Past events 2016

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: The Volunteer (Ro Evelyn)

Cover image, The Volunteer

The Hobart Bookshop, 5.30pm, Thursday November 24th

We enjoyed hosting the launch, by Dianne Coon ASM (Secretary of the Volunteer Ambulance Officers Association Tasmania -- VAOAT), of Ro Evelyn's first novel The Volunteer, published by Heirloom Publications.

Ro Evelyn has qualifications in Communications and Professional Writing, and has received awards for short fiction. Ro works in the community sector and lives in Northern Tasmania with an ever-patient partner.

The Volunteer is a general fiction novel exploring the struggle of communities to survive in rural Tasmania, featuring an often overlooked part of our emergency response crews – our volunteer ambulance officers.

An isolated seaport in Tasmania, the local ambulance crew and one plan to destroy them both... Down-on-his-luck volunteer ambulance officer Andrew Sutton is in for the fight of his life when he agrees to sell his failing laundry business to radio personality and real estate developer Stan Rule only to uncover a sinister plot that could destroy his community.

The Volunteer is a gripping, adventure-filled journey into finding somewhere to belong, holding on to what’s important, and claiming the courage to survive. The Volunteer has been developed under a mentorship with Rohan Wilson through the Tasmanian Writers Centre. Rohan has described the novel as ‘A ripping good read’.

For more information, visit the Heirloom Publications website.

Book Launch: Meanderings (Betty McKenzie-Tubb)

Cover Image, Meanderings

The Hobart Bookshop, 5.30pm, Wednesday November 9th

We had a lot of fun at the launch, by Jen Gibson, of Betty McKenzie-Tubb's new book Meanderings, published by Ginninderra Press.

Betty McKenzie-Tubb has been scribbling since youth, beginning with contributions to the Sydney Morning Herald and to the ABC radio programme The Argonauts. She was Ancona 49 and wrote regularly to ‘Anthony Inkwell’. Degrees in Education and Arts have helped nourish her writing. She spent most of her working life as a teacher of the deaf, for whom the door to literacy is sometimes difficult to open. She is grateful to Montaigne, the father of the personal essay. Reading his works and those of contemporary essayists has been a source of great pleasure and inspiration.

‘Betty’s musings are hugely entertaining. They range from the sublime to the ridiculous. These bright rays of self-deprecating wit embrace perceptive observations of our mixed-up world.’ - Jen Gibson

Book Launch: A Beauty that Catches (Tony Brennan)

Cover Image, A Beauty that Catches

The Hobart Bookshop, 5.30pm, Thursday November 3rd

We were delight to host the launch, by Liz Winfield, of Tony Brennan's new book A Beauty that Catches.

This is Tony's first collection of poetry, though he has been published and is also a professional musician (hint: if you're lucky you'll get some bonus live music at the launch!). Poet Karen Knight says that 'Brennan’s poems offer a refreshing perspective on the deep value of life and the beauty that surrounds us. His honest approach and simple observations alert us to the importance of being. Thumbs up to this first collection from an interesting, emerging poet.'

Photo courtesy of Jess Brennan.

 Launch Brennan

Book Launch: How to Proceed (Andrew Sant)

Cover Image, How to Proceed

The Hobart Bookshop, 5.30pm, Thursday October 27th

We enjoyed the launch, by Pete Hay, of Andrew Sant's new book How to Proceed.

The essays in this mischievously titled collection, How to Proceed, are, in the authors own words, 'apparently offhand, informal, digressive and unashamedly personal'. Perhaps, he suggests in the introduction, they are not really essays at all. They explore subjects ranging from the nature of time to the pleasures (and pitfalls) of walking, the mysteries of marriage to the matter of taking risks. Trust is scrutinized and the gaining of self-knowledge tested. Always lively, often amusing, sometimes poignant, these verbal excursions make clear that, in most circumstances, discovering how to proceed is rarely less than tricky. Written with a poet's eye for detail - the author is a distinguised poet - this collection, whether focusing on the perils of modern transport or the potential satisfactions of curiosity, contains many surprising departures.

Book Launch: Deutschland über Allah! (John F Williams)

Cover Image, Deutschland

The Hobart Bookshop, 5.30pm, Wednesday October 26th

We were pleased to host the launch, by historian Henry Reynolds, of John Williams' new book Deutschland über Allah!

