BREAKING NEWS: 2015 Miles Franklin Shortlist Announced

Congratulations to the incredible Australian writers on this year’s Miles Franklin shortlist! It feels distinctly like a changing of the guard in Australian literature.

Don’t miss the chance to grab a copy of these fantastic books and judge them for yourself…


9781926428611Golden Boys

by Sonya Hartnett

Sonya Hartnett’s third novel for adults is perfectly formed and utterly compelling, an unflinching and disquieting work from one of Australia’s finest writers.

Colt Jenson and his younger brother Bastian live in a world of shiny, new things – skateboards, slot cars, train sets and even the latest BMX. Their affluent father, Rex, has made sure that they’ll be the envy of the new, working-class suburb they’ve moved to. But underneath the surface of the perfect family, is there something unsettling about the Jensons? To the local kids, Rex becomes a kind of hero, but Colt senses there’s something in his father that could destroy their fragile new lives.

0000002793About the Author

Sonya Hartnett’s work has won numerous Australian and international literary prizes and has been published around the world. Uniquely, she is acclaimed for her stories for adults, young adults and children. Her accolades include the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize (Of A Boy), The Age Book of the Year (Of A Boy), the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize (Thursday’s Child), the Children’s Book Council of Australia Book of the Year for both Older and Younger Readers (Forest, The Silver Donkey, The Ghost’s Child, The Midnight Zoo and The Children of the King), the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award (Surrender), shortlistings for the Miles Franklin Award (for both Of a Boy and Butterfly) and the CILP Carnegie Medal (The Midnight Zoo). Hartnett is also the first Australian recipient of the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (2008).

Grab a copy of Golden Boys here


9781743319598The Eye of the Sheep

by Sofie Laguna

Ned was beside me, his messages running easily through him, with space between each one, coming through him like water. He was the go-between, going between the animal kingdom and this one. I watched the waves as they rolled and crashed towards us, one after another, never stopping, always changing. I knew what was making them come, I had been there and I would always know.

Meet Jimmy Flick. He’s not like other kids – he’s both too fast and too slow. He sees too much, and too little. Jimmy’s mother Paula is the only one who can manage him. She teaches him how to count sheep so that he can fall asleep. She more…

1_LagunaSophia1About the Author

Sofie Laguna originally studied to be a lawyer, but after deciding law was not for her, she trained as an actor. Sofie is now an author, actor and playwright. Her books for young people have been named Honour Books and Notable Books in the Children’s Book Council of Australia Book of the Year Awards and have been shortlisted in the Queensland Premier’s Awards. She has been published in the US and the UK and in translation in Europe and Asia. Sofie’s first novel for adults, One Foot Wrong, was also published throughout Europe, the United States and the United Kingdom. Sofie has written the screenplay for the film of One Foot Wrong, scheduled for pre-production in 2014.

Grab a copy of The Eye of the Sheep here


9781741666441The Golden Age

by Joan London

This is a story of resilience, the irrepressible, enduring nature of love, and the fragility of life. From one of Australia’s most loved novelists.

He felt like a pirate landing on an island of little maimed animals. A great wave had swept them up and dumped them here. All of them, like him, stranded, wanting to go home.

It is 1954 and thirteen-year-old Frank Gold, refugee from wartime Hungary, is learning to walk again after contracting polio in Australia. At The Golden Age Children’s Polio Convalescent Hospital in Perth, he sees Elsa, a fellow-patient, and they form a more…

London, JoanAbout the Author

Joan London is the author of two prize-winning collections of stories, Sister Ships, which won the Age Book of the Year in 1986, and Letter to Constantine, which won the Steele Rudd Award in 1994 and the West Australian Premier’s Award for Fiction. These stories have been published in one volume as The New Dark Age. Her first novel, Gilgamesh, was published in 2001, won the Age Book of the Year for Fiction in 2002 and was longlisted for the Orange Prize and the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. Her second novel, The Good Parents, was published in April 2008 and won the 2009 Christina Stead Prize for fiction in the NSW Premier’s Literary awards. Joan London’s books have all been published internationally to critical acclaim. The Golden Age (2014) is her third novel.

