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Oprah's Book Club: Franzen, Mandela, Rumors, And Legacy (PHOTOS)

  First Posted: 09/16/10 07:34 AM ET   Updated: 12/11/11 11:15 AM ET

After 25 years on the air, Oprah's farewell season began this week and on Friday, September 17, the media mogul will announce her final Book Club selection.

Rumors are of course circulating everywhere: Will she pick Nelson Mandela's 'Conversations With Myself'?

Will she forgive Jonathan Franzen's snub when he expressed discomfort at her invitation over 'The Corrections' nine years ago and make his new bestseller, 'Freedom,' the final book club choice? The New York Post thinks so.

We're on pins and needles awaiting word.

Oprah's Book Club, a venerable institution itself, has catapulted authors to stardom and brought attention to horrifying scandals. From Jonathan Franzen to James Frey, from Toni Morrison to Leo Tolstoy, the club has included authors across eras, genres and of many different stripes.

In 2008, Time Magazine wrote:

"The all-powerful Oprah Book Club is not so much a club as a ruthlessly influential marketing vehicle, with the power to fundamentally alter best-seller lists, Amazon rankings and royalty payments."

Overall, there have been 65 books admitted to the club, and the book club has had an interesting history. In preparation for Friday's episode, we've gathered and analyzed information to present the "7 Things You Need To Know Before Friday's Pick":

Frey's Lies
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James Frey's "A Million Little Pieces" was a fantastic fictional story about addiction and redemption. Too bad Frey pretended it was real. Oprah made millions for Frey, selecting his book in September of 2005. Four months later, following The Smoking Gun's report that the book was a hoax, Frey was back on Oprah's show -- but not as a guest. Instead, she interrogated him, making him admit that he lied and forcing him to reveal which parts of the book were untrue -- including the detail that his girlfriend didn't actually kill herself. "I feel that you betrayed millions of readers," Winfrey said to Frey. Read a transcript of the interview here.
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