Costa Prize 2010

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Of Mutability by Jo Shapcott

The Shortlists

Costa First Novel Award


Witness the Night by Kishwar Desai


An interesting insight into women's issues in India clumsily forced into a severely disappointing narrative. The judges thought differently - they said We were thrilled and exhilarated by this stunning debut. Just like her feisty main character, Desai has fearlessly blown the lid on the problems that simmer under the surface of modern- day India Full review...

Other Books On The Shortlist

Coconut Unlimited by Nikesh Shukla


Our reviewer has just about lived the story - and he can tell you how good it is. Full review...

The Temple-Goers by Aatish Taseer


A harsh portrait of a modern India that is short on sentiment and heavy on ambition. Full review...

Not Quite White by Simon Thirsk


An intelligent, in-depth look at Anglo-Welsh relations in modern fictional times. A young, idealistic Englishman is given the unenviable remit by Westminster to 'sort out' a small community in Wales and drag it kicking and screaming into the 21st Century - but is he up to this mammoth challenge? Full review...

Costa Novel Award


The Hand That First Held Mine by Maggie O'Farrell


Two women come to London as adults, some fifty years apart - one from rural Devon, the other from Finland, yet there is a connection between them whih neither could have imagined. An exquisite story of love in all its forms - highly recommended. The judges said: A book of grand themes and intimate moments. This gripping novel is the one we'd unreservedly recommend Full review...

Other Books On The Shortlist

Whatever You Love by Louise Doughty


Laura plans revenge after losing her 9 year old daughter in an accident, in a beautifully written and utterly compelling novel. Full review...

The Blasphemer by Nigel Farndale


Militant atheism takes on angelic visions in this wide-ranging book with a parallel narrative that takes us from the trenches of WWI to today's War on Terror. Bookbag loved the general idea and the quality of the writing, but failed to engage with any of the characters and found it rather cluttered. Full review...

Skippy Dies by Paul Murray


Life and death in and around an Irish private school, in this all-encompassing brick of a novel, which does resolve into an enjoyable plot. Full review...

Costa Poetry Award

We don't review poetry, but these were the runners and riders:


Of Mutability by Jo Shapcott

Other Books on the Shortlist

Standard Midland by Roy Fisher

The Wrecking of Light by Robin Robertson

New Light for the Old Dark by Sam Willetts

Costa Biography Award


The Hare With Amber Eyes: A Hidden Inheritance by Edmund de Waal


The judges said: A truly special book. De Waal is a first-class potter and has proven himself with this book to be a first-class writer - he's able to handle a very serious subject with a delicacy, charm and touch that is rare Full review...

Other Books On The Shortlist

How to Live: A Life of Montaigne in One Question and Twenty Attempts at an Answer by Sarah Bakewell


Every bit as good as its quirky title suggests, Montaigne's ideas are still relevant half a millennium later. A must-read for those with existential angst or pretensions to erudition. Full review...

My Father's Fortune: A Life by Michael Frayn


A wonderful book which will have you laughing and crying. Full review...

Costa Children's Book Award

The Winner

Out of Shadows by Jason Wallace


Gorgeous coming-of-age novel set in Zimbabwe in a time of political upheaval. Both compelling and thought-provoking, it'll stay with them long after they've finished reading. The judges said: For us, this extraordinary debut novel was a unanimous winner. This compelling portrayal of a nation in crisis gripped us from start to finish and has stayed with us since. Full review...

Other Books On The Shortlist

Flyaway by Lucy Christopher


Isla and her father love to watch the wild swans arrive, but this year things are different. Isla's father is seriously ill, and after a terrible accident one of the youngest swans forgets how to fly. Isla puts her energies into teaching the swan, convinced that somehow this will help her father pull through. Full review...

Annexed by Sharon Dogar


How was it for Peter? Sharon Dogar imagines life for Peter van Pels in the Amsterdam annexe with Anne Frank during WWII. There's been some controversy about this book, but Bookbag thought it was an intimate, thoughtful and absorbing novel. Full review...

The Ring of Solomon (Bartimaeus) by Jonathan Stroud


Prequel to Stroud's tremendously popular Bartimaeus trilogy. There's more magic and magicians this time and the setting is ancient and mythologised, far from London. Lots of twists and turns too. Fans are going to love it. Bookbag did. Full review...

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