"This is a first for me because each one of these five stories really just left me gasping," she said in brief remarks toward the end of her show. "Just an incredible book."
The author was not on the show, but this week he remarked that he is "very, very humbled" to have his work selected for Oprah's reading club -- and what surely will amount to huge sales.
Akpan, 38, is a native of Nigeria and an ordained Jesuit priest who in 2006 received a master's degree in creative writing from the University of Michigan.
He told Reuters he's not working on another book right now because he's busy with church work.
"I have permission to write, but I do not need an imprimatur from the church -- that is more for people who are writing about theology and philosophy. They see that I am writing fiction and assume it is made up," he said.
"Don't forget that Jesus was a priest and a poet."