Voting is now open for The Courier-Mail People's Choice Queensland Book of the Year Award, where the winner is determined by public vote. The title that receives the most votes wins the $10,000 prize.
You can buy finalists' books at The Library Shop or find them in your library. Watch the Queensland Literary Awards through the State Library website on 9 September to see who wins! Follow the QLAs on Twitter and Facebook.
All Our Shimmering Skies
Trent Dalton (HarperCollins Publishers)
A magical and imaginative fable of hope, wonder, optimism and the search for truth and goodness, filled with unforgettable characters. A WWII story of curses, promises, gifts, a quest, hidden treasure, grief, love and revenge. Molly Hook, gravedigger’s daughter, conquering her fears as she embarks on a wild, evocative journey.
With My Little Eye
Sandra Hogan (Allen & Unwin)
A delightful surprise – original, very different, and often funny (also painfully frank at times). This is history on an intimately human scale, and sometimes as surreal as The Sullivans meets Get Smart. Hogan lets us see through her subjects’ eyes, giving us a unique perspective on Brisbane’s past.
Kathleen Jennings (Picador Australia)
A dazzling gothic fairy tale of rural Australia. The disappearance of Bettina Scott’s family members leads her to uncover truths about her home – the haunting spectacle of small-town psyche expertly sewn throughout the novel. There is a magic rooted in this story that grows more real with every page.
From Where I Fell
Susan Johnson (Allen & Unwin)
An engaging epistolary novel on struggle, family, and a chance friendship. From Where I Fell is an engrossing insight into the lives of two women on opposite sides of the globe whose worlds become shared. Johnson cracks her characters open, revealing their hearts with audaciousness, intelligence, and generosity.
Grantlee Kieza (ABC Books)
A lively, interesting and well-researched biography of the naturalist who accompanied Cook on the Endeavour and later became the most influential man in Britain’s scientific world. Banks sponsored many voyages of discovery, helped found scientific institutions, was instrumental in recommending that Botany Bay become a penal colony, and remains controversial even today.
A Question of Colour
Pattie Lees with Adam C Lees (Magabala Books)
Lees’ recollections of racism, colourism, and abuses of varying kinds are unflinching, honest, and a testament to the resilience of First Nations people. An important read for all, it forces readers to confront the atrocities and violences perpetrated against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children – acts that continue to this day.
Mary's Last Dance: The untold story of the wife of Mao's Last Dancer
Mary Li (Penguin Random House)
This is the memoir of Mary McKendry who grew up in Rockhampton in a large family, went on to make her way and star in the unforgiving world of ballet, who married ‘Mao’s Last Dancer’ Li Cunxin, and who returned in triumph to Queensland. There’s an understory too of the personal heartache which remained hidden from view.
All the Murmuring Bones
A.G. Slatter (Titan Books)
Miren O’Malley is the last of the O’Malley lineage, a once-great family that now finds itself on hard times. An clever mix of gothic tale and short story, this brilliant novel builds a world that makes you believe in magic and monsters. Truly a magnificent achievement.