Kazuo Ishiguro, Emma Stonex and Matt Haig among writers picked by indies as top summer reads - Indie Book Awards shortlist in full

The shortlist for the Indie Book Awards 2022, the annual awards curated exclusively by independent bookshops as part of Independent Bookshop Week, has been revealed.

By Sue Wilkinson
Friday, 13th May 2022, 11:21 am
Updated Friday, 13th May 2022, 11:25 am
Kazuo Ishiguro, author of Klara and the Sun, said: “I’ve always kept in my mind an ever-evolving map of Britain made up of my favourite indie bookshops."
Kazuo Ishiguro, author of Klara and the Sun, said: “I’ve always kept in my mind an ever-evolving map of Britain made up of my favourite indie bookshops."

Honouring paperback books across four categories – Fiction, Non-Fiction, Children’s Fiction and Picture Book – the awards are curated exclusively by independent booksellers.

Highlighting the best reads for the summer, the Indie Book Awards celebrate are a part of the annual campaign celebrating indie bookshops in the UK and Ireland organised by the Booksellers Association.

Independent Bookshop Week runs from June 18 to 25.

This year’s shortlist include the lockdown debut sensation Emma Stonex's The Lamplighters, Nobel-prize winner Kazuo Ishiguro for Klara and the Sun, Korean-American indie rockstar and author Michelle Zauner for Crying in H Mart, number 1 New York Times bestselling author Jason Reynolds for When I Was the Greatest, illustrated by Akhran Girmay and previous Indie Book Award winners Pat Barker for The Women of Troy, Joseph Coelho for Frankenstiltskin: Fairy Tales Gone Bad and My Beautiful Voice and Julia Donaldson for Counting Creatures.

A judging panel of independent booksellers will decide on the four winners, to be announced on Friday June 24, the penultimate day of Independent Bookshop Week. The winners will be announced live on the Mark Forrest show, which airs from 10am on Scala Radio, the official media partner of the Indie Book Awards.

The full Indie Book Awards 2022 shortlist:

FICTION

Mrs Death Misses Death by Salena Godden (Canongate)

Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro (Faber)

The Lamplighters by Emma Stonex (Picador)

Still Life by Sarah Winman (HarperCollins)

Piranesi by Susanna Clarke (Bloomsbury)

The Women of Troy by Pat Barker (Hamish Hamilton)

NON-FICTION

The Comfort Book by Matt Haig (Canongate)

The Book of Trespass by Nick Hayes (Bloomsbury)

Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner (Picador)

How We Met by Huma Qureshi (Elliot & Thompson Limited)

Scoff: A History of Food and Class in Britain by Pen Vogler (Atlantic Books)

House of Music – Raising the Kanneh-Masons by Kadiatu Kanneh-Mason (Oneworld)

CHILDREN’S FICTION

The Last Bear by Hannah Gold, illustrated by Levi Pinfold (HarperCollins Children's Books)

The Week at World's End by Emma Carroll (Faber)

Frankenstiltskin: Fairy Tales Gone Bad by Joseph Coelho, illustrated by Freya Hartas (Walker)

Escape Room by Christopher Edge (Nosy Crow)

The Chime Seekers by Ross Montgomery (Walker)

When I Was the Greatest by Jason Reynolds, illustrated by Akhran Girmay (Faber)

PICTURE BOOK

Arlo the Lion Who Couldn't Sleep by Catherine Rayner (Macmillan Children's Books)

Counting Creatures by Julia Donaldson & Sharon King-Chai (Two Hoots)

A Song of Gladness by Michael Morpurgo & Emily Gravett (Two Hoots)

Granny Came Here on the Empire Windrush by Patrice Lawrence & Camilla Sucre (Nosy Crow)

My Beautiful Voice by Joseph Coelho & Allison Colpoys (Frances Lincoln Children's Books)

The Night the Moon Went Missing by Brendan Kearney (DK)

Kazuo Ishiguro, author of Klara and the Sun, said: “I’ve always kept in my mind an ever-evolving map of Britain made up of my favourite indie bookshops. Some are quiet sanctuaries; others are eccentric, obsessive, surreally eclectic. They’ve all of them inspired me down the years, nudging me into unexpected areas of interest, into fresh territories for my reading and my writing. I’m delighted Klara has made it onto the Indie Book Awards shortlist.”

Pat Barker, author of The Women of Troy, said: “It’s a tremendous honour to have been shortlisted for the Indie Book Awards. Many of my favourite bookshops are indies. The staff are so knowledgeable and welcoming and there is always a sense of deep commitment to readers and writers. I particularly like the way they offer a home to lesser known and local authors. You can always pick up something you didn’t expect to find and didn’t know you wanted to read. A plan is afoot to have a mobile independent bookshop here in Durham City where I live and I’m really looking forward to getting involved with that.”

Matt Haig, author of The Comfort Book, said: "Indie bookshops are the beating pulse of the book industry. They are what keeps it truly alive and dynamic and interesting and where the intersection between writers, readers and the industry is the most vibrant. And so it’s an absolute honour to be included in the Indie Book Awards shortlist."

Huma Qureshi, author of How We Met, said “It means so much to me to be shortlisted for the Indie Book Awards. It's lovely to feel so supported, especially by independent bookshops and booksellers up and down the country. My book isn't big or loud and yet people have noticed it, and I am so grateful to all those booksellers who have pressed copies of How We Met into readers' hands. I have loved the experience of visiting indie bookshops across North London where I live and signing copies of my books; every bookseller made me feel like I belonged. That feeling, of having my books belong, means something I cannot quite put into words.”

Julia Donaldson, author of Counting Creatures, said: "I am absolutely thrilled to hear that Counting Creatures has been shortlisted for the Indie Book Awards. As a child I spent many happy hours in independent bookshops and I still do today. Independent booksellers are experts in their field and offer so much knowledge and advice to their customers and to the community."

Emma Bradshaw, head of campaigns, Booksellers Association, said: “The Indie Book Awards celebrate the best paperback reads of the summer, as recommended by the experts, independent booksellers. This year’s shortlist features New York Times bestelling titles, authors who have been passionately championed by indies for years, authors who have been on the Indie Book Awards shortlist before and some exciting new authors. We’re lucky to be celebrating Independent Bookshop Week with lots of author events across the country this year, including some of the shortlisted authors. We encourage all book lovers to go to their local indie and get their hands of this year’s wonderful shortlist!”