17 September 2010

Oprah has the "Freedom" to pick whatever she likes

But it is a bit strange that she went with Jonathan Franzen's Freedom.

Don't get me wrong.  I'm reading it right now - Freedom is a great book, well-written, and a great portrait of middle-american disaffection.  However, there are any number of less well-known writers with wonderful books available to choose from.  Why the Franzen?  I saw an idea floating around on Twitter that perhaps its some sort of karma-thing before her TV show ends.

Whatever the reason, I do hope her discussion with Franzen will be interesting.  That's the one thing that was a big failure when The Corrections was selected in 2001.  The discussion.  Earlier this year, I read Kathleen Rooney's book Reading With Oprah and she also had misgivings that the Franzen interview was cancelled.  Rather than having a schmaltzy book discussion, Oprah could have had a fierce, hard-hitting discussion with Franzen about highbrow vs. lowbrow culture or why the television format makes an Oprah's Book Club pick seem more like fluff than the book might actually be. 

Regardless of what I, or anyone else, think, Oprah has earned the right to do whatever the hell she wants.  I, on the other hand, will be happily reading Freedom on my nook (and mine was pre-ordered, ha!, so no Oprah stickers for me).


  1. I had a moral dilemma in the bookstore today over whether or not to get this book. And not because of the Oprah sticker. I think the book sounds really interesting and I want to read it, but I'm just not sure if I can get around to it right now. But I feel like if I get it I'll want to read it right away. I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

  2. Anonymous5:38 AM

    I want to read this if only for all the controversial attention it has received, but then I don't want to be drawn in simply because of that?

    And I agree, Oprah can do whatever she wants. I rather dislike the idea of an author feeling that his book is underappreciated because it is picked for Oprah's Book Club.

  3. Oprah picks some really good books. And, uh, that includes some really good classics. I would have liked to see a shouting match (okay, fine, a debate) about the fluff, low-brow, middle-brow crapola.