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The Costa Book Awards

The Costa Book Awards (previously the Whitbread Literary Awards) are awarded annually to outstanding individual books written by authors from the UK and Ireland. The prizes are allocated not only on literary merit, but also on the 'enjoyment' factor. There are five categories: First Novel, Novel, Biography, Poetry and Children’s Book, with one title chosen as Book of the Year from among the winners in all categories.

Titles in the 2014 shortlist include Nora Webster, the best-selling novel from Colm Tóibín, and Emma Healey's riveting debut Elizabeth Is Missing.

2016 Winners

  • Days Without End
    by Sebastian Barry
    Narrated by Aidan Kelly
    4.30 (31 ratings)
    Having signed up for the US Army in the 1850s, aged barely 17, Thomas McNulty and his brother-in-arms, John Cole, go on to fight in the Indian wars and ultimately the Civil War. Orphans of terrible hardships themselves, despite the horrors they both see and are complicit in, they find these days to be vivid. Both an intensely poignant story of two men and the lives they are dealt and a fresh look at some of the most fateful years in America's past.
  • The Bombs That Brought Us Together
    by Brian Conaghan
    Narrated by Thomas Judd
    0.00 (0 ratings)
    Fourteen-year-old Charlie Law has lived in Little Town, on the border with Old Country, all his life. He knows the rules: no going out after dark; no drinking; no litter; no fighting. You don't want to get on the wrong side of the people who run Little Town. When he meets Pavel Duda, a refugee from Old Country, the rules start to get broken. Then the bombs come, and the soldiers from Old Country, and Little Town changes forever.
  • Dadland: A Journey into Uncharted Territory
    by Keggie Carew
    Narrated by Pippa Haywood, Robert Bathurst, Tom Golding, Dermot Crowley
    5.00 (2 ratings)
    Keggie Carew grew up in the gravitational field of an unorthodox father who lived on his wits and dazzling charm. As his memory begins to fail, she embarks on a quest to unravel his story and soon finds herself in a far more consuming place than she had bargained for. Tom Carew was a maverick, a left-handed stutterer, a law unto himself. As a member of an elite SOE unit, he was parachuted behind enemy lines to raise guerrilla resistance in France, then Burma, in the Second World War.

Previous Winners

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  • Bring Up the Bodies Audiobook by Hilary Mantel Narrated by Simon Vance

    Bring Up the Bodies

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Hilary Mantel
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (74)
    Performance
    (68)
    Story
    (69)

    By 1535 Thomas Cromwell, the blacksmith's son, is far from his humble origins. Chief Minister to Henry VIII, his fortunes have risen with those of Anne Boleyn, Henry’s second wife, for whose sake Henry has broken with Rome and created his own church. In Bring Up the Bodies, Hilary Mantel explores one of the most mystifying and frightening episodes in English history: the destruction of Anne Boleyn.

    jpatrickp says: "A masterwork of English literature"
    2012 winner
  • Pure Audiobook by Andrew Miller Narrated by Jonathan Aris

    Pure

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Andrew Miller
    • Narrated By Jonathan Aris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Deep in the heart of Paris, its oldest cemetery is, by 1785, overflowing, tainting the very breath of those who live nearby. Into their midst comes Jean-Baptiste Baratte, a young, provincial engineer charged by the king with demolishing it. At first Baratte sees this as a chance to clear the burden of history, a fitting task for a modern man of reason. But before long, he begins to suspect that the destruction of the cemetery might be a prelude to his own.

    2011 winner
  • Spoken Ink Poetry: Of Mutability Audiobook by Jo Shapcott Narrated by Jo Shapcott

    Spoken Ink Poetry: Of Mutability

    • UNABRIDGED (49 mins)
    • By Jo Shapcott
    • Narrated By Jo Shapcott
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    In 2010, Jo Shapcott published "Of Mutability", her first collection for 12 years. The 45 poems explore the nature of change, in the body, within the natural world and inside relationships. "Of Mutability" was awarded the Costa Book of the Year for 2010, beating contenders in Fiction, Non-Fiction and other categories. The print edition of "Of Mutability" is published by Faber & Faber.

    2010 winner
  • The Secret Scripture Audiobook by Sebastian Barry Narrated by Stephen Hogan

    The Secret Scripture

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Sebastian Barry
    • Narrated By Stephen Hogan
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    Nearing her 100th birthday, Roseanne McNulty faces an uncertain future, as the Roscommon Regional Mental Hospital where's she spent most of her adult life prepares for closure. Over the weeks leading up to this upheaval, she talks with her psychiatrist, Dr. Greene, and their relationship intensifies and complicates. Told through their respective journals, the story that emerges is at once shocking and deeply beautiful.

    2008 winner
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Unabridged) Audiobook by Mark Haddon Narrated by Ben Tibber

    The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Unabridged)

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Mark Haddon
    • Narrated By Ben Tibber
    Overall
    (140)
    Performance
    (132)
    Story
    (132)

    The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is a murder mystery novel like no other. The detective, and narrator, is Christopher Boone. Christopher is fifteen and has Asperger's, a form of autism. He knows a very great deal about maths and very little about human beings. He loves lists, patterns, and the truth.

    ros says: "insightful"
    2003 winner
  • The Amber Spyglass: His Dark Materials Trilogy, Book 3 Radio/TV Program by Philip Pullman Narrated by Philip Pullman,  cast

    The Amber Spyglass: His Dark Materials Trilogy, Book 3

    • ORIGINAL (14 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Philip Pullman
    • Narrated By Philip Pullman, cast
    Overall
    (89)
    Performance
    (84)
    Story
    (84)

    Here is a BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisation of the third book in Philip Pullman's trilogy His Dark Materials. Bringing the saga to a thrilling close, it reintroduces familiar characters such as Lyra, Will, Mrs Coulter, and Dr Mary Malone.

    Minde says: "Beautiful and sad."
    2001 winner
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