The Costa Book Awards is one of the UK's most prestigious and popular literary prizes and recognises some of the most enjoyable books of the year, written by authors based in the UK and Ireland.
Here are but a few of the nominated titles for your reading consideration. Please check out the Costa Awards website for the full list of nominated titles.
Life After Life (M)
by Kate Atkinson
"What if you could live your life again and again, until you got it right? During a snowstorm in England in 1910, a baby is born and dies before she can take her first breath. During a snowstorm in England in 1910, the same baby is born and lives to tell the tale. What if there were second chances? And third chances? In fact an infinite number of chances to live your life? Would you eventually be able to save the world from its own inevitable destiny? And would you even want to? 'Life After Life' follows Ursula Todd as she lives through the turbulent events of the last century again and again. With wit and compassion, she finds warmth even in life's bleakest moments, and shows an extraordinary ability to evoke the past." - publisher
Instructions for a Heatwave (M)
by Maggie O’Farrell
"It is July 1976, and London is in the grip of an intense heatwave. All over the city, people are coming unhinged, and the Riordans are no exception. Retired banker Robert has left to buy a newspaper and never returns. His wife, Gretta, calls their three children, who converge on the family homestead for the first time in years. Michael Francis, full of regrets for the decisions he has made, is worried sick that his marriage is over; uptight Monica, trapped in a second marriage with two stepchildren who hate her, is not speaking to the younger sister she practically raised; and Aoife, who has taken herself off to Manhattan but cannot outrun the dyslexia that has made her working life a virtual hell. As the siblings seek out clues to the whereabouts of their father, O'Farrell, in her sixth novel, draws a beautiful portrait of family life. The story really blossoms in the second half, when the Riordans end their search in Ireland, where the family's secrets and private feuds come raging forth so that the true healing can begin" - Booklist
by Sam Byers
"This bitterly humorous debut is a novel of love, narcissism, and ailing cattle. Katherine has given up trying to be happy. Her cynical wit repels the people she wants to attract, and attracts the people she knows she should repel. Her ex Daniel, meanwhile, isn't sure that he loves his new girlfriend. But somehow not telling her he loves her has become synonymous with telling her that he doesn't love her, meaning that he has to tell her he loves her just to maintain the status quo. When their former friend Nathan returns from a stint in a psychiatric ward to find that his mother has transformed herself into bestselling author and Twitter sensation 'Mother Courage' - Katherine, Daniel and Nathan decide to meet to heal old wounds. But will a reunion end well? Almost certainly not. Both scathing invective on a self-obsessed generation and moving account of love and loneliness, 'Idiopathy' skewers everything from militant environmentalists to self-help quackery and announces the arrival of a savagely funny talent." - publisher
Rose Under Fire (M)
by Elizabeth Wein
~Young Adult~ "Rose Justice is a young American pilot with Britain's Air Transport Auxiliary during the Second World War. On her way back from a routine flight in the waning days of the war, Rose is captured by the Germans and sent to Ravensbrück, the notorious women's concentration camp. There, she meets an unforgettable group of women. As these damaged women bond together to help each other survive, Rose works to make sense of all she's seen, transforming herself into a survivor driven by her promise to tell her fellow prisoners' stories to the world." - publisher
Hanns and Rudolf: the true story of the German Jew who tracked down and caught the Kommandant of Auschwitz (M)
by Thomas Harding
"May 1945. In the aftermath of the Second Word War, the first British War Crimes Investigation Team is assembled to hunt down the senior Nazi officials responsible for the greatest atrocities the world has ever seen. One of the lead investigators is Lieutenant Hanns Alexander, a German Jew who is now serving in the British Army. Rudolf Höss is his most elusive target. As Kommandant of Auschwitz, Höss not only oversaw the murder of more than one million men, women, and children; he was the man who perfected Hitler's program of mass extermination. Höss is on the run across a continent in ruins