Kindred by Octavia E. Butler

Kindred by Octavia E. Butler

In 1976, Dana dreams of being a writer. In 1815, she is assumed a slave.

When Dana first meets Rufus on a Maryland plantation, he’s drowning. She saves his life – and it will happen again and again. Neither of them understands his power to summon her whenever his life is threatened, nor the significance of the ties that bind them. And each time Dana saves him, the more aware she is that her own life might be over before it’s even begun.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Racism & racial slurs
  • Slavery
  • Rape
  • Sexual assault
  • Suicide
  • Self harm
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Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

February 1862. The Civil War is less than one year old. The fighting has begun in earnest, and the nation has begun to realize it is in for a long, bloody struggle. Meanwhile, President Lincoln’s beloved eleven-year-old son, Willie, lies upstairs in the White House, gravely ill. In a matter of days, despite predictions of a recovery, Willie dies and is laid to rest in a Georgetown cemetery. “My poor boy, he was too good for this earth,” the president says at the time. “God has called him home.” Newspapers report that a grief-stricken Lincoln returned to the crypt several times alone to hold his boy’s body… Read more.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Slavery
  • Racism
  • Rape
  • Death of a child
  • Kidnapping
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There There by Tommy Orange

There There by Tommy Orange 

Tommy Orange’s wondrous and shattering novel follows twelve characters from Native communities: all traveling to the Big Oakland Powwow, all connected to one another in ways they may not yet realize. Among them is Jacquie Red Feather, newly sober and trying to make it back to the family she left behind. Dene Oxendene, pulling his life together after his uncle’s death and working at the powwow to honor his memory. Fourteen-year-old Orvil, coming to perform traditional dance for the very first time. Together, this chorus of voices tells of the plight of the urban Native American–grappling with a complex and painful history, with an inheritance of beauty and spirituality, with communion and sacrifice and heroism.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Racism
  • Rape
  • Domestic violence
  • Alcoholism
  • Substance addiction
  • Gun violence & mass shooting
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Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo

Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo

This is Britain as you’ve never seen it.
This is Britain as it has never been told.

From Newcastle to Cornwall, from the birth of the twentieth century to the teens of the twenty-first, Girl Woman Other follows a cast of twelve characters on their personal journeys through this country and the last hundred years. They’re each looking for something – a shared past, an unexpected future, a place to call home, somewhere to fit in, a lover, a missed mother, a lost father, even just a touch of hope . . .

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Racism & racial slurs
  • Misogyny
  • Homomisia
  • Transmisia
  • Misgendering
  • Deadnaming
  • Rape
  • Sexual assault
  • Domestic abuse
  • Emotional & physical abuse
  • Cheating
  • Drug use
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The Alienist by Caleb Carr

The Alienist by Caleb Carr

The year is 1896, the place, New York City. On a cold March night “New York Times” reporter John Schuyler Moore is summoned to the East River by his friend and former Harvard classmate Dr. Laszlo Kreizler, a psychologist, or “alienist.” On the unfinished Williamsburg Bridge, they view the horribly mutilated body of an adolescent boy, a prostitute from one of Manhattan’s infamous brothels.

The newly appointed police commissioner, Theodore Roosevelt, in a highly unorthodox move, enlists the two men in the murder investigation, counting on the reserved Kreizler’s intellect and Moore’s knowledge of New York’s vast criminal underworld. They are joined by Sara Howard, a brave and determined woman who works as a secretary in the police department. Laboring in secret… Read more.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Sexism
  • Racism
  • Attempted rape
  • Suicide
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The Merchant of Venice by Jules Verne

The Merchant of Venice by Jules Verne

In this lively comedy of love and money in sixteenth-century Venice, Bassanio wants to impress the wealthy heiress Portia but lacks the necessary funds. He turns to his merchant friend, Antonio, who is forced to borrow from Shylock, a Jewish moneylender. When Antonio’s business falters, repayment becomes impossible–and by the terms of the loan agreement, Shylock is able to demand a pound of Antonio’s flesh. 

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Racism
  • Antisemitism
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Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe

Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe

When a benevolent landowner decides to sell two slaves—Uncle Tom and Eliza—in order to raise funds, the lives of the two slaves follow divergent paths. While Eliza escapes to eventual freedom, Uncle Tom is repeatedly sold until he ends up working on the prosperous Legree plantation, where his very life becomes forfeit to his violent master.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Slavery
  • Racism
  • Suicide
  • Death of a child
  • Whipping
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The Huntress by Kate Quinn

The Huntress by Kate Quinn

Bold and fearless, Nina Markova always dreamed of flying. When the Nazis attack the Soviet Union, she risks everything to join the legendary Night Witches, an all-female night bomber regiment wreaking havoc on the invading Germans. When she is stranded behind enemy lines, Nina becomes the prey of a lethal Nazi murderess known as the Huntress, and only Nina’s bravery and cunning will keep her alive.

Transformed by the horrors he witnessed from Omaha Beach to the Nuremberg Trials, British war correspondent Ian Graham has become a Nazi hunter. Yet one target eludes him: a vicious predator known as the Huntress. To find her, the fierce, disciplined investigator joins forces with the only witness to escape the Huntress alive: the brazen, cocksure Nina. But a shared secret could derail their mission unless Ian and Nina force themselves to confront it… Read more.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Antisemitism
  • Racism
  • Threats of sexual assault
  • Murder
  • Bombings
  • War themes
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The Rose Code by Kate Quinn

The Rose Code by Kate Quinn

As England prepares to fight the Nazis, three very different women answer the call to mysterious country estate Bletchley Park, where the best minds in Britain train to break German military codes. Vivacious debutante Osla is the girl who has everything—beauty, wealth, and the dashing Prince Philip of Greece sending her roses—but she burns to prove herself as more than a society girl, and puts her fluent German to use as a translator of decoded enemy secrets. Imperious self-made Mab, product of east-end London poverty, works the legendary codebreaking machines as she conceals old wounds and looks for a socially advantageous husband. Both Osla and Mab are quick to see the potential in local village spinster Beth, whose shyness conceals a brilliant facility with puzzles, and soon Beth spreads her wings as one of the Park’s few female cryptanalysts… Read more.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Racism
  • Sexual harassment
  • Physical abuse
  • Forced drug use
  • Forced institutionalisation
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Displacement by Kiku Hughes

Displacement by Kiku Hughes

Displacement by Kiku Hughes

Kiku is on vacation in San Francisco when suddenly she finds herself displaced to the 1940s Japanese-American internment camp that her late grandmother, Ernestina, was forcibly relocated to during World War II.

These displacements keep occurring until Kiku finds herself “”stuck”” back in time. Living alongside her young grandmother and other Japanese-American citizens in internment camps, Kiku gets the education she never received in history class. She witnesses the lives of Japanese-Americans who were denied their civil liberties and suffered greatly, but managed to cultivate community and commit acts of resistance in order to survive.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Racism & racial slurs
  • Colourism
  • Sexism
  • Hate crimes
  • Cancer
  • Death
  • Grief depiction
  • Confinement
  • Imprisonment
  • War themes, specifically WW2 & Japanese internment camp
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