Oprah’s Book Club List: The Best Books Ranked

oprah header
Oprah's Book Club List: The Best Books Ranked 25

** Oprah’s Book Club List Updated – 11/1/22**

In 1996, Oprah started choosing her first book club book. Since then, she has chosen 88 books and opened the door for other celebrities to start their own books clubs. We have Oprah’s Book Club list ranked from our favorites to those we did not enjoy.

But, no matter how we feel about Oprah’s choices, each book has been read by Oprah and chosen specifically. These often become bestsellers because well, she is Oprah. Her books are always deeply emotional and well-written books.

For more celebrity book club picks, check out this post.

The November 2022 Oprah’s Book Club Pick

Demon Copperhead and more November 2022 celebrity book club spoilers

Demon Cooperhead by Barbara Kingsolver

Demon Copperhead is set in the mountains of southern Appalachia. It’s the story of a boy born to a teenaged single mother in a single-wide trailer, with no assets beyond his dead father’s good looks and copper-colored hair, a caustic wit, and a fierce talent for survival. In a plot that never pauses for breath, relayed in his own unsparing voice, he braves the modern perils of foster care, child labor, derelict schools, athletic success, addiction, disastrous loves, and crushing losses. Through all of it, he reckons with his own invisibility in a popular culture where even the superheroes have abandoned rural people in favor of cities.

Many generations ago, Charles Dickens wrote David Copperfield from his experience as a survivor of institutional poverty and its damage to children in his society. Those problems have yet to be solved in ours. Dickens is not a prerequisite for listeners of this novel, but he provided its inspiration… MORE

*Post contains affiliate links. Purchases made through links result in a small commission to us at no cost to you.

Oprah’s Book Club List: 5 Star Books

THe Love Songs of W.E.B. Dubois

The Love Songs of W.E.B. DuBois by Honoree

Wow. This is one of the best books I’ve listened to this year, and yes, I recommend it on audio for a few reasons. We absolutely love this Oprah Book Club Pick

First, the different narrators help tell this dual-timeline contemporary fiction. Through one narrator, we learn about Ailey’s life as an African American woman in the 20th century. The other narrator tells the story of the female ancestors of Ailey’s going all the way back to her Indigenous, black, and white relatives from two centuries earlier.

Through Ailey and her ancestors, the weight of what it means to be a black woman in America means. The sacrifices, injustices, struggles, and harassment endured by Ailey and her kin in the present day and the past are explored with a depth so real, I forgot it was a fictional story at times.

The second reason this book is great on audio? It’s LONG. It clocks in at over 800 pages or almost 30hrs of audiobook time. The narrators sucked me in and those 30 hrs flew by.

I will say, this book made me consider my White Privilege in a way no non-fiction book could have. It’s a heavy story, but very worth the read.

Hidden Valley Road and more books by Jewish writers

Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of an American Family by Robert Kolker

Stop everything and add Hidden Valley Road to your TBR now!! All I can say is wow! This favorite is one of the best books on Mental Illness.

This is the amazing story of Don and Mimi Galvin whose family paved the way for schizophrenia research over the past 50 years. Of their 12 children- 10 sons and 2 daughters, 6 of the boys have schizophrenia.

The struggles of this family to survive through the age of lobotomies and institutionalization provides a look into the history of this disorder. It’s unbelievable to think how far we’ve come and yet, we are not even close to understanding this disease.

becoming

Becoming by Michelle Obamair?source=bk&t=beyondth06 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=8490f4bde5448c1a5d7f9c3095a78527& cb=1580518895851

I am so happy that I finally read this book.  Michelle Obama is a brilliant woman who is so well-spoken with such a wonderful story to tell. 

I listened to this and was so happy to hear the story read by Obama herself.

the underground railroad by colson whitehead

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

I absolutely loved this book and it was one of the first reviews we ever did on the blog. I love the way this book examined the underground railroad with a touch of magical realism.

The story is about Cora and Caesar, two run-away slaves in the south who run away to the underground railroad which, in this book, is an actual railroad.

Each stop along the way is reminiscent of a different place in history and it is interlaced with actual ads placed for runaway slaves. This book is profound and beautiful and a must read.

Where the Heart is

Where the Heart is by Billie Letts

This book was all the rage in my youth, especially when the movie adaptation came out starting Natalie Portman.

I read this when I was still a teenager, yet I remember connecting with Novalee over her struggles and fight to protect her daughter. Truly a wonderful story about how your family might just be the community you live in.

a fine balance by rohinton mistry


A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry

A Fine Balance is an epic and heartbreaking saga of life in India. It’s a story of love and friendship in an unnamed city in 1975.

Lovers come together and are ripped apart in this memorable book. I read this book years before it was an Oprah Book Club pick but it is not a book that is easy to forget. It is heart-wrenching in every way.

One Hundred Years of Solitude and other Oprah Book Club List Books ranked.

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

For the record, I read this book BEFORE Oprah picked it! We spent a semester learning about this book my Senior Year. Each person was assigned a symbol to report on throughout the book each week.

Mine was goldfish -part of the symbolism of amnesia and the duality between amnesia and nostalgia. Yep. I still remember the lesson.

Night and other Oprah Book Club List Books ranked.

Night by Elie Weisel

I have a personal story about this book.  My husband’s grandmother grew up in the same town as Elie Weisel.  She knew both him and his wife.  This was the first thing that she told me when I met her (My husband’s name is also Elie but this is purely coincidental). 

This is a must-read non-fiction book about the Holocaust written by the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.  It is short but very powerful.

i know this much is true by wally lamb

I Know This Much is True by Wally Lamb

I read this book more than 20 years ago and I still feel emotional about this book. I have not re-read it to see if it has withstood the test of time but I have no doubt that it has.

This is a story of identical twin brothers one of whom is a paranoid schizophrenic. When he shockingly mutilates himself, his brother must become his caretaker. It is powerful and heartbreaking.

Four Star Books from Oprah’s Book Club List

Finding me by Viola Davis

Finding Me by Viola Davis

April 2022 Oprah’s Book Club Pick

Viola Davis’s life story had me entranced as I learned what she needed to overcome during her childhood, college, and her early career to become the powerhouse she is today.

Her thoughts on life in Hollywood were enlightening. Her deep love for her family and her roots shone through. And her story made it very clear that she takes nothing for granted.

Viola worked damn hard to be successful and she deserves every accolade she’s received and more.

American Dirt


American Dirt by Jeanine Cummings

There is so much to say about this book that I am not even sure I can properly put it into words. This is an amazingly powerful book about migrants who are trying to get safely to the united states.

My heart did not stop pounding the entire time I read this book.  It should be required reading for everyone.  I know that there is a lot of controversy surrounding this book.  However, I read this book for what it was- a work of fiction rather than non-fiction.

Behold the dreamers and other Oprah Book Club List Books ranked.

Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue

This story was recommended to me so often in the past few years – and its an Oprah Book Club pick so I was worried it wouldn’t live up to the hype. My library hold finally came due and I finally took the plunge. WHAT TOOK ME SO LONG?

Honestly, I love this story about immigration, Wall Street, and the American dream. At a time when election coverage is ramping up, this book seems so relevant. Jeni and Nedi’s story about their move from Cameroon and how it affects their marriage and their morals was compulsively readable. I couldn’t put it down. Don’t wait as long as I did. Read it!

And you can check out our list of Best Books for Book Clubs with 52 amazing picks.

the invention of wings

The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd

I picked this book up in Charleston when I was there for a visit in October of 2018. I wanted to pick up a book about the city. When I found out that our hotel was next to the Grimke sister’s home, I knew this was the book for me.

This book tells the story of Sarah Grimke, one of the first female abolitionists, and her slave, Handful. It was also my pick for our January reading challenge.

the water dancer

The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates

When I started this book, I was unsure how I felt about the writing. ⁣The prose is lyrical and poetic but I wasn’t sure where the story was going.

I felt it winding a lot rather than developing. ⁣ As the story progressed, I became invested in Hiram and wanted to see where the story went. The element of magic reminded me a little bit of the Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead. Have you read this book? What did you think?

3.5 star Books from Oprah’s Book Club List

bewilderment

Bewilderment by Richard Powers

This book is a sci-fi fantasy-like book that explores brain treatments to correct behaviors in a child with suspected Autism.

Robin is a sweet child who feels deeply and can have big mood swings, but when a treatment if offered to help him sync his brain to that of his dead mother’s, he jumps at the change.

As the experiment gains momentum and Robin’s behavior changes, his dad Theo is left wondering about the potential consequences.

This Oprah book club pick explores the parent-child bond, the growing climate crisis, and autism in a way that will have you thinking about it for months to come.

Fall on your knees and other Oprah Book Club List Books ranked.

Fall on Your Knees by Anne-Marie MacDonald 

I read this book when its as first published in 2002. Needless to say, I needed to remind myself of some of the plot details but, the emotions in this book remain.

This book is a multigenerational saga that deals with the effect of trauma. This book will bring you to your knees.

the poisonwood bible

The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

This is another book from Oprah’s original book club that is stayed with me over the years. This is the story of one family’s three decades in the Congo.

Oprah chooses books that are emotional and well written.

Shes come undone

She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb

I often do not like books in which the email main character is written by a man. Wally Lamb does this with ease in this funny and poignant coming-of-age story.

Oprah’s Book Club List: Three Star Books

An American Marriage and other Oprah Book Club List Books ranked.

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

I can see why there are so many people that loved this book. I liked it but from the very beginning there were so many things that made me anxious while reading this book. Some were for the right reasons (I knew he would be wrongly convicted) and some for the wrong reasons like the cavalier way Roy talked about his marriage.

The book is well written and delves into the complexities of love, marriage and relationships.

Wild and other Oprah Book Club List Books ranked.

Wild by Cheryl Strayed

I read this book and enjoyed it but there was something about the book that did not seem authentic. I loved the idea of the book and I actually really liked the movie. There was something about the book that made it “good” but not great for me.

Two Star Books From Oprah’s Book Club List

East of Eden and other Oprah Book Club List Books ranked.


East of Eden by John Steinbeck

I know that this book is a great American Classic. But, that does not change my opinion of this book. It is one of the few books I have started to read that I did not finish.

The writing is amazing. It is John Steinbeck but, I could not get into this book. No matter how many times I tried to read this book, I could never fully immerse myself in the story.

Oprah’s Book Club List 2.0

Oprah’s Book Club List

For more celebrity book clubs ranked, take a look at this post!