Books exploring sex, death and architecture have all made the shortlist for the 2013 ACT Book of the Year Award, which was announced on Monday.
There were 28 submissions for the award, which was first presented in 1993 and has a $10,000 award for the best submission.
One of the final four, Nigel Featherstone's I'm Ready Now explored relationships, love and moving on after a spouse has passed away.
Conversely, Frank Bongiorno took a close look at how Australians have behaved between the sheets over time in his book The Sex Lives of Australians: A History.
The other two shortlisted books are Canberra by Paul Daley and Island Earth, New and Selected Poems by S.K.Kelen.
ACT Minister for the Arts Joy Burch said the Book of the Year award recognised quality contemporary published literary works by Canberra writers.
''It is one of the many ways the ACT government supports and promotes literature in the ACT,'' she said.
''Our writers can also access services and assistance to foster their careers and develop their skills through the ACT Writers Centre and the ACT Arts fund.''
The winner of the award will be announced later in March.
Previous winners have included The Biggest Estate on Earth: How Aborigines Made Australia by Bill Gammage, The River by Chris Hammer and Valley of Grace by Marion Halligan.
Canberra - Paul Daley
Paul Daley is a Walkley award winning journalist and author. Through Canberra Daley shows that there is more to the capital than politics, geometrically designed roads, and mid-century architecture. From the lake to nearby mountains it also examines the early life of Canberra.
Island Earth: New and Selected Poems - S K Kelen
A Canberran since 1990, Stephen Kelen is a well regarded poet both locally and nationally. His strong and continuing interest in popular culture and use of a contemporary colloquial voice are also key features of his work.
I'm Ready Now - Nigel Featherstone
Nigel Featherstone is an Australian writer of contemporary adult fiction, creative journalism, and review. This book traces the journey a woman who, following the death of her husband, travels from her ancestral Hobart home to visit her son in Sydney.
The Sex Lives of Australians: A History - Frank Bongiorno
Frank Bongiorno is an associate professor of history at the ANU. This book is an account of the sex lives of Australians since the earliest years of European settlement to the present.