Oprah’s Top 10 Books

I may not have the same reading preferences as Oprah all the time but I know that she often picks really great books for her readers.  This is a list I particularly like.  Oprah was asked to pick the top 10 books that have mattered to her during her magazine’s first decade (2000-2010) and this is what she chose…

 

A NEW EARTH By Eckhart Tolle

“There’s a reason Oprah picked this for her Book Club in 2008 – and that she gave audience members Post-It pens along with their copies. So much wisdom, so little time! A real-life guide to living your best life.”

A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose

“In “A New Earth,” Tolle expands on these powerful ideas to show how transcending our ego-based state of consciousness is not only essential to personal happiness, but also the key to ending conflict and suffering throughout the world. Tolle describes how our attachment to the ego creates the dysfunction that leads to anger, jealousy, and unhappiness, and shows readers how to awaken to a new state of consciousness and follow the path to a truly fulfilling existence. “The Power of Now” was a question-and-answer handbook. “A New Earth” has been written as a traditional narrative, offering anecdotes and philosophies in a way that is accessible to all. Illuminating, enlightening, and uplifting, “A New Earth” is a profoundly spiritual manifesto for a better way of life?and for building a better world.” (GoodReads)

 

NIGHT By Elie Wiesel

“A memoir of a childhood suffered in concentration camps during the Holocaust. It’s horrific but uplifting. “I gain courage from his courage,” says Oprah.”

Night (The Night Trilogy, #1)

“Night is a work by Elie Wiesel about his experience with his father in the Nazi German concentration camps at Auschwitz and Buchenwald in 1944–1945, at the height of the Holocaust and toward the end of the Second World War. In just over 100 pages of sparse and fragmented narrative, Wiesel writes about the death of God and his own increasing disgust with humanity, reflected in the inversion of the father–child relationship as his father declines to a helpless state and Wiesel becomes his resentful teenage caregiver.” (GoodReads)

 

DISCOVER THE POWER WITHIN YOU By Eric Butterworth

“Advice from the internationally known spiritual teacher.”

Discover the Power Within You

“One of the greatest challenges facing mankind today is the need to find a faith that will serve modern man and his problems. The lack of such a faith could explain why so many people are becoming drop-outs from Christianity. Eric Butterworth’s book is a result of the author’s personal search for a practical way-of-life Christianity. The greatest discovery of all time, he says in Discover The Power Within You, was that made by Jesus of the divine dimension in every human being. Christianity, says the author, has emphasized the divinity of Jesus, but Jesus Himself taught the divinity of man. His most vital mission on earth was to help man discover this. The entire Gospel message deals with techniques for unfolding this divine potential, and Eric Butterworth’s book, in its close relationship to the teachings of Jesus, is thus a valuable self-help book for modern men and women who are seeking a truly full way of life. Like Emmett Fox, the author asks, “What did Jesus really teach?”, and the direct and simple answers he presents should bring great comfort to many who have forgotten even to ask the question. This is a book in which the author tells us what Jesus Himself taught about such vital subjects as: How to succeed; How to pray; How to find confidence; How to overcome personal problems; How to find healing.” (GoodReads)

 

EAST OF EDEN By John Steinbeck

“This classic is about good and evil as played out in a late-19th-century California ranch family. If you didn’t read it in high school, read it now. If you did, reread it.”

East of Eden

“Set in the rich farmland of California’s Salinas Valley, this sprawling and often brutal novel follows the intertwined destinies of two families—the Trasks and the Hamiltons—whose generations helplessly reenact the fall of Adam and Eve and the poisonous rivalry of Cain and Abel. Here Steinbeck created some of his most memorable characters and explored his most enduring themes: the mystery of identity; the inexplicability of love; and the murderous consequences of love’s absence.” (GoodReads)

 

THE PILLARS OF THE EARTH By Ken Follett

“About the challenges of building cathedrals in 12th-century England, this novel couldn’t be more different in setting, time and plot from the author’s breakthrough success, Eye of the Needle. Oprah declares it simply “great.””

The Pillars of the Earth (The Pillars of the Earth, #1)

“The spellbinding epic set in twelfth-century England, The Pillars of the Earth tells the story of the lives entwined in the building of the greatest Gothic cathedral the world has ever known—and a struggle between good and evil that will turn church against state, and brother against brother.” (GoodReads)

 

THE KNOWN WORLD By Edward P. Jones

“When this book was published in 2003, it shocked everybody with its depiction of slave-owning blacks before the Civil War. A daring, unusual examination of race.”

