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  1. The Underground Railroad

    by Colson Whitehead
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟢🟡
    Affinity: 🟢🟢🟢🟢
    Readership: Fairly popular

    The story is told in the third person, focusing mainly on Cora. Scattered single chapters also focus on Cora's mother Mabel, the slavecatcher Ridgeway, a reluctant slave sympathizer named Ethel, and Cora's fellow slave Caesar. Cora is a slave on a plantation in Georgia and an outcast after her mother Mabel ran off without her. She resents Mabel for escaping, although it is later revealed that her mother, in an attempt to return to Cora, died from a snake bite and never reached her. Caesar approaches Cora about a plan to flee. Reluctant at first, she eventually agrees as her … (Wikipedia)

  2. There There

    by Tommy Orange
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
    Affinity: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
    Readership: Somewhat known

    The book begins with an essay by Orange, detailing "brief and jarring vignettes revealing the violence and genocide that Indigenous people have endured, and how it has been sanitized over the centuries." ,, As the novel continues into fiction it alternates between first and third person perspectives, following 12 Native American characters in the area of Oakland, California. ,, ,, ,[a], The main characters include, Tony Loneman, Dene Oxendene, Opal Viola Victoria Bear Shield, Edwin Black, Bill Davis, Calvin Johnson, Jacquie Red Feather, Orvil Red Feather, Octavio Gomez, Daniel Gonzales, Blue, and Thomas Frank. The book examines Blue with "heartbreaking … (Wikipedia)

  3. Hamnet

    by Maggie O'Farrell
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
    Affinity: 🟢🟢⚪️⚪️
    Readership: Somewhat known

    Drawing on Maggie O'Farrell's long-term fascination with the little-known story behind Shakespeare's most enigmatic play, Hamnet is a luminous portrait of a marriage, at its heart the loss of a beloved child. Warwickshire in the 1580s. Agnes is a woman as feared as she is sought after for her unusual gifts. She settles with her husband in Henley street, Stratford, and has three children: a daughter, Susanna, and then twins, Hamnet and Judith. The boy, Hamnet, dies in 1596, aged eleven. Four years or so later, the husband writes a play called Hamlet. Award-winning author Maggie O'Farrell's new novel breathes … (Goodreads)

  4. Lincoln in the Bardo

    by George Saunders
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟢🟡
    Affinity: 🟢🟢⚪️⚪️
    Readership: Somewhat known

    In his long-awaited first novel, American master George Saunders delivers his most original, transcendent, and moving work yet. Unfolding in a graveyard over the course of a single night, narrated by a dazzling chorus of voices, Lincoln in the Bardo is a literary experience unlike any other—for no one but Saunders could conceive it. February 1862. The Civil War is less than one year old. The fighting has begun in earnest, and the nation has begun to realize it is in for a long, bloody struggle. Meanwhile, President Lincoln’s beloved eleven-year-old son, Willie, lies upstairs in the White House, gravely … (Goodreads)

  5. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

    by Junot Díaz
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟢🟡
    Affinity: 🟢🟡⚪️⚪️
    Readership: Fairly popular

    Oscar de León (nicknamed Oscar Wao, a bastardization of Oscar Wilde ) is an overweight Dominican growing up in Paterson, New Jersey. Oscar desperately wants to be successful with women but, from a young age, is unable to find love, largely because he is a nerd obsessed with science fiction and comic books. His great fear is that he will die a virgin. After high school, Oscar attends Rutgers University. His sister's boyfriend Yunior (the narrator of much of the novel) moves in with Oscar and tries to help him get in shape and become more "normal". After "getting dissed … (Wikipedia)

  6. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

    by Betty Smith
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟢🟢
    Affinity: 🟢⚪️⚪️⚪️
    Readership: Popular

    The novel is split into five "books", each covering a different period in the characters' lives. Book One opens in 1912 and introduces 11-year-old Francie Nolan, who lives in the Williamsburg tenement neighborhood of Brooklyn with her 10-year-old brother Cornelius ("Neeley" for short) and their parents, Johnny and Katie. Francie relies on her imagination and her love of reading to provide a temporary escape from the poverty that defines her daily existence. The family subsists on Katie's wages from cleaning apartment buildings, pennies from the children's junk-selling and odd jobs, and Johnny's irregular earnings as a singing waiter. His alcoholism … (Wikipedia)

