Media captionSeventeen years after His Dark Materials, author Philip Pullman reads from its new “equel”

Philip Pullman’s latest novel, in which he returned to the world of His Dark Materials, has been named the best book of 2017 by book chain Waterstones.

La Belle Sauvage was published in October, 17 years after he finished the His Dark Materials trilogy.

Waterstones staff nominated books they found “truly outstanding and which they have felt most pride in recommending and selling”.

Pullman said he was “very happy” to be given a prize given by a bookseller.

He said: “Booksellers are an absolutely necessary part of the complex ecology of the book world.

“These days the pressure of so many kinds of digital and social and economic and political change is forcing the world of books, like so many others, to evolve more swiftly than is sometimes comfortable.”

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But he said he could not foresee a time when “visiting a bookshop is not one of the greatest pleasures life can give us”.

La Belle Sauvage is the first instalment in a new trilogy, which Pullman has described as an “equel” to His Dark Materials.

The full Waterstones Book of the Year shortlist:

  • Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls by Elena Favilli Francesca Cavallo
  • A Skinful of Shadows by Frances Hardinge
  • The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris
  • La Belle Sauvage: The Book of Dust Volume One by Philip Pullman
  • Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
  • Mr Lear: A Life of Art and Nonsense by Jenny Uglow
  • Talking to My Daughter About the Economy: A Brief History of Capitalism by Yanis Varoufakis

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