Memory

In many ways, who we are is shaped by what we remember, yet our recollections aren't always a reliable account of the past. This collection gathers texts that explore the ideas, theories, and challenges conjured by memory.

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


Publication year 1950Genre Poem, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Values/Ideas: Art, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Life/Time: The Past, Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Emotions/Behavior: GuiltTags Lyric Poem, Modernism, Post-War Era, Trauma / Abuse / Violence, Grief / Death, History: European, WWII / World War II, Holocaust

Publication year 2005Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Memory

Published in 2007 by Delacorte Press, A Breath of Snow and Ashes is the sixth book in Diana Gabaldon’s successful Outlander series. Its story encompasses elements of historical fiction, romance, adventure, science fiction, and fantasy. It debuted at #1 on The New York Times hardcover fiction best-seller list of 2005 and won the Quill Award for Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror. Plot Summary The novel begins in March 1773 in North Carolina, on Fraser’s Ridge, the colony led... Read A Breath of Snow and Ashes Summary


Publication year 1936Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Identity: Race, Society: Nation, Society: War, Values/Ideas: Justice & InjusticeTags Classic Fiction, Historical Fiction, Southern Gothic, American Civil War

William Faulkner’s Absalom, Absalom! (1936) is one of the many texts in Faulkner’s oeuvre that is set in the fictional Yoknapatawpha County, Mississippi. Faulkner is considered one of the greatest writers of the 20th century, a designation earned due to his innovative and stylistic modernist techniques, which he uses to investigate the history and identity of the American South. Faulkner, who grew up in Mississippi and spent the majority of his life there, was deeply... Read Absalom, Absalom Summary


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 1956Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Relationships: Friendship, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Life/Time: Childhood & YouthTags Classic Fiction, Auto/Biographical Fiction, Southern Literature, Holidays & Occasions, Grief / Death

Originally published in Mademoiselle magazine in December 1956, “A Christmas Memory” remains one of Truman Capote’s (1924-1984) most anthologized short stories. A midcentury author with a clear and evocative prose style, Capote is remembered for his novella Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1958) and for his groundbreaking work of true-crime nonfiction, In Cold Blood (1966). “A Christmas Memory” returns to the rural Alabama setting of the author’s childhood to recount a magical Christmas season shared between the... Read A Christmas Memory Summary


Publication year 2014Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Life/Time: Coming of Age, Identity: Race, Identity: Sexuality, Identity: Language, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Society: ImmigrationTags LGBTQ, Gender / Feminism

A Cup of Water Under My Bed is Daisy Hernández’s 2014 coming-of-age story that centers the intersection of race, class, gender, and sexuality. The book received Lambda Literary’s Dr. Betty Berzon Emerging Writer Award in 2015. Hernández was also awarded the IPPY Award (Independent Publisher Book Award) for best coming-of-age memoir, and the book was a finalist for the Publishing Triangle Award. This memoir highlights the complicated dynamics that shape race, class, gender, and sexual... Read A Cup of Water Under My Bed Summary


Publication year 2010Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Emotions/Behavior: MemoryTags Fantasy, Humor, Animals

A Dog’s Purpose: A Novel for Humans is a novel by Bruce W. Cameron and is the first in his A Dog’s Purpose series of novels. Written in 2010, the novel was a New York Times bestseller for 49 weeks. The novel is unique in that it is narrated by a dog. The dog lives four lives over the course of the novel, seeking a purpose for his life during each of his incarnations. In... Read A Dog's Purpose 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 2016Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Emotions/Behavior: Hate & Anger, Emotions/Behavior: Revenge, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Nostalgia, Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Values/Ideas: Win & LoseTags Mystery / Crime Fiction, Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Trauma / Abuse / Violence

A Great Reckoning (2016) is the 12th novel in the Inspector Gamache series. The series consists of contemporary mysteries written by the Canadian author Louise Penny. Like the other novels in the series, A Great Reckoning revolves around the small village of Three Pines, Quebec, and its inhabitants. The novel includes a standalone murder mystery plot and references to events in other novels within the series; Penny explores themes of parenthood, loss, and betrayal. This... Read A Great Reckoning Summary


Publication year 1913Genre Poem, FictionThemes Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Natural World: Place, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Natural World: Appearance & RealityTags Poetry: Dramatic Poem, Humor, Grief / Death, British Literature, Victorian Period

Publication year 1953Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Life/Time: The Past, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Emotions/Behavior: MemoryTags American Civil War

Publication year 1996Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Values/Ideas: Truth & LiesTags Historical Fiction

Is Grace Marks a murderess or an innocent pawn? Is she an evil fiend or mentally ill? Margaret Atwood’s Alias Grace (1996) retells the story of Canada’s notorious nineteenth-century convicted murderess Grace Marks. Grounded in the historical record where available, Atwood’s novel probes issues of gender and class roles, identity, truth, and the nature of memory. Thomas Kinnear, a wealthy landowner, and Nancy Montgomery, his housekeeper and mistress, are murdered in July 1843. Grace, who... Read Alias Grace Summary


Publication year 2021Genre Biography, NonfictionThemes Relationships: Mothers, Relationships: Daughters & Sons, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: LoveTags History: U.S., Race / Racism, Social Justice

Publication year 2023Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Values/Ideas: Trust & Doubt, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Relationships: Mothers, Relationships: Family, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Emotions/Behavior: GriefTags Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Mystery / Crime Fiction, Psychological Fiction, Grief / Death

Publication year 2009Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: courage, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Emotions/Behavior: Forgiveness, Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Emotions/Behavior: Hope, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Life/Time: The Future, Life/Time: The Past, Relationships: Family, Self Discovery, Society: Community, Society: Nation, Society: War, Values/Ideas: Art, Values/Ideas: Fate, Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies

Publication year 1998Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Grandparents, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Emotions/Behavior: NostalgiaTags Historical Fiction, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Great Depression

Written by Richard Peck in 1998 and told as a series of related short stories, A Long Way From Chicago is a novel about two siblings and their adventures with their grandmother over the span of six summers from 1929 to 1935. The work was a Newbery Honor book in 1999, and its sequel, A Year Down Yonder, won the Newbery Medal for children’s literature in 2001. Richard Peck (1934-2018) was the award-winning American novelist... Read A Long Way from Chicago Summary


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 2024Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Identity: Race, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Life/Time: The Past, Natural World: Flora/plants, Society: Community, Values/Ideas: Fate, Values/Ideas: MusicTags Romance, Harlem Renaissance

Publication year 1998Genre Poem, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Life/Time: Mortality & Death

Publication year 2019Genre Novel, FictionThemes Natural World: Space & The Universe, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Values/Ideas: Science & Technology, Society: Community, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Society: WarTags Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Fantasy, LGBTQ, Mystery / Crime Fiction

Publication year 1998Genre Poem, FictionThemes Society: Nation, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Society: ImmigrationTags Immigration / Refugee

Publication year 1990Genre Biography, NonfictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Life/Time: Birth, Relationships: Family, Society: Community, Values/Ideas: Religion & SpiritualityTags History: U.S., Health / Medicine, Gender / Feminism, Women's Studies (Nonfiction)

A Midwife’s Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard, Based on her Diary, 1785-1812 is a 1990 nonfiction biography of midwife Martha Ballard by American historian Laurel Thatcher Ulrich. Using Martha Ballard’s diary as a primary source, Ulrich utilizes a microhistorical approach to evaluate the life of Ballard, the history of Maine’s Kennebec River region, and the themes of social medicine, women’s role in the economy, and religion’s place in everyday life. A Midwife’s Tale won... Read A Midwife's Tale Summary


Publication year 1928Genre Poem, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Life/Time: Aging

Publication year 2011Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Hope, Values/Ideas: Win & LoseTags Fantasy, Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Grief / Death

A Monster Calls (2011) was written by Patrick Ness, illustrated by Jim Kay, and the original idea for the novel is credited to the late Siobhan Dowd. Ness wrote the novel in Dowd’s memory after she passed away in 2007 from breast cancer. Set in present-day England, A Monster Calls is a young adult fantasy novel that explores topics of terminal illness, grief, death, anger, and the grieving process through the eyes of a child;... Read A Monster Calls Summary


Publication year 1949Genre Poem, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Relationships: MarriageTags Lyric Poem, Free verse, Relationships

Publication year 1989Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Natural World: Environment, Emotions/Behavior: MemoryTags Historical Fiction, Natural Disaster

Isabel Allende’s “And of Clay Are We Created” is the final piece in her short story collection The Stories of Eva Luna. The collection, originally published in 1989 and printed in English in 1991, chronicles the tales that the writer Eva Luna tells her lover Rolf Carlé as they rest in bed. Allende fashions Eva Luna after Scheherazade, a key character in the framing narrative for the multi-tale Middle Eastern epic A Thousand and One... Read And of Clay Are We Created Summary


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 1955Genre Biography, NonfictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: courage, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Society: Class, Society: Community, Values/Ideas: Science & TechnologyTags History: World, Drama / Tragedy, Technology

Publication year 2024Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Disability, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: Revenge, Identity: Mental Health, Values/Ideas: Justice & InjusticeTags Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Mystery / Crime Fiction, Psychological Fiction, Disability

Publication year 1999Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: Revenge, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Relationships: Family, Society: Politics & Government

Publication year 2016Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Music, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Relationships: FriendshipTags Race / Racism

Another Brooklyn is a 2016 novel by Jacqueline Woodson. After the narrator, August, returns home to care for her dying father, she runs into her former friend Sylvia. This encounter leads her to reflect on her childhood in Brooklyn in the 1970s and the way she coped with her mother’s death. The novel unfolds in fragments: each chapter moves between August’s girlhood memories and adult life as an ivy-league educated anthropologist who studies cultural rituals... Read Another Brooklyn Summary


Publication year 2017Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Siblings, Relationships: Family, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Society: Community, Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Forgiveness, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Emotions/Behavior: HopeTags Relationships, American Literature

Anything Is Possible is a 2017 novel by Elizabeth Strout in which each chapter features a character who is separate from but interconnects with the book’s other characters. Each chapter thus serves as both an autonomous short story and a piece of a larger, cohesive narrative and echoes or parallels other chapters.Strout, whose 2008 novel Olive Kitteridge won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, received the prestigious Story Prize for Anything Is Possible. The novel follows... Read Anything Is Possible Summary


Publication year 2005Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Self Discovery, Relationships: Mothers, Relationships: Daughters & Sons, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: Grief

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Publication year 1914Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Life/Time: Coming of Age, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Values/Ideas: Beauty, Values/Ideas: Truth & LiesTags Classic Fiction, Irish Literature

“Araby” is a short story by Irish writer James Joyce. The story is a part of Joyce’s renowned Dubliners collection, first published in 1914, which portrays daily life in the Irish city of Dublin in the early 20th century. In “Araby,” a young boy falls in love with his friend’s sister and attempts to purchase her a gift from the Araby Bazaar. The short story has been adapted as a song and a short film... Read Araby Summary


Publication year 2016Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: MemoryTags Historical Fiction, Colonial America, Children's Literature

Ashes (2016), a young adult historical novel by American author Laurie Halse Anderson, is the third and final book in the Seeds of America series. This guide refers to the 2016 Atheneum eBook edition.Plot SummaryIsabel Gardener and Curzon Smith, two black teenagers who escaped slavery during the American Revolution, have been on the run together for five years. After serving at Valley Forge, they’re travelling through the Eastern states, looking for Isabel’s little sister Ruth... Read Ashes Summary


Publication year 1964Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Friendship, Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Emotions/Behavior: NostalgiaTags LGBTQ, Love / Sexuality, Depression / Suicide

Publication year 1855Genre Poem, FictionThemes Society: Politics & Government, Society: War, Values/Ideas: Science & Technology, Society: Community, Society: Nation, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Hope, Values/Ideas: Trust & DoubtTags Lyric Poem, Technology

Publication year 2022Genre Novel, FictionThemes Society: War, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Relationships: Family, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Identity: Mental Health, Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Hope, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: courage, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / PerseveranceTags Historical Fiction, Romance, Fantasy, Magical Realism, Military / War

Publication year 2015Genre Poem, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: MemoryTags Social Justice, African American Literature

Publication year 2014Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Emotions/Behavior: Forgiveness, Emotions/Behavior: Hope, Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Relationships: Friendship, Self Discovery, Society: Community, Values/Ideas: LiteratureTags Fantasy, Magical Realism, Music, Relationships

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Publication year 1962Genre Novella, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: MemoryTags Magical Realism, Latin American Literature

Carlos Fuentes (1928-2012) is the best-known Mexican representative of the Latin American Boom literary movement of the 1960s and 1970s. Alongside South America contemporaries like Gabriel García Márquez, Mario Vargas Llosa, and Julio Cortázar, Fuentes challenged the conventions and expectations of traditional Latin American literature. The Boom generation gained unprecedented popularity in Western Europe and, from there, became globally renowned. The trend is most often characterized by experimental forms and politically engaged content.Born in Panama... Read Aura Summary


Publication year 2001Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Life/Time: The PastTags Historical Fiction, WWII / World War II, Holocaust, Trauma / Abuse / Violence

Austerlitz is a historical novel by W. G. Sebald first published in 2001. Sebald was a German writer and academic who wrote mainly about the loss of memory and the Holocaust. Austerlitz, Sebald’s final novel, centers on an architectural historian, Jacques Austerlitz, who is tormented by his repressed past as a Jewish child evacuated from Czechoslovakia in 1939. The book was an international bestseller and won the 2001 National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction... Read Austerlitz Summary


Publication year 1977Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Relationships: Mothers, Relationships: Daughters & Sons, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Identity: FemininityTags Disability

“Average Waves in Unprotected Waters,” originally published in the February 28, 1977 edition of The New Yorker, is one of American author Anne Tyler’s most anthologized stories. Through the third-person-limited point of view of the protagonist, Bet Blevins, Tyler presents the story of a single mother on the day she intends to institutionalize her developmentally disabled son, Arnold. As Bet struggles to navigate her complex emotions regarding Arnold, the story explores themes of the conflicting... Read Average Waves in Unprotected Waters Summary


Publication year 1941Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Life/Time: AgingTags Classic Fiction, Southern Literature, American Literature

“A Visit of Charity” is a short story written by Eudora Welty, the first living writer published in the Library of America series. “A Visit of Charity” is one of 17 short stories in Welty’s collection A Curtain of Green, published in 1941 by Doubleday. The text referenced in this guide is from Eudora Welty: Stories, Essays, and Memoir, published by the Library of America in 1998.The main character, Marian, a 14-year-old Campfire Girl, decides... Read A Visit of Charity Summary


Publication year 1941Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Identity: Race, Natural World: Environment, Relationships: Family, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Values/Ideas: EqualityTags Allegory / Fable / Parable, Race / Racism

Eudora Welty’s short story “A Worn Path” is considered one of the author’s finest works and a classic in the repertory of American Southern literature. First published in 1941 as a stand-alone piece in The Atlantic Monthly, it was also included in her first short story collection, A Curtain of Green and Other Stories, published that same year. The story established Welty as a notable new voice in American literature. In addition to short stories... Read A Worn Path Summary


