Richard Osman has won the Readers' Choice award at the Books Are My Bag Readers Awards for his record-breaking debut The Thursday Murder Club (Viking).
The winners were announced at a ceremony hosted by Claudia Winkleman at Foyles Charing Cross Road, the store's first in-person event since the pandemic, and was sponsored by National Book Tokens.
Readers across the UK and Ireland voted for The Thursday Murder Club, which sold 45,000 hardbacks in its first week last year to become the fastest-selling crime novel on record and, six weeks later, the Christmas number one. According to Nielsen BookScan TCM, Osman has sold 1.75 million books for £14.7m. From mid-March, The Thursday Murder Club's paperback is currently the bestselling book of the year to date.
Commenting on his win, Osman said: “I’m absolutely thrilled beyond words to win this award. Thank you the Booksellers Association, thank you Books Are My Bag. To win an award voted for by readers is the absolute dream. It means a great deal.”
Sarah Winman’s Still Life (Fourth Estate), a "stunning" historical fiction novel set in Italy during the Second World War, took home the Fiction award while Amanda Gorman won the Poetry category with The Hill We Climb (Chatto & Windus), the poem she recited at the inauguration of US President Joe Biden.
Gorman said: “Thank you so much booksellers and readers for voting The Hill We Climb as BAMB’s winner of its Poetry award. This means so much to me as booksellers and readers really are the guardians of literature. You all help keep stories alive, so thank you so much for the support – it means so much to me.”
Anita Sethi’s "lyrical" memoir I Belong Here (Bloomsbury) won the Non-Fiction award, while footballer Marcus Rashford MBE, author of You Are A Champion (Macmillan Children's Books) co-written with journalist Carl Anka, was crowned Breakthrough Author of the year.
Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé (Usborne) won in the Young Adult Fiction category, and the Children’s Fiction award went to When the Sky Falls by Phil Earle (Andersen Press), described by Michael Morpurgo as “deeply felt, movingly written, a remarkable achievement”.
The Books Are My Bag Readers Awards, now in their sixth year, are the only book awards with a shortlist curated by booksellers, and winners voted for by readers. The shortlist judging panel comprised Nessa Urquhart of Waterstones, Elaine Stabler from Blackwell’s, Jude Brosnan of Stanfords, Annie Rhodes from Norfolk Children’s Book Centre, Amanda Truman of Truman Books, James Firth from The Stripey Badger and Tony West of The Alligator’s Mouth.
National Book Tokens is the headline sponsor of the Books Are My Bag Readers Awards, which are part of Books Are My Bag, the annual campaign highlighting the pleasure and importance of buying books in local bookshops.
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