Six British Book Awards for Penguin Random House
This evening's British Book Awards saw six wins for Penguin Random House UK titles, authors and colleagues, with Penguin General imprint Viking winning Imprint of the Year.
The awards, nicknamed 'The Nibbies' and organised by The Bookseller, honour and celebrate the commercial successes of publishers, authors and bookshops. The ceremony, hosted by Lauren Laverne, saw two wins for Philip Pullman, capping a fantastic year for the His Dark Materials author, who was named Author of the Year, as well as winning Audiobook of the Year for La Belle Sauvage (Penguin Random House Audio).
On winning the Author of the Year Award, Philip said that he "couldn't be more happy with the way" La Belle Sauvage had been received. "I seemed to have been writing it for 18 years, and I let the publishers have it when I thought it was OK - but you can never tell what readers and critics will feel", he said.
Hamish Hamilton Editor Simon Prosser followed up on an unprecedented four Man Booker Prize longlistings (for Ali Smith's Autumn, Mohsin Hamid's Exit West, Arundhati Roy's The Ministry of Utmost Happiness and Zadie Smith's Swing Time) by winning the Editor of the Year award. Fellow Penguin General imprint Viking's success comes in the wake of an excellent 2017, with key titles including John le Carré's The Legacy of Spies and prize-winners The Power by Naomi Alderman (Women's Prize for Fiction) and Hisham Matar's The Return (winner of The Pulitizer Prize in Biography and The Rathbones Folio Prize). The imprint, which had a 21% growth in sales in 2017, will also publish Michelle Obama's highly anticipated memoir Becoming on November 13.
There was a third win for Penguin General with Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris' The Lost Words being named joint Children's Book of the Year with Angie Thomas' The Hate U Give (Walker Books); whilst Jamie Oliver's bestselling 5 Ingredients (Michael Joseph) was victorious in the Non-Fiction Lifestyle category.
Speaking after the awards ceremony, Penguin Random House UK CEO Tom Weldon said, "I am always incredibly proud of our company and the work we do, but it’s great to see these successes also recognised by the industry. Indeed – we had a fantastic 25 nominations for this year’s awards, including in every single book category. All were united by brilliant and bold publishing, and supported by highly creative marketing, publicity and sales campaigns."
Here's a bit more about each of our winning titles:
Audiobook of the Year
The Book of Dust: La Belle Sauvage - Philip Pullman, read by Michael Sheen
Eleven-year-old Malcolm Polstead and his dæmon, Asta, live with his parents at the Trout Inn near Oxford. Across the River Thames (which Malcolm navigates often using his beloved canoe, a boat by the name of La Belle Sauvage) is the Godstow Priory where the nuns live. Malcolm learns they have a guest with them; a baby by the name of Lyra Belacqua...
Michael Sheen has received huge acclaim for his narration of the audiobook, being called "better than an army of actors" by Slate.com and being shortlisted for Audiobook Narrator of the Year at this year's Audio Production Awards. Speaking about narrating the book, Michael said: “As a reader and a fan, I was hugely excited on hearing that Phillip was returning to the story of Lyra and Dust and challenging the Authority. And, as an actor, it was a true privilege to be asked to record La Belle Sauvage, the first book of this new work.”
Children's Book of the Year
The Lost Words - Robert Macfarlane, Jackie Morris
All over the country, there are words disappearing from children's lives. These are the words of the natural world - Dandelion, Otter, Bramble and Acorn, all gone. The rich landscape of wild imagination and wild play is rapidly fading from our children's minds.
The Lost Words stands against the disappearance of wild childhood. It is a joyful celebration of nature words and the natural world they invoke. With acrostic spell-poems by award-winning writer Robert Macfarlane and hand-painted illustration by Jackie Morris, this enchanting book captures the irreplaceable magic of language and nature for all ages.
Non-Fiction Lifestyle Book of the Year
5 Ingredients: Quick & Easy Food - Jamie Oliver
Using five ingredients, cleverly combined, Jamie will help you to conjure up the most exiting nutrituous food, ready to tuck in to in less than 30 minutes. A tasty warm lentil salad, tender stem broccoli and earthy cooked lentils, drizzled in a generous helping of anchovy lemon dressing, and hot sliced chilli. Super green spaghetti in vibrant cavolo nero cabbage and garlic sauce, topped with creamy ricotta cheese. A super-easy Harissa chicken traybake, with baked sweet peppers, red onion and fresh mint. For a tasty treat, sticky sweet mango prawns cooked in fragrant curry powder, crispy sliced garlic and punchy lime zest. All of these recipes are quick, easy and healthy.
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