We are delighted to announce that our Big City Read book for 2018 will be Matt Haig’s The Radleys. Matt is a former resident of York and has close ties with the city and The Radleys is set in York’s very own Bishopthorpe. We are enormously excited that he has accepted our invitation to be our Big City Read author and are planning some fantastic events to celebrate the themes of the book and celebrate the power of reading.

We are working hard on a fantastic programme of events including performances of a play that we have specially commissioned for the Big City Read this year. Riding Lights Theatre Company will be performing Surprise Ending, written by Bridget Foreman in all of our libraries, mobile libraries and reading cafes and some other specially selected venues in and around the city. This strand of the programme is being funded by a grant from Arts Council England.

Some key dates for this year are

  • The Big City Read 2018 brochure and event booking will be available from 1 August.
  • We will be launching the Big City Read on Thursday 20 September and distributing 5000 free copies of The Radleys from 21 September.
  • Our programme of events across the city will run from 20 September to 16 November and we are already booking some fantastic authors and activities to involve, entertain and inform you.

Matt said “As a great believer in the personal, social and therapeutic power of reading it is an absolute honour to be part of this year’s York Big City Read. It’s a great scheme which places books where they need to be, in the heart of the community. “

Fiona Williams Chief Executive for Explore York said, “We are thrilled to be working with Matt Haig and Canongate for this year’s Big City Read. The addition of a performance strand to this year’s programme really will help us to share the joy of reading.”