The Past

In George Orwell's 1984 a character says, "Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past." The past may be behind us, but its events—and how we remember them—have a profound effect on the present. In this collection explore texts that examine the complications and complexities of the past.

Publication year 2019Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Identity: Femininity, Identity: Sexuality, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Life/Time: The Past, Relationships: Family, Society: Immigration, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Values/Ideas: Safety & DangerTags Historical Fiction, Trauma / Abuse / Violence, Gender / Feminism

Elif Shafak’s 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World was published in 2019. Shafak is an award-winning British Turkish novelist who advocates for women’s and LGBTQIA+ rights through her fiction. Shafak’s 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World examines the life of a sex worker who was murdered in Istanbul, Turkey, exploring key moments in her life while her friends desperately try to arrange her funeral. The novel investigates topics like violence against... Read 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World Summary


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

Publication year 2022Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: courage, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Emotions/Behavior: Hate & Anger, Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Emotions/Behavior: Regret, Emotions/Behavior: Revenge, Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Identity: Femininity, Identity: Gender, Identity: Masculinity, Identity: Mental Health, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Values/Ideas: Trust & Doubt, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Values/Ideas: Order & Chaos, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Life/Time: The Past, Life/Time: MidlifeTags Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Mystery / Crime Fiction, Psychological Fiction, Addiction / Substance Abuse

Publication year 1996Genre Novel, FictionThemes Society: Politics & Government, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Hate & Anger, Emotions/Behavior: Revenge, Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Identity: Masculinity, Identity: Femininity, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Values/Ideas: Win & Lose, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Society: Class, Society: War, Society: Economics, Relationships: Siblings, Relationships: Mothers, Relationships: Fathers, Relationships: Marriage, Relationships: Family, Relationships: Daughters & Sons, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Relationships: Friendship, Identity: Disability, Identity: Gender, Life/Time: Birth, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Life/Time: The Future, Life/Time: The Past, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Values/Ideas: Trust & DoubtTags Fantasy, Action / Adventure, Class, Politics / Government, Religion / Spirituality, Trauma / Abuse / Violence, Grief / Death

A Game of Thrones is a 1996 epic fantasy novel by George R. R. Martin and is the first in his long-running A Song of Ice and Fire series. The novel introduces the audience to the fictional world of Westeros, where characters become embroiled in a complicated web of plots, conspiracies, and betrayals as they pursue power. A Game of Thrones won numerous awards on publication and was adapted for television in 2011. This guide... Read A Game of Thrones Summary


Publication year 1961Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Emotions/Behavior: Hate & Anger, Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Emotions/Behavior: Revenge, Life/Time: Birth, Identity: Mental Health, Life/Time: Aging, Life/Time: The Past, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Life/Time: Midlife, Relationships: Daughters & Sons, Relationships: Fathers, Relationships: Marriage, Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Values/Ideas: Fate, Values/Ideas: Equality, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Values/Ideas: Trust & Doubt, Society: Class, Society: Colonialism, Society: Community, Self Discovery, Values/Ideas: Literature, Society: EconomicsTags Historical Fiction, Auto/Biographical Fiction, Trauma / Abuse / Violence, Poverty, Finance / Money / Wealth, Depression / Suicide, Class, Colonialism / Postcolonialism, Indian Literature

A House for Mr. Biswas is a 1961 novel by V. S. Naipaul. The story takes a postcolonial perspective of the life of a Hindu Indian man in British-owned and occupied Trinidad. Now regarded as one of Naipaul's most significant novels, A House for Mr. Biswas has won numerous awards and has been adapted as a musical, a radio drama, and a television show. This guide is written using an eBook version of the 2001... Read A House for Mr. Biswas Summary


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

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

Publication year 2023Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Relationships: Mothers, Relationships: Daughters & Sons, Life/Time: Aging, Life/Time: The PastTags British Literature, Realistic Fiction

Publication year 1939Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Values/Ideas: Fate, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Life/Time: The Past, Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Identity: Gender, Identity: Masculinity, Identity: Femininity, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Emotions/Behavior: Apathy, Society: ColonialismTags Mystery / Crime Fiction, Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Modernism

Published in 1939, And Then There Were None is a mystery novel by Agatha Christie, best-selling novelist of all time, outsold only by the Bible and Shakespeare. With over 100 million copies sold, And Then There Were None is the world’s best-selling crime novel as well as one of the best-selling books of all time. It has had more adaptations than any other work by Agatha Christie, including television programs, films, radio broadcasts, and most... Read And Then There Were None Summary


Publication year 1711Genre Poem, NonfictionThemes Values/Ideas: Beauty, Life/Time: The Past, Values/Ideas: LiteratureTags Arts / Culture, Age of Enlightenment

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 1971Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: The PastTags Historical Fiction

Written by Wallace Stegner and released in 1971, Angle of Repose is a novel about Lyman Ward, a wheelchair-bound historian who decides to write about his frontier-era grandparents, particularly his grandmother, Susan Burling Ward. He hopes that their experiences will help him deal with his present situation. The novel won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1972 and is based on the letters of Mary Hallock Foote, which were later published as A Victorian Gentlewoman... Read Angle of Repose Summary


Publication year 2000Genre Novel, FictionThemes Society: War, Society: Politics & Government, Identity: Indigenous, Life/Time: The Past, Society: ColonialismTags Mystery / Crime Fiction, Historical Fiction, Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction

In Anil’s Ghost, Michael Ondaatje explores the trauma of the Sri Lankan civil war of the 1980s and 1990s. Anil Tissera, a forensic pathologist who works with human rights organizations, returns to her home country of Sri Lanka after an absence of 15 years. As part of an investigation into government-sponsored violence against citizens Anil and her team discover, at a sixth-century burial site, what appears to be a recently murdered body, which they name... Read Anil's Ghost Summary


Publication year 2014Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Society: Nation, Society: Politics & Government, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Society: War, Values/Ideas: Equality, Society: Education, Identity: Race, Life/Time: The Past, Life/Time: The Future, Society: Community, Natural World: Place, Society: ColonialismTags History: U.S., Race / Racism, Social Justice, Politics / Government, Education, Military / War, Anthropology, Colonial America, Class, Colonialism / Postcolonialism

Publication year 2019Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Mental Health, Life/Time: The Past, Emotions/Behavior: GuiltTags Realistic Fiction

Publication year 1993Genre Play, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Science & Technology, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Life/Time: The Past, Values/Ideas: LiteratureTags Historical Fiction, Play: Tragedy, Play: Comedy / Satire, Science / Nature, British Literature

Arcadia by Tom Stoppard was first performed on April 13, 1993, at the Royal National Theatre in London. In 2006, the Royal Institution of Great Britain named it one of the best science-related works ever written.The play has dual plot lines, one historical and one modern, which share the same physical setting. In the 19th century, the play follows the young Thomasina, a mathematical genius far ahead of her time, and her tutor, Septimus Hodge... Read Arcadia Summary


Publication year 2008Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Emotions/Behavior: Revenge, Relationships: Fathers, Relationships: Daughters & Sons, Life/Time: The PastTags Mystery / Crime Fiction, Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction

Publication year 2015Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: The Past

A Spool of Blue Thread was published in 2015 and is the twentieth novel by American author Anne Tyler. The novel falls under the subgenre of Women’s Fiction. A Spool of Blue Thread received mixed reviews by critics upon publication but fared far better with the general public. After its commercial success, it was shortlisted for the 2015 Man Booker Prize, as well as the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction. Plot SummaryA Spool of Blue Thread... Read A Spool of Blue Thread Summary


Publication year 1939Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Literature, Society: Class, Values/Ideas: Fate, Life/Time: The Past, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Values/Ideas: Trust & Doubt, Emotions/Behavior: ConflictTags Irish Literature, Humor, Fantasy, Magical Realism, Fairy Tale / Folklore, Satire, Arts / Culture, Class, British Literature

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

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


Publication year 1841Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Relationships: Family, Life/Time: The PastTags Classic Fiction, Historical Fiction, Victorian Literature / Period

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

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


Publication year 2012Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Values/Ideas: Fame, Life/Time: The PastTags Romance, Historical Fiction

Publication year 1993Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Identity: Sexuality, Life/Time: The Past, Society: Politics & Government, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Values/Ideas: LiteratureTags Latin American Literature, LGBTQ

The autobiography of Cuban novelist and poet Reinaldo Arenas, Before Night Falls, details his life as a gay man under Fidel Castro’s regime and the consequences of his dissidence. It was published posthumously in 1993. Immediately named one of the best books of the year by The New York Times, it has since been adapted into a movie and, later, an opera. Before Night Falls tells the story of Arenas’s life growing up in a... Read Before Night Falls Summary


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

Publication year 2023Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Emotions/Behavior: Regret, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Life/Time: The Past, Relationships: Friendship, Society: Class, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Values/Ideas: Truth & LiesTags Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction

Publication year 1611Genre Scripture, NonfictionThemes Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Life/Time: The PastTags Religion / Spirituality, Christian literature

Publication year 2004Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: courage, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Emotions/Behavior: Hope, Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Life/Time: The Past, Natural World: Animals, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Natural World: Flora/plants, Natural World: Place, Relationships: Family, Values/Ideas: Beauty, Values/Ideas: Fate, Values/Ideas: Good & EvilTags Historical Fiction, Magical Realism

Blackbird House (2004) by bestselling author Alice Hoffman is the story of a two-hundred-year-old house on Cape Cod in Massachusetts, and the generations of inhabitants that have occupied it over the course of its lengthy history. The house is located on a small farm, and Hoffman tells a series of short stories that are linked together by their shared location within Blackbird House and on the farm property. The book begins with the British occupation... Read Blackbird House Summary


Publication year 1982Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Natural World: Environment, Natural World: Place, Life/Time: The Past, Values/Ideas: Fate, Emotions/Behavior: NostalgiaTags Travel Literature, Action / Adventure, History: U.S., Race / Racism

Blue Highways: A Journey into America (1982) is an autobiographical travelogue by American historian William Least Heat-Moon. The trip in question—a 13,000-mile circuit around the States—began in 1978, the book’s title deriving from out-of-the-way routes drawn in blue on an old road atlas. The author-narrator researches local history of the areas visited and interviews the many people he meets. Heat-Moon spent the subsequent years composing and revising the manuscript, and after a few rejections, it... Read Blue Highways: A Journey into America Summary


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

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

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


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

Publication year 1978Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: The Past

Published in 1979 and translated into English in 1990, Ismail Kadare’s Broken April is a dramatic story set in the remote mountainsides of Albania. The story opens with a young mountaineer murdering a neighbor to honor a blood feud. As the man’s story unfolds, two newlyweds from the city arrive in the mountains for their honeymoon and become entangled in the customs and practices of the mountaineers. Dark and tragic, Broken April tackles themes of... Read Broken April Summary


Publication year 1995Genre Poem, FictionThemes Life/Time: The Future, Life/Time: The Past, Relationships: FriendshipTags Lyric Poem, Relationships, American Literature

Publication year 2009Genre Novel, FictionThemes Society: Colonialism, Values/Ideas: Equality, Life/Time: The PastTags Historical Fiction, Psychological Fiction, History: Asian, Politics / Government, History: U.S., Relationships, WWII / World War II

Burnt Shadows, first published in 2009, is the fifth novel by Pakistani-British author Kamila Shamsie. A political-historical novel, it was nominated for the Orange Prize for Fiction, one of the UK’s most prestigious literary awards, and won an Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, which celebrates books that contribute to a greater understanding of racism and diversity. Shamsie has been shortlisted several times for a John Llewellyn Rhys Prize; she also received the Prime Minister’s Award for Literature... Read Burnt Shadows Summary


Publication year 2007Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Life/Time: The Past, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Identity: LanguageTags Romance, LGBTQ, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman

IntroductionCall Me By Your Name by André Aciman is a piece of literary fiction in the subgenres of romance literature and queer literature. Published in 2007, the novel became a bestseller, received positive critical reception, and won the 2008  Lambda Literary Award for Gay Fiction. The 2017 film adaptation of Call Me By Your Name, directed by Luca Guadagnino and starring Timothée Chalamet and Armie Hammer, won, among other accolades, the Academy Award for Best... Read Call Me By Your Name Summary


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

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


Publication year 1990Genre Poem, FictionThemes Identity: Race, Life/Time: Birth, Life/Time: The Past, Relationships: FamilyTags Lyric Poem, History: U.S., Trauma / Abuse / Violence, African American Literature

Marilyn Nelson is part of a coterie of writers who published in the late-1970s and 1980s after the revolutionary fervor of the Black Arts Movement. Though the period during which Nelson wrote is less acknowledged than those aforementioned, it was a time when diverse Black poetic talents emerged. Nelson’s contemporaries included Afaa Michael Weaver, Yusef Komunyakaa, Rita Dove, Ntozake Shange, Melvin Dixon, and Essex Hemphill. Their work grappled with the aftermath of the Vietnam War... Read Chosen Summary


Publication year 2020Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: Forgiveness, Emotions/Behavior: courage, Emotions/Behavior: Hate & Anger, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Identity: Race, Life/Time: Aging, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Relationships: Grandparents, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Life/Time: The Past, Relationships: Fathers, Values/Ideas: Equality, Society: Politics & Government, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Values/Ideas: Safety & DangerTags African American Literature, Children's Literature, Realistic Fiction, Action / Adventure, Civil Rights / Jim Crow, History: U.S., Black Lives Matter, Grief / Death

Publication year 2004Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Society: Colonialism, Society: Class, Life/Time: The Future, Life/Time: The Past, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Values/Ideas: Order & Chaos, Values/Ideas: Truth & LiesTags Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Social Justice, Anthropology, Class, Depression / Suicide, Finance / Money / Wealth, Politics / Government, Love / Sexuality, Race / Racism, Sociology, Religion / Spirituality

Cloud Atlas is a 2004 novel by British author David Mitchell. The sprawling narrative is composed of a series of nested stories, spanning centuries into the past and the future. In addition to winning numerous literary and science fiction awards, the novel was adapted into a 2012 film of the same name. This guide uses the 2014 Sceptre edition of Cloud Atlas.Content Warning: The novel and this guide depict slavery and discuss racism, death by... Read Cloud Atlas Summary


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

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


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

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


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

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


Publication year 2016Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: The Past, Relationships: Family

Written by the best-selling author Ann Patchett, Commonwealth was published in 2016 and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction. Commonwealth tells the story of two families: the Keatings and the Cousins. In a nonlinear fashion, the novel follows their stories over fifty years from multiple points of view, although the dominant point of view comes from Franny Keating. The novel explores the burdens and joys of children and old... Read Commonwealth Summary


Publication year 1998Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Life/Time: The Past, Emotions/Behavior: GriefTags Sociology, Action / Adventure, History: U.S., American Civil War

Confederates in the Attic is a non-fiction book written by Pulitzer-Prize-winning journalist Tony Horwitz. The book is a mixture of ethnography—the study of a specific group of people in a specific place—and travel writing, where Horwitz attempts to dive deeply into his childhood fascination for the American Civil War by traveling through the deep South, visiting Confederate battlefields, museums, and monuments, and interviewing the locals that he comes into contact with about their relationship to... Read Confederates In The Attic Summary


Publication year 2009Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Friendship, Life/Time: The PastTags Mystery / Crime Fiction

Published in 2010, Tom Franklin’s Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter is a literary crime novel centered around two unsolved murders that connect past and present. The novel follows Silas Jones, a black constable in a small town in Mississippi, and Larry Ott, the white suspect in a decades-old, unsolved murder. Silas and Larry grew up alongside each other and developed a tentative friendship that the two grown men explore through flashbacks. When another teenaged girl goes... Read Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter Summary


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

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

Genre Poem, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Relationships: Fathers, Society: Education, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Life/Time: The Past, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: NostalgiaTags Relationships, Agriculture, Lyric Poem

Publication year 1996Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Life/Time: The Past, Relationships: Friendship, Relationships: Mothers

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

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


Publication year 1899Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Marriage, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Values/Ideas: Trust & Doubt, Emotions/Behavior: Nostalgia, Life/Time: The PastTags Latin American Literature, Realism, Psychological Fiction

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

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

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


Publication year 1992Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Art, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Life/Time: The Future, Life/Time: The Past, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Natural World: Space & The Universe, Values/Ideas: Fate, Values/Ideas: Order & Chaos, Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Values/Ideas: Science & Technology, Values/Ideas: Truth & LiesTags Historical Fiction, Philosophy, Science / Nature

Einstein’s Dreams (1993) by Alan Lightman is a best-selling novel that explores the intersection of art and science, and the nature of time. The novel imagines the dreams of a fictionalized version of Albert Einstein to explain various theories about time, leading up to Einstein’s 1905 theory of special relativity, which he formed while working as a patent clerk and starting a family in Berne, Switzerland.Each chapter of the novel features a dream that exemplifies... Read Einstein's Dreams Summary


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

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


Publication year 2013Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Friendship, Values/Ideas: Literature, Life/Time: The PastTags Children's Literature, Action / Adventure

Publication year 2022Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Relationships: Friendship, Relationships: Siblings, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Emotions/Behavior: Forgiveness, Life/Time: The PastTags Romance, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Relationships, Love / Sexuality

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

Publication year 2023Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Society: Community, Life/Time: The PastTags Mystery / Crime Fiction, Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction

Publication year 1989Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Identity: Race, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Life/Time: The PastTags Race / Racism, Social Justice, Health / Medicine

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

Publication year 2019Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Life/Time: The Past, Life/Time: Aging, Identity: Sexuality, Relationships: FamilyTags Romance, LGBTQ

Publication year 1984Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: The Past

Flaubert’s Parrot is a novel by Julian Barnes, published in 1984. The book is a collection of biographical research, literary criticism, and philosophical considerations on the relationship between writers and their works, told from the perspective of Geoffrey Braithwaite, a 60-year-old retired doctor and widower. Having become something of an amateur expert on celebrated author Gustave Flaubert, Geoffrey searches for the truth about the French writer’s life. His quest for information revolves around determining which... Read Flaubert's Parrot Summary


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

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


Publication year 2022Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Life/Time: The Past, Values/Ideas: Fame, Values/Ideas: BeautyTags Romance, Realistic Fiction, Relationships

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

Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Art, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Life/Time: The PastTags Mystery / Crime Fiction, Historical Fiction, Auto/Biographical Fiction, Arts / Culture, Poverty

Susan Vreeland, author of Girl in Hyacinth Blue, (Penguin Books, 2000) was an internationally known author of art-related historical fiction who, after a long and notable literary career, died in 2017. A New York Times bestseller, the novel was originally published in 1999 by McMurray and Beck, but subsequent editions were published by Penguin Books. The novel’s popularity gave rise to a 2003 Hallmark Hall of Fame production based on the novel. The painting in... Read Girl In Hyacinth Blue Summary


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

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


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

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


Publication year 1918Genre Poem, FictionThemes Life/Time: The Past, Society: WarTags Science / Nature

Publication year 2021Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Life/Time: The Past, Relationships: Family, Society: Class, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & BetrayalTags Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Mystery / Crime Fiction, Psychological Fiction

Publication year 1982Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Life/Time: The PastTags History: U.S., Great Depression

Russell Baker (b. August 14, 1925) is an American newspaper columnist, humorist, political satirist, and author. He earned a B.A. from Johns Hopkins in 1947 and began his career at the Baltimore Sun as a police reporter. He was a columnist at the New York Times from 1962 to 1998 and host of PBS’s Masterpiece Theatre from 1992 to 2004.His Pulitzer Prize-winning memoir, Growing Up (1982), recounts his childhood and adolescence during the Great Depression... Read Growing Up Summary


Publication year 2002Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: courage, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Society: War, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Relationships: Family, Life/Time: The PastTags Holocaust, WWII / World War II, Jewish Literature

Originally published in 2002 by Second Story Press, Hana’s Suitcase is a historical text by Karen Levine that weaves together the story of two young children in the Holocaust with the narrative of a Japanese museum curator in the early 21st century. Levine, a radio journalist and producer, first heard about Hana Brady’s suitcase from a news article and subsequently produced a radio show about the story. This launched what would become Hana’s Suitcase and... Read Hana's Suitcase Summary


Publication year 1948Genre Essay / Speech, NonfictionThemes Society: Community, Life/Time: The Past, Natural World: Place, Natural World: EnvironmentTags Travel Literature, History: U.S., Urban Development, Creative Nonfiction

Publication year 2000Genre Poem, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Nostalgia, Identity: Race, Life/Time: The PastTags Lyric Poem, Race / Racism, Civil Rights / Jim Crow, History: U.S.