Publication year 2012Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Relationships: Family, Identity: Indigenous, Society: Colonialism, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: courage, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Self Discovery, Society: Nation, Society: CommunityTags History: U.S., Trauma / Abuse / Violence, Addiction / Substance Abuse, Depression / Suicide, Education, History: The Americas, Race / Racism, Social Justice, Women's Studies (Nonfiction)

Publication year 2000Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Literature, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Society: Politics & Government, Values/Ideas: Art, Values/Ideas: Safety & DangerTags Historical Fiction, Auto/Biographical Fiction, Chinese Literature

Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress (2000) is a short, semi-autobiographical novel by Dai Sijie. The narrative is set during the Chinese Cultural Revolution and follows two teenage boys who are sent to a remote mountain village for re-education. The boys become close with the local tailor’s daughter and uncover a hidden stash of forbidden Western literature. The books introduce them to ideas, emotions, and freedoms they have never known, and awaken in the Little... Read Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress Summary


Publication year 1863Genre Poem, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: MemoryTags Narrative / Epic Poem, American Civil War

Publication year 2018Genre Biography, NonfictionThemes Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Relationships: Family, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Identity: Language, Identity: Race, Society: CommunityTags Historical Fiction, Harlem Renaissance, History: U.S., Race / Racism, African American Literature, Anthropology, Black Lives Matter, Civil Rights / Jim Crow, Grief / Death, History: African , Social Justice, Trauma / Abuse / Violence

Originally written in the late 1920s and early 1930s, Barracoon: The Story of the Last “Black Cargo” (2018) is the transcribed posthumous autobiography of the life of Oluale “Cudjo Lewis” Kossola (1841-1935), written by Zora Neale Hurston (1891-1960). Known for her involvement in the Harlem Renaissance, Hurston was a writer, anthropologist, folklorist, and filmmaker. In all her work, she held a special appreciation for Black life and Black culture of the US South. Her works... Read Barracoon: The Story of the Last "Black Cargo" Summary


Publication year 1971Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Society: Immigration, Society: ClassTags Immigration / Refugee, Race / Racism

Barrio Boy is a memoir by Ernesto Galarza that narrates the author’s journey from a small village in Mexico to a barrio in the United States. Considered a founding text in ethnic studies, the book was originally published in 1971 and was reissued as a 40th anniversary edition in 2011. Barrio Boy follows the author from his birth in the small town of Jalcocotán in 1905 up until high school. Galarza, who went on to... Read Barrio Boy Summary


Publication year 1995Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Forgiveness, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Identity: Mental Health, Identity: Race, Life/Time: Midlife, Life/Time: The Past, Natural World: Animals, Relationships: Family, Relationships: Grandparents, Relationships: Mothers, Society: Immigration, Society: War, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Values/Ideas: MusicTags Historical Fiction, Southern Literature, Depression / Suicide, Grief / Death

Pat Conroy’s 1995 novel Beach Music is a work of historical fiction. Set primarily in South Carolina, the novel follows a community fractured by memories of the Holocaust and the social upheaval of the 1960s and 1970s. Beach Music explores the nature of generational trauma and the way our pasts shape our futures. The power of forgiveness and the differences between duty and loyalty are also prominent themes. The setting and culture of the American... Read Beach Music Summary


Publication year 2011Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Self Discovery, Life/Time: Aging, Natural World: Appearance & RealityTags Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Mystery / Crime Fiction, Psychological Fiction

Before I Go to Sleep (2011) is the debut novel of English writer S. J. Watson. This psychological thriller features a protagonist suffering from amnesia. Forty-seven-year-old Christine Lucas wakes every morning with no memory of who or where she is. Each day she must reconstruct her identity with the help of her journal. Christine also gleans information from her husband, Ben, and a neurophysiologist, Dr. Nash. However, the more Christine discovers, the more she doubts... Read Before I Go to Sleep Summary


Publication year 2015Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Relationships: Marriage, Life/Time: The Past, Emotions/Behavior: MemoryTags Fantasy, Japanese Literature, Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction

Publication year 2020Genre Novel/Book in Verse, FictionThemes Relationships: Fathers, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Relationships: FriendshipTags Realistic Fiction, Sports, Relationships, American Literature

Publication year 2017Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: MemoryTags Historical Fiction

A 2017 New York Times bestseller, Lisa Wingate’s Before We Were Yours is a haunting and compelling work of historical fiction told in polyvocal form with two alternating principle voices narrating a story of complex family history. From chapter to chapter, the book goes back and forth between present day South Carolina (in settings of Southern power and prestige) and Tennessee in the late 1930s and early 1940s (in settings of squalor and abuse). In... Read Before We Were Yours Summary


Publication year 2017Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Relationships: MarriageTags Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Psychological Fiction, Romance, Relationships, Mental Illness, Addiction / Substance Abuse, Grief / Death

Behind Her Eyes, a psychological thriller, was written by Sarah Pinborough and published in 2017. The book has sold over 1 million copies worldwide and was adapted for a TV series by Netflix. While clearly a best seller, there is great divergence of opinion on the book’s very unexpected twist at the end, with the publishers using the hashtag #WTFThatEnding to promote the book.Plot SummaryLouise is a single mother living in London and working as... Read Behind Her Eyes Summary


Publication year 1987Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Relationships: Daughters & SonsTags Magical Realism, Race / Racism, American Literature, Existentialism, African American Literature

Toni Morrison’s Beloved was published in 1987. The novel won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and was a finalist for the National Book Award. Inspired by the real-life story of a runaway African American enslaved woman named Margaret Garner, who killed her own daughter to prevent her capture and enslavement, Beloved tells the story of Sethe, a runaway enslaved woman who takes her daughter’s life in the same manner. This study guide, which addresses physical... Read Beloved Summary


Publication year 2023Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: Nostalgia, Self Discovery, Relationships: Mothers, Relationships: Daughters & Sons, Relationships: Siblings, Relationships: Friendship, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Emotions/Behavior: HopeTags Historical Fiction, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Romance, WWII / World War II, Class, Education, Finance / Money / Wealth, Love / Sexuality, Relationships, Military / War, Grief / Death, History: World, Parenting

Publication year 2020Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Art, Identity: Race, Society: Community, Emotions/Behavior: MemoryTags Historical Fiction, Mystery / Crime Fiction, Race / Racism, Trauma / Abuse / Violence

Publication year 2014Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies

Published in 2014, Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies is a work of contemporary fiction set in the Pirriwee Peninsula, located in the Northern Beaches area of Sydney, Australia. Through the perspective of multiple characters, Big Little Lies addresses subjects including bullying, lying, parenting, friendship, and domestic violence. Big Little Lies was adapted into an award-winning television drama of the same name.  Plot Summary The first chapter foreshadows a school trivia night gone awry. The details of... Read Big Little Lies Summary


Publication year 2020Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: Coming of Age, Emotions/Behavior: Revenge, Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Emotions/Behavior: Hate & Anger, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Emotions/Behavior: Forgiveness, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: HopeTags Mystery / Crime Fiction, Romance, Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman

Publication year 2021Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Literature, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Self DiscoveryTags Mystery / Crime Fiction, Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Trauma / Abuse / Violence

Publication year 1915Genre Poem, FictionThemes Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Natural World: Appearance & RealityTags Lyric Poem, Science / Nature, American Literature, Modernism

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 1966Genre Poem, FictionThemes Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Natural World: Nurture v. Nature

Publication year 2023Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Sexuality, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Identity: Gender, Identity: Masculinity, Identity: Mental Health, Identity: Race, Relationships: Friendship, Society: CommunityTags LGBTQ

Publication year 2018Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Friendship, Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Emotions/Behavior: Hope, Emotions/Behavior: Joy, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: Gratitude, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Life/Time: The Past, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Natural World: Climate, Natural World: Environment, Natural World: Food, Relationships: Family, Relationships: Grandparents, Relationships: Mothers, Values/Ideas: Literature, Values/Ideas: Safety & DangerTags Fantasy, Magical Realism, Children's Literature

