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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. The Fifth Season

    by N.K. Jemisin
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
    Affinity: 🟢🟢🟢🟡
    Readership: Somewhat known

    In a prologue, an extraordinarily powerful orogene discusses the sad state of the world and laments the oppression of his race. He then uses his enormous power to fracture the entire continent along its length, threatening to cause the worst Fifth Season in recorded history. The story then follows three female orogenes across the Stillness from different time periods: Essun, Damaya, and Syenite. Essun is a middle-aged woman with two young children living in a small southern comm named Tirimo. Secretly, she is an orogene, a human with the ability to manipulate earth and stone by absorbing or redirecting heat … (Wikipedia)

  3. The Stone Sky

    by N.K. Jemisin
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
    Affinity: 🟢🟢🟢🟢
    Readership: Eclectic

    Following the events of ,The Obelisk Gate, , the former inhabitants of Castrima-under are moving north after damage by rival comm Rennanis has compromised the mechanisms of the geode and made it uninhabitable. Essun, who has been in a coma since opening the Obelisk Gate, awakens to find that her arm has turned to stone as a consequence of the massive magical energies of the Gate. She is nursed back to health, and finds that the Moon is approaching the closest point in its long, elliptical orbit, meaning that she has only a short time to return it to a … (Wikipedia)

  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 Obelisk Gate

    by N.K. Jemisin
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
    Affinity: 🟢🟢🟢🟡
    Readership: Somewhat known

    The story is told primarily from the perspectives of Essun, a powerful orogene driven out of her home at the beginning of the first book, and Nassun, her adolescent daughter. Schaffa, Essun's former Guardian, awakens underwater after Essun's devastating counterattack during the climax of ,The Fifth Season, . He is about to drown when, out of desperation, he allows the entity (manifested as a force of pure rage) that powers his and the other Guardians' abilities to take control of his body for a brief period. Though he is saved from death, the resulting brain damage leaves him with profound … (Wikipedia)

  6. 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)

  7. 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)

  8. 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)

  9. 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)

  10. 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)

  11. World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War

    by Max Brooks
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
    Affinity: 🟢🟡⚪️⚪️
    Readership: Popular

    It has been nearly twenty years since the start of the apocalyptic worldwide pandemic known as the Zombie War, and about ten years since the war has ended in humanity's victory. The framing device for the novel follows "Max Brooks", author of the Zombie Survival Guide (referred to simply as "the civilian survival guide" in this book) and agent of the United Nations Postwar Commission, as he travels the world interviewing survivors of this zombie plague. The exact origin of the zombie plague is unknown, but the first cases of what became the global pandemic began in China . It … (Wikipedia)

  12. We Need to Talk About Kevin

    by Lionel Shriver
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
    Affinity: 🟢🟢⚪️⚪️
    Readership: Somewhat known

    In the wake of a school massacre conducted by Kevin Khatchadourian, the 15-year-old son of Franklin Plaskett and Eva Khatchadourian, Eva begins writing letters to Franklin in November 2000. She reflects candidly on the history of her relationship with her husband and the events of Kevin's life up to the killings. She also relates her current life: she was involved in both Kevin's criminal trial and a civil lawsuit against her for parental negligence by the mother of one of Kevin's victims. Eva sold the family home to pay for legal expenses, but in order to be near Claverack Juvenile … (Wikipedia)

  13. Uprooted

    by Naomi Novik
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
    Affinity: 🟢🟢⚪️⚪️
    Readership: Somewhat known

    “Our Dragon doesn’t eat the girls he takes, no matter what stories they tell outside our valley. We hear them sometimes, from travelers passing through. They talk as though we were doing human sacrifice, and he were a real dragon. Of course that’s not true: he may be a wizard and immortal, but he’s still a man, and our fathers would band together and kill him if he wanted to eat one of us every ten years. He protects us against the Wood, and we’re grateful, but not that grateful.” Agnieszka loves her valley home, her quiet village, the forests … (Goodreads)

  14. Binti

    by Nnedi Okorafor
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
    Affinity: 🟢🟢🟢🟡
    Readership: Eclectic

    A young woman named Binti is the first member of the Himba ethnic group on Earth (closely modeled on the Himba people ) ,, to be accepted into the prestigious intergalactic university Oomza Uni. Upon being notified of her acceptance, Binti runs away from home and boards a transport ship to Oomza Uni. While in transit, the ship is hijacked by the Meduse, a jellyfish -like alien species that was previously at war with the Khoush, another human ethnic group. After the Meduse murder all other inhabitants of the ship, Binti retreats into her private living quarters. She subsequently discovers … (Wikipedia)

  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. Fates and Furies

    by Lauren Groff
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
    Affinity: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
    Readership: Somewhat known

    Every story has two sides. Every relationship has two perspectives. And sometimes, it turns out, the key to a great marriage is not its truths but its secrets. At the core of this rich, expansive, layered novel, Lauren Groff presents the story of one such marriage over the course of twenty-four years. At age twenty-two, Lotto and Mathilde are tall, glamorous, madly in love, and destined for greatness. A decade later, their marriage is still the envy of their friends, but with an electric thrill we understand that things are even more complicated and remarkable than they have seemed. … (Goodreads)

  17. 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)

  18. 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)

  19. The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August

    by Claire North
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
    Affinity: 🟢🟢🟢⚪️
    Readership: Eclectic

    Some stories cannot be told in just one lifetime. Harry August is on his deathbed. Again. No matter what he does or the decisions he makes, when death comes, Harry always returns to where he began, a child with all the knowledge of a life he has already lived a dozen times before. Nothing ever changes. Until now. As Harry nears the end of his eleventh life, a little girl appears at his bedside. "I nearly missed you, Doctor August," she says. "I need to send a message." This is the story of what Harry does next, and what he … (Goodreads)

  20. The Bear and the Nightingale

    by Katherine Arden
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
    Affinity: 🟢🟢⚪️⚪️
    Readership: Somewhat known

    At the edge of the Russian wilderness, winter lasts most of the year and the snowdrifts grow taller than houses. But Vasilisa doesn't mind—she spends the winter nights huddled around the embers of a fire with her beloved siblings, listening to her nurse's fairy tales. Above all, she loves the chilling story of Frost, the blue-eyed winter demon, who appears in the frigid night to claim unwary souls. Wise Russians fear him, her nurse says, and honor the spirits of house and yard and forest that protect their homes from evil. After Vasilisa's mother dies, her father goes to Moscow … (Goodreads)