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The British Book Awards: Book of the Year 2024 Shortlists

By Amy Joan Sayner   


The British Book Awards, alternatively known as the Nibbies due to the golden nib-shaped trophy, has been the leading publishing award ceremony since 1990. Judged by leading industry experts, authors, journalists, and celebrities it is regarded as "the BAFTAs of the book trade." Administered by The Bookseller, the Nibbies aims to affirm, connect, and energise those who create and read books. This years’ event will showcase the authors, illustrators, and industry behind the scenes that brought us the books that have stirred our hearts and imaginations. 


There are thirteen Book of the Year Awards which showcase the enormous range and depth of modern publishing: Children’s Illustrated, Children’s Non-Fiction, Children’s Fiction, Fiction, Début Fiction, Crime & Thriller, Page-turner, Non-Fiction: Lifestyle and Illustrated, Non-Fiction: Narrative, Audiobook Fiction, Audiobook Non-Fiction, Discover, as well as the Overall Book of the Year. Some of the standout nominees for 2024 include record breakers, royalty, TikTok stars, romantasy bestsellers, and diverse children’s publishing.


Prince Harry’s bestselling memoir, Spare, has been shortlisted in two categories: Audiobook Non-fiction and Non-fiction Narrative. He could follow in his father’s footsteps, as King Charles III won the British Book Award three decades prior, though competition is steep. Britney Spears is also shortlisted for the Non-Fiction Narrative category for her tell-all memoir The Woman in Me, which has been immensely popular due to the Free Britney movement on social media.


TikTok’s strong influence on book buying continues to show, with trending books dominating the Pageturner category, including Gabrielle Zevin’s Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Rebecca Yarros’ romantasy bestseller Fourth Wing. Yarros, a cornerstone of the romantasy genre, is a standout out nominee as she has also been nominated for the Fiction category for Fourth Wing’s sequel, Iron Flame.


Richard Osman was crowned Author of the Year in 2021 and shortlisted for both the Crime and Thriller and Audiobook Fiction categories in 2023. Osman has once again been shortlisted for the Crime and Thriller category for the fourth novel in his million-copy bestselling The Thursday Murder Club series, The Last Devil to Die. It will compete with Robert Galbraith's The Running Grave which is shortlisted in both the Crime & Thriller and Audiobook Fiction categories.


In 2023, Alice Oseman won the Illustrator of the Year Award. This year, she has been shortlisted for the Children’s Illustrated category for her chart-topping LGBTQIA+ YA romance graphic novel, Heartstopper: Volume 5. Heartstopper, which is both written and illustrated by Oseman, has broken records as the fastest-selling graphic novel ever in the UK.


Philip Jones, editor of The Bookseller and chair of The British Book Awards judges, comments, “Last year saw the book business roll up its sleeves, stare down the cost-of-living crisis and post-Covid troubles and unleash a series of memorable and remarkable new titles. Book-ended by two record-breakers - Prince Harry’s Spare and the fifth book in Alice Oseman’s Heartstopper series - this year’s titles did what the industry does best: start conversations, connect communities, and push boundaries. Our collective ability to support the creative endeavours of writers and illustrators, and to judge and deliver what readers want, continues to be a wonder to behold. It is an honour to celebrate these success stories.”


The Book of the Year winners will be unveiled at a ceremony taking place at Grosvenor House, London on Monday 13 May. For more information, visit thebookseller.com/british-book-awards, or follow The Bookseller on X/Twitter and Instagram.

 

Shortlists in full:


Audiobook Fiction

The List by Yomi Adegoke, narrated by Sheila Atim and Arinzé Kene (4th Estate, HarperCollins)

The Running Grave by Robert Galbraith narrated by Robert Glenister (Sphere, Little, Brown Audio)

Poor Things by Alasdair Gray, narrated by Russ Bain and Kathryn Drysdale (W. F. Howes)

None of This is True by Lisa Jewell, narrated by Nicola Walker and Louise Brealey (Cornerstone, Penguin Random House Audio)

The Housemaid’s Secret by Freida McFadden, narrated by Lauryn Allman (Bookouture)

Impossible Creatures by Katherine Rundell, narrated by Samuel West (Bloomsbury Children’s Books)

 

Audiobook Non-Fiction

The Diary of a CEO: The 33 Laws of Business and Life by Steven Bartlett, narrated by Steven Bartlett (Ebury Edge, Penguin Random House Audio)

Strong Female Character by Fern Brady, narrated by Fern Brady (Brazen, Octopus Publishing)

Unruly: A History of England’s Kings and Queens by David Mitchell, narrated by David Mitchell (Penguin Michael Joseph, Penguin Random House Audio)

Spare by Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex narrated by Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex (Bantam/Transworld, Penguin Random House Audio)

Big Beacon by Alan Partridge, narrated by Alan Partridge (Seven Dials, The Orion Publishing Group)

Making It So by Sir Patrick Stewart, narrated by Sir Patrick Stewart (Gallery UK, Simon & Schuster UK)

 

Children’s Fiction

Skandar and the Phantom Rider by A.F. Steadman (Simon and Schuster Children’s Books)

This Book Kills by Ravena Guron, cover illustrator Leo Nickolls (Usborne)

The Boy Who Slept Through Christmas by Matt Lucas, illustrated by Forest Burdett (Farshore, HarperCollins) 

The Completely Chaotic Christmas of Lottie Brooks by Katie Kirby (Puffin, Penguin Random House Children’s)

