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Discover authors who are winners of, or have been in contention for, some of the most prestigious awards. By their very presence on this page, you can be sure that each of the books featured here is the 'crème-de-la-crème' of today's literature.
Annie McDee, alone after the disintegration of her long-term relationship and trapped in a dead-end job, is searching for a present for her unsuitable lover in a neglected second-hand shop. Within the jumble of junk and tack, a grimy painting catches her eye. Leaving the store with the picture after spending her meagre savings, she prepares an elaborate dinner for two, only to be stood up, the gift gathering dust on her mantelpiece. But every painting has a story - and if it could speak, what would it tell us? For Annie has stumbled across 'The Improbability of Love', a lost masterpiece by Antoine Watteau, one of the most influential French painters of the eighteenth century. Soon Annie is drawn unwillingly into the art world, and finds herself pursued by a host of interested parties that would do anything to possess her picture. For an exiled Russian oligarch, an avaricious Sheika, a desperate auctioneer, an unscrupulous dealer and several others, the painting symbolises their greatest hopes and fears. In her search for the painting's true identity, Annie will uncover the darkest secrets of European history - and in doing so, she will learn more about herself, opening up to the possibility of falling in love again.
Fiendishly addictive . (Guardian). Your best friend isn't who you think she is. You've been friends since university, when you became the people you are today. You don't see each other enough but when you do it's as if you've never been apart. She's one of the family. You would trust her with your life, your children, your husband. And when your daughter is rushed to hospital, you're grateful that she's stepping in at home, looking after things. But your best friend isn't who you think she is. You're about to find out just how wrong you were.
Shortlisted for the Autobiography of the Year at the British Sports Book Awards 2015. Find out what motivates Guy Martin to confront the dangers of road racing, you’ll experience the heart-stopping moments when things go wrong and can contrast this adrenaline rush to the joys of winning. If you want to feel the speed and danger first hand – there’ll be nothing more high-powered this year! ~ Sue Baker Like for Like Reading That Near Death Thing: Inside the Most Dangerous Race in the World, Rick Broadbent Speed: How to Make Things Go Really Fast, Guy Martin
As a Brit, a woman and a liberal, Emma Sky's presence and position in Iraq following the invasion in 2003 is the stuff of fiction. Shortly after the coalition troops went in, Sky, an Arabist, volunteered to go to assist the Coalition Provisional Authority in the occupation. Alone, she made her way to Baghdad, was told they had enough people, so travelled north, to Kirkuk. Within days she became the most senior civilian there, Kirkuk's lady governor. When the house she was staying in came under mortar fire, Sky realised that she must integrate herself within the US Army in order to survive. She moved into the army compound, initially sleeping in a tent with seven soldiers, and soon won the confidence of top US military officials, among them Gen Odierno, now head of the US Army, who became friend, confidant, mentor. Two years later Sky was back in the UK when she received an email out the blue from Gen Odierno. It was time for the prosecution of the Surge: would she help? Sky became Odierno's key political advisor, and found herself at the very heart of US operations during the perilous and volatile days of the Surge. At the end of 2007 she left once more but almost immediately was recalled for a final tour, when again Odierno sought her help. This time she worked alongside him until 2010, leaving only when US combat operations were ended.
'LUMINOUS' Guardian 'STUNNING' New York Times 'EXCEPTIONAL' Uzo Aduba (Orange Is The New Black) Ephram Jennings has never forgotten the beautiful girl with the long braids running through the piney woods of Liberty, their small East Texas town. Young Ruby Bell, the kind of pretty it hurt to look at, has suffered beyond imagining, so as soon as she can, she flees suffocating Liberty for the bright pull of 1950s New York. Ruby quickly winds her way into the ripe center of the city-the darkened piano bars and hidden alleyways of the Village-all the while hoping for a glimpse of the red hair and green eyes of her mother. When a telegram from her cousin forces her to return home, thirty-year-old Ruby finds herself reliving the devastating violence of her girlhood. With the terrifying realization that she might not be strong enough to fight her way back out again, Ruby struggles to survive her memories of the town's dark past. Meanwhile, Ephram must choose between loyalty to the sister who raised him and the chance for a life with the woman he has loved since he was a boy. Full of life, exquisitely written, and suffused with the pastoral beauty of the rural South, Ruby is a transcendent novel of passion and courage. This wondrous page-turner rushes through the red dust and gossip of Main Street, to the pit fire where men swill bootleg outside Bloom's Juke, to Celia Jennings's kitchen, where a cake is being made, yolk by yolk, that Ephram will use to try to begin again with Ruby.
Shortlisted For The Forward Prize For Best First Collection 2015. There is a Chinese proverb that says: 'It is more profitable to raise geese than daughters.' But geese, like daughters, know the obligation to return home. In her exquisite first collection, Sarah Howe explores a dual heritage, journeying back to Hong Kong in search of her roots. With extraordinary range and power, the poems build into a meditation on hybridity, intermarriage and love - what meaning we find in the world, in art, and in each other.
