Winners of the Specsavers National Book Awards, a celebration of Britain’s best books, were revealed at a dazzling awards ceremony at London’s Mandarin Oriental.
Comic actors David Jason and David Walliams proved it really is all in the way they tell them, winning the awards for Biography of the Year and National Book Tokens Children’s Book of the Year respectively. It is the second year in a row that David Walliams has won the children’s book category.
Malala Yousafzai and Christina Lamb did it for the girls, taking the prize for the Magic FM Non-fiction Book of the Year, squeezing ahead of a mighty shortlist which included Bill Bryson, Malcolm Gladwell and Max Hastings.
Robert Harris’s An Officer and A Spy took the Specsavers Popular Fiction Book of the Year award, beating Bridget Jones and Bond. Chart-topping novelists Dawn French, Philippa Gregory and Adele Parks were also toppled by Harris’s gripping retelling of the Dreyfus Affair.
Elsewhere, the award for Waterstone’s UK Author of the Year went to Kate Atkinson, Sophie Hannah’s The Carrier was named Crime Book of the Year, and newcomer Liza Klaussman nabbed the Books Are My Bag New Writer of the Year Award for Tigers in Red Weather.
Nigel Slater also tasted glory, bagging Food and Drink Book of the Year for Eat. Gillian Flynn, whose Gone Girl was the star of the summer book charts, pipped a host of bestselling authors including Man Booker winner Eleanor Catton to the award for International Author of the Year. And for those who love to listen to a good yarn, Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane took the prize for Audible Audiobook of the Year.
Queen of Daytime TV Lorraine Kelly hosted, the ceremony, and Specsavers founder Dame Mary Perkins presented the trophies. Highlights from the ceremony will be shown on Lorraine’s ITV1 show on Thursday 12 December. Media partner Magic FM will also broadcast interviews with winners and shortlisted authors.
Dame Mary Perkins, Specsavers congratulated all the winners and short-listed authors: 'All of your books, both fiction and non-fiction truly are amazing and awe inspiring in so many different ways. On behalf of Specsavers I’d like to wish you all the best of luck in the public vote for the National Book of the Year accolade.’
Amanda Ross, from Cactus TV who produce the Awards commented: ‘Thanks to Specsavers we are able to honour, celebrate and promote the most popular books of the year. These are the books people are buying and reading. The Shortlists include the best Christmas gift ideas for the whole family.’
Specsavers National Book Awards 2013 winners
Autobiography/Biography of the Year: David Jason: My Life by David Jason (Century)
Specsavers Popular Fiction Book of the Year: An Officer and a Spy by Robert Harris (Cornerstone)
Crime Book of the Year: The Carrier by Sophie Hannah (Hodder)
Food & Drink Book of the Year: Eat by Nigel Slater (HarperCollins)
International Author of the Year: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (Orion)
Magic FM Non-fiction Book of the Year: I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai & Christina Lamb (Orion)
Waterstones UK Author of the Year: Life After Life by Kate Atkinson (Transworld)
National Book Tokens Children's Book of the Year: Demon Dentist by David Walliams (HarperCollins)
Audible.co.uk Audiobook of the Year: The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman (Headline)
Books Are My Bag New Writer of the Year: Tigers in Red Weather by Liza Klaussmann (Picador)