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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. 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)

  3. 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)

  4. 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)

  5. 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)

  6. The House of the Spirits

    by Isabel Allende
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟢🟢
    Affinity: 🟢🟡⚪️⚪️
    Readership: Somewhat known

    The story starts with the del Valle family, focusing upon the youngest and the oldest daughters of the family, Clara and Rosa. The youngest daughter, Clara del Valle, has paranormal powers and keeps a detailed diary of her life. Using her powers, Clara predicts an accidental death in the family. Shortly after this, Clara's sister, Rosa the Beautiful, is killed by poison intended for her father who is running for the Senate . Rosa's fiancé, a poor miner named Esteban Trueba, is devastated and attempts to mend his broken heart by devoting his life to restoring his family hacienda , … (Wikipedia)

  7. White Teeth

    by Zadie Smith
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟢🟡
    Affinity: 🟢🟡⚪️⚪️
    Readership: Somewhat known

    On New Year's Day 1975, Archie Jones, a 47-year-old Englishman whose disturbed Italian wife has just walked out on him, is attempting to take his own life by gassing himself in his car when a chance interruption causes him to change his mind. Filled with a fresh enthusiasm for life, Archie flips a coin and then finds his way into the aftermath of a New Year's Eve party. There he meets the much-younger Clara Bowden, a Jamaican woman whose mother, Hortense, is a devout Jehovah's Witness . Clara had been interested in the unattractive, anti-social Ryan Topps, but their relationship … (Wikipedia)

  8. 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)

  9. 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)

  10. 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)

  11. This Is How You Lose Her

    by Junot Díaz
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
    Affinity: 🟢🟢⚪️⚪️
    Readership: Eclectic

    On a beach in the Dominican Republic, a doomed relationship flounders. In the heat of a hospital laundry room in New Jersey, a woman does her lover’s washing and thinks about his wife. In Boston, a man buys his love child, his only son, a first baseball bat and glove. At the heart of these stories is the irrepressible, irresistible Yunior, a young hardhead whose longing for love is equaled only by his recklessness—and by the extraordinary women he loves and loses: artistic Alma; the aging Miss Lora; Magdalena, who thinks all Dominican men are cheaters; and the love of … (Goodreads)

  12. The Namesake

    by Jhumpa Lahiri
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟢🟡
    Affinity: 🟢⚪️⚪️⚪️
    Readership: Fairly popular

    The story begins as Ashoke and Ashima Ganguli, a young Bengali couple, leave Calcutta , India, and settle in Central Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts . Ashoke is an engineering student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Ashima struggles through language and cultural barriers as well as her own fears as she delivers her first child alone. Had the delivery taken place in Calcutta, she would have had the baby at home, surrounded by family. The delivery is successful, but the new parents learn they cannot leave the hospital before giving their son a legal name. ,, The traditional naming … (Wikipedia)

  13. The Luminaries

    by Eleanor Catton
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟢🟡
    Affinity: 🟢🟢⚪️⚪️
    Readership: Eclectic

    The story begins with one of the book's protagonists, Walter Moody, arriving in the smoking room of the Crown Hotel after having encountered a horrific sight on his boat trip to Hokitika . There, he meets the twelve men who become the protagonists of the book: Te Rau Tauwhare (a Maori greenstone hunter), Charlie Frost (a banker), Edgar Clinch (an hotelier), Benjamin Lowenthal (a newspaperman), Cowell Devlin (a chaplain), Sook Yongsheng (a hatter), Aubert Gascoigne (a justice's clerk), Joseph Pritchard (a chemist), Thomas Balfour (a shipping agent), Harald Nilssen (a commission merchant), Quee Long (a goldsmith), and Dick Mannering (a … (Wikipedia)

  14. 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)

  15. 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)

  16. 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)

  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 Unbearable Lightness of Being

    by Milan Kundera
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
    Affinity: 🟢⚪️⚪️⚪️
    Readership: Popular

    In The Unbearable Lightness of Being , Milan Kundera tells the story of a young woman in love with a man torn between his love for her and his incorrigible womanizing and one of his mistresses and her humbly faithful lover. This magnificent novel juxtaposes geographically distant places, brilliant and playful reflections, and a variety of styles, to take its place as perhaps the major achievement of one of the world’s truly great writers. … (Goodreads)

  19. 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)

  20. Song of Solomon

    by Toni Morrison
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟢🟡
    Affinity: 🟢🟡⚪️⚪️
    Readership: Eclectic

    Song of Solomon opens with the death of Robert Smith, an insurance agent and member of The Seven Days, an organization that kills white people in retaliation for the racial killing of black people. Smith's attempt at flight and his subsequent death function as the symbolic heralding of the birth of Macon "Milkman" Dead III. A crowd of people gather to watch the attempted flight, including Milkman's mother, Ruth, his two sisters First Corinthians and Magdalene (called Lena), his aunt Pilate, and his friend later in life, Guitar. The appearance of Smith on the roof causes Ruth to go into … (Wikipedia)