Indie Awards 2015

The winners of the Indie Book Awards 2015 were announced 25 March, chosen by more than 170 independent Australian booksellers. Presented annually to Australian writers since 2008, the previous Overall Winners of the Indie Book Awards are Breath by Tim Winton (2008), Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey (2009), The Happiest Refugee by Anh Do (2010/11),  All That I Am by Anna Funder (2012) The Light between Oceans by M. L. Stedman (2013) and The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan (2014).


Indie Book of the Year 2015

The bush: travels in the heart of Australia by Don Watson.  Utterly mesmerising and entrancing . . . A challenge to contemplate what it really is about this country that makes us who we think we are . . . A literary-historical odyssey.” (Paul Daley, The Guardian)


Indie Book of the Year Fiction
Golden boys by Sonya Hartnett. Through the lives of 2 families, the book explores the “acceptance of domestic violence, and its effects on children; the way class and money can enable and protect a predator; and how resilient, vulnerable, opportunistic and courageous children can be.” (Linda Funnell)


Indie Book of the Year Non-Fiction
The bush by Don Watson


Indie Book of the Year Children’s & YA
Withering-by-Sea by Judith Rossell. A thrilling Victorian fantasy-adventure, the first in a series for 9-12 year olds. A young orphaned girl living in an old hotel sees something she shouldn’t have, setting in motion a terrifying yet wonderful adventure.


Indie Book of the Year Debut Fiction
Foreign soil by Maxine Beneba Clarke. A collection of award-winning stories dealing with people who are disenfranchised, mistreated or lost. Clarke says “it’s about refuge and humanity, the way we treat each other”.

Trash – the film & book and Happiness Day

Trash – film opens 26 March

Adventure drama thriller directed by Stephen Daldry (Billy Elliot). Based on the book by Andy Mulligan (though the film is set in Rio). Stars Rooney Mara, Martin Sheen, Rickson Tevez. Three street boys find a wallet containing cash, photos and documents in a garbage dump and then find themselves on the run from corrupt police and politicians, trying to right a terrible wrong.


Trash by Andy Mulligan

This is a great book – excellent storytelling, different narrators, engaging characters, an intriguing mystery… don’t want to put it down! Shortlisted for the Carnegie medal in 2012.

“Trash is a thriller with moral weight and a complex structure….. Without ever moralising, Mulligan raises issues of corruption, poverty, waste and excess in an exciting, but also grimly sad tale.” (Suzi Feay, The Financial Times)

“This gripping book engages readers both as an adventure and as a social justice story” (Publishers Weekly US).

Ages 11+ – but definitely a crossover title that can be enjoyed by all ages.


UN International Day of Happiness – 20 March

Established 2012. The UN recognises that the pursuit of happiness is a fundamental human goal and worth celebrating. Ties in well with Harmony Day (21 March) in schools.

10 simple science-backed ways to be happier today

14 signs you’re really happy (and how to stay that way)

Happiness signs & quotes (images)


Harmony Day – 21 March

This year it’s a Saturday. Harmony Day celebrates Australia’s cultural diversity – inclusiveness, respect and a sense of belonging for everyone.

Online viewing habits in Australia

Interesting data about our devices and viewing habits….


Australian Online Landscape Review (Nielsen Report: data for Jan 2015)

18 011 000 people online; 50+ age group = 33.5% of online Australians; 2-34 yr olds = 38.2%; users spent an average 36 hours online in January; 3.2 billion streams watched; 63% of daily browses came from portable devices (smartphones more than tablets).


Top sites in Australia (March 2015) 2. 3. Facebook 4. YouTube 5. Yahoo 6. eBay 7. Wikipedia 8. Linkedin 9. Twitter 10. 11. Amazon 12. 13. Paypal 14. Bing 15. Gumtree 16. Commbank 17. 18. 19. 20. Reddit 21. Pinterest 22. Instagram 23. 24. 25. Westpac


Australian Multi-Screen Report Q3 2015 (Nielsen Report Dec 2014)

TV is still the centrepiece of viewing; Australians watch nearly 97 hrs per month of TV; internet is in 80% of homes; smartphones are the most common internet-connected devices in homes (91%) – tablets (60%); 74% of people aged 16+ own a smartphone; 45% of homes own tablets; 13.377 million watch some video on the internet each month (7h30m per month).


Australian e-Generation Report (Nielsen Report Feb 2015)

2-15 yr olds spend av. 11h12m online each week; 13-15 yr olds = 18.7 hrs/wk; children go online at an increasingly younger age due to tablets, apps and smartphones; younger children use tablets; teens have all devices; 9 in 10 homes own laptops; 6 in 10 have wifi; 7 in 10 own tablets.


Password reset

Web security firm SplashData analyses several million leaked passwords each year. Most popular in 2014 and 2013 was  ‘123456’ (in 2012, ‘password’ won). Other favourites; ‘qwerty’; ‘trustno1’; ‘letmein’; ‘abc123’. If ‘123456’ is too short, just add ‘78’. Eventually we’ll see the end of passwords. The Fujitsu Purse Wallet identifies the vein patterns on your hand and the Bionym Nymi wristband uses your heartbeat as a password.