WHSmith names Matt Haig as Author of the Year

What a year for Matt Haig who was last night named as  WHSmith's Author of the Year 2021!

His latest release The Comfort Book which here at LoveReading we called "a beautifully packaged, beautifully comforting hug in a book and an antidote to today’s busy lifestyles, medicine for our crazy lives."

The book is filled with a collection of consolations learned in hard times and suggestions for making the bad days better. Drawing on maxims, memoir and the inspirational lives of others, these meditations celebrate the ever-changing wonder of living.

The paperback of the award-winning The Midnight Library was also released in February 2021 which we called "a beautiful and inspiring story that is full of hope."

Plus, with A Boy Called Christmas being adapted into a new blockbuster film - it has been a truly incredible year for the author.

Marcus Rashford's You Are a Champion was named WHSmith's Book of the Year for 2021: "a positive and inspiring guide for life, packed full of stories from Marcus’s own life and calling for the readers to be their OWN champion."

WHSmith said: "It has been another exceptional year, when many of us have turned to books for inspiration and comfort, and it was impossible not to recognise both Marcus Rashford and Carl Anka [co-author of the title] for the impact they have had on many young people this year".

The retailer partnered with Rashford, Macmillan Children's Books and the National Literacy Trust earlier in 2021 to champion literacy, and has gifted more than 37,000 copies of the book. 

Rashford said of his book, which included tips from performance psychologist Katie Warriner: “You Are a Champion was created with the intention of equipping children with tools and resources to navigate any adversity or challenge they were facing. We didn’t do it for the accolades, but it’s been amazing to see so many young children from different backgrounds engage with the book and take away different things from it. That was massive for me. I wanted any child to read the book and feel like it was written for them. Acknowledging whatever they were experiencing at that very time. It’s really important to mention that without my team there is no book, this was a collective effort, so a big thank you to Carl, Katie and Macmillan Children’s Books.”

WHSmith said it was also "delighted" to recognise Haig as its first Author of the Year. Nick Johnson, junior buyer for fiction books, said: “From the inclusion of The Midnight Library in the Richard & Judy Book Club this spring to the release of The Comfort Book this summer, Matt’s inspirational books have been a pleasure to support this year, providing a much-needed respite for all our customers. We’re also hugely excited to see A Boy Called Christmas when it comes to cinema screens. It’s definitely been Matt’s year.”

Haig said: “I’m very grateful and honoured to be WHSmith’s Author of the Year 2021. It’s been a whirlwind of a year, but it’s been heartwarming to see bookshops fill up with readers again. Thanks to everyone at WHSmith and to everyone who has supported me over the years.”

This winter, Haig's publisher Canongate will also be launching new winter editions of the author's The Midnight Library and The Comfort Book. 

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