Kate Atkinson, Bill Bryson and Mary Beard are among the authors competing in the adult category for the 10th IBW Book Award.
The longlists for the adult, children and picture book categories for the prize, voted for by independent booksellers ahead of Independent Bookseller Week (18th-25th June 2016), have been released today.
In the adult category, Kate Atkinson’s A God in Ruins, published by Black Swan, will go head-to-head with Bill Bryson’s The Road to Little Dribbling, also published by Black Swan. Anne Tyler’s A Spool of Blue Thread (Vintage) is also up for the prize, along with The Shepherd's Life: A Tale of the Lake District by James Rebanks (Penguin), The Green Road by Anne Enright (Vintage), Mary Beard’s SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome (Profile Books) and The Man Who Made Things Out of Trees by Robert Penn (Penguin). Completing the adult contenders are The Invention of Nature: The Adventures of Alexander von Humboldt, the Lost Hero of Science by Andrea Wulf (John Murray), Costa-nominated The Loney by Andrew Michael Hurley (John Murray) and a A Place Called Winter by Patrick Gale (Tinder Press).
Following his nomination, Gale said the UK was “lucky” to have a thriving network of independent bookshops. “Anyone who lives, as I do, far from a big city, can testify to their power to energise a neglected high street and act as much loved community hubs,” he said. “Enthusiastic hand-selling, reflective of a bookseller's informed tastes, trumps online algorithms every time.”
In the children’s category, Chris Riddell’s Goth Girl and the Wuthering Fright (Macmillan Children's Books) will face off with Cressida Cowell’s How to Fight a Dragon's Fury (Hodder Children’s), Patrick Ness’ The Rest of Us Just Live Here (Walker Books), Michael Morpurgo’s Kensuke's Kingdom (Egmont) and David Baddiel’s The Person Controller (HarperCollins) for the independent booksellers’ vote.
Also vying for the kids prize are The Astounding Broccoli Boy by Frank Cottrell Boyce (Macmillan Children’s Books), Pugs of the Frozen North by Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre (Oxford University Press), My Brother is a Superhero by David Solomons (Nosy Crow), The Boy Who Sailed the Ocean in an Armchair by Lara Williamson (Usborne Publishing), Whistling in the Dark by Shirley Hughes (Walker Books), One by Sarah Crossan (Bloomsbury), and Time Travelling with a Hamster by Ross Welford (HarperCollins).
Finally, in the picture book category, Julia Donaldson & Lydia Monks’ What the Ladybird Heard Next (Macmillan Children's Books), will go head to head with three HarperCollins’ titles - Judith Kerr’s Mog and Barnaby, David Walliams’ and Tony Ross’ The Bear Who Went Boo and GRRRR! by Rob Biddulph.
Also in that category are Tree by Patricia Hegarty and Britta Teckentrup (Little Tiger Kids), Stanley the Amazing Knitting Cat by Emily MacKenzie (Bloomsbury Children's Books), The Mouse who Reached the Sky by Petr Horacek, (Walker Books) Vikings in the Supermarket by Nick Sharratt (David Fickling Books), Warning! This Book May Contain Rabbits by Tim Warnes (Little Tiger Press), I'm a Girl by Yasmeen Ismail (Bloomsbury Children's Books), The Bear and the Piano By David Litchfield (Frances Lincoln Children's Books) and Grandad's Island by Benji Davies (Simon & Schuster).
Donaldson said: “I am a big fan of independent bookshops. I like the way they each have their own character, with buildings ranging from cottage-y to cavernous, with window displays by local artists or creative staff members, and with stock reflecting the tastes and passions of their owners and customers. But one thing they almost all have in common is the knowledge, dedication and enterprise of their staff.”
The IBW Book Award 2016 will be at the heart of IBW’s trade and consumer promotional activities, with booksellers participating in IBW receiving POS materials featuring all 34 shortlisted titles.
The winners will be announced on Friday 17th June, the day before the start of this year’s IBW.
Both children’s and picture book shortlisted titles will all feature in a special ‘The Best New Children’s Books’ supplement that will run in The Guardian on the first day of IBW.
Chair of judges, Ros de la Hey, BA vice president and owner of The Mainstreet Trading Company, said: “Each year we get excited by the quality of books submitted for the IBW Book Award, and this year is certainly no different. A big thank you to all the publishers who submitted their titles and for the enthusiasm they continue to show for the IBW Book Award. The judges certainly have a difficult job ahead of them in choosing this year’s winners.”
In a departure this year, voting will also open on the first day of IBW for the BA’s ‘Best of The Best’ book campaign to find the best books in both the adult and children’s categories from the previous 10 winners of the IBW Book Award since it launched.
The adult category will be chosen by independent booksellers and their customers via instore voting cards that will list previous IBW Book Award-winning titles, including the 2016 winner. A separate judging panel comprising five children, who have been chosen from over 600 entries in a national competition with National Book Tokens’ Caboodle, will decide on the Children’s ‘Best of the Best’ award. The ‘Best of the Best’ winners will be announced at the end of July.