The Book Award ‘Oscars’

fiftyshadesNot really a surprise as it seems to be everywhere?? E L James has won the Specsavers Popular Fiction Book of the Year for Fifty Shades of Grey (Arrow), beating authors Kate Mosse and Bernard Cornwell to the award. Clare Balding nabbed the Biography of the Year award  for My Animals and Other Family (Viking) beating Salman Rushdie and David Mitchell, which she said was “beautifully surprising and wonderful”.

Double Man Booker-winner Hilary Mantel won the Waterstone’s UK Author of the Year for her Bring Up the Bodies (Fourth Estate), beating authors including J K Rowling and Zadie Smith. Lee Child won the Crime Book of the Year for A Wanted Man (Bantam). He thanked sponsor Specsavers, observing that without them, “I can’t write at all because I can’t see the computer.”

Debut author Rachel Joyce scored with The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry (Doubleday). The Hairy Bikers’ The Hairy Dieters (W&N) won W H Smith Food and Drink Book of the Year, while comedian and writer David Walliams won the National Book Tokens Children’s Book of the Year for his Ratburger (HC Children’s).

The Magic FM Non-Fiction Book of the Year went to Miranda Hart for Is It Just Me? (Hodder). Magic will be interviewing the winning authors. She said “Thank you to the book world who are all really lovely and welcoming… I got a bit of a taste for it, I really enjoyed writing it.” 

The International Author of the Year in partnership with Google Play was named as Eowyn Ivey, author of The Snow Child (Headline Review).

Audible Audio Book of the Year was Caroline Quentin’s unabridged narration of Sue Townsend’s The Woman Who Went to Bed for a Year (Whole Story Audiobooks).

 Ian Rankin protested: “I’m only 52, give me a break, I do feel my best work may be ahead of me” when he was awarded a special Outstanding Achievement Award for his contribution to literature.

Readers are now invited to vote online for the Specsavers Book of the Year at  and the final result will be announced on 26th December. Dame Mary Perkins, Specsavers founder, said: “The National Book Awards can only be described as the Oscars of the literary world and the evening certainly was full of incredible talent. I’d like to congratulate all the winning authors and wish them the best of luck in scooping the Specsavers National Book of the Year title.”