Inside London’s BIG READ 2019 Shortlist

London’s BIG READ 2019, a campaign that aims to bring London together through the discovery of great books, launched last night at LIBRARY on St Martin’s Lane in London.

Fourteen authors including Dolly Alderton, Jenni Murray and Sophie Mackintosh, were announced as finalists in the initiative that will see Londoners selecting their favourite book of 2019. The online voting will be open from World BookDay (7th March 2019) to 30th June.

London’s BIG READ, now in its second year, was created to bring London together through reading books that expand our understanding of our community and express the diversity of this great city.

The 2019 theme is female empowerment. June Sarpong, author of Diversify, was the inaugural winner of London’s BIG READ 2018, with a theme of diversity. Over the next ten months, the 2019 campaign is designed to encourage Londoners to get excited about reading, discover new books, and vote for their ‘favourite book of 2019’ at

The full list of books are –

What Would Boudicca Do? Everyday Problems Solved by History’s Most Remarkable Women by Elizabeth Foley & Beth Coates, Illustrated by Bijou Karmen, Faber & Faber

Remember This When You’re Sad by Maggy Van Eijk, Bonnier Books

Help Me! One Woman’s Quest to Find Out if Self Help Really Can Change Her Life by Marianne Power, Picador

A History of the World in 21 Women:  A Personal Selection by Jenni Murray, One World Publications

I’m Absolutely Fine! A Manual for Imperfect Women by Annabel Rivkin & Emilie McMeekan, Octopus

Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton, Penguin

The Water Cureby Sophie Mackintosh, Hamish Hamilton

The Dizziness of Freedom brings together fifty of contemporary poetry’s most exciting voices to speak out about mental health

The Things I Would Tell You: British Muslim Women Write, Saqi Books Edited by Sabrina Mahfouz

Emily Knight I Am … Awakened by Abiola Bello, Hashtag Press

Big Bones by Laura Dockrill, Hot Key Books

Only Love Can Break Your Heart by Katherine Webber, Walker Books

Fearless Mirabelle by Katie Haworth and Nila Aye, Templar

Three Cheers For Women by MarciaWilliams, Walker Books

From January 2019 onwards, the shortlisted authors and their books, will be promoted through a series of talks and events at LIBRARY, centred on the topic of female empowerment, covering mental health, family, relationships, gender equality, careers/work and much more. Copies of the books will be placed on tubes and trains across the City, and the organisers have teamed up with London BookFair, booksellers, libraries, universities and publishers to raise awareness about the Finalists and the wider London’s BIG READ campaign.

London’s BIG READ 2019 aims to raise money through myriad fundraising activities throughout the year for the Children’s Literary Charity and Ndoro Children’sCharity, culminating in a gala ceremony and fundraising auction in September 2019 to announce the winner.

The Finalist books will be available to buy from LIBRARY from December 2018, with £1 from each sale going to the Children’s Literacy Charity and a further £1 going to the Ndoro Children’s Charity.

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