TV Book Club: Sacred Hearts

Well, this was a major step up from the first two programmes. There are still some elements that don’t work — the back-and-forth presentation is awkward; describing how an author’s career was boosted by the Book Club in years past is unnecessary; and the non-fiction items (this week, one on the origins of pub names) might well be interesting in another context, but they don’t fit the format of this programme.

Elsewhere. however, things were far better. This week’s guest was the actor Emilia Fox, who didn’t have a book of her own to talk about, so instead the interview with her was about her favourite books. This was a much better idea, and Fox came across as a keen reader, as guests on The TV Book Club ought to be.

The choice this week was Sacred Hearts by Sarah Dunant, a novel about two nuns in a 16th-century Ferraran convent. Unlike previous weeks, the discussion was vigorous and enthustic — exactly what the programme needed. Nathaniel Parker remained the best contributor of the regular panellists, really engaging with the period here; but all were better than they were previously (though Gok Wan was absent this week), and Emilia Fox also made some of the strongest contributions. And, most importantly, they made the book sound interesting.

There’s a way to go yet, but, on this evidence, The TV Book Club is on the right path at last.


  1. it had seen a improvement ,not sold on book ,but enjoy the programm today

  2. I agree that there has been an improvement. I think the reduction in panel members helped a lot tonight. They still have a lot of work to do, but one day it could be a great show.

  3. As I tweeted, I felt @tvbookclub has been listening and reading what has been said and there was a massive improvement this week. I agree that having a guest not plugging a book was a breathe of fresh air, but don’t feel that was a major issue in the 1st two eps.

    The major change that I liked was the smaller panel. I must stress that I did not feel it was due to Gok not being there, but that there was ONE LESS on the panel. Quality over quantity. With the one less on the panel, it gave breathing room for the rest of the panel to speak. At one point, they were stumbling over each other to voice their opinion on the book!! It was brilliant, intelligent and most importantly, on topic.

  4. yes it seemed a lot better david ,will watch next one to see if it continues

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