Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page 45.
- Review Date: 2009-10-19
- Reviewer: Staff
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.)