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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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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Center Street; 1 edition (January 4, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1599952394
  • ISBN-13: 978-1599952390
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,478,644 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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Customer Reviews

A very easy and fun read.
an exerciser
If you feel you might enjoy the book, check it out of the library instead of purchasing a copy.
Robyn's experiment was smart and REALLY funny at times.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Cyrus Webb TOP 1000 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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22 of 28 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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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer 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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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Mediaman on March 18, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This high-concept book of doing everything Oprah says for a year is a great idea--but suffers due to the chirpy personality of the author. Instead of this being an objective, critical view of the hundreds of things the talk show host asks her viewers to do, it ends up being a god-like worship experience where the author continually praises Winfrey without reason.

From the start Okrant goes overboard to tell how great Oprah Winfrey is. The author adores the successful TV star. The writer claims to try to retain neutrality yet says that "because of her philanthropic work and generosity to her audience, she is above reproach." At one point Okrant says of the talk host, "She sustains us with her presence"--are we talking about God's Holy Spirit or simply a woman whose goal was to be famous and has done it without the burden of marriage, children or even extended family?

The author makes the assumption that Oprah's every command should be followed, ignoring the fact that many of Oprah's suggestions are from her sponsors or staff. Winfrey herself doesn't select most of the items for her show or magazine--yes, she gets final approval but these are suggestions created by other people to fit within the Oprah branding image. They are often well-placed promotions by companies, where both Oprah and the guest know that they are there to market. Why does the author just buy into this scheme instead of uncovering it for what it is?

She not only makes Winfrey out to be god by listening to her every command, but she overestimates the amount of work Oprah does. She claims that the talk host is incredibly overworked and it "doesn't appear...she is able to take her own advice when it comes to achieving balance.
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