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Beginning in 1996, television talk-show host Oprah Winfrey launched a national book club featuring titles selected by Oprah personally. All the titles selected each achieved best-seller status following the announcements of their being picked. Oprah continued with her Oprah's Book Club designations until early 2002, announcing the end of the series with Toni Morrison's Sula, citing the difficulties in making the selections after so many good books as one of the primary reasons for ending the program. However, in 2003, she brought it back, this time focusing on older books that deserved another look. Her revamped Book Club selections, issued with somewhat less frequency, began again with John Steinbeck's East of Eden and continued to 2010, when it officially ended. [Visit the official Oprah's Book Club archive.] Oprah's Book Club 2.0 began officially in May 2012, and aims to bring together readers in a virtual setting, making use of social networking software. [You can read all about it at the official Oprah's Book Club 2.0 web page on the Oprah site.]

Oprah's Book Club 2.0 Selections

The Twelve Tribes of Hattie - Cover  CURRENT SELECTION - NOVEMBER 2012
The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis

The arrival of a major new voice in contemporary fiction. A debut of extraordinary distinction: Ayana Mathis tells the story of the children of the Great Migration through the trials of one unforgettable family. In 1923, fifteen-year-old Hattie Shepherd flees Georgia and settles in Philadelphia, hoping for a chance at a better life. Instead, she marries a man who will bring her nothing but disappointment and watches helplessly as her firstborn twins succumb to an illness a few pennies could have prevented. Hattie gives birth to nine more children whom she raises with grit and mettle and not an ounce of the tenderness they crave. She vows to prepare them for the calamitous difficulty they are sure to face in their later lives, to meet a world that will not love them, a world that will not be kind. Captured here in twelve luminous narrative threads, their lives tell the story of a mother’s monumental courage and the journey of a nation. Beautiful and devastating, Ayana Mathis’s The Twelve Tribes of Hattie is wondrous from first to last—glorious, harrowing, unexpectedly uplifting, and blazing with life. An emotionally transfixing page-turner, a searing portrait of striving in the face of insurmountable adversity, an indelible encounter with the resilience of the human spirit and the driving force of the American dream.
The Wild - Cover  Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Coast Trail by Cheryl Strayed

A powerful, blazingly honest memoir: the story of an eleven-hundred-mile solo hike that broke down a young woman reeling from catastrophe—and built her back up again. At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother's death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life: to hike the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State—and to do it alone. She had no experience as a long-distance hiker, and the trail was little more than “an idea, vague and outlandish and full of promise.” But it was a promise of piecing back together a life that had come undone. Strayed faces down rattlesnakes and black bears, intense heat and record snowfalls, and both the beauty and loneliness of the trail. Told with great suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humor, Wild vividly captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her.

Original Oprah's Book Club Selections

2010 Selections

A Tale of Two Cities/Great Expectations - Cover  Great Expectations and A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

Two of Dicken's novels are republished. The first follows a group from the tranquil roads of London to the vengeful, bloodstained streets of Paris at the height of the Reign of Terror. The second follows the life of the orphaned Pip from the wild Kent marshes through a series of events as he abandons his humble origins to begin a new life as a gentleman.
Freedom - Cover  Freedom by Jonathan Franzer

The idyllic lives of civic-minded environmentalists Patty and Walter Berglund come into question when their son moves in with aggressive Republican neighbors, green lawyer Walter takes a job in the coal industry, and go-getter Patty becomes increasingly unstable and enraged.

2009 Selections

Say You're One of Them - Cover  Say You're One of Them by Uwem Akpan

This singular collection of five stories takes the reader inside Nigeria, Rwanda, Kenya, Gabon and Ethiopia, revealing in beautiful prose the harsh consequences for children of life in Africa.

2008 Selections

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle - Cover  The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski

A tale reminiscent of "Hamlet" that also celebrates the alliance between humans and dogs follows speech-disabled Wisconsin youth Edgar, who bonds with three yearling canines and struggles to prove that his sinister uncle is responsible for his father's death.
The New Earth - Cover  A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle [204 Tol]

With his bestselling spiritual guide The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle inspired millions of readers to discover the freedom and joy of a life lived "in the now." In A New Earth, Tolle expands on these powerful ideas to show how transcending our ego-based state of consciousness is not only essential to personal happiness, but also the key to ending conflict and suffering throughout the world. Tolle describes how our attachment to the ego creates the dysfunction that leads to anger, jealousy, and unhappiness, and shows readers how to awaken to a new state of consciousness and follow the path to a truly fulfilling existence. The Power of Now was a question-and-answer handbook. A New Earth has been written as a traditional narrative, offering anecdotes and philosophies in a way that is accessible to all. Illuminating, enlightening, and uplifting, A New Earth is a profoundly spiritual manifesto for a better way of life—and for building a better world.

2007 Selections

The Pillars of the Earth - Cover  The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

Ken Follett had long been a staple of the bestseller lists for his novels of intrigue and espionage. Then came The Pillars of the Earth, a grand novel of epic storytelling that readers and critics quickly hailed as his crowning achievement. Now, The Pillars of the Earth is available for the first time to a new audience of readers, in this attractive new trade paperback edition. In 12th-century England, the building of a mighty Gothic cathedral signals the dawn of a new age. This majestic creation will bond clergy and kings, knights and peasants together in a story of toil, faith, ambition and rivalry. A sweeping tale of the turbulent middle ages, The Pillars of the Earth is a masterpiece from one of the world's most popular authors.
Love in the Time of Cholera - Cover  Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

In their youth, Florentino Ariza and Fermino Daza fall passionately in love. When Fermina eventually chooses to marry a wealthy, well-born doctor, Florentino is devastated, but he is a romantic. As he rises in his business career he whiles away the years in 622 affairs--yet he reserves his heart for Fermina. Her husband dies at last, and Florentino purposefully attends the funeral. Fifty years, nine months, and four days after he first declared his love for Fermina, he will do so again.
Middlesex - Cover  Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenedies

A dazzling triumph from the bestselling author of The Virgin Suicides--the astonishing tale of a gene that passes down through three generations of a Greek-American family and flowers in the body of a teenage girl. In the spring of 1974, Calliope Stephanides, a student at a girls' school in Grosse Pointe, finds herself drawn to a chain-smoking, strawberry blond clasmate with a gift for acting. The passion that furtively develops between them--along with Callie's failure to develop--leads Callie to suspect that she is not like other girls. In fact, she is not really a girl at all. The explanation for this shocking state of affairs takes us out of suburbia- back before the Detroit race riots of 1967, before the rise of the Motor City and Prohibition, to 1922, when the Turks sacked Smyrna and Callie's grandparents fled for their lives. Back to a tiny village in Asia Minor where two lovers, and one rare genetic mutation, set in motion the metamorphosis that will turn Callie into a being both mythical and perfectly real: a hermaphrodite. Spanning eight decades--and one unusually awkward adolescence- Jeffrey Eugenides's long-awaited second novel is a grand, utterly original fable of crossed bloodlines, the intricacies of gender, and the deep, untidy promptings of desire. It marks the fulfillment of a huge talent, named one of America's best young novelists by both Granta and The New Yorker.
The Road - Cover  The Road by Cormac McCarthy

A searing, postapocalyptic novel destined to become Cormac McCarthy's masterpiece. A father and his son walk alone through burned America. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind. It is cold enough to crack stones, and when the snow falls it is gray. The sky is dark. Their destination is the coast, although they don't know what, if anything, awaits them there. They have nothing; just a pistol to defend themselves against the lawless bands that stalk the road, the clothes they are wearting, a cart of scavenged food-and each other. The Road is the profoundly moving story of a journey. It boldly imagines a future in which no hope remains, but in which the father and his son, "each the other's world entire," are sustained by love. Awesome in the totality of its vision, it is an unflinching meditation on the worst and the best that we are capable of: ultimate destructiveness, desperate tenacity, and the tenderness that keeps two people alive in the face of total devastation.
The Measure of a Man - Cover  The Measure of a Man: A Spiritual Autobiography by Sidney Poitier [791.432 Poi]

In this luminous memoir, a true American icon looks back on his celebrated life and career. His body of work is arguably the most morally significant in cinematic history, and the power and influence of that work are indicative of the character of the man behind the many storied roles. In "The Measure of a Man," Sidney Poitier explores these elements of character and personal values to take his own measure -- as a man, as a husband and a father, and as an actor. He explores the nature of sacrifice and commitment, pride and humility, rage and forgiveness, and paying the price for artistic integrity. What emerges is a picture of a man seeking truth, passion, and balance in the face of limits -- his own and the world's. A triumph of the spirit, "The Measure of a Man" captures the essential Poitier.

2006 Selections

Night - Cover  Night by Elie Wiesel [362.29 Fre]

Night is one of the masterpieces of Holocaust literature. First published in 1960, it is the autobiographical account of an adolescent boy and his father in Auschwitz. Wiesel writes of their battle for survival, and of his battle with God for a way to understand the wanton cruelty he witnesses each day.

2005 Selections

A Million Little Pieces - Cover  A Million Little Pieces by James Frey [362.29 Fre]

Intense, unpredictable, and instantly engaging, this is a story of drug and alcohol abuse and rehabilitation as it has never been told before. Recounted in visceral, kinetic prose, and crafted with a forthrightness that rejects self-pity, it brings readers face-to-face with a provocative understanding of the nature of addiction and the meaning of recovery.
The Light in August - Cover  The Light in August by William Faulkner

Joe Christmas does not know whether he is black or white. Faulkner makes of Joe's tragedy a powerful indictment of racism; at the same time Joe's life is a study of the divided self and becomes a symbol of 20th century man.
The Sound and the Fury - Cover  The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner

First published in 1929, Faulkner created his "heart's darling," the beautiful and tragic Caddy Compson, whose story Faulkner told through separate monologues by her three brothers--the idiot Benjy, the neurotic suicidal Quentin and the monstrous Jason.
As I Lay Dying - Cover  As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner

At the heart of this 1930 novel is the Bundren family's bizarre journey to Jefferson to bury Addie, their wife and mother. Faulkner lets each family member--including Addie--and others along the way tell their private responses to Addie's life.

2004 Selections

The Good Earth - Cover  The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck

Though more than sixty years have passed since this remarkable novel won the Pulitzer Prize, it has retained its popularity and become one of the great modern classics. "I can only write what I know, and I know nothing but China, having always lived there", wrote Pearl Buck. In THE GOOD EARTH she presents a graphic view of a China when the last emperor reigned and the vast political and social upheavals of the twentieth century were but distant rumblings for the ordinary people. This moving, classic story of the honest farmer Wang Lung and his selfless wife O-lan is must reading for those who would fully appreciate the sweeping changes that have occurred in the lives of the Chinese people during this century. Nobel Prize winner PEARL S. BUCK traces the whole cycle of life: its terrors, its passions, its ambitions and rewards. Her brilliant novel -- beloved by millions of readers -- is a universal tale of the destiny of man.
Anna Karenina - Cover  Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

A magnificent drama of vengeance, infidelity, and retribution, Anna Karenina portrays the moving story of people whose emotions conflict with the dominant social mores of their time. Sensual, rebellious Anna falls deeply and passionately in love with the handsome Count Vronsky. When she refuses to conduct the discreet affair that her cold, ambitious husband (and Russian high society) would condone, she is doomed. Set against the tragic love of Anna and Vronsky, the plight of the melancholy nobleman Konstantine Levin unfolds. In doubt about the meaning of life, haunted by thoughts of suicide, Levin's struggles echo Tolstoy's own spiritual crisis. But Anna's inner turmoil mirrors the own emotional imprisonment and mental disintegration of a woman who dares to transgress the strictures of a patriarchal world. In Anna Karenina Leo Tolstoy brought to perfection the novel of social realism and created a masterpiece that bared the Russian soul.
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter - Cover  The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers

With its profound sense of moral isolation and its compassionate glimpses into its characters' inner lives, the novel is considered McCullers' finest work, an enduring masterpiece first published by Houghton Mifflin in 1940.
One Hundred Years of Solitude - Cover  One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

A classic of world literature for all time--and probably Marquez's most famous work. "The first piece of literature since the Book of Genesis that should be required reading for the entire human race . . . with more lucidity, wit, wisdom, and poetry than is expected from 100 years of novelists, let alone one man".--Washington Post Book World.
[A study guide to this novel is available on audiotape.]

2003 Selections

Cry, the Beloved Country - Cover  Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton

Paton's deeply moving story of Zulu pastor Stephen Kumalo and his son Absalom, set against the backdrop of a land and people riven by racial inequality and injustice, remains one of the most famous and important novels in South Africa's history.
East of Eden - Cover  East of Eden by John Steinbeck

This sprawling and often brutal novel, set in the rich farmlands of California's Salinas Valley, follows the intertwined destinies of two families--the Trasks and the Hamiltons--whose generations helplessly reenact the fall of Adam and Eve and the poisonous rivalry of Cain and Abel. "A strange and original work of art".--New York Times Book Review

2002 Selections

Sula - Cover  Sula by Toni Morrison

This rich and moving novel traces the lives of two black heroines--from their growing up together in a small Ohio town, through their sharply divergent paths of womanhood, to their ultimate confrontation and reconciliation.
Fall on Your Knees - Cover  Fall on Your Knees by Ann-Marie MacDonald

A bestseller in Canada, this riveting family saga takes readers from Cape Breton Island to the battlefields of World War I to New York City's jazz scene--and into the lives, and guilty secrets, of four remarkable sisters.

2001 Selections

A Fine Balance - Cover  A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry

With the compassionate realism of Dickens and a narrative sweep worthy of Balzac, this internationally acclaimed novel draws an unforgettable portrait of the cruelty and corruption, kindness and heroism of India. Set in 1975, A Fine Balance follows the destinies of four strangers who are forced to share a cramped apartment in an unnamed city by the sea.
The Corrections - Cover  The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen

A comic, tragic masterpiece of an American family breaking down in an age of easy fixes, Franzen's third novel brings an old-time America of freight trains and civic duty into wild collision with the era of home surveillance and New Economy speculation.
Cane River - Cover  Cane River by Lalita Tademy

Based on the author's own search of her family's past, Cane River is an epic novel based on the lives of four generations of African-American women. Beginning with Tademy's great-great-great-great-grandmother, Elisabeth, this is a saga that sweeps from the early days of slavery through the Civil War and into a pre-Civil Rights South--a unique and moving slice of America's past that will resonate with readers for years to come. Photos throughout.
Stolen Lives: Twenty Years in a Desert Jail - Cover  Stolen Lives: Twenty Years in a Desert Jail by Malika Oufkir

The adopted daughter of the king of Morocco, whose father was arrested and executed for a 1972 attempt to assassinate the king, tells the story of how she, her mother, and her five siblings endured years of imprisonment in a desert penal colony.
Icy Sparks - Cover  Icy Sparks by Gwyn Hyman Rubio

Written in the distinctive Southern tradition of such writers as Olive Ann Burns and Eudora Welty, this amazing first novel tells the sad, funny, transcendent story of a young girl growing up in Appalachia with Tourette's syndrome.
We Were the Mulvaneys - Cover  We Were the Mulvaneys by Joyce Carol Oates

This story spans 25 years in the life of one American family--its rise, fall, and ultimate redemption.

2000 Selections

House of Sand and Fog - Cover  House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III

Drawn by their competing desires to the same small house in the California hills and doomed by their tragic inability to understand one another, three individuals converge in an explosive collision course: Colonel Behrani, a once-wealthy Iranian now a struggling immigrant desperate to restore his family's dignity; Kathy Nicolo, a troubled young woman trying to salvage all she has left in life and letting her mental stability slip away in the process; and Sheriff Lester Buron, a married man falling in love with Kathy, and becoming obsesses with her fight for justice.
Drowning Ruth - Cover  Drowning Ruth by Christina Schwarz

Deftly written and emotionally powerful, Drowning Ruth is a stunning portrait of the ties that bind sisters together and the forces that tear them apart, of the dangers of keeping secrets and the explosive repercussions when they are exposed. A mesmerizing and achingly beautiful debut.
Open House - Cover  Open House by Elizabeth Berg

A woman recreates her life after divorce by opening her house to strangers--and her heart to the simple miracle of possibility--in this unforgettable, deeply felt story by the author of Talk Before Sleep and Range of Motion.
The Poisonwood Bible - Cover  The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

The family of a fierce evangelical Baptist missionary--Nathan Price, his wife, and his four daughters--begins to unravel after they embark on a 1959 mission to the Belgian Congo, where they find their lives transformed over the course of three decades.
While I Was Gone - Cover  While I Was Gone by Sue Miller

A decade after her phenomenal bestseller, The Good Mother, Miller delivers an exquisitely suspenseful novel about how casually a marriage can be destroyed and how a good wife can place all she holds dear at risk.
The Bluest Eye - Cover  The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

The Bluest Eye, published in 1970, is the first novel written by Toni Morrison, winner of the 1993 Nobel Prize in Literature. It is the story of eleven-year-old Pecola Breedlove - a black girl in an America whose love for its blond, blue-eyed children can devastate all others - who prays for her eyes to turn blue: so that she will be beautiful, so that people will look at her, so that her world will be different. This is the story of the nightmare at the heart of her yearning and the tragedy of its fulfillment.
Back Roads - Cover  Back Roads by Tawni O'Dell

With his abusive father dead and his mother in jail, 19-year-old Harley Altmyer has given up on college to care for three needy younger sisters. Can he rise to the occasion? More important, will the sexy mom of his baby sister's best friend provide a much-needed tumble in the hay?
Daughter of Fortune - Cover  Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende

A dazzling new historical novel--a sweeping portrait of an unconventional Chilean woman who follows her lover to California during the Gold Rush in 1849.
Gap Creek - Cover  Gap Creek by Robert Morgan

Gap Creek is the gripping story of one young woman's courage in the face of the hardships of 19th-century country life. In Julie Harmon, a woman of strength, grace and immeasurable courage, Robert Morgan has created one of the most admirable and unforgettable heroines in modern American literature.

1999 Selections

A Map of the World - Cover  A Map of the World by Jane Hamilton

A vivid human drama of guilt and betrayal, A Map of the World chronicles the intricate geographies of the human heart and all its mysterious, uncharted terrain. The result is a piercing drama about family bonds and a disappearing rural American life.
Vinegar Hill - Cover  Vinegar Hill by A. Manette Ansay

Dutifully accompanying her unemployed husband back to her in-law's cold and loveless house, Ellen Grier finds that she must struggle to keep her passionate spirit alive as she searches for the inner strength to endure an all-pervading darkness that threatens to destroy everything she is and everyone she loves.
River, Cross My Heart - Cover  River, Cross My Heart by Breena Clarke

Six-year-old Clara Bynum is dead, drowned in the Potomac River in the shadow of an apparently haunted rock outcropping known locally as the Three Sisters. In scenes alive with emotional truth, the story weighs the effect of Clara's absence on the people she has left behind: her parents; the family's friends and relatives in their Georgetown neighborhood; and, most especially, Clara's twelve-year-old sister Johnnie Mae, who must come to terms with her sister's death as she struggles to discover the kind of woman she will become.
Tara Road - Cover  Tara Road by Maeve Binchy

Binchy's most successful novel yet is the story of two women, one from Dublin, the other from England. For one fateful summer, they exchange houses and lives, discovering deep secrets about each other and themselves. "The Tara Road traveler can become drunk on Binchy's words in this unforgettable and intoxicating novel".--Philadelphia Inquirer.
Mother of Pearl - Cover  Mother of Pearl by Melinda Haynes

Capturing all the rueful irony and racial ambiavalence of small-town Mississippi in the late 1950's, Melinda Haynes' celebrated novel is a wholly unforgettable exploration of family, identity, and redemption. Mother of Pearl revolves around twenty-eight-year-old Even Grade, a black man who grew up an orphan, and Valuable Korner, the fifteen-year-old white daughter of the town whore and an unknown father. Both are passionately determined to discover the precious things neither experienced as children: human connection, enduring commitment, and, above all, unconditional love.
White Oleander - Cover  White Oleander by Janet Fitch

Astrid's mother Ingrid is a beautiful poet with an overpowering personality, and she's quite mad. But Astrid adores her mother and the two are inseparable -- until Ingrid murders her lover and is imprisoned for life. Suddenly Astrid enters foster care, where each home has a new set of realities. Tough, irrepressible, funny and warm, Astrid's determined search for an authentic sense of self and her place in the world makes her one of the most lovable and unforgettable characters in recent fiction.
The Pilot's Wife - Cover  The Pilot's Wife by Anita Shreve

When her husband, a pilot, dies in an airplane crash off the Irish coast, Kathryn Lyons finds herself in the media spotlight as rumors abound of her husband's shocking secret past.
The Reader - Cover  The Reader by Bernhard Schlink

The former lover of a German attorney refuses to defend herself when she is accused of a hideous crime. The attorney gradually realizes that the woman may be guarding a secret she considers more shameful than murder.
Jewel - Cover  Jewel by Bret Lott

Jewel is the story of how quickly a life can change; how an unforeseen event can set us on a course without reason or compass. In this story of a woman's devotion to the child who is both her burden and God's singular way of smiling on her, Bret Lott has created a mother-daughter relationship of matchless intensity and beauty, and one of the finest, most indomitable heroines in contemporary American fiction.

1998 Selections

Paradise - Cover  Paradise by Toni Morrison

In this powerful work--extraordinary for its breathtaking drive, stylistic panache and enlivening moral gravitas--four young women are brutally attacked in a convent near an all-black town in America in the 1970s. Each of singular provenance, they together suggest the vicissitudes of the era--of the Civil Rights movement, the Vietnam War, the counter-culture, generational conflict. The inexorableness of the attack and efforts to avert it lie at the heart of Paradise.
Here on Earth - Cover  Here on Earth by Alice Hoffman

A spellbinding tale of love and obsession. After nearly 20 years of living in California, March Murray and her daughter Gwen return to March's small Massachusetts hometown. Thrust into the world of her past, March slowly comes to realize the complexity of the choices made by those around her, including Hollis, the boy she loved--now the man she can't seem to stay away from.
Black and Blue - Cover  Black and Blue by Anna Quindlen

From the author of One True Thing comes a stunning novel about a woman and her child on the run from the husband that loves her--and beats her. A heart-stopping story beautifully written with power, wisdom, and humor about the real lives of men and women, it is a remarkable work of fiction by the writer whom Alice Hoffman has called "a national treasure".
Breath, Eyes, Memory - Cover  Breath, Eyes, Memory by Edwidge Danticat

An unforgettable novel that shimmers with the wonder and terror of its author's native Haiti. Set in the island's impoverished villages and in New York's Haitian community, this is the story of Sophie Caco, who was conceived in an act of violence, abandoned by her mother and then summoned to America. In New York, Sophie discovers that Haiti imposes harsh rules on its own
I Know This Much is True - Cover  I Know This Much is True by Wally Lamb

A contemporary retelling of an ancient Hindu myth, I Know This Much Is True begins as the nation limps toward the millennium, examining the past century of boom and bust and the ways in which history affects an individual family. A heartbreaking story and multigenerational saga of the bonds of destruction and the power of forgiveness, witnessed through the eyes of identical twin brothers.
What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day - Cover  What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day by Pearl Cleage

After more than a decade of living the high life, Ava Johnson returns to the sleepy little community in Northern Michigan where she grew up. But what Ava perceives as an end is only the beginning, because there is too much happening in her small hometown to ignore.
Midwives - Cover  Midwives by Chris Bohjalian

On an icy winter night in an isolated house in rural Vermont, a seasoned midwife named Sibyl Danforth takes desperate measures to save a baby's life. She performs an emergency cesarean section on a mother she believes has died of a stroke. but what if Sibyl's patient wasn't dead - and Sibyl inadvertently killed her? As Sibyl faces the antagonism of the law, the hostility of traditional doctors, and the accusations of her own conscience, Midwives engages, moves, and transfixes us as only the very best novels ever do.
Where the Heart Is - Cover  Where the Heart Is by Billie Letts

Talk about unlucky sevens. An hour ago, seventeen-year-old, seven months pregnant Novalee Nation was heading for California with her boyfriend. Now she finds herself stranded at a Wal-Mart in Sequoyah, Oklahoma, with just $7.77 in change. But Novalee is about to discover hidden treasures in this small Southwest town--a group of down-to-earth, deeply caring people willing to help a homeless, jobless girl living secretly in a Wal-Mart. From Bible-thumping blue-haired Sister Thelma Husband to eccentric librarian Forney Hull who loves Novalee more than she loves herself, they are about to take her--and you, too--on a moving, funny, and unforgettable journey.

