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Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Publishing News: NZ Booklovers Awards 2019 Shortlist Announced

A mixture of well-known writers and new authors feature in the inaugural NZ Booklovers Awards shortlist announced today.                

The latest works by Fiona Kidman, Nicky Pellegrino, Jo Seagar, Wendyl Nissen, David Hill and Fleur Beale are among the diverse range of books nominated for the NZ Booklovers Awards, along with exciting new authors.                

Six books are shortlisted in each of the three award categories: adult fiction, lifestyle books and children’s books.                

NZ Booklovers Director Karen McMillan says the inaugural awards received a large number of entries and the standard was extremely high.                

‘The judges were excited to see the variety of books that our talented New Zealand authors have produced.  (We) celebrate the best in storytelling, books that we couldn’t put down.'

The NZ Booklovers Awards 2019 shortlisted titles are: 

NZ Booklovers Award Best Adult Fiction Book 2019 

A Change of Key by Adrienne Jansen (Escalator Press) - ‘A wonderful collection of characters in this book set in a mostly migrant community. The residents are drawn together to support one another, and by weaving the theme of music into the story, there is a real sense of belonging and community in this little snapshot of a not-so-familiar NZ. Adrienne Jansen makes you care about the characters in this book.’ (Judge's comments)

Crystal Reign by Kelly Lyndon (Remnant Press) - ‘Crystal Reign is an eye-opening story about the dreadful effects of P on an ordinary family, written from the point of view of a man trying to hold his family and marriage together. The writing style is engaging and direct – exploring the raw emotions of what he is going through, as well as the toll it takes on those around him.’ (Judge's Comments)

Fishing for Māui by Isa Pearl Ritchie (Te Rā Aroha Press) - ‘Fishing for Māui is a portrait of a family moving through crisis. We are introduced to a large cast of characters in this book, and the author cleverly tells their stories through their own eyes, from very young, to very old. It cleverly interweaves Māori legends and a real sense of New Zealand and connection to the past and present. Drugs, mental health, families and cultures are never easy topics, but Isa Pearl Ritchie tackles them all.’ (Judge's comments)

Grandzilla by Lisa Williams (Crummer Road Press) - Grandzilla educates as well as entertains. Great characters and an enlightening read.’ (Judge's comments)

This Mortal Boy by Fiona Kidman (Penguin Random House) - ‘This Mortal Boy is a beautifully drawn novel that brings a true story to life. It is the little touches that make this brilliant, the small observations of everyday events. We travel back to 1950s New Zealand, a time when a judge could put a man to death. Time is running out for Albert Black.’ (Judge's comments)   

A Year at Hotel Gondola by Nicky Pellegrino (Hachette) - ‘An enjoyable mix of Venice, romance and plenty of cooking recipes. This is a great holiday read, especially for anyone who has visited Venice. Apart from the love story and the mouth-watering food, it also addresses the current issues facing the residents of Venice with the overcrowding from too many tourists.’ Judge's comments)   

NZ Booklovers Award for Best Lifestyle Book 2019 

Better than a Bought One by Jo Seagar (Penguin Random House)

Eco Home by Melinda Williams (Penguin Random House)

Flourish by Juliet Nicholas and Barb Rogers (Penguin Random House)

The Natural Home by Wendyl Nissen (Allen & Unwin)

Ripe Recipes – A Third Helping by Angela Redfern and the Ripe Deli Team (Beatnik)

Wild Delicious by Amber Rose (Penguin Random House)  

NZ Booklovers Award for Best Children’s Book 2019 

Dear Donald Trump by Sophie Spiers, illustrated by Anne Villeneuve (Millwood Press) - ‘Dear Donald Trump deals with incredibly complex and important issues through an innocent sibling drama. It’s a charming story that will spark a conversation with young children about kindness, compassion and peace in this turbulent time.’

Hero of the Sea by David Hill, illustrated by Phoebe Morris (Penguin Random House) - ‘A beautiful biographical picture book that allows a new generation of Kiwi kids to learn about Sir Peter Blake. A stellar tribute to one of New Zealand’s greatest heroes, with great illustrations from Phoebe Morris.’

Kuwi’s Rowdy Crowd by Kat Merewether (Illustrated Publishing)
Lyla by Fleur Beale (Allen & Unwin) - "An absolute delight, with gorgeous illustrations and a wonderful subtle tale about being happy with what you have.  Lyla sensitively and poignantly portrays the experience of a young girl living through the Christchurch earthquake, the courage that she shows at the time and during the aftermath and the effect it has on her and her family and friends.’    

Puffin the Architect by Kimberley Andrews (Penguin Random House) - Puffin the Architect: ‘Witty, with wonderfully detailed illustrations. This is a great read-aloud book.’

Who Stole the Rainbow? by Vasanti Unka (Penguin Random House) - ‘Snappy illustrations and humour make this book about how rainbows are made accessible and fun for a younger audience.’   


The winner in each category will be announced on 18 March 2019, and each winner receives $500 from NZ Booklovers.  

The Best Adult Fiction Book Award is judged by writer and literary editor Marcus Hobson, publishing professional Rachel White, and NZ Booklovers Director and author Karen McMillan.  

The Best Lifestyle Book Award is judged by journalist and author Andrea Molloy, NZ Booklovers Director and author Karen McMillan, and publisher, home renovator and foodie Iain McKenzie.  

The Best Children’s Book Award is judged by author and creative writing teacher Paddy Richardson, editor and writer Heidi North, and early childhood kaiako and journalist Rebekah Fraser.  

About NZ Booklovers 

NZ Booklovers is an online home for books and for those who enjoy reading them. It is a bookworms’ hub, dedicated to bringing New Zealanders everything they need to know about reading and the world of literature. Working alongside publishers, NZ Booklovers showcases both New Zealand and international titles. It provides a platform for sharing articles, author interviews, reviews, and book-related stories, as well as book news, competitions, and reading and writing advice.   Director Karen McMillan heads up a talented team of contributors and reviewers, fellow readers and writers who are passionate about books and who believe books inspire and enhance people’s lives. The NZ Booklovers Awards are the brainchild of Karen McMillan, with the aim of supporting the local publishing community and New Zealand authors.  

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