Posted by: Lisa Hill | September 7, 2015

2015 Most Underrated Book Award (MUBA) shortlist

As usual I am stunned to see the nominations for the Most Underrated Book Award (MUBA) because I can’t imagine how at least one of the nominated books has escaped its fair share of attention.  I thought that Isabelle of the Moon and Stars was a wonderful book and expected everyone else to think the same.  But I guess that’s the point – that a book can be really, really good and yet not surge up the bestseller lists or make into award shortlists.

Anyway, here’s the press release from the Small Press network:

The Small Press Network (SPN) is thrilled to announce the three books shortlisted for the 2015 Most Underrated Book Award (MUBA):

  • Isabelle of the Moon and Stars by S.A. Jones UWA Publishing   – see my review
  • The Grapple Annual No. 1 edited by Duncan Felton Grapple Publishing
  • Funemployed: Life as an Artist in Australia by Justin Heazlewood Affirm Press

The MUBA is an annual award that aims to shine a light on some of the outstanding titles produced by small and independent Australian publishers that, for whatever reason, did not receive their fair dues when first released.

Past winners of the award include:

  • A Wrong Turn at The Office of Unmade Lists by Jane Rawson, published by Transit Lounge (2014); (see my review)
  • Fish-Hair Woman by Merlinda Bobis, published by Spinifex Press (2013) (see Sue’s review at Whispering Gums); and
  • inaugural winner The Cook by Wayne Macauley, published by Text Publishing. (see my review)

The 2015 shortlist will now be read and deliberated by a trio of judges who were chosen for their bookish integrity, passion and commitment to the Australian publishing world. And the winner of the 2015 MUBA will be announced on the night of Friday 20 November, at the Wheeler Centre in Melbourne. In the meantime, SPN will be promoting the three-book shortlist to bookshops across Australia.


  1. I think this is an excellent basis for an award. There are so many releases every week, none of us can keep up and so many good works go by unnoticed. I haven’t read any of these books, and had only vaguely noticed Funemployed (which I think is a most excellent title).


    • Yes, if I hadn’t been so extravagant with book-buying this week I would be getting a copy of that one on the strength of the title alone. And the other one, it’s so intriguing… it makes me think of Coles Funny Picture Books…


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