Greta Thunberg has been named Author of the Year by Waterstones while The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy (Ebury) was named 2019’s top book.
The awards were made after nominations by booksellers, who said both authors’ works had made “an unparalleled impression”.
Thunberg won for No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference (Penguin), her collection of speeches that seized a “seismic and cultural moment”. Ellie, an employee at The Economist’s Bookshop, called it “the definition of essential reading”.
Mackesy’s Christmas hit was named Book of the Year and praised as “a moving study in friendship in a troubled world, and the perfect gift for those people that you hold closest in your heart”.
Nia at the firm’s Cardiff shop said it was a “delicately illustrated tale that shows love towards yourself and others is the only thing that truly matters”.
Kate McHale, campaign manager for Waterstones, said: "This year, we are delighted to name both a book that celebrates a wonderful artist, and an author whose words have had a unique impact on our world.
“The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse is a wise and beautiful tale calling for love, friendship and courage. Greta Thunberg’s speeches have been an inspiration to millions, and these are now brought together in a new edition of No One Is Too Small To Make A Difference that powerfully illustrates that remarkable story. Both choices are testament to the extraordinary power of books to move and shape us.”
The pair won from a shortlist including Margaret Atwood’s Booker-winning The Testaments (Vintage), Queenie by Candice Carty-Willams (Trapeze), Max Porter’s Lanny (Faber), The Binding by Bridget Collins (HarperCollins), Dishoom by Shamil Thakrar, Kavi Thakrar & Naved Nasir (Bloomsbury) and Robert Macfarlane’s Underland (Penguin).
Barbara Newhall-Follett’s The House Without Windows, Prisoners Of Geography: Our World Explained in 12 Simple Maps by Tim Marshall, illustrated by Grace Easton and Jessica Smith (Elliott & Thompson) and On The Origin Of Species by Sabina Radeva (Penguin), were also nominated.
Last year’s winner, Normal People by Sally Rooney (Faber), saw an increase in sales of nearly 900% across the Waterstones estate, the firm said.