Double Booker-winner, Hilary Mantel was announced as Waterstones UK author of the Year last night at the Specsavers National Book Awards.
Double Booker-winner, Hilary Mantel was announced as Waterstones UK author of the Year last night at the Specsavers National Book Awards, on an evening which also saw Ian Rankin, EL James, Lee Child, Clare Balding and David Walliams win their respective categories. Breakfast TV presenter, Lorraine Kelly, who can read an autocue with the best of them, compered the ceremony at London’s Mandarin Oriental Hotel…
Readers are now invited to vote online for the Specsavers Book of the Year at http://www.nationalbookawards.co.uk/ and the final result will be announced on 26th December.
A full run-down of the winners is below…
Bring Up The Bodies by Hilary Mantel (4th Estate)
Hilary Mantel’s reputation as one of the great novelists of our time was enhanced even further as she took yet another award for her phenomenal fictional exploration of the the Tudor period. A hugely popular winner.
My Animals and Other Family by Clare Balding (Viking)
The timing of the publication of this bestselling memoir could not have been more perfectly time, following Balding’s charm offensive to the nation during the Olympics coverage. She described her win as “beautifully surprising and wonderful”, calling editor Joel Rickett “an absolute superstar”.
Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James (Arrow)
The merits or otherwise of “mummy porn” and its many imitators not withstanding, EL James probably drove more people into bookshops this year than any other author, and probably deserves an award for that alone. Recognition for a true publishing phenomenon.
A Wanted Man by Lee Child (Bantam Press)
One of the world’s bestselling thriller writers thanked the sponsors Specsavers, admitting that without them, “I can’t write at all because I can’t see the computer.”
Rankin picked up the special Outstanding Achievement Award in recognition of his creation of the worldwide-bestselling Rebus series. Baulking slightly at the “lifetime achievement” aspect he said: “I’m only 52, give me a break, I do feel my best work may be ahead of me.”
The Hairy Dieters by Si King & Dave Myers (Weidenfeld & Nicholson)
The extravagantly coiffured and newly svelte Cumbrian TV chef thanked publishers Orion effusively for their support not only for this year’s dark horse in the Food & Drink category but for their previous seven books.
The Alaskan author who was one of the great successes of this year’s Waterstones 11 promotion, who is also a former bookseller, was fulsome in her praise of her erstwhile colleagues during her speech.
Magic FM Non-fiction Book of the Year
Is It Just Me by Miranda Hart (Hodder and Stoughton)
Collecting the award, Hart hinted there may be further books to come, saying: “Thank you to the book world who are all really lovely and welcoming…” and put the boot into the disparaging English teachers of her schooldays.
Ratburger by David Walliams (HarperCollins Children’s)
The Little Britain star, with a growing reputation as a Children’s author, stressed the importance of reading for children in his speech, and also took a swipe at ghost-written celebs – saying “at least I can write my own name”. Nice touch.
The Woman Who Went to Bed for a Year by Sue Townsend, read by Caroline Quentin
Narrator, Caroline Quentin declared herself “completely thrilled”, lavishing praise on the brilliance of Sue Townsend and thanked Whole Story for bringing out the audiobook unabridged.
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce (Doubleday)
Another Waterstones 11 author, and a hugely deserving winner for an exceptional debut. A clearly emotional Joyce thanked the booksellers who had supported her book, saying: “I just think without the booksellers people like me wouldn’t get a look in.”
Greg Eden for blog.waterstones.com