The British Book Awards

The British Book Awards 2017 - highlights

Books of the Year 2017

  • The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry
    Serpent's Tail
    Fiction Book of the Year and Overall Book of the Year
    Sarah Perry's second novel came out of nowhere to become one of the smash hits of 2016. Its jacket was the first thing that caught the judges' attention. But it was Sarah Perry's story -an exploration of myth, superstition and belief, set in 1890s Essex - that excited the panel, with the work of the publisher further impressing the judges.
  • Dodgers by Bill Beverly
    No Exit Press
    Crime and Thriller Book of the Year
    A literary crime novel from the crime imprint of an independent publisher is a tough starting point, but No Exit Press beat the odds with Bill Beverly’s award-winning Dodgers. A coming-of-age story and a crime novel set in the US, Dodgers impressed the judges for, what they called, 'punching well above its weight'- and winning two awards from the Crime Writers' Association.
  • The Girl of Ink & Stars by Kiran Millwood Hargrave
    Chicken House
    Children's Book of the Year
    Kiran Millwood Hargrave's début novel certainly caught the imagination of the judges, and numerous readers. Chicken House acquired her book, a magical tale about an island and the girl who travels to the heart of its story, when its author was just 24. Editorial director Rachel Leyshon worked closely with her, taking time to ensure the book reached its full potential before being published.
  • What Belongs to You by Garth Greenwell
    Picador
    Début Book of the Year
    Picador positioned Garth Greenwell as an ambassador for his book and an authority on the sensitive issues it explores, following an American man teaching English to students in Bulgaria who becomes fascinated by a troubled young hustler. Impressive sales have made it the year's second highest-selling American hardback literary début.
  • Hello, is this planet Earth? by Tim Peake
    Century
    Non-Fiction: Lifestyle Book of the Year
    Capturing the beauty of Earth from space on the page is no easy task, but Century achieved it in stellar style with this winner… the result of three years of conversations with Tim Peake, which took less than three months from commission to bookshop, impressing the judges with Century’s flexibility in creating the perfect mix of being awe-inspiring and educational.
  • East West Street by Philippe Sands
    Weidenfeld & Nicolson
    Non-Fiction: Narrative Book of the Year
    Part memoir, part legal thriller, part historical detective story - the clever weaving together of narratives in Philippe Sands’ East West Street won over the judges. It's combination of personal and legal history, examines the origins of international law at the Nuremberg Trials and uncovers the circumstances in which his own grandparents and mother left Vienna.

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Books of the Year 2016

  • My Brother is a Superhero by David Solomons, Laura Ellen Anderson (illus)
    Children's Book of the Year
    Luke is a comic-mad eleven-year old who shares a treehouse with his geeky older brother, Zack. Luke’ s only mistake is to go for a wee right at the wrong time. While he’ s gone, an alien gives his undeserving, never-read-a-comic-in-his-life brother superpowers and then tells him to save the universe. Luke is massively annoyed about this, but when Zack is kidnapped by his arch-nemesis, Luke and his friends have only five days to find him and save the world…
  • A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
    Fiction Book of the Year
    A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara is an immensely powerful and heartbreaking novel of brotherly love and the limits of human endurance. When four graduates from a small Massachusetts college move to New York to make their way, they're broke, adrift, and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition. There is kind, handsome Willem, an aspiring actor; JB, a quick-witted, sometimes cruel Brooklyn-born painter seeking entry to the art world; Malcolm, a frustrated architect at a prominent firm; and withdrawn, brilliant, enigmatic Jude, who serves as their centre of gravity. Over the decades, their relationships deepen and darken, tinged by addiction, success, and pride. Yet their greatest challenge, each comes to realize, is Jude himself, by midlife a terrifyingly talented litigator yet an increasingly broken man, his mind and body scarred by an unspeakable childhood, and haunted by what he fears is a degree of trauma that he'll not only be unable to overcome - but that will define his life forever.
  • Norwegian Wood by Lars Mytting, Robert Ferguson (trans)
    Non Fiction Book of the Year
    Chopping and stacking wood is a pastime where the world makes sense once more. Because our relationship to fire is so ancient, so universal, it seems that in learning about wood, you can also learn about life. And who better to impart this wisdom than an expert from Scandinavia, where the extreme climate has obliged generations to hone and share their skills with tools, wood and heat production. Lars Mytting has distilled the wisdom of enthusiasts, from experienced lifelong growers, stackers and burners to researchers and professionals of combustion and tree culture. Part guide to the best practice in every aspect of working with this renewable energy source, part meditation on the human instinct for survival, this definitive handbook on the art of chopping, stacking and drying wood in the Scandinavian way has resonated across the world. Whether you are a seasoned woodcutter, or your passion is yet to be kindled, Norwegian Wood is the perfect fireside read.
  • The Loney by Andrew Michael Hurley
    Debut Fiction Book of the Year and Overall Book of the Year
    Two brothers. One mute, the other his lifelong protector. Year after year, their family visits the same sacred shrine on a desolate strip of coastline known as the Loney, in desperate hope of a cure. In the long hours of waiting, the boys are left alone. And they cannot resist the causeway revealed with every turn of the treacherous tide, the old house they glimpse at its end... Many years on, Hanny is a grown man no longer in need of his brother's care. But then the child's body is found. And the Loney always gives up its secrets, in the end.