Past events 2014

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 Signing: My Story (Julia Gillard)

The Hobart Bookshop, Friday December 19thEvents, JG photo

We were delighted to host former Prime Minister Julia Gillard, signing copies of her book My Story

'I was prime minister for three years and three days. Three years and three days of resilience. Three years and three days of changing the nation. Three years and three days for you to judge.' On Wednesday 23 June 2010, with the government in turmoil, Julia Gillard asked Prime Minister Kevin Rudd for a leadership ballot. The next day, Julia Gillard became Australia's 27th prime minister, and our first female leader. Australia was alive to the historic possibilities.

This is Julia Gillard's chronicle of that turbulent time, a strikingly candid self-portrait of a political leader seeking to realise her ideals. It is her story of what it was like - in the face of government in-fighting and often hostile media - to manage a hung parliament, build a diverse and robust economy, create an equitable and world-class education system, ensure a dignified future for Australians with disabilities, all while attending to our international obligations and building strategic alliances for our future.

Book Launch: Million Miles Beyond a Campfire (Patrick Bender)

The Hobart Bookshop, 5.30pm, Thursday December 4th

We launched Patrick Bender's new poetry collection with Forty South Publishing.

"It started with a story,
as we sat around the campfire
gazing into the red hot bed of coals
relating Earth's similarly searing evolution
of magma and mayhem in bygone ages
many moons ago,
which started me thinking, 
such was the nature of Dad's story relating and linking."


Book Launch: Drowned Vanilla by Livia Day (Tansy Rayner Roberts)Cover image, Drowned Vanill

The Hobart Bookshop, 5.30pm, Thursday November 20th

The Hobart Bookshop was delighted to present the launch, by young adult author Kate Gordon, of Livia Day's Drowned Vanilla.

It's the beginning of a hot, hot summer in Hobart. Tabitha Darling is in love with the wrong man, and determined to perfect the art of ice cream. Playing amateur detective again is definitely not on the cards-not even when her friends try to lure her into an arty film noir project in the historical town of Flynn. But when a young woman goes missing from a house full of live webcams, and is found drowned in the lake outside Flynn, Tabitha is dragged into the whole mess- film crew, murder victim, love life and all. There were two girls using the internet pseudonym French Vanilla, and only one is dead. So where is the other one? Why is everyone suddenly behaving like they're in a (quite specific) Raymond Chandler novel? And how the hell did the best kiss of Tabitha's life end up on YouTube? Even ice cream isn't going to get them out of this one.

Book Launch: Marion (Brett Martin)Cover image, Marion2

The Hobart Bookshop, 5.30pm, Tuesday November 11th

The Hobart Bookshop was delighted to present the launch, by Raymond Arnold, of Brett Martin's Marion.

Brett's book Marion reflects on the life of Marion Oak Sticht. Marion was born in 1865 and was the wife of Robert Carl Sticht. In 1895 they left Colorado for a mine on the remote west coast of Tasmania. After a calamitous investment the Sticht's were trapped in Tasmania and unable to return the United States. The book sheds light on the tragic and little known life of Marion Oak Sticht, which is representative of a class of women of thosetimes,whose stories are usually lost in the shadows cast by their husbands.

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Book Launch: Historic Tasmanian Mountain Huts Through the Photographer's Lens (Simon Cubit and Nick Haygarth)

The Hobart Bookshop, 3.30pm, Saturday November 8th

The introduction of portable dry plate cameras in the late 1870s marked the beginning of a golden age of Tasmanian landscape photography. With cameras on their backs, adventurers explored the wilds of Tasmania, recording not just the dramatic physical features they found but also the typically rough shelters of the miners, hunters, stockmen and piners who lived or worked in the bush. In this beautiful book Simon Cubit and Nic Haygarth use this rich photographic heritage as the basis for a series of extraordinary stories about human enterprise in the Tasmanian highlands.

In Conversation: What Days Are For: A Memoir (Robert Dessaix)

Cover image, Dessaix

Salamanca Inn, 10 Gladstone Street, Battery Point, 5.30pm Thursday November 6th

The Hobart Bookshop was delighted to present Robert Dessaix in conversation with Suzy Baldwin, celebrating the release of What Days Are For

One Sunday night in Sydney, Robert Dessaix collapses in a gutter in Darlinghurst, and is helped to his hotel by a kind young man wearing a T-shirt that says FUCK YOU. What follows are weeks in hospital, tubes and cannulae puncturing his body, as he recovers from the heart attack threatening daily to kill him. While lying in the hospital bed, Robert chances upon Philip Larkin's poem 'Days'. What, he muses, have his days been for? What and who has he loved - and why?

This is vintage Robert Dessaix. His often surprisingly funny recollections range over topics as eclectic as intimacy, travel, spirituality, enchantment, language and childhood, all woven through with a heightened sense of mortality.

Book Launch: Sunker's Deep #2 The Hidden series (Lian Tanner)Cover image, Sunker's Deep

The Founders Room, Salamanca Arts Centre, 11.00am, Sunday November 2nd

The Hobart Bookshop and Allen and Unwin hosted the launch, by Melissa King, of Lian Tanner's Sunker's Deep, the second book in The Hidden Series

Sharkey was born on a fortunate tide, and everyone on the giant submersible Rampart knows it. He's a hero, a future admiral, beloved by the ancestors. The trouble is, it's all based on a lie, and now Sharkey is thirteen, the whole thing has begun to fall apart. He's been a fake hero for years, but when tragedy strikes, he must become a real one, and he has no idea how to go about it.

Meanwhile above water, Petrel, Fin and the crew of the Oyster are on a mission, a mission to defeat the Devouts and bring knowledge back to the world, a mission they have no idea how to carry out. When the Captain of the Oyster comes up with a plan, Fin and Petrel have no choice but to accompany him - no matter how idiculous or how dangerous the plan seems...Can the Sunkers and the Ice Breakers put aside their differences and work together? Or will the Devouts finally catch up with them all?

Events, Lian launch oneEvents, Lian launch two


Book Launch: Wychwood (Karen Hall and Peter Cooper)

Cover image, Wychwood

Hobart Bookshop, 3.30pm, Saturday October 11th

Gardening Australia's Tino Carnevale launched Wychwood: The Making of One of the World's Most Magical Gardens by Karen Hall and Peter Cooper.

The garden at Wychwood, at the foot of the Great Western Tiers in northern Tasmania.

You can buy the book from us here.


Book Launch: Chasing El Dorado A South American Adventure (Aaron Smith)Events, El Dorado

Hobart Bookshop, 5.30pm, Thursday October 9th

The Hobart Bookshop and Transit Lounge were delighted to present the launch by Nicola Goc of Chasing El Dorado A South American Adventure.

Aaron Smith’s often hilarious chronicle of love, danger and enlightenment, set in the one of most vibrant places on earth, is a true delight. Whether Aaron is being held at gunpoint in Rio; stranded on the Amazon River; interviewing musician Peter Gabriel for The Iquitos Times; dancing the samba at Carnival with the 60 Minutes team; undergoing initiation as a Matses warrior; tripping the light fantastic; or falling in love with his beautiful Brazilian wife-to-be, you are bound to ‘experience’, along with him, more than a glimmer of gold.

Book Launch: Fixing Antarctica: Mapping the Frozen South (Lynette Finch)Cover image, Fixing Antarctica

Hobart Bookshop, 5.30pm, Thursday October 2nd

1956, the height of the cold war. Fourteen scientists will spend fifteen months on an isolated rock outcrop at the edge of the Antarctic plateau. Mawson station is Australia's first continental station and will become the longest continuously operating settlement inside the Antarctic Circle.

Over the next twenty years Syd Kirkby will explore and map more unknown regions in the world than any other person in history. Fixing Antarctica is the first full biography of this important twentieth century explorer. Told through interviews with his contemporaries, personal diaries and the diaries of other Antarctic explorers, this account establishes Kirkby in his rightful place as one of the great polar explorers.

Book Launch: Fish Tank Circus (Peter Macrow) and Blue Giraffe #13

Hobart Bookshop, 5.30pm, Thursday September 25th

Anne Kellas launched Blue Giraffe #13 and Pete Hay launched Peter Macrow's latest collection of poetry Fish Tank Circus.

Book Launch: A Compulsion to Kill (Robert Cox)Events, Robert Cox

Hobart Bookshop, 5.30pm, Thursday September 18th

We were delighted to present the launch, by Rob Valentine, of Robert Cox's book on early serial killers in Tasmania, A Compulsion To Kill.

A Compulsion to Kill is a dramatic chronological account of 19th-century Tasmanian serial murderers. Never before revealed in such depth, the story is the culmination of extensive research and adept craftsmanship as it probes the essence of both the crimes and the killers themselves.

In Conversation: Dr James Boyce and Dr James CharltonCover image, Non-dualism in Eckhart

Friends Meeting House, 2.00pm, Sunday September 14th

The Hobart Bookshop and Bloomsbury Publishing presented James Boyce and James Charlton in conversation, to celebrate the release of James Charlton's new book Non-Dualism in Eckhart, Julian of Norwich and Traherne: A Theopoetic Reflection.

Charlton is a poet and theological writer with an interest in transformative spiritual knowledge and experience, who has previously written two poetry collections. His latest book is an exhilarating contribution to the spirituality of non-duality or non-separation and contributes to a recovery, in the West, of the vital, unifying power of non-dual awareness and connectedness.

Book Launch: Away and other Stories (Leigh Swinbourne)

Hobart Bookshop, 5.30pm, Thursday September 11th

 The Hobart Bookshop and Ginninderra Press were delighted to present the launch of Leigh Swinbourne's Away and Other Stories.

A young woman suddenly confronts the life she walked away from. A loving husband must make a pact with the devil to keep his wife. A passionate collector must choose between a priceless work of art and a human life. These are among ten stories of individuals caught between worlds, forced to make stark unpalatable choices to survive.

Book Launch: Paper Tiger: How Pictures Shaped the Thylacine (Carol Freeman)

The Hobart Bookshop, 5.30pm, Thursday August 28th

We were delighted, alongside 40 South, to present the launch of Carol Freeman's Paper Tiger: How Pictures Shaped the Thylacine.

Book Signing: Optimism: Reflections on a Life of Action (Bob Brown)Cover image, Optimism

The Hobart Bookshop, 11.00am, Thursday August 7th

We were delighted to host a book signing for Bob Brown for his new book Optimism: Reflections on a Life in Action.

Former Senator and Parliamentary Leader of the Australian Greens, Bob Brown is one of Australia's most thoughtful and recognized public figures.  This book - the first time that Bob has spoken about his life since his retirement from public life in 2012 - illustrates why he remains optimistic about the future. Optimism reflects on the simple things, the moments that are meaningful, and the big questions that have concerned Bob Brown. Inspirational, compassionate and outraged, the stories are rich with metaphor, entertaining and full of warmth. This memoir reveals a complex man with a quick wit, a passion for activism and a joy for life.

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Photos kindly supplied by Lawrence Winder, as seen on his blog.

Book Launch: Born Bad (James Boyce)Cover image, Born Bad

The Hobart Bookshop, 5.30pm, Thursday August 7th

We were delighted to present the launch, alongside Black Inc Publishing, by Jo Flanagan, of James Boyce's Born Bad: Original Sin and the Making of the Western World.

'The purpose of this book is not to defend or condemn the Western creation story, but to challenge the assumption that its influence was ended by science and secularism.' - James Boyce.

Boyce's previous award-winning books are Van Diemen's Land: A History and 1835: The Founding of Melbourne and the Conquest of Australia.

Events, James Boyce

Book Launch: Ports of Call (John Hale)

The Hobart Bookshop, 5.30pm, Thursday July 24th

We were delighted to present the launch, by Kathryn Lomer, of John Hale's Ports of Call.

Ports of Call is a collection of stories poems and essays, and is published by Walleah Press.

Book Event: Girl Reading Lorca (Pete Hay)

The Hobart Bookshop, 5.30pm, Thursday July 17th

Pete Hay is the author of two full-length poetry collections, with a third (Physick) currently in press. His work also includes essays and academic writing on topics ranging from island studies to environmental thought. He considers himself 'fiercely Tasmanian', and Girl Reading Lorca features poems written 'as a challenge to himself, to find out whether he is still able to write about other parts of the planet'.

Book Launch: Essays from Near and Far (James Dryburgh)

The Hobart Bookshop, 5.30pm, Thursday July 10th

The Hobart Bookshop and Walleah Press invite you to the launch, by Lindsay Tuffin, of James Dryburgh's collection of literary essays. Essays from Near and Far has a foreword by Pete Hay and artwork by Dane Chisholm.

Book Event: An evening with Philomena van Rijswijk and Andrew Burke

The Hobart Bookshop, 5.30pm, Thursday July 3rd

We were delighted to host a poetry evening with Philomena van Rijswijk and Andrew Burke that included a readings by Philomena and Andrew, and the launch of Andrew's new poetry collection One Hour Seeds Another by Lyn Reeves.

Launch: Mertz & Me, by Basilisk: Adventures of an Antarctic Sledge-dog (Anna Lucas)

The Hobart Bookshop, 3.30pm Sunday June 22

Gordon Bain launched Anna Lucas' book about the strong bond between Dr Metz and his favourite dog, Basilisk.

Book Event: The Eve Masterman Peace Poetry Prize WinnerEve Masterman

The Hobart Bookshop, 4.30pm, Sunday June 1st

In conjunction with the WILPF (Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom) Tasmanian Branch, The Hobart Bookshop hosted the Eve Masterman Peace Poetry Prize.

Evelyn (Eve) Loois Masterman was born in Kent, United Kingdom, on 31 May 1907 and migrated to Tasmania with her family in 1912. She was educated at Collegiate School and completed her Bachelor of Arts at the University of Tasmania in 1933. Eve worked tirelessly for social justice, peace and the environment her entire life. She joined the WILPF Australian Section in the 1940s and was the Australian Branch Delegate to Geneva for international conferences in 1968 and 1973.

Eve received a number of peace awards, including the Australian Peace Prize in 1986 for her work with the WILPF, and a United Nations Award in 2001 for her lifetime of dedication to the cause of peace and loyalty to the United Nations and its Tasmanian Association.

In recognition of Eve’s significant contribution, the WILPF Tasmanian Branch established the Eve Masterman Peace Poetry Prize.

Eve died on 5 May 2014 at the age of 106.

For more information on Eve Masterman, head to The Tasmanian Times website.

Book Launch: The Nonchalant Garden (Liz McQuilkin)

The Hobart Bookshop, 5.30pm, Thursday May 29th

Liz McQuilkin's poetry collection was launched by Gina Mercer.

Book Launch: Reality (Ray Glickman)Cover image, Reality

The Hobart Bookshop, 5.30pm, Tuesday May 20th

Darren Mathewson launched Ray Glickman's new novel Reality.

Six people have been chosen at random. Without their knowledge, Kathy, Mario, Garry, Hannah, Robert and Julia are about to participate in the ultimate game of manipulation. A stranger brings them together, but can this ruthless puppeteer really be held responsible for the choices each makes? In the end, who is to blame for their actions: for their deceit, infidelity and crime? At the heart of this thought-provoking novel lie questions of fate and self-determination.

Book Launch: A Tapestry of Bruny Island Tasmania (collected and edited by Karen Darby)

The Hobart Bookshop, 5.30pm, Thursday May 15th

Chris Gallagher launched Karen Darby's collection A Tapestry of Bruny Island Tasmania: Tales from Four Generations.

Book Launch: Changing Countries, Bridging Worlds: The Poetry and Prose of Margaret Scott (Janet Upcher)

The Hobart Bookshop, 5.30pm, Thursday May 1st

 Mary Blackwood launched Janet Upcher’s Changing Countries, Bridging Worlds: The Poetry and Prose of Margaret Scott.

Changing Countries, Bridging Worlds focuses on the transition Scott made in emigrating from England to Tasmania and traces how the strangeness and displacement she felt on arrival was transformed into acceptance and affection. Scott's poetry, novels and essays illuminate the various difficulties and rewards inherent in changing countries. She bridges geographical and temporal worlds, linking Victorian and contemporary England with early colonial and contemporary Australia.

Book Launch: Keeping Time: Essays, Articles and Sketches by Tasmanian Writers (Megan Schaffner, editor)

The Hobart Bookshop, 5.30pm, Thursday April 24th

Peter Timms launched The Fellowship of Australian Writers Tasmania collection Keeping Time: Essays, Articles and Sketches by Tasmanian Writers.

