It’s not quite Oprah, but in the U.K. it’s the closest thing there is. Television celebrities Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan are the hosts of Britain’s wildly popular Richard and Judy’s Book Club, and this year two Canadians have made their reading list.
Steven Galloway’s The Cellist of Sarajevo and Winnipegger Andrew Davidson’s The Gargoyle are two of 10 books to make the special list.
Books chosen by Madeley and Finnigan ” who appear on digital TV channel Watch ” often become bestsellers in Britain.
Galloway’s novel has already been singled out here in Canada by the 2008 Scotiabank Giller Prize jury, which included the book on their longlist, and by Indigo’s self-appointed “chief booklover,” Heather Reisman, who chose it as one of “Heather’s Picks” last year.
Doubleday U.S. must be turning cartwheels at the announcement of the Davidson endorsement, since the novel has performed below expectations south of the 49th parallel. Maybe the endorsement from Richard and Judy will help Doubleday recoup at least some of the gargantuan $1.25 million advance it paid out to the author.