Russell Norman‘s Polpo: A Venetian Cookbook (Of Sorts) has won the inaugural Waterstones Book of the Year award.
The announcement was made tonight at a ceremony at Waterstones King’s Road bookshop, by Managing Director James Daunt.
The book, published by Bloomsbury, beat double Man Booker Prize winner Hilary Mantel‘s Bring Up The Bodies; Artemis Cooper‘s biography of Patrick Leigh Fermor; Simon Garfield‘s On The Map; HHhH by Laurent Binet; and Robert Macfarlane‘s The Old Ways to take the award.
Polpo, named after Norman’s first London restaurant, which opened in 2009, has been praised for its elegant yet functional design. As immediately recognisable by its bare spine, with exposed Japanese-style stitching which allows it to lie flat when opened, as it is by its stunning octopus emblazoned front cover, it is an example of style, content and function in perfect harmony.
“We wanted our first Book of the Year to stand out for many reasons, and Polpo absolutely does.” said James Daunt, who was also head of the judging panel. “It is a reaffirmation of everything I believe a book can and should be. Not just for its obvious merits as a cookery book – of which it is a first class example from an absolute expert – but it is a book that, for all the bytes and eInk in the world, can only be properly appreciated in its printed form. It is a joyous creation, as beautifully designed as it is elegantly written and illustrated and, of course, a wonderful Christmas gift.”
Over the next few days we’ll be bringing you lots of Polpo exclusives, so be sure to check back on the blog daily, right through until Sunday.
In the meantime, be sure to watch the beautiful trailer below…
The full shortlist for this year’s Waterstones Book of the Year was:
- HHhH by Laurent Binet (Harvill Secker)
- Patrick Leigh Fermor by Artemis Cooper (John Murray)
- On The Map by Simon Garfield (Profile Books)
- The Old Ways by Robert Macfarlane (Hamish Hamilton)
- Bring Up The Bodies by Hilary Mantel (Fourth Estate)
- Polpo: A Venetian Cookbook (Of Sorts) by Russell Norman (Bloomsbury Publishing)