Book Launch: Splendour of the Shore (David HM Wright)

The Hobart Bookshop, 5.30pm, Thursday March 27th

We were delighted launch this new collection of poetry by David HM Wright.

Book Launch: The Unspeak Poems and other Verses (Tim Thorne)

The Hobart Bookshop, 5.30pm, Thursday March 20th

Giles Hugo launched Tim Thorne's fourteenth collection of poetry.

Tim's writing career has stretched over half a century, during which time he has worked as a poet in schools, universities, trade unions, industry associations, prisons and art galleries in places as diverse as Darwin, Liverpool and Prince Edward Island. He was a national finalist in the Poetry Slam in 2009 and 2010, and has won many awards for his poems.

Book Launch: In the Vineyard of Art: The Story of Art and Tasmania, A History, Volume Two (Michael Denholm)

The Hobart Bookshop, 5.30pm, Wednesday March 12th

We were pleased to launch Volume Two of Michael's history of Tasmanian art is titled Tasmanian Art Since the 1960s and is follow up to the first volume, launched last year.

Book Launch: Ink Black Magic (Tansy Rainer Roberts) and Path of Night (Dirk Flinthart)

The Hobart Bookshop, 4.30pm, Sunday March 9th

We were delighted to present, with FableCroft Publishing, two new novels by Tasmanian authors launched by Lian Tanner.

Ink Black Magic by Tansy Rainer Robers, is the first book in the 'Mocklore Chronicles':

Cover image, Ink Black Magic

Kassa Daggersharp has been a pirate, a witch, a menace to public safety, a villain, a hero and a legend. These days, she lectures first year students on the dangers of magic, at the Polyhedrotechnical in Cluft. Egg Friefriedsson is Kassa's teenage cousin, a lapsed Axgaard warrior who would rather stay in his room and draw comics all day than hang out with his friends. If only comics had been invented. Aragon Silversword is missing, presumed dead, and when Egg's drawings come to life, including an evil dark city full of villains and monsters, everyone starts to lose their grip on reality. Kassa and Egg are not sure who are the heroes and who are the villains anymore, but someone has to step up to save Mocklore, one last time. True love isn't all it's cracked up to be and happy endings don't come cheap.

Path of Night by Dirk Flinthart is the first book in the 'Night Beast' series:

Medical student Michael Devlin is in trouble. Being infected with an unknown disease is bad, but waking up on a slab in a morgue wearing nothing but a toe-tag is worse, even if it comes with a strange array of new abilities. With his flatmates murdered and an international cabal of legendary man-monsters on his trail, Devlin's got nowhere to hide. His only allies are a hot-tempered Sydney cop and a mysterious monster-hunter who may be setting Devlin up for the kill. If he's going to survive, Devlin will have to embrace his new powers and confront his hunters:

But can he hold onto his humanity when he walks the Path of Night?

Book Launch: Opening the Windows to Catch the Sea Breeze (Geoff Goodfellow)

The Hobart Bookshop, 5.30pm, Tuesday March 3rd

 Geoff Goodfellow's new collection of selected poetry (1983-2011) was launched by William Flemming.

"Geoff Goodfellow has performed his poetry to prisoners and primary-school children, in tiny pubs and at international literary festivals. Opening the Windows to Catch the Sea Breeze showcases Geoff's personal favourites, poems that audiences have requested time and again." Wakefield Press.

Book Launch: Night Writing (Kathryn Lomer)

The Hobart Bookshop, 5.30pm, Thursday February 27th

Philomena van Rijswijk launched Kathryn Lomer's new collection of poetry.

From the UQP website:

"With sensual, fresh and graceful energies, Kathryn Lomer’s Night Writing is a collection that moves between the grounded and the whimsical. Each small gesture has expansive implications; each poem is jewelled with reflections and woven with slivers of insight and bright fragments of mirth."

Book Launch: Asking for Trouble (Peter Timms)Cover image, Asking for Trouble

The Hobart Bookshop, 5.30pm, Thursday February 13th

Sarah Day launched Peter Timms' first novel Asking for Trouble. Timms is the author of What's Wrong with Contemporary Art? and the perennially popular Hobart.

Darkly funny and brutally frank, Asking for Trouble is a surprisingly tender and moving novel about the corrosive power of secrets and the consequences of standing up to bullies.

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