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Oprah's Book Club

Are You More Likely to Read a Book if It's an Oprah Pick?

Oprah's book club has had its ups and downs over the years. On the positive end, the book club often provides huge success for authors when the queen of talk bestows her little golden sticker on a book. Downs have included things like the scandal around A Million Little Pieces, and a public dissing of her book club from The Corrections author Jonathan Franzen.

Ken Follett, author of The Pillars of the Earth, is experiencing some major ups all of a sudden, despite the fact that his book was published in 1989. Once it became an Oprah selection, his book shot straight to the top of bestselling lists and now there's news of a TV series in the works by Ridley Scott's production company.

Yet, despite Oprah's glowing reviews, I still couldn't bring myself to read The Pillars of the Earth because it just doesn't interest me. How about you? Do you take Oprah's word for it when it comes to books?


Join The Conversation
hadassah hadassah 9 years
I think it's pretty silly to avoid a book based on the fact that Oprah recommended it, but I also think it's silly to read a book ONLY because Oprah said it's good. That being said, I understand how dannysf feels when one of his "secrets" gets "told" - I feel that way about a lot of things, but that's just me being a mini snob.
mamaseacat mamaseacat 9 years
I don't like Oprah's picks. I like to make my own decisions on what to read.
Annika2494003 Annika2494003 9 years
Oprah is usually hit or miss with me. Middlesex, East of Eden and A Million Little Pieces (controversy and all) are amazing and it's nice that she's able to share these finds with the world. However, I feel that the bulk of the books I've read that she's recommended have very weak or whiny female leads, or women who are in bad situations and don't do much to help themselves. I end up getting really frustrated with books like that. And totally not into the fanfare surrounding the book and author of Eat, Pray, Love...
AKirstin AKirstin 9 years
I like Oprah okay, but her big fans bug the crap out of me. I don't know why, they just do. There is something so dorky about them, like the human equivalent of a fanny pack. :P Sorry if that offends anyone, it's just one girls perception. Anyway, I can't say I've ever been tempted by her book club choices, but it wouldn't stop me from reading them if I were.
colormesticky colormesticky 9 years
I am not lame, and I will not lighten up. I don't like Oprah, and I don't like any of the books I've read off her list. So read what you want, and don't insult me for having different taste than you. kthxbai.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
I am 34 and i cannot stand Oprah. If i see a book with that sticker I avoid it, because I have read alot of them already and her taste sucks.
Brendelwoman Brendelwoman 9 years
Does the 20 something generation dislike Oprah? I am in my 30's and most everybody in this age bracket seems to adore her, but I'm wondering if the younger ladies are tired of her. That being said I don't like Oprah's book selections and I don't like everything I see on her show anymore, either.
idawson idawson 9 years
yeah dont care who recommends book. i think i may have read east of eden based on her rec but i am not sure it was a while ago. as a general practice though, i look to other sources for recommended reads. and then there are always those books that you missed reading years ago that you want to read.
funkygeorge funkygeorge 9 years
I've read about 10 of the books on the book list. Some of them I read before Oprah recommended them, some after, and I dont regret reading any of them. I'll read whatever looks interesting to me, no matter who's recommending it.
j2e1n9 j2e1n9 9 years
It would make me NOT want to read a book if she recommended it, however most of the books she "recommends" I have at that point already read them. Makes me wonder about where she gets her insights. I do not think she picks them herself.
ilanac13 ilanac13 9 years
ugh - i hate when i see that little sticker on a book - i know that it helps in book sales and what not but she really doesn't seem like the person to tell me which books are valueable and that i should read.
freegracefrom freegracefrom 9 years
I don't like buying a book that she has recommended, even if it was one that I was interested in for years. I don't want people to think that I'm one of THOSE people that just does whatever Oprah tells them to do. It's a shame that hundreds of thousands of people would never go out of their way to read the great literary classics, unless Oprah puts her mark on it first.
tweet-hotpants tweet-hotpants 9 years
