Richard and Judy: Our Favourite Book Club Reads

Richard and Judy: Our Favourite Book Club Reads

Judy Picks: Before I Go to Sleep – S.J. Watson

Memories define us. So what if you lost yours every time you went to sleep? Your name, your identity, your past, even the people you love – all forgotten overnight. And the one person you trust may only be telling you half the story. Welcome to Christine’s life.

“Without our memories, what are we? Christine wakes each morning with her mind wiped clean of the previous 20 years of her life. Who is the strange man in bed beside her? Whose is the face that stares back in terror at her from the bathroom mirror? Can that middle-aged woman really be her? As Christine tries to discover who she is, the question arises: which is more sinister? Her present, or her past?”

Judy Finnigan

Watch Richard and Judy Interview S.J. Watson on Before I Go To Sleep  /  See all Blog Content for Before I Go To Sleep

Richard Picks: Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn

Who are you? What have we done to each other? These are the questions Nick Dunne finds himself asking on the morning of his fifth wedding anniversary, when his wife Amy suddenly disappears. The police suspect Nick. Amy’s friends reveal that she was afraid of him, that she kept secrets from him. He swears it isn’t true. A police examination of his computer shows strange searches. He says they weren’t made by him. And then there are the persistent calls on his mobile phone. So what really did happen to Nick’s beautiful wife?

“An extraordinary, addictive book. On the morning of their fifth wedding anniversary, Nick Dunne’s wife, Amy, suddenly disappears. Why? Has he killed? The police think so. But the book is written from both Nick and Amy’s points of view. Both are equally dark and sinister. A brilliant, terrifying story.”

Richard Madeley

Listen to Richard and Judy’s Gone Girl Podcast  /  Watch Richard and Judy Interview Gillian Flynn on Gone Girl  /  See all Blog Content for Gone Girl

Judy Picks: Sister – Rosamund Lupton

Their bond was unbreakable. The truth was unimaginable. When Beatrice gets a frantic call in the middle of Sunday lunch to say that her younger sister, Tess, is missing, she boards the first flight home to London. But as she learns about the circumstances surrounding her Tess’s disappearance, she is stunned to discover how little she actually knows of her sister’s life – and unprepared for the terrifying truths she must now face. The police, Beatrice’s fiance and even her mother accept they have lost Tess, but Beatrice refuses to give up on her. So she embarks on a dangerous journey to discover the truth, no matter the cost.

“This book is written as a long letter from Bea to her lost little sister. It’s a mystery, a complex thriller about a terrible crime committed in the name of genetic research. It’s beautifully written, and when you read it you feel that you are truly listening to the writer’s authentic voice. That’s rare. You believe every word.”

Judy Finnigan

Watch Richard and Judy Interview Rosamund Lupton on Sister

Richard Picks: Apple Tree Yard – Louise Doughty

Yvonne Carmichael has worked hard to achieve the life she always wanted: a high-flying career in genetics, a beautiful home, a good relationship with her husband and their two grown-up children. Then one day she meets a stranger at the Houses of Parliament and, in the dark, secret corners of London, begins an impulsive and passionate affair with him – a decision that will put everything she values at risk. At first she believes she can keep the relationship separate from the rest of her life, but a life-changing act of violence sends Yvonne’s carefully crafted plans into a downward spiral of deceit, betrayal, and murder.

“One of the most original and thought-provoking psychological thrillers I have read: disturbing, erotic, and utterly compelling. Apple Tree Yard sometimes reads like an extended parable. You will be haunted by it.”

Richard Madeley

See all Blog Content for Apple Tree Yard

Judy Picks: Room – Emma Donoghue

Today I’m five. I was four last night going to sleep in Wardrobe, but when I wake up in Bed in the dark I’m changed to five, abracadabra.

Jack lives with his Ma in Room. Room has a single locked door and a skylight, and it measures ten feet by ten feet. Jack loves watching TV but he knows that nothing he sees on the screen is truly real – only him, Ma and the things in Room. Until the day Ma admits there is a world outside.

“This extraordinary book is very hard to sum up. To read it, you have to slide into a place that frees you of normal expectation, to help yourself understand the most appalling of situations, and yet allow for hope, love, and redemption.”

Judy Finnigan

Watch Richard and Judy Interview Emma Donoghue on Room  /  See all Blog Content for Room

Richard Picks: The Snow Child – Eowyn Ivey

Alaska, the 1920s. Jack and Mabel have staked everything on a fresh start in a remote homestead, but the wilderness is a stark place, and Mabel is haunted by the baby she lost many years before. When a little girl appears mysteriously on their land, each is filled with wonder, but also foreboding: is she what she seems, and can they find room in their hearts for her?

“This enchanting story is about Jack and Mabel, a couple who lost their only baby years before and make a fresh start in the Alaskan wilderness of the 1920s. Haunted by childlessness, they tenderly build a snowgirl when the first snow falls. The figure is gone next morning, but they begin to glimpse a little girl, running through the trees near their homestead. Is this child human, or a snow-sprite? Whoever or whatever the snow child is, she changes them forever.”

Richard Madeley

Watch Richard and Judy Interview Eowyn Ivey on The Snow Child  /  See all Blog Content for The Snow Child

Judy Picks: The Miniaturist – Jessie Burton

On an autumn day in 1686, eighteen-year-old Nella Oortman knocks at the door of a grand house in the wealthiest quarter of Amsterdam. She has come from the country to begin a new life as the wife of illustrious merchant trader Johannes Brandt, but instead she is met by his sharp-tongued sister, Marin. Only later does Johannes appear and present her with an extraordinary wedding gift: a cabinet-sized replica of their home. It is to be furnished by an elusive miniaturist, whose tiny creations mirror their real-life counterparts in unexpected ways …Nella is at first mystified by the closed world of the Brandt household, but as she uncovers its secrets she realizes the escalating dangers that await them all. Does the miniaturist hold their fate in her hands? And will she be the key to their salvation or the architect of their downfall?

“What a haunting, atmospheric and richly layered story Jessie Burton has woven in this wonderful novel. Gripping – and creepy.”

Judy Finnigan

Listen to Richard and Judy’s The Miniaturist Podcast  /  See all Blog Content for The Miniaturist

Richard Picks: I Am Pilgrim – Terry Hayes

Can you commit the perfect crime? Pilgrim is the codename for a man who doesn’t exist. The adopted son of a wealthy American family, he once headed up a secret espionage unit for US intelligence. Before he disappeared into anonymous retirement, he wrote the definitive book on forensic criminal investigation. But that book will come back to haunt him. It will help NYPD detective Ben Bradley track him down. And it will take him to a rundown New York hotel room where the body of a woman is found facedown in a bath of acid, her features erased, her teeth missing, her fingerprints gone. It is a textbook murder – and Pilgrim wrote the book.

“‘The only thriller you need to read this year’ says the sticker on our copy of this mould-breaking thriller, and it’s true. To read I Am Pilgrim is to go on an adventure, and by the time you reach the last page you won’t know if you are more exhausted or exhilarated. An international spy thriller right up there with the best.”

Richard Madeley

Listen to Richard and Judy’s I Am Pilgrim Podcast  /  See all Blog Content for I Am Pilgrim

A bundle of all eight of Richard and Judy’s Favourite Book Club Reads are available to buy online here.


Please note that this blog post features new and exclusive book jackets. These are available to buy in stores and online as part of the bundle, but are not available to buy individually online.