January 24

Indie Awards 2016

Each year, the Independent Booksellers select an array of Australian books for recognition. Often these books receive applause further afield, and so the shortlist proves to be a great point, for readers young and old, to select from. Previous winners include Anh Doh, Tim Winton, Richard Flanagan and Craig Silvey (with ‘Jasper Jones’ soon to be released as a movie).

This year’s shortlists (released last week) include:

LEB Indie Shortlist 2016 tiled web banner_1.indd

CHILDREN’S SHORTLIST
Olive of Groves by Katrina Nannestad & Lucia Masciullo, Illus (ABC Books, HarperCollins Australia)
The 65-Storey Treehouse by Andy Griffiths & Terry Denton, Illus (Pan Macmillan Australia)
The Bad Guys, Episode 1 by Aaron Blabey (Scholastic Australia)
*The Singing Bones by Shaun Tan (Allen & Unwin)

YOUNG ADULT SHORTLIST
*Cloudwish by Fiona Wood (Macmillan Australia)
Prince of Afghanistan by Louis Nowra (Allen & Unwin)
*Ranger’s Apprentice: The Early Years 1: The Tournament at Gorlan by John Flanagan (Random House Australia)
*Soon by Morris Gleitzman (Penguin Australia)

Source: http://www.indiebookawards.com.au/#!Shortlist-Announced-for-the-2016-Indie-Book-Awards/cmbz/569c69ff0cf28074ac9d3348

Many of the authors mentioned above would be well recognised by most readers, and our library has those marked *.

I wonder which of these titles will be awarded the top honour? Which one would you choose? 

Other categories also exist at the Indie site –  for debut novels adult reads and non-fiction titles – which are also worth looking into. The Indie Book Awards category winners and the Book of the Year 2016 will be announced at an event in the Sydney CBD on Wednesday 23 March.

Have you been to see your independent bookseller to chat about these titles? Will you have read some of these titles before then? which one will you vote for?

*** Shaun Tan is always hard to beat – so different from the others in the Children’s Shortlist – maybe he’s really in a class of his own?

# Some of the local independent booksellers we rely on include:

the Turning Page, Springwood

Megalong Books, Leura

Wisemans Books, Richmond

Harvard Books, Blaxland

and further afield, the Children’s Bookshop, Beecroft

February 1

Indie Awards 2015 – shortlist

Each year, independent book sellers from around Australia nominate the best Australian books for a calendar year. The shortlists include choices for Fiction, Non-Fiction, Debut and Children’s literature.

As the people on the ground, and those with whom you can discuss your likes and dislikes in reading, their recommendations are valuable and inspiring to their customers. Thus, it is worth looking at this year’s list (announced January 29) and checking off some of the books they have considered for this year’s awards:

indie

Fiction

  • When the Night Comes (Favel Parrett, Hachette)
  • Amnesia (Peter Carey, Hamish Hamilton)
  • Golden Boys (Sonya Hartnett, Hamish Hamilton)
  • The Rosie Effect (Graeme Simsion, Text)

Nonfiction

  • This House of Grief (Helen Garner, Text)
  • The Bush (Don Watson, Hamish Hamilton)
  • Where Song Began (Tim Low, Viking)
  • Cadence (Emma Ayres, ABC Books)

Debut fiction

  • Lost & Found (Brooke Davis, Hachette)
  • Foreign Soil (Maxine Beneba Clark, Hachette)
  • The Strays (Emily Bitto, Affirm Press)
  • After Darkness (Christine Piper, A&U)

Children’s

  • The 52-Storey Treehouse (Andy Griffiths & Terry Denton, Pan Macmillan)
  • Pig the Pug (Aaron Blabey, Scholastic)
  • Withering by Sea (Judith Rossell, ABC Books)
  • Laurinda (Alice Pung, Black Inc.).

[List from: Books and Publishing ]

While obviously many of these books are not Young Adult literature, some could be suitable for a mature reader, and they certainly offer some interesting titles for teachers to consider.

The Children’s category is rather broad, and I am sure that there could be an argument for at least 2 sub-categories of this – especially when you compare Pig the Pug (picture book) with Laurinda (352p.).

The awards will be announced on March 25 – how many of these will you read before then?

For more about the awards, visit Indie Awards 2015.

