Oh, Pooh!

People can be a bit ‘sniffy’ about the ‘Richard and Judy Bookclub’, can’t they?

I don’t mean the authors whose books are chosen to be featured – they love the instant boost to sales – but literary snobs who see the ‘Richard and Judy’ sticker on a book cover and think it must be populist and therefore trashy.

Well, I’ve read plenty of R&J recommended reads and they were anything but rubbish (The Time Traveller’s Wife, anyone?) and they’ve just announced their Summer 2012 list of 10 books, which includes novels by respected writers such as Patrick Gale and Robert Harris.

Have a look here for yourself.

Of course, Richard and Judy are now both writing their own novels and Judy’s (a ghost story set in Cornwall) is due out later this year. Ahem, you know how this annoys me – when celebs jump on the novel-writing band wagon and get their work published because they’re a ‘name’ rather than because the writing’s good.

But perhaps I’m being unfair. Judy Finnegan used to be a journalist, after all, so perhaps her novel will be really, really good….

As for me, I’m still suffering a bit from lack of inspiration….and my laptop is still not back (they had to order a new hard drive for it. The first one they were sent was the wrong one, the second one got lost in transit! Luckily, I have another laptop I can borrow, otherwise I might be tearing my hair out!)

My only recent claim to writing fame is a ‘filler’ in the current Prima magazine, for which I’m getting £25. In response to the question ‘Why do you deserve a gold medal?’ I sent them this: ‘For not throttling my boss every time she asked me to make her a cup of tea “the colour of Winnie The Pooh”’. This is true. If the tea wasn’t exactly the right shade of golden-brown, she’d send you back to the kitchen to doctor it a bit. (Tippex?)

Ah, happy days. There’s definitely some material there for writing….!

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8 Responses to Oh, Pooh!

  1. Catherine Robinson says:

    That is so funny Helen!! You certainly do deserve a medal. I wonder whether she ever made you a cup, and if so, which exact shade of mammal fur did you specify…..?

    • She never once made me a cuppa (but then neither have the other 3 women I’ve had the ‘pleasure’ of working for…hmm, I’m seeing a theme here). BUT she did make mephone the hairdresser’s for her, to cancel her appointment – she used to swap and change so much that she got embarrassed to phone them back. Mad? Just a smidgen.

  2. Vikki says:

    Thanks for the link to the Richard and Judy books above. I have found some good reads among their previous recs. “The Fear Index” is definitely on my list!

    The More4 Book Club too.

    Love your Pooh story, a deserving winner!

  3. The R&J club seems a way of using celebrity culture to get people reading decent books.
    As for them writing their own, the books will sell well because of who has written them and the publicity they’ll get, regardless of the quality of the writing. That seems sad in a way, but at least these two are actually interested in books and they might produce something good.

  4. Tracy Fells says:

    Laughed at the Pooh story. I used to work in an office where we all took turns to do the tea run, but everyone liked their tea to a different strength. It was like fifty shades of tea. I was known for my wimpy tea, as I could never add enough milk.

  5. Maggie May says:

    I would definitely go for a book BECAUSE it’s a R&J recommendation, and yes I did read the Time Traveller’s Wife. Too much snobbery around in Literature and Art. I question whether certain modern well known artists can really draw?

  6. Prue says:

    😀 I love the tippex suggestion!

    As for the snobbery – there’s a lot of snobbery around about books of all sorts. Not sure about the allusion to Niffeneger’s book. I read it (it’s time travel) but it gave me a headache; even so, I have a lot of admiration for someone who could even think about writing that book!

    But it comes back to what I was saying on another post on this site: there are a few people who have a lot of influence over the rest of us. I guess bringing books to one’s attention is ok, but just because R&J – or anyone else for that matter – says a book is good (or bad), it doesn’t make it so. Let us not be like sheep! Let each of us make up our own mind.

    But can we if one of the great and good give their opinion first? 🙂

  7. Helen, your Winnie the Pooh story made me laugh out loud!

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