Popular Book Club Picks

Searching for study guides on books selected by some of the nation's top book clubs, curated by Oprah, Reese Witherspoon, the PBS NewsHour, the New York Times, and the American Library Association? Look no further. This collection covers critically-acclaimed classics like Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe and Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez to contemporary, buzzworthy novels like Girl, Woman, Other. We hope this compilation of study guides provides your own book club with lively discussion topics and keen insights.

Publication year 2019Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Identity: Femininity, Identity: Sexuality, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Life/Time: The Past, Relationships: Family, Society: Immigration, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Values/Ideas: Safety & DangerTags Historical Fiction, Trauma / Abuse / Violence, Gender / Feminism

Elif Shafak’s 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World was published in 2019. Shafak is an award-winning British Turkish novelist who advocates for women’s and LGBTQIA+ rights through her fiction. Shafak’s 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World examines the life of a sex worker who was murdered in Istanbul, Turkey, exploring key moments in her life while her friends desperately try to arrange her funeral. The novel investigates topics like violence against... Read 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World Summary


SuperSummary Logo
STUDY + TEACHING GUIDE
Guide cover image
Publication year 1949Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: SiblingsTags Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, British Literature

George Orwell’s dystopian novel1984 (also written as Nineteen Eighty-Four: A Novel) was originally published in 1949. Orwell was known for social and political criticism in his writing. He supported democratic socialism and opposed totalitarianism—political stances that come through in the themes of his most well-known works.Edition note: This novel is available in the public domain in many countries, and this summary is based on the electronically published version made available by Planet eBook. The edition... Read 1984 Summary


Publication year 2010Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Society: Economics, Society: Globalization, Society: Nation, Society: Politics & Government, Values/Ideas: Equality, Values/Ideas: Justice & InjusticeTags Politics / Government, Business / Economics, Education, Class, Finance / Money / Wealth, Food, History: World, Immigration / Refugee, Leadership/Organization/Management, Military / War, Poverty, Social Justice, Sociology, Technology

Publication year 2023Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Identity: Femininity, Relationships: Friendship, Society: Colonialism, Society: WarTags Historical Fiction, Vietnam War

Publication year 2011Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Revenge, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Values/Ideas: Power & GreedTags Fantasy, Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Action / Adventure

Originally published in 2011, A Dance With Dragons is the fifth volume of George R. R. Martin’s epic fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire. Set in the aftermath of the events in A Storm of Crows, the narrative follows along as important characters reckon with the new roles thrust upon them and the consequences of their actions. Martin’s work has gained him multiple Locus Awards, and A Dance with Dragons has been adapted... Read A Dance With Dragons Summary


Publication year 2022Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: courage, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Emotions/Behavior: Hate & Anger, Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Emotions/Behavior: Regret, Emotions/Behavior: Revenge, Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Identity: Femininity, Identity: Gender, Identity: Masculinity, Identity: Mental Health, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Values/Ideas: Trust & Doubt, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Values/Ideas: Order & Chaos, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Life/Time: The Past, Life/Time: MidlifeTags Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Mystery / Crime Fiction, Psychological Fiction, Addiction / Substance Abuse

Publication year 1996Genre Novel, FictionThemes Society: Politics & Government, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Hate & Anger, Emotions/Behavior: Revenge, Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Identity: Masculinity, Identity: Femininity, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Values/Ideas: Win & Lose, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Society: Class, Society: War, Society: Economics, Relationships: Siblings, Relationships: Mothers, Relationships: Fathers, Relationships: Marriage, Relationships: Family, Relationships: Daughters & Sons, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Relationships: Friendship, Identity: Disability, Identity: Gender, Life/Time: Birth, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Life/Time: The Future, Life/Time: The Past, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Values/Ideas: Trust & DoubtTags Fantasy, Action / Adventure, Class, Politics / Government, Religion / Spirituality, Trauma / Abuse / Violence, Grief / Death

A Game of Thrones is a 1996 epic fantasy novel by George R. R. Martin and is the first in his long-running A Song of Ice and Fire series. The novel introduces the audience to the fictional world of Westeros, where characters become embroiled in a complicated web of plots, conspiracies, and betrayals as they pursue power. A Game of Thrones won numerous awards on publication and was adapted for television in 2011. This guide... Read A Game of Thrones Summary


Publication year 2023Genre Novel, FictionThemes Society: Economics, Society: Class, Society: Politics & GovernmentTags Mystery / Crime Fiction, Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Relationships, Trauma / Abuse / Violence

Publication year 2020Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Society: Community, Natural World: Environment, Life/Time: Coming of AgeTags Realistic Fiction, Race / Racism, Class

Publication year 2018Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Values/Ideas: Science & Technology, Values/Ideas: Win & Lose, Society: EconomicsTags Science / Nature, Technology, Business / Economics

Publication year 2020Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Natural World: Environment, Natural World: Climate, Natural World: Animals, Society: Community, Values/Ideas: Science & TechnologyTags Science / Nature, Climate Change

Publication year 2000Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Values/Ideas: Equality, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Identity: SexualityTags Gender / Feminism, Philosophy, Psychology

Publication year 2020Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Identity: Sexuality, Identity: Gender, Life/Time: AgingTags Realistic Fiction, Relationships, LGBTQ

Publication year 2022Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Society: Community, Emotions/Behavior: GuiltTags Mystery / Crime Fiction, Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction

Publication year 2021Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Equality, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Values/Ideas: Trust & Doubt, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Identity: Femininity, Identity: Race, Identity: Mental Health, Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: courage, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Emotions/Behavior: Hate & Anger, Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Emotions/Behavior: Revenge, Emotions/Behavior: Shame & PrideTags Mystery / Crime Fiction, Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Race / Racism, Trauma / Abuse / Violence

Publication year 2022Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Relationships: Friendship, Society: Immigration, Emotions/Behavior: courage, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / PerseveranceTags Historical Fiction, Romance, Realistic Fiction, Trauma / Abuse / Violence

Publication year 2013Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Values/Ideas: Fate, Relationships: Family, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Society: Community, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Emotions/Behavior: HopeTags Poverty

A Long Way Home is a 2013 memoir by Saroo Brierley, an Indian-born author who was accidentally separated from his biological family at the age of five and adopted by an Australian couple. The memoir traces Saroo’s remarkable journey from India to Australia and back again 25 years later. The book inspired the 2016 film Lion and became a New York Times Best Seller after the film’s release. This guide refers to the 2015 edition published... Read A Long Way Home Summary


