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

Read an extract from Adultery by Paulo Coelho – bestselling author of The Alchemist

adulteryAdultery

by Paulo Coelho

I live in the safest country in the world, I have no problems to speak of, and I’m a good wife and mother. I was brought up as a strict Protestant and intend to pass that education on to my children. I never take a false step because I know how easy it is to ruin everything. I do what I have to do efficiently and put as little of myself into it as possible. When I was younger, I experienced the pain of unrequited love, just like any other normal person.

Since I married, though, time has stopped.

Until, that is, I came across that horrible writer and his answer to my question. I mean, what’s wrong with routine and boredom?

To be honest, nothing at all. It’s just . . . it’s just the secret fear that everything could change from one moment to the next, catching me completely unawares.

From the moment I had that ominous thought that bright, beautiful morning, I began to feel afraid. Would I be cap able of facing the world alone if my husband died? ‘Yes,’ I told myself, because the money he left behind would be enough to support several generations. And if I died, who would look after my children? My beloved husband. But he would surely remarry, because he’s rich, charming, and intelligent. Would my children be in good hands?

The first thing I did was try to answer all my questions. And the more questions I answered, the more questions appeared. Will he take a mistress when I get old? We don’t make love as often as we used to — does he already have someone else? Does he think I’ve found someone else because I haven’t shown much interest in sex for the last three years?

We never have jealous spats, and I used to think that was great, but after that spring morning, I began to suspect that perhaps our lack of jealousy meant a complete lack of love on both sides.

I did my best not to think about the matter anymore.

Grab a copy of Paulo Coelho’s Adultery here

For a whole week, whenever I left work, I would go and buy something in one of the expensive shops on Rue du Rhône. There was nothing I really wanted, but at least I felt that I was — how should I say this? — changing something, discovering something I didn’t even know I needed, like some new domestic appliance — although, it has to be said, novelties in the world of domestic appliances are few and far between. I avoided toy shops, because I didn’t want to spoil my children by giving them a present every day. I didn’t go into any men’s shops, either, just in case my husband might grow suspicious of my sudden extreme generosity.

When I got home and entered the enchanted realm of my domestic world, everything would seem marvelous for a few hours, until everyone went to bed. Then, slowly, the nightmare would begin.

I think that passion is strictly for the young. Presumably, its absence is normal at my age, but that isn’t what terrifies me.

Today I am a woman torn between the terror that every – thing might change and the equal terror that everything might carry on exactly the same for the rest of my days. Some people say that, as summer approaches, we start to have weird ideas; we feel smaller because we spend more time out in the open air, and that makes us aware of how large the world is. The horizon seems farther away, beyond the clouds and the walls of our house.

That may be true, but I just can’t sleep anymore, and it isn’t because of the heat. When night comes and no one is watching, I feel afraid of everything: life, death, love or the feeling that I’m wasting the best years of my life in a pattern that will be repeated over and over until I die; and sheer panic at facing the unknown, however exciting and adventurous that might be.

Naturally, I seek consolation in other people’s suffering.

I turn on the TV and watch the news. I see endless reports about accidents, people made homeless by natural disasters, refugees. How many people on the planet are ill right now? How many, whether in silence or not, are suffering injustices and betrayals? How many poor people are there, how many unemployed or imprisoned?

Grab a copy of Paulo Coelho’s Adultery here

I change channels. I watch a soap or a movie and for a few minutes or hours I forget everything. I’m terrified my husband might wake up and ask: ‘What’s wrong, babe?’ Because then I would have to say that everything’s fine. It would be even worse if — as happened a few times last month — he put his hand on my thigh, slid it slowly upward and started caressing me. I can fake orgasms — I often have — but I can’t just decide to get wet with excitement.

the-alchemistI would have to say that I’m really tired, and he, never for one moment admitting that he was annoyed, would give me a kiss, turn over, and watch the latest news on his tablet, waiting until the next day. And then I would hope against hope that when the next day comes, he’d be tired. Very tired.

It’s not always like that, though. Sometimes I have to take the initiative. If I reject him two nights in a row, he might go looking for a mistress, and I really don’t want to lose him. If I masturbate beforehand, then I’m ready and everything’s normal again.

‘Normal’ means that nothing will ever be as it was in the days when we were still a mystery to each other.

Keeping the same fire burning after ten years of marriage seems a complete impossibility to me. And each time I fake an orgasm, I die a little inside. A little? I think I’m dying more quickly than I thought.

My friends tell me how lucky I am, because I lie to them and tell them that we often make love, just as they lie to me when they say that they don’t know how their husbands can still be so interested in sex. They say that sex in marriage is interesting only for the first five years, and after that calls for a little ‘imagination.’

Closing your eyes and imagining your neighbor lying on top of you, doing things your husband would never dare to do. Imagining having sex with him and your husband at the same time. Imagining every possible perversion, every forbidden game…

Grab a copy of Paulo Coelho’s Adultery here

Children’s Book Council of Australia Book of the Year Awards Announced

The winners of this year’s Children’s Book Council of Australia Book of the Year Awards were announced in Canberra today, marking the official launch of Children’s Book Week!

How many have you read?

OLDER READERS


WINNER

wildlifeWildlife

by Fiona Wood

Life? It’s simple: be true to yourself.
The tricky part is finding out exactly who you are…

“In the holidays before the dreaded term at Crowthorne Grammar’s outdoor education camp two things out of the ordinary happened.
A picture of me was plastered all over a twenty-metre billboard. And I kissed Ben Capaldi.”

Boarding for a term in the wilderness, sixteen-year-old Sibylla expects the gruesome outdoor education program – but friendship complications, and love that goes wrong? They’re extra-curricula.

Enter Lou from Six Impossible Things – the reluctant new girl for this term in the great outdoors. Fragile behind an implacable mask, she is more…

Grab a copy of Wildlife here


HONOUR BOOKS

9781742758510Fairytales for Wilde Girls

by Allyse Near

‘He’s gone the same way as those little birds that bothered me with their awful songs! And you will too, you and your horrible heart-music, because you won’t stay out of my woods!’

There’s a dead girl in a birdcage in the woods… more…

Grab a copy of Fairytales for Wilde Girls here


the-sky-so-heavyThe Sky So Heavy

by Claire Zorn

From an exciting new voice in Australian YA literature, Claire Zorn, comes a haunting novel, The Sky So Heavy, that will stay with you long after the last page has been turned.

For Fin, it’s just like any other day – racing for the… more…

Grab a copy of The Sky So Heavy here


YOUNGER READERS


WINNER

a-very-unusual-pursuitA Very Unusual Pursuit

by Catherine Jinks

A clever adventure with feisty characters, set in a time where science clashes with superstition and monsters lurk in chimneys. Birdie, the singing bogler’s apprentice, will win your heart in this fantastic beginning to an action-packed series.

Monsters have been infesting London’s dark places for centuries, eating every child who gets too close. That’s why ten-year-old Birdie McAdam works for Alfred Bunce, the bogler. With her beautiful voice and dainty looks, Birdie is the bait that draws bogles from their lairs so that Alfred can kill them.

One life-changing day, Alfred and Birdie are approached by two very different women. Sarah Pickles runs a local gang of more…

Grab a copy of A Very Unusual Pursuit here


HONOUR BOOKS

My Life as a Alphabet9781743310977

by Barry Jonsberg

Candice Phee wants to bring light and laughter to those around her, and somehow she succeeds despite the bizarre mix-ups and the confusion she effortlessly creates. An uplifting comedy-drama from award-winning author, Barry Jonsberg.

This isn’t just about me. It’s also about the other people in my life – my mother, my father, my dead sister Sky, my penpal Denille, Rich Uncle Brian, Earth-Pig Fish and Douglas Benson From Another Dimension. These are… more…

Grab a copy of My Life As an Alphabet here


light-horse-boyLight Horse Boy

by Dianne Wolfer

In 1914 Jim and Charlie abandon the Australian outback for the excitement and adventure of the war to end all wars. But in the Light Horse they quickly discover the brutal realities of life on the frontline. And nothing will ever be the same again. Featuring stunning charcoal sketches by Brian Simmonds alongside primary source documents and historical photos, Light Horse Boy goes behind the scenes of the great ANZAC legends for an intimate look at their experience of World War I.

