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Sally Rooney's Normal People Wins British Book of the Year Award

British magazine The Bookseller announced the 2019 British Book Award winners on Monday night, with Sally Rooney’s Normal People taking the top prize for Book of the Year.

The book beat out many popular books, like Becoming by Michelle Obama and Lullaby by Leila Slimani. Of her novel’s award, Rooney stated:

“It’s an enormous privilege and an honour for me to receive the overall Book of the Year Award at the British Book Awards. I want to say thank you, specifically, because I feel I had an extraordinary lucky experience with this book. I’ve received such enormous support and generosity from my own publisher, Faber & Faber, of course, and also from the bookselling community generally, from libraries and librarians, and the community of people who love books. It has been a really privileged experience for me, and I do feel astonishingly lucky.”

There were over 65 jurors this year, and eight panels to decide the wins. The awards, also known as the “Nibbies,” rewarded the following books at their London ceremony:

Non-fiction Narrative Book of the Year: Becoming by Michelle Obama


Audiobook of the Year: Becoming by Michelle Obama

Nonfiction/Lifestyle Book of the Year: Bosh! by Henry Firth and Ian Theasby

Debut Fiction Book of the Year: Lullaby by Leila Slimani

Children’s Fiction Book of the Year: The Ice Monster by David Walliams and illustrator Tony Ross

Children’s Illustrated and Nonfiction: You Are Awesome by Matthew Syed and illustrator Toby Triumph

Crime and Thriller Book of the Year: Our House by Louise Candlish

Author of the Year: Lee Child

Illustrator of the Year: Judith Kerr

The Nibbies also include prizes for publishing industry companies and people:

Publisher of the Year: Penguin General

Academic, educational, and professional publisher: Emerald Publishing

Book retailer: WHSmith

Children’s publisher: Nosy Crow

Imprint: Picador (hooray! Check out The Book Slut’s collaboration with Picador in the Rebels With a Cause book club!)

Literary agent: Cathryn Summerhayes

Editor: Rebecca Hill, Usborne

Rights professional: Andrew Sharp, Hachette Children’s Group

Publicity campaign: Louise Court and Lucie Cuthbertson-Twiggs, The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock

Marketing strategy: Joanna Rose, Jen Callahan Packer, Jessica Hay, HarperCollins

Independent bookshop: Golden Hare Books, Edinburgh

Individual bookseller: Lighthouse Bookshop, Edinburgh

Children’s bookseller: Waterstones

Small press: Wild Things (announced earlier)

Export: Walker Books and Collins Learning (announced earlier)

Outstanding contribution to the book trade: Tim Godfrey, Booksellers Association



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