Oprah Winfrey has selected New York Times best-selling author Ann Napolitano’s novel “Hello Beautiful” as her 100th book club selection.
Winfrey announced her choice first on “CBS Mornings” Wednesday, saying that the book’s relatable message made it an easy pick for her.
“It’s one of those choices where you feel like I can’t wait for everybody else to have a chance to get to know these characters,” Winfrey said.
The novel focuses on sisterhood and also explores themes like grief, longing and love — and how love can heal, Winfrey said.
“I thought it was about grief and longing and love and how love can make you whole. It was about joy. It felt so much like the truth to me that I wanted to not only keep reading, but I had to slow myself down from reading. And this is when you know you’re in a good book,” said Winfrey.
Napolitano said the book pays homage to come-of-age classic, “Little Woman” — although she did not initially set out to it to write a tribute to the Louisa May Alcott novel.
“It was really the characters were comparing themselves to which March sister they were. And I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, yeah, look at that. That makes sense,'” Napolitano said.
“Hello Beautiful” marks a milestone for Winfrey’s book club, which started in 1996. Winfrey said she started the club because of her love of books.
“When I was growing up, books were my friends. When I didn’t have friends, I had books. And one of the greatest pleasures I have right now in life is to be reading a really good book and to know I have a really, really good book after that book to read,” Winfrey said in her first book club segment on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” where she would recommend books to her viewers and invite authors to discuss their works.
Since then, Oprah’s Book Club has selected dozens of books, ranging from classic literature to contemporary fiction and non-fiction. It has also had a significant impact on the publishing industry with books selected for the club experiencing a huge boost in sales.
“Authors are my rock stars. You are my rock star,” Winfrey said.