Books

Looking for a great book to read? Just look at this year’s ABIA shortlist

There's something here for everyone, says The Weekly's Books Editor Juliet Rieden.

By Juliet Rieden

If you ever needed proof that Aussie authors are among the best in the world take a look at the just-released shortlist for the Australian Book Industry Awards.

The 2018 line-up includes some of the biggest names in publishing including literary heavyweights Peter Carey and Richard Flanagan, The Weekly's own Maggie Beer and two of last year's winners hoping to snag a gong two years in a row - novelist Jane Harper and Australian music legend turned autobiographer Jimmy Barnes.

Jimmy Barnes received the Biography Award in last year's ABIA Awards.
Jimmy Barnes received the Biography Award in last year's ABIA Awards.

Debut children's author and publishing sensation Jessica Townsend features in two categories for her international best-selling Nevermoor. Jessica has been dubbed Australia's J.K. Rowling and Nevermoor has already been secured for film rights with multiple book deals around the globe.

The awards for children's books showcase Shaun Micallef's subversive take on fairytales and Zoë Foster Blake's irrepressible picture book No One Likes a Fart.

And regular Weekly cover star Turia Pitt is in the biography category for Unbreakable, a truly inspiring read.

Turia Pitt.
Turia Pitt.

ABIA SHORTLIST 2018

Biography Book of the Year

  • Danger Music, Eddie Ayres
  • Tracker, Alexis Wright
  • Unbreakable, Jelena Dokic and Jess Halloran
  • Unmasked, Turia Pitt
  • Working Class Man, Jimmy Barnes

General Fiction Book of the Year

  • Force of Nature, Jane Harper
  • The Dark Lake, Sarah Bailey
  • The Inaugural Meeting Of The Fairvale Ladies Book Club, Sophie Green
  • The Secrets She Keeps, Michael Robotham
  • The Trip of A Lifetime, Monica McInerney

General Non-fiction Book of the Year

  • Being 14, Madonna King
  • Depends What You Mean By Extremist, John Safran
  • First, We Make The Beast Beautiful, Sarah Wilson
  • Saga Land, Richard Fidler and Kári Gíslason
  • The Trauma Cleaner: One Woman's Extraordinary Life in Death, Decay & Disaster, Sarah 
Krasnostein

Illustrated Book of the Year

  • Basics to Brilliance Kids, Donna Hay
  • Maggie's Recipe for Life, Maggie Beer and Professor Ralph Martins
  • Native: Art and Design with Australian Plants, Kate Herd and Jela Ivankovic-Waters
  • Ostro, Julia Busuttil Nishimura Paris: Through a Fashion Eye, Megan Hess

International Book of the Year

  • Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, Gail Honeyman
  • Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls, Elena Favilli and Francesa Cavall

  • Home Fire, Kamila Shamsie
  • La Belle Sauvage: The Book of Dust Volume One, Philip Pullman
  • Lincoln in the Bardo, George Saunders

Literary Fiction Book of the Year

  • A Long Way Home, Peter Carey
  • First Person, Richard Flanagan
  • See What I Have Done, Sarah Schmidt
  • The Choke, Sofie Laguna
  • Wimmera, Mark Brandi

Small Publishers' Adult Book of the Year

  • Call of the Reed Warbler - A New Agriculture - A New Earth, Charles Massy (The University of Queensland Press, The University of Queensland Press) 

  • Cardinal, Louise Milligan (Melbourne University Press, Melbourne University Publishing) 

  • The Australian Bird Guide, Peter Menkhorst, Danny Rogers, Rohan Clarke, Jeff Davies, 
Peter Marsack and Kim Franklin (CSIRO Publishing, CSIRO Publishing) 

  • The Restorer, Michael Sala (Text Publishing, Text Publishing) 

  • Museum of Words, Georgia Blain (Scribe Publications, Scribe Publications) 


Small Publishers' Children’s Book of the Year

  • Big Fella Rain, Beryl Webber and illustrated by Fern Martins
  • Hello, Melbourne!, Megan McKean
  • It's OK to Feel the Way You Do, Josh Langley 

  • The Elephant, Peter Carnavas
  • Under the Love Umbrella, Davina Bell and Allison Colpoys

The Matt Richell Award for New Writer of the Year

  • Nevermoor, Jessica Townsend
  • Terra Nullius, Claire G Coleman
  • The Girl from Munich, Tania Blanchard
  • The Trauma Cleaner: One Woman's Extraordinary Life in Death, Decay & Disaster, Sarah 
Krasnostein
  • Wimmera, Mark Brandi

Book of the Year for Older Children (ages 13+)

  • Beautiful Mess, Claire Christian
  • Begin, End, Begin: A #LoveOzYA Anthology, Amie Kaufman, Melissa Keil, Will Kostakis, 
Ellie Marney, Jaclyn Moriarty, Michael Pryor, Alice Pung, Gabrielle Tozer, Lili Wilkinson 
and Danielle Binks
  • My Life as a Hashtag, Gabrielle Williams
  • Tales From a Tall Forest, Shaun Micallef and illustrated by Jonathan Bentley
  • The Silent Invasion, James Bradley

Book of the Year for Younger Children (ages 7-13)

  • Frankie Fish and the Sonic Suitcase, Peter Helliar and illustrated by Lesley Vamos
  • Funny Kid for President, Matt Stanton
  • Nevermoor, Jessica Townsend
  • Polly and Buster: The Wayward Witch and the Feelings Monster, Sally Rippin
  • The 91-Storey Treehouse, Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton

Children's Picture Book of the Year (ages 0-6)

  • Do Not Lick This Book, Idan Ben-Barak and illustrated by Julian Frost
  • Florette, Anna Walker
  • I'm Australian Too, Mem Fox and illustrated by Ronojoy Ghosh
  • No One Likes a Fart, Zoë Foster Blake
  • Pig the Star, Aaron Blabey

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