I just finished the latest Oprah book club selection, The Road, by Cormac McCarthy, and I'm amazed at how different it is than the stereotype of what her book choices are. It's a far cry from Mitch Albom's Tuesdays with Morrie or Night by Elie Wiesel.
As readers of All the Pretty Horses know, McCarthy isn't the cheeriest writer on the planet, but his new book does an amazing job capturing the horror and desperation of a post-nuclear world.
McCarthy's spare style is a perfect parallel to the isolation felt by a father and son, known only as "the man" and "the boy," as they walk alone down the titular road. The themes of the role of the family, the decadence of the world, and the search for one's place in the world are all explored in a new way in this book.
I wouldn't recommend this book to young students as it does depict some terrifying scenes of cannibalism and brutality, but if you have a class of mature students looking for something contemporary to read, this would be an engaging choice.