Winfrey picks 2 Dickens novels for book club

New York: Better set some time aside for Oprah Winfrey`s latest book club pick.
The talk show host has selected a pair of Dickens classics, ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ and ‘Great Expectations.’ 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.

Because the copyright has long expired on the 19th-century novels, they are available through a variety of publishers and even directly from retailers. ‘Great Expectations’ can be downloaded for free on`s Kindle reader. ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ costs 99 cents on Barnes & Noble`s e-book device, the Nook.

Winfrey is to announce her selection Monday, when her long-awaited reconciliation with Jonathan Franzen will air.

Winfrey picked Franzen`s ‘Freedom’ nine years after his ambivalence over her selection of his novel "The Corrections" led her to withdraw his invitation to appear on her show. Franzen has written enviously of Dickens` time, when a new literary release "was anticipated with the kind of fever that a late-December film release inspires today."

On Sunday, The Associated Press purchased a copy of the new Dickens volume, which has the book club logo on the cover.

Messages left for Winfrey`s Harpo Productions in Chicago weren`t immediately returned.

Winfrey has chosen older works before, including Leo Tolstoy`s "Anna Karenina" and John Steinbeck`s ‘East of Eden.’ Her website recommends Dickens` "David Copperfield," noting it was a favorite of Tolstoy`s.

Bureau Report