Sunday, June 18, 2006

The Oprah Magazine July 2006


Disclaimer: I am not a fan of the Oprah Show, I rarely read the Oprah Magazine and I can't remember if I've ever read a book recommended by the Oprah Book Club (OK, maybe I have, but not because she recommended it). I don't dislike her, no, not at all...it's just that I'm not a fan.

However, I couldn't help picking up the July issue of the Oprah Magazine... no, it had nothing to do with the cover (which is always the same, Oprah smiling broadly into the camera as if in an advert for Crest white strips), but because it has been adverstised at their First Ever Summer Reading Issue, with 64 book recommendations! I've skimmed through the magazine and it does look good.

I look forward to reading "How To Read a Hard Book", where four literary professors walk us through four monumentally good, but sometimes hard-to-read classics, like "Moby Dick", Proust's "In Search of Lost Time" and so on.
Another article that caught my eye is, "Love At First Sentence" - all about books that grab you in the first few lines. I'm still waiting to find out if they have one of my favorite first sentences :

"I have never looked into my sister's eyes. I have never bathed alone. I have never stood in the grass at night and raised my arms to a beguiling moon. I've never used an airplane bathroom. Or worn a hat. Or been kissed like that. I've never driven a car. Or slept through the night. Never a private talk. Or solo walk. I've never climbed a tree. Or faded into a crowd. So many things I've never done, but oh, how I've been loved. And, if such things were to be, I'd live a thousand lives as me, to be loved so exponentially."

Lori Lansens in "The Girls"


I am also really looking forward to reading Harper Lee's letter to Oprah where the author reflects on how she first became a reader and what books mean to her now and Vince Passaro's essay on books and his devotion to the written word. Last, but certainly not least, I await their selection of 32 books for the beach. It's going to be exciting to see what I can find!

Stefanie, of "So Many Books", wrote an open letter to Oprah with regard to the recent Summer issue. Read it here - it made me smile.

31 comments:

woman wandering said...

I think I'm like you ... it's not that I don't like Oprah, it's just that I'm not a fan. That said, you tempted me with what you wrote of her latest magazine ... and then the book review below sounds delicious.

I fear reading your blog until I'm legally allowed to work here in Belgium ... each time I come here I leave feeling I should read this book or watch that movie ... mmm, so I am careful. :)

Dave said...

Friend Lotus,
Who is the girl behind the grinning Oprah magazine?
Well I will be honest, I have never like Oprah and never will. I'm not a fan and never will be,
But I sure do like your favorite first sentence! Very good words.
Friend Dave

Angela in Europe said...

I don't like Oprah either-nothing personal, but she does suggest good books.

Is that you?

hellomelissa said...

i've heard too many "run-in with oprah" stories to like her, but occasionally her show or her magazine catches my eye. knowing what i know about her personality, much of her persona seems an act... put-on generosity or friendliness.

really cute photo, lotus! you look happy and youthful.

Lotus Reads said...

Hello, wandering woman!

Thank you for your nice words. I am very much like you, in that, I will read a review and if it's a book that piques my curiosity, I will not rest until I read it. :)

Can you buy the Oprah magazine off a news stand in Belgium?

The best of luck with securing your legal work permit. It is so exciting to be starting life in a new country!

Lotus Reads said...

Hello, DJ!

I'm glad you enjoyed my favorite first sentence. It's from a book by a Canadian author, Lori Lansens. It's titled "The Girls" and the girls in question are craniopagus twins. Excellent book!

Lotus Reads said...

Hi, Angela!

Yes it's yours truly. Not a very good picture, I'm afraid, but my 11-year old wanted to experiment, so I let her. Now it might hurt her feelings if I take the pic off the blog! ;)



Hi, Melissa!

Thanks for the lovely words. About Oprah, I really do believe her intentions were good when she first started some of her projects, like "The Angel Network" etc., but it is so hard not to let all that fame and power turn your head - even if just a little...

danielle said...

I am not an Oprah watcher either (nothing personal as well), but I will have to pick up this issue! Hopefully she will have some off the beaten path sorts of books! I like Pages and Bookmarks--but sometimes it feels like they are just advertisements for all the big name authors and publishers. I want to find out about books that everyone else isn't already talking about!

booklogged said...

Lotus, I will be heading out today to buy that magazine. Such a cunning way to get us to buy - talk about books and they have us! On second thought, maybe I better stay home - my list is already too long! You know I'm on my way out the door, don't you?

Lotus Reads said...

hi, Danielle!

Thanks so much for visiting! I know what you mean about Pages and Bookmarks. Book Page, too, seems only interested in the big names. I get most of my recommendations from book blogs and the odd one from NPR or BBC's Radio 4...

Lotus Reads said...

Booklogged, I know the feeling, I have little self control when it comes to buying books! :) Some of my book- addict friends have entered a pact to not buy books for a stipulated period of time. After I return from India (where I usually go on a buying spree because books there are so reasonably priced) I will seriously have to consider something like that! Want to join me? :)

Beloved dreamer said...

This is a magazine that I must buy. Like you I do not read the Oprah Magazine or for that matter any other, except for Bookmarks.Nor am I a fan of hers but I just must have a look see. It sounds so good.
Also,I have written another poem. Does it always take time for the post to appear? Anyway. I will have to get this issue.

Lotus Reads said...

hi, Beloved!

Do browse through the magazine when you're at the bookstore next. I think you will enjoy the articles, too. I LOVE your poems - I left a comment on your blog.


Hi, Booklogged

I hope you read this. I can't seem to access your blog at all. Is it just me or does your blog have a glitch?

down_not_out said...

Ding, ding, ding, ding.

THE GIRLS is a terrific read.

Glad to have found your blog as well... and YES, the first sentence (paragraph) yanked me right in and kept me.

Lotus Reads said...

hi, Rhiannon

Glad you stopped by. So looking forward to your next review!

Orange Blossom Goddess (aka Heather) said...

You convinced me...I bought a copy of the magazine this morning and plan on purusing it at my lunch hour. :)

Lotus Reads said...

Hope you enjoy it and do let me know if you found any of the book recommendations useful. I like the sound of Paulo Coelho's new one, "The Devil and Miss Prym". The Monica Ali book, "Alentejo Blue" might also have interested me had I not already seen the negative reviews for it. Still, you never know, I might grab myself a copy.

sruthi said...

hi lotus! i will be sure to browse through this. I really like your favorite first sentence...and great picture! On my weekend trip i managed to read "a house on the edge of tears", finish "in the name of god", and almost finish "the swallows of kabul". It's quite unfortunate that i can't sit down and blog as much for a while now, work is crazy... but i will definitely try to write about something soon...bye!

Beloved dreamer said...

Lotus my dear, you are such a gift in my life. Not only have you opened up a whole new world in reading to me but you have brought back into my life one of the loves of my youth, poetry. Thank you, thank you so very much. You will never know how much all this means to me. Also to the other very talented poets who have commented on my poems,thank you too.

Lotus Reads said...

Hi ya, Sruthi!

I'm so glad you're catching up on your reading. I understand about having to make time for the reviews. Write as you can. I will continue to check your blog from India (fingers crossed I am able to get myself a temporary internet connection!). Waiting to hear what you think of "In The Name of God" - if you recommend it, I will buy it. BTW, I finally got myself a copy of "Maps For Lost Lovers", it's a tome, but I will get to it when I return from vacation.


Hi, Beloved!

Thank you, but I did nothing. Your poetry is beautiful and speaks for itself. We, your readers, are lucky to be able to read and enjoy it! So, thank you!

Susan in Italy said...

Hi Lotus, "How to Read a Hard Book" sounds fascinating. I have little patience for Proust but my husband says that reading him is well worth the effort. Maybe those profs could convince me. Thanks!

Lotus Reads said...

Hi, Susan!

I think with Proust, you either like his style (loooong sentences, some almost several pages long I am told) countless metaphors, a whole crazy cast of characters, allusions and so on, or you don't.

Like the article in the "O" magazine says, "...every volume in (In Search of Lost Time) is different from the last. The spirit of the work seems to change,expand, even to mutate as we ourselves evolve, if only because it takes us so long to finish it that we are no longer the person we were when we began"

I would say so! 4,500 pages and I would be several years older and wiser for sure! ;)

Dave said...

Dear Lotus,
I sure could use a pool like that here. :)
Dave

Lotus Reads said...

Poor Dave! It must be sweltering in that lovely desert state of yours...

Lydia Teh said...

Hi Lotus, I like that first sentence from The Girls. Very enticing.

Lotus Reads said...

Hi, Lydia and welcome!

Yes, it is one of my favorite first sentences - the book is good, too. Have you successfully chosen a title for your book yet?

Guinness_Girl said...

Ah, twist my arm, Lotus, and I'll by the Oprah mag, too. ;) I'm so happy to be on your list of friends, by the way! xo

J said...

Ooop. I may need to get this issue, too! I'm going to have to pick up a copy of "the Girls" at my local library!

literary safari said...

My biggest gripe about Oprah magazine is the fact that she always has to be on the cover. Getting Harper Lee to break her silence though - that's a pretty big feat. I think I'll have to pick up this copy. (Love that first line. You should submit it to Opening Hooks: http://www.openinghooks.us

Reading Mom said...

I guess I might stand out here because I do like Oprah. I've read this month's issue and I really liked the micro-fiction - stories in 300 words or less. I thought they were fascinating.

One of my favorite first lines is..."I am doomed to remember a boy with a wrecked voice-not because of his voice, or because he was the smallest person I ever knew, or even because he was the instrument of my mother's death, but because he is the reason I believe in God." A Prayer for Owen Meany

Lotus Reads said...

GG, you're welcome, I would have it no other way! ;)

J, you won't regret picking up a copy of "The Girls" - terrific read!

Literary Safari, thanks for the link, I will definitely check it out. I LOVE first lines! And I know what you mean about Oraph always having to be on the cover - what on earth persuades her to do that??? Thanks so much for stopping by.


Reading Mom, welcome! I took a look at your blog and now I'm drooling; you've got some wonderful reviews. I will return and take a longer look. That is quite a first line you've picked - I've heard so much about "A Prayer for Owen Meany", infact, I even have a copy of the book, but haven't got down to reading it yet. Thanks so much for sharing.