Oprah Has Us Guessing

Next Friday, September 17, Oprah will select the 64th and final selection for her book club, in the final season of her talk show. The few clues are confusing. The blind ISBN has a St. Martin’s prefix and a $28 price. However, no title in St. Martin’s catalog matches that price. So, we have to assume that one of the two clues is a red herring.

Our hunch is that it’s St. Martin’s Some Sing, Some Cry, a novel of seven generations of African American life by sisters and playwrights Ntozake Shange and Ifa Bayeza that goes on sale next week. A Shout & Share pick at ALA, it got a starred review from Booklist, which called it “glorious in its scope, lyricism, and spectrum of yearnings, convictions, and triumphs.” Ntozake Shane’s For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf, is coming out as a movie in November, directed by Oprah’s close friend and producing partner for Precious, Tyler Perry. However, the price does not fit.

Some Sing, Some Cry: A Novel
Ntozake Shange, Ifa Bayeza
Retail Price: $26.99
Hardcover: 576 pages
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press – (2010-09-14)
ISBN / EAN: 031219899X / 9780312198992

There’s also a possibility it might be another one of next week’s releases, the international bestseller Secret Kept by Tatiana de Rosnay (St. Martin’s), a psychological thriller set in Paris that plumbs the power of family secrets. PW said “this perceptive portrait of a middle-aged man’s delayed coming-of-age rates as a seductive, suspenseful, and trés formidable keeper.” And Booklist adds, “Expect demand among fans of both literary mystery and high-end romance.” Again, however, the price is not the same as that for the Oprah pick.

A Secret Kept
Tatiana de Rosnay
Retail Price: $24.99
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press – (2010-09-14)
ISBN / EAN: 0312593317 / 9780312593315

Others have suggested it might be Nelson Mandela’s Conversations with Myself, a collection of the South African leader’s personal papers, including journals kept on the run during the anti-apartheid struggle of the early 1960s and diaries written in Robben Island and other South African prisons during his 27 years of incarceration. But here, the book’s ISBN prefix doesn’t match (it’s from St. Martin’s sister Macmillan imprint, FSG) and it’s currently scheduled to release on October 11. However, the one thing that does match is the $28 price (also true for Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom , but, given Oprah’s history with the author, that one seems a real long shot).

Conversations with Myself
Nelson Mandela
Retail Price: $28.00
Hardcover: 480 pages
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux – (2010-10-11)
ISBN / EAN: 0374128952 / 9780374128951


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