Book News

Costa Book Awards 2017

Here are the category shortlisted titles. Category winners will be announced 2nd January 2018, with the Costa Book of the Year revealed at an awards ceremony 30th January.


Man Booker 2017 Prize Winner George Saunders continued . . . . .

Newspapers report that a grief-stricken Lincoln returns to the crypt several times alone to hold his boy’s body. From this seed of historical truth, George Saunders spins an unforgettable story of familial love and loss that breaks free of realism, entering a thrilling, supernatural domain both hilarious and terrifying. Willie Lincoln finds himself trapped in a transitional realm – called, in Tibetan tradition, the bardo – and as ghosts mingle, squabble, gripe and commiserate, and stony tendrils creep towards the boy, a monumental struggle erupts over young Willie’s soul.

Unfolding over a single night, Lincoln in the Bardo is written with George Saunders’ inimitable humour, pathos and grace. Here he invents an exhilarating new form, and is confirmed as one of the most important and influential writers of his generation. Deploying a theatrical, kaleidoscopic panoply of voices – living and dead, historical and fictional – Lincoln in the Bardo poses a timeless question: how do we live and love when we know that everything we hold dear must end?





Chinley 150 The Birth of a Station, Growth of a Village.

Compiled and written by local enthusiast, John A Benson the booklet is now on sale here, priced at £4.50. Published to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of Chinley’s first railway station in July this year.


Independent Bookshop Week – Book Awards

And the winners are…..  Image for A Poem for Every Night of the Year  Image for Tidy


        1. The Noise of Time – Julian Barnes   

        2. Days Without End – Sebastian Barry

        3. Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow – Yuval Noah Harari

        4.  When Breath Becomes Air – Paul Kalanithi   

        5.This Must Be The Place – Maggie  O’Farrell

        6. The Essex Serpent – Sarah Perry

        7. The Good Immigrant – edited by Nikesh Shukla

        8. Golden Hill – Frances Spufford

        9. The Running Hare: The Secret Life of Farmland – John Lewis-Stempel

       10. The Gustav Sonata – Rose Tremain



         1. The One Memory of Flora Banks – Emily Barr

2. Sputnik’s Guide to Life on Earth – Frank Cottrell Boyce

         3. Cogheart – Peter Bunzl

4. Strange Star – Emma Carroll

         5. The Shadow Keeper – Abi Elphinstone

6. A Poem for Every Night of the Year – Allie  Esiri

         7The Bone Sparrow – Zana Fraillon

8How Not to Disappear – Clare Furniss

        9.  The 78-Storey Treehouse – Andy Griffiths; illustrated by Terry Denton

        10. The Wolf Wilder – Katherine Rundell

 11. Saint Death – Marcus Sedgwick

        12. The Painted Dragon – Katherine Woodfine



         1. Odd Dog Out – Rob Biddulph
         2. The Storm Whale in Winter – Benji Davies
         3. The Detective Dog – Julia Donaldson & Sara Ogilvie
         4. Oi Dog! – Kes Gray and Claire Gray; illustrated by Jim Field
         5. Tidy – Emily Gravett
         6.The Covers of My Book Are Too Far Apart! – Vivian French;  Illustrated by Nigel Baines
         7. The Darkest Dark – Chris Hadfield; illustrated by The Fan Brothers
         8. Are You Sitting Comfortably? – Leigh Hodgkinson
         9. Fantastically Great Women Who Changed The World – Kate Pankhurst
        10. There’s a Tiger in the Garden – Lizzy Stewart
        11.Bee: Nature’s Tiny Miracle – Patricia Hegarty
All the above books are on sale with 10% discount during Independent Bookshop Week, subject to availability.

Merckx: Half Man, Half Bike by William Fothergham

‘A fascinating and very well written account of Eddy Mreckx’s rise to cycling dominance. Fotheringham gives a clear insight into the pro-cycling culture of the 1960’s and 70’s. If you only read one cycling biography, this is it! ‘

Review by Hugh Barton


Secrets of Death by Stephen Booth now in paperback 7.99

The most daring and clever Cooper and Fry novel from Stephen Booth – his 16th. A beautiful place to die …Residents of the Peak District are used to tourists descending on its soaring hills and brooding valleys. However, this summer brings a different kind of visitor to the idyllic landscape, leaving behind bodies and secrets.


The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne

Cyril Avery is not a real Avery – or at least that’s what his adoptive parents tell him. And he never will be. But if he isn’t, then who is he?

Born out of wedlock to a teenage girl cast out from her rural Irish community and adopted by a well-to-do if eccentric Dublin couple via the intervention of a hunchbacked Redemptorist nun. At the mercy of fortune and coincidence, he will spend a lifetime coming to know himself and where he came from.

Unflinching, moving and true, a novel to treasure – John Banville.

A gripping story, no one reader can put down until its devastating end – John Irving


The Valentine House by Emma Henderson

In June 1914 Sir Anthony Valentine, a keen mountaineer, arrives with his family in the French Alps to summer in their chalet,  where Mathilde starts work as one of the ‘uglies’ –  village girls picked , it is believed , to ensure they don’t catch Sir Anthony’s roving eye.

‘Another debutante who showcased the sure command of a singular voice, and the power to make it carry, was Emma Henderson in Grace Williams Says It Loud. Her novel stands comparison with the linguistic and emotional resourcefulness of Emma Donoghue’s Room.

She does a wonderful job of making readers know and care about the inner life of a fragile woman, written off and locked away by a world that values wealth, status and power. Boyd Tonkin Books of the Year Independent


The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry now out in paperback at £7.99

British Book Awards Book of the Year.

