Koomson, de Waal and Billingham among Quick Reads authors

Koomson, de Waal and Billingham among Quick Reads authors

Titles by Dorothy Koomson, Kit de Waal and Mark Billingham are among the "enticing" Quick Reads books for next year's campaign.

The Reading Agency, which runs the initiative, also revealed that titles from Fern Britton, Tammy Cohen and Vaseem Khan will be published as part of the adult literacy campaign on 1st February 2018.

The books will “span the globe from Mumbai to Ghana, from Cornwall to inner cities” exploring friendship, secrets and lies, marriage and the “horror” of lost phones.

Billingham’s Cut Off (Little, Brown) is billed as a “punchy, taut urban thriller” while The Great Cornish Getaway by former "This Morning" presenter Britton (HarperCollins) follows a stranger “in need of a safe haven” arriving in a Cornish seaside village.

Clean Break (Transworld) by Cohen offers a “dark and twisty” picture of a disintegrating marriage while Inspector Chopra and the Million-Dollar Motor Car (Hodder & Stoughton) by Khan takes place in the successful Baby Ganesh Agency series universe featuring a Mumbai-based inspector and his elephant sidekick.

Koomson’s The Beach Wedding (Arrow) focuses on family drama and old secrets climaxing in Ghana while Six Foot Six by de Waal (Viking) explores “finding friendship in the most unlikely of places”.

The organisation’s chief executive Sue Wilkinson described the list as an “exciting, varied list of titles” while Quick Reads founder, Baroness Gail Rebuck said they will “entice, entertain and unlock new worlds”.

Khan revealed that coming from a “less economically advantaged background”, books became both his “escape and inspiration”.

He said: “Quick Reads’ great insight is to realise that even those who find reading a challenge hanker for exciting, well- written stories that are simple to read.”

Meanwhile My Name is Leon author de Waal said that there were no books in the house she grew up in so she only ended up reading and writing later in life.

“Books can change lives - sometimes for a minute, sometimes for a lifetime," she said. "Quick Reads can be part of that change and I hope I have been part of it too.”

Billingham similarly described his involvement as an “honour” and said: “Reading a book is stepping into another world and anything that nudges that door open should be welcomed.”

Quick Reads, which was founded in 2006, aims to engage people who struggle with readers and research conducted last year by the Learning and Work Institute revealed that 95% of literacy practitioners reported using its titles was effective at raising learners’ confidence in reading, whilst 91% said that the books were effective at improving readers’ literacy skills. The Reading Agency became involved in the scheme in 2015.

In January, the organisation’s programme manager, Jo Dawson, announced that it would widen the project’s reach with “more of a concentration about reaching adults who don’t go into bookshops and libraries”.