Diverse Reads

    • Anatomy of a Miracle
      Jonathan Miles

      Confined to a wheelchair after a paralyzing injury, an Afghanistan War veteran endures a hardscrabble existence in his sister's ramshackle Mississippi home before spontaneously regaining his ability to walk, an apparent miracle that subjects him to scientific and religious debates and exposes his most private secrets.

    • Best Boy
      Eli Gottlieb

      A fast-paced and moving story about Todd Aaron, a fifty-something man with autism, who has lived at Payton Living Center since he was a boy, and suddenly begins to wonder what life might be like outside the institution.

    • Etta and Otto and Russell and James
      Emma Hooper

      82-year-old Etta has never seen the ocean. Early one morning she takes a rifle, some chocolate, and her best boots, and begins walking the 3,232 kilometres from rural Saskatchewan to Halifax. Her husband wakes to a note left on the kitchen table; his oldest friend, who has loved Etta from afar for 60 years, insists on finding her, wherever she's gone.

    • Friday Black
      Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah

      A raw debut story collection from a young writer with an explosive voice; a treacherously surreal, and, at times, heartbreakingly satirical look at what it’s like to be young and black in America.

    • Golden Child
      Claire Adam

      Working exhausting hours in their rural Trinidad home, the family of a petroleum plant worker is shattered by the disappearance of a troubled twin son whose fate forces his father to make a devastating choice.

    • Heads of the Colored People
      Nafissa Thompson-Spires

      Boundary-pushing stories examine the concept of black identity in this so-called post-racial era. Some are darkly humorous while others are devastatingly poignant but each one plunges headfirst into the lives of new, utterly original characters. Though the stories stand alone, many characters appear several times or have relationships with one another. Thompson-Spires uses her characters to illustrate what real conversations about identity can be—sometimes awkward, occasionally hilarious, but never simple.

    • Human Acts
      Han Kang

      In a violent student uprising in South Korea, a young boy named Dong-ho is killed. This book follows the aftermath of his shocking death as told from the perspectives of the event's victims and their loved ones. A controversial bestseller, it is a timeless portrait of an historic event with reverberations still being felt today. A fiercely written, deeply upsetting, and beautifully human novel.

    • In the Midst of Winter
      Isabel Allende

      A minor traffic accident becomes a catalyst for an unexpected bond among a human rights scholar, his Chilean lecturer tenant and an undocumented immigrant from Guatemala, who explore firsthand the difficulties of immigrants and refugees in today's world.

    • The Map of Salt and Stars
      Jennifer Zeynab Joukhadar

      This rich, moving, and lyrical novel is the story of two girls living eight hundred years apart—a modern-day Syrian refugee seeking safety and a medieval adventurer apprenticed to a legendary mapmaker—places today’s headlines in the sweep of history, where the pain of exile and the triumph of courage echo again and again.

    • The Other Americans
      Laila Lalami

      The suspicious death of a Moroccan immigrant impacts the lives of a diverse cast of characters who are deeply divided by race, religion, and class. As they tell their stories, connections among them emerge, even as the victim’s family confronts its secrets, a town faces its hypocrisies, and love, messy and unpredictable, is born. A timely and powerful novel which is at once a family saga, a murder mystery, and a love story.

    • Song of a Captive Bird
      Jasmin Darznik

      Reimagines the life of rebel poet Forugh Farrokzhad, a passionate young writer in search of freedom and independence from the restrictions imposed on women in mid-twentieth-century Iran. Darznik’s knowledgeably invented characters and compellingly imagined scenarios are deftly set within Iran’s violent political and social upheavals, and stay true to the essence of Farrokhzad’s audacious, dramatic, and creative life. This enthralling and illuminating novel will introduce Farrokhzad to a whole new world of readers.

    • There There
      Tommy Orange

      As we learn the reasons that each person is attending the Big Oakland Powwow momentum builds toward a shocking yet inevitable conclusion that changes everything. This large cast of interwoven characters depicts the experience of Native Americans living in urban settings. A wondrous and shattering portrait of an America few of us have ever seen.

    • The Tragedy of Brady Sims
      Ernest J. Gaines

      A novella about a courthouse shooting that leads a young reporter to uncover the long story of race and power in his small town and the relationship between the white sheriff and the black man who "whipped children" to keep order. The conversation among black men in a barbershop slowly reveals all the suffering that led to Sims killing his own son. In the telling, we learn the story of a small southern town, divided by race, and the black community struggling to survive even as many of its members head northwards during the Great Migration.