2015 bookish dates


Jaipur Literature Festival: 21-25 January
Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards: 28 January

Taipei International Book Exhibition: 11-16 February
Emerging Writers’ Festival Digital Writers’ Festival: 11-22 February
Perth Writers Festival: 19-22 February
Adelaide Writers’ Week: 28 February to 5 March

Australian Romance Readers Association Convention and awards (Canberra): 6-8 March
Australia-China Publishing Forum (Beijing): 24-26 March
Bologna Children’s Book Fair: 30 March to 2 April

Swancon (Perth): 2-6 April
London Book Fair: 14-16 April
The Stella Prize: 21 April (longlist on 12 February, shortlist on 12 March)
Eye of the Storm (Alice Springs): 23-26 April

Clunes Booktown Festival: 2-3 May
National IPEd Editors’ Conference (Canberra): 6-9 May
Mother’s Day (Australia and NZ): 10 May
Auckland Writers and Readers Festival: 13-17 May
Australian Booksellers Association and Leading Edge Books conferences (Melbourne): 15-18 May
NSW Premier’s Literary Awards: 18 May (shortlist in March)
Sydney Writers’ Festival: 18-24 May
Australian Book Industry Awards (Sydney): 21 May
Australian Book Design Awards (Sydney): 22 May
Emerging Writers’ Festival: 26 May to 5 June
Book Expo America (New York City): 27-29 May
Readings Matters conference (Melbourne): 28-30 May
Australian and New Zealand Festival of Literature and Arts (London): 28-31 May

Miles Franklin Literary Award: June (longlist in March, shortlist in May)

Byron Bay Writers Festival: 7-9 August
National Bookshop Day: 8 August
Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) Awards: 12 August (shortlist on 14 April)
Edinburgh International Book Festival: 15-31 August
New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults: 13 August
Melbourne Writers Festival: 20-30 August
Romance Writers of Australia Conference (Melbourne): 21-23 August
Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) Book Week: 22-28 August

Indigenous Literacy Day: 2 September
Brisbane Writers Festival: 2-6 September
Father’s Day (Australia and NZ): 6 September
Australian Society of Authors Writers’ Congress (Sydney): 10-12 September
Tasmanian Writers Festival: 11-13 September

Man Booker Prize: 13 October (longlist in August, shortlist in September)
Nobel Prize for Literature: October
Ubud Writers & Readers Festival: October
Frankfurt Book Fair: 14-18 October (guest of honour: Indonesia)
Book Expo Australia (Sydney): 17-18 October
Celebrate Reading National Conference (Fremantle): 30-31 October

Best books of 2014: a list of lists

Why are there so many ‘best books’ lists each year? The easy answer is that we all love a good list and we all love a good book. Sophie Lloyd selects her best ‘best books’ lists from the interwebs.

Local booksellers:

Readings has compiled its annual best books of 2014 lists in various categories; Avid Reader staff recommend their favourite books of 2014; Pages & Pages booksellers pick their best books of the year; Lindy Jones from Abbey’s Bookshop lists her top five books for 2014 in several categories (serious novels, lighter novels, etc); and The Women’s Bookshop has released its annual faves & raves.

Local media:

Twenty-five Australian authors have contributed their best books of 2014 for the Age; ABR has published a selection of authors and reviewers’ best books of the year (locked for subscribers); Radio National presenters select their best reads of 2014 (with bonus audio clips); and SMH’s Susan Wyndham has compiled her books of the year.

International media:

Publishers Weekly has released its annual best books lists; the Guardian has published writers’ picks of 2014 in two parts; the Telegraph has compiled its best books of 2014; the New York Times Book Review has selected 100 notable books of 2014; and the Washington Post nominates its 10 best books of 2014.


GoodReads has thrown the vote for 2014′s best books to its subscribers; Bill Gates recommends business books and Graeme Simsion’s The Rosie Effect in his list of best books I read in 2014; Maria Popova from Brainpickings has published an  illustrated list of best children’s books of 2014, Book Riot has released a 2014 YA TBR list; Salon has nominated its best graphic novels of 2014; and Buzzfeed has selected 32 of the most beautiful books covers of 2014.

