In a world where we are constantly bombarded with choices, it can be hard to know what to read next. Thank goodness for Oprah and her book club! Oprah has been recommending books to her fans for over 20 years, and she has never steered them wrong.
Here are some of the best books that Oprah Winfrey has recommended over the years.
A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry
Rohinton Mistry’s A Fine Balance is a magnificent epic set in India during the time of the “Emergency” imposed by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. The novel tells the story of four unlikely friends who come together in extraordinary circumstances.
Dalit (“untouchable”) boy Ishvar and his nephew, Omprakash, are tailors by trade. When they lose their livelihood in their village, they journey to the city of Mumbai (formerly Bombay) in search of work. There they meet Maneck Kohlah, a young student from a wealthy family, and his widowed landlady, Mrs. Dina Dalal.
Ishvar and Omprakash take up residence in Mrs. Dalal’s small apartment, and the four quickly become friends despite their differences in background and station in life.
A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines
In A Lesson Before Dying, Ernest J. Gaines tells the story of Jefferson, a young black man who is wrongfully convicted of murder and sentenced to death.
Jefferson’s story is set in the deep south during the Jim Crow era, and through Jefferson, Gaines explores the racism and injustice that was rampant during this time period.
Despite the odds being stacked against him, Jefferson manages to maintain his dignity throughout his ordeal. He accepts his fate and uses his final days to try and make a difference in the lives of those around him. In doing so, he teaches us all a powerful lesson about strength in the face of adversity.
A Map of the World by Jane Hamilton
A Map of the World by Jane Hamilton is a novel about a mother and wife who, after a tragedy strikes her family, loses her grip on reality. The novel follows her as she moves from one hospital to another, while simultaneously struggling to keep her family together.
A Million Little Pieces by James Frey
In “A Million Little Pieces,” James Frey tells the story of his addiction and recovery. He writes about his experiences in rehab and how he was able to turn his life around. Frey’s book is an inspirational story of hope and redemption.
A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle
Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth has been praised by many as a groundbreaking work that is sure to change the way we think about ourselves and the world around us. In it, Tolle argues that the only way to achieve lasting happiness is to awaken to our true nature as spiritual beings.
Eckhart Tolle’s approach is both simple and profound. His writing is clear and concise, and his message is one that resonates with people of all backgrounds and beliefs.
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
A Tale of Two Cities is a novel by Charles Dickens that was first published in 1859. The novel tells the story of two men, one from London and one from Paris, who are both caught up in the French Revolution.
The novel is set against the backdrop of the French Revolution, and it deals with themes of love, loss, and redemption.
A Virtuous Woman by Kaye Gibbons
A Virtuous Woman by Kaye Gibbons is a novel about a woman named Ruby Turpin who is forced to confront her own prejudices and biases. The novel follows Ruby as she comes to terms with her own bigotry and the role that race plays in her life.
American Dirt: A Novel by Jeanine Cummins
Jeanine Cummins’ American Dirt is a novel about the journey of a mother and her eight-year-old son as they escape from Mexico to the United States.
The book has been praised for its realistic portrayal of the dangerous journey migrants take and the difficult decisions they are forced to make. However, some have criticized the author for her lack of personal experience with this issue.
An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
An American Marriage by Tayari Jones tells the story of newlyweds, Celestial and Roy, who are put to the test when Roy is convicted of a crime he did not commit. The couple must grapple with the idea of moving on without each other while still being deeply in love.
The novel opens with Celestial and Roy’s wedding day. They are madly in love and eager to start their life together.
However, just three years into their marriage, Roy is arrested and convicted of a crime he did not commit. He is sentenced to 12 years in prison, leaving Celestial to fend for herself.
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy is a novel about a married aristocrat and socialite who has an affair with the wealthy Count Vronsky.
The novel examines the lives of the upper class in late-19th-century Russia and explores themes of marriage, infidelity, and morality.
As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
As I Lay Dying is a novel by William Faulkner that was first published in 1930. The book tells the story of the Bundren family and their journey to bury their mother, Addie, in her hometown of Jefferson, Mississippi.
The novel is told through a series of first-person narratives from different members of the family. This technique allows readers to see the events of the story from multiple perspectives and to understand the characters in greater depth.
Back Roads by Tawni O’Dell
In her novel Back Roads, Tawni O’Dell gives readers a glimpse into the life of Harley Altmyer, a nineteen-year-old with three younger sisters to care for and a dark secret in his past.
Harley is struggling to keep everything together, and when the novel opens, he’s just been released from jail after serving time for setting fire to his family’s home.
Becoming by Michelle Obama
In her memoir, Becoming, Michelle Obama chronicles her journey from a working-class upbringing on the South Side of Chicago to becoming the first lady of the United States.
Raised by a single mother and grandparents, Obama learned the value of hard work and education from an early age. She went on to graduate from Princeton University and Harvard Law School, working as a lawyer and public servant before marrying Barack Obama in 1992.
As the first lady, Michelle Obama made it her mission to promote healthy living, education, and international diplomacy.
She also became a powerful advocate for women’s rights and gender equality. In Becoming, she offers readers an intimate look at her life, sharing stories about her family, friends, and experiences that have shaped her.
Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue
Behold the Dreamers is a novel by Imbolo Mbue. The novel tells the story of Jende Jonga, a Cameroonian immigrant who moves to New York City in search of a better life.
The novel follows Jende and his family as they navigate the challenges of living in a new country.
Bewilderment by Richard Powers
The book Bewilderment by Richard Powers is a story about a man who is trying to find his place in the world.
He has been through a lot in his life and he is not sure where he belongs, he is a wanderer and he is always looking for something new. He is not sure what he is looking for, but he knows that he will find it eventually.
Black and Blue by Anna Quindlen
In her novel Black and Blue, Anna Quindlen tells the story of a woman named Fran Benedetto who escapes an abusive marriage and starts a new life with her son in New York City.
Fran is terrified that her ex-husband will find them and hurt them, but she is determined to make a new life for herself and her son.
Breath, Eyes, Memory by Edwidge Danticat
In her novel “Breath, Eyes, Memory”, Edwidge Danticat tells the story of a young woman’s journey to find her identity.
The novel follows the main character, Sophie Caco, as she is forced to leave her home in Haiti and move to New York City with her abusive father. While living in New York, Sophie struggles to adapt to her new life and deal with the trauma of her past. Through her writing, Danticat explores the themes of family, love, and loss.
Cane River by Lalita Tademy
Lalita Tademy’s Cane River is the story of four generations of African American women, told through the eyes of Elisabeth, the last surviving member of the family.
The novel begins in 1834 with the birth of Elisabeth’s great-grandmother, Eveline, and ends with the death of her mother, Clementine, in 1925. In between, we learn about the lives of Eveline, her daughter Philomene, and her granddaughter Suzette.
Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson
In her book, Caste, Isabel Wilkerson argues that caste is the hidden force that has shaped America since its inception.
Though it is often unspoken of, caste is a powerful social hierarchy that determines one’s standing in society. It is based on factors like race, ethnicity, and family history, and it dictates how people are treated and where they fit in the social order.
Caste has always been a part of America, but it has become especially evident in recent years.
The election of Donald Trump and the rise of white supremacist groups have brought caste to the forefront of our national conversation. As we grapple with the legacy of racism in our country, we must also confront the ways that caste continues to impact our lives today.
Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton
In Alan Paton’s novel, Cry, the Beloved Country, the author tells the story of a Zulu pastor living in South Africa during the time of Apartheid.
The novel centers around the themes of racism, segregation, and violence. Through the story of one man’s journey, Paton highlights the devastating effects of these issues on both individuals and society as a whole.
Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende
Allende’s Daughter of Fortune is the story of a young woman’s coming of age during the California Gold Rush.
Born in Chile to a wealthy family, Eliza Sommers is raised in a sheltered environment and knows nothing of the world outside her privileged bubble. But when she falls in love with Joaquín Andieta, a poor but ambitious man from Peru, she follows him to California, where he has gone in search of gold.
There, Eliza must grapple with the harsh realities of life in a mining camp and learn to survive on her own.
Though she starts out as a naïve girl who knows nothing about the ways of the world, Eliza matures into a strong and resilient woman by the end of her journey.
Deacon King Kong by James McBride
In Deacon King Kong, James McBride tells the story of Sportcoat, a seventy-year-old deacon in Brooklyn who witnesses the shooting of a local drug dealer.
Sportcoat is a beloved figure in his community, and when he sets out to find the shooter, everyone is eager to help him.
As Sportcoat sets out on his quest, he recalls his life and how he got to where he is today. He remembers growing up in the South during segregation, and how he became a deacon after moving to Brooklyn. He also reflects on the people in his life who have been important to him, including his late wife and his best friend, Hattie.
Drowning Ruth by Christina Schwarz
Drowning Ruth by Christina Schwarz is a haunting and heart-wrenching novel about family, love, betrayal, and forgiveness.
Told from the perspective of young Ruth Warner, the story begins in 1919 when Ruth’s mother dies in a tragic drowning accident.
Ruth is sent to live with her aunt Clara on a remote farm in Wisconsin. There, she meets her cousin Emma, who quickly becomes her best friend. But when another tragedy strikes and Emma drowns, Ruth is blamed. consumed by grief and guilt, Ruth tries to take her own life.
East of Eden by John Steinbeck
In East of Eden, John Steinbeck tells the story of two families who are pitted against each other in a struggle for power and control. The first family, the Trasks, is a wealthy and respected family in the community. The second family, the Hamiltons, is a poor and disrespected family. The Trasks are able to maintain their power and control through their wealth, while the Hamiltons are constantly fighting for survival.
The novel begins with the birth of twins, Cain and Abel. Cain is born to Adam and Eve Trask, while Abel is born to Charles and Cathy Hamilton. Both families are struggling to make ends meet, but the Trasks have more resources than the Hamiltons. As the boys grow up, they develop different personalities. Cain is shy and withdrawn, while Abel is outgoing and confident.
Ellen Foster by Kaye Gibbons
At only eleven years old, Ellen Foster has to learn how to fend for herself. She was born into a poor family in the rural south and her mother dies when she is just a child. Her father is an abusive alcoholic who can’t take care of her. So Ellen is forced to find a way to survive on her own.
She moves in with her Aunt Ida, but that doesn’t last long because her Aunt is an alcoholic too. So Ellen is back on her own again. She starts sleeping in abandoned houses and eating out of dumpsters. But she’s a fighter and she never gives up.
Ellen Foster is a novel about hope and resilience in the face of adversity. It’s a story of a young girl who has to grow up too fast and learn how to survive in a world that doesn’t always seem fair.
Fall on Your Knees by Ann-Marie MacDonald
Ann-Marie MacDonald’s Fall on Your Knees is a powerful and emotionally charged novel. The story follows the life of Piper, a young woman growing up in a dysfunctional family in Nova Scotia in the early 1900s.
Piper’s mother, Mary, is a tragic figure who is haunted by her own dark past. Mary was abused by her father and passed that legacy of violence down to her children.
Piper’s sister, Frances, is the golden child who seems to have it all together. But even she is not immune to the dysfunction of the family.
The novel explores themes of abuse, mental illness, religion, and sexuality. It is a gritty and often difficult read, but it is also a rewarding one.
Finding Me by Viola Davis
In her new memoir, Oscar-winning actress Viola Davis chronicles her life from a childhood of poverty and violence in South Carolina to her successful Hollywood career.
Born in 1965, Davis was one of six children raised by a single mother in a housing project in St. Matthews, South Carolina. Her father was mostly absent from her life, and she often witnessed domestic abuse between her parents.
Despite the challenges she faced, Davis had a passion for performing from a young age. She would put on shows for her family and neighborhood kids, using whatever props she could find around the house.
After high school, Davis attended Rhode Island School of Design where she studied theater. She then moved to New York City to pursue an acting career. Davis quickly found success on stage, appearing in several Off-Broadway and Broadway productions.
Freedom by Jonathan Franzen
Jonathan Franzen’s novel, Freedom, tells the story of the Berglund family and their struggles with freedom. The patriarch, Walter, is a successful real estate developer who is struggling to keep up with the changing world. His wife, Patty, is a stay-at-home mom who is trying to find herself.
Their son, Joey, is a talented musician who is trying to find his place in the world. The novel follows the family as they try to live their lives in a world that is constantly changing.
Gap Creek by Robert Morgan
Gap Creek is a novel by Robert Morgan that tells the story of a young couple, Julie and Hank, who live in Gap Creek, South Carolina in the early 1900s.
The novel chronicles their lives as they struggle to make ends meet while also dealing with personal tragedies. Despite the challenges they face, Julie and Hank remain hopeful for the future and determined to build a better life for themselves and their children.
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
Few novels have been as popular as Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations. The story of the orphan Pip and his journey to becoming a gentleman has captured readers for over 150 years.
Dickens’s novel is set in early Victorian England and follows Pip, an orphan who is taken in by an elderly woman named Miss Havisham. Miss Havisham raised Pip with the intention of him marrying her adopted daughter, Estella. However, when Pip meets Estella, he falls in love with her and she breaks his heart.
Pip then leaves Miss Havisham’s house and begins training to become a blacksmith. One day, he meets a convict who has escaped from prison and helps him. The convict tells Pip that he will repay him for his kindness.
Here on Earth by Alice Hoffman
Here on Earth is a beautiful and heartbreaking novel about loss, love, and finding your way in the world.
Alice Hoffman’s writing is lyrical and evocative, and she creates characters that are deeply human and flawed. This is a novel that will stay with you long after you’ve finished reading it.
Hidden Valley Road by Robert Kolker
In “Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of an American Family,” Robert Kolker tells the story of one family’s experience with mental illness.
The Galvin family, who lived in Colorado in the mid-20th century, had six children, all of whom were diagnosed with schizophrenia. Kolker chronicles the family’s history and examines the possible causes of the illness. He also discusses the way that mental illness is often misunderstood and stigmatized.
House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III
Andre Dubus III’s House of Sand and Fog is a novel about the American Dream gone wrong.
The story follows the lives of two people from very different backgrounds who are brought together by circumstance and end up destroying each other.
