Oprah’s Book Club Selections

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The Invention of Wings: A Novel
Sue Monk Kidd

December 2013
Traces more than three decades in the lives of a wealthy Charleston debutante who longs to break free from the strictures of her household and pursue a meaningful life; and the urban slave, Handful, who is placed in her charge as a child before finding courage and a sense of self.


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The Twelve Tribes of Hattie
Ayana Mathis

December 2012
Traces the story of Great Migration-era mother Hattie Shepherd, who in spite of poverty and a dysfunctional husband uses love and Southern remedies to raise nine children and prepare them for the realities of a harsh world.


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Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail
Cheryl Strayed

June 2012
Traces the personal crisis the author endured after the death of her mother and a painful divorce, which prompted her ambition to undertake a dangerous 1,100-mile solo hike that both drove her to rock bottom and helped her to heal.


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A Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations: Two Novels
Charles Dickens

December 2010
Presents the classic tale of love, courage, and sacrifice set against the cataclysmic events of the French Revolution, and the story of the orphan Pip and his rise in Victorian society when a mysterious benefactor allows him to be educated as a gentleman.


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Freedom: A Novel
Jonathan Franzen

September 2010
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.


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Say You're One of Them
Uwem Akpan

September 2009
A collection of works builds on the author’s 2005 tale, “An Ex-mas Feast,” as previously published in The New Yorker and is complemented by such culturally relevant tales as “My Parents’ Bedroom,” “Luxurious Hearses,” and “What Language Is That?”


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The Story of Edgar Sawtelle: A Novel
David Wroblewski

September 2008
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, in a tale reminiscent of “Hamlet.”


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A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose
Eckhart Tolle

January 2008
Contends that humanity has an unprecedented opportunity to shift from its dangerous, ego-based state of consciousness to a saner, more loving existence, and offers practical advice on how to promote kindness and freedom.


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The Pillars of the Earth
Ken Follett

November 2007
Set in twelfth-century England, this epic of kings and peasants juxtaposes the building of a magnificent church with the violence and treachery that often characterized the Middle Ages.


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Love in the Time of Cholera
Gabriel García Márquez

October 2007
Set on the Caribbean coast of South America, this love story brings together Fermina Daza, her distinguished husband, and a man who has secretly loved her for more than fifty years.


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Middlesex: A Novel
Jeffrey Eugenides

June 2007
Calliope’s friendship with a classmate and her sense of identity are compromised by the adolescent discovery that she is a hermaphrodite, a situation with roots in her grandparents’ desperate struggle for survival in the 1920s.


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The Road
Cormac McCarthy

March 2007
In a novel set in an indefinite, futuristic, post-apocalyptic world, a father and his young son make their way through the ruins of a devastated American landscape, struggling to survive and preserve the last remnants of their own humanity.


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The Measure of a Man: A Spiritual Autobiography
Sidney Poitier

January 2007
The acclaimed actor reveals the passion, spirituality, and intellectual fervor that have driven his life and career, citing the elements of his childhood that gave him his sense of worth and ethics.


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Night
Elie Wiesel

January 2006
The narrative of a boy who lived through Auschwitz and Buchenwald provides a short and terrible indictment of modern humanity.


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A Million Little Pieces
James Frey

September 2005
A memoir of drug and alcohol abuse and the rehabilitation experience examines addiction and recovery through the eyes of a man who had taken his addictions to deadly extremes, describing the battle to confront the consequences of his life.


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The Good Earth
Pearl S. Buck

September 2004
A Chinese peasant overcomes the forces of nature and the frailties of human nature to become a wealthy landowner.


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Anna Karenina
Leo Tolstoy

May 2004
A new translation of the classic nineteenth-century Russian novel in which a young woman is destroyed when she attempts to live outside the moral law of her society.


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The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter
Carson McCullers

April 2004
A quiet, sensitive girl searches for beauty in a small, but damned Southern town.


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One Hundred Years of Solitude
Gabriel García Márquez

January 2004
Tells the story of the Buendia family, set against the background of the evolution and eventual decadence of a small South American town.


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Cry, the Beloved Country
Alan Paton

September 2003
A novel depicting the racial ferment in the beautiful country of South Africa in 1948.


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East of Eden
John Steinbeck

June 2003
The biblical account of Cain and Abel is echoed in the history of two generations of the Trask family in California.


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Sula
Toni Morrison

April 2002
The intense friendship shared by two African American women raised in an Ohio town changes when one of them leaves to roam the countryside and returns ten years later.


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Fall On Your Knees
Ann-Marie MacDonald

January 2002
Spanning five generations and moving from Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia, to the bleak landscape of World War I, and to the emerging jazz scene in New York City, this epic tale tells the story of four sisters.


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A Fine Balance
Rohinton Mistry

November 2001
In India during the mid-1970s, after a “state of internal emergency” is declared, four very different people—a widowed seamstress, a student, and a man and his nephew who have fled their village’s caste violence—find their lives becoming inextricably intertwined.


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The Corrections
Jonathan Franzen

September 2001
Enid Lambert begins to worry about her husband when he begins to withdraw and lose himself in negativity and depression as he faces Parkinson’s disease.


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Cane River
Lalita Tademy

June 2001
Follows four generations of African American women from slavery to the early twentieth century as they struggle for economic security and the future of their families along the Cane River in rural Louisiana.


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Stolen Lives: Twenty Years in a Desert Jail
Malika Oufkir & Michèle Fitoussi

May 2001
The daughter of a former aide to the king of Morocco, who was executed after a failed assassination attempt on the ruler, describes how she, her five siblings, and her mother were imprisoned in a desert penal colony for twenty years.


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Icy Sparks
Gwyn Hyman Rubio

March 2001
After years of living in a children’s asylum for having spontaneous jerks and spasms, Icy returns home and is quickly befriended by Miss Emily, who cares for her and teachers her the ways of life, transforming Icy into a new person and forever changing her view of the world.


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We Were the Mulvaneys
Joyce Carol Oates

January 2001
The Mulvaneys, at first a close and very lucky family, drift apart over the years, until the youngest son, Judd, discovers the secret of their downfall and sets out to help reunite the family.


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House of Sand and Fog
Andre Dubus III

November 2000
When a former colonel of the Iranian Air Force and his family purchase a small California home at auction, they are faced with a great conflict as the former owner and her police officer boyfriend fight to get it back at any cost.


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Drowning Ruth: A Novel
Christina Schwarz

September 2000
Worn out from nursing soldiers at a Milwaukee hospital and struggling to recover from a traumatic love affair, Amanda Starkey returns to her family’s rural Wisconsin farm to stay with her beloved sister, Mattie, and young niece, Ruth.


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Open House: A Novel
Elizabeth Berg

August 2000
Struggling to come to terms with her husband’s abandonment, Samantha sets out to construct a new life for herself and her eleven-year-old son and to rediscover her own identity, which had been lost in her attempts to save her marriage.


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The Poisonwood Bible
Barbara Kingsolver

June 2000
Nathan Price, a evangelical Baptist who in 1959 has taken his wife and four daughters on a mission to the Belgian Congo, finds that their traditions are no longer secure in this very different world.


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While I Was Gone
Sue Miller

May 2000
Having moved on with her life after a friend was brutally murdered, Jo Becker is now married with a grown family, but when an old housemate moves into the neighborhood, Jo rekindles a relationship that takes her back to the past and threatens her future.


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The Bluest Eye
Toni Morrison

April 2000
The story of Pecola Breedlove profiles an eleven-year-old Black girl growing up in an America that values blue-eyed blondes and the tragedy that results from her longing to be accepted.


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Back Roads
Tawni O'Dell

March 2000
With his mother in jail for killing his abusive father, nineteen-year-old Harley Altmyer is charged with caring for his three sisters in a backwards Pennsylvania coal town, but despite his fatherly responsibilities, he is still a teenage boy and lusts after the mother of two who lives down the road.


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Daughter of Fortune: A Novel
Isabel Allende

February 2000
Raised in the British colony of Valparaíso, Chile, after being abandoned as a baby, a pregnant Eliza follows her lover, Joaquín Andieta, to California at the height of the Gold Rush and finds adventure and adversity on her road to independence and love.


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Gap Creek: The Story of a Marriage
Robert Morgan

January 2000
During their first year of marriage, Julie Harmon and Hank Richards move to Gap Creek, South Carolina, where a flood that nearly kills them tests the endurance of their relationship.


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A Map of the World
Jane Hamilton

December 1999
While under the care of Alice Goodwin, a neighbor’s child drowns in the Goodwins’ pond, a devastating accident that has profound repercussions for the entire Goodwin family, in a story set in a small Midwestern farm town.


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Vinegar Hill
A. Manette Ansay

November 1999
Ellen Grier returns with her husband and children to their midwestern Catholic hometown to live with her narrow-minded in-laws, coping with the family’s eccentricity and confronting a hidden secret festering in her husband’s past.


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River, Cross My Heart: A Novel
Breena Clarke

October 1999
After the drowning death of their daughter in the Potomac River, a family leaves their rural North Carolina world in search of a better life among friends and relatives in Georgetown, as they grapple with their loss and struggle to move forward.


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Tara Road
Maeve Binchy

September 1999
Having met her soulmate in Joe Allbright, New York City debutante Kate Jamison reencounters him multiple times in the years that follow and suffers heartbreak when he remains unwilling to compromise on his dreams.


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Mother of Pearl
Melinda Haynes

June 1999
In a small Mississippi town during the late 1950s, Even Grade, a twenty-eight-year-old black man who grew up as an orphan, and Valuable Korner, the teenage white daughter of the local prostitute, search for love, family, and commitment.


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White Oleander
Janet Fitch

May 1999
The struggle to build an authentic identity lies at the heart of Astrid’s life as a foster child in Los Angeles after her poet mother, who has kept Astrid isolated from the world, is imprisoned for murder.


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The Pilot's Wife
Anita Shreve

March 1999
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.


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The Reader
Bernhard Schlink

February 1999
At the age of fifteen, Michael Berg falls in love with a woman who disappears, and while observing a trial as a law student years later, he is shocked to discover the same woman as the defendant in a horrible crime.


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Jewel
Bret Lott

January 1999
A mother fights for the dignity of her youngest daughter against the backdrop of a pure and simple way of life in the backwoods of Mississippi in 1943.


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Where the Heart Is
Billie Letts

December 1998
A pregnant teenager abandoned by her boyfriend in Sequoyah, Oklahoma, finds a new home with the eccentric and caring people of the community.


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Midwives
Chris Bohjalian

October 1998
In the winter of 1981, trapped by unpassable roads, midwife Sibyl Danforth makes a life-altering decision when she performs an emergency cesarean section on a woman she fears has died of a stroke.


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What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day
Pearl Cleage

September 1998
A highly praised debut novel by an African-American playwright and essayist follows Ava Johnson’s discovery that she is HIV positive and her journey back to her sleepy North Michigan hometown, where she manages to find new love.


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I Know This Much Is True
Wally Lamb

June 1998
Dominick Birdsey, a forty-year-old housepainter living in Three Rivers, Connecticut, finds his subdued life greatly disturbed when his identical twin brother Thomas, a paranoid schizophrenic, commits a shocking act of self-mutilation.


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Breath, Eyes, Memory
Edwidge Danticat

May 1998
At the age of twelve, Sophie Caco is sent from the impoverished village of Croix-des-Rosets to New York to be reunited with her mother, where she gains a legacy of shame that can only be healed when she returns to Haiti, to the woman who first reared her.


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Black and Blue
Anna Quindlen

April 1998
After her passionate marriage deteriorates into a violent nightmare, Fran Benedetto is forced to start a new life, complete with a new identity.


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Here on Earth
Alice Hoffman

March 1998
A middle-aged woman, along with her fifteen-year-old daughter, returns to her small Massachusetts hometown for the funeral of the housekeeper who raised her and finds herself thrust into the lives of the people she left behind.


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Paradise
Toni Morrison

January 1998
Captures the dreams, memories, conflicts, and complex interior lives of the citizens of a small, all-black town as four young women are brutally attacked in a convent near the town during the 1970s, in a novel that blends past, present, and future.


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The Best Way to Play
Bill Cosby

December 1997
Little Bill and his friends, avid fans of the television show “Space Explorers,” clamor to get the video game version, but they find that they have more fun using their imagination while playing outside.


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The Treasure Hunt
Bill Cosby

December 1997
Little Bill finds that everyone has something special they can do except for him, but when Great-Grandma Alice pays a visit, he sees that he may just have a special talent of his very own!


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The Meanest Thing To Say
Bill Cosby

December 1997
When a new boy in class tries to get the other students to play a game that involves saying the meanest things possible to one another, Little Bill shows him a better way to make friends.


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A Virtuous Woman
Kaye Gibbons

October 1997
In alternating chapters, two ill-matched people—Jack Ernest Stokes and his wife, Ruby Pitt Woodrow Stokes—describe their lives together and apart.


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Ellen Foster
Kaye Gibbons

October 1997
After the death of her mother, an eleven-year-old girl finds that life with her father is too dangerous and tries to find a new home.


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A Lesson Before Dying
Ernest J. Gaines

September 1997
In 1948 Louisiana, a young teacher is asked to impart some of his own pride and learning to a young black man awaiting execution, only to come face to face with his own cynicism and hopelessness.


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Songs in Ordinary Time
Mary McGarry Morris

June 1997
A novel set in a small town in Vermont in 1960 offers the story of lonely and vulnerable Marie Fermoyle, her three children, and a dangerous con man.


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The Heart of a Woman
Maya Angelou

May 1997
In the fourth volume of her autobiography, the author describes her experiences as a singer-dancer in New York and her impressions of the Civil Rights movement.


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The Rapture of Canaan
Sheri Reynolds

April 1997
Ninah Huff, the teenage granddaughter of the founder of an isolated religious community, causes controversy when she is discovered to be pregnant with what she claims is a holy child.


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Stones from the River
Ursula Hegi

February 1997
Follows Trudi Montag, a dwarf who serves as her town’s librarian, unofficial historian, and recorder of the secret stories of her people, in a novel that charts the course of German history in the first half of the twentieth century.


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She's Come Undone
Wally Lamb

January 1997
Overweight and sensitive Dolores Price grows from painful childhood, through excruciating adolescence, to lonely adulthood, experiencing the heartache of being a misfit in a confusing world.


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The Book of Ruth
Jane Hamilton

November 1996
Ruth, a young woman living in a rural Illinois town, looks back on the people who have shaped her life, including her runaway father, shrewish mother, and crazy husband.


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Song of Solomon
Toni Morrison

October 1996
Macon Dead, Jr., called Milkman, son of the richest Negro in town, moves from childhood into early manhood, searching, among the disparate, mysterious members of his family, for his life and reality.


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The Deep End of the Ocean
Jacquelyn Mitchard

September 1996
The disappearance of her three-year-old son Ben threatens to drive a wedge between Beth Cappadora and her husband, Pat, and transforms her older son into a troubled delinquent, until one day nine years later when Ben comes back into their lives.


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