Celebrate Booktoberfest with Booktopia and Bolinda – you could win a prize pack worth over $800!

bolinda-prizeCelebrate Booktoberfest with Booktopia and Bolinda and you could win this amazing prize pack worth over $800!!

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

Click here to enter Bolinda’s showcase

Our Top Pick

amnesiaAmnesia

by Peter Carey

How does a young woman from suburban Melbourne become America’s public enemy number one?

When Gaby Baillieux releases the Angel Worm into the computers of Australia’s prison system, freeing hundreds of asylum seekers, she sets off a chain reaction. These prisons are run by US companies, and so the doors of some 5000 American institutions have also opened. And to some watching eyes, the secrets of both countries threaten to pour out.

Was this a mistake? Or has the elusive Gaby declared cyberwar on the US, as part of the longstanding covert conflict between the two countries that has as its most outrageous act the CIA-engineered coup of 1975 – a coup so brazen we immediately forgot it as part of our Great Amnesia.

Amnesia is Carey at his best: funny, sweeping, intimate, exhilarating. It is a novel that speaks powerfully about our history but most urgently about our present.

Click here to enter Bolinda’s showcase

Celebrate Booktoberfest with Booktopia and HarperCollins- you could win a prize pack worth $999!

harper-collins-prizeCelebrate Booktoberfest with Booktopia and HarperCollins and you could win this amazing prize pack worth over $999!!

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

Click here to enter HarperCollins’ showcase

Our Top Pick

kerry-stokes-the-boy-from-nowhereKerry Stokes : The Boy from Nowhere

by Andrew Rule

The compelling and inspirational story of the rags to riches life of Kerry Stokes, a remarkable Australian.

Kerry Stokes is a remarkable Australian. Not because he is one of Australia’s wealthiest and most powerful people, but because of what he overcame to get there and because he has endured when others didn’t. His success and his rise have intrigued the business world for decades but there is so much more to him than multi-million dollar deals or mergers.

Behind the laconic front is a human story as tough and touching as a Dickens tale: Oliver Twist with great self-expectations. It is the story of a poor boy who stared down poverty, ignorance and the stigma of his illegitimate birth to achieve great wealth and fulfilment. He’s a backstreets battler who has become a power player. It’s a compelling and inspiring story that, until now, he has not told.

Now he oversees a multi-billion dollar media, machinery and property empire. He is renowned for his art collection and for philanthropy, spending millions of dollars to buy – among other things – Victoria Crosses from soldiers’ families to donate to the Australian War Memorial.

But he’s a private man. A man apart. He made his name in the West but kept his distance from the buccaneering band of entrepreneurs who forged fabulous fortunes in Perth from the 1960s until the 1987 crash. Bond went to jail, Holmes a Court died; Connell did both. Lesser lights flickered and faded but Stokes grew stronger, becoming a player alongside Murdoch, Packer and Lowy. His story fascinates all the more because he has spent most of his life guarding it. But now he’s telling it, to one of Australia’s great storytellers.

He is the boy who came from nothing, who had nothing to lose. And now he has everything. It’s a great Australian journey.

Click here to enter HarperCollins’ showcase

Celebrate Booktoberfest with Booktopia and Simon & Schuster – you could win a prize pack worth over $700!

simon-and-schuster-prizeCelebrate Booktoberfest with Booktopia and Simon & Schuster and you could win this amazing prize pack worth over $700!!

Just buy any title in Simon & Schuster’s Booktoberfest Showcase and you could win!

Click here to enter Simon & Schuster’s showcase

Our Top Pick

billBill, The Life of William Dobell

by Scott Bevan

By 1945, William Dobell had become what so many artists desire but few in Australia had achieved. He was a household name. But the most famous artist in the land was a broken man.

His Archibald Prize-winning portrait of Joshua Smith became the subject of a sensational legal case, challenging not just Dobell’s right to the prize, but the very idea of art itself. Dobell won the legal battle but lost so much else. His health was shattered, his desire to paint was wiped out, and his zest for life had been dulled. He had to get away.

Only 120 kilometres north of Sydney, Wangi Wangi is far removed from big city life. Dobell had come to Wangi to escape fame, but he found community and friendship. In this beguiling little place, William Dobell rediscovered the passion to paint, and the joy of life.

Through years of research and interviews with Dobell’s friends and long-time locals, acclaimed author and former Wangi resident Scott Bevan discovered how the village protected the artist, cared and posed for him, drank and partied with him. Wangi loved him as one of their own. To the world, he was Sir William Dobell, acclaimed artist. To Wangi, he was simply Bill.

Bill is the story of one of Australia’s greatest artists and the times he lived through. It explores how ambition and talent took a working class boy a long way in the world, and how the reaction to one painting almost destroyed him. It is a celebration of community, and how one man finally discovers where he belongs – in the unlikeliest of places.

Click here to enter Simon & Schuster’s showcase

Celebrate Booktoberfest with Booktopia and Allen & Unwin – you could win a prize pack worth over $700!

allen-and-unwin-prizeCelebrate Booktoberfest with Booktopia and Allen & Unwin and you could win this amazing prize pack worth over $700!!

Just buy any title in Allen & Unwin’s Booktoberfest Showcase and you could win!

Click here to enter Allen and Unwin’s showcase

Our Top Pick

the-never-um-ever-ending-storyThe Never, Um, Ever Ending Story

by Ian ‘Molly’ Meldrum

Molly Meldrum’s warm, vivid, often hilarious and always compelling account of life in and out of Countdown.

More than thirty-five years in the making, this is the story of Ian ‘Molly’ Meldrum and the television show that stopped the nation.

In 1974 Ian ‘Molly’ Meldrum was working as a record producer and music journalist when he was offered the chance to host a new music show called Countdown. It was a show that would run for the next thirteen years and become one of the most-loved and most-watched programs on Australian television. It also turned Molly into a national institution (or ‘mental institution’ as one of his friends put it).

During that period he not only became the most influential voice in Australian music, he endeared himself to millions of viewers with a uniquely unpolished interviewing style and a tangible on-screen passion. For better or worse, whether interviewing Prince Charles or Sid Vicious, Molly was always Molly.

Along the way he talked, partied, argued, exchanged blows and became firm friends with a rollcall of the world’s greatest musical names.

Filled with outrageous anecdotes, an incredible cast of musos, deadbeats, transvestites and international superstars, The Never, Um, Ever Ending Story is Molly’s hilarious, vivid, warm and always compelling memoir of these incredible years.

Click here to enter Allen and Unwin’s showcase

Is this the Greatest Book Trailer Ever Made?

Neil Patrick Harris, once known as that kid from Doogie Howser, M.D is now a household name. So how does a former child star from a bizarre and forgettable teen-medical dramedy become famous again?

By being awesome, as this brilliant book trailer, and no doubt his upcoming memoir Choose Your Own Autobiography, will prove.

Grab a copy of Neil Patrick Harris’ Choose Your Own Autobiography here

neil-patrick-harris-s-chose-your-own-autobiographyChoose Your Own Autobiography

by Neil Patrick Harris

Tired of memoirs that only tell you what really happened?

Sick of deeply personal accounts written in the first person? Seeking an exciting, interactive read that puts the “u” back in “aUtobiography”?

Then look no further than Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography! In this revolutionary, Joycean experiment in light celebrity narrative, actor/personality/carbon-based life-form Neil Patrick Harris lets you, the reader, live his life. You will be born in New Mexico. You will get your big break at an acting camp. You will get into a bizarre confrontation outside a nightclub with actor Scott Caan. Even better, at each critical juncture of your life you will choose how to proceed. You will decide whether to try out for Doogie Howser, M.D. You will decide whether to spend years struggling with your sexuality. You will decide what kind of caviar you want to eat on board Elton John’s yacht.

Choose correctly and you’ll find fame, fortune, and true love. Choose incorrectly and you’ll find misery, heartbreak, and a guest stint on Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew. All this, plus magic tricks, cocktail recipes, embarrassing pictures from your time as a child actor, and even a closing song. Yes, if you buy one book this year, congratulations on being above the American average, but make that book Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography!

Grab a copy of Neil Patrick Harris’ Choose Your Own Autobiography here

The Incompetent Cook Road Tests… Tex-Mex from Scratch by Jonas Cramby

Every week Booktopia’s Andrew Cattanach reviews a cookbook.

He is an incompetent cook.

He is The Incompetent Cook.


Tex-Mex from Scratch

by Jonas Cramby

It’s time for another instalment of The Incompetent Cook. This week he road tests Tex-Mex from Scratch by Jonas Cramby. Scroll down to see how you could win a Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker valued at $699!

tex-mex-from-scratch-order-now-for-your-chance-to-win-

It’s been a busy few months for The Incompetent Cook. But now it’s time to do what I do best.

Burn things and tell you about it.

From the first moment I saw Tex-Mex from Scratch I was enthralled. And then I saw its accompanying piece Texas BBQ and I fell in love. What can I say, they had me at smoked meat.

In my travels I have been to Texas. I enjoyed it immensely and was particularly taken by how many animals they found went with hot sauce. And while I haven’t been to Mexico, I am a longtime admirer of Doritos. I decided to give Tex-Mex’s Shrimp Taquitos a try.
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The Identity of Jack the Ripper revealed in new book

The identity of Jack the Ripper, one of the longest unsolved mysteries of all time, has been discovered.

Pretty crazy huh?

Dr Jari Louhelainen, a senior lecturer in molecular biology at Liverpool John Moores, has used cutting-edge DNA techniques to prove Jack the Ripper was a Polish migrant named Aaron Kosminski.

Kosminski lived in Whitechapel at the times of the savage 1888 murders of five women and was committed to an asylum in 1891 until his death in 1919. At the time police suspected him of the crimes and at one point put him under surveillance.

Dr Jari Louhelainen obtained the DNA sample from a shawl found by the body of Catherine Eddowes, one of the Ripper’s victims.

The shawl, bought at auction by businessman Russell Edwards in 2007, was found to contain DNA from her blood as well as DNA from the killer.

Russell Edwards said, “The circle is now complete. One of the greatest unsolved crime mysteries of all time has been solved through cutting-edge science, historical research and a great deal of determination and good fortune.”

I know what you’re thinking. How could the sample still hold such a compelling case 126 years after her death? And, even if the shawl has traces of the killer’s DNA, how did they get DNA samples from Aaron Kosminski nearly a century after his death?

All the answers can be found in a new book, Naming Jack the Ripper, written by Edwards. Bringing together ground-breaking forensic discoveries and gripping historical detective work, Naming Jack the Ripper constructs the first truly convincing case for identifying the world’s most notorious serial killer.

Grab a copy of Naming Jack the Ripper here

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