The Orwell Prize 2017

The Orwell Prize is awarded annually in the UK by The Orwell Foundation and aims ‘to encourage good writing and thinking about politics’.

The shortlist for the 2017 prize has just been announced. The diverse subjects covered by these books reflects the broad definition of politics the prize has adopted. The list below includes the brief descriptions from The Orwell Prize website but adds links to book reviews for each title.

Citizen Clem by John Bew
Biography of the post-war Labour Prime Minister by an author praised as ‘the outstanding historian of his generation’.

The Seven by Ruth Dudley Edwards
A critical re-examination of the Easter Rising and the ‘fundamental questions and myths surrounding Ireland’s founding fathers’.

All Out War by Tim Shipman
Contemporary history of the EU referendum campaign from political reporter Tim Shipman, ‘based on unrivalled access to all the key politicians and their advisors’.

Island Story by J. D. Taylor
With a rusty bike and a tent, new name J. D. Taylor cycles round Britain in search of the answer to the question – ‘what is life like on this island?’

And the Sun Shines Now by Adrian Tempany
A book about ‘what arrived in the wake of unquestionably the most controversial tragedy in the post-war era of Britain’s history’.

Another Day in the Death of America by Gary Younge
The Guardian writer Gary Younge focuses on Saturday November 23rd 2013, when ten children and teens were killed by gunfire in the United States.

Indie Book Awards

The longlist for the Indie Book Awards 2017 was announced yesterday.

From the website:

The Indie Awards differ from other literary awards because they are chosen by independent booksellers who are renowned for their love of books and reading, support new and emerging Australia authors and foster a love of quality writing.


The Shortlist will be announced on 16 January 2017, with the Category Winners and the Overall Book of the Year Winner being announced at the Leading Edge Books 2017 Conference on Monday, 20th March 2017 at the Marriott, Surfers Paradise.

The list of previous winners is pretty impressive and includes Anna Funder’s All that I am and M. L. Stedman’s The light Between Oceans.

Costa Book Awards Shortlist

The Costa Book Awards have been running since 1971 for books written by authors based in the UK and Ireland. The prize has five categories – First Novel, Novel, Biography, Poetry and Children’s Book – with one of the five winning books selected as the overall Costa Book of the Year.

The shortlist has just been announced. Category winners will be announced in early January with the Costa Book of the Year announced on 31 January 2017.

The Underground Railroad

Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad has won the fiction prize in the National Book Awards announced yesterday in Manhattan. The book has been a bestseller since being announced as Oprah’s book of the month earlier this year. The National Book Awards have been presented by the National Book Foundation since 1950 and you can see all the category winners on the Foundation’s website.