NZ BOOKLOVERS AWARDS 2019
NZ Booklovers Awards 2019 Winners
This Mortal Boy by Fiona Kidman wins the NZ Booklovers Award for Best Adult Fiction Book 2019.
The judges say, ‘This novel is a portrayal of a real event in New Zealand, one of the last times the death penalty was invoked. Set in the 1950s, the social climate of the time is beautifully portrayed – conservative, prejudiced against immigrants, and suffering from an upsurge in juvenile delinquency. It is very easy to engage with the characters, especially the central figure, Albert Black. In 1950s Auckland Albert’s unfortunate liaisons lead him to a situation which gets out of control. Is he a victim of prejudice and a miscarriage of justice? A well-crafted story that perfectly fits our brief of a book that celebrates the best in storytelling, a book we couldn’t put down.’
Better than a Bought One by Jo Seagar wins the NZ Booklovers Award for Best Lifestyle Book 2019.
The judges say, ‘Better than a Bought One is not a regular recipe book – it is a valuable addition to any Kiwi home! This is New Zealand’s beloved cook Jo Seagar’s best book yet. Sharing her love of entertaining, Jo inspires readers to celebrate life’s milestones at home. Her focus is on easy, economical ideas to mark everything from birthdays, backyard weddings, baby showers and other life celebrations to Matariki and a casual Kiwi Christmas. Jo deftly shows readers how to create special occasions with minimal effort and maximum impact. Jo’s trademark writing is accompanied by intoxicating photography that ensures readers will repeatedly refer to the book for memorable ideas. A highly pleasurable read that hits our criteria of a book that enriches people’s everyday lives.’
Puffin the Architect by Kimberly Andrews wins the NZ Booklovers Award for Best Children’s Book 2019.
The judges say, ‘As Puffin the Architect leads her difficult-to-please clients through her past designs – the homes she has planned for Platypus the Baker, Painter Goose and Pilot Moose, amongst others – they see and hear about her wonderful creations, but none are right for them. What is required is a cottage specifically designed for puffins, and “a home built by the sea” is underway. A detail with special appeal that comes at the end of the story is that the architect is their mum. Cleverly written in verse and with wonderfully detailed illustrations, this is a great read-aloud book and one that children will also enjoy reading alone for both the intricacies of the drawings and the ideas of planning a “custom-built” house. A picture book which can be read over many times and used as a creative discussion point for children’s own choices about house designs, Puffin the Architect has a richness, depth and complexity of concepts that will appeal to kids over a wide range of ages.’
NZ Booklovers Awards 2019 Shortlist
NZ Booklovers Award for Best Adult Fiction Book 2019
A Change of Key by Adrienne Jansen (Escalator Press)
Crystal Reign by Kelly Lyndon (Remnant Press)
Fishing for Māui by Isa Pearl Ritchie (Te Rā Aroha Press)
Grandzilla by Lisa Williams (Crummer Road Press)
This Mortal Boy by Fiona Kidman (Penguin Random House)
A Year at Hotel Gondola by Nicky Pellegrino (Hachette)
NZ Booklovers Award for Best Lifestyle Book 2019
Better than a Bought One by Jo Seagar (Penguin Random House)
Eco Home by Melinda Williams (Penguin Random House)
Flourish by Juliet Nicholas and Barb Rogers (Penguin Random House)
The Natural Home by Wendyl Nissen (Allen & Unwin)
Ripe Recipes – A Third Helping by Angela Redfern and the Ripe Deli Team (Beatnik)
Wild Delicious by Amber Rose (Penguin Random House)
NZ Booklovers Award for Best Children’s Book 2019
Dear Donald Trump by Sophie Siers, illustrated by Anne Villeneuve (Millwood Press)
Hero of the Sea by David Hill, illustrated by Phoebe Morris (Penguin Random House)
Kuwi’s Rowdy Crowd by Kat Merewether (Illustrated Publishing)
Lyla by Fleur Beale (Allen & Unwin)
Puffin the Architect by Kimberly Andrews (Penguin Random House)
Who Stole the Rainbow? by Vasanti Unka (Penguin Random House)
The Best Adult Fiction Book Award is judged by writer and literary editor Marcus Hobson; publishing professional Rachel White; and NZ Booklovers Director and author Karen McMillan.
The Best Lifestyle Book Award is judged by journalist and author Andrea Molloy; NZ Booklovers Director and author Karen McMillan; and publisher, home renovator and foodie Iain McKenzie.
