This week, take a look at one of the most influential literary trends of the last 15 years: the Oprah Book Club. Beloved by millions of readers, the televised (and now online) book club, created by TV's most popular host, has revived in-person book clubs, spurred sales for classic authors like Dickens, popularized contemporary fiction, and been the subject of some intriguing media scandals. Curl up with these Oprah-themed picks today—or plan your own Oprah book club event!
On Your Kindle
The Oprah Affect is a series of essays exploring the impact of Oprah's Book Club on book sales, the program's media reception, and the controversies surrounding Oprah's selections. Long-time Oprah fans and female readers will be interested in the authors' critique of the media stereotyping of “Oprah books” as lowbrow melodrama for women and the scandal involving author Jonathan Franzen's rejection of the book club's demographic. The authors provide fascinating historical context about similar portrayals of popular fiction in the decades before Oprah and affirm the award-winning credentials of many selections.
On Your Smartphone
Explore the most recent Oprah picks and book club supplementary materials for the current online version of the club, Book Club 2.0, today. You'll find interviews with authors, questionnaires, and videos on the official site for the current club, as well as information on past book club selections. Join the newsletter to get updates on the latest books.
On a Podcast
Another great Oprah Book Club resource is the official podcast, which includes Oprah's blog commentary on books in progress, webcasts, and special themed segments derived from individual books.
Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail , by Cheryl Strayed
Haven't read any of the Oprah books? Start with this great selection in Book Club 2.0, Cheryl Strayed's memoir of escaping the loss of her mother by embarking on a risky 1,000-mile hike of the Pacific Coast Trail. Or visit Amazon's Oprah archives and choose one of the 70-plus books from the classic book list, ranging from Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities to Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye .
Photo courtesy of Francisco Osorio .