Past events 2017

We regularly host events, including launches, signings, readings, and announcements of prizes. These are usually held in the shop in the early evenings, where you can enjoy a glass of wine with your launch speech, and take the opportunity for some after-hours browsing. We also sell books for events held at other venues.

Check our calendar of upcoming events, or have a look at photos and highlights from past events below.

If you would like to be added to our events mailing list, see our Bookshop Community page. If you are interested in holding an event with us, please email us.

Book Launch: Swallows Fly North (Al McKay)

The Hobart Bookshop, 5:30pm, Thursday June 29th

The End of Patriarchy cover image

We were pleased to hold the launch of Al McKay's new novel Swallows Fly North (published by Forty South Publishing). 

The book was launched by Tony Fraser, Director of Sports Recovery and Business Development, Soldier On Australia, in the presence of the Governor, Her Excellency Professor the Honourable Kate Warner AC.

Al McKay is donating his income to the charity Soldier On - supporting Australia's service men and women by focusing on their physical and mental health, their family, their community, and their future.

"He thought of himself as a tiny minnow in an extremely large ocean. But maybe, just maybe, that swish of the minnow’s tail or the ripple of the swallow’s flight feathers on the waters of the Port had wafted a little essence of the Peninsula to the rest of the world."

Life-long friends, Jack, Harry and Peter, were born in 1933 and spent their early childhood on the Tasman Peninsula. They sought careers far from their homeland but, despite living far apart as adults and following their own guiding stars, they, like the swallows, returned time and again to their birthplace. Swallows Fly North is their story - a tale of boys growing from romantic children to the realities of manhood during the years from 1940 to 1963; a tale of migration, regeneration and the protection of cultural heritage.


Book Launch: The End of Patriarchy (Robert Jensen)

The Hobart Bookshop, 2pm, Sunday June 4th

The End of Patriarchy cover image

In conjunction with Spinifex Press, we launched Professor Robert Jensen's new book, The End of Patriarchy: Radical Feminism for Men

The pathology of patriarchy, the idea that one group of people should control another—even own them, own even life itself—is at the core of today’s crises.

The End of Patriarchy asks one key question: What do we need to create and maintain stable, decent human communities that can remain in a sustainable relationship with the larger living world? Robert Jensen’s answer is feminism and a critique of patriarchy. He calls for a radical feminist challenge to institutionalized male dominance; an uncompromising rejection of men’s assertion of a right to control women’s sexuality and reproduction; and a demand for an end to the violence and coercion that are at the heart of all systems of domination and subordination. 

The End of Patriarchy makes a powerful argument that a socially just society requires no less than a radical feminist overhaul of the dominant patriarchal structures.

Robert Jensen is a professor in the School of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin, where he teaches courses in media law, ethics, and politics and is a Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award winner. Jensen is a board member of Culture Reframed and the Third Coast Activist Resource Centre.

Book Launch: Fergus Gives a Hoot (Kathleen McLaren)

The Hobart Bookshop, 5:30pm, Thursday June 1st

The End of Patriarchy cover image

We were please to host the launch, by Donald Knowler, of Kathleen McLaren's new children's book Fergus Gives a Hoot (published by Forty South Publishing).

Wildlife activists, Owl and Echidna, feel sad that so many friends and family members are hurt and killed on the roads. They want humans to make their roads safer for wildlife so they form a group with like-minded friends to tackle the problem. They hatch a plan that involves planting a special seed in a special place. This proves to be a tricky task so they ask human wildlife activist, Fergus Fleegelbaum, to help. Fergus is fearless and determined, but will he succeed in carrying out his part of their clever plan to make roads safer for wildlife?


Book Launch: Playing Lady Gaga, Being Nan Pau (Steve Tolbert)

The Hobart Bookshop, 5.30pm, Thursday May 11th

Playing Lady Gaga cover image

We were excited to host the launch of Steve Tolbert's latest book (launched by Pam Allen), Playing Lady Gaga, Being Nan Pau.

Tasmanian schoolboy Nick Stanish comes to Thailand looking for his missing brother — an aid worker at a medical clinic for Karen refugees — and to avoid dealing with a guilty secret. Seeking answers in the Snake Skin nightclub, Nick instead finds the local Lady Gaga — the club’s star entertainer — and is drawn into a world of sex slavery and drug smugglers – and possibly love. Playing Lady Gaga, Being Nan Pau is a compelling tale of survival and redemption, of actions and consequences, and of the best and the worst of humanity.

You can find more information about Steve Tolbert at his website.

In Conversation: Robert Dessaix with Adam Ouston

Pleasures of Leisure cover image

To celebrate the release of Dessaix's The Pleasures of Leisure

The Churchill Room, Salamanca Inn (10 Gladstone Street), 5.30pm, Monday May 8th

It was a delight to host an event to celebrate the release of Robert Dessaix's newest book, The Pleasures of Leisure. Robert Dessaix was in conversation with Adam Ouston at the Salamanca Inn on Monday May 8th.

