Sunday, December 28, 2008

Richard and Judy's Reads for 2009

The announcement TV hosts Richard and Judy's booklist is a much awaited annual event for many British booklovers, and the titles selected usually going on to be bestsellers. (The BBC points out that Labyrinth by Kate Mosse, which featured in 2006, went on to become the UK's fastest-selling paperback of all-time. ) The show previously aired by Channel 4, is now on digital channel Watch.*

These then are their chosen reads for 2009 (I've added Amazon links so you can have a browse see if you might enjoy them too) :

Explore a mystery in the world of contemporary art and find out that all is not as it seems in Jesse Kellerman's brilliant The Brutal Art, then journey back in time with Kate Summerscale's The Suspicions of Mr Whicher, an engaging exploration of a crime that shocked the whole of England in the 1860s. Become engrossed in Kate Atkinson's When Will There Be Good News?, a riveting crime story following popular private investigator Jackson Brody and delve into The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff where there has been a brutal murder within the polygamist mormon community. Then wind down with The Gargoyle, Andrew Davidson's complex and riveting debut novel and explore a romance that transcends both time and space.

Delve into the lives of Wilson and Ruth Carter, whose daughter Isabelle is immersed in a silence from which she is finding it difficult to emerge. Find out how the family cope with this bewildering crisis in Elizabeth H. Winthrop's deeply engaging December. Then meet two women whose lives are affected by scandal as they enter into illicit affairs. Beatrice Colin's The Luminous Life of Lilly Aphrodite introduces you to Lilly an orphan in decadent Berlin who becomes caught up in an affair with a Russian director - an affair that will cost her everything. Leading a similar scandalised life is Idina Sackville whose thrilling life is documented in the intriguing biography The Bolter by her granddaughter Frances Osborne. Then journey to a war-torn world with Steven Galloway's extremely powerful novel The Cellist of Sarajevo, remembering to stop in a post 9/11 New York City to discover Hans, a man who must rebuild a life for himself, meeting a friend involved with dark activities and ambitions. Joseph O'Neill's remarkable novel Netherland completes this thoroughly engaging set of ten books that have truly earned the Richard and Judy seal of approval!

Postscript :

*David Barnett on the Guardian blog questions the wisdom of this move which has seen programme ratings plummet - and at a time when the show is needed as a shot in the arm for the British publishing industry more than ever.

1 comment:

farmlanebooks said...

I've just finished reading the 6th book in this years list - I don't think it is as strong as last year's choices, but there are still a few more to go, so hopefully I'll be more impressed by the end.