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.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Place Blanche, Paris, 1961, shot by Christer Strömholm
photographyHow the famous camera transformed photography for ever
Arts and Entertainment
The ‘Westmacott Athlete’
art
Arts and Entertainment
‘The Royals’ – a ‘twisted, soapy take on England’s first family’
tv Some of the characters appear to have clear real-life counterparts
News
Brooks is among a dozen show-business professionals ever to have achieved Egot status
people
Arts and Entertainment
A cut above: Sean Penn is outclassed by Mark Rylance in The Gunman
film review
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
James Franco and Zachary Quinto in I Am Michael

Film review Michael Glatze biopic isn't about a self-hating gay man gone straight

Arts and Entertainment
A scene from the movie 'Get Hard'
tvWill Ferrell’s new film Get Hard receives its first reviews
Arts and Entertainment
Left to right: David Cameron (Mark Dexter), Nick Clegg (Bertie Carvel) and Gordon Brown (Ian Grieve)
tvReview: Ian Grieve gets another chance to play Gordon Brown... this is the kinder version
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman in the first look picture from next year's Sherlock special

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Because it wouldn’t be Glastonbury without people kicking off about the headline acts, a petition has already been launched to stop Kanye West performing on the Saturday night

music
Arts and Entertainment
Molly Risker, Helen Monks, Caden-Ellis Wall, Rebekah Staton, Erin Freeman, Philip Jackson and Alexa Davies in ‘Raised by Wolves’

TV review
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
James May, Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond in the Top Gear Patagonia Special

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Game of Thrones will run for ten years if HBO gets its way but showrunners have mentioned ending it after seven

Game of Thrones
Arts and Entertainment
Mans Zelmerlow will perform 'Heroes' for Sweden at the Eurovision Song Contest 2015

music
Arts and Entertainment
Elizabeth (Heida Reed) and Ross Poldark (Aiden Turner) in the BBC's remake of their 1975 original Poldark

Poldark review
  • Get to the point
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.

    Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

    Promises, promises

    But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
    The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

    The death of a Gaza fisherman

    He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
    Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
    Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

    The only direction Zayn could go

    We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
    Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

    Spells like teen spirit

    A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
    Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
    Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

    Licence to offend in the land of the free

    Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
    From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

    From farm to fork in Cornwall

    One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
    Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

    Robert Parker interview

    The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
    How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

    How to make your own Easter egg

    Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

    Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

    Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
    Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

    Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

    The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
    Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

    Cricket World Cup 2015

    Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
    The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing