Costa Book Awards 2008

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Formerly the Whitbread Book Awards, the Costa Book Awards are selected by a nine judge panel. Each category winner receives £5,000. The overall winner is announced on 27 January 2009, and will win £25,000. The official website is www.costabookawards.com.

Book of the Year

The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry

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Like our reviewer, the judges were not impressed by the ending, but they thought Roseanne McNulty was one of the great voices of narrative fiction and that this transcended any problems with the book. Full review...

First Novel

The Outcast by Sadie Jones

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Bookbag agreed with the judges' decision, with The Outcast winning out over the other shortlisted books: The Behaviour of Moths by Poppy Adams, Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith and Inside the Whale by Jennie Rooney. Full review...

Novel

The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry

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Bookbag thought that The Secret Scripture was a great book with a poor ending, but it beat fellow nominees The Other Hand by Chris Cleave (which Bookbag particularly loved), A Partisan's Daughter by Louis de Bernieres and Trauma by Patrick McGrath. Full review...

Biography

Somewhere Towards the End by Diana Athill

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Bookbag disagreed with the Costa judges, only giving Somewhere Towards the End 3 stars. However, it still had lots going for it. The nominees were Bloomsbury Ballerina by Judith Mackrell, If You Don't Know Me By Now by Sathnam Sanghera (Bookbag's favourite) and Chagall by Jackie Wullschlager. Full review...

Poetry

Children's Book

Just Henry by Michelle Magorian

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Bookbag disagreed with the Costa judges again. Just Henry was Bookbag's least favourite of the nominees. Bookbag raved about Ostrich Boys by Keith Gray, The Carbon Diaries 2015 by Saci Lloyd and Broken Soup by Jenny Valentine. Full review...

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