Galaxy National Book Awards 2011: Popular Fiction Book of the Year

Article published on December 6, 2011.

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Dawn French – A Tiny Bit Marvellous (Winner)

A Tiny Bit Marvellous is the story of a modern family all living in their own separate bubbles lurching towards meltdown. It is for anyone who has ever shared a home with that weird group of strangers we call relations.

Oh and there’s a dog. Called Poo.

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Daisy Goodwin – My Last Duchess

Cora Cash, probably the wealthiest heiress in 1890s America, has grown up in a world in which money unlocks every door. Yet her fortune cannot buy her the freedom to choose her own destiny. For Cora’s mother has her heart on a title for her daughter, and in England – where they are bound – impoverished blue bloods are queuing up for introductions to American heiresses. She soon finds herself playing a game she does not fully understand – one where her future happiness is the prize.

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Jane Harris – Gillespie and I

A wonderfully dark and entertaining tale, set in Victorian Glasgow, following a young woman who befriends an influential artistic family at the time of the International Exhibition – a friendship that leads to tragedy and mystery…

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Joanna Trollope – Daughters in Law

Rachel has always loved being at the centre of her large family. She has fiercely devoted herself to her three sons all their lives, and continues to do so even now they are all grown up. They are, of course, devoted to her – she and Anthony, their father, hold the family together at their big, beautiful, ramshackle house near the wide, bird-haunted coast of Suffolk.

But when Luke, her youngest, gets married, Rachel finds that control is slipping away. Other people seem to be becoming more important to her children than she is, and she can no longer rely on her role as undisputed matriarch. A power struggle develops which can only end in unhappiness; her three daughters-in-law want to do things their own way, and so, to her grief, do her sons…

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Matt Haig – The Radleys

Suburban life: Radio 4, dinner parties and self-denial. Loads of self-denial. But for the Radleys, all hell’s about to break loose. When teenage daughter Clara gets attacked, she and her brother Rowan finally discover quite why they feel so weird all the time.

Life for the Radleys  is about to change. Drastically…

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Terry Pratchett – Snuff

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a policeman taking a holiday would barely have had time to open his suitcase before he finds his first corpse.

And Commander Sam Vimes of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch is on holiday in the pleasant and innocent countryside, but not for him a mere body in the wardrobe. There are many, many bodies and an ancient crime more terrible than murder.

He is out of his jurisdiction, out of his depth, out of bacon sandwiches, occasionally snookered and out of his mind, but never out of guile. Where there is a crime there must be a finding, there must be a chase and there must be a punishment.

They say that in the end all sins are forgiven.

But not quite all…

About the Galaxy National Book Awards

The gala ceremony, recorded at the Mandarin Oriental was hosted by comedian (and author of Tickling the English in 2010) Dara O Briain and actress Helen Baxendale. The Awards showcase the best of British publishing and celebrate titles that boast both wide popular appeal and critical acclaim. Produced by Cactus TV, the Awards are to be broadcast over six weeks of national TV programming, BOOKED – Stars of the Galaxy National Book Awards will air on 13th November and run until 18th December on More4. Each show will include features on each of the winners and in-depth interviews with the season’s biggest celebrity authors, including Katie Price, Rob Brydon and Jason Manford.

From Saturday 5th November, the public are invited to vote online for the Galaxy Book of the Year, the nominees of which comprise winners of all eleven categories. Last year’s winner of the overall accolade, One Day, by David Nicholls recorded over 300% sales growth during December 2010, going on to become the biggest selling paperback of 2011 along with a Hollywood film release. Who will triumph this year?

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