The Booksellers Association of the United Kingdom & Ireland Limited

BAMBRA 2018 shortlists announced

Bookshops across the UK & Ireland have revealed their favourite books and authors of 2018 across seven categories, as part of the Books Are My Bag Readers Awards, sponsored by National Book Tokens – the only book awards curated by bookshops, chosen by booklovers.

Bestselling and award-winning authors are among this year’s shortlist, as well as numerous debut writers. The 2018 shortlist includes: double BAMB Readers Awards winner, Matt Haig; poet Charly Cox, who has also written an exclusive Bookshop Day poem; the celebrated debut by Imogen Hermes Gowar, The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock – and many more. 

The public vote opens today, the day before Bookshop Day (Saturday 6th October), to decide the winners across seven categories. The public can vote online with the winners being announced at a ceremony in London on Tuesday 13th November.

The shortlist categories open for public vote are: Non-Fiction, Novel, Young Readers - YA, Young Readers - Middle Grade, Breakthrough Author, and Poetry – which is a new category for 2018. In addition, the public can nominate any book they’ve read in the past year as this year’s Readers’ Choice winner. Finally, the Beautiful Book category is voted for exclusively by booksellers, who will now be choosing a winner from the shortlist of six titles revealed today. 

The 2018 Books Are My Bag Readers Awards Shortlist, as chosen by bookshops:

Educated by Tara Westover (Hutchinson)
How Not To Be a Boy by Robert Webb (Canongate Books)
I Am, I Am, I Am by Maggie O’Farrell (Tinder Press)
Notes on a Nervous Planet by Matt Haig (Canongate Books)
The Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell (Profile Books)
The Secret Barrister by The Secret Barrister (Picador)

Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie (Bloomsbury)
Midwinter Break by Bernard MacLaverty (Vintage)
The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gowar (Harvill Secker)
The Music Shop by Rachel Joyce (Black Swan)
The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton (Bloomsbury)
Tin Man by Sarah Winman (Tinder Press)

100 Poems by Seamus Heaney (Faber & Faber)
England: Poems from a School edited by Kate Clanchy (Picador)
Off the Shelf edited by Carol Ann Duffy (Picador)
She Must Be Mad by Charly Cox (HQ)
The Last Hedgehog by Pam Ayres, illustrated by Alice Tait (Picador)
The Poetry Pharmacy by Willian Sieghart (Particular Books)

Young Readers - YA
A Skinful of Shadows by Frances Hardinge (Macmillan Children’s Books)
A Sky Painted Gold by Laura Wood (Scholastic)
Bookshop Girl by Chloe Coles (Hot Key Books)
Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi (Macmillan Children’s Books)
La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman (Penguin Random House Children's and David Fickling Books)
Where the World Ends by Geraldine McCaughrean (Usborne Publishing)

Young Readers - Middle Grade
A Spoonful of Murder by Robin Stevens (Puffin)
Brightstorm by Vashti Hardy (Scholastic)
Nevermoor by Jessica Townsend (Orion Children’s Books)
Stories for Boys Who Dare to be Different by Ben Brooks and Quinton Winter (Quercus)
The 1,000-year-old Boy by Ross Welford (Harper Collins Children’s Books
The Storm Keeper's Island by Catherine Doyle (Bloomsbury)

Breakthrough Author
A J Pearce (Dear Mrs Bird)
Joe Heap (The Rules of Seeing)
Laura Carlin (The Wicked Cometh)
Polly Clark (Larchfield)
Preti Taneja (We That Are Young)
Sarah J. Harris (The Colour of Bee Larkham’s Murder)
Sophie Mackintosh (The Water Cure)
Tommy Orange (There There)

Beautiful Book
A Sky Painted Gold by Laura Wood; cover artist: Yehrin Tong (Scholastic)
Bookworm by Lucy Mangan; production: Shabana Cho; design: Julia Connolly; illustration: Laura Barrett (Square Peg)
Life in the Garden by Penelope Lively design: Chris Bentham; illustration: Katie Scott (Penguin)  The Librarian by Sally Vickers; design: Edward Bettinson (Viking)
The Wood: The Life & Times of Cockshutt Wood by John Lewis-Stempel; design: Beci Kelly; illustration: Nick Hayes; (Doubleday)
Virago Modern Classics 40th anniversary series, designed by Hannah Wood, illustrated by Yehrin Tong (Virago, Little Brown)
Alan Staton, Director of Strategy & Communications at the Booksellers Association, said: “Once again the Books Are My Bag Readers Awards shortlist brings together an eclectic mix of titles that celebrate the diverse tastes of bookshops and their customers. I can’t wait to find out the titles that the UK’s booklovers have chosen as their winners at the ceremony on November 13th which brings the 2018 Books Are My Bag campaign to a close.”
The book awards, now in their third year, are curated by bookshops, with booksellers selecting the shortlists in each category. The public is invited to vote for a winning title from each shortlist from 5th October until 5th November, with the winners being announced on Tuesday 13th November at an awards ceremony at Foyles, Charing Cross Road, in London.

The public can vote online at the following links:

The Books Are My Bag Readers Awards (#BAMBReadersAwards / @BooksAreMyBag) are sponsored by National Book Tokens and are part of Books Are My Bag – the annual campaign celebrating the vital importance of bookshops.