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The Queen of Media Oprah Winfrey Turns 66 Today

Oprah

image via the atlantic

Talk show host, actress, philanthropist, author, and overall Queen of Media Oprah Winfrey celebrates her 66th birthday today.

Winfrey was born Jan. 29, 1954 in Kosciusko, Mississippi to Vernita Lee and Vernon Winfrey. Her parents separated soon after her birth and she was left in the care of her maternal grandmother, Hattie Mae Lee. Winfrey moved around frequently as a child, bouncing from the urban, poor life of her mother to the safety of her father’s home.

 

 

Oprah says that her life was saved by her father. Her father was quite disciplined and had a focus on education, which made Winfrey a star pupil. Winfrey went on to get a full ride to Tennessee State University and received two offers from CBS before accepting a role as co-anchor of the evening news on WTVF-TV. Winfrey’s role with CBS was groundbreaking because she was the first ever African-American female anchor in Nashville history.

 

Oprah with kindle.
image via pinterest

Her role as anchor wasn’t the only groundbreaking thing Oprah would achieve, as many readers already know. Her talk show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, which launched in 1986, won several Emmys for Best Talk Show, and Oprah herself was honored as Best Talk Show Host. She also launched her own production company, Harpo Inc., in the summer of 1986 so she could produce on topics that were important to her.

 

 

Besides her roles on the screen, Oprah has played a significant role in the literary world. Between writing almost 20 books, launching her book club and the Oprah stamp of approval, she has inspired many people to read.

Launched in 1996, the Oprah book club has meticulously selected books for her audience to read, many titles that she selected go on to be bestsellers. Some titles on her prestigious list include Becoming, The Invention of Wings and many other titles.

 

Oprah holding sun does shine book

image via youtube

For all that she has done, in all of her many fields, we here at Bookstr wish the Queen of Media a very happy 66th!

featured image via Biography


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The Latest Dirt on Jeanine Cummins’ Novel

Jeanine Cummins’ American Dirt has been deemed one of the most anticipated novels of 2020, included in Oprah Winfrey’s book club, and praised by Stephen King and John Grisham. Today, it’s being slated on twitter by literary fans and critics alike. This dichotomy of its reception puts the novel in a precarious position, with one foot on the side of success and the other in very hot water. When it comes to writing about race, sensitivity is one of the most important factors and Cummins’ latest novel is about Mexican immigrant experience, while Jeanine herself is not Mexican. This has set off alarm bells for a lot of people and raised questions about cultural appropriation and “trauma porn”. 

 

 

In a piece in the New York Times, Jeanine identifies herself as white, before going on to pen this novel about a Mexican mother and daughter and their tragic loss of family at the hands of a cartel. The pair must then escape to America. In the novel’s afterword, Cummins describes her motivation to write the novel as an effort to give a story to the “faceless brown mass” that immigrant communities are often seen as. This comment is, in itself, problematic as it raises the question of why Jeanine felt the need to individualize a “mass” of which she is not a part – the notion of the “white savior” comes to mind. 

 

image via slate

 

Fellow writers have shared their own opinions about the novel, either praising Cummins for her work or, more recently, slating it. Writer David Bowles, in a piece on Medium, stipulates that “Latina or no, Cummins certainly isn’t Mexican or Chicana. That’s a problem,”. What this suggests, is that the novel may well be “extraordinary” and well-written but its topic is still controversial and problematic.

 

 

Others have been critical of the plethora of errors and misrepresentations in Cummins’ descriptions of Mexico. This should come as no surprise when an author writes about a group with which they cannot personally or culturally resonate. In an interview with Shelf Awareness, Cummins spoke about her own hesitation to write American Dirt because of this. “I was resistant, initially, to writing from the point of view of a Mexican migrant because, no matter how much research I did, regardless of the fact that I’m Latinx, I didn’t feel qualified to write in that voice,”

If nothing else, this novel has already managed to fully divide readers and critics alike. Plus, the conversation around race and its misrepresentation in literature is one that certainly cannot be contained to American Dirt alone.

