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.

Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

It is certainly only a rumour at this stage, but Daniel Kahneman is an outside chance for the Sydney Writer’s Festival next year. This man is one serious thinker, so if you have the chance to be in a room with him, you should take it. Meanwhile, while the emails are going backwards and forwards, his latest book is racing off our shelves.

Think Malcolm Gladwell and then some. The reviews are amazing.


Israeli American Daniel Kahneman, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences for his seminal work in psychology challenging the rational model of judgement and decision-making, is one of the world’s most important thinkers.  His ideas have had a profound impact on many fields – including business, medicine and politics – but until now he has not brought together his many years of research in one book.

In Thinking, Fast and Slow, Kahneman takes us on a groundbreaking tour of the mind and explains the two systems that drive the way we think and make choices.  One system is fast, intuitive, and emotional; the other is slower, more deliberative, and more logical.  Kahneman exposes the extraordinary capabilities – and also the faults and biases – of fast thinking, and reveals the pervasive influence of intuitive impressions on our thoughts and behaviour.  The importance of properly framing risks, the effects of cognitive biases on how we view others, the dangers of prediction, the right ways to develop skills, the pros and cons of fear and optimism, the difference between our experience and memory of events, the real components of happiness – each of these can be understood only by knowing how the two systems work together to shape our judgments and decisions.

Drawing on a lifetime’s experimental experience, Kahneman reveals where we can and cannot trust our intuitions and how we can tap into the benefits of slow thinking.  He offers practical and enlightening insights into how choices are made in both our professional and our personal lives – and how we can use different techniques to guard against the mental glitches that often get us into trouble.  Thinking, Fast and Slow will transform the way you take decisions and experience the world.


‘There have been many good books on human rationality and irrationality, but only one masterpiece. That masterpiece is Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking, Fast and Slow.’ Financial Times

Thinking, Fast and Slow is a masterpiece – a brilliant and engaging intellectual saga by one of the greatest psychologists and deepest thinkers of our time. Kahneman should be parking a Pulitzer next to his Nobel Prize.’ Daniel Gilbert, author of Stumbling on Happiness

‘Daniel Kahneman is one of the most original and interesting thinkers of our time. There may be no other person on the planet who better understands how and why we make the choices we make. In this absolutely amazing book, he shares a lifetime’s worth of wisdom presented in a manner that is simple and engaging, but nonetheless stunningly profound. This book is a must read for anyone with a curious mind.’ Steven D. Levitt, co-author of Freakonomics

‘Daniel Kahneman is among the most influential psychologists in history and certainly the most important psychologist alive today. He has a gift for uncovering remarkable features of the human mind, many of which have become textbook classics and part of the conventional wisdom. His work has reshaped social psychology, cognitive science, the study of reason and of happiness, and behavioral economics, a field that he and his collaborator Amos Tversky invented. The appearance of Thinking, Fast and Slow is a major event.’ Steven Pinker, author of The Better Angels of our Nature

‘This is a landmark book in social thought, in the same league as The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith and The Interpretation of Dreams by Sigmund Freud.’ Nassim Nicholas Taleb, author of The Black Swan

Believing the Lie by Elizabeth George

Guest Reviewer: Booktopia’s Sarah McDuling

Inspector Lynley is back in this long awaited, seventeenth instalment of Elizabeth George’s popular series. Called to the scene of what appears to be an accidental death, Lynley takes part in an unofficial investigation to determine whether or not a murder has taken place. Our victim is the nephew of powerful business magnate, Bernard Fairclough. In the time-honoured tradition of wealthy family dynasties in crime fiction, the Faircloughs are hiding more than their fair share of skeletons in the closet. It is Inspector Lynley’s job to sift through murky layers of deceit and scandal to uncover the truth.

And now, for the purposes of this review of Believing the Lie, I will divide the entire population of the world into three categories.

Elizabeth George

Category A – Die-Hard Inspector Lynley Fans.

If you are a member of Category A, you are most likely the proud owner of all the previous Inspector Lynley books. You have read each Inspector Lynley mystery (probably more than once) and seen every episode of the TV show (which you passionately declare to anyone who will listen is nowhere near as good as the books).
To members of Category A, this past year has been something of a struggle for you. Indeed, 2011 has been a cold and barren wasteland, without nary a Lynley book in sight. Fortunately, the dark Lynley-less days are drawing to a close. The release date of Believing the Lie is rapidly approaching and this is far more exciting to you than the prospect of Christmas or New Years Eve.
If you are a Die-Hard Fan, you have probably already pre-ordered your copy of Believing the Lie. If not, then what are you waiting for? Get to it!

NB: In the interest of full disclosure, I am a die-hard fan.

Category B – Inspector Lynley Fans Who Were Slightly Disappointed By the Last Few Books in the Series (or for brevity’s sake “Concerned Fans”)

Members of Cateogory B, you know who you are. You are the traditionalist fans, those who devoured the early Inspector Lynley books but were shocked by the author’s controversial decision to kill off a beloved central character. Since then, you have felt rather traumatized and bewildered. Perhaps you even made the decision to skip the last few books in the series.
Members of Category B, I feel your pain. Though I count myself a proud member of Category A, I am willing to concede that the last few books in the series (while definitely superior to the average book) have not been 100% as utterly perfect as earlier instalments. I am delighted to report, however, that in Believing the Lie,  Inspector Lynley is back in prime form. If ever there was a time to renew your membership card to the “Die-Hard Lynley Fanclub” – this is it. So go ahead and jump back on the bandwagon, Concerned Fans. You won’t be disappointed.

