Celebrate Booktoberfest with Booktopia and Text Publishing- you could win a prize pack worth over $700!

Celebrate Booktoberfest with Booktopia and Text Publishing and you could win this amazing prize pack worth over $700!!!

Just buy any title in Text Publishing’s Booktoberfest Showcase and you could win!

Click here to enter Text Publishing’s showcase

Our Top Pick

The Rosie Effect

by Graeme Simsion

‘We’ve got something to celebrate,’ Rosie said.

I am not fond of surprises, especially if they disrupt plans already in place. I assumed that she had achieved some important milestone with her thesis. Or perhaps she had been offered a place in the psychiatry-training programme. This would be extremely good news, and I estimated the probability of sex at greater than 80%.

‘We’re pregnant,’ she said.

The Rosie Project was an international publishing phenomenon, with more than a million copies sold in over forty countries around the world. Now Graeme Simsion returns with the highly anticipated sequel, The Rosie Effect.

Don Tillman and Rosie Jarman are now married and living in New York. Don has been teaching while Rosie completes her second year at Columbia Medical School. Just as Don is about to announce that Gene, his philandering best friend from Australia, is coming to stay, Rosie drops a bombshell: she’s pregnant.

In true Tillman style, Don instantly becomes an expert on all things obstetric. But in between immersing himself in a new research study on parenting and implementing the Standardised Meal System (pregnancy version), Don’s old weaknesses resurface. And while he strives to get the technicalities right, he gets the emotions all wrong, and risks losing Rosie when she needs him most.

The Rosie Effect is the charming and hilarious romantic comedy of the year.

Click here to enter Text Publishing’s showcase

BOOKTOBERFEST GUEST BLOG : Roy Higgins: Australia’s Favourite Jockey by Patrick Bartley

roy-higginsThe Melbourne Spring Carnival throws up uncertainty as quickly as the odds change in the Melbourne Cup all-in market. The favourite one day, can find himself the despised outsider. Every year we play the guessing game that is the Spring Carnival.

It’s never an exact science, and in my thirty-eight years as a racing writer, I’ve seen Caulfield Cup winners and likely Melbourne Cup victors pull out an indifferent track gallop, draw a bad barrier or rain affected track as the punters watch their hard-earned go down the drain, figuratively speaking.

In the spring of 1965, the Caulfield Cup favourite was scratched the morning of, and only one man thought she’d ever make it to the first Tuesday in November. That man of course, was arguably Australia’s greatest ever jockey – Roy Higgins. I had the pleasure of working with and relying on Higgins for information during my time as a daily paper journalist, and his account of the three incredibly crucial weeks between the two Cups was pivotal to the bond between horse and jockey that would transcend Australian racing and connect with the hearts of the general public.

After nearly falling in her final lead up to the Caulfield Cup, Light Fingers’ trainer Bart Cummings had no choice but to withdraw her from Australia’s second most important handicap. Unlike humans, you can only treat horses to a certain degree. You can’t over-medicate them because they can go off their feed. Light Fingers was a small, lightly framed mare as it was and she needed all the strength she could muster to get to the Melbourne Cup. It was a balance of easing the pain with medication, but at the same time being able to work her into fitness so that she was ready for arguably the toughest race in the Southern Hemisphere.

Ironically, she was in so much pain that she couldn’t have a jockey on her back, and instead Cummings and his team had to swim her in the Maribyrnong River, hoping that those miles of swimming would translate to miles in her legs.

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Patrick Bartley

Higgins told me that during this uncertain time, where his favourite horse, who he called ‘Mother’ because of her calming nature for the other horses in the stable, that he wasn’t sure she would make it to the Cup, but he was willing to forego rides on other fancied runners in the hope that she would make it.

“There was no shortage of outside offers once Light Fingers came out of the Caulfield Cup. Other stables had written her off, but I stood my ground. She had so much to offer, I was prepared to stay with her. I knew, unlike other trainers and owners, that Bart was working around the clock. My filly’s so good that if she gets to the post she just might win and if she does it would break my heart not to be her rider.”

As history tells us, this tiny chestnut mare, who had a heart as big as Phar Lap, not only made it to the barriers, but she wore down another of Cummings’ runners who was a big, strong colt and had had a faultless preparation, called Ziema. Higgins said that because Light Fingers had been used to calm Ziema down when he was being unruly around the stable, that when the colt felt her presence, he started to slow down and wait for her, which was when she stuck her neck out and did the unthinkable.

I remember visiting Higgs’ house many times over the years, and of all the winners he had ridden, and the great races he had won, the only framed photo was of Light Fingers.

Even though that was almost forty years ago, every spring carnival tells similar tales. From Big Philou in 1969 to the Caulfield Cup’s shortest-priced favourite in forty-one years, when Maldivian played up at the start and was withdrawn thirty seconds before the gates opened, the Spring throws up things that no trainer, punter or racing journalist can prepare for, but must quickly adapt to.

Grab a copy of Roy Higgins here


roy-higginsRoy Higgins

by Patrick Bartley

Everyone loved Roy Higgins. A warm and genuine character with a great sense of humour, the boy from the bush was known as ‘The Professor’ for his freakish ability to read the track and his easy eloquence. He became a household name not just for his work in the saddle but as one of the first jockeys to embrace the media.

Higgins’ racing record was extraordinary. He rode Bart Cummings’ first Melbourne Cup winner, Light Fingers, in 1965, and was one of a handful of jockeys to win the grand slam of racing: the Golden Slipper, Cox Plate, Caulfield Cup and Melbourne Cup. Over his 30-year career, Higgins clocked up 2312 wins, including 108 Group 1 races. All this, despite a never-ending battle with his weight.

Roy Higgins died in March 2014, aged 75. His televised funeral took place in the mounting yard at Flemington, a fitting tribute to the humble man who had a profound effect on horseracing for more than five decades as jockey, commentator and teacher.

This is a celebration of a great Australian, with racing royalty, friends and family sharing their stories and memories of Roy Higgins, the gentle trailblazer who touched their lives.

About the Author

Patrick Bartley is the chief racing writer at The Age. In 2013 he won his second Bert Wolfe Award, the Victoria Racing Media Association (VRMA) award for Media Excellence in Victoria. Leading up to that award, Patrick had won three consecutive VRMA awards for Best News Story. Patrick’s investigative reports with John Silvester, into Tony Mokbel’s racing interests in 2007, were recognised by many as highly influential pieces. Penguin published On the Punt, a collection of Patrick’s columns, in 2010.

Grab a copy of Roy Higgins here

Celebrate Booktoberfest with Booktopia and Thames & Hudson- you could win a prize pack worth $700!

Celebrate Booktoberfest with Booktopia and Thames & Hudson and you could win this amazing prize pack worth over $700!!!

Just buy any title in Thames & Hudson’s Booktoberfest Showcase and you could win!

Click here to enter Thames & Hudson’s showcase

Our Top Pick

The Forever House

by Cameron Bruhn, Katelin Butler

Imagine a home designed and built especially for your family to grow, evolve and create memories in over a lifetime.

The Forever House celebrates 23 such dwellings through the intimate stories of the families and architects who created them.

Featuring the Seidler house in Sydney and an introduction from Peggy Seidler for the 60’s section, The Forever House covers the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and 80’s with an essay introducing each section.

These are homes, still lived in today by the families that had them commissioned.

Click here to enter Thames & Hudson’s showcase

Celebrate Booktoberfest with Booktopia and The Five Mile Press- you could win a prize pack worth $999!

Celebrate Booktoberfest with Booktopia and The Five Mile Press and you could win this amazing prize pack worth $999!!

Just buy any title in The Five Mile Press Booktoberfest Showcase and you could win!

Click here to enter The Five Mile Press showcase

Our Top Pick

Little Elliot, Big City

by Mike Curato

Amid the hustle and bustle, the big crowds and bigger buildings, Little Elliot leads a quiet life in the big city. Little Elliot faces a unique set of challenges in his daily life.

But he doesn’t mind! There are too many wonderful things to enjoy. Whether meeting that special friend who lifts him to new heights, or finally getting that long-awaited cupcake, it’s the little things that count in this sweet story.

This message will resonate with every reader, little or big.

Click here to enter The Five Mile Press showcase

Celebrate Booktoberfest with Booktopia and Murdoch Books- you could win a prize pack worth over $800!

Celebrate Booktoberfest with Booktopia and Murdoch Books and you could win this amazing prize pack worth over $800!!!

Just buy any title in Murdoch Books’ Booktoberfest Showcase and you could win!

Click here to enter Murdoch Books’ showcase

Our Top Pick

Sepia

by Martin Benn

Sepia, is quite simply, one long, exquisite, “wow” moment.’ – John Lethlean, Weekend Australian Magazine

Renowned chef Martin Benn takes the reader on a culinary journey through 60 of his exciting dishes. Based around four degustation menus, the book highlights the technical mastery and sheer beauty of Martin’s food, with its deep connections to Japanese cuisine and flavours and its focus on texture and contrast. Included is the recipe for Martin’s incredibly intricate, exquisite Chocolate Forest Floor. Text, design and photography combine to recreate the atmosphere and the sophisticated, art deco feel of his Sydney restaurant, Sepia.

Interspersed among the menus are narrative features exploring the workings of the restaurant, and the stories of its staff and clientele, while location photography captures a sense of old-fashioned, cosmopolitan glamour.

Click here to enter Murdoch Books’ showcase

BOOKTOBERFEST GUEST BLOG: Reading Fiction by Fiona McIntosh, author of Nightingale

auteurs-fiona-mcintoshI realised with shame that I’d not read any fiction for so long that I was losing touch with other people’s storytelling.  I was so immersed in my two novels per year, my research/travels, masterclasses, book tours, festivals and just as importantly, my family, that reading for the pure joy of entertainment had been ignored.  I do read towers of books for research and I love it, but it’s not the same rush of adrenaline as fiction provides.

So from mid 2014 I made my pact.  Since then I’ve devoured a dozen or more novels, which is good going for me on my hectic schedule.  And I am amazed, gobsmacked, beyond thrilled at the escape I have found in the pages of everything from current blockbusters to all those must-reads that slipped me by.  I am ticking them off and in a state of appalled pleasure that I nearly didn’t do this.

I have rediscovered surrender to and abandonment in a story where I’m not thinking about showing/telling, succinct sentences or character development.  I’m just getting lost with a cast and its conflicts. I want to remind anyone else who may be allowing themselves to be too distracted to pick up a book.

There is nothing more personal, intimate and drama laden … or more enjoyable than a book you feel like reading, with a pot of tea/coffee, a plate of chocolates nearby and silence.  It’s the ultimate treat – spoil yourself.


Fiona McIntosh’s Nightingale is a featured title in Penguin’s Booktoberfest Showcase, click here for more details

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nightingaleNightingale

by Fiona McIntosh

‘Love comes out of nowhere for most of us, when we least expect it . . . this young man has flown into your heart and made a nest.’

Amidst the carnage of Gallipoli, British nurse Claire Nightingale meets Australian Light Horseman Jamie Wren. Despite all odds, they fall deeply in love. Their flame burns bright and carries them through their darkest hours, even when war tears them apart.

Jamie’s chance meeting with Turkish soldier Açar Shahin on the blood-stained battlefield forges an unforgettable bond between the men. It also leaves a precious clue to Jamie’s whereabouts for Claire to follow.

Come peacetime, Claire’s desperate search to find Jamie takes her all the way to Istanbul, and deep into the heart of Açar’s family, where she attracts the unexpected attention of a charismatic and brooding scholar.

In the name of forgiveness, cultures come together, enemies embrace and forbidden passions ignite – but by the breathtaking conclusion, who will be left standing to capture Nurse Nightingale’s heart?

A heart-soaring novel of heartbreak and heroism, love and longing by a powerhouse Australian storyteller.

Fiona McIntosh’s Nightingale is a featured title in Penguin’s Booktoberfest Showcase, click here for more details

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Celebrate Booktoberfest with Booktopia and Harlequin- you could win a prize pack worth over $500!

Celebrate Booktoberfest with Booktopia and Harlequin and you could win this amazing prize pack worth over $500!!!

Just buy any title in Harlequin’s Booktoberfest Showcase and you could win!

Click here to enter Harlequin’s showcase

Our Top Pick

The Brewer’s Tale

by Karen Brooks

It had been Mother’s secret and mine, one passed down through the de Winter women for generations. I would ensure it was kept that way, until I was ready to pass it on. When Anneke Sheldrake is forced to find a way to support her family after her father is lost at sea, she turns to the business by which her mother’s family once prospered: brewing ale.

Armed with her Dutch mother’s recipes and a belief that anything would be better than the life her vindictive cousin has offered her, she makes a deal with her father’s aristocratic employer: Anneke has six months to succeed or not only will she lose the house but her family as well. Through her enterprise and determination, she inadvertently earns herself a deadly enemy.

Threatened and held in contempt by those she once called friends, Anneke nonetheless thrives. But on the tail of success, tragedy follows and those closest to her pay the greatest price for her daring. Ashamed, grieving, and bearing a terrible secret, Anneke flees to London, determined to forge her own destiny. Will she be able to escape her past, and those whose only desire is to see her fail? A compelling insight into the brewer’s craft, the strength of women, and the myriad forms love can take.

Click here to enter Harlequin’s showcase

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