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OprahOprah's Book Club: Take Two

Clint Eastwood is seen on stage after accepting the brass balls award at the Spike TV Guys Choice awards in Culver City, Calif., on Saturday May 30, 2009.
AP
Get ready for the return of a publishing phenomenon. Not the new Harry Potter book, but Oprah Winfrey's book club.

The talk-show host will announce her long-awaited pick on her show next Wednesday, nearly four months after revealing that she was bringing back her club and focusing on "classic" authors such as William Faulkner and Ernest Hemingway.

"It's the book that brought back the Book Club," Winfrey said Friday in a statement about her upcoming selection. She had suspended her picks in April 2002, later saying she didn't have enough time to keep up monthly selections.

Fans will have plenty of time to read her comeback choice; the follow-up program will not air until the fall.

Winfrey had tentatively planned to name her club Traveling With the Classics. But a spokeswoman said it will be called, as it had been before, Oprah's Book Club. Winfrey is expected to make from three to five choices a year, with the books likely written by both living and dead authors.

"The selections will be great books that have stood the test of time," said Winfrey spokeswoman Lisa Halliday.

The revival of Winfrey's club, coming just three days before the June 21 release of "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," should prove more good news for the struggling publishing industry. Her choices, which most recently included Rohinton Mistry's "A Fine Balance" and Ann-Marie McDonald's "Fall on Your Knees," virtually guarantee hundreds of thousands of sales.

The book club started in 1996, with Jacquelyn Mitchard's "The Deep End of the Ocean." The novel was released with an initial printing of 100,000, but 640,000 copies were in print within a week of Winfrey's announcement.

Winfrey made 46 picks before announcing her final pick, Toni Morrison's "Sula."