Oprah’s Book Club 2.0
Oprah Winfrey has picked a new book for her book club, which is being called Book Club 2.0 with devotion. Why not just Oprah’s Book Club? Maybe the brand is connected to her old show, which she left behind when she struck off on her own.
The original book club, Winfrey says, wasn’t her idea. Alice McGee, a producer on her show, first suggested it. The two women loved to read, and sometimes they would call up the authors of their favorite books. When she launched Book Club 2.0 by selecting Cheryl Strayed’s memoir “Wild,” the book soon climbed to the top of bestseller lists.
The new selection is “The Twelve Tribes of Hattie,” a debut novel by Ayana Mathis, a relatively unknown author who has written for magazines such as Essence and Glamour. It’s a novel of the Great Migration, told through one African American family.
After the selection was announced Wednesday, the new book’s Amazon page was so swarmed by interested readers that it crashed. As of this writing, it’s up and running; the book is also available at Barnes & Noble and independent booksellers.
“The opening pages of Ayana’s debut took my breath away,”Oprah said in her announcement. “I can’t remember when I read anything that moved me in quite this way, besides the work of Toni Morrison.”
Goodreads will be hosting an official online discussion of “The Twelve Tribes of Hattie” with exclusive content between now and Feb. 3. Multimedia is certainly a component of the new book club. The interview will be simulcast on Sirius XM radio and also streamed online, on Oprah.com and the OWN Facebook page. There will be weekly Q&As on Facebook and Twitter (#OprahsBookClub) and more reader engagement using Instagram photos.
As for Mathis, who has an MFA from the Iowa Writers Workshop, she had the reaction any writer might: “Really?” she said when she got the call from Oprah. “This is really Oprah Winfrey?”