Past events 2019
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.
Book Launch: The Pakana Voice (Jim Everett-puralia meenamatta and Dr Ian Broinowski)
The Hobart Bookshop, 5.30pm, Thursday November 28th
We were excited to be hosting the launch of Jim Everett-puralia meenamatta and Dr Ian Broinowski's The Pakana Voice.
This is a book about newspapers and the power of the press to sway opinion. The main narrative voice is that of W.C., a somewhat hapless war correspondent, posted to Tasmania to cover the conflict between the Pakana people of Lutruwita and the British, in the years 1814 to 1856.
In the hope of learning more about the aboriginal people of Lutruwita he befriended Rialim, a man of the Moomairremener clan of the Paredarerme (Oyster Bay) Nation. He then met Lowana, a strong, intelligent and captivating woman with whom he fell deeply and hopelessly in love with. He resumed his profession, but his contact with the Moomairremener led him to break the cardinal rule of war journalism: he took sides.
W.C.’s perspective on these events is not without its biases. He tries to temper his feelings as he shares with us letters, articles and opinion pieces from his collection. He includes of his own postings under the byline The Pakana Voice, in which he encourages his readers to see what is not being reported in the conventional press.
Despite technology with its fancy gadgets, little has changed in two centuries of media and its influence over the minds of people, W.C.’s words still ring true: ‘I fear the old adage that we learn from history is indeed a misnomer’.
Photo courtesy of Soncha Iacono.
Book Launch: How to Belong (Anne Collins)
The Hobart Bookshop, 5.30pm, Wednesday November 20th
We were pleased to be hosting the launch, by Helen Swain, of Anne Collins' new collection of poetry, How to Belong.
‘Aristotle argued that as we mature, we act less aimlessly and more purposefully. How to Belong explores a myriad of ways we might approach this “good life”. Suggestive rather than instructive, Anne Collins does not ask anything of us that she does not ask of herself; diligent and compassionate in her self-reflection on being and belonging in her/our cultural, political and familial landscapes. With immediacy of language and vivid imagery these poems cast an ever-widening circle of light on matters that are at once particular and universal, of the times and timeless.'
Book Launch: Forgotten Corners (Pete Hay)
The Hobart Bookshop, 5.30pm, Wednesday November 6th
We were delighted to host the launch, by Geordie Williamson, of Pete Hay's Forgotten Corners: Essays in Search of an Island's Soul, published by Walleah Press.
'One of Tasmania’s great, distinctive voices. Pete Hay illuminates the island in remarkable fashion, enriching our understanding of its history, culture, politics and environment.'
'Pete Hay is pre-eminent among the guardians of Tasmania’s island’s spirit, his fierce intelligence and compassionate heart resisting those who would ravage, exploit and appropriate its natural beauty, cultural creativity and fraught history for profit and power. Animals and ancestors, people and plants, the lost and the loved, the humus and the human, the artist and the artefact, the books and the birds, the sadness and the stillness, the past and the possible, the humour and the horror all find voice in Forgotten Corners.
For Pete Hay, home matters. He might be descended from a Point Puer boy and be the son of a legend of the 2/40th Battalion, the ‘Tasmanian’ battalion, but he does not to claim belonging as a birthright: “You don’t inherit place”, he tells us, “you commit to it”.'
Book Launch: The Book of Stone (Coral Tulloch and Mark Greenwood)
The Hobart Bookshop, 5.30pm, Wednesday October 30th
We had such a lovely time hosting the launch of The Book of Stone, illustrated by Coral Tulloch and written by Mark Greenwood.
Every stone has a story, the echo of a memory, a walk in the wilderness, a time and a place lived and loved. This book is about these stones. Every stone has its own unique story - and everybody needs a story stone and a book to collect it in! Together Coral and Mark have created a book that allows them to share the theme of geological wonder, solitude, special memories and places through stone.
Book Launch: Shadow in the Forest (Leigh Swinbourne)
The Hobart Bookshop, 5.30pm, Thursday October 17th
We were excited to host the launch, by Jane Longhurst, of Leigh Swinbourne's new novel, Shadow in the Forest.
