Can You Guess the Next Oprah Book Pick?

According to this squib in the New York Times (fourth item down), the newest selection in Oprah Winfrey’s book club will be announced on Wednesday, March 28.

Here is the book’s page on, which says that the book is published by Vintage Books (one of Random House’s paperback imprints) and is 304 pages long (although the page counts listed on Amazon are often incorrect).

B&, meanwhile, says the forthcoming selection is a Knopf book, but I am guessing that is not quite right: Knopf is a hardcover imprint, also within the Random House empire, although it is worth noting that most of Knopf’s books are later published in paperback by Vintage. So, using the B& listing of Knopf as a clue, it seems sensible that the book under discussion was published in hardcover by Knopf and in paperback by Vintage.

Oprah used to pick novels; but since she revived her book club, she has been partial to memoirs including Elie Wiesel’s Night and Sidney Poitier’s The Measure of a Man. And this was after getting burned by the James Frey/A Million Little Pieces mess.

And so, dear readers, what do you think is Oprah’s next pick? Will she stick with the memoir? Will she honor an eminence grise like Poitier and Wiesel, or will she champion a younger writer?

My money is on Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking. It’s a wonderful book (published by Knopf/Vintage) and I am guessing that Winfrey’s loyal readers would appreciate Didion’s clear-eyed chronicle of death and life and sorrow.

The first blog commenter with the correct guess wins a Freakonomics t-shirt or autographed book, your choice. If others later guess correctly, we’ll select one of those people randomly to receive the same prize. (We try not to punish people in the wrong time zones.) I would say that you are ineligible to guess if you have actual inside information about the new book pick, but I assume the lure of a t-shirt isn’t enough to overcome the sanction you’d receive from your boss for divulging the information.


Didion would be perceived as too highbrow and/or depressing for the likes of someone who might willingly pay money for something like, oh, "The Secret." Not to knock Oprah, but a lot of people who watch her show fall into that camp. I see where you're going, though. So, my guess:

"About Alice," by Calvin Trillin.


My guess is Stumbling on Happiness. It isn't a typical Oprah pick but kind of fits along with a consistent message on her show.



A certifiably insane person looks at all of Oprah's concerns, including poverty, race relations, and school reform. Did I mention that he is crazy? Oprah will like that.


I guess Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking.


The year of magical thinking - Joan Didion's


"In an Instant" by Lee and Bob Woodruff.

Fits the description of 304 pages and publisher and probably the kind of triumph over adversity story Oprah would choose.


Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami


Going out on a limb here....

Ekonomija by Stiven D. Levit and Stiven Dz. Dabner.


Revolutionary Road, maybe.


Suite Francaise


Maybe she and her club are into business reads?

I'm going with: Moneyball, Liar's Poker, Barbarians at the Gate.



I would instantly become an Oprah fan...

Ron Jeremy: The Hardest (Working) Man in Showbiz by Ron Jeremy


On My Own - Florence Falk


A quick glance at my copy of The Year of Magical Thinking shows that it is only 227 pages in hardcover. Those are physically small pages too, just under 5" by 8", and the typeface is relatively large. Amazon's 304 pages are way too many for this book.

Ike Pigott

"The Alphabet of Manliness" by Maddox.

What can I say, I'm a sucker for longshots.


Why doesn't Oprah write a book, and then pick it for her book club. Or even better, she should pay someone to write a book about her, and then pick it for her book club. It would be consistent with everything else she does with her life.
Every single month she puts her own face on the cover of her own magazine. Even worse, under Oprah's air-bushed picture will some line such as “Get in the Best Shape of Your Life,” or “How to Look Beautiful,” as if she were some kind of expert.
You're next contest should be “Guess who'll be on the cover of Oprah Magazine next.” The answer will be Oprah of course. Oprah is always on the cover of Oprah.
Just for kicks and giggles, I will through out a guess for this contest. Freakonomics. There, I said it. I think Freakonomics will be Oprah's next book on the month.


In an Instant - Lee and Bob Woodruff


Might it be The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger


To Be Young, Gifted and Black

by Lorraine Hansberry

(304 pages)