by Toni Morrison
About the book: Milkman Dead was born shortly after a neighborhood eccentric hurled himself off a rooftop in a vain attempt at flight. For the rest of his life he, too, will be trying to fly. With this brilliantly imagined novel, Toni Morrison transfigures the coming-of-age story as audaciously as Saul Bellow or...
by Jacquelyn Mitchard
About the book: "Masterful...A big story about human connection and emotional survival" - Los Angeles Times The first book ever chosen by Oprah's Book Club Few first novels receive the kind of attention and acclaim showered on this powerful story—a nationwide bestseller, a critical success, and the first title chosen for Oprah's Book Club. Both highly suspenseful and deeply moving, The Deep End of the Ocean imagines every mother's worst nightmare—the disappearance of a child—as it explores a family's struggle to endure, even against extraordinary odds. Filled with compassion, humor, and brilliant observations about the texture of real life, here is a story of rare power, one that will touch readers' hearts and make them celebrate the emotions that make us all one. From the Trade Paperback edition.
by Jane Hamilton
About the book: Ruth, a young woman living in a rural Illinois town, looks back on the people who have shaped her life, including her runaway father, shrewish mother, and crazy husband
by Wally Lamb
About the book: Meet Dolores Price. She's thirteen, wise-mouthed but wounded. Beached like a whale in front of her bedroom TV, she spends the next few years nourishing herself with the chocolate, crisps and Pepsi her anxious mother supplies. When she finally rolls into young womanhood at 257 pounds, Dolores is no stronger and life is no kinder. But this time she's determined to rise to the occasion and give herself one more chance before really going belly up. In his extraordinary coming-of-age odyssey, Wally Lamb invites us to hitch an incredible ride on a journey of love, pain, and renewal with the most heartbreakingly comical heroine to come along in years. At once a fragile girl and a hard-edged cynic, so tough to love yet so inimitably loveable, Dolores is as poignantly real as our own imperfections.
by Ursula Hegi
About the book: From the acclaimed author of Floating in My Mother’s Palm and Children and Fire, a stunning story about ordinary people living in extraordinary times—“epic, daring, magnificent, the product of a defining and mesmerizing vision” (Los Angeles Times). Stones from the River is a daring, dramatic and complex novel of life in Germany. It is set in Burgdorf, a small fictional German town, between 1915 and 1951. Trudi Montag is a Zwerg—a dwarf—short, undesirable, different, the voice of anyone who has ever tried to fit in. Eventually she learns that being different is a secret that all humans share—from her mother who flees into madness, to her friend Georg whose parents pretend he’s a girl, to the Jews Trudi harbors in her cellar. Ursula Hegi brings us a timeless and unforgettable story in Trudi and a small town, weaving together a profound tapestry of emotional power, humanity, and truth.
by Sheri Reynolds
About the book: At the Church of Fire and Brimstone and Gods Almighty Baptizing Wind, Grandpa Herman makes the rules for everyone, and everyone obeys, or else. Try as she might, Ninah hasn't succeeded in resisting temptation her prayer partner, James and finds herself pregnant. She fears the wrath of Grandpa Herman, the congregation and of God Himself. But the events that follow show Ninah that Gods ways are more mysterious than even Grandpa Herman understands.
by Maya Angelou
About the book: Maya Angelou's seven volumes of autobiography are a testament to the talents and resilience of this extraordinary writer. Loving the world, she also knows its cruelty. As a black woman she has known discrimination and extreme poverty, but also hope, joy, achievement and celebration. The fourth volume of her enthralling autobiography finds Maya Angelou immersed in the world of black writers and artists in Harlem, working in the civil rights movement with Martin Luther King. 'She has a great capacity for love, to give, and receive it' Margaret Busby
by Mary McGarry Morris
About the book: It's the summer of 1960 in Atkinson, Vermont. Maria Fermoyle is a strong but vulnerable divorced woman whose loneliness and ambition for her children make her easy prey for dangerous con man Omar Duvall. Marie's children are Alice, seventeen—involved with a young priest; Norm, sixteen—hotheaded and idealistic; and Benny, twelve—isolated and misunderstood, and so desperate for his mother's happiness that he hides the deadly truth he knows about Duvall. We also meet Sam Fermoyle, the children's alcoholic father; Sam's brother-in-law, who makes anonymous "love" calls from the bathroom of his failing appliance store; and the Klubock family, who—in contrast to the Fermoyles—live an orderly life in the house next door. Songs in Ordinary Time is a masterful epic of the everyday, illuminating the kaleidoscope of lives that tell the compelling story of this unforgettably family.
by Ernest J. Gaines
About the book: An Oprah Book Club selection Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize In a small Cajun community in the late 1940s, a young black man named Jefferson witnesses a liquor store shootout in which three men are killed. The only survivor, he is convicted of murder and sentenced to death. Gaines explores the deep prejudice of the American South in the tradition of Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird and Toni Morrison's Beloved. A Lesson Before Dying is a richly compassionate and deeply moving novel, the story of a young black man sentenced to death for a murder he did not commit, and a teacher who hopes to ease his burden before the execution.
by Kaye Gibbons
About the book: Winner of the American Academy of Arts and Letters' Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction and of the Ernest Hemingway Foundation's Citation for Fiction. An eleven-year-old heroine tells her unforgettable story with honesty, perceptivity, humor, and unselfconscious heroism. "The honesty of thought and eye and feeling and word!"--Eudora Welty; "A lovely, breathtaking, sometimes heart-wrenching first novel."--Walker Percy. A LITERARY GUILD SELECTION.