Bestsellers this week

minecraft-construction-handbookFour books in the ‘Minecraft’ series (Egmont Books)—a strategy guide to the popular computer game—have re-entered the bestsellers chart this week, taking out the top four spots. The four titles are also the top four titles on the fastest movers chart this week. Last week’s number one, Where is Daniel? (Bruce Morcombe & Denise Morcombe, Macmillan) had dropped to seventh spot. A number of local titles are among the week’s highest new entries, although none made it onto the bestsellers chart. This includes The Good Fight (Allen & Unwin), the autobiography of former federal treasurer Wayne Swan; This House of Grief (Helen Garner, Text); and The 52-Storey Treehouse (Pan), the latest title in Andy Griffith’s children’s series—Books+Publishing

Top stories this week

wbnimage2014aug29This week’s top stories from the Weekly Book Newsletter include:

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Australian Book Design Awards 2014 winners

The Australian Book Designers Association (ABDA) has announced the winners for the 2014 Book Design Awards.

Here’s a look at some of the winning titles.



Literary fiction

The Luminaries (Eleanor Catton, Granta), desgined by Jenny Grigg




Madness: A Memoir (Kate Richards, Viking), designed by Allison Colpoys



Children’s Illustrated Books

Rules of Summer (Shaun Tan, Hachette), designed by Shaun Tan

101 moments


Bookworld People’s Choice Award

101 Moments of Joy and Inspiration (Meredith Gaston, Lantern), designed by Arielle Gamble

a girl is a half formed thing


Designers’ Choice Best Cover of the Year

A Girl is a Half-formed Thing (Eimear McBride, Text), designed by W H Chong

love italydecade

Designers’ Choice Book of the Year (joint winners)

  • Love Italy (Guy Grossi, Lantern), designed by Daniel New
  • Decade (Rennie Ellis, Hardie Grant Books), designed by David Pidgeon

Bestsellers this week

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of PilgrimageWhen he was a high school student, Tsukuru Tazaki’s four best friends announced that they never wanted to talk to him again, with no reason given. As a 36-year-old railway engineer Tsukuru has found it difficult to be intimate with anyone until he meets Sara. However, she will only commit to a relationship if he returns to his hometown to find out what really happened in high school. Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage (Harvill Secker) is one of Haruki Murakami most realist works of fiction and is at the top of this week’s highest new entries chart. Where is Daniel? (Bruce Morcombe & Denise Morcombe, Macmillan) remains at the number one spot on the bestsellers chart, followed by Silver Shadows (Richelle Mead, Razorbill) and Big Little Lies (Liane Moriarty, Macmillan). Minecraft: The Official Construction Handbook (Egmont) is number one in the fastest movers chart, with two other ‘Minecraft’ books (Egmont) in third and fourth place—Books+Publishing.

Forthcoming adult book reviews: October and November 2014

» Fiction

Nightingale (Fiona McIntosh, Michael Joseph, November), 3 stars, reviewed by Joanne Shiells


Australia on Horseback (Cameron Forbes, Macmillan, November), 3 stars, reviewed by Dave Martus
Bibliodiversity (Susan Hawthorne, Spinifex Press, November), 3 stars, reviewed by Nathan Hollier
Kerry Stokes (Andrew Rule, HarperCollins, November), 3.5 stars, reviewed by Chris Saliba
Peacemongers (Barry Hill, UQP, November), 5 stars, reviewed by Chris Harrington
Something Quite Peculiar (Steve Kilbey, Hardie Grant, November), 3.5 stars, reviewed by Gerard Elson

Awards round-up: August

Among the local awards announcements in the past month are: the Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) Book of the Year Awards; the Romance Writers of Australia (RWA) Awards, known as the ‘Rubys’; the National Biography Award; and the Australian Christian Book of the Year Award.

Shortlists have also been announced for the Western Australian Premier’s Book Awards; the New South Wales Premier’s History Awards; the Ned Kelly Awards for Australian crime writing; the Davitt Awards for crime writing by Australian women; and the Ngaio Marsh Award for New Zealand crime fiction.

Richard Flanagan’s The Narrow Road to the Deep North (Vintage) has been longlisted for the Booker Prize; Eleanor Catton’s The Luminaries (Granta) has been longlisted for the International Dylan Thomas Prize; Fiona McFarlane’s The Night Guest (Hamish Hamilton) has been longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award; and Leah Ashton’s Why Resist A Rebel? (Harlequin) has won the award for Short Contemporary Romance at the Romance Writers of America (RWA) RITA Awards.

The winners of the Hugo Awards for science-fiction and fantasy have also been announced.

Top stories this week

wbnimage2014aug21This week’s top stories from the Weekly Book Newsletter include:

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BOOK REVIEW: One Minute’s Silence (David Metzenthen, illus by Michael Camilleri, A&U)

one minute s silenceThis year marks the centenary of World War I, so we can expect to see a number of new titles commemorating this event from different perspectives. One Minute’s Silence concerns Remembrance Day as it relates to the Anzac soldiers who fought at Gallipoli, but it also asks readers to consider the young Turkish soldiers who fought bravely to defend their land. The title page shows a teacher in front of a blackboard looking up at a clock as the hands reach 11am, and the opening double-page spread shows a class of high school students looking bored. Thereafter, the narrator asks readers to imagine what it was like for the ‘twelve-thousand wild colonial’ boys as they landed on the shores of this strange, hostile land, and then to imagine the Turkish soldiers ‘from distant villages, hearts hammering’ as they stood in trenches ready to fire. Were they so different after all? The text in this book is minimal but searching, and the illustrations are outstanding. This is an ideal book for upper-primary to secondary school students, to discuss a time when people much like themselves faced terrible dilemmas.

Hilary Adams works in a specialist children’s bookshop in Sydney. This review first appeared in the Junior Term 2, 2014 supplement of Books+Publishing magazine. View more pre-publication reviews here.

Bestsellers this week

where is danielDaniel Morcombe was last seen waiting for a bus on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland in 2003. The boy’s remains were found in 2011 and Brett Cowan was charged with the murder and found guilty. The memoir Where is Daniel? by parents Bruce and Denise Morcombe (Macmillan) details the disappearance of Daniel and the 10-year police investigation that followed. The book is in first place on this week’s bestsellers chart and highest new entries chart. In second place on the bestsellers chart is last week’s number one Private India by James Patterson (Century), followed by A Perfect Life by Danielle Steel (Bantam) and Life or Death by Michael Robotham (Hachette). In first place on the fastest movers chart is Optimism by Bob Brown (Hardie Grant)—Books+Publishing.

Top stories this week

wbnimage2014aug14This week’s top stories from the Weekly Book Newsletter include:

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