Thursday, December 20, 2007

Embarrassed Elizabeth Explains Everything (How's that for alliteration!)

Well, I have a confession to make. And I hope that once I do, you don’t think less of me and we can still be friends. Please, still be my friend!

Honestly, I wasn’t going to tell anyone, EVER, but I now realize that I kind of want to talk about it because it’s got me thinking (and you know how I am about that). So, despite my embarrassment (and a little shame), I’m going to tell you…

(deep breath) Here it is (sigh):

I’m reading a book I saw on Oprah!

There, I said it. (I'm a little shaken, but feel better getting it out.)

Now, let me add that the reason I’m embarrassed is not because I think Oprah has lousy taste (although some of her choices throw me for a loop). Truthfully, a lot of the books she’s had in her book club I’ve already read or had planned on reading.

It’s just that I hate going along with the masses. You know what I mean?

And I hate that people might see me reading a book she’s chosen (especially if it has the little “Oprah Book Club” emblem on it which I avoid like a sack of dead fermenting eels) and think that the only reason I’m reading it is because Oprah said so and I’m a mindless lemming.

Don’t get me wrong. Do I think it’s a good thing to get people all over the country, nay, the world (why limit Oprah’s power), reading?


But am I afraid that some (i.e. a lot) might be reading it just because Oprah DID say so and they want to be a part of the “in” crowd?


So this is all to say that never in my life have I read or thought of reading a book suggested by Oprah at the same time that everyone and their grandma is reading it, too.

But I am. So, there you go.

“Why, Liz, why?” you might be asking.

“Well, because of my big mouth, that’s why.”

You see, now that I’ve decided this coming year is going to be the “YEAR OF LIVING THE IDEAL LIFE AT LEAST A LITTLE BIT!™” I’ve had to inform some people in my office that although I’m not “technically” enrolled in school, I’m planning on auditing a few writing classes this semester, so I’ll be re-arranging my schedule.

This has lead people to ask me “Huh?” which caused me to briefly explain my “YEAR OF LIVING THE IDEAL LIFE AT LEAST A LITTLE BIT!™” plans.

And this caused a particular woman in my office to squeal (and I do mean squeal) “Oh, how exciting! This reminds me of a book I’m reading from Oprah.” At this, I should have feigned a seizure, but I wasn’t quick enough.

She went on to add “The author is going to be on Oprah today. I’m taping it, so I’ll bring it in so you can watch it tomorrow.” At this point, I should have said, well, anything to excuse myself. But, my mind went blank with horror because I realized I was trapped. I was going to have to watch it. (This co-worker would be deeply hurt and offended if I didn’t and I’m too nice a person to do that.)

Long story short (which I guess at this point is impossible), last week she taped it, brought it, I watched it, and got the book.

I’m consoling myself, slightly, because it’s not actually a book club book.

But, still, I’m embarrassed.

In the end (although I’m not completely done with it yet, but will be by the weekend), this book has given me a lot to think about. I don’t agree with the author on a number of things, but I’m always interested in how other people go about the journey of life, their search for higher meaning or purpose, and the way they connect to God.

“What’s the book?” you ask.

Part II coming next week, maybe, because it is Christmas, so I might be busy…


Laura said...

I'm going to have to demand that you stop your cliffhanger endings to your posts! Who's with me on that??

Liz said...

I know, the cliffhanger thing is annoying (especially because it's not even about anything exciting).

But, I do it for four reasons:

1) It can take a long time to compose a post, and since I do this at work (mostly) I don't have a lot of time.

2) Sometimes, I know I want to talk about something (like this book) but I'm not 100% sure what exactly I want to say, or I don't have all the information yet (e.g. I haven't finished reading this book yet). So, I need more time.

3) The cliffhanger posts often require a lot of thought (I know, you wouldn't guess that by reading them) and I'm not always sure how I want to word things or what I want to disclose or how deep I want to go, etc. So, again, I need more time.

4) Sometimes after I've written a long, dry post, I think it's crap and delete the whole thing. Or I begin a post and think it's dumb and never finish it. So, to make myself continue, I post part of it. Then I feel more pressure to finish.

Azúcar said...

I have read some of the Oprah books before they were Oprah books. I read some of the books after they were Oprah books.

As much as I used to roll my eyes at the new Oprah selection when I was a bookseller, her club opened reading up to a group of people who needed a communal experience.

Some of the books she has selected I love. Some of the books I absolutely loathe. Some books I read in the nick of time--I had finished Pillars of the Earth about 3 weeks before she announced it was her newest selection. Nothing wrong with a book just because she picked it, Oprah can have good taste too.

Liz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Liz said... first response went weird, so I'll try again.

Hi, Azúcar, I agree with you about Oprah's book selections. Like I said, most I've read or had planned on reading, I just haven't wanted to do it with the masses.

But, truthfully, I've never thought about the need of some people to have a communal experience with book reading.

That's something I'm going to have to think about.

Amanda said...

Okay, I kind of second the no cliffhangers even though I see some of your reasoning. Would it hurt to just type the title????? :)
Also, I don't know if I can handle waiting a week to read anyone's blog? Liz and Rachel, you both blog at work, but you must find a way to add in little tidbits while on vacaction. OR, you can just call and chat! :) Good options, no?

Rachel said...

I demand to know at least the title. Where's your Christmas spirit?

And I'm 100% with you on the shame of reading an Oprah promoted book. I agree that she has fine taste but I feel kind of mindless whenever I have one.

Ms. Liz said...

I think I know - I'm going to guess because I picked up a book that Oprah had featured on her show and its really becoming some women's bible. I think its "Eat. Love. Pray."

Am I right - I think I am...