Specsavers National Book Awards shortlists announced

The Specsavers National Book Awards 2013 shortlists have been announced – and the race is on for victory across the ten categories…

neilgaiman

Neil Gaiman is nominated for three different awards for his two books Fortunately, the Milk and The Ocean at the End of the Lane, whilst Robert Harris, whose An Officer and a Spy was our Book of the Month for October – joins Bill BrysonDavid Walliams, William Boyd, and Waterstones Book of the Year nominee Kate Atkinson in the two nomination club.

The long-awaited publication of Patrick Leigh Fermour‘s The Broken Road and Judith Tebbutt’s harrowing account of her abduction by Somali pirates sit alongside celebrity heavyweights such as David JasonRick Stein, Mary Berry, and Jennifer Saunders in the Biography category.

Saunders’ comedy partner, turned bestselling novelist, Dawn French is also in esteemed company on the Popular Fiction list – with Robert HarrisHelen FieldingWilliam BoydAdele Parks and Philippa Gregory also nominated.

The Food and Drink category is overwhelmingly flavoured with TV tie-ins – with the big brand-names of Jamie Oliver, Nigel Slater and Paul Hollywood facing off against the new challengers Rachel KhooTom Kerridge and The Incredible Spice Men - Cyrus Todiwala and Tony Singh.

As well as illustrating fellow nominee Neil Gaiman‘s Fortunately, the Milk, Chris Riddell has made it onto the shortlist for this year’s Children’s Book of the Year with Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse. He and Gaiman join perennial favourite Julia DonaldsonCILIP Carnegie Medal winning Sally Gardner; underpant experts Claire Freedman and Ben Cort; and the staggeringly popular David Walliams on this year’s list.

Meanwhile, a name which last year would have been entirely unknown – Robert Galbraith, better known as J.K. Rowling - is competing with Peter JamesSophie HannahLee ChildLouise Doughty and Tim Weaver for the Crime & Thriller award.

Books from across all genres make up this year’s New Writer of the Year shortlist – with the hotly-tipped first fantasy novel from Samantha Shannon squaring up to  Waterstones eleven debut author Gavin Extence, as well as strong competition from Lottie Moggach, James OswaldNathan Filer, and Liza Klaussman.

International Author of the Year is the place to look if you want a big read – Donna TarttKhaled Hosseini and Man Booker winner Eleanor Catton‘s novels will exercise your arms as much as your minds. Though perhaps a lighter read, Dan Brown‘s Inferno is no less thigh-numbing, whilst Waterstones Children’s Book of the Year winner RJ Palacio and Gillian Flynn‘s Gone Girl provide more commuter-friendly – but equally thrilling – additions to the category shortlist.

Previous Waterstones Book of the Year nominee Simon Garfield is in the running against Bill Bryson, Max Hastings, Malcolm Gladwell and Malala Yousafzai for a shot at Popular Non Fiction Book of the Year – as well as Mosley and Spencer‘s The Fast Diet - which is presumably classed as a “feather-weight” contender…

The Waterstones sponsored UK Author of the Year Award recognises the sad loss of Iain Banks this year with his inclusion on an incredibly strong list which also includes Maggie O’FarrellKate Atkinson, Patrick Ness, Neil Gaiman and Man Booker shortlisted author Jim Crace.

The category winners will be announced at a ceremony on Wednesday 11th December at London’s Mandarin Oriental Hotel.

Audiobook of the Year sponsored by audible.co.uk

An Officer and a SpyRobert Harris – read by David Rintoul
Demon Dentist, David Walliams – read by the author
Life After LifeKate Atkinson – read by Fenella Woolgar 
One Summer: America 1927, Bill Bryson – read by the author
SoloWilliam Boyd – read by Dominic West
The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Neil Gaiman – read by the author

Autobiography/Biography of the Year

A Long Walk Home, Judith Tebbutt
Bonkers: My Life in Laughs, Jennifer Saunders
David Jason: My Life, David Jason
Recipe for Life, Mary Berry
The Broken Road, Patrick Leigh Fermor with Artemis Cooper & Colin Thurbon
Under a Mackerel Sky, Rick Stein

Children’s Book of the Year sponsored by National Book Tokens

Fortunately, the Milk, Neil Gaiman
Demon Dentist, David Walliams
Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse, Chris Riddell
Maggot Moon, Sally Gardner
Pirates Love Underpants, Claire Freedman and Ben Cort
The Further Adventures of the Owl and the Pussy-cat, Julia Donaldson

Crime & Thriller Book of the Year

Apple Tree Yard, Louise Doughty
Dead Man’s Time, Peter James
Never Coming Back, Tim Weaver
Never Go Back, Lee Child
The Carrier, Sophie Hannah
The Cuckoo’s Calling, Robert Galbraith

Food & Drink Book of the Year

Eat, Nigel Slater
The Incredible Spice Men, Cyrus Todiwala and Tony Singh
My Little French Kitchen, Rachel Khoo
Paul Hollywood’s Bread, Paul Hollywood
Proper Pub Grub, Tom Kerridge
Save With Jamie, Jamie Oliver

International Author of the Year

And the Mountains Echoed, Khaled Hosseini
Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn
Inferno, Dan Brown
The Goldfinch, Donna Tartt
The Luminaries, Eleanor Catton
Wonder, RJ Palacio

New Writer of the Year sponsored by Books are my Bag

Kiss Me First, Lottie Moggach
Natural Causes, James Oswald
The Bone Season, Samantha Shannon
The Shock of the Fall, Nathan Filer
The Universe versus Alex Woods, Gavin Extence
Tigers in Red Weather, Liza Klaussmann

Popular Fiction Book of the Year sponsored by Specsavers

An Officer and a Spy, Robert Harris
Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy, Helen Fielding
Oh Dear Silvia, Dawn French
Solo, William Boyd
The State We’re In, Adele Parks
The White Princess, Philippa Gregory

Popular Non Fiction Book of the Year sponsored by Magic FM

Catastrophe: Europe Goes to War 1914, Max Hastings
David and GoliathMalcolm Gladwell
I Am Malala, Malala Yousafzai & Christina Lamb
On the Map, Simon Garfield
One Summer, Bill Bryson
The Fast Diet: The Simple Secret of Intermittent Fasting: Lose Weight, Stay Healthy, Live Longer, Dr Michael Mosley & Mimi Spencer (Short Books)

UK Author of the Year sponsored by Waterstones

Harvest, Jim Crace
Instructions for a Heatwave, Maggie O’Farrell
Life After Life, Kate Atkinson
The Crane Wife, Patrick Ness
The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Neil Gaiman
The Quarry, Iain Banks

What do you think?