Oprah's Book Club Picks

Oprah Winfrey's impact on the publishing industry, what some have termed the "Oprah Effect," is indisputable. Winfrey has been recommending books to readers for more than two decades, first to viewers of her long-running talk show and now to a global online audience through Oprah's Book Club 2.0. Each book club pick experiences skyrocketing sales, often sending a title to the top of best-sellers lists for months. Here, we present comprehensive study guides for several of Oprah's most popular book club selections to help you get the most out of these reads.

Publication year 1995Genre Novel, FictionTags Indian Literature

Indian-born Canadian writer Rohinton Mistry’s 1995 novel A Fine Balance is the story of four characters from diverse backgrounds whose paths converge in 1975 India. Maneck Kohlah, a college student, has rented a room in the city. On his way to inspect the apartment of Dina Dalal, he meets two tailors, Ishvar Darji and his nephew Omprakash (Om) Darji, also on their way to Dina’s to find sewing jobs.Dina hires the tailors to work from... Read A Fine Balance Summary


Publication year 2020Genre Novel, Fiction

American Dirt is a work of fiction by Jeanine Cummins published in 2020 by MacMillan Press. This guide refers to the first US edition. The controversial, cross-genre novel combines elements of a commercial thriller, literary fiction, suspense, and romance. The title refers to the land comprising the geopolitical entity that is the United States of America, and to the contempt undocumented migrants face both before and after crossing the US-Mexico border. While many critics initially... Read American Dirt Summary


Publication year 2018Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Fathers

On its publication in 2018, An American Marriage received critical acclaim for its examination of the complex dynamic of contemporary relationships and its timely exploration of black identity in 21st century America. Tayari Jones, a professor of creative writing at Emory University in Atlanta, published three earlier novels, but it was An American Marriage that catapulted her to international acclaim. The book was a selection for Oprah Winfrey’s book club, a New York Times best-seller... Read An American Marriage Summary


Publication year 2005Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Identity: Language, Life/Time: The Past, Values/Ideas: Religion & SpiritualityTags Self Help, Allegory / Fable / Parable, Religion / Spirituality

A New Earth: Create a Better Life by Eckart Tolle was originally published in 2005 with the title A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose. The book followed in the wake of Tolle’s seminal 1997 work The Power of Now, which discusses the potential inherent in the present moment and suggests that the destructive voice in our heads, which causes us to be constantly dissatisfied and compare ourselves to others, is the ego and... Read A New Earth 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 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 2016Genre Novel, Fiction

Behold the Dreamers, winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award for fiction and a selection of the Oprah Book Club, was published in 2016 by Imbolo Mbue and is the author's debut novel. Set in New York, the book traces the varied impacts of the 2008 recession in the United States on the lives of two couples: the Jongas and the Edwardses. Jende Jonga is a Cameroonian immigrant in the US on a temporary visa pending his... Read Behold the Dreamers Summary


Publication year 2021Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Natural World: EnvironmentTags Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Allegory / Fable / Parable, Climate Change, Grief / Death, Mental Illness, Science / Nature, American Literature

Publication year 2022Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Identity: Mental HealthTags Psychology, Self Help

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 2020Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Self Discovery, Society: CommunityTags Self Help

Publication year 2018Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Society: Community, Relationships: Mothers, Identity: Race, Values/Ideas: Truth & LiesTags Historical Fiction, Southern Literature, Great Depression, Race / Racism, Poverty, Trauma / Abuse / Violence

Publication year 2020Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Identity: Race, Values/Ideas: Justice & InjusticeTags Race / Racism, Black Lives Matter

Isabel Wilkerson’s Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents is a 2020 historical and narrative nonfiction work about the nature of inequality in the United States, India, and Nazi Germany. Wilkerson is a writer and former journalist, best known for her work in the New York Times, for which she received a Pulitzer Prize. She achieved further acclaim with her 2010 work, The Warmth of Other Suns. Wilkerson has also taught journalism at many colleges and... Read Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents Summary


Publication year 1948Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Race, Relationships: Family, Society: Community, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: ForgivenessTags Historical Fiction, African Literature, Race / Racism

Cry, the Beloved Country is a 1948 work of historical fiction by Alan Paton. Set in South Africa, it follows a Christian reverend named Stephen Kumalo, who lives in a Zulu village called Ndotsheni. Geographically isolated from his brother John, his sister Gertrude, and his son Absalom, Stephen becomes worried when he stops hearing from them. He travels to Johannesburg to check up on them. Cry, the Beloved Country is known for illuminating a historically... Read Cry, the Beloved Country Summary


Publication year 1998Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Fate, Identity: FemininityTags Latin American Literature, Historical Fiction, Love / Sexuality

Daughter of Fortune, first published in Spanish in 1998 (Hija de la fortuna), is the fifth novel by celebrated Latin American writer Isabel Allende. The winner of multiple awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom and Chile’s National Literature Prize, Allende created this work of historical fiction, in part, to explore the impact of feminism on her own life. Daughter of Fortune tells the story of a young woman, Eliza Sommers, and her odyssey of... Read Daughter Of Fortune Summary


Publication year 2020Genre Novel, FictionThemes Society: Community, Relationships: Fathers, Identity: Race, Relationships: Daughters & SonsTags Race / Racism, Poverty, African American Literature

Deacon King Kong was published in 2020 and written by American author James McBride. It is an example of near-historical fiction written about American cities and social issues. McBride’s 1995 memoir about growing up in a mixed-race family in Brooklyn, The Color of Water, was both a commercial and critical success, and his own life experience aligns with some of the narratives and issues in Deacon King Kong. McBride’s novel The Good Lord Bird won... Read Deacon King Kong Summary


Publication year 2022Genre Novel, FictionThemes Society: Class, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Life/Time: Coming of AgeTags Historical Fiction, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman

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 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 2010Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: Coming of Age, Relationships: Family, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Emotions/Behavior: Forgiveness, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Relationships: FriendshipTags Realistic Fiction, Grief / Death, Love / Sexuality, Parenting

IntroductionFreedom is a 2010 novel by American author Jonathan Franzen. The story focuses on the Berglunds, a dysfunctional family living in Minnesota. The novel examines themes of family, freedom, depression, addiction, marriage, and more. Freedom was a selection for Oprah’s book club and won great critical acclaim.Content warning: This guide contains references to alcohol addiction and rape, which are discussed in the source text. Plot Summary The book unfolds across four parts. Part 1, “Good... Read Freedom Summary


Publication year 2023Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Relationships: Siblings, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Identity: Mental HealthTags Historical Fiction, Romance

Publication year 2008Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Emotions/Behavior: Forgiveness, Values/Ideas: Fate, Values/Ideas: Equality, Values/Ideas: Religion & SpiritualityTags Grief / Death

Publication year 1999Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Guilt

House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III, originally published in 1999, is a crime novel concerning a dispute over the ownership of a house in the Bay Area beach town of Corona, California. Told primarily through the dueling perspectives of a recovered addict and Iranian exile, the novel interrogates the nature of American identity and the integrity of social relationships. House of Sand and Fog has earned numerous recognitions: It was selected for... Read House of Sand and Fog Summary


Publication year 2020Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Natural World: Animals, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Natural World: EnvironmentTags Humor, Romance

Publication year 2023Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Race, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Relationships: Mothers, Natural World: PlaceTags Historical Fiction, Magical Realism, Race / Racism, Trauma / Abuse / Violence, African American Literature

Publication year 1932Genre Novel, FictionTags Modernism, Southern Gothic, Drama / Tragedy

Published in 1932, Light in August is William Faulkner’s seventh novel. The novel is set in the American South during prohibition and features an ensemble cast of characters who grapple with alienation, racism, and heartbreak across a nonlinear narrative. Classified as a Southern gothic and modernist novel, Light in August is considered a seminal work in 20th-century American literature. Note: This study guide quotes and obscures Faulkner’s use of the n-word. Plot SummaryLena Grove, a... Read Light in August Summary


Publication year 1985Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: Aging, Relationships: MarriageTags Classic Fiction, Romance, Post Modernism

Love in the Time of Cholera is a classic work of literary fiction by the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, Colombian author Gabriel García Márquez. It was published in Spanish in 1985 and translated into English in 1988 by Edith Grossman. The novel was adapted into a film in 2007, which was nominated for several awards including an Oscar and a Golden Globe. Plot SummaryLove in the Time of Cholera is set in... Read Love in the Time of Cholera 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 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 1967Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Siblings, Relationships: Family, Society: War, Values/Ideas: FateTags Magical Realism, Latin American Literature, Classic Fiction

One Hundred Years of Solitude, first published in Spanish in 1967 as Cien años de soledad, is an internationally renowned work of literature by Colombian writer Gabriel García Márquez. The most highly regarded English version of the book is Gregory Rabassa’s translation, which was first published in 1970. This guide uses citations from the HarperPerennial Modern Classics Edition, which was released in 2006. García Márquez became the fourth Latin American winner of the Nobel Prize... Read One Hundred Years of Solitude Summary


Publication year 1997Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Race, Identity: Gender, Society: Community, Emotions/Behavior: FearTags Historical Fiction, African American Literature, Gender / Feminism, Magical Realism, Race / Racism, Love / Sexuality

Toni Morrison’s novel Paradise was published in 1997, just a few years after she won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993. According to Morrison, it is the last book of a trilogy that includes Beloved and Jazz. Morrison is an esteemed American novelist, having also received the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction (1998) and the Coretta Scott King Award for Authors (2005), among other awards. She was educated at Howard University and Cornell University, and... Read Paradise Summary


Publication year 2014Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Identity: Gender, Identity: RaceTags Historical Fiction, Southern Literature, African American Literature, Race / Racism

Publication year 1992Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Mental Health, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Relationships: Family, Values/Ideas: Power & GreedTags Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Drama / Tragedy

She’s Come Undone is a realistic fiction novel written by Wally Lamb and originally published in 1992. Lamb demonstrates his penchant for creating detailed psychological character portraits in his debut novel, which is a coming-of-age story about a woman named Dolores Price. As the novel traces Dolores’s life from childhood through middle age in the mid-20th century, Lamb examines imbalanced power dynamics within relationships, intergenerational trauma and healing, the loss of innocence, and body image... Read She's Come Undone Summary


Publication year 2014Genre Short Story Collection, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Revenge, Life/Time: AgingTags Victorian Period

Stone Mattress: Nine Wicked Tales is a 2014 collection of nine short stories from Canadian author Margaret Atwood. While Atwood has published fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, she is probably best known for her dystopian novel, The Handmaid’s Tale. Atwood often tackles the power of the written word in her work. Many of the characters in Stone Mattress: Nine Wicked Tales are writers. Atwood revisits other of her familiar themes in these stories, including gender, aging... Read Stone Mattress Summary


Publication year 1970Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: FamilyTags American Literature, Existentialism

The Bluest Eye is the first novel of Nobel-Prize winning writer Toni Morrison. It was published in 1970. Set in Lorain, Ohio in 1941, the novel traces how Pecola Breedlove, the dark-skinned daughter of a poor African American family, came to be pregnant with her father's child and lost her sanity after the baby died.Morrison prefaces the novel with a Foreword in which she explains several of her choices in writing the novel. The novel... Read The Bluest Eye Summary


Publication year 2001Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: FamilyTags American Literature, Drama / Tragedy

The Corrections is a 2001 novel by Jonathan Franzen that won the National Book Award. Franzen is the author of several essay collections and novels, including the novels Freedom, Purity, and Crossroads. He has received many awards for his work, including the Whiting Award in 1988 and a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1996.The main action of the novel takes place during the turn of the 21st century, a time of great financial prosperity in the United... Read The Corrections Summary


Publication year 2023Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Hope, Society: Colonialism, Values/Ideas: LiteratureTags Historical Fiction, Health / Medicine, Asian Literature

Publication year 1940Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Marriage, Society: Community, Society: ClassTags Classic Fiction, Historical Fiction, Victorian Period, British Literature

The Heart is a Lonely Hunter (1940) is a Southern Gothic novel written by Carson McCullers, one of the most prominent American literary voices of the 20th century. Set in a small unnamed town, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter captures the spiritual isolation and loneliness of five ordinary people in the deep American South in the 1930s. McCullers is known for her contributions to the development of the Southern Gothic subgenre, and her novels... Read The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter Summary


Publication year 1981Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Relationships: Mothers, Identity: Race, Self DiscoveryTags Gender / Feminism, Civil Rights / Jim Crow, Race / Racism

Publication year 2014Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: FriendshipTags Historical Fiction

A historical novel, The Invention of Wings (2014), by Sue Monk Kidd, traces the intersecting lives of the abolitionist sisters, Sarah and Angelina Grimké, and Sarah’s slave, Hetty Handful Grimké. Spanning 35 years and set primarily in Charleston, South Carolina in the 1800s, the novel begins on Sarah’s 11th birthday, when Handful is given to her as a birthday present. It ends when Sarah helps Handful and her sister, Sky, escape slavery, and Sarah fulfills... Read The Invention of Wings Summary


Publication year 2021Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Race, Life/Time: The Past, Identity: GenderTags Race / Racism, African American Literature

Publication year 1989Genre Novel, FictionTags Historical Fiction

Welsh writer Ken Follett begins his novel The Pillars of the Earth (1989) with the sinking of the White Ship in 1120 and ends it with the murder of Thomas Beckett in 1170. This is the first book in the Kingsbridge series, followed by World Without End (2007) and A Column of Fire (2017). Follett later released the prequel, The Evening and the Morning, in 2020.The White Ship sinking in the English Channel resulted in... Read The Pillars of the Earth Summary


Publication year 1995Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Emotions/Behavior: MemoryTags Historical Fiction, Holocaust, German literature

Introduction Law professor Bernhard Schlink published The Reader (Der Vorleser) in Germany in 1995. Two years later, an English version arrived in the United States, and it became a bestseller and a selection for Oprah's Book Club. The German newspaper Abendzeitung named the book Stern des Jahres (Star of the Year), and it was also awarded the 1998 Hans Fallada Prize, given to works that address social or political issues. Translated editions of The Reader... Read The Reader Summary


