Take a look at our new Quick Reads titles for 2022.
Quick Reads from The Reading Agency are brilliant short stories from bestselling authors written in an accessible, easy-to-read style. Perfect to keep you entertained on short breaks!
Quick Reads titles are available from all of our libraries. You can also reserve them on our catalogue.
The Cutting Season, by M.W. Craven
Dangling from a hook in a meat packing plant isn't how Detective Sergeant Washington Poe wants to spend his weekend. He's been punched and kicked and threatened, and when a contract killer arrives it seems things are about to go from bad to worse. He goes by the name of the Pale Man and he and his straight-edged razor have been feared all over London for twenty years. But Poe knows two things the Pale Man doesn't.
Although it might seem like a hopeless situation, Poe has planned to be here all along. More importantly, a nerdy, computer whizz-kid called Tilly Bradshaw is watching his back. And now things are about to get interesting.
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Read our recent Meet the Author interview with M.W. Craven →
The Swimmer, by Graham Norton
Helen is a retired teacher living on the Irish coast. She enjoys the peace and quiet - despite the burden of Margaret, her unpleasant sister. Margaret arrived three years ago for a short holiday, but somehow managed to stay and worm her way into Helen's life. One day, Helen sees a man struggling in the sea and decides to investigate. She doesn't quite know what it is, but something about it feels very strange.
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The Kiss, by Santa Montefiore
Madison has always known she had a different father to her siblings. But it wasn't until she turned eighteen that she learned his name. And now she wants to meet the man who shares her fair hair and blue eyes. Robert is a very lucky man. A big house, beautiful wife, three handsome sons. Eighteen years ago, he made a mistake. A brief fling that resulted in a daughter nobody else knows about. Robert must finally tell his family the truth. Will they ever be able to forgive him and accept Madison as one of their own?
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My Name is Why: A Memoir, by Lemn Sissay
At the age of 17, after a childhood in a fostered family followed by six years in care homes, Norman Greenwood was given his birth certificate. He learned that his real name was not Norman. It was Lemn Sissay. He was British and Ethiopian. And he learned that his mother had been pleading for his safe return to her since his birth. This is Lemn's story; a story of neglect and determination, misfortune and hope, cruelty and triumph.
Sissay reflects on a childhood in care, self-expression and Britishness, and in doing so explores the institutional care system, race, family and the meaning of home. Written with all the lyricism and power you would expect from one of the nation's best-loved poets, this moving, frank and timely memoir is the result of a life spent asking questions, and a celebration of the redemptive power of creativity.
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Sophia Khan and the Baby Blues, by Ayisha Malik
Sofia Khan is going about everything the wrong way. At least, that's what her mother, Mehnaz, thinks. Sofia is twice-divorced, homeless and - worst of all - refusing to give up on a fostered baby girl. Sofia's just not behaving like a normal woman should. Sofia doesn't see it like that. She's planning to adopt Millie, and she's sure it'll be worth it. (Even if it means she and Millie have to stay at Mehnaz's place for a while.)
And as Sofia finally begins to live the life she's chosen, she finds both romance and happiness start to blossom. But then someone comes back from the past - and not even Sofia's own past. Suddenly, she's faced with a choice. To do what's best for those she loves, Sofia might have to break her own heart. And she might find herself needing the last person she expected.
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Blind Spot, by Paula Hawkins
'How can you say things like this? How can you be so blind?' Since they were kids, Edie, Jake and Ryan have been the closest of friends. It's been the three of them against the world. Edie thought the bonds between them were unbreakable. So when Jake is brutally murdered and Ryan accused of the crime, her world is shattered. Edie is alone for the first time in years, living in the remote house that she and Jake shared. She is grief-stricken and afraid - with good reason. Because someone is watching. Someone has been waiting for this moment. Now that Edie is alone, the past she tried so hard to leave behind is about to catch up with her.
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The Black Mountain, by Kate Mosse
It is May, 1706. Ana, a young Spanish woman, lives in a small town on the north-west coast of Tenerife with her mother and twin younger brothers. The town is in the shadow of a mighty volcano, which legend says has the devil living inside it. However, there has been no eruption for thousands of years and no one believes it is a threat. One day, Ana notices that the air feels strange and heavy, that the birds have stopped singing.
Tending the family vineyard, a sudden strange tremor in the earth frightens her. Very soon it will be a race against time for Ana to help persuade the town that they are in danger and should flee before the volcano erupts and destroys their world. Will they listen? And Ana herself faces another danger.
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Witness, by Alex Wheatle
To tell the truth? Or protect his family? Cornell is having a bad time. Kicked out of secondary school for a fight he didn't start, he finds himself in a Pupil Referral Unit. Here he makes friends with one of the Sinclair family. You don't mess with the Sinclairs, and when Ryan Sinclair demands Cornell comes with him to teach another student some respect, Ryan witnesses something that will change his life. Torn between protecting his family and himself, Cornell has one hell of a decision to make.
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