Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Book #25 of 2010

If only there were an Olympic event for speed reading - it might be the only time in my life I might actually win an award.

Book #25 of 2010 was "Living Oprah" by Robyn Okrant.

Yoga instructor and performer Okrant, 35, spent the year 2008 living by Oprah's advice as dispensed via her show, magazine and Web site. The author was fascinated with the way Oprah evokes equal parts admiration and disdain, and curious about whether it's even possible to follow someone else's advice to discover one's authentic self. Despite skepticism about the validity —or possibility —of finding happiness through Oprah, she embarked on 12 months of Oprah-prescribed activities and expenditures, plus blog updates. Monthly tallies detail activities, expenditures and the author's thoughtful observations. The author is honest about her own experiment-inspired conflicts: as a result of her endeavors, she has a book and has lost weight, but is almost always a stressed-out, insecure, exhausted mess. Okrant posits that, in many ways, pursuing a best life detracts from a real life.

Just reading about everything that Okrant tried to do within a year stressed me out. Its no wonder she ended the experiment feeling burned out. That her husband didn't divorce her or at least take a year-long vacation is amazing. I am not a follower or hater of Oprah but I do recognize the cultural phenomenon that she has become. And the political motivator, just ask Obama. Okrant quotes Oprah from her appearance on Larry King saying that basically her endorsement is worth more to him than a $1 million check. Okrant is both humorous and serious about her attempts to follow the often scizophrenic advice given by Oprah (consume less but you MUST have this $30 panini maker).

I am still trying to decide what to read next - either The Nanny Returns or Storm Glass.

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