From The Booker To My Book Of The Year.


Inside A Dog And Book Prizes.

When I was five I won a prize at school. I came fourth I think. The prize was a book. But the kid who came fifth seemed to have a better book than me. So we swopped. Every since I’ve liked book prizes. But only liked them enough to be half-influenced and half taking-the-piss!

Inside A Dog


Our Books Of The Year Over The Years

Days Without End by Sebastian Barry


Inside A Dog Book Of The Year 2017


Miss Emily by Nuala O'Connor


Inside A Dog Book Of The Year 2016

Tony Hogan Bought Me An Ice Cream Float Before He Stole My Ma by Kerry Hudson

Inside A Dog Book Of The Year 2015

The Orenda by Joseph Boyden

Inside A Dog Book Of The Year 2014

Canada by Richard Ford

Inside A Dog Book Of The Year 2013

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

Inside A Dog Book Of The Year 2012

Here’s The Great And The Good On Book Prizes.

Posh Bingo

Julian Barnes


'I Got To The Stage Where I Couldn't Read A Laundry List Without Considering It For The Shortlist!'

Bernice Rubens on being a Booker Prize Judge in 1986


'People Aren't Quite Sure What It Means When A Book Is A Booker Prize Winner!'

Kazuo Ishiguro on the Booker Prize


'You Swopped?!!! You Swopped Prizes With George Bryce?!'

My Mum. Hillend Primary Prize Giving. 1966


My Book Of The Year Prize For 2018

The Front Runners……….

Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor

A teenage girl goes missing in the hills in the heart of England…… but this isn’t your archetypal whodunnit or why dunnit. Instead while the search goes on, so does everyday life and it’s this that’s at the heart of this fantastic novel!

Midwinter Break by Bernard MacLaverty

Gerry and Stella are retired and they head off for a midwinter break to Amsterdam. But instead of a chance to rest and relax together, it’s a break that sees their increasingly fractured marriage spin towards the very edges of their control – beautiful, tragic and haunting novel!

Wolf Moon by Julio Llamazares


The only other Llamazares novel I’ve read, Yellow Rain, is one of my favourite books ever – so this had a lot to live up to. But it’s a beautifully told story of 4 young men, survivors from the Spanish Civil War, hiding out in the Cantabrian mountains while Franco’s Fascists search for them in the villages below.


Donald Rumsfeld’s Guide To….. The Costa Prize 2017

Donald Rumsfeld. Ex US-Defense Secretary. And All Round Eejit. In describing intelligence on Iraq he once said ‘…as we know, there are known knowns; things we know we know. There are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns – the ones we don’t know we don’t know’. Genius. So here it is applied to the 2017 Costa Book Prize

A Known Known

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine. Bought it. Read it. Absolutley Loved It!

A Known Unknown

Inside The Wave by Helen Dunmore. Costa’s choice as poetry book of the year. Had heard of this when it came out but was put off by my mixed experience in reading Helen Dunmore’s fiction – but the award and the rave reviews have persuaded me to buy it!

The Explorer by Katherine Rundell. Costa’s Children’s Book of the Year choice. Hadn’t heard of it but tale of esaping from the Amazon after a crash sounds exactly like the sort of thing I’d have read to pupils back in my teacher days!

A Unknown Unknown

A Unknown Unknown

In Days Of Rain by Rebecca Stott. Until this was chosen as Costa Biog of the Year had never heard of it – since then however been all over local news in East of England as Rebecca Stott works on the Creative Writing course at Uni of East Anglia. Great to see the book and author get the exposure – but as BBC Look East is arguably the strangest local news programme on the planet it might not be much help. Book is about growing up in strict religous order – not my bag really!

A Known Known

Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor. Hauntingly quiet and yet really powerful novel. Another that I absolutely loved!

And The Rest – Among those shortlisted, though not winners of the individual category prizes, my summary is:

The Known Knowns – Karl Geary’s Montpellier Parade, shortlisted for First Novel Award. Did as an audiobook and really enjoyed it!; Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie, shortlisted for Best Novel, and it’s great. So good would personally have been difficult for me to choose between it, the McGregor and the next Known Known which is…………..; Tin Man by Sarah Winman, also shortlisted for Novel Award and a book I loved much much more than I had really expected to!

The rest of the shortlisted books in the different categories were pretty much Unknown Unknowns for me with the exception of one Known Unknown, The Clocks In This House All Tell Different Times by Xan Brooks, which is in my waiting to be read pile but not got to it yet!