London 1893. When Cora Seaborne’s husband dies, she steps into her new life as a widow with as much relief as sadness. Retreating to the countryside with her son, she encounters rumours of the ‘Essex Serpent, a creature of folklore said to have returned to roam the marches.

Told with grace and intelligence, set in an age of exhilarating – and alarming – change. But it is, above all,a celebration of love in all it’s incarnations, and of what we share even when we disagree.

Endlessly absorbing – The Guardian


Costa Award Overall Winner 2016 is Days Without End by Sebastian Barry.

Costa has announced the Costa Book Awards 2016 winners in the First Novel, Novel, Biography, Poetry and Children’s Book categories.

The five winning authors who will now compete for the 2016 Costa Book of the Year are:

Francis Spufford, who is known for his prize-winning non-fiction, collects the Costa First Novel Award with his first work of fiction, Golden Hill a historical novel set in New York in the winter of 1746 – which the judges called ‘captivating and dazzlingly original’.

Irish novelist and playwright Sebastian Barry, who wins the Costa Novel Award for the second time for his seventh novel,  Days Without End, set in the wars (Indian and Civil) of 1850s America. Barry won the Costa Book of the Year in 2008 with his fourth novel, the bestselling The Secret Scripture. Read our exclusive interview with the author.

Debut non-fiction writer, Keggie Carew, takes the Costa Biography Award for Dadland. Part-detective story, part-memoir, part-history, it tells of her race against time as her father, Tom Carew, slips into dementia to uncover the truth about his colourful life. Member of an elite Special Operations Executive unit, the Jedburghs, in the Second World War, the Times of India called him ‘Lawrence of Burma’, he collaborated with General Aung San, father of Aung San Suu Kyi, and was awarded France’s highest military honour, the Croix de Guerre. Read an exclusive blog by the author.

Multi-award-winning Devon-based poet Alice Oswald now adds the Costa Poetry Award to her repertoire for Falling Awake, a collection of poems which explore life’s losing struggle with the gravity of nature which were written to be read aloud.

YA writer, Brian Conaghan – who originally received 217 rejections before finding a publisher and an agent – wins the Costa Children’s Book Award with his third novel, The Bombs That Brought Us Together, the story of two friends, one shed, a war and a terrible choice.

We’re very proud and excited to be announcing this year’s Costa Award Winners, a collection of terrific books,’ commented Dominic Paul, Managing Director of Costa.’ Five wonderful reads and something here for all readers’ tastes – just what the Costa Book Awards are all about.’

The five Costa Book Award winners, each of whom will receive £5,000, were selected from 596 entries, and are now eligible for the ultimate prize – the 2016 Costa Book of the Year.

The winner, selected by a panel of judges chaired by Professor Kate Williams, and comprising authors and category judges Nicci Gerrard, Charlotte Heathcote, Matthew Dennison, Kate Kellaway and Cressida Cowell, joined by Graham Norton, Sian Williams and Robert Bathurst, will be announced at an awards ceremony hosted by presenter and broadcaster Penny Smith at Quaglino’s in central London on Tuesday 31st January 2017.

Since the introduction of the Book of the Year award in 1985, it has been won eleven times by a novel, five times by a first novel, six times by a biography, seven times by a collection of poetry and twice by a children’s book.  The 2015 Costa Book of the Year was The Lie Tree by Francis Hardinge.

The Costa Book Awards is the only major UK book prize that is open solely to authors resident in the UK and Ireland and also, uniquely, recognises the most enjoyable books across five categories – First Novel, Novel, Biography, Poetry and Children’s Book – published in the last year. Originally established in 1971 by Whitbread Plc, Costa announced its takeover of the sponsorship of the UK’s most prestigious book prize in 2006. 2016 marks the 45th year of the Book Awards.


Grief Is The Thing With Feathers by Max Porter

In a London flat, two young boys face the unbearable pain of their mother’s sudden death. Their father, a Ted Hughes scholar and scruffy romantic imagines a future of well-meaning visitors and emptiness. In this moment of despair they are visited by a crow – antagonist, trickster, healer and babysitter.

Full of unexpected humour and profound emotional truth this is a debut author to watch. Winner of the Dylan Thomas Prize 2016 and shortlisted for the Goldsmith Prize and Guardian First Book 2015


The British Book Industry Book of the Year  is The Loney by Andrew Michael Hurleythe loney

This is ‘a richly evocative, genre-defying story that transports the reader. A highly accomplished debut from a very talented writer’

.If it had another name, I never knew, but the locals called it the Loney – that strange nowhere between the Wyre and the Lune where Hanny and I went every Easter time with mummer, Farther, Mr & Mrs Belderboss and Father Wilfrid, the parish priest. A gothic masterpiece.



my old man


My Old Man tales of our fathers edited by Ted Kessler

As universal as it is powerful this book offers a unique opportunity to reflect on our own relationships with our dads.




walking through springWalking Through Spring  follows local author, Graham Hoyland’s journey as he creates a new national trail walking with the Spring from the south coast in March up to the border with Scotland, which he reaches on the longest day; the 21st June. He connects a labyrinth of ancient footpaths, marking each mile by planting an acorn and drawing a path of oak trees that stretch through the English countryside. A gem of a book and a ‘must have!’

We have invited Graham to an ‘In Conversation’ event in September, the date will be confirmed in due course.




Disclaimer by Renee Knight.

This is a debut novel which has already reached the Sunday Times best sellers list and has been shortlisted for the Desmond Elliott prize, the most prestigious award for first time novelists.


Following the very successful author event with Renee and Fiona Barton at Rem’s on the 22nd April, we have signed copies on sale.

the widow


The Widow by Fiona Barton has also made the Sunday Times best sellers and is another debut novel. Both Fiona and Renee are working on their next books which will be out next year.