Win every single book shortlisted for the Ockhams

It’s Ockham time. The annual national book awards are held on Wednesday, when 16 books – four novels, four collections of poetry, four books of non-fiction and four books of illustrated non-fiction – compete for honours at the Ockham New Zealand book awards. All 16 books are up for grabs in a fantastic giveaway offer available exclusively to good old ReadingRoom.

One reader will win the lot. The rules are simple and the timing is tight. To enter the draw, simply select which of the four books will win each category (as set out below), and compose a few words supporting your informed or wild guess, by emailing with the subject line reading, in screaming caps, I WOULD QUITE LIKE TO WIN THE ANNUAL 2022 READINGROOM GREATEST BOOK PRIZE OF ALL TIMES by 6pm on Wednesday, May 11. In other words you have three days. Entries received after 6pm are ineligible.

The 16 shortlisted books have been judged the best 16 New Zealand books of 2021. We’re talking that memoir by Charlotte Grimshaw, the extraordinarily vivid retelling of a myth about a bird-woman on Mokoia Island by Whiti Hereaka, a wild collection of poetry by Tayi Tibble, a beautiful book of photographs of stained glass windows created by Colin McCahon, and other titles which have a retail value of oh somewhere in the vicinity of $750.

Last year’s winner of the greatest books prize of all times was Marina Lathouraki of Petone.

To repeat: the 2022 competition ends on the stroke of 6pm on Wednesday May 11.

The full shortlist is as below. Again: to enter, choose one book from each category, write a brief sentence or two which conveys your reckonings, go to the email machine, and press send. Good luck!


Shifting Grounds: Deep Histories of Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland by Lucy Mackintosh (Bridget Williams Books)

The Architect and the Artists: Hackshaw, McCahon, Dibble by Bridget Hackshaw (Massey University Press)

Dressed: Fashionable Dress in Aotearoa New Zealand 1840 to 1910 by Claire Regnault (Te Papa Press)

NUKU: Stories of 100 Indigenous Women by Qiane Matata-Sipu (QIANE+co)


Kurangaituku by Whiti Hereaka (Huia Publishers)

Greta & Valdin by Rebecca K Reilly (Te Herenga Waka University Press)

Entanglement by Bryan Walpert (Mākaro Press)

A Good Winter by Gigi Fenster (Text Publishing)


The Mirror Book by Charlotte Grimshaw (Vintage, Penguin Random House)

Voices from the New Zealand Wars | He Reo nō ngā Pakanga o Aotearoa by Vincent O’Malley (Bridget Williams Books)

From the Centre: A Writer’s Life by Patricia Grace (Penguin, Penguin Random House)

The Alarmist: Fifty Years Measuring Climate Change by Dave Lowe (Te Herenga Waka University Press)


Rangikura by Tayi Tibble (Te Herenga Waka University Press)

The Sea Walks into a Wall by Anne Kennedy (Auckland University Press)

Sleeping with Stones by Serie Barford (Anahera Press)

Tumble by Joanna Preston (Otago University Press)

Tomorrow in ReadingRoom: we continue our week-long coverage of the Ockham book awards with a frankly mind-blowingly brilliant review by Emmy Rākete of  Shifting Grounds: Deep Histories of Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland by Lucky Mackintosh, shortlisted for the best book of illustrated non-fiction.

Steve Braunias is the literary editor of Newsroom's books section ReadingRoom, a noted writer at the NZ Herald, and the author of 10 books.

Leave a comment