Top Ten (ish) Picture Books to Give to Adults – instead of “Oh, The Places You’ll Go,” again.

I have received three copies of Oh, The Places You’ll Go in the past two years. It’s read at graduations. It’s the perfect promotion gift. It’s so good that it’s used time and time again. So good that other great picture books sometimes get overlooked.H15671-e1356011194559-780x422

So here at Booktopia we have decide to take a stand. We have compiled a list of books which make the perfect gift for all of your adult friends. Want to celebrate an achievement? Make someone chuckle? Send a not-so-subtle message? There’s something here for everyone…

There’s even a little Dr. Seuss.

*This list originally began as a Top Ten, but there were so many great ones that we had to be a little lenient!


kay-thompson-s-eloise-For the DivaEloise

by Kay Thompson & Hilary Knight

Eloise is a little girl who lives at The Plaza Hotel in New York. She is not yet pretty but she is already a Person.

Henry James would want to study her. Queen Victoria would recognize her as an Equal. The New York Jets would want to have her on “their” side. Lewis Carroll would love her (once he got over the initial shock).

She knows “everything” about The Plaza. She is interested in people when they are not “boring.” She has Inner Resources.

If you take her home with you, you will always be glad you did.

Click here for more details…


For the Chronic Dieter – Feathers for Phoebefeathers-for-phoebe

by Rod Clement

Phoebe is small, grey, and ordinary – very ordinary. ‘I want to get noticed!’ she declares.

Zelda is glamorous, talented and famous – and she runs the most popular beauty salon in the forest. And she’s only too happy to help Phoebe become the bird she’s always wanted to be. First a little feather headdress, then wing extensions – until Phoebe is transformed into a Diva.

She looks gorgeous – but when she tries to take off, surprises are in store for them both!

Click here for more details…


the-rabbitsFor the Teacher - The Rabbits

by John Marsden & Shaun Tan

“The rabbits came many grandparents ago.
They built houses, made roads, had children.
They cut down trees.
A whole continent of rabbits…”

The Rabbits offers a rich and immensely valuable perspective on the effect of man on his environment. Visually loaded and told with a passion for truth and understanding, The Rabbits aims to promote cultural awareness and a sense of caring for the natural world.

Click here for more details…


For the Twitter Addict – It’s a Bookit-s-a-book

by Lane Smith

CAN IT TEXT? BLOG? SCROLL? WI-FI? TWEET? No… It’s a book.

No matter how many electronic devices are available these days, you can’t deny the simple appeal of a good book. Monkey is reading a book, but his friend wants to know what the book can do.

Does it have a mouse like his computer? Can you make the characters fight? And does it make loud noises? No, it’s a book.

Monkey’s friend discovers that a good book doesn’t need fancy electronic accessories.

Click here for more details…


the-pink-refrigeratorFor the Couch Potato – The Pink Refrigerator

by Tim Egan

“Try to do as little as possible.” This was Dodsworth’s motto. One morning, on his daily trip to the junkyard, he discovers a pink refrigerator.

There’s not much to say about a pink refrigerator, except this one had a note on it. The note said, “Paint pictures.” And so Dodsworth did.

The next day, a new note appeared on the pink refrigerator. And the day after that, and the day after that.

Dodsworth liked doing as little as possible. But the pink refrigerator had big plans for him . . .

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For the Perfectionist – Ishish

by Peter H. Reynolds

Ramon loved to draw. Anytime. Anything. Anywhere.

Drawing is what Ramon does. Its what makes him happy. But in one split second, all that changes. A single reckless remark by Ramon’s older brother, Leon, turns Ramon’s carefree sketches into joyless struggles. Luckily for Ramon, though, his little sister, Marisol, sees the world differently. She opens his eyes to something a lot more valuable than getting things just “right.”

Combining the spareness of fable with the potency of parable, Peter Reynolds shines a bright beam of light on the need to kindle and tend our creative flames with care.

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george-and-marthaFor the Best Friend – George and Martha

by James Marshall

Great friends aren’t hard to find–they’re right here.

Marshall’s themes are all resonant with a reading-age child–navigating the waters of first friendships, honesty versus kindness, curiosity versus privacy. These are the kind of deeply humorous, deeply true stories that inspire a love of reading.

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For the Friend About to Go Overseas – Where the Wild Things Arewhere-the-wild-things-are

by Maurice Sendak

Max, a wild and naughty boy, is sent to bed without his supper by his exhausted mother. In his room, he imagines sailing far away to a land of Wild Things.

Instead of eating him, the Wild Things make Max their king.

Soon Max tires of this and sails home, only to find his supper, still hot, waiting for him.

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madeline-70th-anniversary-editionFor the Nostalgic- Madeline

Ludwig Bemelman

“In an old house in Paris that was covered in vines lived twelve little girls in two straight lines…”

Something is not right with little Madeline. Her friends are sad when she goes to hospital to have her appendix removed. But they cheer up when they see her impressive scar.

The small but feisty heroine, Madeline, and her charming Parisian world have been loved by children and adults alike for seventy years.

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For the Hipster – All My Friends Are Deadall-my-friends-are-dead

by Avery Monson & Jory John

If you’re a dinosaur, all of your friends are dead. If you’re a pirate, all of your friends have scurvy. If you’re a tree, all of your friends are end tables.

Each page of this laugh-out-loud illustrated humor book showcases the downside of being everything from a clown to a cassette tape to a zombie.

Cute and dark all at once, this hilarious children’s book for adults teaches valuable lessons about life while exploring each cartoon character’s unique grievance and wide-eyed predicament.