Publication year 2023Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Relationships: Mothers, Relationships: Daughters & Sons, Life/Time: Aging, Life/Time: The PastTags British Literature, Realistic Fiction

Publication year 2001Genre Novel, FictionThemes Society: Immigration, Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Life/Time: Mortality & DeathTags Fantasy, Mythology

American Gods is a 2001 fantasy novel by English author Neil Gaiman. Blending folklore, mythology, religion, and American culture, the novel brings together gods from disparate cultures and times as they reckon with an existential threat. The novel has been adapted for television, and Gaiman has expanded the American Gods universe with indirect sequels such as Anansi Boys. The book won critical acclaim and many awards, including the 2002 Nebula and Hugo awards, two of... Read American Gods Summary


Publication year 2018Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Identity: Race, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Values/Ideas: Justice & InjusticeTags Incarceration, Social Justice, Journalism, Race / Racism, American Literature, Post-War Era

Publication year 1991Genre Novel, FictionThemes Society: Economics, Society: ClassTags Satire, Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Psychological Fiction, Drama / Tragedy, Trauma / Abuse / Violence

American Psycho is a 1991 novel by American author Bret Easton Ellis. Set in 1980s New York, the novel follows the life of a wealthy young stockbroker, the novel’s narrator, Patrick Bateman. Surrounded by a world of vapid commercialism and empty excess, Bateman begins acting on his psychopathic thoughts and impulses. His disturbance begins in his imagination. However, it quickly bleeds over into reality with Bateman committing more and more horrific murders, fueled by drug... Read American Psycho Summary


Publication year 2017Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Natural World: Environment, Society: Politics & Government, Natural World: AnimalsTags Science / Nature, Animals, Journalism, Politics / Government

Publication year 2019Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Identity: Race, Identity: Gender, Society: ColonialismTags Race / Racism, Social Justice, Mental Illness, Colonialism / Postcolonialism

Publication year 1939Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Values/Ideas: Fate, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Life/Time: The Past, Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Identity: Gender, Identity: Masculinity, Identity: Femininity, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Emotions/Behavior: Apathy, Society: ColonialismTags Mystery / Crime Fiction, Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Modernism

Published in 1939, And Then There Were None is a mystery novel by Agatha Christie, best-selling novelist of all time, outsold only by the Bible and Shakespeare. With over 100 million copies sold, And Then There Were None is the world’s best-selling crime novel as well as one of the best-selling books of all time. It has had more adaptations than any other work by Agatha Christie, including television programs, films, radio broadcasts, and most... Read And Then There Were None Summary


Publication year 1879Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Marriage, Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Society: ClassTags Classic Fiction, Russian Literature

Anna Karenina is Leo Tolstoy’s second novel, following War and Peace (1869). Serially published in 1877, Anna Karenina depicts the efforts of its titular character to escape an unhappy marriage to her older, civil servant husband and pursue a love affair with a young and dashing count, Alexei Vronsky. The novel is a sweeping family drama exploring Tolstoy’s interest in marriage, family, agrarian politics, and gender roles. The work is also a portrait of Russian... Read Anna Karenina Summary


Publication year 2019Genre Novel, FictionThemes Society: War, Identity: Femininity, Values/Ideas: LiteratureTags Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Mythology, Gender / Feminism

Publication year 2021Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Society: Community, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Relationships: MothersTags Mystery / Crime Fiction, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Historical Fiction

Publication year 2010Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Identity: Mental Health, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Self DiscoveryTags Relationships, Self Help, Psychology, Science / Nature, Love / Sexuality

Publication year 2019Genre Novel, FictionTags Gender / Feminism, Historical Fiction, History: Middle Eastern

Etaf Rum’s debut novel, A Woman Is No Man, was originally published in 2019. According to Rum, the novel, while fiction, relies heavily on autobiographical details. In fact, Rum’s life so closely parallels her characters’ lives that the narrative effectively blurs the line between fiction and memoir. Switching between past and present, the novel tells the intergenerational story of Isra, a Palestinian immigrant living in Brooklyn, and her daughter Deya, growing up in the same... Read A Woman Is No Man Summary


Publication year 2023Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Mothers, Relationships: Daughters & Sons, Emotions/Behavior: Forgiveness, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Emotions/Behavior: GuiltTags Relationships, Historical Fiction, Vietnam War, Asian Literature, Trauma / Abuse / Violence

Publication year 2021Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Life/Time: Coming of Age, Society: Immigration, Identity: Language, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Relationships: Mothers, Relationships: Daughters & Sons, Identity: Race, Natural World: Food, Society: Education, Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / PerseveranceTags Chinese Literature, Immigration / Refugee, Poverty, American Literature, Education

Publication year 2018Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionTags Gender / Feminism, Politics / Government, History: U.S., Women's Studies (Nonfiction)

Becoming is a memoir by Michelle Obama, the former First Lady of the United States from 2008-2016, originally published in 2018. In addition to describing her time in the White House, Obama details her upbringing, her education, her work in community outreach, and her relationship with former president Barack Obama, all of which contribute to the process of becoming the woman she is today. Becoming was the bestselling book of the year in 2018 and... Read Becoming Summary


Publication year 2001Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Identity: Indigenous, Society: Colonialism, Society: Politics & GovernmentTags Music, Historical Fiction, Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Psychological Fiction

Ann Patchett’s 2001 novel, Bel Canto, tells the alternately life-affirming and heart-wrenching story of a disparate group of people who are taken hostage in the Vice Presidential mansion of an unnamed South American country. The group has gathered to celebrate the birthday of Mr. Hosokawa, a Japanese businessman and passionate opera lover. Mr. Hosokawa has requested that Roxanne Coss, a renowned soprano from America, sing at his party. She is captivating, but at the end... Read Bel Canto Summary


Publication year 2014Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Relationships: Teams, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Natural World: Place, Society: Community, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Life/Time: Birth, Natural World: Environment, Relationships: Daughters & Sons, Identity: Mental Health, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Relationships: Mothers, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Values/Ideas: Order & Chaos, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Values/Ideas: Trust & Doubt, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Nostalgia, Emotions/Behavior: Hope, Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Emotions/Behavior: ApathyTags Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction

Bird Box is a 2014 post-apocalyptic horror novel by Josh Malerman. The story follows a woman’s struggle to protect two children in a world where people are driven to violence by unseen monsters, touching on such themes as paranoia, raising children to deal with an uncertain future, and the dangers of exceptionalism. Bird Box won a Michigan Notable Book Award and was also nominated for the James Herbert Award as well as the Bram Stoker... Read Bird Box Summary


