BOOK NEWS: The 2019 Miles Franklin Winner, a $50k Harry Potter book & more!

by |August 5, 2019

Hello to all my fellow Booktopians!

It’s been a rather exciting week in the book world and I’m fresh off the back of reading Leigh Bardugo’s brilliant upcoming fantasy novel Ninth House (expect a rave review to come soon), so I’m very happy to be bringing you this week’s book news round up!

Read on…

We have a Miles Franklin Winner…

… and that winner is Melissa Lucashenko, author of Too Much Lip! The winning book is a gritty, fast-paced, and darkly funny journey into a fictional small town in Bundjalung country, where a troublesome young woman named Kerry Salter returns to her family home when her pop falls ill.

The Chair of the judging panel, Richard Neville said, “Too Much Lip is driven by personal experience, historical injustice, anger and what in Indigenous vernacular could be described as ‘deadly Blak’ humour. Lucashenko weaves a (sometimes) fabulous tale with the very real politics of cultural survival to offer a story of hope and redemption for all Australians.”

You can read more about this year’s winner here.

2019 Miles Franklin Literary Award Winner

Byron Writers Festival makes a splash

The sun beamed down on Byron Bay over the past weekend as the beloved Byron Writers Festival kicked off for another year.

Over 140 authors and commentators such as Markus Zusak, Tara June Winch, Benjamin Law, Clementine Ford, Bruce Pascoe and more graced stages at the 3-day literary event, which was declared a resounding success. Over 12,000 people attended the Festival over the entire period, and it had the highest number of ticket sales in its 23-year history.

The top-selling books at the festival this year were:

You can read more highlights from the festival at the Byron Writers Festival blog here.

Byron Writers Festival - August
Bruce Pascoe, author of Dark Emu, receiving a standing ovation at his session on Saturday.

First edition copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone sells for $50k

It looks like one Potterhead in the UK is going to have to open a new vault at Gringotts, because their edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone just sold at auction for £28,500 (AUD$50,600). The book was one of 500 hardcover editions printed in 1997, and it was bought from a library sale for £1 over 20 years ago.

A UK Philosopher’s Stone first edition has holy grail status amongst Potter collectors across the world, namely due to the fact that it carries a number of typos. J.K. Rowling is listed on the cover as Joanne Rowling, the word “philosopher’s” appears on the blurb as “philosphers”, and “1 wand” appears twice on Harry’s Hogwarts shopping list on page 53.

While an Australian first edition may not get you $50k, you could still get between $200 and $2000 for it. Here’s how you know if you own one of those:

  • It was printed and bound in Australia by Australian Print Group, Maryborough, VIC
  • It was published in 1997
  • It features the number sequence “10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1” on the front copyright page.

You can read more about this here.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

Other interesting tidbits…

  • The 2018 winners of the Western Australian Premier’s Book Awards were revealed last week, with winners including A.J. Betts, Kelly Canby, and more – read more here.
  • The 2019 NT Literary Awards winners were also announced last week, with winners including Glen Hunting, Elisha Pettit, Roland Bull, and more – read more here.
  • The Guardian asks the important question: are today’s young readers turning on The Catcher in the Rye? Dana Czapnik takes a compelling look at a classic that seems to have become more irritating than enduring – read it here.
  • There’s nothing wrong with your nose… read Erin Spampinato’s wonderful examination of the beauty of human imperfection through the lens of George Eliot and Fleabag – find it here.

That’s all from me – thank you for reading and I hope you all read wonderful books this week!

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About the Contributor

Olivia Fricot is the Editor of the Booktopian Blog. After finishing a soul-crushing law degree, she decided that life was much better with one's nose in a book and quickly defected to the world of Austen and Woolf. You can usually find her reading (obviously), baking, writing questionable tweets, and completing a Master's degree in English literature. Just don't ask about her thesis. Olivia is on Twitter and Instagram @livfricot - follow at your own risk.

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