Richard and Judy name top ten books - stand by for sales bonanza

Blockbusters and brains nestle alongside each other in the list of writers whose sales are set to soar thanks to the patronage of television's Richard and Judy, who have become publishing's biggest star-makers.

The 2006 Richard and Judy Book Club, which takes place weekly on the couple's Channel 4 show, will feature 10 writers. Among them will be the literary heavyweight Julian Barnes, with his Booker Prize-shortlisted novel Arthur & George, and Kate Mosse, the founder of the Orange Prize, whose blockbuster Labyrinth is already a big seller.

Non-fiction titles on the list include The Farm, Richard Benson's acclaimed story of his family's Yorkshire farm, and Moondust, for which writer Andrew Smith traced all the living astronauts to have landed on the moon.

Each will be discussed with a celebrity reviewer starting on 18 January and then viewers will be asked to vote for their favourite. The winner of the Richard and Judy Best Read of the Year Award will be announced at the British Book Awards in March.

As the list was announced on the show last night, Amanda Ross, the executive producer, said: "Each year we worry that the list won't be as exciting or successful as the last, as we have a lot to live up to.

"I am delighted with the final 10 books which we selected from over 500 submissions [from publishers]. I am confident that once again there really is something for everyone."

Joel Rickett, deputy editor of the publishing industry magazine, The Bookseller, welcomed the list as "nice and varied". His favourite among the 10 was Nicole Krauss's The History of Love which, with its device of a missing literary text, was similar to the Spanish hit title The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon.

The film rights have been already snapped up by the producer, David Heyman, who spotted Harry Potter's big-screen potential.

"The History of Love was an obvious Richard and Judy choice because it's accessible yet stretching, it's sad, poignant, and a really good book," Mr Rickett said.

He was not sure what viewers would make of the Julian Barnes' novel, because the author's cerebral, introverted style was "quite different from most of the other Richard and Judy books".

Although there was some initial scepticism, the phenomenal success of Richard and Judy in promoting book-buying has given them such clout that Mr Rickett said publishers were now clearly looking for titles with the mix of history and romance that they favoured.

"The Richard and Judy Book Club has become part of the literary calendar alongside the few key things like the Booker, the Whitbread and the Orange Prize. In sales terms, it's now ahead of all three," he said. "The question is whether the show can keep the momentum or whether they inevitably lose energy."

The shortlist

THE HISTORY OF LOVE, by Nicole Krauss

At the age of 10, Leo Gursky fell in love with a young girl in his Polish village and wrote a book in honour of her. Now elderly and living in America, he believes that book long lost. Krauss tells what happens when Gursky's world collides with that of a young girl investigating her own mother's loneliness.

THE FARM, by Richard Benson

The first book from a former editor of The Face is the true story of the farm in Yorkshire where his family has farmed for 200 years. It is told through a combination of childhood memories and notes taken in the weeks before the farm is sold as no longer financially viable and the property developers move in.

THE CONJUROR'S BIRD, by Martin Davies

A debut novel from a BBC producer, this story of the search for a stuffed bird is a mix of detection, romance and history. Fitz, a scientist, becomes obsessed with tracking down the Mysterious Bird of Ulieta, one of the specimens discovered by the real-life 18th-century explorer Joseph Banks.

ARTHUR AND GEORGE, by Julian Barnes

Shortlisted for the 2005 Booker Prize, this is based on the true story of a miscarriage of justice investigated by Sherlock Holmes creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. George Edalji was jailed for attacks on horses but Doyle, believing Edalji to be a victim of racism and sloppy detective work, worked to clear his name.

THE LOST ART OF KEEPING SECRETS, by Eva Rice

Set in post-war England, this is the story of Penelope Wallace who longs to be grown-up and fall in love, but finds that various things - such as her eccentric family - keep on getting in the way. This is the fourth novel from the daughter of the songwriter Tim Rice.

LABYRINTH, by Kate Mosse

Best-selling novel by the co-founder of the Orange Prize, it blends the lives of two women, separated by 800 years. It is an adventure story steeped in the legends and history of the Cathars, the religious movement branded heretical by Roman Catholics, set in the medieval French town of Carcassonne.

