Youngblood, 5 Seconds of Summer
The Australian band broadened their appeal beyond their teen fanbase and earned an ARIA for Best Group.
Love Monster, Amy Shark
The recipient of the Best Album ARIA Award, Shark’s debut demonstrated her well-honed skills as a storyteller.
Golden Hour, Lacey Musgraves
The country performer crossed over to a wider audience with her fourth album, up for Album of the Year at the Grammys.
Shawn Mendes, Shawn Mendes
Still 19 when it was released, the Canadian star’s third album showed a new maturity, both musically and lyrically.
Dirty Computer, Janelle Monáe
Another Album of the Year nominee, Monáe’s third effort is her most accessible yet, but none the less potent.
Best new podcasts
The Teacher's Pet
It goes without saying that this look at the disappearance of Lynette Dawson was 2018’s most impactful series, leading to the arrest of husband Chris.
The Betoota Advocate
“Australia’s oldest and favourite newspaper” took its brand of satire into new media.
Armchair Expert With Dax Shepard
Mr Kristen Bell is an acquired taste, but there’s no denying the calibre of his guests.
Hosted by New York Times reporter Rukmini Callimachi, this series delivers on its promise of taking listeners inside the workings of ISIS.
Binge List, Who Are You, Real Talk
Tooting our own horn? Sure, but we’d be remiss not to flag WHO’s TV and celeb podcasts.
Best fiction books
the Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn
An agoraphobic woman witnesses something shocking in this Hitchcock-esque tale.
The Tattooist of Auschwitz, Heather Morris
Based on the true story of a man tasked with permanently marking his fellow prisoners.
The Shepherd's Hut, Tim Winton
A teenage boy forges an unlikely friendship amid WA’s brutally isolated saltlands.
The Lost Man, Jane Harper
When a man is found dead in the far reaches of a cattle station in Queensland, family secrets are unpicked.
Nine Perfect Strangers, Liane Moriarty
Ten days in a health resort prompts life-changing moments for an eclectic group.
Best non-fiction books
Any Ordinary Day, Leigh Sales
A fascinating look at how normal people cope when the unimaginable happens.
Fear: Trump in the White House, Bob Woodward
The newsman who helped bring down Nixon accounts for how POTUS 45 triumphed.
This Will Only Hurt a Little, Busy Philipps
Hollywood actors are rarely as open or funny as Philipps is in this revealing memoir.
Winging it, Emma Isaacs
The Business Chicks founder provides a practical how-to for anyone out to reinvent their career or start a business.
The Arsonist, Chloe Hooper
True crime isn’t usually as well written as this investigation into the man responsible for a devastating 2009 bush fire.