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The Top 10 reads:
1. Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton
2. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
3. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
4. The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris
5. The Lost Man by Jane Harper
6. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
7. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
8. Just One Wish by Rachael Johns
9. Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen
10. Tidelands by Philippa Gregory
The 100 Most Popular Young Adult Books on Goodreads
Exciting YA books to look
out for in 2020
The Pulitzer Prizes
The Pulitzer Prize is an award for achievements in newspaper, magazine and online journalism, literature, and musical composition in the United States. It was established in 1917 by provisions in the will of Joseph Pulitzer, who had made his fortune as a newspaper publisher, and is administered by Columbia University.
The Booker Prizes
The Booker Prize is the leading literary award in the English speaking world, and has brought recognition, reward and readership to outstanding fiction for over five decades. Each year, the prize is awarded to what is, in the opinion of the judges, the best novel of the year written in English and published in the UK and Ireland. It is a prize that transforms the winner’s career.
The winner receives £50,000 as well as the £2,500 awarded to each of the six shortlisted authors. Both the winner and the shortlisted authors are guaranteed a global readership plus a dramatic increase in book sales. The International Booker Prize is awarded annually for a single book, translated into English and published in the UK or Ireland.
The Miles Franklin Literary Award
The Miles Franklin Literary Award is Australia’s most prestigious literature prize. Established through the will of My Brilliant Career author, Miles Franklin, the prize is awarded each year to a novel which is of the highest literary merit and presents Australian life in any of its phases. First presented in 1957, the Award helps to support authors and to foster uniquely Australian literature. Miles Franklin believed that “Without an indigenous literature, people can remain alien in their own soil." She also had first-hand experience of struggling to make a living as a writer and was the beneficiary of two literary prizes herself.
The Stella Prize
The Stella Prize is a major literary award celebrating Australian women’s writing, and an organisation that champions cultural change.
Stella was created in 2012 to counter the gender bias rife in the Australian literary landscape at the time. As an organisation, Stella seeks to:
- recognise and celebrate Australian women writers’ contribution to literature
- bring more readers to books by women and thus increase their sales
- equip young readers with the skills to question gender disparities and challenge stereotypes, and help girls find their voice
- reward one writer with a $50,000 prize – money that buys a writer some measure of financial independence and thus time, that most undervalued yet necessary commodity for women, to focus on their writing
Boy Swallows Universe by Brisbane, 1983: A lost father, a mute brother, a mum in jail, a heroin dealer for a stepfather and a notorious crim for a babysitter. It's not as if Eli's life isn't complicated enough already. He's just trying to follow his heart, learning what it takes to be a good man, but life just keeps throwing obstacles in the way - not least of which is Tytus Broz, legendary Brisbane drug dealer. But Eli's life is about to get a whole lot more serious. He's about to fall in love. And, oh yeah, he has to break into Boggo Road Gaol on Christmas Day, to save his mum.
The tall man : death and life on Palm Island by In 2004 on Palm Island, an Aboriginal settlement in the "Deep North" of Australia, a thirty-six-year-old man named Cameron Doomadgee was arrested for swearing at a white police officer. Forty minutes later he was dead in the jailhouse. The police claimed he'd tripped on a step, but his liver was ruptured. The main suspect was Senior Sergeant Christopher Hurley, a charismatic cop with long experience in Aboriginal communities and decorations for his work.
Chloe Hooper was asked to write about the case by the pro bono lawyer who represented Cameron Doomadgee's family. He told her it would take a couple of weeks. She spent three years following Hurley's trail to some of the wildest and most remote parts of Australia, exploring Aboriginal myths and history and the roots of brutal chaos in the Palm Island community.
All the Light We Cannot See by A beautiful, stunningly ambitious novel about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II Open your eyes and see what you can with them before they close forever.' For Marie-Laure, blind since the age of six, the world is full of mazes. The miniature of a Paris neighbourhood, made by her father to teach her the way home. The microscopic layers within the invaluable diamond that her father guards in the Museum of Natural History. The walled city by the sea, where father and daughter take refuge when the Nazis invade Paris. And a future which draws her ever closer to Werner, a German orphan, destined to labour in the mines until a broken radio fills his life with possibility and brings him to the notice of the Hitler Youth. In this magnificent, deeply moving novel, the stories of Marie-Laure and Werner illuminate the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another.
The Yield by The yield in English is the reaping, the things that man can take from the land. In the language of the Wiradjuri yield is the things you give to, the movement, the space between things: baayanha. Knowing that he will soon die, Albert 'Poppy' Gondiwindi takes pen to paper. His life has been spent on the banks of the Murrumby River at Prosperous House, on Massacre Plains. Albert is determined to pass on the language of his people and everything that was ever remembered. He finds the words on the wind. August Gondiwindi has been living on the other side of the world for ten years when she learns of her grandfather's death. She returns home for his burial, wracked with grief and burdened with all she tried to leave behind. Her homecoming is bittersweet as she confronts the love of her kin and news that Prosperous is to be repossessed by a mining company. Determined to make amends she endeavours to save their land -- a quest that leads her to the voice of her grandfather and into the past, the stories of her people, the secrets of the river. ... The Yield is the story of a people and a culture dispossessed. But it is as much a celebration of what was and what endures, and a powerful reclaiming of Indigenous language, storytelling and identity.
Taboo by One may as well begin, ‘Once upon a time…’ We thought to tell a story with such momentum; a truck careering down a hillside, thunder in a rocky riverbed, a skeleton tumbling to the ground. There must be at least one brave and resilient character as its centre, Tily Coolman (one of us), and the story will speak of magic in an empirical age; of how our dead will return, transformed, to support us again and from within. Except this is no fairy tale.
