British Book Industry Awards: Books of the Year shortlist announced

The four category shortlists for the 2016 Books of the Year Awards were announced today by Chair of the Judges and Contributing Editor of The Bookseller Cathy Rentzenbrink who said “they showcase the glorious way that publishing continually shifts and reinvents itself”.

The Book of the Year awards - for Children’s, Début Fiction, Fiction and Nonfiction -  were introduced to celebrate the books that best demonstrated the real value of publishing; a close collaboration between publisher and author that culminates in something extraordinary for the reader. The winners will be revealed at a glamorous awards ceremony on Monday 9th May at new home Grosvenor House in central London.

The shortlists, which consist of eight books in each of the four categories and honour not just the author and illustrator of a title but the entire publishing team, are:

Children's Book of the Year

Harry Potter, illustrated edition by J K Rowling and Jim Kay (Bloomsbury)

Username: Evie by Joe Sugg (Hodder & Stoughton)

Mog's Christmas Calamity by Judith Kerr (HarperCollins Children’s Books)

The Shepherd's Crown by Terry Pratchett (Doubleday Children’s)

Grandpa's Great Escape by David Walliams (HarperCollins Children’s Books)

The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge (Macmillan Children’s Books)

My Brother is a Superhero by David Solomons (Nosy Crow)

A Boy Called Christmas by Matt Haig (Canongate)

Début Fiction Book of the Year

The Girl in the Red Coat by Kate Hamer (Faber & Faber)

In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware (Harvill Secker)

The Versions of Us by Laura Barnett (Weidenfeld & Nicolson)

Grief is the Thing With Feathers by Max Porter (Faber & Faber)

I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh (Sphere)

The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma (One)

The Loney by Andrew Michael Hurley (John Murray)

Disclaimer by Renée Knight (Doubleday)

Non-fiction Book of the Year

Lean In 15 by Joe Wicks (Bluebird)

Deliciously Ella by Ella Woodward (Hodder & Stoughton)

SPQR by Mary Beard (Profile)

The Road to Little Dribbling by Bill Bryson (Transworld)

Norwegian Wood by Lars Mitting and Robert Ferguson (MacLehose Press)

Gut by Giulia Enders and David Shaw (Scribe)

Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig (Canongate)

Ladybird Books by Jason Hazeley and Joel Morris (Michael Joseph)

Fiction Book of the Year

A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson (Transworld)

Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee (William Heinemann)

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins (Doubleday)

The Green Road by Anne Enright (Vintage)

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara (Picador)

The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro (Faber & Faber)

After You by Jojo Moyes (Michael Joseph)

Grey by EL James (Arrow)


The category winners will be decided by four panels of judges, and a separate panel will go on to choose the overall Book of the Year announced at the awards ceremony on 9th May 2016.

Cathy Rentzenbrink, chair of the judges says:

"The Books of the Year shortlists showcase the breadth and depth of British publishing and the glorious way that publishing continually shifts and reinvents itself as huge best-sellers come out of left field. In the lists, we’ve a YouTube star, a 92-year-old author/illustrator, there are books in translation and who would have ever foreseen the Ladybird effect? There’s also serious history, significant literary endeavours and debut novels that hold all the promise of a fine future."

Charlotte Eyre, co-chair of the Children’s judging panel says:

"The shortlist for the children's book of the year award showcases the brilliant work the industry is doing in this sector. All the books shortlisted, from picture books to YA, demonstrate the talent of authors and illustrators working today, as well as the skill publishers are showing in bringing these titles to market."

Fiona Noble, co-chair of the Children’s judging panel says:

"Children's and YA books have created some of the biggest publishing stories of 2015 and this shortlist really showcases that: from the Costa Prize to YouTubers, huge bestsellers to heritage publishing reimagined on a grand scale."

Caroline Sanderson, chair of the Non-fiction category says:

"I'm delighted with the non-fiction shortlist, both because it celebrates the wonderful heterogenity of non-fiction like no other shortlist, and because it recognises the brilliant publishing that lies beneath the headline success of these titles."

Alice O’Keeffe, chair of the Fiction category says:

"I’m thrilled with the fiction shortlist this year. After much debate the eight titles selected run the gamut of the best fiction from critically acclaimed Booker Prize nominated titles A Little Life and The Green Road to word-of-mouth bestseller Grey and a gripping thriller, The Girl on the Train. Also on the list is the Costa winner A God in Ruins, the long-awaited The Buried Giant, the sequel to a much-loved commercial smash After You and finally the literary discovery of 2015 Go Set a Watchman."

Cathy Rentzenbrink, chair of the Début Fiction category says:

"Bringing a first time writer to market demands commitment, hard graft and imagination. We love the range of subject and style in our debut fiction category and we’re sure that these writers are at the start of impressive careers."

Produced by leading industry magazine The Bookseller, the British Book Industry Awards represent a high point in the book trade’s calendar, with winners including Publisher of the Year, Book Retailer of the Year, and Independent Bookshop of the Year. The Books of the Year awards recognise the publishing as well as the books, with both author and publisher as recipients of the prize.