The Complete List of Books Chosen for Oprah's Book Club

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Oprah's Book Club is a cultural force. Books that might otherwise be overlooked by the general public catapult onto the bestseller lists after being selected. The so-called "Oprah Effect" is estimated to have sold more than 60 million copies of the Book Club's selections, and it's made several authors into household names.

It goes without saying that authors would cheerfully kill to have their books make the list, but don't bother submitting one for consideration. Oprah Winfrey is personally and solely in charge of selecting her Book Club's books, and her decisions are reportedly based on what she likes and what has moved her. Her producers nonetheless receive literally hundreds upon hundreds of books and manuscripts every week as writers beg for consideration. It's said that she doesn't comb through them looking for one that strikes her fancy. Rather, she reads something and thinks, "This is great" and includes the work. 

Oprah's Book Club has been credited with reviving a culture of literary discussion, and it represents one of the most lasting legacies from the original Oprah Winfrey Show. The original book club took a hiatus for a period of time when The Oprah Winfrey Show went off the air, then it was revived as Oprah's Book Club 2.0 in 2012 and is now based on Winfrey's OWN network.

Oprah's Book Club Novels by Year of Selection


  • The Book of Ruth by Jane Hamilton
  • Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
  • The Deep End of the Ocean by Jacquelyn Mitchard


  • The Meanest Thing to Say by Bill Cosby
  • The Treasure Hunt by Bill Cosby
  • The Best Way to Play by Bill Cosby
  • Ellen Foster by Kaye Gibbons
  • A Virtuous Woman by Kaye Gibbons
  • A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest Gaines
  • Songs in Ordinary Time by Mary McGarry Morris
  • The Heart of a Woman by Maya Angelou
  • The Rapture of Canaan by Sheri Reynolds
  • Stones from the River by Ursula Hegi
  • She's Come Undone by Wally Lamb


  • Where the Heart Is by Billie Letts
  • Midwives by Chris Bohjalian
  • What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day by Pearl Cleage
  • I Know This Much is True by Wally Lamb
  • Breath, Eyes, Memory by Edwidge Danticat
  • Black and Blue by Anna Quindlen
  • Here on Earth by Alice Hoffman
  • Paradise by Toni Morrison


  • A Map of the World by Jane Hamilton
  • Vinegar Hill by A. Manette Ansay
  • River, Cross My Heart by Breena Clarke
  • Tara Road by Maeve Binchy
  • Mother of Pearl by Melinda Haynes
  • White Oleander by Janet Fitch
  • The Pilot's Wife by Anita Shreve
  • The Reader by Bernhard Schlink
  • Jewel by Bret Lott


  • House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III
  • Drowning Ruth by Christina Schwarz
  • Open House by Elizabeth Berg
  • The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
  • While I Was Gone by Sue Miller
  • The Bluest Eyes by Toni Morrison
  • Back Roads by Tawni O'Dell
  • Daughter of Fortune by Isabelle Allende
  • Gap Creek by Robert Morgan


  • A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry
  • The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
  • Cane River by Lalita Tademy
  • Stolen Lives: Twenty Years in a Desert Jail by Malika Oufkir
  • Icy Sparks by Gwyn Hyman Rubio
  • We Were The Mulvaneys by Joyce Carol Oates


  • Sula by Toni Morrison
  • Fall on Your Knees by Ann-Marie MacDonald



  • One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez
  • The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers
  • Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  • The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck


  • A Million Little Pieces by James Frey
  • As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
  • The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
  • A Light in August by William Faulkner


  • Night by Elie Wiesel


  • 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
  • A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
  • Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

2012 Oprah's Book Club 2.0

  • Wild by Cheryl Strayed
  • The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis


  • The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd (this selection was actually announced in 2013, but the book was not published until 2014).


  • Ruby by Cynthia Bond


  • The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
  • Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton 


  • Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue


  • An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
  • The Sun Does Shine by Anthony Ray Hinton
  • Becoming by Michelle Obama