1983, and the hot issue of the environment has helped sweep the Hawke Government into office. Evelyn Carter, a young idealistic zoologist, travels to Tasmania as part of a project to keep that heat turned up. Deep in the wilderness, alone, she is confronted by an extraordinary event that will challenge both herself and her deep love of the natural world.
Book Launch: Dangerous Goods (Edith Speers)
The Hobart Bookshop, 3.00pm, Sunday October 6thWe were pleased to host the launch of Edith Speers' latest collection of poetry, Dangerous Goods.
Book Launch: Keep Calm and Kill the Chef by Livia Day (Tansy Rayner Roberts)
The Hobart Bookshop, 5.30pm, Sunday September 29thWe were delighted to present the launch, by L.J.M Owen, of Livia Day's Keep Calm and Kill the Chef.
Scones, tea, and a stabbing…When Tabitha Darling entered Cafe La Femme in a reality TV show hosted by an infamous “bad boy” Chef, she never expected to be a suspect in his murder. When Xanthippe Carides quit working in a cafe to become a private detective, she never expected one of her first cases would be keeping Tabitha out of jail. These two friends have a mystery to solve, and only one of them is telling the whole truth.Tansy Rayner Roberts writes as Livia Day, a stylish, murder-obsessed fashionista. Tansy is a mother, an author, a blogger, a podcaster, and a Hugo-award winning critic. This is the third title in the Cafe La Femme series which also includes A Trifle Dead and Drowned Vanilla.
Book Launch: Field of Stars (Lyn Reeves)
The Hobart Bookshop, 5.30pm, Monday September 9th
We were delighted to be hosting the launch, by Irene McGuire, of Lyn Reeves’ long-awaited haiku collection, Field of Stars.
'From the very first haiku Field of Stars is a celebration of what the haiku master Masaoka Shiki described in the first principle of haiku as Shasei or “sketching from life.” Lyn Reeves has succeeded in finding diamonds with her finely observed and beautifully sketched moments. In a time of Global Warming and dire predictions, Reeves shows us that we can all remember what is at stake with her observations of nature and writing from the heart and a place of wonder. This is a collection to be kept close and cherished for the many celebrations of what it is to be a part of nature. I commend this to the reader and may you walk gently with Lyn in a Field of Stars.'
Ron C. Moss, former Secretary, Australian Haiku Society, and author of The Bone Carver and Bushfire Moon.
Lyn Reeves is the former haiku editor of the literary journal Famous Reporter and current editor for the online journal Echidna Tracks: Australian Haiku. She also serves as the Vice-President of The Australian Haiku Society. Lyn’s poetry, stories and haiku have been widely published, her collection Designs on the Body winning the coveted IP Picks Poetry Award in 2010. Field of Stars brings together many of the haiku that have appeared in journals since the release of her first haiku collection, Walking the Tideline, in 2001 and which is now available as a free download from The Haiku Foundation Digital Library. Lyn lives in Hobart, where she co-convenes the haiku group, Watersmeet.
Book Launch: Baffling Gravity (Andrew Sant)
The Hobart Bookshop, 5.30pm, Wednesday August 7th
We were pleased to be hosting the launch, by Sarah Day, of Andrew Sant's new collection of poems, Baffling Gravity.
Gravity as a physical influence, the weight of gravity, and gravity of thought and action are central to Andrew Sant's new collection of poems - and so too is the means of baffling gravity, not the least by the deployment of wit. Gravity here is also baffling in the alternative sense, as a force or as a theory, which summons perplexity. These poems, wide-ranging in time and place, are richly textured investigations of the world, its terrain and its people, by an alert, often restless, informed observer.
Book Launch: Ella and the Ocean (Lian Tanner)
The Hobart Bookshop, 10.30am, Sunday August 4th
We were excited to welcome Lian Tanner back to celebrate the release of her new picture book, Ella and the Ocean, which was launched by Her Excellency, Professor the Honourable Kate Warner, the Governor of Tasmania, AC.
