Oops, She Did it Again

She’s ba-ack, and with TWO new book club additions.  Honestly, I wanted to get everyone’s thoughts on this, as I am kind of iffy as to how I feel about Oprah’s new book club choices.  Drumroll please!

I love that she focuses on classics every once in awhile, and Dickens is one of those authors that probably everyone should attempt at least once, but I am kind of nonplussed by these choices.  First of all, I read A Tale of Two Cities.  Technically, it was a DNF as I did not finish the last 70-90 pages, but considering it was quite a lengthy book, I definitely gave it every opportunity.  I just thought it was a complete bore and also very slooooow.  Since then, I have been filled with trepidation at the thought of attempting any more Dickens.  I am sure I will at some point, but I am on the fence about whether or not Great Expectations will be a contender.  It is too long.  I am not a patient person, so I am very particular when it comes to reading lengthy tomes.  The length of it, as well as the difficulty of Dickens in general, leads me to believe that most fans of Oprah won’t even be enticed to give her book club a go this time around.  Do you agree?  Am I the only one who even pays any mind to Oprah’s book club in the first place?

Secondly, when I was perusing Oprah’s website for info on her book club, I came across her list of the top 10 books of 2010.  I love those types of lists, so I figured I would post it for shits and giggles.

A Visit from the Goon Squad, by Jennifer Egan

Super Sad True Love Story, by Gary Shteyngart

Major Pettigraw’s Last Stand, by Helen Simonson

Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self, Danielle Evans

Freedom, Jonathan Franzen

The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer, by Siddhartha Mukherjee

Hellhound on His Trail, by Hampton Sides

The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration, by Isabel Wilkerson

Let’s Take the Long Way Home, by Gail Caldwell

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot

To find the slideshow of these books on Oprah’s website, click here.

I admit to being impressed with this list, despite the fact that the only book I have read on it is the last one.  I appreciate the fact that there is quite a bit of nonfiction, all of which the magazine is quick to point out read like fiction.  Non fiction can be really great when it reads like a novel, and I am always on the lookout for nonfiction like that, so I will definitely be checking those titles out.  It surprised me how many books off this list I hadn’t heard of, so I really can’t say whether this list has any sort of validity.  I definitely plan to at least look for all these titles though to see which ones strike my fancy.  Please share your thoughts on these choices!


6 Responses

  1. I didn’t think Great Expectations was very long. My edition is only around 300 pages, and it never felt slow. It’s the only Dickens I’ve read that I actually liked.

    I admit, I never pay attention to anything Oprah does. I’ve never seen her show or read her magazine, and I never know which books are on her list. It’s not that I have anything against her or anything, I just have never followed her so I know very little about her (and thus her opinion on books isn’t important to me).

    • Oh wow–obviously I am getting GE confused with another Dickens novel, as I thought it was about a thousand pages long. I definitely feel better now about giving it a chance!

  2. I love the fact that Oprah has picked some classics, but two Dickens? I think it would have been better if she’d have picked two different authors. We don’t have Oprah’s show here in the UK, but I have seen them a few times when I’ve been abroad. I love her taste in books and would follow her more if I could. I haven’t read any of the books on her list, but several of them are cropping up on other people’s best of lists. I hope you can tell me a bit more about a few of them at some point 🙂

  3. This reminds me of the summer Oprah picked three novels by Faulkner! A Tale of Two Cities was a huge struggle for me to finish and is my least favorite Dickens. Great Expectations is my favorite, and a much more manageable length… give it a try.

    I love lists, too! Henrietta Lacks will be on my best-of list this year, and I’m reading Freedom now. It’s a contender, too. Major Pettigrew is on my shelf… am going to pitch that one to my book club on Friday.

  4. I feel so underwhelmed by the Dickens choice. I mean, I get that its great that she chooses the Classics, but I don’t care one jot for Dickens and Oprah saying we should read these two books is certainly not going to make me do so!

    As for her best books of 2010 list, I’m actually really surprised with its contents. Every now and then Oprah and my taste in books overlap, which I find slightly disconcerting… 😉

  5. I love the editions in that picture you posted! I’ve yet to read any Dickens beyond A Christmas Carol – but I’ve heard GE is actually his most accessible novel, so I’ll probably be reading it next year.

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