The Costa Book Awards seek to recognize "some of the most enjoyable books of the year by writers based in the UK and Ireland." The awards were formerly known as the the Whitbread Literary Awards from their start in 1971 until 1985 when the name changed to the Whitbread Book Awards. Costa Coffee took over over in 2006, changing the name, but not the purpose, of the awards.
Costa Awards are given in five categories: First Novel, Novel, Biography, Poetry, and Children's Book. The Book of the Year Award debuted in 1985 and is chosen from any of the five categories. Since then, the prestigious Book of the Year Award has been won seven times by a novel, three times by a first novel, five times by a biography, five times by a collection of poetry and once by a children's book.
I am not good about poetry and I do not care for sci-fi, so I do know know if I will ever get through all the books on this list. On the other hand, if they really won because they were "most enjoyable," then maybe reading these prize winners would be the easiest way for me to expand my reading horizons.
The books I have read are in red. Those currently on my TBR shelf are in blue.
If anyone else is working through the books on this list, please leave a link in a comment and I will add it to this post.
The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer (2013)
Bring up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel (2012)
Pure by Andrew Miller (2011)
Of Mutability by Jo Shapcott (2010)
A Scattering by Christopher Reid (2009)
The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry (2008) (reviewed here)
Day by A.L. Kennedy (2007)
The Tenderness of Wolves by Stef Penney (2006) (reviewed here)
Matisse the Master by Hilary Spurling (2005)
Small Island by Andrea Levy (2004) (reviewed here)
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon (2003)
Samuel Pepys: The Unequalled Self by Claire Tomalin (2002)
The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman (2001)
English Passengers by Matthew Kneale (2000)
Beowulf by Seamus Heaney (1999)
Birthday Letters by Ted Hughes (1998)
Tales from Ovid by Ted Hughes (1997)
The Spirit Level by Seamus Heaney (1996)
Behind the Scenes at the Museum by Kate Atkinson (1995) (reviewed here)
Felicia's Journey by William Trevor (1994)
Theory of War by Joan Brady (1993)
Swing Hammer Swing! by Jeff Torrington (1992)
A Life of Picasso by John Richardson (1991)
Hopeful Monsters by Nicholas Mosley (1990)
Coleridge: Early Visions by Richard Holmes (1989)
The Comforts of Madness by Paul Sayer (1988)
Under the Eye of the Clock by Christopher Nolan (1987)
An Artist of the Floating World by Kazuo Ishiguro (1986)
Elegies by Douglas Dunn (1985)
Last updated on January 10, 2015.
OTHERS READING THESE BOOKS
(Please leave a comment with links to your progress reports or reviews of these books and I will add them here.)
J.G.'s review of Birthday Letters on Hotch Pot Cafe
Sandra's comprehensive post on Fresh Ink Books