REVIEW: Catastrophe: Europe Goes to War 1914 by Max Hastings (Review by Justin Cahill)

28 June 2014 marks the centenary of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary and his wife, Sophie, at Sarejevo. The conflict it spawned destroyed four empires, brought two of my great-grandfathers to the trenches strung out along the Western front and one of my great-granduncles to Gallipoli.

A library of books already exists documenting every facet of the conflict. The coming anniversary has inspired many more. Can there be anything left to say? Max Hastings shows us there is still much to learn about the outbreak of World War I; that “war to end war.”

Hastings offers three important lessons. The first is on causation. For far too long, the standard accounts of the War’s origins have been dominated by the assumption that Europe’s great powers blundered into conflict. Hastings shows that each made a series of calculated decisions that they knew would lead to war. Nor did they underestimate its extent.

The second is on sources. Most accounts of the War are dominated by the views of monarchs, presidents, prime ministers, generals and diplomats. The voices of ordinary people are rarely heard. Hastings redresses this imbalance, including an impressive range of quotes for their letters and journals in his account.

Sir Max Hastings

Max Hastings

Hasting’s third lesson is about guilt. He makes it abundantly clear that Germany and Austria-Hungry were to blame for the escalation of international tensions after the Archduke was killed and the eventual outbreak of hostilities. And therein lies Hasting’s unspoken fourth lesson.

After the War, Germany was forced to accept guilt for the losses its aggression caused the Allies. It agreed to pay them reparations of US$63 billion (about US$768 billion in 2010, the year the last instalment was paid).

Germany was promptly torn apart by civil war. By the 1920s its economy was crippled by hyperinflation; the Depression wiped out what remained. Hundreds of thousands lost their jobs, savings and homes. Who could lead Germany out of the darkness? Cue the rise of Adolf Hitler, already undergoing his metamorphosis from Viennese derelict to genocidal psychopath.

The rest is not quite history. We still live with the War’s ultimate results; all arguably caused by two gunshots one sunny day in Sarajevo. Hasting’s book is a timely reminder the past is never that far away. And it always has something more to tell.

Grab a copy of Catastrophe: Europe Goes to War 1914 here


Justin Cahill is an historian and solicitor, his university thesis being on the negotiations between the British and Chinese governments over the return of Hong Kong to China in 1997.

His current projects include completing the first history of European settlement in Australia and New Zealand told from the perspective of ordinary people.

He is a regular contributor to the Sydney Morning Herald’s ‘Heckler’ column.

Tanya Saad reflects on her extraordinary new memoir From the Feet Up

9781743566770When we are teenagers we dream of being many things. I dreamt of writing today’s classic women’s novel just like Jo March in Little Women by Louise May Alcott.

Life was an adventure for my two sisters and I growing up in a country town with a Lebanese heritage. And like the March sisters, despite growing up in the same household we experienced very different childhoods and have gone on to lead very different lives.

It just so happened that the profound moments in my life were about discovering one thing – who we are and what it means to be a woman – be it as a Lebanese woman, an athlete, a proud gay woman and one of two sisters in my family that carried the BRCA 1 breast and ovarian cancer gene fault.

Thanks to this common thread of family life experiences, at the age of thirty five I found the story I wanted to tell and share.

My Memoir, From the Feet Up, gives some novel and insightful perspectives on issues confronting today’s women from tackling bullying, exploring our femininity, to how we socially interact with one another and plan or not plan our lives.  It offers some revelations along the way but I also hope its gets women talking to one another, questioning what you would do if you were in my shoes. I love books that do that.

I especially wanted to share my BRCA journey and the life changing decisions I had to make amid my wonderful and entertaining family dynamic, for other women and families out there facing the same or similar challenges. Often I have found a line or two in a book to hold on to and live by that has helped me find my feet and the natural order of my life amidst the chaos and confusion of society and its social constructs. I hope my Memoir will do the same.

Grab a copy of From the Feet Up here

Grab a copy of From the Feet Up here

REVIEW: A Million Ways to Die in the West by Seth MacFarlane, the creator of Family Guy and Ted (Review by Elizabeth Earl)

To start with, this was not what I expected. The name Seth MacFarlane brings to mind surreal, boundary-breaking, explicit, black humour. It’s the stuff you know you really shouldn’t laugh at, but you can’t help when you do.

I was expecting something really funny, and extremely inappropriate. Instead, I got a comic love story set in the wild west, kinda Cohen brothersesque. And… I liked it.

The story centres on Albert Stark, a cowardly and decidedly unhappy sheep farmer who has just been dumped by his girlfriend, and Anna, a beautiful, smart and self-assured woman – with a merciless gunslinger for a husband. Anna befriends Albert after a moment of uncharacteristic heroism where he rescues her from a bar brawl, and in a desperate attempt to win back the love of his life, Albert challenges his ex-girlfriend’s new beau to a duel- one that he can’t possibly win, without Anna’s help.

This is a story about a man who was born in the wrong place, at the wrong time. Everything in the west disagrees with him, and his general ineptitude and distaste for the brutality of the west makes him all the more endearing. The characters are well-rounded and likeable- in particular Anna, who is just the right mix of sweetness and fortitude.

A word of warning though, do not go into this book expecting Family Guy in the wild west, which would be great, Seth- if you’ve got time, but this is its own kind of great. A Million Ways to Die in the West is very funny, with the patented black, deadpan humour and cynicism MacFarlane is known for, but there’s more here than comedy for comedy’s sake. Get in before the film comes out, you won’t be disappointed.

Review by Elizabeth Earl

Grab a copy of Seth MacFarlane’s A Million Ways to Die in the West 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

GUEST BLOG: My Romantic Achilles Heel – by bestselling author Kate Belle

Bestselling author Kate Belle on the expectation of a HEA

I have an affliction as a ‘romance’ writer. I’m not good at happy endings. Actually, it’s more of a curse than an affliction, because romance readers expect their Happy Ever After (HEA) fix, it’s why they read the genre. For God’s sake, in romance HEA’s are mandatory! It’s part of the genre’s promise.

Believe me, I’ve tried, God knows I’ve tried, but to no avail. My story’s endings are always tinged with bitter-sweet. My questionable romantic history probably has a lot to answer for here. My bent out of shape, battered heart looks more like a returned WWII soldier than a thing of worthy of loving. I’m not doing a poor-me act here, I know I’m not alone in the ‘I stuffed it up’ stakes. But for some reason, perhaps the way my psyche is built, instead of hungering for inspiring stories where true love ultimately finds a way like everyone else, I hunger for truth. I want to know how to survive a broken heart, humiliating mistakes and choosing the wrong guy. I want to understand how to come out of those experiences wiser and stronger.

Which isn’t, on the whole, what a romance writer is supposed to do. Most romance authors offer their characters bright, sunny futures as couples. I offer mine tough choices and the opportunity to seek a deeper truth about themselves in love. Which leads me to wonder, can I call truly myself a romance writer? Am I failing reader’s expectations by classifying my books as ‘romance’? Am I just upsetting people by not delivering on the widely accepted promise of a HEA?

Kate BelleThe truth is I can only write the stories that grow within me. Everything I write comes from a deep and honest place. I draw it up from the murky subconscious and half the time I don’t know what’s coming until I start typing. If I try for a neatly-tied-up-in-a-bow HEA ending, all sweet and romantic and perfect, I feel I’m betraying the origins of my story in some way. If I force it I fear I’ll be outed as a fake. So best I be honest, ‘woman-up’ and admit it.

I’m crap at romantic Happy Ever After.

The uncomfortable ramification of this revelation is realising I’m a black sheep in Australia’s golden stables of pedigree romance writers (we have so many of them, just look at Booktopia’s Romance posts for July). What right do I have, with my subversive stories, to even lay claim to being a romance writer? Am I traitor to the cause? The ultimate wanna-be?

My answer arrived recently in a timely email from a reader who’d received The Yearning as a birthday gift. This is what some of she said:

I have to say, the book resonated with me in a way that no other book has. … I like that it didn’t deliver the cliche ending, it kept things real but also left you hanging somewhat – yearning almost – giving the reader the opportunity to draw their own conclusions about some of the story. … I cannot stop raving about the impact that this book had on me.  (Reprinted with permission)

Thankfully books find their natural habitat once they are released into the wild. People read them and either allow their expectations to be shifted, or push the book aside because it doesn’t give them what they were looking for. As it turns out, Happy Ever After doesn’t always have to be about neat bows. It can be about wisdom, strength and the confidence to step into a new future with a clearer vision of what we want. While my stories may not fit romance in the purest sense, they are about love. The journey’s my characters take are inspired by what I’ve learned from the School of Romantic Failures and my endings, while not always neat, contain the most important ingredient in a HEA – hope.

——————————————————–

Kate is a multi-published author who writes dark, sensual contemporary women’s fiction. She lives, writes and loves in Melbourne, juggling her strange, secret affairs with her male characters with her much loved partner and daughter and a menagerie of neurotic pets.

Kate holds a tertiary qualification in chemistry, half a diploma in naturopathy and a diploma in psychological astrology. Kate believes in living a passionate life and has ridden a camel through the Australian desert, fraternised with hippies in Nimbin, had a near birth experience and lived on nothing but porridge and a carrot for 3 days.

Head over to Kate’s website http://www.ecstasyfiles.com, like her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/katebelle.x, and don’t forget to follow her on twitter at @ecstasyfiles

Winners of the Maggie Beer, Stephen King, J.K. Rowling and Jennifer Saunders prizes!

Maggie Beer Hamper – valued at over $500!

B. Colebrook, Nelson Bay, NSW

Grab a copy of Maggie’s Christmas here


imag1263-1Winner of THE ULTIMATE STEPHEN KING BOOK PACK – over 50 titles!

H. Carruthers, Torrens Park, SA


Grab a copy of Doctor Sleep here


the-casual-vacancyWinners of a signed copy of The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling!

L.Hope, Castle Hill, NSW
E.Lewis, Clifton Hill, VIC
E. McMurdie, Silvan, VIC
F. Coman, Mont Albert, VIC
B. Zerner, Fairfield, QLD
P. McGahan, Toowoomba, QLD


Grab a copy of The Casual Vacancy here


bonkers-my-life-in-laughsWinners of a signed copy of Bonkers : My Life in Laughs by Jennifer Saunders

B. Kemmis, Toormina, NSW
C. Teh, Narraweena, NSW
M. Strang, Pymble, NSW
Y. Gray, Strathfield, NSW
L. Fuller, Baulkham Hills, NSW
R. Morrison, Kiama Downs, NSW
A. Jones, Cannington, WA
D. Griffiths, Prahran, VIC
G. Barker, Bentleigh, VIC
P. Buttigieg, North Perth, WA


Grab a copy of Bonkers here


Congratulations to all the winners!
A Booktopia representative will be in contact with you via email or phone during December to confirm delivery of your prize.

What Katie Read – The November Round Up (by award-winning author Kate Forsyth)

One of Australia’s favourite novelists Kate Forsyth, author of Bitter Greens and The Wild Girl, continues her monthly blog with us, giving her verdict on the books she’s been reading.

I read 9 books this month, with an interesting mixture of historical fiction, contemporary suspense, and philosophy. It was also AusReading Month in the blogosphere and so I made an effort to read some of the books by Australian authors in my tottering pile of books to-be-read.

I managed four – Kelly Gardiner, Sara Foster, Jenny Bond and Damon Young – and I can recommend them all. Proof that we have an exciting degree of writing talent here in Australia!


Mrs Poemrs-poe

by Lynn Cullen

I have always thought of Edgar Allen Poe as being a strange, moody, melancholy drunk, prone to irrational rages, with a mind like a dark cabinet of curiosities. This novel bursts open those misconceptions and shines a bright light on his life, through the eyes of the woman who loved him. But no, not his wife. Mrs Poe is told through the eyes of his lover, the poet Frances Osgood. It is mostly set in 1845, the year Poe wrote his most famous poem, The Raven.

There is a Mrs Poe – Edgar’s wife was his first cousin and they were married when she was only 13 – and Frances finds herself torn by love for Edgar and guilt over hurting his naïve and childlike wife. This novel is a really fascinating read – it brought the world of 1840s New York vividly to life, taught me a whole lot I didn’t know, and made me want to go and read Poe again.

Click here for more details about Mrs. Poe


The Girl on the Golden Coin

by Marci Jefferson

The Restoration is one of my absolute favourite periods of history and I have read a lot of books set in that period. However, I had never read about Frances Stuart before and so I found this novel of her life by Marci Jefferson utterly fascinating.

Frances is a distant cousin of Charles II whose family lost everything in the English Civil War and their subsequent exile with the royal court.  Frances has only her beauty and her wit to help her survive in the decadent Restoration court, but she uses both to high advantage.

Spying for the French king, Louis XIV, on the one hand and keeping a sensual King Charles II on a short leash with the other hand, Frances must keep a clear head without losing her heart –which proves far more difficult than she imagined.  A wonderful read for anyone who loves historical fiction.

Click here for more details about The Girl on the Golden Coin


Act of Faithact-of-faith

by Kelly Gardiner

Act of Faith is an intoxicating mixture of history, adventure, romance and philosophy. It is, I think, one of the cleverest books to be published for young adults in the past few years, yet it wears its scholarship lightly.

The novel is set in 1640. England is in the midst of the English Civil War, a time of extraordinary political and religious upheaval. The heroine of the tale is Isabella Hawkins, daughter of an Oxford don and philosopher. She has been taught by her father to read Greek and Latin, as well as many other languages, but she has to hide her brilliance for, in the mid-17th century educated women were considered quite freakish.

When Master Hawkins is imprisoned for his ideas, Isabella helps her father escape but sets in chain a sequence of events that will end in tragedy and exile. She ends up alone, in Amsterdam, working with a printer who is publishing seditious books and smuggling them all over the world. Danger is all around her, but Isabella is determined to work for political liberty and intellectual freedom. With a gorgeous cover and interior design from the Harper Collins designers, this is a book both beautiful and brilliant, and one I highly recommend.

Click here for more details about Act of Faith


death-and-judgmentDeath and Judgement

by Donna Leon

I always enjoy Donna Leon’s murder mysteries set in Venice and featuring the unflappable Commissario Guido Brunetti. This book is No 4 in the series and not one of her best, but its still very readable.

In this case, Brunetti is investigating the murder of a prominent lawyer. As he digs deeper, Brunetti discovers a sordid web of corruption, prostitution and lies which ends up hurting his own family.Donna Leon has now written 22 books, and apparently a TV series is being filmed. I’d recommend starting with No. 1 (Death at la Fenice) and reading your way through.

Click here for more details about Death and Judgement


Beneath the Shadowsbeneath-the-shadows

by Sara Foster

This contemporary suspense novel begins with a really intriguing premise. Our heroine Grace is living in an old Yorkshire cottage with her husband and newborn baby. One evening, her husband takes the baby out for a walk and never comes back. The baby is found on the doorstep in her pram.

One year later, Grace returns to the cottage in an attempt to put the pieces of her life back together. She finds herself troubled by strange happenings and gradually comes to realise that she and her daughter are both in grave danger. The suspense is a little unevenly handled, but the setting is truly creepy and evocative and the story kept me turning the pages.

Click here for more details about Beneath the Shadows


my-brother-michaelMy Brother Michael

by Mary Stewart

Mary Stewart is one of my all-time favourite authors, and I like to re-read at least one of her books again every year. My Brother Michael has never been one of my favourites, but its been a long while since I last read it (at least six years!) so I felt it was time to revisit. I’m so glad I did.

