Your Invitation to an Advance Screening of Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom

Live in Sydney? Want a chance to see one of the biggest films of the year before everyone else?

Hachette Australia are giving you and a friend the opportunity to attend an exclusive pre-screening of Long Walk To Freedom, the award-winning film starring Idris Elba and Naomi Harris, on February 5th at Event Cinemas, George Street, Sydney.

All you need to do is buy Nelson Mandela’s bestselling memoir Long Walk To Freedom and email your order number to promos@booktopia.com.au – the first twenty-five entries will be put on the list at the door! (Apologies, this offer is only available at the Event Cinemas George St, Sydney).

Grab a copy of Long Walk to Freedom here

Continue reading

Kathryn Ledson, author of Monkey Business and Rough Diamond, answers Nine Naughty Questions

monkey-businessThe Booktopia Guru asks

Kathryn Ledson

author of Monkey Business and Rough Diamond

Nine Naughty Questions

___________

1.    Headless washboard abs, a torrid embrace, the sprawling homestead, an elegantly dressed décolletage, or the vaguely kinky object against a dark background – what’s your favourite type of romance cover and why?

The headless abs, no doubt. (Oh. Are there biceps in that pic?) But I have no idea why that’s my preference. I really like all kinds of romance novels but I’m attracted to those tummy muscles, I admit. In fact, in the book I’m currently writing – No. 3 in the Erica Jewell series – there’s a woman with “a six-pack that puts Jack’s to shame”. I love abs.
Continue reading

ElBulli 2005-2011 – Every recipe from the last seven years of the world’s most creative restaurant

Click here for more details...

elBulli 2005-2011 is the catalogue raisonné of elBulli, which was widely regarded as the world’s best restaurant until its closure in 2011. Having held three Michelin stars from 1997 to 2011, and regularly voted ‘Best Restaurant in the World’ by a panel of 500 industry professionals, elBulli was at the forefront of the restaurant scene from when Ferran Adrià became sole head chef in 1987.
Continue reading

Would You Like An Author To Visit Your Book Club?

A peculiar thing has begun to occur at Book Clubs in New York. Yes, you can enjoy the same cheap wine and soft cheese. But a new member is joining.

The author.

As discussed in The New York Times yesterday, a new service called Book The Writer is offering book clubs the opportunity to have the author present at their book club for around $750. You could ask Winner of the Women’s Prize of Fiction A.M. Homes who her most detestable brother is in May We Be Forgiven. Pester Pulitzer Prize winner Michael Cunningham about Nicole Kidman’s casting in the adaptation of his novel The Hours. Or even just tell Zoe Heller how amazing Notes on a Scandal was.

Writer

The practice of authors visiting book clubs to offer insight into their work isn’t anything new. For as long as there have been bookstores there have been author visits and readings, and invariably this evolved into book clubs of sorts. The biggest change to reading-writer interaction has come via social media where, instead of waiting in line for hours to have an author smile and sign their copy, readers are now able to interact over twitter and Facebook with their favourites. The thought of Salman Rushdie attending a Google Hangout is both incredibly exciting and incredibly strange at the same time.

The biggest risk the Book The Writer concept presents is endangering the reader’s right to their own interpretation of a novel, a factor that has ensured the survival of book clubs for years. Remember that friend who thought Yossarian had died and was actually stuck in purgatory in Catch-22? Imagine Joseph Heller taking a large chunk of their beetroot dip and telling them they were wrong all along. Sometimes it can be the holes in novels that excite us, that we fill with our imagination that binds a story together for us. Will we be able to enjoy the same freedom with an author filling those ambiguous moments for us?

Of course, having an author at your book club will lead to this, which like everything in Annie Hall, can only be a good thing…

What do you think? Would you be interested in having the author come to your book club? I know a guy…

Watch The First Trailer For The Fault In Our Stars

Do I really need to say anything else?

Grab a copy of The Fault in Our Stars here

The Fault in Our Stars

by John Green

Despite the tumour-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis.

But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.

Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning author John Green’s most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.

Grab a copy of The Fault in Our Stars here

Share in Booktopia’s Red Obsession

In case you didn’t know, our Editorial Director Caroline Baum is just one half of an incredibly talented duo. Her husband David Roach is one of Australia’s most popular screenwriters, as well as a celebrated producer and director.

David, along with his creative partner Warwick Ross, yesterday won Best Direction in a Documentary at The Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards for their film Red Obsession, a look at the wine boom in China and its impact on the fine wine capital of the world, Bordeaux.

Narrated by Russell Crowe, Red Obsession is a wonderful film and a worthy winner. A big congrats to David from everyone at Booktopia.