John Williams has carefully examined the German sources in relation to the Gallipoli campaign and the First World War as a whole. Among other revelations, his book also details the story of the evacuation and eventual fate of Gallipoli's 2000-year-old Greek community during that extraordinary conflict.

Williams was a historian and a photographer whose other books include Quarantined Culture: Australian Reactions to Modernism, 1913-1939 (1995), Anzacs, the Media and the Great War, 1914-1918 (1999), German Anzacs and the First World War (2003) and Corporal Hitler and the Great War, 1914-1918 (2005). His photographic exhibitions include Australian Correspondences, Historial de la Grande Guerre, Peronne, France (1998) and 'From the Flatlands', a part of Flanders Then and Now, Australian War Memorial (1986).

You can find more information about the book at the Australian Scholarly Publishing website.

Special Event: In Conversation - Holly Throsby with Melanie Tait

The Hobart Bookshop, 3.00pm, Sunday October 23rdCover Image, Goodwood

We were pleased to welcome Holly Throsby for a conversation with ABC Radio's Melanie Tait.

In 1992, when Jean Brown is seventeen, a terrible thing happens. Two terrible things. Rosie White, the coolest girl in town, vanishes overnight. One week later, Goodwood's most popular resident, Bart McDonald, sets off on a fishing trip and never comes home. People die in Goodwood, of course, but never like this. They don't just disappear. As the intensity of speculation about the fates of Rosie and Bart heightens, Jean, who is keeping secrets of her own, and the rest of Goodwood are left reeling. Rich in character and complexity, its humour both droll and tender, Goodwood is a compelling ride into a small community, torn apart by dark rumours and mystery.

Holly Throsby is a songwriter, musician and novelist from Sydney, Australia. She has released four critically acclaimed solo albums, a collection of original children's songs, and an album as part of the band, Seeker Lover Keeper. 

Melanie Tait is a broadcaster and author. She's been writing since she could pick up a pencil and is the author of Fat Chance: My Big Fat Gastric Band Adventure (New Holland, 2010) and the playwright behind The Vegemite Tales. Melanie is currently the presenter for ABC 936 Evenings.

Book Launch: Of Angels and Eagles (LF McDermott)

Cover Image, Of Angels and Eagles

The Hobart Bookshop, 5.00pm, Thursday October 13th

We were happy to be part of the launch, presented in association with the Sandy Bay Historical Society, of Of Angels and Eagles by LF McDermott.

Already receiving positive reviews, Of Angels and Eagles is the first book in the The Garth Trilogy: a fictional narrative of early colonial settlers, based on real events and people.




Book Launch: New Mountain, New River, New Home? The Tasmanian Hmong (Margaret Eldridge)

Cover Image, New Mountain

The Hobart Bookshop, 5.30pm, Wednesday October 12th

We were pleased to to host the launch, by Roberta Julian, of Margaret Eldridge's new book, New Mountain, New River, New Home? The Tasmanian Hmong

When the Hmong “gifted” the author with the task of placing their story on record, she set about interviewing this small refugee community in Tasmania, Australia’s island state. The book describes, to a large extent in their own words, the exodus of the Hmong from their hill-tribe homes in northern Laos as a result of the secret war and the conflict in Vietnam. She follows them to refugee camps in Thailand and, eventually, to Australia, where they settle and make a new life. The impact of the Hmong on the local community and the phenomena of secondary migration are also examined.

Associate Professor Roberta Julian is the founding Director of the Tasmanian Institute of Law Enforcement Studies (TILES).

Book Launch: Municipal Magnificence (Peter Freeman)Cover Image, Physick

The Hobart Bookshop, 5.30pm, Tuesday September 27th

We were delighted to host the launch of the new book Municipal Magnificence, by Peter Freeman with Brendan Lennard and Kathryn Evans.

The book is published by the Hobart City Council and is filled with rich historical information, photographs, illustrations, maps, and details celebrating the Hobart Town Hall.

