Oprah has gone high brow on us. Her suggestion for our summer reading pleasure? William Faulkner. She has a web site up, complete with reading suggestions, commentaries, critiques and all manner of things to aid in the understanding of Faulkner. Her avid fans (many of whom I doubt will become William's avid fans) can buy a special boxed set, complete with commentary by Oprah (or her ghost writer). It's charging up the Amazon best seller list.
Even Kroger is carrying the books - saw a woman buying a set yesterday - and my neighborhood Kroger is not the gathering place for lovers of higher level literature.
I'm glad Oprah is continuing to promote reading and books but I'm very surprised by her current selection. I read some Faulkner back in college and he's not the sort of writer I'd tuck into my beach bag or bring along to while away a long airplane flight. He writes literature with a capital L.
Maybe I am underestimating the stick to it power of Oprah's fans but right now Faulkner gets my vote for the most bought / least read author of 2005. Multiple copies of his books will soon be appearing at a thrift store near you.