“Philosopher’s Stone” on British Book Awards ’30 from 30′ shortlist

Mar 20, 2020

Posted by: Amanda Kirk

Bloomsbury, Book Awards, Books, Harry Potter and the Philosophers / Sorcerers Stone, Honors/Awards, J.K. Rowling, News

It has been 30 years since the British Book Awards, known as Nibbies, were launched in 1990. To commemorate this milestone, they are awarding a trophy to the most influential book of the past 30 years. Books in contention have been selected by both readers and trade representatives, and include past winners, as well as one title that has been successful but that has never received a Nibbie: Adam Kay’s This is Going to Hurt (Picador), which stayed on the Sunday Times bestseller charts for more than eight months in 2018. Past Book of the Year winners on the shortlist include Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code (Transworld, 2003), Helen Fielding’s Bridget Jones’s Diary (Picador, 1996), and Jung Chang’s Wild Swans (William Collins, 1991). Jamie Oliver’s 5 Ingredients (Michael Joseph, 2018), a previous winner in the Lifestyle category, is also a contender, along with Zadie Smith’s White Teeth (Penguin, 2000), and Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall (Fourth Estate, 2010).

41eIrbioTNL._SX357_BO1,204,203,200_Rowling’s debut novel Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Bloomsbury, 1997) is a past winner in the Children’s Book of the Year category, and was chosen for the short list along with Philip Pullman’s Northern Lights (Scholastic, 1995), which is the first instalment of the His Dark Materials trilogy, Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s The Gruffalo’s Child (Macmillan, 2004), and The Lost Words by Jackie Morris and Robert MacFarlane (Hamish Hamilton, 2017),  a beautifully illustrated book of poems that celebrates words about nature that have been removed from the latest version of the Oxford Junior Dictionary, replace by words describing various technological innovations—for example, acorn is out, and voicemail is in.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the British Book Awards have been rescheduled to June 29. The winning author will be invited to attend. We at Leaky cannot imagine a more influential book that Philospher’s Stone and we sincerely hope J.K. Rowling will be the winner. Personally, I am hoping The Lost Words and Northern Lights will be the runners-up, but we’ll all have to wait and see what the judges think. Philip Jones, editor of The Bookseller, will be chairing the judging committee. The committee comprises The Bookseller’s books editor Alice O’Keeffe; Andrew Holgate, literary editor of the Sunday Times; Cathy Rentzenbrink, author and host of The Bookseller’s podcast; the agent Elise Dillsworth; and John Mitchinson and Andy Miller, co-hosts of the Backlisted podcast.

In an article announcing the shortlist on The Bookseller, Jones said:

“This is a wonderful list of past-winners complemented by our wildcard. The shortlist showcases the enduring power of books and the importance of those who write them, publish them, and sell them. As the book sector faces one of its most difficult periods, this history of the trade through the Nibbies should act like a beacon, reminding us of the power and influence of the written word.”

The Leaky Cauldron is not associated with J.K. Rowling, Warner Bros., or any of the individuals or companies associated with producing and publishing Harry Potter books and films.