Blog Archives

What are We Reading?

Australia’s most borrowed library books 

Have you ever wondered what the most popular books are in Australian Libraries? The Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) & Civica Libraries Index publish an annual list of the most borrowed books from the previous 12 months.

We certainly like our crime and thriller novels. They make up the top 10 spots in the 2017 list, and account for 15 of the top 20 books borrowed. At number one is Make Me by Lee Child, followed by The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins and Personal, also by Lee Child.

Topping the list of Australian titles this year was Rain Music by Di Morrissey, followed by Spirits of the Ghan by Judy Nunn and Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty.

Non-fiction honours went to Reckoning by Magda Szubanski, then The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo and The Road to Little Dribbling: More Notes From a Small Island by Bill Bryson.

Find the full list on the ALIA website.


The Prime Minister’s Literary Awards shortlist for 2016

prime-ministers-literary-awardsThe Prime Minister’s Literary Awards began in 2008 and aim to recognise individual excellence and the contribution Australian authors make to the nation’s cultural and intellectual life.  The panel of judges make recommendations to the Prime Minister for the shortlists and winners across each of the six categories but it is the Prime Minister who makes the final decision (and in 2014 Tony Abbott famously overruled the judges and made his own choice, The Narrow Road to the Deep North  by Richard Flanagan).

The winner of each category — Fiction, Non-fiction, Australian History, Poetry, Young Adult Fiction and Children’s Fiction — is awarded $80,000, with shortlisted entries each awarded $5,000.

The twelve judges over three judging panels for the 2016 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards include:

  • Fiction and Poetry panel – Louise Adler AM (Chair), Jamie Grant, Dr Robert Gray and Des Cowley
  • Non-fiction and History panel – Gerard Henderson (Chair), Dr Ida Lichter, Peter Coleman and Professor Ross Fitzgerald
  • Children’s and Young Adult fiction panel – Mike Shuttleworth (Chair), Dr Irini Savvides, Ms Kate Colley and Dr Mark MacLeod

And the shortlisted titles for the The Prime Minister’s Literary Awards shortlist for 2016 are:







Australian History


Young Adult fiction


Children’s fiction


The winners will be announced later this year. In the meantime keep up-to-date via the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards  website or Facebook page or

Great Dragon Detective Quest at Katoomba Library


Here’s an event just for the kids!

Solve the clues by finding Blue’s dragon eggs and you could win a book prize pack!

Meet local authors and illustrators including Emily Rodda, James Roy, Steven Herrick, Stephen Measday, Susan Boyer, Dawn Meredith, Margaret Hamilton, Michel Streich & Narelda Joy.

Get your favourite books signed, see illustrator demonstrations, listen to the authors read their stories or enter our Little Free Libraries design competition and see the launch of a brand new book, ‘Friend in a Shell’, by Dawn Meredith.

When: Saturday 21 November 2015, 1pm to 3pm

Where: Katoomba Library

Cost: FREE

Details: Register for the event on the day from 1pm, recommended quest age 8 to 12 years.

Presented by the Blue Mountains Branch of the Children’s Book Council of Australia and hosted by Katoomba Library.

For more information contact Katoomba Library on  4780 5750

The Next Great Hotbed of Crime Writing – the 2014 Ned Kelly Awards Shortlist

The shortlist for the 2014 Australian Crime Writers Association Ned Kelly Awards was announced at the Bendigo Writers Festival last weekend. The ACWA award prizes for crime fiction and true crime writing with four categories : Best Fiction, Best First Fiction, True Crime and the Sandra Harvey Short Story Award.

The winners of the 2014 awards will be announced at the Brisbane Writers Festival on Saturday September 6.

Chair of the ACWA, Michael Robotham, said of the 2014 shortlist, “I can’t remember a time when the competition was so fierce and the quality so high. Nordic crime has been huge around the world since the Stieg Larsson trilogy but I think Australia can become the next great hotbed of crime writing.”


Bitter Wash Road by Garry Disher

Fatal Impact by Kathryn Fox (7th in the Dr Anya Crichton series)

In the Morning I’ll be Gone by Adrian McKinty (3rd in the Sean Duffy series)

Beams Falling by PM Newton (2nd in the Detective Nhu ‘Ned’ Kelly series)

One Boy Missing by Stephen Orr

The Dying Beach by Angela Savage



Dead Cat Bounce by Peter Cotton

Hades by Candice Fox

Blood Witness by Alex Hammond

Every Breath by Ellie Marney



Disgraced? The Cop at the Centre of Melbourne’s Gangland Wars by Paul Dale

Forever Nine by John Kidman & Denise Hofman

No Mercy: True Stories of Disaster, Survival and Brutality by Eleanor Learmonth & Jenny Tabakoff

JFK: The Smoking Gun by Colin McLaren

Outlaw Bikers in Australia by Duncan McNab

Murder in Mississippi by John Safran



Housewarming by Louise Bassett

The Scars of Noir by Darcy-Lee Tindale

Voices of SOI 22 by Roger Vickery

Splinter and Web Design both by Emma Vickic

The full list of shortlisted nominees is now published at:

The 2014 Stella Prize Longlist

stella prizeOnly in its second year, The Stella Prize is a major literary award, named after Stella Maria ‘Miles’ Franklin and is awarded to celebrate Australian women’s writing. (It is not to be confused with the Miles Franklin Literary Award for Australian fiction which is open to men also).

Unusually for a literary prize, both non-fiction and fiction books by Australian women are eligible for entry.

The Stella Prize 2014 longlist  has recently been announced and includes:

Letter to George Clooney by Debra Adelaide (Fiction)

Moving Among Strangers : Randolph Stow and my family by Gabrielle Carey (Non-fiction)

Burial Rites by Hannah Kent (Fiction)

Night Games by Anna Krien (Non-fiction)

Mullumbimby by Melissa Lucashenko (Fiction)

The Night Guest by Fiona McFarlane (Fiction)

Boy, Lost by Kristina Olsson (Non-fiction)

The Misogyny Factor by Anne Summers (Non-fiction)

Madeleine : a life of Madeleine St John by Helen Trinca

The Swan Book by Alexis Wright (Fiction)

The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka by Clare Wright (Non-fiction)

All the Birds, Singing by Evie Wyld (Fiction)

stella longlist

You can read the full judges’ report and much, much more on the Stella Prize website. The shortlist will be announced by  Thursday 20 March.

Stella Prize Shadow Reading Group

Could your book club read six books in six weeks? The Stella Prize organisers are looking for book clubs to read alongside the Stella Prize judges and select their own winner from the judges’ shortlist of 4 to 6 books. If you are interested, contact the Stella Prize Manager, Megan Quinlan, to register your club’s interest:  That could be fun!

Book Launch @ Katoomba Library


Join us this Saturday, 7 December 2013, at Katoomba Library for local author Carol Jocic’s Book Launch. Coral is launching her adult fiction story, A Journey Into Womanhood. Set in Australia in the 1950s, this is the story of one girl’s eye-opening journey to maturity. With both funny and sad moments, this book is often moving.

Coral will have copies of her book available for purchase, and afternoon tea will be provided.

Bookings appreciated on 4780 5750.

%d bloggers like this: