Winner announced

Sixty readers watched as almost 120 votes were counted last night.  The winner, by a good margin, was Matthew Frank for his unusual and gripping thriller “If I Should Die”.  Advocates spoke in favour of each of the short-listed books, but the outcome rapidly became clear.  Earlier in the meeting Paul Lavin spoke about the proframme for the upcoming (September) Chester Literature Festival.  Read all about it at 


The short list

Last evening’s shortlisting meeting was exciting.  A large number of people were disappointed that one of their favourite books did not make it to the Shortlist.  Me too! While I thoroughly approve of If I Should Die and After Before, I was disappointed not to see Insh’Allah go through.  Four readers gave it full marks (10), so I am not alone.  Congratulations to the five shortlisted authors (all but one are women, I notice).  You can find the list on the web site under BOOK LISTS (

Costa short list

Three of “our” authors have made the short list for the Costa first novel prize.  Carys Bray (A Song for Issy Bradley) spoke to us on Monday, having to keep her exciting news to herself – but we know now.  Well done Carys, Simon Wroe (for Chop, Chop) and Emma Healey (for (Elizabeth is Missing).  I have read all three of these and enjoyed all of them – I encourage you to do the same.