The completion of the Hobart Town Hall in 1866 marked a significant achievement for the newly established City Council. The building represented a proud landmark in the life of the fledgling Council, housing the council chambers, public library, police offices and courtroom together with other important municipal functions. The new edifice also provided a much needed home for broader community activities and events. The sesquicentenary of the completion of the Town Hall provides us with the opportunity to acknowledge the progress and achievements of the past one hundred and fifty years. The anniversary also allows us to honour the contributions made by so many people over the years to our beautiful city. This publication proudly documents the rich and varied history of the Town Hall and its place in the life of the City of Hobart. This book celebrates the ‘home’ of municipal government in Tasmania’s capital city and commemorates its significant role in community and municipal activities over the years.

Peter Freeman is an architect, historian and illustrator, based on the south coast of NSW, who has always had close family links with Tasmania. Peter has been the author / compiler / illustrator of fourteen publications about architectural history and conservation, local history and biography, and was shortlisted in 2014 for the NSW Premier’s History Award for his publication The Wallpapered Manse. His most recent publication was an illustrated history of Domain House in the Queens Domain.

Brendan Lennard is the City of Hobart's senior cultural heritage officer. He has a particular interest in the musical heritage of the Town Hall and its grand concert organ. He was a member of the Hobart Choral and Philharmonic Society in the 1970s and has attended hundreds of Town Hall concerts and recitals over the years.

Dr Kathryn Evans is a Hobart based historian with a special interest in researching and documenting Tasmania’s historic heritage and the stories connected with that heritage. She has been involved in a wide range of research and interpretative projects, publications and displays on significant Tasmanian historic sites and buildings.

Book Launch: Physick (Pete Hay)Cover Image, Physick

The Hobart Bookshop, 5.30pm, Thursday August 18th

Dr James Boyce - multi-award-winning author whose books include Born Bad (2014), 1835 (2011) and Van Diemen's Land (2008) - launched Physick: Catharsis and 'The Natural Things', the latest work by Pete Hay.

Pete Hay is a poet, essayist, environmentalist, and academic, having taught geography, politics and philosophy at the University of Tasmania. His previous publications include Main Currents in Western Environmental Thought (social theory), Vandiemonian Essays (personal essays), and Silently On The Tide (poems), along with innumerable essays, book chapters, articles and reviews.

Physick is a poetry collection representing '10 years of thought and scribble'.

If you missed the launch, never fear. There is plenty of footage, courtesy of the fantastic Daniela Brozek -- so you can enjoy Pete Hay and James Boyce from the comfort of your own computer!

Take your pick from the following -- or settle down for the whole box set!

A tribute to Dr Pete Hay by Dr James Boyce
Dr James Boyce introduces Physick, by Pete Hay
Pete ruminating on poetry
Pete - how to read Physick
Pete - Sound to the World

Book launch: White-out: Selected Published Poems 1986-2016 (Saxby Pridmore)Cover Image, White-Out

The Hobart Bookshop, 5.30pm, Thursday July 21st

We had a lot of fun hosting the launch of Saxby Pridmore's book, White-out: Selected Published Poems 1986-2016.

White-out: selected published poems 1986-2016 brings together 194 of Tasmanian poet Saxby Pridmore's published poems to commemorate his achievement and contribution to Australian poetry: more than 300 poems published in over 40 different literary magazines and journals, including Quadrant, Studio, Famous Reporter, Blue Dog, Overland and Island.


Book Launch: Jellyfish: A Natural History (Lisa-Ann Gershwin)Cover Image, Jellyfish

The Hobart Bookshop, 5.30pm, Wednesday June 22nd

 We were delighted to host the launch, by Dr Rudy Kloser (Senior Research Scientist, CSIRO), of Lisa-Ann Gershwin's gorgeous new book, Jellyfish: A Natural History.

Jellyfish are mysterious creatures, luminously beautiful with remarkably varied life cycles. These simple, ancient animals are found in every ocean at every depth, and have lived on Earth for at least the last 500 million years. Ominously, they are also increasing in number as they adapt well to marine environmental degradation. Jellyfish is a timely title that looks at their anatomy, life history, taxonomy and ecology, and includes species profiles featuring stunning marine photography that will have you scanning the depths with renewed interest.

Lisa-Ann Gershwin is director of the Australian Marine Stinger Advisory Services. She was awarded a Fulbright scholarship in 1998 for her studies on jellyfish blooms and evolution. She has discovered over 190 new jellyfish species, as well as a new species of dolphin. Lisa-Ann is the author of Stung!: On Jellyfish Blooms and the Future of the Ocean (published by University of Chicago Press in 2013).

Photos courtesy of Fiona Gumboot.

 Jellyfish Launch 1  Jellyfish Launch 3

Book launch:  The Long Con (Barry Weston)

The Hobart Bookshop, 5.30pm, Wednesday June 1st

We were lucky enough to host the launch, by Andrew Nicholson, of Barry Weston's book, The Long Con.

Frank Cousins is a knockabout bloke; an ex-Queensland cop turned private eye who - it has to be said - is his own worst enemy. Owner and sole employee of the Tasmanian Private Investigation Agency in Hobart, Frank takes on three simple cases and soon find himself up to his neck in bad guys, bad situations and, as usual, bad behaviour. Money-for-jam, these three cases: find a missing woman, get the dirt on a philandering state politician, and provide personal protection for a wealthy, elderly matriarch - figurehead of Tasmanian environmental group. What could possibly go wrong? Well, as Frank's dear old departed Mum always said: 'nothing in life is what it first appears to be'.

The Long Con is the first book in the Tasmanian Private Investigation Agency series.

Below: Bookshop stall at the recent Australian School Library Association (ASLA) Conference.
Conference sales

Book launch: South Pole: Nature and Culture (Elizabeth Leane)

Cover image, South Pole

The Hobart Bookshop, 5.30pm, Wednesday May 18th

We had so much fun hosting the launch of Elizabeth Leane's new book, South Pole: Nature and Culture.

Dr Steve Nicol conducted the launch, with an introduction by the University of Tasmania's Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), Professor Brigid Heywood.

As one of two points where the Earth’s axis meets its surface, the South Pole should be a precisely defined place. But as Elizabeth Leane shows in this book, conceptually it is a place of paradoxes. An invisible spot on a high, featureless ice plateau, the Pole has no obvious material value, yet it is a highly sought-after location, and reaching it on foot is one of the most extreme adventures an explorer can undertake. The Pole is, as Leane shows, a deeply imagined place, and a place of politics, where a series of national claims converge.  
Leane details the important challenges that the South Pole poses to humanity, asking what it can teach us about ourselves and our relationship with our planet. She examines its allure for explorers such as Robert F. Scott and Roald Amundsen, not to mention the myriad writers and artists who have attempted to capture its strange, inhospitable blankness. She considers the Pole’s advantages for climatologists and other scientists as well as the absurdities and banalities of human interaction with this place. Ranging from the present all the way back to the ancient Greeks, she offers a fascinating—and lavishly illustrated—story about one of the strangest and most important places on Earth.

Book launch: The Moonlight Bird and the Grolken (Anne Morgan and Lois Bury)

Cover image, The Moonlight Bird and the Grolken

The Hobart Bookshop, 5.30pm, Thursday May 5th

Hobart Bookshop was excited to host the launch of Anne Morgan's new children's book, illustrated by Lois Bury.

Anne Morgan is a well-published children’s author and a winner of the Environment Children’s Book of the Year Award for junior fiction. Lois Bury is an artist and illustrator in watercolours, oils and acrylics, and specialises in painting bird life on Bruny Island. 


Book launch: Ink in Her Veins (Sylvia Martin)Cover Image, Sylvia

The Hobart Bookshop, 5.30pm, Wednesday May 4th

Hobart Bookshop were pleased to host the launch, by Lucy Frost, of Sylvia Martin's Ink in Her Veins: The Troubled Life of Aileen Palmer.

Aileen Palmer - poet, translator, political activist, adventurer - was the daughter of two writers prominent in Australian literature in the first half of the twentieth century. Vance and Nettie Palmer were well known as novelists, poets, critics and journalists, and Nettie suspected that their eldest would grow up with 'ink in her veins'. Aileen certainly inherited her parents' talents, publishing poetry, translating the work of Ho Chi Minh, and recording what she referred to as 'semi-fictional bits of egocentric writing'. She also absorbed their interest in leftist politics, joining the Communist Party at university. This, combined with her bravery, led to participation in the Spanish Civil War and the ambulance service in London during World War II. The return to Australia was not easy, and Aileen never successfully reintegrated into civilian life. In Ink in Her Veins Sylvia Martin paints an honest and moving portrait in which we see a talented woman slowly brought down by war, family expectations, and psychiatric illness and the sometimes cruel 'treatments' common in the 20th century.

Event: Bill McKibben

Launch Bill McKibben

Stanley Burbury Theatre, University of Tasmania, 3:00pm, Sunday April 17th

In his only Tasmanian event, Bill delivered the 6th Hobart Oration at the University of Tasmania in Sandy Bay. He was introduced by former Greens Leader Christine Milne. 

Bill is a relentless campaigner and co-founder of, the first planet-wide, grassroots climate change movement. An influential author and educator for 30 years, Bill was awarded the Right Livelihood Prize in 2014.

Book launch: If We Could Fly (Karen Armstrong)

Cover Image, Karen Armstrong

The Hobart Bookshop, 5.30pm, Thursday April 14th

We were excited to host the launch by Andrew Wilkie, of Karen Armstrong's If We Could Fly.

'The beautifully quirky title of Karen Armstrong’s first collection of poetry maps the final journey of a friend who is dying of cancer. These poems capture the warmth of unselfish love; of a relationship despite trying circumstances. A pact between two friends where one shares the burden vicariously as the other faces debilitating illness and inevitable death.' Peter F. Pike, Managing Editor, FreeXpresSion 

'This collection of poetry will move you and linger in you long after the vigil is over. It will bring you out from the little black box we keep ourselves tucked into. Armstrong presents the harrowing circumstances as they are with acute sensitivity. The poems are quietly terrifying as they draw us to the bright light of death. They are a potent mix of sorrow and need, an ongoing state of mourning for the poet’s friend. This is a book necessary for life. Enjoy this book. It insists.' - Karen Knight

Book signing: The Tale of Ming Kee Monkey (Sarah Brennan)

Cover image, Ming Kee Monkey

The Hobart Bookshop, 12 noon, Saturday February 27th

Tasmanian-born Hong Kong-based author Sarah Brennan was in the Hobart Bookshop on Saturday 27th February at 12pm for a signing of her new book, The Tale of Ming Kee Monkey.

This is the newest title in her 'Chinese Calendar Tales' series, based on the animals represented in the Chinese lunar calendar. The series goal is to be educational as well as entertaining, and this book incorporates fun cartoons by Harry Harrison alongside Sarah's verse.

Award Presentation: Geoff Goodfellow Free Verse Poetry Competition

The Hobart Bookshop, 5.30pm, Thursday February 25th.

Geoff Goodfellow, headshot

Poet Geoff Goodfellow presented the awards in his Free Verse Poetry Competition for Tasmanian high school students.

First prize in this competition was $250 plus a signed copy of one of Geoff Goodfellow's own collections. Second and third prizes were selections of Wakefield Press poetry titles, and the winning entrant's school also received a collection of Wakefield Press poetry titles. Winning poems were read at the event.

For more information about Geoff Goodfellow and his work, visit his webpage.

Book Launch: Secret Garden at Recherche Bay - 1792Cover image, Secret Garden at Recherche Bay

The Hobart Bookshop, 5.30pm, Wednesday February 24th.

We were delighted to have Rosalie Woodruff launche Secret Garden at Recherche Bay - 1792, by F.K. Jouffroy-Gauja, J.P. Beaulieu, and J.C. Donatowicz.

The book describes in detail the story of Felix Lahaye (a gardener with the French expedition under Rear-Admiral d'Entrecasteaux) and the garden he created at Recherche Bay in 1792.
In 2003, a stone structure matching the approximate description and location of this hidden French garden was unearthed. Although it turned out in fact not to be the vegetable garden, the discovery widened the interest in, and some conflict over, the historical area. 
The book details a history of the area, the garden, and Lahaye's work, through extensive research into the records and the handwritten diaries of Lahaye himself.
The launch event also featured the golden voices of special guests the Recherche Baybes.

Book Signing:Fetcher's Song (Lian Tanner)Cover Image, Sunkers Deep

The Hobart Bookshop, 2:00pm-4:00pm Sunday January 10th

We were delighted to have Lian Tanner in store signing copies of Fetcher's Song.

Fetcher's Song is the thrilling conclusion to Lian Tanner's young adult The Hidden series. Twelve year old Petrol is an outcast on an ancient icecreaker that has been following the same course for three hundred years. In that time, the crew has forgotten its original purpose and have broken into three warring tribes. Everyone has a tribe except Petrel. 


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