Monday, May 17, 2010

Living Oprah by Robyn Okrant

Robyn Okrant was a casual Oprah viewer who was used to Oprah urging her viewers to live their best lives. She wondered what all of that advice added up to, in terms of time, money, and happiness. So for one year (2008), Robyn decided to do everything that Oprah encouraged her viewers to do. Some of this was easy: talk with your spouse, do online quizzes on the Oprah website, see specific movies. Some of it required a long-term commitment: declutter your house, be more active, read along with her book club. Some of it was free, some of it was expensive. And as Robyn lived her year, she documented it on her blog, Living Oprah.

I have to admit that I've never really been an Oprah viewer, not for any particular reason, but mostly because it was never on when I was able to watch it. I was curious, then, to see what kind of advice Oprah gave out. Robyn (I'm not sure why I keep calling her by her first name, when I would normally call authors by their last name - maybe because I feel like I've spent some time with her?) kept track with charts and graphs of all of this information: what Oprah said, how much it cost, how long it took, and any notes. I really liked the tone that Robyn took with the whole exercise. She seemed willing to give most things a try, and there wasn't really any of that anti-Oprah snobbery that I thought a book like this might have. My favourite parts of the book were the passages where Oprah and Okrant's paths crossed. This is a great look at current pop culture in America; I thought it was a great read that just flew by.

Find it at IndieBound.

Read it with:
Not Buying It: A Year Without Shopping by Judith Levine
Live Your Best Life: A Treasury of Wisdom, Wit, Advice, Interviews, and Inspiration from O, the Oprah Magazine
Oprah by Kitty Kelley
The Happiness Project by Gretchen Craft Rubin
Reading Oprah: How Oprah's Book Club Changed the Way America Reads by Cecilia Konchar Farr

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