At last, however, Bourne (aka Jonathan Freedland, political columnist of the Guardian) has made it: he is officially on Richard and Judy's summer reading list. And if that doesn't shift a few copies, nothing will. (Link from Publishers Lunch. For Richard and Judy think Oprah UK.)
On Saturday last, the Times did a profile of the woman who apparently draws up the reading list for our beloved R & J: her name is Amanda Ross. A nice enough lady, I'm sure, but I have the odd quibble with her.
In respect of The Righteous Men, Amanda says this: 'This book was the best thriller that I read, and thrillers really aren't my genre. I find it tough to choose thrillers.'
Well -- ahem -- actually, darling, we could have deduced that from the fact that you chose this one. I haven't read it myself, but I think it's fair to say that those who have read it regard it, for the most part, as second rate.
Mind you, right at the start of the Times profile, some of the really important factors in determining R & J's all-powerful list are made clear. Here is what Amanda Ross says about the process of making her massively sales-generating choices:
I don’t pretend that I know what definitely will make a bestseller. That’s not how I choose the books. My criteria, honestly, is: is this book going to entertain and engage people enough to generate 12 to 15 minutes of gripping television? The bottom line is: what’s the sofa chat?Well that's honest enough for you. And no doubt the political columnist of the Guardian is a dab hand at the TV shows. Even if he doesn't look all that wonderful in a mini-skirt, which is another useful asset for a wannabe bestseller.
By the way, while I may not be too fussy about the subjunctive, I do have to admit that I prefer people who use a plural noun to use the plural form of the verb. Just one of my funny little quirks.