.

DAVID MCKNIGHT is Associate Professor in the Journalism and Media Research Centre at the University of NSW, and a former journalist at The Sydney Morning Herald and ABC TV’s Four Corners.

Click here to order your copy from Booktopia, Australia’s No.1 Online Book Shop

Coming in 2012: Two new titles from Lauren Kate – Fallen in Love and Rapture…

OUT IN JANUARY: A new novel set in the world of Lauren Kate’s bestselling Fallen series.

FALLEN IN LOVE is a riveting collection of four intertwined love stories featuring the Fallen characters that fans have grown to know and love: Miles, Shelby, Roland, Arriane, and Luce & Daniel.

The novel, FALLEN IN LOVE, will be released in Australia 26th January 2012, before the fourth and final title in the series, RAPTURE, is published in June 2012.

 Fallen in Love 

Unexpected. Unrequited. Forbidden. Eternal.

Everyone has their own love story. And in a twist of fate, four extraordinary love stories combine over the course of a romantic Valentine’s Day in Medieval England.

Miles and Shelby find love where they least expect it.

Roland learns a painful lesson about finding-and losing love.

Arianne pays the price for a love so fierce it burns.

And for the first -and last- time, Daniel and Luce will spend a night together like none other.

Lauren Kate’s Fallen in Love is filled with love stories …the ones everyone has been waiting for. True love never says goodbye…


GET A BARGAIN > Pre-order your copy now

OUT IN JUNE:  The final book in the FALLEN series…


The sky is dark with wings. . . .

In RAPTURE, the highly anticipated fourth and final novel in the FALLEN series, Luce and Daniel are together . . . but for how long? Can history be rewritten? Or are some punishments eternal?

Click here to discover Lauren Kate’s Five Fiction Favourites

For all the latest Lauren Kate news check our Fallen Books on Facebook

Lisa Heidke, author of Lucy Springer Gets Even, What Kate Did Next, Claudia’s Big Break and, coming in January 2012, Stella Makes Good, answers Six Sharp Questions:

The Booktopia Book Guru asks

Lisa Heidke

author of Lucy Springer Gets Even,
What Kate Did Next
, Claudia’s Big Break

and, coming in January 2012,
Stella Makes Good

Six Sharp Questions


1. Congratulations, you’ve a new book – what is it about and what does this book mean to you?

In short, Stella Makes Good, is about swinging, infidelity and mother-in-laws…with a bit of romance and sexting on the side!

The longer version? Told from four points of view, Stella Makes Good spans one tumultuous week after best friends, Stella, Carly and Jesse meet for drinks, and unwittingly stumble upon a sex party. What they see that night will alter the course of their lives and shatter long held beliefs, forcing them to re-evaluate the things that are truly important to Continue reading

Booktopia’s Christmas to New Year Clearance Sale – On Now

Our Annual Christmas to New Year Clearance Sale is on right now.

We have books from just $1 and over 500 titles under $3. What a great way to finish off the year!

We have around 2,000 new bargain titles that we bought since our last sale so there should be plenty new titles to choose from… especially for kids.

If you want to get to our Clearance Sale right now and browse Fiction, Non-fiction, Tertiary & Academic, $1 Books, Books Under $3 or Books under $5… then just click on this link below.

Click here to go to our Kids & Teens section and get up to 90% off. 

Click here to browse 2,000 new titles added for this sale.

This sale has just started and some titles are limited in numbers so please get in early as stocks will run out.

Happy Holidays and Happy Shopping!

Tony Nash
Chief Executive Officer

Caution, this post may cause heart palpitations… (Contains images of Penguins dressed to kill.)

We can acknowledge that eBooks are
cheap, convenient and instant…

But I can’t think of them as sexy.

