Costa Book Award - Best Novel by Costa Coffee

The Costa Book Awards are a series of literary awards given to books by authors based in the United Kingdom and Ireland. They were known as the Whitbread Book Awards until 2005, after which Costa Coffee, a subsidiary of Whitbread, took over sponsorship. The awards, launched in 1971, are given both for high literary merit but also for works that are enjoyable reading and whose aim is to convey the enjoyment of reading to the widest possible audience. As such, they are a more populist literary prize than the Booker Prize.

  1. Beowulf by Unknown

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    Beowulf is an Old English heroic epic poem of unknown authorship, dating as recorded in the Nowell Codex manuscript from between the 8th and the early 11th century, set in Denmark and Sweden. Commo...


  2. The Destiny Waltz by Gerda Charles


  3. The Bird of Night by Susan Hill

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    The Bird of Night (ISBN 0241104092) is a novel by Susan Hill. It won the 1972 Whitbread Award, and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. Susan Hill commented in 2006: A novel of mine was shortliste...


  4. The Chip Chip Gatherers by Shiva Naipaul

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    The Chip-Chip Gatherers is a novel by Shiva Naipaul originally published in 1973 by Penguin Books. It was reprinted in a new edition as a Penguin Twentieth Century Classic in 1997. It is a comic st...


  5. The Sacred and Profane Love Machine by Iris Murdoch

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  6. Docherty by William McIlvanney

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  7. The Children of Dynmouth by William Trevor

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  8. Injury Time by Beryl Bainbridge

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    Injury Time is a novel by English author Beryl Bainbridge and first published in 1977 by Duckworth. It won the 1977 Whitbread Book of the Year Award.


  9. Picture Palace by Paul Theroux

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  10. The Old Jest by Jennifer Johnston


  11. How Far Can You Go? by David Lodge


  12. Silver City by Maurice Leitch

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  13. Young Shoulders by John Wain

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    Young Shoulders is a 1982 novel by John Wain. It portrays incompatibility in a marital relationship and how such a flawed marriage affects the children born out of it.


  14. Fools of Fortune by William Trevor

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  15. Kruger's Alp by Christopher Hope

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  16. Oranges are not the only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson

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    Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit is a novel by Jeanette Winterson published in 1985, which she subsequently adapted into a BBC television drama. It is a bildungsroman about a lesbian girl who grows u...


  17. Elegies by Douglas Dunn

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  18. An Artist of the Floating World by Kazuo Ishiguro

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    It is set in post-World War II Japan and is narrated by Masuji Ono, an aging painter, who looks back on his life and how he has lived it. He notices how his once great reputation has faltered since...


  19. The Child in Time by Ian McEwan

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    The Child in Time (1987) is a novel by Ian McEwan. It won the Whitbread Novel Award for that year. It concerns Stephen, an author of children's books, and his wife two years after the kidnapping of...


  20. Under the Eye of the Clock by Christopher Nolan


  21. Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie

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    The character of the chief protagonist of The Satanic Verses is based on Indian film star Amitabh Bachchan and a bit of Rama Rao. The title refers to what are known as the satanic verses, a group o...


  22. The Comforts of Madness by Paul Sayer

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  23. The Chymical Wedding by Lindsay Clarke

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    The Chymical Wedding is a 1989 novel by Lindsay Clarke about the intertwined lives of six people in two different eras. The book includes themes of alchemy, the occult, fate, passion, and obsession.


  24. Coleridge: Early Visions by Richard Holmes


  25. Hopeful Monsters by Nicholas Mosley


  26. A Life of Picasso by John Richardson

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  27. The Queen of the Tambourine by Jane Gardam

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  28. Poor Things by Alasdair Gray

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    Poor Things is a novel by Scottish writer Alasdair Gray, published in 1992. It won the Whitbread Novel Award in 1992 and the Guardian Fiction Prize for 1992.


  29. Swing Hammer Swing! by Jeff Torrington

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  30. Theory of War by Joan Brady


  31. Felicia's Journey by William Trevor

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  32. Behind of the Scenes at the Museum by Kate Atkinson

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    Behind the Scenes at the Museum is the first novel of Kate Atkinson. The book covers the experiences of Ruby Lennox from a middle-class English family.