Featured image via Bookbub


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Liam and Miley Broke Up! Here’s 6 Books We Can Cry Into

Devastating news broke this weekend: Liam Hemsworth and Miley Cyrus have separated. While the 29-year-old actor spends time with his brother, Thor, in Australia, Miley seems to be having the time of her life as she spends her days with blogger Kaitlynn Carter.

 

Liam and Miley, separated

Image Via Metro

 

Their rocky on-again, off-again relationship seemed to get steady once the two got married, but now it seems they’ve split up for good. It’s a sad day indeed.

“You don’t understand what it’s like,” Liam told Daily Mail Australia when asked about the split. “I don’t want to talk about it, mate.”

 

Liam and Miley when they were together

Image Via MSN

 

Any breakup is bad, it leaves both parties plagued with questions of ‘What If’, and as we sit on the sidelines we can’t help but feel a little sorry for both actors. So while Hemsworth and Cyrus pick up the pieces, here are 6 books we can cry into.

 

 

6-Fault in Our Stars by John Green

 

The Fault in Our Stars

Image Via Amazon

 

What might be John Green’s magnum opus, The Fault in Our Stars tells a beautiful love story about two young people who, against the odds, find love.

We have precious Hazel Crace Lancaster, a 16-year-old girl with thyroid cancer who falls in love with 17-year-old Augustus Waters, a cancer survivor who seems too good to be true. Is he all he seems to be, or will he breaks this young girl’s heart?

 

Hazel Crace Lancaster and Augustus Waters

Image Via IMDB

 

The ultimate answer is ‘yes’ to both questions. August is all he seems to be and his love for Grace and her love for him shows that while life be cruel and give us a bad hand every once and a while, it can also be beautiful.

Want to cry your heart out? Or are you crying too many years already? Don’t worry! We have others picks and all you need to do is scroll down.

 

5-Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

 

Pride and Prejudice

Image Via Amazon

 

You won’t cry tears when reading this novel. Well, you might, but they will be tears of joy. Tears at the hilarious depiction of manners gone overboard, tears at the idea that marriage is all you need, and tears when Elizabeth Bennet finally convinces her father the difference between superficial goodness and actual goodness.

 

"Pride and Prejudice" love

Image Via The Imaginative Conservative.org

 

Elizabeth Bennet marries who she wants to in the end, and he, against the odds loves her back. It’s a story about how love finds a way and, if it’s not meant to be, it won’t happen.

I’m crying already.

Don’t like this old book? Is the writing style too strange and foreign to you? Well, our next pick might be far more inclined with your modern tastes.

 

4-Twilight by Stephanie Meyer

 

Twilight

Image Via Amazon

 

Twilight. Read the first book, get addicted, read the other three. It’s a story about a hot and cold romance (like Liam and Miley) that ultimately leads to marriage.

You know what happens next? It’s so beautiful, so wonderful…

They stay together and have a beautiful child!

 

Edward and Bella's baby

Image Via Dorkly

 

And you know what happens to Jacob, that wonderful werewolf who was in love with Bella but she wasn’t in love with him? It doesn’t in tragedy, no, it ends with him imprinted on her child, ultimately proving that even if you breakup with someone you still have a chance to take care of their child and be apart of their life.

Too sentimental? Well….

 

 

 

3-The Shining by Stephen King

 

The Shining

Image Via Amazon

 

Now I know what you’re thinking: Why the Shining? Well, if you think the multiple breakups between Liam and Miley are bad, here’s a book that says ‘it could be worse’.

Now most of you have seen the film adaptation and I’m here to tell you the book is totally different. For one, Jack doesn’t go after his family with an ax, he goes after them with roque mallet!

 

Roque mallet

Image Via Varagesale

 

Totally different.

Also instead of Jack trying to murder his wife and child and ultimately freezing to death, in the book he stops trying to kill his wife and child and instead scarifies himself by going after the ghosts which leads to him being simultaneously burnt and blown up!

 

Frozen Jack

Image Via the13thFloor

 

So if you think Liam and Miley’s breakup is the worst thing that could happen, well, we could have frozen/burned to death.

 

2-The Pisces by Melissa Broder

 

Image Via Refinery29

 

This book shows that even after a break-up, things can still be beautiful.

