This book’s set to sell
HERE’S something to preorder for the holidays: Oprah Winfrey’s new book club pick.
Winfrey has chosen Sue Monk Kidd’s The Invention Of Wings, coming out Jan 7 in the United States. Kidd’s novel, a 19thcentury narrative featuring real and fictional characters, weaves together the stories of a slave girl and a slave owner’s daughter. Like Kidd’s million-selling The Secret Life Of Bees, the book is set in South Carolina in America, where the 65-year-old author lived for many years.
“The moment I finished The Invention Of Wings, I knew this had to be the next book club selection,” Winfrey said in a statement released on Tuesday. “These strong female characters represent the women that have shaped our history and, through Sue’s imaginative storytelling, give us a new perspective on slavery, injustice and the search for freedom.”
Winfrey founded her book club in 1996 and quickly established herself as a reliable hit maker, whether choosing debut works such as Lalita Tademy’s Cane River or old favourites such as John Steinbeck’s East Of Eden. She suspended her club in 2011, after ending her syndicated TV programme, but relaunched it in 2012 as Oprah’s Book Club 2.0, with a stronger emphasis on digital technology.
The Invention Of Wings is Winfrey’s third choice for the 2.0 club, and her first since selecting Ayana Mathis’ The Twelve Tribes Of Hattie almost exactly a year ago. She had been expected to make picks more frequently, but she also seeks the “perfect fit”, according to the books editor for O: The Oprah Magazine, Leigh Haber.
“She’s looking for something she can genuinely fall in love with, endorse, that will offer a point of conversation for her readers,” Haber said. “And with this book she found it.”
With a bestseller almost guaranteed, publisher Viking has announced a print run of 320,000 copies. The Invention Of Wings is Kidd’s first novel since The Mermaid Chair was released in 2009, when the digital market was still tiny. At least half of total sales for popular novels in the United States nowadays often come through the ebook edition. – AP THE first few pages had me itching to slam the book shut. It’s a story of a heavyset woman who seems to be so repulsive that the man sitting next to her on the airplane thinks to himself: “Why do I always get the old lady, the drunk guy or the fat chick?”
At times, I couldn’t be sure if writer Stephanie Evanovich’s views on size and weight were overbearing or if she was being honest. It made me wonder: Is this really how people think? Even when lead character Holly Brennan loses weight and gets fit (though not skinny fit), the body shaming continues.
Recently widowed and in her early 30s, Brennan has filled the void left by losing her husband with food – and because she was always on the heavy side, her insatiable appetite now makes things worse. Then she meets celebrity fitness trainer Logan Montgomery who thinks he is a godsend to women – and the women in this book concur, including Brennan, which, quite frankly, irritated me.
Logan, the man repulsed by Brennan on the plane, decides to offer his services as a personal trainer, thinking she would never be able to afford his normal rate. Boy, is he wrong! Brennan, you see, married into money, and not because she was looking for it. It was just her luck that her late husband was the first person