February 23

Indie Award Shortlist 2014

The Australian Independent Booksellers recently announced The Shortlist for The Indie Awards for 2014:

awards

Source: Australian Independent Booksellers http://www.indies.com.au/BookAwards.aspx

FICTION SHORTLIST:
Barracuda by Christos Tsiolkas (Allen & Unwin)
Coal Creek by Alex Miller (Allen & Unwin)
Eyrie by Tim Winton (Penguin)
The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan (Random House)

NON-FICTION SHORTLIST:
Girt by David Hunt (Black Inc)
Murder in Mississippi by John Safran (Penguin)
The Stalking of Julia Gillard by Kerry-Anne Walsh (Allen & Unwin)
The Good Life by Hugh Mackay (Macmillan)

DEBUT FICTION SHORTLIST:
Burial Rites by Hannah Kent (Macmillan)
Mr Wigg by Inga Simpson (Hachette Hodder)
The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion (Text)
The Night Guest by Fiona McFarlane (Penguin)

CHILDREN’S SHORTLIST:
Alphabetical Sydney by Hilary Bell, Antonia Pesenti (NewSouth Books)
Kissed by the Moon by Alison Lester (Penguin)
The 39-Storey Treehouse by Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton (Macmillan)
Weirdo by Anh Do (Scholastic)

A limited number of these books are available from the High School Library, so you can see which one you might vote for – if you had the chance. Of course, local bookstores will have most in plentiful supply, for keen readers.

Winners will be announced on March 26, 2014.

May 12

Mothers’ Love? – the Light between Oceans

What would you do if a baby washed up in a boat, accompanied only by her dead father? Would you wonder what had happened to her mother? And if you lived on a remote island housing a vital lighthouse, how would you go about reporting the lost (and found) baby?

Add another complication – you are a young couple who have faced the loss of several babies before they had time to even be; the last being stillborn just a few weeks previously. Is the baby perhaps a gift from God? Why was she alone in the boat with a dead father? Perhaps her mother had also perished?

Tom and Isabel live a solitary life as lighthouse keepers. Together they decide on a path which is always destined for sorrow and trouble. By the time they have their regular visits to and from the mainland, Lucy has well and truly become part of their life. Isabel’s parents, who live in on the mainland welcome their only grand-daughter with open arms, convinced of course that she really is their flesh and blood. And Lucy delights all who see her. How can they change the course of action they have slipped into by caring for baby Lucy?

This is an amazing debut novel for M.L. Stedman – told with gentleness and mystery. It succeeds in getting you to change your point of view, depending on whose story you are reading at the tim, without making you feel you have deserted one of the other characters. There are many different perspectives from which they can all be judged, as Stedman reveals the inner workings of each person in the tragic turn of events.

And as a reader you can sympathise with each one: Tom the solitary returned soldier; his wife, Isabel grieving several miscarriages; Isabel’s parents who have lost their sons to war; and of course, Hannah, who has lost both a husband and a child.

Though set in a fictional coastal community, the Light Between Oceans represents what life might have been like for those performing essential duties along our coastlines in times gone by.

As the author states: “The plot of THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS isn’t based on personal experience, other than to the extent that it’s set in Western Australia, where I’m from, so the landscape and weather hopefully have an authentic feel” ( comments from a GoodReads forum about her book). The setting describes the isolation of this part of Australia (and the lighthouse even more so), heightened even further by its post war time period. The tale reflects things which might occur in relationships when life doesn’t always give people what they want.

The impacts of war, isolation and loss are some of the key issues Stedman weaves into this tale of several tales, and the reader is left guessing, never quite sure of the final outcome. While the pace of the story has been criticised by some, it really just echoes the way things would have been before communications were so instant, and gives the reader time to consider how different things might have been in the past.

Movie options have been discussed, and the book has recently won the Indie Awards for a Debut novel. For more about M.L.Stedman see: http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/books/interview-ml-stedman-20120322-1vkty.html

What did you think of the book?

March 25

Indie Awards 2013 announced…

And the winner is:

The Light Between Oceans*, by M.L.Stedman -a debut novel which is…

…primarily set in the 1920s, far off Western Australia’s south-west coast, as well as in a small mainland port, The Light Between Oceans is an evocative tale with an irresistible ethical and emotional conundrum at its heart.
The book riffs heavily on the theme of duality, starting with the tiny, fictitious island where the story unfolds. Janus Rock, named after ancient Rome’s two-faced god of beginnings and endings, is at the confluence of two oceans. SMH review April 15, 2012

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/books/the-light-between-oceans-20120414-1x05y.html#ixzz2OXtSIM3s

And you will find the book trailer below intriguing – especially given the renowned ‘book’ people who comment on this debut novel.

 
What is it about this novel which has intrigued the judges (independent booksellers – probably as varied as you and I) to give it this honour – ahead of well-known authors like Margot Lanagan*, Maureen McCarthy* ,and Drusilla Modjeska; as well as other tales like Secrets of the Tides by Hannah Richell (my favourite), and challenging thought-provoking texts like Tohby Riddle’s Unforgotten*?

 

Other award winners include:

Sea Hearts* by Margot Lanagan (Children’s & YA winner)
QF32 by Richard de Crespigny (Non-fiction)

For more details about the awards see:

http://www.readings.com.au/news/the-2013-indie-award-winners

* We have copies of these in the library waiting for you – would you like to review them? Or are others on the list (mentioned in a previous post) more to your liking? 

February 10

Andy and Terry’s treehouse grows…

 

Every kid in the world would love to live in the places Andy Griffiths creates. Especially in his multi-storey treehouse! And especially as it has grown from 13 to 26 storeys since his last book, the 13-Storey Treehouse.

Not only does it have its own dodgem car rink, a skate ramp and an anti-gravity chamber, but you can choose from 78 different flavours of icecream and have them served to you by Edward Scooperhand! You just need to be careful when you do it, and in whose company.

Andy lives in the treehouse, we are told, with Terry. Cleverly, the story of how they met is interwoven in the tale – just be sure you look carefully at all the illustrations, so you get Terry’s point of view also.

When it comes to dealing with sick sharks (because they ate Terry’s underpants), they have to rely on Jill who seems to love all animals – well, almost all of them. Using her charms, and the help of Andy and Terry, she is able to conduct ‘open shark’ surgery. As they do this, they empty all sorts of things out of the shark, and the complications of the tale develop further.

There are lots of fun characters and events in the 26-Storey Treehouse; starting with Andy and Terry, the main characters from the The 13-Storey Treehouse. You will love all the improbable things that happen, and laugh out loud as Andy plays with words, and Terry adds punch with his drawings. You have to take the time to view both carefully together – and then go back again to see what you missed.

For more value, you can watch as Andy reads the first chapter of the 26-Storey Treehouse to a couple of children. See if you can catch things he adds along the way:

For lots more information about the series, and advice from Andy about the way he writes, go to: http://www.andygriffiths.com.au/.

Keep an eye out for the next instalment, the 39 Storey Treehouse, and Once Upon a Slime, which is “designed for teachers, students and young aspiring writers; it contains 52 fun writing and storytelling activities, such as lists, instructions, cartoons, letters, personal stories, poems and pocket books”.

February 4

Indie awards 2013

Each year, the Independent Bookseller Awards pick the best of the best of Australian fiction and non fiction writing. These list include great reads for students and their families, some of which the library has already purchased.

Two shortlists for this year include the following books (those with * are currently available from our library):


DEBUT FICTION SHORTLIST:
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)

CHILDREN’S SHORTLIST:
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)

Source: http://www.indies.com.au/IndieAward.aspx

 

Past winners include:

    • Jasper Jones*, Craig Silvey
    • The Happiest Refugee*, Anh Do
    • and last year’s winner, All That I Am* by Anna Funder

Since the category winners are announced on March 25, there is still time to read some of this selection and decide for yourself which book deserves the honours.

Which ones do you think will take out the main awards this year? Have a look at the Australian Independent Bookseller website for other great recommendations – bestsellers, reading guides and reading news.

March 19

Indie awards (Australia) – 2012

Last weekend, the Australian Independent Booksellers announced the Indie Awards for 2012. as htese awards are decieded by those in the bookselling trade, they are often a good indicator of future success and/or popularity.

The short list was released in late January, and included books like ‘Caleb’s Crossing’, ‘the Street Sweeper’, ‘Five Bells’, ‘Past the Shallows’ and ‘All that I Am’.

Last year Anh Do’s ‘the Happiest Refugee’ won the Book of the Year Award. This year the tale was also in contention, but in its picture book version, ‘The Little Refugee’ – and it won the Children’s Book category!

Other results included ‘Street Sweeper’ by Elliott Perlman – Fiction Book of the Year; ‘All That I Am’ by Anna Funder won the Book of the Year, and ‘Worse Things Happen at Sea: Tales of Life, Love, Family and the Everyday Beauty in Between’ by William McInnes and Sarah Watt has won the Non-fiction category.

Which of these book have you read and enjoyed? Why not also have a look at the whole shortlist for some great recommendations? (You are most welcome to write and send me a reveiw of any book which you particularly enjoy…)