Oprah Winfrey Reads 100+ Books A Year – She Recommends These 12 To Read Immediately

No one needs an introduction to Oprah Winfrey. The absolute fantastic icon has been stealing our hearts for years and recommends her favorite books for us all to read.

One of the greatest honors for a book is to be selected by Oprah to be in Oprah Winfrey’s Book Club, and Oprah’s book list is the place to be for all great books.

Oprah has recommended many books over the years, and many more have the honor of the “Oprah Book Club” sticker plastered on the front of the cover. It is a true honor to be included in Oprah’s reading list, and readers should take note, Oprah book club books are books you need to read.

These 12 Oprah Winfrey book recommendations are books you need to read immediately!

12 Oprah Book Recommendations

This post contains affiliate links so if you buy one of these books I will get a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you. You can see the full disclaimer here. 

Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg

Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead

Shery Sandberg, CEO Of Facebook, writes this book to address various female thoughts and behaviors in the workplace that all women experience but don’t talk about too often.

What did Oprah say about the book?

“Honest and brave… The new manifesto for women in the workplace.” 

Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton

Cry, the Beloved Country

In this book, a Zulu pastor, Stephen Kumalo, and his son, Absalom, do their best to navigate life in a South Africa torn apart by racial injustice.

What did Oprah say about the book?

“Captures the very essence of South Africa in transition from a rural, tribal nation of spiritual heritage to a modern country of big cities, violence, and upheaval.” 

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

To Kill a Mockingbird

“To Kill a Mockingbird” is a Pulitzer-prize winner that looks closely at racism, inequality, and segregation.

What did Oprah say about the book?

 “I remember starting it and just devouring it, not being able to get enough of it, because I fell in love with Scout.” 

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

This memoir, by American Writer, Cheryl Strayed, details her 1,100-mile hike on the Pacific Crest Trail in 1995.

What did Oprah say about the book?

“About the difference between deciding to do something and really having to do it.” 

Becoming by Michelle Obama


Former First Lady, Michelle Obama, penned this autobiography soon after her husband left office. It tells the story of the first Black First Lady.

What did Oprah say about the book?

 “I want the whole world to read this book.” 

If at Birth You Don’t Succeed: My Adventures with Disaster and Destiny by Zach Anner

If at Birth You Don't Succeed: My Adventures with Disaster and Destiny

Zack Anner’s memoir is a hilariously funny saga of finding your passion and living your life.

What did Oprah say about the book?

 “[The author] makes you want to be a better person, with his humor and his heart and everything he’s had to deal with from the time he was born.” 

A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry

A Fine Balance

Set in India during “The Emergency,” it follows four characters from different backgrounds who come together.

What did Oprah say about the book?

“I’ve never encountered pages that took me so far, and removed me from my own way of life and way of thinking the way [this book] did.” 

Cane River by Lalita Tademy

Cane River

This historical fiction novel chronicles four generations of strong, determined black women. It was se

What did Oprah say about the book?

“[Opens] the door for a lot of people who want to trace their own roots or look at what their heritage, what that legacy has meant for them.”

The Underground Railroad: A Novel by Colson Whitehead

The Underground Railroad: A Novel

Colson Whitehead’s Pulitzer Prize-winning sixth novel is an odyssey that reveals the horrors faced by Black Americans in the pre-Civil War South.

What did Oprah say about the book?

“Every now and then a book comes along that reaches the marrow of your bones, settles in, and stays forever. This is one.” 

The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck

The Good Earth

Written by the daughter of two missionaries in China, “The Good Earth” is about life in rural China.

What did Oprah say about the book?

 “[The author’s words] evoke the simple beauty of the characters and the harsh mystery of China’s ancient culture.” 

Say You’re One of Them by Uwem Akpan

Say You're One of Them (Oprah's Book Club)

This novel is a set of short stories, each set in a different African country. This collection won the 2009 Commonwealth Writers Prize and the 2009 Beyond Margins Award.

What did Oprah say about the book?

“Masterfully both captures the innocence and the horror of the unimaginable events these children witness.”

Behold the Dreamers: A Novel by Imbolo Mbue

Behold the Dreamers: A Novel

This novel follows two families that live in New York, The Jongas, an immigrant family from Cameroon, and their wealthy employers, the Edwards.

What did Oprah say about the book?

“About race and class, the economy, culture, immigration and the danger of the us-versus-them mentality.” 


These books, all on Oprah’s reading list, are just some of Oprah Winfrey’s favorite things that will change your life and deserve to grace your bookshelf. Oprah’s Book Club list is the best place to start when finding new books to read.


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Hi! I am a millennial mom with a passion for personal finance. I have always been “into” personal finance but got inspired to start my blog after a period of extended unemployment. That experience really changed the way I viewed my relationship with money and the importance of accessible personal finance education.