House of Leaves by Mark Danielewski

House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski

Years ago, when House of Leaves was first being passed around, it was nothing more than a badly bundled heap of paper, parts of which would occasionally surface on the Internet. No one could have anticipated the small but devoted following this terrifying story would soon command. Starting with an odd assortment of marginalized youth—musicians, tattoo artists, programmers, strippers, environmentalists, and adrenaline junkies—the book eventually made its way into the hands of older generations, who not only found themselves in those strangely arranged pages but also discovered a way back into the lives of their estranged children.

Now, for the first time, this astonishing novel is made available in book form, complete with the original colored words, vertical footnotes, and newly added second and third appendices… Read more.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Rape
  • Child abuse & neglect
  • Schizophrenia
  • Agoraphobia
  • Claustrophobia
  • Suicide
  • Hospitalisation
  • Gun violence
  • Death of a dog
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The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce

Meet Harold Fry, recently retired. He lives in a small English village with his wife, Maureen, who seems irritated by almost everything he does, even down to how he butters his toast. Little differentiates one day from the next. Then one morning the mail arrives, and within the stack of quotidian minutiae is a letter addressed to Harold in a shaky scrawl from a woman he hasn’t seen or heard from in twenty years. Queenie Hennessy is in hospice and is writing to say goodbye.

Harold pens a quick reply and, leaving Maureen to her chores, heads to the corner mailbox. But then, as happens in the very best works of fiction, Harold has a chance encounter, one that convinces him that he absolutely must deliver his message to Queenie in person. And thus begins the unlikely pilgrimage. Harold Fry is determined to walk… Read more.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Domestic abuse
  • Alcoholism
  • Suicide
  • Hospitalisation
  • Terminal illness
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The Alice Network by Kate Quinn

The Alice Network by Kate Quinn

1947. In the chaotic aftermath of World War II, American college girl Charlie St. Clair is pregnant, unmarried, and on the verge of being thrown out of her very proper family. She’s also nursing a desperate hope that her beloved cousin Rose, who disappeared in Nazi-occupied France during the war, might still be alive. So when Charlie’s parents banish her to Europe to have her “little problem” taken care of, Charlie breaks free and heads to London, determined to find out what happened to the cousin she loves like a sister.

1915. A year into the Great War, Eve Gardiner burns to join the fight against the Germans and unexpectedly gets her chance when she’s recruited to work as a spy. Sent into enemy-occupied France, she’s trained by the mesmerizing Lili, code name Alice, the “queen of spies”, who manages a vast network of secret agents right under the enemy’s nose… Read more.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Antisemitism & Nazism
  • Sexual assault
  • Suicide
  • Pregnancy
  • Abortion
  • Blood & gore depiction
  • Hospitalisation
  • Emesis
  • Death of a child
  • Torture
  • Stalking
  • World War One & Two
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Dancing at the Pity Party: A Dead Mom Graphic Memoir by Tyler Feder

Dancing at the Pity Party: A Dead Mom Graphic Memoir by Tyler Feder

Dancing at the Pity Party by Tyler Feder

Part poignant cancer memoir and part humorous reflection on a motherless life, this debut graphic novel is extraordinarily comforting and engaging.

From before her mother’s first oncology appointment through the stages of her cancer to the funeral, sitting shiva, and afterward, when she must try to make sense of her life as a motherless daughter, Tyler Feder tells her story in this graphic novel that is full of piercing–but also often funny–details. She shares the important post-death firsts, such as celebrating holidays without her mom, the utter despair of cleaning out her mom’s closet, ending old traditions and starting new ones, and the sting of having the “I’ve got to tell Mom about this” instinct and not being able to act on it. This memoir, bracingly candid and sweetly humorous, is for anyone struggling with loss who just wants someone to get it.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Panic attacks
  • Medical trauma
  • Cancer
  • Death of a parent
  • Hospitals & hospitalisation
  • Grief depiction
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Fifty Shades Freed by EL James

Fifty Shades Freed by E.L. James

When unworldly student Anastasia Steele first encountered the driven and dazzling young entrepreneur Christian Grey it sparked a sensual affair that changed both of their lives irrevocably. Shocked, intrigued, and, ultimately, repelled by Christian’s singular erotic tastes, Ana demands a deeper commitment. Determined to keep her, Christian agrees.

Now, Ana and Christian have it all—love, passion, intimacy, wealth, and a world of possibilities for their future. But Ana knows that loving her Fifty Shades will not be easy, and that being together will pose challenges that neither of them would anticipate. Ana must somehow learn to share Christian’s opulent lifestyle without sacrificing her own identity. And Christian must overcome his compulsion to control as he wrestles with the demons of a tormented past.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Attempted sexual assault recounted
  • Statutory rape recounted
  • Cheating mentioned
  • Domestic violence mentioned
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Unplanned pregnancy
  • Hospitalisation
  • Parent in a medically-induced coma because of a car accident
  • Death of a mother from an overdose recounted
  • Attempted murder
  • Gun violence
  • Kidnapping & attempted kidnapping
  • Blackmail
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The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon by Stephen King

The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon by Stephen King

The world had teeth and it could bite you with them anytime it wanted. Trisha McFarland discovers this when she is nine years old. Lost in the woods.

Trisha has only veered a little way off the path. But in her panic to get back to her family, she takes a turning that leads into the tangled undergrowth, deeper into the woods.

At first it’s just the bugs, midges and mosquitoes. Then comes the hunger. For comfort she tunes her Walkman into broadcasts of the Red Sox baseball games and the performances of her hero Tom Gordon.