These wonders from Penguin, however…


Penguin’s Clothbound Classics

If, like us, you not only love having a great Classic to read but also cherish the feel of a wonderful object, then these are the books for you. Bound in cloth and each individually designed by Coralie Bickford-Smith, these are some of the best Classics ever written and make the perfect gift. Click to see the full range…

Major Works of Charles Dickens

Clothbound editions of Charles Dickens (Box Set) Read all the Major Works of Charles Dickens with this gorgeous boxed-set of lavish, clothbound editions, designed by Penguin’s own award-winnning Coralie Bickford-Smith. Click to see the full range…

The Great Food Series

Throughout the history of civilization, food has been more than simple necessity. In countless cultures, it has Continue reading

Booktopia’s Top Twenty Non-Fiction Bestsellers for 2011

What did Booktopia’s customers buy in 2011?

Here are the twenty highest selling non-fiction titles…

1. The Dukan Diet by Pierre Dukan

Nothing could have prepared us for the hit of the year. One day we were Dukan free, the next day every order seemed to leave containing a copy of The Dukan Diet. In France it sold 4 million copies. Then celebs were quoted saying the diet worked. And then it was rumoured that Kate Middleton was on the diet before the big wedding. Some said it was a fad. But no one has told our customers. The book and all of the spin off titles continue to sell as well, if not better, than those first few weeks of mayhem…

About: Devised by Dr Pierre Dukan, a French medical doctor who has spent his career helping people to lose weight permanently, The Dukan Diet is the culmination of thirty-five years clinical experience. Easy to follow with no calorie counting, The Dukan Diet offers clear simple guidelines, menu planners and delicious recipes for long term success. More…


2. Jamie’s 30-Minute Meals by Jamie Oliver Continue reading

We Bought A Zoo by Benjamin Mee

The Amazing True Story of a Broken-down Zoo, and the 200 Animals That Changed a Family Forever

A few years ago, Ben and his wife, Katherine, sold their small flat in Primrose Hill and moved to France to pursue their dream of restoring an old barn near Nimes.That dream then became much, much bigger, as they moved with their two young children, Ben’s 76 year-old mother and his brother, into a run-down zoo on the edge of Dartmoor which they had bought, and found themselves responsible for 200 animals including four huge tigers, lions, pumas, three massive bears, a tapir and a wolf pack.

Ben’s new extended family now included: Solomon, an African lion and scourge of the local golf course; Zak, the rickety Alpha wolf, a broadly benevolent dictator clinging to power; Ronnie, a Brazilian tapir, easily capable of killing a man, but hopelessly soppy; and Sovereign, a jaguar who is also a would-be ninja, and has devised a long term escape plan and implemented it. But tragedy was to strike for, in the midst of dealing with escaping wolves and jaguars, and troublesome adolescent vervet monkeys, Katherine, who had developed, and had removed, a brain tumour while in France, began to experience symptoms again. The prognosis was poor, and so Ben found himself juggling the complexities of managing the zoo and getting it ready for re-opening, and at the same time having to care for his rapidly deteriorating wife, their two young children, and their ever growing menagerie of animals.

Ben’s story will both move and entertain – charting, simultaneously, the family’s attempts to improve the animals’ lives, the build-up to the Zoo’s official reopening, as well as Katherine’s decline, her final days, and how the family went on. Film release in Australia Boxing Day 2011.

Click here to order you copy of We Bought A Zoo from Booktopia, Australia’s No.1 Online Book Shop

About The Author : A former bricklayer and decorator, Benjamin then began to study and write about animal intelligence, studying psychology at UCL and then completing an MSc in Science Journalism at Imperial College. Benjamin became a contributing editor to Men’s Health magazine and a Guardian columnist, and then moved to Southern France, and began writing a book on the Evolution of Humour in Man and Animals. Then the zoo came up for sale, and everything changed.

Clean and Lean Diet Cookbook by James Duigan

Christmas – friends and family, fabulous food, long lazy days. Well, I  hate to go all Grinch on you, but for many of us, it also means that extra unwanted dress size and a whole summer of going hungry. Which is probably why we all start obsessing about being clean and lean precisely at the time that we are becoming frumpy and dumpy.

Enter James Duigan. The master of all things healthy has the solution. He has already sorted us out with a diets and flat tummies. Now he is showing us how to cook right, all year long.

His Clean and Lean approach is now ours for the following – along with a 14 day diet plan and 100 recipes.

