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Booktrail Awards 2015

  • Submitted: 18th December 2015

2015-awardsThis was hard to decide on as there are many novels that deserve an award to be honest. We’ve read and enjoyed so much this year and there are so many more Booktrail statues we could have awarded.

How do you select just a few books of what you have read and loved over the course of a year? It’s tricky and nigh on impossible  – it’s like choosing a favourite child in a way. We love them all but in different ways and wanted to award a few awards to say thank you to some very special books and their authors.

So the list?

We narrowed it down to these little beauties…

The NIGHTINGALE cover

The “Most tears shed over a novel” Award

The Nightingale

Kristin Hannah

Set in Carriveau France

We can’t recommend this novel enough. It’s sad, utterly heartbreaking but so so good and evocative of what women went through during the war. The challenges and choices of two sisters keep us reading through the night and we shed more than a tear at what they went through. Carriveau seems so real we had to check it wasn’t a real place. It’s so evocative and the story of rural France during war time is just brilliantly written and we are giving this as a present to many people this year.

The “Best North v South banter” Award

The Strings of Murder

Strings of murder coverOscar de Muriel

Set in Edinburgh

Oscar de Muriel is one funny man. Not only does he get Scottish banter spot on, but he weaves so much Scottish culture and supernatural intrigue into his plot that this is a real treat to read. We know and love Edinburgh well and this was so much fun! Creepy too but the humour and banter between the two main characters had us in stitches. And the memory of the policeman from London trying haggis for the first time will never leave us hehe

Death in the Rainy Season cover

The Award for “Best dual culture crime”

Death in the Rainy Season

Anna Jaquiery

Set in Cambodia

There’s something very intriguing and special about a French detective investigating in Cambodia. France meets Cambodia was a very new crime backdrop and revealed an evocative setting for murder, politics and a great Cambodian sidekick called Sarit. Morel is a great character – one of the best in a crime novel we’ve read in a long while. The entire plot was just so immersive and so different to anything we’d read before and the way Anna Jaquiery weaved so many strands together in a complex yet smooth and poetic plot – hats off to you.

The Award for “Best Dubious drama group”

snowblind cover

Snowblind

Ragnar Jonasson

Set in Siglufjörður

If you’re ever tempted to join a drama group, don’t join the one in  Siglufjörður will you? That’s if you ever get through that small snow tunnel that links or cuts off the town from the rest of the world. The goings on in this very small place with the writing as crisp and chilling as the dubious dealings are quite ingenious. The entire Siglufjörður setting and the silence which is broken, the screams, the 24 hour darkness….blimey this is one killer of a novel

sea-maidThe Award for “Best use of a boat”

Song of the Sea Maid

Rebecca Mascull

Set in Portugal

Now if we had a boat we would want to sail and have our own adventure.

Kudos then to Dawnay Price who is something of an anomaly. She was a woman who lived in the 18th century and is based on a real person. She defied men and others who said she couldn’t explore. A gutsy heroine who fuels her passion and goes off on an adventure is the story we loved to read. With such evocative writing, we were right there with her and we felt as if we learned so much about the Berlengas Islands and history but never did it read like a history lesson. Rather like a song as in the title…

BOOK1

The Award for “Most inventive use of an elephant”

The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra

Vaseem Khan

Set in India

Ah this has to be a favourite. An elephant as sidekick, a most beautiful colourful cover, a funny and witty author interview. Ah this is a labour of love and was so funny as well as being a gritty crime novel too. The setting and nature of the crimes were unique and the culture seeped into each and everyone. As soon as we put this novel down, we wanted to read the second.

What are your special reads and why? It’s fun to look back at your literary year!

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