From the sock whose only friends have gone missing to the houseplant whose friends are being slowly killed by irresponsible plant owners (like you), All My Friends Are Dead presents a delightful primer for laughing at the inevitable.

Click here for more details…


the-gruffaloFor the Entrepreneur – The Gruffalo

by Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler

“A mouse took a stroll through the deep dark wood.

A fox saw the mouse and the mouse looked good.”

Walk further into the deep dark wood, and discover what happens when the quick-thinking mouse comes face to face with an owl, a snake and a hungry gruffalo . . .

Click here for more…


For the One Who Hates Change – Schnitzel Von Krumm’s Basketworkschnitzel-von-krumm-s-basketwork

by Lynley Dodd

Sausage dog, Schnitzel von Krumm, is outraged when his family decides to replace his worn out, beaten up old basket.

The new bed doesn’t look right, feel right – or smell right.

Something must be done.

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For the Politician – The Butter Battle Bookthe-butter-battle-book

by Dr. Seuss

The Butter Battle Book, Dr. Seuss’s classic cautionary tale, introduces readers to the important lesson of respecting differences.

The Yooks and Zooks share a love of buttered bread, but animosity brews between the two groups because they prefer to enjoy the tasty treat differently.

Whether in the home or in the classroom, The Butter Battle Book is a must-have for readers of all ages.

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For the Marxist- The Moose Belongs to Methis-moose-belongs-to-me

by Oliver Jeffers

“Wilfred owned a moose. He hadn’t always owned a moose. The moose came to him a while ago and he knew, just KNEW, that it was meant to be his. He thought he would call him Marcel.”

Most of the time Marcel is very obedient, abiding by the many rules on How to Be a Good Pet.

But one dark day, while deep in the woods, someone else claims the moose as their own…Is Marcel really Wilfred’s pet after all?

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alexander-and-the-terrible-horrible-no-good-very-bad-dayFor the One Who Hates Their Job

by Judith Viorst

Alexander knew it was going to be a terrible day when he woke up with gum in this hair.

And it got worse…

His best friend deserted him. There was no dessert in his lunch bag. And, on top of all that, there were lima beans for dinner and kissing on TV!

Click here for more…

Amanda Prowse, Author of A Little Love, Clover’s Child, What Have I Done and more answers Ten Terrifying Questions

a-little-loveThe Booktopia Book Guru asks

Amanda Prowse

author of A Little Love, Clover’s Child, What Have I Done? and more…

Ten Terrifying Questions

———————

1. To begin with why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself – where were you born? Raised? Schooled?

I was born in East London (for anyone that hasn’t been there, think of the glamour of the West End, the shiny lobbies of smart hotels and the plush department stores – well, where I come from was the exact opposite, grubby, poor and cramped. But we was ‘appy!) I lived there surrounded by my loud extended family until my mid teens when my life ended.

My parents uprooted me from my friends, Saturday job at Camden Market and all that I held dear and moved me to North Yorkshire – the countryside aaaagh! Where I swapped make-up for wellington boots and live gigs for farmers markets, it was bliss. I have 3 brothers to whom I am very close. My parents had me when they were in their teens and my childhood was one of noise, laughter and the sense that we were all figuring it out as we went along, which was sometimes exciting, often a little scary.

2. What did you want to be when you were twelve, eighteen and thirty? And why?

When I was twelve I wanted to be Jennifer McCulloch, she was in my class and had big boobs and a big house, nuff said.

When I was eighteen I wanted to change the world, fight social injustice and make a difference (at 46 I still do!) I thought I would do it via journalism and raging against the machine.

At thirty I wanted to be eighteen again. amanda-prowse

3. What strongly held belief did you have at eighteen that you do not have now?

At eighteen I genuinely believed that a movement based on ‘Niceness and Compassion’ could be so infectious that it might start the change the planet needed. ‘Enough For All’ if everyone played fair – be it with food, money, love… I now think there are some people with so much that the idea of sharing and ‘giving something up’ is so terrifying that it’s impossible. This makes me sad. (and won’t stop me trying!)

4. What were three works of art – book or painting or piece of music, etc – you can now say, had a great effect on you and influenced your own development as a writer?

As a teenager I devoured music with passion, absorbing as much as I could. I still do, but am much more particular about what I listen to. It was not unusual in my teens to find me listening to Depeche Mode (Speak & Spell), Bowie (ChangesTwo) and then crying on the sofa at the magic of Etta James. One of my brothers would then punch me and tell me to snap out of it and normality would be restored.

I guess through my love of music, I learnt that what you love and what will shape you, is dependent on your mood and circumstance. It’s no different with writing – you have to keep it fluid and accessible.

5. Considering the innumerable artistic avenues open to you, why did you choose to write a novel?

I guess primarily because I am singularly useless at anything else! But also because I have a love of words, the way they look on a page, the way they can stay hovering in your mind long after that book is shut and because for me, it’s the easiest way to paint a picture.

a-little-love6. Please tell us about your latest novel…

My latest novel is called A Little Love and has been described as a fairy-tale for the modern woman – which I love! It is the story of Pru Plum – a successful baker and businesswoman who falls in love for the first time at 66.

The backdrop is the rich, indulgent world of gourmet cakes and dough and I hope sends out the message that you never know what twist or turn your life is about to take – love and adventure can strike at any time if you are brave enough to let it!

7. What do you hope people take away with them after reading your work?

I hope that I write tales that stimulate debate and discussion. What would you do in my heroine’s shoes? Did you approve of her choices? But mainly I hope to create stories that stop you from turning off the bedside lamp at night, no matter how early that alarm clock is set because you have to read one more chapter…

8. Whom do you most admire in the realm of writing and why?

Phew – so many! I repeatedly return to the work of Isabel Allende and I learn something new every time I re-read her novels. I love her style, characters and the sensory feast that awaits me on every page. However, as I have stated before my favourite book of all time is The Book Thief . It moved me, it changed me and I know there is a movie out now, but if I’m being honest, I’m frightened to go and see it for fear of damaging the imagery in my head. It is a perfect novel and I can only throw clichéd statements at it a rollercoaster, a page-turner, it stayed with me. All however are absolutely true.

9. Many artists set themselves very ambitious goals. What are yours?what-have-i-done-

My goal is simply to continue writing as I consider what I do to be an absolute privilege. I don’t deserve accolades I’m not driving an ambulance or serving my country, I simply write stories, but to earn a living by doing something I love so dearly – now that’s really something.

10. What advice do you give aspiring writers?

I have this sign on my kitchen wall ‘Persevere – never, ever, ever give up.’ And I so I think it would be that.

It’s really tough to get your work read and I am sure that many wonderful novels never get to break through the surface. Every writer gets rejected; use that criticism and feedback as fuel and act on all the advice. Tenacity, luck and honing your craft can only help in your quest.

Also, you don’t need to be a bestseller to get an enormous amount of joy from writing – whether it’s keeping a journal or writing a letter, do what brings you joy!

Amanda, thank you for playing.

Pick up a copy of A Little Love here

Caroline Baum Wrap-Up: All About Me

Caroline Baum’s author interviews have been one of the biggest highlights of our year at Booktopia. Join us as we revisit the best interviews of 2013, and perhaps discover a new favourite author along the way.

Writing a memoir is something of a balancing act; trying to reveal as much as possible, without oversharing or overexposing those involved. It also requires a great deal of vulnerability and a knack for picking up on the small details which make day-to-day events interesting. Each of the authors in this post share their thoughts on that process with sincerity and self-awareness, which makes for seriously fascinating viewing.

all-good-thingsSarah Turnbull- “All Good Things”

I grew up in a French-speaking suburb of Sydney, and Sarah Turnbull’s Almost French was something of a bible for parents navigating cross-cultural relationships. Sarah is back with All Good Things, which recounts Sarah and Frédéric’s move from Paris to idyllic Tahiti. It takes something very special to be able to recount your own personal story in a way that makes for good reading, and Sarah has perfected that art. She opens up with characteristic candor in our interview below.

Best quote:  “I didn’t want to write another personal book, or I thought I didn’t want to write another personal book. So I did fight this book… I’ve it heard said that it’s the book that you fight the most that you most need to write.”

Click here for more details

Check out Caroline’s interview below:

Pick up a copy of All Good Things today


a-history-of-silenceLloyd Jones- “A History of Silence”

Lloyd Jones is a simply phenomenal writer, and this interview demonstrates exactly why. In his earnest, softly-spoken sentences you can see the bare bones of his beautiful prose. Similiarly to Sarah and Brendan, he holds nothing back from Caroline’s questions and answers very personal questions with honesty and insight. A must-see interview from a must-read author.     

Best quote - “It could be just a face filled with gloom standing on a railway train platform, and it’ll have an echoing sense of recognition for me, I’ll think ‘I know that feeling, that look.’ Actually, in the case of Wales it always seemed to be gloom and a kind of a… vacancy.”

Click here for more details

Check out Caroline’s interview below:

Pick up a copy of A History of Silence today


Brendan Ward – “The Beethoven Obsession”the-beethoven-obsession

What is the difference between a personal experience and an engaging tale? In this interview, Brendan explains that timing and luck are the necessary ingredients, both of which were present in his quest to record Beethoven’s music in Australia for the first time.

Best quote - “That’s what makes such an amazing story because of all these serendipitous events that happened in the nineties in the lead up to the Olympics. Had it not been for the Olympics… it may not have had the same gloss, because everything around Sydney had cachet.”

Click here for more details

Check out Caroline’s interview below:

Pick up a copy of The Beethoven Obsession today

How Many Ways Can You Say “Fifty Shades of Grey?”

“I gasp, and I’m Eve in the Garden of Eden, and he’s the serpent, and I cannot resist.”
Anastasia, Fifty Shades of Grey

fifty-shades-of-grey-gorgeous-edition-It is almost impossible to have missed the Fifty Shades of Grey juggernaut, as the erotic novel has skyrocketed from Twilight fanfiction to e-book to the poster-child of “mummy porn.” The novel’s titillating mix of classic girl-meets-damaged-boy romance and soft yet explicit BDSM is absolutely compelling. I have to confess, I read it over a holiday and devoured it in a weekend. I was left wondering what Ana and Christian would do next, whether I could ever reconcile my feminism with my enjoyment of the story and how exactly to explain to my best friend’s mother that I had not only read her copy, but dropped it in the bath. If its 70-million-copy sales are anything to go by, E.L. James has proven that erotic fiction, once shameful, is more popular than we ever thought.

Like anything wildly successful, Fifty Shades has had its fair share of spin-offs, add-ons, parodies and addendums. From how-to guides to religious commentary, Booktopia brings you the Fifty Shades sequels you never knew you needed.

Click here to grab a copy of Fifty Shades of Grey


Fifty Shades of Parody

It is not just the title of Fifty Shades that is ripe for parody – dozens of take-offs and take-downs have been published in response to E.L. James’ hit. Here are our picks:

fifty-shades-of-chickenFifty Shades of Chicken:

My personal favourite parody of Fifty Shades. Not only is it humorous, it’s informative, with over fifty different chicken recipes. Ironically, the video could be the best advertisement for vegetarianism ever made.

(Publisher’s blurb: Dripping Thighs, Sticky Chicken Fingers, Vanilla Chicken, Chicken with a Lardon, Bacon-Bound Wings, Spatchcock Chicken, Learning-to-Truss-You Chicken, Holy Hell Wings, Mustard-Spanked Chicken, and more, more, more!

Fifty chicken recipes, each more seductive than the last, in a book that makes every dinner a turn-on.)

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Fifty Sheds of Grey:

fifty-sheds-of-grey

Seriously, seriously giggle-worthy.

(Publisher’s blurb: A compilation of shed erotica for the not-so-modern man

“Hurt me!” she begged, raising her skirt as she bent over the workbench. “Very well,” I replied, “You’ve got fat ankles and no dress sense.”

Colin Grey’s life was happy and simple until the day everything changed – the day his wife read THAT book. Suddenly, he was thrust head-first into a dark, illicit world of pleasure and pain.

This is the story of one man’s struggle against a tide of tempestuous, erotic desire and of the greatest love of all: the love between a man and his shed.)

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fifty-shames-of-earl-greyFifty Shames of Earl Grey

Potentially Fifty Shades’ most well-known parody novel, Fifty Shames ticks all the right boxes. It’s witty, cheeky and surprisingly sexy. An excellent gift for a Fifty Shades devotee (provided they can take a joke).

(Publisher’s blurb: Young, arrogant tycoon Earl Grey seduces the naive coed Anna Steal with his overpowering good looks and staggering amounts of money, but will she be able to get past his fifty shames, including shopping at Walmart on Saturdays, bondage with handcuffs, and his love of BDSM (Bards, Dragons, Sorcery, and Magick)?

Or will his dark secrets and constant smirking drive her over the edge?)

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Fifty Shades of Decay

Undead sex by a variety of excellent authors. It even debuts the term “sexpocalypse.” What more can you ask for, really.fifty-shades-of-decay

(Publisher’s blurb: What’s sexy about zombies? 51 authors answered that question with wild, weird, and titillating tales.

From love during the apocalypse, to love that goes beyond the grave and back again, to love that well, never dies, you’ll find these pages filled with desires demanding to be fufilled, hungers to be slaked, and lovers who won’t let a little thing like death (or undeath) come between them.

Do zombies need sex as much as they need brains? What would you do to bring a lover back from the dead? What if you survived the apocalypse only to find yourself alone and sexually frustrated?)

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fifty-shades-of-oy-veyFify Shades of Oy Vey

This title has to take the proverbial parody cake. The protagonist is named Anatevka Stein, her love interest Chaim Silver and the tagline is “Sex. Bondage. Bagels.” Not appropriate for the Chanukkah giftbox.

(Publisher’s blurb: When college senior Anatevka Stein meets bagel tycoon Chaim Silver, she encounters a mensch like none she has ever known- brilliant, lecherous and reeking of herring. The combination is impossible to resist. Chaim wants her too, subject to conditions spelled out in a Kinky Ketubah.

What sexual techniques will he teach her in his Blue Room of Broadloom? Why is the first night of Passover with Chaim truly different from all other nights?)

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And many, many more…

fifty-shades-of-schwarz fifty-shades-of-brains50-shades-in-clayfifty-shades-of-pinkfifty-shades-of-dumbfifty-shades-of-grass


Fifty Shades of… something unrelated

Fifty Shades has spawned a whole series of titles for books completely unrelated to romantic BDSM. Although title conjuring images of bondage and vegetables simultaneously are pretty unnerving, these titles are well worth a look.

three-days-of-the-condor-or-fifty-shades-of-dryFifty Shades of Dry or Three Days of the Condor

Fifty Shades of Dry could possibly be the fastest way to desexualise a title with so many raunchy connotations. Also, a gripping read about a man’s struggle against nature.

(Publisher’s blurb: This is a trilogy about three separate epic climbs. Climbs that are difficult enough by themselves, but were made more grueling by the common thread of life-threatening heat.

The insidious sun sucking energy, water, and even your willpower from a well-conditioned man made the hard climbs a more arduous task. Included in these stories are many other true-to-life adventures and narrow escapes for the author.)

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fifty-shades-of-kaleFifty Shades of Kale

Kale is everywhere at the moment, including apparently between our sheets. With delicious photography and a whole lot of vegetable innuendo, eating your greens has never looked so good.

(Publisher’s blurb: Nothing is sexier than a sharp mind atop a lean, healthy body. Few foods are able to deliver this promise like kale. She is the ideal plant in many ways: beautiful, versatile, nourishing, and downright delicious.

And these days, she’s become a pretty popular dish. Unfortunately, many of kale’s admirers have fallen into the same boring routine: she’s chopped and served raw, gently sautéed, lightly steamed, or juiced. Kale has been subjected to a lack of imagination—until now.)

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50-shades-of-grey-matterFifty Shades of Grey Matter

Nothing says sexy romp more than beloved Australian scientist Dr. Karl Kruszelnicki. While Dr. Karl’s scientific mythbusting has little to do with Christian’s lust for Ana, it is entertaining and educational… in a completely different way to Fifty Shades.

(Publisher’s blurb: Welcome to the wonderful world of Dr Karl: where oddities are embraced, facts reign supreme, curiosity is king and brightly coloured shirts are compulsory!

In 50 Shades of Grey Matter, Australia’s National Living Treasure Dr Karl Kruszelnicki applies his trademark straight-talkin’-no-high-falutin’ scientific sense to a brand new range of Big Questions that you never knew you even wanted to ask, but now desperately need to know the answers to!)

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With a taste of Fifty Shades

Fifty Shades inspired erotic novels for even the most particular tastes, each one hotter than the last. As Ana would say, Holy…

fifty-bales-of-hayFifty Bales of Hay

Rachael Treasure presents an Aussie take on Fifty Shades, replete with farmhands, Akubras and bareback riding. Fifty Bales of Hay doesn’t take itself too seriously, and you are guaranteed plenty of giggles!

(Publisher’s blurb: Come have a roll in the hay with one of Australia’s leading rural fiction authors, Rachael Treasure, in her romping, rollicking first-ever collection of Agricultural Erotica. Fifty Bales of Hay is an honest and imaginative exploration of everyday men and women getting down and dirty on the land.

From the dairy shed to the Royal Agricultural show pavilion, Treasure’s cheeky satirical humour and wicked imagination offers up a dozen fun-filled, and sometimes poignant, tales of dust and lust.)

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Fifty Shades of Mr. Darcyfifty-shades-of-mr-darcy

It’s very difficult to go wrong in the hands of an author named William Codpiece Thwackery. Fifty Shades of Mr. Darcy is the Pride and Prejudice you never read at school.

(Publisher’s blurb: Elizabeth Bennet had been brought up to be a proper lady – with perfect manners, skilled in conversation and well respected in her community. But when Mr Elliot Bingley comes to court Lizzy’s sister, she is given the opportunity to learn a somewhat different skill set upon her introduction to his friend, a Mr Fitzwilliam Darcy.

It only takes one chance meeting with this tall, dark stranger for Lizzy to be lured into Darcy’s secret world of lascivious practices and lusty urges.)

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50-shades-of-gayFifty Shades of Gay

The title says it all, really.

(Publisher’s blurb: Meeting his celebrity crush was one thing, but even Hollywood could not have written what happened next.

Inspired by E.L. James’ international phenomenon, Fifty Shades of Grey, Jeffery Self’s 50 Shades of Gay tells the story of a young celebrity blogger, Alex Kirby, who interviews Taylor Grayson, a superstar leading man in Hollywood blockbuster films.)

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Don’t try this at home, kids…

For anyone interested in, or even remotely considering, spicing up their love life with a few tips from E.L. James, here are a few helpful guides available.

fifty-shades-of-pleasurefifty-shades-of-passion50-shades-of-curiousfifty-shades-of-blissfifty-shades-of-bondage-submission


More than fifty thoughts on Fifty Shades

fifty-writers-on-fifty-shades-of-greyFifty Writers on Fifty Shades of Grey

Want to know what the Fifty Shades phenomenon says about our society? Interested in hearing what the BDSM community, literary agents, feminists and romance authors have to say? Fifty Writers is the perfect collection of commentary on exactly what it is about Fifty Shades that made it so alluring.

(Publisher’s blurb: Can’t get enough of Fifty Shades of Grey?

Now, Fifty Writers on Fifty Shades of Grey extends the conversation women (and men!) are having across the country. The perfect panel of insiders—from the editor who first “discovered” Fifty Shades of Grey, to BDSM experts, to erotic fiction authors, romance authors, and a whole lot more—takes you deeper into the trilogy that has captured the imaginations of so many.)

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fifty-shades-of-feminismFifty Shades of Feminism

This book is the perfect response to the sexual politics dilemmas raised by Fifty Shades. A great read for hardcore, bra-burning and novice feminists alike, Fifty Shades of Feminism is an excellent, varied compliation of essays and short pieces on the challenges facing women today.

(Publisher’s blurb: The antidote to the idea that being a woman is all about submitting to desire. There are many more shades than that and here are fifty women to explore them.

Fifty years after the publication of The Feminine Mystique, have women really exchanged purity and maternity to become desiring machines inspired only by variations of sex, shopping and masochism – all coloured a brilliant neuro-pink?)

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Fifty Shades of Black and White/Fifty Shades of Light/Fifty Shades of Grace

These three books offer a Christian perspective on the depiction of relationships and intimacy in Fifty Shades of Grey. What is a biblical understanding of sex, and where does Fifty Shades fit (or not fit) in?

50-shades-of-black-and-whitefifty-shades-of-lightfifty-shades-of-grace

fifty-shades-of-abuseFifty Shades of Abuse

This book is quite a serious addendum to the Fifty Shades trilogy. It deals with criticism of Christian’s behaviour as abusive through stories of survivors of abuse.

(Publisher’s blurb: The very first book from #OneVoice. A collection of fifty true victims and survivors stories from around the world with one common theme – domestic violence/abuse.

Each one written from the heart and unedited so raw and full of the pain and feelings they convey. ALL revenue from the sale of this book will be donated to charities around the world.)

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Fifty Shades of Dominationfifty-shades-of-domination

How authentic is the Fifty Shades lifestyle? Find out in this candid, no-holds barred autobiography of a real-life mistress.

(Publisher’s blurb: One girl’s journey from a poor, but conventional, family background, to life as Britain’s foremost dominatrix.

Here is the intelligent, funny story of how one Mistress made her way to the top-a warm and moving true story of triumph over family intrigue and tragedy.)

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And finally… Very literally, Fifty Shades of Grey

fifty-shades-of-greyscaleFifty Shades of Greyscale

This could be the ultimate gift for any Fifty Shades fan. A lavish visual interpretation of the trilogy.

(Publisher’s blurb: In the short time since Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele entered the public gaze, the world has become entranced with all things grey, from the pale and innocent to the downright dark and dirty.

