Forty books have been named as finalists in the 2018 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards.

Ten books in four separate categories - fiction, general nonfiction, illustrated nonfiction and poetry - have been longlisted.

The shortlist will be announced on March 6, 2018, with the winners to be announced at a ceremony on May 15, 2018.

Last year's $50,000 Acorn Foundation (fiction) winner Catherine Chidgey is up for another award with her book, The Beat of the Pendulum.

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Anna Smaill, Philip Matthews, Jenna Todd and a high-profile international judge will decide 2018's Acorn Foundation winner.

Other category judges include former bookseller and publisher Philip King, and 2017's illustrated nonfiction winner, Barbara Brookes.

It will be the 50th anniversary of the first book awards ceremony in New Zealand. The first was the Wattie Book Awards in 1968.

New Zealand Book Awards Trust chairwoman Nicola Legat said the standard was extremely high this year.

"Clearly New Zealand publishing, and indeed our literature, is in excellent health," Legat said.

"What to read over summer? Look no further than these 40 fine books."

The full longlist of the 2018 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards can be found here.