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  1. Half of a Yellow Sun

    by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟢🟢
    Affinity: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
    Readership: Somewhat known

    The novel takes place in Nigeria prior to and during the Nigerian Civil War (1967–70). The effect of the war is shown through the relationships of five people's lives including the twin daughters of an influential businessman, a professor, a British citizen, and a Nigerian houseboy. After Biafra 's declaration of secession, the lives of the main characters drastically change and are torn apart by the brutality of the civil war and decisions in their personal lives. The book jumps between events that took place during the early and late 1960s, when the war took place, and extends until the … (Wikipedia)

  2. Purple Hibiscus

    by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟢🟡
    Affinity: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
    Readership: Eclectic

    A previously published edition of ISBN 9781616202415 can be found ,here., Fifteen-year-old Kambili and her older brother Jaja lead a privileged life in Enugu, Nigeria. They live in a beautiful house, with a caring family, and attend an exclusive missionary school. They're completely shielded from the troubles of the world. Yet, as Kambili reveals in her tender-voiced account, things are less perfect than they appear. Although her Papa is generous and well respected, he is fanatically religious and tyrannical at home—a home that is silent and suffocating. As the country begins to fall apart under a military coup, Kambili and … (Goodreads)

  3. 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)

  4. 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)

  5. The Story of a New Name

    by Elena Ferrante
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
    Affinity: 🟢🟢⚪️⚪️
    Readership: Somewhat known

    In 2012, Elena Ferrante's My Brilliant Friend introduced readers to the unforgettable Elena and Lila, whose lifelong friendship provides the backbone for the Neapolitan Novels. The Story of a New Name is the second book in this series. With these books, which the New Yorker 's James Wood described as "large, captivating, amiably peopled ... a beautiful and delicate tale of confluence and reversal," Ferrante proves herself to be one of Italy's most accomplished storytellers. She writes vividly about a specific neighborhood of Naples from the late-1950s through to the current day and about two remarkable young women who are … (Goodreads)

  6. Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay

    by Elena Ferrante
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
    Affinity: 🟢🟢⚪️⚪️
    Readership: Somewhat known

    In this third Neapolitan novel, Elena and Lila, the two girls whom readers first met in My Brilliant Friend, have become women. Lila married at sixteen and has a young son; she has left her abusive husband and now works as a common laborer. Elena has left the neighborhood, earned her college degree, and published a successful novel, all of which have opened the doors to a world of learned interlocutors and richly furnished salons. Both women have pushed against the walls of a prison that would have seen them living a life of misery, ignorance, and submission. They are … (Goodreads)

  7. A Little Life

    by Hanya Yanagihara
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
    Affinity: 🟢⚪️⚪️⚪️
    Readership: Fairly popular

    The novel follows the lives of four friends in New York City from college through to middle-age. It focuses particularly on Jude, a lawyer with a mysterious past, ambiguous ethnicity, and unexplained health issues. Jude walks with a limp and suffers from severe nerve damage in his spine that causes him great pain, which he blames on a car injury he sustained as a child. Unbeknownst to the rest of the group, he also habitually self-harms . The rest of the group includes Malcolm, a struggling architect from a wealthy biracial family who still lives at home; JB, a painter … (Wikipedia)

  8. The Story of the Lost Child

    by Elena Ferrante
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
    Affinity: 🟢🟢⚪️⚪️
    Readership: Eclectic

    "Nothing quite like this has ever been published before," proclaimed The Guardian about the Neapolitan novels in 2014. Against the backdrop of a Naples that is as seductive as it is perilous and a world undergoing epochal change, Elena Ferrante tells the story of a lifelong friendship between two women with unmatched honesty and brilliance. The Story of the Lost Child is the concluding volume in the dazzling saga of two women — the brilliant, bookish Elena, and the fiery, uncontainable Lila. Both are now adults, with husbands, lovers, aging parents, and children. Their friendship has been the gravitational center … (Goodreads)

  9. Beloved

    by Toni Morrison
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
    Affinity: 🟢⚪️⚪️⚪️
    Readership: Fairly popular

    Beloved begins in 1873 in Cincinnati, Ohio , where the protagonist Sethe, a formerly enslaved woman, has been living with her eighteen-year-old daughter Denver at 124 Bluestone Road. The book explores the lives of Sethe and her daughter after their escape from slavery, opening in 1873 after the Civil War. Their Cincinnati home has been haunted for years by what they believe is the ghost of Sethe's eldest daughter. Because of the haunting— which often involves objects being thrown around the room— Sethe's youngest daughter Denver is shy, friendless, and housebound. Sethe's sons, Howard and Buglar, ran away from home … (Wikipedia)

  10. Life After Life

    by Kate Atkinson
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟢🟡
    Affinity: 🟢🟡⚪️⚪️
    Readership: Somewhat known

    The novel has an unusual structure, repeatedly looping back in time to describe alternative possible lives for its central character, Ursula Todd, who is born on 11 February 1910 to an upper-middle-class family near Chalfont St Peter in Buckinghamshire . In the first version, she is strangled by her umbilical cord and stillborn. In later iterations of her life she dies as a child - drowning in the sea, or when saved from that, by falling to her death from the roof when trying to retrieve a fallen doll. Then there are several sequences when she falls victim to the … (Wikipedia)

  11. Interpreter of Maladies

    by Jhumpa Lahiri
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟢🟡
    Affinity: 🟢🟡⚪️⚪️
    Readership: Somewhat known

    A married couple, Shukumar and Shoba, live as strangers in their house until an electrical outage brings them together when all of sudden "they [are] able to talk to each other again" in the four nights of darkness. From the point of view of Shukumar, we are given bits and pieces of memory which slowly gives insight into what has caused the distance in the marriage. For a brief moment, it seems the distance is nothing but perhaps a result of a disagreement. However, descriptions of Shukumar and Shoba's changed physical appearances begin to hint at something much more than … (Wikipedia)

