The category winners in the Costa Book Awards have been announced, and I was very pleased to see that Colm Tóibin beat Hilary Mantel, winner of the 2009 Man Booker Prize, to take the Costa Novel Award for Brooklyn (my book of the year for 2009). Also of interest, Patrick Ness won the Children's Book Award for The Ask and the Answer (Book Two of the Chaos Walking trilogy) which the judges acclaimed as "a major achievement in the making". I previously recommended the first book in the Trilogy, The Knife of Nevel Letting Go, which is now valued at around £50 or above. The first novel award went to Raphael Selbourne for Beauty, the story of a young Bangladeshi woman on the run from her family, inspired by his experiences of teaching in a deprived area of Wolverhampton. Debut biographer Graham Farmelo took the Biography Award for his work on the pioneer of quantum mechanics, The Strangest Man: The Hidden Life of Paul Dirac, Quantum Genius, which the judges called "the most compelling biography of the year". Christopher Reid finally claimed the Poetry Award for A Scattering, a tribute to his wife following her death in 2005. On now to the overall award, with Toibin having been installed as the Bookies' favourite.