Australian Book Industry Award Winners, 2014

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The winners of the 14th Australian Book Industry Awards  were announced in Sydney last Friday night, 23 May.
 General Fiction book of the Year
The Rosie Project
Don Tillman is getting married. He just doesn’t know who to yet.
But he has designed the Wife Project, using a sixteen-page questionnaire to help him find the perfect partner. She will most definitely not be a barmaid, a smoker, a drinker, or a late-arriver.
Rosie Jarman is all these things. She is also fiery and intelligent and beautiful. And on a quest of her own to find her biological father—a search that Don, a professor of genetics, might just be able to help her with.
The Wife Project teaches Don some unexpected things. Why earlobe length is an inadequate predictor of sexual attraction. Why quick-dry clothes aren’t appropriate attire in New York. Why he’s never been on a second date. And why, despite your best scientific efforts, you don’t find love: love finds you.

Literary fiction book of the year
Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
In northern Iceland, 1829, Agnes Magnusdottir is condemned to death for her part in the brutal murder of two men.
Agnes is sent to wait out the time leading to her execution on the farm of District Officer Jon Jonsson, his wife and their two daughters. Horrified to have a convicted murderess in their midst, the family avoids speaking with Agnes. Only Toti, the young assistant reverend appointed as Agnes's spiritual guardian, is compelled to try to understand her, as he attempts to salvage her soul. As the summer months fall away to winter and the hardships of rural life force the household to work side by side, Agnes's ill-fated tale of longing and betrayal begins to emerge. And as the days to her execution draw closer, the question burns: did she or didn't she?
Based on a true story, Burial Rites is a deeply moving novel about personal freedom: who we are seen to be versus who we believe ourselves to be, and the ways in which we will risk everything for love. In beautiful, cut-glass prose, Hannah Kent portrays Iceland's formidable landscape, where every day is a battle for survival, and asks, how can one woman hope to endure when her life depends upon the stories told by others?


General non fiction book of the year
The stalking of Julia Gillard by Kerry Anne Walsh

This is the story about one of the most extraordinary episodes in recent Australian political history. It focuses on Team Rudd and the media's treatment of its slow-death campaign of destabilisation, with its disastrous effect on Gillard and the government's functioning. It is about a politician who was never given a fair go; not in the media, not by Rudd, not by some in caucus.


Illustrated book of the year

I quit sugar by Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson was a self-confessed sugar addict, eating the equivalent of 25 teaspoons of sugar every day, before making the link between her sugar consumption and a lifetime of mood disorders, fluctuating weight issues, sleep problems and thyroid disease. She knew she had to make a change.
What started as an experiment soon became a way of life, then a campaign to alert others to the health damages of sugar.

Biography of the year

The crossroad by Mark Donaldson VC
On 2 September 2008, in a valley in eastern Afghanistan, Trooper Mark Donaldson made a split-second decision that would change his life. His display of extraordinary courage that day saw him awarded the Victoria Cross for Australia, making him the first Australian to receive our highest award for bravery in wartime since Keith Payne in 1969.
Yet Mark's journey to those crucial moments in Afghanistan was almost as exceptional as the acts that led to his VC.
He was a rebellious child and teenager, even before the death of his father - a Vietnam veteran - when Mark and his brother were in their mid-teens. A few years later, their mother disappeared, presumed murdered. Her body has never been found.
Mark's decisions could have easily led him down another path, to a life of self-destructiveness and petty crime. But he chose a different road: the army. It proved to be his salvation and he found himself a natural soldier, progressing unerringly to the SAS, the peak of the Australian military.
From his turbulent early years to the stark realities of combat in the mountains and valleys of Afghanistan, Mark's book is the frank and compelling story of a man who turned his life around by sheer determination and strength of mind.

Book of the year for younger children
The 39 Storey Treehouse by Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton

Join Andy and Terry in their astonishing 39-storey treehouse! Jump on the world's highest trampoline, toast marshmallows in an active volcano, swim in the chocolate waterfall, pat baby dinosaurs, go head-to-trunk with the Trunkinator, break out your best moves on the dance floor, fly in a jet-propelled swivel chair, ride a terrifying rollercoaster and meet Professor Stupido, the world's greatest UN-inventor. Well, what are you waiting for? Come on up! 

Book of the year for older children 
Weir Do by Anh Do
My parents could have given me any first name at all, like John, Kevin, Shmevin . . . ANYTHING. Instead I’m stuck with the worst name since Mrs Face called her son Bum.
Meet Weir Do. No, that’s not a typo, that’s his name! Weir Do’s the new kid in school. With an unforgettable name, a crazy family and some seriously weird habits, fitting in won’t be easy . . . but it will be funny!




International book of the year
The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton
It is 1866, and Walter Moody has come to make his fortune upon the New Zealand goldfields.  On arrival, he stumbles across a tense gathering of twelve local men, who have met in secret to discuss a series of unsolved crimes.  A wealthy man has vanished, a whore has tried to end her life, and an enormous fortune has been discovered in the home of a luckless drunk.  Moody is soon drawn into the mystery: a network of fates and fortunes that is as complex and exquisitely patterned as the night sky.




Book of the year 
The Rosie Project by Graham Simsion
The feel-good novel of 2013. If you loved The Rosie Project, be charmed all over again by The Rosie Effect, due October 2014.

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