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Galaxy Book Awards Annouces Winner

Controversially omitted from the Booker shortlist (64% of those who voted said ‘he’s been robbed’), Alan Hollinghurst fought off stiff competition to win Book of the Year prize at last Friday’s Galaxy Awards for his novel The Stranger’s Child, which tells the story of a war-slain Georgian poet while mapping the changes to befall England and English subjects across the past hundred years, challenging what it means to be English. Richard Canning’s review for the Independent said, “It is a rare thing to read a novel buoyed up by the certainty that it will stand among the year’s best, but rarer still to become confident of its value in decades to come,” comparing it to Middlemarch. Hollinghurst also took the award for Waterstone’s UK author of the year while Jackie Collins was given an award for outstanding achievement.

The remaining list of winners is:
Specsavers popular fiction book of the year: A Tiny Bit Marvellous, Dawn French (Penguin) “I am equally gob-smacked &  delighted about this award. Not too shabby considering I’m still not 100 per  cent sure where the apostrophe should go.”
More4 popular non-fiction book of the year: How to be a Woman, Caitlin Moran (Ebury Press). On winning, Moran said, “Brian Cox may have the Wonders of  the Universe to play with – but I had the contents of my bra and pants and,  ultimately, they were obviously the more mysterious and awesome. I’m thrilled  that I’ve beaten off Cox to win this prize. Also, winning appears to make me  look thinner.”
Crime and thriller of the year (available on iBookstore): Before I Go to Sleep, S J Watson (Doubleday)
Daily Telegraph biography of the year (I’m hoping this will appear in my Christmas stocking): Charles Dickens, Claire Tomalin (Viking)
International author of the year: A Visit From the Goon Squad, Jennifer Egan (Corsair)
Food and drink book of the year: The Good Cook, Simon Hopkinson (BBC Books)
WHSmith paperback of the year: Room, Emma Donoghue (Picador)
National Book Tokens children’s book of the year: A Monster Calls, Patrick Ness (Walker Books) audiobook of the year: My Dear, I Wanted to Tell You, Louisa Young, read by Dan Stevens (HarperAudio)
Galaxy new writer of the year (and sitting on my bookshelf in its beautiful brown-paper cover): When God was a Rabbit, Sarah Winman (Headline Review)

You can vote for your favourite from the list to be Galaxy’s Book of the Year. Last year’s winner, One Day, by David Nicholls (fabulous, fabulous, fabulous) recorded over 300% sales’ growth during  December 2010, going on to become the biggest-selling paperback of 2011, not to mention the small matter of a Hollywood film release. The closing date for voting is 19th December, with the winner to be announced on 21st December.