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  1. 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)

  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 Thing Around Your Neck

    by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
    Affinity: 🟢🟢🟢🟢
    Readership: Very niche

    Searing and profound, suffused with beauty, sorrow, and longing, the stories in The Thing Around Your Neck map, with Adichie's signature emotional wisdom, the collision of two cultures and the deeply human struggle to reconcile them. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie burst onto the literary scene with her remarkable debut novel, Purple Hibiscus, which critics hailed as "one of the best novels to come out of Africa in years" (Baltimore Sun), with "prose as lush as the Nigerian landscape that it powerfully evokes" (The Boston Globe); The Washington Post called her "the twenty-first-century daughter of Chinua Achebe." Her award-winning Half of a … (Goodreads)

  4. 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)

  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. 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)

  7. 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)

  8. 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)

  9. 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)

  10. 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)

  11. Cutting for Stone

    by Abraham Verghese
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟢🟢
    Affinity: 🟢🟢⚪️⚪️
    Readership: Fairly popular

    The story is told by the protagonist, Marion Stone. He and his conjoined twin Shiva are born at Mission Hospital (called "Missing" in accordance with the local pronunciation), Addis Ababa , in September 1954. Their mother, Sister Mary Joseph Praise, an Indian Carmelite nun, dies during childbirth. Their father, Thomas Stone, the English surgeon of Missing, abandons them and disappears. Orphaned at birth, the pair grow up in the household of two physicians of Missing, both from Madras , the obstetrician Kalpana Hemlatha (Hema) and Abhi Ghosh, who fall in love while caring for the infants. Hema names them Marion … (Wikipedia)

  12. 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)

  13. My Brilliant Friend

    by Elena Ferrante
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟢🟡
    Affinity: 🟢🟢⚪️⚪️
    Readership: Fairly popular

    A modern masterpiece from one of Italy's most acclaimed authors, My Brilliant Friend is a rich, intense and generous hearted story about two friends, Elena and Lila. Ferrante's inimitable style lends itself perfectly to a meticulous portrait of these two women that is also the story of a nation and a touching meditation on the nature of friendship. Through the lives of these two women, Ferrante tells the story of a neighbourhood, a city and a country as it is transformed in ways that, in turn, also transform the relationship between her two protagonists. … (Goodreads)

  14. 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)

  15. 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)

  16. 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)

  17. 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)

  18. 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)

  19. 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)

  20. Stoner

    by John Williams
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟢🟢
    Affinity: 🟢🟢🟢⚪️
    Readership: Somewhat known

    William Stoner is born on a small farm in 1891. After high school, the county agent advises he go to agriculture school. Stoner enrolls in the University of Missouri , where all agriculture students must take a survey course in English literature during their sophomore year. The literature he encounters in this introductory course, such as Shakespeare's Sonnet 73 , opens a gateway to a new world for him, and he quickly falls in love with literary studies. Without telling his parents, Stoner quits the agriculture program and studies only the humanities. Archer Sloane, a professor, suggests to Stoner that … (Wikipedia)