The Oprah Winfrey Show brought a whole new audience to over 65 books that were chosen for Oprah’s Book Club. Oprah hints that even though her show is ending, her book club is not.
Oprah Winfrey brought a new energy to book clubs when she started Oprah’s Book Club in 1996. She picked The Deep End of the Ocean by Jacquelyn Mitchard as her first selection (which became a bestseller) — and followed with books like Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison and She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb. With The Oprah Winfrey Show coming to an end — what is the fate of her book club?
“Oprah gave America an excuse to talk about books every couple of months,” David Kipen, former director of literature for the National Endowment for the Arts, said. “But she served a useful purpose in the same way that the myth of summer reading does: Reminding the forgetful that reading exists, which greatly expands the number of people us bookish types can talk to.”
So what’s next for Oprah’s Book Club when The Oprah Winfrey Show goes off the air on May 25th? She says she is going to bring some sort of book club to her cable network OWN.
“I’m going to try to develop a show for books and authors,” she tells USA Today.
She said the fact that her book club shows never got her the best ratings “doesn’t matter.”
“Some things you do because it is necessary. We’ve done OK with them… We found the more I could connect the author and the book to the audience, the better the numbers would be,” she says.
One of Oprah’s book selections came with controversy. Oprah chose James Frey’s memoir, A Million Little Pieces, in 2005 — only to find out later that parts of the book were fabricated. She called him out in a later episode for lying about his book. She has since had him back on the show to talk about the incident.