  7. Invisible Man

    by Ralph Ellison
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟢🟡
    Affinity: 🟢🟡⚪️⚪️
    Readership: Somewhat known

    The narrator, an unnamed black man, begins by describing his living conditions: an underground room wired with hundreds of electric lights, operated by power stolen from the city's electric grid. He reflects on the various ways in which he has experienced social invisibility during his life and begins to tell his story, returning to his teenage years. The narrator lives in a small Southern town and, upon graduating from high school, wins a scholarship to an all-black college . However, to receive it, he must first take part in a brutal, humiliating battle royal for the entertainment of the town's … (Wikipedia)

  8. Girl, Woman, Other

    by Bernardine Evaristo
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
    Affinity: 🟢🟡⚪️⚪️
    Readership: Somewhat known

    Joint Winner of the Man Booker Prize 2019 Teeming with life and crackling with energy — a love song to modern Britain and black womanhood Girl, Woman, Other follows the lives and struggles of twelve very different characters. Mostly women, black and British, they tell the stories of their families, friends and lovers, across the country and through the years. Joyfully polyphonic and vibrantly contemporary, this is a gloriously new kind of history, a novel of our times: celebratory, ever-dynamic and utterly irresistible. … (Goodreads)

  9. The Overstory

    by Richard Powers
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
    Affinity: 🟢🟢⚪️⚪️
    Readership: Somewhat known

    Nicholas Hoel, Mimi Ma, Adam Appich, Ray Brinkman, Dorothy Cazaly, Douglas Pavlicek, Neelay Mehta, Patricia Westerford, and Olivia Vandergriff are people who had unique relationships with trees which occasionally led to tragedy or salvation. Patricia Westerford recognizes that trees are social organisms rather than isolated ones and presents research to prove this; however, she is ridiculed for being "unscientific." Later, scientists will realize that she was right and give her international recognition, but she has been disillusioned from this world and prefers to study old forest growth on her own instead. To share her research, she publishes a widely successful … (Wikipedia)

  10. The Water Dancer

    by Ta-Nehisi Coates
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
    Affinity: 🟢🟢⚪️⚪️
    Readership: Eclectic

    An alternative cover edition for this ISBN can be found ,here, and ,here,. Young Hiram Walker was born into bondage. When his mother was sold away, Hiram was robbed of all memory of her—but was gifted with a mysterious power. Years later, when Hiram almost drowns in a river, that same power saves his life. This brush with death births an urgency in Hiram and a daring scheme: to escape from the only home he’s ever known. So begins an unexpected journey that takes Hiram from the corrupt grandeur of Virginia’s proud plantations to desperate guerrilla cells in the wilderness, … (Goodreads)

  11. The Sympathizer

    by Viet Thanh Nguyen
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟢🟡
    Affinity: 🟢🟢⚪️⚪️
    Readership: Eclectic

    It is April 1975, and Saigon is in chaos. At his villa, a general of the South Vietnamese army is drinking whiskey and, with the help of his trusted captain, drawing up a list of those who will be given passage aboard the last flights out of the country. The general and his compatriots start a new life in Los Angeles, unaware that one among their number, the captain, is secretly observing and reporting on the group to a higher-up in the Viet Cong. The Sympathizer is the story of this captain: a man brought up by an absent French … (Goodreads)

  12. Americanah

    by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟢🟢
    Affinity: 🟢⚪️⚪️⚪️
    Readership: Fairly popular

    Ifemelu and Obinze are young and in love when they depart military-ruled Nigeria for the West. Beautiful, self-assured Ifemelu heads for America, where despite her academic success, she is forced to grapple with what it means to be black for the first time. Quiet, thoughtful Obinze had hoped to join her, but with post-9/11 America closed to him, he instead plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London. Fifteen years later, they reunite in a newly democratic Nigeria, and reignite their passion—for each other and for their homeland. … (Goodreads)

  13. East of Eden

    by John Steinbeck
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟢🟢
    Affinity: 🟢⚪️⚪️⚪️
    Readership: Popular

    In his journal, Nobel Prize winner John Steinbeck called East of Eden “the first book,” and indeed it has the primordial power and simplicity of myth. Set in the rich farmland of California’s Salinas Valley, this sprawling and often brutal novel follows the intertwined destinies of two families—the Trasks and the Hamiltons—whose generations helplessly reenact the fall of Adam and Eve and the poisonous rivalry of Cain and Abel. Adam Trask came to California from the East to farm and raise his family on the new rich land. But the birth of his twins, Cal and Aaron, brings his wife … (Goodreads)

