June 21, 2010
Specsavers TV Book Club: Booker prize nominee heads list of top Summer Reads.
LONDON, Monday 21st June 2010: EIGHT books that are set to become this summer’s must-read holiday favourites have been announced as the latest titles in the Summer Read, the seasonal spin off of the hugely popular TV Book Club. The list has previously spawned big name authors including Victoria Hislop and Kate Riverton.
Funded by Specsavers, the eight-part series screens weekly on More4 on Sunday evenings from 27 June, with repeats on Channel 4 the following day. Each week, anchor presenters, Jo Brand and Dave Spikey, will join two other celebrity presenters and a celebrity guest to critique each title, with viewers invited to read along.
Launching with Kathryn Stockett’s The Help on Sunday 27 June the rest of the selected titles in transmission order are: The Man Who Disappeared by Clare Morrall, The Legacy by Katherine Webb, The Bed I Made by Lucie Whitehouse, Stone’s Fall by Iain Pears, Ellis Island by Kate Kerrigan, The Devil’s Acre by Matthew Plamplin and Weight of Silence by Heather Gudenkauf.
The shortlisted authors are a combination of successful writers from a variety of backgrounds and literary success, including former music school teacher Clare Morrall, who was shortlisted for a Booker Prize with her debut novel Astonishing Squashes of Colour. Clare joins Iain Pears, who originally worked as a reporter for the BBC, Channel 4 and Reuters, before focusing on art history. The list also includes international authors, Heather Gudenkauf from Iowa and Kathryn Stockett from Mississippi.
Since the initial broadcast of The TV Book Club in 2004 as part of the Richard and Judy show, many authors have gone on to achieve commercial and critical acclaim. Kate Mosse, Kate Riverton and Linwood Barclay have seen their selected titles adapted for the big screen. One of the Book Club’s first ever novels – Cecilia Aherne’s literary hit, PS, I Love You – became a film in 2007 starring Hilary Swank and Gerard Butler, while Rebecca Miller’s The Private Lives of Pippa Lee was released as a motion picture in America just last year.
Amanda Ross is the creator and producer of the original and recently revived TV Book Club and is also Managing Director of Cactus TV, which produces the series. More importantly, Amanda leads the panel which selects each title from the list put forward by publishing houses. This role has led to Amanda being named the Most Powerful Person in Publishing in The Observer Review, while the Evening Standard named her one of the Top 50 Most Influential Londoners.
Of the Summer Read’s shortlist, Amanda Ross says: ‘I’m just as passionate about our lists as I was back when we started the Book Club seven years ago, probably more so, and with each series that goes by the selection process becomes all the more challenging. The Summer Read list is all about pleasure; a book can make or break your holiday. I’m confident that we are delivering one of our most gripping shortlists to date, guaranteed to keep readers entertained whatever the weather.’
Specsavers marketing director, Richard Holmes says: ‘Sponsorship of the TV Book Club revival in January was an exciting time for Specsavers, highlighting both our passion for reading but also the importance of good eyesight. We are delighted with Amanda’s choice of titles for the next series and have no doubt everyone will be glued to their screens to hear Jo Brand and Dave Spikey’s reviews and hopefully, will also be outside in the sun enjoying a good read.’