Belinda Bauer celebrates her win with fellow author Val McDermid

Belinda Bauer celebrates her win with fellow author Val McDermid

Returning after a three year hiatus, the Specsavers National Book Awards 2018 were held last night (21 November), celebrating this year's best books. Over twelve categories, Penguin Random House authors walked away with six awards - with The Book of Dust author Philip Pullman crowned the UK's Author of the Year.

In the books categories, Transworld author Belinda Bauer won the Crime & Thriller Award for Snap, her Sunday Times Bestseller which was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize earlier this year. She celebrated the win with fellow crime writer Val McDermid, who has called the book 'the best crime novel I've read in a very long time'.

  • Snap

  • Crime & Thriller Book of the Year (Specsavers National Book Awards)
    Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2018

    'The best crime novel I've read in a very long time.' VAL MCDERMID


    On a stifling summer's day, eleven-year-old Jack and his two sisters sit in their broken-down car, waiting for their mother to come back and rescue them. Jack's in charge, she'd said. I won't be long.

    But she doesn't come back. She never comes back. And life as the children know it is changed for ever.

    Three years later, Jack is still in charge - of his sisters, of supporting them all, of making sure nobody knows they're alone in the house, and - quite suddenly - of finding out the truth about what happened to his mother . . .


    What readers are saying

    ***** 'This book has confirmed Belinda Bauer's place on my 'must read' author list.'
    ***** 'A excellent crime thriller that is difficult to put down from start to finish.'
    ***** 'I finished it in two sittings and became an immediate Belinda Bauer fan.'
    ***** 'A story that balances humour and tragedy with such deftness that crying and laughing often occurred simultaneously.'
    ***** 'The characters are so well-drawn and quirky that you remember them long after the denouement and you hold your breath until the very last page.'

    Praise for Belinda Bauer

    'Original, pacy and thoroughly entertaining . . . a cracking read.' CLARE MACKINTOSH, bestselling author of I Let You Go

    'No one writes crime novels like Belinda Bauer, with a rare blend of darkness, humour and heart. She's a crime writing genius.' C. L. TAYLOR, bestselling author of The Missing

    'Belinda Bauer's plots are never anything less than original and unsettling, and Snap is no exception.' Sunday Times

    'Spine-chilling, tension-packed gripper.' Woman and Home

    'The opening of Snap is one of the most vividly unnerving I have read . . . razor-sharp observation.' Guardian

    Belinda's sensational new crime novel EXIT is available to preorder now.

  • Read more

Penguin General author and journalist Dolly Alderton won the Autobiography Prize for Everything I Know About Love, her honest and engaging account of the trials and triumps of becoming a grown up; and celebrated chef Yotam Ottlenghi won the Food & Drink Prize for the immensely popular Simple, published by Ebury.


Simple author Yotam Ottolenghi with his National Book Award

Simple author Yotam Ottolenghi with his National Book Award

  • Everything I Know About Love


    Winner of Autobiography of the Year at the National Book Awards 2018
    Shortlisted for the Waterstones Book of the Year 2018

    'This is the book we will thrust into our friends' hands, the book that will help heal a broken heart. Her pages wrap around you like a warm hug' Evening Standard


    When it comes to the trials and triumphs of becoming a grown up, journalist Dolly Alderton has seen and tried it all. She vividly recounts falling in love, wrestling with self-sabotage, finding a job, throwing a socially disastrous Rod-Stewart themed house party, getting drunk, getting dumped, realising that Ivan from the corner shop is the only man you've ever been able to rely on, and finding that that your mates are always there at the end of every messy night out. It's a book about bad dates, good friends and - above all else - about recognising that you and you alone are enough.

    'With courageous honesty, Alderton documents her life up to now, the highs and the lows - the sex, the drugs, the nightmare landlords, the heartaches and the humiliations. Deeply funny, sometimes shocking, and admirably open-hearted and optimistic. A brilliant debut' Daily Telegraph

    'It's so full of life and laughs - I gobbled up this book. Alderton has built something beautiful and true out of many fragments of daftness' Amy Liptrot

    'I thought I knew a lot about love. Not as much as Dolly. Read as soon as possible' Sharon Horgan

  • Read more
  • Ottolenghi SIMPLE

  • The Sunday Times and New York Times Bestseller. Winner at The National Book Awards 2018

    Everything you love about Ottolenghi, made simple.

    Yotam Ottolenghi’s award-winning recipes are always a celebration: an unforgettable combination of abundance, taste and surprise. Ottolenghi SIMPLE is no different, with 130 brand-new dishes that contain all the inventive elements and flavour combinations that Ottolenghi is loved for, but with minimal hassle for maximum joy.

    Bursting with colourful photography, Ottolenghi SIMPLE showcases Yotam’s standout dishes that will suit whatever type of cooking you find easy – whether that’s getting wonderful food on the table in under 30 minutes, using just one pot to make a delicious meal, or a flavoursome dish that can be prepared ahead and then served when you’re ready.

    These brilliant, flavour-forward dishes are all SIMPLE in at least one (but very often more than one) way:

    S – short on time: less than 30 minutes
    I – 10 ingredients or less
    M – make ahead
    P – pantry
    L – lazy
    E – easier than you think

    Ottolenghi SIMPLE is the stunning new cookbook we have all been wishing for: Yotam Ottolenghi’s vibrant food made easy.

    Buy the SIMPLE 10 ingredients at

  • Read more

Scarlett Curtis' collection of essays Feminists Don't Wear Pink and Other Lies won the Young Adult Prize, after being lauded for its approach to making feminism more accessible, with contributions from Emma Watson, Zoe Sugg, Keira Knightley and 49 others; whilst Carlo Rovelli's The Order of Time, as read by Benedict Cumberbatch, won the LBC Audiobook of the Year Prize. 

Audiobook producer Roy McMillan collects the Audiobook of the Year Award on behalf of Carlo Rovelli and Benedict Cumberbatch

Audiobook producer Roy McMillan collects the Audiobook of the Year Award on behalf of Carlo Rovelli and Benedict Cumberbatch

  • Feminists Don't Wear Pink (and other lies)

    And Other Lies

  • The Sunday Times Bestseller
    National Book Awards Winner 2018!

    This is the must-read book that every woman needs.

    "Brilliant, hysterical, truthful and real. These essays illuminate the path for our future female leaders." - Reese Witherspoon

    We asked 52 women: what does the F word mean to you?
    The result is extraordinary.

    Curated by journalist and activist Scarlett Curtis, with incredible pieces by:

    Emma Watson - Zoe Sugg - Keira Knightley - Gemma Arterton - Bridget Jones (by Helen Fielding) - Saoirse Ronan - Liv Little - Dolly Alderton - Karen Gillan - Alicia Garza - Jameela Jamil - Kat Dennings - Nimco Ali - Beanie Feldstein - Olivia Perez - Amika George - Evanna Lynch - Akilah Hughes - Tanya Burr - Grace Campbell - Alison Sudol - Elyse Fox - Charlie Craggs - Rhyannon Styles - Skai Jackson - Tasha Bishop - Lolly Adefope - Bronwen Brenner - Dr Alaa Murabit - Trisha Shetty - Jordan Hewson - Amy Trigg - Em Odesser - Emi Mahmoud - Lydia Wilson - Swati Sharma

    Warning: contains a lot of feminism and some explicit content!

    **Published in partnership with Girl Up, the UN women's foundation, royalties will benefit this amazing charity**

    More praise for Feminists Don't Wear Pink:

    "As a feminist who loves pink, I give this brilliant book of essays an enthusiastic "YES"" - Mindy Kaling

    "A refreshing and honest celebration of all that it means to be a woman today." - Fearne Cotton

    "Wonderfully candid, often funny and absolutely necessary, a triumphant rallying call to young women." - The Observer

    "Pick it up and read one story from your favourite columnist or actress, but I guarantee you'll end up reading the full, illuminating collection, and you'll possibly finish it knowing more about your own personal stance than you imagined." -

    "This collection of essays curated by writer Scarlett Curtis is a call-to-arm that allows us to unpick what it means to be a feminist in a safe space." -

    "We advise placing a copy in the hands of every girl (and guy) you know." - Red Magazine

    "Rousing contemporary essays" - The Observer

  • Read more
  • The Order of Time

  • Winner of Audiobook of the Year at The Specsavers National Book Awards 2018

    Penguin presents the audio edition of The Order of Time by Carlo Rovelli, read by Benedict Cumberbatch.

    The bestselling author of Seven Brief Lessons on Physics takes us on an enchanting journey to discover the meaning of time

    Time is a mystery that does not cease to puzzle us. Philosophers, artists and poets have long explored its meaning while scientists have found that its structure is different from the simple intuition we have of it. From Boltzmann to quantum theory, from Einstein to loop quantum gravity, our understanding of time has been undergoing radical transformations. Time flows at a different speed in different places, the past and the future differ far less than we might think, and the very notion of the present evaporates in the vast universe.

    With his extraordinary charm and sense of wonder, bringing together science, philosophy and art, Carlo Rovelli unravels this mystery, inviting us to imagine a world where time is in us and we are not in time.

    'A global superstar. . . Rovelli is making the grammar of the universe accessible to a new generation' - Channel 4 News

  • Read more

Philip Pullman's UK Author of the Year award caps a fantastic year for the author, who returned to the much-loved world of His Dark Materials forThe Book of Dust: La Belle Sauvage, which was named Waterstones Book of the Year 2017 and saw him win Author of the Year at this year's British Book Awards.

All of this year's category winners are now up against each other for the Overall Book of the Year Award, voted for by the public. The winner will be announced on 30 December, and you can vote for your favourite up to midnight on December 23 here.

Read next

We use cookies on this site to enable certain parts of the site to function and to collect information about your use of the site so that we can improve our visitors’ experience.

For more on our cookies and changing your settings click here

Strictly Necessary


Preferences & Features

Targeting / Advertising