Powerless by Lauren Roberts (Simon & Schuster Children's Books)     

Impossible Creatures by Katherine Rundell, illustrated by Daniel Egnéus, Tomislav Tomić and Virginia Allyn (Bloomsbury Children's Books)

 

Children’s Illustrated

This is Me by George Webster, in collaboration with Claire Taylor, illustrated by Tim Budgen (Scholastic)

Dog Man: Twenty Thousand Fleas Under the Sea by Dav Pilkey, illustrated by Dav Pilkey (Scholastic)

Heartstopper: Volume 5 by Alice Oseman, illustrated by Alice Oseman (Hodder Children’s Books, Hachette Children’s Group)

We’re Going on a Ghost Hunt by Martha Mumford, illustrated by Cherie Zamazing (Bloomsbury Children’s Books)

Bunny vs Monkey: Multiverse Mix-up by Jamie Smart, illustrated by Jamie Smart (David Fickling Books)

The King’s Pants by Nicholas Allan, illustrated by Nicholas Allan (Andersen Press)

 

Children’s Non-Fiction

Stolen History: The Truth About the British Empire and How It Shaped Us by Sathnam Sanghera (Puffin, Penguin Random House Children’s)

Little People, Big Dreams: King Charles by Maria Isabel Sánchez Vegara, illustrated by Matt Hunt (Frances Lincoln, Quarto)

Black & Irish: Legends, Trailblazers & Everyday Heroes by Leon Diop, Briana Fitzsimons, illustrated by Jessica Louis (Little Island Books)

Brilliant Black British History by Atinuke, illustrated by Kingsley Nebechi (Bloomsbury Children’s Books)

Kay’s Incredible Inventions by Adam Kay, illustrated by Henry Paker (Puffin, Penguin Random House Children’s)

The Boy Who Didn’t Want to Die by Peter Lantos (Scholastic)

 

Crime & Thriller

The Woman Who Lied by Claire Douglas (Penguin Michael Joseph)    

The Last Devil To Die by Richard Osman (Viking, Penguin General)

None of This is True by Lisa Jewell (Century, Cornerstone)

Damascus Station by David McCloskey (Swift Press)

The Running Grave by Robert Galbraith (Sphere, Little, Brown)

The Secret Hours by Mick Herron (Baskerville, John Murray Press)

 

Début Fiction

Talking at Night by Claire Daverley (Penguin Michael Joseph)

The List by Yomi Adegoke (4th Estate, HarperCollins)

In Memoriam by Alice Winn (Viking, Penguin General)

Godkiller by Hannah Kaner (HarperVoyager, HarperCollins)

Really Good, Actually by Monica Heisey (4th Estate, HarperCollins)

Days at the Morisaki Bookshop by Satoshi Yagisawa, translated by Eric Ozawa, illustrated by Ilya Milstein (Manilla Press, Bonnier Books UK)

 

Discover

Imad’s Syrian Kitchen by Imad Alarnab, illustrated by Evi-O.Studio (HQ, HarperCollins)

Lessons from Our Ancestors by Raksha Dave, illustrated by Kimberlie Clinthorne-Wong (Magic Cat Publishing)

A Bollywood State of Mind by Sunny Singh (Footnote Press)

April’s Garden by Isla McGuckin, illustrated by Catalina Echeverri (Graffeg)

Sunburn by Chloe Michelle Howarth (VERVE Books)

Pageboy by Elliot Page (Doubleday, Transworld)

 

Fiction

Iron Flame by Rebecca Yarros (Piatkus, Little, Brown) 

So Late in the Day by Claire Keegan (Faber)

Yellowface by Rebecca F. Kuang (The Borough Press, HarperCollins)

Atlas: The Story of Pa Salt by Lucinda Riley and Harry Whittaker (Macmillan, Pan Macmillan)

Tackle! by Jilly Cooper (Bantam, Transworld)

The Ghost Ship by Kate Mosse (Mantle, Pan Macmillan)

 

Non-Fiction: Lifestyle & Illustrated

Bored of Lunch: The Healthy Air Fryer Book by Nathan Anthony, illustrated by Sophie Yamamoto (Ebury Press, Ebury)

Ultra-Processed People by Chris van Tulleken (Cornerstone Press)

Marr’s Guitars by Johnny Marr (Thames and Hudson)

Murdle by G. T. Karber (Souvenir Press, Profile Books)

GHOSTS: The Button House Archives by Mathew Baynton, Simon Farnaby, Martha Howe-Douglas, Jim Howick, Laurence Rickard and Ben Willbond (Bloomsbury General)

Let The Light Pour In by Lemn Sissay (Canongate)

 

Non-Fiction: Narrative

The Extra Mile by Kevin Sinfield, with Paul Hayward (Century, Cornerstone Publishing)

Diary of a CEO by Steven Bartlett (Ebury Edge, Ebury)

Normal Women by Philippa Gregory (William Collins, HarperCollins)

Spare by Prince Harry (Bantam, Transworld)

The Woman in Me by Britney Spears (Gallery Books, Simon & Schuster)

Politics on the Edge by Rory Stewart (Jonathan Cape, Vintage)

 

Pageturner

Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros (Piatkus, Little, Brown)

Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin (Vintage)

Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver (Faber)

The Lost Bookshop by Evie Woods (OneMoreChapter, HarperCollins)

It Starts with Us by Colleen Hoover (Simon & Schuster)

Icebreaker by Hannah Grace (Simon & Schuster)


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