Meet Lucy. She and her boyfriend broke up nine years ago but she’s still picking the pieces. Nothing is going well. Tinder is filled with “douche bros” and the sea outside the Los Angeles home where she’s dog-sitting only shows her how lost and empty she is.

 

Merman

Image Via RedletterDays.co.uk

 

But then Lucy becomes entranced by an eerily attractive swimmer named Theo. He is a merman, and things only get weirder from there.

The Pisces is not only swimming with dark humor (standout lines include “As we kissed I imagined eating his tail with garlic butter and “the tail starts below the dick”), it proves that life, like the ocean, continues on and on even after the worst of tides.

 

1. THE PATH MADE CLEAR BY OPRAH WINFREY

 

The Path Made Clear

Image Via Amazon

 

As we cry over this sudden and unexpected breakup, there will come a time when we have to say enough is enough. But we might need some help in admitting that, so maybe we should open up and cry into this inspiring self-help novel by Oprah Winfrey.

 

Oprah

Image Via The Guardian

 

Here, our Book Club Queen details the journey toward making your life both successful and meaningful, no matter how many breakups you or the people you care about go through. With ten easy-to-read chapters, this book helps you get teaches you key lessons for you to create the best course for their life. But that’s not all! Filled with Oprah’s own personal stories, this book helps to remind you that life might just have more to offer than you know!

Need focus after this heart-shattering break-up? This book is the one for you!

 

 

Featured Image Via Mary Scibilia

Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey, and Others Mourn Toni Morrison

Toni Morrison, essayist, novelist, professor, and Nobel Prize winner, passed away on August 5th, 2019.

In the wake of her death, many people, fans and celebrities alike, have been sharing the impact that the author has had on their lives. Oprah Winfrey and former president Barack Obama shared some particularly touching responses.

 

Oprah Winfrey and Toni Morrison on 'The Oprah Winfrey Show'Image via AceShowbiz

 

Winfrey shared this image of her and Morrison on her Instagram with the following caption:

In the beginning was the Word. Toni Morrison took the word and turned it into a Song… of Solomon, of Sula, Beloved, Mercy, Paradise, Love, and more. She was our conscience. Our seer. Our truth-teller.

She was a magician with language, who understood the Power of words. She used them to roil us, to wake us, to educate us and help us grapple with our deepest wounds and try to comprehend them.

It is exhilarating and life-enhancing every time I read and share her work. 

This pic was her first appearance on the Oprah Show.

She was Empress-Supreme among writers. Long may her WORDS reign!

 

 

Toni Morrison and Barack ObamaImage via Entertainment Tonight

 

Obama posted about Morrison multiple times. On Tuesday morning he posted on Twitter:

Toni Morrison was a national treasure, as good a storyteller, as captivating, in person as she was on the page. Her writing was a beautiful, meaningful challenge to our conscience and our moral imagination. What a gift to breathe the same air as her, if only for a while.

 

The image Barack Obama posted on Instagram and TwitterImage via Twitter

 

Obama included the above image with his tweet, and posted the same image on Instagram along with this caption:

Time is no match for Toni Morrison. In her writing, she sometimes toyed with it, warping and creasing it, bending it to her masterful will. In her life’s story, too, she treated time nontraditionally. A child of the Great Migration who’d lifted up new, more diverse voices in American literature as an editor, Toni didn’t publish her first novel until she was 39 years old. From there followed an ascendant careera Pulitzer, a Nobel, and so much moreand with it, a fusion of the African American story within the American story. Toni Morrison was a national treasure. Her writing was not just beautiful but meaningfula challenge to our conscience and a call to greater empathy. She was as good a storyteller, as captivating, in person as she was on the page. And so even as Michelle and I mourn her loss and send our warmest sympathies to her family and friends, we know that her storiesthat our storieswill always be with us, and with those who come after, and on and on, for all time.

 

Hillary ClintonImage via Yahoo News

 

2016 Democratic Nominee Hillary Clinton tweeted a quote from Morrison, sharing her condolences:

“If there is a book that you want to read but it hasn’t been written, you must be the one to write it,” Tony Morrison said. 

