'Richard and Judy' effect boosts sales of sea novel

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The Independent Culture

A recommendation by Richard and Judy may not rank alongside a Booker prize when it comes to literary prestige. But in terms of shifting books, a mention on their Channel 4 teatime show can work wonders. Sales of Joseph O'Connor's Star of the Sea have risen by 337 places in the UK best-seller chart since it featured on the couple's book club slot on 22 January.

Amazon.co.uk said that the historical novel, set aboard a ship in 1947, knocked the hugely popular Eats, Shoots & Leaves off the number one slot. Sales increased from 50,000 to 85,000 after the 20-minute book slot in which Bob Geldof and Bonnie Greer gave favourable reviews to the show's audience of 2.8 million.

Since the presenters launched their Oprah Winfrey-style club on 14 January, sales of the reviewed books have had significant success. Their first reviewed book, Nigel Slater's autobiography Toast, leapt from 18th place to number seven in The Sunday Times best-seller list. The book club is working through 10 books which have been shortlisted for the Best Read of the Year prize at the British Book Awards on 7 April. This week's book is Lucia Lucia, by Adriani Trigiani, reviewed by James Sherwood, Amy Lame and Aleksandra Krotoski.