The Reading Agency has announced the eight best-selling authors writing Quick Reads for 2022, the life-changing programme tackling the UK’s adult literacy crisis by helping less confident readers get reading: MW Craven, Paula Hawkins, Ayisha Malik, Santa Montefiore, Kate Mosse, Graham Norton, Lemn Sissay and Alex Wheatle.
Authors revealed at Evening Standard Stories Festival
The line-up was revealed by Karen Napier, CEO of The Reading Agency, during Kate Mosse and Alex Wheatle’s event at the Evening Standard Stories Festival at Picturehouse Central on Friday evening, where the two renowned authors discussed the power of reading.
Publishing on 14 April 2022
Publishing on 14 April 2022 in a showcase of the very best contemporary writing, the new raft of Quick Reads titles incudes:
Paula Hawkins, Blind Spot (Penguin Random House, Transworld, Doubleday)
a chilling story of revenge by New York Times bestseller Paula Hawkins (Blind Spot, Penguin Random House, Transworld, Doubleday);
Paula’s second thriller, Into the Water, and her latest book, A Slow Fire Burning, were also instant Number 1 bestsellers.
PAULA HAWKINS worked as a journalist for fifteen years before writing her first book. Paula was born and brought up in Zimbabwe. She moved to London in 1989 and has lived there ever since. Her first thriller, The Girl on the Train, has sold 23 million copies worldwide. Published in over forty languages, it has been a Number 1 bestseller around the world and was a box office hit film starring Emily Blunt.
Graham Norton, The Swimmer (Hodder, Coronet)
an intriguing tale of romance and danger from treasured comedian and presenter Graham Norton (The Swimmer, Hodder, Coronet);
Graham Norton is one of the UK’s most treasured comedians and presenters. Born in Clondalkin, a suburb of Dublin, Norton’s first big TV appearance was as Father Noel Furlong on Channel 4’s Father Ted in the early 1990s. He then secured a prime time slot on Channel 4 with his chat shows So Graham Norton and V Graham Norton. Known for his quick wit Graham began hosting a variety of talent shows on BBC One from Strictly Dance Fever and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria? to The Eurovision Song Contest and BAFTAs. Graham was soon approached by the BBC to front his own self-titled chat show The Graham Norton Show in 2007. Graham Norton has won 9 BAFTAs for Best Entertainment Performance, and Best Entertainment Programme. He presents The Graham Norton Show on BBC1, a show on BBC Radio 2 every Saturday, and is a judge on RuPaul’s Drag Race UK. Norton won the Special Recognition Award at the National Television Awards in 2017. Graham’s third novel will be published in hardback, eBook, and audiobook in October.
MW Craven, The Cutting Season (Hachette, Constable)
a gruesome new case for MW Craven’s popular crime-cracking duo Poe and Bradshaw (The Cutting Season, Hachette, Constable);
M. W. Craven was born in Carlisle but grew up in Newcastle, running away to join the army at the tender age of sixteen. He spent the next ten years travelling the world having fun, leaving in 1995 to complete a degree in social work with specialisms in criminology and substance misuse. Thirty-one years after leaving Cumbria, he returned to take up a probation officer position in Whitehaven, eventually working his way up to chief officer grade. Sixteen years later he took the plunge, accepted redundancy and became a full-time author. He now has entirely different motivations for trying to get inside the minds of criminals… M. W. Craven is married and lives in Carlisle with his wife, Joanne. When he isn’t out with his springer spaniel, or talking nonsense in the pub, he can usually be found at punk gigs and writing festivals up and down the country. www.mwcraven.com
Lemn Sissay, My Name Is Why (abridged) (Canongate)
a specially abridged version of Lemn Sissay’s prize-winning memoir (My Name Is Why abridged, (Canongate);
Lemn Sissay MBE is a BAFTA nominated International prize winning writer. He was awarded an MBE for services to literature by The Queen of England, The Pen Pinter Prize and a Points of Light Award from The Prime Minister. Google “Lemn Sissay” and all the hits will be about him. There’s only one person in the world called Lemn Sissay.www.lemnsissay.com
Ayisha Malik, Sofia Khan: The Baby Blues (Headline, Review)
a catch up with Ayisha Malik’s ‘Muslim Bridget Jones’ Sofia Khan (Sofia Khan: The Baby Blues, Headline, Review);
Ayisha Malik was born and raised in South London and is a lover of books (obviously), and writer of contemporary fiction. A former publicist at Penguin Random House, turned managing editor at Cornerstones Literary Consultancy, turned full-time writer. Her debut novel, Sofia Khan is not Obliged, and its sequel, The Other Half of Happiness, (Zaffre), were dubbed as the ‘Muslim Bridget Jones.’ Her latest novel, This Green and Pleasant Land, (Zaffre) is out now. She has also contributed to the anthology, A Change is Gonna Come, (Stripes Publishing), and upcoming collection, A Match Made in Heaven, (Hope Road Publishing). Malik is also known for ghost-writing Great British Bake Off winner, Nadiya Hussain’s, adult books. www.ayishamalik.com
Santa Montefiore, The Kiss (Simon & Schuster)
a fable of family dynamics and deception courtesy of the much-loved Santa Montefiore (The Kiss, Simon & Schuster);
Santa Montefiore’s books have been translated into more than twenty-five languages and have sold more than six million copies in England and Europe. She is the bestselling author of The Temptation of Gracie and the Deverill series, among many others. She is married to writer Simon Sebag Montefiore. They live with their two children, Lily and Sasha, in London. santamontefiore.co.uk
Kate Mosse, The Black Mountain (Macmillan, Pan Books)
an historical drama set against the backdrop of Tenerife’s volcanic landscape by the award-winning Kate Mosse (The Black Mountain, Macmillan, Mantle);
Kate Mosse is an award-winning novelist, playwright and non-fiction writer, the author of six novels and short story collections, including the multimillion-selling Languedoc Trilogy – Labyrinth, Sepulchre and Citadel – and number one bestselling Gothic fiction The Winter Ghosts and The Taxidermist’s Daughter. Her books have been translated into thirty-seven languages and published in more than forty countries. The Founder Director of the Women’s Prize for Fiction, she is also the Deputy Chair of the National Theatre in London. Kate divides her time between Chichester in West Sussex and Carcassonne in south-west France. www.katemosse.co.uk
Alex Wheatle, Witness (Serpent’s Tail)
and a high stakes return to the streets of Alex Wheatle’s North Crongton estate (Witness, Serpent’s Tail).
Born in 1963 to Jamaican parents, Wheatle spent much of his childhood in a Shirley Oaks children’s home. He wrote lyrics about everyday Brixton life. By 1980 Wheatle was living in a social services hostel in Brixton, South London. He participated in the 1981 Brixton riots and aftermath. While serving time in prison he took to reading. His first novel, Brixton Rock, was published to critical acclaim by BlackAmber Books in 1999. Following the publication of his second novel, he turned his attention to writing YA fiction and has won a number of awards, including the 2016 Guardian Children’s Fiction Award. www.alexwheatle.com
‘Buy one gift one’ 10th anniversary campaign sees 35,507 books donated to new readers
The Reading Agency have also revealed the impact of this year’s 15th anniversary ‘buy one gift one’ campaign, with 35,507 copies of these transformative books being delivered into the hands of those who struggle with reading or have limited access to books this Autumn. Working with library authorities, prisons, adult learning organisations and community-based charities the books are being distributed through a range of gifting projects and targeted outreach work. This includes work with food banks, ESOL (English as a Second Language) classes, local refugee groups, Basic Skills learners, people in prison and those being supported by homeless shelters or supported living. Thanks to generous support from this year’s six publishers, for every book bought from publication in May through to 31 July 2021, another copy was donated to The Reading Agency.
Quick Reads 2022 titles set to form part of World Book Night booklist
Following the success of ‘buy one, gift one’ and as part of The Reading Agency’s strategy to reach even more emerging readers through a gifting component of Quick Reads activity, the eight titles announced today will also form part of the World Book Night 2022 Booklist. The full list of World Book Night 2022 titles will be revealed later this year. World Book Night is an annual national celebration of reading which takes place on 23 April.
Quick Reads plays a vital role in addressing the UK’s adult literacy crisis, engaging the one in three adults who do not regularly read for pleasure and the one in six adults who find reading difficult. Since launching in 2006, Quick Reads titles have been loaned out over 6 million times and over 5 million copies have been distributed with the generous support of publishers and donors.
The titles are available for just £1 at bookshops and are free to borrow from libraries. They are used across the country in colleges, prisons, trade unions, hospitals, and adult learning organisations.
The Reading Agency is a national charity that tackles life’s big challenges through the proven power of reading. We work closely with partners to develop and deliver programmes for people of all ages and backgrounds. The Reading Agency is funded by Arts Council England. www.readingagency.org.uk
Quick Reads, a programme by The Reading Agency, aims to bring the pleasures and benefits of reading to everyone, including the one in three adults in the UK who do not regularly read for pleasure, and the one in six adults in the UK who find reading difficult. The scheme changes lives and plays a vital role in addressing the national crisis around adult literacy in the UK. Each year, Quick Reads works with UK publishers to commission high profile authors to write short, engaging books that are specifically designed to be easy to read. Since 2006, over 6 million books have been distributed through the initiative, 5 million library loans (PLR) have been registered and through outreach work hundreds of thousands of new readers each year have been introduced to the joys and benefits of reading. From 2020 – 2022, the initiative is supported by a philanthropic gift from bestselling author Jojo Moyes.
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