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The Man Booker Prize for Fiction 2014

The Man Booker Prize for Fiction 2014

The shortlist for this year's Man Booker Prize for Fiction has been announced and we are all completely beside ourselves with excitement that Karen Joy Fowler has made the cut with her fabulous, funny, clever, intimate and moving novel We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves.

The Man Booker Prize promotes the finest in fiction by rewarding the very best book of the year. The prize is one of the world's most prestigious literary awards, and celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2008 after launching in 1969.

See all the shortlisted titles here


Find out more about the Man Booker Prize here
Spotlight:

Clariel

by Garth Nix

Does the walker choose the path, or the path the walker? An epic fantasy adventure, set six hundred years before Sabriel and as rich and compelling as the original Old Kingdom novels.

Spotlight:

An Outback Nurse

by Thea Hayes

Thea Hayes trained as a Nurse in Sydney in 1959. A year later she was catapulted out of the safety of her city life into the unknown world of the Outback. This is her story.

Spotlight:

Noni the Pony goes to the beach

by Alison Lester

Come to the beach with Noni - the nicest pony you could ever meet - in this purely delightful rhyming story for young children by the much-loved Alison Lester.

Out now
Coming soon
Spotlight:

The Spy Catchers

by David Horner

For the first time, ASIO has opened its archives to an independent historian. With unfettered access to the records, David Horner tells the real story of Australia's domestic intelligence organisation, from shaky beginnings to the expulsion of Ivan Skripov in 1963.

From the start, ASIO's mission was to catch spies. In the late 1940s, the top secret Venona program revealed details of a Soviet spy ring in Australia, supported by leading Australian communists. David Horner outlines the tactics ASIO used in counterespionage, from embassy bugging to surveillance of local suspects. His research sheds new light on the Petrov Affair, and details incidents and activities that have never been revealed before.

This authoritative and ground-breaking account overturns many myths about ASIO, and offers new insights into broader Australian politics and society in the fraught years of the Cold War.

'The Spy Catchers is a fascinating account of ASIO's early years when the main threat Australia faced was from the Soviet regime.' - The Hon. John Howard, OM, AC, former Prime Minister of Australia

'This is one of our most important official histories.' - The Hon. Kim Beazley, AC, Australian Ambassador to the United States of America

Spotlight:

Dancing with a Cocaine Cowboy

by Robyn Windshuttle

'After dinner a small mountain of coke was emptied onto a glass surface, the music was turned up and the party continued. This is what Colombians did. And everyone danced, including the men.'

When a free-spirited young woman from Sydney's northern beaches left Australia to dance her way around the world, little did she know she would be catapulted into the middle of a European cocaine ring on her first day in Paris.

A dancer with the Moulin Rouge, Robyn Windshuttle's life changed irrevocably the moment she met Daniel, a handsome and charismatic Colombian. Drawn together by an irresistible chemistry, Robyn takes Daniel at his word. But he is not, as first thought, a photographer for the Nikon Gallery and she becomes an unwitting accomplice to the cutthroat dealings of Daniel's Colombian drug syndicate.

Honest, evocative and full of spirit, Dancing with a Cocaine Cowboy moves from Sydney to Paris, Ibiza, Monte Carlo and Bogota in a rich, exciting and exotic swirl. And with great strength and resilience, Robyn eventually reclaims her own life and that of the son she had with Daniel from this turbulent world.

Spotlight:

Cooper Bartholomew is Dead

by Rebecca James

Cooper Bartholomew's body is found at the foot of a cliff.

Suicide.

That's the official finding, that's what everyone believes. Cooper's girlfriend, Libby, has her doubts. They'd been happy, in love. Why would he take his own life?

As Libby searches for answers, and probes more deeply into what really happened the day Cooper died, she and her friends unravel a web of deception and betrayal. Are those friends - and enemies - what they seem? Who is hiding a dangerous secret? And will the truth set them all free?

A gripping new novel from the author of Beautiful Malice and Sweet Damage.

Spotlight:

Pandora Jones: Deception

by Barry Jonsberg

It was difficult to know when nightmares ended and the waking world began.

Pan is still struggling to distinguish between her dreams and reality. When she wakes in the Infirmary her mind replays the sight of Nate running along the shoreline and the way his body froze and then flopped after he was shot. But her memories hold more questions than answers and she doesn't know who to trust.

