Voss Literary Prize shortlist 2017

This year’s Voss Literary Prize shortlist has been announced and includes four debut novels. Our congratulations to the six shortlisted authors and publishers.

Launched in 2014, the Voss Literary Prize is awarded to the best novel published in Australia in the previous year, and is dedicated to the memory of historian Vivian Robert Le Vaux Voss.

The full 2017 shortlist is:

  • Dodge Rose by Jack Cox 
  • Our Magic Hour by Jennifer Down
  • Our Tiny, Useless Hearts by Toni Jordan 
  • Music and Freedom by Zoë Morrison 
  • The Last Days of Ava Langdon by Mark O’Flynn
  • A loving, faithful animal by Josephine Rowe

For more information about the 2017 shortlist, please visit the Voss Literary Prize website.

Most Underrated Book Award (MUBA) shortlist 2017

The Small Press Network (SPN) have announced the four titles shortlisted for the 2017 Most Underrated Book Award (MUBA). Open to all members of the Small Press Network, the MUBA is designed to highlight hidden gems – wonderful books that deserve to find a wider audience.


The Invisible War by Ailsa Wild, Briony Barr, Gregory Crocetti, Ben Huchings & Jeremy Barr

France, 1916. While treating a patient with dysentery, Sister Annie Barnaby encounters a strain of lethal bacteria. As the invaders journey deep into her gut, the resident microbes must fight to survive. Annie’s life hangs in the balance. Enter the phage, deadly predators, ready to wage war to protect their host. Created by a team of scientists, artists, educators, writers & historians, The Invisible War is a graphic novel like no other.

The Invisible War is published by Scale Free Network.


Loopholes by Susan McCreery

This collection of microfiction provides glimpses into the everyday challenges of family life, relationships, ageing and loss. The characters are typical humans – flawed, vulnerable, frustrating and frustrated. Told with empathy and wit, and honed with a wordsmith’s skill, Loopholes makes us see ourselves and each other differently.

Loopholes is published by Spineless Wonders.


The Island Will Sink by Briohny Doyle

This work of science fiction is set in the not-too-distant future in which we are perpetually on the brink of collapse, and catastrophe is our most popular entertainment. The energy crisis has come and gone. EcoLaw is enforced by insidious cartoon panda bears and their armies of viral-marketing children. The world watches as Pitcairn Island sinks into the Pacific, wondering if this, finally, will be the end of everything. And in the midst of it all, Max Galleon, anxious family man and blockbuster auteur, lives a life that he cannot remember.

The Island Will Sink is published by Brow Books.


Horse Island by Christina Laidley Kennedy and Jason Busch

Horse Island, the private retreat of Christina and Trevor Kennedy, sits tucked away in an estuary of Tuross Lake on the South Coast of NSW. It is a stunning location but what is most surprising in this place of great natural beauty is the remarkable garden created by Christina, featuring only Australian indigenous plants. This book is the author’s inspiring gardening story, and features gorgeous photography by Jason Busch.

Horse Island is published by Zabriskie Books.

The MUBA 2017 is sponsored by the Australian Booksellers Association. The winner will be announced during SPN’s Independent Publishing Conference in Melbourne on Friday 17 November 2017.

George Saunders wins the 2017 Man Booker Prize for Fiction


Congratulations to George Saunders who has been named the winner of this year’s Man Booker Prize for Fiction!

Lincoln in the Bardo is the first novel from Saunders, who is internationally renowned for his short stories, and it is an extraordinary work.

As the American Civil War rages, President Lincoln’s beloved 11-year-old son lies gravely ill. In a matter of days, Willie dies and is laid to rest in a Georgetown cemetery. Newspapers report that a grief-stricken Lincoln returns to the crypt several times alone to hold his boy’s body. From this seed of historical truth, Saunders spins an unforgettable story of familial love and loss that breaks free of realism, entering a thrilling, supernatural domain both hilarious and terrifying.

Chair of 2017 judges, Baroness Lola Young, writes: ‘The form and style of this utterly original novel, reveals a witty, intelligent, and deeply moving narrative. This tale of the haunting and haunted souls in the afterlife of Abraham Lincoln’s young son paradoxically creates a vivid and lively evocation of the characters that populate this other world. Lincoln in the Bardo is both rooted in, and plays with history, and explores the meaning and experience of empathy.’

Alongside Lincoln in the Bardo, the shortlist included 4321 by Paul Auster, History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund, Exit West by Mohsin Hamid, Elmet by Fiona Mozley, Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders and Autumn by Ali Smith.

The Man Booker Prize for Fiction is a £50,000 prize literary prize awarded each year for the best original novel, written in the English language, and published in the UK.

Baillie Gifford Prize shortlist 2017


The £30,000 Baillie Gifford prize (formerly known as the Samuel Johnson prize) is the UK’s most prestigious award for nonfiction writing. This year’s shortlist has been revealed.

Chair of Judges, Sir Peter Bazalgette, says: ‘The exceptional shortlist for the 2017 Baillie Gifford Prize covers religion, culture, science and sexuality… and that’s just for starters. But what all the six books have in common is that they’re incredibly well-written, they’re really enjoyable and they tell great stories.’

The 2017 shortlist includes:

The Islamic Enlightenment: The Modern Struggle Between Faith and Reason by Christopher de Bellaigue
How to Survive A Plague by David France
Border: A Journey to The Edge of Europe by Kapka Kassabova
An Odyssey: A Father, A Son and An Epic by Daniel Mendelsohn
To Be A Machine: Adventures Among Cyborgs, Utopians, Hackers, and the Futurists Solving the Modest Problem of Death by Mark O’Connell
Belonging: The Story of The Jews, 1492-1900 by Simon Schama
Each of the shortlisted authors will receive £1,000 and the 2017 winner will be announced on 16 November.

Kazuo Ishiguro wins the 2017 Nobel prize in literature


This year’s Nobel prize for literature has been awarded to Kazuo Ishiguro.

Ishiguro was born in Nagasaki, Japan, and moved with his family to England when he was five. He is the author of seven novels, four of which have have been nominated for the Man Booker Prize including The Remains of the Day which went on to win the prestigious prize in 1989. Ishiguro is also the writer of short stories, and screenplays.

The Swedish Academy praises Ishiguro, ‘who, in novels of great emotional force, has uncovered the abyss beneath our illusory sense of connection with the world’.

National Book Awards shortlists 2017

The shortlists for this year’s National Book Awards have been announced. Congratulations to all the finalists.

2017 Fiction Shortlist

  • Dark at the Crossing by Elliot Ackerman
  • The Leavers by Lisa Ko
  • Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
  • Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado
  • Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward

2017 Nonfiction Shortlist

  • Never Caught: The Washingtons’ Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave by Erica Armstrong Dunbar
  • The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America by Frances FitzGerald
  • The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia by Masha Gessen
  • Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann
  • Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America by Nancy MacLean

2017 Poetry Shortlist

  • Half-light by Frank Bidart
  • The Book of Endings by Leslie Harrison
  • WHEREAS by Layli Long Soldier
  • In the Language of My Captor by Shane McCrae
  • Don’t Call Us Dead by Danez Smith

2017 Young People’s Literature Shortlist

  • What Girls Are Made Of by Elana K. Arnold
  • Far from the Tree by Robin Benway
  • I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sánchez
  • Clayton Byrd Goes Underground by Rita Williams-Garcia
  • American Street by Ibi Zoboi

2017 5 Under 35 Honorees

  • Lesley Nneka Arimah, author of What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky
  • Halle Butler, author of Jillian
  • Zinzi Clemmons, author of What We Lose
  • Leopoldine Core, author of When Watched
  • Weike Wang, author of Chemistry

2017 Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters

  • Annie Proulx

2017 Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community

  • Scholastic Chairman, President & CEO Richard Robinson

Winners of the Inky Awards 2017

The Centre for Youth Literature has announced the winners of the 2017 Inky Awards!

The Inky Awards recognise high-quality young adult literature, with the shortlist selected by young adults, and the winners voted for online by teens. There are two awards: the Gold Inky Award for an Australian book, and the Silver Inky Award for an international book.


Gold Inky Award

The Gold Inky Award winner is Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley.

Words in Deep Blue is a love story. It’s the story of Howling Books, where readers write letters to strangers, to lovers, to poets, to words. It’s the story of Henry Jones and Rachel Sweetie. They were best friends once, before Rachel moved to the sea.

Now, she’s back, working at the bookstore, grieving for her brother Cal. She’s looking for the future in the books people love, and the words that they leave behind.


Silver Inky Award

The Silver Inky Award is Radio Silence by Alice Oseman.

Frances has always been a study machine with one goal, elite university. Nothing will stand in her way; not friends, not a guilty secret - not even the person she is on the inside. But when Frances meets Aled, the shy genius behind her favourite podcast, she discovers a new freedom.

Aled unlocks the door to Real Frances and for the first time she experiences true friendship, unafraid to be herself. Then the podcast goes viral and the fragile trust between them is broken…

Man Booker Prize shortlist 2017

Congratulations to the six authors shortlisted for this year’s Man Booker Prize for Fiction!

Chair of 2017 judges, Baroness Lola Young, writes: ‘Playful, sincere, unsettling, fierce: here is a group of novels grown from tradition but also radical and contemporary. The emotional, cultural, political and intellectual range of these books is remarkable, and the ways in which they challenge our thinking is a testament to the power of literature.’

Here is the full shortlist:

  • 4321 by Paul Auster
  • History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund
  • Exit West by Mohsin Hamid
  • Elmet by Fiona Mozley
  • Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
  • Autumn by Ali Smith

Find out more about the Man Booker Prize, and the shortlisted titles for 2017 here. This year’s winner will be announced on 17 October and will receive £50,000.

Baillie Gifford Prize longlist 2017

The £30,000 Baillie Gifford prize (formerly known as the Samuel Johnson prize) is the UK’s most prestigious award for nonfiction writing. It covers all non-fiction in the areas of current affairs, history, politics, science, sport, travel, biography, autobiography and the arts.

This year’s longlist has recently been announced. Here is the longlist in full:

  • Red Famine: Stalin’s War on Ukraine by Anne Applebaum
  • The Islamic Enlightenment: The Modern Struggle Between Faith and Reason by Christopher de Bellaigue
  • Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge
  • How to Survive A Plague by David France
  • Plot 29 by Allan Jenkins
  • Border: A Journey to The Edge of Europe by Kapka Kassabova
  • I Was Told to Come Alone: My Journey Behind The Lines of Jihad by Soaud Mekhennet
  • An Odyssey: A Father, A Son and An Epic by Daniel Mendelsohn
  • A Bold and Dangerous Family: The Rosselis and the Fight Against Mussolini by Caroline Moorehead
  • To Be A Machine: Adventures Among Cyborgs, Utopians, Hackers, and the Futurists Solving the Modest Problem of Death by Mark O’Connell
  • The Story of The Jews: Belonging by Simon Schama
  • Mr Lear: A Life of Art and Nonsense by Jenny Uglow

Chair of Judges, Sir Peter Bazalgette, says: ‘We’re really excited about this longlist. We’ve got history, science, biography, polemic and memoir. But two things link them all – they’re wonderfully well-written and they’re really contemporary.’

The shortlist will be announced on 6 October, and the winner will be announced on 16 November. The winner will receive £30,000 and each of the shortlisted authors will receive £1,000. Find out more about the Baillie Gifford prize here.

2017 Miles Franklin Literary Award Winner


Josephine Wilson has been named the winner of this year’s Miles Franklin Literary Award for her second novel, Extinctions!

Humorous and poignant, Extinctions is a story about all kinds of extinction – natural, racial, national and personal – and what we can do to prevent them.

The Miles Franklin judges say Extinctions is a ‘compassionate and unapologetically intelligent novel that explores ageing, adoption, grief and remorse, empathy and self-centredness’.

Award-winning author Charlotte Wood also praised this novel’s ‘cool intelligent wit and piercingly observant examination of ageing, time, interracial adoption, family, aesthetics and engineering’. She said: ‘Just when you think you know what this book is, it gives you the slip and surprises you again.’

First awarded in 1957, the Miles Franklin Literary Award is presented annually to a novel of the highest literary merit and presents Australian life in any of its phases. As the winner, Wilson will receive $60,000 in prize money.

You can find out more about the Miles Franklin Literary Award here.

Ned Kelly Awards winners 2017

Congratulations to the 2017 winners of the Ned Kelly Awards for the best in Australian crime writing.


Best Fiction

Police at the Station and They Don’t Look Friendly by Adrian McKinty

Police at the Station and They Don’t Look Friendly by Adrian McKinty is the newest installment in his popular detective series set in 1980s Belfast. In this novel, Detective Inspector Sean Duffy heads down his most dangerous road yet. Hunted by forces unknown, threatened by Internal Affairs and with his relationship on the rocks, he will need all his wits to get out of this investigation in one piece.


Best first fiction

The Dry by Jane Harper

Jane Harper’s debut novel follows federal police officer Aaron Falk as he returns to his rural hometown to investigate an apparent murder-suicide, that might be more than it seems. The Dry was one of our best sellers last year.


Best true crime

2017 has seen two books named as co-winners in the true crime category.

Getting Away With Murder by Duncan McNab

Around 80 men died or disappeared in NSW from the late 70s to early 90s during an epidemic of gay-hate crimes. Getting Away With Murder is the story of this time in Australian history.

The Drowned Man by Brendan James Murray

The Drowned Man by Brendan James Murray is a true story of life, death and murder on HMAS Australia, and search for answers.

Love Your Book Shop Day - August 12 2017

This Saturday August 12 is annual Love Your Book Shop Day. Pop in to Oscar & Friends Double Bay or Surry Hills for a chocolate or lolly to make your browsing a little sweeter in this early Spring weather. At Surry Hills, we will offer our early browsers a slice of chocolate mud cake hand made by our friends at Lixie Chocolaterie a few doors up the road. And at Double Bay, Barb and Jeremy will be offering FREE PATS to any dog you bring into the store (and chocolates and balloons to any humanoids). Happy love of books, and shops, and shops that sell books day!

2017 Man Booker Prize Longlist

Oscar & Friends are very excited about this year's Man Booker Prize Longlist. Natalie's hankering to read Home Fire, which is not due to be released in Australia until September 7, while Pip's money is behind Days Without End, Ali Smith's Autumn was one of Will's favourite books of 2016, and Oscar & Friends blow-in, Paul, has tipped Solar Bones to win. Come and badger us with your own opinions on who the winner will be, to make the wait more interesting! 

2017 Miles Franklin Literary Award Finalists

the finalists for the 2017 Miles Franklin Literary Award are:
• AN ISOLATED INCIDENT by Emily Maguire (Pac Macmillan Australia)
• THE LAST DAYS OF AVA LANGDON by Mark O’Flynn (University of Queensland Press)
• THEIR BRILLIANT CAREERS by Ryan O’Neill (Black Inc)
• WAITING by Philip Salom (Puncher & Wattmann)
• EXTINCTIONS by Josephine Wilson (UWA Publishing)