Oprah's next book club pick: What will it be?

Everyone's speculating on Oprah's next book club selection, scheduled to be announced on Sept. 17.

Will Oprah's 65th pick for her book club be a classic or a new title?

Exactly 10 years after the announcement of her first-ever book club pick – "The Deep End of the Ocean" by Jacquelyn Mitchard – Oprah will share with the world her next selection. On Sept. 17, live on her show, she will announce the title of the 65th book to be embraced by the Oprah Book Club.

Speculation, of course, is rife as to the title. One bookstore blog suggested it could be "Freedom" by Jonathan Franzen, based on the claim that the pick is a MacMillan title, priced at $28. "Freedom" fits that bill.

It would be dramatic, indeed, to see Oprah and Franzen bury the hatchet after their much-publicized 2001 dust-up. But other sources were quick to discredit the notion.

What best guesses does that leave us with? Looking back over the 64 titles Oprah has already chosen doesn't necessarily help. Might she be attracted to more stories from another hemisphere, like her last pick, "Say You're One Of Them" by Nigerian Jesuit priest Uwem Akpan? Or something with new-age spiritual resonance, like "A New Earth" by Eckhart Tolle (pick No. 62)? Or is she more likely to return to a classic like William Faulkner's "As I Lay Dying" (pick No. 52)?

Some book-industry watchers are betting on either Nelson Mandela’s "Conversations with Myself" or African-American saga "Some Sing, Some Cry" by Ntozake Shange & Ifa Bayeza.

Entertainment Weekly writer Keith Staskiewicz, however, has a different take. He says he hopes Oprah will stay away from classics, only because he wants to "avoid the slightly saddening prospect of a sticker that reads 'Crime and Punishment: As Seen on Oprah!' "

Marjorie Kehe is the Monitor's book editor.

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