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Living Oprah by Robyn Okrant

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Living Oprah
My One-Year experiment to Walk the Walk of the Queen of Talk
Robyn Okrant

Center Street

01/04/2010

 

Hardcover/257 pages
ISBN: 978-1-59995-239-0

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". . . a social experiment well worth reading . . ."

Living Oprah: An insightful and witty social experiment with surprising results.

One of the most powerful people in the world is not the president of the United States or the current Ayatollah of Iran or even the Pope; it is Oprah Winfrey, talk show host, self-help guru, celebrity, actor and entrepreneur. Robyn Okrant decided to follow Oprah on a year-long quest for living her best by doing everything Oprah suggested. Living Oprah is the result of that odyssey.

It is hard to believe that anyone would change their whole life to follow someone else’s idea of living an authentic life and be willing to put it in print for the world to see. Okrant did just that, but her story is not what I expected. Aside from being an honest and well written book, Living Oprah is as much about Okrant’s struggle with her own values as she gives her life over to Oprah. She does so not to gain recognition from Ms. Winfrey or a chance to sit on the couch but to see what happens from a social and cultural standpoint.

I expected a gushing, fan-crazed beatitude. Instead, I found an honest, intelligent chronicle of soul-searching. Okrant sometimes balked at following Oprah’s lead, but it is not in the monthly tally of cost, results, successes and failures that makes Living Oprah so memorable. It is the last chapter where Okrant analyzes what she learned. “Human beings are too nuanced for one-size-fits-all advice. From the crown of my head to the soles of my feet, I know I’ll never discover my Best Life when I am trying to live up to someone else’s vision for me.”

There is truth and clear insight in Okrant’s journey, and it is her final words that echo loudly and long when she “…acknowledge[s] and appreciate[s] all the lessons I learned from her this year, and turn off my TV.” This is a social experiment well worth absorbing.

Reviewer: J. M. Cornwell