Win a signed copy of Shopaholic to the Stars by Sophie Kinsella!

Review by Melinda Bookworld Super Reviewer

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You have to rub your hands together with glee when you see that Becky is heading to Hollywood to tackle celebrities and the “L.A Lifestyle”!

As always, Sophie Kinsella treads a fine line in creating a character that is likeably enough that you want her to do well, but cringe worthy enough that you gasp at the debacles that she gets caught up in.

Becky is having a hard time adjusting to life in L.A. She’s a fish out of water, with little support and an old arch nemesis butting in, who appears as though she’s had a personality transplant.

When Luke asks her if she needs a hand up in the fickle L.A fashion scene, Becky sets a challenge to herself, to become a celebrity stylist, and no-one is going to get in her way!

There’s a few bumps in the road, when her father arrives in town on a top secret mission, sending her family into panic, and Suze and Tarquin come to visit, wanting to escape the confines of Manor living in the UK.

Becky attempts valiantly to become a stellar celebrity stylist, and it dawns on her towards the end of the novel that the price she needs to pay in order to achieve success might just be too much, even for her.

Shopaholic to the Stars is a strong novel, written in Kinsella’s usual style. There are certainly many moments where there is a superb realism to Becky’s fiascos, to the point where I had to stop reading when I started feeling secondhand embarrassment for her!

The novel definitely leaves you wanting more, my only question would be: “how long do I need to wait now Sophie?”

We have four signed copies of Shopaholic to the Stars to give away. Simply tell us in the comments below which Sophie Kinsella book is your favourite for your chance to win! *Australia only.

Friday Winner Announcement

Winners

We are very pleased to announce the winners of the competitions we have held over the past week!

Firstly, join us in offering a huge congratulations to the winners of our signed copies of Through The Seasons by Annabel Langbein!

Jan McCloud
Jess Smith
Caroline Poole
Jenny McGowan
Marcella Wong

Secondly, congratulations winners of our copies of Yotam Ottolenghi’s Plenty More!

Tabetha Joiner
Stephanie Gould-Hardwick
Dianne Kosir
Jaynemc
Sharyn W

If you’re one of our lucky winners, please drop an email to contact@bookworld.com.au with your postal details!

Top Tasmanian Books to Read Before You Go

If I was to ask any of my friends where they would go with a free weekend away in Australia their answer would be Tassie. It’s THE hot spot right now – the walks, Mona, the food, the markets. Perhaps they just do a hell of a job at marketing themselves, but whatever it is it’s worked, as Lonely Planet has just announced little old Tassie as one of the Top 10 Regions of the world to visit in 2015.

So to celebrate all things Tasmanian we have pulled together a list of the top books to read to get you ready for your now mandatory visit.

The Making of Mona
by Franklin Adrian

Arguably one of the most exciting (and important) cultural additions to Australia since the Sydney Opera House MONA is the talk of everyone with its accessible, fresh take on modern art. The Making of Mona gives you the inside story on how an amateur private collector managed to set up one of the worlds best museums at the bottom of the world.

100 Walks in Tasmania: Your Essential Guide to Walking in Tasmania

From the Bay of Fires to Cradle Mountain, to rocky hills, rolling sand dunes, burning red rocks and crystal clear water, walking in Tasmania is like nothing found anywhere else in the world. This guidebook is the bible for all walkers – from the serious trekkers to the casual day trippers.

The Agrarian Kitchen
by Rodney DunnLong

On any foodie’s must-do list, The Agrarian Kitchen is a farm-based cooking school nestled in the Derwent Valley that boasts one of Australia’s coolest (and exclusive) cooking classes. Thankfully they put out a cookbook so we can all enjoy their scrumptious food and sustainable living.

The Dirty Chef: From Big City Food Critic to Foodie Farmer
by Matthew Evans

Matt Evans has done what we would all secretly love to do (or what for some would be their worst nightmare) by packing in his high-flying life in Sydney for a small rundown farm in the middle of Tasmania. His book takes us through his journey, from learning how to kill his first chicken to simple, easy to cook meals.

When The Night Comes
by Favel Parett

If you are a fan of reading novels set in your travelling destination either before or during your visit then When The Night Comes is for you. Parett’s evocative writing places Hobart as a central character in her highly recommended and quietly powerful novel.

The Narrow Road to the Deep North
by Richard Flanagan

Tassie’s most famous author shot to international stardom recently when this brilliant book was the third Australian to be awarded the prestigious Man Booker Prize. Although it has nothing to do with Tasmania you should do yourself a favour and read this incredible story.

Lonely Planet Tasmania

And for all your where am I sleeping tonight, how can I be munching on fresh seafood right now, and where the hell am I queries then the trusty LP has all your answers.

Winners of T.S Spivet Tickets

TSSpivet

Congratulations to the winners of our T.S. Spivet tickets!

Melbourne:

Krista Mountford
Pina Costanzo Mezzapesa
Rachel Ivell
Anastasia Starz
Kate Jackson
Sarah Waters
Tanya Walsh
Caitlin Frost
Amy Withington
Colleen Moffatt

Sydney:

Diane Heriot
Kwety-ope
Fiona Howe

Adelaide:

Linda Magro-Jones

Brisbane:
Danielle Stacey
Natasha Last
Aimee Yarrow
Elizabeth Martin
Denise Schade

Perth:
Angela Milesi
Ebony Walsh

Please drop us an email contact@bookworld.com.au with your postal details!

The 2014 Man Booker Prize: The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan

Award winner: The Narrow Road to the Deep North

Award winner: The Narrow Road to the Deep North

Everyone at Bookworld would like to offer a huge congratulations to the winner of the prestigious Man Booker Prize for 2014, Australian best-selling novelist, Richard Flanagan for his masterpiece, The Narrow Road to the Deep North.

Richard Flanagan is one of the most exciting authors in Australia right now and his award-winning novel is a stunning example of how powerful a well-crafted sentence can be. The Narrow Road to the Deep North follows Dorrigo Evans through his life as a surgeon as a POW on the Thai-Burma railroad, the monstrosities of the labor camps and the incredible ways a person’s mind, and body, can cope when they need to. The severity and almost casualness of his sentences when describing some of the worst scenes of POW life is breathtaking and the feeling of helplessness and loss that follows Dorry throughout his life is infectious. Flanagan gives an often confronting insight into the male psyche, and the longing for love and the need for the world to be right will move you right to the end.

Get your copy of The Narrow Road to the Deep North here.

OTTOLENGHI EXCLUSIVE RECIPE: Aubergine with black garlic

Yotam Ottolenghi’s Plenty More picks up where Plenty left off, with 120 more dazzling vegetable-based dishes, this time organised by cooking method. Grilled, baked, simmered, cracked, braised or raw, the range of recipe ideas is stunning. With recipes including Alphonso mango and curried chickpea salad, Membrillo and stilton quiche, Buttermilk-crusted okra, Lentils, radicchio and walnuts with manuka honey, Seaweed, ginger and carrot salad, and even desserts such as Baked rhubarb with sweet labneh and Quince poached in pomegranate juice, this is the cookbook that everyone has been waiting for.

To win 1 of 5 copies of Plenty More, simply tell us in the comments below what dish you’ll be cooking this summer for your family and friends? *Australia only.

Aubergine_ Aubergine with black garlic

The Bush: Travel to the heart of Australia with Don Watson

The Bush by Don Watson

The Bush by Don Watson

Don Watson sends us meandering through The Bush in a thoroughly entertaining and delightful way, delving into its history, its place in the Australian psyche, and the people who shaped it.

Part memoir part travelogue (along the lines of his American Journeys) this is a book you can happily curl up with for a weekend, or dip in and out as you fancy. As always Watson writes beautifully – honestly he could write a history of toilet paper and it would be both stunning and fascinating.

Highly recommended for all, and would be a very good choice for under the Christmas tree for those international visitors, Aussies living overseas, and any who love history, biography, and good writing.

Don Watson answers the bookish questions:

What I’m reading right now… Margaret Atwood, Stone Mattress.

My favourite book growing up… On Our Selection, because it gave (hilarious) meaning to our bucolic lives.

My all time favourite book is… Anna Karenina. Do I really have to say why?

The book I would recommend everyone to read… Anna Karenina (and The Iliad, The Bible, Don Quixote, If This is a Man, etc., etc.) because, perhaps, until you do, it’s a bit like missing the first act of the play you’re in.

The book I wish I wrote… The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

My guilty reading pleasure is… the Form Guide.

The book on my bookshelf that I have never read… A lot of Dickens, but if I live long enough I will.

The book that never should have been turned into a film… The English Patient.

My book is… finished.

I’ll never forget… my name, I hope.

My favourite place is… a good bar, anywhere, in my memory.

The most dangerous thing I have ever done is… not worth recording.

The first time I… tasted pizza (and an olive, an anchovy, a caper and mozzarella) was in December 1967 in Russell Street Melbourne with my friend Ken Bishop. How come I can remember that yet can’t recall the names of half the books I’ve read in the past 12 months?

I regret… far more than I have time to say.

I remember… mainly the things I regret.

The one piece of advice I should have listened to but didn’t… Non, je ne regrette rien

I love… more than I realised.

I hate… the usual things – stupidity, cruelty, injustice, greed, noise.

I wish… the hateful could be sent into deep space.

I can’t say no to… children, racehorses and books.

Yesterday, I… can’t remember.

Fiction Pick of the Month – ‘Us’ by David Nicholls

As David Nicholls did so well in his international bestseller One DayUs is a depiction of a couple’s life together spanning 20 years. This story picks up when Connie and Douglas are about to separate, when they decide to take one last family holiday with their son across Europe – with a secret hope to reunite and get things back together. Us is filled with the humour of travel stories – where things that can go wrong do, but lead ultimately to life affirming events and bonding. The ending is not quite what you’d expect… Us is a very satisfying and enjoyable read, and has been shortlisted for The Man Booker Prize 2014.

Us is our Fiction Pick of the Month – 5 STARS

Bookworld goes to the movies: GONE GIRL

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Since topping the bestseller list in 2012, Bookworld’s much loved and tattered copy of Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn has ceremonially done the reading rounds at Bookworld HQ. So when our friends at Hachette invited us to a Gone Girl advanced screening, we couldn’t resist the offer to catch one of our favourite books come alive on the big screen.

On his fifth wedding anniversary, Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) returns home to find his wife, Amy (Rosamund Pike), missing in mysterious circumstances. Under intense media scrutiny, a suspiciously composed Nick is accused of being involved in the disappearance of his wife. What unravels next is a dark web of marital lies, sinister plot twists and an ending so disturbing it will leave your heart racing.

David Fincher, no stranger to cult hits and book adaptations, cleverly delivers Flynn’s psychological thriller, leaving both fans of the book and those new to the story gripped to their cinema seats with each bloody plot turn.

Affleck and Pike lead a stellar cast, with too many strong performances to name. Fans of Gone Girl will not be disappointed in Flynn’s adapted version (yes, she wrote the screenplay too!) which has been wound so cleverly together in this visual masterpiece.

In short – Bookworld approved!

To celebrate the release of the film, we have one signed copy of Gone Girl to giveaway! Simply tell us in the comments below why you’re excited to see Gone Girl at the movies for a chance to win! Check back here to see who won on Monday 6 October. *Aus-Only.

UPDATE: Competition is now closed. Congratulations Katie Maling – you are our lucky winner! Please email us your postal address at contact@bookworld.com.au.

Matt Preston chats ‘Cook Book’, oozy cheese, swimming with sharks and… centrefolds?

Cook Book by Matt Preston

Cook Book by Matt Preston has nearly 200 of his favourite dishes, from slow-cooked roasts and tasty braises to mouth-watering desserts and tea-time treats.

What I’m reading right now… Pier Paul Reid’s The Templars, JD Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye so I can discuss it with my eldest son. And I’ve just finished William Boyd’s Armadillo. William Sitwell’s book on the history of food told through a series of recipes is on the bedside table.

My favourite book growing up… CS Lewis’s Narnia series for the combination of fantasy and adventure; and the Hornblower series at the behest of my Dad who was an naval historian and author.

My all-time favourite book is… books are restaurants the choice of a favourite depends on your mood and what you are after. So I tend not to name “all-time favourites”.

The book I would recommend everyone to read… This might stink of nepotism but I’d suggest Host and Guest by AV Kirwan which I found inspirational writing my Cook Book. It’s 150 years old but its surprisingly current in its thinking on food and entertaining… either that or Harold McGee’s On Food and Cooking.

The book I wish I wrote… pretty much anything by Matthew Reilly then my boys might think I was cool.

My guilty reading pleasure is… evocative and well-researched historical action or crime novels by blokes like Bernard Cornwell.

The book on my bookshelf that I have never read… It’s called How To Kill Your Mother or something like that. I just feel disloyal opening it!

The BRILLIANT book that never should have been turned into a film… The Lorax.

My book is… new. It’s also funnier, longer and betterer than the last one. I’m rather proud of it actually. The recipes are pretty good too… and as for the dirty, filthy double gatefold centrefold… Phew! look out!

I’ll never forget… the meals shared with the people I love.

My favourite place is… on the beach or at the table – but never at the same time!

The most dangerous thing I have ever done is… dived with sharks, cornered a tiger snake (by accident obviously) and contradicted Marco Pierre White.

The first time I… cooked alone I was 5. I made baked eggs in a little enamelled pan that my mother had secretly kept and gave to me for Christmas… sweet!

I regret… nothing but there ARE a few things I definitely won’t tell you about… Oh, I suppose I do wish I spent the 800 bucks on buying a 1964, candy-pink Ford Galaxy convertible with cream seats – and the $3000 to buy a John Kelly “cow” painting.

I remember… pretty much everything other than people’s names… My memory is elephantine and while I can remember what they we wearing or what we ate first time we met the names often escape me… I need someone to stand behind me and to whisper them in my ear – US president style!

The one piece of advice I should have listened to but didn’t… always to use the guard on the mandolin.

I love… my family and my friends.

I hate… negativity.

I wish… for world peace and a nice oozy piece of washed rind cheese.

I can’t say no to… cheese.

Yesterday, I… swam in shark-infested waters and spend three hours reading.

Cook Book by Matt Preston is out 1 October!