The Known World

“The Known World tells the story of Henry Townsend, a black farmer and former slave who falls under the tutelage of William Robbins, the most powerful man in Manchester County, Virginia. Making certain he never circumvents the law, Townsend runs his affairs with unusual discipline. But when death takes him unexpectedly, his widow, Caldonia, can’t uphold the estate’s order, and chaos ensues. Jones has woven a footnote of history into an epic that takes an unflinching look at slavery in all its moral complexities.” (GoodReads)

 

THE BLUEST EYE By Toni Morrison

“How to choose among the great Morrison’s novels? Start with this one about a girl who thinks she has to have blue eyes to be beautiful. Oprah considers it one of the best in a crowded Morrison field.”

The Bluest Eye

“The Bluest Eye chronicles the tragic, torn lives of a poor black family in 1940s Ohio: Pauline, Cholly, Sam and Pecola. Pecola, unlovely and unloved, prays each night for blue eyes like those of her privileged blond white schoolfellows. She becomes the focus of the mingled love and hatred engendered by her family’s frailty and the world’s cruelty as the novel moves toward a savage but poignant resolution.” (GoodReads)

 

THE STORY OF EDGAR SAWTELLE By David Wroblewski

“A kind of Hamlet on the prairie, this is the wrenching story of a mute boy and his dog. Oprah compares it to East of Eden and To Kill a Mockingbird.”

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle

“Born mute, speaking only in sign, Edgar Sawtelle leads an idyllic life with his parents on their farm in remote northern Wisconsin. For generations, the Sawtelles have raised and trained a fictional breed of dog whose remarkable gift for companionship is epitomized by Almondine, Edgar’s lifelong friend and ally. Edgar seems poised to carry on his family’s traditions, but when catastrophe strikes, he finds his once-peaceful home engulfed in turmoil.  Forced to flee into the vast wilderness lying beyond the Sawtelle farm, Edgar comes of age in the wild, fighting for his survival and that of the three yearling dogs who accompany him, until the day he is forced to choose between leaving forever or returning home to confront the mysteries he has left unsolved.  Filled with breathtaking scenes—the elemental north woods, the sweep of seasons, an iconic American barn, a fateful vision rendered in the falling rain—The Story of Edgar Sawtelle is a meditation on the limits of language and what lies beyond, a brilliantly inventive retelling of an ancient story, and an epic tale of devotion, betrayal, and courage in the American heartland.” (GoodReads)

 

A FINE BALANCE By Rohinton Mistry

“A Dickensian novel about India during the Emergency. Like the aftermath of September 11, it teaches us about cultures we haven’t understood. “It takes us out of our own little shell and exposes us to a whole other world out there,” Oprah says.”

A Fine Balance

“With a compassionate realism and narrative sweep that recall the work of Charles Dickens, this magnificent novel captures all the cruelty and corruption, dignity and heroism, of India. The time is 1975. The place is an unnamed city by the sea. The government has just declared a State of Emergency, in whose upheavals four strangers–a spirited widow, a young student uprooted from his idyllic hill station, and two tailors who have fled the caste violence of their native village–will be thrust together, forced to share one cramped apartment and an uncertain future. As the characters move from distrust to friendship and from friendship to love, A Fine Balance creates an enduring panorama of the human spirit in an inhuman state.” (GoodReads)

 

THE POISONWOOD BIBLE By Barbara Kingsolver

“This novel is about a family embroiled in the political turmoil of postcolonial Africa. It established Kingsolver as one of our wisest observers of history, politics and human nature.”

The Poisonwood Bible

“The Poisonwood Bible is a story told by the wife and four daughters of Nathan Price, a fierce, evangelical Baptist who takes his family and mission to the Belgian Congo in 1959. They carry with them everything they believe they will need from home, but soon find that all of it — from garden seeds to Scripture — is calamitously transformed on African soil. What follows is a suspenseful epic of one family’s tragic undoing and remarkable reconstruction over the course of three decades in postcolonial Africa.” (GoodReads)

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Verity M

WRITER #Reading #Photography #Creativity #LifeDesign blogging on Lilolia. Van Gogh: "It is good to love many things, for therein lies strength..."

3 thoughts on “Oprah’s Top 10 Books”

  1. I’ve never cared much for her leaning toward a genre of books I have no connection to whatsoever. About the only two books, on this list, that speak to me in a language that even remotely resemble one that I understand is New Earth and Poisonwood Bible. She tends to want to ‘cram’ her own political views on life down our throats under the guise of her so called Book Club. Hey, I’m just sayin’.

    1. I don’t normally enjoy her book choices but I was drawn to the exact two books you mentioned! 🙂 Also intrigued by the Mistry and Morrison novels.

  2. I’m just taking a stroll through your blog, and realized you may like to read The Lacuna by Kingsolver. Or maybe you’ve already read it (?) Anyway, I especially liked it because I am obsessed with Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera who just happen to be front and center in this book.

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