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Animators Survival Kit

The Costa Book Awards

Costa logoThe Costa Book Awards have been running since 1971, although they were known as the Whitbread Awards until 2005. Their aim is to reward books which are both of the highest literary merit but that also appeal to as wide an audience as possible. They are open to authors who have been resident in the UK or Ireland for six months in each of the previous three years.

 

The Awards are generally considered to be one of the British book world's 'big three', along with the Man Booker Prize and the Baileys Women's Prize.

 

The 2017 shortlists were announced on 21st November, the category winners followed on 2nd January and the overall winner, declared on 30th January, was Helen Dunmore, for her posthumously published final collection, Inside the Wave. Read more about the announcement here.

 

 

2017 Category Winners

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine
(Paperback)
Gail Honeyman
The Sunday Times bestseller ...
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Reservoir 13
(Paperback)
Jon McGregor
 
From the award-winning author of If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things. Reservoir 13 tells the story of many lives haunted by one family's loss. ...
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£8.99
 
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In the Days of Rain
(Paperback)
Rebecca Stott
 
In the vein of Bad Blood and Why be Happy when you can be Normal?: an enthralling, at times shocking, and deeply personal family memoir of growing up in, and...
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£9.99
 
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Inside the Wave
(Paperback)
Helen Dunmore
 
New collection by prizewinning poet and novelist: poems about mortality, illness, being alive and the borderline between the living human world and the underworld.
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£9.95
 
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The Explorer
(Paperback)
Katherine Rundell; Hannah Horn
 
From his seat in the tiny aeroplane, Fred watches as the mysteries of the Amazon jungle pass by below him. He has always dreamed of becoming an explorer, of making...
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£7.99
 
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2017 Novel shortlist

Reservoir 13
(Paperback)
Jon McGregor
 
From the award-winning author of If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things. Reservoir 13 tells the story of many lives haunted by one family's loss. ...
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£8.99
 
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Under a Pole Star: Shortlisted for ...
(Paperback)
Stef Penney
 
A panoramic historical epic and an unforgettable love story from the author of the Costa-winning The Tenderness of Wolves, for fans of Sarah Perry, Jessie Burton and Donna Tartt
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Home Fire
(Paperback)
Kamila Shamsie
 
How can love survive betrayal? For as long as they can remember, siblings Isma, Aneeka and Parvaiz have had nothing but each other. But darker, stronger forces will divide Parvaiz...
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Tin Man
(Paperback)
Sarah Winman
 
The unforgettable and achingly tender new novel from Sarah Winman, author of the international bestseller WHEN GOD WAS A RABBIT and the Sunday Times Top Ten bestseller A YEAR OF...
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2017 First Novel shortlist

The Clocks in This House All Tell...
(Paperback)
Xan Brooks
 
Summer 1923. The modern world. Orphaned Lucy Marsh climbs into the back of the old army truck and is whisked off to the woods, where the funny men live. If...
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Montpelier Parade
(Paperback)
Karl Geary
 
Working on the garden with his father, Sonny is full of curiosity. Then the back door eases open and she comes down the path towards him. Vera. Chance meetings become...
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Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine
(Paperback)
Gail Honeyman
The Sunday Times bestseller ...
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£8.99
 
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The Haunting of Henry Twist:...
(Paperback)
Rebecca F. John
 
London, 1926: Henry Twist's heavily pregnant wife leaves home to meet a friend. On the way, she is hit by a bus and killed, though miraculously the baby survives. ...
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2017 Biography shortlist

Once Upon A Time in the East: A Story...
(Paperback)
Xiaolu Guo
 
*Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award* *Shortlisted for the Costa Biography Award**Shortlisted for the Jhalak Prize**Shortlisted for the Rathbones Folio Prize 2018**A Sunday Times Book of the Year*Xiaolu...
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A Bold and Dangerous Family: The...
(Paperback)
Caroline Moorehead
 
His opponents - including editors, publishers, union representatives, lawyers and judges - were beaten into submission. She has drawn on letters and diaries never previously translated into English to reveal...
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In the Days of Rain
(Paperback)
Rebecca Stott
 
In the vein of Bad Blood and Why be Happy when you can be Normal?: an enthralling, at times shocking, and deeply personal family memoir of growing up in, and...
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£9.99
 
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Fragile Lives: A Heart Surgeon's...
(Paperback)
Stephen Westaby
 
SHORTLISTED FOR THE COSTA BIOGRAPHY PRIZE, THE SUNDAY TIMES NO.2 BESTSELLER ...
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2017 Poetry shortlist

