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Booksellers Choice Award
or The Nielsen Bookdata Booksellers' Choice Awards ; or The Nielsen Booksellers' Choice Award ; or ABA Nielsen Booksellers Choice Award
Subcategory of Australian Booksellers Association Awards
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This award recognises the Australian new release that booksellers most enjoyed reading, marketing and handselling during the previous year.

In 2020, the awards were presented in three categories for the first time: adult fiction, nonfiction, and children's. Prior to 2020, the award was presented to a single title from any category.


  • The Booksellers Choice Award, formerly the ABA (Australian Booksellers Association) Book of the Year Award, began in 1994 as the only Australian book award chosen by booksellers. Booksellers vote for their favourite book written by an Australian citizen or permanent resident.

    From 2005 onwards, the year of the award was adjusted to reflect the year in which the award was presented, not the publication year. (i.e. there is no award for 2005 itself; the 2006 award is for a book published in 2005.)

Latest Winners / Recipients (also see subcategories)19372906

Year: 2019

winner y separately published work icon Boy Swallows Universe Trent Dalton , Sydney South : Fourth Estate , 2018 13529833 2018 single work novel

'Brisbane, 1983: A lost father, a mute brother, a mum in jail, a heroin dealer for a stepfather and a notorious crim for a babysitter. It's not as if Eli's life isn't complicated enough already. He's just trying to follow his heart, learning what it takes to be a good man, but life just keeps throwing obstacles in the way - not least of which is Tytus Broz, legendary Brisbane drug dealer.

'But if Eli's life is about to get a whole lot more serious. He's about to fall in love. And, oh yeah, he has to break into Boggo Road Gaol on Christmas Day, to save his mum.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

Year: 2018

winner y separately published work icon Nevermoor : The Trials of Morrigan Crow Jessica Townsend , Sydney : Lothian , 2017 11160400 2017 single work children's fiction children's fantasy

'Morrigan Crow is cursed. Having been born on Eventide, the unluckiest day for any child to be born, she's blamed for all local misfortunes, from hailstorms to heart attacks–and, worst of all, the curse means that Morrigan is doomed to die at midnight on her eleventh birthday. But as Morrigan awaits her fate, a strange and remarkable man named Jupiter North appears. Chased by black-smoke hounds and shadowy hunters on horseback, he whisks her away into the safety of a secret, magical city called Nevermoor. It's then that Morrigan discovers Jupiter has chosen her to contend for a place in the city's most prestigious organisation: the Wundrous Society. In order to join, she must compete in four difficult and dangerous trials against hundreds of other children, each boasting an extraordinary talent that sets them apart–an extraordinary talent that Morrigan insists she does not have. To stay in the safety of Nevermoor for good, Morrigan will need to find a way to pass the tests–or she'll have to leave the city to confront her deadly fate.' (Publication summary)

Year: 2017

winner y separately published work icon The Birdman's Wife Melissa Ashley , Melbourne : Affirm Press , 2016 10145786 2016 single work novel historical fiction

'Artist Elizabeth Gould spent her life capturing the sublime beauty of birds the world had never seen before. But her legacy was eclipsed by the fame of her husband, John Gould. The Birdman’s Wife at last gives voice to a passionate and adventurous spirit who was so much more than the woman behind the man.

'Elizabeth was a woman ahead of her time, juggling the demands of her artistic life with her roles as wife, lover, helpmate, and mother to an ever-growing brood of children. In a golden age of discovery, her artistry breathed wondrous life into countless exotic new species, including Charles Darwin’s Galapagos finches.

'In The Birdman’s Wife a naïve young girl who falls in love with an ambitious genius comes into her own as a woman, an artist and a bold adventurer who defies convention by embarking on a trailblazing expedition to the colonies to discover Australia’s ‘curious’ birdlife.

'An indelible portrait of an extraordinary woman overlooked by history - until now.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

Year: 2016

winner y separately published work icon Reckoning : A Memoir Magda Szubanski , Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2015 8858243 2015 single work autobiography

'Heartbreaking, joyous, traumatic, intimate and revelatory, Reckoning is the book where Magda Szubanski, one of Australia's most beloved performers, tells her story.

'In this extraordinary memoir, Magda describes her journey of self-discovery from a suburban childhood, haunted by the demons of her father's espionage activities in wartime Poland and by her secret awareness of her sexuality, to the complex dramas of adulthood and her need to find out the truth about herself and her family. With courage and compassion she addresses her own frailties and fears, and asks the big questions about life, about the shadows we inherit and the gifts we pass on.

'Honest, poignant, utterly captivating, Reckoning announces the arrival of a fearless writer and natural storyteller. It will touch the lives of its readers.' (Publication summary)

Year: 2015

winner y separately published work icon The 52-Storey Treehouse The Fifty-Two-Storey Treehouse Andy Griffiths , Sydney : Pan Macmillan Australia , 2014 7711206 2014 single work children's fiction children's

'Andy and Terry's incredible, ever-expanding treehouse has 13 new storeys, including a watermelon-smashing level, a wave machine, a life-size snakes and ladders game (with real ladders and real snakes), a rocket-powered carrot-launcher, a Ninja Snail Training Academy and a high-tech detective agency with all the latest high-tech detective technology, which is lucky because they have a BIG mystery to solve - where is Mr Big Nose??? ' (Publication summary)

Works About this Award

Refugee Story Sweeps Australian Book Prizes Jason Steger , 2011 single work column
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 26 July 2011; (p. 2)
Comedian, Journalist Take Top Prizes Jason Steger , 2011 single work column
— Appears in: The Age , 15 March 2011; (p. 8)
The Slap Is Booksellers Choice 2009 single work column
— Appears in: Bookseller + Publisher Magazine , August vol. 89 no. 1 2009; (p. 23)
March a Winner All Round Gia Metherell , 2006 single work column
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 22 April 2006; (p. 17)
Booksellers: Make Your Choice 2005 single work column
— Appears in: Australian Bookseller & Publisher , August vol. 85 no. 2 2005; (p. 11)