Fiona Kidman, Jo Seagar and Kimberly Andrews are winners in the inaugural NZ Booklovers Awards announced today.
‘These are books that all families in New Zealand will enjoy,’ says NZ Booklovers Director Karen McMillan. ‘Between the three winners, there is a novel that is an excellent piece of storytelling that takes the reader back in time to New Zealand in the 1950s, a lifestyle book that will be used repeatedly for family celebrations, and a children’s book that is likely to become a favourite and foster a love of reading.’
This Mortal Boy by Fiona 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, Arthur Black. In 1950s Auckland Arthur’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.’
Entries for the NZ Booklovers Awards 2020 are already open at www.nzbooklovers.co.nz/awards
‘We are passionate about supporting the many talented authors we have in New Zealand, so we are delighted to be offering the NZ Booklovers Awards for a second year,’ says Karen McMillan. ‘We welcome traditionally published authors and self-published authors to submit their books throughout the year. This year we were delighted to see a mix of well-known names and new talent and trust we will see a similar variety for the 2020 Awards.’
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.
About NZ Booklovers
NZ Booklovers is an online home for books and for those who enjoy reading them. It is a bookworms’ hub, dedicated to bringing New Zealanders everything they need to know about reading and the world of literature. Working alongside publishers, NZ Booklovers showcases both New Zealand and international titles. It provides a platform for sharing articles, author interviews, reviews, and book-related stories, as well as book news, competitions, and reading and writing advice.
Director Karen McMillan heads up a talented team of contributors and reviewers, fellow readers and writers who are passionate about books and who believe books inspire and enhance people’s lives. The NZ Booklovers Awards are the brainchild of Karen McMillan, with the aim of supporting the local publishing community and New Zealand authors.