Does Richard and Judy's book club guarantee success for these 10 titles?

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Some are virtually unknown, others have been word-of-mouth hits in America and one was even shortlisted for the Booker. But 10 diverse book titles are now set to see their sales soar because they have been chosen to feature on Channel 4's Richard and Judy Book Club.

The list, unveiled today, names 10 titles which will each be discussed on the couple's tea-time show every week from 12 January and will be eligible for the Richard and Judy award, a special prize to be presented at the British Book Awards in April.

For the book trade, the list has become a hot topic after the couple's recommendations proved a surprising hit with the public who flocked to buy the books they featured when the book club was launched last year.

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold, which eventually won the readers' vote to become the 2004 award winner, sold more than a million copies after it was featured on the programme. Star of the Sea by Joseph O'Connor, which came second, saw an increase of 350 per cent.

Amanda Ross, the executive producer of the show, said it had been tough selecting just 10 from 301 books submitted for consideration. "It was very hard to follow last year's extremely successful list, but we think this year's books will do even better. We were spoilt for choice."

Judy Finnigan said she was really looking forward to reading the new list and discussing them with viewers as well as celebrity reviewers. "We enjoyed it hugely earlier this year and we're sure it's going to be an even greater success."

Richard Madeley, her husband and co-presenter, said: "If anything the choice is wider than last time."

The book trade agreed. Joel Rickett, deputy editor of The Bookseller magazine, said it was a really interesting list. "It's quite eclectic, as it was last time, but there are some excellent books in there.

"There's a good mix of thrillers, literary fiction, interesting biographies and books that have been sleeper hits in the United States, especially The Time Traveller's Wife and The Jane Austen Book Club, which is an obvious one because it's partly about a book club."

Mr Rickett said he assumed the Robbie Williams autobiography was selected in order to get him on to the show although it had been well reviewed. By contrast, there were quite experimental literary novels on the list such as the Booker-shortlisted Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell.

Mr Rickett said he was pleased to see titles such as The Promise of Happiness by Justin Cartwright, included because it had been overlooked by the Booker judges but was "brilliant".

"If there's a really good discussion, it will take this book to a whole new audience and a whole new level of sales," he said.


The Shadow of the Wind

Carlos Ruiz Zafon

A mega-selling sensation in Spain and Germany, Zafon's literary thriller leads his young hero through 1940s Barcelona in a labyrinth of twists and surprises.

The Time Traveler's Wife

Audrey Niffenegger

Romance, fantasy and science-fiction merge as a couple try to hang on to their love while the librarian husband journeys - literally - into his past and his future.

The American Boy

Andrew Taylor

London, 1820: mystery and imagination abound as a drama of passion unfolds around the young Edgar Allan Poe, inducting him in his apprenticeship in secrecy and dread.

The Promise of Happiness

Justin Cartwright

This powerful study of middle-class English life shows a clan breaking up as the daughter turns to crime and the patriarch goes quietly mad in Cornwall.


Robbie Williams/ Chris Heath

Unusually frank and searching as pop star memoirs go: Heath tracks the former boy-band singer and discovers method in the madness of a tabloid-hounded celebrity.

The Jane Austen Book Club

Karen Joy Fowler

R & J's own book club enters a hall of mirrors with this spirited comedy about a group of Californians whose mishaps and heartaches echo Jane's plots.

Cloud Atlas

David Mitchell

This dazzling spiral of stories crosses genres, centuries and continents in a virtuoso narrative with the search for personal freedom, and the resistance to oppression at its heart.

The Sixth Lamentation

William Brodrick

In a historical thriller that has been compared to Le Carré, wartime crimes resurface in an East Anglian monastery as a German who may have guilty secrets arrives.

My Sister's Keeper

Jodi Picoult

This season's The Lovely Bones? Ethical and emotional dilemmas intrude upon and complicate the life of a "designer child" who has been bred as a genetic match for a sibling with leukaemia.


Paula Byrne

Story of the scandalous Regency heroine Mary Robinson: poet, debtor, actress, mistress to the great, and the best friend of the equally celebrated Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire.