Creative Brand Communications


January 18, 2012

Seven debut authors make top ten best reads list in 2012.

AN NHS audiologist who wrote between shifts, a police intelligence analyst and an investment manager are just three of the authors picked from thousands to lead the 2012 TV Book Club shortlist.

Ten books carefully chosen out of the thousands published each year are soon to become the titles everyone is talking about on TV’s best known literary discussion forum, when the series returns to More4 at 7.20pm on Sunday 29 January, with repeat episodes on Channel Four.

Funded by Specsavers, the ten-part series sees a celebrity panel that includes Caroline Quentin, Meera Syal, Dave Spikey, Laila Rouass and Rory McGrath, critiquing a new title each week. For the first time ever, viewers are invited to interact with the show, reading along with them and sending in their own reviews.

The series launches with international bestseller Before I Go To Sleep by S. J. Watson, followed by The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt, The Somnambulist by Essie Fox, Into The Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes, Rules of Civility by Amor Towles, Girl Reading by Katie Ward, The Report by Jessica Francis Kane, The Family Fang by Kevin Wilson, Half of The Human Race by Anthony Quinn and You Deserve Nothing by Alexander Maksik.

S. J. Watson won a Crime Writers Association Dagger and Galaxy National Book Award for his debut novel, Before I Go To Sleep, which he wrote between shifts as an audiologist for the NHS. Patrick DeWitt’s The Sisters Brothers was shortlisted for the 2011 Man Booker Prize and Kevin Wilson’s The Family Fang was a New York Times Bestseller and included in the Top Ten Fiction Books of 2011 in Time Magazine. Jessica Francis Kane’s debut novel The Report was a finalist in the Indie Booksellers Choice Awards.

Also on the shortlist and making her literary debut with The Somnambulist is illustrator turned author Essie Fox, who writes the popular blog The Virtual Victorian. Police intelligence analyst Elizabeth Haynes, investment manager Amor Towles, former women’s refuge worker Katie Ward, and Iowa Writer’s Workshop graduate Alexander Maksik are all also shortlisted for their debut novels.

The tenth author is critic Anthony Quinn, who was a Man Booker Prize judge in 2006 and is currently the film critic for The Independent newspaper and wine correspondent for Esquire magazine.

The titles have been carefully chosen by a panel headed by Managing Director of Cactus TV Amanda Ross. Amanda revolutionised the idea of featuring books on television with the creation of Richard and Judy’s Book Club and now The Specsavers TV Book Club, Summer Read and the televising of the Specsavers Crime Thriller Awards and the Galaxy British Book Awards.

She has an eye for a great read and David Nicholls, Kate Mosse, Cecilia Aherne, Emma Donoghue and Linwood Barclay are a handful of the literary stalwarts that Amanda has spotted since founding the Book Club’s original incarnation in 2004.

Such is her influence in the publishing industry that she was hailed ‘the most powerful person in publishing’ by The Observer Review and one of the ‘top 50 most influential Londoners’ by the Evening Standard. Amanda won a prestigious British Book Trade Award for inspiring wider reading in 2005 and The Bookseller Award for expanding the market in 2006 and 2007, plus an Outstanding Achievement Award in 2009.

Of the 2012 short list, Amanda says: ‘All the titles on this year’s list will scream “don’t put me down” at the reader. Although all my choices are, as always very different in style and content, their common factor is that they are all really great reads and the viewers will be torn when the time comes for them to vote for their favourite to win the accolade Best Read at the end of the series.’

Specsavers marketing director, Richard Holmes says: ‘Many people will find that the first time they notice a problem with their eyesight is when they’re reading. We are delighted to be supporting the Specsavers TV Book Club for the fifth season and will be encouraging more people, not only to get their eyesight checked but to pick up a book and enjoy a good read.’

This year, The TV Book Club, will ask viewers to send in their reviews of each week’s Best Read, and will play a selection of these reviews on the show for discussion by the presenters. Viewers can send their thoughts on the books to the show by video message, email, or letter. This new interactive element to the show reflects the nature of book review discussions happening online and in reading groups right now across the UK.  Written reviews and video reviews can be sent to [email protected], and should include a contact telephone number.

The ten short listed books for the next series of the TV Book Club are listed below:

Date Title Author Publisher
29 January Before I Go To Sleep S. J Watson Black Swan
5 February The Sisters Brothers Patrick deWitt Granta
12 February The Somnambulist Essie Fox Orion
19 February Into The Darkest Corner Elizabeth Haynes Myriad
26 February Rules Of Civility Amor Towles Sceptre/Hodder
4 March Girl Reading Katie Ward Virago/Little Brown
11 March The Report Jessica Francis Kane Portobello
18 March The Family Fang Kevin Wilson Picador/Pan Macmillan
25 March Half Of The Human Race Anthony Quinn Vintage/Random House
1 April You Deserve Nothing Alexander Maksik John Murray


Press Contact: Taylor Herring PR






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