I Know This Much Is True by Wally Lamb
I Know This Much Is True is a novel by Wally Lamb. It was published in 1998 and tells the story of identical twin brothers who have a complicated relationship.
The book was well-received by critics and was a bestseller. It was adapted into a miniseries in 2020, starring Mark Ruffalo as the twins.
I Know This Much Is True is a moving and complex story about family, love, and betrayal. If you’re looking for a powerful read, this book is definitely for you.
Icy Sparks by Gwyn Hyman Rubio
Icy Sparks is the story of a young girl, Icy, who has Tourette’s Syndrome. It is set in the early 1960s in a small town in Kentucky.
The book follows Icy as she goes to school and tries to fit in, while also dealing with her tics and other symptoms of her condition.
Jewel by Bret Lott
In Bret Lott’s Jewel, the narrator tells the story of Jewell Payton, a white woman living in the deep south during the early twentieth century. Jewell is married to a black man, which was not uncommon at the time, but she is also pregnant with his child.
As her due date approaches, she begins to worry about what will happen to her and her baby if they are born into a world that does not accept them. Jewell’s story is one of strength and determination, as she fights for her place in a society that does not understand her.
Light in August by William Faulkner
William Faulkner’s Light in August is widely considered to be one of his best works. The novel tells the story of a young man, Joe Christmas, who is caught up in the racial tensions of the deep south in the early twentieth century.
Faulkner’s use of light and darkness as symbols helps to create a sense of foreboding and unease throughout the novel. The characters are complex and realistically flawed, making them all the more relatable and sympathetic.
Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez
Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez is a novel about love, loss, and passion. The story follows Florentino Ariza, a man who has been in love with the same woman for over fifty years. Even though she is married to someone else, he continues to pursue her and write her love letters.
The novel is set in the fictional town of Macondo, Colombia, and spans several decades. It chronicles the lives of Florentino Ariza and his family as they experience the highs and lows of life. From cholera epidemics to civil wars, Love in the Time of Cholera captures the essence of life in Latin America.
Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle
In her book, Love Warrior, Glennon Doyle tells the story of her journey to finding self-love. It all starts with her coming to the realization that she is unhappy in her marriage.
She decides to leave her husband and embarks on a journey of self-discovery and healing. Through therapy, she comes to understand the root of her unhappiness: she has never truly loved herself. She then sets out on a mission to change that.
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
Jeffrey Eugenides’s novel Middlesex is the story of Calliope Stephanides, a hermaphrodite born in Detroit in the 1920s.
The novel chronicles Callie’s life from birth to adulthood, as she comes to terms with her unusual condition and searches for love and acceptance. Middlesex is a touching and humorous story about an extraordinary person striving to find her place in the world.
Midwives by Chris Bohjalian
In his novel, Midwives, Chris Bohjalian tells the story of a home birth gone wrong. When Sybil Danforth, a midwife with over twenty years of experience, is accused of negligence in the death of a young mother, she must go on trial to defend her practice.
Bohjalian weaves together the story of the court case with flashbacks to Sybil’s life as a midwife, giving readers a glimpse into the world of home births and the passionate women who attend them.
Mother of Pearl by Melinda Haynes
Mother of Pearl is a beautifully written and powerful novel that will stay with readers long after they finish the last page. Haynes has created a fully realized and complex protagonist in Pearl, who is a young black girl trying to make her way in a world that is often hostile to her.
The novel deals with difficult topics like racism and violence, but ultimately it is a story about hope, redemption, and the transformative power of love.
Night by Elie Wiesel
Night is a personal account of Elie Wiesel’s survival as a teenager in the Nazi concentration camps during World War II. It is his first-hand account of the atrocities committed against the Jewish people during the Holocaust, and his experience of being liberated from Buchenwald in 1945.
Wiesel was born in Sighet, Transylvania (now Romania) in 1928. He was a teenager when he and his family were taken from their home and transported to Auschwitz concentration camp in German-occupied Poland. Wiesel and his father were later moved to Buchenwald, where they were both liberated by American troops in 1945.
Nightcrawling by Leila Mottley
Kiara and her brother, Marcus, are incredibly thrifty in an apartment in the East Oakland neighborhood known as the Regal-Hi. Both dropped out of high school, and their parents died in prison.
Olive, Again: A Novel by Elizabeth Strout
Olive, Again is the long-awaited sequel to Elizabeth Strout’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, Olive Kitteridge. The book picks up where the first one left off, with Olive living alone in the small town of Crosby, Maine. She is now in her seventies and is starting to feel her age.
The novel follows Olive as she goes through the ups and downs of life, including dealing with her difficult relationship with her son Christopher. We also see her form a friendship with a young woman named April, who is struggling with her own problems.
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez
One Hundred Years of Solitude is a novel by Gabriel García Márquez that tells the story of the Buendía family and the fictional town of Macondo.
