First, please can I thank Wellcome Book Prize for the invitation to the winner ceremony and introducing me to some fantastic books this year.
The event held at the Wellcome Collection in Euston was introduced and led by the judges Val McDermid (chair), Simon Baron-Cohen, Gemma Cairney, Tim Lewens and Di Speirs.
The winner – Mend The Libing by Maylis de Kerangal is a tour de force accounting a 24 hour journey of a heart to be transplanted into a dying man. A fantastic idea and gripping right to the end. Whilst not my winner I can understand why it won the prize.
My winner is When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi. I read and reviewed it some months ago but I still talk about it. Following a man’s journey from doctor to patient this book had me in tears multiple times.
In the book community we talk a lot about diverse books but can we also shout about the diversity between fiction and non-fiction? I personally am rubbish at reading as many non-fiction novels as I do fiction and it was my mission this year to read the shortlist and I am so glad I did. Wellcome Book Prize highlights books which focus on medicine and how medicine influences our lives:
At some point, medicine touches all our lives. Books that find stories in those brushes with medicine are ones that add new meaning to what it means to be human. The subjects these books grapple with might include birth and beginnings, illness and loss, pain, memory, and identity. In keeping with its vision and goals, the Wellcome Book Prize aims to excite public interest and encourage debate around these topics.
I encourage you all to pick up at least one of the shortlisted books and give it a read! For those of you who have read any of the books – how do you feel about the winner?