Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Oprah's Book Club

Unless you have been living under a rock, the last episode of the Oprah Winfrey Show aired today. And everyone has been discussing her impact on culture. I remember when she came to Charleston after Hugo and did a show at the King Street Palace (now condos). Here she is with the News 2 Crew for a promo (Rob Fowler, the guy with the mustache, is still on the station).


And when they show her face on the jumbotrons at Obama's inauguration, you can only imagine almost 2 million people calling her name at the same time.

But since this is a blog about books, I would like to talk about the impact of Oprah's Book Club. When I was in college, the book club was at its height. So I decided to get on the bandwagon and try to expand my reading choices.

A book that was a big deal when it was selected (at least in South Carolina), was Jewel by Bret Lott. Lott, a professor at the College of Charleston, was inspired on how his mother raised his sister (who has Downs Syndrome). Even thought he hasn't had the success since Oprah's pick, Lott has been able to continue writing, was a editor of a literary magazine, and live on one of the islands with the money he earned from being selected for the book club. And he's a nice guy (met him at the Capital Bookfest).

And if it wasn't for Oprah, I wouldn't have experience the awesomeness that is Pearl Cleage. What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day was another one of Oprah's picks and I have been in love with Pearl since. I've read every fictional book she has come out with (except the latest one because I am waiting for the library to bring it in). One of my friends just finished reading What Looks Like Crazy. When she told me she was reading the book, I told her that I give credit to Oprah for getting me into her. So now I have to get my friend caught up on her (yes Cat, I'm talking about you). ;-)

There are other books I've read from the book club (The Reader, Breath, Eyes, Memory, House of Sand and Fog), but college and life made me loose some interest. I tried again a few years ago with the Sidney Poitier book and Say You're One of Them, but they didn't keep my attention like the older ones did. The book club won't be canceled with the show, but will continue on OWN.

So Oprah, thanks for all you have done for the last 25 years. Much love and success!!

And now a tribute from Jimmy Kimble and Boyz II Men (my favorite group of all time):

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