Oprah Book Club chooses Dickens classics

This photo taken Nov. 19, 2010 in Chicago and provided by Harpo Productions Inc., shows talk-show host Oprah Winfrey announcing on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" airing, Monday, Dec. 6, 2010, her book club selections, "A Tale of Two Cities" and "Great Expectations" by Charles Dickens. (AP Photo/Harpo Productions Inc., George Burns)

December 6, 2010 10:05:36 AM PST
Oprah Winfrey has chosen a pair of Charles Dickens classics,''A Tale of Two Cities'' and ''Great Expectations,'' as the latest selections for her popular book club.

Winfrey said on Monday's episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" she has never read Dickens before. She said "it's the best of times, readers" and called the books timeless classics.

The two novels are being issued in a single bound Penguin paperback edition, around 800 pages, with a list price of $20. The electronic version, also from Penguin, sells for $7.99. They also can be downloaded free through the newly launched Google bookstore.

According to Harpo Productions, Oprah's Book Club has nearly 2 million online members. Her previous selection was Jonathan Franzen's bestselling novel "Freedom."

Author Jonathan Franzen appears on 'Oprah' show

Oprah Winfrey and author Jonathan Franzen have put their rocky past behind them.

Franzen appeared on Monday's episode of the "The Oprah Winfrey Show," embracing Winfrey after she chose his bestselling novel "Freedom" for her popular book club in September. The appearance came nine years after Franzen called some of Winfrey's book club picks "schmaltzy" when she chose his previous book "The Corrections." At the time, Franzen apologized quickly and repeatedly.

On Monday's show the two embraced. Winfrey told Franzen "it's an honor to have you here." Franzen responded that "it's an honor to be here." The two talked about his writing process and the author's visit with President Barack Obama. When she chose "Freedom" for Oprah's Book Club, Winfrey called it a "masterpiece."