Waterstones Book Of The Year Shortlist 2015
Today's the day we announce our eight exceptional reads from the last year in publishing. If you are looking for the real literary highlights of 2015, read on. We will select an overall winner on December 1st.
It is that time of year again! This is when you ask us booksellers: “What are the most exciting books of the last year?”
You are looking for the show-stoppers, the books that will make you sit up, take notice, then fall over as you get so lost in them that you forget whatever else you are doing…
The pulse-quickeners, the heart-stoppers, the mind-racers...
Well, you are in luck because today is the day we unveil the Waterstones Book of the Year
The overall winner of the Waterstones Book of the Year award will be announced on the 1st of December. In the meantime, l
The overall winner of the Waterstones Book of the Year award will be announced on the 1st of December. In the meantime, let us guide you through eight truly outstanding titles:
Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee
Harper Lee only deals in essential reading. To Kill a Mockingbird is politically important, exceptionally well written and it teaches you so much - at any age. Well, so is Go Set A Watchman. Whether as a historical document that gives another angle on the civil rights era, or as a lesson against taking anything for granted, or as a coming-of-age tale…it is dark, but it is vital. You just have to read this book. It is too important not to.
My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante
A modern masterpiece – this spellbinding novel is a work of heart as well as
The Girl on The Train by Paula Hawkins
Compulsive, fast-paced and arresting –this book is an incredible debut. There is a reason so many people have read the book in one sitting - it is deliciously creepy and totally immersive, you will get lost in the dark turns of plot and find yourself breathing quickly and your heart pounding as your whip back the pages to find out what happens next.
The Shepherd's Life by James Rebanks
This book is so many things. It is an inspiring life story, about finding, and being proud of, your place in the world; it is a reminder of this nation’s farming history, a lesson in heritage for us all; it is a passionate defence of an often overlooked vocation; and it is a wise, moving and eloquent story, one that will sweep you away. You will buy copies for all your friends.
The Fox and The Star by Coralie Bickford-Smith
This gorgeous, unique and stunning clothbound book is a thing of beauty. It is also a wonderful story of friendship, loss, and learning to embrace the unexpected - ideal for adults and children alike. Coralie Bickford-Smith is a legendary book cover designer and her formidable talents are evident on each astonishing page – this is a book to savour.
Reasons To Stay Alive by Matt Haig
Charming, funny and insightful, this clever and candid book has the potential to brighten your day while it gives you something fundamentally important: a greater understanding of depression. Writing this good makes gaining insight a pleasure. You will have read half the pages before you come up for air.
SPQR by Mary Beard
Mary Beard is a phenomenal story-teller. She takes the grand, abstract and distant Roman Empire and helps it feel immediate and lively. In SPQR, she writes about the humorous, everyday details of Rome and puts, as she puts it, ‘the people back into the story’. Be charmed, amused and completely surprised by these vibrant observations from one of our eminent historians.
A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
A Little Life is a fantastically dark and addictively gothic read. An epic tale, exploring friendship in
Twenty-six-year-old Jean Louise Finch - 'Scout' - returns home from New York City to visit her ageing father, Atticus. Set against the backdrop of the civil rights tensions and political turmoil that were transforming the South, Jean Louise's homecoming turns bittersweet when she learns disturbing truths about her close-knit family.
Some people's lives are entirely their own creations. James Rebanks' isn't. The first son of a shepherd, who was the first son of a shepherd himself, he and his family have lived and worked in and around the Lake District for generations. Their way of life is ordered by the seasons and the work they demand, and has been for hundreds of years.
“A Little Life is unlike anything else out there. Over the top, beyond the pale and quite simply unforgettable. Whether it makes the Man Booker shortlist – and it really should – this parable of modern life will last long after the winner is crowned.” - The Independent on Sunday