The shortlist for the 2022 Dymocks Book of the Year is out… and it's juicy! – the AU review
The Dymocks Book of the Year award was first introduced in 2018 to recognise and continue to support literary talent. Voted on by Dymocks staff across the country, the winners will be announced on Monday 28 November at the Dymocks flagship store on George St, Sydney.
The shortlist for the Dymocks 2022 Book of the year is:
Everyone In My Family Has Killed Someone, Benjamin Stevenson (Penguin Random House)
Book Lovers, Emily Henry (Penguin Random House)
Horse, Geraldine Brooks (Hachette Australia)
Carrie Soto is Back, Taylor Jenkins Reid (Penguin Random House)
Ten Steps to Nanette, Hannah Gadsby (Allen & Unwin)
Lessons in Chemistry, Bonnie Garmus (Penguin Random House)
The Young Readers shortlist is:
Chippy Chasers: Chippy Jackpot, Sam Cotton ((Penguin Random House)
Runt, Craig Silvey (Allen & Unwin)
Miss Mary-Kate Martin’s Guide to Monsters 1: Karen Foxlee (Allen & Unwin Childrens’)
The Happiest Boy on Earth, Eddie Jaku (Pan Macmillan Australia)
Skandar and the Unicorn Thief, A.F Steadman (Simon & Schuster)
Camping, Bluey (Penguin Random House)
Read more about the shortlisted titles below:
Everyone in My Family has Killed Someone by Benjamin Stevenson
Agatha Christie and Arthur Conan Doyle meet Knives Out and The Thursday Murder Club in this fiendishly clever blend of classic and modern murder mystery.
I was dreading the Cunningham family reunion even before the first murder.
Before the storm stranded us at the mountain resort, snow and bodies piling up.
The thing is, us Cunninghams don’t really get along. We’ve only got one thing in common: we’ve all killed someone.
Book Lovers by Emily Henry
Nora is a cut-throat literary agent at the top of her game. Her whole life is books.
Charlie is an editor with a gift for creating bestsellers. And he’s Nora’s work nemesis.
Nora has been through enough break-ups to know she’s the woman men date before they find their happy-ever-after. That’s why Nora’s sister has persuaded her to swap her desk in the city for a month’s holiday in Sunshine Falls, North Carolina. It’s a small town straight out of a romance novel, but instead of meeting sexy lumberjacks, handsome doctors or cute bartenders, Nora keeps bumping into…Charlie.
She’s no heroine. He’s no hero. So can they take a page out of an entirely different book?
Horse by Geraldine Brooks
Kentucky, 1850. An enslaved groom named Jarret and a bay foal forge a bond of understanding that will carry the horse to record-setting victories across the South, even as the nation reels towards war. An itinerant young artist who makes his name from paintings of the horse takes up arms for the Union and reconnects with the stallion and his groom on a perilous night far from the glamour of any racetrack.
New York City, 1954. Martha Jackson, a gallery owner celebrated for taking risks on edgy contemporary painters, becomes obsessed with a nineteenth-century equestrian oil painting of mysterious provenance.
Washington, DC, 2019. Jess, a Smithsonian scientist from Australia, and Theo, a Nigerian-American art historian, find themselves unexpectedly connected through their shared interest in the horse – one studying the stallion’s bones for clues to his power and endurance, the other uncovering the lost history of the unsung Black horsemen who were critical to his racing success.
With the moral complexity of March and a multi-stranded narrative reminiscent of People of the Book, this enthralling novel is a gripping reckoning with the legacy of enslavement and racism in America. Horse is the latest masterpiece from a writer with a prodigious talent for bringing the past to life.
Carrie Soto is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Carrie Soto is fierce, and her determination to win at any cost has not made her popular.
By the time Carrie retires from tennis, she is the best player the world has ever seen. She has shattered every record and claimed twenty Slam titles. And if you ask her, she is entitled to every one. She sacrificed nearly everything to become the best, with her father as her coach.
But six years after her retirement, Carrie finds herself sitting in the stands of the 1994 US Open, watching her record be taken from her by a brutal, stunning, British player named Nicki Chan.
At thirty-seven years old, Carrie makes the monumental decision to come out of retirement and be coached by her father for one last year in an attempt to reclaim her record. Even if the sports media says that they never liked the ‘Battle-Axe’ anyway. Even if her body doesn’t move as fast as it did. And even if it means swallowing her pride to train with a man she once almost opened her heart to: Bowe Huntley. Like her, he has something to prove before he gives up the game forever.
In spite of it all: Carrie Soto is back, for one epic final season. In this riveting and unforgettable novel, Taylor Jenkins Reid tells a story about the cost of greatness and a legendary athlete attempting a comeback.
Ten Steps to Nanette by Hannah Gadsby
Gadsby’s unique stand-up special Nanette was a viral success that left audiences captivated by her blistering honesty and her ability to create both tension and laughter in a single moment. But while her worldwide fame might have looked like an overnight sensation, her path from open mic to the global stage was hard-fought and anything but linear.
Ten Steps to Nanette traces Gadsby’s growth as a queer person from Tasmania – where homosexuality was illegal until 1997 – to her ever-evolving relationship with comedy, to her struggle with late-in-life diagnoses of autism and ADHD, and finally to the backbone of Nanette – the renouncement of self-deprecation, the rejection of misogyny, and the moral significance of truth-telling.
