I just finished reading my first "Oprah Book Club" book, and it was good. The Book: The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen - http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0312421273/qid=1110987707/sr=8-1/ref=pd_csp_1/103-2087585-2598229?v=glance&s=books&n=507846 -.
There's a back story to this one. I met the author a few years back when he interviewed me for an article in the New Yorker. He was a really good guy, and I wanted to read one of his books. I went out and bought The Corrections a month or two later, but just recently got around to reading the book. Those who know me well are aware of my 3 foot high stack of "to read" books; I kept picking up the book weighing its girth (and therefore its public transit readability) and picking a slimmer tome. Well, I ran out of paperbacks to read a finally decided to tackle the 600 pager. It was well worth it.
The Corrections tells a story of a family rife with personal conflicts and strained interactions. It really is a series of character studies with a plotline that serves to bind the individual facets together. It is well written and heartfelt, and I found myself relating to the characters (especially Chip) frequently. Franzen's writing style evokes a mix of a Dave Eggers or Douglas Coupland meets John Irving. The book is well written and pulls you in from the beginning. The read is easy, but I couldn't help but be amused at the thought of myriad housewives (purchasing the book from the Oprah sticker) wrestling with the gristly subject matter scattered throughout.
I definitely recommend reading The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen. I feel that this is one of those books that will remain in my mind years later, as did Nabokov's Lolita, Irving's Hotel New Hampshire, Ellis's Rules of Attraction, Palahniuk's Choke, Egger's A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, and Hornby's High Fidelity.
FYI: I just began to read Cad by Rick Marin (as provided by Mr. Gunderson). Once I finish, I'll let you know what I think.