i read pillars of the earth before she recommended it. it's an amazing book - and his "sequel" world without end is even better. i bought the book east of eden by john steinbeck because oprah recommended it- i don't think i would've ever thought about getting it until i saw her recommendation. it's one of my favorite books of all time. i've read it five times. i think she has great taste in novels, but that doesn't mean i'm going to run out and get every book she says to. but it certainly doesn't discourage me to see an oprah sticker on the book.
JessieSP JessieSP 9 years
I'm an Oprah fan but I don't have to get her approval to enjoy a book. A good book is just a good book. But sometimes she does pick very good ones.
reginapulchera reginapulchera 9 years
I end up happening to read Oprah book club books, without realized that they were her pick. Middlesex was really good. and I LOVED Eat, Pray, Love. Plus on her website, she has reading guides and interviews with the authors that are a nice addition to a book that you enjoyed.
nextjen nextjen 9 years
I recently raved about a book (A Thousand Splendid Suns) and my friend's husband mocked "Is that an Oprah book?" I have read lots of "Oprah books" and I think I have enjoyed each and every one (that I have read). She does have great taste in books! Why was I embarrassed when my friend's husband thought I was the type to read "Oprah books?"
elizabethgracef elizabethgracef 9 years
I don't really care whether it's on Oprah's book list or not. I just find books I started reading Pillars of the Earth right before she picked it, and I read Middlesex years and years ago, and loved it, same as Madchen. So whether or not I'll read a book isn't changed by some sticker on the front.
Mädchen Mädchen 9 years
I agree vickibug. I read Middlesex about 4 years ago and since then I've told pretty much everyone I know to read it. :) I love this book to bits.
maisiegirl maisiegirl 9 years
No! I hate the stickers and although she has had a few decent selections, I don't always agree with her selections and/or the direction she has taken her book club. I had hoped that she would have included many more beautifully written selections by writers such as Sherman Alexie, Sandra Cisneros, Louise Erdrich, Helena Maria Viramontes, Alice Munro, and Jose Saramago to name a few. She could have used her book club as an opportunity to highlight segments of life that continue to remain invisible to the vast majority of people. I don't discount Oprah because there are many books that she has promoted that I've read and loved long before they were part of her book club. I feel like many of her recent selections (several exceptions, i.e., MiddleSex, The Grapes of Wrath, etc.) aren't quality and/or well written literature and the subject matter is pedestrian. I am biased, I studied literature and love reading a well-written and well-told story. My book choices are always a bit eclectic.
duck-duck-goose duck-duck-goose 9 years
Oprah is entirely irrelevant to my choices in life. Also, I *hate* stickers on my books -- drives me batty.
bellaressa bellaressa 9 years
I usually read books before they are her picks, I think she is reading my mind. I love to read and before I started taking a class, I was a book a week. Yeah, I read. I think she has great taste. Now it is taking me forever to get through a book now. Sighs.
hotstuff hotstuff 9 years
I would never be a hater just because Oprah recommended a book! I don't usually read her picks at all but I did read A New Earth and it has helped my life tremendously! So many children and adults don't read at all so if ANYONE is encouraging more reading I think it's AWESOME!
vickibug vickibug 9 years
Why do so many people care what others think about the book they are reading? Dbtabm, I totally agree with you. There aren't nearly enough people who read and if Oprah can get them to pick up a book like Middlesex (which is a pretty intense read), I say more power to her and to them. I just don't get all the negativity. And I don't know about the rest of you, but when I read Middlesex (before it was an Oprah pick, btw) I told everyone I knew that they should read it! I don't keep good books a secret, I like to spread the joy. So lighten up, everyone, and go read a book! :-)
amers230 amers230 9 years
wow, so people actually don't read certain books because oprah picked them for her book club? lame guys, very lame. that being said it really doesn't make much of a difference to me, i look for new books to read based on lots of different recommendations. a lot of her books lately haven't really appealled to me, but way back in the day i did buy one of her recommended books and it ended up being one of my all time favs (the poisonwood bible.)
MandyJoBo MandyJoBo 9 years
Oprah's opinion is just another review. The only book I've ever read that I LOVED and Oprah also loved was White Oleander. Her opinion is no different than asking friends and reading reviews on Amazon; it's just another way to try to gauge whether I will enjoy the read or not. I would be more concerned with trying NOT to look like an Oprah Book Club follower than actually being one. Seriously--who puts that much thought into what others think?
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