Birmingham City Council

Birmingham’s Big City Read

Meet best selling writer and the author of Birmingham’s Big City Read SJ Watson

Wednesday 29 February 6.30pm (for 7.00pm start) @ Birmingham Library Theatre, Central Library, Birmingham (This is a free event). Find out more about this event. Please note this event is now fully booked.


Birmingham Libraries are delighted to announce that Birmingham has been chosen by Transworld Publishers (in partnership with The Reading Agency) to be the destination for their Big City Read. Tell us what you think of Before I Go To Sleep and get entered into a free prize draw.

Before I go to Sleep

Why are we doing a Big City Read?

The idea of the Big City Read is to celebrate libraries, books and reading. Through the Big City Read Birmingham Libraries would like to encourage readers to try something new, to read and share their reading experience with other readers. We would like as many people as possible in Birmingham to read the same book, post reviews and pass it on. Our Big City Read book is Before I Go To Sleep by S.J. Watson.

The Book:

Before I Go to Sleep is the story of Christine, a forty-seven-year-old writer who, following a catastrophic accident in her mid-twenties, is incapable of forming and maintaining new memories for more than a day. Trapped in an existence in which she wakes every day believing herself to be single and with a whole lifetime of choice ahead of her she discovers instead that she lives with her husband, Ben, with most decisions already made. The novel charts her attempts to make sense of her world. When Chrissie learns that she has been meeting with a doctor who is helping her to recover her memory - and that following his suggestion she has been keeping a journal in order to record her fragmentary recollections and piece together her past - she is hopeful that she may be cured. But the story that emerges is to set in motion a terrifying voyage of discovery that will ultimately have startling consequences for her and all who love her, leading her to question whether the truth is sometimes better left forgotten.

Before I Go To Sleep is a stunning first novel and a compelling read. The book has just won the Galaxy National Book Awards Crime & Thriller of the Year and has attracted world wide acclaim.

The Writer:

S J Watson
S J Watson was born in the Midlands, lives in London and worked in the NHS for a number of years. In 2009 Watson was accepted into the first Faber Academy ‘Writing a Novel’ Course, a programme that covers all aspects of the novel-writing process. Before I Go to Sleep is the result. Now sold in over 30 languages around the world, Before I Go To Sleep has been also been acquired for film by Ridley Scott’s production company, Scott Free, with Rowan Joffe to direct. Filming is scheduled to begin later this year. Find out more about the author at www.sjwatson-books.com

How you can get involved:

We have a limited number of free copies available and you can pick up a free copy of Before I Go To Sleep (whilst stocks last) from your local library. We want as many people in Birmingham to read Before I Go To Sleep, so we encourage you to read, review and pass on your copy of the book. Tell us what you think of the book by completing our online review form or email your review to: reader.development@birmingham.gov.uk. If you don’t fancy emailing, you can also drop off your review at your local library. Just print off a copy of our review form which can be found attached the foot of this page. All reviews will be entered into a free prize draw and one lucky reader will win a great prize that includes meeting SJ Watson, a signed copy of Before I Go To Sleep and more!

You can also post reviews and follow discussions about Before I Go To Sleep on the Reading Groups for All website: www.readinggroups.org/birminghamcityread

You can also follow and join in the Big City Read discussions on twitter @BirminghamReads, #BirmBigCityRead and on our Facebook page Birmingham Big City Read

Praise for Before I Go To Sleep:

“Brilliant... profound... suspenseful... and satisfying in its thriller ending” - ANITA SHREVE

“High-concept... ambitious... structurally brilliant. It’s so rare to read a thriller that’s perfect in every detail, but this one definitely qualifies!” - SOPHIE HANNAH

A terrific first novel... Thrillers seldom come much better than this” - JOANNE HARRIS

“S J Watson’s debut doesn’t put a foot wrong... Unforgettable” - FINANCIAL TIMES

“An unsettling, compulsive thriller...A truly gripping read” - MARIE CLAIRE

“A taut and terrifying novel, with a grip of steel” - WOMAN and HOME

Stunningly executed, completely gripping and slowly terrifying” - DAILY MIRROR

“Exceptionally accomplished...The structure is so dazzling it almost distracts you from the quality of the writing” - GUARDIAN

“An ingenious conceit and hauntingly measured pace render it extraordinarily memorable” -DAILY TELEGRAPH

“Mesmerising and unsettling...this is the best debut thriller since Sophie Hannah’s five years ago.” - SUNDAY TIMES

“A brilliant, surprising and suspenseful work” - STYLIST

“Clever, convincing and moreish...Before I Go to Sleep is an enjoyable and impressive first novel.” - INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY

“A compelling, vertiginous thriller.” - PSYCHOLOGIES MAGAZINE

“This is writing of the highest calibre” - CRIMESQUAD.COM

“Creepy and thought-provoking, a great debut” - THE SUN

“Spectacular.” - SHE MAGAZINE

“A high-concept, high-risk, high tension miracle” - SUNDAY EXPRESS

For more details about Birmingham’s Big City Read, please contact the Reader Development Team via: reader.development@birmingham.gov.uk


Why Birmingham readers would you recommend ‘Before I Go To Sleep’

 PDF (Size: 131 Kb Type: pdf )

Copyright:2011 Birmingham City Council

What Birmingham Readers thought of Before I Go To Sleep

 PDF (Size: 226 Kb Type: pdf )

Copyright:2011 Birmingham City Council