Grab a copy of The Golden Age here


9781760113117After Darkness

by Christine Piper

It is early 1942 and Australia is in the midst of war.

While working at a Japanese hospital in the pearling port of Broome, Dr Ibaraki is arrested as an enemy alien and sent to Loveday internment camp in a remote corner of South Australia. There, he learns to live among a group of men who are divided by culture and allegiance. As tensions at the isolated camp escalate, the doctor’s long- held beliefs are thrown into question and he is forced to confront his dark past: the promise he made in Japan and its devastating consequences.

0_piper_christine_smlAbout the Author

Christine Piper’s short fiction has been published in Seizure, SWAMP and Things That Are Found In Trees and Other Stories. She was the 2013 Alice Hayes writing fellow at Ragdale in the United States. Christine has studied creative writing at Macquarie University, the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and the University of Technology, Sydney, where she wrote a version of this novel as part of her doctoral degree. She has also worked as a magazine editor and writer for more than a decade. Both in South Korea in 1979 to an Australian father and a Japanese mother, Christine moved to Australia when she was one. She has previously taught English and studied Japanese in Japan, and currently lives in New York with her husband. Christine is also the 2014 recipient of the ABR Calibre Prize for an Outstanding Essay. The winner of The Australian/Vogel’s Literary Prize 2014. After Darkness is Christine Piper’s first novel. She was also shortlisted for the Readings New Australian Writing Award 2014.

Grab a copy of After Darkness here


9781922147325Tree Palace

by Craig Sherborne

They tried Mansfield but it was freezing and snowed and people like them don’t fit in because they don’t look prosperous. One time near Yellingbo they found a church no one prayed in and they lived there and for three weeks had stained glass for windows…They got chased out and went to Shepparton but Shane had a run-in and police said move.

Shane, Moira and Midge, along with young Zara and Rory, are ‘trants’—itinerants roaming the plains north-west of Melbourne in search of disused houses to sleep in, or to strip of heritage fittings when funds are low. When they find their Tree Palace outside Barleyville, things are looking up. At last, a place in which to settle down.

But Zara, fifteen, is pregnant and doesn’t want a child. She’d more…

About the AuthorCraigSherborne

Craig Sherborne’s memoir Hoi Polloi (2005) was shortlisted for the Queensland Premier’s and Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards. The follow-up, Muck (2007), won the Queensland Premier’s Literary Award for Non-fiction. Craig’s first novel, The Amateur Science of Love, won the Melbourne Prize for Literature’s Best Writing Award, and was shortlisted for a Victorian Premier’s Literary Award and a NSW Premier’s Literary Award. Craig has also written two volumes of poetry, Bullion (1995) and Necessary Evil (2005), and a verse drama, Look at Everything Twice for Me (1999). His writing has appeared in most of Australia’s literary journals and anthologies. He lives in Melbourne.

Grab a copy of Tree Palace here


First Trailer for ‘Steve Jobs’ released – written by Aaron Sorkin – adapted from Walter Isaacson’s biography

The first trailer for one of the most anticipated films of the decade, Danny Boyle’s Steve Jobs, has just been released.

Starring Michael Fassbender, Kate Winslet, Jeff Daniels and a dramatic turn from Seth Rogen, the film was adapted by The Social Network‘s Aaron Sorkin from Walter Isaacson’s award-winning biography Steve Jobs.

Check the trailer out, and if you want the full story, you know where to find it…

Grab a copy of Walter Issacson’s Steve Jobs here

steve-jobsSteve Jobs

by Walter Issacson

Based on more than forty interviews with Steve Jobs conducted over two years – as well as interviews with more than a hundred family members, friends, adversaries, competitors, and colleagues – this is the acclaimed, internationally bestselling biography of the ultimate icon of inventiveness.

Walter Isaacson tells the story of the rollercoaster life and searingly intense personality of creative entrepreneur whose passion for perfection and ferocious drive revolutionized six industries: personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing, and digital publishing.