When she forms an unlikely alliance with Jen to try to make sense of everyone's haunting similar memories and the conflicting information about The School, she finds herself with unexpected enemies.

Pan and Jen are determined to seek the truth - no matter what rules they must break or how terrible the danger they face. But can they even trust each other?

Intuition. Secrets. Truth. Courage. Action. Survival.

Spotlight:

To Name Those Lost

by Rohan Wilson

Summer 1874, and Launceston teeters on the brink of anarchy. After abandoning his wife and child many years ago, the Black War veteran Thomas Toosey must return to the city to search for William, his now motherless twelve-year-old son. He travels through the island's northern districts during a time of impossible hardship - hardship that has left its mark on him too. Arriving in Launceston, however, Toosey discovers a town in chaos. He is desperate to find his son amid the looting and destruction, but at every turn he is confronted by the Irish transportee Fitheal Flynn and his companion, the hooded man, to whom Toosey owes a debt that he must repay.

To Name Those Lost is the story of a father's journey. Wilson has an eye for the dirt, the hardness, the sheer dog-eat-doggedness of the lives of the poor. Human nature is revealed in all its horror and beauty as Thomas Toosey struggles with the good and the vile in himself and learns what he holds important.

Spotlight:

Return to Fourwinds

by Elisabeth Gifford

One house. Two families. A lifetime of secrets.

At Fourwinds they gather: Alice and Ralph, Patricia and Peter, to celebrate the marriage of their children. The marquee is on the lawn, breathing in and out in the summer heat. But the bride is nowhere to be seen.

As both families are drawn together, the past floods through the corridors of the old house. What secret has Ralph been keeping from his wife? What is it about Alice's wartime encounter with Peter that has haunted her ever since? And what could have caused Sarah to vanish without a word to any of the people she loves?

Moving from the orange groves of Valencia and the spacious houses of the British countryside to the post-war slums in the north, Return to Fourwinds is a sweeping, lyrical story of the things we tell and the things we keep to ourselves. Is Sarah's disappearance a culmination of the pressures that have kept the two families apart? Or can they work together to bring her back to Fourwinds?

Spotlight:

The Burning Room

by Michael Connelly

Detective Harry Bosch and his new partner investigate a recent murder where the trigger was pulled years earlier.

In the LAPD's Open-Unsolved Unit, not many murder victims die a decade after the crime. So when Orlando Merced finally succumbs to complications from being shot ten years earlier, Bosch catches a case in which the body is still fresh, but any other evidence is virtually nonexistent.

Partnered with Lucia Soto, a rookie detective who made her name in a violent liquor store shoot-out, Bosch begins to see political dimensions to the case - a case where, despite the seemingly impossible odds, failure to find the killer is simply not an option.

But not only does Soto soon reveal a burning obsession that could make her a loose cannon, the one piece of evidence they have on the Merced shooting also points in a shocking and unexpected direction that could unsettle the very people who want Bosch to close out the case.

It's looking like Orlando Merced may not be the investigation's only victim - and that includes Bosch himself.

'A modern-day master of crime writing . . . arguably the best detective series of our era.' Good Reading

'The finest crime writer working today' - Neil Cross, lead scriptwriter of Spooks and creator of Luther

Spotlight:

Merciless Gods

by Christos Tsiolkas

Love, sex, death, family, friendship, betrayal, tenderness, sacrifice and revelation...

This incendiary collection of stories from acclaimed bestselling international writer Christos Tsiolkas takes you deep into worlds both strange and familiar, and characters that will never let you go.

'...there is not a more important writer working in Australia today.' AB&P

'Tsiolkas has become that rarest kind of writer in Australia, a serious literary writer who is also unputdownable, a mesmerising master of how to tell a story. He has this ability more than any other writer in the country....' Peter Craven, The Sun Herald

'The sheer energy of Tsiolkas' writing - its urgency and passion and sudden jags of tenderness - is often an end in itself: a thrilling, galvanising reminder of the capacity of fiction to speak to the world it inhabits.' James Bradley, The Monthly

Spotlight:

The Never, Um, Ever Ending Story

by Molly Meldrum

Molly: 'Who the f**k is Madonna?'