The novel, which was first published in 1967, was written in Spanish and has been translated into many languages.
Open House by Elizabeth Berg
After a long spree of overspending at Tiffany’s, Samantha works hard to reconstruct her life along with her eleven-year-old son.
Her eccentric mother tries to help by providing Samantha with dates, but the more serious issue is rather expensive mortgage payments. She gathers boarders to meet these payments.
Paradise by Toni Morrison
In her novel Paradise, Toni Morrison tells the story of a group of African Americans who leave their small town in Oklahoma for the fictional town of Ruby, which they believe will be a utopia. The novel follows the residents of Ruby as they grapple with race, class, and gender relations.
Morrison uses the story of Ruby to explore the idea of the American Dream. The characters in the novel are searching for a place where they can be free from discrimination and have equal opportunities.
However, they find that even in a place like Ruby, which is supposed to be paradise, there is still inequality.
River, Cross My Heart by Breena Clarke
In her debut novel, River, Cross My Heart, Breena Clarke tells the story of Johnnie Mae Gibson, a young girl growing up in Washington, D.C. in the 1920s.
Johnnie Mae is determined to find out who killed her best friend, Viola Turner. The novel follows Johnnie Mae as she navigates the world of race and class in the nation’s capital.
Clarke’s novel is set against the backdrop of historical events such as the Great Migration and the rise of the Ku Klux Klan. The story brings to life the struggles and joys of African Americans living in Washington, D.C. during this time period.
Ruby by Cynthia Bond
Cynthia Bond’s Ruby is a novel about the titular character, a young black woman living in rural Oklahoma in the mid-20th century.
The novel chronicles Ruby’s struggles with poverty, racism, and abuse, as well as her eventual mental breakdown and institutionalization.
Bond’s novel is significant both for its portrayal of a complex and nuanced black female protagonist, and for its frank discussion of difficult topics like mental illness and sexual assault. While the novel can be challenging at times, it ultimately offers a powerful and moving portrait of one woman’s fight for survival.
Say You’re One of Them by Uwem Akpan
Uwem Akpan’s Say You’re One of Them tells the stories of four children living in Africa during political turmoil.
The book is a collection of short stories that offer a glimpse into the lives of these children and how they survive in a world filled with violence, poverty, and disease.
She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb
In Wally Lamb’s novel, She’s Come Undone, the protagonist, Dolores Price, goes through a lot of pain and trauma in her life.
However, she eventually comes out stronger for it. The novel covers many important topics such as mental illness, abuse, and relationships.
Dolores Price is a very complex character who is easy to sympathize with. readers will see her grow and change throughout the novel as she deals with her many issues.
Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon is a novel about a young man’s journey to discover his identity.
The novel follows Macon “Milkman” Dead III, the son of a wealthy African-American family in Michigan, as he comes of age and tries to find his place in the world.
Morrison uses the story of Milkman’s search for his identity to explore the themes of race, family, and history. The characters in the novel are complex and fully realized, and the story is rich with symbolism and imagery.
Songs in Ordinary Time by Mary McGarry Morris
In her novel, Songs in Ordinary Time, Mary McGarry Morris tells the story of a woman named Marie Fermoyle who is struggling to make ends meet.
Marie is a single mother who works as a housekeeper for a wealthy family. She is also having an affair with the family’s son, Ozzie.
Stolen Lives by Malika Oufkir and Michèle Fitoussi
Stolen Lives: Twenty Years in a Desert Prison is the story of Malika Oufkir and her family, who were imprisoned by the Moroccan government for twenty years.
Malika’s father was a general in the Moroccan army, and her family was close to the king. In 1972, a coup attempt against the king failed, and Malika’s father was blamed. He and his family were arrested and imprisoned in a secret desert prison.
For twenty years, Malika and her family lived in conditions of extreme hardship, with little food or water. They were constantly interrogated and tortured. In 1992, they finally managed to escape from prison and make their way to France, where they now live.
Stolen Lives is an important book because it gives us a rare insight into the human rights abuses that take place in Morocco.
Stones from the River by Ursula Hegi
Stones from the River by Ursula Hegi is a novel about a German woman named Trudi Montag who lives through World War II.
The novel follows Trudi from her childhood in the early 1900s through to her old age in the 1980s, and tells the story of how she copes with living in a country that is constantly changing.
Sula by Toni Morrison
The Sula novel by Toni Morrison was first published in 1973. The story is set in the fictional town of Medallion, Ohio, in the early 1900s.
The novel follows the lives of two black women, Nel Wright and Sula Peace, who are best friends from childhood through adulthood.
Sula is a controversial figure within the African American community because she is unfaithful to her husband and has multiple affairs.
She is also accused of being responsible for the death of her friend Nel’s husband. Despite all of this, Sula is a strong and independent woman who knows what she wants out of life.