Publication year 2021Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Race, Society: Colonialism, Society: EconomicsTags Satire, Humor, Race / Racism

Publication year 2022Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Race, Relationships: Family, Values/Ideas: Truth & LiesTags Historical Fiction

Publication year 2022Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Literature, Self Discovery, Relationships: Siblings, Emotions/Behavior: GriefTags Romance

Publication year 2007Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Life/Time: The Past, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Identity: LanguageTags Romance, LGBTQ, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman

IntroductionCall Me By Your Name by André Aciman is a piece of literary fiction in the subgenres of romance literature and queer literature. Published in 2007, the novel became a bestseller, received positive critical reception, and won the 2008  Lambda Literary Award for Gay Fiction. The 2017 film adaptation of Call Me By Your Name, directed by Luca Guadagnino and starring Timothée Chalamet and Armie Hammer, won, among other accolades, the Academy Award for Best... Read Call Me By Your Name Summary


Publication year 2023Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Win & Lose, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Values/Ideas: Fame, Society: Community, Relationships: Teams, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Life/Time: The Future, Identity: Race, Identity: Gender, Identity: Mental HealthTags Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Satire, LGBTQ, Black Lives Matter, Business / Economics, Grief / Death, History: U.S., Incarceration, Race / Racism, Trauma / Abuse / Violence, Social Justice

Publication year 2018Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: GenderTags Mythology, Gender / Feminism, History: European, Historical Fiction

Published in 2018, Circe retells the story of the eponymous Greek mythological figure. Although traditionally viewed as a heartless, savagely beautiful witch who lures sailors to their deaths, the Circe of Madeline Miller’s imagining is quite different. This Circe is a multidimensional, flawed, and empathetic character struggling to find meaning and worth in her immortal life. Through Miller’s detailed and honest first-person narrative, which takes place over thousands of years, the evil witch becomes relatable.The... Read Circe Summary


Publication year 2014Genre Book, NonfictionTags Black Lives Matter, Creative Nonfiction

Claudia Rankine’s Citizen: An American Lyric is a genre-bending meditation on race, racism, and citizenship in 21st-century America. Published in 2014, Citizen combines prose, poetry, and images to paint a provocative portrait of the African American experience and racism in the so-called “post-racial” United States. Claudia Rankine is an essayist, poet, playwright and the editor of several anthologies; she is currently the Frederick Iseman Professor of Poetry at Yale University. Citizen is the winner of... Read Citizen: An American Lyric Summary


Publication year 2023Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Relationships: Mothers, Society: Class, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Society: EducationTags Poverty, Social Justice, Education

Publication year 2024Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Society: Education, Identity: Race, Identity: Sexuality, Life/Time: Coming of AgeTags Relationships, LGBTQ

Publication year 2016Genre Novel, FictionThemes Society: Class, Identity: Masculinity, Identity: Femininity, Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Life/Time: MidlifeTags Japanese Literature, Relationships, Realistic Fiction

Publication year 2017Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Femininity, Society: Politics & Government, Relationships: FriendshipTags Romance, LGBTQ, Irish Literature

Conversations with Friends is Irish writer Sally Rooney’s debut novel, published in 2017. Rooney wrote the novel when she was 25 and followed it up quickly with Normal People in 2018 and Beautiful World, Where Are You in 2021. All three works have garnered award nominations and the first two have been adapted into television series. Conversations with Friends tells the story of Frances and Bobbi— college students, best friends, and former girlfriends—and Nick and... Read Conversations with Friends Summary


Publication year 2022Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Friendship, Identity: Race, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Natural World: Appearance & RealityTags Mystery / Crime Fiction, Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Survival Fiction

Publication year 2021Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Relationships: Mothers, Society: Immigration, Life/Time: Mortality & DeathTags Food, Grief / Death, Relationships, Asian Literature

Publication year 2023Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Identity: LanguageTags Psychology, Religion / Spirituality, Crime / Legal

Publication year 2009Genre Novel, FictionThemes Society: Immigration, Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Relationships: SiblingsTags Historical Fiction, Health / Medicine, African Literature

Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese was published in 2009. Verghese, an Indian American doctor born in Ethiopia, interrupted his medical career to attend the University of Iowa’s Writing Workshop and wrote two memoirs before publishing this novel. The book is notable for its incorporation of medical knowledge and its intimate portrayal of the lives of medical doctors. The novel spans several decades, weaving a deeply personal story with the complex 20th-century history of Ethiopia... Read Cutting for Stone Summary


Publication year 2022Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Relationships: Family, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Emotions/Behavior: Revenge, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Life/Time: Mortality & DeathTags Mystery / Crime Fiction, Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction

Publication year 2022Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Emotions/Behavior: LoveTags Fantasy, Mythology, Romance, Asian Literature

Publication year 2020Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: Birth

Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano was published in 2020. It is the story of a 12-year-old boy who is the lone survivor of a plane crash that kills 191 others, including his family. As Edward struggles to cope with the tragedy, letters from others affected by the crash spark a journey of healing and self-discovery. Although the novel is fiction, it was inspired by true events. Ann Napolitano is a resident of New York City... Read Dear Edward Summary


Publication year 2023Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Life/Time: Birth, Values/Ideas: Truth & LiesTags Mystery / Crime Fiction, Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Psychological Fiction

Publication year 2021Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Femininity, Relationships: Family, Identity: GenderTags LGBTQ, Gender / Feminism

Publication year 2023Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Values/Ideas: Fame, Identity: Race, Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Values/Ideas: Equality, Identity: GenderTags Historical Fiction, Race / Racism

Publication year 2001Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Relationships: Family, Natural World: Environment, Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Life/Time: Midlife, Values/Ideas: MusicTags Romance, Drama / Tragedy

Publication year 2019Genre Novel, FictionTags Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction

Disappearing Earth (2019) is a debut novel by Julia Phillips published by Alfred A. Knopf, New York, a division of Penguin Random House. This cross-genre novel combines elements of Mystery, Thriller, Women’s Fiction, and Literary Fiction. In 2019, it was a National Book Award finalist for fiction, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle John Leonard Prize, and a finalist for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize. New York Times Book Review named... Read Disappearing Earth Summary


Publication year 2019Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Femininity, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Relationships: FamilyTags Historical Fiction, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman

Publication year 2009Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Natural World: EnvironmentTags Food, Philosophy, Animals, Health / Medicine

