Great Escape Books Summer Newsletter: Christmas 09 Edition

Our coast is the very best place to celebrate Christmas, the kids are happy playing on the beach or surfing, and you can lay down and unwind with a great read, and later maybe a wine or two at the surfclub. We have handpicked our favourite current reads. We hope you enjoy our selection, see you on the beach!

Great Escape Books Special Event: Feb 2010

Great Escape Books is delighted to be hosting Hannie Rayson and Michael Cathcart in conversation on Saturday February 13th 2010.
We anticipate this will quickly be a booked-out evening, so rsvp is essential.  Hardcopy invitations and further information is available at bookshop or on our events page at this website.

Top 10 Xmas Reads in a Nutshell…Nicole’s recommendations for all-time awesome Christmas reads.

1. Lovesong by Alex Miller...a breathtakingly beautiful novel of the bottomless depths of love.

2.Truth by Peter Temple...set in Melbourne, this is tough, gritty crime at it’s very best.

3. The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery … you will fall in love with this most wondrous collection of eclectic French characters.

4. Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel...brilliant Booker prize-winning fiction that breathes new life into the brutal regime of King Henry VIII.

5. The Girl who Kicked the Hornets Nest by Steig utterly compulsive series with the most twisted heroine you will ever find in literature today.

6.Stones into Schools by Greg Mortenson...gutsy, modern day hero teams up with the Mujahadeen, to change the face of the lives of children in Taliban’s afflicted Afghanistan and Pakistan.

7. Nine Lives by William writing at it’s very best, this time turning a fine eye on nine different lives in India.

8. Stoked by Bob McTavish...ripping memoir of a legend, for all surf fanatics like my husband!

9. Rain Gods by James Lee Burke…quality American crime fiction, from one of the masters of the genre.

10. A la grecque by Pam Talimanidis …a little bit of Aireys thrown in with a lot of Greece, produces a most enticing cookbook. Signed copies available.

Christmas Book Gift Vouchers

Our gift vouchers are great if you are truly stumped, pushed for time, or need a last minute gift. We have a beautiful range of vouchers and the best thing is you can nominate any amount and they never, ever expire.

Great New Christmas Releases

Lovesong by Alex Miller
You know when you open a book and it just envelops you in its beauty, that you have found a magical read. Set alternatively in contemporary Carlton and the Parisian café Chez Dom, this is a most beautiful ‘song’ of desire, desperation and bottomless love between the enigmatic exotic beauty Sabitha and her warmly faithful love Australian John Patterner.  Utterly enticing and tender, this is a truly glorious read. RRP: $39.95 Hardcover Edition

The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver
By the author of The Poisonwood Bible, you know The Lacuna is going to be a book of enormous scope and power. Based initially in Mexico and later in the U.S, a young Harrison Shepherd escapes his ‘social-climbing mother’ and through a series of misadventures winds up in the household of Diego Rivera and artist Frida Kahlo, who will become his life-long friend. Thrown into the circle of exiled Bolshevik leader Leon Trotsky,  Shepherd is caught inextricably up in the upcoming whirlwind of American and Mexican social change and revolution. Vividly written, this is a compelling read of the power of art and politics. ‘Only a writer of exceptional skill and daring can hold together such an ambitious undertaking’. Dorothy Johnston, The Sydney Morning Herald. RRP: $35.00

Rain Gods by James Lee Burke
James Lee Burke is a master at creating broken, desperate characters and this fine novel is no exception. Sheriff Hackberry Holland – former attorney and Korean prisoner of war is evading a blistering past to become sheriff of a border town in southern Texas. He soon find himself dealing with more than just his own personal ghosts after nine dead prostitutes are dug up in the desert. The search for justice – and revenge – pits Hack against criminals for hire, unsavoury ‘skin’ bar owners, drug dealers on both sides of the border and a psychopathic killer known as ‘The Preacher’. A rough, wild and compelling read. RRP: $32.99

Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger
Julia and Valentina Poole are not-quite ‘normal’ American teenagers – for a start they are identical ‘mirror’ twins who have little little interest in things normal teens do- boys, college or socialising.   But when a mysterious aunt dies – oddly enough also their mothers twin,  and leaves them an apartment overlooking Highgate Cemetery in London, their life begins to take strange turns. As they quickly become involved in the eccentric lives of their aunt’s neighbours, they start to discover that there is much still alive in Highgate, including possibly their aunt, who while dead, can’t seem to leave her old apartment and life behind. A deliciously quirky ghost story, with all the mysterious twists that Niffenegger, author of The Time Travellers wife is famous for. RRP: $32.95

Meltdown by Ben Elton
I recently heard Ben Elton talking with Kerrie-Anne on one of those ghastly Good Morning shows and to his credit, he overcame the banal questions, and managed to convey with his trademark humour the biting satire of his newest novel.  After years of irresponsible spending, city trader Jimmy and his family are forced to their own version of the global confront financial meltdown and this results in this hilarious domestic drama that reverberates throughout their household. While this is a very English read, it is a lot of fun with a uncomfortable, yet darkly humorous twists. RRP: $32.95

Stones into Schools by Greg Mortenson
Following his first book, Three Cups of Tea, many people assumed that the schools that Greg Mortenson and his heroic team of ‘fixers’ – a motley group of fearless local Pakistani men who would lay down their life for ‘Dr Greg’,  in Pakistan had been bombed into oblivion by the Taliban. But Mortenson’s philosophies about quietly building relationships, empowering communities, and educating girls continued to  strike a powerful chord with the Mujahadeen leaders. All of his now 130 schools he and his team have built have survived and flourished in Pakistan and the most impassable and wildest areas of Afghanistan. The Mujahadeen refused to let their schools be destroyed, and while the costs have been high- girls have had acid thrown in their faces and elders threatened with death— the glory of this book is the triumphs of the young women who are now graduating from the schools and of the wild men who have helped them. An overwhelmingly positive book of immense power. RRP: $32.95

Half Broke Horses by Jeanette Walls
An extraordinary debut novel based on the remarkable life of Jeannette Walls’ maternal grandmother – born in 1901 she is a ‘sassy, straight-talking heroine’ for whom taming wild horses and beating ranch hands at poker are all in a day’s work. Leaving home at the age of 15 to find work on her beloved horse Patch, she goes on to run a 180,000 acre ranch in Arizona and to raise a family. A remarkable adventurous woman in an age, who through her own courage and determination breaks all preconceived ideas of what women were capable of in that age and time. RRP: $32.95

The Heart of The Great Alone Scott, Shackleton and Antarctic Photography by David Hempleman-Adams, Sophie Gordon and Emma Stuart
This is the stuff of legends. The photographers—Herbert George Ponting and Frank Hurley—transported bulky cameras and glass plate negatives across the forbidding polar landscape to record some of the earliest images of this dramatic environment. That the photographs survived to be presented on their return to King George V is miraculous. The Heart of the Great Alone reproduces the best of these marvellous images, some of which have never appeared in book form before—ships encased in ice floes, ice cliffs and ravines, campsites and dog sleds, and the incomparable beauty of Antarctic flora and fauna. I’ve grabbed a copy for myself, this is a magnificent book. RRP: $70.00 Hardcover Edition.

Great Christmas Ideas for Kids and Teens

Birdie’s Big Girl Shoes by Sujean Rim
She felt beautiful. She felt glamorous. She felt like a movie star…Birdie likes to cartwheel. She likes to dance. And she especially likes playing with her dog, Monster. But more than anything, Birdie loves her mother’s high-heeled shoes. Glorious for girls who love a bit of fun. (This is N0. 1 on my daughters Christmas wish list this year). Great ages 3-4 plus. RRP: 24.99 Hardcover

Running With The Horses by Alison Lester
Celebrating the turbulent history of the famous Spanish Riding School, Running With The Horses is a picture book for all ages. When the city is under attack, Nina and father are in charge of fleeing with the horses to a safe place across the border, but can they pass enemy soldiers, bombed out bridges and the fearsome cold of the Alps to get there? And can Nina save her beloved Zelda too? RRP: $29.95 This is a superb book for older Alison Lester fans – ages 8 plus.

Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partridge 25th Edition by Mem Fox.
Wilfred is a small boy who lives next door to an old people’s home. He likes all the people who live there, but his favourite person of all is Miss Nancy Alison Delacourt Cooper, because she has four names just as he does. So when Wilfrid discovers that Miss Nancy has lost her memory, it is only natural that he should set off to help her find it. Lovely for ages 6 plus.

Snow White by Jane Ray
One of my favourite kids illustrators, the classic story of Snow White is retold and illustrated in six exquisite three-dimensional scenes by Jane Ray, returning to the original Grimm fairy tale for elements of the story.  Each scene is three layers deep so you can peer through the woods to the house of the seven dwarfs. Swathes of red curtain and a wooden stage complete the theatrical effect. Lovely for children with a great imagination. Suitable for children aged 6 plus.

Limited editions of Robert Ingpen Books
We are privileged to have signed editions of all of Roberts current works, as well as several rare, out of print editions. Drop by the bookshop to view his original artwork from Alice, as well as these extraordinary books.
A great keepsake for someone you hold very special this Christmas.

The Spook’s Stories: Witches by Joseph Delaney
A great new read based on many of the witches from Joseph Delaney’s Spooks books. Ever wondered why the Spook doesn’t trust girls who wear pointy shoes? Or why Grimalkin became the Assassin for the Malkin Witch clan? Find out all this and more in this a dark and eerie collection. RRP: 22.95 Hardcover. Good for ages 10 plus.

Crocodile Tears: Alex Rider: Book Eight by Anthony Horowitz
This series hardly needs explanation. A rip-roaring super spy series that must be read in order staring from Stormbreaker. Perfect for ages 10 plus.

Ink Exchange, Fragile Eternity and  Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr
Want to move your girls away from vampires, but they just love fantasy..this is the series for you! Rule #3: Don’t stare at invisible faeries. Aislinn has always seen faeries. Powerful and dangerous‚ they walk hidden in the mortal world‚ and would blind her if they knew of her Sight. Rule #2: Don’t speak to invisible faeries. Now faeries are stalking her. One of them‚ Keenan‚ who is equal parts terrifying and alluring‚ is trying to talk to her‚ asking questions Aislinn is afraid to answer. Rule #1: Don’t ever attract their attention. Suddenly none of the rules that have kept Aislinn safe are working any more‚ and everything is on the line: her freedom; her best friend‚ Seth; her life; everything. Great for ages: 12+

The Hunger Games Edition 1 & 2 by  Suzanne Collins
Winner of the 2009 Silver Inky Award for international teenage fiction.
I have had great feedback from teens who have read this book, their main comment is ‘it’s so realistic, the whole time I  I kept thinking: what would I do is this was me? Would I choke, or would I go on the attack? The story takes place in United States in the near future, where the nation Panem is divided into twelve districts. Each year a boy & girl from each district is picked by lottery to enter the Hunger Games – a reality TV fight to the death. Once the 24 contestants are in the games arena, anything goes. Fires, plagues, floods, scrambles for weapons and food, specially engineered predators…the entire nation watches and listens as the teenagers fight it out with every skill, weapon and trick they can summon. Sixteen-year-old Katniss volunteers to be a contestant when her little sister Primrose is picked in the lottery. But Katniss has been close to death before – and survival, for her, is second nature. Your teens will love this! Great for boys or girls ages 12 plus.

Wishing you and your family a very wonderful and joyous Christmas.
We look forward to seeing you on the beach at Fairhaven or in the bookshop over Summer. Merry Christmas!

Xmas Opening Hours: Xmas Eve: 9-5pm, Xmas Day: Closed, Boxing Day 12-5pm
New Years Eve: 9-5pm, New Years Day: Closed. All other days normal opening: 9-5pm

Nicole Maher
p: (03)5289 7052
f: (03) 5220 0011
m: 0419 110 097