Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

From ‘Everyday Sexism’ to ‘The Miniaturist’, the best books of the year as voted for by Waterstones staff

rexfeatures_4078986a.jpg

A manifesto on modern day sexism and a debut novel set in 17th-century Amsterdam have made the Waterstones Book of the Year 2014 shortlist.

Everyday Sexism by Laura Bates and Jessie Burton's The Miniaturist were ranked among the best reads of the year in the annual competition, based on nominations from Waterstones booksellers across Britain.

Everyday Sexism is a ground breaking examination of casual, daily harassment against women, which began as a social media campaign where 28-year-old Bates simply documented sexist remarks or actions, and invited other women to do the same.

"What actually happened took me completely by surprise," she says. "Every single woman I spoke to had a story. But not from five years ago, or 10. From last week, or yesterday, or 'on my way here today'. And they weren't just random one-off events, but reams and reams of tiny pinpricks – just like my own experiences – so niggling and normalised that to protest each one felt facetious." 

The Miniaturist, written by actress-turned-novelist Burton, is an atmospheric literary thriller based around a woman's coming of age. A much-hyped debut novel, it prompted a six-figure bidding war between publishers. 

"I wrote The Miniaturist with a love that bordered hate," says 31-year-old Burton. "This book made me cry with frustration. I loved the people in it, and for some crazy reason I had declared myself to be in charge of them. The tussle for responsibility made me hate myself. I hated myself because what I wanted to achieve seemed impossible and so elusive, and yet the novel had my undying commitment."

Laura Bates with her book Everyday Sexism

Laura Bates with her book Everyday Sexism

The shortlist of eight contenders also includes Richard Flanagan's Man Booker Prize winning novel The Narrow Road to the Deep North and H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald. Sabrina Ghayour's Persiana, a beautiful celebration of cuisine from the Middle East and beyond, counts as one of the four non-fiction entries, as does The Opposite of Loneliness, a posthumous collection of essays and stories from Marina Keegan. 

Once Upon An Alphabet by Oliver Jeffers is the only children's entry on the shortlist.

​The title crowned Waterstones Book of the Year will receive the committed backing of Waterstones branches and booksellers across the UK, as well as support online and through its Loyalty Card programme, which reaches 1.7 million readers. Last year's winner, Stoner by John Williams saw an increase in sales of over 1000% across the Waterstones estate to make it one of 2013's best-selling titles.

The winner will be announced on Monday 1 December. See the shortlist below. 

The 2014 Waterstones Book of the Year shortlist 

* Everyday Sexism by Laura Bates (Simon & Schuster)

* The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton (Picador)

* The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan (Chatto & Windus)

* Persiana: Recipes from the Middle East & Beyond by Sabrina Ghayour (Mitchell Beazley)

* Once Upon An Alphabet by Oliver Jeffers (Harper Collins Children's Books)

* The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories by Marina Keegan (Simon & Schuster)

* H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald (Jonathan Cape)

* Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty (Harvard University Press)

Related

10551549_720330104719851_2300890841426043899_o.jpg

From New York to Paris and LA, the world's 10 best hotel restaurants

HERO PNG.png

Your guide to creating the ultimate wardrobe

marshmallow-shot-glasses-recipe-5455.jpg

How to make toasted marshmallow shot glasses

Comments

More

This is why we’re not reading as much as we want to

Even if we won’t admit it

by Hayley Spencer
27 Apr 2017

Bookworms, there’s a Japanese word for people who buy too many books

Commit this to memory, bibliophiles...

by Kayleigh Dray
27 Apr 2017

12 of the best translated books to broaden your literary horizons

It's time to stray a little further afield...

by Scarlett Cayford
27 Apr 2017

The best new books to read in May 2017

It's going to be a wonderful month for bookworms...

by Sarah Shaffi
27 Apr 2017

Join us at the Emerald Street Literary Festival

The perfect Saturday for interesting women

by The Stylist web team
24 Apr 2017

Backlash as star says The Handmaid's Tale is “not a feminist story”

"It’s a human story, because women’s rights are human rights"

by Sarah Biddlecombe
24 Apr 2017

Elisabeth Moss on why you shouldn't binge watch The Handmaid's Tale

"You may need a second to step back and think about what you’ve seen"

by Sarah Biddlecombe
21 Apr 2017

Exclusive: young mother who escaped Boko Haram shares her story

"I had to be prepared for the worst at all times."

by Sarah Biddlecombe
07 Apr 2017

Margaret Atwood has penned a brand-new ending for The Handmaid’s Tale

And she’s hinted at a sequel, too…

by Kayleigh Dray
06 Apr 2017

Witherspoon & Kidman are already planning a Big Little Lies follow-up

They have optioned a second Liane Moriarty book.

by Hayley Spencer
05 Apr 2017