2015 ABIA Winners

2015 Australian Book Industry Award Winners.

Some highlights:

 Book of the Year:
The 52 Storey Treehouse by Andy Griffiths; illustrated by Terry Griffiths

Andy and Terry's amazing treehouse has 13 new levels including a chainsaw-juggling level, a make-your-own-pizza parlour, a rocket-powered carrot-launcher, a life-size snakes and ladders game, a remembering booth, a Ninja Snail Training Academy and a high-tech detective agency, with all the latest high-tech detective technology, including a hot-donut vending machine! Well, what are you waiting for? Come on up!

General Fiction Book of the Year:
Winner: Lost & Found by Brooke Davis, Hachette Australia.

At seven years old, Millie Bird realises that everything is dying around her. She wasn't to know that after she had recorded twenty-seven assorted creatures in her Book of Dead Things her dad would be a Dead Thing, too.

Agatha Pantha is eighty-two and has not left her house since her husband died. She sits behind her front window, hidden by the curtains and ivy, and shouts at passers-by, roaring her anger at complete strangers. Until the day Agatha spies a young girl across the street.

Karl the Touch Typist is eighty-seven when his son kisses him on the cheek before leaving him at the nursing home. As he watches his son leave, Karl has a moment of clarity. He escapes the home and takes off in search of something different.

Three lost people needing to be found. But they don't know it yet. Millie, Agatha and Karl are about to break the rules and discover what living is all about.


Laurinda by Alice Pung, Black Inc.

Lost & Found by Brooke Davis, Hachette Australia.

Life or Death by Michael Robotham, Hachette Australia.

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty, Macmillan.

The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion, Text Publishing Company.

Literary Fiction Book of the Year:
Winner: Foreign Soil by Maxine Beneba Clarke, Hachette Australia.

In Melbourne's western suburbs, in a dilapidated block of flats overhanging the rattling Footscray train lines, a young black mother is working on a collection of stories.

The book is called FOREIGN SOIL. Inside its covers, a desperate asylum seeker is pacing the hallways of Sydney's notorious Villawood detention centre, a seven-year-old Sudanese boy has found solace in a patchwork bike, an enraged black militant is on the warpath through the rebel squats of 1960s Brixton, a Mississippi housewife decides to make the ultimate sacrifice to save her son from small-town ignorance, a young woman leaves rural Jamaica in search of her destiny, and a Sydney schoolgirl loses her way.
The young mother keeps writing, the rejection letters keep arriving...

Foreign Soil by Maxine Beneba Clarke, Hachette Australia.

When the Night Comes by Favel Parrett, Hachette Australia.

The Golden Age by Joan London, Penguin Random House.

Golden Boys by Sonya Hartnett, Penguin Random House.

Amnesia by Peter Carey, Penguin Random House.

General Non-fiction Book of the Year:
Winner: Where Song Began: Australia’s Birds and How They Changed the World by Tim Low, Penguin Random House.
Renowned for its unusual mammals, Australia is a land of birds that are just as unusual, just as striking, a result of the continent's tens of millions of years of isolation. Compared with birds elsewhere, ours are more likely to be intelligent, aggressive and loud, to live in complex societies, and are long-lived. They're also ecologically more powerful, exerting more influences on forests than other birds.

But unlike the mammals, the birds did not keep to Australia; they spread around the globe. Australia provided the world with its songbirds and parrots, the most intelligent of all bird groups. It was thought in Darwin's time that species generated in the Southern Hemisphere could not succeed in the Northern, an idea that was proven wrong in respect of birds in the 1980s but not properly accepted by the world's scientists until 2004 – because, says Tim Low, most ornithologists live in the Northern Hemisphere. As a result, few Australians are aware of the ramifications, something which prompted the writing of this book.

The Bush by Don Watson, Penguin Random House.

The Wife Drought by Annabel Crabb, Penguin Random House.

Where Song Began: Australia’s Birds and How They Changed the World by Tim Low, Penguin Random House.

Gallipoli by Peter Fitzsimons, Penguin Random House.

This House of Grief: The Story of a Murder Trial by Helen Garner, Text Publishing Company.

Biography Book of the Year:
Winner: A Bone of Fact by David Walsh, Macmillan.
David Walsh - the creator of Mona in Hobart - is both a giant and an enigma in the Australian art world. A multi-millionaire who made his money gambling, David has turned a wild vision into a unique reality. He is in turns controversial, mysterious and idolised. 'A bone of fact' is his utterly unconventional and absorbing memoir...


Never, Um, Ever Ending Story by Melly Meldrum, Allen & Unwin.

Love Your Sister by Connie Johnson and Samuel Johnson, Hachette Australia.

Optimism: Reflections on a Life of Action by Bob Brown, Hardie Grant Publishing.

A Bone of Fact by David Walsh, Macmillan.

My Story by Julia Gillard, Penguin Random House.

International Book of the Year:
Winner: All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, HarperCollins.
Marie Laure lives with her father in Paris within walking distance of the Museum of Natural History where he works as the master of the locks (there are thousands of locks in the museum). When she is six, she goes blind, and her father builds her a model of their neighborhood, every house, every manhole, so she can memorize it with her fingers and navigate the real streets with her feet and cane. When the Germans occupy Paris, father and daughter flee to Saint-Malo on the Brittany coast, where Marie-Laure's agoraphobic great uncle lives in a tall, narrow house by the sea wall.
In another world in Germany, an orphan boy, Werner, grows up with his younger sister, Jutta, both enchanted by a crude radio Werner finds. He becomes a master at building and fixing radios, a talent that wins him a place at an elite and brutal military academy and, ultimately, makes him a highly specialized tracker of the Resistance. Werner travels through the heart of Hitler Youth to the far-flung outskirts of Russia, and finally into Saint-Malo, where his path converges with Marie-Laure.

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler, Allen & Unwin.

Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham, HarperCollins.

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, HarperCollins.

Yes Please by Amy Poehler, Macmillan.

Plenty More by Yotam Ottolenghi, Penguin Random House.

Matt Richell Award for New Writer:
Winner: Lost & Found by Brooke Davis, Hachette Australia.

The heart-warming Australian debut that's been sold around the world will have you laughing, crying and, by the end, feeling just a little wiser...

The Tea Chest by Josephine Moon, Allen & Unwin.

Lost & Found by Brooke Davis, Hachette Australia.

Foreign Soil by Maxine Beneba Clarke, Hachette Australia.

Only the Animals by Ceridwen Dovey, Penguin Random House.

Here Come the Dogs by Omar Musa, Penguin Random House.

Small Publishers’ Adult Book of the Year:
Winner: Diary of a Foreign Minister by Bob Carr, NewSouth Books and Publishing.
Six years after vacating his position as the longest-serving Premier of New South Wales, Bob Carr returned to politics in his dream job: as Foreign Minister of Australia and a senior federal cabinet minister.

For 18 months he kept a diary documenting a whirl of high-stakes events on the world stage – the election of Australia to the UN Security Council, the war in Syria and meetings with the most powerful people on the planet. And they all unfold against the gripping, uncertain domestic backdrop of Labor Party infighting, plummeting polls and a leadership change from Gillard back to Rudd.

This compelling diary provides an intimate glimpse into the day-to-day workings of a foreign minister and proves that Carr is not only a master politician and statesman, but a great writer as well.

The Voice: My Story by Ray Warren, With Andrew Webster, Black Inc.

Australian Notebooks by Betty Churcher, Melbourne University Publishing.

Diary of a Foreign Minister by Bob Carr, NewSouth Books and Publishing.

A Murder Unmentioned by Sulari Gentill, Pantera Press.

How I Rescued My Brain by David Roland, Scribe Publications.

You can read the lists of all winners at ABIA Awards