Equal parts harrowing and hilarious, Ten Steps to Nanette continues Gadsby’s tradition of confounding expectations and norms, properly introducing us to one of the most explosive, formative voices of our time.
Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus
Chemist Elizabeth Zott is not your average woman. In fact, Elizabeth Zott would be the first to point out that there is no such thing.
But it’s the early 1960s and her all-male team at Hastings Research Institute take a very unscientific view of equality. Except for one: Calvin Evans, the lonely, brilliant, Nobel-prize nominated grudge-holder who falls in love with – of all things – her mind. True chemistry results.
Like science, life is unpredictable. Which is why a few years later, Elizabeth Zott finds herself not only a single mother, but the reluctant star of America’s most beloved cooking show, Supper at Six. Elizabeth’s unusual approach to cooking (‘combine one tablespoon acetic acid with a pinch of sodium chloride’) proves revolutionary. But as her following grows, not everyone is happy. Because as it turns out, Elizabeth Zott isn’t just teaching women to cook. She’s daring them to change the status quo.
Chippy Chasers: Chippy Jackpot by Sam Cotton
On a sunny Sydney wharf, Stacey and Stanley watch enviously as customers feed on as many hot salty chippies as they want. Fed up with having to scab for scraps with all the other seagulls, they seek out legendary chippy thief Steve-O to help them pull off the ultimate heist . . .
But first they’ll have to get past a seagull-hating chippy chef, deal with some bully bin chickens, and convince the World’s Best Chippy Chaser to overcome his dark past and join the team.
Runt by Craig Silvey
Annie Shearer lives in the country town of Upson Downs with her best friend, an adopted stray dog called Runt. The two share a very special bond.
After years evading capture, Runt is remarkably fast and agile, perfect for herding runaway sheep. But when a greedy local landowner puts her family’s home at risk, Annie directs Runt’s extraordinary talents towards a different pursuit – winning the Agility Course Grand Championship at the lucrative Krumpets Dog Show in London.
However, there is a curious catch: Runt will only obey Annie’s commands if nobody else is watching.
With all eyes on them, Annie and Runt must beat the odds and the fastest dogs in the world to save her farm.
Runt is a heart-warming and hilarious tale of kindness, friendship, hurdles, hoops, tunnels, see-saws, being yourself and bringing out the best in others.
Miss Mary-Kate Martin’s Guide to Monsters 1 by Karen Foxlee
Miss Mary-Kate Martin might be anxious, but she’s not scared of monsters. Travelling the globe with her famous archaeologist mother, Mary-Kate helps solve legendary problems in this fun fantasy adventure suitable for fans of the Travelling Bookshop or the Magnolia Moon series.
There are those that hunt monsters to harm them and there are those that hunt monsters to help them. Which one are you?Dressed in sparkly red shoes and carrying her strawberry-scented notebook, Mary-Kate is accompanying her archaeologist mother to the tranquil English countryside to investigate some interesting bones found in an old well. But once they arrive, they realise that the village of Woolington is not as peaceful as it seems. Mysterious noises, earth tremors and a terrifying legend have the locals frightened.
Could there be any truth in the myth of the beast who lives in the ancient well? And if so, why would it return? Mary-Kate might be anxious, but she is not afraid to get to the bottom of this monstrous mystery.
The Happiest Boy on Earth by Eddie Jaku
Life can be beautiful if you make it beautiful. It is up to you.
Eddie lived with his family and adorable dachshund, Lulu, in the beautiful city of Leipzig in Germany. But one day, into the sunshine of his childhood crept a dark, heavy cloud. Not a rain cloud. Much worse than that. Adolf Hitler came to power.
When Eddie was 18, he was sent to a concentration camp.
A picture book adaptation for older readers (8+ years) based on the extraordinary, the bestselling adult title THE HAPPIEST MAN ON EARTH.
The story is framed as a conversation between 101-year-old Eddie and his great grandchildren – who are bursting with questions about the life of their Pépé.
The story of Eddie’s life unfolds beautifully, sensitively, heartbreakingly through his words, and exquisite illustrations by Nathaniel Eckstrom.
Skandar and the Unicorn Thief by A.F Steadman
Unicorns don’t belong in fairy tales; they belong in nightmares.
So begins Skandar and the Unicorn Thief. Soar into a world where unicorns are real – and they’re deadly. They can only be tamed by the rider who hatches them.
Thirteen-year-old Skandar Smith has only ever wanted to be a unicorn rider, and the time has finally come for him to take his Hatchery Exam, which will determine whether he is destined to hatch a unicorn egg. But when Skandar is stopped from taking the exam, and the mysterious and frightening Weaver steals the most powerful unicorn in the world, becoming a rider proves a lot more dangerous than he could ever have imagined. And what if Skandar was always destined to be the villain rather than the hero?
Camping by Bluey
When Bluey is on a family camping trip, she meets a new friend, Jean Luc. Join them as they plant a tree, hunt a ‘wild pig’ and learn about the magic of friendship. A gorgeous hardback book for kids of all ages.
Jess Gately is a freelance editor and writer with a particular love for speculative fiction and graphic novels.
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