Enjoy TV but feel like you should be reading more books? Well, today’s your lucky day! The publishing industry’s much-vaunted Super Thursday is upon us and sees a raft of showbiz-themed tomes arriving on the market.
Traditionally thought of as the day on which the book trade releases its hardback Christmas best-sellers, Super Thursday’s offerings this year include titles from such notable screen stars as David Walliams, Miranda Hart and Cheryl Cole.
But Super Thursday's not quite the cohesive marketing exercise you might imagine it to be. Indeed, Phillip Jones of industry magazine The Bookseller calls it "a cock-up, and an irritating one at that". He says it "is not planned" and emphasises the fact that "publishers’ publicity teams focus on single titles not lists—and particularly not other publishers’ lists."
In fact, Super Thursday's probably best thought of as a focal point for that end-of-year period in which stocking-filler books are released. So, while some of the books below have publication dates slightly before or after today, they're all nevertheless part of the publishing trade's rush to capitalise on celebrity over Christmas.
Anyway, before you sally forth to your local bookseller (or just plug in your e-reader) to grab a pile of this year's soon-to-be bestsellers, let’s have a look at Super Thursday’s offerings for the committed TV addict.
What with the Olympic Games having been the biggest event in Britain this year by quite a long chalk, it’s no surprise that there are more than a few books both by and about Team GB and other London 2012 personalities going for gold in the Christmas sales charts.
Bradley Wiggins is the subject of a book with the lengthy title Allez Wiggo!: How Bradley Wiggins won the Tour de France and Olympic Gold in 2012 by Daniel Friebe, which comes out today. Mind you, Wiggins' own autobiography will be published in November, so if you want the story straight from the horse’s pen, you might want to hold on for that.
Jessica Ennis has a memoir due out in November, as does Lord Coe, whose Running my Life is released on Thursday 8 November. Clare Balding's charmingly-titled My Animals and Other Family and Victoria Pendleton's autobiography Between the Lines are both on sale now.
Pop-picking book fans also have some memoirs to enjoy from today, including the long-awaited (and apparently scandalous) Cheryl: My Story by former Girls Aloud front-woman Cheryl Cole.
Tattoo-flashing X Factor judge Tulisa Contostavlos’s autobiography Honest came out a couple of weeks ago (and inspired a suitably hysterical write-up by Liz Jones in the Daily Mail), but if you’re keener on The Voice than The X Factor, you could always peruse Jessie J’s Nice to Meet You, which is out now.
Will Young’s Funny Peculiar: the Autobiography also comes out today, as does cheeky-chappie X Factor alumnus Olly Murs's memoir Happy Days.
If you feel the need for a bit of domestic guidance over the festive period, you could do worse than checking out Kirstie’s Vintage Home by Location, Location, Location’s Kirstie Allsopp. But if it’s style advice you’re after, Project Runway’s Tim Gunn has also today unleashed his Fashion Bible.
Naturally, there’s also the usual glut of cookery books from celebrity chefs including works from Nigella Lawson, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Nigel Slater and the Hairy Bikers, many of which are already on sale. They’re joined on Super Thursday by MasterChef: the Professionals host Monica Galetti’s new recipe collection Monica’s Kitchen.
After its serialisation in the tabloids, David Walliams’s aptly titled Camp David comes out today, as does Alexander Armstrong’s stocking-filler The 100 Most Pointless Things in the World.
The woman who made galumphing fashionable, Miranda Hart, released her autobiography Is it Just Me? this morning, and former Monty Python man Michael Palin’s latest travel book, Brazil, has also just been let loose on the market.
Comedy writer Barry Cryer and his son Bob have also got a book out, cannily capitalising on the public’s current fascination with all things Conan Doyle, in the form of Mrs. Hudson’s Diaries, a novel written from the point of view of Sherlock Holmes’s housekeeper.
Eloise, Judy Finnigan’s first foray into fiction is out today (one wonders if this will get the Richard and Judy Book Club sticker by default), as is a new volume from Charlie Brooker, which bears the charming title Everybody’s Got One.
For those who like to read about the Windsors over winter comes Counting One's Blessings: Selected Letters of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother by William Shawcross, and there are two coffee table tomes out today, too: John Wayne: The Legend and the Man and Godfather Treasures: The Official Motion Picture Archives by Peter Cowie.
Andrew Marr’s high-minded A History of the World made its debut on Britain’s bookshelves a couple of weeks ago, as did Rupert Everett’s latest indiscreet title Vanished Years which will surely delight gossip fans.
Phew! What with JK Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy having been released only a couple of weeks ago and Jamie Oliver’s Jamie's 15-Minute Meals already on the shelves, all of that lot should be enough star-studded reading to keep even the most ardent bookworm busy until…well, until Super Thursday 2013.
Happy reading folks! Don’t forget to keep the receipts.