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Oprah's Book Club

Just as J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter series has altered the reading appetites of millions of young people, Oprah's book club, since its inception in 1996, has done more to put books — good books — into the hands of adult readers than any marketing or educational campaign could even aspire to. Through her book club, Oprah has not only brought recognized masters to a wider audience (who else could put Nobel laureate Toni Morrison on national bestseller lists — three times), she has also turned under-appreciated literary writers into nationally recognized figures. Perhaps the success of Oprah's book club can be attributed to her uncanny knack for choosing the right books: books that deal intelligently and compassionately with the complex life situations her audience deals with on a daily basis — and that provide a good story to boot.

September 2009

Say You're One of Them Say You're One of Them by Uwem Akpan

Synopsis
From a portrait of a family living together in a makeshift shanty in urban Kenya to a Rwandan girl's account of her family's struggles to maintain normalcy amid unspeakable horrors, each of the short stories in this collection is a testament to the wisdom and resilience of children. (read more)

September 2008

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski

Powells.com Staff Pick
An eloquent exploration of both inner and outer landscapes, this novel will wind about your psyche and not easily let go. The perfect book to curl up with on a fall afternoon, The Story of Edgar Sawtelle is a not-so-simple tale of a Wisconsin boy and his dogs that will haunt you long after the last page has been turned. Recommended by Mary Jo, Powells.com (read more)

January 2008

A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

Synopsis
Humanity now, perhaps more than in any previous time, has an opportunity to create a new, saner, more loving world. In very practical terms, Tolle leads readers into this new consciousness to learn to live and breathe freely. (read more)

November 2007

The Pillars of the Earth The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

Synopsis
This historical epic is set in 12th-century England and tells the story of Philip, a devout and resourceful monk driven to build the greatest Gothic cathedral the world has known, and those who become intimately involved in the herculean effort. (read more)

October 2007

Love in the Time of Cholera Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Review
"The greatest luxury, as in all of Garcia Marquez's books, is the eerie, entirely convincing suspension of the laws of reality...the agelessness of the human story as told by one of this century's most evocative writers." Anne Tyler, Chicago Sun-Times Book Week (read more)

June 2007

Middlesex Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

Review
"[A]n uproarious epic, at once funny and sad, about misplaced identities and family secrets....Mr. Eugenides has a keen sociological eye for 20th-century American life." Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times (read more)

March 2007

The Road The Road by Cormac McCarthy

Powells.com Staff Pick
"The Road is Cormac McCarthy's darkest, most poetic book in years. In a post-apocalyptic, razed landscape (which, though archetypal, feels frighteningly plausible), McCarthy poses questions of survival, good and evil, and what makes us human." Recommended by Jill, Powells.com

(read more)

January 2007

The Measure of a Man The Measure of a Man by Sidney Poitier

Review
"Reading The Measure of a Man is somewhat akin to having a worthwhile conversation with a revered older relative; he doesn't always tell you what you want to hear, but you appreciate it just the same." The Washington Post (read more)

January 2006

Night Night by Elie Wiesel

Publisher Comments
A terrifying account of the Nazi death camp horror that turns a young Jewish boy into an agonized witness to the death of his family... the death of his innocence... and the death of his God. Penetrating and powerful, as personal as The Diary Of Anne Frank, Night awakens the shocking memory of evil at its absolute and carries with it the unforgettable message that this horror must never be allowed to happen again. (read more)

September 2005

A Million Little Pieces A Million Little Pieces by James Frey

Publisher Comments
Intense, unpredictable, and instantly engaging, A Million Little Pieces is a story of drug and alcohol abuse and rehabilitation as it has never been told before. Recounted in visceral, kinetic prose, and crafted with a forthrightness that rejects piety, cynicism, and self-pity, it brings us face-to-face with a provocative new understanding of the nature of addiction and the meaning of recovery. (read more)

Summer 2005

A Summer of Faulkner As I Lay Dying; The Sound and the Fury; and Light in August by William Faulkner

Publisher Comments
The 2005 Summer Selection is available in an exclusive three volume boxed edition that includes a special reader's guide with an introduction by Oprah Winfrey. (read more)

September 2004

The Good Earth The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck

Publisher Comments
Though more than sixty years have passed since this remarkable novel won the Pulitzer Prize, it has retained its popularity and become one of the great modern classics. "I can only write what I know, and I know nothing but China, having always lived there," wrote Pearl Buck. (read more)

June 2004

Anna Karenina Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

Publisher Comments
Anna Karenina tells of the doomed love affair between the sensuous and rebellious Anna and the dashing officer, Count Vronsky. Tragedy unfolds as Anna rejects her passionless marriage and must endure the hypocrisies of society. Set against a vast and richly textured canvas of nineteenth-century Russia, the novel's seven major characters create a dynamic imbalance, playing out the contrasts of city and country life and all the variations on love and family happiness. (read more)

April 2004

The Heart is a Lonely Hunter The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers

Review
"[McCullers] writes with a calm and factual realism, and with a deep and abiding insight into human psychology. She does so without an iota of vulgarity and bawdiness, in a manner which many a present day novelist would do well to study." Boston Globe (read more)

January 2004

One Hundred Years of Solitude One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Review
"It is not easy to describe the techniques and themes of the book without making it sound absurdly complicated, labored and almost impossible to read. In fact, it is none of these things. Though concocted of quirks, ancient mysteries, family secrets and peculiar contradictions, it makes sense and gives pleasure in dozens of immediate ways." Robert Kiely, Books of the Century, The New York Times (read more)

September 2003

Cry, The Beloved Country Cry, The Beloved Country by Alan Paton

Review
"The greatest novel to emerge out of the tragedy of South Africa, and one of the best novels of our time." The New Republic (read more)

June 2003

East of Eden East of Eden by John Steinbeck

Review
"A novel planned on the grandest possible scale...One of those occasions when a writer has aimed high and then summoned every ounce of energy, talent, seriousness, and passion of which he was capable...It is an entirely interesting and impressive book." New York Herald Tribune (read more)

April 2002 Sula by Toni Morrison
January 2002 Fall on Your Knees by Ann-Marie MacDonald
November 2001 A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry
September 2001 The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
June 2001 Cane River by Lalita Tademy
May 2001 Stolen Lives: Twenty Years in a Desert Jail by Malika Oufkir
March 2001 Icy Sparks by Gwyn Hyman Rubio
January 2001 We Were the Mulvaneys by Joyce Carol Oates
November 2000 The House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III
September 2000 Drowning Ruth by Christina Schwarz
August 2000 Open House by Elizabeth Berg
June 2000 The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
May 2000 While I Was Gone by Sue Miller
April 2000 The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
March 2000 Back Roads by Tawni O'dell
February 2000 Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende
January 2000 Gap Creek by Robert Morgan
December 1999 A Map of the World by Jane Hamilton
November 1999 Vinegar Hill by A. Manette Ansay
October 1999 River, Cross My Heart by Breena Clarke
September 1999 Tara Road by Maeve Binchy
June 1999 Mother of Pearl by Melinda Haynes
May 1999 White Oleander by Janet Fitch
March 1999 The Pilot's Wife by Anita Shreve
February 1999 The Reader by Bernhard Schlink
January 1999 Jewel by Bret Lott
December 1998 Where the Heart Is by Billie Letts
October 1998 Midwives by Chris A. Bohjalian
September 1998 What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day... by Pearl Cleage
June 1998 I Know This Much Is True by Wally Lamb
May 1998 Breath, Eyes, Memory by Edwidge Danticat
April 1998 Black and Blue by Anna Quindlen
March 1998 Here on Earth by Alice Hoffman
January 1998 Paradise by Toni Morrison
December 1997 The Treasure Hunt, The Best Way To Play, and The Meanest Thing To Say by Bill Cosby
October 1997 Ellen Foster and A Virtuous Woman by Kaye Gibbons
September 1997 A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines
June 1997 Songs in Ordinary Time by Mary Mcgarry Morris
May 1997 The Heart of a Woman by Maya Angelou
April 1997 The Rapture of Canaan by Sheri Reynolds
February 1997 Stones From the River by Ursula Hegi
January 1997 She's Come Undone by Wally Lamb
November 1996 The Book of Ruth by Jane Hamilton
October 1996 Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
September 1996 The Deep End of the Ocean by Jacquelyn Mitchard

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