Top Five Saturday: Award Winners

The Top 5 series is back!

Top Five Saturday is a meme hosted by Devouring Books in which the bookish community discover and share books that all have a common theme. Previously, the meme has focused on a range of different characters (witches and werewolves), genres (thrillers, detectives and re-tellings) and thoughts about the industry and life as a bookworm, and many more. 

Please read and share, comment and discuss this week’s topic!


And finally onto today’s list! I do try to follow various book prizes and shadow them as far as I can before winners are announced – with limited success sometimes with the pressures of life and family. So this is a list of my favourite winners from some of these prizes. Yes, there are going to be more than five – sorry!

The Women’s Prize for Fiction, Hamnet, Maggie O’Farrell, 2020

Tragic, beautiful, lyrical, sensual…

On a summer’s day in 1596, a young girl in Stratford-upon-Avon takes to her bed with a fever. Her twin brother, Hamnet, searches everywhere for help. Why is nobody at home?

Their mother, Agnes, is over a mile away, in the garden where she grows medicinal herbs. Their father is working in London. Neither parent knows that one of the children will not survive the week.

The Booker Prize, Girl, Woman, Other, Bernardine Evaristo, 2019

I do find the Booker Prize longlists and shortlists a little hit-and-miss but I cannot criticise their choice last year!

Wonderful, warm, inclusive…

From Newcastle to Cornwall, from the birth of the twentieth century to the teens of the twenty-first, Girl, Woman, Other follows a cast of twelve characters on their personal journeys through this country and the last hundred years. They’re each looking for something – a shared past, an unexpected future, a place to call home, somewhere to fit in, a lover, a missed mother, a lost father, even just a touch of hope . . .

The Costa Award: Life After Life, Kate Atkinson 2013

Lyrical, mystical and heartbreaking…

During a snowstorm in England in 1910, a baby is born and dies before she can take her first breath.

During a snowstorm in England in 1910, the same baby is born and lives to tell the tale.

What if there were second chances? And third chances? In fact an infinite number of chances to live your life? Would you eventually be able to save the world from its own inevitable destiny? And would you even want to?

The Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction, Wolf Hall, Hilary Mantel 2010

Exceptional, vivid and vibrant

England, the 1520s. Henry VIII is on the throne, but has no heir. Cardinal Wolsey is his chief advisor, charged with securing the divorce the pope refuses to grant. Into this atmosphere of distrust and need comes Thomas Cromwell, first as Wolsey’s clerk, and later his successor.

The CWA Gold Dagger, The Dry, Jane Harper, 2017

Potent, searing and brutal…

Amid the worst drought to ravage Australia in a century, it hasn’t rained in small country town Kiewarra for two years. Tensions in the community become unbearable when three members of the Hadler family are brutally murdered. Everyone thinks Luke Hadler, who committed suicide after slaughtering his wife and six-year-old son, is guilty.

The Carnegie Medal, A Monster Calls, Patrick Ness, 2012

Heart breaking, tragic, mischievous and mythic…

The monster showed up just after midnight. As they do. But it isn’t the monster Conor’s been expecting. He’s been expecting the one from his nightmare, the one he’s had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments, the one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming… This monster is something different. Something ancient, something wild. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor. It wants the truth. Patrick Ness takes the final idea of the late, award-winning writer Siobhan Dowd and weaves an extraordinary and heartbreaking tale of mischief, healing and above all, the courage it takes to survive.

Upcoming Top Five Topics

  • September 26th, 2020 — Guilty Pleasure Reads
  • October 3rd, 2020 — Intimidating Books

8 thoughts on “Top Five Saturday: Award Winners”

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