Category C – People Who Think They Don’t Like Crime Fiction.

To members of this category I will say only this – you are mistaken.

I will reluctantly admit, I can understand how a person might fall into the trap of believing they don’t like crime fiction. There have been times in my life when I have felt embarrassed to be seen in public reading a book with a morbid, blood spattered cover and a title including the word “death”, “kill” or “murder” (or sometimes a combination of all three). And yet, I have never been able to resist losing myself in a cracking good murder mystery.  And when you’re dealing with a mystery written by Elizabeth George, there’s always a complex puzzle to solve and you can bet there will be several whiplash-inducing plot twists to enjoy along the way.
So if you are one of those people who eschew the genre that gave birth to Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot and Lisbeth Salander (three of my favourite fictional people), then I can only conclude that you  simply have not had the pleasure of meeting Inspector Lynley. If this is the case, get your hands on the nearest Lynley Mystery and start reading. I dare you not to enjoy it.
You will notice I did not include a category for People Who like Crime Fiction But Do Not Enjoy Inspector Lynley Books. This is because I do not believe such people exist.

If you like reading crime, then you’re bound to enjoy reading Elizabeth George. Her plots are tightly woven, perfectly paced and come complete with a cast of dysfunctional yet psychologically compelling characters so well drawn that they seem to leap of the page.
Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley (8th Earl of Asherton) is a member of the British aristocracy. Struggling to move on after the tragic death of a loved one in With No One As Witness, Lynley is crippled by grief and prone to bouts of self-recrimination. This of course makes him the perfect “brooding hero.”

The beauty of this series, however, is that the books do not need to be read in order. Newcomers will not be left floundering in a haze of back-story. Indeed, if you have never read any of the previous books in the series, Believing the Lie is a good place to start.

When all is said in done, it really doesn’t matter which category you place yourself in. Whether you’re a Die-Hard Lynley Fan or someone who (mistakenly) believes they don’t like crime fiction, the latest Inspector Lynley mystery is just the kind of compulsive page-turner likely to keep you up way past your bedtime. And even if you’re clever enough to predict the ending, I’m willing to bet you’ll still be surprised by some of the twists and turns that occur along the way. The only real drawback to reading Believing the Lie is that once you’re finished, you’ll be facing a long wait for the next instalment.

Believing the Lie is available to order from Booktopia for delivery after December 28.

See our author page here.

Amanda Hocking: The Author Who Made Millions by Self-Publishing Her Novels Now Makes Millions Being Published

Publishing sensation Amanda Hocking’s story reads like a fairy tale. She self-published her novels and sold a million copies within a year or so. The very thought of such overnight success can cause normally quite reasonable unpublished authors to lose their heads. On the strength of a headline – ‘Self-published author makes money’  – thousands of authors have flown off to self-publish their manuscripts, too.

But as with all dazzling success stories, Amanda’s  was preceded by much hard work.  I doubt whether it felt like an overnight success to Amanda. She received rejection slips just like every other writer.  But she knew the value of her work and she kept on writing. She wrote dozens of novels, submitted them and got knocked back. She hungered for an audience. So in the end, self-publishing wasn’t an act of rebellion, it was an at of desperation. No one else would publish them.

What Amanda then did was sell her self-published eBooks for only 99c each. Cheap as chips. Readers could taste her work with very little investment.  And she supported her self-published eBooks via social media. To do this properly you need to devote hours and hours of you time and you need to develop relationships.

But in the end, if the books Amanda wrote were crap the story would have ended right there. She would be just another self-published author. One among millions. But they weren’t crap. Readers responded to them. They came back for the sequels. They came back for Amanda’s other novels. Word spread. So, in the end it was the readers who turned Amanda Hocking into one of publishing Continue reading

Lauren Kate: Five Fiction Favourites for 2011

Lauren Kate

author of Fallen, Torment
and Passion


The 5 best novels I read in 2011 are…

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making

by Catherynne M. Valente

Twelve-year-old September lives in Omaha, and used to have an ordinary life, until her father went to war and her mother went to work. One day, September is met at her kitchen window by a Green Wind (taking the form of a gentleman in a green jacket), who invites her on an adventure, implying that her help is needed in Fairyland. The new Marquess is unpredictable and fickle, and also not much older than September. Only September can retrieve a talisman the Marquess wants from the enchanted woods, and if she doesn’t . . . then the Marquess will make life impossible for the inhabitants of Fairyland. September is already making new friends, including a book-loving Wyvern and a mysterious boy named Saturday.

With exquisite illustrations by acclaimed artist Ana Juan, Fairyland lives up to the sensation it created when the author first posted it online. For readers of all ages who love the charm of Alice in Wonderland and the soul of The Golden Compass, here is a reading experience unto itself: unforgettable, and so very beautiful.

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making is a Publishers Weekly Best Children’s Fiction title for Continue reading


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