What’s on the Waterstone’s Book of the Year list?

beaThis year’s Waterstone’s shortlist – the winner will be announced on Tuesday 3rd December, includes a wide variety of writing talent and includes  début graphic novelist Stephen Collins who finds himself head-to-head with more well known literary figures Kate Atkinson and Julian Barnes, all competing for the title of Waterstone’s Book of the Year 2013.

The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil, is a critically acclaimed pencil-drawn fairytale for adults, The other contenders are in it for – Kate Atkinson, her novel Life After Lifewhose protagonist has the opportunity to live her life again and again in a bid to get it right. Julain Barnes former Man Booker Prize-winner whose Levels of Life, is a blend of essay, fiction and memoir dealing with the death of his beloved wife, and it represents his most personal work to date.

Two of the books in contention are written by authors from overseas: Mapsan illustrated map of the world by Polish husband-and-wife team Aleksandra Mizielińska and Daniel Mizieliński; and the 1965 novel Stoner, by the late American author John Williams. This had been one of the most talked about books of the year, with Ian McEwan, Bret Easton Ellis and Tom Hanks amongst its high-profile admirers .

Love, Nina: Despatches from Family Life, Nina Stibbe’s completes the shortlist. This is a ‘charming collection of letters home to her sister, describing her trials and triumphs as a working-class nanny to a well-heeled London family’.

Waterstones booksellers across the country nominated the book they thought deserved the title of Book of the Year. They were asked to choose a book that stood out in its field, and that would speak to the company’s core customers – those people who love reading and that love books.

‘We have enjoyed another year of extraordinary publishing with our booksellers championing a great array of titles.” said Waterstones Managing Director James Daunt. “As you would expect, they have selected an eclectic and surprising shortlist for our Book of the Year, all fabulous books that are distinctively inspiring and which I am sure will provoke as much passionate interest from our customers as they already have from our booksellers.’


Roald Dahl Funny Prize shortlist announced

image-medium (20)Reviews and covers on Leeds Reads Pinterest

The author  Philip Ardagh,has been shortlisted for the 2013 Roald Dahl Funny Prize in the books for children aged 7-14 category.

The Grunts All At Sea, which is llustrated by Axel Scheffler, is one of the books in his new series about a family called The Grunts

It’s one of the books in his new series about a family called The Grunts. He’s a previous winner is up against five other books.

The other award is books for children aged six and under, and both awards carry a prize of £2,500.

Schools across the UK are involved in the judging process and  children’s votes are combined with the panel’s vote. The panel includes illustrator Sarah McIntyre and the chair is  Michael Rosen . Michael created the prize in 2008 with Booktrust and the Literary Estate of Roald Dahl.

The Funniest Book for Children Aged Six and Under (We’re ordering these)

• Weasels by Elys Dolan (Nosy Crow)

• Spaghetti With the Yeti by Adam and Charlotte Guillain, illustrated by Lee Wildish (Egmont)

• Troll Swap by Leigh Hodgkinson (Nosy Crow)

• Monkey Nut by Simon Rickerty (Simon and Schuster)

 Do Not Enter the Monster Zoo by Amy Sparkes, illustrated by Sara Oglivie (Red Fox, Random House Children’s Books)

 Noisy Bottoms by Sam Taplin, illustrated by Mark Chambers (Usborne)

Alice Munro Wins Nobel Prize In Literature

image-medium (13)Congratulations to Alice Munro, the Canadian author who has won the Nobel Prize in Literature, which the Swedish Academy announced this (Thursday)  morning. She is deemed to be “master of the contemporary short story,” and if you haven’t read any of her stories we have lots in stock or listen to ‘Dear Life’ one of her latest.

The Nobel committee press release says that the Canadian author’s “texts often feature depictions of everyday but decisive events, epiphanies of a kind, that illuminate the surrounding story and let existential questions appear in a flash of lightning.”

In an interview, academy Permanent Secretary Peter Englund celebrated Munro’s focus on a small Canadian landscape of “broad rivers and small towns,” adding that “she has everything she needs in this small patch of earth.”

Alice Munro is 82 and recently announced that she likely will give up writing: “Not that I didn’t love writing, but I think you do get to a stage where you sort of think about your life in a different way. And perhaps, when you’re my age, you don’t wish to be alone as much as a writer has to be.”