We don’t have a crystal ball, but we do have very astute readers in the Better Reading community. The Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIAs) shortlist was announced and all five titles shortlisted for the General Fiction Book of the Year category are also on the Better Reading Top 100. And that list is voted by you.
What makes this even more exciting is that this year, Better Reading is an ABIA sponsor, and proud to present the General Fiction Book of the Year shortlist.
The Better Reading Top 100 list is incredibly diverse, showcasing an eclectic mix of classic books, modern fiction, and even more recent debut fiction. This assorted mix of Top 100 books is not only a great reading guide that offers some inspiration, but is also a valuable insight into reading trends across Australia.
The five titles on the ABIA General Fiction Book of the Year shortlist are all debut titles. The Better Reading community – that’s you – has embraced these titles and supported these authors.
The five shortlisted titles are:
Scrublands, Chris Hammer (Allen & Unwin)
Set in a fictional Riverina town at the height of a devastating drought, Scrublands is one of the most powerful, compelling and original crime novels to be written in Australia.
The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart, Holly Ringland (HarperCollins Publishers)
After her family suffers a tragedy, nine-year-old Alice Hart is forced to leave her idyllic seaside home. She is taken in by her grandmother, a flower farmer who raises Alice on the language of Australian native flowers, a way to say the things that are too hard to speak. An enchanting and captivating story about how our untold stories haunt us.
The Nowhere Child, Christian White (Affirm Press)
On a break between teaching photography classes, Kim Leamy is approached by a stranger investigating the disappearance of a little girl from her Kentucky home twenty-eight years earlier. He believes Kim is that girl. The Nowhere Child is a combustible tale of trauma, cult, conspiracy and memory.
The Rúin, Dervla McTiernan (HarperCollins Publishers)
Cormac Reilly is about to reopen the case that took him twenty years to forget… This unsettling crime debut draws us deep into the dark heart of Ireland and asks who will protect you when the authorities can’t – or won’t.
The Tattooist of Auschwitz, Heather Morris (Echo Publishing)
The Tattooist of Auschwitz is a beautiful, haunting novel, based on the true story of Lale Sokolov, prisoner 34902. Sokolov was a Slovakian Jew, held prisoner during World War 2 in the now infamous Auschwitz prison camp.
Have you read any of the shortlisted books? Have you read them all? Is there another book you feel should’ve made the cut? Tell us what you think.
The 2019 ABIA winners will be announced on 2 May. Find out more about the ABIAs here.