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Samuel Johnson Prize shortlist announced

So the Samuel Johnson Prize shortlist for 2015 has been announced. Let’s hope that the winner of the £20,000 prize this year is better than last years.


Readers may remember a blog post from February this year after I read the 2014 winner of this notable prize, H is for Hawkwhere I admit that I wasn’t a fan. Other people were, obviously.

I’m only hoping that this years nominations are better than H is for Hawk. In my view they couldn’t be much worse. I was disappointed with H is for Hawk in part because it promised to be so much, I expected so much more from a ‘prize winning’ book. Obviously, in this case for me, winning a prestigious prize such as this does not guarantee that the book in question is any good. But it should, to win a prize such as this it really should. I don’t know what the panel of judges look at when considering the winner – or the shortlist – but H is for Hawk shouldn’t have been there. (H is for Hawk also won the prize of Costa Book of the Year!?!?!)

Saying that, good luck to the short list nominees for 2015:

  • Jonathan Bate, Ted Hughes: The Unauthorised Life
  • Robert Macfarlane, Landmarks
  • Laurence Scott, The Four-Dimensional Human
  • Steve Silberman, Neurotribes: The Legacy of Autism and How to Think Smarter About People Who Think Differently
  • Emma Sky, The Unravelling: High Hopes and Missed Opportunities in Iraq
  • Samanth Subramanian, This Divided Island

The winner will be announced on 2 November.

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