This gift book takes readers on an unforgettable journey through all 50 actual shades of the monochrome world, from Cling Film Grey to Padlock Grey, Rope to Cooling Candlewax to Running Mascara. Don’t be the last to discover that grey really is the new black.)

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Forgotten Great-Aunt Elsie’s Christmas gift? Booktopia’s got your back!

Merry Christmas from Booktopia!

merry christmas

We know that you had a thousand things on your mind in the lead-up to Christmas. Kids school holiday arrangement, tying up loose ends at work, getting that barbecue working before the in-laws arrive… It’s understandable that you forgot the last relative on your present list.

We can help you avoid those awkward moments under the Christmas tree. Simply click the link below to download a Booktopia Gift Certificate in less than a minute and preserve that Christmas magic.

You can thank us later.

Click here to grab a Gift Certificate!

… and happy holidays!roger-ascham-and-the-king-s-lost-girl

Haven’t planned your summer reading yet? We have a huge range of eBooks that can be yours in a matter of seconds.

This year millions of people will receive or buy themselves a very cool device. Whether that device is a tablet (an iPad, or a Samsung, or a Google Nexus or a Microsoft Surface) or a cool new smart phone, or even an eReader, it doesn’t really matter. What does matter is that with every new device sold a potential new eBook reader is born.

And Booktopia is right here to help you find the book and the format you desire.

And to show you just how easy eBooks can be, why not download this FREE eBook  from one of Australia’s most exciting writers – MATTHEW REILLY!

You’ll find buying eBooks from Booktopia is quick and easy. So if you have a device with you, you’ll never be stuck with nothing to read again.

Download our Booktopia Reader for iOS – an ePub and PDF eBook reader for Booktopia customers, suited for iPhone, iPad and iPod or our Booktopia Reader for Android – an ePub and PDF eBook reader for Booktopia customers, suited for all Android devices.

The reading world isn’t an either/or kind of place. Books and eBooks can and will live side by side quite happily. You don’t have to choose sides. We can now read in whichever format that suits.

Click here to download an e-Book today!

android apple-app-store

Turia Pitt, author of Everything to Live For, answers Ten Terrifying Questions

everything-to-live-forThe Booktopia Book Guru asks

Turia Pitt

author of Everything to Live For

Ten Terrifying Questions

———————-

1. To begin with why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself – where were you born? Raised? Schooled?

I was born in F’aaa, Tahiti. My dad was an Australian surfer, living in Tahiti and making surfboards. He fell in love with Mum who was sixteen at the time. They had Genji (my older brother) and I in Tahiti, and decided to move to Australia when I was two. We lived in Maroubra for a few years, before my family made the decision to move down the South Coast. My schooling years after primary school were disordered – I started at Ulladulla High and then moved to St Johns, which was an hour away by bus. One afternoon the bus crashed and one of the students died. My parents pulled me out of the school, a decision which I was not happy with. I then went to the Shoalhaven Anglican School but did not settle in at all. I then went back to where it all began – Ulladulla High!

2. What did you want to be when you were twelve, eighteen and thirty? And why?

When I was twelve, I wanted to be a doctor. As I got older, I realised this was what mum really wanted me to do – and when you’re young, you have a tendency to rebel – so I changed to wanting to be a mining engineer.

When I’m thirty, I’ll let you know what I want to be…

3. What strongly held belief did you have at eighteen that you do not have now?Pitt, Turia

I think the older I’ve gotten, the more confident I’ve become within myself, my appearance and my life journey. Being burnt in that ultra-marathon has actually made me even more determined and even more ambitious than I was before.

4. What were three big events – in the family circle or on the world stage or in your reading life, for example – you can now say, had a great effect on you and influenced you in your career path?

When we were kids, we asked our dad if we could fly, and he said yes. We spent the rest of the day jumping off the roof of the garage, and by the end of the day, we had convinced ourselves that we had flown. This has reinforced to me the power of positive thinking. When people say things can’t be done, that’s like waving a red flag in front of me.

Doing well in my HSC. When I went to pick my subjects, one of the teachers told me that I wasn’t capable of doing the ‘heavier’ subjects like physics and maths extension. That teacher ended up doing me a huge favour – if you want me to do something, all you have to do is tell me that it can’t be done!

The 2011 Kimberley Ultra-marathon. This was really a pivotal moment for me, and I’ll always think of my life ‘before the fire’ and ‘after the fire’.

5. Considering the innumerable electronic media avenues open to you – blogs, online newspapers, TV, radio, etc – why have you chosen to write a book? Aren’t they obsolete?

No way! I’ve always been a reader, and the thing that I like about books is that they’re a form of escapism – you enter a world constructed by your imagination only. Having said this – I have done other forms of media (such as TV, radio and blogs) to ensure that my story reaches everyone.

everything-to-live-for6. Please tell us about your novel.

Well, it’s basically just the story of my life. I’m an independent and vivacious woman, who enters a 100 km ultra-marathon, unknowing that the event will change her life forever. It details my recovery, and how I’ve overcome my personal adversity. Everyone in the world has their own traumas and challenges – so I think everyone can learn something from my story – whether it be the importance of perseverance, how to stay positive or how not to take your loved ones for granted.

Publisher’s blurb:

Everything to Live For is the story of one young woman’s survival against extraordinary odds, a testament to the human spirit.

In September 2011, Turia Pitt, a beautiful 25-year-old mining engineer working her dream job in the far north of Western Australia, entered an ultra-marathon race that would change her life forever. Trapped by a fire in a gorge in the remote Kimberly region, Turia and five other competitors had nowhere to run. Turia escaped with catastrophic burns to 65 per cent of her body.

