I love books. If you know me you already know that and if you don’t know me but have seen my blog or social media then you probably already know that too. Books are my main form of entertainment, of escapism and of relaxation, they are just a massively important part of my life.
Not everyone feels that way about books, though, and that’s fine, we don’t enjoy the same things. But sometimes people have things that stop them from reading even if they want to – Maybe they have health issues that prevent concentration, maybe they don’t have the time, maybe they don’t know what type of book they enjoy or maybe they find a long book a bit much to get started with.
And there’s where the ‘Quick Reads’ concept steps in. Every year they commission well-known authors to write short books and they release them for £1 (though sometimes they’ve even cheaper!) and you can get them in paper form or e-book. There’s 6 books, per year, and they make a great starting point for a new reader, or for the person with a busy schedule and only a few minutes to give to reading, or even just for someone who loves books but wants something short and sweet to keep them going.
I love the idea of Quick Reads, and what it stands for, so I was thrilled to be offered the chance to read them all this year. I was, also, accidentally, sent two sets so I also have a full set to send to one of you in a giveaway! (see the end of the post for how to enter)
The first of the books that I picked up was ‘Dead Simple’ – This was an obvious choice to me as a collection of 8 short crime stories some of which were written by authors I already know and love such as CL Taylor, Clare Mackintosh and Angela Marsons.
I really, really, enjoyed these stories. It was the easiest of the books to read as most of the stories were only a few pages long but it’s for that reason that I enjoyed it so much. There’s something incredibly clever about being able to fit a whole story, or a full enough snap-shot, in to a few pages so it was wonderful to see how each author chose to do it. There wasn’t a single story out of the 8 that I didn’t love and if you like crime stories then this one is definitely for you.
I really liked the idea behind an abridged version of a well-loved book such as ‘Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway’ by Susan Jeffers. This is one of those books that most people have heard of but, if you’re not in to self help type books (which I’m not) then you may well have not read it. I surprised myself by how much I liked this; some of it was common sense, small parts didn’t make sense to me, but for the most part there were some great points which I feel like I could, should and will apply to my life in the future. I even wrote some of the points in to my bullet journal so that I can go back and look at them again more easily.
I don’t read blurbs, very much, but I glanced at this one and saw that it was about gang life and I was a little uncertain as to what I’d think. But, as it happens, ‘The Other Side of You’ by Amanda Craig was a really pleasant surprise. I didn’t see, when I looked, that this has a small basis in the idea behind Beauty and the Beast and I could certainly see elements of that story coming through. This story is about gangs, yes, but it’s more about people and about how people can see the good in others, and people can learn to see the good in themselves. It was beautifully written and, easily, one of my favourite books of the 6.
‘One False Move’ by ‘Dreda Say Mitchell’ is about a girl who comes from a difficult estate, after having been in prison she is trying to stay on the right path but one night she is mugged whilst carrying work money and she needs to get the money back without going back to her old ways. I enjoyed this book more than I expected, the story was really well written and it was so easy to become invested in the characters. I really felt like the writer had insight in to this sort of life and felt like she cared about the people living in these situations.
I’ve not read anything by Jenny Colgan before so this was a nice introduction in to her writing style and story telling. ‘A Very Distant Shore’ was a nice story about a refugee who becomes a Doctor on a remote scottish island. It touches on so many different themes so that, whilst it’s very romance oriented, it has so much substance to it which is the type of romance story that I like best.
Rowena Coleman is an author I’ve read and enjoyed before so I was looking forward to this book and wasn’t disappointed. I have to say that the theme of ‘Looking For Captain Poldark’ was something I wasn’t familiar with, as I’ve never read the books or watched the show but I was looking forward to discovering how the road trip aspect of the story worked out. I really liked all of the characters, all a little unconventional but perfectly likeable and their stories, and back stories, made them really interesting. I came away from this one feeling like I’d, actually, read a whole novel as I learned so much and so much happened even though it was less then 100 pages long.
All in all I was really pleased with the quality of the books for this year. I thought all of the authors involve did a great job and all of the stories were good examples of how a short story doesn’t have to lack anything and you can leave them with the same feeling of fulfilment that you get from a full length novel. They are great for picking up in a quiet 5 minutes and just reading a few pages at a time without feeling like you’ll take weeks to reach the end and they all have enough going on per page to make them properly captivating.
I have counted these in my yearly book list, but because they are all a lot shorter than my normal novel length I have counted 3 as one book otherwise they would’ve over inflated my reading list.
Anyway, on to the giveaway! As always enter via the Rafflecopter.
– You must be 18 or over to enter the giveaway
– The Giveaway is open to the UK only.
– The winner will be picked, randomly, via Rafflecopter
– There will be one winner
– The winner will have 28 days to respond to my email informing them of the win, if they do not respond another winner will be drawn.
– The winner will win the 6 2017 Good Reads books in paper back.
– The giveaway runs until midnight on 21st March 2017.
This post contains press samples – See disclaimer here