Ramone, Jenni and Helen Cousins (eds) The Richard and Judy Book Club: Popular Texts and the Practices of Reading (London: Ashgate, 2011)
In January 2004, daytime television presenters Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan launched their book club and sparked debate about the way people in Britain, from the general reader to publishers to the literati, thought about books and reading. The Richard & Judy Book Club Reader brings together historians of the book, literature scholars, and specialists in media and cultural studies to examine the effect of the club on reading practices and the publishing and promotion of books.
Beginning with an analysis of the book club's history and its ongoing development in relation to other reading groups worldwide including Oprah's, the editors consider issues of book marketing and genre. Further chapters explore the effects of the mass-broadcast celebrity book club on society, literature and its marketing, and popular culture. Contributors ask how readers discuss books, judge value and make choices. The collection addresses questions of authorship, authority and canon in texts connected by theme or genre including the postcolonial exotic, disability and representations of the body, food books, and domesticity. In addition, book club author Andrew Smith shares his experiences in a fascinating interview.
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