Top stories this week

wbnimage2014dec11This week’s top stories from the Weekly Book Newsletter include:

For details on these stories and many more, subscribe to www.booksandpublishing.com.au.

A World of Other People (Steven Carroll, Fourth Estate)

world of other peopleSteven Carroll is a long-term admirer of T S Eliot and has already won praise for his adaption of Eliot’s poem ‘Burnt Norton’ in an earlier novel, The Lost Life. In his new book, Carroll transforms the essence of Eliot’s poem ‘Little Gidding’ (also from his ‘Four Quartets’) into a novel about World War II and the Blitz. Here Eliot is more of a peripheral character. The major protagonists are Iris, who knows Eliot through her church and wartime fire-watching duties, and Jim, an Australian fighter pilot based in London. Unfortunately Jim and Iris meet after Iris has accepted another’s ring. She is then caught between a wartime romance of passion and one of duty. Eliot impinges on their lives because he writes about a shared, pivotal experience—an event that precipitates creativity, love and death. The writing style doesn’t quite match the elevated poem-to-novel premise. Some transitions between times and scenes could be more skilfully crafted by a writer of Carroll’s calibre. And an abundance of brackets creates an arch tone early in the story. However, when the novel does spring to life, readers will soon become ensnared by the author’s clever scope and vision. This book should appeal to fans of literary fiction and wartime romance.

Joy Lawn is a freelance reviewer who has worked for independent bookshops in NSW and Queensland. This review first appeared in the Books+Publishing magazine Issue 1, 2013. This title is a joint winner in the fiction category of the 2014 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards. View more pre-publication reviews here.

Bestsellers this week

what a crocWhat a Croc! (Hachette), a collection of the ‘funniest, craziest, wittiest, most memorable’ front pages from the NT News newspaper, is the highest new entry in this week’s bestsellers chart. The titles in the top 10 are mostly the same as last week, including The Long Haul (Jeff Kinney, Puffin) and The Great Zoo of China (Matthew Reilly, Macmillan) in first and second place, respectively, for the third week in a row. Disney Frozen (Dorling Kindersley) has made it into the top 10 for the first time, climbing to seventh spot to be the week’s second-fastest mover, behind Guinness World Records 2015 (Guinness World Records), which is in third spot overall—Books+Publishing.

Bestsellers this week

jamie_comfort_foodJamie Oliver is climbing up the bestsellers chart in the lead-up to Christmas. Three of his titles are among the week’s fastest movers, with Jamie’s Comfort Food (Michael Joseph) at the top of the fastest movers chart and in third spot on the overall bestsellers chart. There’s no change at the very top of the bestsellers chart, with Jeff Kinney’s The Long Haul (Puffin) and Matthew Reilly’s The Great Zoo of China (Macmillan) in first and second place, respectively, for the second week in a row. Local titles The Narrow Road to the Deep North (Richard Flanagan, Vintage), The 52-Storey Treehouse (Andy Griffiths, Pan), Family Food (Pete Evans, Plum) and Gallipoli (Peter FitzSimons, William Heinemann) have each held on to a spot in the top 10. The week’s highest new entry is Captivated by You (Sylvia Day, Penguin), which debuted in sixth spot overall—Books+Publishing.

Top stories this week

This week’s top stories from the Weekly Book Newsletter include:

For details on these stories and many more, subscribe to www.booksandpublishing.com.au.

Bestsellers this week

greatest zooMatthew Reilly’s latest novel The Great Zoo of China (Macmillan) has debuted in second place on the bestsellers chart and is this week’s highest new entry. It’s behind The Long Haul (Jeff Kinney, Puffin), which is in first place on the bestsellers chart for the second week in a row and is also the week’s fastest mover. Richard Flanagan’s Narrow Road to the Deep North (Vintage) is in third place, continuing its run up the charts following its Man Booker Prize win in October. Other local titles to make the top 10 are Family Food (Pete Evans, Plum) in seventh spot, and Gallipoli (Peter FitzSimons, William Heinemann) in ninth spot—Books+Publishing.

Top stories this week

wbnimage2014nov21This week’s top stories from the Weekly Book Newsletter include:

For details on these stories and many more, subscribe to www.booksandpublishing.com.au.