Quick Reads titles published today

Six exciting new Quick Reads titles are publishing today as part of an annual initiative by The Reading Agency. From a reimagining of Beauty and the Beast to a road trip in search of Poldark, the list also includes new titles from Dreda Say Mitchell and Jenny Colgan, a special Quick Reads edition of Susan Jeffers’ Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway, and a crime collection featuring authors such as Harry Bingham, Mark Billingham and Clare Mackintosh.

Quick Reads titles are specifically designed to be easy to read, and are shorter and easier to tackle for adults who are less confident in their reading skills. The accessible, bite-size format means they’re also perfect for people who want a light, easy read to pick up for their commute or to fit into a busy day.

Feel the Fear & Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers (Ebury) is a specially adapted book drawing on the late Susan Jeffers’ landmark self-help title and its bestselling follow ups. The ground-breaking text will be the first Quick Reads title in this genre. 

Everyone has worries and fears that can stop them progressing and reaching for the things that they really want in life. Fear is all around us, from having that tricky talk with your boss to facing up to a problem at home. The simple, life-changing exercises in Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway can teach anyone how to turn anger into love and uncertainty into action. 

Dead Simple (Orion) is a collection of original short stories from some of the UK’s best crime writers including Mark Billingham, Clare Mackintosh, James Oswald, Jane Casey, Angela Marsons, Harry Bingham, Antonia Hodgson and CL Taylor.

The book’s eight killer stories grip readers with every twist and turn, including chilling tales about a grieving widow who finds she's about to lose more than just her husband, a man who attempts the perfect murder and discovers it’s not quite as easy as he thinks, and a murderer about to be hanged who finds that's not the worst thing that can happen… 

Looking for Captain Poldark by Rowan Coleman (Ebury) is a road trip novel about four people united by their shared love of Poldark, who come together in search of their hero. Can four strangers find friendship, as well as a certain sexy hunk on their trip south?

Commenting on her Quick Reads book, dyslexic writer Coleman said: “I’ve had times in my past where it seemed impossible to have access to the world of words…I want to draw back the curtain for other emerging readers and help them access the many wonderful opportunities that are waiting between the pages of a good book.”

The Other Side of You by Amanda Craig (Little Brown) is a re-imagining of Beauty and the Beast, set in London. Will must run, or die. He’s seen a murder, and the gang on his estate are after him. But when Will meets Padma, he must choose between his good side and his bad one. 

Amanda is the author of a number of very well-reviewed novels. The book draws on her discussions with gang members and her experience of fighting a burglar in her own home. She said “he was someone who had taken a wrong path in life, and I kept wondering what had led to this.”

One False Move by Dreda Say Mitchell (Hodder) is a gritty novel set on the Devil’s Estate in London. Hayley swore when she got out of prison that she would turn her life around. But living on the Devil's Estate doesn't make that easy. If she makes one false move, her life will be over… 

The author of many novels including the recent ‘Flesh and Blood Trilogy,’ Dreda grew up on a council estate in the heart of London’s East End and discovered her love of books through her local library. Dreda is passionate about working to improve the life chances of black and working class children, also working as an education consultant in prisons and young offenders’ institutes.

A Very Distant Shore by Jenny Colgan (Little Brown) is a romantic novel set on a remote Scottish island, where a Syrian refugee goes to work as a doctor. The small community welcome him but can he forget his past? 

Colgan is based in Scotland and is the author of numerous bestselling novels including The Little Beach Street Bakery. Writing about her latest book, she said: “I have a daughter with reading issues, so I understand the frustrations around it a little and I was thrilled to be part of something so positive.” 

One in six adults in the UK struggles with reading,[1] whilst one in three does not read for pleasure. Run by The Reading Agency, the annual Quick Reads campaign aims to inspire more people to read more often by producing six short books each year, made available for just £1 from most major booksellers or loaned from libraries. 

In 2017, the initiative – which has published over 100 titles, sold or distributed more than 4.8 million copies and enabled over 4.6 million library loans (PLR) since it was founded in 2006 – will continue to work with literacy practitioners, prisons, librarians and retailers to bring the benefits and pleasure of reading to everyone.