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London's BIG READ 2019 Finalists unveiled at LIBRARY party last night

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Press Release - 28thNovember 2018

Online press folder including photos from the event (credit Nigel Pacquette / and more details:

"Female Empowerment" Literary Line-Up

London's BIG READ 2019 Shortlist Confirmed

The London's BIG READ 2019 Finalists were officially unveiled at an exclusive party in private members bar, LIBRARY, on November 27, 2018.

London, United Kingdom, 28thNovember 2018: 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 Book Day (7thMarch 2019) to 30thJune. *Please see Notes to Editors for the full shortlist.

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.

Ronald Ndoro, Founder of LIBRARY, said: "We are delighted that London's BIG READ has found such strong resonance and support in its second edition and will continue to do so throughout this year-long campaign. Our hope is that this activity will bring Londoners together in conversation, shine a light on pressing issues around female empowerment, and - through our charity partnership - support the tremendous work that The Children's Literacy Charity does in setting up Literacy Labs across London."

Matthew Hickey, Chief Executive of The Children's Literacy Charity, added: "We are small but we're making a big difference through our specialist literacy support for disadvantaged children. Every year, 150,000 of the poorest children start school with language skills one and a half years behind their peers, a gap they won't recover from. We want to do more, for more children, in more places, more often, so that we can give children the best literacy start to their lives. We have supported over 4,000 children in the last decade and want to build on this for our future. We are both excited and proud to partner with London's BIG READ to not only help the charity grow, but most importantly to support more children to make the most of their literacy development. Through London's BIG READ and our Big Give Christmas Challenge we hope to raise funds, which will allow the charity to support more children across London, and beyond."

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

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 Book Fair, 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's Charity, 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.


For media enquiries, please contact LitPR:

Helen Lewis || +44 (0) 7904801669

Diana Ashlee | | +44 (0) 7827959644


Online press folder including photos from the event (credit Nigel Pacquette / and more details:


Notes to Editors

*London's BIG READ 2019 Edition - Finalists

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

Remember This When You're Sadby Maggy Van Eijk, Bonnier Books

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

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

I'm Absolutely Fine! A Manual for Imperfect Womenby Annabel Rivkin & Emilie McMeekan, Octopus

Everything I Know About Loveby Dolly Alderton, Penguin

The Water Cureby Sophie Mackintosh, Hamish Hamilton

The Dizziness of Freedombrings 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 ... Awakenedby Abiola Bello, Hashtag Press

Big Bonesby Laura Dockrill, Hot Key Books

Only Love Can Break Your Heartby Katherine Webber, Walker Books

Fearless Mirabelleby Katie Haworth and Nila Aye, Templar

Three Cheers For Womenby Marcia Williams, Walker Books

Winner of London's BIG READ 2018:

Diversify by June Sarpong(Published by Harper Collins, 2017)

In this fierce, empowering call to arms, June Sarpong MBE puts the spotlight on groups who are often marginalised in our society, including women, those living with disabilities, and the LGBTQ community.Diversifyuncovers how a new approach to how we work, learn and live can help us reach our maximum potential, lessen the pressure on the state, and solve some of the most stubborn challenges we face.


Founded by Ronald Ndoro in 2013, LIBRARY is a hub for creativity and innovation, and draws inspiration from literature, theatre, local community and sustainable design. LIBRARY is focused on tailoring and enhancing the member experience through the provision of a lifestyle service, fine dining and dancing, complemented by an original cultural events programme including live music events, art exhibitions, film screenings, author-led book clubs and talks.

LIBRARY, 112 St Martin's Lane, London WC2N 4BD

For more information please


The Children's Literacy Charity is invested in breaking the link between poor literacy and poor life chances. They are a direct action charity that provides expert one to one literacy support, making it unique in this field. The charity employs expert tutors to directly support children through their Literacy Labs delivered in primary schools across the top 10% deprived areas in London and Manchester.

The Children's Literacy Charity and London's BIG READ will run mutually supportive publicity activities that will create exposure for both, and expand the donation activities of the Trust.

The Children's Literacy Charity provides one-to-one specialist support from trained tutors to children with the greatest need.

• In schools, these tailored interventions take place twice a week in Literacy Labs - spaces away from the main classroom where children can take learning at their own pace with the help of a trusted adult.

• Their skilled tutors use a phonics-based approach, which studies indicate is the most effective method of teaching reading.

• Their approach offers ‘a gold standard' in the provision of phonics-based instruction, according to validation by the University of Sheffield.

For further details, please see:

Also, the donation portal, which goes live at 12 noon on 27th November:



The Ndoro Children's Charity was set up in 2008 to provide education for sustainable development, good health and stability to as many children as possible in underprivileged parts of the world - with a particular focus on children orphaned to diseases such as HIV/Aids in Africa. The charity was set up by the founder of LIBRARY, Ronald Ndoro.

• Focus on education but includes accommodation, access to water and electricity through renewable energy, environmental conservation and agriculture.

• Success includes building and renovating schools, an orphanage home, providing clean drinking water, covering school fees and setting up a volunteer scheme in Zimbabwe.