Costa winner Stef Penney and bestselling author Victoria Hislop join debuts from Ali Land and Ruth Hogan on the next Richard & Judy Book Club list with W H Smith.
The eight titles on the influential book club list for Autumn revealed today (10th August) span just three publishing houses. Hachette leads the way with four books in the collection, while Penguin Random House (PRH) has three and Simon & Schuster has one.
Under Hachette’s tally is Victoria Hislop's Cartes Postales From Greece (Headline), Ruth Hogan’s debut The Keeper of Lost Things (Two Roads), The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel (Hodder) and Under a Pole Star by Costa winning author Stef Penney (Quercus).
Meanwhile for PRH, Land’s debut Good Me Bad Me (Penguin) makes the cut, along with A Dangerous Crossing by Rachel Rhys (Black Swan) and The Betrayals by Fiona Neill (Penguin).
Last but not least, Simon & Schuster’s Kill The Father by Sandrone Dazieri completes this Autumn’s selection.
The titles are all selected by celebrity couple Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan from a longlist provided by a W H Smith reading team. Although publishers pay to be included in the club, the selections usually sell in high numbers and have a heavy influence on the book chart.
Collectively, the summer tranche including works from Sarah Perry, Clare Mackintosh, Jodi Picoult and Robert Harris sold 1,026,158 copies for £5.47m through Nielsen BookScan, with Shari Lapena’s The Couple Next Door the frontrunner of the pack, shifting a whisker under a quarter of a million copies and spending 16 weeks in the overall top 10.
Of the top 20 bestselling books of the year to date, six have been for the Richard & Judy book clubs, with The Couple Next Door, Mackintosh’s I See You (Sphere) and Joanna Cannon’s The Trouble with Goats and Sheep (The Borough Press) in the top 10.
Hislop’s Cartes Postales from Greece is the frontrunner of the new tranche unveiled today having sold 59,234 copies in hardback over autumn 2016, but Land’s Good Me Bad Me has sold strongly for a debut, shifting 8,026 copies in hardback since its release in January.
Of Hislop’s title, Madeley said: “This book is a love affair – with Greece: its islands, sun-drenched olive groves, lazy fishing villages, people moving in rhythm with the tides and seasons, and above all, a story of love and loss. If you’ve never been to Greece, by the time you’ve finished this book you’ll be packing your bags and booking a flight to Athens.”
Readers were asked to vote for their favourite of the summer Book Club list, and have selected Mackintosh’s I See You, which the author described as a "huge honour".
"I'm so grateful to W H Smith, and of course to Richard and Judy, for putting I See You into the hands of so many readers, and to everyone who took time to vote it as their favourite,” she said.