The Bees by Laline Paull announced as WINNER of NB Reading Group Book of the Year!

Article published on March 7, 2016.

Once again I am delighted to announce the winner of the NB Reading Group Book of the Year. Hundreds of book clubs across the UK voted on their favourite NEW book published this year, with The Bees coming out on top after 2 months of the public poll launched in NB magazine and supported online here at

The public vote was sponsored by NATIONAL BOOK TOKENS who offered a prize draw of £100 of national book tokens which has been won by Steph Armstrong of Carlisle.

Laline Paull’s much vaunted novel has already been shortlisted for the Bailey’s Prize and longlisted for the Desmond Elliot Prize. This intriguing tale, set entirely within a bee hive and painting a portrait of modern environmental disaster seems to have struck a chord of popularity with echoes of Watership Down.

Previous winners of the NB Reading Group Book of the Year include:rgbotysquare
2015 – The Humans by Matt Haig
2014 – Flight Behaviour by Barbara Kingsolver
2013 – The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce
2012 – Room by Emma Donoghue
2011 – The Help by Kathryn Stockett
2010 – The Return by Victoria Hislop

Previous winners with this prize platform have all gone on to achieve massive sales and acclaim as the recommendation for every reading group in the country.

Our readers are also avid reviewers and are extremely discerning when selecting the book which they enjoyed the most and/or elicited the loudest debate in a book club. The Bees is a fabulously ingenious tale and it won our vote by a distance. We’ll feature the author and carry an extract from the novel in our next issue. I’m certain the endorsement will be seen by reading groups all over the country and let’s hope we help bring Laline’s novel to the much wider audience it deserves.

Author Laline Paull commented:

‘Winning any prize is an honour, but an author surely feels a special gratification when the award has been voted for by readers themselves. When I wrote The Bees I had no idea how it would be received – or if it would even find a publishing home at all – so to know that it has struck such a chord with reading groups makes me not only very happy, but is a great encouragement as I write my next book. I send my sincere thanks to the NB readers for their vote.’

Guy Pringle
March 7th, 2016

The new spring edition of NB will be published during the last week of March and will be available from all good libraries, independent bookshops or by subscription at As well as a feature from the author on how The Bees came together and an extract from her book, the new issue of NB includes; an interview with Peter James, a Q&A with Chris Cleave and a retrospective of Maggie O’Farrell’s work. also ran a community Book of the Year vote simultaneously to find the favourite books in each community. The winners reflecting the eclectic tastes of the readers, were as follows:

BookHugger – A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson (Bantam)
BookLife – Do it Like a Woman by Caroline Criado-Perez (Portobello)
BookGeek – Alice & The Fly by James Rice (Hodder)
BookDiva – The New Woman by Charity Norman (Allen & Unwin)
BookChap – Trigger Mortis by Anthony Horowitz (Orion)
BookNoir – Even Dogs in the Wild by Iain Rankin (Orion)


Retro: The Vanishing Act Of Esme Lennox – Maggie O’Farrell


The Bees by Laline Paull

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