Special Collections

Oprah's Book Club

Description: Enjoy Oprah's picks from the past few years!


Showing 1 through 25 of 80 results

Say You're One of Them

by Uwem Akpan

Uwem Akpan's stunning stories humanize the perils of poverty and violence so piercingly that few readers will feel they've ever encountered Africa so immediately. The eight-year-old narrator of "An Ex-Mas Feast" needs only enough money to buy books and pay fees in order to attend school. Even when his twelve-year-old sister takes to the streets to raise these meager funds, his dream can't be granted. Food comes first. His family lives in a street shanty in Nairobi, Kenya, but their way of both loving and taking advantage of each other strikes a universal chord.

In the second of his stories published in a New Yorker special fiction issue, Akpan takes us far beyond what we thought we knew about the tribal conflict in Rwanda. The story is told by a young girl, who, with her little brother, witnesses the worst possible scenario between parents. They are asked to do the previously unimaginable in order to protect their children. This singular collection will also take the reader inside Nigeria, Benin, and Ethiopia, revealing in beautiful prose the harsh consequences for children of life in Africa.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Daughter of Fortune

by Isabel Allende

An orphan raised in Valparaiso, Chile, by a Victorian spinster and her rigid brother, vivacious young Eliza Sommers follows her lover to California during the Gold Rush of 1849. Entering a rough-and-tumble world of new arrivals driven mad by gold fever, Eliza moves in a society of single men and prostitutes with the help of her good friend and savior, the Chinese doctor Tao Chi'en. California opens the door to a new life of freedom and independence to the young Chilean, and her search for her elusive lover gradually turns into another kind of journey. By the time she finally hears news of him, Eliza must decide who her true love really is.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


The Heart of a Woman

by Maya Angelou

In The Heart of a Woman Maya Angelou leaves California with her son, Guy, to go to New York. There she enters the society and world of black artists and writers. Not since her childhood has she lived in an almost black environment, and she is surprised at the obsession her new friends have with the white world around them. She stays for a while with John and Grace Killens and begins to read her writing at the Harlem Writers Guild. She continues to sing, most notably at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem, but more and more she begins to take part in the struggle of black Americans for their rightful place in the world. She helps organize a benefit cabaret for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and then is appointed Martin Luther Kings Northern Coordinator. Shortly after that, through her friend Abbey Lincoln, she takes one of the lead parts in Genet's The Blacks (it was a remarkable cast, including Godfrey Cambridge, Roscoe Lee Brown, James Earl Jones, Cicely Tyson, Raymond St. Jacques, and Lou Gossett), and even writes music for the production. In the meantime her personal life has taken a tempestuous turn. She has left the New York bail bondsman she was intending to marry and has fallen in love with a South African freedom fighter named Vusumzi Make, who sweeps her off her feet and eventually takes her to London and then to Cairo, where, as her marriage begins to break up, she becomes the first female editor of the English-language magazine. The Heart of a Woman is filled with unforgettable vignettes of famous people, from Billie Holiday to Malcolm X, but perhaps most important is the story of Maya Angelou's relationship with her son. Because this book chronicles, finally, the joys and the burdens of a black mother in America and how the son she had cherished so intensely and worked for so devotedly finally grows to be a man.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Vinegar Hill

by A. Manette Ansay

Dutifully accompanying her newly unemployed husband, Ellen has brought her two children into the home of her in-laws on Vinegar Hill—a loveless house suffused with the dust of bitterness and cruelty.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Open House: A novel

by Elizabeth Berg

Samantha's husband leaves her, and after the divorce, she settles down to reconstruct a life for herself and her eleven-year-old son. To meet her mortgage payments, Sam decides to take in boarders.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Tara Road

by Maeve Binchy

2 women, 1 Irish, 1 American - set up a home exchange business; their unlikely and touching friendship unveils secrets and changes lives. When Danny Lynch tells his wife Ria that he has a young pregnant mistress, Ria thinks that her world has ended. Little does she know that within weeks a telephone call from America will open up a whole new world for her. Marilyn Vine, escaping from her own private demons, wants to exchange her house in Westville, New England, for a house in Dublin during a few summer weeks. Ria Lynch's big Victorian house in Tara Road is perfect. And so begins a wonderful story of unlikely loves and friendships, rivalries jealousy and the uncovering of secrets, as the 2 women borrow each others houses, neighbours and lives.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Midwives