Although Jobs cooperated with this book, he asked for no control over what was written, nor even the right to read it before it was published. He put nothing off limits. He encouraged the people he knew to speak honestly. And Jobs speaks candidly, sometimes brutally so, about the people he worked with and competed against.

His friends, foes, and colleagues provide an unvarnished view of the passions, perfectionism, obsessions, artistry, devilry, and compulsion for control that shaped his approach to business and the innovative products that resulted.

Grab a copy of Walter Issacson’s Steve Jobs here

 

Don’t Miss Little Fictions at The Sydney Writers’ Festival

One of the highlights of this year’s Sydney Writers’ Festival is Little Fictions, an evening of lively performances of long and short stories from Spineless Wonders authors.

Featuring work by Ryan O’Neill, Claire Aman and Julie Koh, Little Fictions is a platform for Australian writers to have their work read by professional actors, and for the public to indulge in the simple pleasure of being read to.

In the style of New York’s Selected Shorts, this event was born out of an ardent desire to bring together people who love literature.

Festival_960x295

Julie Koh (Sydney): ‘The Trading Floor in Heaven’ is a story from my capsule collection, Capital Misfits. It’s a wild piece of fiction about dead people trading their karma. I’m excited that it’s going to be performed at Little Fictions – a rare opportunity to see it connect with an audience in real time.’

Ryan O’Neill (Newcastle): I love the thought of one of my short stories being performed in front of a live audience, especially “My English Homework” which experiments with language and form. Seeing how such a story is translated to the spoken word is fascinating.

Ben Brooker (Adelaide): I’m delighted that the very talented Alex Williams will be giving voice to my story ‘Awake’ at Little Fictions. I don’t often write in the present tense but ‘Awake’ is an exception, an attempt to lend a frightening scenario added layers of immediacy and uncertainty. For this reason, I think the story will benefit hugely from being read aloud. As someone who has also written for the stage, I know well the power of the performed word in engaging, moving, and confronting audiences. My only regret is that I cannot be there!

Claire Aman (Grafton) : Writers can be introverts – I am anyway – and if I have to read my own work aloud I feel embarrassed. So I hang my head and mumble and rush.  Having an actor read my work with a flourish is so good! Stories should be told aloud. That’s how it starts for readers, when we’re small.  I want people to hear ‘Those Gauls Must be Crazy’. I want you to imagine your blue-spangled tights, and the stolen dog you are tugging along on a dressing-gown cord, a surprise gift at a wedding to which you hadn’t been invited.

Monday, May 18 2015 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Tickets at the door: $10
Knox St Bar, 21 Shepherd Street, Chippendale

Jamie Oliver is back with Everyday Super Food!

Jamie Oliver returns in 2015 with a new book, sure to take the world by storm.

And the name?

JO EVERYDAYSUPERFOOD PACKSHOT FINALEveryday Super Food

Recipes for a Healthier Happier You

Jamie’s Everyday Super Food makes eating well exciting, delicious, easy and fun.

No matter how busy you are, you’ll find that healthy eating the Jamie way is both straightforward and achievable, making it super easy to choose exactly the kind of meals that suit you.

The book is divided into breakfasts, lunches and dinners, and every tasty meal is nutritionally balanced so that any combination over the day will bring you in under your recommended daily allowance of calories, allowing you to enjoy snacks and drinks on the side. You can eat Smoothie Pancakes with Berries, Banana, Yoghurt and Nuts for breakfast, Tasty Fish Tacos with Game-Changing Kiwi, Lime and Chilli Salsa for lunch and Griddled Steak and Peppers with Herby-Jewelled Tabbouleh Rice for dinner, and still be healthy! Whether you dip in and out of it, eat from the book Monday to Friday or use it faithfully every day for a month, it’s totally up to you.

In Everyday Super Food, Jamie’s done all the hard work for you – all you need to do is choose a delicious recipe, cook it up and, most importantly, enjoy it.

Every meal in this book is a good choice and will bring you a step closer to a healthier, happier you.

Pre-order your copy of Jamie’s Everyday Super Food here

Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies picked up by HBO; Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon to star

Liane MoriartyHuge news for the all-conquering Liane Moriarty as news breaks that the adaptation of her acclaimed novel Big Little Lies is coming to HBO, the home of Game of Thrones, Girls and True Detective. The project landed at HBO after the premium cable channel won a bidding war with Netflix.

Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon will star in the mini-series while Emmy winner David E. Kelley, who wrote The Practice and Ally McBeal, will adapt the novel for the screen. Moriarty will have a producing role.

This is big news for fans of Big Little Lies, as the mini-series format is afforded the opportunity to more comprehensively develop characters and explore sub-plots, elements that a 120 minute film struggles with. With Big Little Lies exploring infidelity, divorce, domestic violence and school bullying while focusing on three mothers of kindergarteners in the same class who become embroiled in a homicide investigation, the mini-series format is absolutely the place for it.

An air date hasn’t yet been set yet, which means the show is still a while away. So why not give it a re-read, or if you haven’t read it yet, pick up a copy and give it a try.

Grab a copy of Big Little Lies here

big-little-liesBig Little Lies

by Liane Moriarty

I guess it started with the mothers.’

‘It was all just a terrible misunderstanding.’

‘I’ll tell you exactly why it happened.’

Pirriwee Public’s annual school Trivia Night has ended in a shocking riot. A parent is dead.

Liane Moriarty’s new novel is funny and heartbreaking, challenging and compassionate. The No. 1 New York Times bestselling author turns her unique gaze on parenting and playground politics, showing us what really goes on behind closed suburban doors.

‘Let me be clear. This is not a circus. This is a murder investigation.’

Grab a copy of Big Little Lies here

Grab a copy of Big Little Lies here

The 2015 Sydney Writer’s Festival In Focus – Andrew’s Highlights

Can you hear that?

Pages being briskly bookmarked, notepads scribbled on frantically, publicists sweating over author schedules…

The Sydney Writer’s Festival is nearly here!

And because I’m getting all excited, I’ve picked out some of my highlights for the 2015 edition, take a gander. For more details head to www.swf.org.au

Continue reading

Buy Emily Bitto’s award-winning The Strays in Paperback and receive the eBook free!

For a very limited time when you buy the paperback edition of The Strays, winner of the 2015 Stella Prize,  you will receive the full ebook edition, absolutely free!

the-strays

The Strays

by Emily Bitto

In The Strays, Evan Trentham is the wild child of the Melbourne art world of the 1930s. He and his captivating wife, Helena, attempt to carve out their own small niche, to escape the stifling conservatism they see around them, by gathering together other like-minded artists.

They create a utopian circle within their family home, offering these young artists a place to live and work, and the mixed benefits of being associated with the infamous Evan. At the periphery of this circle is Lily Struthers, the best friend of Evan and Helena’s daughter Eva.

Lily is infatuated by the world she bears witness to, and longs to be part of this enthralling makeshift family. As Lily observes years later, looking back on events that she still carries painfully within her, the story of this groundbreaking circle involved the same themes as Evan Trentham’s art: Faustian bargains and terrible recompense; spectacular fortunes and falls from grace. Yet it was not Evan, nor the other artists he gathered around him, but his own daughters, who paid the debt that was owing.

Grab a copy of Emily Bitto’s The Strays here

Caroline Baum’s Review

Inspired by the bohemian art world of 1930s Melbourne this is a marvellously accomplished and assured debut, announcing a major new talent. Rich in atmosphere and beautifully observed, it tells the story of only child Lily who makes friends with Eva at school and then becomes infatuated with her family, particularly larger-than-life painter Evan and his glamorous wife Helena.

Lily tells the story of her progressive enchantment with their home, their garden, their friends and their expanding creative circle of strays from a retrospective point of view, as an adult now faced with the prospect of reunion with Eva after a long separation: a gallery opening invitation brings back sharp and painful memories of intense relationships.

Poetic, richly visual and faultlessly judged in terms of pace, character and atmosphere, this is writing that has the rich patina of an enduring classic. A stylish and mature addition to the rites of passage, coming of age genre.

Grab a copy of Emily Bitto’s The Strays here

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