Book-world always begins the year promptly, as on the 2nd of January the Costa Book Awards 2017 category winners are announced. There are awards for five categories; First Novel, Novel, Children’s Book, Poetry and Biography. The Costa Book Awards have been running since 1971 and in 1985 an overall winners award was introduced. Last years winner, Sebastian Barry, was the first author to win Book of the Year twice for 2016’s Days Without End. The overall winner will be announced on 30th January.
Read our take on the shortlisted books below, or – for more collaborations between books and coffee – why not bring in a cup from one of Crediton’s coffee shops, and browse the titles on our cosy shop sofa.
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine | Gail Honeyman
An extraordinary novel, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine has taken the literary world by storm. Honeyman has created a flawed, funny and brave protagonist who, after a traumatic incident in childhood, has to learn how to live in the world. The story, while sad at times, is warm and engaging.
Reservoir 13 | Jon McGregor
Set in a Derbyshire village, a girl goes missing, and this is the story of how this affects the village over the subsequent months and years. McGregor writes with a ‘voice of the community’. The story and narrative style combine to allure to the, human need to find meaning in things where there perhaps is none. An incredible hypnotic novel, and tipped to scoop the overall award.
In the Days of Rain | Rebecca Scott
Brought up in the Exclusive Brethren community, Rebecca Scott recounts her life within the cult, and later on as she struggles to cope with the complexities of choice outside it. Following a scandal her family re-enter the world, and Rebecca beautifully and sensitively depicts her emergence into the world of the 1960s.
Inside the Wave | Helen Dunmore
Awarded posthumously, Dunmore’s poetry collection was described by the judges as ‘a final, great achievement’. Including her final poem, Hold Out Your Arms, written just days before her death, this collection concerns the edge of the living and the dead and the intensities of both.
The Explorer | Katherine Rundell
After their plane crashes into the Amazon rainforest, four children must learn to survive. ‘I wanted to write a book in which the children learn that they are braver than they think they are,’ says author Katherine Rundell. ‘I wanted to write about children discovering that the world is more beautiful and more complicated than they had ever imagined.’ – A perfect description of what this book achieves. The Explorer is one of our Top Twenty, a list of our 20 favourite children’s books 2017/18.