Kumukanda
(Paperback)
Kayo Chingonyi
 
*Winner of the International Dylan Thomas Prize 2018* Translating as 'initiation', kumukanda is the name given to the rites a young boy from the Luvale tribe must pass through before...
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£10.00
 
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Inside the Wave
(Paperback)
Helen Dunmore
 
New collection by prizewinning poet and novelist: poems about mortality, illness, being alive and the borderline between the living human world and the underworld.
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£9.95
 
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On Balance
(Paperback)
Sinead Morrissey
 
Sinead Morrissey's poems consider spectacular feats of human engineering from our radically unstable perspective.
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Useful Verses
(Paperback)
Richard Osmond
 
A brilliant debut collection from an exciting new voice in British poetry.
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2017 Children's shortlist

Moonrise
(Hardback)
Sarah Crossan
The astonishing new novel from Carnegie Medal, CliPPA Poetry Award, YA Book Prize and CBI Book of the Year Award winning author Sarah Crossan. They think I hurt...
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£12.99
 
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Wed Wabbit
(Paperback)
Lissa Evans
 
A hugely funny down-the-rabbit-hole adventure from the author of internationally bestselling Small Change for Stuart, which was shortlisted for both the Carnegie Medal and Costa Award.
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The Island at the End of Everything
(Paperback)
Kiran Millwood Hargrave
 
Ami lives on Culion, where some of the inhabitants - including her mother - have leprosy. She loves her home - but then islanders untouched by sickness are forced to...
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The Explorer
(Paperback)
Katherine Rundell; Hannah Horn
 
From his seat in the tiny aeroplane, Fred watches as the mysteries of the Amazon jungle pass by below him. He has always dreamed of becoming an explorer, of making...
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£7.99
 
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Previous Winners

2016

OVERALL: Days Without End by Sebastian Barry Read our exclusive author interview

NOVEL: Days Without End by Sebastian Barry

FIRST NOVEL: Golden Hill by Francis Spufford

POETRY: Falling Awake by Alice Oswald

CHILDREN'S: The Bombs That Brought Us Together by Brian Conaghan

BIOGRAPHY: Dadland by Keggie Carew  Read an exclusive blog by the author

 

2015

OVERALL: The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge

NOVEL: A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson

FIRST NOVEL: The Loney by Andrew Michael Hurley Read our exclusive author interview

POETRY: 40 Sonnets by Don Paterson

CHILDRENS: The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge

BIOGRAPHY: The Invention of Nature: The Adventures of Alexander Von Humboldt, The Lost Hero of Science by Andrea Wulf

 

2014

OVERALL: H is for Hawk by Helen MacDonald

NOVEL: How to Be Both by Ali Smith

FIRST NOVEL: Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey

POETRY: Five Children on the Western Front by Kate Saunders

BIOGRAPHY: H is for Hawk by Helen MacDonald

CHILDRENS: My Family and Other Superheroes by Jonathan Edwards

 

2013

OVERALL: The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer

NOVEL: Live After Life by Kate Atkinson

FIRST NOVEL: The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer

BIOGRAPHY: The Pike by Lucy Hughes-Hallett

POETRY: Drysalter by Michael Symmons Roberts

CHILDREN'S: Goth Girl by Chris Riddell

 

2012

OVERALL: Bring up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel
NOVEL: Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel
FIRST NOVEL: The Innocents by Francesca Segal
BIOGRAPHY: Dotter of Her Father's Eyes by Mary & Bryan Talbot
POETRY: The Overhaul by Kathleen Jamie
CHILDREN'S: Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner

2011

OVERALL: Pure by Andrew Miller
NOVEL: Pure by Andrew Miller
FIRST NOVEL: Tiny Sunbirds Far Away by Christie Watson
BIOGRAPHY: Now All Roads Lead to France by Matthew Hollis
POETRY: The Bees by Carol Ann Duffy
CHILDREN'S: Blood Red Road by Moira Young

2010
OVERALL:
Of Mutability by Jo Shapcott
NOVEL: The Hand That First Held Mine by Maggie O'Farrell
FIRST NOVEL: Witness the Night by Kishwar Desai
BIOGRAPHY: The Hare with Amber Eyes by Edmund de Waal
POETRY: Of Mutability by Jo Shapcott
CHILDREN'S: Out of Shadows by Jason Wallace

2009
OVERALL:
A Scattering by Christopher Reid
NOVEL: Brooklyn by Colm Toibin
FIRST NOVEL: Beauty by Raphael Selbourne
BIOGRAPHY: The Strangest Man by Graham Farmelo
POETRY: A Scattering by Christopher Reid
CHILDREN'S: The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness

2008
OVERALL:
The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry
NOVEL: The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry
FIRST NOVEL: The Outcast by Sadie Jones
BIOGRAPHY: Somewhere Towards the End by Diana Athill
POETRY: The Broken Word by Adam Foulds
CHILDREN'S: Just Henry by Michelle Magorian

2007
OVERALL: Day by AL Kennedy
NOVEL: Day by AL Kennedy
FIRST NOVEL: What Was Lost by Catherine O'Flynn
BIOGRAPHY: Young Stalin by Simon Sebag-Montefiore
POETRY: Tilt by Jean Sprackland
CHILDREN'S: The Bower Bird by Ann Kelley

2006
OVERALL:
The Tenderness of Wolves by Stef Penney
NOVEL: Restless by William Boyd
FIRST NOVEL: The Tenderness of Wolves by Stef Penney
BIOGRAPHY: Keeping Mum by Brian Thompson
POETRY: Letter to Patience by John Haynes
CHILDREN'S: Set in Stone by Linda Newbery

2005
OVERALL:
Matisse: The Master by Hilary Spurling
NOVEL: The Accidental by Ali Smith
FIRST NOVEL: The Harmony Silk Factory by Tash Aw
BIOGRAPHY: Matisse: The Master by Hilary Spurling
POETRY: Cold Calls by Christopher Logue
CHILDREN'S: The New Policeman by Kate Thompson

 

2004
OVERALL:
Small Island by Andrea Levy
NOVEL: Small Island by Andrea Levy
FIRST NOVEL: Eve Green by Susan Fletcher
BIOGRAPHY: My Heart Is My Own: The Life of Mary Queen of Scots by John Guy
POETRY: Corpus by Michael Simmons Roberts
CHILDREN'S: Not the End of the World by Geraldine McCaughrean

 

2003
OVERALL:
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
NOVEL: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
FIRST NOVEL: Vernon God Little by DBC Pierre
BIOGRAPHY: Orwell: The Life by DJ Taylor
POETRY: Landing Light by Don Paterson
CHILDREN'S: The Fire-Eaters by David Almond

 

2002
OVERALL:
Samuel Pepys: The Unequalled Self by Claire Tomalin
NOVEL: Spies by Michael Frayn
FIRST NOVEL: The Song of Names by Norman Lebrecht (currently out of print)
BIOGRAPHY: Samuel Pepys: The Unequalled Self by Claire Tomalin
POETRY: The Ice Age by Paul Farley
CHILDREN'S: Saffy's Angel by Hilary McKay

2001
OVERALL:
The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman
NOVEL: Twelve Bar Blues by Patrick Neate
FIRST NOVEL: Something Like a House by Sid Smith
BIOGRAPHY: Selkirk's Island by Diana Souhami (currently out of print)
POETRY: Bunny by Selima Hill (currently out of print)
CHILDREN'S: The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman

2000
OVERALL:
English Passengers by Matthew Kneale
NOVEL: English Passengers by Matthew Kneale
FIRST NOVEL: White Teeth by Zadie Smith
BIOGRAPHY: Bad Blood by Lorna Sage
POETRY: The Asylum Dance by John Burnside
CHILDREN'S: Coram Boy by Jamila Gavin

1999
OVERALL:
Beowulf by Seamus Heaney
NOVEL: Music and Silence by Rose Tremain
FIRST NOVEL: White City Blue by Tim Lott
BIOGRAPHY: Berlioz, vol. 2 by David Cairns
POETRY: Beowulf by Seamus Heaney
CHILDREN'S: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by JK Rowling

1998
OVERALL:
Birthday Letters by Ted Hughes
NOVEL: Leading the Cheers by Justin Cartwright
FIRST NOVEL: The Last King of Scotland by Giles Foden
BIOGRAPHY: Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire by Amanda Foreman
POETRY: Birthday Letters by Ted Hughes
CHILDREN'S:: Skellig by David Almond

1997
OVERALL:
Tales from Ovid by Ted Hughes
NOVEL: Quarantine by Jim Crace
FIRST NOVEL: The Ventriloquist's Tale by Pauline Melville
BIOGRAPHY: Victor Hugo by Graham Robb
POETRY: Tales from Ovid by Ted Hughes
CHILDREN'S : Aquila by Andrew Norriss

1996
OVERALL:
The Spirit Level by Seamus Heaney
NOVEL: Every Man for Himself by Beryl Bainbridge
FIRST NOVEL: The Debt to Pleasure by John Lanchester
BIOGRAPHY: Thomas Cranmer: A Life by Diarmaid MacCulloch
POETRY: The Spirit Level by Seamus Heaney
CHILDREN'S: The Tulip Touch by Anne Fine

1995
OVERALL:
Behind the Scenes at the Museum by Kate Atkinson
NOVEL: The Moor's Last Sigh by Salman Rushdie
FIRST NOVEL: Behind the Scenes at the Museum by Kate Atkinson
BIOGRAPHY: Gladstone by Roy Jenkins
POETRY: Gunpowder by Bernard O'Donoghue
CHILDREN'S: The Wreck of the Zanzibar by Michael Morpurgo

1994
OVERALL:
Felicia's Journey by William Trevor
NOVEL: Felicia's Journey by William Trevor
FIRST NOVEL: The Longest Memory by Fred D'Aguiar
BIOGRAPHY: DH Lawrence: The Married Man by Brenda Maddox (currently out of print)
POETRY: Out of Danger by James Fenton (currently out of print)
CHILDREN'S: Gold Dust by Geraldine McCaughrean

1993
OVERALL:
Theory of War by Joan Brady (currently out of print)
NOVEL: Theory of War by Joan Brady (currently out of print)
FIRST NOVEL: Saving Agnes by Rachel Cusk (currently out of print)
BIOGRAPHY: Philip Larkin: A Writer's Life by Andrew Motion
POETRY: Mean Time by Carol Ann Duffy
CHILDREN'S: Flour Babies by Anne Fine

1992
OVERALL:
Swing Hammer Swing! by Jeff Torrington
NOVEL: Poor Things by Alasdair Gray
FIRST NOVEL: Swing Hammer Swing! by Jeff Torrington
BIOGRAPHY: Trollope by Victoria Glendinning
POETRY: The Gaze of the Gorgon by Tony Harrison
CHILDREN'S: The Great Elephant Chase by Gillian Cross

1991
OVERALL:
A Life of Picasso, vol.1 by John Richardson
NOVEL: The Queen of the Tambourine by Jane Gardam
FIRST NOVEL: Alma Cogan by Gordon Burn
BIOGRAPHY: A Life of Picasso, vol.1 by John Richardson
POETRY: Gorse Fires by Michael Longley
CHILDREN'S: Harvey Angell by Dian Hendry

1990
OVERALL:
Hopeful Monsters by Nicholas Mosley
NOVEL: Hopeful Monsters by Nicholas Mosley
FIRST NOVEL: The Buddha of Suburbia by Hanif Kureishi
BIOGRAPHY: AA Milne: His Life by Ann Thwaite
POETRY: Daddy, Daddy by Paul Durcan (currently out of print)
CHILDREN'S: AK by Peter Dickinson (currently out of print)

1989
OVERALL:
Coleridge: Early Visions by Richard Holmes
NOVEL: The Chymical Wedding by Lindsay Clarke
FIRST NOVEL: Gerontious by James Hamilton-Paterson (currently out of print)
BIOGRAPHY: Coleridge: Early Visions by Richard Holmes
POETRY: Shibboleth by Michael Donaghy
CHILDREN'S: Why Weeps the Brogan? by Hugh Scott (currently out of print)

1988
OVERALL:
The Comforts of Madness Paul Sayer (currently out of print)
NOVEL: The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie
FIRST NOVEL: The Comforts of Madness by Paul Sayer (currently out of print)
BIOGRAPHY: Tolstoy by AN Wilson
POETRY: The Automatic Porter by Peter Porter (currently out of print)
CHILDREN'S: Awaiting Developments by Judy Allen (currently out of print)

1987
OVERALL:
Under the Eye of the Clock by Christopher Nolan (currently out of print)
NOVEL: The Child in Time by Ian McEwan
FIRST NOVEL: The Other Garden by Francis Wyndham
BIOGRAPHY: Under the Eye of the Clock by Christopher Nolan (currently out of print)
POETRY: The Haw Lantern by Seamus Heaney
CHILDREN'S: A Little Lower than the Angels by Geraldine McCaughrean

1986
OVERALL:
An Artist of the Floating World by Kazuo Ishiguro
NOVEL: An Artist of the Floating World by Kazuo Ishiguro
FIRST NOVEL: Continent by Jim Crace
BIOGRAPHY: Gilbert White by Richard Mabey
POETRY: Stet by Peter Reading (currently out of print)
CHILDREN'S: The Coal House by Andrew Taylor (currently out of print)