With too little unburned skin left for skin grafts, Turia was put in an induced coma in the Burns Unit at Sydney’s Concord Hospital while her body fought life-threatening infections and her surgeons imported skin from California. She lost the fingers on her right hand and her fingers on her left are partially fused together. She needed a new nose. There have been numerous operation, yet there are many more to come…

7. If your work could change one thing in the world, what would it be?

At the moment, I’m working quite closely with a charity called Interplast. This organisation provides free reconstructive surgery to people (including other burn survivors) in developing countries. I actually found out about this charity through my surgeon, who volunteers for Interplast on an annual basis. And when I found this out, it just made me think, if this busy bloke can help out, then surely I can do something too. This is why I am so thrilled to announce that I will be fundraising for Interplast by walking a section of the Great Wall of China in June 2014.

So, to get back to my point! I actually feel very lucky to live in our great country of Australia, where I received the best medical treatment that’s available. I am certain that I would have perished if I was born in a developing country – and if by some miracle I did survive, I would not have the quality of life that I do today. So, if by reading my story, people consider people living in developing countries, and that makes them grateful for their own circumstances – than I’ll be a happy woman.

8. Whom do you most admire and why?head-over-heels

Sam Bailey. A quadriplegic living in rural NSW. After his accident, doctors told him that he wouldn’t be able to be a farmer – a dream of his since a kid. He’s now not only a farmer, but he’s a motivational speaker, an ultralight pilot AND he’s going to be the first person in the world to fly a helicopter! He’s most definitely my hero.

9. Many people set themselves very ambitious goals. What are yours?

I’ve got so many things that I want to achieve during my lifetime. Win an iron man. Climb Mount Everest. Sail around the world. Have a family with Michael. Get my doctorate. I think achieving all these things will keep me busy for the next couple of decades…

10. What advice do you give aspiring writers?

Hmm. Well I’m not sure I can call myself a writer! I didn’t physically write the book, I had a brilliant ghost writer to do that.

Turia, thank you for playing

Pick up a copy of Everything to Live For here

THE BOOKTOPIA TOP TENS: Top Ten Tearjerkers

Sometimes we all feel like curling up with a cup of tea and having a bit of a weep. A book is the perfect answer for that kind of mood – you can experience an entire emotional rollercoaster in an evening without ever having to leave your couch.

Each of these books guarantees that combination of escapism and all the feels. There will be no graceful, one-tear-silently-slipping-down-the-cheek crying with these novels. Expect gut-wrenching, snotty, big fat ugly sobs. And whatever you do, do not, I repeat DO NOT begin any of them without a box of Kleenex (or five) by your side. You have been warned.

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10) Elephant Songelephant-song

by Wilbur Smith

Animal stories tend to make for the best tearjerkers – it was hard to limit the list to one! Elephant Song does not disappoint. Perfect for a good, easy weep.

The rangers closed in, firing steadily. Within minutes all the adult animals were down. Only the calves still raced in bewildered circles, stumbling over the bodies of the dead and dying. Six minutes after the first shot, a silence fell over the killing ground on Long Vlei…

In the blinding light of Zimbabwe’s Chiwewe National Park, Dr Daniel Armstrong, world-famous TV naturalist, films the slaughter of a herd of elephant. In London, anthropologist Kelly Kinnear is forced into violent confrontation with the shareholders of the most powerful conglomerate in the City of London, warning them of the destruction of an African country.

Now the time has come to act. Together, Armstrong and Kinnear forge a passionate alliance – and begin the fight against the forces of greed, evil and corruption attacking a land they would both give their lives to save…

Click here for more details…


diary-of-anne-frank9) The Diary of a Young Girl

Anne Frank

I don’t think anyone reads Anne Frank’s diary expecting any kind of happy ending, and indeed none exists. Most of the tragedy of this book comes from the knowledge that unlike the Notebook’s and the Never Let Me Go‘s of this list, Anne Frank’s story is entirely true.

Discovered in the attic in which she spent the last years of her life, Anne Frank’s remarkable diary has since become a world classic—a powerful reminder of the horrors of war and an eloquent testament to the human spirit. In 1942, with Nazis occupying Holland, a thirteen-year-old Jewish girl and her family fled their home in Amsterdam and went into hiding.

For the next two years, until their whereabouts were betrayed to the Gestapo, they and another family lived cloistered in the “Secret Annex” of an old office building. Cut off from the outside world, they faced hunger, boredom, the constant cruelties of living in confined quarters, and the ever-present threat of discovery and death. In her diary Anne Frank recorded vivid impressions of her experiences during this period.

By turns thoughtful, moving, and amusing, her account offers a fascinating commentary on human courage and frailty and a compelling self-portrait of a sensitive and spirited young woman whose promise was tragically cut short.

Click here for more details…


8) The Bridge to Terabithiabridge-to-terabithia

by Katherine Paterson

The book that has made millions of Year Four children cry. Reading this book feels like holding your breath, as you know from the first moment that Jess and Leslie’s heart-breakingly innocent adventures in Terabithia cannot last. And when the tragedy strikes, you will weep. Hard.

Jess Aarons wants to be the fastest boy in the class. He’s been practising all summer and he’s sure he’s going to win. But when a girl named Leslie Burke moves into the neighbouring farm his life changes forever.

Not only does Leslie not look or act like any of the girls in school, she also turns out to be the fastest runner in the year. After getting over the humiliation of being beaten by a girl, Jess begins to think Leslie might be okay – she’s clever and funny and not a bit soppy. It is Leslie who invents Terabithia, the secret country on an island across the creek…

Click here for more details…


never-let-me-go7) Never Let Me Go

by Kazuo Ishiguro

Unlike most other tearjerkers, the desperation and tragedy in Never Let Me Go is a slow build. You won’t weep from beginning to end. It was only when I closed the book that I begun to cry. And when I did, it was no holds barred. Never Let Me Go is a tale of the futility of life and a loss of innocence which will stay with you for a very long time.