Madonna: ''What the f**k is a Molly?'

More than thirty-five years in the making, this is the story of Ian 'Molly' Meldrum and the television show that stopped the nation.

In 1974 Molly was working as a record producer and music journalist when he was offered the chance to be the talent co-ordinator of a new music show called Countdown. It would run for the next thirteen years and become one of the most-loved and most-watched programs on Australian television. It also turned Molly into a national institution (or 'mental institution' as one of his friends put it).

During that period he not only became the most influential voice in Australian music, he endeared himself to millions of viewers with a uniquely unpolished interviewing style and a tangible on-screen passion. For better or for worse, whether interviewing Prince Charles or Sid Vicious, Molly was always Molly. Along the way he talked, partied, argued, exchanged blows and became firm friends with a roll-call of the world's greatest musical names. Sir Elton John famously described him as 'the best thing that ever happened to Australian music.'

Filled with outrageous anecdotes and a kaleidoscopic cast of musos, colourful characters and international superstars, The Never, Um, Ever Ending Story is Molly's hilarious, vivid, warm and always compelling memoir of his chaotic, incredible life and the show that made him famous.

Spotlight:

Australians (volume 3)

by Thomas Keneally

Australia emerged from World War I into a decade of profound change, characterised by a revolution in behaviour amongst the young; by the first great age of consumerism; and by secret right wing armies and the growth of the Communist Party.

As in the two previous volumes of Australians, Thomas Keneally brings history to vivid and pulsating life as he traces the lives and the deeds of Australians known and unknown. He follows the famous and the infamous through the Great Crash and the rise of Fascism, and explains how Australia was inexorably drawn into a war that led her forces into combat throughout Asia, Africa, Europe and the Pacific. At home an atmosphere of fear grew with the fall of Singapore and the bombing of Darwin, the Japanese advance and then the arrival of General MacArthur.

The 1950s-depicted by some as an age of full employment, by others as the age of suburban spread and boredom under the serene prime ministership of Robert Menzies-were as complicated as Menzies himself. Most Australians believed there would be nuclear war before the end of the decade. The Korean War and British testing of the atomic bomb in South Australia were seen as preludes. With the defection of the Soviet spy Ivan Petrov, Australians were convinced they were living in the last of days. On the street, the face of Australia was undergoing an Italian, Greek and Slavic-led change. And in even greater upheaval, Asian trade and immigration were coming our way as we advanced towards a war in Vietnam and the firming of the American alliance. The result of masterly writing and exhaustive research, this volume of Australians brings our more recent history to vibrant and robust life.

Spotlight:

Tashi and the Wicked Magician

by Anna Fienberg, Barbara Fienberg illustrated by Geoff Kelly and Kim Gamble

Tashi is bold and clever, and tells the best stories ever!

There's a Magnificent Magician with a greedy plan, a haunted house about to go up in flames, ruthless ruffians after a rare orchid, and a quest for the bravest person in the land to face the fire-breathing Red Whiskered Dragon.

'All children should meet Tashi. He can be their mentor on the road to reading, feeding their imaginations with fantastic stories...' Magpies

Spotlight:

Crash: Twinmaker 2

by Sean Williams

Praise for Jump: 'A thrilling, existential head-trip' - Alaya Dawn Johnson

If you could be anywhere in a moment, where would you go? If you could change your appearance in a minute, what would you choose? If you discovered something was very wrong with this perfect world, what would you do?

Clair's world has changed beyond recognition. The d-mat network is broken and matter transportation is unstable. People are trapped, injured, dying, with no way of reaching them. Clair - 'the girl who killed d-mat' - is enlisted to track down her missing friend Q, the rogue AI who repeatedly saved Clair's life and who is the key to fixing the system. But does Q want to be found, and can she be trusted?

Targeted by dupes, abandoned by her friends, caught in a web of lies that strike at the very essence of who she is, Clair finds powerful allies in RADICAL, secretive activists who are the polar opposite of anti-d-mat terrorist group WHOLE. But Clair must tread carefully to avoid trapping Q in a life of servitude - or worse, sending her to an early death by erasure.

Caught between pro- and anti-d-mat philosophies, in a world on the brink of all-out war, Clair must decide where she stands - and who she stands with, at the end.

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