Let the Guessing Begin!

Now that Oprah has announced that she will announce her next book club pick on Friday, Sept. 18th, speculation about what the pick will be is running rampant.

On Twitter, there are dozens and dozens of requests for people to sign a petition to Oprah to choose Kathy Griffin’s forthcoming memoir.  It’s uncannily timed to come out one week before the pick is announced. But, really, fat chance it’s the pick; just the title, Official Book Club Selection, would put Oprah off.

Official Book Club Selection: A Memoir According to Kathy Griffin
Kathy Griffin
Retail Price: $25.00
Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Ballantine Books – (2009-09-08)
ISBN / EAN: 0345518519 / 9780345518514


The most credible speculation is around the blind ordering information that the indy bookstore, Newtonville Books in Newton MA, put on their site:

OPRAH’s 63rd Book Club Selection is a Little, Brown and Company book!
Orders due: Tuesday, 8/25
Announced 1st print: 500K
Trade Paperback
978-0-316-08637-0
$14.99/$16.99 Can.
Carton qty: 20

Putting together the information on publisher, price and format, Twitter speculators have come up with:

Say You’re One of Them
Uwem Akpan
Retail Price: $14.99
Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Back Bay Books – (2009-07-15)
ISBN / EAN: 0316113956 / 9780316113953

Akpan, a Nigerian Jesuit priest, who lives in Zimbabwe, studied writing at the University of Michigan so he could tell the stories of Africa’s troubled children. The fiction-based-on-truth stories explore such subjects as child prostitution in Gabon. The book was on many 2008 best lists. Entertainment Weekly‘s reviewer gave it the utmost praise, saying the stories are “so ravishing and sad that I regret ever wasting superlatives on fiction that was merely very good.”

Besides having the correct publisher, price and format, the book is about one of Oprah’s hot-button issues.

What about Oprah’s comment that she’s “never made a selection like ‘this'”?The Twitter speculators point out that it would be her first selection of a book of short stories, which doesn’t seem THAT big of a departure.

Another intriguing guess comes from YA author Mitali Perkins, who suggests The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian by Sherman Alexie. It’s also a Little, Brown book, but from the Young Readers division. Unfortuately, it doesn’t fit the price criterion:

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
Sherman Alexie
Retail Price: $8.99
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown Young Readers – (2009-04-01)
ISBN / EAN: 0316013692 / 9780316013697

We’re going for the Akpan title.

4 Responses to “Let the Guessing Begin!”

  1. getting ready to rush order « Collection Developments @ Sno-Isle Says:

    […] course, there is all sorts of speculation here and here as to what title it will be with “Say You’re One of Them” by Uwem Akpan as a top […]

  2. Jeffrey Gegner Says:

    I’m leaning towards an early trade paperback release of Stephenie Meyer’s The Host (currently slated for April 2010). It doesn’t look like Oprah has ever picked science fiction before.

    Consider this line from the Booklist Review: “laden with unforgettable, unsettling scenes that raise fascinating questions about distinctions between essential human identity and its physical vessel.”

  3. Mitali Perkins Says:

    Maybe they’re re-issuing and repackaging Alexie’s book as an “adult” read and the price points will match! I’m rooting hard for ABSOLUTELY TRUE DIARY OF A PART-TIME INDIAN until the announcement’s made.

  4. Karly Says:

    I’m holding out for the unaccustomed earth by Jhumpa Lahiri. Its a long shot.