Grab a copy of Light Horse Boy here


EARLY CHILDHOOD


WINNER

the-swapThe Swap

by Jan Ormerod, Andrew Joyner

Caroline Crocodile’s baby brother dribbles. But all Mama crocodile Ever says is how Gorgeous he is. Caroline is very jealous. So she goes to the Baby shop and tries to swap her dribbly brother for a new baby. The trouble is, there’s just something not quite right with any of them…

Grab a copy of The Swap Book here


HONOUR BOOKS

I’m a Dirty Dinosaur9780670076154

by Janeen Brian, Ann James

From award-winning author Janeen Brian and award-winning illustrator Ann James, comes this gorgeous rhyming picture book about a naughty little dinosaur who loves to get dirty. Bright simple illustrations and rounded corners perfect for the very young.

Grab a copy of I’m a Dirty Dinosaur here


banjo-and-ruby-redBanjo and Ruby Red

by Libby Gleeson, Freya Blackwood

A funny and touching story of antagonism and love by award-winning author Libby Gleeson, with illustrations by internationally acclaimed Freya Blackwood. Freya Blackwood’s stunning illustrations perfectly capture the endearing personalities of boisterous Banjo and head-strong Ruby Red. A stunning clothbound cover makes this a beautiful gift item that will be treasured for years to come.

Grab a copy of Banjo and Ruby Red here


PICTURE BOOK


WINNER

rules-of-summerRules of Summer

by Shaun Tan

The much anticipated new book from Australia’s most acclaimed picture-book creator.

Shaun Tan’s books have won world acclaim, the prestigious Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, as well as an Academy Award for the animated short film adaptation of his book The Lost Thing.

Tan s new book, Rules of Summer, is a deceptively simple story about two boys, one older and one younger, and the kind of rules that might govern any relationship between close friends or siblings. Rules that are often so strange or arbitrary, they seem impossible to understand from the outside. Yet through each exquisite illustration of this nearly wordless narrative, we can enjoy wandering around an emotional landscape that is oddly familiar to us all.

Grab a copy of Rules of Summer here

 


HONOUR BOOKS

king-pigKing Pig

by Nick Bland

Because he was the king, he could make the sheep do whatever he wanted, whenever he pleased. But he just couldn’t make them like him.

A royal romp about a little pig with a lot to learn, from best-selling picture book creator Nick Bland.

Grab a copy of King Pig here


silver-buttons

Silver Buttons

by Bob Graham

At 9.59 on Thursday morning, Jodie draws a duck. Just as she is about to add one final silver button to the duck’s boots, her little brother takes his first step. At this exact same moment, a man buys bread, a soldier leaves home, a baby is being born…

Here is a book, a story, a philosophy so simply told and yet – in true and inimitable Bob Graham style – so rich with emotion and meaning.

Grab a copy of Silver Buttons here


Cover for Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl Film Tie-In Revealed

If you thought Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl was a hit, it’s only going to get bigger as the hype grows for the October 2 release of the film adaptation, directed by David Fincher and starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike.

And with every film adaptation inevitably comes a film tie-in edition. Fans around the world hold their breath hoping the new cover will do their beloved novel justice.

In this case we think you’ll agree that, with an inscrutable Ben Affleck and the haunting image of his wife above him, this cover is pretty brilliant. Don’t forget to check out the latest trailer below.

Gone Girl FILM TIE-IN AUSGone Girl

by Gillian Flynn

Who are you?

What have we done to each other?

These are the questions Nick Dunne finds himself asking on the morning of his fifth wedding anniversary, when his wife Amy suddenly disappears.

The police suspect Nick. Amy’s friends reveal that she was afraid of him, that she kept secrets from him. He swears it isn’t true.

A police examination of his computer shows strange searches. He says they weren’t made by him. And then there are the persistent calls on his mobile phone.

So what really did happen to Nick’s beautiful wife?

Grab a copy of Gone Girl here

Grab a copy of Gone Girl here

Liane Moriarty’s What Alice Forgot set to become major Hollywood film

moriartyliane01Liane Moriarty’s 2010 novel What Alice Forgot is set to be adapted into a film helmed by David Frankel, director of The Devil Wears Prada.

Shauna Cross, who wrote Whip It and the upcoming film adaptation of Gayle Forman’s If I Stay, is attached to pen the project.

The news comes a day after the release of Moriarty’s new novel Big Little Lies, which has already attracted significant buzz. Recent figures from the US indicate it is one of the most pre-ordered books of 2014. Liane will be visiting Booktopia HQ soon, so order now and you could secure a signed copy!

Order a copy of Big Little Lies from Booktopia by August 8th and you could win 1 of 3 girls night in prize packs valued at $299. Click here for more details.

big-little-liesBig Little Lies

by Liane Moriarty

Signed Copies Available While Stocks Last

‘I guess it started with the mothers.’

‘It was all just a terrible misunderstanding.’

‘I’ll tell you exactly why it happened.’

Pirriwee Public’s annual school Trivia Night has ended in a shocking riot. A parent is dead.

Liane Moriarty’s new novel is funny and heartbreaking, challenging and compassionate.

The No. 1 New York Times bestselling author turns her unique gaze on parenting and playground politics, showing us what really goes on behind closed suburban doors.

‘Let me be clear. This is not a circus. This is a murder investigation.’

 Grab a copy of Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies here

Louis Zamperini, the man behind the inspirational story Unbroken, dies age 97

Louis Zamperini, a former Olympian who spent weeks lost at sea and years as a prisoner of war, has died at age 97.

A U.S. track star at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, Zamperini became a bombardier in WWII and survived 47 days adrift in a lifeboat after crashing his plane in the Pacific. He eventually washed up on a Japanese island and spent the next two years as a prisoner of war.

His incredible story was documented by Laura Hillenbrand in the book Unbroken, which has now sold over 1 million copies worldwide.

The book is soon to be made into a movie, recently shot in Australia, from a script by the Cohen brothers and directed by Angelina Jolie.

“It is a loss impossible to describe, we are all so grateful for how enriched our lives are for having known him. We will miss him terribly.” – Angelina Jolie

“Having overcome insurmountable odds at every turn in his life, Olympic runner and World War II hero Louis Zamperini has never broken down from a challenge. He recently faced the greatest challenge of his life with a life-threatening case of pneumonia. After a 40-day long battle for his life, he peacefully passed away in the presence of his entire family, leaving behind a legacy that has touched so many lives. His indomitable courage and fighting spirit were never more apparent than in these last days.”
– The Zamperini Family

Grab a copy of Unbroken here

Unbroken

An Extraordinary True Story of Courage and Survival

On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared. It was that of a young lieutenant, the plane’s bombardier, who was struggling to a life raft and pulling himself aboard. So began one of the most extraordinary odysseys of the Second World War.

The lieutenant’s name was Louis Zamperini. In boyhood, he’d been a cunning and incorrigible delinquent, breaking into houses, brawling, and fleeing his home to ride the rails. As a teenager, he had channelled his defiance into running, discovering a prodigious talent that had carried him to the Berlin Olympics and within sight of the four-minute mile.

But when war had come, the athlete had become an airman, embarking on a journey that led to his doomed flight, a tiny raft, and a drift into the unknown.

Ahead of Zamperini lay thousands of miles of open ocean, leaping sharks, a foundering raft, thirst and starvation, enemy aircraft, and, beyond, a trial even greater. Driven to the limits of endurance, Zamperini would answer desperation with ingenuity; suffering with hope, resolve, and humour; brutality with rebellion. His fate, whether triumph or tragedy, would be suspended on the fraying wire of his will.

In her long-awaited new book, Laura Hillenbrand writes with the same rich and vivid narrative voice she displayed in Seabiscuit. Telling an unforgettable story of a man’s journey into extremity, Unbroken is a testament to the resilience of the human mind, body, and spirit.

Grab a copy of Unbroken here

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