Publication year 2016Genre Biography, NonfictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Hope, Emotions/Behavior: Joy, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Life/Time: Midlife, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Relationships: Family, Relationships: Friendship, Self Discovery, Society: Community, Society: Politics & Government, Values/Ideas: Fate, Values/Ideas: Art, Values/Ideas: Fame, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Values/Ideas: Music, Values/Ideas: Equality, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Values/Ideas: Trust & Doubt, Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Values/Ideas: Truth & LiesTags Music, Arts / Culture, Mental Illness, Social Justice

Publication year 1984Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Life/Time: The Past, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Emotions/Behavior: Nostalgia, Relationships: Family

IntroductionMany readers are familiar with Roald Dahl (1916-90) as the author of popular stories such as James and the Giant Peach (1961) and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1964). Dahl published 19 novels and short story collections for children. He was born in Wales to a Norwegian family and spent most of his life in England. He was an intelligence officer and fighter pilot in the Royal Air Force during World War II and suffered... Read Boy: Tales of Childhood Summary


Publication year 2012Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Values/Ideas: MusicTags Psychology, Mental Illness

Brain on Fire (2012) is a memoir by New York Post writer Susannah Cahalan that details her struggle with a rare autoimmune disease, anti-NMDA-receptor autoimmune encephalitis. Cahalan recollects the journey through illness that took her from a normal, 24-year-old journalist to a misdiagnosed psychotic patient, and back again. In 2018, Netflix released a film based on Cahalan’s story, produced by Cahalan and Charlize Theron.Plot SummaryCahalan wakes in a hospital with no understanding of how she... Read Brain On Fire Summary


Publication year 1990Genre Poem, FictionThemes Society: Class, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Hope, Values/Ideas: Fate, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Relationships: FamilyTags Lyric Poem, Arts / Culture, Climate Change

Publication year 1958Genre Novella, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Identity: Femininity, Values/Ideas: Truth & LiesTags Classic Fiction, American Literature

Breakfast at Tiffany's is a 1958 novella by Truman Capote. In the story, an unnamed narrator is introduced to a young woman named Holly Golightly and the unique New York world she inhabits. The novella is one of Capote’s most popular works and has been adapted as a musical, a play, and most famously as an Academy Award-winning film in 1961 starring Audrey Hepburn. This guide refers to the eBook version of the 2000 Penguin... Read Breakfast at Tiffany’s Summary


Publication year 1994Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Mothers, Relationships: Daughters & Sons, Emotions/Behavior: Forgiveness, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Identity: Gender, Identity: Race, Society: ColonialismTags Historical Fiction, Trauma / Abuse / Violence, Gender / Feminism, Afro-Caribbean Literature

Breath, Eyes, Memory is a novel by Haitian American author Edwidge Danticat, first published in 1994. The book is semi-autobiographical: like the protagonist, 12-year-old Sophie Caco, Danticat herself was born in Haiti but moved to the United States at a young age. She has since written several novels and short stories about Haiti, immigration, and the complex ways that one’s identity is formed by where they are from and where they now live. The novel... Read Breath, Eyes, Memory Summary


Publication year 1945Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: Nostalgia, Society: Class, Values/Ideas: Religion & SpiritualityTags Historical Fiction, Classic Fiction, British Literature, LGBTQ

Brideshead Revisited: The Sacred & Profane Memoirs of Captain Charles Ryder (1945) is the ninth published novel by British novelist Arthur Evelyn St. John Waugh, who published under “Evelyn Waugh.” It chronicles the life and relationships of Charles Ryder, particularly his complex friendship with the aristocratic Flyte family, during the interwar period in England. The novel was an immediate success, and, despite his later dislike, Waugh referred to it as his “magnum opus.” It has been... Read Brideshead Revisited Summary


Publication year 2018Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Relationships: Siblings, Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: Forgiveness, Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Emotions/Behavior: Hate & Anger, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: Regret, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Values/Ideas: Order & Chaos, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Values/Ideas: Literature, Relationships: Mothers, Relationships: Marriage, Relationships: Daughters & Sons, Relationships: Fathers, Life/Time: The PastTags Historical Fiction, Realistic Fiction, Grief / Death

Publication year 1995Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Values/Ideas: Art, Life/Time: Mortality & DeathTags Realistic Fiction, Arts / Culture, Grief / Death, Psychology

Publication year 1996Genre Poem, FictionThemes Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Emotions/Behavior: Nostalgia, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Natural World: Food, Identity: RaceTags Lyric Poem

Publication year 1959Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Relationships: Friendship, Natural World: Nurture v. Nature, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Emotions/Behavior: Hope, Values/Ideas: Literature

Publication year 1974Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Revenge, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Emotions/Behavior: Hate & Anger, Emotions/Behavior: LonelinessTags Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Gothic Literature

Stephen King’s Carrie is a supernatural horror novel originally published in 1974—the fourth novel King wrote but the first he published. The work became a bestseller upon the release of its paperback edition, setting King’s career in motion, and continues to be highly regarded. In the 1990s schools frequently banned it for its violent content, depictions of sexuality, and portrayal of fundamentalist Christianity. Carrie has been adapted several times, most notably as a 1976 film... Read Carrie Summary


Publication year 1961Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Mental Health, Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Values/Ideas: Order & Chaos, Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Emotions/Behavior: ConflictTags Classic Fiction, Historical Fiction, Military / War, Trauma / Abuse / Violence

Catch-22 is a 1961 satirical novel by Joseph Heller, whose experiences in the US Air Force during World War II inspired the narrative. The novel is set during World War II and portrays the absurd experiences of a group of Army pilots stationed in Italy. In addition to being hailed as one of the most seminal novels of the 20th century, Catch-22 has become an idiomatic expression for a certain kind of conundrum, a paradoxical... Read Catch-22 Summary


Publication year 2009Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Emotions/Behavior: Revenge, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: ConflictTags Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Fantasy, Action / Adventure, Trauma / Abuse / Violence

Catching Fire (2009) is the sequel to The New York Times bestseller The Hunger Games (2008), and the second novel in author Suzanne Collins’s trilogy of the same name. Catching Fire is a young adult dystopian science fiction novel that takes place in the future, amidst the ruins of what was once America. Catching Fire details the aftermath of Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark’s victory in the 74th Hunger Games from the first novel. Despite... Read Catching Fire Summary


Publication year 1988Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: The Past, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Identity: Gender, Values/Ideas: Art, Life/Time: AgingTags Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Psychological Fiction, Gender / Feminism

Cat’s Eye is a 1988 coming-of-age novel by Canadian author Margaret Atwood that centers on Elaine Risley, a successful painter who is returning to Toronto for a retrospective show of her work. Throughout the novel, she has vivid recollections of her childhood and adolescence in the city during the postwar years—particularly of her friendship with Cordelia, who persecuted her in a way that had an indelible impact on her life. The novel was a finalist... Read Cat's Eye Summary


Publication year 1996Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Sexuality, Identity: Gender, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Society: ColonialismTags Colonialism / Postcolonialism, LGBTQ, Trauma / Abuse / Violence

Cereus Blooms at Night (1996) is the first novel-length work of fiction written by Shani Mootoo, a Canadian author who was born in Ireland and grew up on the island nation of Trinidad. The novel was originally published in Canada and received critical acclaim there and internationally. It was a finalist for the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize and the Giller Prize and was long-listed for the Man Booker Prize. Mootoo is also a visual artist... Read Cereus Blooms At Night Summary


Publication year 1963Genre Poem, FictionThemes Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Emotions/Behavior: MemoryTags Narrative / Epic Poem, Love / Sexuality

Publication year 1989Genre Poem, FictionThemes Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: Hate & Anger, Identity: RaceTags Civil Rights / Jim Crow, Race / Racism, Poverty

Publication year 1920Genre Poem, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: NostalgiaTags Lyric Poem

Publication year 1981Genre Novella, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Identity: Femininity, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Emotions/Behavior: Revenge, Relationships: Family, Emotions/Behavior: MemoryTags Mystery / Crime Fiction, Magical Realism, Latin American Literature

Chronicle of a Death Foretold is a 1981 novella by Colombian author Gabriel García Márquez. Told in non-chronological order and in journalistic fashion by an unnamed narrator, it pieces together the events leading up to and after the murder of Santiago Nasar by Pedro and Pablo Vicario. The novella has been adapted several times as a film and also as a Broadway musical.This guide uses the 2014 Penguin Books edition, translated by Gregory Rabassa.Content Warning:... Read Chronicle of a Death Foretold Summary


Publication year 1998Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Values/Ideas: Fate, Natural World: Animals, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Natural World: PlaceTags Western, Historical Fiction, Trauma / Abuse / Violence, Post-War Era

Cities of the Plain is a 1998 novel by American author Cormac McCarthy. The novel is the final entry in a trilogy that began with All the Pretty Horses, followed by The Crossing. The protagonists from each of the previous novels return for Cities of the Plain. This guide uses an eBook version of the 1998 Knopf edition of the novel.Plot SummaryJohn Grady Cole (the protagonist of All the Pretty Horses) and Billy Parham (the... Read Cities of the Plain Summary


Publication year 2013Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: MemoryTags Afro-Caribbean Literature

Claire of the Sea Light is a 2013 work of historical fiction by Haitian-American novelist Edwidge Danticat. The novel portrays the lives of the various inhabitants of a small town in Haiti, relaying a series of related events from several different characters’ perspectives. This guide is based on the 2013 Random House e-book version of Claire of the Sea Light.Plot Summary The novel begins on Claire Limyè Lanmè Faustin’s seventh birthday. That morning, a fisherman... Read Claire of the Sea Light Summary


Publication year 1980Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Forgiveness, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Identity: Gender, Relationships: Family, Relationships: Siblings, Society: ColonialismTags Historical Fiction, Indian Literature, Colonialism / Postcolonialism, Relationships

Clear Light of Day (1980) is Anita Desai’s sixth and—according to the author—most autobiographical novel. This novel was the first of three of Desai’s books to be nominated for the prestigious Booker Prize. Like other books in her corpus, such as Cry, the Peacock (1963) and Where Shall We Go This Summer? (1975), it deals with gender struggles in a modernizing India. Set against the backdrop of Indian Independence and Partition, it explores the lives... Read Clear Light of Day Summary


Publication year 1932Genre Novel, FictionThemes Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Life/Time: The Past, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: MemoryTags Humor, Classic Fiction, Satire

Cold Comfort Farm (September 1932) is the first book by British author Stella Gibbons. Upon publication, it became an instant success. The comic novel is a parody of rural romances that were popular in Britain at the time. The story was adapted for two BBC television shows in 1968 and 1981. It was also made into a film starring Kate Beckinsale in 1995. Cold Comfort Farm is classified under the category of Classic Humor Fiction... Read Cold Comfort Farm Summary


Publication year 2013Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Friendship, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Values/Ideas: Music, Life/Time: The Past, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Identity: Mental HealthTags Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Japanese Literature, Realistic Fiction, Grief / Death, Trauma / Abuse / Violence, Love / Sexuality

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage is a 2014 novel by renowned Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami. The novel tells the story of a man who attempts to overcome past emotional suffering to make his present life more rewarding. Through Tsukuru’s point of view, we see the ripple effects of rejection and the necessity of sometimes confronting the past to make sense of who we are in the present. After a group of friends... Read Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage Summary


Publication year 1939Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Nostalgia, Society: Class, Life/Time: The Past, Society: War, Society: Nation, Emotions/Behavior: MemoryTags Historical Fiction, Satire, British Literature

Coming Up For Air is an interwar novel written by British author George Orwell shortly before the outbreak of World War II. Originally published in 1939, the novel was written in Morocco while Orwell was recovering from injuries received while fighting in the Spanish Civil War. Set in the late 1930s, the novel follows a middle-aged insurance salesman named George Bowling as he struggles with anxieties about the coming war. Like Orwell’s more famous novels... Read Coming Up for Air Summary


Publication year 1836Genre Poem, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: courageTags Military / War, American Revolution

Publication year 1853Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: Nostalgia, Identity: Gender, Life/Time: The FutureTags Classic Fiction, Historical Fiction, Victorian Period, Gender / Feminism

Publication year 2011Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: courage, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Hope, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Self Discovery, Society: War, Values/Ideas: Art, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Values/Ideas: Literature, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Values/Ideas: Trust & Doubt, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Values/Ideas: Science & TechnologyTags Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Romance, Fantasy, Action / Adventure, Arts / Culture, Love / Sexuality, Science / Nature, Social Justice

Publication year 1989Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Race, Society: Colonialism, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Emotions/Behavior: Hate & Anger, Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Identity: Sexuality, Relationships: Family, Self Discovery, Society: ClassTags Mystery / Crime Fiction, Afro-Caribbean Literature

Crossing the Mangrove (1995) by Maryse Condé was originally published in French as Traversée de la Mangrove. It was translated to English by her husband Richard Philcox. Told from multiple perspectives, the novel opens with a mystery—that of Francis Sancher’s murder. As characters gather to speak at Sancher’s wake, they reveal his impact on the village of Rivière au Sel (“Salty River”), as well as why he returned to the village of his ancestors. While... Read Crossing the Mangrove Summary


Publication year 1987Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Relationships: Friendship

Crossing to Safety is a 1987 semi-autobiographical novel by Wallace Stegner. Using a series of flashbacks in the mind of a writer, Larry Morgan, throughout a single day, the novel is a reflection on youth, idealism, and the often unarticulated but lifelong process of compromise one must endure while seeking a stable place in the world. Stegner’s novel explores these themes via Larry’s perspective on two academic couples: Larry and his wife, Sally Morgan, and Sidney... Read Crossing to Safety Summary


Publication year 1971Genre Poem, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Life/Time: The Past, Values/Ideas: Fame, Emotions/Behavior: Nostalgia, Society: NationTags Narrative / Epic Poem

Publication year 1973Genre Poem, NonfictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Joy, Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Life/Time: The Past, Natural World: Flora/plants, Natural World: Place

Publication year 1957Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Self Discovery, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Emotions/Behavior: MemoryTags Classic Fiction, Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Magical Realism

Written by Ray Bradbury, Dandelion Wine is a collection of connected short stories that are loosely based on the author’s memories of his own childhood in upstate Illinois; as such, the narrative uses the nostalgic mystique of summer to evoke the wonders, adventures, and mysteries of growing up. As the first volume in the Green Town trilogy, which also includes Farewell Summer and Something Wicked This Way Comes, this coming-of-age story includes elements of fantasy... Read Dandelion Wine Summary


Publication year 1993Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Relationships: Family, Life/Time: Mortality & DeathTags Historical Fiction, WWII / World War II, Holocaust, Trauma / Abuse / Violence

Carol Matas is the author of the 1993 novel for young readers, Daniel’s Story, and she published the book in conjunction with the United States Holocaust Museum Memorial exhibit Remember the Children: Daniel’s Story. Like the museum exhibit, Daniel’s Story presents a researched account of what it was like to grow up in Nazi Germany and live through the Holocaust. Before she wrote Daniel’s Story, Matas published two historical novels about the Dutch resistance during... Read Daniel's Story Summary


Publication year 1850Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: MemoryTags Classic Fiction, Victorian Period

David Copperfield is Charles Dickens’ eighth novel. The book was originally produced in serial form between 1849 and 1850, and then published in full in 1850. Written from the first-person perspective of its eponymous narrator, the novel recounts his experiences from boyhood to manhood. Because many of these experiences closely mirror the life of Charles Dickens, David Copperfield is widely considered both a bildungsroman and an autobiographical novel. In addition to being Dickens’ favorite among... Read David Copperfield Summary


Publication year 1960Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Values/Ideas: Fate, Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Society: WarTags Historical Fiction, WWII / World War II, Holocaust, Military / War, Relationships

Publication year 2017Genre Poem, FictionThemes Identity: Race, Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Values/Ideas: Equality, Values/Ideas: Win & Lose, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: Hate & Anger, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: ConflictTags Race / Racism, Trauma / Abuse / Violence, American Literature

Publication year 1949Genre Play, FictionThemes Relationships: Fathers, Identity: Masculinity, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & BetrayalTags Play: Tragedy, Play: Drama, Modern Classic Fiction, American Literature

Death of a Salesman is a play written by American playwright Arthur Miller and first performed on Broadway in 1949. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and a Tony Award for Best Play, it is considered by critics to be one of the greatest plays of the 20th century. The cynical play follows the final hours of a mentally unstable salesman at the end of his career who fails to attain the American Dream... Read Death of a Salesman Summary


Publication year 2018Genre Poem, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Society: Politics & Government, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Values/Ideas: Justice & InjusticeTags Race / Racism, Social Justice, Trauma / Abuse / Violence

Publication year 2007Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Life/Time: Mortality & DeathTags Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Relationships

Mary Downing Hahn’s Deep and Dark and Dangerous, published in 2007 by Clarion Books, is one of numerous stories in the American artist and former librarian’s extensive catalogue. Hahn has published in the historical fiction, fantasy, and contemporary fiction genres, but some of her most acclaimed novels are ghost stories—including this one. Deep and Dark and Dangerous was well received by critics and was awarded Missouri’s 2010 Mark Twain Award for the best book for... Read Deep and Dark and Dangerous Summary


Publication year 1905Genre Essay / Speech, NonfictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: Forgiveness, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Values/Ideas: Justice & InjusticeTags LGBTQ, Philosophy, Religion / Spirituality

Publication year 1994Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Identity: Disability, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Identity: Mental Health, Natural World: Nurture v. Nature, Values/Ideas: Science & TechnologyTags Psychology, Science / Nature, Philosophy, Health / Medicine

Publication year 2013Genre Poem, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Identity: Race, Emotions/Behavior: MemoryTags Race / Racism

Publication year 2020Genre Graphic Novel/Book, FictionThemes Identity: Race, Society: Community, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Emotions/Behavior: MemoryTags Historical Fiction, LGBTQ, Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Fantasy, WWII / World War II

Publication year 2013Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: Apathy, Emotions/Behavior: courage, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Emotions/Behavior: Forgiveness, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Emotions/Behavior: Hate & Anger, Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: Regret, Emotions/Behavior: Revenge, Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Relationships: Family, Relationships: Fathers, Relationships: Teams, Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Values/Ideas: Trust & Doubt, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Values/Ideas: Order & Chaos, Society: Community, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Self Discovery, Life/Time: The Past, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Identity: Mental HealthTags Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Fantasy, Addiction / Substance Abuse

Doctor Sleep is a 2013 horror novel by Stephen King. It is a sequel to the events that occurred in King’s popular novel The Shining and features the return of Danny Torrance. Decades after the horrors at the Overlook Hotel, Dan Torrance must now reckon with the renewed threat of the spirits. When the novel begins, the dead woman from the Overlook’s Room 217 has returned and threatens Danny in his bathroom. King uses this... Read Doctor Sleep Summary


Publication year 2001Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Identity: Race, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Natural World: Place, Relationships: Family, Society: Colonialism, Society: War, Identity: Indigenous

Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight (2002) is a memoir by Alexandra Fuller. Fuller recounts her childhood during the tumultuous years of the Rhodesian Bush War and life in post-independence Southern Africa. The author details her family‘s tragedies against the backdrop of political upheaval and social change as they settle on a series of struggling farms in Zimbabwe (then known as Rhodesia), Malawi, and Zambia. The memoir was a New York Times Notable Book for... Read Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight Summary


Publication year 1992Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: courage, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Emotions/Behavior: Forgiveness, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Emotions/Behavior: Hate & Anger, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Emotions/Behavior: Revenge, Emotions/Behavior: Nostalgia, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: Hope, Identity: Masculinity, Identity: Gender, Identity: Femininity, Identity: Sexuality, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Life/Time: The Past, Life/Time: The Future, Natural World: Place, Relationships: Marriage, Society: Nation, Society: Politics & Government, Society: War, Values/Ideas: Fate, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Society: Class, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Values/Ideas: Order & Chaos, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Values/Ideas: Trust & Doubt, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Values/Ideas: Win & Lose, Values/Ideas: Religion & SpiritualityTags Historical Fiction, Romance, Fantasy, Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Action / Adventure, History: European, Health / Medicine

Publication year 2000Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Emotions/Behavior: Apathy, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: Hope, Emotions/Behavior: Hate & Anger, Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Emotions/Behavior: courage, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Life/Time: The Past, Relationships: Daughters & Sons, Relationships: Family, Relationships: Mothers, Relationships: Siblings, Relationships: Friendship, Relationships: Fathers, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Self Discovery, Values/Ideas: Beauty, Values/Ideas: Art, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Values/Ideas: Trust & Doubt, Values/Ideas: Truth & LiesTags Realistic Fiction, Romance, Trauma / Abuse / Violence, Relationships

In Dreamland, a young adult novel by Sarah Dessen, a teenage girl named Caitlin O’Koren reacts to the disappearance of her sister by breaking away from the path that was set out for her. The novel is broken into three parts that focus on the core of the conflicts in each section. Part I, “Cass,” traces the O’Koren family after Cass, the eldest of two daughters, runs away instead of attending Yale. Part II, entitled... Read Dreamland Summary


Publication year 1979Genre Poem, FictionThemes Life/Time: Aging, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Nostalgia, Natural World: Animals, Natural World: Place, Natural World: Appearance & RealityTags Lyric Poem, Grief / Death

Publication year 1914Genre Short Story Collection, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: Regret, Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Identity: Masculinity, Identity: Mental Health, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Relationships: Fathers, Society: Class, Society: Colonialism, Society: Nation, Society: Politics & Government, Values/Ideas: Power & GreedTags Classic Fiction, Historical Fiction, Irish Literature

Dubliners is a collection of 15 short stories by Irish writer James Joyce. Originally published in 1914, the collection met resistance from publishers and critics due to its controversial themes and unusual portrayal of the everyday. Dubliners follows a range of people living in the titular city, often seeking some form of social or emotional transcendence without ever truly achieving it. This study guide is for the 1965 paperback edition from Penguin Modern Classics. Content... Read Dubliners Summary


Publication year 2008Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: courage, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Emotions/Behavior: Hate & Anger, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: Revenge, Identity: Disability, Identity: Language, Identity: Race, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Natural World: Environment, Natural World: Place, Relationships: Daughters & Sons, Relationships: Fathers, Relationships: Teams, Society: Class, Values/Ideas: Art, Values/Ideas: Beauty, Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Values/Ideas: Power & GreedTags Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Fantasy, Psychological Fiction

Duma Key by Stephen King is a novel in the literary-horror genre, praised for its eerie, spooky atmosphere and suspenseful build-up. Published in 2008, Duma Key is the first novel by King to be set in Florida. The book follows Edgar Freemantle as he moves from Minnesota to the island of Duma (one of the Florida Keys, or small islands) after a life-changing accident. Tormented by phantom-limb pain from his amputation and unable to remember... Read Duma Key Summary


Publication year 1986Genre Poem, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: Nostalgia, Relationships: Marriage, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Emotions/Behavior: LoveTags Free verse, Relationships

Publication year 2019Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Identity: Disability, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Emotions/Behavior: courage, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Forgiveness, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Identity: Gender, Identity: Mental Health, Relationships: Fathers, Self Discovery, Society: Community, Society: Education, Society: Immigration, Society: Politics & GovernmentTags Realistic Fiction, Mental Illness, Disability, Trauma / Abuse / Violence

Publication year 1986Genre Poem, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Relationships: Family

Genre Poem, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Relationships: Fathers, Natural World: Food, Natural World: Appearance & RealityTags Food

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 1963Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: MemoryTags History: World

Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil is a nonfiction book by political theorist Hannah Arendt, originally published in 1963. In 1961, Arendt went to Jerusalem to cover the trial of Adolf Eichmann for The New Yorker, an assignment she gave herself because “she felt she simply had to attend the trial; she owed it to herself as a social critic, displaced person, witness, and survivor” (xi). Eichmann, a Nazi facilitator of... Read Eichmann in Jerusalem Summary


Publication year 2007Genre Poem, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: MemoryTags Lyric Poem, Grief / Death, Military / War

Publication year 2014Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Life/Time: AgingTags Mystery / Crime Fiction

Elizabeth Is Missing by British author Emma Healey was published in 2014 and tells the story of Maud Horsham, an old woman suffering from dementia. Maud’s older sister, Sukey, disappeared in the 1940s. Seventy years later, this tragic event continues to haunt Maud, who now thinks her best friend Elizabeth is missing. Maud is desperate to figure out what happened to Sukey and Elizabeth before she loses her ability to piece together the clues. Maud’s... Read Elizabeth is Missing Summary


Publication year 1987Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: Coming of Age, Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: courage, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Emotions/Behavior: Hate & Anger, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Emotions/Behavior: Revenge, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Gratitude, Emotions/Behavior: Hope, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Life/Time: The Past, Values/Ideas: Equality, Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Values/Ideas: Literature, Values/Ideas: Art, Values/Ideas: Beauty, Values/Ideas: Trust & Doubt, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Values/Ideas: Win & Lose, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Relationships: Daughters & Sons, Relationships: Friendship, Relationships: Family, Relationships: Fathers, Relationships: Grandparents, Relationships: Mothers, Natural World: Nurture v. Nature, Natural World: Appearance & RealityTags Southern Literature, Auto/Biographical Fiction, Trauma / Abuse / Violence, Race / Racism

Ellen Foster is a work of adult fiction by US novelist Kaye Gibbons, first published by Algonquin Books in 1987. The novel was Gibbons’s debut, and it won the Sue Kaufman Prize for literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and a notable citation from the Ernest Hemingway Foundation. Critics praised the novel for its unsentimental outlook and the wry, distinct voice of its protagonist. Ellen, a young girl living in the American... Read Ellen Foster Summary


Publication year 1717Genre Poem, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Relationships: Family, Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Emotions/Behavior: ApathyTags Narrative / Epic Poem, Love / Sexuality, Relationships, Religion / Spirituality, Age of Enlightenment

“Eloisa to Abelard” is a poem published in 1717 by Alexander Pope. The poem discusses the ill-fated love affair of a real-life couple from 12th-century France: Heloïse d’Argenteuil, a gifted 18-year-old student, and Peter Abelard, a renowned French scholar, philosopher, and poet of the Medieval era who was 20 years older than Heloïse. The poem is a heroic verse epistle, which is a genre first made famous in Ovid’s Heroides. Pope adopts Eloisa’s persona and... Read Eloisa to Abelard Summary


Publication year 1999Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Society: War, Society: ColonialismTags History: Asian, WWII / World War II, Politics / Government, Military / War

Publication year 1904Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Relationships: Family, Society: ColonialismTags Irish Literature, Modernism, Gender / Feminism

“Eveline” is the fourth short story in James Joyce’s Dubliners collection, completed in 1907 and published in London in 1914. This story, like the others in Dubliners, reveals Joyce’s view of Ireland, then a British colony, as existing in a state of paralysis. Alongside this broader theme, “Eveline” also explores topics like duty versus freedom, English imperialism, and individual autonomy. Nearly a story of a young woman escaping the confines of her abusive and lonely... Read Eveline Summary


Publication year 2020Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Race, Identity: Indigenous, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Relationships: FamilyTags Historical Fiction, Mystery / Crime Fiction, WWII / World War II

Publication year 2016Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Marriage, Emotions/Behavior: Hope, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Identity: Masculinity, Identity: Mental Health, Life/Time: Aging, Natural World: Place, Relationships: Friendship, Society: Community, Values/Ideas: Order & Chaos

Everybody’s Fool is a 2016 novel by American Pulitzer Prize–winning author Richard Russo. The second in Russo’s North Bath trilogy, Everybody’s Fool is set in the small, eccentric, and troubled town of North Bath, New York. The tragicomic novel follows a group of characters whose dramas unfold over a single Memorial Day Weekend, exploring how individuals react to and rebel against their emotional and moral ties to their communities. The novel also grapples with existential themes... Read Everybody's Fool Summary


Publication year 2018Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Society: Community, Values/Ideas: Religion & SpiritualityTags Christian literature, Creative Nonfiction, Relationships, Health / Medicine, Religion / Spirituality

Publication year 2002Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Emotions/Behavior: MemoryTags Auto/Biographical Fiction, Historical Fiction, Holocaust

Everything is Illuminated, Jonathan Safran Foer’s first book, was originally published by Houghton Mifflin in 2002. A portion of the book had been published previously in The New Yorker. The novel won several awards, including the National Jewish Book Award, the Guardian First Book Award, and the Young Lions Fiction Award. The book received rave reviews but also received some criticism for its fictional portrayal of historical events. In response to this criticism, Safran Foer... Read Everything Is Illuminated Summary


Publication year 2020Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Society: Immigration, Natural World: Place, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Relationships: Siblings, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Relationships: Daughters & Sons, Relationships: Mothers, Relationships: Fathers, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Natural World: Animals, Life/Time: The Past, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Society: Education, Relationships: Marriage, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Society: Politics & Government, Society: Nation, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Emotions/Behavior: Nostalgia, Emotions/Behavior: Hope, Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Relationships: GrandparentsTags Auto/Biographical Fiction, Realistic Fiction, Immigration / Refugee, History: Middle Eastern

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 1986Genre Poem, FictionThemes Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Relationships: FriendshipTags Narrative / Epic Poem, Sports, Grief / Death, American Literature

Publication year 2022Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Friendship, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Life/Time: Aging, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: courage, Society: Community, Values/Ideas: Beauty, Natural World: Animals, Natural World: Flora/plants, Natural World: Place, Values/Ideas: Literature, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / PerseveranceTags Historical Fiction, Depression / Suicide, Health / Medicine, Love / Sexuality, Mental Illness, Parenting, Social Justice

Publication year 1989Genre Poem, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: MemoryTags Lyric Poem, African American Literature

Publication year 2019Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: Hate & Anger, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Identity: Language, Identity: Mental Health, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Life/Time: The Past, Natural World: Food, Relationships: Family, Relationships: Friendship, Relationships: Grandparents, Society: Immigration, Society: War, Values/Ideas: Justice & InjusticeTags Realistic Fiction, Korean War

Publication year 1939Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Language, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: NostalgiaTags Classic Fiction, Irish Literature, Fairy Tale / Folklore

