This year’s Waterstones Book of the Year shortlist – nominated by Waterstones Booksellers – “proves that the quality and range of publishing in 2014 is as thrilling as ever. In fact, there were so many brilliant books published this year that we had to expand our shortlist to eight titles from our usual six.”
Waterstones Managing Director James Daunt summed the list up by saying “Any one may be crowned our Book of the Year with pride but – my goodness – it will be for a variety of reasons: all is well in the world of bookselling!”
The winner will be announced on Tuesday 2nd December – but in the meantime here’s a look at each of the shortlisted books.
by Laura Bates
This book is a manifesto for change; a ground breaking, anecdotal examination of sexism in modern day society. Everyone has a tipping point – and at her’s, Laura Bates decided to launch the fourth wave of feminism.
“This book creates the passion, anger and energy in people to talk about these issues and engage in feminism in a way that other books have tried and failed to do.” Jeni, Waterstones Manchester Deansgate
by Jessie Burton
An atmospheric literary thriller set in seventeenth century Amsterdam. Written by actress-turned novelist Jessie Burton, it was our Fiction Book of the Month back in July and is the best-selling debut novel of the year.
“A dark tale of heady spices, sugar, and religious fervour. An insightful depiction of an intriguing period.” Inge, Waterstones Aberystwyth
The Narrow Road to the Deep North,
by Richard Flanagan
Man Booker Prize winner The Narrow Road to the Deep North is not just a war story (dedicated to his father who was a prisoner of war) but a love story. Hailed as a masterpiece, Richard Flanagan‘s epic novel tells the unforgettable story of one man’s reckoning with the truth.
“The most powerful, moving and poetic novel I have read since Cormac McCarthy‘s The Road. This story’s basis in fact however makes it all the more chilling. There is not a person I have met since reading it that I’ve not recommended it to.” Dan, Waterstones.com
Persiana: Recipes from the Middle East & Beyond,
by Sabrina Ghayour
A celebration of the food and flavours from the regions near the Southern and Eastern shores of the Mediterranean Sea. A beautiful book that has already been named Observer Food Monthly’s Book of the Year.Try Sabrina Ghayour‘s take on Eaton Mess to see for yourself.
“Not since our first book of the year Polpo has form met function to such lip-smacking, salivation-inducing, tummy-rumbling effect as in Persiana.” Kerry, Waterstones.com
Once Upon An Alphabet,
by Oliver Jeffers
The letters of our alphabet work tirelessly to make words that in turn make stories, but what if there was a story FOR each of the letters instead? A work of exhilarating originality from artist Oliver Jeffers that is packed with funny, thrilling, perilous and above all entertaining tales inspired by every letter in the alphabet.
“I fell in love with this playful take on the alphabet; it’s one of the most unusual and best picture books of the year.” Floretyna, Assistant Children’s Buyer
The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories,
by Marina Keegan
A hope-filled collection of essays and stories from Marina Keegan, who died in a car crash five days after her graduation from college in America, that articulates the universal struggle of working out what we aspire to be.
“A superb book that is truly inspiring and gives you a new perspective on things in life.” Laura, Waterstones Bournemouth Castle Point
H is for Hawk,
by Helen Macdonald
This year’s Samuel Johnson Prize winner, H is for Hawk is a record of a spiritual journey. An unflinchingly honest account of Macdonald’s struggle with the grief of losing her father, and her attempts at catharsis through the difficult process of training a goshawk. Woven throughout the story is Macdonald’s retelling of author T.H. White‘s own attempts to train a hawk. It’s a book that is as hard to explain fully as it is to forget.
“Genuinely captured the imagination of readers of all kinds, and continued the rebirth of beautiful nature writing & publishing.” Joanna, Stratford Upon Avon
Capital in the Twenty-First Century, by Thomas Pikkety
A thought-provoking, brilliant and much-talked about economics book – and that’s not a common combination.Capital in the Twenty-First Century – nominated for this year’s FT and McKinsey Business Book of the Year – reorients our understanding of economic history and confronts us with sobering lessons for today.
“I’ve never seen such demand for a business or economics title.” Ian, Waterstones