Booktopia’s Top Twenty Non-Fiction Bestsellers for 2011

by |December 24, 2011

What did Booktopia’s customers buy in 2011?

Here are the twenty highest selling non-fiction titles…

1. The Dukan Diet by Pierre Dukan

Nothing could have prepared us for the hit of the year. One day we were Dukan free, the next day every order seemed to leave containing a copy of The Dukan Diet. In France it sold 4 million copies. Then celebs were quoted saying the diet worked. And then it was rumoured that Kate Middleton was on the diet before the big wedding. Some said it was a fad. But no one has told our customers. The book and all of the spin off titles continue to sell as well, if not better, than those first few weeks of mayhem…

About: Devised by Dr Pierre Dukan, a French medical doctor who has spent his career helping people to lose weight permanently, The Dukan Diet is the culmination of thirty-five years clinical experience. Easy to follow with no calorie counting, The Dukan Diet offers clear simple guidelines, menu planners and delicious recipes for long term success. More…


2. Jamie’s 30-Minute Meals by Jamie Oliver

Not long after it’s release, I was walking through the loading dock when a pallet load of Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals arrived. Yes, a pallet load. I don’t know the exact dimensions, say 2m x 2m x 2m… what I mean to say is that there was a lot of copies of Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals. Anyway, as I was mooching about at the wrong time I was roped into help unpack them. Over the next few weeks more and more of these pallet loads arrived till it seemed as though Booktopia had become just another branch of Jamie Oliver’s empire.

About: If, like me, you love food, and have hungry mouths to feed when you get home after a long day, then allow me to let you in on a totally revolutionary new way of cooking. In this book I’m going to show you how to make a complete meal in the time you’d normally spend on one dish. What you’ll be able to achieve in just 30 minutes will absolutely blow your mind. It’s certainly blown mine! More…


3. The Sweet Poison Quit Plan: How to Kick the Sugar Habit and Lose Weight by David Gillespie

If there is one thing we can all agree upon, it is that sugar is awesome… what? It isn’t? Oh… If there is one thing we can all agree upon it is that I am wrong. Sugar isn’t awesome. It is the devil. In fact, all of the problems in my life stem from my dependence on sugar. If it wasn’t for sugar I wouldn’t be writing a blog post about this book, for instance.

About: Packed with reader anecdotes and lists to help you organise your sugar-free life, this book presents one of the most accessible and achievable strategies around for losing weight and avoiding some of the more pernicious lifestyle diseases that are increasingly associated with excessive sugar consumption. Gillespie is an informed and entertaining writer who makes his subject fascinating, and inspires with his passion and logic. More…


4. Amazing Face by Zoe Foster

If you have noticed a sharp rise in the number of beautiful women walking the streets, I know why. Amazing Face by Zoe Foster is one of the biggest selling titles in Australia and Booktopia has been in the thick of it selling exactly one squillion copies.

About: Sometimes a lady just needs to know how to do the definitive smoky eye, or how to choose the perfect shade of lipstick or eye shadow. And there’s no reason she shouldn’t know which foundation or moisturiser is best for her, either. More…


5. Losing the Last 5 Kilos: Your Kick-Arse Guide to Looking and Feeling Fantastic by Michelle Bridges

Michelle Bridges not only cruised into our top ten, outselling all other Australian fitness gurus, but she has also been the most popular attraction on our blog racking up ten trillion views. Who would have thought, looking at the average Australian, that so many of us only had five kilos to lose…

About: Lose 5 kilos in 30 days. It sounds straightforward and it is. Michelle Bridges is Australia’s most successful weight-loss expert and she knows how to get people into shape quickly. Whether your weight has been slowly creeping up over the last few years, you’ve already lost a lot of weight but can’t get any further, or summer is just around the corner and you want to look your best, Losing the Last 5 Kilos gives you all the information you need to get back to your perfect size. More…


6. Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography by Walter Isaacson

For many, Steve Jobs was one of the most intriguing and inspirational people ever to have walked the earth. Countless numbers mourned his passing. And then, not long after, countless numbers clamoured to get hold of a copy of Walter Isaacson’s authorised biography. Jobs may have gone, but in the pages of Isaacson’s biography, his story remains.

About: This is a book about the rollercoaster life and searingly intense personality of a creative entrepreneur whose passion for perfection and ferocious drive revolutionized six industries: personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing, and digital publishing. You might even add a seventh: retail stores, which Jobs did not quite revolutionize, but he did reimagine. Plus, he opened the way for a new market for digital content based on apps. More…


7. Treasure Yourself  by Miranda Kerr

Another big hit on our blog,  Miranda Kerr’s book of wisdom just keeps on selling. It shows no hint of slowing down. The supermodel and new mum has been an inspiration for many and her book has been deemed to the perfect gift for young girls.

