England’s Answer to Oprah: Richard and Judy

So, I just got back from a rather whirlwind tour through London.  With an infant in tow, no less.  Well, I meant to take notes on what people were reading in the Tube (one of my favorite things to do while on vacation), but I had another brilliant idea.

I had noticed these stickers on books last time I was in London–stickers proclaiming “Richard and Judy’s Book Club.”  These stickers are everywhere and the books are pretty much always on the bestsellers lists.

Richard and Judy  (pictured above with J.K. Rowling) are two British TV personalities who have parlayed their popular talk show into an opportunity to borrow from Oprah–to talk about and sell books.  Like Oprah (but on a smaller scale, mind you), they have become the taste-makers of a nation.

For quite a few years now, Richard and Judy have been sending books up the bestsellers lists and even host a Book of the Year Award program.

While some book groups avoid bestsellers like the plague, I find that such lists can offer some interesting titles in the mix and represent the pulse of the time.  But even for groups that like to avoid bestsellers or even Oprah picks, why not try some bestsellers from abroad?  While you’ll see many of the same titles in our lists, you’ll also find some books and authors off the beaten path in America.

Here is the list of Richard and Judy picks since they started their popular book club in 2004:






Additionally, Richard and Judy have hosted a Summer Book Club, and you can find those titles as well listed on the Wikipedia page.




About the Author:

Misha Stone is a readers' advisory librarian with The Seattle Public Library. Follow her on Twitter at @ahsimlibrarian.

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