LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Saying she had never before read a book by Charles Dickens, talk show host Oprah Winfrey on Monday announced two of the 19th century British author’s novels as her latest Oprah book club selection.
“A Tale of Two Cities” and “Great Expectations” will be published in one special deluxe edition, marking Winfrey’s 65th Book Club selection.
“I’m going old school,” Winfrey said, announcing her choice and noting that she has never read a work by Dickens before.
“It’s the best of times, readers,” the influential talk show host added, in a play on the “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times” opening line of “A Tale of Two Cities.”
Winfrey, whose TV talk show is seen by millions of people in 145 countries, launched her book club in 1996 to promote reading. Her choices have included high-brow fiction, classic literature and popular autobiographies and have invariably jumped to the top of best-seller lists.
Her last pick, in September, was U.S. author Jonathan Franzen’s already best-selling novel of dysfunctional families “Freedom”.
“A Tale of Two Cities” was first published in 1859 and is set against the backdrop of the French Revolution. “Great Expectations” was published in 1861 and tells the story of an orphan boy called Pip growing up in 19th century England.
Dickens was Britain’s most popular 19th century author whose other books include classics like “Oliver Twist”, “A Christmas Carol” and “Nicholas Nickleby”, many of which have been turned into popular stage plays and movies.
Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte