|Here's your sign: source|
The other day a Goodreads member commented on a group I'm in, Reading the Chunksters, about how our next book East of Eden was at one time an Oprah read. This comment elicited several responses and made for an interesting discussion.
You see, in the not to distant past, if I saw a book that had the Oprah seal of approval I boycotted the book on principle (a principle I will not get into because of the fear I have of the aforementioned beat down). If I wanted to read an Oprah book or read a book that became an Oprah book I felt dumber and I felt robbed of my delicious reading experience.
I realized, in talking/arguing whatever, that I really do have a reason that I dislike the Oprah Book Club and this reason has nothing to do with Oprah or her show, per se. I truly dislike the book selections, again I stress, not because of the selector (who I'm sure didn't select the books without a board of trusted book readers), but because of their content. No one can argue that Oprah chose some great classics to read, her last selection was a Tale of Two Cities and she had also chosen Love in the Time Cholera, Night, Faulkner, Tolstoy, Pearl Buck...I could go on...lots of good stuff.
The reason for my dislike is so simple, I'm surprised I didn't notice it before...I dislike tales of melancholy and I dislike tales in which the main character spends most of the book moping around practically screaming 'woes is me'. I've read 14 books on the list and out of those books I could not find one, not one that was uplifting, and not one left me feeling like I could tackle the world...several made me cry. And, you can just look at these two posts (One Day, She's Come Undone) to know that I am not into a good cry in the name of literature.
Will I start reading more books that the club has endorsed because I have now found the reason I have been avoiding them? No, probably not. Will I stop thinking of Oprah as some sort of She-Devil? Hmmm...I don't think so. But, I promise I will stop saying "Oprah is dumb because she picks trashy books". That statement is SO NOT true!