The UK’s Nibbies: Books of the Year Shortlists

In Feature Articles by Porter Anderson

Pre-London Book Fair: 72 shortlistings fall into 12 categories of ‘Books of the Year’ for the 2024 British Book Awards, the ‘Nibbies.’

Nonfiction is having ‘an exciting year,’ says The Bookseller’s Alice O’Keeffe, with several categories of shortlists announced for the 2024 contest. These are the shortlisted titles in narrative nonfiction. Image: The Bookseller

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

Philip Jones: ‘What the Industry Does Best’
In the run-up to London Book Fair (Tuesday through Thursday), our Publishing Perspectives readers will recall that we covered the shortlisted companies in the British Book Awards  from The Bookseller for small presses and independent bookstores on Monday (March 4). Those components of the British Book Awards array of categories are, of course, of key interest to the book industry, as they highlight publication and retail energy among less-than-major players in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Today (March 8), we have a more consumer-facing element of the “Nibbies.”

The “Book of the Year” series of prizes is a form of accolade so abundant in the UK’s publishing landscape that it’s surprising to find that none of those independent bookstores on the high street has yet named itself The Golden Sticker.

In a comment on today’s release of the 72 Book of the Year shortlistees, The Bookseller top editor Philip Jones—unfailingly faithful to the mission of these awards and personally chairing the program’s legion of jurors—says, “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.

Philip Jones

“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 endeavors of writers and illustrators, and to judge and deliver what readers want, continues to be a wonder to behold. It’s an honor to celebrate these success stories.”

Alice O’Keeffe

And Alice O’Keeffe,  The Bookseller‘s books editor, chairing the 12-category Books of the Year contest, says, “It’s an exciting year for nonfiction and our shortlists run the gamut from an instant cookery brand to an addictive murder-mystery puzzle, from powerful words about politics to life advice from a dragon, not to mention the fastest selling nonfiction hardcover since records began.

“Our jurors will be spirited away by the fiction shortlists this year, which encompass romance and heartbreak, gods and dragons, the ecstasies of love, the vagaries of social media, and more than one book about the healing power of reading.”

You’ll find more information on the well-organized Book of the Year shortlist pages at The Bookseller here. And the traditional Monday night awards presentation for this year is again at the JW Marriott Grosvenor House, set for May 13 beginning at 5 p.m. BST. (The UK and Europe change their clocks to daylight saving time this year on March 31.)

Audiobook Fiction

Image: The Bookseller

  • 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 Nonfiction

  • 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 Nonfiction

  • 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 and 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

Image: The Bookseller

  • 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)

Nonfiction: 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)

Nonfiction: 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’

Image: The Bookseller

  • 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)

The site for the British Book Awards is here.


More on the British Book Awards is here. More from us on publishing and book awards in general is here. And more on the UK book market and industry is here.

Porter Anderson is a former associate editor of The FutureBook at The Bookseller.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

Facebook Twitter

Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with CNN.com, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (Fellow, National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.