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The Costa Awards are among the highlights of the literary calendar and Book People has all the books that were shortlisted and longlisted for this year's awards in the First Novel, Novel, Biography, Poetry and Children's Book categories including Bart Van Es' The Cut Out Girl - the 2018 Costa Book of the Year.

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Costa Book Awards 2018

The Costa Awards are among the highlights of the literary calendar and Book People has all the books that were shortlisted and longlisted for this year's awards in the First Novel, Novel, Biography, Poetry and Children's Book categories including Bart Van Es' The Cut Out Girl - the 2018 Costa Book of the Year.

  • Assurances

    J. O. Morgan,JO Morgan

    Product Code: CSEGD
    Paperback
    Hand-picked favourites
    J.O. Morgan's Assurances is the winner of the Costa Poetry Award 2018.

    A war-poem both historic and frighteningly topical, it begins in the 1950s during a period of vigilance and dread in the middle of the Cold War: the long stand-off between nuclear powers, where the only defence was the threat of mutually assured destruction.

    Using a mix of versed and unversed passages, Morgan places moments of calm reflection alongside the tensions inherent in guarding against such a permanent threat. A work of variations and possibilities, we hear the thoughts of those involved who are trying to understand and justify their roles. We examine the lives of civilians who are not aware of the impending danger, as well as those who are.
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  • The Salt Path

    Raynor Winn

    Product Code: BUAYI
    Paperback
    (1)
    Raynor Winn's The Salt Path was shortlisted for the Costa Biography Award 2018.

    It is Raynor's first book and it tells the true story of how she and her partner lost everything but went on to find hope and salvation when they decided to walk all the way across the coastline of the South West of England.

    It's an uplifting read for anyone who enjoys nature and motivational tales of the power of love.
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  • Normal People

    Sally Rooney

    Product Code: BWTIK
    Paperback
    The British Book Awards Book of the Year, Sally Rooney's Normal People has been shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award 2018 and was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2018. Published by Faber, the Conversations with Friends author brings readers a story that tackles politics, love and change with aplomb.

    Although Connell and Marianne grew up in the same small town in rural Ireland, they couldn't be more different. However, when they both earn places at Dublin's Trinity College, they form a close bond that lasts for a long time...

    This exquisite love story is all about how a person can change another person's life in so many ways and how difficult it is to talk about how we feel...
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  • The Skylarks' War

    Hilary McKay

    Product Code: BWTHU
    Paperback 11 years +
    Hilary McKay's The Skylarks' War is a beautiful story following the loves and losses of a family growing up against the harsh backdrop of World War One. It is the winner of the Costa Children's Book Award 2018.

    Clarry and her older brother Peter live for their summers in Cornwall, staying with their grandparents and running free with their charismatic cousin, Rupert. But normal life resumes each September - boarding school for Peter and Rupert, and a boring life for Clarry at home with her absent father, as the shadow of a terrible war looms closer.

    When Rupert goes off to fight at the front, Clarry feels their skylark summers are finally slipping away from them. Can their family survive this fearful war?
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  • The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

    Stuart Turton

    Product Code: BRYCT
    Paperback
    (3)
    The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is Stuart Turton's debut novel, which has been shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award 2018.

    As fireworks explode during a night of celebration, the young and beautiful daughter of the house, Evelyn Hardcastle, is killed. But she won't die just once. The day will repeat itself over and over again until Aiden - a guest at the party - solves the murder. He must identify the killer to break the cycle, but he wakes up in the body of a different guest each time the day begins.

    No one knows why, but there's someone out there that is determined to prevent him from ever escaping the Blackheath party...
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  • The Cut Out Girl

    Bart van Es

    Product Code: BTZZB
    Paperback
    Bart van Es' The Cut Out Girl is the winner of the Costa Biography Award 2018 - and has now been published in paperback for the first time.

    The last time Lien saw her parents was in the Hague when she was collected at the door by a stranger and taken to a city far away to be hidden from the Nazis.She was raised by her foster family as one of their own, but a falling out well after the war meant they were no longer in touch.

    What was her side of the story, Bart van Es - a grandson of the couple who looked after Lien - wondered? What really happened during the war, and after? Bart managed to track down Lien (now in her 80s) living in Amsterdam. Reluctantly, she agreed to meet him, and eventually they struck up a remarkable friendship.

    This page-turning biography is powerful recreation of Lien's harrowing childhood and a story about the love and challenges foster families face.
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  • The Colour of the Sun

    David Almond

    Product Code: BTOXH
    Paperback
    A darkly twisted detective ghost tale, from the winner of the Guardian Children's Book Prize. Davie travels his small town in search of a supposed murderer. But the landscape soon starts to blur into something dark and twisted. He must make sense of the landscape, if he has any chance of finding answers. The people he encounters on his travels don't seem entirely real either. Then he meets the victim of the murder ... but, is he dead, or alive?
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  • The Colour of the Sun

    David Almond

    Product Code: BPPJX
    Hardback
    David Almond's The Colour of the Sun is a moving and inspirational novel that has been shortlisted for the Costa Children's Book Award 2018.

