Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Richard & Judy's new book club

The new Richard & Judy book club which starts up on Watch at 8pm tonight, will launch one new author a month. From the Guardian:

Madeley and Finnigan's chat show – renamed Richard & Judy's New Position - is moving in October from Channel 4 to UKTV cable channel Watch, with sponsorship from the Daily Mail. As part of the move it is introducing a new strand to its hugely popular book club, which will highlight 12 debut writers over the course of the year.

The Richard & Judy New Writers Book Club will kick off in October with Hillary Jordan's Mudbound, which details the lives of a family on a cotton farm in the Mississippi Delta in 1946. November's choice is The Marriage Bureau for Rich People by Farahad Zama, which sees the retired Mr Ali open a marriage bureau in India. Nancy Horan's Loving Frank - based on the love affair of architect Frank Lloyd Wright and his client Mamah Borthwick Cheney – is December's pick. As with the book club, which starts in January, the titles will be discussed on air by a pair of celebrities.

There's a recent interview with Amanda Ross, the person behind the choices for the bookclub, in the Daily Mail, including:
However, the snobbery that has always been rife in the books industry has stalked Amanda. 'People did say, "daytime TV, lowbrow", but that was never the case. We haven't ever gone for the lowbrow stuff, and our readers' tastes reflect that, too.'

In fact, the majority of the books have veered towards the literary end of the publishing spectrum - another reason why Amanda and her efforts have been so welcomed by publishers, and authors in particular. Not that she will ever be able to truly shake off the snobbery, though. 'I have no time for snobbery or elitism. If a book is a good read, it is a good read.'

It is pretty incredible, though, that one woman can wield such influence, and Amanda still finds it baffling. 'I sometimes have to remind myself that it's precisely because I am not an expert that this works,' she says.

'I never claimed to know anything about books, only that I loved reading and wanted to get other people doing it, too. And I did make mistakes along the way. I included Brick Lane by Monica Ali, even though I hated it. I chose it because I thought we should recommend it, but I won't do that now. I only say yes to the books that I truly, truly love.'
As well as the interview there're details of the first book, Mudbound by Hillary Jordan and how you can win copies for your reading group and also how to buy a cheap copy.


Dick Madeley said...

Thanks for reminding me that I have so much to read and so little time to read it.


It's going to lose its way away from the larger network.