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