Her books are such a joy to read – effortlessly graceful, suspenseful, character-driven and this one made me want to go to Greece so badly. My Brother Michael was first published in 1959, yet it has not dated at all. I wish I could find a modern-day romantic suspense author that writes this well!

Click here for more details about My Brother Michael


Goodbye, Marianne: A Story of Growing Up in Nazi Germanygood-bye-marianne

by Irene N. Watts

A novel for children inspired by the author’s own childhood, this is a beautiful and very moving account of life for a young Jewish girl in Berlin in the early days of World War II.

Marianne, like the author, escapes on the Kindertransport to Great Britain, leaving her family behind, so the book does not contain any great atrocity, making it a perfect read for a thoughtful and sensitive child.

Click here for more details about Goodbye, Marianne


perfect-northPerfect North

by Jenny Bond

This historical novel is the first book from Jenny Bond and illuminates a little known expedition to conquer the North Pole by hot-air balloon. A

lthough inspired by true events – the 1897 hydrogen balloon voyage by Swedish explorers S.A Andrée, Knut Frænkel and Nils Strindberg to the North Pole and the discovery of their frozen remains in 1930 – the story is much more focused on the inner life of Strindberg’s fiancée Anna.

An intriguing and unusual book.

Click here for more details about Perfect North


philosophy-in-the-gardenPhilosophy in the Garden

by Damon Young

What an unusual and engaging book! Damon Young is Honorary Fellow in Philosophy at the University of Melbourne, which makes him sound rather musty and dusty. On the contrary he is young, hip, and has a very readable style. His premise is very simple – he looks at the lives and works of half-a-dozen authors in relation to their garden (or lack of garden) with a particular focus on their philosophies. I was very familiar with some of the writers’ work (Jane Austen, George Orwell, Emily Dickinson), had tried and failed to read some of the others (Friedrich Nietzsche, Jean-Paul Sartre) and had never heard of one (Nikos Kazantzakis).

Each chapter was full of illuminations and insights. I knew Jane Austen loved her garden but did not realise that her writing suffered when she was away from it. I didn’t know Proust kept bonsai by his bed, or that Friedrich Nietzsche lived in a ménage a trois (this was one chapter when I’d have liked to have known a whole lot more!)

I loved discovering Emily Dickinson was a gardener and that her poems were full of flower symbology. Each chapter made me want to know more, and sent me on little expeditions of googling and looking up other books. And I’m now off in search of books by Nikos Kazantzakis (he sounds so brilliant, how could I never have heard of him?) I’d really recommend this for anyone with an enquiring mind (even those who, like Sartre, hated gardens).

Click here for more details about Philosophy in the Garden

REVIEW: Sugared Orange : Recipes and Stories from a Winter in Poland by Beata Zatorska

Click here for more details or to buy Sugared OrangesAnyone who loved Rose Petal Jam is going to adore this chilly sister volume about the winter foods of Poland. Sydney GP Beata Zatorska is back with more family and carefully chosen classic recipes from around her native country, lovingly collected on journeys through snow and ice. It takes a lot of love to publish a book that puts so much effort into photography (magical snowscapes by Beata’s documentary maker husband Simon Target) and superb design, creating the effect of a cherished family album.

One thoughtful and sensitive aspect of Beata’s recipe gathering is the way she’s integrated recipes from Jewish culture alongside those from Catholic homes. So you’ll find ways to cook fish for Easter and special saints days favourites alongside dishes for Chanukah celebrations.

The result is simply gorgeous to look at and a source of great inspiration when it comes to rib sticking slow cooked comfort food. Beetroot soup with wild mushroom dumplings gets my vote. Author: Beata Zatorska There’s a modesty and frugality to the ingredients, with meat used sparingly as a garnish rather than the main event, and vegetables given prominence in a culture where growing your own and going to local markets is not a fashion, it’s a way of life.

And of course, the sweet tooth factor is not forgotten. The only way you are going to enjoy a white Christmas is if you substitute sugar for snow. Orange ice cream, typically eaten in minus freezing temperatures is a pretty and refreshing option that will adapt to our climate in one scoop.

Review by Caroline Baum

Also by Beata Zatorska…

Click here for more information...Rose Petal Jam

Recipes & Stories from a Summer in Poland

Beata Zatorska recently returned to her native Poland for the first time in more than 20 years. Her base was the small mountain village in which she was raised by her grandmother, a professional chef whose homespun herbal remedies – using fresh ingredients from her own garden and made according to recipes perfected over generations – inspired in Beata the desire to become a doctor. It was a dream she would fulfill with her family’s unstinting support, ultimately establishing a general practice in Sydney.

Accompanied by her husband Simon, Beata spent the summer exploring her home country, travelling tiny roads lined with wild rose bushes, finding castles and palaces in rolling meadows and untamed forests. Beata also rediscovered her grandmother’s delicious family recipes – an extraordinary almanac of traditional Polish dishes.

Rose Petal Jam brings together more than 50 of those recipes in one delightful collection. Recipes for Beetroot-shoot Soup, delicate Pierogi (Polish ravioli), Pork with Caraway and Onion and tasty sweet treats like Apple Pancakes and, of course, Rose Petal Jam reveal the subtlety and variety of Polish cuisine.

But it is much more than a simple cookbook: Beata’s memories of growing up in the Communist Poland of the 60s and 70s intertwine with the couple’s discovery of a modern, vibrant and optimistic Poland, a member country of the European Union. Traditional paintings and poems celebrating the best of this rich culture are scattered throughout. And hundreds of photographs taken by Simon on their travels reveal an unspoiled countryside to rival the better-known rural idylls of Tuscany and Provençe, as well as the impressive architectural heritage of centuries-old cities like Warsaw, Gdan and Kraków.

Rose Petal Jam is part-memoir, part-travel narrative, part-cookbook … and altogether a charming and engaging introduction to a relatively undiscovered world and its people, culture and traditions.

Click here for more details or to buy Sugared OrangesAbout the Author

Beata Zatorska was born in Jelenia Góra, Poland. She started her medical training in Wrocław but graduated from the University of Sydney, and now works as a family doctor in Australia. Rose Petal Jam was the story of her return to Poland after 20 years away.With photography by her film maker husband Simon Target, Beata recalled summers spent in a remote village in the foothills of the Karkonosze Mountains in the care of her beloved grandmother, and the recipes she learned to cook there. Translated into German and Polish, the book has won design and print awards in many countries.

Copies available here…

THE BOOKTOPIA TOP TENS: Top Ten Must-Read Novels For Young Adults

How do you choose a Top Ten from a category which covers so many genres? Young Adult fiction has exploded in the last decade, and some of the most innovative and captivating fiction is being sequestered away to that sprawling section at the back of the bookstore.

But never fear! Booktopia’s YA enthusiasts have selected ten of the best that this incredible category has to offer. Limiting our list to ten was extremely difficult, and we tried to account for different age ranges, genres and audiences*.

This is one Top Ten that everyone has on opinion on (no Phillip Pulman! No Vampire Academy!), so let us know your thoughts below.

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THE BOOKTOPIA TOP TENS: Top Ten Sci-Fi Novels

Consider this summer the summer of The Booktopia Ten Tens. We’ll be looking at our Top 10 Romance Novels, Sport, Young Adult, Self Help, Villains, Heroes, and plenty more. Today we look at our Top Ten Sci-Fi Novels.

Choosing a Top Ten in one of fiction’s most popular categories was always going to be tricky… Lucky for us, Booktopia has our fair share of Sci-Fi nerds experts.

Are you an old hand at everything extra-terrestrial? Think that we ticked all the boxes or missed a crucial classic? Let us know below!

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