by Chris Bohjalian

"Superbly crafted and astonishingly powerful. . . . It will thrill readers who cherish their worn copies of To Kill A Mockingbird." --PeopleWith a suspense, lyricism, and moral complexity that recall To Kill a Mockingbird and Presumed Innocent, this compulsively readable novel explores what happens when a woman who has devoted herself to ushering life into the world finds herself charged with responsibility in a patient's tragic death.The time is 1981, and Sibyl Danforth has been a dedicated midwife in the rural community of Reddington, Vermont, for fifteen years. But one treacherous winter night, in a house isolated by icy roads and failed telephone lines, Sibyl takes desperate measures to save a baby's life. She performs an emergency Caesarean section on its mother, who appears to have died in labor. But what if--as Sibyl's assistant later charges--the patient wasn't already dead, and it was Sibyl who inadvertently killed her?As recounted by Sibyl's precocious fourteen-year-old daughter, Connie, the ensuing trial bears the earmarks of a witch hunt except for the fact that all its participants are acting from the highest motives--and the defendant increasingly appears to be guilty. As Sibyl Danforth faces the antagonism of the law, the hostility of traditional doctors, and the accusations of her own conscience, Midwives engages, moves, and transfixes us as only the very best novels ever do.BONUS: This edition includes an excerpt from Chris Bohjalian's The Light in the Ruins.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Ruby

by Cynthia Bond

The newest Oprah's Book Club 2.0 selectionThe epic, unforgettable story of a man determined to protect the woman he loves from the town desperate to destroy her--this beautiful and devastating debut heralds the arrival of a major new voice in fiction. Ephram Jennings has never forgotten the beautiful girl with the long braids running through the piney woods of Liberty, their small East Texas town. Young Ruby, "the kind of pretty it hurt to look at," has suffered beyond imagining, so as soon as she can, she flees suffocating Liberty for the bright pull of 1950s New York. Ruby quickly winds her way into the ripe center of the city--the darkened piano bars and hidden alleyways of the Village--all the while hoping for a glimpse of the red hair and green eyes of her mother. When a telegram from her cousin forces her to return home, thirty-year-old Ruby Bell finds herself reliving the devastating violence of her girlhood. With the terrifying realization that she might not be strong enough to fight her way back out again, Ruby struggles to survive her memories of the town's dark past. Meanwhile, Ephram must choose between loyalty to the sister who raised him and the chance for a life with the woman he has loved since he was a boy. Full of life, exquisitely written, and suffused with the pastoral beauty of the rural South, Ruby is a transcendent novel of passion and courage. This wondrous page-turner rushes through the red dust and gossip of Main Street, to the pit fire where men swill bootleg outside Bloom's Juke, to Celia Jennings's kitchen where a cake is being made, yolk by yolk, that Ephram will use to try to begin again with Ruby. Utterly transfixing, with unforgettable characters, riveting suspense, and breathtaking, luminous prose, Ruby offers an unflinching portrait of man's dark acts and the promise of the redemptive power of love.From the Hardcover edition.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Ruby (Oprah's Book Club 2.0 Digital Edition)

by Cynthia Bond

The newest Oprah's Book Club 2.0 selection: this special ebook edition of Ruby by Cynthia Bond features exclusive content, including Oprah's personal notes, highlighted within the text; a reading group guide; and audio clips read by the author (supported devices only). The epic, unforgettable story of a man determined to protect the woman he loves from the town desperate to destroy her, this beautiful and devastating debut heralds the arrival of a major new voice in fiction. Ephram Jennings has never forgotten the beautiful girl with the long braids running through the piney woods of Liberty, their small East Texas town. Young Ruby Bell, "the kind of pretty it hurt to look at," has suffered beyond imagining, so as soon as she can, she flees suffocating Liberty for the bright pull of 1950s New York. Ruby quickly winds her way into the ripe center of the city--the darkened piano bars and hidden alleyways of the Village--all the while hoping for a glimpse of the red hair and green eyes of her mother. When a telegram from her cousin forces her to return home, thirty-year-old Ruby finds herself reliving the devastating violence of her girlhood. With the terrifying realization that she might not be strong enough to fight her way back out again, Ruby struggles to survive her memories of the town's dark past. Meanwhile, Ephram must choose between loyalty to the sister who raised him and the chance for a life with the woman he has loved since he was a boy. Full of life, exquisitely written, and suffused with the pastoral beauty of the rural South, Ruby is a transcendent novel of passion and courage. This wondrous page-turner rushes through the red dust and gossip of Main Street, to the pit fire where men swill bootleg outside Bloom's Juke, to Celia Jennings's kitchen, where a cake is being made, yolk by yolk, that Ephram will use to try to begin again with Ruby. Utterly transfixing, with unforgettable characters, riveting suspense, and breathtaking, luminous prose, Ruby offers an unflinching portrait of man's dark acts and the promise of the redemptive power of love.

Date Added: 06/12/2017


The Good Earth

by Pearl S. Buck

Pearl S. Buck's timeless masterpiece, the Pulitzer Prize-winning story of a farmer's journey through China in the 1920s

The Good Earth is Buck's classic story of Wang Lung, a Chinese peasant farmer, and his wife, O-lan, a former slave. With luck and hard work, the couple's fortunes improve over the years: They are blessed with sons, and save steadily until one day they can afford to buy property in the House of Wang--the very house in which O-lan used to work. But success brings with it a new set of problems. Wang soon finds himself the target of jealousy, and as good harvests come and go, so does the social order. Will Wang's family cherish the estate after he's gone? And can his material success, the bedrock of his life, guarantee anything about his soul?

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the William Dean Howells Award, The Good Earth was an Oprah's Book Club choice in 2004. A readers' favorite for generations, this powerful and beautifully written fable resonates with universal themes of hope and family unity. This ebook features an illustrated biography of Pearl S. Buck including rare images from the author's estate.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


River, Cross My Heart: A Novel

by Breena Clarke

Six-year-old Clara is drowned in the Potomac. Twelve-year-old Johnnie Mae, must come to terms with the powerful emotions sparked by her sister's death and discover the kind of woman she will become.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


What Looks like Crazy on an Ordinary Day

by Pearl Cleage

After a decade of elegant pleasures and luxe living with the Atlanta brothers and sisters with the best clothes and biggest dreams, Ava Johnson has temporarily returned home to Idlewild--her fabulous career and power plans smashed to bits by cold reality. But what she imagines to be the end is, instead, a beginning. Because, in the ten-plus years since Ava left, all the problems of the big city have come to roost in the sleepy North Michigan community whose ordinariness once drove her away; and she cannot turn her back on friends and family who sorely need her in the face of impending trouble and tragedy. Besides which, that one unthinkable, unmistakable thing is now happening to her: Ava Johnson is falling in love. Acclaimed playwright, essayist, New York Times bestselling author, and columnist Pearl Cleage has created a world rich in character, human drama, and deep, compassionate understanding, in a remarkable novel that sizzles with sensuality, hums with gritty truth, and sings and crackles with life-affirming energy.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Little Bill: The Best Way to Play

by Bill Cosby

Little Bill and his friends LOVE the TV show Space Explorers. And so when the new Space Explorers video game comes out, they each want a copy. But when Little Bill asks his parents to buy him the game, they say no. So Little Bill and his friends go to their friend Andrew's house to play the game. What they discover, though, is that the video game isn't nearly as much fun nor as challenging as what their imaginations can dream up! Copyright © Libri GmbH. All rights reserved.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


The Meanest Thing to Say

by Bill Cosby

This is another book in the Little Bill Series.

Could Little Bill really find a way to play the name-calling game without any unkind words? Could he really play with just one little word on his lips and a big smile on his face? And what would his classmates think?

This book includes descriptions of the pictures, which adds to its fun.

