Australian Bookish Update

I’m a huge fan of the weekly newsletter that Michael and the Translated Lit team send out which is an update on all kinds of news in the translated literature community, including shoutouts of booktubers and bookstagrammers that share translated lit content. I don’t have anything that I follow that condenses that sort of update for #AusLit so I thought I’d put my own spin on the idea and pop some things together that I’ve read recently, or that have been on my radar – full disclaimer that this isn’t intended to be fully comprehensive though!

Literary Awards

I follow a small number of Australian literary awards and wanted to mention a few that you can check out.

One of my favorite, because of the focus on works by Australian women, is the Stella Prize – this includes fiction and nonfiction together (so perfect for those of you reading for #NonfictionNovember at the moment) and they are due to announce the 2020 longlist in February 2020. Now is the perfect time to catch up on the 2019 list, and if you need some ideas I have reviews for most of the titles in this playlist. And if you just want to read some of the titles that have been longlisted over the years, you can join in with the monthly online bookclub with #StellaProject on Goodreads.

The Voss Literary Prize has just announced its 2019 shortlist, with the winner due to be announced in December. This is a really interesting prize as the books are selected by the Heads of English at Australian universities, and with titles like Trent Dalton’s Boy Swallows Universe and Melissa Lucashenko’s Too Much Lip on the shortlist it is a prize I have been excited to discover this year.

Of of my other favorite prizes, that recently announced its 2019 winner, is the Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction – this one covers an authors first or second book, so is a really great way I’ve found to discover new Aussie authors. For the second year in a row I read the entire shortlist with Simon, Julia and (new addition this year!) Natalie, so check out our thoughts in this playlist here for a taster of the titles listed.

#AusLit Content I’ve Been Loving

Alba from Seriela (a Puerto Rican booktuber) recently reviewed Behrooz Boochani’s No Friend But The Mountains (translated by Omid Tofighian)

Another recent booktuber I subscribed to, thanks to Natalie’s recommendation, was Bear Reads Books. He recently reviewed #AusLit title, Atlantic Black by A S Patric (whose earlier title, Black Rock, White CityI really enjoyed!)

A recent listen I enjoyed was Better Words Podcast’s interview of Bri Lee about her newest release, Beauty. After loving her first book, Eggshell Skull, I was particularly excited that there is a companion text, Brains, that Lee will be releasing next year too!

While we all read and support the publishing industry and authors in our own ways, I’ve loved following Stella’s Thirty Books Project on booktube – she is reading and reviewing books by Aussie authors and sharing where she buys them and how much money goes to supporting the author directly, watch her first upload to learn more about the significance of thirty books!

Recently Read and Reviewed

Night Fishing by Vicki Hastrich (Allen & Unwin, 2019) – review

Griffith Review 66 (Text Publishing, 2019)nonfictionand fiction reviews

Saudade by Suneeta Peres Da Costa (Transit Books, 2019) – review

The Scholar by Dervla McTiernan (Little Brown, 2019)

One Hundred Years of Dirt by Rick Morton (Melbourne University Press, 2018)

Taboo by Kim Scott (Small Beer Press, 2019)

Here Until August by Josephine Rowe (Catapult, 2019)

On the Horizon

Looking forward, some 2020 #AusLit releases that I have on my radar include (and some pre-order links where available):

The Good Turn by Dervla McTiernan (Harper Collins Australia, 24 February 2020)

The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree by Shokoofeh Azar, translated by Adrien Kijek (Europa Editions, January 2020)

All Our Shimmering Skies by Trent Dalton (Harper Collins Australia, 16 June 2020)

The Three Burials of Lotty Kneen by Krissy Kneen (Text Publishing, 2020)


Disclaimer: some books mentioned were provided for review but all opinions expressed are my own. Some links used are affiliate links.


  1. That. Was. AWESOME! I didn’t expect such a comprehensive look at the current state of Aussie literature. So many new to me books, booktubers and prizes. Nice to see my favorite Aussie Booktubers, too. Great idea, Jaclyn.


  2. That was awesome, Jaclyn. I didn’t expect such a comprehensive offering of Aussie books, Booktubers and prizes. And I appreciate the mention. Off to watch the new to me Booktubers!
    Alba @ seriela

    Liked by 1 person

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