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Publication year 1998Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Fate, Relationships: Friendship, Life/Time: The PastTags Action / Adventure, Realistic Fiction

Louis Sachar’s 1998 children’s novel, Holes, tells the story of a boy accused of stealing. A judge sentences him to 18 months in a camp where a tyrannical warden has the boys digging holes that appear random. Holes was awarded the 1998 National Book Award and the 1999 Newbery Medal, and was adapted into a film by Disney.Plot SummaryStanley Yelnats IV is a 14-year-old boy whose family claims it is cursed due to his “no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather”... Read Holes Summary


Publication year 2023Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Life/Time: The Past, Relationships: Family, Relationships: Grandparents, Relationships: Mothers, Values/Ideas: Literature, Values/Ideas: Truth & LiesTags Historical Fiction, Mystery / Crime Fiction, Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Holidays & Occasions

Publication year 1986Genre Essay / Speech, NonfictionThemes Society: War, Emotions/Behavior: Hope, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Life/Time: The PastTags Holocaust, Religion / Spirituality

Publication year 2022Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Art, Natural World: Animals, Life/Time: The PastTags Historical Fiction, Animals, Race / Racism, American Civil War, Sports

Publication year 2022Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Science & Technology, Emotions/Behavior: Hope, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Society: Community, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Life/Time: The Future, Life/Time: The Past, Emotions/Behavior: courage, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: Nostalgia, Natural World: Climate, Natural World: Space & The Universe, Relationships: Family, Relationships: FriendshipTags Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Fantasy, Grief / Death, Climate Change, Technology

Publication year 1997Genre Play, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Music, Emotions/Behavior: Forgiveness, Life/Time: The Past

How I Learned to Drive, a play written by Paula Vogel, premiered Off-Broadway in 1997 and won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1998. It addresses pedophilia, victim blaming, and misogyny, as well as the complexities of love and family. Through non-chronological flashbacks, Li’l Bit, now in her forties, uses learning to drive as a metaphor for her learning about sex, and about life, from her aunt’s husband, Peck, with whom she has a sexual relationship. Each scene is designated... Read How I Learned to Drive Summary


Publication year 2023Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Relationships: Family, Life/Time: The Past, Relationships: SiblingsTags Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Fantasy, Southern Gothic

Publication year 1989Genre Novel, FictionThemes Natural World: Space & The Universe, Society: Colonialism, Life/Time: The Past, Life/Time: The FutureTags Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Fantasy, Action / Adventure

Hyperion (1989) is Dan Simmons’s first novel in his four-part science fiction series, Hyperion Cantos. Set several hundred years in the future, Hyperion follows seven people, who have been selected to make the final pilgrimage to the terrifying Shrike creature on the mysterious Outback world of Hyperion before the Ouster invasion. On the voyage to the planet, the pilgrims tell their stories about their connection to Hyperion. This frame-story structure is based on Geoffrey Chaucer’s... Read Hyperion Summary


Publication year 1948Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Femininity, Life/Time: The Past, Relationships: Siblings, Relationships: Fathers, Relationships: Marriage, Emotions/Behavior: LoveTags Classic Fiction, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Historical Fiction, Romance, British Literature

I Capture the Castle is a young adult novel published in 1948 by Dodie Smith. It follows the fictional journal of aspiring author Cassandra Mortmain as she writes about her family’s rise from poverty to wealth through their association with the Cotton brothers. The novel discusses themes of authorship, history, and the multiplicity of feminine identities. I Capture the Castle was adapted for film in 2003 by director Tim Fywell. This summary uses the St... Read I Capture the Castle Summary


Publication year 2014Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Art, Relationships: Family, Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: courage, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Emotions/Behavior: Forgiveness, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Emotions/Behavior: Hate & Anger, Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Life/Time: Aging, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Identity: Sexuality, Life/Time: The Past, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Relationships: Daughters & Sons, Relationships: Fathers, Relationships: Mothers, Relationships: Siblings, Values/Ideas: Fate, Values/Ideas: Trust & Doubt, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Values/Ideas: Win & LoseTags Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Magical Realism, Romance, Realistic Fiction, LGBTQ, Grief / Death, Love / Sexuality

I’ll Give You the Sun (2015) is an award-winning novel penned by Jandy Nelson about relationships, art, and destiny. It follows the story of twins Noah and Jude Sweetwine who once shared a close relationship but find themselves barely speaking to each other two years after their mother’s death.Jandy Nelson is an American author who writes young adult fiction. I’ll Give You the Sun is her second novel, which won numerous awards and honors, including... Read I'll Give You the Sun Summary


Publication year 2018Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Identity: Race, Life/Time: The PastTags Race / Racism, Black Lives Matter

I’m Still Here is a nonfiction memoir published in 2018 by the American author Austin Channing Brown. Subtitled Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness, the book chronicles Brown’s lifelong efforts to navigate White spaces as a Black Christian woman. Amid a surge of interest in the wake of the 2020 George Floyd protests, actress Reese Witherspoon selected I’m Still Here for her popular Hello Sunshine book club.This study guide refers to the 2018... Read I'm Still Here Summary


Publication year 2019Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Life/Time: The Past, Values/Ideas: Art, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Society: Economics, Values/Ideas: Science & Technology, Identity: Gender, Society: Politics & Government, Values/Ideas: EqualityTags Gender / Feminism, Science / Nature, Social Justice, Finance / Money / Wealth, Sociology, Business / Economics, Technology, Health / Medicine, Politics / Government, Women's Studies (Nonfiction)

Publication year 2009Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Life/Time: The Past, Society: ColonialismTags Historical Fiction, Magical Realism, Spanish Literature

Publication year 1992Genre Short Story Collection, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Apathy, Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Emotions/Behavior: Forgiveness, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Emotions/Behavior: Hate & Anger, Emotions/Behavior: Hope, Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Emotions/Behavior: Regret, Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Identity: Masculinity, Identity: Mental Health, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Life/Time: The Future, Life/Time: The Past, Relationships: Friendship, Self Discovery, Society: Community, Values/Ideas: Safety & DangerTags Addiction / Substance Abuse, American Literature

Jesus’ Son is a 1992 collection of linked short stories by American author Denis Johnson. The collection’s unnamed narrator—known by the nickname “Fuckhead”—is a heroin addict, and his stories revolve around memorable drug binges, criminal misadventures and the mistrustful community of drug-users wandering between various Midwestern and Pacific North-western locales. Hailed as “a point-black godsend” (L.A. Weekly) upon publication, Jesus’ Son has come to be recognized as one of the most important and influential story... Read Jesus' Son Summary


Publication year 1979Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Race, Life/Time: The Past, Relationships: Family, Values/Ideas: FateTags Historical Fiction, African American Literature, Afrofuturism, American Literature, Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction

The 1979 novel Kindred was written by Octavia E. Butler, a Black author from California who wrote science fiction that challenged white hegemony. The novel tells the story of Edana “Dana” Franklin, a young Black woman in 1976 whose connection to a young white boy named Rufus Weylin allows her to time travel to 1800s Maryland. As she jumps between 1976 and the 1800s, she learns how she and Rufus are connected, and she must survive... Read Kindred Summary


Publication year 2021Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Life/Time: The PastTags Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Historical Fiction, Race / Racism, Trauma / Abuse / Violence, History: U.S., Diversity, African American Literature

Publication year 1900Genre Poem, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Values/Ideas: Equality, Emotions/Behavior: Joy, Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Values/Ideas: Trust & Doubt, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Society: Nation, Life/Time: The Past, Life/Time: The Future, Identity: Race, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / PerseveranceTags Lyric Poem, Inspirational, African American Literature, American Literature, Race / Racism, Religion / Spirituality, Civil Rights / Jim Crow, History: U.S.

