Reading Agency have announced the list of books to be given away on World Book Night 2018, which takes place on 23 April. Amongst an eclectic range of titles from a variety of publishers, there are eight books from Penguin Random House authors, including Emma Healey's bestseller Elizabeth is Missing, Susan Hill's classic ghost story The Woman In Black and Kit de Waal's My Name Is Leon.
Each title is selected to inspire people who don't regularly read to pick up a book and get reading. This year's campaign has a particular focus on mental health, with
1 in 4 people in the UK experiencing a mental health problem each year. The Reading Agency's research shows that reading can increase empathy, improve relationships with others and reduce the symptoms of depression.
The Reading Agency will be working with public libraries, prisons, colleges, care homes, youth centres, mental health groups and other charities to get books into the hands of new readers on the night, with several events also taking place nationwide. To find out more about how to take part, visit the World Book Night website.
In total Penguin Random House will donate 16,000 books, as part of our
Creative Responsibility goal to donate 500,000 books to charity by 2020. Our World Book Night titles are:
Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey
Maud is forgetful. She makes a cup of tea and doesn't remember to drink it. She goes to the shops and forgets why she went. Sometimes her home is unrecognizable - or her daughter Helen seems a total stranger.
But there's one thing Maud is sure of: her friend Elizabeth is missing. The note in her pocket tells her so. And no matter who tells her to stop going on about it, to leave it alone, to shut up, Maud will get to the bottom of it.
Because somewhere in Maud's damaged mind lies the answer to an unsolved seventy-year-old mystery. One everyone has forgotten about.
Everyone, except Maud . . .
The Beach Wedding by Dorothy Koomson
Will your past always catch up with you?
Tessa Dannall is excited and happy when her daughter, Nia, arrives at their family’s tropical beach resort to get married.
Tessa is also trying to forget the last time she went to a wedding on this beach and how that day changed her life for ever.
But as the big day draws near, Tessa realises she must face the deadly ghosts from her past – or they may ruin her daughter’s future...
The Woman in Black by Susan Hill
‘I did not believe in ghosts’
Few attend Mrs Alice Drablow’s funeral, and not one blood relative amongst them. There are undertakers with shovels, of course, a local official who would rather be anywhere else, and one Mr Arthur Kipps, solicitor from London.
He is to spend the night in Eel Marsh House, the place where the old recluse died amidst a sinking swamp, a blinding fog and a baleful mystery about which the townsfolk refuse to speak...
You Don't Know Me by Imran Mahmood
An unnamed defendant stands accused of murder. Just before the Closing Speeches, the young man sacks his lawyer, and decides to give his own defence speech.
He tells us that his barrister told him to leave some things out. Sometimes, the truth can be too difficult to explain, or believe. But he thinks that if he's going to go down for life, he might as well go down telling the truth.
There are eight pieces of evidence against him. As he talks us through them one by one, his life is in our hands. We, the reader - member of the jury - must keep an open mind till we hear the end of his story. His defence raises many questions... but at the end of the speeches, only one matters:
Did he do it?
One of us is Lying by Karen McManus
Yale hopeful Bronwyn has never publicly broken a rule.
Sports star Cooper only knows what he's doing in the baseball diamond.
Bad boy Nate is one misstep away from a life of crime.
Prom queen Addy is holding together the cracks in her perfect life.
And outsider Simon, creator of the notorious gossip app at Bayview High, won't ever talk about any of them again. He dies 24 hours before he could post their deepest secrets online. Investigators conclude it's no accident. All of them are suspects.
Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you'll go to protect them...
At My Mother's Knee... by Paul O'Grady
Paul O'Grady is one of Britain's very best loved entertainers. He is known and adored by millions, whether as the creator of the acid-tongued Blonde Bombsite, Lily Savage, or the presenter of the fantastically successful, award-winning Paul O'Grady Show on Channel 4.
Now, in his own unique voice, Paul O'Grady tells story of his early life in Irish Catholic Birkenhead that started him on the long and winding road from mischievous altar boy to national treasure. It is a brilliantly evoked, hilarious and often moving tale of gossip in the back yard, bragging in the corner shop and slanging matches on the front doorstep, populated by larger-than-life characters with hearts of gold and tongues as sharp as razors.
My Name is Leon by Kit de Waal
A brother chosen. A brother left behind. And a family where you'd least expect to find one.
Leon is nine, and has a perfect baby brother called Jake. They have gone to live with Maureen, who has fuzzy red hair like a halo, and a belly like Father Christmas. But the adults are speaking in low voices, and wearing Pretend faces. They are threatening to give Jake to strangers. Since Jake is white and Leon is not.
As Leon struggles to cope with his anger, certain things can still make him smile - like Curly Wurlys, riding his bike fast downhill, burying his hands deep in the soil, hanging out with Tufty (who reminds him of his dad), and stealing enough coins so that one day he can rescue Jake and his mum.
Evoking a Britain of the early eighties, My Name is Leon is a heart-breaking story of love, identity and learning to overcome unbearable loss. Of the fierce bond between siblings. And how - just when we least expect it - we manage to find our way home.
Carry on, Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse
The titles of the first story in this collection – 'Jeeves Takes Charge' – and the last – 'Bertie Changes His Mind' – sum up the relationship of twentieth-century fiction's most famous comic characters.
In between them, the various feeble-minded men and lively young women who populate Wooster's world appeal to Jeeves to solve their problems and are never disappointed.
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