1. The longlist for this year’s Baillie Gifford Prize explores empire and its impact, the environment, personal stories and notorious historical figures. Chosen by a panel of judges chaired by The Sunday Times literary editor Andrew Holgate, the longlist includes a range of international authors and two translated books. Titles include:

    • Consumed: A Sister’s Story by Arifa Akbar
    • Islands of Abandonment: Life in the Post-Human Landscape by Cal Flyn
    • Minarets in the Mountains: A Journey into Muslim Europe by Tharik Hussain
    • Aftermath: Life in the Fallout of the Third Reich, 1945–1955 by Harald Jähner, translated by Shaun Whiteside
    • Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty by Patrick Radden Keene
    • The Mutant Project: Inside the Global Race to Genetically Modify Humans by Eben Kirksey
    • Things I Have Withheld by Kei Miller
    • Fall: The Mystery of Robert Maxwell by John Preston
    • Blood Legacy: Reckoning With a Family's Story of Slavery by Alex Renton
    • Empireland: How Imperialism Has Shaped Modern Britain by Sathnam Sanghera
    • In Memory of Memory by Maria Stepanova translated by Sasha Dugdale
    • Burning Man: The Ascent of DH Lawrence by Frances Wilson
    • Free: Coming of Age at the End of History by Lea Ypi

    This year’s judges include award-winning novelist Sara Collins, physicist, writer and broadcaster Dr Helen Czerski, biographer and critic Kathryn Hughes, author and TV and radio presenter Johny Pitts, and historian and writer Dominic Sandbrook.

    The shortlist will be announced on 15 October, and the winner of the £50,000 prize will be announced in London on the evening of 16 November.

    Read Smart Podcasts

    In the meantime, you can catch up on the Baillie Gifford Prize Read Smart podcast, hosted by Razia Iqbal. Each month, Razi explores the increasingly popular world of non-fiction books. The latest episode features sports journalist Alyson Rudd and novelist Boris Starling as they delve into what makes a winning sports book. Earlier episodes cover the art of biography writing, the challenges and nuances of writing about the royal family, and the increasing popularity of writing about public health.

    You can tune into Read Smart on Apple and Spotify.