Richard and Judy and The TV Book Club and have both revealed their latest book club choices recently, but are either of them worth following and who is winning the battle of the book club?
Richard and Judy’s 2011 Summer Reads
After attempting to read Richard and Judy’s last selection of books I stated that I would no longer be following their suggestions with the dedication that I used to. So the big question is: Have they improved?
I was disappointed to see that Richard and Judy are continuing to come up with unoriginal choices; both Jed Rubenfeld and Bella Pollen have had previous books on the original TV show (Bella Pollen’s Hunting Unicorns in 2004 and Jed Rubenfeld’s The Interpretation of Murder in 2007). I didn’t find either of these books particularly entertaining and so I’m not very excited about reading The Death Instinct by Jed Rubenfeldor The Summer of the Bear by Bella Pollen. -2
The only book from the list that I’ve read is When God Was a Rabbit by Sarah Winman which I found original and entertaining. I think this is a fantastic choice and I am really pleased that this debut novel will reach a wider audience. +1
The Novel in the Viola by Natasha Solomons sounds like an interesting read, but I think it will be too charming for me and so I won’t be reading it. 0
The Confession of Katherine Howard by Suzannah Dunn sounded interesting and so I attempted to read a few weeks ago. Unfortunately the writing style grated on me so I gave up very quickly. -1
The Return of Captain John Emmett by Elizabeth Speller is another book that I’m interested in reading. I have a copy here, but it hasn’t quite made it to the top of the pile yet. +1
Every Last One by Anna Quindlen is the only book that I hadn’t heard of when the list was announced. I still know very little about it, but for now I’ll take that as a positive. +1
Total score: +1
The TV Book Club 2011 Summer Reads
I don’t normally enjoy books containing vampires but numerous positive reviews have added The Radleys by Matt Haig to my wishlist. This is a book I plan to try before the TV series begins. +1
I wasn’t a big fan of Grace Williams Says it Loud by Emma Henderson, but it is an original debut so I’m happy to see it on this list. +1
The Lantern by Deborah Lawrensonis a book I hadn’t heard of before this list was revealed. That is what shows like this are supposed to do. +1
Night Road by Kristin Hannahdoesn’t look like a very original book, but I haven’t read it so will give it the benefit of the doubt. 0
The Hidden Childby Camilla Lackberg is a book in translation – I can’t possibly complain about that! +1
Moonlight Mile by Dennis Lehane seems like a fairly typical thriller, but I have always wanted to read some Lehane. I probably wont read this one, but I don’t feel I can deduct a point for its selection. 0
A Visit From the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan won the Pulitzer prize, but it hasn’t received that much attention here in the UK. It will divide opinion, but I think that will make a very interesting discussion on the show. +1
The Book of Human Skin by Michelle Lovric captured my attention from the moment I read the title. I don’t know anything else about it, but I do know I want to read it. +1
Total Score: +6
Richard and Judy: +1
TV Book Club: +6
Richard and Judy do seem to have improved their selection, but they are still failing to pick titles that excite me. Time and again The TV Book Club are outshining them with lists that I am really interested in reading/discussing. I think both could benefit from picking some titles from smaller publishers and a wider range of books in translation, but I shouldn’t complain too much – anything that persuades reluctant readers to pick up a few extra books is a good thing.
Long may they continue to pick books that we can all read and discuss together!
What do you think of the book club selections?
Which is your favourite list?