Podcast: Sorting the Bookshelves and the British Book Awards

As the UK has a Bank Holiday weekend for May Day, Kate and Rob have been using the time to sort out their bookshelves, and they’re also looking forward to hearing the winners at the British Book Awards (or ‘Nibbles’) on Monday 8 May.

We’re starting with the long-overdo organisation of our bookshelves this week on the podcast. Kate especially has been putting this off for ages! But, we’ve finally got the time and done a full Marie Kondo on our book collections. We’d love to know how you get on with doing this, or if you can’t bear to part with your books.

We’re also looking forward to the British Book Awards, which are announced on Monday 8 May, especially given the shortlist for the Debut Fiction Book of the Year  award.

The full Book of the Year shortlists are:


  • Days Without End by Sebastian Barry (Faber & Faber)
  • The Sellout by Paul Beatty (Oneworld)
  • The Muse by Jessie Burton (Picador)
  • Cartes Postales from Greece by Victoria Hislop (Headline Review)
  • This Must Be the Place by Maggie O’Farrell (Headline)
  • The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry (Serpent’s Tail)


  • The Trouble with Goats and Sheep by Joanna Cannon (Borough Press)
  • The Girls by Emma Cline (Chatto & Windus)
  • My Name is Leon by Kit de Waal (Penguin General)
  • What Belongs to You by Garth Greenwell (Picador)
  • Five Rivers Met on a Wooded Plain by Barney Norris (Doubleday)
  • Golden Hill by Francis Spufford (Faber)

 Crime and Thriller BOOK OF THE YEAR

  • The Widow by Fiona Barton (Bantam Press)
  • Dodgers by Bill Beverley (No Exit Press)
  • Night School by Lee Child (Bantam Press)
  • Lie With Me by Sabine Durrant (Mulholland Books)
  • Conclave by Robert Harris (Hutchinson)
  • I See You by Claire Mackintosh (Little, Brown)

Non-fiction: Narrative BOOK OF THE YEAR

  • Mad Girl by Bryony Gordon (Headline)
  • When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi (The Bodley Head)
  • The Outrun by Amy Liptrot (Canongate)
  • East West Street by Philippe Sands (W&N)
  • The Good Immigrant, ed by Nikesh Shukla (Unbound)
  • Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen (S&S)

Non-fiction: Lifestyle BOOK OF THE YEAR

  • Hello, is this Planet Earth? By Tim Peake (Century)
  • Sidemen The Book by The Sidemen (Coronet)
  • The Unmumsy Mum by Sarah Turner (Bantam Press)
  • Five on Brexit Island by Bruno Vincent (Quercus)
  • Lean in 15: The Sustain Plan by Joe Wicks (Bluebird)
  • The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking (Penguin Life)


  • The Christmasaurus by Tom Fletcher, Shane Devries (illus) (Puffin)
  • Oi Dog! Kes and Claire Gray and Jim Field (Hodder)
  • Nadiya’s Bake Me a Story by Nadiya Hussain, Clair Rossiter (illus) (Hodder)
  • The Girl of Ink and Stars by Kiran Millwood Hargreave (Chicken House)
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J K Rowling, John Tiffany and Jack Thorne (Little, Brown and Pottermore)
  • The World’s Worst Children by David Walliams and Tony Ross (Harper Collins Children’s Books)

You can find out more here: http://www.thebookseller.com/events/british-book-awards



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Episode 183. An Adventures With Words production. Hosted by Rob Chilver and Kate Neilan.

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