Thursday, 4 February 2016

No time to read? Check out this year's Quick Reads (review)

I am a total bookworm and always have at least one book on the go - in fact, I signed up for the 2016 Good Reads challenge and pledged to read 52 books in a year and I've already finished seven so I'm well ahead of schedule ! Reading is my little bit of escapism and I love winding down at bedtime or whiling away a boring bus ride to work with an exciting pageturner. Many of my friends, especially busy mums, say that they don't have the time or energy to read books, so I'll be passing on the new selection of Quick Reads to some of them to see if they can rediscover the pleasure of reading.

The books only cost £1 each and they cover popular genres such as chick lit and crime fiction. This year's selection, which launched today, are as follows :

I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai (with Christina Lamb)
When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley, one girl fought for her right to an education. On Tuesday, 9th October 2012, she almost paid the ultimate price when she was shot in the head at point-blank range. Malala Yousafzai’s extraordinary journey has taken her from a remote valley in northern Pakistan to the halls of the United Nations. She has become a global symbol of peaceful protest and is the youngest ever winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. I Am Malala will make you believe in the power of one person’s voice to inspire change in the world.

A Baby at the Beach Cafe by Lucy Diamond
Evie loves running her beach café in Cornwall, but with a baby on the way, she’s been told to put her feet up. Let someone else take over? Not likely. Helen’s come to Cornwall to escape the stress of city living. She hopes a seaside life will be the answer to all her dreams. When she sees a job advertised at the café it sounds perfect. But the two women clash and sparks fly… and then events take a dramatic turn. Can the pair of them put aside their differences in a crisis?

The Anniversary, edited by Veronica Henry
From family secrets to unlikely romance, from wartime tragedy to ghostly messages, The Anniversary is a wonderful collection of short stories from some of the best writers around to celebrate 10 years of Quick Reads. This collection includes specially written short fiction by Fanny Blake, Elizabeth Buchan, Rowan Coleman, Jenny Colgan, Philippa Gregory, Matt Haig, Veronica Henry, Andy McNab, Richard Madeley and John O'Farrell. It also includes delicious anniversary recipes from The Hairy Bikers.

The Double Clue: Poirot Short Stories by Agatha Christie (Edited by Sophie Hannah & John Curran)
A man is found shot in a locked room. A wealthy banker disappears while posting a letter. A thief vanishes with a haul of rubies and emeralds. And, in the golden sands of Egypt, the men who discovered an ancient tomb are dying one by one . . . Hercule Poirot, the fussy Belgian detective with the egg-shaped head and neat and tidy moustache, solved some of the world’s most puzzling crimes. This book contains four of the very best stories, selected by John Curran, author of Agatha Christie’s Secret Notebooks, and Sophie Hannah, who wrote the brand new Hercule Poirot novel, The Monogram Murders.

Too Good to be True by Ann Cleeves
When young teacher Anna Blackwell is found dead in her home, the police think her death was suicide or a tragic accident. After all, Stonebridge is a quiet country village in the Scottish Borders, where murders just don’t happen. But Detective Inspector Jimmy Perez soon arrives from far-away Shetland when his ex-wife, Sarah, asks him to look into the case. The local gossips are saying that her new husband Tom was having an affair with Anna. Could Tom have been involved with her death? Sarah refuses to believe it – but needs proof.

On The Rock by Andy McNab
This is the call he is always ready for. They’ve had word of a planned attack. That’s why he’s back here, opposite some suit who’s trying to tell him what he needs to do. But he knows exactly what’s required. Four men. Plain clothes. Eyes peeled. Three targets. Two cases. One car. Gibraltar isn’t an ideal location. Too many people. Too many blind alleys. But then again, he’s not the terrorist. Who knows what goes through their minds? Well, he will soon. If everything goes to plan.

With such a stellar line up of top authors, it makes sense that the Quick Reads initiative has been sponsored by Galaxy for six of its ten years of existence ! Which one takes your fancy? Or will you be buying the whole lot ?

Disclosure : I received the Quick Reads books and a lovely bar of Galaxy - I'm not sure which of the two I was most excited about !

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