Entertainment & Arts

Bridget Jones up for National Book Awards

Helen Fielding
Image caption Fielding has written three Bridget Jones novels

Helen Fielding's latest Bridget Jones novel, David Jason's autobiography and books by comedians French and Saunders are all up for National Book Awards.

Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenager shot in the head by the Taliban, is also nominated for her memoir, I Am Malala.

The awards are designed to reflect the public's best-loved books of the year.

Category winners are announced on 11 December, after which a public vote decides the overall book of the year.

Previous winners of the main prize include erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey, Caitlin Moran's autobiography How To Be A Woman, and star-crossed romance One Day.

Diet book

Helen Fielding is nominated in the popular fiction category for Bridget Jones: Mad About The Boy - which received a critical mauling on its release last month.

The Sunday Times called it "emotionally inauthentic", while The Daily Telegraph described it variously as "toe-curling", "foolish" and "unreal".

It goes up against better-received novels, including William Boyd's Solo, which takes James Bond back to his roots in pulp paperback, Philippa Gregory's The White Princess, which recounts the story of Elizabeth, wife of Henry VII.

Other nominees include Dawn French's Oh Dear Sylvia; Adele Parks's The State We're In; and An Officer and a Spy by Robert Harris.

The late Iain Banks, who died in June shortly after announcing he had inoperable cancer, is nominated in the best UK author category.

The Scottish author, whose books include The Wasp Factory and The Crow Road, published a final, posthumous novel, The Quarry, in June.

His competition for best author includes Neil Gaiman, Maggie O'Farrell, Jim Crace, Kate Atkinson and Patrick Ness.

The autobiography / biography category includes Great British Bake-Off expert Mary Berry, alongside comedy actor David Jason, and Jennifer Saunders, whose Bonkers: My Life In Laughs recounts her treatment for breast cancer in unflinching detail.

International author of the year candidates are Khaled Hosseini, Booker winner Eleanor Catton, Donna Tartt, Gillian Flynn, RJ Palacio and Inferno author Dan Brown.

Malala Yousafzai is nominated in the popular non-fiction category; alongside Bill Bryson's account of depression-era America, One Summer; Max Hastings' account of the path to War in 1914; and, curiously, The Fast Diet - the book that popularised the 5:2 diet fad.

The awards will be presented at London's Mandarin Oriental Hotel. on 11 December by Daybreak's Lorraine Kelly.

Highlights be shown the following morning on Daybreak.

Dame Mary Perkins, founder of sponsors Specsavers, praised the "diverse and exciting selection of writers" on this year's shortlist.

While Amanda Ross, from awards' producer Cactus TV, said the prizes were "unique in that they celebrate success in the charts" as opposed to critical acclaim.

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