Publication year 1942Genre Poem, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Life/Time: The Past, Life/Time: The Future, Values/Ideas: Religion & SpiritualityTags Lyric Poem, Religion / Spirituality

Publication year 1989Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Society: Education, Life/Time: The PastTags Education

Lives on the Boundary is a nonfiction book by Mike Rose, Professor of Social Research Methodology in the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies. The book tackles the problem of how low-performing students get left behind by the American education system. Originally published in 1989, Rose combines memoir, academic analysis, and social treatise to expose the failings of the current educational system and challenge the stereotypes that label remedial learners as incapable, unintelligent... Read Lives On The Boundary Summary


Publication year 1738Genre Poem, FictionThemes Natural World: Place, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Society: Politics & Government, Values/Ideas: Order & Chaos, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Society: Nation, Life/Time: The Past, Emotions/Behavior: Nostalgia, Emotions/Behavior: GriefTags Satire, Poetry: Dramatic Poem, Age of Enlightenment, Neoclassical, British Literature, Finance / Money / Wealth, History: European, Politics / Government

Publication year 2013Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: The Past, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: RegretTags Romance, Drama / Tragedy, Sociology, Trauma / Abuse / Violence

Publication year 1990Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Indigenous, Identity: Race, Life/Time: The Past, Natural World: Environment, Values/Ideas: Power & GreedTags Historical Fiction, Western, Magical Realism, American Literature

Mean Spirit (1990) is the first novel by Chickasaw author Linda Hogan. Nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1991, it was well-reviewed and established Hogan as an important Indigenous author. The novel tells the story of what came to be known as the Osage murders, a string of killings in Oklahoma’s Osage country after oil was discovered on Osage land. The murders were ultimately discovered to have been the result of not only... Read Mean Spirit Summary


Publication year 2023Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Life/Time: The Past, Relationships: Mothers, Emotions/Behavior: Regret, Identity: Mental HealthTags Romance, New Adult, Relationships, Love / Sexuality

Publication year 1987Genre Poem, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Relationships: Marriage, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Life/Time: The Past, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: NostalgiaTags Lyric Poem, Free verse, Confessional, WWII / World War II, Relationships

Publication year 1910Genre Poem, FictionThemes Life/Time: The Past, Identity: Masculinity, Values/Ideas: Power & GreedTags Narrative / Epic Poem, Depression / Suicide, Addiction / Substance Abuse, History: European, Psychology, American Literature

Publication year 1996Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: Forgiveness, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Emotions/Behavior: Regret, Identity: Masculinity, Identity: Mental Health, Identity: Race, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Life/Time: The Past, Relationships: Siblings, Society: Class, Society: Community, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & BetrayalTags Realistic Fiction, African American Literature

Miracle's Boys (2000) by American author Jacqueline Woodson follows a seventh grade boy grieving the recent death of his mother. The novel won the 2001 Coretta Scott King Award, given to the best book primarily intended for an African-American youth audience. Woodson is a prominent writer. She received the National Book Award for Children’s Literature in 2014 for her novel Brown Girl Dreaming. Miracle's Boys centers around themes of guilt, emotional trauma, gang violence, and brotherly love... Read Miracle's Boys Summary


Publication year 1925Genre Essay / Speech, NonfictionThemes Values/Ideas: Literature, Life/Time: The Past, Natural World: Appearance & RealityTags Modernism

Publication year 2010Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: courage, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Emotions/Behavior: Hope, Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Emotions/Behavior: Regret, Emotions/Behavior: Nostalgia, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Life/Time: The Past, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Natural World: Place, Relationships: Daughters & Sons, Relationships: Fathers, Relationships: Family, Relationships: Friendship, Society: Community, Society: Class, Society: Economics, Society: Immigration, Society: Education, Society: War, Society: Politics & Government, Society: Nation, Values/Ideas: Equality, Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Values/Ideas: Literature, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Values/Ideas: Trust & DoubtTags Historical Fiction, Children's Literature, Mystery / Crime Fiction, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman

Moon Over Manifest is a 2010 novel by author Claire Vanderpool. It relates the story of 12-year-old Abilene Tucker, a drifting girl in search of her father, a home, and a sense of belonging. When the novel starts, her father, Gideon Tucker, has just sent Abilene to the Kansas town of Manifest, claiming that he can’t take her to Iowa, where he is allegedly taking a railroad job. It is 1936, and the Great Depression... Read Moon Over Manifest Summary


Publication year 2010Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Race, Natural World: Animals, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Life/Time: The Past, Natural World: Place, Relationships: Family, Society: Colonialism, Society: Community, Values/Ideas: Religion & SpiritualityTags Humor, Magical Realism, Allegory / Fable / Parable, Fantasy, Realistic Fiction, Addiction / Substance Abuse, Social Justice, Race / Racism, Religion / Spirituality, Trauma / Abuse / Violence

Publication year 2019Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Relationships: Siblings, Life/Time: The Past, Relationships: MothersTags Historical Fiction, LGBTQ, Trauma / Abuse / Violence

Publication year 1971Genre Novel, FictionThemes Society: Community, Values/Ideas: Science & Technology, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Life/Time: Aging, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Natural World: Place, Relationships: Friendship, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Relationships: Mothers, Natural World: Animals, Relationships: Family, Life/Time: The Past, Life/Time: The Future, Society: Education, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: HopeTags Fantasy, Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Action / Adventure, Animals, Technology, Grief / Death, Agriculture, Parenting, Science / Nature, Philosophy, Sociology

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH is a children’s science fiction novel written in 1971 by Robert C. O’Brien. It tells the story of a field mouse whose son becomes ill as moving day approaches, so she enlists the help of a group of highly intelligent experimental rats for help. Robert C. O’Brien was inspired to write the Rats of NIMH after a visit to the National Institute of Mental Health’s experimental rat compound... Read Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH Summary


Publication year 1807Genre Poem, FictionThemes Life/Time: Aging, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Life/Time: The Future, Life/Time: The Past, Natural World: Place, Values/Ideas: Beauty, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Self Discovery, Emotions/Behavior: JoyTags Lyric Poem, Romanticism / Romantic Period, British Literature

Publication year 1998Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Art, Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Identity: Gender, Life/Time: The Future, Life/Time: The Past, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Relationships: Teams, Society: Globalization, Values/Ideas: Beauty, Values/Ideas: Religion & SpiritualityTags Historical Fiction, Middle Eastern Literature, Mystery / Crime Fiction

My Name is Red (originally titled Benim Adim Kirmizi) is a 1998 historical novel by the Nobel Prize winning Turkish author Orhan Pamuk. Set in late-16th century Istanbul, the novel explores cultural tensions stemming from contemporary philosophical understandings of visual art. Told from the viewpoints of many different animate and inanimate characters—including Muslim and Jewish individuals, a corpse, the color red, and paintings of a horse, a devil, and a dog—the novel integrates elements of... Read My Name is Red Summary


Publication year 2001Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Life/Time: The Past, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & BetrayalTags Mystery / Crime Fiction

Dennis Lehane’s 2001 thriller/mystery novel, Mystic River, follows the lives of three childhood friends who suffer a traumatic event. Twenty-five years later, they are forced back into one another’s lives when one of their daughters is found murdered. In 2002, the novel earned the Dilys Award and was made into an Academy Award-winning film directed by Clint Eastwood. This study guide uses the 2003 First Dark Alley edition of the book. Plot SummaryIn 1975, Dave... Read Mystic River Summary


