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Ok, so this week saw the category winners of the Costa Prize announced. It was great news for the publisher of my own debut, Beautiful Books, with Kishwar Desai winning first novel award with Witness the Night. She beat Nikesh Shukla's Coconut Unlimited, Aarish Taseer's The Temple-Goers and Simon Thirsk's Not Quite White.

The novel award went to Maggie O'Farrell for The Hand that First Held Mine. She beat Whatever you Love, by Louise Doughty, The Blasphemer by Nigel Farndale and Skippy Dies by Paul Murray.

The biography award went to the literary editors favourite, The Hare with the Amber Eyes by Edmund de Waal. He beat How to live a life of Montaigne by Sarah Bakewell and My Father's Fortune by Michael Frayn.

The poetry award was won by Jo Shapcott's On Mutability. She beat Standard Midland by Roy Fisher, The Wrecking Light by Robin Robertson and New Light for the Old Dark by Sam Willetts. This rather surprised me. I have yet to read Fisher but I was so taken with both Robertson and Willetts, as I have mentioned in previous posts. Today I bought Shapcott's, and thus far - a third of the way in - I have not yet been bowled over, or simply warmed to it enough. It feels somewhat detached.

The children's book award went to Jason Wallace for Out of Shadows. He beat Flyaway by Lucy Christopher, Annexed by Sharon Degar and Bartimaeus: The ring of Solomon by Jonathan Stroud.

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And in memory of my parents:
Thomas Valentine and Joan Theresa
Good people who taught me so much more than they realised


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