Australian Book of the Year Shortlist announced

The Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIAs) has announced its 2017 best books of the year shortlist with the winner to be announced on May 25 at the Art Gallery of NSW in Sydney presented by the Australian Publishers Association (APA).

The short list is: 

Biography Book of the Year

Songs of a War Boy, Deng Adut and Ben Mckelvey, (Hachette Australia, Hachette Australia). (Image above of Deng Adut is the painting by Nick Stathopoulos which was a finalist in this year’s Archibald Portrait Prize and was awarded the People’s Choice Award).


Life As I Know It, Michelle Payne and John Harms, (Melbourne University Publishing, Melbourne University Publishing)

The Hate Race, Maxine Beneba Clarke, (Hachette, Hachette Australia)

Working Class Boy, Jimmy Barnes, (HarperCollins, HarperCollins Publishers)

Victoria, Julia Baird, (HarperCollins, HarperCollins Publishers)

Audiobook of the Year

Fight Like a Girl, Clementine Ford (Audible Studios, Audible Australia)

Make It Happen: Live Your Best Life, Michelle Bridges (Audible Studios, Audible Australia)

The 78-Storey Treehouse, Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton, Narrator Stig Wemyss (Bolinda audio, Bolinda Publishing)

The Good People, Hannah Kent, Narrator Caroline Lennon (Bolinda Audio, Bolinda Publishing)

True Girt: The Unauthorised History of Australia, David Hunt (Audible Studios, Audible Australia)

Book of the Year for Younger Children (age range 0 to 8 years)

Circle, Jeannie Baker, (Walker Books, Walker Books)

The 78-Storey Treehouse, Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton, (Pan Australia, Pan Macmillan Australia)

Mr Chicken Arriva a Roma, Leigh Hobbs, (Allen & Unwin Children’s, Allen & Unwin)

Charlie and the War Against the Grannies, Alan Brough, (Pan Australia, Pan Macmillan Australia)

What Do They Do With All the Poo from All the Animals at the Zoo?, Anh Do and Simon Mellor, illustrated by Laura Wood (Scholastic Press, Scholastic Australia)

Book of the Year for Older Children (age range 8 to 14 years)

Wormwood Mire: A Stella Montgomery Intrigue, Judith Rossell, (ABC Books, HarperCollins Publishers)

The Bone Sparrow, Zana Fraillon, (Lothian, Hachette Australia)

Artie and the Grime Wave, Richard Roxburgh, (Allen & Unwin Children’s, Allen & Unwin)

Words in Deep Blue, Cath Crowley, (Pan Australia, Pan Macmillan Australia)

WeirDo #7: Mega Weird!, Anh Do, illustrated by Jules Faber, (Scholastic Press, Scholastic Australia)

General Fiction Book of the Year presented by The Australian Women’s Weekly

Truly Madly Guilty, Liane Moriarty, (Macmillan Australia, Pan Macmillan Australia)

The Chocolate Tin, Fiona McIntosh, (Michael Joseph, Penguin Random House)

The One Who Got Away, Caroline Overington, (HarperCollins, HarperCollins Publishers)

The Dry, Jane Harper, (Macmillan Australia, Pan Macmillan Australia)


The Birdman’s Wife, Melissa Ashley, (Affirm Press)

General Non-fiction Book of the Year

Talking to My Country, Stan Grant, (HarperCollins, HarperCollins Publishers)


Fight Like a Girl, Clementine Ford, (Allen & Unwin)

The Barefoot Investor, Scott Pape, (Wrightbooks, John Wiley & Sons)

Girl Stuff 8—12, Kaz Cooke, (Viking, Penguin Random House)

The Road to Ruin: How Tony Abbott and Peta Credlin Destroyed Their Own Government, Niki Savva, (Scribe Publications)


Illustrated Book of the Year

The Bikini Body 28-Day Healthy Eating & Lifestyle Guide, Kayla Itsines, (Macmillan Australia, Pan Macmillan Australia)

Smith & Daughters: A Cookbook (That Happens to be Vegan), Shannon Martinez & Mo Wyse, (Hardie Grant Books, Hardie Grant Publishing)

Penguin Bloom, Cameron Bloom & Bradley Trevor Greive, (ABC Books, HarperCollins Publishers)

Basics to Brilliance, Donna Hay, (HarperCollins, HarperCollins Publishers)

New York, Megan Hess, (Hardie Grant Books, Hardie Grant Publishing)

International Book of the Year presented by Audible

Commonwealth, Ann Patchett, (Bloomsbury Publishing, Bloomsbury)

Harry Potter and The Cursed Child, J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany and Jack Thorne (Little Brown, Hachette Australia)


The 8-Week Blood Sugar Diet, Michael Mosley, (Simon & Schuster Australia, Simon & Schuster Australia)

The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate – Discoveries From a Secret World, Peter Wohlleben, (Black Inc., Schwartz Publishing)


The North Water, Ian McGuire, (Scribner, Simon & Schuster Australia)

Literary Fiction Book of the Year

The Good People, Hannah Kent, (Picador Australia, Pan Macmillan Australia)

The Last Painting of Sara de Vos, Dominic Smith, (Allen & Unwin, Allen & Unwin)

An Isolated Incident, Emily Maguire, (Picador Australia, Pan Macmillan Australia)

Goodwood, Holly Throsby, (Allen & Unwin, Allen & Unwin)

Between a Wolf and a Dog, Georgia Blain, (Scribe Publications)

Matt Richell Award for New Writer of the Year presented by Simpsons Solicitors

The Dry, Jane Harper, (Macmillan Australia, Pan Macmillan Australia)

The Midnight Watch, David Dyer, (Hamish Hamilton, Penguin Random House)

Fight Like a Girl, Clementine Ford, (Allen & Unwin, Allen & Unwin)

Music and Freedom, Zoë Morrison, (Vintage Australia, Penguin Random House)

Goodwood, Holly Throsby, (Allen & Unwin, Allen & Unwin)

Small Publishers’ Adult Book of the Year

Offshore: Behind the Wire on Manus and Nauru, Madeline Gleeson, (NewSouth, NewSouth Publishing)

Saltwater: An Epic Fight for Justice in the Tropics, Cathy McLennan, (University of Queensland Press)

Position Doubtful: Mapping Landscapes and Memories, Kim Mahood, (Scribe Publications)

Poum and Alexandre, Catherine de Saint Phalle, (Transit Lounge, Transit Lounge Publishing)

The Australian Native Bee Book, Tim Heard (Sugarbag Bees)

Small Publishers’ Children’s Book of the Year

My Sister is a Superhero, Damon Young, illustrated by Peter Carnavas, (University of Queensland Press)

The Secrets We Keep, Nova Weetman, (University of Queensland Press)

Steve Goes to Carnival, Joshua Button and Robyn Wells, (Magabala Books)

Crabbing with Dad, Paul Seden, (Magabala Books)

Even Mummy Cries, Naomi Hunter, illustrated by Karen Erasmus (Empowering Resources)


2 responses to “Australian Book of the Year Shortlist announced

  1. Hilarious that the Art Gallery of NSW is hosting the ABIA books award event. The gallery management has recently banned two of the countries most informed art critics, John McDonald (SMH) and Christopher Allen (The Australian), from conducting tours/lectures because of their criticism of the hugely expensive and garish Sydney Modern Project which is scheduled to replace the AGNSW in 2021. Judith White, former executive director of the NSW Art Gallery Society, the successful members’ organisation, has been “de-platformed” as well for daring to question the cost, design, secrecy and motives behind the Sydney Modern obsession. (So has Paul Keating, but that’s another story).
    Needless to say, Judith White’s book, “Culture Heist – Art v Money” (Brandl & Schlesinger 2017) is not among the non-fiction books shortlisted for the Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIAs). Is this a literary luvvies’ event for publishers and publicists only, or are passionate people with ideas and opinions among the invitees as well?


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