Which historical fiction should Richard and Judy have chosen for their summer reads?

May 24, 2012

I always look forward to the Richard and Judy book club lists. They choose quite a few books that would otherwise slip by unnoticed, and the marketing of them can launch authors to a whole new level of sales. Also, to my surprise they quite often pick new historical fiction that I am unaware of. It’s as if they are on a different plane somehow: different marketing people get the books onto their desks, different contacts tip them the wink about novels that otherwise don’t shout from the catalogues.

This summer, however, what a dud set of books from the point of view of historical fiction! The only one is Victoria Hislop – and I feel that’s slightly a cheat, because she has already been featured by them before. She’s an excellent author, but hardly a discovery.

So I wondered which books should Richard and Judy be recommending for summer reads? I’d love for us to feature a great set of ‘beach books’. Not too heavy. Not too light. Victoria Hislop writes in the Captain Corelli tradition of ‘bad stuff that once happened in an idyllic holiday location’. Who else writes historical novels that have us itching to book our flights?

Posted by Richard Lee