The Australian Booksellers Association (ABA) Booksellers Choice Award for 2016 has been won by Magda Szubankski’s Reckoning. The ABA conference awards night was held on May 29 at the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra. In her acceptance speech Szubanski took the opportunity to emphasise the value of Australian writers and authors saying that ‘without Australian stories we’re nothing but shadow puppets’, that, ‘we will dematerialise’.
Amelia Lush from Better Read Than Dead in Newtown was named Young Bookseller of the Year. Bookseller of the Year was shared by Deb Force from the Sun Bookshop in Yarraville, Melbourne and Anna Low from Potts Point Bookshop, Sydney. Robyn Huppert, the ABA’s Communications Manager and Kid’s Reading Guide organiser was awarded the Elizabeth Riley Fellowship for Children’s Bookselling.
Comedian Dave O’Neill hosted the night which included a speech from Deng Adut, who described his experiences as a child soldier in the Sudanese Civil War and his subsequent life in Australia. Jimmy Barnes from the band Cold Chisel read from his soon to be published memoir and performed three songs which drew a standing ovation from all in attendance.