Coffeehouse chain Caffè Nero unveiled the shortlists for the first-ever Nero Book Awards, which will be given annually to “outstanding reads” by authors based in the U.K. and Ireland.
Two of the four finalists in the fiction category were also shortlisted for this year’s Kirkus Prize: Paul Murray’s The Bee Sting and Eleanor Catton’s Birnam Wood. Also named finalists are Megan Nolan’s Ordinary Human Failings and Karen Powell’s Fifteen Wild Decembers.
The nonfiction shortlist consists of Fern Brady’s Strong Female Character, Freya Bromley’s The Tidal Year, Natasha Carthew’s Undercurrent, and Victoria Smith’s Hags.
The finalists for the prize in debut fiction are Stephen Buoro’s The Five Sorrowful Mysteries of Andy Africa, Tom Crewe’s The New Life, Chloe Michelle Howarth’s Sunburn, and Michael Magee’s Close to Home.
Shortlisted in the children’s fiction category are Gwen & Art Are Not in Love by Lex Croucher, Bitterthorn by Kat Dunn, Wild Song by Candy Gourlay, and The Swifts, written by Beth Lincoln and illustrated by Claire Powell.
The winners of each category will be announced on Jan. 16, 2024. Those four books will compete for the overall Nero Gold Prize, which will be revealed the following month.
Michael Schaub is a contributing writer.