    One hot summer morning, Davie steps boldly out of his front door. The world he enters is very familiar - the little Tyneside town that has always been his home - but as the day passes, it becomes ever more mysterious.

    A boy has been killed, and Davie thinks he might know who is responsible. He turns away from the gossip and excitement and sets off roaming towards the sunlit hills above the town. As the day goes on, the real and the imaginary start to merge, and Davie knows that neither he nor his world will ever be the same again.
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  • From a Low and Quiet Sea

    Donal Ryan

    Product Code: BMKNK
    Hardback
    This powerful story is the fourth novel from multi-award-winning author of the Spinning Heart. Donal Ryan's From a Low and Quiet Sea has been shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award 2018 and was longlisted for the Man Book Prize 2018.

    Farouk's country has been torn apart by war. Lampy's heart has been laid waste by Chloe. John's past torments him as he nears the end.

    The refugee. The dreamer. The penitent. From war-torn Syria to small-town Ireland, three men, scarred by all they have loved and lost, are searching for some version of home. Each is drawn towards a powerful reckoning, one that will bring them together in the most unexpected of ways.
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  • Normal People

    Sally Rooney

    Product Code: BRJKD
    Hardback
    (1)
    The British Book Awards Book of the Year, Sally Rooney's Normal People has been shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award 2018 and was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2018. Published by Faber, the Conversations with Friends author brings readers a story that tackles politics, love and change with aplomb.

    Although Connell and Marianne grew up in the same small town in rural Ireland, they couldn't be more different. However, when they both earn places at Dublin's Trinity College, they form a close bond that lasts for a long time...

    This exquisite love story is all about how a person can change another person's life in so many ways and how difficult it is to talk about how we feel...
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  • Bone Talk

    Candy Gourlay

    Product Code: BUZVG
    Paperback 13 years +
    The Philippines, 100 years ago. A boy called Samkad wants to become a man. He is desperate to be given his own shield, spear and axe. His best friend, Luki, wants to be a warrior too - but she is a girl and that is forbidden. Then a new boy arrives in the village and everything changes. He brings news that a people called 'Americans' are bringing war right to his home . . .

    This title has been shortlisted for 2019's CILIP Carnegie Medal.
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  • The Italian Teacher

    Tom Rachman

    Product Code: BUOPA
    Paperback
    ***SHORTLISTED FOR THE COSTA NOVEL AWARD*** 'Wickedly funny, deeply touching . . . I confess this was the first of Rachman's novels I'd read but I was so swept away by it that I raced out to buy the other three' PATRICK GALE 'Relentlessly entertaining' Daily Mail Rome, 1955 The artists are gathering together for a photograph. In one of Rome's historic villas, a party glitters with socialites and patrons. Bear Bavinsky, creator of vast, masculine, meaty canvases, is their god. He is at the centre of the picture. His wife, Natalie, edges out of the shot. From the side of the room watches little Pinch - their son. At five years old he loves Bear almost as much as he fears him. After Bear abandons their family, Pinch will still worship him, while Natalie faces her own wars with the art world. Trying to live up to his father's name - one of the twentieth century's fiercest and most controversial painters - Pinch never quite succeeds. Yet by the end of a career of twists and compromises, he enacts an unexpected rebellion that will leave forever his mark upon the Bear Bavinsky legacy. What makes an artist? In The Italian Teacher, Tom Rachman displays a nuanced understanding of art and its demons. Moreover, in Pinch he achieves a portrait of vulnerability and frustrated talent that - with his signature humour and humanity -- challenges the very idea of greatness.
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  • Pieces of Me

    Natalie Hart

    Product Code: BRYIT
    Paperback
    For fans of A Thousand Splendid Suns, Anatomy of a Soldier, Girl at War and The Yellow Birds Emma did not go to war looking for love, but Adam is unlike any other. Under the secret shadow of trauma, Emma decides to leave Iraq and joins Adam to settle in Colorado. But isolation and fear find her, once again, when Adam is re-deployed. Torn between a deep fear for Adam's safety and a desire to be back there herself, Emma copes by throwing herself into a new role mentoring an Iraqi refugee family. But when Adam comes home, he brings the conflict back with him. Emma had considered the possibility that her husband might not come home from war. She had not considered that he might return a stranger. `An astounding debut, Pieces of Me is a beautiful book written with emotion and compassion and will stay with me for a long time. It's characters and story tugged at my heart with every turning page.' Nina Pottell, Books Editor Prima Magazine and Costa Book Awards Judge `Heart-wrenching and heart-warming in equal measure, Pieces of Me is an incredibly moving tale of love and conflict. A compelling and accomplished debut, Natalie writes with the skill and confidence of a writer who's been published for years. I couldn't put it down' Harper's Bazaar 'Pieces of Me is a brilliantly observed and nuanced look at the war in Iraq and how conflict impacts on the lives of everyone involved' Laura Kaye, author of English Animals 'I devoured this book, and I feel like I'll carry Emma and Adam with me for a long time. Hart tells this devastating story beautifully' Laura Pearson, author of Missing Pieces `Pieces of Me churns with love and rage and hope and terror, as only the best war books can. Natalie Hart writes like a born storyteller, and she uses that gift here to explore how the Iraq War lingers in the dark corners of souls desperate to move on from it. Readers are in for a ride' Matt Gallagher, author of Youngblood `Pieces of Me is a quietly powerful exploration of the complex effects of the Iraq war...The novel builds in power and speaks authoritatively on the polarisation of the lives changed forever by conflict' Zoe Lambert `Natalie Hart's brilliant Pieces of Me is-like Graham Greene's The End of the Affair-a love story set amid the ruins of war. As a British civilian who meets her American husband in Iraq, the narrator, Emma McLaughlin, is a first-hand witness to the ways armed conflict breaks soldiers and non-combatants alike. Her testimony, and this novel, is unforgettably complex and devastating-as it should be' Whitney Terrell, author of The Good Lieutenant `Natalie Hart's vivid novel, Pieces of Me, examines the lives of deployed soldiers' families and displaced Iraqi civilians, eloquently revealing how even the most tightly knit relationships can unravel under the stress of war' Siobhan Fallon, author of You Know When the Men Are Gone and The Confusion of Languages
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  • Bone Talk

    Candy Gourlay

    Product Code: BRPBX
    Hardback 13 years +
    Candy Gourlay's Bone Talk has been shortlisted for the Costa Children's Book Award 2018.

    Samkad lives in a tribe deep in the Philippine jungle at the end of the nineteenth century, and has never encountered anyone from outside his own tribe before. He's about to become a man, and while he's desperate to grow up, he's worried that this will take him away from his best Friend, Little Luki.

    However, Samkad's world is about to change utterly. A strange man with white skin arrives in his village, and a Samkad discovers the brother he never knew he had. A brother who tells him of people called 'American's. Americans who are bringing war, and burning, to Samuel's home.

    This title has been shortlisted for 2019's CILIP Carnegie Medal.
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  • Us

    Zaffar Kunial

    Product Code: BQJAH
    Paperback
    Zaffar Kunial's Us is his debut collection of poems and has been shortlisted for the Costa Poetry Award 2018.

    From the beginning, the poet was a wanderer, a storyteller, an imaginer of bridges between worlds. Kunial is just such a poet and guide for us today. Yet his territory extends much further afield than those of the past. Through Kashmir, where his father was born, to the Midlands of his mother's birth, and further north to ancestors in Orkney, as well as through language, memory and time.

    Already an acknowledged star of the Faber New Poets Scheme, Kunial has won admirers in such measure as to ensure that Us is one of the most anticipated debuts in recent times. Across its pages, he vocalises what it means to be a human being planting your feet upon the dizzying earth - and he does so delicately, urgently, intimately - in some of the most original and touching ways that you will read.
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  • An Unremarkable Body

    Elisa Lodato

    Product Code: BQHIF
    Paperback
    Elisa Lodato's An Unremarkable Body has been shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award 2018.

    When Katharine is found dead at the foot of her stairs, it is the mystery of her life that consumes her daughter, Laura. The medical examiner's report, in which precious parts of Katharine's body are weighed and categorised motivates Laura to write her own version of events.

    But as she delves deeper into Katharine's past, she is forced to confront a new version of the woman she knew only as her mother. A woman silenced by her own mother and wronged by her husband. A woman who lived in the shadows but whose secrets are now coming to light.
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  • The Life and Rhymes of Benjamin Zephaniah

    Benjamin Zephaniah

    Product Code: BPNQK
    Hardback
    The Life and Rhymes of Benjamin Zephaniah has been shortlisted for the Costa Biography Award 2018. A poet, lyricist and writer, Benjamin has so many stories to tell from his travels all around the world in his fascinating autobiography.

    From the early 1980s when punks and Rastas were on the streets protesting about unemployment, homelessness and the National Front through the '90s and the modern day, Benjamin's vital poems have been read and performed in every continent.

    Benjamin always wanted to take poetry everywhere and achieved this by presenting his political, radical and relevant words to people who didn't read books. He shares his extraordinary life story while also celebrating the power of poetry and the importance of pushing boundaries with the arts.
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  • Meet Me at the Museum

    Anne Youngson

    Product Code: BPLPT
    Hardback
    The Observer Promising first-time British novelists 2018: 'A novel about self-discovery and second chances' 'Warm-hearted, clear-minded, and unexpectedly spellbinding, Meet Me at the Museum is a novel to savour' ANNIE BARROWS, co-author of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society `A beautiful, affecting novel of late love, by an extraordinary new writer' NINA STIBBE 'A quirky, wise and tender novel. Proof that the richest fruits come on the edge of autumn' SARAH DUNANT 'Quietly intriguing, beautifully observed, full of powerful emotions' RUTH HOGAN, Author of The Keeper of Lost Things `Tender, wise and moving, Meet Me at the Museum is a novel to cherish.' JOHN BOYNE `A moving tribute to friendship and love, to the courage of the ordinary, and to starting again' RACHEL JOYCE 'I thoroughly recommend this book to anyone looking for a book that makes you think and wonder and quietly hope. I loved it' TAMMY COHEN 'Insightful, emotionally acute and absorbing' Daily Express 'The loveliest short novel of late love you'll ever read. Whenever I talk about it, I simply cry with joy' JAMES HAWES 'Meet Me at the Museum starts so quiet and small like a bud tightly closed against the winter then it unfurls into something so alive and truly beautiful. I was immensely moved by it' TOR UDALL, author of A Thousand Paper Birds 'Precise, clear, funny, poignant and truthful. This is a work of art, dear readers. Revel in its beauty' ADRIANA TRIGIANI Sometimes it takes a stranger to really know who you are When Tina Hopgood writes a letter of regret to a man she has never met, she doesn't expect a reply. When Anders Larsen, a lonely museum curator, answers it, nor does he. They're both searching for something, they just don't know it yet. Anders has lost his wife, along with his hopes and dreams for the future. Tina is trapped in a marriage she doesn't remember choosing. Slowly their correspondence blossoms as they bare their souls to each other with stories of joy, anguish and discovery. But then Tina's letters suddenly cease, and Anders is thrown into despair. Can their unexpected friendship survive?
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  • Soho

    Richard Scott

    Product Code: BOIAJ
    Paperback
    Richard Scott's Soho has been shortlisted for the Costa Poetry Award 2018.

    In this intimate and vital debut, Scott creates an uncompromising portrait of love and gay shame. Examining how trauma becomes a part of the language we use, he takes us back to our roots: childhood incidents, the violence our scars betray, forgotten forebears and histories.

    The hungers of sexual encounters are underscored by the risks that threaten when we give ourselves to or accept another. But the poems celebrate joy and tenderness, too, as in a sequence re-imagining the love poetry of Verlaine.
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  • The Italian Teacher

    Tom Rachman

    Product Code: BMKWB
    Hardback
    Tom Rachman's The Italian Teacher has been shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award 2018.

    Rome, 1955. The artists are gathering together for a photograph. In one of Rome's historic villas, a party glitters with socialites and patrons. Bear Bavinsky, creator of vast, masculine, meaty canvases, is their god. He is at the centre of the picture. His wife, Natalie, edges out of the shot.

    From the side of the room watches their son - Little Pinch. At 5-years-old, he loves Bear almost as much as he fears him. Bear abandons their family and Pinch will still worship him, while Natalie faces her own wars with the art world. Pinch tries to live up to his father's name but never quite succeeds. Yet by the end of a career of twists and compromises, he enacts an unexpected rebellion that will leave forever his mark upon the Bear Bavinsky legacy.
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  • Orphan Monster Spy

    Matt Killeen

    Product Code: BMJIH
    Paperback
    Matt Killeen's Orphan Monster Spy has been shortlisted for the Costa Children's Book Award 2018.

    Sarah has played many roles - but now she faces her most challenging of all. Because there's only one way for a Jewish orphan spy to survive at school for the Nazi elite. And that's to become a monster like them.

    They think she is just a little girl. But she is the weapon they never saw coming...with a mission to destroy them all.
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  • Three Poems

    Hannah Sullivan

    Product Code: BLYUI
    Paperback
    Hannah Sullivan's Three Poems has been shortlisted for the Costa Poetry Award 2018.

    This debut collection is revelation - three long poems of fresh ambition, intensity and substance. Though each poem stands apart, their inventive and looping encounters make for a compelling unity. Readers will experience Sullivan's work with the same exhilaration as they might the great modernising poems of Eliot and Pound, but with the unique perspective of a brilliant new female voice.

    'You, Very Young in New York' captures a great American city, in all its alluring detail. 'Repeat until Time' begins with a move to California and unfolds into an essay on repetition and returning home, at once personal and philosophical. 'The Sandpit after Rain' explores the birth of a child and the lost of a father with exacting clarity'
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