Eating Animals is a nonfiction book written by Jonathan Safran Foer and published originally in 2009. Foer is an accomplished novelist, and Eating Animals is his first foray into long-form nonfiction writing. The book fits into a genre of criticism of the food industry, specifically factory farming and animal welfare. Eating Animals is a New York Times bestseller, though it met with mixed reviews regarding both the content and style of Foer’s writing. In 2018... Read Eating Animals Summary


Publication year 2018Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Values/Ideas: Trust & Doubt, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Relationships: FathersTags Education, Poverty

Tara Westover’s 2018 memoir, Educated, tells the story of her journey to obtain an education. Westover is the youngest of seven children who grew up in the mountains of southwest Idaho in a radical Mormon family in the late 1980s and 1990s. From an early age, Westover knew that her family was not like other families because hers did not send the children to school, did not visit doctors’ offices or hospitals, and was not... Read Educated Summary


Publication year 2016Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Values/Ideas: Fame, Values/Ideas: Win & Lose, Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / PerseveranceTags Self Help, Philosophy, Business / Economics, Leadership/Organization/Management

Publication year 2022Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Literature, Identity: Language, Identity: Sexuality, Life/Time: Coming of AgeTags Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Love / Sexuality

Publication year 2020Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Emotions/Behavior: Revenge, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Identity: Indigenous, Relationships: FamilyTags Fantasy, Mystery / Crime Fiction, LGBTQ, Magical Realism, Action / Adventure, Grief / Death, Race / Racism

Publication year 2020Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Natural World: Environment, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Natural World: Flora/plants, Natural World: Place, Natural World: Climate, Values/Ideas: Science & TechnologyTags Science / Nature, Creative Nonfiction, Climate Change, Agriculture, History: World

Publication year 2021Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Mental Health, Identity: Sexuality, Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Life/Time: Mortality & DeathTags LGBTQ, Realistic Fiction, Mental Illness, Love / Sexuality, Religion / Spirituality

Publication year 2018Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Relationships: Friendship, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Identity: FemininityTags Humor, Gender / Feminism

Publication year 2019Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Friendship, Relationships: Marriage, Identity: Mental HealthTags Romance, Sports, Realistic Fiction

Publication year 2017Genre Novel, FictionThemes Society: Globalization

Exit West is a work of political fiction by Pakistani author Mohsin Hamid, who also wrote The Reluctant Fundamentalist and How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia. It was published in 2017 and was shortlisted for the 2017 Man Booker Prize.Exit West begins in an unnamed Middle Eastern city that is on the verge of war. It is already “swollen with refugees” (1). This is where Nadia and Saeed, the two main characters in... Read Exit West Summary


Publication year 2023Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Identity: Femininity, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Identity: Mental Health, Identity: Race, Identity: Sexuality, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Relationships: Marriage, Relationships: MothersTags Magical Realism, Historical Fiction, Fantasy

Publication year 2020Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Race, Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Relationships: MothersTags Historical Fiction, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Love / Sexuality, Race / Racism, Trauma / Abuse / Violence, Gender / Feminism, WWII / World War II, Post-War Era

Publication year 1996Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Masculinity, Society: Community, Identity: Mental Health, Identity: GenderTags Satire, Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Mental Illness, Grief / Death

Fight Club (1996) is the debut novel of American author Chuck Palahniuk. Three years later, American filmmaker David Fincher directed the film adaptation starring Brad Pitt as Tyler Durden, Edward Norton as the Narrator, and Helena Bonham Carter as Marla Singer. This study guide uses the 2018 paperback edition published by W. W. Norton & Co.Fight Club is a contemporary work of literary fiction that contends with masculinity, materialism, consumer culture, and modern disillusionment. Inspired... Read Fight Club Summary


Publication year 2019Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Values/Ideas: Literature, Relationships: MarriageTags Historical Fiction, Auto/Biographical Fiction, Relationships

Publication year 2022Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Identity: Race, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Forgiveness, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Relationships: Family, Relationships: Siblings, Self Discovery, Values/Ideas: Art, Values/Ideas: Justice & InjusticeTags Inspirational, Addiction / Substance Abuse, Bullying, Love / Sexuality, Poverty, Race / Racism, Trauma / Abuse / Violence

Publication year 2002Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Mothers, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Identity: SexualityTags Historical Fiction, Mystery / Crime Fiction, LGBTQ, Gothic Literature, Victorian Period, Trauma / Abuse / Violence, Love / Sexuality

A thrilling tale of thievery, betrayal, and mistaken identity, Fingersmith, by Welsh author Sarah Waters, tells the story of two women from two very different stations of life whose fates are inextricably linked. Set in the 1860s, Fingersmith is narrated alternately by Sue Smith (also known as Sue Trinder) and Maud Lilly. One is a young “fingersmith”—slang for a thief—lovingly protected from the worst of her world by Mrs. Sucksby; the other is an aristocratic... Read Fingersmith Summary


Publication year 1884Genre Novella, FictionThemes Society: Class, Values/Ideas: Science & Technology, Natural World: Nurture v. Nature, Identity: GenderTags Satire, Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Classic Fiction, Fantasy, Philosophy, Class, Gender / Feminism, British Literature, Victorian Period

IntroductionIn his introduction to Flatland: a Romance of Many Dimensions (1884), British mathematician Banesh Hoffmann describes the novel as “a stirring adventure in pure mathematics” and emphasizes the fundamentally fantastical nature of the story (iii). He also says that author Edwin A. Abbott intended the novel to be instructional. Both the surreal nature of Flatland and its didactic elements are plain, but there is disagreement among scholars and readers on the question of exactly what... Read Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions Summary


Publication year 2005Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Science & Technology, Emotions/Behavior: Hate & Anger, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Relationships: Family, Self Discovery, Emotions/Behavior: MemoryTags Fantasy, Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, African American Literature

Publication year 2007Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Society: Immigration, Natural World: Place, Values/Ideas: LiteratureTags Travel Literature

Publication year 2020Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Identity: Gender, Values/Ideas: Truth & LiesTags Historical Fiction, Grief / Death, Jewish Literature

Publication year 2016Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Gender, Society: War, Values/Ideas: Truth & LiesTags Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Mystery / Crime Fiction

Publication year 2007Genre Novel, FictionThemes Society: Immigration, Identity: Race, Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Life/Time: Aging, Life/Time: Coming of AgeTags Asian Literature

Publication year 2022Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Relationships: Daughters & SonsTags Historical Fiction, Realistic Fiction