Publication year 1998Genre Poem, FictionThemes Identity: Race, Life/Time: The PastTags Lyric Poem, Immigration / Refugee, Middle Eastern Literature

Publication year 1983Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Society: Colonialism, Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Society: Community, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Life/Time: The Past, Relationships: Family, Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Emotions/Behavior: HopeTags History: U.S., Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Religion / Spirituality, American Literature

Publication year 2024Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Siblings, Relationships: Family, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Life/Time: The PastTags Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Mystery / Crime Fiction

Publication year 1985Genre Poem, FictionThemes Life/Time: The Past, Natural World: Place, Identity: Language, Values/Ideas: Literature, Society: WarTags Lyric Poem, Irish Literature, History: European

Publication year 2023Genre Novel, FictionThemes Natural World: Environment, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Values/Ideas: Fate, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Life/Time: The Future, Life/Time: The Past, Natural World: Animals, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Natural World: Flora/plants, Natural World: Objects, Natural World: Place, Self Discovery, Society: Community, Values/Ideas: Beauty, Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Values/Ideas: Safety & DangerTags Historical Fiction

Publication year 2010Genre Poem, FictionThemes Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Life/Time: The PastTags Narrative / Epic Poem, Education

Publication year 1976Genre Poem, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Life/Time: The PastTags Lyric Poem

Throughout her life, Elizabeth Bishop (1911-1979) suffered many losses. Her father died before her first birthday and her mother entered a mental institution when Bishop was only five, leaving her to the guardianship of maternal and paternal grandparents. Later, Bishop’s lover committed suicide in Brazil, prompting Bishop’s return to the US. “One Art” (1976) alludes to several of these prominent losses, though the poem objectively approaches loss. “One Art” defines loss as a special form... Read One Art Summary


Publication year 2009Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: Nostalgia, Emotions/Behavior: Regret, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Life/Time: Midlife, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Life/Time: The Future, Life/Time: The Past, Relationships: Marriage, Values/Ideas: FateTags Romance, Play: Drama, British Literature

Publication year 2021Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: courage, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Hope, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Life/Time: The Future, Life/Time: The Past, Identity: Sexuality, Values/Ideas: Trust & Doubt, Identity: GenderTags Romance, LGBTQ, Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Humor, Magical Realism

Publication year 49Genre Essay / Speech, NonfictionThemes Life/Time: The Past, Life/Time: The Future, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Natural World: Nurture v. NatureTags Classical Period, Philosophy, Ancient Rome

Publication year 2011Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Race, Self Discovery, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Life/Time: The Past, Relationships: Friendship, Society: Colonialism, Society: ImmigrationTags American Literature, Psychological Fiction, Immigration / Refugee, Race / Racism, September 11 Attacks

Teju Cole’s first full-length novel, Open City was published in 2011 to widespread acclaim, winning the PEN/Hemingway Award, The New York City Book Award, and the Rosenthal Foundation Award. Open City made many lists of the best books of the year, including at the New York Times Book Review, the Los Angeles Times, and NPR. Cole was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan to Nigerian parents and spent most of his childhood in Lagos, Nigeria before returning... Read Open City Summary


Publication year 2003Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: The Past, Relationships: FriendshipTags Science / Nature, Technology, Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction

Oryx and Crake is a dystopian science-fiction novel that deals with extreme genetic engineering. The plot does not unfold in a linear fashion, nor are the facts established from the outset. Rather, the novel moves back and forward in time, often on a chapter-by-chapter basis, and the reader gradually pieces together what has happened.The novel begins by establishing its central character, “Snowman,” who we find sitting near the sea. He is dishevelled and gaunt, and... Read Oryx and Crake Summary


Publication year 1861Genre Poem, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: courage, Life/Time: The Past, Society: NationTags Narrative / Epic Poem, American Revolution, History: U.S.

Publication year 2021Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: Coming of Age, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Life/Time: The Past, Natural World: Animals, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Relationships: Family, Society: Colonialism, Values/Ideas: Religion & SpiritualityTags Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Animals, Action / Adventure

Publication year 2005Genre Novel, FictionThemes Society: Community, Life/Time: The Past, Values/Ideas: Justice & InjusticeTags Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Fantasy, Romance, Action / Adventure

Pretties by Scott Westerfeld is the second book of the Uglies quartet. It is a dystopian science fiction novel set in a world where people believe they are leading lives of luxury, but the cost is more than they can imagine. Published in 2005, Pretties debuted as a New York Times bestseller in both its hardcover and paperback formats. Westerfeld has published more than 20 young adult novels, although he is best known for the... Read Pretties Summary


Publication year 2006Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Friendship, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Society: Community, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Emotions/Behavior: Revenge, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Life/Time: The Past, Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Values/Ideas: Trust & Doubt, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Values/Ideas: Truth & LiesTags Mystery / Crime Fiction, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction

Pretty Little Liars is a young adult fiction novel written by Sara Shepard. It is the first book in the Pretty Little Liars series, which features 16 books, along with seven companion novels. The highly successful series was featured on The New York Times best-seller list and adapted into a television show in 2010. The popular show lasted seven seasons and aired on the Freeform Network. Although Shepard had only written eight books in the... Read Pretty Little Liars Summary


Publication year 1938Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Society: Class, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Life/Time: The Past, Emotions/Behavior: Hate & Anger, Relationships: Marriage, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Values/Ideas: Trust & Doubt, Values/Ideas: Beauty, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Emotions/Behavior: LonelinessTags British Literature, Romance, Classic Fiction, Mystery / Crime Fiction, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Drama / Tragedy, Gothic Literature, Modernism

Rebecca, a bestselling novel by famed English writer Daphne du Maurier, was published in 1938, and has never gone out of print. The winner of the National Book Award for favorite novel of 1938, Rebecca has been adapted numerous times, including Alfred Hitchcock’s 1940 film version, which won the Academy Award for Best Picture, and a 1997 television miniseries. It was most recently adapted for a Netflix film in 2020 by the same name. Rebecca... Read Rebecca Summary


Publication year 2019Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: Birth, Life/Time: The PastTags Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction

In 2018, Barry Sutton, a detective with the NYPD, witnesses the suicide of Ann Voss Peters, who has FMS—a mysterious ailment in which victims gain alternate memories. Barry has lunch with his ex-wife, Julia, on what would have been their late daughter Meghan’s 26th birthday. While investigating Ann’s false memories, Barry is enticed to the strange Hotel Memory, where business magnate Marcus Slade captures him and forcibly sends him back to the day Meghan died... Read Recursion Summary


Publication year 2004Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: The PastTags Realistic Fiction, Children's Literature

The Red Kayak is a coming-of-age story set near the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland. Thirteen-year-old Braden Parks ("Brady") lives along the Corsica River with his mother and father and makes his living fishing for crabs and repairing boats. The town where the novel primarily takes place—Bailey's Wharf—is undergoing major changes as the story begins; historically home mostly to working-class families like the Parks, the town is now attracting wealthier residents like the Parks' new neighbors... Read Red Kayak Summary


