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.
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 in a showcase of the very best contemporary writing, the new raft of Quick Reads titles incudes: a chilling story of revenge by New York Times bestseller Paula Hawkins (Blind Spot, Penguin Random House, Transworld, Doubleday); an intriguing tale of romance and danger from treasured comedian and presenter Graham Norton (The Swimmer, Hodder, Coronet); a gruesome new case for MW Craven’s popular crime-cracking duo Poe and Bradshaw (The Cutting Season, Hachette, Constable); a specially abridged version of Lemn Sissay’s prize-winning memoir (My Name Is Why abridged, (Canongate); a catch up with Ayisha Malik’s ‘Muslim Bridget Jones’ Sofia Khan (Sofia Khan: The Baby Blues, Headline, Review); a fable of family dynamics and deception courtesy of the much-loved Santa Montefiore (The Kiss, Simon & Schuster); an historical drama set against the backdrop of Tenerife’s volcanic landscape by the award-winning Kate Mosse (The Black Mountain, Macmillan, Mantle); and a high stakes return to the streets of Alex Wheatle’s North Crongton estate (Witness, Serpent’s Tail).
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.
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.
Karen Napier, CEO, The Reading Agency, said: “Working closely with our wonderful publisher partners, the success of this year’s innovative 10th anniversary ‘buy one, gift one’ campaign has enabled The Reading Agency to distribute thousands of free books into the hands of those that need them most, who struggle with reading, or have limited access to books.
We are incredibly excited to reveal the extraordinary list of authors working with Quick Reads to publish a bitesize book next year – and thank them for their support to this life-changing programme. We are thrilled that these titles will form part of our World Book Night 2022 booklist, allowing us to explore new ways of engaging a wider audience so that more and more readers will be able to discover the pleasure and benefits that come from reading.”