EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Jane Kennedy, author of One Dish: Two Ways, Meets The Incompetent Cook

Jane Kennedy made her name in comedy, so when she arrived at Booktopia to sign copies of her wonderful new cookbook One Dish: Two Ways, we were always going to try to impress her.

Did we? Probably not, but we had some fun trying. Take a look at possibly our most ridiculous video yet, as she meets Andrew Cattanach, The Incompetent Cook.

Grab a copy of One Dish: Two Ways here

One Dish: Two Ways

by Jane Kennedy

The perfect collection of recipes that can be served simply for kids, then jazzed up for the adults with just a few additional ingredients – the first cookbook guaranteed to please the whole family.

Feeding a family. Every night. Is hard. Jane Kennedy knows because she cooks for seven people, seven days a week.

It’s not the cooking that’s hard, it’s thinking of a new dinner ideas EVERY SINGLE NIGHT. Grownups are easy. They love spices and chilli and garlic and onions and herbs and zest and can dress up a boring piece of chicken, fish or steak in a flash.

Kids…well. Most kids don’t like spices and chilli and herbs and zest. Green bits. Orange bits. And especially not hot bits.

So Jane set herself a challenge to find a way to keep everyone happy. A way that wouldn’t involve her having to eat ‘plain’ food just to keep the kids happy and didn’t require the kids to miraculously start loving spicy food. A way where one base meal could be jazzed up, or down, to suit all taste buds. One dish; two ways.

About the Author

Jane Kennedy began her career in the late 1980s alongside comedy team The D-Generation on a number one breakfast FM show and on television with The Late Show. She co-wrote, produced, directed and starred as the ruthless reporter Brooke Vandenberg in Frontline, a satire about the current affairs industry. Jane was also a co-producer of movies The Dish and the film recently voted Australia’s favourite of all time, The Castle. She continues to work behind the scenes at Working Dog as Casting Director on shows such as The Hollowmen and Thank God You’re Here. Jane lives in Melbourne, and clearly taking her commitment to comedy too far, she and partner Rob Sitch have five children.

Grab a copy of One Dish: Two Ways here

Living Clean has never been easier!

imageLast week I was lucky enough to catch up with the Clean Living Boys, Luke and Scott, for a cooking demonstration. Already famous from their MKR adventures, the passionate paleos served up a gorgeous menu while talking about their philosophies for a healthy lifestyle and still eating delicious food.

Their Clean Living Cookbook is a great read, the perfect book for the food lover who also wants to eat healthy with variety.

We started on Sweet Potato Fritters with Smoked Salmon and Avocado, I cooked them the next day they were so good. As the night wore on Scott seasoned some trimmed Pork Fillets and made a beautiful salsa (with a hint of spice) to roll into gluten-free tortillas and create their signature Pork Tortillas.

imageLuke (a big dessert lover) talked us through his coconut choc-fudge recipe. No baking, no fuss, and a sensational way to end the night, washing it down with a kale smoothie that, and I can’t believe I’m saying this, was absolutely lovely.

There’s a reason why Luke and Scott are fast on their way to becoming Australia’s Health Food Stars. Their passion for food is only matched by their love to educate everyone they meet on the benefits of a healthy lifestyle through a healthy diet. Their message is simple, eating good food will change your life.

Whether you want to lose a couple of kilos or just learn some great new dishes, the Clean Living Cookbook is a beauty.

Grab a copy of the Clean Living Cookbook here

Grab a copy of the Clean Living Cookbook here

Best of Booktopia TV – Julie Goodwin & Rick Stein chat to John Purcell

We know that Booktopians have a passion for food, and in these interviews both authors chat about what makes a delicious meal and the way that food can bring people together. Check them out below!

gatherJulie Goodwin – Gather

How to cook delicious recipes for large and small crowds of family and friends, from the bestselling original Australian MasterChef, Julie Goodwin.

Julie Goodwin’s first cookbook, Our Family Table, was loved by many for its combination of simple and delicious recipes, and affectionate family stories. Her second book, The Heart Of The Home, followed on from this, with more quick and easy family recipes and stories to bring together those she loves.

With more than 100 delicious recipes and stunning photography, Julie gives us fast and fresh recipes for the perfect picnic, a warm and cosy dinner party, a bustling street party, a cake stall, pot luck, a family dinner around the pizza oven, a cocktail party and the perfect High Tea.

Grab a copy of Julie Goodwin’s Gather here


rick-stein-s-indiaRick Stein – India

Whenever I hear the word curry, I’m filled with a longing for spicy hot food with the fragrance of cumin, cloves and cinnamon. I see deep red colours from lots of Kashmiri chillis, tinged with a suggestion of yellow from turmeric. I think of the tandoor oven, and slightly scorched naan shining with ghee and garlic.

When Indians talk of their food, they talk about their life. To understand this country, you need to understand curry.

What makes a good curry? Sensual spicy aromas or thick, creamy sauces? Rich, dark dals or crispy fried street snacks? Rick journeys through India to find the answer, searching this colourful, chaotic nation in search of the truths behind our love affair with its food.

Grab a copy of Rick Stein’s India here

Sarah Wilson is back with I Quit Sugar for Life – Pre-order today

I Quit Sugar for Life

by Sarah Wilson

Quitting sugar is not a diet. Quitting sugar is a way of living without processed food and eating like our great-grandparents used to before the crap.

With her bestselling book, I Quit Sugar, Sarah Wilson helped tens of thousands of Australians to kick the habit.

In I Quit Sugar for Life, Sarah shows you how to be sugar-free forever.

Drawing on extensive research and her own tried and tested methods, Sarah has designed a program to help families and singles:

  • Banish cravings by eating good fats and protein
  • Deal with lapses
  • Maximise nutrition with vegies
  • Exercise less for better results
  • Detox safely make sustainable food choices
  • Cook sugar-free: 128 desserts, cakes, kids’ stuff, comfort dinners and tote-able breakfast and lunches

I Quit Sugar for Life is not just about kicking a habit it; it’s a complete wellness philosophy for your healthiest, calmest, happiest self.

About the Author

Sarah Wilson is an Australian media personality, journalist and blogger. She’s the former editor of Cosmopolitan magazine and was one of the hosts of the first series of MasterChef Australia, the highest rating show in Australian TV history.

She’s now the host and program developer for Foxtel’s Lifestyle YOU, and is a commentator and fill-in host on Channel 7’s Sunday Night, The Morning Show and Sunrise and The Project.

Sarah is an adept social commentator, following a career that’s spanned politics, health advocacy, restaurant reviewing, opinion writing and trend forecasting. She’s also a qualified health coach with the Institute of Integrative Nutrition in New York.

Grab a copy of I Quit Sugar for Life here

ElBulli 2005-2011 – Every recipe from the last seven years of the world’s most creative restaurant

Click here for more details...

elBulli 2005-2011 is the catalogue raisonné of elBulli, which was widely regarded as the world’s best restaurant until its closure in 2011. Having held three Michelin stars from 1997 to 2011, and regularly voted ‘Best Restaurant in the World’ by a panel of 500 industry professionals, elBulli was at the forefront of the restaurant scene from when Ferran Adrià became sole head chef in 1987.
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Team Booktopia’s 2013 Favourites

The Booktopia team  nominates their favourite titles from a great year of books.

Caroline Baum’s Picks

the-signature-of-all-thingsTHE SIGNATURE OF ALL THINGS
Elizabeth Gilbert

From Caroline’s Book of the Year Review: I’ve said it more than once, and I will say it again, loudly. I ADORE this book. I don’t think it has found the readership it deserves because some people think ‘Oh, she wrote Eat Pray Love, I didn’t like that or want to read that kind of thing so I won’t buy this’ and others think ‘Oh, if it’s not like Eat Pray Love I won’t like it.’ Put your prejudices aside, people!

Treat yourself to the most intriguing, refreshing and original female character of the year…

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DRIVE BYdrive-by
Michael Duffy

From Caroline’s review: You only have to watch the news to see that it does not get more topical than Drive By.

This gritty, complex, multi-layered novel is based on the spate of shootings between rival drug gangs that have riddled the streets of south Sydney in the past couple of years.

Duffy, a seasoned regular observer of the courts, has created two memorable characters: Bec, a part-Aboriginal detective, who has a distinctive vocabulary that wrong-foots her colleagues: and Honest John, a keen Toyota mechanic and member of the Habib family who would really rather not have to think too hard about what his brothers have been up to and just wants to marry his Aussie girlfriend.

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SUGARED ORANGESsugared-orange
Beata Zatorska

From Caroline’s review: Anyone who loved Rose Petal Jam is going to adore this chilly sister volume about the winter foods of Poland. Sydney GP Beata Zatorska is back with more family and carefully chosen classic recipes from around her native country, lovingly collected on journeys through snow and ice.

It takes a lot of love to publish a book that puts so much effort into photography (magical snowscapes by Beata’s documentary maker husband Simon Target) and superb design, creating the effect of a cherished family album.

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I AM MALALAi-am-malala
Malala Yousafzai

From Caroline’s review: Why she didn’t get the Nobel Peace Prize is beyond me. Malala’s story, told in the same unwaveringly forthright voice we have become used to hearing her speak in at her many public appearances is a tribute not only to her personal convictions and courage but to those of her remarkable father.

It also offers an insight into what daily life under the threat of the Taliban really means and how petty their brutality can be. And still, despite the horror of it all, Malala expresses an acute homesickness for her beloved Swat Valley.

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mastering-the-art-of-soviet-cookingMASTERING THE ART OF SOVIET COOKING
Anya Von Bremzen

From Caroline’s review: You know how sometimes you feel a book is so special that it has been written with you and only you in mind?

Well, that’s how I felt about this book. Having known several Soviet citizens at very close quarters, I understand how central food and the lack of it is to the national psyche. And I once celebrated the fall of the Berlin wall with a themed New Year’s Eve dinner of which the centrepiece was a fiendishly difficult dish: Coulibiac, a traditional Russian fish pie with a yeast dough casing that took two days to make and which my friend and I baked in the shape of a hammer and sickle for extra effect. (It was spectacular, I have to say, but never to be repeated.)

So this book had me at hello, comrade.

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THE ROSIE PROJECT
Click here for more details or to buy The Rosie Project Graeme Simsion

From Caroline’s review: When rights to a debut novel are sold in more than thirty countries, you know a book is generating serious buzz. I am glad to say that this feel-good debut delivers what the hype promises.

It’s as light as perfectly baked scone, narrowly avoiding saccharine pitfalls, achieving just the right combo of airiness and substance for the perfect rom-com recipe.

Irresistibly charming, genuinely funny and cleverly plotted this is intelligent romance for grown ups whose arteries have not hardened with cynicism.

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burial-ritesBURIAL RITES
Hannah Kent

From Caroline’s review: This book stinks, in a good way. Of fish and blood and guts and unwashed bodies and earth and death.

In fact, it reeks of those things and more. This austere love letter to Iceland takes a true story of murder as its foundation. Based on records from the trial of the two women and one man convicted of killing and burning two men on a remote farm this is richly and darkly imagined in prose thick with atmospherics.

Kent is a precocious talent who understands how to animate research and transform it into compelling narrative.

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Andrew Cattanach’s Picks

the-narrow-road-to-the-deep-northTHE NARROW ROAD TO THE DEEP NORTH
Richard Flanagan

The book Richard Flanagan had to write. A deeply personal novel that made me drew me in and never let me go. Sure to earn a place as one of the finest Australian novels of our time.

From Caroline’s review: When Richard Flanagan produces a new book, you know it will come freighted with Big Themes. As an essayist, Flanagan is political, provocative, passionate. As a novelist, he is capable of shape-shifting across genres, from high literary gothic to popular psychological thriller.

His latest novel is as eloquent and powerful an affirmation of his empathy and understanding of humanity as anything he’s ever written.

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TENTH OF DECEMBERtenth-of-december2
George Saunders

One of my favourite short story collections of recent times, mixing the absurd with the sweet, I can’t get enough of Saunders’ writing. Read it story by story, or in one big gulp, it won’t disappoint.

From the undisputed master of the short story, George Saunders, comes a dazzling and disturbing new collection. His most wryly hilarious work to date, Tenth of December illuminates human experience and explores figures lost in a labyrinth of troubling preoccupations.

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the-night-guestTHE NIGHT GUEST
Fiona McFarlane

A difficult, emotional read, but on reflection an incredible novel, a brave novel. A wonderful writer that pulls the reader’s strings with extraordinary ease.

From Caroline’s review: Writing a novel is like walking a highwire. So when a new artiste makes her debut, you expect a wobble or two. But not in this case. I don’t know where she’s been hiding up to now, but Fiona McFarlane is a bright new star in Australian fiction. She’s got all the assurance and the confidence of a seasoned performer. Here she enters the ring with a story about fear, trust, ageing and death; to borrow from another profession where skill is paramount, she handles her themes with a light deft touch, like an expert pastry chef blessed with cool fingers.

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DELICIOUS: LOVE TO COOKlove-to-cook
Valli Little

My favourite cookbook of 2013. Simple, fun, and gorgeous to look at. Whenever a friend checks out my cookbook collection, this is the book they talk about.

Sharing good food with family and friends is one of life’s great pleasures, but it’s easy to become stuck in the daily routine and lose your passion.

Love To Cook is designed to help you discover (or rediscover) the joy of spending time in the kitchen and at the table. Inside, you’ll find more than 140 recipes – themed by ingredient for easy reference – that will take you from quick weekday dinners with a clever twist to impressive ideas for entertaining.

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murder-in-mississippiMURDER IN MISSISSIPPI
John Safran

I just hope John Safran keeps writing, he’s a natural. I lost myself in this amazing story and the calm, confident writing of the first time true crime writer.

When filming his TV series Race Relations, John Safran spent an uneasy couple of days with one of Mississippi’s most notorious white supremacists. A year later, he heard that the man had been murdered – and what was more, the killer was black.

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AUTOBIOGRAPHYmorrissey
Morrissey

Everything I hoped for and more, Morrissey’s long awaited memoir is full of rich, flowery prose, the story of how a working-class kid from the North became an icon.

Steven Patrick Morrissey was born in Manchester on May 22nd 1959. Singer-songwriter and co-founder of the Smiths (1982-1987), Morrissey has been a solo artist for twenty-six years, during which time he has had three number 1 albums in England in three different decades.

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John Purcell’s Picks

a-meal-in-winterA MEAL IN WITNER
Hubert Mingarelli

The book I wish I had written.

From John’s review: A Meal in Winter is a novella. You can read it in a night. But it punches well above its weight.

I am told A Meal in Winter will be published as a gorgeous little hardcover but I read the proof, a very drab looking proof is was too, and for some reason, even before I read a page, I had the notion that this was a rediscovered work, much like the work of Irène Némirovsky.  To further compound my assumption, as I read, I was reminded of Primo Levi, of Beckett, of Camus… read more


MR. WIGGmr-wigg
Inga Simpson

This is the book I gave to friends to read. An unexpected delight. 

From John’s review: A novel that celebrates the small things in life by a fresh Australian voice.

It s the summer of 1971, not far from the stone-fruit capital of New South Wales, where Mr Wigg lives on what is left of his family farm. Mrs Wigg has been gone a few years now and he thinks about her every day. He misses his daughter, too, and wonders when he’ll see her again… read more


into-my-armsINTO MY ARMS
Kylie Ladd

Read this in a couple of sittings. Ladd’s sharp psychological insights bring a depth to her fast paced narrative. If you want a book for the beach which will give you a shock or three, Into My Arms is hard to beat.

When Skye meets Ben their attraction is instantaneous and intense. Neither of them has ever felt more in synch – or in love – with anyone in their lives. What happens next will tear them both apart.

Into My Arms is a searing love story and a gripping family drama – a shocking, haunting novel in the tradition of Jodi Picoult and Caroline Overington.

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the-wild-girlTHE WILD GIRL
Kate Forsyth

One of those books which wrap themselves around you like a warm blanket on a cold night. Deserves to be read by anyone who re-reads their Austen once a year.

One of the great untold love stories – how the Grimm brothers discovered their famous fairy tales – filled with drama and passion, and taking place during the Napoleonic Wars.

The Wild Girl tells the story of Dortchen Wild. Growing up next door to the Grimm brothers in Hesse-Cassel, a small German kingdom, Dortchen told Wilhelm some of the most powerful and compelling stories in the famous fairytale collection.

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the-young-desire-itTHE YOUNG DESIRE IT
Kenneth Mackenzie

Relive the wonder of first love. No, really.

From John’s review: There is nothing so seductive and yet elusive as the memories of our first experiences in love. We can recall the actions – shared glances, a sweet paralysis, then the first touch, perhaps a chaste kiss – but this is not what we desire. We want to feel again the fear, the pleasure, the tremors and the foreign breath. But it is this that eludes us.

Unless we stumble across an artist who can recreate these feelings for us… read more


Also loved: Rules of Summer by Shaun Tan, The God Argument: The Case Against Religion and for Humanism by A. C. Grayling, Slow Reading in a Hurried Age by David Mikics


Shoshana Booth’s Picks

MY AUTOBIOGRAPHYalex-ferguson
Alex Ferguson

Great read and the perfect gift for any soccer fan. Ferguson’s sheer determination is gripping.

Sir Alex announced his retirement as manager of Manchester United after 27 years in the role. He has gone out in a blaze of glory, with United winning the Premier League for the 13th time, and he is widely considered to be the greatest manager in the history of British football.

Over the last quarter of a century there have been seismic changes at Manchester United. The only constant element has been the quality of the manager’s league-winning squad and United’s run of success, which included winning the Champions League for a second time in 2008. Sir Alex created a purposeful, but welcoming, and much envied culture at the club which has lasted the test of time.

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the-yellow-birdsTHE YELLOW BIRDS
Kevin Powers

This book really, really disturbed me. I had to remind myself to unclench my toes and keep breathing.

A soldier’s broken promise … a mother’s loss … an agonizing truth.

The Yellow Birds gives a powerful, emotional insight into the human cost of war – its impact on soldiers, their families, and most of all what it is like to return home, but never be able to leave the memories behind. Kevin Powers served two terms as a machine gunner with the US army in Iraq. On his return, he was asked one question more than any other: “What was it like over there?”

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QUESTIONS OF TRAVELquestions-of-travel
Michelle de Kretser

Such a moving novel, it reminded me of Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Namesake and Lloyd Jones’ Hand Me Down World. A pleasure to read.

A mesmerising literary novel, Questions of Travel charts two very different lives. Laura travels the world before returning to Sydney, where she works for a publisher of travel guides. Ravi dreams of being a tourist until he is driven from Sri Lanka by devastating events.

Around these two superbly drawn characters, a double narrative assembles an enthralling array of people, places and stories – from Theo, whose life plays out in the long shadow of the past, to Hana, an Ethiopian woman determined to reinvent herself in Australia.

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friday-brownFRIDAY BROWN
Vikki Wakefield

This book for is fans of Melina Marchetta and John Green. It has that same touch of surrealism and an unforgettable female voice.

Seventeen-year-old Friday Brown is on the run – running to escape memories of her mother and of the family curse. And of a grandfather who’d like her to stay. She’s lost, alone and afraid.

Silence, a street kid, finds Friday and she joins him in a gang led by beautiful, charismatic Arden. When Silence is involved in a crime, the gang escapes to a ghost town in the outback. In Murungal Creek, the town of never leaving, Friday must face the ghosts of her past.

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THE NEW CLASSICSthe-new-classics
Donna Hay

Delicious recipes in Donna Hay’s simple, clean style. Do not make the mistake of reading this while you are hungry.

For Isabella Beeton in 1861 it was Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management, for Stephanie Alexander in 1996 it was The Cook’s Companion and for Maggie Beer in 2007 it was Maggie’s Harvest. These books went onto become bestsellers, staples in every home; they were the one-stop recipe books that defined these authors’ work and became essential everyday reference books for their time.

Now in 2013, Australia’s leading cookbook author Donna Hay reveals her landmark book, The New Classics, a definitive collection of classic recipes for every modern cook.

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Christopher Cahill’s Picks

the-tournament-unsigned-copyTHE TOURNAMENT
Matthew Reilly

From John’s review:  Bestselling author Matthew Reilly is one of Australia’s most reliable writers.

Every couple of years he delivers his fans quality popular fiction and every couple of years he can be counted on to break Australian sales records. But till now, all of his successes, Ice Station, Seven Ancient Wonders, Temple, The Five Greatest Warriors, Scarecrow, to name just a few, have one thing in common, the breakneck speed of their narrative.

The Tournament is a departure for Reilly, gone is his trademark breakneck speed. Instead we find a narrative with gravitational pull. Enter The Tournament’s orbit and you cannot escape, you must read on to the final page… read more

To download a FREE prequel to The Tournament, click here


GURRUMUL: His Life and Musicgurrumul
Robert Hillman

“… you will surrender to the greatest voice this continent has ever recorded” – Bruce Elder, Sydney Morning Herald

On a November afternoon in 2010, Gurrumul sat in a studio in Sydney to be photographed for the cover of Rolling Stone. The studio was 3000 kilometres from where he was born on Elcho Island off the coast of East Arnhem Land.

A bare three years had passed since the release of Gurrumul, his critically acclaimed debut solo album. Those years of critical acclaim, all the years before them, and the illness that threatened to end it all, combine in one of the most inspiring music stories of our generation.

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lonely-planet-s-beautiful-worldLONELY PLANET BEAUTIFUL WORLD

40 years of passion and experience has been poured into Lonely Planet’s Beautiful World.

We witness fiery volcanic eruptions; wind-sculpted icebergs in the Antarctic; mind-blowing migrations of wildlife large and small; natural wonders from Belize’s Great Blue Hole to Yellowstone in Wyoming; also the imprint that humanity has made on the planet.

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SEASONAL KITCHENseasonal-kitchen
Serge Dansereau

The new cookbook from Serge Dansereau of Australia’s iconic Bathers’ Pavilion.

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.

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Elizabeth Earl’s Picks

hyperbole-and-a-halfHYPERBOLE AND A HALF
Allie Brosh

Hyperbole and A Half is a blog written by a 20-something American girl called Allie Brosh. She tells fantastically funny, wise stories about the mishaps of her everyday life, with titles like ‘Why Dogs Don’t Understand Basic Concepts Like Moving’ and ‘The Go of Cake’. She accompanies these with naive drawings using Paint on her PC.

Brosh’s website receives millions of visitors a month and hundreds of thousands of per day.

Now her full-colour debut book chronicles the many “learning experiences” Brosh has endured as a result of her own character flaws. It includes stories about her rambunctious childhood; the highs and mostly lows of owning a mentally challenged dog; and a moving and darkly comic account of her struggles with depression.

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DOCTOR SLEEPdoctor-sleep-the-long-awaited-sequel-to-the-shining
Stephen King

An epic war between good and evil, a gory, glorious story that will thrill the millions of hyper-devoted readers of The Shining and wildly satisfy anyone new to the territory of this icon in the King canon.

King says he wanted to know what happened to Danny Torrance, the boy at the heart of The Shining, after his terrible experience in the Overlook Hotel. The instantly riveting Doctor Sleep picks up the story of the now middle-aged Dan, working at a hospice in rural New Hampshire, and the very special twelve-year old girl he must save from a tribe of murderous paranormals.

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the-bling-ringTHE BLING RING
Nancy Jo Sales

It’s 19 September 2010, and 21-year-old Rachel Lee has emerged from Los Angeles Superior Court, having just been sentenced to four years behind bars.

A few months earlier, she had been running the Bling Ring: a gang of rich, beautiful, wild-living Valley teens who idolised celebrity, designer labels and luxury brands. Who, in 2009, became the most audacious thieves in recent Hollywood history.

But what made these kids–all of whom already enjoyed designer clothes, money, cars and social status–gamble with their lives at such high stakes?

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PAPER TO PETALpaper-to-petal
Rebecca Thuss, Patrick Farrell

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.

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world-war-zWORLD WAR Z: AN ORAL HISTORY OF THE ZOMBIE WAR
Max Brooks

It began with rumours from China about another pandemic. Then the cases started to multiply and what had looked like the stirrings of a criminal underclass, even the beginnings of a revolution, soon revealed itself to be much, much worse.

Faced with a future of mindless, man-eating horror, humanity was forced to accept the logic of world government and face events that tested our sanity and our sense of reality. Based on extensive interviews with survivors and key players in the 10-year fight-back against the horde, World War Z brings the very finest traditions of American journalism to bear on what is surely the most incredible story in the history of civilisation.

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Hayley Shephard’s Picks

THE CUCKOO’S CALLINGthe-cuckoo-s-calling
Robert Galbraith (a.k.a J.K. Rowling)

From Hayley’s review: From the outset I want to say I’m a HUGE J.K. Rowling fan, but I’ve never really been a fan of crime fiction, and as I started reading The Cuckoo’s Calling, I wondered if Rowling would win me over. With the words over-flowing I asked myself whether I would be able to keep track or even remember the many characters who could possibly be attached to the apparent suicide of one model named Lula Landry.

But as I kept reading I found myself more interested in the story and more eager to follow Detective Cormoran Strike in his quest to find the killer, which at first even he is sceptical exists.

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my-dad-still-thinks-he-s-funnyMY DAD STILL THINK HE’S FUNNY
Katrina Germein

Sequel to the side-splitting, bestselling My Dad Thinks He’s Funny.

My dad says, ‘I’ve told you fifty million times, don’t exaggerate.’

Dad is back by popular demand with more hilarious material. And yes, my dad STILL thinks he’s funny.

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NODDY CLASSIC COLLECTIONnoddy-classic-collection
Enid Blyton

This classic collection of Enid Blyton’s Noddy stories features the much loved original artwork. The books in this collection are perfect for young readers or young children who love story time – and are stored safely in the stunning flip-top box!

Packed in a very special flip-top slipcase, this Noddy collection is a perfect gift.

Enid Blyton’s master storytelling and the adorable artwork have made the Noddy series an enduring children’s classic.

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shakeSHAKE
Carli Davidson

Original, amusing, and brilliantly documented, Shake is a heartwarming collection of sixty-one beguiling dogs caught in the most candid of moments: mid-shake. This glorious, graphic volume will stop you dead in your tracks as you are presented with images of man’s best friend caught in contortion: hair wild, eyes darting, ears and jowls flopping every which way.

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THE HUNTERthe-hunter
Monica McCarty

The war for Scotlands freedom continues as King Robert the Bruce battles on. At his command is an elite army of trained warriors, soldiers dedicated to their king, their country and to the remarkable women they love.

Prized for his unbeatable tracking skills, Ewen “Hunter” Lamont accepts a dangerous assignment: locate a missing undercover courier. By this is no ordinary target. Ewen has met his prey before as Sister Genna, a fiery, forbidden woman forever etched in his memory after one stolen, sinful kiss.

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Win a Maggie Beer Hamper Worth over $500!

FIND OUT HOW YOU COULD WIN
A MAGGIE BEER HAMPER HERE

Anna Gare, author of Eat In, answers Ten Terrifying Questions

The Booktopia Book Guru asks

Anna Gare

author of Eat In: The Best Food is Made at Home

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 Western Australia. I was the youngest of 4 kids. I was raised on Brown food- it was the 70s.

Mum cooked to fill us up; she had seven faithful dishes down pat. Tuna Mornay, meatballs, lamb stew, spag bog, sausage casserole, chops peas and mash. Every Sunday- she threw a big rolled roast into the oven and cooked it until it was grey. There was no such thing as medium rare back then!!! She was no gourmet goddess and was delighted when I took over the kitchen at the age of 11.

Yes I was schooled but left at 15 to cook in a restaurant and play music in a rock and roll band.

2. What did you want to be when you were 12, 18 and 30? And why?

When I was 12 -I desperately wanted to be 13, couldn’t wait to be a teenager!.

When I was eighteen I wanted to write a hit pop song. At 18 who doesn’t want to be a rock star?

When I was 30 I stopped wanting to get older and I wanted to be 18 again.

3. What strongly held belief did you have at 18 that you do not have now?

I thought that when I grew up I would get married have 2 children and live happily ever after with my husband.

A broken family was not in my script. But a combined family now is. Got a ripper husband take 2 and a few extra kids for free!

4. What were three big events in your life or the world around you that had a great effect on you and influenced your cooking?

Definitely visiting my Granny- she lived up in the hills and use to grow and bottle everything. Very inspirational.

Cooking on television shows and writing cook books has somewhat organised me. It was the first time I started putting my recipes down on paper.  My aim was to cook food that was delicious and easily achievable, food that people would want to make in their own homes. It has definitely shaped my simplistic style.

Having children and trying to get them to eat all the good stuff has been quite a challenge and has resulted in some very clever food marketing and cheeky sneaky creations along the way.

I’d be a fool if I didn’t say travel always has a huge influence!

5. What are some dishes you wouldn’t eat as a child that you love now?

Sweet potato- it use to make my glands tingle and I thought olives were disgusting.

6. Please tell us about your latest book…

Eat In is my second book and I’m really proud of it.  Its really a snap shot of the food I cook in my every day busy life.

From breakfast to sweet treats- feeding the kids to throwing a party- I like to think of it as some of my greatest food hits!

Grab a copy of Eat In here

7. If you had to create one dish to show off your repertoire, what would it be?

An edible food topiary tree., covered in little squares of my pretty frittata. Love a bit of food sculpture.

8. Whom do you most admire and why?

There are many people I admire. This week/year its Stephanie Alexander for her endless work in getting the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden programs into more Australian primary schools.

If every school had a SAKG we would see, kids by the age of 12 educated in the growing and preparation of healthy foods and in the future a huge decrease in poor health and food related diseases in Australia.

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

I have several but here are a few. To raise 4 well-adjusted children and hope they all grow into happy, healthy adults and combine their passions with their work. And to be living in the South West on the great southern ocean by  2016. To grow all of our own food in high alkaline beach sand with windy conditions.

Definitely ambitious and possibly insane!

10. What advice do you give aspiring chefs?

Just remember the aim is yummy.

Anna, thank you for playing.

Grab a copy of Anna’s book Eat In here

GUEST BLOG: Chef Luke Nguyen on family and Vietnam (plus a recipe for salt and chilli squid)!

Luke Nguyen, beloved Australian-Vietnamese chef and author of The Food of Vietnam tells the story of his visit to Vietnam, and shares one of his favourite recipes.

the-food-of-vietnamGrowing up in Australia, food was an intrinsic link to my Vietnamese heritage and culture. Everything ‘Vietnamese’ I’d learnt as a child was passed on to me through the memories and knowledge of my parents, and the other families in my Vietnamese community. They shared these gifts with us, within our own ‘little Vietnam’ in the Sydney suburb of Cabramatta. Our lifestyle, cooking and language were a version of our parents’ own upbringing.

Through all this, I was inspired to go to Vietnam. I felt a pull to discover the country and people on my own, and to hopefully understand more about the lives of my parents and my own life in Australia. But first I needed to follow the strongest of my passions — my dream of opening my own restaurant, where I could showcase traditional Vietnamese food within the contemporary Sydney dining scene. My restaurant, Red Lantern, is more than a restaurant to me. It has been my dream fulfilled, but it has also taken me beyond my dreams and around the world, to expand my life and love of food and culture — far more than I ever could have asked for.luke2

It brought to me Vietnam, where my journey to further understand my heritage, history and culture still continues, years later. Heavily schooled in southern cuisine, I wanted to learn about the country’s regional specialties, travelling not only to particular spots to visit my family, but also to areas where I had no relatives, links or knowledge: a discovery for the soul and the stomach!

In this book, The Food of Vietnam, I begin my culinary discovery in southern Vietnam, where I trace my extended family. I meet my mother’s sisters — Aunties Eight and Nine, who show me where they, and my Mum, were brought up. After sharing their favourite family recipes and street-food spots, they introduce me to my cousins from the Mekong Delta.

nguyen foodLater I visit the fishing folk of Mui Ne, who work the ocean waters by night, and in the early mornings prepare tonnes of seafood by hand, expertly cutting, slicing, drying and packing their catch for sale right along the beachfront. In the quiet fishing town of Quy Nhon, I learn the ancient art of handmaking tofu, and visit the famous Thien Huong Pagoda, where I am taught age-old vegetarian dishes, before being blessed by the pagoda’s revered Buddhist monk. The terrace fields of Da Lat, filled with exotic vegetables, local flowers and herbs, reflect the colonial influences of the French, who introduced the coffee plantations that now flourish under local hands, and satisfy the country’s own huge appetite for coffee drinking, their coffee also exported around the world.

This first journey through Vietnam taught me so much, and I’m still learning something new every day. A lifetime of travelling, talking and eating throughout the country may not be enough to discover all that Vietnam has to share, but the people’s stories and their memories are all in some way tied up in any single dish that is prepared; each technique is the word and practice of someone before them. I love to listen and watch as knowledge, history and culture is told through the form of food.

Grab a copy of Luke’s wonderful The Food of Vietnam here

Chargrilled Phu Quoc salt & chilli squid

SERVES 4–6 as part of a shared meal

This dish was taught to me by a local Phu Quoc fisherman. He told me he would regularly make this dish on board his boat, while out in the deep sea, where he would not have many ingredients to cook with. It took him only 30 seconds to describe the recipe to me. I also made this dish on a fishing boat, after catching my own squid. So try to get the freshest squid you can — alive and kicking if possible. As you can see, the recipe is incredibly simple, but it is oh, so delicious.

  • 1 whole squid, about 600 g (1 lb 5 oz)luke1
  • 2 red bird’s eye chillies, sliced
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • Lemon sauce
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/ 2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground white pepper

Pull away the squid’s head, slice it open and remove the guts, cartilage and ink sac. Pat both sides dry with paper towels or a clean cloth. Place on a chopping board, skin side up. Using a sharp knife, cut a crisscross pattern into the squid, being careful not to cut all the way through.
Pound the chilli to a paste using a mortar and pestle. Mix in the salt until well combined.

Evenly coat both sides of the squid with the salt and chilli mixture. Chargrill the squid over medium–high heat for 3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.

Meanwhile, put the lemon sauce ingredients in a dipping bowl and mix well. Cut the squid into bite-sized pieces and serve with the lemon sauce.
 

Grab a copy of Luke’s wonderful The Food of Vietnam here

GUEST BLOG: Rodney Dunn, author and founder of The Agrarian Kitchen, on the love of food

I often start my classes at The Agrarian Kitchen by saying “I like to cook, because I like to eat”. As a food tragic for me it is that next rush of flavour I crave. After eating in the best restaurants in this country and indeed around the world, as Food Editor of Australian Gourmet Traveller Magazine, the only logical step seemed to be to go back…back to the source, back to the earth, for this is where all flavour begins.

It became blindingly obvious to me, after my first feeble attempts at gardening, that what mother nature achieved in the flavour department could not be surpassed by man. My job was to respect it, not stuff it up by messing around with it too much, therefore I find the food I cook getting simpler, relying on harmonious marriages of flavour, balancing the work done in the garden with the work done in the kitchen.

It is wonderfully refreshing now living a life closely linked with the seasons and the weather. What we are growing, cooking and eating is like a marker of time from one year to the next as one season fleets you are looking forward to the next, whether it is the asparagus and artichokes of spring, the tomatoes, corn and eggplant of summer, the wild mushrooms of autumn, or the intensely flavoured root vegetables and sweet brassicas of winter that make up the wonderful tapestry of our world.

It is a little sad to think that one of the great pleasures in my life now is receiving the next instalment of seed catalogue and taking it to bed with anticipation of what new things can be grown in the garden.

Above all of this, food has the most meaning when it is shared and it is because of this that we chose to share The Agrarian Kitchen with the general public. It is no different to seeing the pleasure gained by others when eating a meal cooked by yourself.

For me taking people into the garden and seeing light bulbs erupt as they taste lovage for the first time or the expressions as a ripe raspberry explodes in their mouth. I myself crave inspiration around me so we love to serve in some small part as the providers of inspiration.

I would love to think our book helps with this cause, as with our philosophy it follows the seasons, with all the fruit and vegetables coming from the garden. Enjoy.

Grab a copy of The Agrarian Kitchen here

9781921382451 Agrarian Kicthen newsletter banner (450 x 143)Order The Agrarian Kitchen from Booktopia before 30th November 2013 to go into the draw to win an Agrarian Experience class for 2 people, worth $700 (flights and accommodation not included).

The Agrarian Kitchen

by Rodney Dunn

When former Australian Gourmet Traveller food editor Rodney Dunn moved from Sydney to Tasmania, he and his wife Severine set about transforming a nineteenth-century schoolhouse into a sustainable farm-based cooking school.

Nestled in a misty valley outside Hobart, The Agrarian Kitchen struck a chord with people seeking respite from fast-paced lives and a meaningful connection with the food we eat and the land that produces it.

This collection of recipes from the phenomenally popular cooking school celebrates the simple pleasures of cooking and eating in tune with the seasons, and the rhythm of a life lived close to the earth.

Grab a copy of The Agrarian Kitchen here

The Agrarian Kitchen-1The Agrarian Kitchen-3The Agrarian Kitchen-2

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