Publication year 2018Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Mental Health, Identity: Gender, Values/Ideas: Religion & SpiritualityTags Magical Realism, LGBTQ, Fantasy

Publication year 2018Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Emotions/Behavior: LoveTags Romance, Mystery / Crime Fiction, French Literature, Trauma / Abuse / Violence

Publication year 2018Genre Novel, FictionTags Realistic Fiction

Fruit of the Drunken Tree is the debut novel of Colombian-American author Ingrid Rojas Contreras, known for her essays and short stories which have been published in The New York Times Magazine, The LA Times Review of Books, Guernica, and others. The novel’s autobiographically-inspired plot takes place in the author’s hometown of Bogotá, and it traces the friendship of the young Chula Santiago with her family’s guerrilla-entangled maid, Petrona Sanchez. Petrona is coerced into abetting... Read Fruit of the Drunken Tree Summary


Publication year 2020Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: LoveTags Romance, Relationships, Gender / Feminism

Publication year 2019Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: FamilyTags Gender / Feminism, Race / Racism, LGBTQ, Realistic Fiction

Bernardine Evaristo’s polyphonic novel of modern Britain and womanhood, Girl, Woman, Other, won the 2019 Booker Prize. Evaristo is the first black woman to receive this literary prize for books written in the English language. Employing an experimental, poetic form, the novel follows several generations of mainly black, British women interlinked by family, love, loss, and diaspora to interrogate the intersections of identity. Girl, Woman, Other is Evaristo’s eighth book. The novel’s title could be... Read Girl, Woman, Other Summary


Publication year 2024Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: Midlife, Relationships: Friendship, Self DiscoveryTags Romance

Publication year 2021Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Gender, Identity: Sexuality, Values/Ideas: ArtTags Historical Fiction, LGBTQ, Gender / Feminism, Arts / Culture

Publication year 2014Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Self Discovery, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Society: Community, Relationships: Siblings, Emotions/Behavior: ConflictTags Fantasy, LGBTQ

Half Bad (March 2014) is the debut novel of author Sally Green. It is also the first book in a trilogy of the same name. The book became an instant bestseller because of its similarity to the Harry Potter series. Green followed Half Bad with Half Wild (2015) and Half Lost (2016). The Half Bad trilogy was eventually produced as the Netflix series entitled The Bastard Son & the Devil Himself. It ran for one... Read Half Bad Summary


Publication year 2023Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Emotions/Behavior: Joy, Identity: Disability, Relationships: Siblings, Values/Ideas: Music, Values/Ideas: Trust & DoubtTags Mystery / Crime Fiction, Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction

Publication year 1990Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Language, Values/Ideas: Literature, Society: Politics & Government, Natural World: Appearance & RealityTags Magical Realism, Fantasy, Allegory / Fable / Parable, History: Asian

Haroun and the Sea of Stories is a 1990 book for young adults, written by Salman Rushdie. Haroun is the follow-up to Rushdie’s novel The Satanic Verses, which was deemed blasphemous by the Ayatollah (a high-ranking Iranian clergyman) at the time, who pronounced a death sentence on the author. As a response to the ayatollah’s decree, Haroun explores themes of free speech, the need for storytelling, and the value of fiction.Plot SummaryThe novel begins with... Read Haroun and the Sea of Stories Summary


Publication year 2018Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionTags Mental Illness

Heart Berries is a memoir written in connected, lyrical vignettes by Terese Marie Mailhot. It was published in 2018. The book tells the story of Mailhot’s life as a First Nations woman who moves from Canada to the American Southwest, struggles with bipolar disorder, and comes to terms with her past traumas and tumultuous, sometimes violent marriage. Plot SummaryThe beginning of the book chronicles Mailhot’s love affair with a White man named Casey, who leaves... Read Heart Berries Summary


Publication year 2009Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Apathy, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Relationships: FriendshipTags Japanese Literature, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Asian Literature, Psychological Fiction

Publication year 2021Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Literature, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Identity: Race, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Society: Nation, Values/Ideas: Justice & InjusticeTags Race / Racism, Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Magical Realism

Publication year 2015Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Values/Ideas: Science & Technology, Natural World: Environment, Life/Time: The Future, Natural World: Appearance & RealityTags Science / Nature, History: World, Philosophy, Anthropology

Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow (2015) is a work of popular science by Israeli writer, professor, and futurist Yuval Noah Harari. Published in multiple languages, it is a continuation of the work of Harari’s previous book, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind. While Sapiens contextualized the advents of modernity within humans’ evolutionary legacy, Homo Deus speculates about what lies in wait for humanity in the distant future. Harari grounds his discussion in an... Read Homo Deus Summary


Publication year 2022Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Hope, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Emotions/Behavior: courage, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Emotions/Behavior: Hate & Anger, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Identity: Femininity, Relationships: Family, Self Discovery, Society: Class, Society: Colonialism, Society: Community, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Values/Ideas: Safety & DangerTags Historical Fiction

Publication year 2022Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Art, Natural World: Animals, Life/Time: The PastTags Historical Fiction, Animals, Race / Racism, American Civil War, Sports

Publication year 2022Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Science & Technology, Emotions/Behavior: Hope, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Society: Community, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Life/Time: The Future, Life/Time: The Past, Emotions/Behavior: courage, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: Nostalgia, Natural World: Climate, Natural World: Space & The Universe, Relationships: Family, Relationships: FriendshipTags Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Fantasy, Grief / Death, Climate Change, Technology

Publication year 2021Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Identity: Race, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Values/Ideas: Justice & InjusticeTags History: U.S., Race / Racism, Social Justice, Politics / Government

Publication year 2019Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Society: Nation, Identity: Race, Society: Colonialism, Values/Ideas: Power & GreedTags History: U.S., Politics / Government, History: World, Colonialism / Postcolonialism

Publication year 1940Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Values/Ideas: Literature, Society: Education, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / PerseveranceTags Self Help, Education, Philosophy

Publication year 2023Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Relationships: FamilyTags Religion / Spirituality, Women's Studies (Nonfiction), Afro-Caribbean Literature

Publication year 2019Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Society: Community, Society: Politics & Government, Values/Ideas: Good & EvilTags History: World, Psychology, Philosophy, Politics / Government, Sociology, Anthropology, Dutch Literature

Publication year 2017Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Identity: Sexuality, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Values/Ideas: Literature, Emotions/Behavior: Revenge, Life/Time: Coming of AgeTags Mystery / Crime Fiction, Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, LGBTQ

Publication year 2020Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Fate, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Relationships: FriendshipTags Romance

Publication year 2019Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Relationships: Family, Life/Time: Childhood & YouthTags Health / Medicine, Parenting, Relationships

Publication year 2023Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Literature, Relationships: Family, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & BetrayalTags Fantasy, Magical Realism, Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, LGBTQ

Publication year 2003Genre Novel, FictionTags Fantasy, Magical Realism, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Action / Adventure, German literature

Cornelia Funke’s Inkheart (2003) is a novel of magical realism—the story takes place in the real world, but magic figures into the plot and character development. Funke went on to write other books in the Inkworld series: Inkspell (2005), and Inkdeath (2007). A fourth, The Colour of Revenge, will be released in October 2023. A movie adaption of Inkheart, produced by Funke, was released in 2008. Inkheart has received numerous literary accolades, including the 2004... Read Inkheart Summary


Publication year 2020Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Race, Society: Nation, Values/Ideas: Justice & InjusticeTags Realistic Fiction, Allegory / Fable / Parable, Race / Racism, Arts / Culture, Diversity, History: U.S., Asian Literature, American Literature

Publication year 2019Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Identity: Sexuality, Self Discovery, Emotions/Behavior: ConflictTags LGBTQ, Trauma / Abuse / Violence, Relationships, Love / Sexuality, Arts / Culture

Carmen Maria Machado’s memoir In the Dream House chronologizes her experiences in an abusive relationship with a woman. In the Dream House was published in 2019 and won the 2021 Folio Prize and the 2020 Lambda Literary Award for LGBTQ Nonfiction. The memoir discusses potential modes for queer representation through the use of multiple narrative techniques. As of 2022, Machado lives in Pennsylvania with her wife and works at the University of Pennsylvania.This guide is... Read In the Dream House Summary


Publication year 1997Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Natural World: Place, Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Life/Time: Mortality & DeathTags Travel Literature, Action / Adventure, Sports, Drama / Tragedy, Natural Disaster

Into Thin Air is American is authored by professional mountain climber Jon Krakauer. It is a personal account of attempting to ascend Mount Everest, prompted by an assignment from Outside magazine to cover the commercial development of the communities at the mountain’s base. Krakauer’s climbing attempt, which was fatal for several, became the deadliest expedition ever on the mountain. In the book, he reflects on his experience, reporting it as truthfully as possible.Krakauer recalls being... Read Into Thin Air Summary


Publication year 1995Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Sexuality, Natural World: Place, Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Identity: FemininityTags Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Fantasy

Publication year 1935Genre Novel, FictionTags Classic Fiction, Historical Fiction, Mystery / Crime Fiction, Gothic Literature, British Literature

Jamaica Inn (1936) is a period piece thriller written by Daphne du Maurier. Inspired by her stay at the eponymous inn—which still stands and hosts visitors today—du Maurier’s novel is set in the early 1800s and centers on the infamous underbelly of smuggling in Cornwall, United Kingdom. Jamaica Inn follows the protagonist, Mary Yellan, as she navigates the unfamiliar world of the moorlands, where life is harsh, and the ever-present proximity of the moors and... Read Jamaica Inn Summary


Publication year 2009Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Race, Emotions/Behavior: GuiltTags Historical Fiction, Mystery / Crime Fiction, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman

Published in 2009 and written by Craig Silvey, Jasper Jones is a coming-of-age novel that follows the teenage protagonist, Charlie Bucktin, after he helps an ostracized teen named Jasper Jones dispose of the body of a local teenage girl. Charlie and Jasper attempt to find out who killed the girl, and in the process, they both learn secrets about their own families and the town around them. The novel won numerous awards, including both the... Read Jasper Jones Summary


Publication year 2004Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Values/Ideas: Fame, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Society: ClassTags Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Magical Realism

Publication year 2024Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Forgiveness, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Identity: Mental Health, Relationships: Daughters & Sons, Relationships: Family, Relationships: Mothers, Self DiscoveryTags Romance

Publication year 2017Genre Book, Nonfiction

Killers of the Flower Moon is a 2017 nonfiction book by American journalist David Grann that tells the story of the so-called 1920s Reign of Terror, a period during which numerous Osage Nation members were killed in Oklahoma for their oil wealth—murders that for the most part went unsolved. The book details these killings and investigates who was responsible.The Osage Nation, like many Indigenous tribes of North America, had been pushed west by white colonists... Read Killers of the Flower Moon Summary


Publication year 2016Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Gender, Relationships: Mothers, Identity: FemininityTags Asian Literature, Social Justice, Gender / Feminism

Publication year 2020Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Race, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Values/Ideas: Order & ChaosTags Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Realistic Fiction, Information Age, Race / Racism, Class, Black Lives Matter, American Literature

Rumaan Alam’s Leave the World Behind (2020) is a work of apocalyptic fiction that examines the relationship between race and class during an unspecified disaster that cuts off all communication, forcing two families together. The book uses omniscient narration and interpersonal conflict to heighten the fear of disconnection in the Information Age, treating the apocalypse as an event that happens on a human scale. Published to great acclaim, it has been longlisted for the National... Read Leave the World Behind Summary


Publication year 2017Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: SexualityTags LGBTQ

Written by Andrew Sean Greer and published in 2017, Less is a satirical comedy novel. It portrays the journey of Arthur Less, who after a difficult breakup plots a round-the-world trip to better understand himself. It won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.Plot SummaryApproaching 50, Arthur Less sits in a hotel lobby waiting to be picked up for a literary event. He is a writer and will be interviewing another writer, albeit a sci-fi author... Read Less Summary


Publication year 2021Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Life/Time: The PastTags Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Historical Fiction, Race / Racism, Trauma / Abuse / Violence, History: U.S., Diversity, African American Literature

Publication year 2017Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Values/Ideas: Science & Technology, Natural World: Space & The Universe, Values/Ideas: Good & EvilTags Philosophy, Business / Economics, Futurism

Publication year 2013Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Relationships: Family, Society: WarTags Historical Fiction, Fantasy, WWII / World War II

Life After Life is a work of adult historical fiction written by acclaimed British author Kate Atkinson and published in 2013. Atkinson’s debut novel, Behind the Scenes at the Museum, won the Whitbread Book of the Year prize and her subsequent novels have all been international bestsellers, including the mystery series featuring Jackson Brodie, which has been adapted to a BBC show.Life After Life explores tumultuous events of the mid-20th century, particularly the two world... Read Life After Life Summary


Publication year 2017Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Society: Community, Emotions/Behavior: Forgiveness, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Society: War, Relationships: Fathers, Natural World: Appearance & RealityTags Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Magical Realism, Grief / Death, American Civil War, Religion / Spirituality, History: U.S., Race / Racism, American Literature

The novel Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders, published by Random House in 2017, offers a portrait of an American legend in mourning, surrounded by a poignant but funny cast of 166 characters. It is Saunders’s debut novel, though he has been a notable author of short story collections for decades. The novel won the prestigious Man Booker Prize and was a New York Times best seller.Set in 1862, Lincoln in the Bardo is... Read Lincoln in the Bardo Summary


Publication year 2024Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Identity: Femininity, Identity: Gender, Identity: Masculinity, Identity: Mental Health, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Values/Ideas: Truth & LiesTags Mystery / Crime Fiction, Crime / Legal

Publication year 2021Genre Novel, FictionThemes Society: Community, Relationships: Family, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Society: Class, Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Emotions/Behavior: FearTags Mystery / Crime Fiction, Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction

Publication year 2005Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Values/Ideas: Science & TechnologyTags Science / Nature, Education, History: World

Dava Sobel’s best-selling book Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time tells the story of the 18th-century contest to find a precise way to locate a ship at sea, the clockmaker who built the first timepiece that could do so, and his battle with the astronomers whose alternate method competed for the winning prize. Replete with sea disasters, brilliant scientists, and scheming politicians, Longitude won... Read Longitude Summary


Publication year 2018Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Society: CommunityTags Self Help, Psychology, Mental Illness, Health / Medicine, Sociology, Philosophy, Depression / Suicide

Publication year 1976Genre Poem, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Forgiveness, Emotions/Behavior: Hope, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Values/Ideas: Trust & DoubtTags Lyric Poem

Publication year 2020Genre Novel, FictionThemes Self Discovery, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Identity: Sexuality, Society: Community, Relationships: Friendship, Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Identity: GenderTags Romance, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, LGBTQ

Publication year 2023Genre Novel, FictionThemes Self Discovery, Identity: Race, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Relationships: FamilyTags Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Love / Sexuality

Publication year 1856Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Marriage, Society: Class, Emotions/Behavior: ApathyTags Classic Fiction, French Literature, Realism

Madame Bovary is a foundational realist novel. Authored by the esteemed French writer Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880), Madame Bovary was first released through serialization in 1856, and then formally published as Flaubert’s debut novel in 1857. Madame Bovary is one of the earliest examples of realism in literature and is credited with helping to develop the importance of psychological realism in literature. It is a love story, a vociferous critique of the ways in which society... Read Madame Bovary Summary


Publication year 2022Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Identity: Gender, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: courage, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Values/Ideas: Trust & DoubtTags Mystery / Crime Fiction, Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Romance, LGBTQ, Bullying, Depression / Suicide, Parenting, Love / Sexuality, Social Justice, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Diversity, Relationships, Trauma / Abuse / Violence

Publication year 2006Genre Biography, NonfictionThemes Society: Nation, Society: Politics & Government, Society: WarTags Crime / Legal, History: U.S., Politics / Government

Manhunt: The Twelve-Day Chase for Lincoln’s Killer (2006) by James L. Swanson is a popular true-crime historical thriller about the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln on April 14, 1865 and the search for the assassin John Wilkes Booth. James Swanson has written several books about Abraham Lincoln and other events in American history including the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The book won the Edgar Award, a literary award for fiction and non-fiction works... Read Manhunt Summary


Publication year 2012Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Self Discovery, Relationships: Family, Life/Time: Mortality & DeathTags Romance, Grief / Death, Love / Sexuality, Depression / Suicide

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes chronicles the burgeoning romance between Will Traynor, a quadriplegic man, and Louisa Clark, his caregiver. Published in 2012, Me Before You is the first novel in Moyes’s trilogy and is followed by After You (2015) and Still Me (2018). The novel was adapted into a 2016 film starring Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin. Written from various perspectives, Me Before You explores the complexities of disability, love, and euthanasia.This guide... Read Me Before You Summary


Publication year 2022Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Emotions/Behavior: courage, Emotions/Behavior: Hate & Anger, Identity: Race, Values/Ideas: Art, Values/Ideas: Justice & InjusticeTags Historical Fiction, Race / Racism, African American Literature

Publication year 2022Genre Novel, FictionThemes Society: War, Society: Immigration, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Identity: Race, Relationships: Family, Society: Politics & GovernmentTags Historical Fiction, WWII / World War II

Publication year 1871Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Marriage, Society: Community, Society: ClassTags Classic Fiction, Victorian Period, Historical Fiction, British Literature

Middlemarch or Middlemarch: A Study of Provincial Life is a Victorian realist novel by George Eliot (the penname of Mary Ann Evans). Published over the course of 1871-72, the novel depicts the trials and tribulations of life in the small English town of Middlemarch. The novel has been hailed as one of the greatest works of English literature and has been adapted for radio, television, theater, and opera. This guide uses an eBook version of... Read Middlemarch Summary


Publication year 2002Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Identity: Gender, Identity: Sexuality, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Self Discovery, Society: Community, Society: Immigration, Values/Ideas: Equality, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Values/Ideas: Literature, Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Values/Ideas: Science & Technology, Values/Ideas: Truth & LiesTags Historical Fiction, LGBTQ

Middlesex is a 2002 novel by Jeffrey Eugenides that tells a multigenerational, epic tale of a Greek family who immigrates to the US. The narrator, Calliope (or Cal) tells the story of how his grandparents, Lefty and Desdemona Stephanides, flee their homeland during a time of war and uncertainty, settling in the US. They harbor a family secret that changes the course of the narrator’s life: They’re brother and sister, and carry a genetic mutation... Read Middlesex Summary


Publication year 2020Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Friendship, Identity: GenderTags Historical Fiction, Action / Adventure, Travel Literature, Trauma / Abuse / Violence

Publication year 2006Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Relationships: FriendshipTags Fantasy, Action / Adventure

Publication year 2003Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Society: Nation, Identity: DisabilityTags Historical Fiction, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Health / Medicine, Grief / Death

Publication year 2013Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Relationships: Mothers, Relationships: Daughters & Sons, Self Discovery, Relationships: Family, Identity: Sexuality, Identity: Race, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Forgiveness, Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Emotions/Behavior: LoveTags Gender / Feminism, Race / Racism

