Oprah Picks New Selection For Book Club, Should Reconsider

On Friday, Oprah Winfrey picked Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s Love In The Time Of Cholera as the next selection into her widely popular book club. She should reconsider. It’s not intended to take away from the talents of Marquez nor from the quality of “Cholera.” It’s intended to pursuade Oprah to pick lesser known works.

From my background growing up in the Bay Area, Love In The Time Of Cholera was required reading in high school. But so was Night by Elie Wiesel and A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines and The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison.

A book club should help get people to read books that they wouldn’t have heard of otherwise. Oprah is one of the most powerful women in the world. She has tremendous buying power, and holds sway over millions of people. I will not even mention the whole beef cattle mad-cow incident.

I completely respect Oprah and the way she’s worked her way through the years to the status and power that she has now. But at the same time, she should recognize that she can help a lot of people in more ways than one. Given the reception that author Jonathan Franzen had for Oprah picking his The Corrections as a book club selection and that whole James Frey debacle, it’s no wonder that she has been forced to go for the safe choices.

But art is all about inciting discussion. Art shouldn’t be safe. It should be controversial. It should make people feel and think in different ways that they’re used to. It should get people to explore the world and themselves.

Why else do people still watch movies like Crash or Babel when they could be watching more entertaining popcorn flicks like Transformers or Spider-Man?

I don’t expect Oprah to just spend her time reading books, but Oprah should use her buying power to help other lesser-known authors a bigger foot through the publishing and book-buyers world. Marquez doesn’t need any help getting books off the shelf.

LeBron James - Yankees hat LeBron James - Yankees hat

I don’t know what’s worse, LeBron James wearing a Yankees hat while confessing to be born in Cleveland, Ohio, or the fact that he was wearing a very ugly shirt. I’m having huge Carlton from the Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air flashbacks.

Interesting point by Buster Olney: “At the All-Star break, the teams with the most wins in the NL were as follows: San Diego (49), Los Angeles (49), Milwaukee (49), NY Mets (48) and Atlanta (47). And none of them made the playoffs.”

The San Francisco Giants’ decade long win-now philosophy will hurt the organization for the next few years. I completely agree with Bruce Jenkin’s analysis. Every other team in the National League West division is younger and better.

The fact that the team has relied on aging veterans will hurt the most in regards to the team’s inability to develop position players. I always bring up former outfielder Todd Linden who now plays for the Florida Marlins. He dominated AAA in 2995. Confidence was always a factor, but the fact that there were only two OF spots available, the team gave them instead to the likes of Marquis Grissom and Moises Alou (the latter still plays but can’t stay healthy). When the team doesn’t give you a shot, it can be hard to believe in yourself.

Not to mention giving Ray Durham a two-year contract last year when giving Kevin Frandsen a starting spot at second base would have been way more productive given how Durham struggled in 2007. The list goes on and on. It’ll take a few years of playing like 2007 for the Giants to get those high draft picks and rebuild the farm system. But of course, that only works well if you have quality scouts evaluating for you.

The 49ers were terrible for many years and now seem like contenders. Expect the same for the Giants starting three years ago. We just didn’t notice till now.

“I like to get a woman and wring her out like a flannel.” – poker player Mr. Ulliott on how he trains for long hours of playing poker by having long sex sessions.

Another weird statistic that comes out of someone’s ass. 10% of all iPhones are sold to unlockers. I don’t get it.

“Once you get over the shock of making the first move, you’ll feel so much better. Action is empowering. Sitting and waiting is hard. Ask any wallflower at a junior high school dance.” – Lesson 2 of why being proactive is better than waiting when it comes to making the first move.

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