News & Blog

Mar 23

Announcing the ABIA Book Longlist

The Australian Book Industry Awards Academy is delighted to announce the 2016 ABIA Book longlist that acknowledges the best books of the year, well published. “The significant increase in submissions this year from a diverse array of independent and multinational publishing houses is a heartening reflection of our dynamic and robust local industry,” says ABIA spokesperson, Michael Gordon-Smith (CEO Australian Publishers’ Association).

A panel of industry experts will deliver the highly anticipated shortlist on Monday 2 May. ABIA winners will be announced on Thursday 19 May at a glittering ceremony in Sydney at Art Gallery of NSW. Since 2000, the ABIAs has celebrated the connection between Australian readers and the ‘book makers’ ­­— authors, editors, publishing professionals and retailers — who unite to create the must-read books of the year.

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Biography Book of the Year

  • Inside (Chris Judd, Allen & Unwin)
  • Second Half First (Drusilla Modjeska, Penguin Random House)
  • Plain-speaking Jane (Jane Caro, Pan Macmillan)
  • Keating (Kerry O’Brien, Allen & Unwin)
  • Reckoning: A Memoir (Magda Szubanski, Text Publishing)
  • Born to Rule (Paddy Manning, Melbourne University Publishing)
  • Flesh Wounds (Richard Glover, ABC Books)
  • A Mother’s Story (Rosie Batty, HarperCollins Publishers)
  • The Anti-Cool Girl (Rosie Waterland, HarperCollins Publishers)


General Fiction Book of the Year

  • In the Quiet (Eliza Henry Jones, HarperCollins Publishers)
  • The Perfumer’s Secret (Fiona McIntosh, Penguin Random House)
  • The Heat (Garry Disher, Text Publishing)
  • Spirits of the Ghan (Judy Nunn, Penguin Random House)
  • The Lake House (Kate Morton, Allen & Unwin)
  • Close Your Eyes (Michael Robotham, Hachette)
  • Hope Farm (Peggy Frew, Scribe)
  • The Patterson Girls (Rachael Johns, Harlequin)


General Non-fiction Book of the Year

  • Green Nomads: Across Australia’s Wild Heritage (Bob Brown, Hardie Grant)
  • Worst Words: A Compendium of Contemporary Cant, Gibberish and Jargon (Don Watson, Penguin Random House)
  • Australia’s Second Chance (George Megalogenis, Penguin Random House)
  • One Life: My Mother’s Story (Kate Grenville, Text Publishing)
  • The Dismissal (Paul Kelly and Troy Bramston, Penguin Random House)
  • Fromelles & Pozières: In the Trenches of Hell (Peter Fitzsimons, Penguin Random House)
  • Atmosphere of Hope: Searching for Solutions to the Climate Crisis (Tim Flannery, Text Publishing)
  • Island Home (Tim Winton, Penguin Random House)


Illustrated Book of the Year

  • Cornersmith (Alex Elliott-Howery and James Grant, Murdoch Books)
  • Special Delivery (Annabel Crabb & Wendy Sharpe, Murdoch Books)
  • The Forgotten Notebook (Betty Churcher, Melbourne University Publishing)
  • Shelter  (Kara Rosenlund, Penguin Random House)
  • The Happy Cookbook (Lola Berry, Pan Macmillan)
  • Falafel For Breakfast (Michael Rantissi and Kristy Frawley, Murdoch Books)
  • Super Green Smoothies (Sally Obermeder and Maha Koraiem, Allen & Unwin)
  • I Quit Sugar: Simplicious (Sarah Wilson, Pan Macmillan)
  • Wendy Whiteley and the Secret Garden (Janet Hawley, Penguin Random House)


International Book of the Year

  • Grandpa’s Great Escape (David  Walliams, HarperCollins Publishers)
  • The Day The Crayons Came Home (Drew Daywalt & Oliver Jeffers, HarperCollins Publishers)
  • The Story of the Lost Child (Elena Ferrante, Text Publishing)
  • Gut: the inside story of our body’s most under-rated organ (Giulia Enders, Scribe)
  • A Little Life (Hanya Yanagihara, Pan Macmillan)
  • Go Set A Watchman (Harper Lee, Penguin Random House)
  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone Illustrated Edition (J.K. Rowling Illustrated by Jim Ray, Bloomsbury Publishing)
  • The Girl on the Train (Paula Hawkins, Penguin Random House)