In one of the most acclaimed and strange novels of recent years, Kazuo Ishiguro imagines the lives of a group of students growing up in a darkly skewed version of contemporary England.

Narrated by Kathy, now 31, Never Let Me Go hauntingly dramatises her attempts to come to terms with her childhood at the seemingly idyllic Hailsham School, and with the fate that has always awaited her and her closest friends in the wider world.

A story of love, friendship and memory, Never Let Me Go is charged throughout with a sense of the fragility of life.

Click here for more details…


6) My Sister’s Keepermy-sister-s-keeper

by Jodie Piccoult

What could be sadder than a child suffering from cancer? A child conceived as life support for her sister suffering from cancer. Another one to avoid reading in public.

For as long as she can remember, Anna has known her purpose in life. She was conceived and raised by her parents to be a perfectly matched donor for her sister Kate, who has leukemia. Simple. How can she say no, when it’s a matter of life or death for Kate? But after thirteen years of hospital visits and painful medical procedures, under pressure to donate a kidney, Anna finally rebels.

This heartbreaking story of courage and self-sacrifice redefines right and wrong, and prompts the agonising questions: how far would you go to save the life of someone you love? And how much love is enough?

Click here for more details…


5) The Color Purplethe-color-purple

by Alice Walker

This book is by no means an easygoing read. The abuse Celie suffers during her life is hard to take, and guarantees almost continual tears. A really, really important novel.

Celie is a poor black woman whose letters tell the story of 20 years of her life, beginning at age 14 when she is being abused and raped by her father and attempting to protect her sister from the same fate, and continuing over the course of her marriage to “Mister,” a brutal man who terrorizes her.

Celie eventually learns that her abusive husband has been keeping her sister’s letters from her and the rage she feels, combined with an example of love and independence provided by her close friend Shug, pushes her finally toward an awakening of her creative and loving self.

Click here for more details…


the-notebook4) The Notebook

by Nicholas Sparks

Wept while watching The Notebook? Read the book that sparked the film that single-handedly boosted tissue sales across the United States. A Southern belle, a boy from the wrong side of the tracks, a love that outlasts no other. What more could you ask for?

Set amid the austere beauty of the North Carolina coast, The Notebook begins with the story of Noah Calhoun, a rural Southerner recently returned form the Second World War. Noah is restoring a plantation home to its former glory, and he is haunted by images of the beautiful girl he met fourteen years earlier, a girl he loved like no other.

Unable to find her, yet unwilling to forget the summer they spent together, Noah is content to live with only memories…until she unexpectedly returns to his town to see him once again.Like a puzzle within a puzzle, the story of Noah and Allie is just the beginning.

Click here for more details…


3) Tuesdays with Morrietuesdays-with-morrie

by Mitch Albom

For anyone who has had that special mentor, and for everyone else who wished that they had. This book is so beautiful, you can almost forgive it for totally breaking your heart.

Maybe it was a grandparent, or a teacher, or a colleague. Someone older, patient and wise, who understood you when you were young and searching, helped you see the world as a more profound place, gave you sound advice to help you make your way through it. For Mitch Albom, that person was Morrie Schwartz, his college professor from nearly twenty years ago.

Maybe, like Mitch, you lost track of this mentor as you made your way, the insights faded and the world seemed colder. Wouldn’t you like to see that person again, ask the bigger questions that still haunt you, receive the wisdom for your busy life today the way you once did when you were younger? Mitch Albom had that second chance. He rediscovered Morrie in the last months of the older man’s life. Knowing his old mentor was dying, Mitch visited Morrie in his study. Their rekindled relationship turned into one final ‘class': lessons in how to live.

Click here for more details…


atonement2) Atonement

by Ian McEwan

Who could forget Atonement‘s heart-breaking ending? Briony Tallis mistakes Cecilia and Robbie’s relationship for something far more sinister, and sparks into motion a chain of events that end up destroying their lives. The last chapter of this novel will sit with you like a permanent lump in your throat.

On the hottest day of the summer of 1934, thirteen- year-old Briony Tallis sees her sister Cecilia strip off her clothes and plunge into the fountain in the garden of their country house. Watching her is Robbie Turner, her childhood friend who, like Cecilia, has recently come down from Cambridge.

By the end of that day, the lives of all three will have been changed for ever. Robbie and Cecilia will have crossed a boundary they had not even imagined at its start, and will have become victims of the younger girl’s imagination.

Briony will have witnessed mysteries, and committed a crime for which she will spend the rest of her life trying to atone.

Click here for more details…


one-day1) One Day

by David Nicholls

Imagine the humour and sexual tension of Ross and Rachel’s will-they-won’t-they combined with the Breakfast Club’s poignant eighties angst. Now add a devastating twist that arrives just when you’re least expecting it, and you have One Day’s tragic punch. Do not read this in public, unless you are comfortable with being that slightly crazy sobbing lady at the back of the bus.

‘I can imagine you at forty,’ she said, a hint of malice in her voice. ‘I can picture it right now.’

He smiled without opening his eyes. ‘Go on then.’

15th July 1988. Emma and Dexter meet for the first time on the night of their graduation. Tomorrow they must go their separate ways.

So where will they be on this one day next year?

And the year after that? And every year that follows?

Twenty years, two people, ONE DAY.

Click here for more details…

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