Richard and Judy select Britain's next best-sellers

A story of the Biafran war, a modern version of the Faust myth and the latest work from William Boyd have been chosen as the new reads for the Richard & Judy Book Club - now the quickest route to mega-sales in British publishing.

The fourth series of the weekly book club hosted by the popular Channel 4 presenters will give another eight titles the publicity that has sent previous choices soaring up the charts.

Of the top 100 best-selling titles last year, 21 were by authors discussed on the Richard & Judy Book Club, including Kate Mosse's Labyrinth, at No 1, and Victoria Hislop'sThe Island, which took second place in the 2006 sales league.

The new round of choices is, once more, eclectic. The story of the Biafran war, or Nigerian civil war, in the late 1960s - Half of a Yellow Sun - is the second novel by the hot young African writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, while the modern Faust is The Testament of Gideon Mack by the Scottish author James Robertson. The latest offering from the former Oxford academic William Boyd, Restless, is a wartime spy story.

The other choices are The Girls, a story about Siamese twins by the Canadian Lori Lansens; Love in the Present Tense by Catherine Ryan Hyde; and This Book Will Save Your Life by the often-controversial writer A M Homes. Non-fiction is represented by the childhood memoirs of the comedian turned heritage television presenter Griff Rhys Jones.

Amanda Ross, Richard and Judy's executive producer, said: "Our choices each year are based on instinct, but we try to include something we know our viewers will enjoy reading and discussing. I am confident that once again there really is something for everyone. Even if people don't like every book we recommend, we're sure they'll get something out of it and see why we chose each book."

The presenter Richard Madeley said: "Book Club has nailed the lie that daytime TV is for dimwits and bored housewives. We demonstrated that our viewers are intelligent people who relish the opportunity to read and discuss books."

Rodney Troubridge, a fiction buyer for Waterstone's bookshops, said it was a "fabulous" list. "I think they have got some really challenging books," he said.

He was particularly delighted to see The Testament of Gideon Mack, which tackles "serious theological issues", and Half of a Yellow Sun, which he described as "a wonderful literary novel".

All eight will be voted for by viewers and the winner will be presented with the best read award at the 2007 Galaxy British Book Awards in March. Mr Troubridge suspected William Boyd would win.

It was clear that Richard and Judy were encouraging viewers to read some books that they might have feared were too literary, Mr Troubridge said, such as David Mitchell's Booker contender Cloud Atlas, which won best read in 2005. "I think they have led people to go and explore," he added.

The new series of the Book Club, with guest reviewers, begins on 31 January.

The book club's choice

The Interpretation of Murder Jed Rubenfeld

Rubenfeld, a Yale Law School professor, bases his mystery on fact. In 1909, Sigmund Freud went with his then disciple Carl Jung on his only visit to the United States. But why would he later speak of the trip with something approaching horror?

The Testament of Gideon Mack James Robertson

An updating of the Faust myth in which a minister, Gideon Mack, encounters Satan. Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, the Scottish author uses the literary device of a discovered manuscript falling into the hands of a publisher.

Half of a Yellow Sun Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

The story of five characters caught up in the civil war in Nigeria, written by the young Nigerian whose debut, Purple Hibiscus, was shortlisted for the Orange Prize and won the Commonwealth Writers' Prize.

This Book Will Save Your Life A M Homes

An uplifting story of how wealthy Richard Novak is forced out of the bubble of his Los Angeles hills mansion to reconnect with the world. A(my) Homes, an American author, previously provoked controversy with The End of Alice, about a child molester.

Restless William Boyd

Ninth novel from the Whitbread-winning author. In the summer of 1976, Ruth Gilmartin discovers the strange and haunting true story about her mother, Sally, and her life as a spy during the Second World War.

Love in the Present Tense Catherine Ryan Hyde

A young business owner called Mitch helps his neighbour, Pearl, by watching her young son, Leonard, while she goes to work. One day Pearl fails to return. The author lives in California.

The Girls Lori Lansens

Rose and Ruby Darlen, soon to be the world's oldest conjoined twins, look back over their three decades together and each tell the story of their surprisingly separate lives. The second novel from the Canadian screenwriter.

Semi-Detached Griff Rhys Jones

In a warm and amusing trip back to his childhood in the Sixties and Seventies, the popular television presenter considers whether he might have felt less like an outsider if he had moved around less. Or would he be fully detached?

Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister

TV reviewIt has taken seven episodes for Game of Thrones season five to hit its stride

Arts and Entertainment
Jesuthasan Antonythasan as Dheepan

FilmPalme d'Or goes to radical and astonishing film that turns conventional thinking about immigrants on its head

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

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
Måns Zelmerlöw performing

Arts and Entertainment
Graham Norton was back in the commentating seat for Eurovision 2015

Arts and Entertainment
Richard Hammond, Jeremy Clarkson and James May on stage

Arts and Entertainment
The light stuff: Britt Robertson and George Clooney in ‘Tomorrowland: a World Beyond’
film review
Arts and Entertainment
Reawakening: can Jon Hamm’s Don Draper find enlightenment in the final ‘Mad Men’?
tv reviewNot quite, but it's an enlightening finale for Don Draper spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
Breakfast Show’s Nick Grimshaw

Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
'Youth' cast members Paul Dano, Jane Fonda, Harvey Keitel, Rachel Weisz, and Michael Caine pose for photographers at Cannes Film Festival
Arts and Entertainment
Adam West as Batman and Burt Ward and Robin in the 1960s Batman TV show

Arts and Entertainment
I am flute: Azeem Ward and his now-famous instrument
Arts and Entertainment
A glass act: Dr Chris van Tulleken (left) and twin Xand get set for their drinking challenge
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
MIA perform at Lovebox 2014 in London Fields, Hackney

Arts and Entertainment
Finnish punk band PKN hope to enter Eurovision 2015 and raise awareness for Down's Syndrome

Arts and Entertainment
William Shakespeare on the cover of John Gerard's The Herball or Generall Historie of Plantes

Arts and Entertainment

Game of Thrones review
Arts and Entertainment
Grayson Perry dedicates his Essex home to Julie

Potter's attempt to create an Essex Taj Mahal was a lovely treat

Arts and Entertainment
A scene from the original Swedish version of the sci-fi TV drama ‘Real Humans’
Arts and Entertainment
Hugh Keays-Byrne plays Immortan Joe, the terrifying gang leader, in the new film
filmActor who played Toecutter returns - but as a different villain in reboot
Arts and Entertainment
Charlize Theron as Imperator Furiosa in Mad Max: Fury Road
Arts and Entertainment
Jessica Hynes in W1A
tvReview: Perhaps the creators of W1A should lay off the copy and paste function spoiler alert
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

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

    Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

    Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

    For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
    Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

    Fifa corruption arrests

    All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
    Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

    The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

    In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
    How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

    How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

    Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
    Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

    How Stephen Mangan got his range

    Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor
    The ZX Spectrum has been crowd-funded back into play - with some 21st-century tweaks

    The ZX Spectrum is back

    The ZX Spectrum was the original - and for some players, still the best. David Crookes meets the fans who've kept the games' flames lit
    Grace of Monaco film panned: even the screenwriter pours scorn on biopic starring Nicole Kidman

    Even the screenwriter pours scorn on Grace of Monaco biopic

    The critics had a field day after last year's premiere, but the savaging goes on
    Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people used to believe about periods

    Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people once had about periods

    If one was missed, vomiting blood was seen as a viable alternative
    The best work perks: From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)

    The quirks of work perks

    From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)
    Is bridge the latest twee pastime to get hip?

    Is bridge becoming hip?

    The number of young players has trebled in the past year. Gillian Orr discovers if this old game has new tricks
    Long author-lists on research papers are threatening the academic work system

    The rise of 'hyperauthorship'

    Now that academic papers are written by thousands (yes, thousands) of contributors, it's getting hard to tell workers from shirkers
    The rise of Lego Clubs: How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships

    The rise of Lego Clubs

    How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships
    5 best running glasses

    On your marks: 5 best running glasses

    Whether you’re pounding pavements, parks or hill passes, keep your eyes protected in all weathers
    Joe Root: 'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

    'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

    Joe Root says the England dressing room is a happy place again – and Stokes is the catalyst
    Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

    Please save my husband

    As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada