Oprah Winfrey: Books That Made Me
Media magnate, philanthropist, and beacon of wisdom Oprah Winfrey has been a significant part of our cultural dialogue for many decades now. Here are five of the books that she feels have shaped her into the person she is today.
by Uptime Staff / 2021-08-24
Oprah Winfrey’s career is as diverse as it is impressive; she has worked as a television host, producer, author, and actress, and currently has over 43.1 million followers on Twitter, making her one of the top 40 followed accounts in the world. Her talk show, “The Oprah Winfrey Show”, was a national syndication for 25 years, and was the highest rated talk show in all history. In 2007, she was ranked the most influential woman in the world. Her recent high profile interview with actress Meghan Markle and Prince Harry solidified her presence as a key media personality and journalist; she’s also a regular contributor to 60 Minutes on CBS, and The National Museum of African American History and Culture has exhibited her cultural significance in television.
Oprah’s Book Club
‘Oprah’s Book Club’ started as a segment on Winfrey’s talk show, just one aspect of her huge media profile, but it’s proven to be a real cultural touchstone - much like the popularity of BookTok trends today, titles and authors suggested through it often see huge spikes in their sales after a coveted monthly feature.
In November 2020, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Oprah revealed to the Guardian a list of books that “always helped her get through tough times.” Anyone also struggling with anxiety, stress, or a lack of hope may find solace in these titles; works that Oprah herself has described as valuing for their “ability to comfort, inspire, and enlighten”. So, which motivating, thought-provoking, or uplifting books does Oprah recommend we turn to in the times where we need a new lease of life, inspiration, and joy?
Reportedly recommended to Oprah by Meg Ryan and Ellen DeGeneres, The Power of Now is a spiritual book that addresses the idea of living in the present moment; the idea being that if you live in the present, you have more inner peace.
The book addresses how to reconnect to your physical senses, rather than being lost in thinking, the ideas of the past and future are essentially a mental simulation because life only ever happens in the current moment.
Between the World and Me is another work that focuses on American history and ideas, but all based from a personal perspective; that of the relationship between father and son.
Author and journalist Coates first gained attention for his work at The Atlantic. This powerful book looks at understanding the nation’s history and current divide and political crisis.
Michelle Obama’s autobiography details the story of her life, from her childhood in Chicago through to her campaigns and work as First Lady and her time in the White House.
A self-help book as much as an autobiography, this book is an inspirational read that challenges our natural desire to live our lives too passively - even if that feels more comfortable - and instead push ourselves to be the best version of ourselves we can be, no matter where we’ve come from, or what odds may be stacked against us.
Oprah Winfrey once described Lean In as a ‘new manifesto for women in the workplace.’
Written by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, the book tackles the issues that still face women today when building their careers - from leadership, feminism, and striking the balance between work and motherhood.
This nonfiction book by journalist and Pulitzer Prize winning author Isabel Wilkerson was a New York Times bestseller.
The book examines the deeply entrenched caste system and forces that have shaped America over many years, outlining how and why society looks how it does today.