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News story

2019 Books Unlocked reading list announced

19 Feb 2019

Books Unlocked NPR

Our prison reading programme, Books Unlocked, has announced the 10 books that participants will have available to read in 2019.

Books Unlocked provides free copies of Man Booker Prize-shortlisted titles for participants in UK prisons to read, discuss and keep.

The 10 books chosen for 2019 are:

  • Autumn by Ali Smith
  • Brick Lane by Monica Ali
  • Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng
  • Harvest by Jim Crace
  • Pigeon English by Stephen Kelman
  • Life of Pi by Yann Martel
  • Snowdrops by A.D. Miller
  • The Dark Room by Rachel Seiffert
  • The Sisters Brothers by Patrick DeWitt
  • The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters

Books Unlocked is supported by the Booker Prize Foundation, and works in partnership with National Prison Radio.

Each month, one of the books will be serialised on the Books Unlocked radio show on National Prison Radio, which broadcasts to over 80,000 cells across the UK prison population. Prisoners can send off for a free copy of the book being serialised, which will then be sent to them to keep.

Many of the authors on the list will visit prison reading groups over the course of the year, and take part in interviews for National Prison Radio which will also be broadcast on the Books Unlocked show.

A further five titles will be added to the list in the summer, giving prison groups and prisoners even more choice of reading material.

“The most import[ant] aspect [of the programme] is, no doubt, the chance of having books handed to prisoners so we can read them in our cells. Sometimes people outside don’t realise about how important a book can be for a prisoner.”

Prisoner, HMP Thameside
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