Literary Fiction Book of the Year

  • The Natural Way of Things (Charlotte Wood, Allen & Unwin)
  • A Guide to Berlin (Gail Jones, Penguin Random House)
  • The Secret Chord (Geraldine Brooks, Hachette)
  • The World Without Us (Mireille Juchau, Bloomsbury Publishing)
  • The Anchoress (Robyn Cadwallader, HarperCollins Publishers)
  • The Other Side of the World (Stephanie Bishop, Hachette)
  • Six Bedrooms (Tegan Bennet Daylight, Penguin Random House)
  • Napoleon’s Last Island (Tom Keneally, Penguin Random House)


Matt Richell Award for New Writer of the Year

  • Hot Little Hands (Abigail Ulman, Penguin Random House)
  • Relativity (Antonia Hayes, Penguin Random House)
  • Salt Creek (Lucy Treloar, Pan Macmillan)
  • Reckoning: A Memoir (Magda Szubanski, Text Publishing)
  • Fever of Animals (Miles Allinson, Scribe)
  • The Anchoress (Robyn Cadwallader, HarperCollins Publishers)
  • The Anti-Cool Girl (Rosie Waterland, HarperCollins Publishers)
  • Rush Oh! (Shirley Barrett, Pan Macmillan)


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

  • Illuminae (Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, Allen & Unwin)
  • Cloudwish (Fiona Wood, Pan Macmillan)
  • The Cat With the Coloured Tail (Gillian Mears, Walker Books)
  • The Red Queen (Isobelle Carmody, Penguin Random House)
  • Soon (Morris Gleitzman, Penguin Random House)
  • Friday Barnes 2: Under Suspicion (R.A.Spratt, Penguin Random House)
  • The Singing Bones (Shaun Tan, Allen & Unwin)
  • Paper Planes (Steve Worland, Penguin Random House)


Book of the Year for Younger Children (age range 0 to 8 years)

  • My Dog Bigsy (Alison Lester, Penguin Random House)
  • The 65-Storey Treehouse (Andy Griffiths illustrated by Terry Denton, Pan Macmillan)
  • Being Agatha (Anna Pignataro, The Five Mile Press)
  • This is a Ball (Beck & Matt Stanton, ABC Books)
  • Perfect (Danny Parker & Freya Blackwood, Hardie Grant)
  • The Amazing True Story Of How Babies Are Made (Fiona Katauskas, ABC Books)
  • A is for Australia (Frane Lessac, Walker Books)
  • Eye to Eye (Graeme Base, Penguin Random House)


Small Publishers’ Children’s Book of the Year

  • Anzac Sons, The story of five brothers on the Western Front (Allison Paterson, Big Sky Publishing)
  • Numerical Street (Antonia Pesenti & Hilary Bell, New South Books)
  • Torri the Great Reef Surfing Turtle (B.B Byrnes with Bron Simpson, Renbro Publishing)
  • My Pop is a Pirate (Damon Young, Illustrated by Peter Carnavas, University of Queensland Press)
  • The Underwater Fancy-Dress Parade (Davina Bell, Illustrated by Allison Colpoys, Scribe)
  • Kookoo Kookaburra (Gregg Dreise, Magabala Books)
  • Horace the Baker’s Horse (Jackie French, National Museum of Australia)
  • One Step at a Time (Jane Jolly & Sally Heinrich, MidnightSun Publishing)


Small Publishers’ Adult Book of the Year

  • Australia Remember When (Bob Byrne, New South Books)
  • Long Tan, The start of a life long battle  (Harry Smith, Big Sky Publishing)
  • Body Lengths (Leisel Jones, Black Inc.)
  • Ningaloo: Reflections on the Reef (Leith Holtzman, Renbro Publishing)
  • All Fall Down (Matthew Condon, University of Queensland Press)
  • The Art of Free Travel (Patrick Jones and Meg Ulman, New South Books)
  • Global Megatrends: Seven Patterns of Change Shaping Our Future (Stefan Hajkowicz, Csiro Publishing)
  • Give the Devil His Due (Sulari Gentill, Pantera Press)


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