Indie Book Awards announce 2019 shortlist

Established in 2008, the Indie Book Awards recognise and celebrate both best in Australian writing as well as the country’s most passionate independent booksellers. This year’s nominations include Markus Zusak‘s Bridge of Clay, his first novel since global phenomenon The Book Thief was published in 2005 and Jessica Townsend‘s Wundersmith, the sequel to last year’s Nevermoor, which was the first children’s book in Indie history to be named Book of the Year.

The Indie Book Awards recognise the unique experiences Australian independent booksellers offer publishers, readers, and authors alike. From enthusiasm and great customer service to the championing of homegrown authors, the indie bookstore has a valued place in many communities, and holds much sway over the reading habits of its patrons.

Co-ordinated by Leading Edge Books, independently owned bookstores came together late last year to share their favourite titles of 2018. That selection has finally been narrowed down, and the 2019 nominations are as follows:


The Lost Man by Jane Harper
Shell by Kristina Olsson
The Shepherd’s Hut by Tim Winton
Bridge of Clay by Markus Zusak


The Land Before Avocado by Richard Glover
The Arsonist by Chloe Hooper
Eggshell Skull by Bri Lee
Any Ordinary Day by Leigh Sales


Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton
Scrublands by Chris Hammer
The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris
The Nowhere Child by Christian White


A Painted Landscape: Across Australia from Bush to Coast by Amber Creswell Bell
Marcia Langton: Welcome to Country by Marcia Langton
Family: New vegetable classics to comfort and nourish by Hetty McKinnon
Australian Dreamscapes by Claire Takacs


All the Ways to be Smart by Davina Bell and Allison Colpoys (Illus)
Lenny’s Book of Everything by Karen Foxlee
Tales from the Inner City by Shaun Tan
Wundersmith: The Calling of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend


Hive by A. J. Betts
Amelia Westlake by Erin Gough
A Song Only I Can Hear by Barry Jonsberg
Catching Teller Crow by Ambelin Kwaymullina and Ezekiel Kwaymullina

A judging panel made up of indie booksellers and avid readers will decide on category winners. From there, bookstores across Australia will be able to choose their top book from the shortlist to be named Book of the Year, with the winner joining past recipients including Jessica Townsend, Anh Do, M.L. Stedman, and Tim Winton.

The category winners and the Book of the Year will be announced in Adelaide on Monday 18 March at the Leading Edge Books Annual Conference Awards Dinner.