Oprah Winfrey is well known all over the world, for her famous talk show. Oprah's Book Club was started on Sep. 17, 1996, & then it was ended on Apr 5, 2002 (as announced by Oprah), even when the readers & publishers wanted it to continue. Under its effect, a large number of people started reading & discussing the books. Oprah tried to teach the pleasures of reading, through her book club. This book, in its four parts, appendices & notes etc., discusses about Oprah, the readers, the effect of Oprah & the Book Club on the general readers of America, & what & how she has done in this field, though academics did not pay much attention to it. The novels discussed in this book club, created additional readers for the novels, written even by the unknown authors. This experiment succeeded, since it prompted the people to take to reading of the novels in a big way, leading to increased sales of the books. This book attempts to find out the reasons, for the extra ordinary success of this book club. Oprah could create readers's trust in herself, & make them interested in reading. She selected the novels with care & proper strategy, between easy & complex, including those about women & also the writings of African American authors, so that people could read them & enjoy. She started with the easy ones, took some time with them & then took the serious & harder novels. In this way through her, even unknown books & authors came to the notice of a larger number of people, & thus got quick name & fame. It appears that she created a revolution in reading & subsequent discussions between the readers. Her audience consisted of less educated, & also the intellectual persons, & thus her influence on the sales of books was tremendous.
The aims & origins of this book club, its effect on publishing, & the impact on the readers are discussed in Chapter one.
Chapter two discusses this book club in the American context of novel reading for entertainment etc., & also the talks between those who watch her talk shows. Discussions in Chapter three are about the happenings in those public places, book clubs etc., where reading takes place. Oprah focused on social issues & self-improvement, & so discussions here are about the uses of the novels about these aspects. Chapter four discusses the strained relations between Oprah & the novelist Jonathan Franzen, before Oct 2001, & the subsequent events & tensions caused. Oprah Book Club thus became a centre for discussion about reading of books, with the readers every where talking amongst themselves about Oprah novels. The Conclusion states that Americans now insist on having their freedom for reading, on the basis of their personal judgment & choice, rather than what the marketing wants them to read. This is the entry of democracy, in the field of culture also. In the appendix, the book provides the Oprah Book Club list for initial six years, first alphabetically & then chronologically, followed by the Chapter notes & works cited. Summarizing, this book provides details of Oprah's Book Club, list of books discussed, effect of the discussions in the Book Club & other relevant matters. Written by a Professor of English, it is definitely an interesting book.