On the subject of The TV Book Club

The TV Book Club: New Year Shortlist Announced

On January 12th, 2011 James wrote on the subject of Book PR,Event PR,Television PR.

Ten books carefully chosen from the thousands of new books published are about to be become the titles everyone will be talking about as the 2011 TV Book Club short list is announced today.

The diverse assembly of writers, some new and some established authors, earning a place on TV’s best known literary discussion forum includes two from the current Booker Prize shortlist, a leading TV producer, and even a former post woman. The titles will be reviewed on a weekly basis when the series returns to More4 on Sunday 16th January at 7.30pm, with repeats on Channel 4 the following day.

Funded by Specsavers, the ten-part series sees a celebrity panel that includes Jo Brand, Dave Spikey and Laila Rouass joined for this new series by Ade Edmondson and Meera Syal. They will critique a new title each week encouraging viewers to read along with them.

The series launches with the Booker nominated Room by Emma Donoghue, with the rest of the titles (in transmission order) as follows: The Long Song by Andrea Levy, Junior Officers’ Reading Club by Patrick Hennessey, Tiger Hills by Sarita Mandanna, The News Where You Are by Catherine O’Flynn, Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot, Bleed For Me by Michael Robotham, Even The Dogs by Jon McGregor, My Last Duchess by Daisy Goodwin and Spies of the Balkans by Alan Furst.

Emma Donoghue and Andrea Levy, were both finalists for the 2010 Man Booker Prize. In addition, Andrea scooped the Orange Prize For Fiction back in 2004.

Also on the short list is TV producer turned fiction author Daisy Goodwin, who currently heads up production company Silver River. Her list of TV credits includes How Clean Is Your House, Grand Designs and Jamie’s Kitchen. The Last Duchess marks her literary debut as the TV Book Club continues a tradition of championing emerging writing talents.

Meanwhile, the varying backgrounds of the authors include a former Grenadier Guard officer, Patrick Hennessey, Science Writer Rebecca Skloot, and ex post woman and mystery shopper Catherine O’Flynn, who was declared Newcomer of the Year at the Galaxy British Book Awards in 2008.

As ever, the titles have been carefully chosen by a panel headed up by Amanda Ross, creator and producer of the original and recently revived TV Book Club, and Managing Director of Cactus TV. Kate Mosse, Kate Riverton, Cecilia Aherne and Linwood Barclay are a handful of the literary stalwarts that Ross has spotted since founding the Book Club’s original incarnation in 2004. Such is her influence in the publishing industry that Amanda was hailed ‘The Most Powerful Person In Publishing’ by The Observer Review and one of the ‘Top 50 Most Influential Londoners’ by Evening Standard.

Of the 2011 short list, Amanda remarks “There’s a wealth of creativity and originality in the short listed titles and every book has that extra special quality that made it impossible to put down.  I want to get as many people as possible reading, these are some of our best and most diverse picks yet, so should encourage more people to pick up a book. Our authors backgrounds range from an American science writer through to a fellow TV producer, and I’m proud to be championing some great new talent as well as incredibly talented established authors”

Specsavers marketing director, Richard Holmes says: This is the second year of our partnership funding the TV Book Club and we’re delighted to continue the success of the previous seasons and sponsorship of the Crime Thriller Awards. This year we’ll be focusing on literacy and the intrinsic link between reading and eyecare. There’s no doubt that this great selection of titles will encourage even more people to read along with the show.’

The TV Book Club Shortlist Announced

On January 4th, 2010 James wrote on the subject of Book PR,Event PR,Television PR.

Nick Hornby Heads List Of Authors Set For Big 2010

Ten books that are set to become must-read favourites are today announced as the first titles in a new series of The TV Book Club, due to return to TV screens in January.

Funded by Specsavers, the ten part series screens weekly on More4, with repeats on Channel 4. The new panel of presenters critiquing each week’s chosen title consists of TV personalities Jo Brand, Gok Wan, Laila Rouass, Dave Spikey and Nathaniel Parker.

Launching with Sarah Waters’ The Little Stranger on Sunday 17th January 2010, the rest of the selected titles in transmission order are: Blacklands by Belinda Bauer, Sacred Hearts by Sarah Dunant, Juliet, Naked by Nick Hornby, Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese, The Rapture by Liz Jensen, Brixton Beach by Roma Tearne, The Way Home by George Pelecanos, Wedlock by Wendy Moore, and The Silver Linings Play Book by Matthew Quick.

The authors, a combination of established writers and emerging talents, include Nick Hornby, who features with his latest work Juliet, Naked. Nick is no stranger to literary success, having won global recognition for his award-winning books Fever Pitch and About a Boy, which along with High Fidelity have all been made into high-grossing movies. Meanwhile, The Way Home author, George Pelecanos is a TV and film producer and has written and produced extensively for the cult hit crime-fighting drama, The Wire. Sarah Waters, who has written The Little Stranger, has previously enjoyed success with her books Tipping the Velvet and Fingersmith, winning the South Bank Award for Literature and being named as Author of the Year at the 2003 British Book Awards.

Each week the revived TV Book Club will also feature a major celebrity interview and an author who has been previously selected discussing how the programme impacted on their success. Previous writers that have benefited from featuring on the TV Book Club include Kate Mosse, Victoria Hislop and Cecilia Aherne.

Testament to its undeniable success, previous Book Club entries (from Richard & Judy’s daytime show) have been made into high-grossing movies. Alice Sebold’s best-seller The Lovely Bones is about to go on nationwide cinematic release on 29 January 2010 starring Mark Wahlberg, Rachel Weisz and Susan Sarandon and directed by the Oscar® winning director of The Lord of The Rings trilogy, Peter Jackson, while Cecilia Aherne’s PS I Love You, was released as a motion picture in 2007 starring Hilary Swank and Gerard Butler.

Amanda Ross is the creator and producer of the original and revived TV Book Club and as Managing Director of Cactus TV, which produces the series, has been instrumental in the overwhelming impact it had in its previous guise on Richard & Judy’s daytime show.

amanda ross

Amanda heads up a team of four who trawl through almost 800submissions from Britain’s publishing houses, before whittling them down to an enthralling and entertaining top ten reads. Amanda’s influence in publishing has been recognised both by The Observer Review, where she was named the Most Powerful Person in Publishing 2006 and the Evening Standard, which has named her one of the top 50 Most Influential Londoners.

On this year’s shortlist, Amanda Ross says: “With the new series backed by Specsavers and the public faith in our Book Clubs, we are only too aware of the overwhelming responsibility when choosing the shortlist. But I think this year our recommendations will encourage more people than ever to read along.”

Specsavers marketing director, Richard Holmes says: “Sponsorship of the Crime Thriller Awards in October opened a new chapter for us and so it seemed only natural to continue our relationship with Cactus TV and fund The TV Book Club. The partnership highlights our passion for reading and there’s no doubt that this ten part series with its new format will be even more successful. I believe this great selection of titles will appeal to a wide variety of audiences”.

For more information please contact Taylor Herring PR on 0208 206 5151.

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About Specsavers: Specsavers was founded by Doug and Dame Mary Perkins in 1984 and is now the largest privately owned opticians in the world. The couple still run the company, along with their three children. Their eldest son John is joint managing director. Specsavers has more than 1,340 stores throughout the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Spain and Australia. The group plans to continue its successful international expansion by opening stores in New Zealand. Annual turnover for the Specsavers Group is forecast to reach a record £1.4 billion in 2009. Specsavers was voted Britain’s most trusted brand of opticians for the eighth year running by Reader’s Digest in 2009.

About Cactus TV – Cactus TV is a member of the ALL3MEDIA group and run by husband and wife team Simon and Amanda Ross. Productions include Saturday Kitchen for BBC1, Hairy Bikers Food Tour of Britain for BBC2, Rachel Allen, Galaxy British Book Awards and 8 years of the Richard & Judy show live from Cactus studios.