Publication year 2006Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Fathers, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Life/Time: Childhood & YouthTags Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, American Literature

The Road is a dystopian fiction novel published in 2006 by the American author Cormac McCarthy. It takes place in a barren, post-apocalyptic American wasteland over the course of a change from late fall to winter. As a view of America’s future, the novel is bleak and features very few consolations. The primary characters, named only “the man” and “the boy,” are distinguished by their will to survive, and the plot is therefore pared down... Read The Road Summary


Publication year 1929Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Values/Ideas: Fate, Society: Economics, Relationships: Siblings, Relationships: Family, Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Identity: Sexuality, Identity: MasculinityTags Southern Gothic, Classic Fiction, Modernism

William Faulkner’s 1929 novel The Sound and the Fury relays the trials and decline of a once-prominent Southern family, the Compsons. The novel grapples with the challenges of a changing cultural landscape as modernity encroaches on the values—and deep-seated prejudices—of the Old South. Told through the perspectives of the three Compson brothers, Benjy, Quentin, and Jason, the novel visits and revisits key events in the family’s past and present. Much of the concern swirls around... Read The Sound and the Fury Summary


Publication year 2008Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Values/Ideas: FateTags Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Animals

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle (2008), American author David Wroblewski’s family epic set in 1970s rural Wisconsin, fuses elements of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet with the story of a gifted boy named Edgar who is mute. Initial critical reaction celebrated the reach of its intricate plot, its massive cast of characters, the audacity of its retelling of Hamlet, and its investigation into the dark dynamics of a dysfunctional family, particularly the complex relationship between feuding brothers... Read The Story of Edgar Sawtelle Summary


Publication year 2018Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Relationships: FamilyTags Journalism

The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row, is a 2018 memoir written by Anthony Ray Hinton (with cowriter Lara Love Hardin)—a man who spent nearly three decades on death row in Alabama.  For his book and for subsequent activism to fight the death penalty at large, public figures from Desmond Tutu to Richard Branson praised Hinton's efforts. Hinton is now a renowned speaker on prison reform, forgiveness, and hope... Read The Sun Does Shine Summary


Publication year 2021Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Identity: Masculinity, Identity: Race, Identity: Sexuality, Life/Time: The Past, Relationships: Marriage, Relationships: Daughters & Sons, Society: Community, Society: War, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Natural World: Flora/plantsTags Historical Fiction, LGBTQ, Race / Racism, American Civil War, African American Literature, Grief / Death, History: U.S., Love / Sexuality, Post-War Era

Publication year 2021Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Identity: Mental Health, Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Values/Ideas: Trust & Doubt, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Emotions/Behavior: ConflictTags Self Help, Religion / Spirituality, Psychology

Publication year 2023Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Life/Time: Midlife, Natural World: Nurture v. Nature, Relationships: Marriage, Society: Class, Values/Ideas: Art, Values/Ideas: Science & Technology, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies

Publication year 1996Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Values/Ideas: Trust & Doubt

We Were the Mulvaneys is a novel by American writer Joyce Carol Oates, originally published in the US in 1996. Set largely in the rural Northeastern United States in the 1970s, this story deals with the myth of the ideal American family and the ruinous effects it can have when real-life events threaten the appearance of familial unity. After having been featured as an Oprah Book Club selection in January 2001, the novel became a... Read We Were the Mulvaneys Summary


Publication year 1995Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: Coming of Age, Society: Class, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Relationships: Mothers, Relationships: Family, Society: CommunityTags Romance

Where the Heart Is was published in 1995 and is the first novel by award winning American novelist Billie Letts. The novel is set in Letts’s home state of Oklahoma and follows the story of teenager Novalee Nation and her ne’er-do-well boyfriend, Willy Jack Pickens. The novel was chosen as a selection for Oprah’s Book Club in December of 1998. It also won the Walker Percy Award in 1994. The novel was made into a... Read Where the Heart Is Summary


Publication year 1999Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Mothers, Relationships: Daughters & Sons, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / PerseveranceTags Coming of Age / Bildungsroman

White Oleander was written by Janet Fitch and first published in 1999. It is a young adult realistic fiction novel that functions as a bildungsroman and focuses on the story of a young girl who is separated from her mother and placed in a series of dysfunctional foster homes. The novel was chosen for Oprah’s Book Club in 1999 and achieved national bestseller status afterward. It was also adapted into a 2002 film of the... Read White Oleander Summary


Publication year 2012Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Forgiveness, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: Hate & Anger, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Emotions/Behavior: Hope, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Natural World: Environment, Natural World: Place, Relationships: MothersTags Grief / Death, Travel Literature, Relationships, Love / Sexuality