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@storisydyn2014 • @quickreads2014 • www.readingwales.org.uk Available from bookshops, online and libraries.
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The last days of Dylan A new novel imagines the death of Wales’s most famous poet
t’s November 1953 and the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas is dying in a hospital bed in New York. As he lies there, he thinks back over his life. From his childhood in Swansea to his days as a wild young poet in London, from his marriage to Caitlin MacNamara to his final weeks in New York. That’s the story in a new Quick Reads novel, Do Not Go Gentle, published exactly 100 years Phil since the poet was Carradice born. It’s a novel, but based on the truth. “As a writer, I always think of stories to tell and Dylan’s life is like a story with a range of highs and lows and ups and downs,” says the author, Phil Carradice.
The title comes from a poem that Dylan wrote when his own father was dying. And Phil Carradice is hoping to put the record straight – Dylan Thomas wasn’t as big a drinker as everybody thinks. “Everyone thinks of Dylan Thomas as a party animal but in reality he didn’t drink that much earlier on in his life,” he explains. “Yes, he used to go to pubs but he went there because of the atmosphere of the place and the people who were there. “Of course, he discovered whiskey in America and started drinking heavily – but by that time he was terribly depressed and thought his talent was going. “We need to get away from the legend of him as a drinker and not let that get in the way of the words.”
New! Read Dylan too! Phil Carradice wants people to read Do Not Go Gentle, but he wants far more than that. He wants people to move on and read Dylan Thomas’s own work. “I used to think that Dylan gave more thought to the sound of words rather than the meaning in his poetry but writing this book has made me realise that there’s more depth in his writing,” he says. “I would urge people to buy the book and enjoy it, but then I want them to read Dylan Thomas’s books, his words. That’s what it’s all about.”
Go for it! A new book tells you how to start a business – and gives you role models from Wales
ots of Welsh people are showing how to take the future in their own hands and start a business. In a new Quick Reads book, Be Your Own Boss, writer Alison Stokes tells some of their stories and offers tips on how to do it yourself.
These are some of the stories: Layla Bennett from Powys left school at 16 and now runs a successful falconry business which was featured on the TV programme Dragon’s Den. l Nathan Dicks from the Mumbles near Swansea had problems reading because of dyslexia and now runs Revise Learning Ltd, which helps children revise by using song words. l Skateboarder Ben Room turned his hobby into a business and runs an outdoor pursuits company on the Gower. l
In the book, they all share their experiences, tell how to get started and explain how to avoid some of the snags and problems. Business experts also give tips on where to go for money and advice - all you need to start on the journey from the living room to the boardroom. “Talking to these people has been inspiring,” says Alison Stokes – who hopes to inspire you.
That’s a good idea! “To start a business, you don’t need to know everything,” says Alison Stokes who interviewed dozens of people while researching for the book. “But, you need a good idea and lots of passion.” “All sorts of people start their own business. Some who struggled with reading and writing at school have gone on to make a success of their lives. Others have retrained after losing their job. “Now they all do something they enjoy.” And that’s true of Alison, who worked in newspapers for 20 years. Then she decided to leave her job and start working as a freelance writer and PR consultant. “Making the decision was scary at first, but it has been very satisfying,” says Alison who has published seven books, including another Quick Reads title about the power of reading.
The books from Wales are available either at your local bookshop or from www.gwales.com
Have a good idea: Ask yourself – what are you good at? Do your cupcakes go down well at school fairs? Are your friends for ever asking to use your van for moving things? Many businesses start off with small ideas.
Do your research. One out of five new businesses stops trading within the first year and the most common mistake is not enough planning. Know exactly what people want and who your competition is.
Don’t be afraid to ask for advice. Many people who start a business don’t know how to do things at the start. You’ll be surprised how many organisations can help you for free -the Prince’s Trust, Business in Focus and Prime Cymru for example.