We are all so lucky to live in a world where she took her own advice and shared it with others.

 

 

Tracee Ellis RossImage via Ebony Magazine

 

Tracee Ellis Ross, lead actress in Black-ish and daughter of Diana Ross, tweeted her own response to the news:

Toni Morrison. While you have left the physical realm, the many treasures you left us will bear fruit for generations and generations. Your work has cascaded through my life deeply and simply… rest in power to a beloved icon.

 

Image via CNN

 

Shonda Rhimes, creator, head writer, and executive producer of Grey’s Anatomy had this to say on her Twitter:

She made me understand “writer” was a fine profession. I grew up wanting to be only her. Dinner with her was a night I will never forget. Rest, queen.

 

Image via CNN

 

Lastly, George Takei took to Twitter with his own response:

A towering figure in literature, Toni Morrison, has passed. Winner of the Noble Prize, and keeper and storyteller for so much of our nation’s soul, she was truly beloved to us all. Rest now, and let us honor you as a nation eternally grateful for your contribution.

 

 

 

 

Featured image via Washington Post

Live Your Best Life With These New Self-Development Releases!

5. Self-Esteem For men by Jack Palm

This book provides readers (men) about the facts they need to improve their mental health and general lifestyle. The book is grounded in reality, giving helpful tips written in a simple, clear-to-understand language. It encourages a more positive mindset, using data from experts, interviews, and jobs to back up its findings. This book is sure to help you improve yourself by seeing the world in a more positive light and changing your overall patterns of thought to better your self-esteem.

 

An African-American man sitting in front of a grey background in a pink shirt

 

Image via Amazon

4. Let Love have the last word by Common

Common delivers a heartfelt memoir that will surely tug at your heartstrings. A Grammy, Academy Award, and Golden Globe winning artist, Common builds his novel around the theme of love and how it is the most important force in the universe. Touching on his personal life, Common shares stories about love, from his relationship to his daughter, to his own take on the current political climate, and his own career. Common knows that love isn’t the end-all-be-all of self-improvement, but you can’t have self-love without it! Loving the world while loving yourself is the healthiest way to heal and grow.

 

 

A grey backdrop holding the novel's title

Image via Amazon

3. It’s great to Suck at Something by Karen Rinaldi

It’s Great To Suck At Something is a bold self-help book that reveals that it’s okay to fail, regardless of what your darkest thoughts may tell you. Whoa, what a concept! But this book emphasizes embracing imperfection, embracing flaws, and learning to love them rather than obsess about them. Author Karen Rinaldi, who is a terrible surfer and all around imperfect person, but she learns to love herself by embracing the flaws, exploring herself and allowing herself to be imperfect by allowing herself to suck sometimes. (Hey, no judgment. Chances are, most of us have never even been surfing.) She’s sucks, and she’s okay with that.

 

 

A red book cover

Image via Amazon

2. Best Self by Mike Bayer

Best Self by Mike Bayer does exactly what it describes: it helps you find your best self possible, Are you really the best self you could be? Are you living your best life daily? Mike Bayer, the author is a life coach who has helped everyone from celebrities to CEOs to normal, everyday blue-collar workers discover their best selves. By getting people to look at their own lives with hard-hitting questions, Bayer helps you find your best self, even if you’re reluctant to examine your own lifestyle with a critical eye. Sometimes, it takes some tough love to get you on the path to self-love, but the intensity is worth it. Growth may be a struggle, but it’s also a profound reward.

 

A woman walks across the forest path alone

Image Via Amazon

1. The Path Made Clear by Oprah Winfrey

The journey starts here. In an inspiring novel from Oprah Winfrey, our Book Club Queen details the journey toward making your life not only successful but also meaningful. The book’s ten chapters are organized around important milestones for your life, creating key lessons and moments for you to create the best course for their life. This creates a framework to organize your own life around, and she shares her own personal stories to help you along. (Remember, even Oprah isn’t perfect: she was fired from her first reporting job at age 23, and look where she is now!) This is a great book to help you pursue what you want in life with passion and renewed focus.

 

 

Featured Image Via Amazon.