1. The Tournament by Matthew Reilly
Booktopia synopsis: The year is 1546. Europe lives in fear of the powerful Islamic empire to the East. Under its charismatic Sultan, Suleiman the Magnificent, it is an empire on the rise. It has defeated Christian fleets. It has conquered Christian cities. Then the Sultan sends out an invitation to every king in Europe: send forth your champion to compete in a tournament unlike any other.
2. Hard Luck by Jeff Kinney
Booktopia synopsis: 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?
3. Ponting: at the Close of Play by Ricky Ponting
Booktopia synopsis: Ricky Ponting is one of the greatest Australian cricketers to have worn the baggy green. His autobiography details his journey from his childhood protégé, to the highs and lows of an extraordinary international cricket career, to retirement.
4. The Fiery Heart by Richelle Mead
Booktopia synopsis: In The Indigo Spell, Sydney was torn between the Alchemist way of life, and what her heart and gut were telling her to do. And in one breathtaking moment that Richelle Mead fans will never forget, she made a decision that shocked even her. But the struggle isn’t over for Sydney. As she navigates the aftermath of her life-changing decision, she still finds herself pulled in too many directions at once. Her sister Zoe has arrived, and while Sydney longs to grow closer to her, there’s still so much she must keep secret. Working with Marcus has changed the way she views the Alchemists, and Sydney must tread a careful path – or risk being sent to re-education. Her skill with magic is growing in ways she never imagined – but that doesn’t stop the near-constant threat of evil magic users, Vampire Hunters, and Strigoi from growing ever closer.
5. Elianne by Judy Nunn
Booktopia synopsis: In 1881 ‘Big Jim’ Durham, an English soldier of fortune and profiteer, ruthlessly creates for Elianne Desmarais, his young French wife, the finest of the great sugar mills of the Southern Queensland cane fields, and names it in her honour. The massive estate becomes a self-sufficient fortress, a cane-consuming monster and home to hundreds of workers, but ‘Elianne’ and its masters, the Durham Family, have dark and distant secrets; secrets that surface in the wildest and most inflammatory of times, the 1960s.
6. The Winter Sea by Di Morrissey
Booktopia synopsis: Escaping an unhappy marriage and an unsatisfactory job, Cassie Holloway moves to the little NSW coastal town of Whitby Point. Here she meets the Aquino family, whose fishing business was founded by their ancestor, Giuseppe, an immigrant Italian, some ninety years before. Life for Cassie on the south coast is sweet as she sets up a successful restaurant and falls in love with Giuseppe’s great grandson Michael. But when the family patriarch dies a devastating family secret is revealed which threatens to destroy her dreams. Cassie’s future happiness now rests with her quest for the truth.
7. Ned Kelly by Peter Fitzsimons
Booktopia synopsis: Peter FitzSimons, bestselling chronicler of many of the great defining moments and people of this nation’s history, is the perfect person to tell this most iconic of all Australian stories. From Kelly’s early days in Beveridge, Victoria, in the mid-1800s, to the Felons’ Apprehension Act, which made it possible for anyone to shoot the Kelly gang, to Ned’s appearance in his now-famous armour, prompting the shocked and bewildered police to exclaim ‘He is the devil!’ and ‘He is the bunyip!’, FitzSimons brings the history of Ned Kelly and his gang exuberantly to life, weighing in on all of the myths, legends and controversies generated by this compelling and divisive Irish-Australian rebel.
8. The Crossroad by Mark Donaldson
Booktopia synopsis: When Mark Donaldson was awarded the Victoria Cross in 2009, he was the first Australian to receive our highest award for bravery since Keith Payne’s medal in 1969. Mark showed extraordinary courage when he rescued an Afghan interpreter under heavy fire during a bloody ambush in Afghanistan. Something about Mark’s modesty and quiet determination struck a chord with the Australian public, because in 2010 he was voted Young Australian of the Year. From teenage rebellion to the stark realities of combat in the mountains and valleys of Afghanistan, Mark’s book is the frank and compelling story of a man turning his destiny around by sheer determination and strength of mind.
9. The 39-Storey Treehouse by Andy Griffiths
Booktopia synopsis: Andy and Terry’s amazing treehouse has 13 new levels including a chocolate waterfall, a non-erupting active volcano, an opera house, a baby-dinosaur petting zoo, Andy and Terry’s Believe it or Else! museum, a not-very-merry merry-go-round, a boxing elephant called the Trunkinator, an X-Ray room, a disco with light-up dance floor, the world’s scariest roller-coaster and a top secret 39th level that hasn’t even been finished yet! Well, what are you waiting for? Come on up!
10. The New Classics by Donna Hay
Booktopia synopsis: Australia’s leading cookbook author Donna Hay reveals her landmark book, The New Classics, a definitive collection of classic recipes for every modern cook from Donna Hay magazine. This is the ultimate Donna Hay cookbook, the book that has everything that you ever wanted to know how to cook. Absolutely up to the minute, it contains all our old family favourites as well as new delights, everything from beef and ale pies to dulce de leche, from mac n’ cheese to macarons, it’s exactly the food that we want to cook and eat NOW, all written in Donna’s trademark simple, clear and easy way.