The Underground Railroad
Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. When Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they decide to take a terrifying risk and escape. Though they manage to find a station and head north, they are being hunted. Their first stop is South Carolina, in a city that initially seems like a haven. But the city's placid surface masks an insidious scheme designed for its black denizens.
Ephram Jenkins has never forgotten the beautiful girl with the long braids running through the piney woods of Liberty, their small East Texas town. Young Ruby, "the kind of pretty it hurt to look at," is already quite damaged, but Ephram is forcibly drawn to her. As soon as she becomes a young woman and has any power of her own, Ruby flees suffocating Liberty for the bright pull of 1950s New York City. Years later, when a funeral forces her to return home, 30-year-old Ruby will find herself reliving the devastating violence of her girlhood. With the terrifying realization that she might not be strong enough to fight her way back out, Ruby struggles to survive her memories of the town's dark past. Meanwhile, Ephram must choose between loyalty to the sister who raised and stood by him and the chance for a life with the woman he has loved since he was a boy.
The Invention of Wings
Sue Monk Kidd
The story follows Hetty "Handful" Grimke, a Charleston slave, and Sarah, the daughter of the wealthy Grimke family. The novel begins on Sarah's eleventh birthday, when she is given ownership over Handful, who is to be her handmaid. "The Invention of Wings" follows the next thirty-five years of their lives. Inspired in part by the historical figure of Sarah Grimke (a feminist, suffragist and, importantly, an abolitionist), Kidd allows herself to go beyond the record to flesh out the inner lives of all the characters, both real and imagined.
The Twelve Tribes of Hattie
In 1923, fifteen-year-old Hattie Shepherd flees Georgia and settles in Philadelphia, hoping for a chance at a better life. Instead, she marries a man who will bring her nothing but disappointment and watches helplessly as her firstborn twins succumb to an illness a few pennies could have prevented. Hattie gives birth to nine more children whom she raises with grit and mettle and not an ounce of the tenderness they crave. She vows to prepare them for the calamitous difficulty they are sure to face in their later lives, to meet a world that will not love them, a world that will not be kind. Captured here in twelve luminous narrative threads, their lives tell the story of a mother's monumental courage and the journey of a nation.
Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail
Traces the personal crisis the author endured after the death of her mother and a painful divorce, which prompted her ambition to undertake a dangerous 1,100-mile solo hike that both drove her to rock bottom and helped her to heal.
A Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations
Two of the most beloved novels in all of English literature-together in one extraordinary volume. Presents the classic tale of love, courage, and sacrifice set against the cataclysmic events of the French Revolution, and the story of the orphan Pip and his rise in Victorian society when a mysterious benefactor allows him to be educated as a gentleman.
The idyllic lives of civic-minded environmentalists Patty and Walter Berglund come into question when their son moves in with aggressive Republican neighbors, green lawyer Walter takes a job in the coal industry, and go-getter Patty becomes increasingly unstable and enraged.
Say You’re One of Them
Each story in this jubilantly acclaimed collection pays testament to the wisdom and resilience of children, even in the face of the most agonizing circumstances. A family living in a makeshift shanty in urban Kenya scurries to find gifts of any kind for the impending Christmas holiday. A Rwandan girl relates her family's struggles to maintain a facade of normalcy amid unspeakable acts. A young brother and sister cope with their uncle's attempt to sell them into slavery. Aboard a bus filled with refugees - a microcosm of today's Africa - a Muslim boy summons his faith to bear a treacherous ride across Nigeria. Through the eyes of childhood friends the emotional toll of religious conflict in Ethiopia becomes viscerally clear. Uwem Akpan's debut signals the arrival of a breathtakingly talented writer who gives a matter-of-fact reality to the most extreme circumstances in stories that are nothing short of transcendent.
The Story of Edgar Sawtelle
Born mute, speaking only in sign, Edgar Sawtelle leads an idyllic life on his family's farm in remote northern Wisconsin where they raise and train an extraordinary breed of dog. But when tragedy strikes, Edgar is forced to flee into the vast neighboring wilderness, accompanied by only three yearling pups. Struggling for survival, Edgar comes of age in the wild, and must face the choice of leaving forever or revealing the terrible truth behind what has happened. A riveting family saga as well as a brilliant exploration of the limits of language, The Story of Edgar Sawtelle is destined to become a modern classic.
A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose
An illustrated edition of the best-selling Oprah Book Club Pick features author-selected inspirational passages from the original work enhanced by four-color commissioned artwork, a ribbon marker, and a gift-appropriate design.
A father and his son walk alone through burned America. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind. It is cold enough to crack stones, and when the snow falls it is gray. The sky is dark. Their destination is the coast, although they don't know what, if anything, awaits them there. They have nothing; just a pistol to defend themselves against the lawless bands that stalk the road, the clothes they are wearing, a cart of scavenged food - and each other.
Night is Elie Wiesel’s masterpiece, a candid, horrific, and deeply poignant autobiographical account of his survival as a teenager in the Nazi death camps. This new translation by Marion Wiesel, Elie’s wife and frequent translator, presents this seminal memoir in the language and spirit truest to the author’s original intent. And in a substantive new preface, Elie reflects on the enduring importance of Night and his lifelong, passionate dedication to ensuring that the world never forgets man’s capacity for inhumanity to man.
