Oprah Winfrey Just Announced Her Next Book Club Pick

Media icon Oprah Winfrey is back at the book club helm. Now in partnership with Apple, the Queen of Talk just revealed her next pick for Oprah’s Book Club within Apple Books. She recently launched the latest literary group in September, after mastering the space with her original club in 1996.

This selection is a sequel to a Pulitzer prize-winning book from 2008.

Oprah Winfrey | Andrew Chin/Getty Images

Partners with Apple

The news of Winfrey and Apple teaming up seems like a match made in literary heaven. The media mogul set out to launch the book club in order to bring together fellow reading enthusiasts.

“That was my goal, was to partner with Apple and have a wide bandwidth so we can create a community of readers around the world,” Winfrey said, according to CBS News. “I am most excited for people all the world to start reading this and go to @oprahsbookclub and have discussion about it. When you start reading it, you’re going to want to talk to somebody.”

Knowing the status and credibility Winfrey brings, Apple execs were clearly thrilled to have the talk show icon as a partner. “Few people in the world can bring us together like Oprah, whose compassion and grace celebrating the power of books are unmatched,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a statement. 

Continuing a classic

Winfrey announced her next pick on CBS This Morning along with author Elizabeth Strout. The sequel to Strout’s “Olive Kitteridge,” the book entitled “Olive, Again” tells the continuing story of the title character through thirteen interconnected stories. 

Strout shared on the news program that she was inspired to revive Olive for a second book “when she just showed up” in her mind during a trip to Norway. “I was just sitting there doing my emails and all of the sudden I saw her so clearly,” Strout said. “I saw Olive getting out of her car in front of the marina with a cane, and I realized I have to get this down.”

In the sequel, the lovable curmudgeon from Crosby, Maine is attempting to navigate second marriage and a complicated relationship with her son. Readers will also follow Olive through her everyday experiences, both the highs and lows. The original novel inspired a popular HBO miniseries starring Frances McDormand and Bill Murray. 

Praise from Winfrey

Winfrey chose the novel due to its authenticity, praising Strout for creating something so genuine. “Ah, Olive. She teaches us so much about loneliness, judgment, aging, and loss. And empathy, too,” Winfrey said in a statement Thursday. “I’m in awe of Strout’s ability to convey so much in so few words.”

The book club leader relished the title character’s realness and accessibility, appreciating Olive’s willingness to speak the truth regardless of the content. “I love her because she’s so 100% authentically herself,” Winfrey said. “She always says the things that we are always thinking, like when those grandkids came to visit, and she’s thinking these bratty kids — everybody thinks it, but you don’t say it.”

The author shared that people actually stop her to talk about the ‘Olives’ in their own lives.  “It’s so interesting that people come up and they very happily tell me that they’re Olive,” Strout said. “But what’s interesting is when husbands come up and their wives are right there and they’ll say, ‘My wife is Olive.'”

The author thinks even tell-it-like-it-is Olive would be thrilled at being picked by Winfrey. “Olive would say, ‘Godfrey Mighty!'” Strout told The Associated Press in an email. “But even Olive would be impressed with Oprah onboard with her story. Olive — who would not admit to it publicly — would be really pleased that Oprah finds her life so worthy of respect.”

“Olive, Again” hit bookstands on October 15 and is already a bestseller!