PoeticaL
cluttering the net since 2001

o. to the p...to the rah rah rahnting

Thursday, Jun. 10, 2004
(grrr to diaryland for being all tied up all the time these days..)

I want to talk about Oprah. I want to talk about her new book club. No not those ga’zillions of books we’ve been seeing for years on ebay and garage sales now, but rather the classic book club that she has started. I’ve always liked Oprah. No I’m not one of those fans that set the VCR and live by her mantras. However, if I’m around and she’s on I love to sit down with a cup of coffee and just get all girly girl for a while and expand my mind. I do read her magazine and while I do not subscribe to it, I have been known to buy a copy from time to time, the book section is my favorite. I also like her interviews with stars, she interviewed Jennifer Aniston recently and I really liked the article. I know Oprah doesn’t write the articles but I think they just transcribe a recording and the way she asks the questions is something I like. She’s real about things. If that woman is not real then she’s got one hell of a good front going on.

Either way, back to the book club deal. I was never big on the original Oprah book club because it just seemed like she picked books that would be most appreciated by the strong black woman types in the world. Not that this is bad, but I’m not that type. However, I did read a few of her recommendations and liked them. I still have a copy of Icy Sparks that I never read just because Oprah said I should. While I’m talking about book clubs, let me just say that Good Morning America has a book club and Kelly Ripa of Regis and Kelly has a book club and there is a PBS Masterpiece book club (can you say *yawn* on that one?), even the Today show has a book club. I mean how many book clubs and recommendations can one girl listen to? I personally refer to Tod Goldberg’s yearly recommendations and wish like hell that the magazine he writes for would give him a monthly forum to recommend a book. (Hint to Tod: just send me a monthly email recommendation already, I’d be willing to pay for that subscription service)

Originally these book clubs drove me crazy because they all have a little logo they plaster on a book as though this is the seal of approval and just because SOMEONE somewhere recommended it then it’s a damn fine novel…right? Ok…ok so I have yet to read one that I thought totally sucked, but who really picks these books out? I believe Oprah does and has picked the books on her own and I believe her to be an avid reader and it’s nice to know that she is and that she might be responsible for inspiring young readers all over the world. However…I really wonder who knows what book she’s going to pick before she does and how happy those publishing companies must be when she picks one of their listed novels. This aside, go reading…as in I’m all for more readers in this world regardless (well almost regardless) of how it happens. There’s nothing more irritating to me than asking someone what’s the last book they read and they have nothing to say. This goes for b.f. too, it is one of his biggest misdoings in my mind, the fact that he is NOT a reader.

I personally like to browse bookstores, used and new, along with the internet to find my next book to read. I do fall victim of advertising and the like, however I really love to find the underground writer no one’s given much credence to and read him or her. I have a bigger penchant for male writers and tend to seek them out. I don’t like brit lit but I do read it now and then and call it mind candy, sickening sweet, and usually I read it quickly and mindlessly at the beach etc. Or just when I plain need a break from everything else. I did read “The Devil wears Prada” book and I loved it. I know it was a lame book and nothing worth spending my time on with so many great books out there, but all those descriptions of wonderful clothes...yum. I am a girl after all.

For the most part, I really like Oprah’s new classics series Book Club. What’s odd is that I have taken some recommendations from Jason. (29 Poems link to the lower right) Jason and his mom are avid readers and he’s got a lot of wonderful information about books. He and I started to read Anna Karenina a few months ago. I slagged off and lost touch with Jason over it. He’s read it before and was helping me decipher all the Russian terminology and characters. However, now Oprah props up recommending this book and now I feel the terminal guilt like never before. I have got to pick this book back up and begin reading. I think I’m going to stick to her schedule of reading it and then by September I’ll be done.

I recently found this link (sorry to lazy to link) http://www.monroe.lib.in.us/fiction/chapteraday.html where you can read a chapter a day and see if you like a book. Very cool feature. However I think from now on I’m going to have my own little PoeticaL list. I’m going to try to make my own monthly recommendation beginning on July 1, 2004 and following every month on the first thereafter. I might even make some PoeticaL PhictioN stickers and you can put a handy dandy sticker on the book I recommended. Ha! Either way, in the future I’m going to get back to doing what I originally started out doing here…expanding on my reading and writing….things in my life have calmed down considerably and I want to explore this part of who I am more often.
I have also decided to either join or start my own book club. I want to meet like-minded people and discuss books and since there aren’t really any good book clubs that I know of in my area, hell I’ll just start one I guess.

For your viewing pleasure….some recent lists….

Good Morning America's Read This

A Vineyard Killing by Philip R. Craig
The Traveler's Gift by Andy Andrews
What Should I Do with My Life? by Po Bronson
Three Junes by Julia Glass
Dress Codes: Of Three Girlhoods--My Mother's, My Father's and Mine by Noelle Howey
Enemy Women by Paulette Jiles
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
Dot.bomb: My Days and Nights at an Internet Goliath by J. David Kuo
The Dive from Clausen's Pier by Ann Packer
Samaritan by Richard Price
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
The Last Girls by Lee Smith

Oprah's Classic Book Club

Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton
East of Eden by John Steinbeck
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

PBS Masterpiece Theatre Book Club

Goodbye, Mr. Chips by James Hilton
Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak
Our Town by Thornton Wilder

Reading with Ripa

Nerd in Shining Armor by Vicki Lewis Thompson
The Boy Next Door by Meggin Cabot
The Good Sister by Diana Diamond Confessions of a Sociopathic Social Climber by Adele Lang
For Better, For Worse by Carole Matthews
The Bachelor by Carly Phillips
If Looks Could Kill by Kate White

Today's Book Club

The Known World by Edward P. Jones
Paradise Alley by Kevin Baker
The Clothes They Stood Up In and The Lady in the Van by Alan Bennett
Emperor of Ocean Park by Stephen L. Carter
Caramelo by Sandra Cisneros
Nine Horses by Billy Collins
Raising Fences by Michael Datcher
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
You Are Not a Stranger Here by Adam Haslett
The Great Fire by Shirley Hazzard
A Girl Named Zippy: Growing up Small in Mooreland, Indiana by Haven Kimmel
Crow Lake by Mary Lawson
The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith
Shadow Baby by Alison McGhee
The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
Drinking Coffee Elsewhere by ZZ Packer
The Dogs of Babel by Carolyn Parkhurst
1:21 p.m. ::
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