Richard and Judy Book Club 2009

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Richard and Judy host a TV programme, here in the UK. Every year they chose a selection of books, and then review them on their show. I have been following their book club for a few years, and have read some great books thanks to them, including The Time Traveler’s Wife, Cloud Atlas and Random Acts of Heroic Love (one of my favourite reads of 2008)

This year Richard and Judy have moved to a new programme on a satellite channel called Watch. I don’t have satellite TV, so I can’t watch the show any more, but I’m still going to read the books, as most of their choices turn out to be great reads. So for the next few weeks, I will mainly be reading Richard and Judy’s 2009 selection, listed below. If you’re a follower of their book club please leave a comment below, as although I know there are 1000s of us out there, I haven’t come across any yet!


Richard and Judy’s 2009 Book Club Choices

Brutal Art by Jesse Kellerman

Sucked into an investigation four decades cold, Ethan will uncover a secret legacy of shame and death, one that will touch horrifyingly close to home – and leave him fearing for his own life.

Reviewed on Wednesday 21st January



Suspicions of Mr Whicher by Kate Summerscale

This true story has all the hallmarks of a classic gripping murder mystery. A body, a detective, a country house steeped in secrets and a whole family of suspects – it is the original Victorian whodunnit.

Reviewed on Wednesday 28th January



The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson

As she spins her tale, Scheherazade fashion, and relates equally mesmerising stories of deathless love in Japan, Iceland, Italy and England, he finds himself drawn back to life – and, finally, to love.

Reviewed on Wednesday 4th February



When Will There Be Good News? by Kate Atkinson

In rural Devon, six-year-old Joanna witnesses an appalling crime. 30 years later the man convicted of the crime gets out of prison. In Edinburgh, 16-year-old Reggie works as a nanny for a doctor. But Dr Hunter has gone missing & Reggie seems to be the only person who is worried. DCI Louise Monroe is also looking for a missing person.

Reviewed on Wednesday 11th February



The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff

Jordan returns to visit his mother in jail. As a teenager he was expelled from his family & community, a secretive Mormon offshoot sect. Now his father has been shot dead & one of his wives is accused of the crime. Over a century earlier, Ann Eliza Young, the 19th wife of prophet & leader of the Mormon Church, tells her story.

Reviewed on Wednesday 18th February

The Bolter by Frances Osborne

Idina Sackville first met scandal when she left her very rich husband and two small children for a penniless army officer in 1918. She went on to marry and divorce a total of five times and be the founder and ‘high priestess’ of White Mischief’s scandalous Happy Valley of Kenyan settlers. Here, her great- granddaughter tells her story.

Reviewed on Wednesday 25th February



Netherland by Joseph O’Neill

In early 2006, Chuck Ramkissoon is found dead at the bottom of a New York canal. In London, a Dutch banker named Hans van den Broekhears the news, and remembers his unlikely friendship with Chuck and the off-kilter New York in which it flourished: the New York of 9/11, the powercut and the Iraq war.

Reviewed on Wednesday 4th March



The Luminous Life of Lilly Aphrodite by Beatrice Colin

This novel tells the story of an orphaned daughter of a cabaret dancer and her rise from poverty and anonymity to film stardom, all set against the rise and fall of Berlin, the background of WWI, the debauchery of the Weimar era, the run-up to WWII, and the innovations in art and industry that accompanied it all.

Reviewed on Wednesday 11th March



December by Elizabeth H Winthrop

11-year-old Isabelle hasn’t spoken in nine months, and as December begins the situation is getting desperate. As her parents spiral around Isabelle’s impenetrable silence, she herself emerges, in a fascinating portrait of an exceptional child, as a bright young girl in need of help yet too terrified to ask for it.

Reviewed on Wednesday 18th March


The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway

Tense and heartbreaking to its last page, ‘The Cellist of Sarajevo’ shows how life under seige creates impossible moral choices. When the everyday act of crossing the street can risk lives, the human spirit is revealed in all its fortitude – and frailty.

Reviewed on Wednesday 25th March

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  1. Sandy says:

    Wow, what an awesome lineup! I don’t blame you for following their lead. I am so excited to hear about these books…

  2. Beth F says:

    Looks like a terrific list. Thanks for posting it.

  3. FleurFisher says:

    A good list this time – but a little safe maybe?

  4. Very safe! I don’t mind though, as long as they are a good read, and encourage people who wouldn’t otherwise pick up a book to do so.

  5. Violet says:

    I had never heard of Richard and Judy Book Club. But I bought a couple of books from a store that had their seal on it. On of them was Empress Orchid, a book that I loved.

    I always wondered what their club was but I was too lazy to google it :)

    I haven’t read any of the above but I have The 19th Wife in my TBR pile.

  6. Simon S says:

    I am doing the richard and judy challange and reading them as they do, so have The 19th Wife this week, I actually (so far) think this is easily their strongest year!

    Been looking at your books and we have very similar tastes!


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