Updated on July 11, 2017
Book Awards 2016
2016 has been a great year of reading for me, and I’ve totalled 68 books this year! Of course, that has made choosing the winners of 2016’s book awards much harder, so I’ve added a couple of extra categories and there’ll be a few more honourable mentions than there were in the 2015 Book Awards.
Right then, let’s get into it! Here are my favourite books from 2016…
Best Translated Book
Winner: Skylight by José Saramago
Saramago’s ‘lost’ novel is a fascinating exploration of the lives of the people that inhabit a 1940s Lisbon apartment building. It is violent, philosophical and touching.
Best Non-Fiction Book
Winner: A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf
A feminist classic that I can’t believe I haven’t read before. Woolf addresses the problems historically faced by women writers in a compelling way that is still relevant today.
(Honourable mention: Born to Run by Christopher McDougall)
Best Graphic Novel
Winner: Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
This moving, true-life story about Satrapi’s life growing up in war-torn Iran is absolutely incredible, and it kick-started my love of chunky graphic novel autobiographies.
(Honourable mention: The Night Bookmobile by Audrey Niffenegger)
Best Poetry Collection
Winner: Undying: A Love Story by Michel Faber
Faber writes about his wife Eva’s gradual decline and death from cancer in poems filled with rage, sorrow and heartbreak.
Best Short Story Collection
Winner: The Fahrenheit Twins by Michel Faber
Another award for Michel Faber! This delightfully eclectic collection of realism and magical realism, sci-fi and fairytale explores the dark side of the human soul in a thoroughly absorbing way.
Winner: The Memoirs of Lady Trent by Marie Brennan
I devoured the first book in this series, A Natural History of Dragons, and promptly bought all the rest. It’s fun feminist fantasy and I can’t get enough.
For the best author I’ve read for the first time this year.
Winner: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
(Honourable mention: Sarah Moss)
Lifetime Achievement Award
For the best author I have read this year, and before, who continues to impress me.
Winner: Michel Faber
Last year Faber’s novel The Book of Strange New Things won my Best Book of the Year. In 2016 I’ve read another of his novels, The Crimson Petal and the White, and tried his poetry and short stories – all fantastic.
Best Book to Movie Adaptation
Winner: Arrival, based on ‘Story of Your Life’ by Ted Chiang
This movie – about aliens, language and time – is different from your usual sci-fi fare. It’s quiet, thoughtful and complex, and I can’t wait to get my hands on Chiang’s original short story.
(Honourable mention: Room, based on the book Emma Donoghue)
Most Beautiful Cover
Winner: A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan
The covers in the Lady Trent series are just so pretty, perfectly combining awesome dragons with a scientific depiction of their anatomy (just like the story inside!)
Winner: Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami
Murakami is at his worst when he’s trying to write about computing, and this book is all about a cringeworthy invented computing system. It’s also a blatant fuck-fantasy about overweight younger women. Yuck.
Winner: Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
I don’t think I’ve stopped thinking about this book since I read it on holiday in the spring. It’s sweeping and important and just so cleverly written. It doesn’t get better than this!
I hope 2016 was a fantastic reading year for you too, and here’s to finding more new favourites in 2017!
Have you read any of my winning books? Let me know your thoughts with a comment down below.