Posted by: Kirsty | April 7, 2009

The British Books Awards – Winners (as if I care)

In a very slight hiccup of publicity (i.e. if it hadn’t been on the BBC News Website I would never have known anything about it), the winners of those inestimable Nibbies (The Galaxy British Book Awards) have been announced. Winners in blue.

Richard & Judy Best Read of the Year, in association with Watch TV & Heart Radio

  • The Brutal Art — Jesse Kellerman
  • The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher — Kate Summerscale
  • The Gargoyle — Andrew Davidson
  • When Will There Be Good News? — Kate Atkinson
  • The 19th Wife — David Ebershoff
  • The Bolter — Frances Osbourne
  • Netherland — Joseph O’Neill
  • The Luminous Life of Lilly Aphrodite — Beatrice Colin
  • December — Elizabeth H. Winthrop
  • The Cellist of Sarajevo — Steven Galloway

Borders Author of the Year

  • Aravind Adiga
  • Barack Obama
  • Diana Athill
  • Rose Tremain
  • Sebastian Barry
  • Stephanie Meyer

Tesco Biography of the Year

  • At My Mother’s Knee — Paul O’Grady
  • Coming Back to Me — Marcus Trescothick
  • Dear Fatty — Dawn French
  • Dreams From My Father — Barack Obama
  • Miracles of Life — J.G. Ballard
  • That’s Another Story — Julie Walters

Books Direct Crime Thriller of the Year

  • The Business — Martina Cole
  • Child 44 — Tom Rob Smith
  • The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo — Stieg Larsson
  • No Time For Goodbye — Linwood Barclay
  • Revelation — C.J. Sansom
  • When Will There Be Good News? — Kate Atkinson

Sainsbury’s Popular Fiction Award

  • Azincourt — Bernard Cornwell
  • Devil May Care — Sebastian Faulks
  • The Outcast — Sadie Jones
  • Thanks for the Memories — Cecilia Ahern
  • Things I Want My Daughters To Know — Elizabeth Noble
  • This Charming Man — Marian Keyes

PLAY.COM Popular Non-Fiction Award

  • The Ascent of Money — Niall Ferguson
  • Call the Midwife — Jennifer Worth
  • A History of Modern Britain — Andrew Marr
  • The Mighty Book of Boosh — Noel Fielding & Julian Barratt
  • Stephen Fry in America — Stephen Fry
  • The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher — Kate Summerscale

Waterstone’s New Writer of the Year, in association with the Daily Mail

  • Tom Rob Smith
  • Jennie Rooney
  • Nancy Horan
  • Farahad Zama
  • Hillary Jordan
  • Melissa Benn

WHSmith Children’s Book of the Year

  • Dinosaurs Love Underpants — Claire Freedman & Ben Cort
  • Horrid Henry Robs the Bank — Francesca Simon
  • Captain Underpants & the Preposterous Plight — Dav Pilkey
  • Artemis Fowl & the Time Paradox — Eoin Colfer
  • Breaking Dawn — Stephanie Meyer
  • The Tales of Beedle the Bard — J.K. Rowling

Galaxy Book of the Year: The Suspicions of Mr Whicher — Kate Summerscale

Outstanding Achievement — Michael Palin (now this I can get behind!)

Must say that I absolutely loved – and agreed with – Bookslut’s take on proceedings:

Barack Obama couldn’t make it (Nato), Stieg Larsson couldn’t get there (dead), and Stephanie Meyer sent her regards on tape. But Jerry Springer showed up as part of the ‘stream of celebrities’ (really, BBC?) at the Galaxy Book Awards.

The categories are all utter bollocks (‘The Good Read Award’, ‘Author of the Year’), but some decent, non-Meyer titles won things:

Kate Atkinson for When Will There Be Good News
Tom Rob Smith for Child 44
Kate Summerscale for The Suspicions of Mr Whicher
Aravind Adiga for The White Tiger

Galaxy, FYI, is a brand of shitty, too-sweet chocolate which tries to pass itself off as being a bit sophisticated and classy. Jerry Springer.

Loved Bookslut’s take on proceedings OTHER than the fact that they think that Child 44 is a decent book. Tut tut. We all know it’s complete rubbish. I honestly can’t believe it’s won anything other than the obligatory movie contract. Oh well. Each to their own, etc.



  1. I was interested to see reviews of TRS’s new book The Secret Speech (not to be confused with Barry’s The Secret Scripture) which seem agreed that it’s not quite up to the quality of Child 44. Er, gosh. Quite an achievement!

  2. Wow. He must have really worked at that!


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