Australian Book Industry Awards ABIA 2016

The Winners of  the Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIA's) were announced on Thursday, 19 May.

The Biography Book of the Year and overall winner of Book of the Year is....
Reckoning: A Memoir by Magda Szubanski
In this extraordinary memoir, Magda describes her journey of self-discovery from a suburban childhood, haunted by the demons of her father's espionage activities in wartime Poland and by her secret awareness of her sexuality, to the complex dramas of adulthood and her need to find out the truth about herself and her family. With courage and compassion she addresses her own frailties and fears, and asks the big questions about life, about the shadows we inherit and the gifts we pass on.

Honest, poignant, utterly captivating, Reckoning announces the arrival of a fearless writer and natural storyteller. It will touch the lives of its readers.

Shortlisted Biographies :
A Mother’s Story by Rosie Batty
Flesh Wounds by Richard Glover
The Anti-Cool Girl by Rosie Waterland

A selection of other winners and shortlists:

General Fiction Book of the Year
The Patterson Girls (Rachael Johns, MIRA, Harlequin Enterprises)
How can four sisters build the futures they so desperately want, when the past is reaching out to claim them?

When the Patterson daughters return home to Meadow Brook to be with their father after their mother’s death, they bring with them a world of complication and trouble.

The eldest sister, obstetrician Madeleine, would rather be anywhere but her hometown, violinist Abigail has fled from her stellar career, while teacher Lucinda is struggling to have the children she and her husband so desperately want. The black sheep of the family, Charlie, feels her life as a barista and exercise instructor doesn’t measure up to that of her gifted and successful sisters.

Close Your Eyes/ Michael Robotham
The Lake House/ Kate Morton
The Perfumer’s Secret /Fiona McIntosh & Michael Joseph

Literary Fiction Book of the Year
The Other Side of the World (Stephanie Bishop, Hachette, Hachette Australia)
Charlotte is struggling. With motherhood, with the changes marriage and parenthood bring, with losing the time and the energy to paint. Her husband, Henry, wants things to be as they were and can't face the thought of another English winter.
A brochure slipped through the letterbox gives him the answer: 'Australia brings out the best in you.' Before she has a chance to realise what it will mean, Charlotte is travelling to the other side of the world.
Arriving in Perth, the southern sun shines a harsh light and slowly reveals that this new life is not the answer either was hoping for. Charlotte is left wondering if there is anywhere she belongs and how far she'll go to find her way home . . .

The Natural Way of Things /Charlotte Wood
The Secret Chord /Geraldine Brooks
The World Without Us /Mireille Juchau

Matt Richell Award for New Writer of the Year
Salt Creek /Lucy Treloar
Salt Creek, 1855, lies at the far reaches of the remote, beautiful and inhospitable coastal region, the Coorong, in the new province of South Australia. The area, just opened to graziers willing to chance their luck, becomes home to Stanton Finch and his large family, including fifteen-year-old Hester Finch.

Once wealthy political activists, the Finch family has fallen on hard times. Cut adrift from the polite society they were raised to be part of, Hester and her siblings make connections where they can: with the few travellers that pass along the nearby stock route - among them a young artist, Charles - and the Ngarrindjeri people they have dispossessed. Over the years that pass, and Aboriginal boy, Tully, at first a friend, becomes part of the family.

Stanton's attempts to tame the harsh landscape bring ruin to the Ngarrindjeri people's homes and livelihoods, and unleash a chain of events that will tear the family asunder. As Hester witnesses the destruction of the Ngarrindjeri's subtle culture and the ideals that her family once held so close, she begins to wonder what civilization is. Was it for this life and this world that she was educated?

Reckoning: A Memoir (Magda Szubanski, Text Publishing)
Rush Oh! (Shirley Barrett, Picador Australia, Pan Macmillan)
The Anti-Cool Girl (Rosie Waterland, 4th Estate, HarperCollins)

General Non-fiction Book of the Year
Island Home (Tim Winton, Hamish Hamilton, Penguin Random House)
Island Home is the story of how that relationship with the Australian landscape came to be, and how it has determined his ideas, his writing and his life.  It is also a passionate exhortation for all of us to feel the ground beneath our feet. Much more powerfully than a political idea, or an economy, Australia is a physical entity. Where we are defines who we are, in ways we too often forget to our detriment, and the country's.

Australia’s Second Chance /George Megalogenis & Hamish Hamilton,
One Life: My Mother’s Story /Kate Grenville
The Dismissal in the Queen's name /Paul Kelly and Troy Bramston

International Book of the Year
Gut: the inside story of our body’s most under-rated organ /Giulia Enders
The key to living a happier, healthier life is inside us.

Our gut is almost as important to us as our brain or our heart, yet we know very little about how it works. In Gut, Giulia Enders shows that rather than the utilitarian and -- let's be honest -- somewhat embarrassing body part we imagine it to be, it is one of the most complex, important, and even miraculous parts of our anatomy. And scientists are only just discovering quite how much it has to offer; new research shows that gut bacteria can play a role in everything from obesity and allergies to Alzheimer's.

Beginning with the personal experience of illness that inspired her research, and going on to explain everything from the basics of nutrient absorption to the latest science linking bowel bacteria with depression, Enders has written an entertaining, informative health handbook.

Grandpa’s Great Escape /David Walliams
The Girl on the Train /Paula Hawkins
The Story of the Lost Child /Elena Ferrante

Small Publishers Book of the Year
All Fall Down by Matthew Condon
The gripping finale to Three Crooked Kings and Jacks and Jokers brings to a close Matthew Condon's best-selling true-crime trilogy.

In 1983, the soon-to-be-knighted Police Commissioner Terry Lewis continues to turn a blind eye to the operation of The Joke, a highly organised system of graft payments from illegal gambling, prostitution and illicit drugs. As the tentacles of this fraudulent vice network spread, the fabric holding together the police, judiciary and political system starts to unravel. All Fall Down offers an unprecedented insight into the Fitzgerald Inquiry and Lewis's subsequent years in prison, and explores the real story behind the dramatic exit of Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen. Drawing from interviews with key players who have, until now, been afraid to speak publicly, All Fall Down celebrates the bravery of those unsung heroes who risked everything to expose the truth.

The Art of Free Travel by Patrick Jones & Meg Ullman
Give the Devil His Due by Sulari Gentill
Body Lengths/ Leisl Jones