THE LINCOLN LAWYER, by Michael Connelly

This is a crime thriller by a former Los Angeles Times police reporter. It is the story of Mickey Haller - a low-ranking criminal defence lawyer who gets his first wealthy client in years when a Beverley Hills rich boy is accused of beating a woman. However, the case starts to fall apart.

EMPRESS ORCHID, by Anchee Min

Min, a former actress who was born in Shanghai but has lived in America since 1984, bases her novel on the true story of China's last empress. She creates the world of the Forbidden City in Imperial China through the eyes of Orchid, a poor girl who beats rival concubines to the emperor's bed.

MARCH, by Geraldine Brooks

The recreation of the life of John March, the father who is away from the family in Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. In Brooks's story, March emerges as an abolitionist and idealistic chaplain on the front lines of the American Civil War. Brooks, an Australian, lives in America and is a fellow at Harvard.

MOONDUST, by Andrew Smith

Smith, an Englishman who was raised in America and watched the Moon landings on TV from San Francisco, set out to interview all the astronauts still living who walked on the Moon to find out how their lives were changed by their experience. Smith, a journalist, now lives in Norfolk with his family.

Arts and Entertainment
Smart mover: Peter Bazalgette

film
Arts and Entertainment
'Old Fashioned' will be a different kind of love story to '50 Shades'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Tracey Emin's 'My Bed' is returning to the Tate more than 15 years after it first caused shockwaves at the gallery
artTracey Emin's bed returns to the Tate after record sale
Arts and Entertainment

film
Arts and Entertainment
The Great British Bake Off contestants line-up behind Sue and Mel in the Bake Off tent

TV
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Beast would strip to his underpants and take to the stage with a slogan scrawled on his bare chest whilst fans shouted “you fat bastard” at him

music
Arts and Entertainment
On set of the Secret Cinema's Back to the Future event

film
Arts and Entertainment
Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman

film
Arts and Entertainment
Pedro Pascal gives a weird look at the camera in the blooper reel

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Public vote: Art Everywhere poster in a bus shelter featuring John Hoyland
art
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Griffin holds forth in The Simpsons Family Guy crossover episode

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Judd Apatow’s make-it-up-as-you-go-along approach is ideal for comedies about stoners and slackers slouching towards adulthood
filmWith comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
Arts and Entertainment
booksForget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Arts and Entertainment
Off set: Bab El Hara
tvTV series are being filmed outside the country, but the influence of the regime is still being felt
Arts and Entertainment
Red Bastard: Where self-realisation is delivered through monstrous clowning and audience interaction
comedy
Arts and Entertainment
O'Shaughnessy pictured at the Unicorn Theatre in London
tvFiona O'Shaughnessy explains where she ends and her strange and wonderful character begins
Arts and Entertainment
The new characters were announced yesterday at San Diego Comic Con

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Rhino Doodle by Jim Carter (Downton Abbey)

TV
Arts and Entertainment
No Devotion's Geoff Rickly and Stuart Richardson
musicReview: No Devotion, O2 Academy Islington, London
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film

film
Arts and Entertainment
Comedian 'Weird Al' Yankovic

Is the comedy album making a comeback?

comedy
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey in the first-look Fifty Shades of Grey movie still

film
Arts and Entertainment
Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc, centre, are up for Best Female TV Comic for their presenting quips on The Great British Bake Off

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Martin Freeman as Lester Nygaard in the TV adaptation of 'Fargo'

TV
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

    The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

    The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
    A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

    A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

    Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
    Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

    Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

    How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
    Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

    From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

    He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
    How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

    How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

    Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
    Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

    Pop-up hotels filling a niche

    Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
    Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

    Feather dust-up

    A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
    Boris Johnson's war on diesel

    Boris Johnson's war on diesel

    11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
    5 best waterproof cameras

    Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

    Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
    Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

    Louis van Gaal interview

    Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
    Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

    Will Gore: Outside Edge

    The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
    The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

    The air strikes were tragically real

    The children were playing in the street with toy guns
    Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

    Britain as others see us

    Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
    How did our legends really begin?

    How did our legends really begin?

    Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
    Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

    Lambrusco is back on the menu

    Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz