TV Book Club 2011 Titles Revealed

The TV Book Club has just announced the titles which will be discussed on their new series which begins in January.

The ten books are:  



Room by Emma Donoghue

The Long Song by Andrea Levy 

The News Where You Are by Catherine O’Flynn

Even the Dogs by Jon McGregor

Bleed for Me by Michael Robotham

Spies of the Balkans by Alan Furst

The Junior Officers’ Reading Club: Killing Time and Fighting Wars by Patrick Hennessey

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

Tiger Hills by Sarita Mandanna

My Last Duchess by Daisy Goodwin

I’m quite impressed with the selection. I have already read three of the titles and enjoyed them.

Room – Emma Donoghue

The Long Song – Andrea Levy stars41

Even the Dogs – Jon McGregor stars41

Room is my favourite book of 2010 and so I am very happy to see that it has been selected.

I am quite surprised to see Even the Dogs on the list – it is a very dark book. There isn’t much plot, but there is a lot of drug abuse, alcoholism and depression. I don’t think the TV Book Club has ever picked a book like that before so I’ll be interested to see how it goes down on the show.

Which books should I read?

I loved What Was Lost by Catherine O’Flynn and so am looking forward to reading The News Where You Are. I already have a copy and hope to read it soon. I have seen lots of positive comments about The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, but I’m not convinced it is for me. I haven’t heard much about the other books.

Have you read any of them?

Which ones do you recommend I read?

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  1. Verity says:

    Ooh – that is a good mix of titles! And should generate discussion. I have yet to watch the TV book club but some of these would actually attract me…

    1. Jackie says:

      Verity, I think it is worth watching the TV Book Club. It was a bit dire in the first season, but is improving all the time. Hopefully they’ll have mastered it this time :-)

  2. Jessica says:

    Yeah I’m impressed with the ttles this time round, they seem to have gone for more of a mix with some darker ones in there unlike the light summer reading list.

    I’ve only read Room but The Long Song and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks are on my TBR lsts, I think I’ll play along this series.

    1. Jackie says:

      Jessica, It is nice to see a few more non-fiction titles on the list – they have only had one before. I don’t see how anyone can fail to love at least one book from the list which is what they should be aiming for. A range of books that everyone can love/hate. It is far better than the average light reads that noone gets passionate about :-)

  3. I’ve read 3 of these you’ve highlighted. The Immoral Life of Henrietta Lacks was a great story.

    BTW….It is true what you said about The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle; it does make even more of an impact after you stop to think about it for a while.

    1. Jackie says:

      Bibliophile By the Sea, I’m still on the fence about Henrietta Lacks – I think I’ll have to pick up a copy at the library and see if the writing style grabs me :-)

  4. lizzysiddal says:

    Yep, good list. Read the same three as yourself. Rated them consistently lower than yourself too but I think that’s down to the difference in our subjective scales.

    I have O’Flynn and Skoots in the TBR. Can’t wait to get started.

    1. Jackie says:

      lizzysiddal, It sounds as though our reading tastes are matching up well – I’ll see what you make of Skoots and perhaps you’ll tempt me to give it a try :-)

  5. LizF says:

    It does look a more interesting list than last time that’s for sure. I’ve read Room, The Long Song, The Junior Officers Reading Club, part of Even The Dogs (didn’t finish it I’m afraid as it was far too grim for me ) and I am currently reading My Last Duchess which I am really enjoying.
    On a long waiting list for Henrietta Lacks at the library as I am not sufficiently sure that it is my sort of book to splash out on it!

    1. Jackie says:

      Liz, Wow! You’ve read a lot of them! My Last Duchess is another title that interests me. It is good to know that you enjoyed it – I might see if I can take a closer look at it at the library :-)

  6. Alex says:

    The Immortal Life is at the top of my non-fiction this year, tied with The Monuments Men. Both highly recommended.

    I’ve been hearing a lot of buzz around the The Junior Officers. Out of the full list that’s the one I’m more curious about.

    1. Jackie says:

      Alex, The problem is that I’m not a big non-fiction reader. I guess the only way I’ll find out is to give it a try :-)

  7. TERESA says:

    I’ve read 3 of them, Room, absolutely brilliant, The Long Song, good and The News Where you Are which I found a bit lacking after the wonder that was What Was Lost but still a good read – I think the anticipation of a great second novel after a fabulous debut has a lot to do with my disappointment, must not be so hard on authors!

    I have My Last Duchess on TBR but it’s not calling very loudly to me at the moment, more like a slight squeaking… Henrietta has been lurking on my reading radar for a while and I think a reservation at the library is overdue (pun, pun..) as I don’t read a lot of non-fiction and it has to be immediately accessible or I give up rather easily.

    Looking forward to seeing what others (celeb and non-celeb!) make of these.

    1. Jackie says:

      Teresa, 2nd book syndrome is a terrible thing :-( I saw your thoughts a while ago and was sad to find that it didn’t live up to expectations. It sounds as though there is a lot to enjoy in it though. I hope I enjoy it a bit more than you did.

      I hope My Last Duchess squeaks a bit louder now – I’d love to know your thoughts on it.

  8. Lu says:

    I haven’t read any! (As usual!) But I am currently reading The Long Song and I’m really enjoying it.

    1. Jackie says:

      Lu, I enjoyed The Long Song, but don’t think it is in the same league as Small Island :-( I hope you like the ending :-)

  9. Sandy says:

    Henrietta will be in by “best of 2010” lists this year, both as a non-fiction and as an audio. Maybe you should try it on audio…excellent narrator. Room is going to be in there too. Interesting mix of books!

    1. Jackie says:

      Sandy, You almost persuaded me with your review of this one. I’m still thinking about it, but I think you’re right – I’ll keep an eye out for the audio version.

  10. Amy says:

    I haven’t read any of these books yet but I have heard a lot about some of them – only ones you’ve either read or mention already. They all sound rather interesting though you are right.

    1. Jackie says:

      Amy, I hope they are all as good as they sound :-)

  11. FleurFisher says:

    I loved Room and Only The Dogs and I’m pleased to see them on the list. Surprised by the latter, and I suspect one of Jon McGregor’s earlier books receiving this sort of push might have served him better in the long term. I was disappointed by The News Where You are but, like Teresa, I may have been suffering from second book syndrome.

    I really must get to The Long Song, but never having read Andrea Levy I’m not sure if it’s the best place to start.

    As for the others, a decent mix but nothing is calling me that loudly. i’ll wait and see if I like the look of them when they turn up in the library – as R & J books always do.

    1. Jackie says:

      FleurFisher, I haven’t read any of McGregor’s earlier books, but I have heard they are slightly less dark which I think would be better for a TV programme like this. I can see a lot of people not liking Even the Dogs, but in the end the discussion will be good which is what it is all about. I can’t wait to see what they have to say about it!

      I’m sure it won’t be long until they turn up in your library ;-)

  12. Jo says:

    I have not read any of these, but many I have seen and picked up in bookshops before.

    Will have a read when I am next in Waterstones.

    1. Jackie says:

      Jo, Enjoy your browsing :-)

  13. Matt says:

    I’ve been playing musical chairs with Booker long- and short-list titles. I aborted Room for now because I cannot read on. (Need some inspiration) However, The Long Song, which I have skimmed, is a good read. The New York Times just published the 10 books of the year and Room is one of them. So I should just persist.

    1. Jackie says:

      Matt, The first half of Room is quite hard to get into. A lot of people have complained about it, but I think you’ll be hooked by the second half – I hope you make it to the end eventually.

  14. Lucy says:

    I too loved Room, so that’s a good choice.

    I’m interested in the Catherine O’Flynn too, I also really enjoyed What was Lost.

    1. Jackie says:

      Lucy, I hope to get to The News Where You Are before Christmas. I’m looking forward to seeing what it is like.

  15. caite says:

    I agree…Room was a winner.

    1. Jackie says:

      I couldn’t agree more! :-)

  16. Bina says:

    I’m most excited about the new book by Catherine O’Flynn, I so loved What was Lost! :)

    1. Jackie says:

      Bina, Let’s hope it is good!

  17. marc nash says:

    I have to say I thought the Macgregor was awful I’m afraid. Characters (addicts) I couldn’t warm to, a story that seemed to go nowhere (which maybe befits the addled lives of these youngsters parcelling out time between next fixes) and a ‘youth’ dialogue I just didn’t find credible. I think if you’re going to show this benighted world, you have to inject something into it to raise it from its baseness so as to appeal to a reader.

    1. Jackie says:

      marc, The McGregor book did have unlikable characters and a dark plot, but I ‘enjoyed’? reading about their miserable lives. Perhaps I’m not youth enough to know if the dialogue was credible, but it sounded OK to me. I agree that it probably wont appeal to the majority of readers, but I like the fact they haven’t made safe choices this year. I’m looking forward to seeing what people make of it.

  18. I haven’t read a single one–but Room is very high on my holiday reading list. I’m so glad to hear how much you loved it!

    1. Jackie says:

      LifetimeReader, I hope that you love it as much as I did :-)

  19. I really like this selection I have to say, am really pleased with the mix. Especially ‘Room’ (though I dont like the new cover). ‘The Long Song’ and ‘Henrietta Lacks’ all of which I have loved. I might have to read ‘Even the Dogs’ and the Catherine O’Flynn.

    1. Jackie says:

      Simon, I prefer the hardback cover for Room too. I think The Long Song cover is a step backwards as well :-( but agree that this is a very good mix of books. I hope you enjoy any you decide to pick up :-)

  20. Annabel says:

    Looks a good list. I’ve only read half of the Junior Officers Reading Club, but have several of the others in the TBR.

    1. Jackie says:

      Annabel, I look forward to seeing your thoughts on the Junior Officers Club. The premise doesn’t appeal to me, but perhaps you’ll persuade me that it is worth trying :-)

  21. Andreea says:

    I haven’t read any of them, but Room is on my wishlist as I have heard only good things about it. I will check out the others.

    1. Jackie says:

      Andreea, Most people love Room. I hope you do too.

  22. Jenners says:

    I agree with you on ROOM. And I read “Even the Dogs” and thought it was a hard read because of the writing style. That will be interesting to see who even makes it through that!! I read “The News Where You Are” and I think you’ll enjoy it. I’ve heard great things about Henrietta Lacks and plan on reading that at some point in 2011.

    1. Jackie says:

      Jenners, It looks as though we have our eyes on the same books. I’ve just bought the audio copy of Henrietta Lacks and am really looking forward to it.

  23. Rebecca says:

    I’m dying to read ‘Room’ – everyone raves about it, and I feel like the only person who has not read it yet! Tiger Hills looks interesting to me too.

    1. Jackie says:

      Rebecca, I have heard nothing about Tiger Hills. I’m hoping someone will read it soon so that I know whether it will appeal to me :-)

  24. Beth F says:

    Looks like a great mix! Henrietta Lacks wasn’t my favorite, but I’m in the minority.

    1. Jackie says:

      Beth, I’ve now ordered a copy and look forward to finding out which side of the fence I’m on :-)

  25. Stephanie says:

    Definitely read Henrietta Lacks. It is fascinating and very readable.

    1. Jackie says:

      Stephanie, I’ve ordered a copy and hope to listen to it in the New Year.

  26. niranjana says:

    Interested by the presence of Tiger Hills here–the author has been accused of plagiarism, and though the matter seems to have petered out, I still find it disturbing. Also, Madanna’s style isn’t really my thing, so I’m curious about your review!

    1. sukanya says:

      I have read Tiger Hills, and was very pleased to see it on the list. It is strong work of fiction with vivdly etched out characters as well as the geographic and historical background. The authors extensive research and affinity to the coorg landscape comes across clearly in a story which crosses three generations. I enjoyed the book as well as the particular style of prose very much and look forward to more works from the same source. Strange to see the comment on plagiarism on your post as it has been categorically denied by the both the concerned authors time and again and is really an non issue.

      1. Jackie says:

        niranjana, sukanya, I hadn’t heard of the title before its inclusion on this list and so know nothing about the plagiarism claims. I doubt they’d include it if there were any concerns and so I assume it isn’t true. It does sound like an interesting book and I hope I hear more about it soon :-)

  27. joanna says:

    Great list, I’ve heard good things about all these books. I’ve only read Room, which is one of my favorites this year, and have Henrietta waiting for me.

    1. Jackie says:

      Joanna, I’m so pleased that Room is loved by so many people. I can’t wait to see what the TV Book Club people have to say about it :-)

  28. Kathleen says:

    These lists always send me scrambling off to Goodreads to add the books to my “to be read” list. I just put all of the Richard and Judy books on my list. I need many more hours in the week to read everything I want to. I already warned my family that TV and movie watching will be limited by me because I need to READ!

    1. Jackie says:

      Kathleen, All of the Richard and Judy books?! Wow! I hope that you find some wonderful reads! I look forward to seeing what you think of them :-)


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