Red Obsession

Directed by David Roach & Warwick Ross

“When the dragon awakes she will shake the world” – Napoleon Bonaparte.

The dragon that is modern china has awoken from its slumber, and what it is thirsty for is wine. Lots of it…

For centuries, Bordeaux has commanded an almost mythical status in the world of wine as a symbol of wealth, power and influence – but its prosperity has always been linked to the capricious nature of markets and the shifting fortunes of global economies.

Now Bordeaux is courting China, its most lucrative customer ever. Traditional customers like the US and the UK are falling away as China’s new rich push prices to stratospheric levels. The product is finite and this new client wants it all. But China’s insatiable appetite for rare wine, its own ambitions as a wine producer and its counterfeiting of Bordeaux wines on an unprecedented scale, all threaten to permanently damage Bordeaux’s reputation.

Bordeaux must weigh up the risks of turning its back on traditional markets and the challenges to its integrity as it follows the seductive promise of this new “silk road”.

Narrated by Russell Crowe, this fascinating documentary explores the global power shift from the West to the East through the most coveted wines on the planet…a phenomenon that has seen red wine become more valuable than gold.

Grab a copy of Red Obsession here

GUEST BLOG: How to Think About Exercise by Philosopher and Author Damon Young

If I say I’m “researching a new book”, you might imagine an image like this:

1

If so, you’d usually be spot on. In this case, I’m reading the Bhagavad Gita, the ancient Hindu scripture. It’s for the chapter on yoga, meditation and oneness in How to Think About Exercise.

But for that chapter, I also did research like this (often badly):

2

The book included high-minded study like this:

3

And so much of this scholarship I kept buying new shoes:

How to Think About Exercise is certainly about thinking. But not thinking as something ethereal and monkish; something only done in a chair in a high tower, while wearing noise-cancelling earphones. One of the points of the book is that minds are not spiritual somethings, off in faraway neverlands. We are not minds who have bodies: we are bodies. And ‘mind’ is a verb, not a neat little noun — it’s something we do.

So the gym, swimming pool or yoga studio needn’t be spots for mindless physicality, and scholarship needn’t be sedentary. We can think through exercise. It can offer new ideas and impressions. It can also help to develop valuable dispositions: also known as ‘virtues’.

The point isn’t that exercise will automatically transform us into angelic superbeings with rock-hard abs and morals. The point is that intellectual and ethical life can be enhanced and enriched with good habits – including those involved in fitness and sports.

For example, there is no doubt that swimming is an excellent way to develop muscle and improve heart function. It is an all-body workout. But immersion in water can also offer an encounter with the sublime.

Eighteenth- and nineteenth-century authors like Edmund Burke and Arthur Schopenhauer described the sublime as a unique combination of awe and fear. We have a thrilling feeling of immensity and oneness, which frightens pleasurably.

The psychology is complex and not yet understood, but the basic feeling is unmissable – what I’ve called “vulnerable aliveness”. What looks like an ordinary dip in the local pool can also be a confrontation with the quiet, enveloping enormity of water:

5

As this suggests, one of the most important messages of How to Think About Exercise is pleasure. This is exercise, not as a dull duty, but as a distinctive joy. And this joy is not simply one of physical power – although this, as Nietzsche noted, is genuine. Exercise can be rewarding for its psychological payoffs, like the ‘flow’ of climbing or oneness of yoga. It can offer the ethical pleasure of pride in sprinting, or the reverie of walking.

So exercise doesn’t have to be about losing weight to conform with a marketed ideal. I needn’t involve macho swagger or (well-lit, airbrushed) models. It is about wholeness, in which we cultivate mind and body together, over a lifetime.

Grab a copy of How To Think About Exercise here

How to Think About Exercise

The School of Life

by Damon Young

It can often seem like existence is split in two: body and mind, flesh and spirit, moving and thinking. In the office or at study we are ‘mind workers’, with superfluous bodies. In the gym we stretch, run and lift, but our minds are idle. Damon Young challenges this idea, revealing how fitness can develop our bodies and minds, together.

Exploring exercises and sports with the help of ancient and modern philosophy, he uncovers the pleasures, virtues and big ideas of fitness. By exercising intelligently, we are committing to wholeness: enjoying and enhancing our full humanity.

About the Author

Damon Young is an Australian philosopher, author and commentator. He is an Honorary Fellow in Philosophy at the University of Melbourne and the author of several books including Voltaire’s Vine and Other Philosophies.

Grab a copy of How To Think About Exercise here

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 14,638 other followers

%d bloggers like this: