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

March 8

International Women’s Day

IWDAs women around the world prepare to celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8, various posts have started to circulate, focusing on the valuable impact of women as authors.

As noted by some, however, this influence has taken some time to develop:

Female writers have given us some of the greatest novels, short stories, poems and essays ever written. But this kind of recognition didn’t come easily for most women. For centuries, female writers struggled to get their work noticed, let alone praised. Some used male pen names, initials or remained anonymous so that their work wouldn’t be discounted because they were female.

http://mikeswritingworkshop.blogspot.com.au/2011/03/25-female-writers-who-changed-history.html

The same blogger (above) lists what he considers to be 25 female authors who changed history – some great and well-renowned writers. Of course, there are many other lists available online, and many who may dispute some of the authors included here, but it is a worthy list to review. (Thought: Where are the Australian authors?)

Here at home, we can look to this year’s Stella Prize, which seeks to recognise and celebrate Australian women writers’ contributions to literature. In doing so, the award aims to applaud the talents of our many local female authors, promote their creativity and encourage up-and-coming female authors. (Click on the image to see the longlist nominated for this year’s award.)

Soruce: http://thestellaprize.com.au/2015/02/announcing-the-2015-stella-prize-longlist

Source: http://thestellaprize.com.au/2015/02/announcing-the-2015-stella-prize-longlist

The success of the Stella prize in fostering the talents of our Australian women’s authors is clear in these 2 quotes:

‘I am living proof that a women-only prize can be career changing … Yes, a prize for women’s writing wouldn’t be necessary in an ideal world, but that isn’t the world we live in.’ – Kate Grenville

‘I hope that the Stella Prize, with its graceful flexibility about genre, will encourage women writers to work
in the forms they feel truly at home in, instead of having to squeeze themselves into the old
traditional corsets.’ – Helen Garner

EatTheSkyDrinkTheOcean_CVR_PR-681x1024Another event more relevant to Young Adult readers, which celebrates women’s authors, has been the publication of Eat the Sky, Drink the Ocean –  an anthology of short stories by popular Australian women’s authors.

As Kirsty Murray noted when discussing the collaboration on International Women’s Day: A Mouthful of Sky:

“The central idea is of re-imagining the world from a feminist perspective”, and they envisaged the ideal reader’s age as being roughly 13 to 17 years. Eat the sky, drink the ocean

and Margo Lanagan writes about the importance of stories to shine light on issues faced by women, and recent anthology Eat the Sky, Drink the Ocean, which crosses borders, genres and mediums to re-imagine the world from a feminist perspective.

Eat the sky, Drink the Ocean is a fantastic collection of writing by wonderful Australian authors – so look out for our copy hitting the shelves soon.

Which women’s authors would you like to celebrate? what is it that you particularly like about their writing?

January 27

Jackie French honoured

Source: http://www.childrenslaureate.org.au/laureates/jackie-french/

Source: http://www.childrenslaureate.org.au

Australia Day honours to Jackie French – named Senior Australian of the Year this week! Applause!!

What a great and well deserved honour for this prolific Australian children’s author. As author of over 140 books, named the Australian Children’s Laureate in 2014, and a bold force promoting the richness of children’s literature, Jackie has been a household name for many many years.

Her first book for children was Rain Stones, was published in 1991. This was in spite of the fact that she had dyslexia (a condition which makes it hard to read and understand words). Her wonderful imagination and determination to tell her stories, firstly to friends and family, must have pushed her beyond this difficulty, though her editors have commented that they did struggle with some of her early manuscripts. She is certainly a model for all aspiring writers and creative people!

As her popularity arose over the years, naturally, Jackie has constantly been called upon to talk about her books and how she gets her ideas. As many schoolchildren will attest, she is an entertaining and inspiring author. She also makes it clear that writing involves a great deal of effort and focus – and even picture books take an extremely long time to perfect.

Jackie is a perfectionist. When she wants to bring an historical event to life, it is usually because it is a period of time which she has already had a great interest in herself. From the realities of the Depression years in Somewhere Around the Cornerto the dramatic world of The Night They Stormed Eureka, Jackie aims to get the mix of history and fiction just right in her books. Her fun but informative non-fiction books also aim to either bring history to life, to excite children about nature and science, or to encourage kids (and adults) to get down and get dirty in the garden!

The many awards Jackie has received, span across the years of her writing, beginning with her first book, which was shortlisted for 3 awards. Another well known book, the Diary of a Wombat, is a classic which is in many home libraries, and has either won or been nominated for nearly 20 separate awards since it was first published in 2002!

Jackie’s passion is obvious when you hear her speak, and this was evident in her acceptance speech below:

To quote Jackie from this speech: “If you want intelligent children, give them a book. If you want more intelligent children, give them more books.” 

For more insights into the person of Jackie French, have a look at this 2009 interview, one of many you can find online.

How many Jackie French books have you read? If you haven’t, maybe it’s time to search them out?

September 13

Congratulations, Jackie French!

607

Source: SMH, September 12 2013

Accolades once again to Jackie French’s writing talents! She has been awarded the Young People’s History Prize at NSW Premier’s History Award for 2013.

Extraordinarily, Jackie had 2 chances to win, as 2 of her books were shortlisted for the prize – Pennies for Hilter and Dingo: The Dog Who Conquered a Continent. A third book, What are the Mysteries of Lake Mungo? by Timothy Gurry and Robert Lewis, made up the shortlist for this section of the History awards.

Jackie is well reknowned for her writing – especially historical fiction; and has won many awards over the years as children’s author. As a prolific researcher and writer, she collects her inspiration from around her, including comments from fan-mail. Pennies for Hitler is a fine example of this:

After reading French’s first book on the fraught topic, Hitler’s Daughter, the boy was moved to write his first note, observing: “I have learnt to be wary of anyone who makes you angry”.

French says: “I had been wondering how did Hitler do it. How did he get people to believe that people because of their race and religion should be exterminated? And a 14-year-old boy gave me the answer. Anger is contagious.” From SMH article below.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/books/jackie-frenchs-pennies-for-hitler-wins-young-people-prize-at-nsw-premiers-history-award-20130912-2tmnd.html#ixzz2eizC2ZWU

# Also see our previous review on Pennies for Hitler. Congratulations once again, Jackie!

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 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.

May 29

Have you read…?

Have you started reading any of the books nominated for the CBCA Older Readers Awards for 2012? The list includes several past winners – Ursula Dubosarsky, Michael Gerard Bauer; past shortlist nominee – Scot Gardner; and authors noted in other literary awards, for both young adult and adult books – Bill Condon and Andrew McGahan, new to YA awards, Robert Newton.

The list below (from the CBCA website) includes links to publishers’ websites for enticing summaries about each book.

 

Author

Title

Bauer,
Michael Gerard

Ishmael
and the Hoops of Steel

Condon,
Bill

A Straight Line to my Heart

Dubosarsky,
Ursula

The Golden Day

Gardner,
Scot

The Dead I Know

McGahan,
Andrew

Ship Kings: The Coming of the
Whirlpool

Newton,
Robert

When We Were Two

 

# Which one would you give the top award?

 

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…)