Hunting heads – and medals The girl from Wales who made Olympic history
t’s a long way from Flint to Korea, which makes Jade Jones even more special. In the London Olympic Games in 2012, the young woman from North Wales became the first Briton ever to win a gold medal for taekwondo, the Korean martial art. Jade The title of her book about her Jones in life, The Headhunter, is her nickname and during the numbers Games she showed why. 1: Post box painted gold to honour her “In the final, I had to live Olympic win. up to my nickname which 8: Her age at her first taekwondo lesson was given to me by my 9.6: Her score in winning gold at the first fellow players,” says Jade. Summer Youth Olympics in Singapore in 2010. “I always kick to the head 19: Her age when she won an Olympic because it gives you more Gold Medal points.” 67: The number of young The final was pay-back time, sportsmen and women that as Jade was fighting the girl who Jade mentors. beat her in the World Championships, Hou Yuzhuo from China. “She was the double World Champion,” explains Jade, “but I wasn’t thinking about that ... I was bouncing around knowing I home proves that she did better than silver had a silver medal, whatever happened!” and, in 2012 she was BBC Wales’ Sports The gold-painted post box near her Personality of the Year.
Theeadhunter’Ins her Quick Reads book, Jade describes how her H tale grandfather fired her passion for her sport. “My granddad, Martin Foulkes, is my inspiration,” says Jade. “He is the one who set me on the path to Olympic gold. “When I was eight years old, he took me to the local taekwondo cub ... the rest, as they say, is history!”
‘I want to be the best’ One Olympic Gold isn’t enough for Jade. “I’m setting my goals for the future,” she says. “I’m not World Champion yet or European Champion. I want to go to Rio for the next Olympic Games. I want to be the best I can possibly be. “For me, training hard for hours a day is tough but when it pays off and you become a champion it is all worthwhile. Nothing worth anything comes easily. If you believe … you can do it! Try hard enough and you can!”
Is it worth it?
Richard 2 of Wales I
t’s one of those rugby moments that live forever in people’s memories. When Lions and Wales rugby star Richard Hibbard crashed into George Smith under a clear night sky in Australia, many thought that the tremors would have rocked Sydney Harbour Bridge. It was one of those moments that win games – in this case, the last 2013 Test between Australlia and the British Lions. Flanker Smith was the ‘Mr Indestructible’ of Australian Rugby but he was helped off the pitch. Richard Hibbard just shook his
How he got there In Lionheart, Richard Hibbard remembers his long and often rocky road to the top of world rugby: from his roots in Port Talbot, to his stint
trademark blond hair and carried on helping the Lions earn their 2013 series victory. The story of that massive tackle is now part of Hibbard’s new book, Lionheart. “I was fuming because I’d been the one to get knocked back,” explains Richard. “I jumped straight back up and didn’t feel any pain, even though our heads had collided at full force. “But I looked down and Smith was on the floor. He wasn’t getting up, either, and I felt happy with that. I knew it was a significant moment.”
with rugby league club Aberavon Fighting Irish. “I’m from Fairfield, one of the rougher areas in the middle of Port Talbot,” says Richard. “I suppose I was about ten years old when I started to play organised rugby games
down at Aberavon Quins. “I was a naturally aggressive sort of person and that dragged me through games when I was a boy. I knew I was a tough kid and I knew I was up against kids who weren’t as tough.”
“By the time I’m fifty my body will be in pieces, I know that,” says Richard Hibbard. “I have trouble sleeping most nights and my hands often feel numb. Since his first call up to the Wales National Squad in 2006, Richard has won 23 caps and in the last couple of seasons has made the number 2 shirt his own. But the modern game does take its toll and Richard Hibbard talks honestly in the book about having to fight back from one serious injury after another. “It’s something that worries me when I allow myself the time to think about it,” says Richard Hibbard in the book. “But you do it for nights like that one in Sydney. Nights you’ll never forget. Nights when the scoreboard reads Australia 16, British and Irish Lions 41.”
2014! w titles As well as the 8 ne there are a published in Wales, Reads on sale further 6 new Quick and Ireland, £1 throughout the UK books by some r.r.p. These include They are all very popular writers. you hooked guaranteed to get on books.
Blackout by Emily Barr You wake up in Paris. No money. No memory. No child. You wake up in a strange room, with no idea how you got there. You are abroad, in a city you have never visited before. You have no money, no passport, no phone. And there is no sign of your baby. What do you do?
A Cruel Fate
by Barbara Taylor Bradford Drama, heartbreak and new beginnings. This is a gripping story from a master storyteller. On the surface, Claire Saunders has it all. She has a rewarding career in fashion and a talented concert pianist daughter. Her loving husband is one of the country’s most trusted diplomats. But every now and again, she has to plaster her face in heavy make-up and wears sunglasses. She thinks she’s hidden her secret from her best friends, but they know her too well. Can her friends get her out of harm’s way and protect her from a man who is as ruthless as he is charming and powerful? And along the way, can Claire learn to stop protecting the wrong people?
by Lindsey Davis As long as war exists, this story will matter. Martin Watts, a bookseller, is captured by the king’s men. Jane Afton›s brother Nat is taken too. They both suffer horrible treatment as prisoners-of-war. Based on real events in the English Civil War, Lindsey Davis retells the grim tale of Captain Smith's abuse of power in Oxford prison – where many died in misery though a lucky few survived.
The Escape by Lynda La Plante Is a change of identity all it takes to leave prison? Colin Burrows is desperate. Recently sent to prison for burglary, he knows that his four year sentence means that he will miss the birth of his first child. With his wife’s due date fast approaching, he had hoped that the prison authorities would allow him
Rules for Dating a Romantic Hero by Harriet Evans Do you believe in happy endings? Laura Foster used to be a hopeless romantic. She was obsessed with meeting her own Prince Charming until she grew up and realised real life doesn’t work like that. Can an ordinary girl like Laura make it work with one of the most eligible men in the country?
Bestselling author Lynda La Plante’s exciti ng tale of one man’s escape from jail is ba sed on a true story.
to be present for the birth, but they have said no. Sharing a cell with Colin is Barry Marsden. Unlike most of the inmates, Barry actually likes prison life. So he is upset that he will have to leave on parole soon. Sad to see his cellmate looking depressed, Barry hatches a plan to get Colin out of jail for the birth.
Four Warned by Jeffrey Archer A Quick Read from the number one bestselling writer and author of Kane and Abel. These four short stories from a master storyteller are packed full of twists and turns. In Stuck on You, Jeremy finds out exactly the best way to steal the perfect ring for his fiancée. Albert celebrates his 100th birthday, and is pleased to be sent The Queen’s Birthday Telegram. He is, however, confused as to why his wife isn’t sent her telegram. In Russia, businessman Richard plots the ideal way to murder his wife. He begins to have a clever idea when his hotel warns him: Don’t Drink the Water from the taps. And as Diana, a busy single mother, drives to have dinner with friends, she realises that a black van is following her. Soon terrified for her life, she does whatever it takes to stick to the warning given to drivers: Never Stop on the Motorway . . . Every reader will have their favourite story – some will make you laugh, others will bring you to tears. And, as always, every one of them will keep you spellbound.
for more information about these books and their authors, and to find out where they can be bought. Books can also be purchased and downloaded as eBooks from several online retailers. The website also provides details of the support materials that will help everyone get the most from Quick Reads. Downloadable resources include:
NEW FOR 2014 – individual Reading Group toolkits for each title; • Quick Reads poster; • Quick Reads Reading Break toolkit for use in workplaces, colleges, libraries etc. The website also has information on the extensive Quick Reads backlist as well as case studies of how people have been using the books and the fantastic impacts they have had. Go to
www.quickreads.org.uk for all the latest news and information. Keep up to date with the latest news from Quick Reads on Twitter
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NEW BOOKS FOR
By Alun Gibbard The story of Barry-born journalist Gareth Jones and his revelation of man-made famine by Stalin in 1930s Ukraine. Did his disclosure of this famine lead to his murder in 1935?
By Jonathan Davies Exploring the life and career of popular rugby player Jonathan Davies, who plays centre for Wales and the Lions.
Aled a’r Fedal Aur
Oswald By Lleucu Roberts Oswald is an obituaries editor desperate to free himself from his obsession.
By Aled Sion Davies The Paralympic champion’s story and how he came to win his medals at the Paralympic Games in London 2012.
Look out for these special Quick Reads titles at supermarkets, bookshops and libraries across Wales. The books are available in your local book shop, library or from www.gwales.com For more info about Quick Reads in Wales visit www.readingwales.org.uk; follow us on Twitter @quickreads2014 and on Facebook.
As well as the new English-language titles, the Lolfa have also published four brand new Stori Sydyn titles in Welsh, as part of the Quick Reads campaign in Wales.