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 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.
by Kaye Gibbons
About the book: Two unforgettable characters, Jack Ernest Stokes, known as Blinking Jack, and his wife, Ruby Pitt Woodrow Stokes, tell the story of their years together. Jack was forty and Ruby only twenty when they were married. For twenty-five years they lived together, man and wife, until Ruby died of lung cancer. A LITERARY GUILD AND DOUBLEDAY BOOK CLUB selection.
by Bill Cosby
About the book: In the first installment in a new early readers series by the acclaimed actor and comedian, Little Bill wonders how he can still be a nice guy when he plays a game where the only way to win is by being mean. Original.
by Andrea Camilleri
About the book: The sixteenth Sicilian mystery in the irresistible New York Times bestselling Inspector Montalbano series A hail of bullets interrupts a period of dead calm. An elderly brother and sister open fire on the plaza below their apartment, punishing the people of Vigàta for their sins. News cameras capture Montalbano—gun in hand—as he scales the building to capture the ancient snipers. Inside he finds a nightmarish world of religious objects and a well-worn inflatable sex doll that will come back to haunt him. The Inspector is hailed as a hero after the televised adventure and calm returns. But Montalbano begins to receive cryptic messages in verse, challenging him to go on a "treasure hunt." Intrigued, he accepts, treating the messages as amusing riddles—until they take a dangerous turn.
by Craig Alanson
About the book: While the crew of the starship Flying Dutchman have been trying to assure that hostile aliens do not have access to Earth, the UN Expeditionary Force has been stranded on the planet they nicknamed 'Paradise'. The Flying Dutchman is headed back out on another mission, and the UN wants the ship to find out the status of the humans on Paradise. But Colonel Joe Bishop warns that they might not like what they find, and they can't do anything about it without endangering Earth.
by Alice Hoffman
About the book: March returns to her childhood home with her teenage daughter, Gwen, to attend the funeral of the housekeeper who brought her up. Unexpectedly, though, the visit rekindles in March a passion for an earlier unrequited love. Overwhelmed by her emotions, she abandons her marriage and life commitments in pursuit of the affair. But her lover is a man of strange secrets with a violent streak, and she soon discovers him to be a Bluebeard with a sinister collection... Here on Earth is both a darkly compelling love story and a fantastically detailed portrait of small-town life, rife with gossip, tensions and murky pasts. An Oprah Winfrey Book Club Choice.
by Anna Quindlen
About the book: 'The first time my husband hit me I was nineteen years old.' For eighteen years Fran Benedetto kept her secret, hid her bruises. She stayed with Bobby because she wanted her son to have a father, and because, in spite of everything, she loved him. Then one night, when she saw the look on her ten-year-old son's face, Fran finally made a choice - she ran for both their lives. Now she is starting over in a city far from home, far from Bobby. She uses a name that isn't hers, watches over her son, and tries to forget. For the woman who now calls herself Beth, every day is a chance to heal, to put together the pieces of her shattered self. And every day she waits for Bobby to catch up with her. Bobby always said he would never let her go, and Fran Benedetto is certain of one thing: it is only a matter of time.
by Edwidge Danticat
About the book: The 20th anniversary edition of Edwidge Danticat's groundbreaking debut, now an established classic--revised and with a new introduction by the author, and including extensive bonus materials At the age of twelve, Sophie Caco is sent from her impoverished Haitian village to New York to be reunited with a mother she barely remembers. There she discovers secrets that no child should ever know, and a legacy of shame that can be healed only when she returns to Haiti--to the women who first reared her. What ensues is a passionate journey through a landscape charged with the supernatural and scarred by political violence. In her stunning literary debut, Danticat evokes the wonder, terror, and heartache of her native Haiti--and the enduring strength of Haiti's women--with vibrant imagery and narrative grace that bear witness to her people's suffering and courage.
by Wally Lamb
About the book: Dominick Birdsey, a forty-year-old housepainter living in Three Rivers, Connecticut, finds his subdued life greatly disturbed when his identical twin brother Thomas, a paranoid schizophrenic, commits a shocking act of self-mutilation
by Pearl Cleage
About the book: After a decade of elegant pleasures and luxe living with the Atlanta brothers and sisters with the best clothes and biggest dreams, Ava Johnson has temporarily returned home to Idlewild—her fabulous career and power plans smashed to bits by cold reality. But what she imagines to be the end is, instead, a beginning. Because, in the ten-plus years since Ava left, all the problems of the big city have come to roost in the sleepy North Michigan community whose ordinariness once drove her away; and she cannot turn her back on friends and family who sorely need her in the face of impending trouble and tragedy. Besides which, that one unthinkable, unmistakable thing is now happening to her: Ava Johnson is falling in love. Acclaimed playwright, essayist, New York Times bestselling author, and columnist Pearl Cleage has created a world rich in character, human drama, and deep, compassionate understanding, in a remarkable novel that sizzles with sensuality, hums with gritty truth, and sings and crackles with life-affirming energy.
by Chris Bohjalian
About the book: A number one New York Times Bestseller, a selection of Oprah's Book Club, and a contemporary classic, Midwives is a compulsively readable novel that explores what happens when a woman who has devoted herself to ushering life into the world finds herself charged with responsibility in a patient's tragic death. The time is 1981, and Sibyl Danforth has been a dedicated midwife in the rural community of Reddington, Vermont, for fifteen years. But one treacherous winter night, in a house isolated by icy roads and failed telephone lines, Sibyl takes desperate measures to save a baby's life. She performs an emergency Caesarean section on its mother, who appears to have died in labor. But what if--as Sibyl's assistant later charges--the patient wasn't already dead? As recounted by Sibyl's precocious fourteen-year-old daughter, Connie, the ensuing trial bears the earmarks of a witch hunt. As Sibyl Danforth faces the antagonism of the law, the hostility of traditional doctors, and the accusations of her own conscience, Midwives engages, moves, and transfixes us as only the very best novels ever do. From the Trade Paperback edition.