Ella lived in the red-dirt country where the earth was as dry as old bones and it hadn't rained for years and years and years. One night, Ella dreamt of the ocean...
Book Launch: State of the Heart (Carol Patterson)
3265 South Arm Road, South Arm, 2.00pm - 4.00pm, Sunday July 28th
We were pleased to be part of the launch of Carol Patterson's short story collection, State of the Heart.
Carol Patterson lives in South Arm, a serene coastal hamlet south-east of Hobart. Her arresting style infuses her short stories with fresh, vibrant life. She explores the crucial points in people's lives when change takes place. Her post-graduate degree in Geography and Environmental Studies gained from the University of Tasmania, allows her to see the world from an original perspective, which further enriches her stories.
Book Launch: Journey (Jan Colville)
The Hobart Bookshop, 5.30pm, Thursday July 25th
We were pleased to be hosting the launch, by Pete Hay, of Jan Colville's new collection of poems, Journey.
Book Launch: Fortune (Lenny Bartulin)
The Hobart Bookshop, 5.30pm, Wednesday July 3rd
We were delighted to host the launch, by Geordie Williamson, of Lenny Bartulin's new novel, Fortune.
In 1806 Napoleon Bonaparte conquered Prussia. Beginning on the very day he leads his triumphant Grande Armee into Berlin through the Brandenburg Gate, Fortune traces the fates of a handful of souls whose lives briefly touch on that momentous day and then diverge across the globe. Spanning more than a century, the novel moves from the Napoleonic Wars to South America, and from the early penal settlement of Van Diemen's Land to the cannons of the First World War, mapping the reverberations of history on ordinary people. Some lives are willed into action and others are merely endured, but all are subject to the unpredictable whims of chance. Fortune is a historical novel like no other, a perfect jewel of epic and intense brilliance.
Book Launch: All We Need to Know (Hugh Crago)
The Hobart Bookshop, 5.30pm, Thursday June 6th
We were pleased to host the launch of All We Need to Know, by Hugh Crago, who was in conversation with Berry Dunston.
Published by Ginninderra Press, Hugh Crago’s book is a new departure in Australian life writing, artfully combining memoir, family history and insightful commentary on why families are the way they are. Above all, it is the author’s honesty that strikes us, as we accompany him on his discovery of three generations of his family’s history—a history that explains much about his own values, struggles and dilemmas.
'I laughed, I cried, I had shocks of recognition and shocks of amazement … I was enthralled. A great story of interlocking lives: every note is in place'.
Brian Stagoll, psychiatrist and pioneer family therapist, Melbourne
'There are millions of books we don’t need—yours we do'.
Gabrielle Lord, award-winning crime novelist, Sydney.
Book Launch: The Broad Arrow (edited by Jenna Mead)
The Hobart Bookshop, 5.30pm, Wednesday May 29th
We were excited to host the launch, by Amanda Lohrey, of The Broad Arrow, edited by Jenna Mead.
Caroline Leakey, writing as Oliné Keese, published her first and only novel, The Broad Arrow, in 1859. It tells the story of Maida Gwynnham, a young middle-class woman lured into committing a forgery by her deceitful lover, Captain Norwell, and then wrongly convicted of infanticide. The novel’s title describes the arrow that was stamped onto government property, including the clothes worn by convict – a symbol of shame and incarceration. With its ‘fallen woman’ protagonist, its gothic undertones and its exploration of the social and moral implications of the penal system, this little-known novel gives an insight into a significant chapter of Australian history from a uniquely female perspective.
Marcus Clarke, author of Term of His Natural Life (published in novel form in 1874) even listed a copy of The Broad Arrow in his personal library.
In this new critical edition, editor Jenna Mead restores material that was cut when the novel was reissued in a radically abridged version in 1886, restoring for the first time in over a century the complete original text of Leakey’s important work.
Book Launch: Juno Jones, Word Ninja (Kate Gordon)
The Hobart Bookshop, 3.00pm, Sunday May 26th
We were delighted to host the launch of Kate Gordon's new book Juno Jones, Word Ninja #1.
How far would you go to save your school from Men in Suits a.k.a. Alien Lizard Men? Juno Jones and her friends will do anything. Teacher Miss Tippett has a plan, but it involves a lot of reading. Juno Jones, a Kid Who Doesn't Like Reading must become...a WORD NINJA! Complete with jokes and drawings and killer mermaids, and of course ninjas, Juno's adventures in text will appeal to even the pickiest of young readers.
Book Event: Nobody's Child (Natasha Fay)
The Hobart Bookshop, 5.30pm, Thursday April 18th
We were excited to host a Q&A event with Natasha Fay, author of Nobody's Child.
This was Natasha Fay's account of how she grew from an abuse victim to a survivor despite the many adversities in her life. The neglect of her own mother which enabled her abusers, an unfulfilling relationship with a distant husband, a gambling addiction typical to the destructive behavioural patterns of the abused, the tragedy of being unable to pursue her abusers for justice in the court, and discovering the failures of the agencies that could have saved her and her siblings from a childhood of abuse.
Book Launch: The Sparkle Pages (Meg Bignell)
Hadley's Orient Hotel, 34 Murray Street, 5.00pm, Saturday April 13th
We were thrilled to support the launch of Meg Bignell's debut novel, The Sparkle Pages.
'Is marriage just a series of texts about where the children are and whether we need milk until one of you dies?' Susannah Parks is a viola virtuoso. Except she hasn't picked up a viola for over a decade. She has, however, picked up a lot of Lego, socks, wet towels and other exhibits of mundanity. She has also picked up on the possibility that her husband has lost interest in her. (And frankly, she's not very interested in Susannah Parks either.) But this year, she has resolved to be very interesting. Also thoughtful, useful, cheerful, relevant, self-sufficient, stylish, alluring and intelligent. In her highly confidential diary, Susannah documents the search for the elusive spark in her marriage, along with all the high and low notes of life with her four beloved children, with her free-spirited (and world famous) best friend Ria, and with Hugh, the man who fills her heart with burning passion and her washing pile with shirts. And perhaps amid the chaos she might be brave enough to find the missing pieces of herself.
Meg Bignell was a nurse and a weather presenter before she surrendered to a persistent desire to write. Since then she has been writing almost every day - bits and pieces here and there, either to earn a crust, to get something off her chest or to entertain herself. She sings a bit too, occasionally writes and performs cabaret, but is mostly very busy being a mother to three and a wife (to one). She lives with her family on a dairy farm on Tasmania's East Coast.
Book Launch: Continental Shift (Megan Schaffner)
The Hobart Bookshop, 5.30pm, Thursday April 11th
We were delighted to host the launch, by Liz McQuilkin, of Megan Schaffner's new book Continental Shift.
For over five decades, Megan has been observing and recording her adopted Tasmanian environment in prose and poetry. In 1961 Megan crossed the Indian Ocean that now divides two continents that once were part of the great Gondwana landmass. In her arms she carried two restless children. In her head she carried remembered voices from her childhood, and in her mind's eye she carried wild South African landscapes.
Book Launch: An Inherited Epidemic of Gilgamesh (Graeme Hetherington)
The John Elliott Classics Museum (University of Tasmania, Sandy Bay campus), 5.30pm, Wednesday April 10th
We were delighted to support the launch of Graeme Hetherington's new book, An Inherited Epic of Gilgamesh, launched by Ralph Spaulding.
Ralph Spaulding says of the collection:
Book Launch: It Can Take Till Now (Libby Goodsir)
The Hobart Bookshop, 5.30pm, Thursday April 4th
We were delighted to host the launch by Aurora Hammond and Anita Oakley, of Libby Goodsir's new collection of poetry, with drawings by Bruce Goodsir, It Can Take Till Now.
Aurora Hammond, B.SocWk.M.A.Psych
'Elizabeth (Libby) and Bruce have been in my life for 30 years. In that time I have observed a family whose love for art and beauty and experimenting and exploring - has been inspiring and relentless. In It Can Take Till Now, Libby’s written wisdom is not misspent moralising. Instead it is offered with open hands, and sits beautifully beside Bruce’s drawings that capture life in all its quivering glory. We simply glide into the hearts of these two artists. What can be more meaningful than reading odes about family and the close friends that define our short time on earth. Poems such as Birthing day, Reunion and Farewell Sweet Neighbour remind us where poetry needs to sit, in our breast pocket close to our hearts.'
Neeta Oakley, BA, BSW, GradCert. H.H.S
Book Launch: Silliness: A Serious History (Peter Timms)
The Hobart Bookshop, 5.30pm, Monday April 1st
We were delighted to host the launch of Peter Timms' new book, Silliness: A Serious History.
Silliness is to be savoured. It exposes the cracks in our reasoning, raising a gleeful two-finger salute to convention and common sense. In a world awash with stupidity and cruel politics, silliness is childish, anarchic, mischievous, rude and sometimes shocking.But it's not new. This delightful yet informative book reveals the surprisingly rich history of silliness, going all the way back to the madcap plays of Aristophanes in the fourth century BC. Medieval fools and jesters, strange 'epidemics of silliness' in the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries, and the charming nonsense of Lewis Carroll and Edward Lear, lead us to the often dark and nihilistic silliness of modern times, including Buster Keaton, Monty Python and 'Cats that Look Like Hitler'.
Book Launch: The Huts of kunanyi / Mount Wellington (Maria Grist)
The Hobart Bookshop, 5.30pm, Wednesday March 20th
We were pleased to host the launch, by The Rt Hon Lord Mayor of Hobart, Alderman Anna Reynolds, of Maria Grist's new book, The Huts of kunanyi / Mount Wellington.
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, a series of ornate rustic recreational huts were built by enthusiastic young Hobart men and women on the lower slopes of kunanyi/Mount Wellington. They were artistically crafted and were further beautified by the addition rustic arbours, summer houses, bridges, gardens, and bush furniture, all built by the hospitable and generous hut owners.
The Huts of kunanyi/Mount Wellington draws on newspaper accounts, postcards, and photographs that still exist today. A testament to their short time of fame, Maria Grist has written this book in the hope that this romantic episode of our mountain’s history should not be forgotten.
Book Signing: Jacqueline Harvey
The Hobart Bookshop, 4.00pm, Wednesday March 20th
We were excited to welcome Jacqueline Harvey back to our shop for a signing.
Jacqueline Harvey worked in schools for many years but has had a passion for storytelling since she was a child. She is the author of the popular Kensy and Max, Alice-Miranda and Clementine Rose series, which have sold over one million copies in Australia alone.
Book Launch: Rise of the Right (Greg Barns)
The Hobart Bookshop, 5.30pm, Wednesday March 6th
We were pleased to host the launch of Greg Barns' new book, Rise of the Right.
To those who think of Australia as a highly successful democracy that has built a diverse society with respect for liberal values, a proposition that this is all at risk might seem alarmist. But the history of the past two decades in this country's political and social narrative, and now the global trend towards isolation, protectionism and authoritarianism, as well as the 'them and us' fear-mongering happening around the world, ought to raise the question as to whether the foundations of Australian liberal democracy are so secure that we are immune to the threats without and within. Rise of the Right is a fascinating account from one of Australia's leading political journalists and is essential reading for anyone interested in Australian politics.
Book Launch: Jilda's Ark (Verity Croker)
The Hobart Bookshop, 5.30pm, Wednesday February 27th
We were excited to host the launch, by Susan Ditter (Executive Officer, Working It Out) and Layne Kullrich, of Verity Croker's new young adult book, Jilda's Ark.
While her mother and sister are enjoying an excursion on a Fijian island, Jilda, who is unwell and remains onboard, finds their ship has sailed off, leaving most of its passengers stranded on shore. An unknown group has overtaken the ship. After a few days, they collect thousands of new passengers from a distant archipelago, making conditions onboard overcrowded and uncomfortable. Though Jilda is desperate to reunite with her family, she meets someone who comforts her and will completely change her world. But how will her new friend Jade feel when she learns Jilda has a boyfriend back home?