I’ve got a friend, whom I’ll call Patrick, because that’s his name and he feels absolutely no shame admitting the fact that he really doesn’t like Oprah Winfrey (The reasons are many, but I’ll note only that his longtime girlfriend watches Oprah regularly). A few years ago, Patrick was driving home and passed a house whose owner had attached an “Oprah 4 President” t-shirt to a fence surrounding her yard. Patrick reported to me that he drove by a few days later, and – wouldn’t you know it! – the shirt was gone. I didn’t ask where it went.
I largely shared Patrick’s view. But, earlier this year, Oprah picked a book for her Book Club that I already wanted to read (you know the one). I was intrigued. So, I ordered a copy online – no purple sticker – and created my oprah.com username. Patrick did not join me.
It took all of two days for a commenter to declare, of the book: “it killing me already.” (All comments very sic’d.) Among the hundreds of comments, I counted 34 uses of the words “bored” or “boring”—to the first few chapters, “the part about the birds,” the whole thing. One reader questioned Franzen’s understanding of motherhood. Another pined for John Grisham and Debbie Macomber.
More about Oprah’s Book Club and why it’s kind of great.