  14. The Secret History

    by Donna Tartt
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟢🟡
    Affinity: 🟢⚪️⚪️⚪️
    Readership: Popular

    Under the influence of their charismatic classics professor, a group of clever, eccentric misfits at an elite New England college discover a way of thinking and living that is a world away from the humdrum existence of their contemporaries. But when they go beyond the boundaries of normal morality they slip gradually from obsession to corruption and betrayal, and at last—inexorably—into evil. … (Goodreads)

  15. Cloud Cuckoo Land

    by Anthony Doerr
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
    Affinity: 🟢🟢⚪️⚪️
    Readership: Eclectic

    This exclusive B&N edition contains an essay by Anthony Doerr, tying together—as only he can—boundary walls, fear of the unknown, sacred gateways, and reading across a lifetime. ,From the Pulitzer Prize–winning ,,author of perhaps the most bestselling and beloved literary fiction of our time comes a triumph of imagination and compassion, a soaring novel about children on the cusp of adulthood in a broken world, who find resilience, hope, and story. ,,,,,The heroes of ,Cloud Cuckoo Land, are children trying to figure out the world around them, and to survive. In the besieged city of Constantinople in 1453, in a … (Barnes & Noble)

  16. Exit West

    by Mohsin Hamid
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
    Affinity: 🟢🟡⚪️⚪️
    Readership: Somewhat known

    Nadia and Saeed meet when they are working students in an unnamed city. Saeed is more conservative and still lives at home, as custom generally requires, but the more independent Nadia has chosen to live alone and has been disowned by her parents for doing so. As war breaks out and militants begin attacking the city, the two fall in love. After Saeed's mother is killed by a stray bullet while searching for a lost earring in her car, Nadia moves in with Saeed and his father, despite not wanting to marry Saeed as propriety requires. As the militants successfully … (Wikipedia)

  17. Their Eyes Were Watching God

    by Zora Neale Hurston
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟢🟡
    Affinity: 🟢⚪️⚪️⚪️
    Readership: Fairly popular

    Fair and long-legged, independent and articulate, Janie Crawford sets out to be her own person -- no mean feat for a black woman in the '30s. Janie's quest for identity takes her through three marriages and into a journey back to her roots. … (Goodreads)

  18. The Four Winds

    by Kristin Hannah
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
    Affinity: 🟢⚪️⚪️⚪️
    Readership: Popular

    One of "27 of 2021's Most Anticipated Historical Fiction Novels That Will Sweep You Away" — ,Oprah Magazine, One of ,",The Most Anticipated Books of Winter 2021" — ,Parade, One of the "Books Everyone Will Talk About in 2021" — ,PopSugar, One of ,",The 57 Most Anticipated Books Of 2021" — ,Elle, One of "The 21 Best Books of 2021 for Working Moms" — ,Working Mother,,,One of "The Most Anticipated Winter Books That Will Keep You Cozy All Season Long" — ,Stylecaster, One of the "Most Anticipated Books of 2021" — ,Frolic, ,,"Through one woman’s survival during the harsh and … (Barnes & Noble)

  19. The Mirror & the Light

    by Hilary Mantel
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
    Affinity: 🟢🟢🟢⚪️
    Readership: Very niche

    With The Mirror & the Light , Hilary Mantel brings to a triumphant close the trilogy she began with her peerless, Booker Prize-winning novels, Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies . She traces the final years of Thomas Cromwell, the boy from nowhere who climbs to the heights of power, offering a defining portrait of predator and prey, of a ferocious contest between present and past, between royal will and a common man’s vision: of a modern nation making itself through conflict, passion and courage. The story begins in May 1536: Anne Boleyn is dead, decapitated in the space … (Goodreads)

  20. Project Hail Mary

    by Andy Weir
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
    Affinity: 🟢⚪️⚪️⚪️
    Readership: Fairly popular

    Ryland Grace is the sole survivor on a desperate, last-chance mission—and if he fails, humanity and the Earth itself will perish. Except that right now, he doesn't know that. He can't even remember his own name, let alone the nature of his assignment or how to complete it. All he knows is that he's been asleep for a very, very long time. And he's just been awakened to find himself millions of miles from home, with nothing but two corpses for company. His crewmates dead, his memories fuzzily returning, he realizes that an impossible task now confronts him. Alone on … (Goodreads)