As darkness begins to fall and Trisha struggles for survival and a way out, she realizes that she is not alone. There’s something else in the woods – watching. Waiting…

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Hallucinations
  • Pneumonia
  • Hospitalisation
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Confess by Colleen Hoover

Confess by Colleen Hoover

Auburn Reed is determined to rebuild her shattered life and she has no room for mistakes. But when she walks into a Dallas art studio in search of a job, she doesn’t expect to become deeply attracted to the studio’s enigmatic artist, Owen Gentry.

For once, Auburn takes a chance and puts her heart in control, only to discover that Owen is hiding a huge secret. The magnitude of his past threatens to destroy everything Auburn loves most, and the only way to get her life back on track is to cut Owen out of it—but can she do it?

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Sexual assault
  • Cheating
  • Intimate partner abuse & violence
  • Pain pill addiction
  • Drug use & abuse
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Teen pregnancy
  • Hospital
  • Coma
  • Death of a parent
  • Death of a child
  • Car accident
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Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb

One day, Lori Gottlieb is a therapist who helps patients in her Los Angeles practice. The next, a crisis causes her world to come crashing down. Enter Wendell, the quirky but seasoned therapist in whose office she suddenly lands. With his balding head, cardigan, and khakis, he seems to have come straight from Therapist Central Casting. Yet he will turn out to be anything but.

As Gottlieb explores the inner chambers of her patients’ lives — a self-absorbed Hollywood producer, a young newlywed diagnosed with a terminal illness, a senior citizen threatening to end her life on her birthday if nothing gets better, and a twenty-something who can’t stop hooking up with the wrong guys — she finds that the questions they are struggling with are the very ones she is now bringing to Wendell.

With startling wisdom and humor, Gottlieb invites us into her world as both clinician and patient, examining the truths and fictions we tell ourselves and others as we teeter on the tightrope between love and desire, meaning and mortality, guilt and redemption, terror and courage, hope and change.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Ableism & ableist language
  • Sexism & misogyny
  • Victim blaming
  • Sexual harassment
  • Workplace harassment
  • Abuse, neglect & abandonment
  • Abusive relationships
  • Verbal abuse
  • Intimate partner abuse & violence
  • Estrangement & disownment
  • Child abuse
  • Mental illness
  • Intrusive thoughts
  • Addiction
  • Depression
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Medical treatment & procedures
  • Terminal illness
  • Cancer
  • Heart disease & heart attack
  • Physical injuries & wounds
  • Amputation/Loss of limb
  • Hospital & hospitalisation
  • Death of a child
  • Death of a friend
  • Death of a sibling
  • Grief & loss depiction
  • Physical assault
  • Stalking
  • Car accident
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Here Comes the Sun by Nicole Dennis-Benn

Here Comes the Sun by Nicole Dennis-Benn

Here Comes the Sun by Nicole Dennis-Benn

Capturing the distinct rhythms of Jamaican life and dialect, Nicole Dennis-Benn pens a tender hymn to a world hidden among pristine beaches and the wide expanse of turquoise seas. At an opulent resort in Montego Bay, Margot hustles to send her younger sister, Thandi, to school. Taught as a girl to trade her sexuality for survival, Margot is ruthlessly determined to shield Thandi from the same fate. When plans for a new hotel threaten their village, Margot sees not only an opportunity for her own financial independence but also perhaps a chance to admit a shocking secret: her forbidden love for another woman. As they face the impending destruction of their community, each woman fighting to balance the burdens she shoulders with the freedom she craves must confront long-hidden scars. From a much-heralded new writer, Here Comes the Sun offers a dramatic glimpse into a vibrant, passionate world most outsiders see simply as paradise.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Ableism & ableist language
  • Body shaming & fatmisia
  • Classism
  • Colourism
  • Lesbomisia
  • Homomisia
  • Sexism & misogyny
  • Racism & racial slurs, including misogynoir
  • Sex worker shaming & slurs
  • Slut-shaming
  • Transmisia
  • Victim blaming
  • Rape, including by coercion, statutory & gang rape
  • Sexual abuse & assault, including child sexual assault
  • Sexual harassment, including in the workplace
  • Incest
  • Paedophilia & grooming
  • Child abuse
  • Domestic abuse & violence
  • Emotional abuse
  • Verbal abuse
  • Parental abuse, neglect & abandonement
  • Estrangement & disownment
  • Disordered weight & body thoughts
  • Disfigurmisia
  • Anxiety disorder & anxiety attacks
  • Depression
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Memory disorder, specifically dementia
  • Self harm, including self-immolation
  • Drug use
  • Hospitals & hospitalisation
  • Physical assault
  • Sex work & trafficking
  • Drowning
  • Outing
  • Gentrification
  • Displacement
  • Animal death
  • Blackmail
  • Gaslighting
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Oasis by Katya de Becerra

Oasis by Katya de Becerra

The oasis saved them. But who will save them from the oasis?

Alif had exciting summer plans: working on her father’s archaeological dig site in the desert with four close friends . . . and a very cute research assistant. Then the sandstorm hit.

With their camp wiped away, Alif and the others find themselves lost on the sands, seemingly doomed . . . until they find the oasis. It has everything they need: food, water, shade—and mysterious ruins that hide a deadly secret. As reality begins to shift around them, they question what’s real and what’s a mirage… Read more.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Racism mentioned
  • Smoking
  • Dehydration
  • Blood & physical injuries
  • Medical treatment & procedures
  • Seizures mentioned
  • Hospitalisation
  • Death from impalement
  • Bullying mentioned
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