Welcome back to the book club, did you bring the wine?
Oprah's Book Club officially returned on Friday, Nov. 1, with Oprah Winfrey's new series helping launch Apple+, Apple's new streaming service. With a new episode debuting every two months, Oprah's loyal following will have plenty of time to dig into her selections, which she first began offering back in 1996 on The Oprah Winfrey Show. Plus, for every Oprah's Book Club selection sold on Apple Books, Apple will make a contribution to the American Library Association.
First up? The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates, with the acclaimed author following in the footsteps of iconic writers such as Toni Morrison, Maya Angelou, Elie Wiesel, Cormac McCarthy and many more.
During The Oprah Winfrey Show's run, Oprah recommended 70 books, many of which rocketed to the top of the sales charts after they were announced her as pick. The book world was in awe of Oprah's power to inspire her viewers (26 million weekly) to run out and purchase books, and editors likely prayed for their authors' work to be selected.
But as the Club continued, Oprah began taking hiatuses with longer breaks in between recommendations and with classic novels being selected, meaning no in-depth interviews with the author on her show as part of the discussion.
In 2012, she launched Book Club 2.0, which lived mostly online and on the OWN Network, Oprah's cable channel, with 11 books selected, but Oprah's goal for the latest version of Oprah's Book Club is her most ambitious yet.
"I am who I am today because of the experience of learning to read at an early age. Reading opened up a whole world for me beyond the red dirt road and my grandmother's porch in Mississippi," Winfrey said in a statement when the show was announced. "I want to do that for everybody. And the opportunity to do this with Apple, to speak to people all over the world about the pleasures, the excitement, the tension, the drama that a good book can bring you…I don't know what's better than that."
But some of Oprah's previous picks ended up bringing quite the drama themselves, including an infamous showdown between the legendary host and one of the authors.
Look back on some of Oprah's best and most controversial selections over the years...
Oprah's Book Club is now available to stream on Apple+.