Thursday, 31 May 2012

Award Winners

I follow the awards.  Many don't, believing them to be political rather than based on merit. This may be so, however, I believe it would be difficult to make a political judgment if the book was not well written.  I have 'discovered' many new favourite authors among  the short listed titles as well.  There are as many awards as there are genres, so there is something for every taste.  What do you think of book awards?


  1. ORANGE PRIZE 2012
    This is an award for women writers. Unfortunately, it has been announced that this will be the last award, unless a sponsor is found.

    The shortlist is:
    Esi Edugyan,Half Blood Blues,Canadian, 2nd Novel
    Anne Enright,The Forgotten Waltz,Irish,5th Novel
    Georgina Harding,Painter of Silence,British, 3rd Novel
    Madeline Miller, The Song of Achilles,American, 1st Novel
    Cynthia Ozick, Foreign Bodies,American, 7th Novel
    Ann Patchett, State of Wonder, American, 6th Novel

    I was rooting for Ann Patchett. I loved her ‘Bel Canto’.

    The winner is Madeline Miller and you can read about her book here

    or on the Orange Prize webpage.


    The 2012 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards fiction shortlist includes stories with powerful themes such as alienation, poverty and dysfunctional families and family conflict. The entries cover both urban and rural settings, historical and contemporary tales.
    Read samples at!
    The shortlist for Fiction is:
    All That I Am, Anna Funder
    Sarah Thornhill, Kate Grenville
    Foal's Bread, Gillian Mears
    Autumn Laing, Alex Miller
    Forecast: Turbulence, Janette Turner Hospital

    The shortlist for the other categories can be found on the link above.

    1. Winners are to be announced on Monday 23 July

      I'd like Hospital to win but it's unlikely that a book of short stories will take the honours. My next choice would be Miller, though Funder has been receiving rave reviews. Have you read "All That I Am"? or her previous non-fiction, "Stasiland"?

  3. The Miles Franklin Award Winner was announced last night.

    Anna Funder - All That I Am

    The shortlist:

    Tony Birch – Blood
    Frank Moorhouse – In Cold Light
    Gillian Mears – Foal’s Bread
    Favel Parrett – Past the Shallows

    You can read about the authors and a synopsis of their books here.

  4. ‘The Best Science Fiction Books’ according to Reddit.

    I hadn’t heard of Reddit. Apparently it is an online group where the members themselves vote. So this list is the ‘best’ from a reader’s point of view. We can’t beat that, can we?

    1.Frank Herbert – Dune, 1965
    2.Douglas Adams - The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, 1979
    3.Orson Scott Card – Ender’s Game, 1985
    4.Isaac Asimov – Foundation, 1942
    5.Dan Simmons – Hyperion, 1989
    6.William Gibson – Neuromancer, 1984
    7.Neal Stephenson – Snow Crash, 1992
    8.Arthur C Clarke – Childhood’s End, 1953
    9.Joe Haleman – The Forever War, 1974
    10.Larry Niven – Ringworld, 1970
    11.Philip K Dick – Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, 1968
    12.Robert A Heinlein – Stranger in a Strange Land, 1961
    13.Robert A Heinlein – Starship Troopers. 1987
    14.Iain M Banks – Consider Phlebas, 1987
    15.Walter M Miller Jnr – A Canticle for Liebowitz, 1960
    16.Arthur C Clarke – Rendevous with Rama, 1973
    17.Peter F Hamilton – Pandora’s Star, 2004
    18.Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle – The Mote in God’s Eye, 1974
    19.Alfred Bester – The Stars My Destination, 1956
    20.Richard K Morgan – Altered Carbon, 2002
    21.Kim Stanley Robinson – Red Mars, 1993
    22.Arthur C Clarke – 2001, A Space Odyssey, 1968
    23.Carl Sagan – Contact, 1985
    24.Kurt Vonnegut – The Sirens of Titan, 1959
    25.Isaac Asimov – I, Robot, 1950
    26.Ursula K Le Guin – The Left Hand of Darkness, 1969
    27.Alistair Reynolds – Revelation Space, 2000
    28.John Scalzi – Old Man’s War, 2005
    29.Neal Stephenson – Anathem, 2008
    30.John Steakley – Armor, 1984
    31.Margaret Atwood – Oryx and Crake, 2003
    32.Ray Bradbury – Fahrenheit 451, 1953
    33.Vernor Vinge – A Fire Upon the Deep, 1992
    34.Greg Egan – Quarantine, 1992
    35.Roger Zelazney – The Chronicles of Amber, 1970
    36.Timothy Zahn – Star Wars: Heir to the Empire, 1991
    37.Gene Wolfe – Shadow and Claw, 1980

  5. Quite a few on my shelves and read at least 16 of the 37 along with different titles, same Authors. Some I admit that I have never even heard of !

    1. You are in my head, John. I planned to post exactly what you did! Like you, I own some of the books, read a few more, as well as authors' other titles. I have heard of some others but there are many that are new to me, too. Seems like a good place to start to discover new favourites? There was a short description on each of the titles. I couldn't post the actual link (it's a membership site) but I'm happy to provide the description on any that interest you.

    2. Been Googling.. But thanks for the offer of the descriptions.

    3. Not a huge sci-fi fan but do have Carl Sagan's `Billions and Billions' - Thoughts of Life and Death at the Brink of the Millenium on my shelves which looks really interesting and which I intend to get to. I think it was one of the last books he wrote. Anyone read it?

  6. Liebster Blog Award
    A couple of weeks ago, member Gigi (of 'Gigi Reads' fame) nominated Bookworm Live for this award. It is awarded by fellow bloggers and there isn't much better than that! I've answered the test questions and am proud to show the award on the front page. Thank you, Gigi, for both the nomination and the hand-holding throughout the process.

    As part of this award, Bookworm is entitled to nominate 5 sites. Are there blogs that you think are deserving of the Liebster?

    According to their website, The International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award is the largest and most international prize of its kind. It involves libraries from all corners of the globe, and is open to books written in any language.

    The 2012 Shortlist:
    Rocks in the Belly by Jon Bauer
    Nominated by:
    The State Library of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia

    The Matter with Morris by David Bergen

    Nominated by:
    • Newfoundland & Labrador Public Libraries, Gander, Canada

     A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan

    Nominated by:
    • Bibliotheek Rotterdam, The Netherlands
    • Boston Public Libary, USA
    • Hartford Public Library, USA
    • Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, USA
    • Kansas City Public Library, USA

    The Memory of Love by Aminatta Forna

    Nominated by:
    • Auckland Libraries & Information, New Zealand

    Even the Dogs by Jon McGregor

    Nominated by:
    • M.I. Rudomino State Library for Foreign Literature, Moscow, Russia

    Matterhorn by Karl Marlantes

    Nominated by:
    • Regional Library of Karviná, Karviná-Mizerov, Czech Republic
    • Bibliotheek Rotterdam, The Netherlands
    • Cork City Libraries, Ireland
    • Houston Public Library, USA
    • Laramie County Library System, Cheyenne, USA
    • Lincoln Library, Springfield, USA
    • Seattle Public Library, USA

    Landed by Tim Pears

    Nominated by:
    • Tweebronnen Openbare Bibliotheek, Leuven, Belgium

    Limassol by Yishai Sarid
    Translated from the original Hebrew by Barbara Harshav

    Nominated by:
    • Stadtbibliothek Bremen, Germany

    The Eternal Son by Cristovão Tezza
    Translated from the original Portuguese by Alison Entrekin

    Nominated by:
    • Biblioteca Demonstrativa de Brasília BDB, Brazil
    • Biblioteca Municipal Central de Lisboa, Portugal

    Lean on Pete by Willy Vlautin

    Nominated by:
    • Bibliotheek Rotterdam, The Netherlands
    • Waterford County Library, Ireland

    I'm a bit late in posting these details. The winner was announced Jun 13 -

    Even the Dogs by Jon McGregor.

  8. Winners announced today for the Prime Minister's Literary Prize - 2012

    Gillian Mears has been awarded the Fiction prize for 'Foal's Bread'. Mears won the 1990 Vogel with her debut novel, 'The Mint Lawn'. 'The Grass Sister', shortlisted for the Commmonwealth Writer's Prize, followed in 1995 and Foal's Bread is her third novel. She writes award-winning short stories and has also written a memoir.

    I remember enjoying "The Mint Lawn" but have not read her other works. I will be reading 'Foal's Bread'.

  9. Shortlisted for the Crime Writers Association Gold Dagger 2012.

    The Flight
    M. R. Hall
    CWA Judges' comment: “Coroner Jenny Cooper attempts to tackle the fall-out after air disaster in Severn estuary. Good balance of the domestic and the professional together with high-tech detail make this an absolutely fascinating and chillingly plausible read.

    Vengeance in Mind
    N. J. Cooper
    CWA Judges' comment: “Forensic psychologist Karen Taylor returns in a careful and convincing story with a shocker of an opening, a strong romantic theme, great pace and plotting. The characters are particularly well developed.”

    Chris Womersley
    CWA Judges' comment: “The setting is refreshingly original; after WWII a soldier returns to rural Australia to face the consequences of a crime he did not commit. With a powerful sense of time and location, this is beautifully crafted, and has a serious point to make about the aftermath of war.”

    The Rage
    Gene Kerrigan
    CWA Judges' comment: “A complex noir thriller that’s multi-layered and solidly written, with great style and pace. The depiction of post-crash Dublin has a real sense of menace and threat throughout.”

  10. Thanks. I might give The Flight a try. I don't like the current forensic gore trend and prejudiced though it may be I don't like American crime.

    1. And the winner is ........Gene Kerrigan for The Rage . It's now on my 'to read' list. I did read Bereft and enjoyed it but would have been disappointed had it won,doubting that it was 'the best' in 2012. Did you read The Flight, Jaywalker?

  11. Sydney-based author Frank Moorhouse has taken out the top fiction prize in the inaugural Queensland Literary Awards.
    The awards were set up in April in response to the axing of the Premier's Literary Awards.
    Moorhouse received the award for his novel Cold Light, the final instalment in a trilogy set in 1950s Canberra about a diplomat with a cross-dressing husband.
    It missed out on the Miles Franklin prize earlier this year, beaten by Anna Funder's All That I Am.
    "The Queensland prize, of all the prizes in Australia, is now probably the most noble prize to win because it's the citizens' prize, not the Premier's prize," Moorehouse said.
    Robin De Crespigny's The People Smuggler was named best non-fiction work, and Toowoomba-born Simon Cleary won the people's choice award for Closer To Stone.

    Who has read the first two in the trilogy: Grand Days and Dark Palace?

  12. The 2012 Booker shortlist was announced last Tuesday. The contenders are:

    BRING UP THE BODIES - Hilary Mantel. (sequel to Wolf Hall)
    The year is 1535 and Thomas Cromwell, chief Minister to Henry VIII, must work both to please the king and keep the nation safe. Anne Boleyn, for whose sake Henry has broken with Rome and created his own church, has failed to do what she promised: bear a son to secure the Tudor line. As Henry develops a dangerous attraction to Wolf Hall’s Jane Seymour, Thomas must negotiate a ‘truth’ that will satisfy Henry and secure his own career. But neither minister nor king will emerge undamaged from the bloody theatre of Anne’s final days.

    NARCOPOLIS - Jeet Thayil
    Shuklaji Street, in late 1970s Old Bombay. In Rashid’s opium room the air is thick with voices and ghosts: Hindu, Muslim, Christian. Here, people say that you introduce only your worst enemy to opium…

    SWIMMING HOME - Deborah Levy
    Swimming Home explores the devastating effect that depression can have on apparently stable, well-turned-out people. Set in a summer villa, the story is tautly structured, taking place over a single week in which a group of beautiful, flawed tourists in the French Riviera come loose at the seams.

    Set during the Japanese occupation, The Garden of Evening Mists follows young law graduate, Yun Ling Teoh, as she seeks solace among the plantations of the Cameron Highlands. Here she discovers Yugiri, the only Japanese garden in Malaya, and its owner and creator, the secretive Aritomo. Aritomo agrees to accept Yun Ling as his apprentice “until the monsoon” so that she can design a garden in memorial to her sister. But over time the jungle starts to reveal secrets of its own…

    THE LIGHTHOUSE - Alison Moore (This one is considered to be the dark horse, possibly because of its similarities in theme to last year's winner)
    Futh, middle-aged and recently separated, stands on the outer deck of a North Sea ferry. He is heading to Germany for a restorative walking holiday, yet he cannot forget his mother’s abandonment of him as a boy and his first trip to Germany with his newly single father. It was on this first trip that he neglected to do something, and this omission threatens to have devastating repercussions the second time around.

    UMBRELLA - Will Self
    Umbrella sets out to understand the nature of the modern world by going back to the source – the industrial madness of World War One. Set across an entire century, Umbrella follows the complex story of Audrey Death, a feminist who falls victim to the encephalitis lethargica epidemic that rages across Europe, and Dr Zack Busner, who spends a summer waking the post-encephalitic patients under his care using a new and powerful drug

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    1. The Garden of Evening Mists appeals to me. Yet another to add to my long list of books to read!!

    2. Hilary Mantel has won the 2012 Booker with Bring Up the Bodies
      She is the first woman and the first Brit to win twice.

    3. Yes Sanmac, watched it on the news last night. I haven't read any of her books yet but I really should start with Wolf Hall as we studied Henry VIII in history at school. Anyone read Wolf Hall? I should imagine it's NOT bedtime reading? :)

    4. I haven't read it either but I remember reading a lot of very mixed reviews about it on the FR book chat ranging from wonderful to unreadable. One repeated criticism was that it was very difficult to keep up with which character was speaking as there is a lot of dialogue without the 'who said it' bit.

    5. I had a quick look at the FR book group reviews too which left me in no hurry to go out and buy it! But if I come across it in a charity shop I might give it a go!

    6. @ Sylvia. This year was the first time I watched the ceremony on live stream. The commentators spoke about most of the shortlisted books and I'm determined to read them all.
      I've read Wolf Hall and you are right, it is not bedtime reading. For that reason, my copy of 'Bring up the Bodies' is waiting until I can manage to find some time in solid blocks.
      @ Jaywalker. Your friends are correct about the difficult dialogue. Not only that but she refers to the characters in different ways: by christian name, surname, relationship (cousin, nephew etc) or title (and Cromwell has many titles). I needed to collect all my scattered wits to know 'who was who'. For all that, it was a brilliant book, one that would benefit from rereading. It was a well-deserved win.
      According to the commentators, Bring Up the Bodies is more 'reader-friendly'. The didn't say whether it would stand alone or whether Wolf Hall should be read first, which would be my recommendation. Enjoy.

  13. The bookies have already set the odds for the Nobel Prize in literature - even E L James is mentioned (at 500/1). Check it out to see if your favourites are there.

  14. The Sisters-in-Crime Davitt Award for True Crime has been awarded to
    Liz Porter for Cold Case Files

    "In this collection of fascinating cold cases from Australia, the UK and the US, award-winning writer Liz Porter shows how modern forensic science can unlock solutions for crimes and mysteries unsolved for decades, and, in some cases, centuries."

  15. A Brisbane fantasy writer has become the first Australian to win the prestigious British Fantasy Award.

    Angela Slatter's story The Coffin-Maker's Daughter was selected from a shortlist of 72 entries to win the short fiction category of the award.

    Dr Slatter says she is thrilled to join the ranks of past nominees and winners including Stephen King, Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett.

  16. The 2012 Nobel Prize for literature is being announced tonight at about 9pm (Qld time). You can watch the live broadcast here:

    1. And the winner is.....Chinese writer Mo Yan.

  17. To celebrate The National Year of Reading, First Tuesday Book Club has compiled, with your help, an all-Australian reading list, the 10 Aussie books you must read before you die.
    For all the challenges facing print it has been a great year for Australian book-lovers who’ve taken part in some 3700 separate Year of Reading events across the country, from small meetings in local libraries to the massive Reading Hour event which attracted thousands.
    There is much to celebrate and much reading to be done.
    Your votes have been streaming in all year, so here are the top 10 Aussie Books for 2012, as chosen by you.

    1. Cloudstreet - Tim Winton
    2. The Book Thief - Markus Zusak
    3. A Fortunate Life - A.B. Facey
    4. The Harp in the South - Ruth Park
    5. The Power of One - Bryce Courtenay
    6. Jasper Jones - Craig Silvey
    7. The Magic Pudding - Norman Lindsay
    8. The Slap - Christos Tsiolkas
    9. The Secret River - Kate Grenville
    10. Picnic at Hanging Rock - Joan Lindsay

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    1. Fairly safe choices, I feel, though Courtenay and Zusak are surprising inclusions. While I very much enjoyed both books, neither has an Aussie setting.

    2. Only just spotted this posting - I've read only one "The Secret River" by Kate Grenville and an now on another book of hers, The Idea of Perfection. Really must have a peep inside "The Book Thief" on Amazon!

    3. What did you think of 'The Idea of Perfection'? I quite liked it. It was written before she found her niche in historical fiction. You might also like her earlier ones. Lilian's story was very good - based on real-life Sydney identity, Bea Miles. There is also a film, starring Ruth Cracknell.
      I remember that you did enjoy 'The Secret River'. Do you know that there is now a third in the series? 'Sarah Thornhill', which I have not yet read but I can recommend the second title, 'The Lieutenant'.
      Do investigate 'The Book Thief'. I'm confident that you will enjoy it. It has an original storyline and is very moving.

    4. I've temporarily abandoned The Idea of Perfection as I decided it wasn't bedtime reading and my copy of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel had just arrived so wanted to get into that!
      Thankyou for reminding me about The Lieutenant and Sarah Thornhill.If I do come across them must remember to read them in the right order!

  18. The Man Booker Prize for Fiction
    Congratulations to the ten finalists for the Man Booker International Prize!

    - U.R. Ananthamurthy (India)
    - Aharon Appelfeld (Israel)
    - Lydia Davis (USA)
    - Intizar Husain (Pakistan)
    - Yan Lianke (China)
    - Marie NDiaye (France)
    - Josip Novakovich (Canada)
    - Marilynne Robinson (USA)
    - Vladimir Sorokin (Russia)
    - Peter Stamm (Switzerland)

    Winner announced in May


    The Shortlist for the 2013 Australian Independent Bookseller Awards (The Indie Awards) has been announced. Voted on by the independent booksellers of Australia, The Indie Awards have a proud tradition of picking the best of the best of Australian writing. All of the previous winners, (Breathby Tim Winton, Jasper Jones by Craig Sylvie, The Happiest Refugee by Anh Do, All That I Am by Anna Funder) have gone on to win other major literary awards.

    The sixteen shortlisted books will be vying for the top spot as the Indie ‘Book of the Year’ for 2013.  Panels of expert judges (all indie booksellers and avid readers) choose winners from four book categories – Fiction, Debut Fiction, Non-Fiction and Children’s.  Independent booksellers from around the country will then vote to select their favourite book for the year.  The category winners and the overall ‘Book of the Year’ winner will be announced on Monday, 25 March 2013.The shortlisted books for the Indie Awards 2013 are:
    Nine Days by Toni Jordan (Text)
    Lost Voices by Christopher Koch (HarperCollins)
    Questions of Travel  by Michelle de Kretser (Allen & Unwin)
    The Mountain by Drusilla Modjeska (Random House)
    Lake Eyre by Paul Lockyer (HarperCollins)
    QF32 by Richard de Crespigny (Macmillan)
    Sandakan by Paul Ham (Random House)
    The Essential Leunig: Cartoons from a Winding Path by Michael Leunig (Penguin)
    The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman (Random House)
    Eleven Seasons by Paul D. Carter (Allen & Unwin)
    The Cartographer by Peter Twohig (HarperCollins)
    Secrets of the Tides by Hannah Richell (Hachette Little Brown)
    The Convent by Maureen McCarthy (Allen & Uwnin)
    The 26-Storey Treehouse by Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton (Macmillan)
    Sea Hearts by Margo Lanagan (Allen & Unwin)
    Unforgotten by Tohby Riddle (Allen & Unwin)

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    Australia's answer to the loss of the Orange Prize is the Stella Prize "for Australian women's writing". I'm unsure of the criteria, it’s not stated on the website but does Australia have so few notable women writers that Stella Miles Franklin warrants two major prizes?

    The inaugural longlist:

    Floundering by Romy Ash
    Mazin Grace by Dylan Coleman
    The Burial by Courtney Collins
    Questions of Travel by Michelle de Krester
    Sufficient Grace by Amy Espeseth
    Mateship With Birds by Carrie Tiffany

    Sea Hearts by Margo Lanagan

    Short Stories:
    Like a House on Fire by Cate Kennedy
    An Opening by Stephanie Radok

    Verse Novel:
    The Sunlit Zone by Lisa Jacobson

    The Mind of a Thief by Patti Miller

    Non Fiction:
    The People Smuggler by Robin de Crespigny

    There is a synopsis of each book on the website The shortlist is due to be announced on March 20 and the winner on April 16

    1. Well, I've not read any of the books but I have read some of the authors: a few by Cate Kennedy, a couple by Michelle de Krester and one by Carrie Tiffany. That would be the order in which I'd place them, too. Romy Ash has received some good media attention. She may be the dark horse.

      I do hope this means that verse novels are coming back in vogue. My favourites? Dorothy Porter's The Monkey's Mask and Vickram Seth's The Golden Gate

  21. Congratulations to 1993 Man Booker Prize winner Roddy Doyle for making the shortlist for the Carnegie Medal for children's fiction.

    Until now Penelope Lively is the only writer to win both the Man Booker Prize and the Carnegie Medal.

    I didn't realise that Lively (our group read) wrote childrens' fiction. I must investigate.

  22. The shortlist for the inaugural Stella Prize has been announced. The winner will be announced on April 16. The contenders are:

    The Burial – Courtney Collins (Allen & Unwin)
    Based on the real-life story of bushranger and outlaw Jessie Hickman and set in the first decades of the 20th century, this exotic and earthy novel tracks Jessie’s escape first from her abusive husband and then from the men who come after her in pursuit. Circus rider, horse whisperer, cattle rustler, gang member, jailbird, mother and murderer, Jessie goes by several aliases and uses her bush skills in an increasingly desperate flight through the mountainous bushland of New South Wales. Pursued by lawless men bent on vengeance as well as by two more who harbour deep and complex feelings about her, Jessie is also haunted by her own most recent and most grisly crimes.
    Part historical novel, part Australian Gothic, The Burial uses the story of the ‘lady bushranger’ to explore some of the dilemmas in the life of a rebellious woman living in a time and place where the choices for women were few, and some of those choices were violent or heartbreaking or both. Collins sustains the suspense and the emotional intensity of this tale from beginning to end. It’s a harrowing read and a wild ride.
    About Courtney Collins

    Courtney Collins grew up in the Hunter Valley in NSW and now lives on the Goulburn River in regional Victoria. The Burial is her debut novel and rights have been sold in the US, and it has been optioned for film. Her current work in progress, The Walkman Mix, received a Lord Mayor’s Creative Writing Award in 2011.

    Questions of Travel – Michelle de Kretser (Allen & Unwin)
    Following two very different characters in parallel as their lives move closer together along very different paths, this ambitious novel is a prolonged meditation on the meaning of travel, and on the ways in which humanity has learned to negotiate time and space in the 21st century, and the part played by the internet in the altered ways we now think about communicating and travelling. It follows the life of Australian Laura, who lives a restless, rootless existence with no meaningful family ties or strong attachment to place, and of Sri Lankan Ravi, whose life is quite the opposite, and indeed has such an excess of meaning that it spills over into unimaginable violence and bewildering exile.
    The novel pays particular attention to such contemporary concerns as Australia’s treatment of asylum seekers, and as the neoliberal attitudes and values that have crept into most areas of working life. Its wry, low-key wit is something that her fans will recognise from earlier novels. As with all accomplished novels of ideas, de Kretser uses her articulate, thinking characters as vehicles for her contemplation and intellectual dissection of the world.
    About Michelle de Kretser

    Michelle de Kretser was born in Sri Lanka and emigrated to Australia at fourteen. She is the author of The Rose Grower; The Hamilton Case, which won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize (SE Asia and Pacific region) and the UK Encore Prize; and The Lost Dog, whose awards include the 2008 NSW Premier’s Book of the Year Award, the Christina Stead Prize for Fiction, and the 2008 ALS Gold Medal.

    1. Stella Short list continued...

      The Sunlit Zone – Lisa Jacobson (Five Islands Press)
      This original and surprising book combines two genres rarely seen out together: speculative fiction and the verse novel. Set on the east coast of Australia between 2020 and 2050, the novel uses recognisable settings and familiar characters to represent a world in which technology may change the daily texture of human life but human character doesn’t change much at all. Jacobson imagines a world that is radically different from ours in some ways but in others disconcertingly the same; love stories and family tragedies alike have the same qualities as the ones we all know, as do the experiences of loss and recovery.
      In loosely structured verse, Jacobson uses the conversational voice of her narrator North to evoke the power and beauty of the ocean and to produce a casual-seeming style that belies the amount of craft and care in the writing. The imagery is vivid without being mannered and the voice is rhythmical without being formal. This book shows how fine the distinction can be between technological change and magic realism when North’s sister Finn is revealed as a hybrid creature who could be either a genetic mutant or a creature from a Greek myth.
      About Lisa Jacobson

      Lisa Jacobson is a widely published writer of poetry and fiction, who won the 2011 Bruce Dawe National Poetry Prize. She is an Honorary Research Fellow at La Trobe University. The Sunlit Zone was shortlisted for the 2009 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an unpublished manuscript.

      Like a House on Fire – Cate Kennedy (Scribe Publications)
      Like a House on Fire is a substantial book that maintains its quality from start to finish, with no slight or weak stories added to make weight. Kennedy is well known as one of the country’s best practitioners of the form and these fifteen strong and vivid stories do not disappoint, each of them showing her instinctive feel for the shape and pace of a short story. Kennedy is a realist writer who writes of ordinary people’s lives and feelings in the here and now, and her characters and their dilemmas are immediately recognisable and sometimes even uncomfortably close to home.
      While alert to the darker side of life, Kennedy also focuses on the small moments of revelatory tenderness that can redeem even a toxic situation, as with the mother-and-child moments in ‘Ashes’ and ‘Five-Dollar Family’. She explores unorthodox relationships that stretch the boundaries of daily life, like the hospital cleaner with the elderly patient in ‘Laminex and Mirrors’, or the strange moments of family truce, as with the complicit sisters wrecking the family photo in ‘Whirlpool’. The stories in this collection have a strong family relationship that makes the book seem more that just the sum of its parts; it’s as though the various characters from the different stories could pass each other in the street every day.
      About Cate Kennedy

      Cate Kennedy is a prizewinning short-story writer, who has published two collections, Dark Roots and Like a House on Fire. She is also the author of a novel, The World Beneath; a travel memoir, Sing, and Don’t Cry; and the poetry collections Joyflight, Signs of Other Fires and The Taste of River Water, which won the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Poetry in 2011.

    2. Stella shortlist continued (final)

      Sea Hearts – Margo Lanagan (Allen & Unwin)
      Margo Lanagan’s wonderfully imaginative and lyrical novel creates a world that seems half-familiar: wild Rollrock Island, from which the original bold red-headed women have disappeared and in their place are the quiet, dark and slender seal-wives, the women whom the witch Misskaella has drawn by magic, fully grown, from the hearts of seals to please the bewitched men of the island. Unlike the human wives they have replaced, these seal-women are submissive, obedient and always sexually compliant. But Misskaella’s magic has been a form of revenge for the way she was treated by men when she was young; over the years, the seal-wives produce children who of course are also not fully human, and when their mothers begin to pine for their old lives and their true home, the hybrid chickens come home to roost.
      This book is classified as fantasy for a ‘Young Adult’ or ‘Crossover’ readership, but it transcends any such attempt to pigeonhole it; it’s not really mainstream fantasy, and it’s a compelling read for adults, full of ideas about human desire and human weakness that are deeply woven into the fabric of the story. Lanagan uses the old Scottish, Irish and Icelandic myth of the selkies, the magical shape-changing creatures who were seals in the water and humans on the land, to write a story that is among other things a feminist fable about the inherent inequality in the traditional notion of a desirable marriage, and an exploration of what happens to a society over time when it’s cut off from the rest of the world.
      About Margo Lanagan

      Margo Lanagan is an internationally acclaimed writer of novels and short stories. Her first collection, Black Juice, won two World Fantasy Awards and the Victorian Premier’s Award for Young Adult Fiction. Her second collection, Red Spikes, won the CBCA Book of the Year: Older Readers. Her novel Tender Morsels won the World Fantasy Award for Best Novel.

      Mateship with Birds – Carrie Tiffany (Picador)
      Mateship with Birds is a deceptively gentle-looking novel whose calm surface belies its many sharp and frank observations about the world. Set in country Victoria in the 1950s, it follows the fortunes of two people whose loneliness is offset by the many active strands of their daily lives: Harry, whose wife has left him for somebody else, and Betty, whose two children have no visible father. Tiffany uses the two main characters’ interactions with each other and with a small supporting cast to show the intricate interrelations not only between people, but also between human life and the natural world. There’s complex interdependence among species, and human behaviour is reflected in even the smallest, most attentively observed details of the lives of animals and birds.
      The interconnectedness of all things is also the force behind Tiffany’s other artforms: as well as writing novels she makes small, delicate sculptures and collages in which objects and fragments are juxtaposed in beautiful and surprising ways. Her skills in the meticulous piecing-together of fragments are apparent in this novel, where she uses several different kinds of text – letters, homework, nature notes — to weave a single strong narrative. The novel’s title is borrowed from a 1920s bird-watching book, but in the context of this novel it takes on subtle other meanings. For the book is, above all, about sex and desire: ‘mateship’ here is translated from its familiar Australian meaning into a word for the practice and the art of mating, whether in the lives of humans, animals or birds.
      About Carrie Tiffany

      Carrie Tiffany was born in West Yorkshire and grew up in Western Australia. Her first novel, Everyman’s Rules for Scientific Living, was shortlisted for the Orange Prize, the Miles Franklin Literary Award, the Guardian First Book Award and the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, and won the Dobbie Award for Best First Book and the WA Premier’s Award for Fiction. Mateship with Birds is her second novel.

      Pasted from

  23. The Miles Franklin Literary Award is Australia's most prestigious literary prize. There's been some criticism in recent years that the award is biased toward male authors. This year the Stella prize, only open to female authors, has been introduced and on this year's MF longlist, 8 of the 10 contenders are female. Go figure!

    The 2013 longlist is:

    Romy Ash – Floundering
    Lily Brett – Lola Bensky
    Brian Castro – Street to Street
    Michelle de Kretser – Questions of Travel
    Annah Faulkner – The Beloved
    Tom Keneally – The Daughters of Mars
    Drusilla Modjeska – The Mountain
    M.L.Stedman – The Light Between Oceans
    Carrie Tiffany – Mateship with Birds
    Jacqueline Wright – Red Dirt Talking

    de Krester and Tiffany are also in the running for the Stella.

    I'd like Brian Castro to win as I feel he is under recognised.
    Are your favourite authors listed?

    1. The Shortlist has been announced and after the long debate about whether there is a bias towards male authors (and the creation of the Stella Prize for women writers), this short list is entirely female. Go figure!

      The shortlist
      • Romy Ash - Floundering
      • Annah Faulkner - The Beloved
      • Michelle de Kretser - Questions Of Travel
      • Drusilla Modjeska - The Mountain
      • Carrie Tiffany - Mateship With Birds

  24. Winners announced for the STELLA & PULITZER PRIZES

    Carrie Tiffany has won the inaugural Stella Prize for Mateship with Birds. See the synopsis above.

    Adam Johnson's The Orphan Master's Son, a labyrinthine story of a man's travails in North Korea, has won the Pulitzer award for fiction, restoring a high literary honor a year after no fiction prize was given.
    Read more about the 2013 Pulitzer prizes here:

    or on the Pulitzer web page:

  25. The Shortlist has been announced for the 'Women's Prize for Fiction' (formerly the Orange Prize).

    Kate Atkinson - Life After Life

    A.M Homes - May We Be Forgiven

    Barbara Kingsolver - Flight Behaviour

    Hilary Mantel - Bring Up The Bodies

    Maria Semple - Where'd You Go, Bernadette

    Zadie Smith - NW

    Maybe a hattrick for Mantel?

    1. And the winner is.......A M Homes for May we be Forgiven.

      According to the Guardian,

      It's hard to imagine AM Homes, whose fiction mines a blackly comic seam of horror and alienation in American suburbia, as a compromise candidate. Though her work has mellowed since the publication of The End of Alice, the notorious novel about paedophilia that made her name, there's still likely to be a severed ear under every white picket fence.
      May We Be Forgiven, on the other hand, divides each reader between laughing and wincing. It's a picaresque satire of modern America, with all its anomie and family dysfunction, empty consumerism and sexting, which moves towards wholeness and redemption – to building a new family around yourself when your own implodes.

      Anti-hero Harold loses a numb marriage and a steady life when his hated brother tips into madness, but he also accrues various orphans, pets, eccentric girlfriends and substitute parents, as well as a sense of purpose.

      Therapy culture is mercilessly skewered; everyone is on medication. The comedy is as dark as ever – in AM Homes, a bad Thanksgiving dinner leads not to stony silences over the washing up but adultery, murder and violent insanity – yet by the end the mood is uplifting, even rose-tinted. It is a book both sardonic and tender, like an edgier version of Jonathan Franzen. Homes has called it "a novel of second chances".

      Like Franzen, Homes is staking her claim to the Great American Novel, a genre not rich in female authors. As friend and fan Jeanette Winterson points out, she is "a woman writing dangerously, provocatively, about boys and men, and using the male persona". Don DeLillo and John Cheever haunt these pages, while the unlikely passion of her narrator is the rehabilitation of Richard Nixon.

      Its greatest recommendation, though, may have been its sheer what-next addictive readability. One reviewer compared the experience to "gorging on a DVD boxset", and it's no coincidence that Homes has been writing for TV shows such as The L Word. May We Be Forgiven offers the excitements of a writer who will break any taboo – including the one around sentimentality.

      Read the full article here

  26. 2013 ABIA finalists announced

    The Australian Publishers Association (APA) has announced the finalists for this year’s Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIAs).

    The finalists in each of the categories are:

    Literary Fiction Book of the Year

    Questions of Travel (Michelle de Kretser, A& U)
    Floundering (Romy Ash, Text)
    The Light Between Oceans (M L Stedman, Vintage)
    Lola Bensky (Lily Brett, Hamish Hamilton)
    The Daughters of Mars (Tom Keneally, Vintage)
    The Mountain (Drusilla Modjeska, Vintage)

    General Fiction Book of the Year

    Secrets of the Tides (Hannah Richell, Hachette)
    Jack of Diamonds (Bryce Courtenay, Viking)
    Nine Days (Toni Jordan, Text)
    The Secret Keeper (Kate Morton, A&U)
    The Mothers’ Group (Fiona Higgins, A&U)
    The Amber Amulet (Craig Silvey, A&U)

    Newcomer of the Year (debut writer)

    The People Smuggler (Robin de Crespigny, Viking)
    Secrets of the Tides (Hannah Richell, Hachette)
    The Light Between Oceans (M L Stedman, Vintage)
    Black Caviar (Gerard Whateley, ABC Books)
    Floundering (Romy Ash, Text).

    Biography of the Year

    On Warne (Gideon Haigh, Penguin)
    True North (Brenda Niall, Text)
    My Journey (Jim Stynes & Warrick Green, Michael Joseph)
    Exit Wounds (John Cantwell & Greg Bearup, MUP)
    Quarterly Essay 47, Political Animal: The Making of Tony Abbott (David Marr, Black Inc.)
    Eugenia (Mark Tedeschi, S&S)
    Gina Rinehart (Adele Ferguson, Macmillan)

    General Nonfiction Book of the Year

    The Essential Leunig (Michael Leunig, Viking)
    QF32 (Richard de Crespigny, Macmillan)
    The People Smuggler (Robin de Crespigny, Viking)
    Black Caviar (Gerard Whateley, ABC Books)
    Speechless: A Year in My Father’s Business (James Button, MUP)
    Gaysia: Adventures in the Queer East (Benjamin Law, Black Inc.)

    Pasted from

  27. Melbourne-based author Carrie Tiffany has won the prestigious New South Wales Premier's Literary Award for Fiction for her novel, Mateship With Birds.
    Her success comes soon after taking out the inaugural Stella Prize for Australian women's writing.
    Tiffany's second novel was selected for the $40,000 Premier's Award over titles from some of Australia's most renowned authors, including Frank Moorhouse and Tom Kenneally.
    Set in Victoria in the 1950s, Mateship With Birds tells the story of the developing relationship between a lonely dairy farmer and a nurse who is raising two children on her own.
    Tiffany was born in England, raised in Western Australia and now lives in Melbourne.
    The Premier's Award for New Writing has gone to Michael Sala from Newcastle for his autobiographical novel, The Last Thread.
    The People's Choice Award was won by Sydney's Charlotte Wood for Animal People.
    The Book of the Year is Ruby Moonlight, a work of poetry by South Australian Ali Cobby-Eckermann.
    A Special Award was presented to 85-year-old multiple Miles Franklin winner, David Ireland, in recognition of the influence his lifetime of work has had on Australian writers.

    Pasted from <

  28. Lydia Davis wins the Man Booker International Prize 2013

    22 May 2013

    "I was recently denied a writing prize because they said I was lazy." runs one of Lydia Davis's two-sentence short stories. Well not any more. Davis has just been awarded the fifth Man Booker International Prize at an award ceremony at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Her inventive, carefully-crafted and hard to categorise works saw off the challenge from nine other contenders from around the world. The judges - Professor Sir Christopher Ricks, Elif Batuman, Aminatta Forna, Yiyun Li and Tim Parks - recognised that crafting spare, philosophical and original works, however short, is not for the lazy at all but takes time, skill and effort.

    Pasted from

    1. Lydia Davis is new to me. From the above comments I expected her style to be similar to Hemingway's. Not so. Not at least according to one of her short stories I found online. Here is the link.

      I liked it. What do you think of it?

  29. Here are 5 of her VERY short stories. I can't help asking myself how much of the Emperor's new clothes is involved here. If you create yourself a reputation for something different and unusual, how easy is it for it to become considered more worthy than the rest? I have read many paragraphs in books that are as well written as these. Why is it better to present a paragraph than a whole story? It's a bit like modern art - is a whole canvas covered in yellow paint really better than a Vermeer portrait?

    Personally I don't think the aeroplane story, while quite interesting, is any better than many other authors could ave written. Perhaps I'm getting too cynical in my old age.

    1. Thank you for the link, Jaywalker. It didn't come up in my search - you're a super-sleuth. I particularly liked 'The Outing' and 'Lost Things'. I suppose the ability to condense into a few words and yet still convey what could take other writers pages to do is the crux. "Less is more"? Her imagery is evocative, or rather, the imagery her words only hint at, leaving it to the reader's imagination to fill in the gaps, akin to poetry?

    2. More on Lydia Davis -

      An interview conducted by the Man Booker Organisation

      and an article by Ali Smith

  30. The ABIA Winners were announced May 27.

    Booktopia has the full list -

    and Australian Booksellers & Publishers has more detail

  31. For Sci Fi & Fantasy fans

    The Aurealis Awards

    On the 18th May Canberran author Daniel O'Malley won the Best Science-Fiction Novel of 2012 at the Aurealis Awards in Sydney for his debut novel The Rook!

    Hilarious and horrifying in equal measure, it is truly a fantastic book. Daniel is currently at work on a sequel to The Rook.

    Pasted from the Harper Collins website

  32. Kibble and Dobbie Awards shortlists announced
    The shortlists for this year’s Kibble and Dobbie Literary Awards have been announced.
    The shortlisted titles for the $30,000 Kibble Literary Award, which recognises the work of an established Australian female writer, are:
    • The Beloved (Annah Faulkner, Picador)
    • Like a House on Fire (Cate Kennedy, Scribe)
    • Questions of Travel (Michelle de Kretser, A&U). 
    The shortlisted titles for the $5000 Dobbie Literary Award, which recognises the work of a first-time published Australian female writer, are:
    • Floundering (Romy Ash, Text)
    • The Burial (Courtney Collins, A&U)
    • Toyo: A Memoir (Lily Chan, Black Inc.).
    The winners of this year’s awards will be announced on 24 July.

    The Kibble and Dobbie Literary Awards aim to encourage Australian women writers of both fiction and nonfiction. In 2012, the Kibble Literary Award was presented to Gail Jones for Five Bells (Vintage) and the Dobbie Literary Award was presented to Favel Parrett for Past the Shallows (Hachette).
    For more information about each of the shortlisted books, click

  33. I suppose you'v heard by now that Michelle de Kretser's Questions of Travel has won the Miles Franklin Award.

    Here is a link to an earlier interview about the book.

    I did enjoy the two stories I read of hers: The Hamilton Case and The Lost Dog, so I am looking forward to this one.


    The Man Booker Prize judges were safely delivered of a 2013 longlist at noon on July 23

    Tash Aw, Five Star Billionaire (Fourth Estate)

    NoViolet Bulawayo, We Need New Names (Chatto & Windus)

    Eleanor Catton, The Luminaries (Granta)

    Jim Crace, Harvest (Picador)

    Eve Harris, The Marrying of Chani Kaufman (Sandstone Press)

    Richard House, The Kills (Picador)

    Jhumpa Lahiri, The Lowland (Bloomsbury)

    Alison MacLeod, Unexploded (Hamish Hamilton)

    Colum McCann, TransAtlantic (Bloomsbury)

    Charlotte Mendelson, Almost English (Mantle)

    Ruth Ozeki, A Tale for the Time Being (Canongate)

    Donal Ryan, The Spinning Heart (Doubleday Ireland)

    Colm Tóibín, The Testament of Mary (Viking)

    The authors and their novels are all doing well.

    For more detail, see


      Eleanor Catton, The Luminaries (Granta)

      Jim Crace, Harvest (Picador)

      Richard House, The Kills (Picador)

      Colum McCann, TransAtlantic (Bloomsbury)

      Charlotte Mendelson, Almost English (Mantle)

      Colm Tóibín, The Testament of Mary (Viking)

      Philip Hensher, himself shortlisted for the 2008 Booker, writing in the Australian, Sept 7, prior to the announcement, is tipping Jim Crace to win. He says,

      Crace is a most meticulous and original novelist and this is one of his unquestionable masterpieces. I can hardly see where else the prize can go than to the long-overdue Crace

      The winner will be announced on October 15. I'm rooting for Crace.

  35. The winner of the 2014 Stella Prize was announced just a few days ago.

    The Stella Prize is a major literary award celebrating Australian women's writing. It is named after one of Australia's iconic female authors, Stella Maria "Miles" Franklin, and was awarded for the first time in 2013. Both nonfiction and fiction books by Australian women are eligible for entry.

    The winner this year is The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka by Clare Wright. The author, a historian, reveals that there were thousands of women and children on the goldfields at Ballarat and many of them had pivotal roles at this particular time in Australian history.

  36. The Miles Franklin Literary Award is an annual literary prize awarded to "a novel which is of the highest literary merit and presents Australian life in any of its phases". The award was set up according to the will of Miles Franklin (1879–1954), who is best known for writing the Australian classic My Brilliant Career (published in 1901) and for bequeathing her estate to fund this award. As of 2013, the award is valued A$60,000.
    The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan
    The Railwayman's Wife by Ashley Hay
    The Life and Loves of Lena Gaunt by Tracy Farr
    Eyrie by Tim Winton
    The Night Guest by Fiona McFarlane
    Mullumbimby by Melissa Lucashenko
    My Beautiful Enemy by Cory Taylor
    All the Birds, Singing by Evie Wyld
    The Swan Book by Alexis Wright
    Belomor by Nicolas Rothwell
    Game by Trevor Shearston

    1. And the winner is !!!!!

      Author Evie Wyld has beaten some of the country's most lauded writers to win this year's Miles Franklin Literary Award.

      Her book All The Birds Singing, about a female sheep shearer, won the coveted prize announced in a ceremony in Sydney on Thursday 27Th June 2014.

      The judges said the book was a perfect example of meeting the criterion of presenting "Australian life in any of its phases".

    2. More on Australian-born author Evie Wyld, who has been named by GRANATA magazine as one of Britain's top 20 writers under 40.

      All The Birds Singing was also the winner of the 2103 Encore Awards and has been shortlisted for the Costa Novel Prize and the Commonwealth Writer's Prize.

      The Random House website has some information about Ms Wyld as well as the opening chapter of this award winning book, if you are interested :

  37. Finally got round to posting. We are still in France staying with English friends who recently exchanged their house in Spain for a small and very old chateau in France about 75k from Poitiers. It has a fascinating history and us very quaint.

    We go back to England on the 25th to Norfolk and Yorkshire. Just finished a book I can highly recommend....The Einstein Girl by Philip Sington. Based on the recently discovered fact that Einstein had an illegitimate daughter whose fate is unknown. Very well written, set in 1903 Berlin and a lot about early psychiatric treatment.

  38. Book Week is the longest running children's festival in Australia celebrating its 69th year in 2014. Each year, schools and public libraries from all over Australia spend a week celebrating books, Australian authors and illustrators. This year, it will be celebrated from 16th August to 22nd August
    For nominees in the Children's book awards for 2014 refer to :

    I have very fond memories of having to dress up as a book character way back then, and even preparing outfits for both my daughters nearly 20 years later. Have a vague recollection of an entire classroom of Little People dressed as "Where's Wally".

    Anyone else have any memories of Book Week ?

  39. I was Peter Rabbit one year.

  40. The 2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner for Fiction for distinguished fiction by an American author, preferably dealing with American life:

    Awarded to "The Goldfinch," by Donna Tartt , a beautifully written coming-of-age novel with exquisitely drawn characters that follows a grieving boy’s entanglement with a small famous painting that has eluded destruction, a book that stimulates the mind and touches the heart.

    Also nominated as finalists in this category were "The Son," by Philipp Meyer , a sweeping multi-generational novel that illuminates the violence and enterprise of the American West by tracing a Texas family’s passage from lethal frontier perils to immense oil-boom wealth; and "The Woman Who Lost Her Soul," by Bob Shacochis , a novel spanning 50 years and three continents that explores the murky world of American foreign policy before 9/11, using provocative themes to raise difficult moral questions.

    For other catagories refer to :

  41. The 2014 Man Booker Prize shortlist was announced earlier this week.

    I seem to remember Jaywalker mentioning Richard Flanagan previously (?)

    Joshua Ferris (US) To Rise Again at a Decent Hour

    Richard Flanagan (Australian) The Narrow Road to the Deep North

    Karen Joy Fowler (US) We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves

    Howard Jacobson (British) J

    Neel Mukherjee (British) The Lives of Others

    Ali Smith (British) How to be Both

    - See more at:

  42. Richard Flanagan lives in Hobart (where I live) and I taught his daughters English at high school - both lovely girls. He came to Tasmania with his parents as British migrants to a hydro electric village in the highlands just as I did so we have two two things in common. Article here:

  43. Richard Flanagan is the winner of the 2014 Man Booker Prize for The Narrow Road to the Deep North.

    This looks fantastic ! I might pop out during lunch tomorrow and treat myself ! Enjoy this :

  44. Established in 2008, the Prime Minister's Literary Awards are Australia's richest literary prize with a total prize pool of $600,000, and the short listed competitors are from six categories:

    Children's Fiction
    Young Adult Fiction
    Prize for Australian History
    Non Fiction

    Results will be announced at the end of the year. Refer to

  45. PM's Literary Awards

    2014 Prime Minister's Literary Awards winners announced

    The Prime Minister and Minister for the Arts have announced the winners of the 2014 Prime Minister's Literary Awards.

    The winners are:

    Fiction—joint winners

    A World of Other People, Steven Carroll (Harper Collins)
    The Narrow Road to the Deep North, Richard Flanagan (Vintage Australia)


    Drag Down to Unlock or Place an Emergency Call, Melinda Smith (Pitt Street Poetry)

    Non-fiction—joint winners

    Moving Among Strangers, Gabrielle Carey (University of Queensland Press)
    Madeleine: A Life of Madeleine St John, Helen Trinca (The Text Publishing Company)

    Prize for Australian history—joint winners

    Broken Nation: Australians in the Great War, Joan Beaumont (Allen & Unwin)
    Australia's Secret War: How unionists sabotaged our troops in World War II, Hal G.P. Colebatch (Quadrant Books)

    Young adult fiction

    The Incredible Here and Now, Felicity Castagna (Giramondo Publishing Company)

    Children's fiction

    Silver Buttons, Bob Graham (Walker Books UK)

  46. The 2015 Stella Prize longlist was recently released:

    'Foreign Soil' by Maxine Beneba Clarke
    'The Strays' by Emily Bitto
    'Only the Animals' by Ceridwen Dovey
    'This House of Grief' by Helen Garner
    'Golden Boys' by Sonya Hartnett
    'The Invisible History of the Human Race by Christine Kenneally
    'The Eye of the Sheep' by Sofie Laguna
    'The Golden Age' by Joan London
    'Laurinda' by Alice Pung
    'Nest' by Inga Simpson
    'Heat and Light' by Ellen van Neerven
    'In My Mother’s Hands' by Biff Ward

    The 2015 Stella Prize Winner will be announced on April 21st

    1. And the Stella Prize shortlist is :

      Foreign Soil - Maxine Beneba Clarke
      The Strays - Emily Bitto
      The Invisible History of the Human Race - Christine Kenneally
      The Eye of the Sheep - Sofie Laguna
      The Golden Age - Joan London
      Heat and Light -Ellen van Neerven

  47. I must be way behind the times. The only author I have heard of is Helen Garner.

  48. And I've not heard of any of them!

  49. The Miles Franklin Literary Award 2015 long list has just been announced.

    The nominees are :

    Elizabeth Harrower - In Certain Circles
    Sonya Hartnett - Golden Boys
    Sofie Laguna - The Eye of the Sheep
    Joan London - The Golden Age
    Suzanne McCourt - The Lost Child
    Omar Musa - Here Come the Dogs
    Favel Parrett - When The Night Comes
    Christine Piper - After Darkness
    Craig Sherborne - Tree Palace
    Inga Simpson - Nest

  50. Shame on me....I haven't heard of a single one.

    1. I'm with you, Jaywalker. I guess that is partly why I volunteered to participate in the Australian Author Challenge- I am now reading more books that I previously wouldn't have contemplated. I think I will order Elizabeth Harrower's, In Certain Circles, from the library.

  51. I bought three books in Sydney at the clearance bookshop in Australia Square which we always go to when we're there. A novel based on the life and scandals of the American writer Edith Wharton, a new novel based on the Edward and Wallis story but from an unusual angle, and Mrs Robinson's Disgrace by the author of The Suspicions of Mr Whicher (a recent TV series).

    1. I went through a stage of being totally fascinated by the Edward and Mrs Simpson saga and read all the books. Repeated the exercise when I became interested in the Kennedy clan.

      The local Library doesn't have any of the books written by the Miles Franklin Award nominees as yet so I will start my bookclub read for April : Say Your Sorry by Michael Robotham. A crime novel - not my cup of tea !

      Something different for me: am taking a box of books to the local scout hall this morning for the coming Rotary book sale. Means I can give the bedroom a good dust!


  52. The finalists for the 2015 Man Booker International Prize have been announced.
    In the running for this year’s prize, worth £60,000 are:

    César Aira (Argentina)
    Hoda Barakat (Lebanon)
    Maryse Condé (Guadeloupe)
    Mia Couto (Mozambique)
    Amitav Ghosh (India)
    Fanny Howe (United States of America)
    Ibrahim al-Koni (Libya)
    László Krasznahorkai (Hungary)
    Alain Mabanckou (Republic of Congo)
    Marlene van Niekerk (South Africa).

    The Man Booker International Prize is presented biennially to a living author who has published fiction either originally in English or whose work is generally available in translation in the English language. This year’s winner will be announced on 19 May in London.

    1. Again - not heard of a single one. I am obviously totally out of touch but not bothered!

      I should get rid of some books too. I know it's time when I'm shoving them sideways on the wall-sized bookshelves!

  53. The winner of the 2015 Stella Prize is Emily Bitto for The Strays.

    Of the winning book, Kerryn Goldsworthy, chair of the 2015 Stella Prize judging panel, says:

    “Emily Bitto’s debut novel The Strays is about families, art, isolation, class, childhood, friendship, and the power of the past. It’s both moving and sophisticated; both well researched and original; both intellectually engaging and emotionally gripping.

    "In its subject matter, its characters, and its sombre mood, this novel is reminiscent of Ian McEwan’s Atonement, Sybille Bedford’s Jigsaw, or A.S. Byatt’s The Children’s Book, and in this company it can hold its head high. The Strays is like a gemstone: polished and multifaceted, reflecting illuminations back to the reader and holding rich colour in its depths.”

  54. This comment has been removed by the author.

  55. Not usually interested much in who's won what but this caught my eye - the 2014 winner of the Nobel Prize for literature -a Frenchman recognised by the Swedish Academy “for the art of memory with which he has evoked the most ungraspable human destinies”.

    I looked him up on and found that his books are translated into English and one reviewer wrote:

    "Honeymoon" was the second I read and it conformed wonderfully to the noted essence of what Modiano has been so acclaimed for. He seems to specialize in short private-investigator-type novels in which a protagonist (the investigator) endeavors to uncover what really happened in the lives of (mostly furtive) persons he has come across in the past, with the end result -- as opposed to the established PI genre -- being nothing but loose ends. No resolution to the search other then the keen perceptions and ultimate wisdom gained through the search itself. A deeply satisfying read.

    Might buy it!

  56. Shortlisted for The Miles Franklin Award 2015 are :
    Golden Boys Sonya Hartnett
    The Eye of The Sheep Sofie Laguna
    The Golden Age Joan London
    After Darkness Christine Piper
    Tree Palace Craig Sherbourne
    Winner to be announced June 23

    1. Sofie Laguna, with her novel The Eye of the Sheep , was the winner of the 2015 Miles Franklin Award.
      Here's some information:-

  57. The Man Booker Prize longlist has just been released and includes more American than British writers. No Australian authors this year. Winner to be announced in October. Have a read:-

    Read more:

    Sylvia, did your hubby read the Richard Flanagan novel on holidays, and did he enjoy ?

    1. Moi, no I'm afraid he didn't read "The Long Road......".on holiday after all! He read a biography of some sportsman, a cricketer, can't remember who - boring!!
      Goodness knows WHEN he will get down to it now. He is in the process of packing his books away as we hope to move house in the next couple of months at long last! Perhaps he will make a start on it when he retires next year!

  58. The Nobel Prize for Literature 2015 has been awarded to Belarusion author, Svetlana Alexievich "for her polyphonic writings, a monument to suffering and courage in our time".
    Doesn't sound much fun,does it ?

  59. The Prime Minister's Literary Awards for 2015 have just been shortlisted. To check out the contenders go to :

    1. The winners of the Prime Minister's Literary Awards for 2015 were recently announced. Refer to: