A note about how the Costa Book of the Year is chosen: Judges select a winning book written by a UK- or Ireland-based writer in each of five categories (First Novel, Novel, Biography, Poetry, and Children’s Book). A panel of nine judges then choose an overall Costa Book of the Year from the five category winners. The following books are the winners in each of the five categories that are now in contention for the £30,000 Book of the Year prize, which will be announced at a ceremony later this month.
Acclaimed novelist Jonathan Coe revisits the characters of two previous novels, The Rotters’ Club and The Closed Circle, in a new modern-day work billed as “the novel for our strange contemporary times.” “In the three years since the E.U. referendum the only piece of writing I have found to really get under the skin of the mess that Britain is now has been Jonathan Coe’s Brexit novel Middle England. It’s funny, compassionate and completely clearsighted. Sometimes you want to thank an author for writing a certain book, and this is one of those times,” wrote Nina Stibbe in The New York Times.