The Good Immigrant has been named the first ever winner at the Books Are My Bag Readers’ Awards. This book, a collection of essays by BAME writers about migration and race in the UK, was a crowdfunded effort begun with publisher Unbound, and supported with donations by authors such as J K Rowling and Evie Wyld. The Good Immigrant was chosen as readers’ favourite book of the year, while Grief is the Thing with Feathers won the award for best fiction title and Matt Haig won the non-fiction prize for his Reasons to Stay Alive, a revealing and personal study of depression.
In other book news:
The Costa Book Awards now have a shortlist, and those in the running for the £30,000 prize include Rose Tremain, Kate Tempest and Maggie O’Farrell. Out of the twenty-strong shortlist across the five categories, fourteen of the writers are women and three of the contenders have previously won Costa prizes (O’Farrell, Tremain and Sebastian Barry). Sarah Perry is included for the best-selling The Essex Serpent. More information is available at the Costa website.
A new short story by father of modern science fiction, H. G. Wells, has been published for the first time. ‘The Haunted Ceiling’ is thought to have been written in the late nineteenth century, but until now it has been hidden away in the archives at the University of Illinois.
Anne Rice is planning on adapting her wildly popular Vampire Chronicles book series for television, focusing probably on the second book (The Vampire Lestat) as source material for the first set of episodes.
With the end of the year approaching, many news outlets have begun creating their year-end ‘best of’ lists to cover the favourite releases of 2016. The Guardian has published its selection of top book releases, as chosen by a great number of writers, in two parts: here and here.