PS: It worked with Elle Macpherson, although admittedly she is a freak of nature.

James Duigan Clean & Lean Diet Cookbook is available from Booktopia for delivery after January 1. If you want to have a look inside, go here.


Continuing James Duigan’s Clean & Lean philosophy this inspirational new cookbook illustrates what you should be eating to keep your body in its best-ever shape.

Starting with breakfasts to kick start your day the healthy way it takes you through lunch and dinner with ideas for quick, easy meals that won’t impact on your waistline. With James’ trademark ‘Bad, better, best’ columns there is also advice on the healthiest choices when eating out at a variety of locations from a romantic meal at your favourite Italian to your popping out to your local deli at lunchtime. A chapter of ‘Cheat Meals’ with ideas for your weekly indulgence also means you can eat well without feeling deprived of your favourite treats. Packed throughout with personal recipes from James’ celebrity clientele this book will show you how to cook your way to staying Clean & Lean for good.

About The Author

James Duigan is one of the top personal trainers in the world, his many celebrity clients include Elle Macpherson, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Hugh Grant and David Gandy. He also runs Bodyism, an exclusive gym in London.

Booktopia’s Top Twenty Fiction Bestsellers for 2011

What did Booktopia’s customers buy in 2011?

Here are the twenty highest selling fiction titles…

1. Inheritance by Christopher Paolini

Keeping in mind that the fourth and final instalment of Paolini’s Inheritance Cycle was only released in November, hitting the number one sales spot for the entire year is an amazing achievement. Pre-orders for Inheritance were astonishing, but sales after the release date dwarfed them. We have to thank Christopher Paolini for writing such compelling fiction and for taking the time to record a personalised Booktopia video message. And thanks go to Random House Australia for all of their support. But where would we be without Christopher’s loyal fans? They are the real champions here… clap, clap, clap. Gold star!

About: Not so very long ago, Eragon – Shadeslayer, Dragon Rider – was nothing more than a poor farm boy, and his dragon, Saphira, only a blue stone in the forest. Now, the fate of an entire civilization rests on their shoulders. Long months of training and battle have brought victories and hope, but they have also brought heartbreaking loss. More…


2. Song of Ice and Fire : TV Tie-In Edition – A Song of Fire and Ice Volumes 1-4 in five books (Vol 1. A Game of Thrones / Vol 2. A Clash of Kings / Vol 3. A Storm of Swords: Part 1. Steel and Snow / Part 2. Blood and Gold / Vol 4. A Feast for Crows) by George R R Martin

For fans of George R R Martin there were two huge events to look forward to at the beginning of 2011. One was the release of a brand new volume, A Dance with Dragons – Song of Ice and Fire Series : Book 5, and the other was the premiere of HBO’s epic in scale TV dramatisation of A Game of Thrones, which quickly became one of the most watched and talked about TV shows in 2011. Both of these events drew the attention of the world towards George R R Martin and brought him a legion of new fans. Sales of the boxed set of the first four books in the series sky-rocketed as friends bought friends box sets so as not to be alone in their new obsession.

About: George R.R. Martin′s A Song of Ice and Fire series has set the benchmark for contemporary epic fantasy. Labelled by Time magazine as one of the top 100 most influential people in the world, Martin has conjured a world as complex and vibrant as that of J.R.R. Tolkien′s, populated by a huge cast of fascinating, complex characters, and boasting a history that stretches back twelve thousand years. More…


3. Scarecrow and the Army of Thieves by Matthew Reilly Continue reading

The Book of Summers by Emylia Hall: Review by Toni Whitmont

Newcomer Emylia Hall weaves a touch of magic in The Book of Summers. It is not the magic of vampires or faeries. This is the magic of snatched dreams, half recollected in the dawn. The magic of snapshots of memory. The magic of some really beautifully pieced together sentences.

When we first meet Beth she is a 29 year old guarded, emotionally distant gallery attendant, virtually estranged from her father, the only family she has. Her principal preoccupation is forgetting – forgetting her past, denying her memories. This strategy has served her well for fourteen years, the fourteen years since the scarifying break from her mother, a passionate and exotic Hungarian called Marika.