1997 Selections

One of the Cosby books - Cover  The Meanest Thing to Say, The Treasure Hunt, and The Best Way to Play by Bill Cosby

Three volumes in the Little Bill Books for Beginning Readers series were selected, dealing with subjects such as making friends without making fun of someone, the power of imagination, and the joy of storytelling.
A Virtuous Woman - Cover  A Virtuous Woman by Kaye Gibbons

When Blinking Jack Stokes met Ruby Pitt Woodrow, she was twenty and he was forty. She was the carefully raised daughter of Carolina gentry and he was a skinny tenant farmer who had never owned anything in his life. She was newly widowed after a disastrous marriage to a brutal drifter. He had never asked a woman to do more than help him hitch a mule. They didn't fall in love so much as they simply found each other and held on for dear life. Gibbons creates a multilayered and indelibly convincing portrait of two seemingly ill-matched people who somehow miraculously make a marriage.
Ellen Foster - Cover  Ellen Foster by Kaye Gibbons

One of the most talked-about and endearing first novels in years bears the story of a female Huck Finn and her search for a true home. Having suffered abuse and misfortune for most of her life, a young girl searches for a better life and finally finds it in the home of a loving woman with several foster children.
A Lesson Before Dying - Cover  A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines

Set in a small Cajun community in the late 1940s, A Lesson Before Dying is an enormously moving novel of one man condemned to die for a crime he did not commit and a young man who visits him in his cell. In the end, the two men forge a bond as they both come to understand the simple heroism of resisting--and defying--the expected.
Songs in Ordinary Time - Cover  Songs in Ordinary Time by Mary McGarry Morris

Mary McGarry Morris has been compared to both John Steinbeck and Carson McCullers. In this new novel--an ode to the American family, which in spite of turmoil and confusion refuses to be defeated--she weaves a tight and flawless tale that reveals the passionate and totally absorbing story of the Fermoyles and of life in the small town of Atkinson, Vermont, in the summer of 1960.
The Heart of a Woman - Cover  The Heart of a Woman by Maya Angelou

This engaging book chronicles the changes in Maya Angelou's life as she enters the hub of activity that is New York. There, at the Harlem Writers Guild, sherededicates herself to writing, and finds love at an unexpected moment. Reflecting on her many roles--from northern coordinator of Martin Luther King's history-making quest to mother of a rebellious teenage son--Angelou eloquently speaks to an awareness of the heart within us all.
The Rapture of Canaan - Cover  The Rapture of Canaan by Shari Reynolds

A stunning story woven around the themes of innocence and miracles in everyday life. When the granddaughter of the founder of an isolated religious community in South Carolina is discovered to be pregnant, no amount of punishment will make her recant her statement that a holy child grows inside her.
Stones From the River - Cover  Stones From the River by Ursula Hegi

A stunning novel about ordinary people living in extraordinary times--set in a small German town and spanning both world wars. Through the voice of the town's unofficial historian and conscience, Hegi explores the secrets, the actions, and lack of action that shapes the residents' fates.
She's Come Undone - Cover  She's Come Undone by Wally Lamb

In this extraordinary coming-of-age odyssey, readers will hitch a wild ride on a journey of love, pain, and renewal with one of the most heartbreakingly comical heroines to come along in years. Dolores Price is 13, wise-mouthed but wounded, having bid her childhood goodbye. Stranded in front of her bedroom TV, she spends the next few years nourishing herself with the Mallomars, potato chips, and Pepsi her anxious mother supplies. When she finally orbits into young womanhood at 257 pounds, Dolores is no stronger and life is no kinder. But this time she's determined to rise to the occasion and give herself one more chance before she really goes under.

1996 Selections

The Book of Ruth - Cover  The Book of Ruth by Jane Hamilton

A standout in the crowd of first novels, Ruth narrates a story that confronts real-life issues of alienation and violence from which Hamilton creates a stunning testament to the human capacity for mercy, compassion, and love.
The Song of Solomon - Cover  Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison

In Song of Solomon, Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison creates a new way of rendering the contradictory nuances of black life in America. The novel's earthy, poetic language and striking use of folklore and myth helped establish Morrison as a major voice in contemporary fiction.
The Deep End of the Ocean - Cover  The Deep End of the Ocean by Jacquelyn Mitchard

A suspenseful and deeply moving novel that explores every mother's potential worst nightmare - the disappearance of a child. As a family struggles to endure the tragedy, against extraordinary odds, a story filled with compassion, humor and brilliant observations about the complexities of real life unfolds. This is a novel with will touch readers' hearts and have them celebrating the human emotions that bind us together.

last updated February 2013 sdc

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