E L James scoops Book of the Year award

 Fifty Shades of Grey has been named as the Specsavers National Book of the Year for 2012 with over 75% of the public vote.

The title by E L James, published by Random House, came top of the Specsavers Popular Fiction Book of the Year category in early December, which entitled it to enter the Book of the Year competition against other strong contenders such as Clare Balding’s My Animals and Other Family (Viking), Is It Just Me? by Miranda Hart (Hodder and Stoughton) and Ratburger by David Walliams (HarperCollins Children's). Others in the running included The Hairy Dieters by Si King and Dave Myers (Weidenfeld & Nicholson), The Woman Who Went to Bed for a Year by Sue Townsend read by Caroline Quentin (Whole Story Audiobooks), Bring Up The Bodies by Hilary Mantel (4th Estate), A Wanted Man by Lee Child (Bantam Press), The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey (Headline Review) and The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce (Doubleday).

On scooping the Book of the Year title, E L James said: “Thank you so much for this wonderful award. I am truly honoured. I have to thank the readers and the retailers for making Fifty Shades of Grey the success it has become. It’s really quite overwhelming.

Dame Mary Perkins, Specsavers founder, added: “These awards were a celebration of the books that people took to their hearts and in some cases made the headlines in 2012. Anyone given book tokens for Christmas only needs to look at the shortlist for inspiration as to what to spend them on. I’d like to extend my warmest congratulations to E L Jameson winning the Specsavers National Book of the Year.”