So when her father delivers her a parcel one day, a scrapbook that documents the many summers she spent as Erzsi, visiting Marika and her artist partner Zoltan in a bucolic hunting lodge cum studio in a forested region of Hungary, Beth is totally unprepared for the torrent of memories that come flooding back.

The Book of Summers is a lovely coming of age story with a sting in its tail. Written very much from the perspective of Beth/Erzsi as she watches her parents marriage disintegrate, and as she tries to protect both parents from the depredations of their failed relationship, it teeters on the edge of  pastiche, avoiding it both through the beauty of the language and the compelling story telling.

This debut novel certainly has a buzz about it overseas. Typical of the comments is this: “For me, it’s the perfect summer read. It has real heart, a fantastic twist and a wonderfully redemptive ending. Emylia flawlessly conjures up those endless hot summer days of childhood—it’s one of the most deliciously evocative pieces of writing I’ve read for a long time.”

The Book of Summers is available from Booktopia from the end of February 2012 and will come (for a short time only) in a lovely matching tote bag. Best read on a hazy warm afternoon on a verandah. With a box of tissues. And a ticket to Budapest in your back pocket.

The Book of Summers: synopsis

When news of a death in the family reaches her from abroad, Beth Lowe realises that she can no longer avoid her past.  She is sent a photograph album, a poignant record of the seven summers she spent in rural Hungary.  A time when she trod the tightrope between separated parents and two distinct countries; a bewitching but imperfect mother and a gentle, reticent father, the dazzling house of a Hungarian artist and an empty-feeling cottage in deepest Devon.  Years later, Beth’s Hungarian summers continue to haunt and entice her.  The Book of Summers is about the lies we tell, the truths we keep and, above all, the ways we find to keep on loving one another.

From the author:

My first novel, The Book of Summers, is a coming-of-age story about longing and belonging.  It is born of childhood memories – some real, many imagined.  Every summer when I was small we would pack up the car and take the ferry from Dover to Calais, before driving through France and Germany.  In later years we ventured further afield to Austria and Hungary.  We’d be away for a month at a time, returning with tanned skin, mosquito bites and a hatful of travellers’ tales.  My father documented our trips with his Nikon, while I did the same with my journal.

I was eleven years old when we first went to Hungary.  It was 1990, the year after the Berlin Wall came down, and my mother was keen to explore her Hungarian roots.  Together we discovered a country that was changing, a place possessed of a turbulent past and an uncertain future.  Yet it was the simple, timeless things that captured my imagination and stayed with me.  The incredible heat that churned the surface of roads where state buses pulled in and sent us scurrying for shade in search of peach soda.  The delicious food and its relative cheapness – my sister and I marvelled at ice-cream for five pence a blob and quickly learned how to say, három gombóc fagylalt, cseresznye, vanilia és csokoládé (three scoops please, cherry, vanilla and chocolate).  The beauty of the land – we discovered a lake as big as a sea, chalky hillsides bursting with rhododendrons, mustard-painted houses with languid verandas and crooked tiled roofs.  We stayed by turns in a 1960’s tower block hotel with Russian guests that serenaded the setting sun over Lake Balaton, a faded but elegant apartment across the Danube from the Houses of Parliament, and a Transylvanian-style hunting lodge tucked among the forests of the Pilis Hills.  For several years we went back every summer, and everything was always the same and always different.

After the holidays had ended and we were back at home, with looming school and shortening days, these trips took on a new life.  My father assembled meticulous photo albums, each one marked and labelled with route maps and dates.  We’d revisit these books throughout the winter months, when sun-tans and inflatable lilos were swapped for woodsmoke and blankets, and our summers seemed like a faraway dream.  We were generous with our recall – even remembering with fondness the mosquito bites that had studded our ankles, the strange towelling sheets that itched in the hot nights, and the time our exhaust pipe fell off and we roared about a quiet French town like a rally car.  Our adventures, both vital and insignificant, fell to family folklore.  It is from these memories, these images, these facts, that The Book of Summers grew.

The rest is fiction.


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