  12. Pachinko

    by Lee Min-jin
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
    Affinity: 🟢⚪️⚪️⚪️
    Readership: Fairly popular

    The novel takes place over the course of three books: Book I Gohyang/Hometown, Book II Motherland, and Book III Pachinko. In 1883, in the little island fishing village of Yeongdo , which is a ferry ride from Busan, an aging fisherman and his wife take in lodgers to make a little more money. They have three sons, but only one, Hoonie, with a cleft lip and twisted foot, survives to adulthood. Because of his deformities, Hoonie is considered ineligible for marriage. When he is 27, Japan annexes Korea and many families are left destitute and lacking food. Due to their … (Wikipedia)

  13. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

    by Sherman Alexie
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟢🟡
    Affinity: 🟢⚪️⚪️⚪️
    Readership: Fairly popular

    The book follows a fourteen-year-old boy living with his family on the Spokane Indian Reservation near Wellpinit, Washington for a school year. It is told in episodic diary style, moving from the start of the school year to the beginning of summer. It includes both Junior's written record of his life and his cartoon drawings, some of them comically commenting on his situations, and others more seriously depicting important people in his life. The Absolutely True Diary begins by introducing Junior's birth defects, including the fact that he was born with hydrocephalus and therefore is small for his age and … (Wikipedia)

  14. Parable of the Sower

    by Octavia E. Butler
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
    Affinity: 🟢🟡⚪️⚪️
    Readership: Eclectic

    This highly acclaimed post-apocalyptic novel of hope and terror from award-winning author Octavia E. Butler "pairs well with ,1984 ,or ,The Handmaid's Tale," (John Green, ,New York Times,)--now with a new foreword by N. K. Jemisin. When global climate change and economic crises lead to social chaos in the early 2020s, California becomes full of dangers, from pervasive water shortage to masses of vagabonds who will do anything to live to see another day. Fifteen-year-old Lauren Olamina lives inside a gated community with her preacher father, family, and neighbors, sheltered from the surrounding anarchy. In a society where any vulnerability … (Barnes & Noble)

  15. Bring Up the Bodies

    by Hilary Mantel
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟢🟢
    Affinity: 🟢🟡⚪️⚪️
    Readership: Eclectic

    Bring Up the Bodies follows closely upon the events of Wolf Hall . The King and Cromwell —now Master Secretary to the King's Privy Council—are guests of the Seymour family at Wolf Hall. The King spends time with Jane Seymour and begins to fall in love; his marriage to the new queen, Anne Boleyn , is sometimes loving but often descends into angry quarrels. "I cannot live as I have lived," Henry finally tells Cromwell in private. He has tired of Anne, who brings him neither peace nor a son, and wants his marriage ended. Cromwell vows to make this … (Wikipedia)

  16. Tell the Wolves I'm Home

    by Carol Rifka Brunt
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
    Affinity: 🟢🟡⚪️⚪️
    Readership: Somewhat known

    June Elbus is a 14-year-old girl living in Westchester in 1986. She is in love with her gay uncle, Finn Weiss, a fact she is scared to admit even to herself. Finn is dying of AIDS. Being a professional painter, he asks June and her elder sister Greta to sit for a portrait, which he completes a few days before his death. At his funeral, June notices a stranger hanging around. She learns that he is Finn's boyfriend, Toby. She is warned against him by her family, particularly her mother, who forbids June from having any contact with him. One … (Wikipedia)

  17. A Visit from the Goon Squad

    by Jennifer Egan
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟢🟡
    Affinity: 🟢⚪️⚪️⚪️
    Readership: Somewhat known

    Jennifer Egan’s spellbinding interlocking narratives circle the lives of Bennie Salazar, an aging former punk rocker and record executive, and Sasha, the passionate, troubled young woman he employs. Although Bennie and Sasha never discover each other’s pasts, the reader does, in intimate detail, along with the secret lives of a host of other characters whose paths intersect with theirs, over many years, in locales as varied as New York, San Francisco, Naples, and Africa. We first meet Sasha in her mid-thirties, on her therapist’s couch in New York City, confronting her long-standing compulsion to steal. Later, we learn the genesis … (Goodreads)

  18. A Tale for the Time Being

    by Ruth Ozeki
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
    Affinity: 🟢🟡⚪️⚪️
    Readership: Eclectic

    In Tokyo, sixteen-year-old Nao has decided there’s only one escape from her aching loneliness and her classmates’ bullying, but before she ends it all, Nao plans to document the life of her great-grandmother, a Buddhist nun who’s lived more than a century. A diary is Nao’s only solace—and will touch lives in a ways she can scarcely imagine. Across the Pacific, we meet Ruth, a novelist living on a remote island who discovers a collection of artifacts washed ashore in a Hello Kitty lunchbox—possibly debris from the devastating 2011 tsunami. As the mystery of its contents unfolds, Ruth is pulled … (Goodreads)

  19. 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)

  20. Another Brooklyn

    by Jacqueline Woodson
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
    Affinity: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
    Readership: Very niche

    The story starts with August, an adult anthropologist, returning to New York to bury her father. On the subway, she encounters an old friend, and begins to reminisce. She remembers being an 8 year old girl moving with her father and younger brother to Brooklyn from Tennessee after the death of her mother. The book then follows August through her teenage years. August shares friendships with three other Brooklynites, Sylvia, Angela, and Gigi, as they walk through the neighborhoods and dream optimistically of the future, and revealing what it held in store for them. August and her friends also face … (Wikipedia)