Other books about Little Bill are available from Bookshare. This file should make an excellent embossed braille copy.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


The Treasure Hunt

by Bill Cosby

"One rainy day, while his father listens to his old records, his mother polishes a silver platter, and his brother enjoys his baseball card collection, Little Bill discovers his own treasures, a loving great-grandmother and a talent for storytelling." This book features descriptions of the pictures. This file should make an excellent embossed braille copy.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Breath, Eyes, Memory

by Edwidge Danticat

"I come from a place where breath, eyes and memory are one. A place from which you carry your past like the hair on your head." Edwidge Danticat's startlingly mature first novel tells the story of four generations of Haitian women attempting to survive in a world that men have made strange and violent for them. Through the eyes of Sophie Caco we are provided with a vivid portrayal of rural Haiti and insight into life in the Haitian diaspora. Her traumatised mother is far away in the United States, while her beloved Aunt remains in Haiti, enduring both its delights and its poverty and horror. Offering hope through a vision of female solidarity, transcending place and time, Breath, Eyes, Memory is a haunting and luminous novel that will lift your spirit, even as it breaks your heart.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Great Expectations

by Charles Dickens

ENDURING LITERATURE ILLUMINATED BY PRACTICAL SCHOLARSHIP Dickens's timeless tale of an orphan boy's extraordinary journey through life. EACH ENRICHED CLASSIC EDITION INCLUDES: A concise introduction that gives readers important background information A chronology of the author's life and work A timeline of significant events that provides the book's historical context An outline of key themes and plot points to help readers form their own interpretations Detailed explanatory notes Critical analysis, including contemporary and modern perspectives on the work Discussion questions to promote lively classroom and book group interaction A list of recommended related books and films to broaden the reader's experience Enriched Classics offer readers affordable editions of great works of literature enhanced by helpful notes and insightful commentary. The scholarship provided in Enriched Classics enables readers to appreciate, understand, and enjoy the world's finest books to their full potential. SERIES EDITED BY CYNTHIA BRANTLEY JOHNSON

Date Added: 05/25/2017


A Tale of Two Cities

by Charles Dickens

ENDURING LITERATURE ILLUMINATED BY PRACTICAL SCHOLARSHIP Dickens's epic novel of freedom, love, and the burning chaos of the French Revolution. EACH ENRICHED CLASSIC EDITION INCLUDES: A concise introduction that gives readers important background information A chronology of the author's life and work A timeline of significant events that provides the book's historical context An outline of key themes and plot points to help readers form their own interpretations Detailed explanatory notes Critical analysis, including contemporary and modern perspectives on the work Discussion questions to promote lively classroom and book group interaction A list of recommended related books and films to broaden the reader's experience Enriched Classics offer readers affordable editions of great works of literature enhanced by helpful notes and insightful commentary. The scholarship provided in Enriched Classics enables readers to appreciate, understand, and enjoy the world's finest books to their full potential. SERIES EDITED BY CYNTHIA BRANTLEY JOHNSON

Date Added: 05/25/2017


House Of Sand And Fog

by Andre Dubus III

In this riveting novel of almost unbearable suspense, three fragile yet determined people become dangerously entangled in a relentlessly escalating crisis. Colonel Behrani, once a wealthy man in Iran, is now a struggling immigrant willing to bet everything he has to resotre his family's dignity. Kathy Nicolo is a troubled young woman whose house is all she has left, and who refuses to let her hard-won stability slip away from her. Sheriff Lester Burdon, a married man who finds himself falling in love with Kathy, becomes obsessed with helping her fight for justice. Drawn by their competing desires to the same small house in the California hills and doomed by their tragic inability to understand one another, the three converge in an explosive collision course. Combining unadorned realism with profound empathy, House of Sand and Fog marks the arrival of a major new voice in American fiction.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Middlesex

by Jeffrey Eugenides

Spanning eight decades and chronicling the wild ride of a Greek-American family through the vicissitudes of the twentieth century, Jeffrey Eugenides' witty, exuberant novel on one level tells a traditional story about three generations of a fantastic, absurd, lovable immigrant family -- blessed and cursed with generous doses of tragedy and high comedy.But there's a provocative twist. Cal, the narrator -- also Callie -- is a hermaphrodite. And the explanation for this takes us spooling back in time, through a breathtaking review of the twentieth century, 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 our narrator's life in motion.Middlesex is a grand, utterly original fable of crossed bloodlines, the intricacies of gender, and the deep, untidy promptings of desire. It's a brilliant exploration of divided people, divided families, divided cities and nations -- the connected halves that make up ourselves and our world. Justly acclaimed when it was released in Fall 2002, it announces the arrival of a major writer for our times.From the Hardcover edition.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


As I Lay Dying

by William Faulkner

"I set out deliberately to write a tour-de-force. Before I ever put pen to paper and set down the first word I knew what the last word would be and almost where the last period would fall." --William Faulkner on As I Lay Dying

As I Lay Dying is Faulkner's harrowing account of the Bundren family's odyssey across the Mississippi countryside to bury Addie, their wife and mother.