A Million Little Pieces
A searing memoir of drug and alcohol abuse and the rehabilitation experience offers a provocative look at addiction and recovery through the eyes of a man who had taken his addictions to deadly extremes, describing the torments of withdrawal and detoxification, the desperate urge to use chemicals, and the battle to confront the consequences of his life and redefine his future.
As I Lay Dying
One of William Faulkner's finest novels, "As I lay dying" was originally published in 1930, and remains a captivating and stylistically innovative work. The story revolves around a grim yet darkly humorous pilgrimage, as Addie Bundren's family sets out to fulfill her last wish: to be buried in her native Jefferson, Mississippi, far from the miserable backwater surroundings of her married life.
A Fine Balance
In India during the mid-1970s, after a "state of internal emergency" is declared, four very different people--a widowed seamstress, a student, and a man and his nephew who have fled their village's caste violence--find their lives becoming inextricably intertwined.
Stolen Lives: Twenty Years in a Desert Jail
The daughter of a former aide to the king of Morocco, who was executed after a failed assassination attempt on the ruler, describes how she, her five siblings, and her mother were imprisoned in a desert penal colony for twenty years.
Gwyn Hyman Rubio
After years of living in a children's asylum for having spontaneous jerks and spasms, Icy returns home and is quickly befriended by Miss Emily, who cares for her and teachers her the ways of life, transforming Icy into a new person and forever changing her view of the world.
Samantha is abandoned by her husband in the opening pages of this three-handkerchief special, and the resultant tremors keep her off-balance for most of the novel. There are practical problems aplenty, of course, including a shortage of money and an 11-year-old son to raise. But Sam's sense of emotional bereavement is far worse, despite the fact that her husband had been giving her the conjugal cold shoulder for years. The loneliness in her "as constant and as irrefutable" as circulating blood, Sam begins to rebuild her life. She finds a job and takes in a couple of boarders to help meet her mortgage payments--one of them, a depressed student named Lavender Blue, informs her that "life was nothing but one major disappointment after the other"--The sort of homily that Sam is understandably reluctant to hear these days. She also starts dating, with disastrous results.
The Poisonwood Bible
The family of a fierce evangelical Baptist missionary--Nathan Price, his wife, and his four daughters--begins to unravel after they embark on a 1959 mission to the Belgian Congo, where they find their lives forever transformed over the course of three decades by the political and social upheaval of Africa.
While I Was Gone
Having moved on with her life after a friend was brutally murdered, Jo Becker is now married with a grown family, but when an old housemate moves into the neighborhood, Jo rekindles a relationship that takes her back to the past and threatens her future.
With his mother in jail for killing his abusive father, nineteen-year-old Harley Altmyer is charged with caring for his three sisters in a backwards Pennsylvania coal town, but despite his fatherly responsibilities, he is still a teenage boy and lusts after the mother of two who lives down the road.
Daughter of Fortune
Raised in the British colony of Valparaiso, Chile, after being abandoned as a baby, a pregnant Eliza follows her lover, Joaquin Andieta, to California at the height of the Gold Rush and finds adventure and adversity on her road to independence and love.
There is a most unusual woman living in Gap Creek. Julie Harmon works hard, "hard as a man," they say, so hard that at times she's not sure she can stop. People depend on her to slaughter the hogs and nurse the dying. People are weak, and there is so much to do. She is just a teenager when her little brother dies in her arms. That same year she marries and moves down into the valley where floods and fire and visions visit themselves on her, and con men and drunks and lawyers come calling.
River, Cross My Heart
After the drowning death of their daughter in the Potomac River, a family leaves their rural North Carolina world in search of a better life among friends and relatives in Georgetown, as they grapple with their loss and struggle to move forward.
Mother of Pearl
In a small Mississippi town during the late 1950s, Even Grade, a twenty-eight-year-old black man who grew up as an orphan, and Valuable Korner, the teenage white daughter of the local prostitute, search for love, family, and commitment as their lives intersect with that of Joody Two Sun, a seer who becomes Even's lover.
What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day
After more than a decade of living the high life, Ava Johnson returns home to the quiet northern Michigan community in which she grew up with a dark secret, but Ava cannot turn her back on friends and family who need her, nor help falling deeply in love.
Breath, Eyes, Memory
At the age of twelve, Sophie Caco is sent from the impoverished village of Croix-des-Rosets to New York to be reunited with her mother, where she gains a legacy of shame that can only be healed when she returns to Haiti, to the woman who first reared her.
Captures the dreams, memories, conflicts, and complex interior lives of the citizens of a small, all-Black town as four young women are brutally attacked in a convent near the town during the 1970s, in a novel that blends past, present, and future.
A Lesson Before Dying
Ernest J. Gaines
Grant Wiggins, a college-educated man who returns to his hometown to teach, forms an unlikely bond with Jefferson, a young Black man convicted of murder and sentenced to death, when he is asked to impart his learning and pride to the condemned man.
The Heart of a Woman
This engaging book chronicles the changes in Maya Angelou's life as she enters the hub of activity that is New York. There, at the Harlem Writers Guild, she rededicates herself to writing, and finds love at an unexpected moment. Reflecting on her many roles--from northern coordinator of Martin Luther King's history-making quest to mother of a rebellious teenage son--Angelou eloquently speaks to an awareness of the heart within us all.
The Deep End of the Ocean
The disappearance of her three-year-old son Ben threatens to drive a wedge between Beth Cappadora and her husband, Pat, and transforms her older son into a troubled delinquent, until one day nine years later when Ben comes back into their lives.