Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Oprah's newest selection is two classics

Oprah Winfrey's 65th book club selection is two works by Charles Dickens: "Great Expectations" and "A Tale of Two Cities."

From The Associated Press:
Winfrey said on Monday’s show that she has never read Dickens before.
“Normally, I only choose books that I’ve read, but I must shamefully admit to you all that I have never read Dickens,” she told her audience.
Oprah’s Book Club has nearly 2 million online members, according to Harpo Productions. Winfrey has said she will take the book club with her when she moves to her new cable station, the Oprah Winfrey Network, which launches Jan. 1.

I've never read along with an Oprah book club selection, nor have I been driven to pick up a book just because her sticker is on the cover. But her most recent pick might make me rethink that decision.

"Great Expectations" was the required summer reading for Honors English 9, and the 13-year-old me had a lot of trouble making it through the hundreds of pages. Some of my friends participated in book-burning parties after their projects were finished, but I just put the text back on my bookshelf and thought I might want to revisit it someday. I've never read "A Tale of Two Cities" -- though I considered its opening line as my epitaph for Jason's final audience participation blog entry. I'm not sure if I own this one; it could be something I picked up at Half Price Books and haven't gotten around to reading (I sure have a lot of those). Maybe Oprah's selection is the motivation I need to try to get through "Great Expectations" again and to read "A Tale of Two Cities," because I'm sure now many more people will be reading and talking about the stories I know little or nothing about. As someone with a master's degree in library and information science, and who considers herself to be a reader, maybe it's about time I return to Dickens.

-- Cheryl Sadler

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