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Costa Book Awards Shortlists 2016

2016 – an annus horribilis? Not in the publishing world. The shortlists for the Costa book awards were announced at the end of November, and celebrate some of the wonderful new books published this year. Many of them are Dulwich Books favourites. The Essex Serpent, by Sarah Perry, was our book of the month for June. Francis Spufford, author of Golden Hill, appeared at the shop alongside other Faber authors in September. And Hisham Matar’s The Return has been one of our bestsellers this year – a beautiful true story about exile and family.

Still looking for Christmas reading? You couldn’t go far wrong with any of these.



Sebastian Barry for Days Without End (Faber & Faber)

Maggie O’Farrell for This Must Be the Place (Tinder Press)

Sarah Perry for The Essex Serpent (Serpent’s Tail)

Rose Tremain for The Gustav Sonata (Chatto & Windus)


First novel

Susan Beale for The Good Guy (John Murray)

Kit de Waal for My Name Is Leon (Viking)

Guinevere Glasfurd for The Words in My Hand (Two Roads)

Francis Spufford for Golden Hill (Faber & Faber)



Keggie Carew for Dadland: A Journey Into Uncharted Territory (Chatto & Windus)

John Guy for Elizabeth: The Forgotten Years (Viking)

Hisham Matar for The Return: Fathers, Sons and the Land in Between (Viking)

Sylvia Patterson for I’m Not With the Band: A Writer’s Life Lost in Music (Sphere)



Melissa Lee-Houghton for Sunshine (Penned in the Margins)

Alice Oswald for Falling Awake (Jonathan Cape Poetry)

Denise Riley for Say Something Back (Picador)

Kate Tempest for Let Them Eat Chaos (Picador)


Children’s books

Brian Conaghan for The Bombs That Brought Us Together (Bloomsbury)

Patrice Lawrence for Orangeboy (Hodder Children’s Books)

Francesca Simon for The Monstrous Child (Faber & Faber/Profile Books)

Ross Welford for Time Travelling With a Hamster (HarperCollins Children’s Books)