Finnegans Wake is a 1939 novel by James Joyce. The experimental style of the novel has given Finnegans Wake a reputation for being one of the most challenging texts in the English language. Joyce’s use of idiosyncratic language and phrasing, his structural innovations, and his ambitious themes attempt to explore the boundaries between sleep, dreams, and waking life. Though Finnegans Wake has not been adapted into other media in its totality, its influence and legacy... Read Finnegans Wake Summary


Publication year 2022Genre Novel, FictionThemes Self Discovery, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Identity: Masculinity, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Values/Ideas: Power & GreedTags Mystery / Crime Fiction, Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction

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 1966Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: The Past, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Identity: DisabilityTags Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Classic Fiction, Psychological Fiction

Daniel Keyes’s science fiction novel Flowers for Algernon (1966) is the story of a man’s journey from having an intellectual disability to gaining extraordinary intelligence—and his regression when an experimental procedure to “correct” his disability goes wrong. Keyes first published a short story titled “Flowers for Algernon” in 1959, which won the Hugo Award for best science fiction short story, before publishing it as a full-length novel, which won the Nebula award for science fiction... Read Flowers For Algernon Summary


Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Music, Emotions/Behavior: Forgiveness, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Relationships: Fathers, Relationships: Mothers

For One More Day, by Mitch Albom, tells the story of Charles “Chick” Benetto, a retired baseball player fallen on hard times. The story is framed by a prologue and epilogue where a narrator explains that they are telling the story from Chick’s perspective, “because I’m not sure you would believe this story if you didn’t hear it in his voice” (7). The book is comprised of short chapters told in the first person, and... Read For One More Day Summary


Publication year 1968Genre Poem, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Guilt

Publication year 1947Genre Poem, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Values/Ideas: Equality, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / PerseveranceTags Free verse, Race / Racism, History: U.S.

Publication year 1987Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: Aging, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: MemoryTags Romance

Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe is a 1987 novel by American author and actress Fanny Flagg, who also wrote an award-winning screen adaption of the book. The narrative contains two interconnected stories that unfold several decades apart. The frame narrative, which takes place in Birmingham, Alabama between December 1985 and December 1986, depicts the developing friendship between a middle-aged housewife named Evelyn Couch and an elderly widow named Ninny Threadgoode. As the... Read Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe Summary


Publication year 1990Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Values/Ideas: Trust & Doubt, Relationships: Mothers, Relationships: FamilyTags Allegory / Fable / Parable, Grief / Death, Gender / Feminism

“Friend of My Youth” is the title short story from the collection of the same name by Alice Munro, published in 1990. The collection won the 1990 Trillium Book Award, which recognizes writers from Ontario, Canada.Narrated in the first person, the story is told from the perspective of an unnamed female writer in mourning for her mother, who died some years earlier of Parkinson’s disease. The narrator describes a recurrent dream that she used to... Read Friend of My Youth Summary


Publication year 2018Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Teams, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Relationships: Friendship, Society: Community, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Emotions/Behavior: Forgiveness, Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: Hope, Relationships: Mothers, Relationships: Fathers, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Identity: Masculinity, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Emotions/Behavior: FearTags Sports, Realistic Fiction, Disability

Publication year 2001Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Values/Ideas: Science & Technology, Values/Ideas: Order & Chaos, Emotions/Behavior: MemoryTags Business / Economics, Leadership/Organization/Management, Self Help, Psychology

Publication year 1863Genre Essay / Speech, NonfictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Values/Ideas: EqualityTags History: U.S., American Civil War

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

Publication year 1979Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: Apathy, 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: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: Regret, Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Emotions/Behavior: Revenge, Life/Time: Aging, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Life/Time: The Past, Natural World: Animals, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Natural World: Environment, Values/Ideas: Beauty, Values/Ideas: Fate, Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Values/Ideas: Music, Values/Ideas: Art, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Values/Ideas: Trust & Doubt, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Identity: Gender, Identity: Masculinity, Identity: Femininity, Identity: Sexuality, Relationships: Friendship, Relationships: Marriage, Relationships: Mothers, Relationships: Siblings, Relationships: Teams, Values/Ideas: Order & Chaos, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Values/Ideas: EqualityTags Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Mystery / Crime Fiction

Publication year 2004Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Relationships: Family, Relationships: Daughters & SonsTags Historical Fiction, Christian literature

Published in 2004, Gilead is Marilynne Robinson’s second novel and the first in the Gilead trilogy, which includes Home (2008) and Lila (2014). The story is written as a letter from dying Congregationalist minister John Ames to his young son. The letter is a bittersweet account of John’s life. With a slow, thoughtful pace and intimate tone, John shares past family memories and resolves an old personal grievance with his best friend’s son. As John... Read Gilead Summary


Publication year 1993Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Identity: Mental Health, Life/Time: The Past, Identity: Femininity, Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Identity: Gender, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Values/Ideas: Science & TechnologyTags Depression / Suicide, Mental Illness, Psychology, Gender / Feminism, Addiction / Substance Abuse, Health / Medicine, Trauma / Abuse / Violence

Susanna Kaysen’s 1993, Girl, Interrupted, is a memoir that explores Kaysen’s time as a teenage psychiatric patient in McLean Hospital in the late 1960s. Kaysen explores the murky definitions of mental health and illness, as she recounters her experience of being diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder and makes compelling arguments about the subjective nature of personality, behavior, and disorder. Girl, Interrupted is a bestselling book and was adapted into the 1999 film starring Winona Ryder... Read Girl, Interrupted Summary


Publication year 1934Genre Novella, FictionThemes Society: Education, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Life/Time: The Past, Relationships: MarriageTags Historical Fiction, Psychological Fiction, Education, British Literature

Goodbye, Mr. Chips, James Hilton’s novella about a mild-mannered teacher at a fictional British boys’ school, originally appeared in 1933 as a supplement to the British Weekly, an evangelical newspaper. Its popularity, however, led to its reprinting in the April 1934 issue of the American magazine Atlantic Monthly and later, its publication as a book by Little, Brown and Company in the US and by Hodder & Stoughton in the United Kingdom. An instant bestseller... Read Goodbye, Mr. Chips Summary


Publication year 2017Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Identity: Mental Health, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: ForgivenessTags Humor, Health / Medicine

Goodbye, Vitamin is Asian American author Rachel Khong’s debut novel. Khong, whose grandmother had Alzheimer’s disease, explores how Alzheimer’s disease affects a family in this work of literary fiction. Written as a series of diary entries, Khong’s protagonist, Ruth Young, meditates on memory, forgiveness, and the challenges inherent in familial relationships as she navigates an adulthood that is not turning out as planned.Published in 2017, Goodbye, Vitamin received positive reviews and was named one of... Read Goodbye, Vitamin Summary


Publication year 2016Genre Novel, FictionThemes Natural World: Space & The Universe, Relationships: Daughters & Sons, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: LoveTags Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction

Publication year 2019Genre Graphic Memoir , NonfictionThemes Relationships: Family, Identity: Race, Relationships: Daughters & Sons, Relationships: Friendship, Relationships: Mothers, Relationships: Siblings, Relationships: Marriage, Relationships: Fathers, Society: Community, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Life/Time: The Future, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: LonelinessTags Race / Racism, Politics / Government, September 11 Attacks, Relationships, LGBTQ, Grief / Death, Parenting, Social Justice, Immigration / Refugee

Publication year 2006Genre Poem, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Relationships: Mothers, Relationships: FamilyTags Lyric Poem, Grief / Death

Publication year 2003Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Society: Class, Society: Politics & Government, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Values/Ideas: Power & GreedTags History: European, History: World, Military / War, Politics / Government, Incarceration