The Tale of Two Book Clubs


When the Oprah Winfrey Show went off the air on May 25, 2011, it took Oprah’s Book Club with it. Over the course of 15 years, 65 books were recommended. With the help of the “Oprah effect”, several million copies were sold and most of the books were catapulted to bestseller status. Books chosen ranged from fiction (Night) to self-help (A New Earth) to literary classics (The Tale of Two Cities) to newsworthy controversies (A Million Little Pieces and The Corrections). Even though it officially ended back in 2011, the Club’s website is still up and running giving access to the complete book list, reading guides, quizzes, video interviews, and more.

Fast forward to today; thanks to Oprah’s Book Club 2.0 – a book club for the digital age – the “Oprah effect” is back in full force. Oprah’s first two picks can be found on The New York Times Best Seller list: Cheryl Strayed’s memoir Wild, and the novel The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis, a first-time author. Without her daily talk show, Oprah uses webisodes to announce and discuss her latest selection, and social media to keep the conversation flowing among club members. Though it’s completely virtual, it has the same appeal and exuberance as the original. 

If you are interested in either book club and do not know where to start, check out the Oprah’s Book Club display on the second floor of the Main Library.

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