The novel explores themes of friendship, betrayal, love, and death. It is a powerful story about two women who are trying to find their way in a world that often doesn’t understand them.
Tara Road by Maeve Binchy
Maeve Binchy was an Irish writer who is best known for her novels which often focus on the lives of women and their relationships. Tara Road is one of her most famous novels, published in 1998. The novel tells the story of two women who swap houses for a year in order to escape their respective problems.
Ria Lynch is a woman from Dublin whose husband has been unfaithful. Desperate to get away from him, she swaps houses with a woman she met through a classified ad, Olive Martin.
Olive is an American woman living in Tara Road, Ireland with her husband and three children. She is struggling to come to terms with the death of her infant daughter some years prior.
The Best Way to Play by Bill Cosby
In his book, The Best Way to Play, Bill Cosby gives parents great advice on how to get their children interested in playing. He starts by talking about the importance of having fun with your children. “The best way to play is to be with them,” he says. “Be available.”
He also stresses the importance of being consistent with rules and not getting too caught up in winning or losing. “The most important thing is that the child have fun,” he says. By following Cosby’s advice, parents can create an enjoyable and enriching experience for their children when they play together.
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye is a novel about an African American girl, Pecola, who grows up during the Great Depression in Lorain, Ohio. Pecola is ridiculed by her classmates for her dark skin and ugly features. She becomes obsessed with the idea that if she had blue eyes, she would be beautiful and loved.
The Bluest Eye is a powerful story about racism, self-hatred, and the damaging effects of societal pressure on young girls. Morrison expertly captures the pain and isolation that Pecola feels as she struggles to find her place in a world that tells her she is unworthy of love and happiness.
The Book of Ruth by Jane Hamilton
The Book of Ruth is a novel by Jane Hamilton. The story follows Ruth, a young woman who moves to Wisconsin to live with her grandparents after her parents die. Ruth is shy and withdrawn, and she finds solace in reading and writing.
She also develops a close relationship with her cousin, Floyd. When Ruth’s grandfather dies, she is left to care for her grandmother, who is suffering from dementia.
As Ruth tries to navigate her new life, she must grapple with her own grief and loss, as well as the challenges of caring for someone who is slowly forgetting who she is.
The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
Franzen’s novels are complex works that explore the human condition with insight and humor. His characters are often struggling to find their place in the world, and his stories offer a thoughtful examination of the choices we make in our lives.
If you’re looking for a challenging and rewarding read, pick up one of Jonathan Franzen’s novels today.
The Deep End of the Ocean by Jacquelyn Mitchard
The Deep End of the Ocean is a novel by Jacquelyn Mitchard that was published in 1996. The book tells the story of a family whose three-year-old son is abducted and then found ten years later.
The story focuses on the mother, Beth, and her struggle to deal with her son’s disappearance and eventual return.
The Gilead Novels by Marilynne Robinson
The Gilead novels by Marilynne Robinson are set in the fictional town of Gilead, Iowa. The novels tell the stories of the residents of Gilead, including the ministers and their families.
The first novel, “Gilead,” was published in 2004 and won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. The second novel, “Home,” was published in 2008 and was a finalist for the National Book Award. The third novel, “Lila,” was published in 2014 and won the National Book Critics Circle Award.
The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck
The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck is a novel about the life of a Chinese farmer and his family. The book was published in 1931 and won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1932. It was also adapted into a film in 1937.
The story follows the family of Wang Lung, a poor farmer who lives with his wife, O-lan, and their children in a small village in China.
Wang Lung’s father dies, and he inherits the family farm. He works hard to make the farm successful, but times are difficult. When a drought hits, Wang Lung’s family is forced to leave the farm and move to the city to find work.
The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers
Carson McCullers’ The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter is the story of a deaf man, John Singer, and his relationships with the people around him in a small town in the American South. Singer is isolated by his disability, but he finds companionship in his relationship with Antonapoulos, another deaf man.
When Antonapoulos is institutionalized, Singer becomes friends with Spiros Antonapoulos, a Greek café owner; Mick Kelly, a teenage girl; and Dr. Copeland, an African-American doctor. Each of these characters is struggling with their own loneliness and isolation.
Singer’s relationships with these characters are complicated and often difficult. He is drawn to them because they share his sense of isolation, but he also feels responsible for them and their problems.
The Heart of a Woman by Maya Angelou
In her book, The Heart of a Woman, Maya Angelou describes her experiences as a woman living in the United States during the early twentieth century.
She writes about her relationships with men, her work as an artist, and her travels. Throughout the book, she shares her thoughts on what it means to be a woman and how women can empower themselves.
The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd
The Invention of Wings, by Sue Monk Kidd, is a novel about two sisters, Sarah and Angelina Grimké, who live in Charleston, South Carolina during the early 1800s.
Sarah is a wealthy white girl who is given a slave for her eleventh birthday, while Angelina is a slave who yearns for freedom.
The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois by Honorée Fanonne Jeffers
When most people think of the great civil rights leader W.E.B. Du Bois, they think of his brilliant mind and tireless advocacy for racial justice.
But Du Bois was also a talented poet, and his love poems are some of the most beautiful and moving ever written.
The Meanest Thing to Say by Bill Cosby
In The Meanest Thing to Say, Bill Cosby shares his views on meanness. He believes that meanness is learned behavior and that it is not innate.
He also believes that meanness is contagious and that it can be passed on from person to person. Cosby shares his own experiences with meanness and how he has overcome it.
The Measure of a Man by Sidney Poitier
In “The Measure of a Man,” Sidney Poitier discusses what it means to be a man. He talks about how society often tells young men that they have to be tough and emotionless, but he believes that being a man is about so much more than that.
Being a man is about having integrity, being honest, and being there for others. Poitier believes that these qualities are what make a man truly great.
The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett is a historical fiction novel set in the 12th century. The story follows the building of a cathedral in the fictional town of Kingsbridge, England. The novel has been praised for its accurate portrayal of life in Medieval England.
The Pillars of the Earth was published in 1989 and became an instant bestseller. It has sold more than 30 million copies worldwide and has been translated into 37 languages. The novel was adapted into a miniseries in 2010, starring Ian McShane and Donald Sutherland.
The Pilot’s Wife by Anita Shreve
In Anita Shreve’s novel The Pilot’s Wife, the reader is introduced to Kathryn Lyons, a woman whose life is turned upside down when her husband, an airline pilot, dies in a plane crash.
Kathryn must grapple with the aftermath of his death, as well as the revelations that come to light about her husband’s secret life. Though she is initially consumed by grief and anger, Kathryn eventually finds the strength to move on and rebuild her life.
The Pilot’s Wife is a moving story of loss, love, and redemption. Shreve expertly captures the raw emotions that accompany grief, as well as the hope and determination that can help us rebuild after tragedy strikes.
This novel is sure to resonate with anyone who has ever faced a difficult journey in their life.
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
The Poisonwood Bible is a novel by Barbara Kingsolver that was published in 1998. The novel tells the story of the Price family, who are missionaries in the Belgian Congo in the 1960s.
The novel is set during a time of political upheaval in the Congo, and it explores themes of colonialism, Christianity, and family.
The Rapture of Canaan by Sheri Reynolds
In “The Rapture of Canaan,” Sheri Reynolds tells the story of a young girl named Canaan who is taken from her family by a group of white supremacists.
The novel follows Canaan as she tries to navigate her new life and find her place in a world that is full of hate and bigotry.
Reynolds does an excellent job of portraying the characters in the novel, and the reader gets a sense of how difficult it is for Canaan to adjust to her new life.
The novel also explores the issue of race in America, and how racism can affect even those who are not directly involved in it.
The Reader by Bernhard Schlink
In The Reader, Bernhard Schlink tells the story of a relationship between a young man and an older woman that is shaped by the woman’s past as a Nazi concentration camp guard. The story is set in post-war Germany and explores the themes of guilt, responsibility, and redemption.
The novel begins with the main character, Michael Berg, as a 15-year-old schoolboy who becomes ill and is helped home by a 36-year-old tram conductor named Hanna Schmitz. Michael and Hanna begin an affair, but Hanna suddenly ends it and disappears from Michael’s life.
Eight years later, while working as a law student in Bonn, Michael sees Hanna again on trial for her role in a Nazi concentration camp. As the trial unfolds, we learn about Hanna’s past and how her secrets have affected her relationship with Michael.
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
Cormac McCarthy’s novel, The Road, is the story of a father and son struggling to survive in a post-apocalyptic world.
The novel has been praised for its depiction of the harsh realities of life in a post-apocalyptic world, as well as for its emotional power.
The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
The Sound and the Fury is a novel by William Faulkner that was published in 1929. The novel tells the story of the Compson family, who are from the American South, and their decline over the course of several decades.
The novel is set in the early 20th century and follows three different narrators: Benjy, Quentin, and Jason.
The Sound and the Fury is often considered to be one of Faulkner’s best novels and is one of the most important works of literature from the American South.
The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski
The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski is a novel about a boy who is raised by his parents to be a dog breeder.
The novel follows Edgar as he grows up and learns about the business, as well as the relationships he has with his family and the dogs.
The novel is set in Wisconsin, and much of the story revolves around the family’s interactions with their neighbors, who are all part of the community of dog breeders.
The Sun Does Shine by Anthony Ray Hinton
In The Sun Does Shine, Anthony Ray Hinton tells the story of his wrongful imprisonment and eventual exoneration. Hinton was convicted of two counts of murder in 1985 and sentenced to death.
