Dr Alex George, Ayisha Malik, Dreda Say Mitchell and Lemn Sissay to join host Bobby Seagull for hybrid World Book Night celebration on 23 April

84,000 books will be gifted to a range of organisations across the UK and Ireland including care homes, foodbanks, homeless hostels, hospitals and refugee charities as part of the World Book Night 2022 celebrations. Now in its 11th year, World Book Night brings people from all backgrounds together for one reason – to inspire everyone to read more. The campaign, which is run by The Reading Agency charity, is celebrated each year on 23 April, the UNESCO International Day of the Book.

Organisations, public libraries and individuals will be holding events up and down the country to celebrate the difference that reading makes to their lives. This year’s official launch event will take place at 6pm on Saturday 23 April at the British Library. World Book Night author Dr Alex George (Live Well Every Day), Quick Reads authors Ayisha Malik (Sofia Khan and the Baby Blues) and Lemn Sissay (My Name is Why), and author and The Reading Agency ambassador Dreda Say Mitchell (Say Her Name) will join host Bobby Seagull for a live discussion that will be livestreamed via The British Library’s website for people to enjoy from home, and through their Living Knowledge Network, a UK-wide partnership of national and public libraries.

The event will celebrate The Stories that Shape Us, with the authors not only talking about their books, but what inspires them to tell the stories they do and the stories that have shaped their own lives. Directly after the celebration at 7pm, the #ReadingHour will take place, encouraging people across the country to curl up with a good book, get together to read with friends and family, enjoy uninterrupted reading or share their love of reading with a friend, neighbour, loved one or someone who wants to get more into books.

This year’s World Book Night list features 26 titles including, for the first time ever, The Reading Agency’s eight new Quick Reads (published 14 April), short books by bestselling authors written specifically for new and less confident readers. World Book Night’s diverse list of authors and titles ensures there is something for everyone, from avid readers looking for their next great book to people who are just discovering the joy of reading. Four of the books are available as free audiobook downloads from the World Book Night website (worldbooknight.org) so they can be enjoyed by everyone.

World Book Night 2022 Titles:

  • All Our Hidden Gifts by Caroline O’Donoghue (Walker Books)
  • Brown Baby by Nikesh Shukla, narrated by Himesh Patel (Pan Macmillan) Audiobook
  • Dare to Change Your Life by Lawrence Okolie (Ebury)
  • Gypsy Boy by Mikey Walsh (Hodder & Stoughton)
  • Laidlaw by William McIlvanney (Canongate)
  • Live Well Every Day by Dr Alex George (Octopus Publishing Group)
  • My Policeman by Bethan Roberts (Vintage)
  • Punching the Air by Ibi Zoboi and Yusef Salaam (HarperCollins Children’s)
  • Recovery by Russell Brand, narrated by Russell Brand (Pan Macmillan) Audiobook
  • Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones (Oneworld)
  • Straight Outta Crawley by Romesh Ranganathan (Transworld)
  • The Boy Between by Amanda Prowse and Josiah Hartley (Amazon Publishing)
  • The Dinner Guest by BP Walter (One More Chapter, HarperCollins)
  • The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See, narrated by a full cast (Bolinda)
    Audiobook
  • The Upper World by Femi Fedugba (Penguin Random House Children’s)
  • Tinker Tailor Solider Spy by John le Carré, narrated by Michael Jayston (Bolinda) Audiobook
  • Transitions by Various (Jessica Kingsley Publishers)
  • Would I Lie to You? by Aliya Ali-Afzal (Head of Zeus)

Quick Reads 2022 Titles:

  • My Name Is Why (abridged) by Lemn Sissay (Canongate)
  • Sofia Kahn and the Baby Blues by Ayisha Malik (Headline)
  • The Cutting Season by MW Craven (Little, Brown)
  • The Swimmer by Graham Norton (Hodder & Stoughton)
  • The Black Mountain by Kate Mosse (Pan Macmillan)
  • Blind Spot by Paula Hawkins (Transworld)
  • Witness by Alex Wheatle (Profile)
  • The Kiss by Santa Montefiore (Simon and Schuster)

Anyone can get involved with World Book Night and the #ReadingHour, whether they do so from the comfort of their sofa, host an event with their book club or even attend the British Library event in person. Plus, this year World Book Night is partnering with Magnum to offer one lucky participant a selection of World Book Night titles for the coming year reading and a year’s supply of Magnum Ice Cream so they can enjoy a tasty treat along with some great reads.

To find out more or to get involved, visit worldbooknight.org, or buy your tickets now from the British Library.

Follow the latest developments on social media:

@WorldBookNight @ReadingAgency

#WorldBookNight #ReadingHour #ReadOn #QuickReads

The Reading Agency

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