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Reading with Oprah: The Book Club that Changed America

3.76  ·  Rating Details ·  42 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
Exploring the myths and presuppositions surrounding the Oprah Book Club, this text reveals its complex and far-reaching cultural influence, confronting head-on how the club became a crucible for the heated clash between 'high' and 'low' literary taste.
Hardcover, 230 pages
Published February 1st 2005 by University of Arkansas Press
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Paul Bryant
Dec 09, 2015 Paul Bryant rated it really liked it
What distinguishes humans from animals? Some say it’s a sense of humour. But I saw two squirrels the other day telling each other jokes and laughing fit to burst. And only yesterday my neighbour told me his dog Claude is getting pretty big on the stand-up circuit. So I don’t think it’s that. I think it’s that some humans would rather die than be caught reading the latest novel by Jodi Picoult. That’s what makes us essentially human.

Kathleen Rooney writes in a very captivating manner, stepping ne
Apr 28, 2010 Melissa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 03, 2014 Tuck rated it liked it
Shelves: osu-books, essays, ill
oh this book made me feel like i really KNEW all the characters.
hha, no, a joke, sorry. a re-working of author's dissertation into a bit more easily digested study of obc and how it worked and its impact on tv, books sellers, authors, other tv shows, book clubs, and even the o herownself. some take aways: tv kills your brain, do not watch it, even or especially if talking about books ; the o did something no one . no one, in the history of books and readers has ever done, pushed, non religiously
Aug 26, 2012 Geneva rated it really liked it
Oprah's book club books are generally not my style (though we seem to overlap in our taste in memoirs (and The Road!), I generally prefer less realistic themes and more space ships) so I am not personally invested in what the world thinks of her book club. I picked this up because a friend was writing a paper on the book club and I ended up getting curious about the whole notion, so I nabbed her copy of this before it had to go back to the library.

I really liked it. It neither praised Oprah to h
Jessica Robinson
May 03, 2010 Jessica Robinson rated it liked it
I'm torn when it comes to rating this book because I mostly agreed with the author and that makes me like her because I'm a compulsive narcissist. So I should give her at least a four. However I didn't think that the different pieces of the book fit together very well (especially the epilogue) and I was frankly bored by her tangents about television, politics, and blogs. She would start off with a good point and then beat it to death with her earnestness. Of course the biggest problem could be t ...more
Michelle Young
Feb 28, 2008 Michelle Young rated it really liked it
Shelves: culture, nonfiction
I used to pooh-pooh Oprah's Reading Club like so many others, and now I think it's great that she promotes books and reading. Though after reading this balanced and critical examination of this TV book club, I still think it's positive since Oprah stirs up many dormant readers to read again, but the club has much room for improvement.

This book brings up the issue of highbrow vs. lowbrow culture, the problem of discussing literature through the medium of television, and the Oprah vs. Jonathan Fra
Jun 21, 2014 Melonie rated it really liked it
Interesting study of the OBC phenomenon.
There was more to it than what tv viewers saw.
Of value to those on either side of the high low art argument
Jun 26, 2011 Niki rated it it was ok
Shelves: academic
it seemed the author had an [negative] opinion of the oprah book club, told the book club to prove her wrong, when it didn't she wrote this book. there are times when the assumptions she makes about how readers read and why readers read are so incorrect its frustrating, and times when this book is super insightful. overall pretty irritating
Jul 05, 2011 Aspasia rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
After finishing my AA degree I was in the mood for a light read, which this was not. This book read like a dissertation and the objectivity of the book made it hard for me to decide if Rooney like Oprah's Book Club or not. I also thought the chapter on the Jonathan Franzen/Oprah tiff was too long.
Apr 21, 2009 Rae rated it liked it
Many parts of this book were interesting. I especially liked the discussion about elitist reading...high brow versus low brow culture. I was also intrigued with Rooney's chapter on the impact of television on reading. All in all, pretty good stuff. Decent bibliography too.
Jul 06, 2012 Tiffany marked it as to-read
Recommended to Tiffany by: Moira Russell
Shelves: to-read__nonfic
This sounds like it could be a good companion piece to Reading Oprah: How Oprah's Book Club Changed the Way America Reads.
May 15, 2010 Lori rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction
Theoretically interestin, but such an intellectual discussion that it quickly became boring. More like reading a thesis. Skimmed firsthalf. Has list of OBC books. Highbrow vs. lowbrow lit -- Oprah = "middlebrow"....
Please see my review for The Name of the Rose. Really.
Feb 02, 2008 Pamster rated it liked it
Read this for an event at the store. I enjoyed the discussion of the part the book club played in aggravating entrenched ideas of high vs. low culture.
Country Mum
Oct 21, 2010 Country Mum rated it it was ok
Interesting subject matter but was complicated reading. Skim read as some sentences took up a whole paragraph and it was hard work
Dec 19, 2007 Dragana rated it liked it
I'm so glad someone read and dissected ALL of Oprah's book club picks and so that I don't have to.
Jan 01, 2014 Steve rated it really liked it
To be frank: This is a book I wish I had written.
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Kathleen Rooney is a founding editor of Rose Metal Press, a publisher of literary work in hybrid genres, and a founding member of Poems While You Wait, a team of poets and their typewriters who compose commissioned poetry on demand. She teaches English and Creative Writing at DePaul University and is the author of eight books of poetry, nonfiction, and fiction, including the novel O, Democracy! (F ...more
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