There has been so much ado in the press in recent weeks about Amanda Ross (of Richard & Judy book club fame) and the new Channel 4 TV Book Club that I had decided to watch.
Amanda Ross has been telling authors how to write a book for a book club etc and what constitutes a great read for a book group, there has to be plenty to talk about, that sort of thing. There was all manner of hoo-haa about the choice of panel members who would be discussing the books but you know egalitarian old me, I'm all for the book-lovers out there having their say whoever they are.
I had even been wondering whether to read alongside and talk about the book choices here because they are arriving from the publishers.
Well, I've just watched the first in the series and remain completely mystified about the programme which is supposed to be 'inspiring Britain to get reading' and to be honest I'm a bit lost for words... unlike the programme which spent some time out and about on the streets holding up obscure words on boards and explaining their meaning to us, one of which was bavardage...empty foolish chatter.
Then it was "guest author" spot...good this should be of interest, wonder who it'll be....
Chris Evans (yes, that Chris Evans) got a full long ten or was it fifteen minutes of the available twenty-four telling us how he writes, whilst Sarah Waters and The Little Stranger, the book up for 'discussion' seemed to scrape the merest five.
Gok didn't really like it and was disgruntled but then the copy of the book he was waving around looked a bit pristine anyway, and who knows what Laila Rouass thought, she looked gorgeous but didn't get a word in edgeways.
I seem to remember the great British public coped with some fairly intelligent debate about a book when Richard and Judy were at the helm, books like Cloud Atlas gained a huge audience of everyday readers who 'got' it. I used to dash in from work on a Wednesday and really enjoy the discussion.
Jo Brand can always be relied upon to salvage a sinking ship with some comedy and bless her she did, but it may not be ever thus.
I'm sorry to have a moan so did anyone else watch (and if you didn't you can see it here) and see signs amongst the wreckage, a glimmer of bookish hope that I could perhaps cling on to?