Books Selected for Oprah’s Book Club

The Kirkus Prize Seal

Oprah’s Book Club 2.0 launched in June of 2012 and is a joint venture between, Oprah Winfrey, OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network, and O: The Oprah Magazine. The club is a re-launch of the original Book Club which ran from 1996 until 2011. Here are all the authors, of African descent, who have been selected Oprah’s Book Clubs since 1996.


One Book Selected for Oprah’s Book Club in 2020

June’s Selection

Deacon King Kong
by James McBride

Publication Date:
List Price: $28.00
Format: Hardcover, 384 pages
Classification: Fiction
ISBN13: 9780735216723
Imprint: Riverhead Books
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Parent Company: Bertelsmann
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Read a Description of Deacon King Kong


Book Description: 
From James McBride, author of the National Book Award-winning The Good Lord Bird, comes a wise and witty novel about what happens to the witnesses of a shooting.

In September 1969, a fumbling, cranky old church deacon known as Sportcoat shuffles into the courtyard of the Cause Houses housing project in south Brooklyn, pulls a .38 from his pocket, and in front of everybody shoots the project’s drug dealer at point-blank range.

The reasons for this desperate burst of violence and the consequences that spring from it lie at the heart of Deacon King Kong, James McBride’s funny, moving novel and his first since his National Book Award-winning The Good Lord Bird. In Deacon King Kong, McBride brings to vivid life the people affected by the shooting: the victim, the African-American and Latinx residents who witnessed it, the white neighbors, the local cops assigned to investigate, the members of the Five Ends Baptist Church where Sportcoat was deacon, the neighborhood’s Italian mobsters, and Sportcoat himself.

As the story deepens, it becomes clear that the lives of the characters—caught in the tumultuous swirl of 1960s New York—overlap in unexpected ways. When the truth does emerge, McBride shows us that not all secrets are meant to be hidden, that the best way to grow is to face change without fear, and that the seeds of love lie in hope and compassion.

Bringing to these pages both his masterly storytelling skills and his abiding faith in humanity, James McBride has written a novel every bit as involving as The Good Lord Bird and as emotionally honest as The Color of Water. Told with insight and wit, Deacon King Kong demonstrates that love and faith live in all of us.