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.
Since their launch in 1971, the awards have rewarded a wide range of excellent books and authors across all genres.
Uniquely, the prize has five categories – First Novel, Novel, Biography, Poetry and Children’s Book – with one of the five winning books selected as the overall Costa Book of the Year. It is the only prize which places children’s books alongside adult books in this way.
Explore, reserve and read this year’s short list below
Days without end, Sebastian Barry
This must be the place, Maggie O’Farrell
The Essex serpent, Sarah Perry
The Gustav sonata, Rose Tremain
First Novel Award
The good guy, Susan Beale
My name is Leon, Kit de Waal
The words in my hand, Guinevere Glasfurd
Golden Hill, Francis Spufford
Dadland: a journey into unchartered territory, Keggie Carew
Elizabeth: the forgotten years, John Guy
The return: fathers, sons and the land in between, Hisham Matar
I’m not in the band: a writer’s life lost in music, Sylvia Patterson
Children’s Book Award
The bombs that brought us together, Brian Conaghan
Orangeboy, Patrice Lawrence
The monstrous child, Francesca Simon
Time travelling with a hamster, Ross Welford