11 April 2008

Influencing what people read

What really influences what people read?

How about this..
Just as J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter series has altered the reading appetites of millions of young people, XXXX book club, since its inception in 1996, has done more to put books — good books — into the hands of adult readers than any marketing or educational campaign could even aspire to. Through her book club, XXXX has not only brought recognized masters to a wider audience (who else could put Nobel laureate Toni Morrison on national bestseller lists — three times), she has also turned under-appreciated literary writers into nationally recognized figures. Perhaps the success of XXXX book club can be attributed to her uncanny knack for choosing the right books: books that deal intelligently and compassionately with the complex life situations her audience deals with on a daily basis — and that provide a good story to boot.

Who is this talking about?
Oprah Winfrey!

Bit scary isn't it?
Oprah chose 6 books last year to focus on.
November 2007: THE PILLARS OF THE EARTH by Ken Follett
October 2007: LOVE IN THE TIME OF CHOLERA by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
June 2007: MIDDLESEX by Jeffrey Eugenides
March 2007: THE ROAD by Cormac McCarthy
January 2007: THE MEASURE OF A MAN by Sidney Poitier

If Oprah chooses you, are you made?

Who else has the Midas touch?

Certainly it seems that UK TV personalities Richard & Judy may also have it.
Being one of their "picks" has been very beneficial for R. J. Ellory.
A QUIET BELIEF IN ANGELS has been at the top of Amazon UK's Bestsellers in Crime, Thrillers & Mystery for most of this year. This despite, club members can buy the books at reduced prices, must boost sales immensely.

Here are their picks for 2008:
THE MEASURE OF A MAN by Sidney Poitier
The Welsh Girl by Peter Ho Davies
A Quiet Belief In Angels by R J Ellory
Then We Came to the End by Joshua Ferris
Notes from an Exhibition by Patrick Gale
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones
The Rose of Sebastopol by Katharine McMahon
Random Acts of Heroic Love by Danny Scheinmann
The Visible World by Mark Slouka

Check their earlier picks

And what if you made both lists like THE MEASURE OF A MAN by Sidney Poitier?


sally906 said...

I have to confess that if Oprah Winfrey has recommended a book I avoid it - it usually (90%) of the time is dreary, depressing and wordy. not the sort of book you would think would encourage an illiterate person to read - which is the original reason for her setting up her club.

I did read THE MEASURE OF A MAN by Sidney Poitier because I admire him as an actor - and did enjoy that book.

I find Richard and Judy to pick more readable books

Kerrie said...

Hello Sally, I was surprised that Oprah's list was so small. I expected it to be more extensive. I have found that there is a longer list of "books seen on the show" as against those that she is "leading discussion" on.


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