This year's Samuel Johnson prize for non-fiction has gone to a book about whales, Philip Hoare's Leviathan which has been described as :
... part natural history, part literary criticism, part economics and part memoir but at its heart is the author's lifelong obsession for all things whale.Hoare apparently fell in love with whales after reading Moby Dick and first encountered the mammal when he saw a killer whale at Windsor safari park.
The chairman of judges, Jacob Weisberg, said of the book :
The quality of his writing was just so impressive, it is literary, just beautiful. It is a model of a certain kind of writing and I imagine it is a book that will be read for a long time to come.You can listen to Hoare talking about his book to Claire Amistead here and find an extract here.