British Book Awards

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  • The British Book Awards, also known as the „Oscar of the book trade“, are distributed annually to authors, books, publishing houses and others in several categories.
  • The prize is promoted by “Publishing News”, the trade journal of the UK publishing industry, which is also called the “Nibbies”.
  • When the awards were first given in 1990 in London, the event showed itself as a sell-out. Today, the British Book Awards became a famous TV-event, with 2.4 million viewers on average attracted by the show every year.
  • Although several additional prize categories were announced in the beginning of the 1990s, the number of awards has been reduced, in order to focus more on the Book of the Year category.
  • Subsidiary categories were introduced as The British Book Trade Awards, which became the British Book Industry awards this year.
  • Zadie Smith won the “Newcomer of the Year” award in 2001.
  • The headline categories are:
  • Best Read of the Year
  • Book of the Year
  • Bestseller of the Year
  • Author of the Year
  • Writer of the Year
  • Newcomer of the Year
  • Biography of the Year
  • Crime Thriller of the Year
  • History Book of the Year
  • Literary Fiction
  • Travel Writer of the Year
  • Fantasy and Science Fiction Author of the Year
  • Sports Book of the Year
  • TV & Film Book of the Year
  • Audiobook of the Year
  • Fastest Selling Biography of all Time
  • Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Children's Book of the Year
  • Children’s Author of the Year
  • Illustrated Children’s Book of the Year
  • Illustrated Book of the Year


The Book People Lifetime Achievement Award

The Richard & Judy Best Read of the Year

  • Blood River by Tim Butcher (Chatto & Windus)
  • Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones (John Murray)
  • Notes From an Exhibition by Patrick Gale (Fourth Estate)
  • A Quiet Belief in Angels by R J Ellory (Orion)
  • Random Acts of Heroic Love by Danny Scheinmann (Black Swan)
  • The Rose of Sebastopol by Katharine McMahon (Weidenfeld & Nicolson)
  • Then We Came to the End by Joshua Ferris (Viking)
  • A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini (Bloomsbury)
  • The Visible World by Mark Slouka (Portobello Books)
  • The Welsh Girl by Peter Ho Davies (Sceptre)

Reader's Digest Author of the Year

  • Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Harper Perennial)
  • Khaled Hosseini (Bloomsbury)
  • Doris Lessing (Fourth Estate)
  • Ian McEwan (Jonathan Cape)
  • David Peace (Faber & Faber)

Tesco Biography of the Year

  • Agent Zigzag by Ben MacIntyre (Bloomsbury)
  • The Blair Years by Alastair Campbell (Hutchinson)
  • My Booky Wook by Russell Brand (Hodder & Stoughton)
  • On the Edge by Richard Hammond (Weidenfeld & Nicolson)
  • Spilling the Beans by Clarissa Dickson-Wright (Hodder & Stoughton)

WHSmith Children's Book of the Year

  • Born to Run by Michael Morpurgo (HarperCollins)
  • That's Not My Penguin by Fiona Watt (Usborne)
  • My Pony Care Book by Katie Price (Random House)
  • Kiss by Jacqueline Wilson (Random House)
  • Horrid Henry and the Abominable Snowman by Francesca Simon (Orion)

Books Direct Crime Thriller of the Year

  • Bad Luck and Trouble by Lee Child (Bantam Press)
  • Book of the Dead by Patricia Cornwell (Little, Brown)
  • Exit Music by Ian Rankin (Orion)
  • The Grave Tattoo by Val McDermid (Harper)
  • The Tin Roof Blowdown by James Lee Burke (Orion)

Waterstone's Newcomer of the Year

  • Imperial Life in the Emerald City by Rajiv Chandrasekaran (Bloomsbury)
  • What Was Lost by Catherine O'Flynn (Tindal Street Press)
  • The Tenderness of Wolves by Stef Penney (Quercus)
  • Salmon Fishing in the Yemen by Paul Torday (Weidenfeld & Nicolson)
  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (Doubleday)

Sainsbury's Popular Fiction Award

  • An Absolute Scandal by Penny Vincenzi (Headline Review)
  • The Ghost by Robert Harris (Hutchinson)
  • The House at Riverton by Kate Morton (Pan)
  • The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards (Penguin)
  • A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini (Bloomsbury)

PLAY.COM Popular Non-Fiction Award

  • Don't Stop Me Now by Jeremy Clarkson (Michael Joseph)
  • A History of Modern Britain by Andrew Marr (Macmillan)
  • Long Way Down by Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman (Sphere)
  • Nigella Express by Nigella Lawson (Chatto & Windus)
  • The Wild Places by Robert Macfarlane (Granta Books)