Wales's Quick Reads 2016 Titles Announced

2 Feb 2016

The 2016 Quick Reads titles, published by Accent Press and Y Lolfa, are to be announced with books by sports broadcaster Dylan Ebenezer, popular Welsh-language novelist Geraint Evans, award-winning writer and journalist Horatio Clare and sports writer Jos Andrews. It is a diverse selection that will hopefully appeal to those who aren't that keen on reading. Minister for Education and Skills, Huw Lewis, will officially launch the titles at Yr Oriel in the National Assembly building on Thursday, 25 February.

The Quick Reads series this year sees three generations of Welsh rugby heroes talking about their relationships with their fathers, both on and off the pitch; as well as a novel about a girl who is raped and decides she will take matters into her own hands. Another book will follow a young soldier who falls in love with a music journalist but whose inability to read and write hinders his new relationship. The final book is based on the story of the Wales football team as it travels Europe hoping to bury disappointment, pain and failure.

There will be four new titles published this year as part of the initiative that celebrates its tenth anniversary, two in Welsh and two in English. With one in six adults still struggling to read, the Quick Reads campaign aims to break down barriers and get Wales reading by producing short, gripping books available from libraries, bookshops and online for just £1. The 2016 titles will be available at the end of February: Y Gosb – Geraint Evans; Gorau Chwarae Cydchwarae – Dylan Ebenezer; The Paratrooper's Princess – Horatio Clare; and Rugby Dads – Jos Andrews. Angharad Tomos, from the Welsh Books Council, said: "Quick Reads are short, snappy books with fewer than 100 pages each, and are especially written for people who wish to improve their skills and confidence around reading. By taking a bite-sized approach to reading we aim to overcome any confidence issues and show that reading can be a fun and inspiring activity for all." A synopsis of each book is found below Quick Reads 2016.

Gorau Chwarae Cydchwarae  – Dylan Ebenezer The story of the Wales football team in the Euro 2016 preliminary group. The Dragons have ten games to bury decades of pain, disappointment and failure. The national team has not reached the final rounds of a main competition in almost 60 years – but there’s a feeling (again) that things will be different this time. There is a young talented squad that includes Gareth Bale, one of the best players in the world. The book will follow the journey from Andorra to Belgium, Israel, Cyprus and Bosnia. The group matches are followed chronologically, but there will also be a need to look back at times to place the campaign in a historical context.

The Paratrooper's Princess  – Horatio Clare Soldier Jason Lewis falls for Charlotte at a gig in Newport. He finds out she is a music writer from London – and his blood goes cold, because although he is an excellent soldier, all his life he has hidden, often brilliantly, his very limited literacy. After a brief time together, Jason is desperate to see more of Charlotte, and is persuaded to sign up for a writing course she is teaching in west Wales. Throughout the course, Jason conceals the fact that he can barely read or write, despite having to take part in two writing exercises a day and read them out to the rest of the group. He does so by making marks on paper as though he is writing, and making up the story aloud. She treats him the way she treats all her writers, and the group give their feedback. But their relationship deepens. There are many dramas within the writing group, culminating in a real clash towards the end of the week, but Jason seems to have weathered the ordeal and to have confirmed his love for Charlotte, though he still can’t tell her his secret. However, there seems to be no long-term hope for them when he is called away by his unit on a special mission where his survival could be in doubt.

Y Gosb  – Geraint Evans Erin is raped on her way home following a night out. Her first reaction is to phone the police but in a fateful moment she delays and considers the implications: a medical examination, being cross-examined, having to relive the nightmare in court and the insinuation that she was asking for it. In her rage, she decides to find her attacker. No police, no courts – she and she alone will be the prosecutor and the one to determine the punishment. The rapist’s body is discovered and Gareth Prior and his team are called to solve the murder. Erin presumes there is no way of connecting her with the offence but she made one mistake – a mistake that proves that there is no such thing as the perfect murder.

Rugby Dads  – Jos Andrews Fatherhood is an underrated skill. Many fall into it almost by accident. But having done so, they become role models for the next generation. When that father and role model is a dad who has made his name in rugby, how difficult is it for sons and daughters to follow in his boots and make their own mark? And how do rugby players themselves cope with the pressures of the game, as well as looking after their little ones? Especially in Wales … Rugby Dads contains personal, family stories from several generations of rugby players and their children, including members of the current Wales team. Many sports people have had their own struggles with education and reading, and sometimes their children do too. They talk about these, along with providing tips on how to deal with the stresses and strains of a competitive, strenuous job and family life. This is a rugby book with a difference. Individual stories included in the book by: Gareth Davies, D.K. Jones, Elgan Rees, Brynmor Williams, Glen Webbe, Kingsley Jones, Rhys Williams and Ken Owens.

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