Book Reviews

‘The best moments in reading are when you come across something - a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things - which you had thought special and particular to you. And now, here it is, set down by someone else, a person you have never met, someone even who is long dead. And it is as if a hand has come out, and taken yours.’ Alan Bennett

“Many a book is like a key to unknown chambers within the castle of one’s own self.” ― Franz Kafka

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Quick Reads 2013!

Today on the blog I am delighted to introduce Quick Reads, which you may or may not have come across before. Find out about the mission and aims of the charity, and the lovely new books selected for 2013!
Quick Reads is a charity that aims to spread the love of reading to the people who need it most, by commissioning, publishing and distributing short books from the biggest authors.

The Challenge

1 in 6 adults of working age in the UK finds reading difficult and may never pick up a book.  People’s reasons for not reading are varied but are often based in fear. Some people say they find books scary and intimidating, thinking they are ‘not for them’ or that books are difficult or boring.  

Our Response

Quick Reads sets out to challenge these beliefs and to show that books and reading can be for everyone. Each year we commission big name authors to write short books that are specifically designed to be easy to read.  They are the same as mainstream books in every respect but are simply shorter and easier to tackle for adults who are less confident in their reading skills. The books are then sold through major retailers, online booksellers and are loaned from libraries.

A powerful outreach campaign around Quick Reads delivers the books and accompanying learning resources written specifically for the titles and inspiring case studies to literacy practitioners across the country. Quick Reads books are vital in educational settings such as further education colleges and libraries, prisons, military bases, care homes and family centres as well as in workplace learning centres.  They are also used in settings as diverse as oil rigs, cross channel ferries, bus depots and refuse disposal units.  Practitioners tell us that Quick Reads are the ideal tool to use with their learners and evaluations reveal very real benefits to quality of life, well-being, self-esteem, confidence and job prospects.  We also know that adults who become readers through Quick Reads encourage their children to read, transforming their prospects and creating the next generation of readers. 

“Our mission is to bring the pleasures and benefits of reading to everyone.
Around one in six adults of working age in the UK find reading difficult and may never pick up a book.
To help them get into reading, we commission, publish and distribute short books by big name authors.
Each book is full of action and emotion but has been written and edited to reduce barriers to reading for the less confident.
Quick Reads is made possible by the enthusiastic support of our authors, publishers, partners and funders.”

Quick Reads 2013
Publication date 1st February
Press launch 14th February
RRP £1

Quick Reads is making real, lasting changes to people’s lives.  Since 2006 we have distributed over 4.5 million books, registered 3 million library loans and through the outreach work hundreds of thousands of new readers each year, often in some of the hardest to reach communities, are introduced to the joys and benefits of reading. Quick Reads is a unique collaboration and we are very grateful for the support of everyone involved. 

Love is Blind by Kathy Lette

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 fiancĂ©. 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 sexy, funny and heartwarming adventure – curl up and enjoy this fabulous Quick Read from Kathy Lette.

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.
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.

Find out more by visiting or following @quick_reads on twitter

Have you read any Quick Reads in previous years? Which of these reads do you like the sound of?


  1. I had not read any quick reads before, but after reading your post I will definitely go to check out this website. Your post is a great inspiration for book readers.

    Old peoples home kent

    1. They are doing inspiring work with this campaign aren't they. Glad the post was helpful in highlighting the books. Thanks.

  2. I've read some from previous year - A Cool Head by Ian Rankin thriller being one that stands out. They're obviously short in length but not short on plot and there's no apparent 'dumbing down' in the writing style. Great quick reads for anyone.

    1. Thanks for commenting Mary. Great summary of the style of the books.

  3. ...and, if you don't mind a link, here's my review of A Cool Head -

    1. That's great Mary, thanks for sharing your review!

  4. A welcome alternative to the 1000+ page tome I'm currently drowning in....

    1. Yes, these would be a bit of a change! And just a little shorter...!

  5. I've come across these before but not really known anything about them. Thanks for the insight! I think it's such a wonderful idea and I can already see myself treating my brother to the Andy McNab...

    1. Thanks very much for commenting Ellie. They are a lovely idea aren't they. And such a good deal to treat others at this price and a nice taster of a writer's work.

  6. Have seen these on Book day in the past and saw a stand with some on in the library today.

    The new titles look great. A good mix. Handy for journeys, too.


    1. They sound a great mix of titles don't they Carol. You're right too that they are so slim and light very easy to take in your bag etc. Glad they are about in the library too. Thanks for commenting x


Thank you so much for taking the time to visit and leave a comment. It's great reading your comments and I really appreciate them :)