Russell Norman’s Polpo wins Waterstones Book of the Year

PolpoRussell 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 BodiesArtemis Cooper‘s biography of Patrick Leigh FermorSimon Garfield‘s On The MapHHhH 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.

James Daunt & Russell Norman

James Daunt & Russell Norman

“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.

Update 30/11/12: You can watch an interview with Russell Norman, and enter a prize draw to win a meal at Polpo on this new post.

In the meantime, be sure to watch the beautiful trailer below…

The full shortlist for this year’s Waterstones Book of the Year was:

You can buy Polpo your local Waterstones bookshop (http://bit.ly/s6sdlu) or online at Waterstones.com (http://bit.ly/QrtTrH)