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Living Oprah: My One-Year Experiment to Walk the Walk of the Queen of Talk Hardcover – January 4, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this addition to the stunt-blog memoir genre, 35-year-old yoga instructor and performer Okrant spent 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. For example, she writes: “I believe Oprah's ultimate goal is to empower women and girls,” but “I think Oprah devalues women by focusing so much on our bodies.” 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 “real life.” In the end, while there are few real revelations, Okrant has written a thoughtful, honest examination of her journey. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Robyn Okrant is a writer, filmmaker, performer, and yoga teacher. A graduate of Bennington College, she also holds an MFA in performance from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She lives with her husband and two cats in Chicago.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Center Street; 1 edition (January 4, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1599952394
  • ISBN-13: 978-1599952390
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,084,827 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Cyrus Webb TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 18, 2009
Format: Hardcover
After seeing Robyn Okrant featured on the CNBC special THE O EFFECT, I was eagerly awaiting her book of the experiment. So many times you hear people talking about slivers of what the Queen of Talk suggests for living your best life, but here was someone who was taking everything Oprah said and applying it as real guidlines..

What was the result?

It took me a day and a half to read LIVING OPRAH, and I closed the book with a smile thinking of the many lessons I took in through Robyn's journey along the way. Yes, the account is about what Oprah says, but isn't the real test of any minister, speaker or individual who is considered an authority on a subject whether or not what they say really works for YOU? That was the day-to-day struggle for Robyn. You can be given all the tools in the world, but it is about how you apply them that makes the difference.

As a fellow creative, I appreciated the way Robyn took to the experiment with great thought. What were the pros and cons physically, financially and quite frankly emotionally? How would it affect her relationship with those in her life, especiailly her husband (I'll come back to him later)? What if people misunderstood her goal?

Robyn approached the answers to these questions in a way that was deliberate and cautious of the possible side effects. There were many things she liked that were praised by Oprah. When it came to issues of conflict and conscience,however,such as the lessons of The Secret, we see Robyn weigh it against her own beliefs. There were moments when she also seem to realize that by taking this year-long journey, she was going to be noticed.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Jaclyn Easton on December 19, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What makes this book special is that Robyn is NOT an Oprah super-fan, she's is your standard Oprah-admirer who took on this experiment in the spirit of a cultural and personal experiment. The result is a page-turner, remarkable for a non-fiction book. Robyn has an Nora Ephron-like writing style that works especially well with this material.

Also of note are the grids at the end of each chapter (one chapter = one month) summarizing that month's action items along with the time it took, the cost (if any) and her remarks. A wonderful reference to try a your own version of her experience.
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22 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Scott Woldman on December 25, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This book is a must-read not only for all the women who have ever watched an Oprah show and come away with an epiphany as to how to change their lives, but also for all the men who have had to decide whether or not to support said epiphany or run for cover!

I bought this book as a Christmas present for my wife who is a big Oprah fan, and Mrs. Okrant had us both in stitches. The anecdotes and observations were so funny, and neither of us could believe how far the author went to follow all of Oprah's advice. The situations and problems this caused are so hysterical- her husband should get some kind of medal!

At the same time, the book really made us look at Oprah in a completely different way, while at the same time, making us ponder are we really that messed up that we need someone on televion to give us advice?

Whether you are an Oprah fan, an Oprah critic, or just someone who marvels at the influence Oprah has on the world around us, Mrs. Okrant's honest, engaging and entertaining look at Oprah Winfrey provides a tremendous amount to think about as Oprah prepares to end her show, and Ms. Okrant does it in a way I guarantee will make you laugh out loud!
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By lmpc on December 13, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Ms. Okrant's account of her year spent implementing Oprah's lifestyle recommendations was a disappointment. After the first chapter I realized the book was not for me, but I confess to reading it all out of morbid curiosity as to the lengths this woman would go to make a statement of some kind. I found the author's tone to alternate between whiney and sarcastic. I respect Oprah a great deal but watch only her shows that are meaningful to me - which means maybe 5-8 shows a month. Ms. Okrant's obsessive viewing of every episode and literally following what she saw on the screen seemed a bit over the top and unrealistic for most of us. I can afford to buy some of the items that Oprah endorses on her show, but I in most cases I would not buy them because to me they are luxuries that I cannot afford when trying to recover my retirement fund from the recent downturns, or saving to make that nestegg grow! Instead of grasping the underlying message (treat yourself well - within one's means, if we listen to Suze Orman, a frequent show guest), this woman spent extravagantly - beyond what seemed to be her means based on her commentary throughout the book. I think greatest benefit from Oprah's "live your best life" philosophy is to work on improving our relationships with the important people in our lives, with spirit, and empowering ourselves - however we can achieve that within our means. The material side will follow, or our material desires will lessen, if we've embraced what is truly important. If you feel you might enjoy the book, check it out of the library instead of purchasing a copy.
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