There’s been this wild theory going around that now that all of us non-essential workers have been working from home (shout out to the essential workers keeping us all afloat), we have ample free time to engross ourselves in reading. In my case, that would entail finally diving into at least a hundred books I’ve long since purchased but have yet to read, though I keep purchasing shelving to house them. But I can’t say that the circumstances of this year have compelled me to do so; aside from the admittedly amazing books I’ve been reading to co-host our new weekly literary podcast, The Root Presents: It’s Lit (yep, absolutely shameless plug), I’ve been more than content to spend my remaining hours engrossed in bingeable television...since passing time has become a legitimate coping mechanism in 2020.
Or maybe, I just need to read the right books to help me cope. That’s the theme of Oprah’s latest book club announcement this week, which isn’t a hot new bestseller, but seven tomes the woman who has mastered the art of living her best life returns to again and again to help center herself in troubling times.
Per O Magazine:
During this turbulent, uncertain time, it can be hard to focus on anything—even on one good book. That’s why today, Oprah announced that over the coming weeks, she’ll be conducting conversations on both the Oprah’s Book Club and Apple social platforms around seven books she knows and trusts and revisits time and again.
The “Books That Help Me Through” book stack has been personally curated by Oprah. “In each of these books,” Oprah said, “and for various reasons, I find comfort, beauty, inspiration, reassurance. At a time when the ground is shifting beneath us, we need to continue to find ways of living our best lives, and for me, there is no best life without books.”
We’re a little late to the party, which Oprah invited us to this past Monday. But each subsequent Monday through November 30, the Book Club will explore one of her picks. So, what are these seven inspirational modern classics, you ask? As described and listed in chronological order by the magazine:
- The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle, which Oprah says has changed the course of her life and continues to guide her.
- The Soul of America by Jon Meacham, for how it reminds us that previous dark chapters in our nation’s history have been temporary, and we emerged from them.
- Devotions by the late, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Mary Oliver, whose observations about joy, nature, and humanity soothe and touch us.
- Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates and The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin, both of which, from different decades, wrestle with racism and inequality.
- The magnificent third novel by Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon
- The recently released When the Light of the World Was Subdued, Our Songs Came Through: a Norton Anthology of Native Nations Poetry edited by U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo that is filled with pain, hope, and resilience.
Using the hashtag #ReadWithUs, you can connect with Oprah’s Book Club on its Instagram and Facebook pages—or, you can just read them at your own leisure, and glean some much-needed comfort and insight. After all, we ain’t got nothing but time.