Not even Jonathan Franzen's sniping could keep Oprah Winfrey's book club down. Winfrey, who abandoned the club a year ago when she found she no longer had the time to make monthly selections, will unveil a new choice on Wednesday's show. But Oprah's Book Club will be different this time around, with an emphasis on such ''classic'' authors as William Faulkner and Ernest Hemingway. Fans will have plenty of time to buy the Cliffs Notes: The follow-up program won't air until the fall. Three to five titles are expected to be named per year.
Though book-club episodes of ''Oprah'' regularly score lower ratings than other programming, publishers everywhere are likely heaving a sigh of relief. The book club boosted little-known books to the top of the best-seller list. Even Franzen saw his book's initial print run increase from 90,000 to 800,000. Imagine if he had gone on the show.