Oprah has been a beacon of knowledge and insight for as long as we can remember. Her interviews on her long-running show were certain to enlighten and it seems you always ended up a little better off than you were when you started watching. Throughout the years she shared with viewers the books she was reading, bringing in a new generation of voracious readers with her revolutionary book club. Her club picks often come with discussion guides, which we love. If you want to know what Oprah reads, we’ve got you covered.
The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Oprah is teaming up with Apple for her fall 2019 book club pick. Picking Ta-Nehisi Coates’s The Water Dancer, Oprah cannot stop raving about this one saying, “I have not felt this way about a book since Beloved” and “I knew early on the book was going to cut me up. I ended up with my soul pierced.” Her 81st Oprah Book Club selection, The Water Dancer is a fictional story about a slave who uses his mysterious powers to free himself and lead him on a life mission to go back for his family and free them as well.
Becoming by Michelle Obama
Michelle Obama’s memoir Becoming was sure to be a hit when it was first released. Even better was that Oprah absolutely adored the book. Oprah had this to say about the incredible debut: “She just opens up herself; it’s so vulnerable. It is Michelle Obama’s personal story, of course, but I believe it’s going to spark within you the desire to think about your own becoming.”
The Sun Does Shine by Anthony Ray Hinton
“I’m SO passionate about my next pick. The Sun Does Shine by Anthony Ray Hinton. A man you should know. This unimaginable memoir is Anthony’s story of being falsely convicted and released from death row after 30 YEARS!”
The Wisdom of Sundays by Oprah Winfrey
Now, we’re not sure if Oprah is typically cuddled up next to the fire reading her own book, but we would do the same thing if we were her (and oh, don’t we all wish we were!). In regards to this book Oprah shared:
“If you want to be more fully present and love with a wide-open heart, this is where your journey begins.”
Each chapter focuses on a specific step in her personal spiritual journey along with a personal essay she wrote. There are also contributions from people like Elizabeth Gilbert, Wayne Dyer and Shonda Rhimes, among others. You’ll be inspired by never-before-heard stories and will probably want to have this book close by at all times so you can return to it over and over.
Writing My Wrongs: Life, Death, and One Man’s Story of Redemption in an American Prison by Shaka Senghor
It’s not often that we are given second chances, but thankfully Shaka Senghor proved that it is sometimes possible, and in his case, deserved. While Shaka was serving his 19-year sentence for second-degree murder, he spent a lot of time blaming his situation on other people. He was angry and lost. When he eventually started keeping a journal, he began to understand that where he came from shaped where he ended up. His story is one of hope, redemption and service to others.
An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
Oprah was right about this one, you’re definitely going to want to have someone to talk with after you read An American Marriage. The book puts a major focus on the criminal justice system and the effect incarceration has on families, both on the inside and outside of prison walls. The story is told from alternating perspectives, enabling the reader to have a complete picture of the love and torment surrounding the characters.
Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue
The Jonga family recently moved to Harlem, by way of Camaroon; Jende, his wife Neni and their six-year-old son are all looking for a better life. Jende received the job of a lifetime and can’t believe his luck until the bottom falls out of the financial industry that he is involved with. This has the potential to affect his immigration status, Neni’s schooling and their position in America overall. A lot of the topics addressed are incredibly poignant given our current political climate, but above all else… there is always hope.