The Best Children’s Book Award is judged by author and creative writing teacher Paddy Richardson; editor and writer Heidi North; and early childhood kaiako and journalist Rebekah Fraser.
A Change of Key: ‘A wonderful collection of characters in this book set in a mostly migrant community. The residents are drawn together to support one another, and by weaving the theme of music into the story, there is a real sense of belonging and community in this little snapshot of a not-so-familiar NZ. Adrienne Jansen makes you care about the characters in this book.’
‘Crystal Reign is an eye-opening story about the dreadful effects of P on an ordinary family, written from the point of view of a man trying to hold his family and marriage together. The writing style is engaging and direct – exploring the raw emotions of what he is going through, as well as the toll it takes on those around him.’
‘Fishing for Māui is a portrait of a family moving through crisis. We are introduced to a large cast of characters in this book, and the author cleverly tells their stories through their own eyes, from very young, to very old. It cleverly interweaves Māori legends and a real sense of New Zealand and connection to the past and present. Drugs, mental health, families and cultures are never easy topics, but Isa Pearl Ritchie tackles them all.’
‘Grandzilla is a novel with multiple layers, plots and countries that come together to make this compelling reading. The author pulls off a clever mix of past and present, linking riots in 1960s Germany with present-day racial unrest in the USA. Grandzilla educates as well as entertains. Great characters and an enlightening read.’
‘This Mortal Boy is a beautifully drawn novel that brings a true story to life. It is the little touches that make this brilliant, the small observations of everyday events. We travel back to 1950s New Zealand, a time when a judge could put a man to death. Time is running out for Albert Black.’
A Year at the Hotel Gondola: ‘An enjoyable mix of Venice, romance and plenty of cooking recipes.
This is a great holiday read, especially for anyone who has visited Venice. Apart from the love story and the mouth-watering food, it also addresses the current issues facing the residents of Venice with the overcrowding from too many tourists.’
‘Better than a Bought One is not a regular recipe book. Sharing her love of entertaining, Jo inspires readers to celebrate life’s milestones at home. Her focus is on easy, economical ideas to mark everything from birthdays to backyard weddings, Matariki and a casual Kiwi Christmas. Jo’s trademark writing is accompanied by intoxicating photography that ensures readers will repeatedly refer to the book for memorable ideas.’
‘Eco Home is an essential read for anyone considering building or renovating their home. Melinda’s writing clearly communicates the benefits of going green and how to create an eco-friendly home. The gorgeous photography throughout further inspires sustainable living.’
Flourish: ‘This stunning book showcases the lives of women behind some of New Zealand’s most significant gardens. The wonderful photography is accompanied by delightful storytelling with inspirational messaging. Flourish is such an enjoyable read it will encourage even the most unlikely of green thumbs.’
The Natural Home: ‘This thoughtfully designed book inspires readers to live sustainable lives. Wendyl’s accessible writing makes old-fashioned, chemical-free living highly desirable. The Natural Home is a delightful, practical guide, including Wendyl’s best recipes from previous books.’
Ripe Recipes – A Third Helping: ‘This follow-up book from Ripe Deli’s Angela Redfern is bursting with flavour! Rediscover the seasons and turn each page to discover a scrumptious new dish. Angela has cleverly curated over 100 accessible recipes to inspire healthy eating at home.’
Wild Delicious: ‘This beautiful hardback is more than a recipe book, it is a culinary guide to slow living. Renowned chef Amber Rose encourages mindful food preparation using local, seasonal produce. Stunning images are accompanied by thoughtful writing that compels a well-nourished life.’
‘Dear Donald Trump deals with incredibly complex and important issues through an innocent sibling drama. It’s a charming story that will spark a conversation with young children about kindness, compassion and peace in this turbulent time.’
Hero of the Sea: ‘A beautiful biographical picture book that allows a new generation of Kiwi kids to learn about Sir Peter Blake. A stellar tribute to one of New Zealand’s greatest heroes, with great illustrations from Phoebe Morris.’
‘Kuwi’s Rowdy Crowd is an absolute delight, with gorgeous illustrations and a wonderful subtle tale about being happy with what you have.’
‘Lyla sensitively and poignantly portrays the experience of a young girl living through the Christchurch earthquake, the courage that she shows at the time and during the aftermath and the effect it has on her and her family and friends.’
Puffin the Architect: ‘Witty, with wonderfully detailed illustrations. This is a great read-aloud book.’
Who Stole the Rainbow: ‘Snappy illustrations and humour make this book about how rainbows are made accessible and fun for a younger audience.’