Monday 11 December 2017

Insiders Guide to 2016 Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards

What’s your favourite page-turner of 2016?

Ireland’s largest and best celebration of books is almost upon us and is set to be a who’s who of the literary world, recognising all that is great about the industry right now.

It’s been another bumper year for Irish books and this autumn, Bord Gáis Energy returns as the sponsor of the Irish Book Awards – “the flagship event for the Irish book industry” for the seventh year in a row.

The 2016 shortlists have been announced and the awards will take place on 16 November at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, Dublin.

Here’s an Insiders Top 10 to the 2016 Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards:

1. Novel of the Year Shortlist Revealed

Battling it out for the top title of Novel of the Year are, Solar Bones by Mike McCormack, along with The Wonder by Emma Donoghue; All We Shall Know by Donal Ryan; This Must Be the Place by Maggie O’Farrell; The Lesser Bohemians by Eimear McBride and Days Without End by Sebastian Barry.

2. 11 Years and 14 Categories

The awards, now in their 11th year, feature 14 categories across children’s, cookery, crime fiction, popular fiction, sports, non-fiction, short stories and poetry.

3. Half of Irish Parents Are Reading to Babies

Over half of Irish parents (57%) begin reading to their children before they are six months old, with a further 30% starting before their first birthday, according to a Bord Gáis Energy survey.

4.  Sports – The Big Battle

The sports category is where the big battle will be this year for the Bord Gáis Energy Sports Book of the Year.  Paul O’Connell’s, The Battle, will compete with My Life in Rugby by Donal Lenihan; Blood Sweat & McAteer by Jason McAteer; Coolmore Stud:  Ireland’s Greatest Sporting Success Story and there’s also Out of Control by Cathal McCarron and Win or Learn by John Kavanagh.

5.  Jilly Cooper – ‘A Fantastic Party’

Best-selling novelist Jilly Cooper plans to have ‘a fantastic party’ at this year’s awards when she’ll be honoured with the Bord Gáis Energy International Recognition Award.  “This is the most heavenly compliment I’ve ever received.  I’ve always adored Ireland”, she says.

6.  Tablets and Book Collections

A fifth of 0-5 year olds have over 30 books in their collection while 23% admit to having more than 50.  Two fifths (61%) of under 5s have access to a tablet and 27% use it to read, according to Bord Gáis Energy.

7.  A New Poetry Category This Year

This year, there’s a new award category – the Listowel Writers Week Irish Poem of the Year.  Executive Director Alastair Giles explains:  “Poetry is central to the Irish literary tradition”. 

8.  Enid Blyton – She’s Here to Stay

The classics remain popular says the Bord Gáis Energy poll with Enid Blyton (41%) and Roald Dahl (40%) topping the list of favourite children’s authors.

9.  What Celeb Do Parents Want at Bedtime?

Morgan Freeman (27%) is the celebrity Irish parents would most like to read them a bedtime story.  88% of parents surveyed say their children really enjoy reading and story time.

10.  First Timers to Stalwarts

The awards shortlist ranges from first time authors like Kathleen Watkins (Pigín Goes to Howth) to regular stalwarts like Paul Howard aka Ross O Carroll Kelly. 

What’s your best book of 2016?  Votes can be cast until midnight on 11 November 2016.  Vote now at Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards 2016.


Sponsored by: Bord Gais

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