He spent nearly 30 years on death row before he was finally freed in 2015. Hinton’s story is one of hope and resilience in the face of incredible adversity.
The Sweetness of Water by Nathan Harris
The Sweetness of Water is a fascinating read that will leave readers feeling refreshed and invigorated.
Nathan Harris has crafted a story that is both entertaining and educational, and it is sure to inspire readers to appreciate the simple things in life, like a refreshing glass of water.
The Treasure Hunt by Bill Cosby
The Treasure Hunt by Bill Cosby is a classic children’s book that has been loved by generations of kids. In the book, a group of kids go on a treasure hunt in their neighborhood.
They find all sorts of treasures, including an old baseball glove, a model car, and a box of cookies. The book is full of humor and adventure, and it’s sure to please any young reader.
The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis
In Ayana Mathis’s novel, The Twelve Tribes of Hattie, the titular character Hattie Shepherd is a woman who has faced many challenges in her life.
Despite these challenges, she has always been a strong and determined person. Her strength has been tested time and again, but she has never given up.
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead is a novel about a young girl named Cora who escapes from a plantation in Georgia and makes her way north on the Underground Railroad. The book was published in 2016 and won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.
The Water Dancer: A Novel by Ta-Nehisi Coates
The Water Dancer is a novel by Ta-Nehisi Coates. It is the story of a young man named Hiram Walker, who was born into slavery but escapes to freedom.
The novel follows Hiram as he makes his way north to the free state of Ohio, where he meets and falls in love with a woman named Sophia.
The Water Dancer is an important work of historical fiction. It tells the story of slavery and the Underground Railroad in a very personal way. Hiram’s story is one that will stay with readers long after they finish the book.
The Way of Integrity by Martha Beck
In “The Way of Integrity,” Martha Beck explores what it means to live a life of integrity. She defines integrity as “the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles.” Living with integrity, she says, is not about being perfect; it’s about being authentic.
It’s about being true to yourself and your values, no matter what. And it’s about making choices that are in alignment with your highest self. When you live with integrity, you create a life that is rich and full of meaning.
Vinegar Hill by A. Manette Ansay
In A. Manette Ansay’s novel Vinegar Hill, the reader is introduced to a family in rural Wisconsin during the early 1900s.
The mother, Mary, is the primary caretaker of her six children, while her husband, John, works long hours at the local creamery. Though they are poor, the family is happy and content with their life together. However, when John is suddenly killed in an accident at work, Mary is left to fend for herself and her children.
We Were the Mulvaneys by Joyce Carol Oates
We Were the Mulvaneys is a novel by Joyce Carol Oates. The novel tells the story of the Mulvaney family, who live in upstate New York. The family is wealthy and well-respected in the community.
What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day by Pearl Cleage
In her novel What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day, Pearl Cleage explores the life of a woman struggling with mental illness.
The protagonist, Avery, is a black woman living in Atlanta who is diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Cleage uses Avery’s story to shed light on the often hidden world of mental illness and the challenges that come with it.
Where the Heart Is by Billie Letts
In “Where the Heart Is,” Billie Letts tells the story of Novalee Nation, a pregnant teenager who is abandoned by her boyfriend at a Wal-Mart in Sequoyah, Oklahoma.
Novalee is taken in by a kindly couple, Willy and Ozella, who help her through her pregnancy and delivery. After she gives birth, Novalee decides to stay in Sequoyah and make a life for herself and her child.
“Where the Heart Is” is a heartwarming story about motherhood, love, and second chances.
Novalee is an inspiring character who shows us that it’s never too late to start over. Letts’s novel is sure to touch your heart and leave you feeling hopeful about the human spirit.
While I Was Gone by Sue Miller
Sue Miller’s While I Was Gone is the story of a woman named Jo Becker and her journey to find herself after the death of her husband. The novel begins with Jo’s return to her hometown of Cambridge, Massachusetts, after twenty years away.
Jo is immediately faced with the memories of her past and the secrets that she has kept from her family and friends.
As she tries to reconnect with her daughter, Emily, and her former best friend, Anna, Jo must also come to terms with the events of her past that led to her leaving Cambridge in the first place.
White Oleander by Janet Fitch
White Oleander is a novel by Janet Fitch. It was published in 1999 and became a bestseller. The story follows the life of Astrid Magnussen, a young girl who is raised by her single mother, Ingrid. Ingrid is a narcissistic poet who is convicted of murdering her boyfriend.
Astrid is sent to live with a series of foster families, each of which has its own challenges. Throughout her journey, Astrid must learn to navigate the world on her own and find her place in it.
Wild by Cheryl Strayed
In her memoir Wild, Cheryl Strayed chronicles her journey of self-discovery and healing after the death of her mother.
The loss of her mother sent Strayed into a tailspin of grief and addiction, leading her to make some poor choices in her personal life.