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Explore the fully updated Oprah’s book club list here.

Compared to other celebrity book club lists, Oprah’s book recommendations don’t shy away from difficult reads. They are classics and/or longer, more dense books with diverse themes and heavy topics.

You’ll benefit from helpful details about Oprah’s latest pick, top recommendations, and a printable PDF of the full Oprah Winfrey book club list (all the way back to 1996!) to track your book club reading in this celebrity book club. Let’s get literary!

Oprah's Book Club

What is Oprah’s Latest Book Club Pick?

Familiaris follows the acclaimed bestseller The Story of Edgar Sawtelle.

In spring 1919, John Sawtelle, his new wife Mary, their two close friends, and three dogs embark on a journey to Wisconsin’s north

woods, seeking a new life filled with purpose and adventure. However, their destination is more mysterious and dangerous than expected, requiring their resourcefulness and the help of new friends, both human and otherworldly, to achieve their dreams.

Best of Oprah’s Book Club

As a fan of the classics, heavier reads, and diverse fiction myself, I’ve read and loved a lot of Oprah’s book club picks. And, as a full-time book blogger, I have a pulse on which ones readers of The Literary Lifestyle and globally love most from this list.

So, if you’re wondering where to start or what to read next from Oprah’s book club list, below are covers and descriptions of the best books from the Oprah Winfrey book club.

(They make great book club picks for your own book clubs too!)

Becoming: (My review: ★★★★★; also a popular non fiction book recommended by Barack Obama) Popular with readers worldwide. This is the moving memoir of the first African American First Lady of the United States. She tells her story in a way that’s both inspiring and relatable, and she tells it very well.

Behold the Dreamers: (My review: ★★★★★) Popular with readers of The Literary Lifestyle. This suspenseful #OwnVoices book is about African immigrants and their New York employers. It tackles race, class, and the economy during the Recession. One of my favorite reads of the past several years!

The Bluest Eye: (My review: ★★★★★) While Toni Morrison’s books are difficult in many ways, everyone should read her work. This is a great place to start. A young Black girl prays for blue eyes — a symbol of a better life. Indeed, there’s trauma behind this seemingly simple dream. It unfolds before the reader in a haunting and unforgettable way.

Demon Copperhead: (My review: ★★★★★) A character-driven, coming-of-age story about a modern Appalachian man. He grows up in a world of poverty, the foster system, and addiction. Through this empathetic and colorful protagonist who experiences blow after blow in life and must fight for his own survival, the reader gets a firsthand look at the struggles facing many Appalachian Americans today.

East of Eden: (My review: ★★★★★) This was my all-time favorite book for several decades of my life. It’s a page-turner. It retells the story of Cain and Abel. It does so through the Hamilton and Trask families. They share the theme of good versus evil.

Hello Beautiful (My review: ★★★★★) My favorite book of 2023. This modern family saga nods to Little Women. Through masterful literary fiction and characters who feel alive, it explores themes of family, love, forgiveness, and so much more.

Night: (My review: ★★★★★) This Holocaust memoir is simply one of those books everyone should read.

Olive, Again: (My review: ★★★★☆) Popular with readers of The Literary Lifestyle. If you like character-driven fiction, you’ll love Olive. She’s a curmudgeon you can’t help but love. She touches on major life themes in short snippets of her real life.

The Sun Does Shine: (My review: ★★★★☆) Popular with readers of The Literary Lifestyle. A man falsely convicted of murder spends 30 years on Death Row before his release. It’s an unforgettable memoir.

Wild: (My review: ★★★★☆) This memoir has become a modern classic. A writer tackles the 1,100-mile Pacific Crest Trail alone. She does so while coping with grief over the death of her mother, with whom she had a complicated relationship.

Full Oprah’s Book Club List in Order: Oprah’s Favorite Books of All Time

full oprah's book club list. shelf with oprah's book club picks.

Below is the complete (and updated) Oprah’s book club list in chronological order. It starts with the oldest pick and ends with the most recent Oprah’s book club pick (from 1996 to the present).

For the ones I’ve read, I’ve added star ratings in parentheses after the titles.

The Deep End of the Ocean by Jacquelyn Mitchard

Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison

The Book of Ruth by Jane Hamilton

She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb

Stones From the River by Ursula Hegi

The Rapture of Canaan by Sheri Reynolds

Songs in Ordinary Time by Mary McGarry Morris

The Heart of a Woman by Maya Angelou

A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines

Ellen Foster by Kaye Gibbons

A Virtuous Woman by Kay Gibbons

The Meanest Thing to Say by Bill Cosby

The Treasure Hunt by Bill Cosby

The Best Way to Play by Bill Cosby

(Note: I listed Bill Cosby’s books to be factually accurate, but I’m choosing not to link them for purchase based on his criminal convictions.)

Paradise by Toni Morrison

Here on Earth by Alice Hoffman

Black and Blue by Anna Quindlen

Breath, Eyes, Memory by Edwidge Danticat

I Know This Much Is True by Wally Lamb

What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day by Pearl Cleage

Midwives by Chris Bohjalian

Where the Heart Is by Billie Letts (My review: ★★★☆☆)

Jewel by Bret Lott

The Reader by Bernhard Schlink

The Pilot’s Wife by Anita Shreve

White Oleander by Janet Fitch

Mother of Pearl by Melinda Haynes

Tara Road by Maeve Binchy

River, Cross My Heart by Breena Clarke

Vinegar Hill by A. Manette Ansay

A Map of The World by Jane Hamilton

Gap Creek by Robert Morgan

Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende (My review: ★★★☆☆)

Back Roads by Tawni O’Dell

The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison (My review: ★★★★☆)

(Related Post: Best The Bluest Eye Quotes)

While I Was Gone by Sue Miller

The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

Open House by Elizabeth Berg

Drowning Ruth by Christina Schwarz

House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III

We Were the Mulvaneys by Joyce Carol Oates

Icy Sparks by Gwyn Hyman Rubio

Stolen Lives by Malika Oufkir and Michèle Fitoussi

Cane River by Lalita Tademy

The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen

A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry

Fall on Your Knees by Ann-Marie MacDonald

Sula by Toni Morrison

East of Eden By John Steinbeck (My review: ★★★★★)

Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton (My review: ★★☆☆☆)

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez (My review: ★★★☆☆)

The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (My review: ★★★★☆)

Related Post: Best Quotes from Anna Karenina

The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck (My review: ★★☆☆☆)

As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner

The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner (My review: ★★★★☆)

Light in August by William Faulkner

A Million Little Pieces by James Frey

Night By Elie Wiesel (My review: ★★★★★)

The Measure of a Man by Sidney Poitier

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez

The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski

Say You’re One of Them by Uwem Akpan

Freedom by Jonathan Franzen

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

Wild by Cheryl Strayed (My review: ★★★★☆)

The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis

The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd (My review: ★★★☆☆)

(Related Post: Books Set in Charleston)

Ruby by Cynthia Bond

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead (My review: ★★★★☆)

Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle (My review: ★★☆☆☆)

Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue (My review: ★★★★★)

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones (My review: ★★★☆☆)

The Sun Does Shine by Anthony Ray Hinton (My review: ★★★★☆)

Becoming by Michelle Obama (My review: ★★★★★)

The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Olive, Again by Elizabeth Strout (My review: ★★★★☆)

American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins

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

Deacon King Kong by James McBride

Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson (My review: ★★★★☆)

Gilead (Gilead Book 1 of 4) by Marilynne Robinson

Home (Gilead Book 2 of 4) by Marilynne Robinson

Lila (Gilead Book 3 of 4) by Marilynne Robinson

Jack (Gilead Book 4 of 4) by Marilynne Robinson

The Sweetness of Water by Nathan Harris

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

Bewilderment by Richard Powers

The Way of Integrity by Martha Beck (My review: ★★☆☆☆)

Finding Me by Viola Davis

Nightcrawling by Leila Mottley

That Bird Has My Wings by Jarvis Jay Masters

Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver (My review: ★★★★★)

(Related Posts: Demon Copperhead Book Club Questions | Book Review for Demon Copperhead | Demon Copperhead Summary and Ending Explained | Demon Copperhead Character Guide)

Bittersweet by Susan Cain (My review: ★★★★☆)

Hello Beautiful by Ann Napolitano (My review: ★★★★★)

(Related Posts: Review of Hello Beautiful | Hello Beautiful Discussion Questions)

The Covenant of Water by Abraham Vergese (My review: ★★★★★)

(Related Post: The Covenant of Water Review)

Wellness by Nathan Hill

Let Us Descend by Jesmyn Ward

The Many Lives of Mama Love by Lara Love Hardin

Long Island by Colm Toibin

Familiaris by David Wroblewski

Oprah’s Book Club: The Printable PDF Checklist

oprah's book club list.

OPRAH’S BOOK CLUB CHECKLIST

Get instant access to the full Oprah’s Book Club printable checklist when you subscribe to The Literary Lifestyle’s free email newsletter community.

Frequently Asked Questions

What criteria does Oprah use to select books for her club, and how often are her picks announced?

Oprah Winfrey selects classics and/or books with diverse themes and heavy topics, like slavery, incarceration, and addiction. She announces her picks at random a few times per year.

What genres does Oprah’s Book Club cover?

Oprah’s Book Club covers a variety of genres with diverse themes and heavy topics. These include historical fiction, literary fiction, contemporary fiction, memoirs, self-help books, and more.

What are Oprah’s most popular books?

Several books have seen massive success through Oprah’s Book Club. as Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver won the Pulitzer Prize, and Becoming by Michelle Obama sold more than ten million copies.

How can I watch Oprah’s book club?

You can watch episodes of Oprah’s Book Club on AppleTV+.

What is the criticism of Oprah’s book club?

Over the years, Oprah’s book club has faced several controversies. James Frey’s A Million Little Pieces contained fabricated content. American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins was criticized for its inauthentic portrayal of Mexican culture and migrant experiences.

What was Oprah’s first book club pick?

Oprah’s first book club pick in 1996 was The Deep End of the Ocean by Jacquelyn Mitchard.

Conclusion

Oprah’s book club list includes a decades-long collection of great books. They don’t shy away from difficult reads. They have classics, long books, diverse themes, and heavy topics.

Share your thoughts or any remaining questions you have in the comments below.

SHOP THE POST

To recap, if you’re wondering where to start or what to read next from Oprah’s book club list, below are the best Oprah Winfrey book club book recommendations.

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9 Comments

  1. This latest book sounds amazing! I starting reading along with Oprah when she first started with The Deep End of the Ocean and I loved it. I fell off for awhile though. Looking at your favorites, it appears we have the same taste! I too, loved Behold the Dreamers, Night, Wild, and Becoming.

    1. I’m glad to hear it! You may want to also check out Oprah’s pick, The Sun Does Shine, as the author of her latest pick (The Many Lives of Mama Love) was the ghostwriter for it. Sounds like you’ve been a long time fan of the club.

  2. Do you have any idea where I can find the entire list? I’m looking for a book that’s about two sisters. One was a school teacher and one was one of the first black female doctors in the US. They were on the show. I can’t remember the title and would like to read it again.
    Thank you.

    1. @Sally, maybe you’re looking for this one:
      Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years by Sarah L. Delany (Author), A. Elizabeth Delany (Author), Amy Hill Hearth (Author)

  3. I’ve actually read some of the older ones on the list that were quite good – Black and Blue , What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day, Midwives, Middlesex, The Pilot’s Wife, White Oleander, Tara Road, etc.