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World Book Night 2021!


Ten Years of World Book Night

World Book Night is the annual celebration of books and reading on 23 April that brings people from all backgrounds together for one reason – to inspire others to read more. Presented by The Reading Agency, and in partnership with Specsavers, in 2021 we’re celebrating the 10th anniversary with a special “Books to Make You Smile” theme.

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Find Your Next Book

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As we celebrate World Book Night's 10th anniversary, you can also find recommendations of all the books featured on World Book Night curated booklists since 2011. Use the book sorter to find your next read across a range of genres.

World Book Night is run by The Reading Agency, a national charity that tackles life’s big challenges through the proven power of reading.


World Book Night Booklists

If you’re looking for a new book, take a look at the 2021 booklist. There’s something for everyone on here, including fiction, non-fiction and young adult books.

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Free World Book Night Audiobook

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For the third year running, World Book Night are thrilled to offer an exclusive number of free audiobook downloads. Anyone can register to receive a copy, just sign up with your email address and select the book you’d like to receive. A limited number of downloads of each book are available. 

One application per person will be accepted.

Three audiobooks are available:

Emma by Jane Austen, narrated by Tanya Reynolds

Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare, narrated by Samantha Spiro, Emilia Fox, Maxine Peake, Chiwetel Ejiofor, David Tennant, and Julian Rhind-Tutt

The Kindness Method by Shahroo Izadi, narrated by Shahroo Izadi


Kazuo Ishiguro in conversation with Kate Mosse 

6-7pm World Book Night Friday 23rd April

This event is free to attend but booking is essential. See here

Kazuo Ishiguro is one of the world’s most treasured and celebrated contemporary fiction authors, whose award-winning novels include Never Let Me Go and The Remains of the Day. He appears in conversation with no. 1 bestselling author Kate Mosse to discuss Klara and the Sun, his first book since winning the Nobel Prize in Literature, in this special event presented by The Reading Agency and the British Library. The event also marks the 10th anniversary of World Book Night, The Reading Agency’s national celebration of books and reading. 

Klara and the Sun is an intensely moving and beautiful exploration of human connection and creativity in the face of loneliness and advanced technologies. Ishiguro looks at our changing modern world through the eyes of an unforgettable narrator to explore a fundamental question: what does it mean to love? 

He talks to Kate Mosse about the inspiration for the novel, and the power of books and reading to bring people together and change lives.  

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Books to Make You Smile, hosted by Sandi Toksvig 

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8-9pm World Book Night Friday 23rd April

Join us to celebrate the 10th anniversary of World Book Night, hosted by The Reading Agency in partnership with Specsavers. World Book Night brings people from all backgrounds together for one reason – to inspire others to read more. 

During this special event, you’ll be treated to exclusive readings and hear from special guests about the books that make them smile. World Book Night Ambassador Sandi Toksvig talks live to featuring best-selling authors David Nicholls (One Day, Us, Sweet Sorrow), Bolu Babalola (Love in Colour), and World Book Night founder and Canongate Books CEO Jamie Byng. 

This event is free to attend but booking is essential. Book your ticket now.


Stories To Make You Smile

A seriously entertaining collection of feelgood stories guaranteed to put the smile back on your face written especially by ten bestselling novelists.

From a hilarious race against time to a moment of unexpected eavesdropping, from righting wrongs in rural India to finding joy in unlikely places, these stories are all rich in wit and humour, guaranteed to lift your spirits and warm your heart.

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We Are All Made Of Molecules

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Meet Stewart. He’s geeky, gifted and sees things a bit differently to most people. His mum has died and he misses her all the more now he and Dad have moved in with Ashley and her mum.

Meet Ashley. She’s popular, cool and sees things very differently to her new family. Her dad has come out and moved out – but not far enough. And now she has to live with a freakazoid step-brother.

Stewart can’t quite fit in at his new school, and Ashley can’t quite get used to her totally awkward home, which is now filled with some rather questionable decor. And things are about to get a whole lot more mixed up when these two very different people attract the attention of school hunk Jared. . .


Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda

Straight people should have to come out too. And the more awkward it is, the better. Simon Spier is sixteen and trying to work out who he is – and what he’s looking for.

But when one of his emails to the very distracting Blue falls into the wrong hands, things get all kinds of complicated. Because, for Simon, falling for Blue is a big deal … It’s a holy freaking huge awesome deal.

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Common People

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Working-class stories are not always tales of the underprivileged and dispossessed.

