Win a Maggie Beer Hamper Worth over $500!


Win Tickets To The Australian Open with Game Changer by Paul McNamee

Okay, let’s cut to the chance. Our friends at Text Publishing are giving you the chance to win this amazing prize:

- Two courtside tickets to the 2014 Australian Open day-8 (4th round) centre court night.

- Return flights to Melbourne from any Australian capital city

- A night at a 5-star hotel.

AND you’ll be spending your night at the tennis with one of Australia’s greatest ever tennis players Paul McNamee!

All you need to do to enter the draw is buy a copy of his wonderful memoir Game Changer, the perfect Christmas gift for any sports nut!

Grab a copy of Game Changer here

Game Changer

by Paul McNamee

Paul McNamee is a legendary figure in Australian tennis. From his early days as a talented Melbourne teenager, McNamee became a top international player, conquering Wimbledon and the Australian Open with his doubles partner, Peter McNamara. Along the way he shared a court with such luminaries as Rod Laver, Martina Navratilova, John McEnroe and Bjorn Borg.

Just as important have been his contributions to the evolution of the sport: as the driving force behind the Hopman Cup and the reinvention of the Australian Open, and as a coach. This is his story—candid, compelling and insightful—of an ever-changing life in tennis.

About the Author

Paul McNamee AM is the only player to have changed from a one-handed to a two-handed backhand midcareer.

He became the Australian number one in singles, reaching the semi-final of the Australian Open, and in doubles won five Grand Slam titles and held the world number-one ranking.

He is credited with invigorating the Australian Open, positioning it as the Grand Slam of Asia/Pacific and instigating the night final—the highest rating show in Australian television history.

As co-founder of the Hopman Cup, Paul helped turn the tournament into a prestigious international event. He is a professorial fellow at Monash University.

Grab a copy of Game Changer here

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Mark Greig, son of Tony Greig, talks about his new book Tony Greig : Love, War and Cricket

Grab a copy of Tony Greig : Love, War and Cricket here

Tony Greig: Love, War and Cricket

by Mark Greig and Joyce Greig

Tony Greig was a fearless cricketer, a born entertainer, a stalwart friend and a loving son and father. His death in December 2012 was met with an outpouring of grief from friends, family, fans and colleagues alike. Summer in Australia will never be the same.

This enthralling memoir begins in Tony’s birthplace, South Africa, as his mother Joyce embarks on an extraordinary war time love affair with a man not her husband, Sandy Greig. Tony’s life encompassed more than half a century of cricket, from school boy cricket in his beloved South Africa, to his early days in Sussex, through to his captaincy of England. Whether he was loved or hated, on or off the field, all respected the big man’s courageous spirit and skills as an all-rounder. Through his controversial friendship with Kerry Packer and his involvement in World Series Cricket, Tony helped change the game forever. Turning from foe to friend, Tony won over Australian audiences becoming one of the most beloved sports commentators of all time. A legend beyond the cricket pitch, Tony’s enthralling story is told by the people who knew him best, his mother Joyce and his son Mark.

An intriguing and charming family memoir of one of Australia’s favourite adopted sons.

Grab a copy of Tony Greig : Love, War and Cricket here

Jeff Kinney, author of Diary of a Wimpy Kid, answers Ten Terrifying Questions

The Booktopia Book Guru asks

Jeff Kinney

author of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series

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 and raised in Maryland in a suburb about ten miles south of Washington, D.C.

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

When I was 12, I wanted to be a computer game designer. We owned one of the first personal computers, an Apple IIe, and it set my course in life. When I was 18, I still wanted to be a game designer, but I was interested in computer graphics as well. When I was thirty, I actually was a game designer, but I wanted to be a cartoonist as well. Now I’m both… a game designer by day, cartoonist by night.

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

I feel that my beliefs now are more or less consistent with my beliefs back then. That means I’m either admirably consistent or I’m suffering from a case of arrested development.

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?

Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume. Without the hapless Peter Hatcher, I’m not sure there would’ve been a Greg Heffley. Likewise with Charlie Brown of Peanuts fame… I think every cartoonist working today owes a debt of gratitude to Charles Schultz for his influence on modern comic strips. Finally, Bob Dylan’s Brownsville Girl… Dylan is the master of lyrical economy, which is what cartoonists strive for.

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

I backed into it. I wanted to be a newspaper cartoonist, but I couldn’t get past the gatekeepers. So I took a different tact and put my comics in books.

6. Please tell us about your novel.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Hard Luck follows the plight of pre-adolescent Greg Heffley, who finds himself friendless and needing to navigate the perils of school on his own.

Publisher’s blurb:

Greg Heffley’s on a losing streak. His best friend, Rowley Jefferson, has ditched him, and finding new friends in middle school is proving to be a tough task. To change his fortunes, Greg decides to take a leap of faith and turn his decisions over to chance. Will a roll of the dice turn things around, or is Greg’s life destined to be just another hard-luck story?

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

I hope they laugh, and I hope they’ll read the book again.

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

I most admire Bob Dylan for being able to evoke a whole story with just a few words.

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

My goal is to stick around and have some sort of relevancy after Diary of a Wimpy Kid is over.

10. What advice do you give aspiring writers?

My advice to aspiring writers is to take an idea and nurture it to fruition rather than just put your first effort out there. It’s tempting to write something, then see if it sticks. But writing is like any discipline, and to become an expert, you need years to master it. I worked on Wimpy Kid for eight years before I was ready to share it with the world.

Jeff, thank you for playing

Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Hard Luck is a Booktoberfest title. Buy it now to go in the draw to win Booktopia’s weekly giveaway – a $250 Booktopia voucher – AND order by 31st October 2013 to go in the draw to win the fantastic publisher prize.

Click here for prize details and to see the full Penguin Showcase

Diary of a Wimpy Kid:
Hard Luck

by Jeff Kinney

Jeff Kinney’s 8th book of this hilarious and highly successful series, and Greg Heffley and his friends now have a whole new set of adventures.

Greg Heffley’s on a losing streak. His best friend, Rowley Jefferson, has ditched him, and finding new friends in middle school is proving to be a tough task.

To change his fortunes, Greg decides to take a leap of faith and turn his decisions over to chance.

Will a roll of the dice turn things around, or is Greg’s life destined to be just another hard-luck story?

Click here for more about Diary of a Wimpy Kid : Hard Luck

Why I Love Books: By Guy Grossi, author of Love Italy

There is something about the smell of a book I love. That smell when you turn the fresh crisp pages and the feeling of the paper. It’s usually the first thing I do when I pick up a new book, run my hand along the pages. While I love technology, there is something special about holding and feeling a book. Seeing someone’s hard work bound together into the final product. Something you can’t get from reading the same print online.

I love the romance about it, getting caught up in a story or lost in the images printed on the pages. I like having books to use as references when I need. Both at home and at work I’m surrounded by all kinds of books. As an educational tool, I love reading and using them to better my knowledge, there is nothing more important than constantly learning. Also important is their ability to share a story or paint a picture and engage the reader.

I hoped to achieve all of these things in Love Italy. I wanted to create a publication that was educational, teaching about the traditions and history of Italian food. I also wanted to share the stories of some very special people who work every day to preserve the techniques that bring the Italian food culture to life.

The last thing I wanted to achieve with this book was somewhat a piece of art. The photos and words used have created a beautiful masterpiece that evokes all kinds of emotion as it takes you on a food journey through Italy.

Click here to order Love Italy from Booktopia,
Australia’s Local Bookstore

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Get A Little Crafty This Christmas With Paper To Petal

Paper To Petal

by Rebecca Thuss & Patrick Farrell

Foreword by Martha Stewart

An inspiring book featuring 75 unique and captivating paper flowers.

Filled with beautiful photography, this book will feature simple accessible ideas, over-the-top aspirational ideas, and everything in between. The book begins with a lush gallery of images of the flowers, including a flower inspired by a Dr. Seuss book, an oversized holiday wreath, beautiful floral table decorations, and easy-to-make flowers for embellishing gift packages.

The gallery will be followed by a techniques section and thorough step-by-step instructions for all flowers and projects with accompanying templates.

Get a little crafty this Christmas with Paper To Petal.

Click here to buy Paper To Petal from Booktopia,
Australia’s Local Bookstore

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Dinner with Serge – Booktopia and the Seasonal Kitchen Experience

In Australian cuisine, they don’t come much bigger than Serge Dansereau.

Dansereau started work in Sydney at The Regent in 1983, spending 18 years there while shooting their flagship restaurant to three-hat fame. Serge encouraged a greater knowledge of what we can produce in Australia and worked hard to get it from paddock to plate.

In 1998 Dansereau was approached to head up the kitchen in the iconic Bathers’ Pavilion on Balmoral Beach. A local himself, the offer proved too much to resist. The Bathers’ Pavilion is about the locals, the ocean and the food – bringing his customers the best of Australia from the outside in.

Recently some of us were lucky enough to dine with Serge and hear his story, and his passion for fresh Australian produce is exhilarating. We thought we’d share some of his book, and well as some of the dishes that came our way at his incredible restaurant.

Bon Appétit!

Seasonal Kitchen gives you 220 new recipes that celebrate Australian produce. In this eclectic collection of recipes, which draws its inspiration from the Mediterranean, as well as India and China, Serge continues to use his chef know-how to demonstrate how to turn modern-day classics from good dishes into great ones.


Capitalising on his reputation as the ‘father of the fresh food movement’, Serge moves us through the year, listing in-season produce and offering us recipes that will show them at their best.

Duck Breast

In Autumn, there is cauliflower,leek and cider soup, chicken piccata with lemon and parsley and lavender pannacotta with pistachio biscuits.

In Winter, eat Serge’s pork belly with ginger and shallots, with a raisin and treacle tart. Spring heralds artichokes with parmesan, thyme and anchovy sauce and a lamb loin with an olive crust and Summer, ocean trout marinated in spiced yoghurt with coriander, roast turkey, with macadamia nut and tarragon stuffing and a summer pudding with berry ice cream.

Lamb Fillets

This celebration of Australian seasons, produce and good food is beautifully designed and shot, with each part visually reflecting the relevant season.

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Click here to buy The Seasonal Kitchen from Booktopia,
Australia’s Local Bookstore


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