Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Just a thought

I was reading one of my favorite Book Blogs "Bookgirl's nightstand". Her last entry was dealing somewhat with the Oprah's Magazine. She enjoys as I do the section "The Reading Room". Then after reading some of the comments that she had gotten from other readers it made me think of how women in general are so anti-Oprah and her Book Club. That made me want to look a bit closer at her list which I glance at once in a while at Titlewave my favorite independent bookstore in Anchorage. Did you know that there are 63 books on the list.... Waou that was a shock to see that! Well I have to confess that of her 63 books there are quite a few that I have read. I have never looked to Oprah's bookclub for reading inspiration although after seeing how many are my all time favorite books I should consider to do so in the future.
When I was a teenager Pearl Buck was a favorite author of mine so when I saw "The Good Earth" on the list it brought me back. My sister will remember that one too as she was the one to read it first (being the oldest you know and me being the little sister following her footsteps). "Pillars of the Earth" by Ken Follett (loved it so much I gave it to many of my friends and family as presents),
"The Poisonwood Bible" by Barbara Kingsolver (I own and have read everyone of her books, fictions, short stories, poetry, non fictions),
"Middlesex" by Jeffrey Eugenides,
"East of Eden" by John Steinbeck (loved it),
"Fall on your Knees" by Ann-Marie MacDonald,
"A Fine Balance" by Rohinton Mistry (I must have been from India in another life),
"The Corrections" by Johathan Franzen (did not finish, too close to life and didn't like any of the characters, the writing was exceptional but a bit pompous),
"She's Come Undone" by Wally Lamb (loved it, couldn't believe it was written by a man), "Where the Heart is" by Billy Letts (loved the story and the characters),
"Stones from the River" by Ursula Hegi,
"Songs in Ordinary Time" by Mary McGarry Morris,
"A Virtuous Woman" by Kaye Gibbons,
"The Reader" by Bernhard Shlink (I am actually reading this one now after seeing the most fantastic movie tie-in last week, I don't think I was prepared to like the story that much, it broke my heart),
"The Deep End of the Ocean" by Jacquelyn Mitchard,
"The Pilot's Wife" by Anita Shreve,
"Here on Earth" by Alice Hoffman, "A Map of the World" by Jane Hamilton.
So about 18 books so a bit less than a third of her list. There are a couple that I have on my list to read like "A New Earth" by Eckhart Tolle and "Song of Solomon" by Tony Morrison. I have both already. I would like to add "The Road" by Cormac McCarthy. So why is it that Oprah has such a bad rep. Is it that her money and success has put a shadow on her image so much that woman don't see the good that this woman has done? Is it jealousy? Envy? or pure snobbism? Who knows...
I have subscribed to her magazine and really liked what I was reading and seeing. Good articles which generally informed and empowered women to be whatever they want to be. Respecting races and sizes, touching subjects from Books to Recipes to Finances to Beauty and Fashion to Psychology. The only two missing items: An Horoscope and a Crossword Puzzle.
So that is all on the subject. By the way I loved that poem so much on Bookgirl's Nightstand by Sandra Cistero from her book Loose Woman that I have to include it on this entry. I hope that it will be OK with everyone. So here it is:

Champagne Poem for La Rosie

The first glass will make you laugh.
The second will have you making others laugh.
The third is for singing operettas.
The fourth to give you wings.
The fifth will have you forget
the things you chose to remember
and remember things you chose to forget.
The sixth is for courage when dialing Him.
The seventh to bring down cuss and concupiscence.
Congratulations. The eighth will drive you to bed or brawl.
Or to brawl in bed. Same difference.

Some of my best friends are Champagne or Wine drinkers and will definitely appreciate this poem. Now I have to get a copy of "Loose Woman" to check out the other poems.


Iliana said...

In some ways I do think it must be a bit of jealousy. In one of my book groups we've discussed this and a lot of people will say, yes she has done great stuff for reading but... There's always a but. I wonder if it's because we have always been readers and didn't feel like we needed someone to show us how to appreciate books? Or maybe it's her celebrity status? Who knows. I guess I'm just glad she has gotten a lot of people interested in reading and discussing books.

And, thank you for posting the complete list. As much as I say I don't read her book group list, it's amazing how many books I've read from it (23).

I'm glad you enjoyed Sandra's poem!

roxanestoner said...

Thank Iliana for your comment. I am with you that Oprah's Bookclub has gotten some people interested in reading and that is a good thing. High profile people can have a lot of influence that way. I find it interesting that I will be reading blogs to look for inspiration on what to read and be so happy to be recommended a book that way from people that I don't know but will think twice or not even ever before looking at Oprah's booklist for ideas. As long as I have read the book before it appears on her list I am fine with it... I must be a book snob in my own way. So funny!
I have ordered Sandra's book of poems and will check Caramelo next time I am in Anchorage. I remember seeing an interview with Sandra years ago when the book first came out. I had forgotten about it until I saw it mentioned on your blog. Thanks.

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