Creative Brand Communications


November 9, 2010

Galaxy National Book Awards Shortlist.

The 2010 Galaxy National Book Awards shortlists are announced with some of the nation’s favourite writers pitted against each other in battles for the ‘Oscars of the publishing industry’.

Tony Blair, Chris Mullin, Stephen Fry and Sir Alan Sugar are among those vying for the top slot in the autobiographies category while Jamie Oliver is up against Nigel Slater and Nigella Lawson for the food and drink book of the year.


Many of the books shortlisted – including titles by Bill Bryson, Jilly Cooper, Peter James, Philippa Gregory and Hilary Mantel – have spent weeks in this year’s best-seller charts.  

The Awards showcase the best of British publishing, celebrating books with wide popular appeal, critical acclaim and commercial success.  The Awards are designed to recognise the very best in popular fiction and non-fiction from British writers published during 2010. There are eight categories including biographies, food and drink, children’s books, UK author of the year, international author of the year and new writer of the year.

Category winners will be revealed at a star-studded awards ceremony, produced by Cactus TV, on November 10th.    The public will subsequently be invited to vote online for the Galaxy Book of the Year and the final result will be announced on December 13th. The awards ceremony will be televised on More4 on November 13th .

Amanda Ross, managing director of Cactus TV, one of the most influential personalities in British publishing, commented:

“It’s great to see such a wide range of quality books on the shortlist. They seem to represent what the public are reading now and in the lead up to Christmas. These nominations have ensured the Galaxy National Book Awards will be rewarding the cream of top British publishing.”


Tony Blair’s A Journey is pitched head to head against Chris Mullin’s Decline and Fall: Diaries 2005-2010 in the biographies category as recent political events take centre stage.  Two other major contemporary figures also dominate the list: Stephen Fry (The Fry Chronicles) and Sir Alan Sugar (What You See is What You Get), while insights into other worlds are provided by the critically acclaimed Wait For Me by the Duchess of Devonshire and Justine Picardie’s biography Coco Chanel, The Legend And The Life.

Insights into two worlds of a very different nature – mathematics and the domestic home – are provided by Alex’s Adventures in Numberland by Alex Bellos and Bill Bryson’s At Home, which feature in the non-fiction shortlist. Other non-fiction titles show the enduring popularity of twentieth century history – and in particular the second world war – with Ben MacIntyre’s Operation Mincemeat competing against D-Day (Antony Beevor) and Andrew Marr’s The Making Of Modern Britain. Must You Go? Antonia Fraser’s memoirs of life with Harold Pinter – part literary memoir, part love story – is the sixth book in this category.

TV chefs make a strong showing with Nigel competing against Nigella and Jamie. All three have titles in the new food and drink category: Nigel Slater’s Tender II  is up against Nigella Lawson’ Kitchen: Recipes from the Heart of the Home and Jamie Oliver’s Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals.  Also in the running are three less familiar names: Niki Segnit for The Flavour Thesaurus, Rose Prince for Kitchenella  and Yotam Ottolenghi for Plenty.

The bitter struggles of The War of the Roses are the backdrop to Philippa Gregory’s The Red Queen, which is competing in the popular fiction category against novels in more modern settings such as Jilly Cooper’s horsy saga Jump! and David Nicholls’ moving love story, One Day.

Crime fiction is well represented on the popular fiction shortlist by Worth Dying For (Lee Child), Dead Like You  (Peter James) while debut writer Simon Lelic’s Rupture is shortlisted in the new writers category.

Other first books competing for this coveted category award include Mr Chartwell, Rebecca Hunt‘s inventive and original take on Winston Churchill’s description of depression as a black dog;  Patrick Barkham’s search for Britain’s 59 species of butterfly in The Butterfly Isles and Katherine Webb’s multi-generational drama The Legacy. Edmund de Waal (The Hare with Amber Eyes) and Natasha Solomons (Mr Rosenblum’s List) complete the new writers shortlist.

The shortlisted authors for the UK author of the year category tackle a diverse range of themes from technology and mourning (Tom McCarthy’s C)  to memory and motherhood (Maggie O’Farrell’s The Hand That First Held Mine). Settings too, range far and wide and take readers from rural France in Rose Tremain’s psychological thriller Trespass to Japan in the eighteenth century in David Mitchell’s love story The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet. Completing the category are Hilary Mantel for her Booker winner Wolf Hall, which explores individual psychology in the context of the politics of Tudor England, and Kate Atkinson, who is shortlisted for her crime novel Started Early, Took My Dog.

While the Galaxy awards are designed primarily to celebrate British writers, one category has been reserved for those international authors who have made a major impact on the British reading public.  No such list would be complete without Stieg Larsson for his third thriller in the Millennium trilogy, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest.  Larsson’s book is up against Freedom by Jonathan Franzen, another literary big hitter who has recently been dominating the news as well as the review pages.   From Franzen’s Minnesota, the shortlist moves firstly to mid-twentieth century New York, the setting for Brooklyn, Colm Toibin’s tale of Irish immigrants, and secondly to the Deep South of the 1960s for Kathryn Stockett’s debut novel The Help. The final titles in this category are Emma Donoghue’s deeply disturbing book Room, triggered by the Josef Fritzl case in Austria and lastly the phenomenal international success, The Slap, by Australian author Christos Tsiolkas.

Sainsbury’s Popular Fiction Book of the Year
Dead Like You  Peter James (Macmillan)
The Ice Cream Girls  Dorothy Koomson (Sphere)
Jump!  Jilly Cooper (Bantam Press)
One Day  David Nicholls (Hodder & Stoughton)
The Red Queen 
Philippa Gregory (Simon & Schuster)
Worth Dying For  Lee Child (Bantam Press)

Non-Fiction Book of the Year
Alex’s Adventures in Numberland 
Alex Bellos (Bloomsbury)
At Home  Bill Bryson (Doubleday)
D-Day  Antony Beevor (Viking)
The Making Of Modern Britain  Andrew Marr (Pan)
Must You Go?  Antonia Fraser (Weidenfeld & Nicolson)
Operation Mincemeat  Ben MacIntyre (Bloomsbury)

National Book Tokens New Writer of the Year
Patrick Barkham The Butterfly Isles  (Granta Books)
Edmund de Waal The Hare with Amber Eyes  (Chatto & Windus)
Katherine Webb The Legacy  (Orion)
Rebecca Hunt Mr Chartwell  (Fig Tree)
Natasha Solomons Mr Rosenblum’s List  (Sceptre)
Simon Lelic Rupture (Picador)

WH Smith Children’s Book of the Year
The Great Hamster Massacre 
Katie Davies, illus Hannah Shaw (Simon and Schuster)
Monsters of Men  Patrick Ness (Walker Books)
Mr Stink  David Walliams (HarperCollins Childrens Books)
Shadow  Michael Morpurgo (HarperCollins Childrens Books)
TimeRiders Alex Scarrow (Puffin)
Zog  Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler (Alison Green Books)

Tesco Food & Drink Book of the Year
The Flavour Thesaurus 
Niki Segnit (Bloomsbury)
Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals  Jamie Oliver (Michael Joseph)
Kitchen: Recipes from the Heart of the Home  Nigella Lawson (Chatto & Windus)
Kitchenella  Rose Prince (Fourth Estate)
Plenty  Yotam Ottolenghi (Ebury Press)
Tender II  Nigel Slater (Fourth Estate)

Tesco Biography of the Year
Coco Chanel, The Legend And The Life 
Justine Picardie (Harper NonFiction)
Decline and Fall: Diaries 2005-2010  Chris Mullin (Profile Books)
The Fry Chronicles  Stephen Fry (Michael Joseph)
A Journey  Tony Blair (Hutchinson)
Wait For Me  Duchess of Devonshire (John Murray)
What You See Is What You Get  Alan Sugar (Macmillan)

International Author of the Year
Colm Toibin Brooklyn  (Penguin)
Jonathan Franzen Freedom  (Fourth Estate)
Stieg Larsson The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest  (Quercus/MacLehose Press)
Kathryn Stockett The Help  (Fig Tree)Emma Donoghue Room (Picador)
Christos Tsiolkas The Slap  (Tuskar Rock Press)

Waterstone’s UK Author of the Year
Tom McCarthy C (Jonathan Cape)
Maggie O’Farrell The Hand That First Held Mine  (Headline Review)
Kate Atkinson Started Early, Took My Dog  (Doubleday)
David Mitchell The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet  (Sceptre) Rose Tremain Trespass (Chatto & Windus)
Hilary Mantel Wolf Hall  (Fourth Estate)


The Galaxy National Book Awards are the Oscars of the British publishing industry, celebrating the best of Britain’s fiction and non-fiction books published in the year up to 31st October 2010.  They are the only awards dedicated to British authors, with one special category set aside for International Author of the Year.  The awards have evolved from the Galaxy British Book Awards and dozens of the country’s most popular, accessible writers and authors have been recognised over the years by these annual awards. The awards ceremony on Wednesday 10th November will be televised on More4 on Saturday 13th November,  followed by a 5-part TV series broadcast on Sundays throughout November and December. The Galaxy National Book Awards are run and project managed by Agile Marketing (an independent marketing agency) on behalf of the publishing and bookselling industries. The shortlists and category winners are decided by the votes of the industry Academy of the National Book Awards, a body that represents over 600 individuals from the world of books in the UK. In addition, the Galaxy Book of the Year reflect the tastes of the book-buying public as they are based on consumer votes. 


Cactus TV is a member of the ALL3MEDIA group and run by husband and wife team Simon and Amanda Ross. Productions include Saturday Kitchen for BBC1, The TV Book Club for Channel4, Hairy Bikers Food Tour of Britain for BBC2, Rachel Allen, Galaxy British Book Awards and eight years of the Richard & Judy show live from Cactus studios.


GALAXY® is proud to be the title sponsor of the long-awaited GALAXY® National Book Awards. Through this sponsorship, and a 1 million book giveaway, we are continuing to unite chocolate and reading – the perfect partners to ensure women everywhere melt into a good book with GALAXY® for the perfect me-time moment. Over the last five years GALAXY® has worked with many key players in the book industry, to create book clubs, offer book reviews and give free book synopses to readers. We sponsored the Richard & Judy Book Club for four years, and felt that in sponsoring the National Book Awards we could continue to make a difference to book and chocolate lovers. GALAXY® aims to encourage more chocolate lovers to appreciate the joy of reading, and more book lovers enjoying chocolate to enhance their indulgent me-time moment.

For more information on the GALAXY® Reading campaign, and to see much loved TV presenter Claudia Winkleman sharing her love of books, visit

Press Contact Taylor Herring PR





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