Books, Lit Fests, News, Movies, Art, Fashion and TV of course... "I must say that I find television very educational. The minute somebody turns it on, I go to the library and read a book." - GROUCHO MARX

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I'd write more, like you said I should. If only, there was more to me.

Thursday, May 03, 2007


It all starts with disbelief.

How do you make books work on air? Who is reading anyway? It'll never work.....

Hearing talk show queen Oprah Winfrey speak on Larry King Live, it all comes back. The memories of getting it all together, to getting it off the ground, to making it work.

For Oprah it started with a chat with her Producer Alice. They'd been exchanging books for a long time and Alice mentioned it was time to start talking about the books that had touched them. And what better way to do it, than to give them air time.

Oprah's first reaction was no, though after her initial apprehension, she took on books and soon the Oprah Book Club was doing what even the best reviewers couldn't - making and breaking books.

Her barometer for picking a good book and that explains why her books connect in the way they do is simple enough:
"I have to read every book I talk about.....just like everybody else I'll talk about it if I love that book."

Over the years, she has loved several books. Ranging from memoirs to a story of surviving a holocaust to the story of a father and son's journey towards the sea and an uncertain salvation. Cormac McCarthy's The Road is clearly one of her favourites at the moment.

"Have you read it?" she asks Larry King, for a minute switching roles.
"No, I haven't," Larry responds....
You can almost feel Oprah kicking herself under the table for not having picked that up as a present for Larry's 50 years in broadcasting special before urging him "you must read it." The sheer power of her words is enough to have you rushing to the closest bookstore. I wouldn't have to do that though, as Zafar picked it up as a gift for us last weekend.

Back to Oprah, though...
From The Road, she takes you on an amazing journey with the The Colour Purple. "I was obsessed with this story," she unabashedly confesses before launching into an enormously gripping narration of her audition, her stint in the fat farm, the painful wait, the singing of 'I surrender....' while fighting to keep the pounds off her body, that phone call, the meeting with Steven Spielberg and finally landing the role she'd dreamt of playing - that of Sofia. Books eventually are about belief as Oprah clearly demonstrates before moving on to the next book The Secret , its journey and the phenomenal transformations in people's lives thanks to the book.

"The way you think creates reality for you," she points out. I couldn't agree more.

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