Yasmin would give anything to have a friend...And do anything to keep one. The first time I saw you, you were standing at the far end of the playing field. You were looking down at your brown straggly dog, but then you looked up, your mouth going slack as your eyes clocked her. Alice Taylor. I was no different. I used to catch myself gazing at the back of her head in class, at her silky fair hair swaying between her shoulder blades. If you'd glanced just once across the field you'd have seen me standing in the middle on my own, looking straight at you, and you'd have gone back through the trees to the path quick, tugging your dog after you. You'd have known you'd given yourself away, even if only to me. But you didn't. You only had eyes for Alice.
Billy Fiske was an infamous daredevil, blessed with a natural talent for driving. He would later become the first American airman to die in the war - flying for the RAF. Clifford Gray was a notorious playboy and a player on both Broadway and Hollywood. Or was he? His identity was a mystery for decades. Jay O'Brien was a gambler and a rogue who, according to one ex-wife, forced women to marry him at gunpoint. And Eddie Eagan, a heavyweight boxer and brilliant lawyer, remains the only man to win gold at both the Summer and Winter Olympics.
The children of Rosaleen Madigan leave the west of Ireland for lives they never could have imagined in Dublin, New York and various third-world towns. In her early old age their difficult, wonderful mother announces that she's decided to sell the house and divide the proceeds. Her adult children come back for a last Christmas, with the feeling that their childhoods are being erased, their personal history bought and sold. Anne Enright is addicted to the truth of things. Sentence by sentence, there are few writers alive who can invest the language with such torque and gleam, such wit and longing - who can write dialogue that speaks itself aloud, who can show us the million splinters of her characters' lives then pull them back up together again, into a perfect glass.
Matthew Shardlake is back in Lamentation, from the number one bestselling author C. J. Sansom. Summer, 1546. King Henry VIII is slowly, painfully dying. His Protestant and Catholic councillors are engaged in a final and decisive power struggle; whoever wins will control the government of Henry's successor, eight-year-old Prince Edward. As heretics are hunted across London, and the radical Protestant Anne Askew is burned at the stake, the Catholic party focus their attack on Henry's sixth wife, Matthew Shardlake's old mentor, Queen Catherine Parr. Shardlake, still haunted by events aboard the warship Mary Rose the year before, is working on the Cotterstoke Will case, a savage dispute between rival siblings. Then, unexpectedly, he is summoned to Whitehall Palace and asked for help by his old patron, the now beleaguered and desperate Queen. For Catherine Parr has a secret. She has written a confessional book, Lamentation of a Sinner, so radically Protestant that if it came to the King's attention it could bring both her and her sympathizers crashing down. But, although the book was kept secret and hidden inside a locked chest in the Queen's private chamber, it has - inexplicably - vanished. Only one page has been found, clutched in the hand of a murdered London printer. Shardlake's investigations take him on a trail that begins among the backstreet printshops of London but leads him and Jack Barak into the dark and labyrinthine world of the politics of the royal court; a world he had sworn never to enter again. Loyalty to the Queen will drive him into a swirl of intrigue inside Whitehall Palace, where Catholic enemies and Protestant friends can be equally dangerous, and the political opportunists, who will follow the wind wherever it blows, more dangerous than either. The theft of Queen Catherine's book proves to be connected to the terrible death of Anne Askew, while his involvement with the Cotterstoke litigants threatens to bring Shardlake himself to the stake.
In A God in Ruins, Atkinson turns her focus on Ursula's beloved younger brother Teddy - would-be poet, RAF bomber pilot, husband and father - as he navigates the perils and progress of the 20th century. For all Teddy endures in battle, his greatest challenge will be to face living in a future he never expected to have.
After the phenomenal success of One Day it must have been tough for the author to write this. Little will live up to that masterpiece but give the man some slack and sit back and enjoy this. It is not as irresistible as One Day but it’s still a lovely read. Darker than his previous novel it tells of a struggling marriage and an awkward relationship between father and son. To help solve both problems our protagonist, Douglas, takes them on a ‘grand tour’ of Europe. Reading a bit like a pacy travelogue with much human reflection on life, it’s a sad tale spotted with humour and clever descriptions of the period in which we live. I like his writing very much. ~ Sarah Broadhurst One of our Books of the Year 2014. Winner of the UK Author of the Year at the Specsavers National Book Awards 2014. Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2014.
Keep Tabs on the Winners
From the huge and prestigious literary awards like the Nobel Prize for Literature, the Man Booker Prize for Fiction, the Women's Prize for Fiction, the British Book Awards (Nibbies) and the Costa Awards, to those for specific genres like the Women's Prize for New Writers, the Hugo Awards and the Nebula Awards (Fantasy and Science Fiction) and the Crime Writers Association Dagger Awards we’ll cover the whole range.
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For each award, Lovereading will feature the shortlist of books and authors before the individual winner is announced. As with all our Featured Books, you will be able to download and print off free Opening Extracts of each book. In this way, you can choose your own winner and see if the judges agree with you!
And remember, even if the judges don't pick your favourite, all Book Award titles are available to order online at 25% off the RRP.
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A selection of other awards that will feature in this Lovereading category include:
Philip K. Dick Award (FSF) Hawthornden Prize (Imaginative Literature) National Book Awards (USA) Hugo Awards (SF) Bram Stoker Awards (Horror) Dagger Awards (Crime Fiction) The Women's Prize for New Writers