Publication year 2022Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Forgiveness, Self Discovery, Life/Time: The Past, Relationships: Daughters & Sons, Relationships: Family, Relationships: Friendship, Relationships: Mothers, Values/Ideas: Music, Values/Ideas: Trust & Doubt, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: courage, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Emotions/Behavior: LonelinessTags Romance, Love / Sexuality, Relationships

Publication year 1995Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Music, Life/Time: The PastTags Magical Realism, Humor

Reservation Blues tells the story of Coyote Springs, a Spokane Indian rock band. The band is founded on a reservation, slowly gathers fans, and begins to play shows. Coyote Springs is given the chance to audition for a major record company in New York City, but, ultimately, the band does not succeed. The book combines traditional narrative with a mixture of other narrative techniques, including newspaper articles, song lyrics, interviews, and excerpts from journals. Together... Read Reservation Blues Summary


Publication year 2001Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: courage, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Emotions/Behavior: Hate & Anger, Emotions/Behavior: Hope, Emotions/Behavior: Revenge, Identity: Mental Health, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Life/Time: The Past, Natural World: Place, Relationships: Family, Relationships: Fathers, Relationships: Marriage, Relationships: Teams, Society: Class, Society: Colonialism, Society: Community, Society: Economics, Society: Globalization, Society: Politics & Government, Society: War, Values/Ideas: Equality, Values/Ideas: Power & GreedTags Historical Fiction, Military / War, History: U.S.

Publication year 1934Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Life/Time: The Past, Relationships: FriendshipTags Relationships, Classic Fiction, American Literature

Edith Wharton wrote “Roman Fever” near the end of a career that spanned more than five decades. Like many of her works, this 1934 short story investigates the social norms of affluent people from the US, considering the forms of violence these norms tolerate and even encourage. Spare in setting and restricted in action, the story shifts between the present and the past as it depicts a love triangle’s long reverberations. As the Roman backdrop... Read Roman Fever Summary


Publication year 1995Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: Coming of Age, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Life/Time: The Past, Values/Ideas: Safety & DangerTags Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Action / Adventure, Historical Fiction, Realistic Fiction, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman

Running Out of Time is a 1995 young adult suspense novel by American author Margaret Peterson Haddix. It tells the story of Jessie Keyser, a young girl who believes she is living in 1800s Indiana, only to discover that in reality it is 1996. When a diphtheria epidemic strikes her small town of Clifton, she must venture out into the modern world to save her friends. Haddix also authored the critically acclaimed YA thriller series... Read Running Out Of Time Summary


Publication year 1931Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Society: Class, Life/Time: The PastTags Classic Fiction, Mystery / Crime Fiction, Southern Gothic, Trauma / Abuse / Violence

Publication year 2022Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Life/Time: The Future, Life/Time: The Past, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Natural World: Environment, Natural World: Space & The Universe, Values/Ideas: Science & Technology, Values/Ideas: Order & Chaos, Values/Ideas: Music, Values/Ideas: Art, Society: ColonialismTags Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Historical Fiction, Fantasy

Publication year 2003Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Society: Colonialism, Society: Politics & Government, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Identity: Indigenous, Life/Time: The PastTags History: European, History: The Americas, Colonialism / Postcolonialism

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Publication year 2018Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Society: Immigration, Natural World: Place, Identity: Language, Relationships: Family, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Relationships: Mothers, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Relationships: Daughters & Sons, Life/Time: The Past, Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Relationships: Fathers, Emotions/Behavior: Nostalgia, Emotions/Behavior: Apathy, Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Self DiscoveryTags Satire, Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Survival Fiction, Chinese Literature, Immigration / Refugee

Publication year 2012Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: Forgiveness, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Regret, Emotions/Behavior: Revenge, Identity: Femininity, Identity: Gender, Life/Time: Birth, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Life/Time: The Past, Relationships: Fathers, Self Discovery, Society: Community, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & BetrayalTags Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Romance

Shadow of Night (2012) is a historical fantasy romance novel by Deborah Harkness, and the second book in the All Souls Trilogy, preceded by A Discovery of Witches (2011) and followed by The Book of Life (2014). A prequel novel, Time’s Convert (2019), follows the origin story of Matthew’s son Marcus, who is a minor character in Shadow of Night.Harkness holds a PhD from the University of California, Davis and teaches early modern European history... Read Shadow of Night Summary


Publication year 2013Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Values/Ideas: Fate, Values/Ideas: Science & Technology, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Life/Time: The Future, Life/Time: The Past, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Society: Community, Society: Politics & Government, Values/Ideas: Order & Chaos, Values/Ideas: Trust & Doubt, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Values/Ideas: Good & EvilTags Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Fantasy, Survival Fiction, Health / Medicine, Education, Food, Technology

Publication year 2003Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Life/Time: The PastTags Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction

Shutter Island, Dennis Lehane’s 2003 psychological thriller, investigates how a person’s mental state can shape their perspective of reality. The prologue opens with an excerpt from Dr. Lester Sheehan’s diary dated May 3rd, 1993. Sheehan is a retired psychiatrist from Ashecliffe Hospital on Shutter Island, but he remains haunted by the dangerous tragedy of four people: Edward “Teddy” Daniels, Rachel Solando, Dolores Chanal, and Andrew Laeddis. Now that Sheehan’s health is failing, he feels compelled... Read Shutter Island Summary


Publication year 2018Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Relationships: Mothers, Life/Time: The Past, Emotions/Behavior: courageTags Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Fantasy

Publication year 2005Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Friendship, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Life/Time: Aging, Emotions/Behavior: Forgiveness, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Emotions/Behavior: Hate & Anger, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Life/Time: The Past, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Values/Ideas: Trust & Doubt, Relationships: Marriage, Values/Ideas: Win & Lose, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Emotions/Behavior: Apathy, Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: LonelinessTags Romance, Relationships

Something Borrowed is a work of romantic fiction from author Emily Giffin, published in 2004. It was a critical and commercial success, earning rave reviews and landing a spot on the New York Times bestseller list. The novel was Giffin’s first, and she has published several more books in the same genre. Some of her other books include Love the One You’re With (2008), Heart of the Matter (2010), Where We Belong (2012), and Something... Read Something Borrowed Summary


Publication year 1991Genre Novel, FictionThemes Society: Education, Values/Ideas: Fate, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Values/Ideas: Literature, Life/Time: The Past, Values/Ideas: Order & Chaos, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / PerseveranceTags Philosophy, Scandinavian Literature, Magical Realism, Science / Nature, Sociology, Religion / Spirituality

Sophie's World is a young adult book by Norwegian author Jostein Gaarder. The book follows main character Sophie, a young girl who is fourteen years old and living with her parents in Norway. Sophie's life changes dramatically when she receives a series of strange postcards, which ask her large, existential questions about the world around her. Each day, Sophie receives a postcard, and in the evenings she receives a package from a man named Alberto... Read Sophie's World Summary


Publication year 2012Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: Aging, Relationships: Siblings, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Society: Class, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Society: Community, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Values/Ideas: Science & Technology, Life/Time: The Future, Life/Time: The Past, Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Relationships: Family, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Values/Ideas: Trust & Doubt, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Society: Politics & Government, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Values/Ideas: Beauty, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Emotions/Behavior: ConflictTags Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Action / Adventure

Lissa Price’s Starters is a young adult science fiction novel set in the near future after the Spore Wars, during which biological weapons were used against the United States and wiped out much of the unvaccinated middle-aged population. As a result, many teens were left without families, and the elderly feared for their place in society. Starters without grandparents were barred from essentially every type of work. This led to teens being rounded up to... Read Starters Summary


Publication year 1980Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Life/Time: The Past, Natural World: ObjectsTags Humor, Satire, Magical Realism, Absurdism, Fantasy

Publication year 2018Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Life/Time: Aging, Society: Community, Life/Time: The Past, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Society: ClassTags Romance, Relationships, Love / Sexuality, Finance / Money / Wealth, Class

Publication year 2023Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Hate & Anger, Identity: Mental Health, Life/Time: The Past, Natural World: Nurture v. Nature, Relationships: Daughters & Sons, Relationships: Siblings, Self Discovery, Values/Ideas: Trust & Doubt, Values/Ideas: Truth & LiesTags Mystery / Crime Fiction, Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Irish Literature

Publication year 1985Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Life/Time: The Past, Natural World: Food, Society: ColonialismTags Anthropology, Food

Publication year 2003Genre Poem, FictionThemes Life/Time: Aging, Life/Time: The Past, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Values/Ideas: Win & Lose, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: NostalgiaTags Narrative / Epic Poem

Publication year 1920Genre Novel, FictionThemes Society: Class, Society: Community, Relationships: Family, Life/Time: The Past, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Identity: Gender, Life/Time: MidlifeTags Classic Fiction, Historical Fiction, Class, Love / Sexuality, Gilded Age, American Literature, Gender / Feminism

American writer Edith Wharton’s Pulitzer-Prize winning novel The Age Of Innocence (1920) was a post-armistice reflection on the 1870s New York society of her youth. Wharton, an American who lived abroad in Paris, was already the successful author of other novels, including The House of Mirth (1905) and Ethan Frome (1911). In a The New York Times article, Elif Batuman reflects that “eventually, each classic tells two stories: its own, and the story of all... Read The Age of Innocence Summary


Publication year 1992Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Values/Ideas: Literature, Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Self Discovery, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Emotions/Behavior: Hate & Anger, Life/Time: The Past, Values/Ideas: ArtTags Self Help, Psychology, Arts / Culture, Addiction / Substance Abuse, Religion / Spirituality

Publication year 1888Genre Novella, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Identity: Gender, Life/Time: The Past, Values/Ideas: Art, Values/Ideas: Beauty, Values/Ideas: FameTags Classic Fiction, Mystery / Crime Fiction, Psychological Fiction, Realism

The Aspern Papers by Henry James is a novella first published in The Atlantic Monthly in 1888. The unnamed protagonist and narrator is an editor and obsessive fan of fictional poet Jeffrey Aspern, who is no longer living. Having heard that a former romantic partner of Aspern’s, Juliana Bordereau, and her niece, Tita Bordereau (renamed Tina in later editions), are in possession a collection of papers related to the poet, the narrator rents rooms in... Read The Aspern Papers Summary


Publication year 2022Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Equality, Relationships: Friendship, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Life/Time: The Future, Life/Time: The Past, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Values/Ideas: New Age, Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Values/Ideas: Order & Chaos, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Values/Ideas: Trust & Doubt, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Values/Ideas: Fate, Values/Ideas: Good & EvilTags Fantasy, LGBTQ, Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Mystery / Crime Fiction, Relationships, Science / Nature, Social Justice, Education, Philosophy

Publication year 1798Genre Poem, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Win & Lose, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Life/Time: Aging, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Life/Time: The Past, Natural World: Place, Relationships: Grandparents, Society: WarTags Narrative / Epic Poem, Military / War, History: European

“After Blenheim,” also known as “The Battle of Blenheim,” is a 1796 poem by Romantic poet Robert Southey (who would later become poet laureate of England). The poem concerns, most broadly speaking, the last echoes of an important early episode in the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-1714). After Charles II of Spain died without an heir in 1700, King Louis XIV's grandson acceded to the throne as Philip V. This started a war between... Read The Battle of Blenheim Summary


Publication year 2007Genre Novel, FictionThemes Society: Immigration, Identity: Race, Life/Time: The PastTags Realistic Fiction, Immigration / Refugee, History: African

Dinaw Mengestu’s 2007 debut novel, The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears, is a NYT Notable Book, a recipient of the Guardian First Book Award, and the LA Times Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction. Originally published in the UK under the title Children of the Revolution, the story takes place across three days in the life of Sepha Stephanos, an Ethiopian refugee living in Washington, DC. In his New York Times review of the book... Read The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears Summary


Publication year 2023Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Identity: Indigenous, Emotions/Behavior: courage, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Forgiveness, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Emotions/Behavior: Hate & Anger, Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Life/Time: The Past, Relationships: Mothers, Relationships: Siblings, Society: Globalization, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Values/Ideas: Truth & LiesTags Historical Fiction, Mystery / Crime Fiction, Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Canadian Literature

Publication year 2020Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Literature, Relationships: Mothers, Life/Time: The PastTags Historical Fiction, Military / War, American Civil War

Publication year 1898Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Order & Chaos, Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Life/Time: The PastTags Western, Humor, American Literature

“The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky” is a short story by American author Stephen Crane. Published in 1898, the story parodies tropes of old westerns and addresses the themes of the death of the Old West, domesticity, and masculinity. The story details the journey of Jack Potter, marshal of the small town of Yellow Sky, as he brings his new bride from the East back to his home in Texas on the Western frontier. Once... Read The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky Summary


Publication year 2020Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Life/Time: Aging, Relationships: Friendship, Life/Time: The Past, Emotions/Behavior: ForgivenessTags Historical Fiction

Publication year 2009Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: courage, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Emotions/Behavior: Hope, Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Relationships: Daughters & Sons, Relationships: Friendship, Relationships: Grandparents, Relationships: Fathers, Relationships: Mothers, Relationships: Teams, Identity: Disability, Identity: Indigenous, Identity: Gender, Identity: Race, Society: Immigration, Society: Class, Society: Community, Society: Education, Society: War, Society: Nation, Self Discovery, Society: Politics & Government, Natural World: Place, Values/Ideas: Equality, Values/Ideas: Fate, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Values/Ideas: Win & Lose, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Life/Time: Aging, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Life/Time: The Past, Life/Time: Midlife, Life/Time: Mortality & DeathTags Historical Fiction, Children's Literature, Sports

Publication year 2022Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Relationships: Friendship, Life/Time: The PastTags Mystery / Crime Fiction, Fantasy, Magical Realism, Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, History: Asian

Publication year 1904Genre Play, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Life/Time: The Past, Society: ClassTags Play: Tragedy, Play: Comedy / Satire, Russian Literature

Written in 1903 and first performed in 1904, The Cherry Orchard is the final work by acclaimed Russian playwright and author Anton Chekhov. Considered a classic of modern theater, the play tells the story of Lubov Andreyevna Ranevsky, an aristocratic Russian landowner who returns home after spending five years in Paris. She discovers that her family’s estate and renowned cherry orchard must be sold to cover debts. The enterprising merchant Lopakhin offers Lubov a plan to save the... Read The Cherry Orchard Summary