May 1, 2009
Richard & Judy’s Best Books For Summer Announced.
Screenwriter Julian Fellowes Leads List of Authors On Course For Summer Success
LONDON: 1st May 2009: The eight books hailed as this Summer’s most sought after holiday reads are announced today, as Richard & Judy unveil the short list for their popular Summer Read. Returning for its sixth series, the hotly anticipated strand showcases an array of both established and up-and-coming authors, and an enticing selection of stories.
This year’s eight fiction choices will be revealed by Richard & Judy on their teatime show today, just under a fortnight ahead of the first book review on Wednesday 13th May.
A TV actor and screen writer, a former Oprah Winfrey Book Club author, an award winning poet and an American sports columnist are all inducted into the segment, a spin off to the acclaimed Book Club series. Julian Fellowes, who starred in Monarch of the Glen and wrote the screenplays for movies Gosford Park and Vanity Fair, gets a coveted recommendation for Past Imperfect. Meanwhile, Sue Miller, who features on the list with The Senator’s Wife, is no stranger to TV Book Clubs after being picked for Oprah’s Book Club back in 2000. Sports commentator Dave Boling, who writes a regular column for Tacoma News-Tribune, swaps sports opinion for storytelling, with his book Guernica already on sale in eleven countries internationally.
The Summer Read selection in its entirety is as follows: Past Imperfect by Julian Fellowes, Guernica by Dave Boling, Palace Council by Stephen L Carter, Mr Toppit by Charles Elton, The Great Lover by Jill Dawson, Mystery Man by Bateman, The Senator’s Wife by Sue Miller, and The Piano Teacher by Janice Y K Lee.
Each week, the couple will rate and review one chosen title, joined in their studio by two special celebrity guest critics. Joanna Lumley and Dominic West are confirmed to discuss Past Imperfect, following in the footsteps of previous reviewers who include Michael Palin, Trevor McDonald and Piers Morgan.
Richard & Judy’s Summer Read has had a prolific effect on the careers of a number of its alumni, including Linwood Barclay, who earnt a place on the list in 2008 with No Time For Goodbye which went on to be the best selling book of the whole year. Linwood recently hit number one in the literary charts with his second novel Too Close To Home. Meanwhile, 2007 entrant Kim Edwards, who wrote The Memory Keeper’s Daughter, shot to the top of the New York Times Bestseller list after her Richard & Judy recommendation. One of the original Summer Read intake, Cecilia Aherne, even saw her publishing hit PS, I Love You reinvented into a major motion picture, released to cinematic audiences in 2007. The 2006 Summer Read Winner Victoria Hislop is currently at number 1 in the charts with her second novel.
At the helm of the selection process for all of Richard & Judy’s celebrated literary formats is Amanda Ross, executive producer of the daytime series. Having created both Book Club and Summer Read in 2004, Amanda has since pioneered a Children’s Book Club, launched the Christmas Book Special and even taken a child literacy petition to Gordon Brown at Downing Street. Her contribution to televised literature is unrivalled, with her production company Cactus TV, airing the Galaxy British Book Awards. Her contribution to the publishing market was acknowledged when she was first declared Most Powerful Person in Publishing three years ago. Amanda heads up a team of four advisors who whittle down scores of publishing house submissions, before settling on the eight books deemed worthy of the Richard & Judy seal of approval.
With the compilation of the 2009 short list complete, Amanda Ross reflected “Each year as the standard of books is so high, I worry that we can maintain our success rate. My husband and business partner Simon Ross is my harshest critic, but he thinks this year’s bunch are the best yet, and couldn’t put them down when we took them on our Easter break.”
Viewers can get full details of how to join the Summer Read and getting special extra back up material by calling 0870 191 9955 or logging on to the Richard & Judy website www.justwatch.co.uk