Posted by: Lisa Hill | March 31, 2016

2016 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards Shortlist

Across the ditch in New Zealand, they announced the shortlist for the 2016 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards on March 8th, but I’m sorry, I missed it at the time.  (I’m blaming Twitter, I follow @theockhams but I miss all kinds of things since Twitter introduced an algorithm to make me see their promoted (paid for) Tweets).

Anyway, I’ve reviewed most of the longlist, so I’m in a good position to be pleased with their choices.  The only shortlisted book I didn’t review was the debut novel The Invisible Mile, because it didn’t appeal because it’s about sport, (cycling) and because IMO debut novels very rarely justify the hoopla.

(Have been wrong before?  Yes.  And will be again, no doubt.)

Anyway, here’s the shortlist:


The Back of His Head by Patrick Evans (Victoria University Press) (See my review and a Sensational Snippet)
Chappy by Patricia Grace (Penguin Random House) See my review
Coming Rain by Stephen Daisley (Text Publishing) See my review
The Invisible Mile by David Coventry (Victoria University Press)

Illustrated Non Fiction:

Real Modern: Everyday New Zealand in the 1950s and 1960s by Bronwyn Labrum (Te Papa Press) (See my review)
Te Ara Puoro: A Journey into the World of Māori Music by Richard Nunns (Potton and Burton)
New Zealand Photography Collected by Athol McCredie (Te Papa Press)
Tangata Whenua: An Illustrated History by Atholl Anderson, Judith Binney, Aroha Harris (Bridget Williams Books)

General Non Fiction:

Maurice Gee: Life and Work by Rachel Barrowman (Victoria University Press)
The Villa at the Edge of the Empire: One Hundred Ways to Read a City by Fiona Farrell (Penguin Random House)
Māori Boy: A Memoir of Childhood by Witi Ihimaera (Penguin Random House)
Lost and Gone Away by Lynn Jenner (Auckland University Press)


How to be Dead in a Year of Snakes by Chris Tse (Auckland University Press)
The Night We Ate the Baby by Tim Upperton (Haunui Press)
Song of the Ghost in the Machine by Roger Horrocks (Victoria University Press)
The Conch Trumpet by David Eggleton (Otago University Press)
To read more about the award, click here.

The Ockham New Zealand Book Award winners (including the four Best First Book Awards and a Māori Language award) will be announced at a ceremony on 10 May 2016, held as the opening night event of the Auckland Writers Festival.

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