I first encountered Quick Reads around four years ago when I began my career as a bookseller. I’d spotted the books on a shelf and quickly (pun intended) became intrigued. A regular customer would come in every week and head straight for the Quick Reads shelves, always leaving with a new title. Over time he read them all and when I enquired, he said what he enjoyed about them was that they reintroduced him to reading, something which he had found quite difficult in the past. Not only did they entertain him, they also helped to regain his confidence in reading. These short, snappy books by big name authors were just what he needed to rediscover the love of the written word once more.
So I’m delighted to say that Quick Reads have six new titles hitting the shelves today. 12 million adults in the UK find reading difficult and may never pick up a book. Some people that I’ve spoken to say they can find books rather intimidating, thinking they are ‘not for them’ or that books are simply difficult or worse boring. Quick Reads strongly believe that reading should be for everyone and so commission new stories from big name authors. They are the same as mainstream books but are simply shorter and easier to tackle for adults who are less confident in their reading skills. What’s even better is that each one is only £1!
So what are this year’s titles?
When Jane decides to move to the Australian outback in search of a husband, her sister Anthea thinks she’s mad. But the sisters have never seen eye-to-eye. Anthea is slim, beautiful and has a perfect life and fiancé. Jane has always felt like the ugly duckling in comparison.
But when Anthea tries to save Jane from this latest crazy plan, she ends up taking a walk on the wild side herself…
A Sea Change by Veronica Henry
Jenna is known as The Ice Cream Girl.
She doesn’t mind the name one bit. After all, there are far worse jobs than selling ice creams by the sea. Then one hot summer’s day, everything changes and Jenna faces the most difficult decision of her life.
Craig spends as much time as he can at the beach hut in Everdene he rents with a few of his mates. It’s the perfect break from his stressful job, and he loves to surf. But one weekend he notices a girl on the beach – for all the wrong reasons.
For Jenna and Craig, it’s a chance meeting which could change their lives forever …
A Dreadful Murder by Minette Walters
Based on a true story…
Caroline Luard is shot dead in broad daylight in the grounds of a large country estate. With few clues available, her husband soon becomes the suspect … But is he guilty?
Bringing to life the people involved in this terrible crime, bestselling author Minette Walters uses modern detective skills to attempt to solve a 100-year-old crime.
Today Everything Changes by Andy McNab
Abandoned as a baby, Andy McNab’s start in life was tough. He grew up in South London with foster parents, and poverty on all sides. Andy attended seven schools in as many years, disillusioned and in remedial classes. Before long before his life was one of petty crime. By the age of sixteen, he was in juvenile detention.
Recruited into the Army from there, it soon became clear that he had the reading age of an eleven year old. The next six months in the Army education system changed the course of his life forever. Today Everything Changes is the inspiring story of when life changed for the better for now bestselling author Andy McNab.
Wrong Time, Wrong Place by Simon Kernick
You are hiking in the Scottish highlands with three friends when you come across a girl.
She is half-naked, has been badly beaten, and she can’t speak English.
She is clearly running away from someone.
Do you stop to help her? Even if it means putting your friends’ lives – and your own – in terrible danger?
Doctor Who: The Silurian Gift by Mike Tucker
‘My new Fire-Ice will solve all the problems of the planet!’
The world is on the brink of crisis. As fuel runs short, society begins to break down. One man seems to have the answer. But is it too good to be true? The Doctor arrives at an old oil refinery near the South Pole, concerned by claims about this new form of energy. He soon discovers something huge and terrifying is stalking the refinery. It brings death and destruction in its wake. The battle has begun for planet Earth.
Tomorrow we’ll have an interview with Cathy Rentzenbrink, Project Director at Quick Reads, while on Monday we’ll be discussing Quick Reads, libraries, children’s reading and more in the podcast!
Quick Reads can be found at all good bookshops and online for £1 each. To find out more, visit the Quick Reads website.