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Galaxy British Book Awards 2008

Story by Lizzie Guilfoyle

THE WINNERS of the Galaxy British Book Awards – the so-called Oscars of the book trade – were announced in a ceremony at the Grosvenor House Hotel hosted by Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan.

Galaxy Book of the Year went to Ian McEwan’s On Chesil Beach, a story set in the period immediately before the sexual revolution, when newlyweds Edward and Florence anticipate the first night of their honeymoon with mixed emotions. McEwan was also named Reader’s Digest Author of the Year.

Khaled Hosseini’s A Thousand Splendid Suns which chronicles 30 years of Afghan history, was Richard and Judy’s Best Read of the Year; and the Tesco Biography of the Year went to My Booky Wook by outrageous comic Russell Brand.

Francesca Simon’s Horrid Henry and the Abominable Snowman triumphed over Fiona Watt’s That’s Not My Penguin, Katie Price’s My Pony Care Book, Michael Morpurgo’s Born to Run and Jacqueline Wilson’s Kiss to win the WH Smith Children’s Book of the Year Award.

Meanwhile, Booksdirect Crime Thriller of the Year was awarded to Patricia Cornwell’s Book of the Dead; Waterstones Newcomer of the Year was Catherine O’Flynn for What Was Lost; Kim Edwards’ The Memory Keeper’s Daughter took the Sainsbury’s Popular Fiction Award; and Ewan McGregor and Charlie Boorman’s Long Way Down walked off with the Play.com Popular Non-Fiction Award.

And finally, JK Rowling whose Harry Potter books have been such a phenominal success, received the Book People Outstanding Achievment Award.