Author Hilary Mantel is having an extremely good year! On top of recently becoming the first woman in history and the first living British author to win the Man Booker prize twice, now she has won the Costa Book Award for her novel, Bring Up the Bodies.
The Costa judges declared the book, about Henry VIII's adviser Thomas Cromwell, "head and shoulders" above the other books on the shortlist.
"Mantel's prose is so poetic, it's so beautiful, it's so set in its time, so you know exactly where you are and who you are with," said chair of the judges Jenni Murray. "But it's also incredibly modern - her analysis of the politics is so modern and everybody found there were things that just stuck in their minds that they would think about for a very long time."
Several of us at w&h are stuck into Bring Up the Bodies currently and completely gripped by it, but there's nothing like a book chat to get the debate going here and among our other favourites of the past year are Citadel by Kate Mosse, A Week in Winter by Maeve Binchy, The Buddha In the Attic by Julie Otsuka and Tigers in Red Weather by Liza Klaussmann.
What about you? Which was your favourite book of the past year? We'd love your recommendations - either in the comments box below or join the debate in our forums now...