The Bisto Ballot was launched in March 2011 to mark the 21st anniversary of the awards. A specially commissioned 21st anniversary exhibition documenting the history of the awards and each of the winning titles has been on tour for the past ten months, allowing people the length and breadth of the country to cast their votes.
Winner of the 2007 – or 18th – Bisto Children’s Book of the Year Award, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, has sold more than five million copies worldwide since it was published in 2006, appeared on bestseller lists the world over and was made into a highly acclaimed feature film in 2008.
Responding to the news that his book had been selected as the nation’s favourite, John Boyne said:
“Considering the number of extraordinary books which have won the Bisto Children’s Book of the Year since 1991, I feel humbled and honoured that my novel, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, has been selected by voters as their favourite winner. It’s a novel that I hoped would touch young readers and thanks in no small part to those people who are evangelical about the promotion of children’s literature – librarians, teachers, Children’s Books Ireland, and the advocates in the media – it reached a far wider audience than I ever imagined possible. I hope it proves that serious and complex subjects can and should be explored in children’s literature.”
Mike Gayle’s brilliantly unique new book is out today! watch the trailer here
The Stag and Hen Weekend is the story of Phil and Helen, a couple in their thirties about to commit their lives to one another . . . that is of course if they can just manage to get through their respective stag and hen weekends (his: Amsterdam; hers: a country house and day spa in the Peak District) without falling apart. Told in the unique form of two separate stories that have common characters as well as themes and conclusion, The Stag and Hen Weekend can be read from front to back or from back to front putting the reader in the driver’s seat as to which story they wish to read first. Feisty, fun and thought provoking.
Pure has received much critical acclaim since hardback publication in 2011. “Every so often a historical novel comes along that is so natural, so far from pastiche, so modern, that it thrills and expands the mind. Pure is one” said the Telegraph; the Guardian called it “Gripping”; the Literary Review said it was “Superb”.
At the Costa awards ceremony, Chair of the judging panel Geordie Greig said: “Pure is a rich and evocative historical novel which engrosses with its vivid portrait of pre-revolutionary France,” describing the novel as a “memorable gothic tale of morality and mortality”.
Pure beat competition from Matthew Hollis’ biography category-winner Now All Roads Lead to France (Faber) and poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy’s The Bees (Picador).
Miller thanked agent Simon Trewin and Sceptre publisher Carole Welch, whom he called “the best editor in London”.
A wonderfully ripe, imaginative and gripping piece of Victorian pastiche, with a spider’s web of a plot and a spine-tingling atmosphere of menace and suspense (The Times )
Fans of Sarah Waters will love this (Good Housekeeping )
The Pleasures of Men shares with Wolf Hall an ambitious, challenging concern with form combined with a pitch-perfect historical ear . . . This intoxicating and disturbing novel is properly thrilling and extraordinarily well-written. Kate Williams is already an accomplished biographer; The Pleasures of Men shows a soaring talent let loose (Independent on Sunday )
A dark story of murder and obsession (Elle )
Catherine Sorgeuil’s obsession with a series of murders of young girls in London’s East End enmeshes her in deceit, betrayal and danger. A spine-tingling, seductive thriller (Woman and Home )
An intense, intelligent and hugely entertaining read (The Guardian )
Historian Kate Williams successfully makes the move from non-fiction, creating a society, and protagonist, on the brink of hysteria (Psychologies )
A sure-footed evocation of seamy Victorian London (Sunday Telegraph )
Part-bodice-ripper, part-slasher, the book’s elaborate plot moves along at a brisk clip with a nod to the likes of Sarah Waters and Peter Ackroyd (Daily Mail )
As crowded with sensation as a Victorian parlour with furniture (The Scotsman )
Not since Sarah Waters have I seen so much lesbian sex in a historical novel (Mariella Frostrup Radio 4 Open Book )
Williams creates an extraordinary world with unforgettable characters and a dark heart – highly recommended (The Bookseller )
An eerie murder mystery set in the corrupt heart of Victorian London (Marie Claire Good Book Club pick )
This is a fast-paced thriller written by an expert on all things Victorian. Fans of Sarah Waters and Michel Faber will revel in this charged and colourful Victorian epic (The Bookseller )
The Crime Writers’ Association has announced the shortlist for this year’s prestigious Ellis Peters Historical Award. The award is sponsored by the Estate of Ellis Peters, Headline Book Publishing Company and Little, Brown Book Group. It is given to the best historical crime novel (set in any period up to 35 years prior to the year in which the award will be made) by an author of any nationality, and commemorates the life and work of Ellis Peters (Edith Pargeter) (1913-1995), a prolific author perhaps best known as the creator of Brother Cadfael.