In today’s crazily busy world the importance of making time for leisure is more vital than ever. Yet so many of us lack a talent for it. We are working longer hours, consuming more than ever before; technology erodes the work–life balance further; increasingly, people feel that only work gives existence meaning. In a world where time is money, what is the value of walking without purpose, socialising without networking, nesting when we could be on our laptops?

Robert Dessaix shows, in this thoughtful and witty book, how taking leisure seriously gives us back our freedom – to enjoy life, to revel in it, in fact; to deepen our sense of who we are as human beings. He explains how we can reclaim our right to ‘rest well’, and to loaf, groom, nest and play, as he looks at leisure from many angles: reading, walking, travelling, learning languages, taking siestas and simply doing nothing. The result is a terrifically lively and engaging conversation that reminds us that at leisure we are at our most intensely and pleasurably human.

Book Event: States of Poetry: Tasmania (Australian Book Review)

The Hobart Bookshop, 5.30pm, Thursday April 6th

With the Australian Book Review, we were pleased to take part in the celebration of Tasmanian poetry and the Tasmanian States of Poetry anthology, selected by distinguished poet Sarah Day. This event featured readings from the six poets included in this year’s anthology: Adrienne Eberhard, Graeme Hetherington, Jane Williams, Karen Knight, Louise Oxley, and Tim Thorne. Sarah Day and ABR Editor and poet Peter Rose also read favourite works by Tasmanian poets.

The ABR States of Poetry project highlights the quality and diversity of contemporary Australian poetry. Funded by Copyright Agency's Cultural Fund, this is one of the first federally arranged poetry anthologies published in this country.

This work was developed in a studio managed by the City of Melbourne's Creative Spaces Program.

Book Launch: Blue Pollen Beautiful (Elizabeth Goodsir, with etchings by Madeleine Goodwolf)

Blue Pollen Beautiful cover image

The Hobart Bookshop, 5.30pm, Tuesday March 21st

Terry Whitebeach launched Elizabeth Goodsir's collection Blue Pollen Beautiful, with etchings by her daughter Madeleine Goodwolf.

'A collection of "images and words playing with what it is to be human / they asked to be put together", Blue Pollen Beautiful is the result of a serendipitous collaboration between mother and daughter. Overruling a daughter’s "decisive and unsentimental" intention to discard earlier artwork, her mother rescues the images and strategically places them among her own gentle, meditative poems. The result is a lovely distillation of women’s lived experience, of "the shuffle of women / making more space". The poems celebrate the various selves the poet encounters within and without as she explores the "beauties of change" and traces the flow of life from generation to generation, like "seagrasses / borne up by each wave". Blue Pollen Beautiful honours both the flow and the "anchored / lucid" -- mothers and daughters as givers and keepers of story.' ~ Terry Whitebeach

Book Launch: Losing Streak: How Tasmania was Gamed by the Gambling Industry (James Boyce)

Losing Streak cover image

Republic Bar and Cafe (upstairs), 299 Elizabeth Street, North Hobart
5.30pm, Tuesday March 14th

We are delighted to have welcomed Black Inc. publisher Chris Feik to celebrate the launch of James Boyce's latest book, Losing Streak.  The book was formally launched by Andrew Wilkie MP.

Losing Streak is a jaw-dropping account of how one company came to own every poker machine in the state of Tasmania - and the cost to democracy, the public purse and problem gamblers and their families. It shows how giving one company the licence to all the poker machines in Tasmania has led to several hundred million dollars of profits (mainly from problem gamblers) being diverted from public use, through a series of questionable and poorly understood deals. Losing Streak is a meticulous, compelling case study in governance failure, which has implications for pokies reform throughout Australia.

Losing Streak is the newest in Black Inc.'s 'Redbacks' series, described as 'Books with Bite'. These short books on big issues are written by leading Australian writers and thinkers. They range in style from essay to dispatch, from analysis to provocation. You can find a list of the others in the series here at the Black Inc. website

James Boyce is the author of the critically acclaimed Born Bad (2014), 1835 (2011) and Van Diemen's Land (2008). He has a PhD from the University of Tasmania, where he is a University Associate in Geography and Spatial Sciences.

Book Launch: The Swagman and the Parson (Jen Gibson and Russell Gibson; published by Ginninderra Press)

The Swagman and the Parson cover image

The Hobart Bookshop, 5.30pm, Thursday February 23rd

In our first book launch for 2017, Stephen Matthews (of Ginninderra Press) and poet Robyn Mathison launched the latest book by Jen Gibson and her father Russell Gibson, The Swagman and the Parson.

'This book contains two complementary stories written by two generations of the one family. It spans three centuries - from the 1860s to the present day, 2016. The swagman, Sully, and Russ Gibson, parson, were both born in the nineteenth century, though several decades apart. New South Wales was then a colonial state of Great Britain. The tale of the swagman was penned in the 1970s by my father. A child of my parents’ older age, I was not born when the events of the swagman’s tale unfolded. Nor was I familiar with south and western New South Wales, where many of the incidents took place. The second half of this book is partly a narrative of my journey to those places. It also incorporates my parents’ oral memories recorded on tape in the early 1980s.' ~ Jen Gibson

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