Posted by: Lisa Hill | June 26, 2019

2019 National Biograpy Award shortlist

The 2019 National Biography Award shortlist has just been announced.  Links are to the State Library of NSW.  I’ve read just one of them, but will add the links to other reviews as I find them.

Do Oysters Get Bored? A curious life by Rozanna Lilley

Miss Ex-Yugoslavia by Sofija Stefanovic  see my review

No Friend But The Mountains: Writing from Manus Prison by Behrouz Boochani translated by Omid Tofighian see Bill’s review at The Australian Legend.

One Hundred Years Of Dirt by Rick Morton

The Trauma Cleaner: One Woman’s Extraordinary Life in Death, Decay & Disaster by Sarah Krasnostein  see Sue’s review at Whispering Gums

The Wasp And The Orchid: The Remarkable Life of Australian Naturalist Edith Coleman by Danielle Clode  see Theresa’s review at Theresa Smith Writes


Responses

  1. Thanks for the link. Perhaps Miss Ex-Yugoslavia was the book Theresa Smith was thinking of.

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    • Could be!

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    • You’re right Bill but I haven’t read the book, just an essay response to it in a trade magazine we get at work in the school library. I figured it out today! I does remind me that I do want to read that book though.

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  2. Thanks for that list Lisa. I wouldn’t want to be up against No Friend but the Mountains.

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    • You know, I nearly wrote that who would win was a foregone conclusion, but then I decided that it wouldn’t be fair to the other authors or the judges to assume anything.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve read ‘The Trauma Cleaner’ and ‘No Friend but the Mountains’. Now I want to read the others.

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    • I’m not great at reading biography. I keep promising myself to read the literary bios that I’ve got and yet here we are, half through another year and the only one I’ve read is Jacqueline Cook’s one of Kenneth Cook.

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  4. Thanks for the link Lisa. I’m not really up to date with biographies either, but I do have No friend but the mountains on my TBR list, and, like you, I’m most interested in literary biographies.

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  5. I have read and enjoyed The Wasp and The Orchid!
    Here’s my review link:
    https://theresasmithwrites.com/2018/05/11/new-release-book-review-the-wasp-and-the-orchid-by-danielle-clode/

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  6. One Hundred years of Dirt looks interesting. Amazon lists the price as Rs 2660/- here in India for a paperback *shocked * . Reading has become such an expensive hobby :( Thanks Lisa for bringing this book to my notice….Need to check if there are other affordable options…

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    • Hello Sharon, I heard on the radio today that India has increased taxes on American goods in response to the trade war that Trump has started, so maybe you might be better off looking at a site that’s not American-owned? I can’t tell looking here from Australia, but try Fishpond https://www.fishpond.com.au/ – even with postage it might be cheaper.

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      • Thanks Lisa for your suggestion . Some Indian websites I tried don’t have the book copy . They don’t easily stock debutants / lesser known names when it comes to books unless it has been awarded recently or there are too many rave reviews : ( Will check out the link you have provided.

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        • It can be difficult, I know. And it’s the same the other way, getting hold of lesser known Indian titles can be impossible if they haven’t sold the rights for overseas distribution.

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    • That’s astronomical. It’s a wonder that anyone in India reads at those kinds of prices….

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      • Luckily we have options like Kindle @ 700/- or so for books like these…So, people who are okay with Kindle can go for that.Me…I don’t like staring at a screen even while reading which is why I am hunting for hard copies at okayish prices…Yeah,prices like these are a major turn off for people when they are not that much into reading…

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        • I remember seeing in Mumbai people selling books to drivers stuck in traffic jams. I assume they were bootleg copies of best sellers?

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          • It must be… I am from Bangalore . So , I am not very familiar with the Mumbai scenes…

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        • Is there a good second-hand market for books?

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          • There is a pretty decent market for second hand books . While many of them stock the big names and the bestsellers ( sometimes upto 3 copies for a single book ) , it is a bit difficult to comes across some not-so-well-known names easily . But still it is a whole lot cheaper than what we have to pay for a new copy . Plus , we get more number of books for the same amount .

            A few sell books by weight in which case you might get REALLY lucky sometimes . The other day I picked up 1 kg of books priced @ 250/- Rs only and got to check out Daisy Johnson’s Everything Under along with 2 other books !! The book was in pristine condition and the price label was still there with 699/- written on it !! Couldn’t believe my luck !!! But such instances are very very rare….

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  7. I’ve read Trauma Cleaner (and still think about it). Ex-Yugoslavia and No Friend are on my reading list.

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    • It’s certainly an interesting selection this time: the impression I have of this list is that it’s more usually about famous people, usually men.

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      • Good to see some diversity in the list.

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      • I do think with books such as Trauma Cleaner, people pick them up not thinking of them as biography because they are not about someone well known. On a shelf of new releases I’d go for the cover featuring the rubber glove over the smiling cricketer/ scowling politician, dismissing the obvious biographies, which is not a genre I read a lot of 😁 (although I do read a lot of memoir).

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yes, I think you’re right. And it is a catchy title.

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        • I must say, that I initially thought The trauma cleaner was a memoir, until I really started hearing what people were saying about it.

          Liked by 1 person


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