Oprahs Book Club List for 2009

Oprahs book club list for 2009 was short but powerful. It only includes one book, "Say You're One of Them" by Uwem Akpan.

Why the short list? In 1997 when her book club began, Oprah was picking a lot of books - as many as 11 a year!

But, she struggled to keep up with her reading list, especially because she wanted to only recommend books that were really exceptional.

That's why in 2000, she only recommended two books. Since then, her book club list has been much shorter each year. But, 2009 was one of the shortest list yet with only one book recommended! This also happened in 2006 when she recommended the book "Night" by Elie Wiesel.

Oprah Book Club 2009

The list may be short in 2009, but it's a good one! "Say You're One of Them" is a collection of short stories told in the voices of five different African children.

The author's goal is to give the reader a feeling of what it is really like to be a child in Africa, breaking through the sanitized and stereotypical images we often see on the news and TV shows.

"Let me write these stories in such a way that whoever reads these stories will have some basic understanding," said Akpan in an interview with Oprah. "They may not understand everything, but they can feel, you know, the inside of these characters."

The powerful messages of this book have resonated strongly with readers. Stories in the book deal with painful subjects including poverty, rape, woman's rights and slavery. Oprah has included links to charities for readers motivated to help make a difference that relate to these topics.

Oprah Book Club Uwem Akpan

One thing's for certain, the addition of Akpan's book to the 2009 Oprah Book Club list is a welcome one that will make a difference in the lives and readers - and hopefully the lives of Africans - for many years to come.

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