XU ENGL Thesis Projects Spring 2015

Sarah Nimmo


If you picked up a book and saw an “Oprah’s Book Club” seal on the cover, would you still want to read it?

Book clubs aren’t traditionally thought to do “serious” reading–in fact, “book club books” aren’t thought to be representative of “true” literature at all. True literature is written and read by a select few, the literary elite of society. So what happens when a book like Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, a work traditionally associated with these elite readers and writers, is chosen for not just any book club, but Oprah’s Book Club? Does its literary merit diminish due to popularization?

I argue that book clubs and book club discussion guides can actually be assets when reading an emotionally and intellectually challenging text; let’s use McCarthy’s The Road as an example. Click here for more.

“He knew only that the child was his warrant. He said: If he is not the word of God God never spoke.”

-Cormac McCarthy, “The Road”