Common People is a collection of essays, poems and memoir written in celebration, not apology: these are narratives rich in barbed humour, reflecting the depth and texture of working-class life, the joy and sorrow, the solidarity and the differences, the everyday wisdom and poetry of the woman at the bus stop, the waiter, the hairdresser.

Here, Kit de Waal brings together thirty-three established and emerging writers who invite you to experience the world through their eyes, their voices loud and clear as they reclaim and redefine what it means to be working class.

Features original pieces from Damian Barr, Malorie Blackman, Lisa Blower, Jill Dawson, Louise Doughty, Stuart Maconie, Chris McCrudden, Lisa McInerney, Paul McVeigh, Daljit Nagra, Dave O’Brien, Cathy Rentzenbrink, Anita Sethi, Tony Walsh, Alex Wheatle and more.


Faking Friends

Best friend, soulmate, confidante . . . backstabber.

Amy thought she knew everything there was to know about her best friend Melissa. Then again, Amy also thought she was on the verge of the wedding of her dreams to her long-distance fiancé.

Until she pays a surprise trip home to London. Jack is out, but it’s clear another woman has been making herself at home in their flat.

There’s something about her stuff that feels oddly familiar . . . and then it hits Amy. The Other Woman is Melissa.

Amy has lost her home, her fiancé and her best friend in one disastrous weekend – but instead of falling apart, she’s determined to get her own back.

Piecing her life back together won’t be half as fun as dismantling theirs, after all.

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Taking Up Space

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As a minority in a predominantly white institution, taking up space is an act of resistance.

Recent Cambridge grads Chelsea and Ore experienced this first-hand, and wrote Taking Up Space as a guide and a manifesto for change.

FOR BLACK GIRLS: Understand that your journey is unique. Use this book as a guide. Our wish for you is that you read this and feel empowered, comforted and validated in every emotion you experience, or decision that you make.

FOR EVERYONE ELSE: We can only hope that reading this helps you to be a better friend, parent, sibling or teacher to black girls living through what we did.

It’s time we stepped away from seeing this as a problem that black people are charged with solving on their own. It’s a collective effort. And everyone has a role to play. Featuring honest conversations with students past and present, Taking Up Space goes beyond the buzzwords of diversity and inclusion and explores what those words truly mean for young black girls today.


Reasons To Be Cheerful

WINNER of the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction
WINNER of the Comedy Women In Print Prize

Teenager Lizzie Vogel has a new job as a dental assistant. This is not as glamorous as it sounds. At least it means mostly getting away from her alcoholic, nymphomaniacal, novel-writing mother. But, if Lizzie thinks being independent means sex with her boyfriend (he prefers bird-watching), strict boundaries (her boss keeps using her loo) or self-respect (surely only actual athletes get fungal foot infections?) she’s still got a lot more growing up to do.

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To Sir With Love

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In 1945, Rick Braithwaite, a smart, highly educated ex-RAF pilot, looks for a job in British engineering. He is deeply shocked to realise that, as a black man from British Guiana, no one will employ him because of the colour of his skin. In desperation he turns to teaching, taking a job in a tough East End school, and left to govern a class of unruly teenagers. With no experience or guidance, Braithwaite attempts to instil discipline, confound prejudice and ultimately, to teach.


Elevation

In the small town of Castle Rock word gets around quickly. That’s why Scott Carey only confides in his friend Doctor Bob Ellis about his strange condition. Every day he’s losing weight – but without looking any different.

Meanwhile a new couple, Deirdre and Missy, owners of a ‘fine dining experience’ in town, have moved in next door. Scott is not happy that their dogs keep fouling on his lawn.

But as the town prepares for its annual Thanksgiving 12K run, Scott starts to understand the prejudices his neighbours face. Soon, they forge a friendship which may just help him through his mysterious affliction…

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A Dutiful Boy

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Discover a powerful coming of age memoir about growing up queer in a strict Muslim household.

Mohsin grew up in a poor pocket of east London, in a devout shia Muslim community. His family were close-knit and religiously conservative. From a young age, Mohsin felt different but in a home where being gay was inconceivable he also felt very alone.

Outside of home Mohsin went to a failing inner city school where gang violence was a fact of life. As he grew up life didn’t seem to offer teenage Mohsin any choices: he was disenfranchised from opportunity and isolated from his family as a closet gay Muslim.

But Mohsin had incredible drive and became the first person from his school to go to Oxford University. At university came the newfound freedom to become the man his parents never wanted him to be. But when he was confronted by his father and a witch doctor invited to ‘cure’ him Mohsin had to make a difficult choice.

Mohsin’s story takes harrowing turns but it is full of life and humour, and, ultimately, it is an inspiring story about breaking through life’s barriers.

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