Posted by: Lisa Hill | May 1, 2017

2017 Australian Book Industry Awards shortlist & winners

I have no idea what the judging criteria might be for this book industry award, but IMO there is something deeply depressing about books titled The Bikini Body 28-Day Healthy Eating & Lifestyle.  Still, there’s some good stuff here, and I’ve even reviewed some of it.

Updated 25/5/17 Winners will be were announced on May 25th and you can find out more at the ABIA website.  The winning books are highlighted below in bold.

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), see my review
  • An Isolated Incident, Emily Maguire, (Picador Australia, Pan Macmillan Australia), see my review
  • Goodwood, Holly Throsby, (Allen & Unwin, Allen & Unwin)
  • Between a Wolf and a Dog, Georgia Blain, (Scribe Publications), see my review

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

  • The Dry, Jane Harper, (Macmillan Australia, Pan Macmillan Australia), see Kim’s review at Reading Matters
  • The Midnight Watch, David Dyer, (Hamish Hamilton, Penguin Random House)
  • Fight Like a Girl, Clementine Ford, (Allen & Unwin, Allen & Unwin)
  • Music and Freedom, Zoe Morrison, (Vintage Australia, Penguin Random House), see my review
  • 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, Cathy McLennan, (University of Queensland Press)
  • Position Doubtful: Mapping Landscapes and Memories, Kim Mahood, (Scribe Publications), see my review
  • Poum and Alexandre, Catherine de Saint Phalle, (Transit Lounge, Transit Lounge Publishing)
  • The Australian Native Bee Book, Tim Heard (Sugarbag Bees)

Biography Book of the Year

  • Songs of a War Boy, Deng Adut and Ben Mckelvey, (Hachette Australia, Hachette Australia)
  • 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)

General Non-fiction Book of the Year

  • Talking to my Country, Stan Grant, (HarperCollins, HarperCollins Publishers), see my review
  • 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)

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

  • 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), see my review

Small Publishers’ Children’s Book of the Year

  • My Sister is a Super Hero, 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)

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

  • Wormwood Mire: A Stella Montgomery Intrigue, Judith Rossel, (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)

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 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 Mello, illustrated by Laura Wood (Scholastic Press, Scholastic Australia)

Illustrated Book of the Year

  • The Bikini Body 28-Day Healthy Eating & Lifestyle, Kayla Itsine, (Macmillan Australia, Pan Macmillan Australia)
  • Smith & Daughters: A Cookbook (That Happens to be Vegan), Shannon Matinez & 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)

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)

Audible International Book of the Year

  • Commonwealth, Ann Patchett, (Bloomsbury Publishing, Bloomsbury)
  • Harry Potter & The Cursed Child, J.K. Rowling, (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)


  1. Good to see The Dry get some attention. Definitely my favourite crime book of 2016.


  2. Ha! I thought the same when I saw Bikini Body on the list! The categories do seem to be quite a mixed bag but pleased to see a few titles there that were overlooked in other prize shortlists.


    • Hi Kate, I agree, that’s the value of prizes having slightly different agendas.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I have read The hate race of course, but haven’t read any of the others, but will definitely read the Maguire and Mahood, for a start – oh and desperately want to fit in Grant which is also next to my bed with those two.

    I’m intrigued by Victoria, but it is so huge and I’ve read a couple of bios of her that I don’t think I can give it priority over others.


  4. […] 2017 Australian Book Industry Awards shortlist & winners […]


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