21 Books Recommended by Oprah – Complete Guide

Discover a curated collection of literary gems handpicked by the queen of media, Oprah Winfrey. Known for her influential book club and her unwavering ability to inspire millions, Oprah has a keen eye for transformative stories that have the power to touch hearts and change lives.

21 Books Recommended by Oprah - Complete Guide

Oprah Winfrey is an American media mogul, philanthropist, actress, and talk show host who has been a guiding force in literature for decades. Through her highly acclaimed book club, she has shared her passion for reading with millions of fans, highlighting books from various genres and authors, both established and emerging. Oprah’s recommendations have consistently provided readers with thought-provoking, emotionally resonant, and empowering stories that leave a lasting impact.

The Way of Integrity

The Way of Integrity: Finding the Path to Your True Self (Oprah's Book Club)

Get ready to rediscover your integrity and start living authentically! The Way of Integrity is a mind-bending blend of science, spirituality, humor, and Dante’s Divine Comedy that will guide you through a four-stage process to achieve personal integrity.

With this book, you can achieve purpose, emotional healing, and freedom from suffering. And if you are wondering how to distinguish between your true desires and cultural influences, this is the answer. With inspiring insights from Dante’s hero’s journey, Beck breaks down the path to integrity into manageable steps, allowing you to embark on a transformative adventure toward genuine happiness!


Bittersweet (Oprah's Book Club): How Sorrow and Longing Make Us Whole

Enter the world of Bittersweet – a journey full of poignant moments, revelatory connections, and heart-warming transcendence. Susan Cain dives deep into the intricacies of the bittersweet state of mind, exploring how it enables us to rise above the ashes of personal and collective grievances. 

From addiction to suffering, illness to loss – by accepting our heartache, we awaken a sense of empathy and unity with our fellow kindred spirits. Let Bittersweet help you embrace life’s diversity and discover the power of transforming your perspective on adversity. 


Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents

Prepare to be captivated by Isabel Wilkerson’s Caste. In this thought-provoking read, Wilkerson delves into America’s hidden caste system, exposing how it shapes everything from health to politics. Drawing parallels to infamous caste systems in Indian history and Nazi Germany, this gripping work on the underlying forces driving societal hierarchies. 

With powerful stories of activists like Martin Luther King Jr. and baseball legend Satchel Paige, Wilkerson inspires us to move beyond our divisions and embrace our shared humanity.

Deacon King Kong

Deacon King Kong (Oprah's Book Club): A Novel

Step into the captivating world of Deacon King Kong by James McBride, where a seemingly random act of violence in a 1960s Brooklyn housing project sets the stage for an unforgettable tale. Meet Sportcoat, the cranky old church deacon who, with a single shot, changes the lives of a colorful cast of characters. 

Uncover their stories unfold, revealing unexpected connections and the undeniable power of love, faith, and hope. Discover how facing change can sow the seeds of love and compassion with Deacon King Kong.



Becoming by Michelle Obama is an inspiring autobiography that is a must-read for all. This book is a powerful advocate for women and girls as she transformed the White House into a welcoming space and promoted healthier lifestyles.

More than just a memoir, Michelle Obama’s story is one of perseverance, wit, and triumph. From humble beginnings to prestigious careers, she shares her disappointments and victories, encouraging us all to defy expectations in Becoming.

Behold the Dreamers

Behold the Dreamers: A Novel

Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue follows Cameroonian immigrants Jende and Neni Jonga as they navigate life in New York City. Jende becomes a chauffeur for a Lehman Brothers executive, while Neni works for the executive’s wife in the Hamptons. 

Amidst a world of privilege, they discover hidden secrets and face challenges when the financial crisis hits. As their marriage falters and their future becomes uncertain, the Jongas must make an impossible choice in the American Dream.

The Sun Does Shine

The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row (Oprah's Book Club Selection)

Anthony Hinton’s memoir, “The Sun Does Shine,” recounts his harrowing wrongful imprisonment on death row for 27 years due to mistaken identity. Despite unjust despair and anger, Hinton discovered hope and transformed his spirit, becoming a beacon of light for other inmates. With the help of civil rights attorney Bryan Stevenson, Hinton ultimately gained his freedom in 2015.

This compelling story of hope amidst darkness is a classic memoir of wrongful imprisonment, showcasing the indomitable power of imagination, humor, and joy even in the face of injustice. 

A New Earth

A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose

In A New Earth, Eckhart Tolle expands on the ideas from his bestselling guide, The Power of Now, emphasizing how transcending ego-based consciousness is crucial for personal happiness and ending global conflict. Tolle reveals how attachment to the ego causes dysfunction, anger, and jealousy and guides readers toward awakening to a new state of consciousness for a fulfilling life. 

This illuminating and uplifting book serves as a spiritual manifesto for transforming our world by detaching from our egos and embracing acceptance and enjoyment.

Hidden Valley Road

Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of an American Family

The Galvin family led an extraordinary life, with six of their twelve children diagnosed with schizophrenia. Their incredible journey provides invaluable insights into a puzzling mental illness in Hidden Valley Road by Robert Kolker.

Delve into this remarkable shadow history of schizophrenia, where the Galvins’ DNA became part of genetic research, shaping future treatment and understanding of the illness. Their compelling legacy of hope, love, and endurance is a testament to the human spirit!

Olive, Again

Olive, Again: A Novel

Olive, Again, by Elizabeth Strout is a sequel to Olive Kitteridge, comprising 13 interrelated short stories following the protagonist from her seventies into her eighties. Olive’s prickly, honest, and empathetic nature makes her a compelling character. 

The stories feature characters facing life’s challenges, including loss, unexpected events, and personal struggles. For a deeper understanding and appreciation of Olive’s journey, it’s recommendable to read Olive Kitteridge before reading Olive, Again.

The Covenant of Water

The Covenant of Water (Oprah's Book Club)

Set in Kerala, South India, The Covenant of Water spans three generations of a family cursed with a unique affliction- drowning. Meet Big Ammachi, a young girl sent to marry a much older man who later becomes the matriarch. It’s through her eyes that we experience the changes and challenges experienced by their family over time. 

You’ll be swept away to a lost India and witness progress in medicine and human understanding. Find yourself rooting for this courageous family as they confront their struggles and pave the way for future generations.

Hello Beautiful

Hello Beautiful (Oprah's Book Club): A Novel

In Hello Beautiful by Ann Napolitano, join four spirited sisters as they explore the twists and turns of life, love, and loss. Along the way, they meet William Waters, and their world transforms into loving chaos! But darkness from William’s past threatens their future and the sisters’ unbreakable bond. Will their loyalty be enough to bring them back together, or will this family rift alter their lives forever? 

Inspired by Louisa May Alcott’s classic Little Women, this heartfelt novel is a powerful testament to the enduring strength of family bonds and the beauty of loving someone for who they are.

A Tale of Two Cities

A Tale of Two Cities

Travel back in time to London and Paris, pre-and-during the French Revolution! A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens follows the story of Dr. Manette as he is released after 18 years in Bastille, reuniting with his daughter in London. With the Reign of Terror simmering in the background, experience the events that led to the French Revolution alongside Dickens’s incredible narrative skills. 

Demon Copperhead

Demon Copperhead: A Pulitzer Prize Winner

Step into southern Appalachia with Demon Copperhead, the gripping tale of a boy born to a teenage single mother. Struggling with foster care, addiction, and loss, he must use his wit and talent for survival to overcome the obstacles in his path.

In a world where superheroes have abandoned rural people, our hero’s story comes to life with haunting realism. Barbara Kingsolver’s novel, inspired by Charles Dickens’s David Copperfield, transports us from Victorian England to the contemporary American South.

Demon Copperhead is more than just a book. It’s a voice for a new generation of lost boys and those bound to their beloved yet cursed homes. 

That Bird Has My Wings

That Bird Has My Wings: An Oprah's Book Club Pick

That Bird Has My Wings is a raw and powerful memoir by Jarvis Masters, sharing his journey from a life marred by addiction, abuse, crime, and to discovering Buddhism on death row at San Quentin Prison. 

With poignant and soul-stirring scenes, Masters offers a testament to the resilience of the human spirit. He is a gifted writer; his words radiate pain, fear, humor, and inspiration in equal measure – capturing the complexity of the human experience in all its glory. 


Nightcrawling: A Novel (Oprah's Book Club)

Get ready to be hooked on Nightcrawling! This tale follows Kiara, a young black woman from East Oakland who uncovers justice system failures and struggles to make ends meet with her brother Marcus. Along the way, she unwittingly falls into nightcrawling – a job she never wanted but now desperately needs.

But that’s not all – Kiara’s world is shattered when she becomes a key witness in a scandal involving the Oakland Police Department. Nightcrawling is a captivating novel that showcases raw beauty, electrifying intensity, and vulnerability, marking the arrival of a unique and powerful voice. 

Finding Me

Finding Me: An Oprah's Book Club Pick

Finding Me is a memoir that follows the journey of actor Viola Davis, from growing up in poverty in Rhode Island to achieving global success. This bestselling memoir is written for those navigating life untethered, seeking self-love through radical honesty and shedding facades. As you read about Viola’s struggles and triumphs, be inspired to embrace your creative expression and rediscover your true self before the world labels you.

Finding Me is a reflection, a promise, and a love letter to oneself, encouraging you to illuminate your life and embrace your unique story.


Bewilderment: A Novel

Join astrobiologist Theo Byrne on a heart-wrenching journey in the story of Bewilderment as he searches for life among the stars while navigating the challenges of raising his unique nine-year-old son Robin, following his wife’s death.

Amidst Robin’s struggles, Theo creates vivid bedtime stories of imaginative alien planets, with tales of isolation and depletion. But when Robin’s emotions spiral out of control, desperation sets in, and Theo discovers a groundbreaking treatment acquired from his mother’s brain patterns.

The Sweetness of Water

The Sweetness of Water (Oprah's Book Club): A Novel

The Sweetness of Water explores racial reconciliation during the Civil War’s final days. The freed brothers Prentiss and Landry find refuge with the grieving couple George and Isabelle Walker, working on their farm while saving for their journey north. 

Meanwhile, the love between two forbidden Confederate soldiers burns bright, ultimately bringing chaos and tragedy to Old Ox. But it is Isabelle whose heart shines brightest during turmoil. A beacon of hope for the land and its newly freed citizens, she emerges as an unlikely leader in the face of adversity.

Debut novelist Nathan Harris does not disappoint with his unforgettable cast- Georgia’s beauty and terror in the aftermath of reconstruction, humanity, and love, even in the most challenging of times.


Jack (Oprah's Book Club): A Novel

Marilynne Robinson’s novel Jack is a heart-rending tale of love, loss, and the complexities of race and history in 1950s America. In a time of rampant racism and segregation, Jack, a white man from the fictional town of Gilead, Iowa, falls head over heels for Della, a Black woman. Their ill-fated romance will leave you awe-struck as it’s trapped in a tangled web of anti-miscegenation laws and societal prejudices.

Jack, the fourth installment in Robinson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Gilead book series, has won two National Book Critics Circle Awards. This beautifully crafted masterpiece offers a poignant lens into the American psyche and leaves a lasting imprint on the soul of anyone lucky enough to read it.

The Water Dancer

The Water Dancer: A Novel

Enter the world of Hiram Walker, a young black man with a unique, mysterious power—triggered by memories. Born into bondage and separated from his mother, The Water Dancer is the story of Hiram’s epic journey from Virginia’s darkest plantations up to the inspiring movements of the North. As he joins the underground battle between slavers and the enslaved, his unwavering determination to save his family drives him on.

This gripping tale of love, humanity, and the fight against oppression, is set during the era of slavery, where generations faced unimaginable horrors. But through Hiram’s story and the unspeakable acts committed against him, The Water Dancer is a transcendent work that restores the humanity of the oppressed. Get ready to be swept away in this breathtaking masterpiece.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, Oprah’s 21-book recommendation list offers a diverse and enriching selection of literature that spans various genres, themes, and perspectives. These curated titles provide hours of reading and challenge readers to explore complex issues, empathize with unique characters, and broaden their understanding of the world. These books will help with personal growth and an invitation to engage in meaningful conversations sparked by the powerful narratives within.


What is Oprah’s latest book choice?

The Covenant of Water’ by Abraham Verghese is Oprah’s latest book choice.

How many books are in the Oprah book club?

Since launching her book club in 1996, Oprah has meticulously curated 100 titles that resonate with her on a deeper level.

How often does Oprah pick a book?

Oprah picks only titles that resonate with her.

What is the book Covenant of Water about?

Set in Kerala, on South India’s Malabar Coast, The Covenant of Water spans from 1900 to 1977 and narrates the story of a family that suffers a strange affliction: one person drowns in every generation.

What is Oprah’s book imprint?

Oprah’s book imprint is called “An Oprah Book,” a part of Flatiron Books, a division of Macmillan Publishers. Under this imprint, Oprah publishes books that align with her vision and values, often focusing on inspiring stories and personal growth.

Is Oprah book club free?

Yes, Oprah’s Book Club is free to access and participate in.

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Elvira Lagud