  33. The Moor's Last Sigh by Salman Rushdie

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    The Moor's Last Sigh is a 1995 novel by Salman Rushdie. Set in the Indian city of Bombay (or "Mumbai") and Cochin (or "Kochi"), it is the first major work that Rushdie produced after the The Satani...


  34. Every Man for Himself by Beryl Bainbridge

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  35. The Spirit Level by Seamus Heaney

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    The Spirit Level (1996) is a collection of poems written by Irish Nobel laureate Seamus Heaney. Featuring such poems as "Two Lorries", it won the Whitbread Prize for Literature.


  36. Tales from Ovid by Ted Hughes

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    Tales from Ovid is a poetical work written by the English poet Ted Hughes. Published in 1997 by Faber and Faber, it is a retelling of twenty-four tales from Ovid's Metamorphoses. It won the Whitbre...


  37. Quarantine by Jim Crace

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    Quarantine is a novel by Jim Crace. It was the winner of the 1997 Whitbread Novel Award, and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize for Fiction the same year.


  38. Leading the Cheers by Justin Cartwright

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  39. Birthday Letters by Ted Hughes

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    Birthday Letters, published in 1998 (ISBN 0-374-52581-1), is a collection of poetry by English poet and children's writer Ted Hughes. Released only months before Hughes's death, the collection won ...


  40. Music and Silence by Rose Tremain

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    Music and Silence is a novel written by the English author Rose Tremain. It is set in and around the court of Christian IV of Denmark in the years 1629 and 1630.


  41. English Passengers by Matthew Kneale


  42. Twelve Bar Blues by Patrick Neate

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    Twelve Bar Blues is a 2001 novel by Patrick Neate, and the winner of that year's Whitbread novel award.


  43. Samuel Pepys: The Unequalled Self by Claire Tomalin

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  44. Spies by Michael Frayn


  45. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon

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    The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time is a 2003 novel by British writer Mark Haddon. It won the 2003 Whitbread Book of the Year and the 2004 Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best First B...


  46. Small Island by Andrea Levy

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    Hortense Joseph arrives in London from Jamaica in 1948 with her life in her suitcase, her heart broken, her resolve intact. Her husband, Gilbert Joseph, returns from the war expecting to be receive...


  47. The Accidental by Ali Smith

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    The Accidental is a 2005 novel by Scottish author Ali Smith. It follows a middle-class English family who are visited by an uninvited guest, Amber, while they are on holiday in a small village in N...


  48. Restless by William Boyd

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    Restless, an espionage novel by William Boyd, was published in 2006 and won the Costa Prize for fiction. It is the story of a mother revealing to her daughter, in a series of written accounts, that...


  49. The Tenderness of Wolves by Stef Penney

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    The Tenderness of Wolves is a novel by Stef Penney, which was first published in 2006. It won the 2006 Costa Prize for 'Book of the Year'.


  50. Day by A.L. Kennedy

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  51. The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry

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    The Secret Scripture is a 2008 novel written by Irish playwright Sebastian Barry.


  52. Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín


  53. The Hand That First Held Mine by Maggie O'Farrell

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    Lexie Sinclair is plotting an extraordinary life for herself. Hedged in by her parents' genteel country life, she plans her escape to London. There, she takes up with Innes Kent, a magazine editor ...

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  54. Pure by Andrew Miller

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    Jean-Baptiste Baratte, an engineer of modest origin, arrives in the city in 1785, charged by the King’s minister with emptying the overflowing cemetery of Les Innocents, a ancient site whose stench...

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  55. Bring Up the Bodies: A Novel by Hilary Mantel

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    Winner of the 2012 Man Booker Prize Winner of the 2012 Costa Book of the Year Award The sequel to Hilary Mantel's 2009 Man Booker Prize winner and New York Times bestseller, Wolf Hall delves into t...

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  56. Life After Life by Kate Atkinson

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    What if you could live again and again, until you got it right? On a cold and snowy night in 1910, Ursula Todd is born to an English banker and his wife. She dies before she can draw her first brea...

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