About: In Treasure Yourself, international supermodel Miranda Kerr offers her own view on how her generation and those following can achieve greater health and happiness. Miranda believes that one of the most powerful tools to facilitate change is positive affirmation and she has collected over 100 affirmations from some of the world’s most inspirational authors including Louise L. Hay, Wayne W. Dyer, Deepak Chopra and many more. More…


8. The Happiest Refugee: A Memoir by Anh Do

There is  no clearer message to Canberra than the sales of Anh Do’s memoir, The Happiest Refugee. In July, it won ABIA Newcomer of the Year (début writer) 2011 award, but I think the book can lay claim to the title of Most Loved book of the year, too.

About: Anh Do nearly didn’t make it to Australia. His entire family came close to losing their lives on the sea as they escaped from war-torn Vietnam in an overcrowded boat. But nothing – not murderous pirates, nor the imminent threat of death by hunger, disease or dehydration as they drifted for days – could quench their desire to make a better life in the country they had dreamed about. More…


9. Batavia by Peter FitzSimons

This year saw the release of two big books by Peter FitzSimons. In March, he released Batavia, the story of the wreck of the Batavia on the coast of Western Australia. And in November he released, Mawson. Australians love him. We love him. Both of his books are on this list.

About: The Shipwreck of the Batavia combines in just the one tale the birth of the world’s first corporation, the brutality of colonisation, the battle of good vs evil, the derring-do of sea-faring adventure, mutiny, ship-wreck, love, lust, blood-lust, petty fascist dictatorship, criminality, a reign of terror, murders most foul, sexual slavery, natural nobility, survival, retribution, rescue, first contact with native peoples and so much more. More…


10. Save Our Sleep by Tizzie Hall

If the votes of parents of newborns were counted, each and every Nobel Peace Prize since the publication of Save Our Sleep would have gone to Tizzie Hall. Sales of this book will never slow down for they are tied directly to the impulse of humans to reproduce.

About: Tizzie Hall has developed a series of sleep routines that have provided parents and babies with a good night’s sleep the world over. Save Our Sleep provides specific routines for sleeping and feeding for all stages from newborns to two years, as well as addressing issues that can affect a baby’s sleep pattern such as colic, reflux through to accommodating daylight saving, travelling and moving house. New material includes new routines, integrated feedback on routines, dummy use, express feeding, dealing with premature babies and twins, more information on teaching your baby to self-settle and brand new case studies. More…


11. James Halliday Australian Wine Companion 2012 by James Halliday

Thank goodness for James Halliday. With all of these fitness books on our bestseller list I was getting the impression that Australians were a bunch of wowsers! But no, we still like to get sloshed. What I love about these kinds of books is they give an air of respectability to my boozing.

About: James Halliday’s Australian Wine Companion is the Number 1 bestselling guide to wineries and wine in Australia. Keenly anticipated by winemakers, faithful collectors and wine lovers alike, the 2012 edition has been completely revised and updated to bring you up-to-the-minute information. Halliday shares his extensive knowledge of wine via detailed tasting notes, each of which includes vintage-specific ratings and advice on optimal drinking, as well as alcohol content, price and a value rating. More…


12. Mawson and the Ice Men of the Heroic Age – Scott, Shackleton and Amundsen by Peter FitzSimons

Mawson was one of the biggest selling titles in the lead up to Christmas. In fact, many people will have missed out because the first print run sold out completely. Thankfully, Booktopia ordered a truck load and we still have stock for those looking for a great read in the holidays – click here.

About: Douglas Mawson, born in 1882 and knighted in 1914, was Australia’s greatest Antarctic explorer. On 2 December 1911, he led an expedition from Hobart to explore the virgin frozen coastline below, 2000 miles of which had never felt the tread of a human foot. After setting up Main Base at Cape Denision and Western Base on Queen Mary Land, he headed east on an extraordinary sledging trek with his companions, Belgrave Ninnis and Dr Xavier Mertz. More…


13. The Long Road to Paris by Cadel Evans

This year we finally conquered the Tour de France. Every single Australian was on Cadel’s back as he hill climbed his way into the history books. He couldn’t have done it without us. We are awesome, aren’t we?

About: Filled with sensational photographs and revealing insights into the thoughts of the champion, this book celebrates in words and photographs, 2011 Tour de France winner, Cadel Evans’s indomitable will and champion’s heart. Cadel’s hard-fought triumphs and equally challenging disappointments – in the bicycle races that are thought to be the most grueling endurance test in sports – are a tribute to the strength of his spirit. More..


14. The 17 Day Diet by Mike Moreno

After publishing the 14, 15 and 16 Day Diets without much success, Mike Moreno was on the verge of giving up altogether, luckily inspiration struck and Mike came up with a brand new idea, The 17 Day Diet. Seventeen – what an obvious number! Suddenly Mike was a star and his diet was being bought and tried by thousands of people. The moral of the story? Life makes no sense whatsoever.

About: If you need to shed pounds fast and in a safe, effective, and lasting way, this is the book for you! Unlike many diet programs that starve you down to size, Dr. Mike Moreno’s 17 Day Diet relies on proven methods to help you take weight off and keep it off for good—whether you’ve got 10 pounds to lose or 100. His revolutionary program adjusts your body metabolically so that you burn fat day in and day out. More…


15. When My Husband Does the Dishes…: A Memoir of Marriage and Motherhood by Kerri Sackville

Just imagine how many copies of  When My Husband Does the Dishes… would have sold if the publishers had accepted the original title, When My Husband Does the Dishes He Wants Sex! She would have hit JK Rowling numbers…

But I do I think Kerri’s husband was onto something when he offered this compromise: When My Husband Does The Dishes He Wants To Make Love With A Mature Consensual Adult In The Context Of A Loving Relationship Under The Approving Eyes Of Our Lord.

Call it what you may, Kerri’s books sold and sold and sold and we are very proud to have been able to support Kerri throughout the year on Twitter, Facebook and the Blog.

About:When My Husband Does the Dishes . . . is about love in real life. It’s about what marriage looks like after three children and 150 years of togetherness. It’s about little white lies and boxer shorts on the floor and eating frankfurts for dinner every night. It’s my life. And I suspect it could be yours too.’ More…


16. Beating the Odds: Alan Tripp’s Rise from Illegal SP Bookmaker to Gambling Kingpin by Nichola Garvey

We love the races. We love a true crime story. There is no denying it. Beating the Odds brings both of these loves together and for thousands of Booktopia customers it was irresistible. We sold box loads of the book without having to do much at all.

About: Alan Tripp, a man some call a genius and others call a criminal, became the world′s most successful private bookmaker. He was Australia′s most convicted SP bookmaker and was the prime target of gaming and vice squads around the country in the 1980s. Yet he would eventually sell his businesses for hundreds of millions of dollars. This is his story. More…


17. Mia Culpa: Confessions from the Watercooler of Life by Mia Freedman

Mia Freedman has a knack for starting discussions. She is Australia’s queen of social media. Her website Mamamia is a mix of gossip, news, activism, heartfelt blogs, reviews and silliness. In Mia Culpa, Mia Freedman brings forth the best bits from all of her many articles, blogs etc and it makes for irresistible reading.

About: Sometimes, when I meet someone new and I tell them I’m a writer, they ask ‘What do you write about?’ Tricky question. It’s a lot like asking a woman who’s just come home from a girl’s dinner ‘What did you talk about?’ The short answer? EVERYTHING. More…


18. Stolen Life by Jaycee Lee Dugard

This account of a woman suffering an horrific experience, escaping with her life and then walking a long road to recovery was a a worldwide phenomenon. When the story aired on 60 Minutes people’s hearts went out to Jaycee and sales soared. This is one of those stories readers never forget.

About: In the summer of 1991 I was a normal kid. I did normal things. I had friends and a mother who loved me. I was just like you. Until the day my life was stolen. For eighteen years I was a prisoner. I was an object for someone to use and abuse. For eighteen years I was not allowed to speak my own name. I became a mother and was forced to be a sister. For eighteen years I survived an impossible situation. More…


19. Worse Things Happen at Sea: Tales of Life, Love, Family and the Everyday Beauty in Between by Sarah Watt and William McInnes

This is a rare book. It is a book which gets at the very heart of what it means to live and to love. It is a book with a message for us all about the beauty and fragility of life and our need to accept life for what it is, to experience it and to love it, a message made more poignant by the recent passing of Sarah Watt.

About: This book celebrates the wonderful, messy, haphazard things in life — bringing home babies from hospital, being a friend, a parent, son or daughter, and dog obedience classes. It’s about living for twenty years in the family home, raising children there, chasing angry rabbits around the backyard, renovations that never end. It is also about understanding that sometimes you have to say goodbye; that is part of life too. More…


20. After Words by Paul Keating

I love Paul Keating. I don’t love everything he has done, or everything he says, but I do love the spirit in which he goes about doing and saying them. And judging by the sales, many of our customers feel the same way. Love or loathe him, I think you’d agree, the world could do with more Paul Keatings. For how much better is it to loathe someone who can come back at you with a killer quip? Canberra today could certainly do with a touch of Keating. How dull has politics been since he left?

About: Books of speeches are rarely published as a compendium of work by one person. After Words is unique in Australian publishing by virtue of its scale and range of subjects, and that all the speeches are the work of one eye and one mind: former Prime Minister Paul Keating. More…


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About the Contributor

While still in his twenties, John Purcell opened a second-hand bookshop in Mosman, Sydney, in which he sat for ten years reading, ranting and writing. Since then he has written, under a pseudonym, a series of very successful novels, interviewed hundreds of writers about their work, appeared at writers’ festivals, on TV (most bizarrely in comedian Luke McGregor’s documentary Luke Warm Sex) and has been featured in prominent newspapers and magazines. ​Now, as the Director of Books at, Australia’s largest online bookseller, he supports Australian writing in all its forms. He lives in Sydney with his wife, two children, three dogs, five cats, unnumbered gold fish and his overlarge book collection. His novel, The Girl on the Page, will be published by HarperCollins Australia in October, 2018.

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  • December 24, 2011 at 11:36 am

    A great list of non-fiction titles… they certainly were our bestselling this year, for sure.

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