What I Know For Sure: Book review

Six months ago, in a generic book store in Muscat’s Grand Mall I picked this up:


And I bought it.

I can’t pretend I’d been thinking enough about daytime TV legends to have planned the purchase, but I liked the look of it.

Much of my teenhood was spent in front of Oprah and the ilk of programmes she inspired. Anyone who was telly-watching in the nineties couldn’t help but witness the sensation that was The Jerry Springer Show. (Not to mention our English equivalent, Robert Kilroy-Silk and his marvellous tan.)

But Oprah was something else. She seemed to have figured out the precise ingredients to make you smile, cry and want to watch every show. Like good friends, viewers followed her story, cared when she did, trusted the choices she made.


So when I saw this book I picked it up and took it home. I’m glad I did as it’s been a great distraction since last month’s theatricals.

Its chapters are mercifully short; the book is based on a column from Oprah’s magazine which began when she was asked:

“What do you know for sure?”

After considering the question, Oprah began to muse weekly on the theme. This book is a compilation of those thoughts.

If, like me, you enjoy the occasional self-help book, nouveau mysticism, ‘chicken soup for the soul’ type of wisdom then this may well be your thing.


I have a feeling Oprah didn’t pen it herself, that there exists a translucent ghost writer who wove a certain fluency through its pages. But it does contain her warmth, the type of grounded care which, branded, made Oprah a household name.

It is, though, her unapologetic enjoyment of life which kept me flicking the pages forward. A light yet spiritual read, I’d call it a broth more than a soup. Here’s a taster:

What Oprah knows for sure…

Reading opens you up.

Healing the wounds of the past is one of the biggest and most worthwhile challenges of life.

You are built not to shrink down to less but to blossom into more. To be more splendid. To be more extraordinary.

Everything you do and say shows the world who you are. Let it be the truth.

As long as we play the ‘us’ and ‘them’ game, we don’t evolve as people as a nation, as a planet.

Oprah’s call is one of self-development, each along our own path.

What I, personally, know for sure is that to want to grow beyond the boundaries of circumstance is a valuable step towards change. That as Oprah encourages us to honour our true colours, she is helping to stripe the rainbow towards a more compassionate world.

Please, as always, feel free to comment 🙂


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