1985
OVERALL:
Elegies by Douglas Dunn
NOVEL: Hawksmoor by Peter Ackroyd
FIRST NOVEL: Oranges are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson
BIOGRAPHY: Hugh Dalton by Ben Pimlott (currently out of print)
POETRY: Elegies by Douglas Dunn
CHILDREN'S: The Nature of the Beast by Janni Howker

1984
NOVEL: Kruger's Alp by Christopher Hope
FIRST NOVEL: A Parish of Rich Women by James Buchan (currently out of print)
BIOGRAPHY: T S Eliot by Peter Ackroyd (currently out of print)
SHORT STORY: Tomorrow Is Our Permanent Address by Diane Rowe (currently out of print)
CHILDREN'S NOVEL: The Queen of the Pharisees' Children by Barbara Willard (currently out of print)

1983
NOVEL: Fools of Fortune by William Trevor (currently out of print)
FIRST NOVEL: Flying to Nowhere by John Fuller
BIOGRAPHY: Vita by Victoria Glendinning AND King George V by Kenneth Rose (currently out of print)
CHILDREN'S NOVEL: The Witches by Roald Dahl

1982
NOVEL: Young Shoulders by John Wain (currently out of print)
FIRST NOVEL: On the Black Hill by Bruce Chatwin
BIOGRAPHY: Bismarck by Edward Crankshaw (currently out of print)
CHILDREN'S NOVEL: The Song of Pentecost by W J Corbett (currently out of print)

1981
NOVEL: Silver's City - Maurice Leitch (currently out of print)
FIRST NOVEL: A Good Man in Africa by William Boyd
BIOGRAPHY: Monty: The Making of a General by Nigel Hamilton (currently out of print)
CHILDREN'S NOVEL: The Hollow Land by Jane Gardam (currently out of print)

1980
NOVEL: How Far Can You Go? by David Lodge
BIOGRAPHY: On the Edge of Paradise by A C Benson AND The Diarist by David Newsome (both currently out of print)
CHILDREN'S NOVEL: John Diamond by Leon Garfield (currently out of print)

1979
NOVEL: The Old Jest by Jennifer Johnston (currently out of print)
AUTOBIOGRAPHY: About Time by Penelope Mortimer (currently out of print)
CHILDREN'S NOVEL: Tulku by Peter Dickinson (currently out of print)

1978
NOVEL: Picture Palace by Paul Theroux (currently out of print)
BIOGRAPHY: Lloyd George: The People's Champion by John Grigg
CHILDREN'S: The Battle of Bubble and Squeak by Philippa Pearce

1977
NOVEL: Injury Time by Beryl Bainbridge
BIOGRAPHY: Mary Curzon by Nigel Nicolson (currently out of print)
CHILDREN'S: No End to Yesterday by Shelagh MacDonald

1976
NOVEL: The Children of Dynmouth by William Trevor
BIOGRAPHY: Elizabeth Gaskell by Winifred Gerin (currently out of print)
CHILDREN'S: A Stitch in Time by Penelope Lively (currently out of print)

1975
NOVEL: Docherty by William McIlvanney
AUTOBIOGRAPHY: In Our Infancy by Helen Corke
FIRST BOOK: The Improbable Puritan: A Life of Bulstrode Whitlock by Ruth Spalding currently out of print)

1974
NOVEL: The Sacred and Profane Love Machine by Iris Murdoch
BIOGRAPHY: Poor Dear Brendan by Andrew Boyle (currently out of print)
CHILDREN'S: How Tom Beat Captain Najork and His Hired Sportsmen by Russell Hoban & Quentin Blake AND The Emperor's Winding Sheet by Jill Paton Walsh (both currently out of print)

1973
NOVEL: The Chip Chip Gatherers by Shiva Naipaul (currently out of print)
BIOGRAPHY: C B: A Life of Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman by John Wilson (currently out of print)
CHILDREN'S: The Butterfly Ball and the Grasshopper's Feat by Alan Aldridge & William Plower (currently out of print)

1972
NOVEL: The Bird of Night by Susan Hill
BIOGRAPHY: Trollope by James Pope-Hennessey (currently out of print)
CHILDREN'S: The Diddakoi by Rumer Godden (currently out of print)

1971
NOVEL: The Destiny Waltz by Gerda Charles (currently out of print)
BIOGRAPHY: Henrik Ibsen by Michael Meyer (currently out of print)
POETRY: Mercian Hymns by Geoffrey Hill (currently out of print)

 

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