Publication year 2022Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Society: Colonialism, Identity: GenderTags Fantasy, Historical Fiction, LGBTQ, Gender / Feminism, Trauma / Abuse / Violence

Publication year 2013Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Sexuality, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Society: CommunityTags LGBTQ, Romance, Race / Racism

Publication year 1934Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Revenge, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Society: Globalization, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Values/Ideas: Trust & DoubtTags Mystery / Crime Fiction, Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Classic Fiction

Murder on the Orient Express, first published in 1934, is a mystery by Agatha Christie featuring one of her most famous characters, the Belgian detective Hercule Poirot. A locked-room mystery, the entire plot unfolds in a train, the Orient Express, which has become stranded in a snowstorm. Poirot happens to be on the train when a man named Mr. Ratchett is murdered. Poirot is called upon to solve the case, and the book follows his... Read Murder on the Orient Express Summary


Publication year 2004Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Identity: DisabilityTags Drama / Tragedy, Health / Medicine, Disability, Grief / Death, Parenting

My Sister’s Keeper is a 2004 novel by bestselling author Jodi Picoult centered on the controversy of savior siblings. In the novel, Anna Fitzgerald fights for medical emancipation in order to have a choice in whether or not she will donate a kidney to her sister, Kate, who has leukemia. In 2009, the novel was adapted into a feature film released by New Line Cinema. The movie was directed by Nick Cassavetes and starred Cameron... Read My Sister's Keeper Summary


Publication year 2021Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Society: CommunityTags Magical Realism, Satire, Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Fantasy, Gender / Feminism, Relationships

Publication year 2022Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Relationships: Siblings, Relationships: Family, Identity: Race, Society: Class, Relationships: FriendshipTags Race / Racism, Poverty, LGBTQ, Black Lives Matter, Trauma / Abuse / Violence

Publication year 2024Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Identity: Femininity, Identity: Mental Health, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Natural World: Animals, Natural World: Place, Relationships: Family, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger

Publication year 2017Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Society: Class, Society: Community, Society: GlobalizationTags Travel Literature, Sociology, Poverty, Class, American Literature

Publication year 2022Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Apathy, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Natural World: Nurture v. NatureTags Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Mystery / Crime Fiction

Publication year 2019Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Society: Politics & Government, Relationships: FriendshipTags Humor, Magical Realism, Parenting

Nothing to See Here is a 2019 novel by New York Times best-selling author and short story writer Kevin Wilson. The novel, which is set in Tennessee, includes a dedication to fellow Tennessean writer Ann Patchett. This is not Wilson’s first work about unusual characters and their families. He achieved success with his first novel, The Family Fang, and another called Perfect Little World. In these works, Wilson developed the prototype for the unique brand... Read Nothing to See Here Summary


Publication year 2021Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Race, Society: Immigration, Relationships: MothersTags Historical Fiction, Immigration / Refugee, Gender / Feminism, Race / Racism, Trauma / Abuse / Violence, American Literature

Publication year 2021Genre Novel, FictionThemes Natural World: Environment, Relationships: Siblings, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Natural World: Animals, Relationships: FamilyTags Mystery / Crime Fiction, Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Animals, Trauma / Abuse / Violence

Publication year 2022Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Mothers, Relationships: Daughters & Sons, Self Discovery, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Life/Time: Mortality & DeathTags Romance, Magical Realism, Travel Literature

Publication year 2013Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Society: Nation, Society: Community, Relationships: TeamsTags History: U.S.

Publication year 2021Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: Coming of Age, Relationships: Family, Society: Community, Identity: Disability, Natural World: Environment, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Society: Politics & GovernmentTags Social Justice

Publication year 2020Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Joy, Self Discovery, Life/Time: The Future, Relationships: MothersTags Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Fantasy, Magical Realism

Publication year 2021Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Relationships: Friendship, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Society: CommunityTags Humor, Satire

Publication year 2015Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Life/Time: Aging, Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: LonelinessTags Romance

Our Souls at Night is Colorado author Kent Haruf’s last novel, and it was published in 2015, after his death. Like much of Haruf’s other writing, this novel is set in the fictional town of Holt, Colorado. The novel begins with 70-year-old Addie Moore making a proposition to her neighbor Louis Waters that they sleep together—literally, not sexually—in order to combat the loneliness that they often feel, especially at night. They have both lost their... Read Our Souls At Night Summary


Publication year 2017Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: MothersTags Historical Fiction, Asian Literature, Korean Literature

Pachinko, written by Min Jin Lee and published in 2017, is the story of five generations of a Korean family living in both Korea and then later Japan from 1910 to 1989. Pachinko was a finalist for the National Book Award for Fiction in 2017. In Book 1, “Gohyang/Hometown 1910-1933,” the opening setting is the village of Yeongdo, Korea. The reader is introduced to the first generation of the family, the mother and father of... Read Pachinko Summary


Publication year 2023Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Relationships: Marriage, Values/Ideas: Trust & DoubtTags Historical Fiction, Class, Finance / Money / Wealth, Gender / Feminism

Publication year 2006Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Values/Ideas: Literature, Values/Ideas: Art, Identity: Language

Publication year 1938Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Society: Class, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Life/Time: The Past, Emotions/Behavior: Hate & Anger, Relationships: Marriage, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Values/Ideas: Trust & Doubt, Values/Ideas: Beauty, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Emotions/Behavior: LonelinessTags British Literature, Romance, Classic Fiction, Mystery / Crime Fiction, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Drama / Tragedy, Gothic Literature, Modernism

Rebecca, a bestselling novel by famed English writer Daphne du Maurier, was published in 1938, and has never gone out of print. The winner of the National Book Award for favorite novel of 1938, Rebecca has been adapted numerous times, including Alfred Hitchcock’s 1940 film version, which won the Academy Award for Best Picture, and a 1997 television miniseries. It was most recently adapted for a Netflix film in 2020 by the same name. Rebecca... Read Rebecca Summary


Publication year 2020Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Siblings, Relationships: Family, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Values/Ideas: Trust & Doubt, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Emotions/Behavior: Forgiveness, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Nostalgia, Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Emotions/Behavior: Hope, Values/Ideas: Order & ChaosTags Realistic Fiction, Relationships

Publication year 2022Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Relationships: Family, Relationships: Friendship, Natural World: Animals, Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Self Discovery, Life/Time: Aging, Relationships: MothersTags Animals, Grief / Death, Parenting, Relationships

Publication year 2023Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Relationships: Mothers, Relationships: Daughters & Sons, Values/Ideas: EqualityTags Historical Fiction, Race / Racism