Narrated in turn by each of the family members--including Addie herself--as well as others the novel ranges in mood, from dark comedy to the deepest pathos.

[This text is listed as an example that meets Common Core Standards in English language arts in grades 11-12 at http://www.corestandards.org.]

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Light in August

by William Faulkner

"Read, read, read. Read everything--trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You'll absorb it. Then write. If it is good, you'll find out. If it's not, throw it out the window." --William Faulkner Light in August, a novel about hopeful perseverance in the face of mortality, features some of Faulkner's most memorable characters: guileless, dauntless Lena Grove, in search of the father of her unborn child; Reverend Gail Hightower, who is plagued by visions of Confederate horsemen; and Joe Christmas, a desperate, enigmatic drifter consumed by his mixed ancestry.From the Trade Paperback edition.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


The Sound and the Fury

by William Faulkner

"I give you the mausoleum of all hope and desire. . . . I give it to you not that you may remember time, but that you might forget it now and then for a moment and not spend all of your breath trying to conquer it. Because no battle is ever won he said. They are not even fought. The field only reveals to man his own folly and despair, and victory is an illusion of philosophers and fools." --from The Sound and the Fury The Sound and the Fury is the tragedy of the Compson family, featuring some of the most memorable characters in literature: beautiful, rebellious Caddy; the manchild Benjy; haunted, neurotic Quentin; Jason, the brutal cynic; and Dilsey, their black servant. Their lives fragmented and harrowed by history and legacy, the character's voices and actions mesh to create what is arguably Faulkner's masterpiece and one of the greatest novels of the twentieth century.From the Trade Paperback edition.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


White Oleander

by Janet Fitch

Astrid is the only child of a single mother, Ingrid, a brilliant, obsessed poet who wields her luminous beauty to intimidate and manipulate men. Astrid worships her mother and cherishes their private world full of ritual and mystery - but their idyll is shattered when Astrid's mother falls apart over a lover. Deranged by rejection, Ingrid murders the man, and is sentenced to life in prison. White Oleander is the unforgettable story of Astrid's journey through a series of foster homes and her efforts to find a place for herself in impossible circumstances. Each home is its own universe, with a new set of laws and lessons to be learned. With determination and humor, Astrid confronts the challenges of loneliness and poverty, and strives to learn who a motherless child in an indifferent world can become. Oprah Winfrey enjoyed this gripping first novel so much that she not only made it her book club pick, she asked if she could narrate the audio release.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Stolen Lives: Twenty Years in a Desert Jail

by Michele Fitoussi and Malika Oufkir and Ros Schwartz

From the book jacket: Malika Oufkir has spent virtually her whole life as a prisoner. Born in 1953, the eldest daughter of General Oufkir, the King of Morocco’s closest aide, Malika was adopted by the King at the age of five, and was brought up as the companion to his little daughter. Spending most of her childhood and adolescence in the seclusion of the court harem, Malika was one of the most eligible heiresses in the kingdom, surrounded by luxury and extraordinary privilege. Then on August 16th, 1972, her father was arrested and executed after an attempt to assassinate the King. Malika, her five siblings, and her mother were immediately imprisoned in a penal colony. After fifteen years, the last ten of which they spent locked up in solitary cells, the Oufkir children managed to dig a tunnel with their bare hands and mare a daring escape...though they were recaptured after only five days of freedom. Malika was finally able to leave Morocco and begin a new life in exile in 1995. Stolen Lives is a heart-rending account of resilience in the face of extreme deprivation, of the courage and even humor with which one family faced their tormented life. A shocking true story, it is hard to comprehend that it could have happened in our own times.

Date Added: 05/25/2017



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