Submitted by Leah on Thu, 2015-02-05 09:40
Today (Thursday 5 February) sees the publication of the 2015 Galaxy® Quick Read titles, which include Dead Man Talking by 1993 Booker Prize winner Roddy Doyle. To mark the occasion, Roddy visited HMP Brixton as part of a National Prison Radio event, spending the morning in discussion with a prison reading group.
Roddy is the first Man Booker winner to pen a Quick Read, with Dead Man Talking commissioned through a new collaboration between Quick Reads and the Booker Prize Foundation, as part of the Foundation’s prison literacy initiative, Books Unlocked.
Books Unlocked, delivered by the National Literacy Trust and funded by the Booker Prize Foundation, has been running since 2012. It works with prison and young offender institution librarians to support reading groups and increase reading confidence; this year, Dead Man Talking will be included alongside six Man Booker Prize-shortlisted titles that participants will be able to read, discuss and own, including Roddy Doyle’s Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha, the book that won Roddy the Booker Prize 22 years ago.
The Booker Prize Foundation’s literacy work complements that of Quick Reads, a charity that produces short books by well-known authors for busy people and less confident readers. To mark the publication of the 2015 list - which also includes books written by Jojo Moyes, Sophie Hannah, Fanny Blake, Adèle Geras and James Bowen - the charity has released research showing the fundamental benefits that reading for pleasure can have on the nation’s overall health and wellbeing. Produced in partnership with Dr. Josie Billington at The University of Liverpool, the Galaxy® research found that readers are 21% less likely to report feelings of depression and 10% more likely to report good self-esteem versus non-readers. Reading is shown to equip people with a greater ability to cope with everyday life though, crucially, the research also highlights the 16 million adults in the UK who are lapsed readers.
For more information on the 2015 Galaxy® Quick Read titles, visit https://readingagency.org.uk/adults/quick-guides/quick-reads/. More information on the Books Unlocked initiative, visit: https://literacytrust.org.uk/books_unlocked/