Kate Atkinson, Robert Harris, Malala Yousafzai, David Jason and David Walliams were among the winners at the Specsavers National Book Awards, presented this evening (11th December).
The Specsavers Popular Fiction Book of the Year prize went to Robert Harris’ retelling of the Dreyfus Affair, An Officer and A Spy (Hutchinson). It beat contenders Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy, William Boyd’s Solo and authors Dawn French, Philippa Gregory and Adele Parks to clinch the prize.
I am Malala by 16-year-old education activist Malala Yousafzai [pictured], written with Christina Lamb, won the Non Fiction Book of the Year category. The book, published by Orion, tells the moving story of the Nobel Peace Prize Winner’s fight for her right to education which resulted in her shooting by the Taliban in October 2012. It fought off stiff competition in the category from One Summer by Bill Bryson and Malcolm Gladwell’s David and Goliath.
Waterstone’s UK Author of the Year was Kate Atkinson, winning for Life After Life (Doubleday).
Other prizes awarded at the ceremony, held at the London Mandarin Oriental and presented by TV’s Lorraine Kelly, included Autobiography/Biography of the Year, which went to David Jason (Century), and National Book Tokens Children’s Book of the Year, which was won by David Walliams’ Demon Dentist (HarperCollins)—the second year in a row that David Walliams has won the children’s book category.
Crime Book of the Year went to Sophie Hannah’s The Carrier (Hodder) and the Books Are My Bag New Writer of the Year Award was won by Liza Klaussman for Tigers in Red Weather (Picador).
Nigel Slater was awarded the Food and Drink Book of the Year for Eat (Fourth Estate), while Gillian Flynn pipped a host of bestselling authors including Man Booker-winner Eleanor Catton to the award for International Author of the Year. Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane (Headline) took the prize for Audible Audiobook of the Year.
Dame Mary Perkins, Specsavers founder, said: “Congratulations to all of tonight’s winners and shortlisted authors. All of your books, both fiction and non-fiction truly are amazing and awe inspiring in so many different ways. On behalf of Specsavers I’d like to wish you all the best of luck in the public vote for the National Book of the Year accolade.”
Amanda Ross from Cactus TV, which produces the awards, added: “These are the books people are buying and reading. The shortlists include the best Christmas gift ideas for the whole family.”
Public voting has now opened to determine which category winner deserves the overall Specsavers Book of the Year trophy. Votes can be registered at http://www.nationalbookawards.co.uk/ and voting closes at midnight on 19th December, with the winner announced on 26th December.
The previous overall winners were Fifty Shades of Grey by E L James and Caitlin Moran’s How To Be A Woman.