The Testaments by When the van door slammed on Offred's future at the end of The handmaid's tale, readers had no way of telling what lay ahead. With this book, the wait is over. This sequel picks up the story 15 years after Offred stepped into the unknown, with the explosive testaments of three female narrators from Gilead.
Cloudstreet by "After two separate catastrophes, two very different families leave the country for the bright lights of Perth. The Lambs are industrious, united, and--until God seems to turn His back on their boy Fish--religious. The Pickleses are gamblers, boozers, fractious, and unlikely landlords. Change, hardship, and the war force them to swallow their dignity and share a great, breathing, shuddering house called Cloudstreet. Over the next twenty years, they struggle and strive, laugh and curse, come apart and pull together under the same roof, and try as they can to make their lives. Winner of the Miles Franklin Award and recognized as one of the greatest works of Australian literature, Cloudstreet is Tim Winton's sprawling, comic epic about luck and love, fortitude and forgiveness, and the magic of the everyday".
Lenny's Book of Everything by Lenny, small and sharp, has a younger brother Davey who won't stop growing - and at seven is as tall as a man. Raised by their mother, they have food and a roof over their heads, but not much else. The bright spot every week is the arrival of the latest issue of the Burrell's Build-It-at-Home Encyclopedia. Through the encyclopedia, Lenny and Davey experience the wonders of the world - beetles, birds, quasars, quartz - and dream about a life of freedom and adventure. But as Davey's health deteriorates, Lenny realises that some wonders can't be named.
The Mirror & the Light by From a bloodied and tormented child on the rough-and-ready streets of Putney, to the service of the country's most rich and powerful, Thomas Cromwell has ascended to the highest echelons of Henry VIII's tumultuous court. He has survived the fall of Cardinal Wolsey and inveigled his way into the King's confidence, overseen the overthrow of two queens and taken revenge on those who betrayed his former master. Now all of England lies at his feet, ripe for innovation and religious reform. But as fortune's wheel turns, Cromwell's enemies are gathering in the shadows and the question remains: how long can anyone survive under Henry's cruel and capricious gaze?
The Things That Will Not Stand by Sebastian is at a university open day with his best friend Tolly when he meets a girl. Her name is Frida, and she is edgy, caustic and funny. She is also a storyteller, but the stories she tells about herself dont ring true, and as their surprising and eventful day together unfolds, Sebastian struggles to sort the fact from the fiction. But how much can he expect Frida to share in just one day? And how much of his own self and his own secrets will he be willing to reveal in return?
The Lost Man by Is it possible for two very different teenagers to fall in love despite high barbed-wire fences and a political wilderness between them? Anahita is passionate, curious and determined. She is also an Iranian asylum seeker who is only allowed out of detention to attend school. On weekdays, during school hours, she can be a 'regular Australian girl'. Jono needs the distraction of an infatuation. In the past year his mum has walked out, he's been dumped and his sister has moved away. Lost and depressed, Jono feels as if he's been left behind with his Vietnamese single father, Kenny. Kenny is struggling to work out the rules in his new job; he recently started work as a guard at the Wickham Point Detention Centre. He tells Anahita to look out for Jono at school, but quickly comes to regret this, spiraling into suspicion and mistrust. Who is this girl, really? What is her story? Is she a genuine refugee or a queue jumper? As Jono and Anahita grow closer, Kenny starts snooping behind the scenes ...
This Is How We Change the Ending by I have questions I've never asked. Worries I've never shared. Thoughts that circle and collide and die screaming because they never make it outside my head. Stuff like that, if you let it go--it's a survival risk. Sixteen-year-old Nate McKee is doing his best to be invisible. He's worried about a lot of things--how his dad treats Nance and his twin half-brothers; the hydro crop in his bedroom; his reckless friend, Merrick. Nate hangs out at the local youth centre and fills his notebooks with things he can't say. But when some of his pages are stolen, and his words are graffitied at the centre, Nate realises he has allies. He might be able to make a difference, change his life, and claim his future. Or can he? This is How We Change the Endingis raw and real, funny and heartbreaking--a story about what it takes to fight back when you're not a hero.
The Boy Who Steals Houses by Can two broken boys find their perfect home? By turns heartbreaking and heartwarming, this is a gorgeously told, powerful story. Sam is only fifteen but he and his autistic older brother, Avery, have been abandoned by every relative he's ever known. Now Sam's trying to build a new life for them. He survives by breaking into empty houses when their owners are away, until one day he's caught out when a family returns home. To his amazement this large, chaotic family takes him under their wing - each teenager assuming Sam is a friend of another sibling. Sam finds himself inextricably caught up in their life, and falling for the beautiful Moxie. But Sam has a secret, and his past is about to catch up with him. Heartfelt storytelling, perfect for fans of Jandy Nelson and Jennifer Niven.
The arsonist: a mind on fire by On the scorching February day in 2009 that became known as Black Saturday, a man lit two fires in Victoria's Latrobe Valley, then sat on the roof of his house to watch the inferno. In the Valley, where the rates of crime were the highest in the state, more than thirty people were known to police as firebugs. But the detectives soon found themselves on the trail of a man they didn't know. The Arsonist takes readers on the hunt for this man, and inside the strange puzzle of his mind. It is also the story of fire in this country, and of a community that owed its existence to that very element. The command of fire has defined and sustained us as a species - understanding its abuse will define our future. A powerful real-life thriller, The Arsonist is a reminder that in an age of fire, all of us are gatekeepers.
A Song Only I Can Hear by Rob has a huge crush on the new girl at school. But Rob is painfully shy and suffers severe panic attacks. How is her heart to be won? A novel about dreaming big, being brave and marching to the beat of your own drum.