NZ Booklovers Awards 2023 Shortlist Announced

MEDIA RELEASE: 18 February 2023

The NZ Booklovers Awards 2023 shortlist was announced this week with a  refreshing range of well-known and debut authors.

Books by Fiona Sussman, James Norcliffe, Paddy Richardson, Simon Wilson, Jane Ussher and John Walsh, and Rangi Matamua and Miriama Kamo are among the diverse titles nominated for the NZ Booklovers Awards, along with exciting new writers and outstanding debut books.

NZ Booklovers Director Karen McMillan says the awards, now in their fifth year, received a record-breaking 136 entries, and they are consistently the highest standard the judges had seen.

 “This year, the standard of books entered was of the highest calibre across the board. It was a true pleasure to read so many outstanding books, but the challenge was whittling the entries down to those shortlisted. A tough task with much deliberation by our judges,’ Karen McMillan says. 

The NZ Booklovers Awards 2023 shortlisted titles are: 

NZ Booklovers Award for Best Adult Fiction Book 2023, sponsored by Lighthouse PR

  • A Message for Nasty by Roderick Fry (Awa Press)

  • Barefoot by R.V. Bayley (Eden St Press)

  • By the Green of the Spring by Paddy Richardson (Quentin Wilson Publishing)

  • Harbouring by Jenny Pattrick (Penguin Random House NZ)

  • Mrs Jewell and the Wreck of the General Grant by Cristina Sanders (The Cuba Press)

  • The Darkest Sin by D.V. Bishop (Macmillan Publishers)

  • The Doctor’s Wife by Fiona Sussman (Bateman Books)

  • The Frog Prince by James Norcliffe (Penguin Random House NZ)

  • The Slow Roll by Simon Lendrum (Upstart Press)

NZ Booklovers Award for Best Lifestyle Book 2023, sponsored by Benefitz

  • Grow: Wāhine finding connection through food by Sophie Merkins (Beatnik Publishing)

  • HomeGround: The story of a building that changes lives bySimon Wilson, photographs Mark Smith (Massey University Press)

  • Kai: Food stories and recipes from my family table by Christall Lowe (Bateman Books)

  • New Zealand Gardens to Visit by Juliet Nicholas & Rosemary Barraclough (Penguin Random House NZ)

  • Robin White: Something is Happening Here by Sarah Farrar, Jill Trevelyan and Nina Tonga (Te Papa Press and Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki)

  • Rooms: Portraits of Remarkable New Zealand Interiors by Jane Ussher and John Walsh (Massey University Press)

  • The Deep South by Andris Apse (Penguin Random House NZ)

  • The Homemade Table by Nicola Galloway (Potton & Burton)

About NZ Booklovers is an online home for people who are passionate about books. Working alongside publishers, NZ Booklovers showcases both New Zealand and international titles. It provides reviews, author interviews, book news and competitions.

Director Karen McMillan heads up a talented team of contributors and reviewers, fellow readers and writers who are passionate about books and believe literature inspires and enhances people’s lives. The NZ Booklovers Awards are the brainchild of Karen McMillan to support the local publishing community and New Zealand authors.

For more information, interviews or book covers, please contact NZ Booklovers Director Karen McMillan, 027 693 9044,,

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