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Reading lists

This guide shows you books from your reading lists with status information.

Books- Novels / Plays

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The Bluest Eye

PS 3563.O8749 B55 1993

It is the story of eleven-year-old Pecola Breedlove - a black girl in an America whose love for its blond, blue-eyed children can devastate all others - who prays for her eyes to turn blue: so that she will be beautiful, so that people will look at her, so that her world will be different.

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Death of a Salesman

PS 3525 .I5156 D4 1996 Play

The tragedy of a man who gave his life, or sold it in pursuit of the American Dream.

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Fahrenheit 451

PS 3503 .R167 F4 2013

In a future totalitarian state where books are banned and destroyed by the government, Guy Montag, a fireman in charge of burning books, meets a revolutionary schoolteacher who dares to read and a girl who tells him of a past when people did not live in fear.

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Fences : a play / by August Wilson

PS 3573 .I45677 F4 1986


Movie (Off-campus: logging in with your Owl Link account)

During the 1950's Troy Maxson struggles against racism and tries to preserve his feelings of pride in himself.

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For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow Is Enuf

PS 3569 .H3324 F6 2010 Poetry


First published in 1975, Shange's choreopoem has been read and performed because it truly revealed what it meant to be of color and female in the twentieth century.

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Invisible Man

PS 3555 .L625 I5 1995 Fiction

The nameless narrator of the novel describes growing up in a black community in the South, attending a Negro college from which he is expelled, moving to New York and becoming the chief spokesman of the Harlem branch of "the Brotherhood".

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Light in August : the corrected text / William Faulkner.

PS 3511 .A86 L5 1990 Fiction

Joe Christmas does not know whether he is black or white. Faulkner makes of Joe's tragedy a powerful indictment of racism; at the same time Joe's life is a study of the divided self and becomes a symbol of 20th century man.

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Like Water for Chocolate

PQ 7298.15 .S638 C6613 1992 Fiction

Tita grows up to be a master chef, using cooking to express herself and sharing recipes with readers along the way.

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A Million Little Pieces

HV5831.M6 F74 2004

A Million Little Pieces is a story of drug and alcohol abuse and rehabilitation as it has never been told before. Recounted in visceral, kinetic prose, and crafted with a forthrightness that rejects piety, cynicism, and self-pity, it brings us face-to-face with a provocative new understanding of the nature of addiction and the meaning of recovery.

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No exit, and three other plays / by Jean-Paul Sartre.

PQ 2637.A82 H82 1989

In these four plays, Jean-Paul Sartre, the great existentialist novelist and philosopher, displays his mastery of the drama. 4 plays about an existential portrayal of Hell, the reworking of the Electra-Orestes story, the conflict of a young intellectual torn between theory and conflict and an arresting attack on American racism.

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Of Mice and Men

PS3537.T3234 O2 2002 Fiction

They are an unlikely pair: George is "small and quick and dark of face"; Lennie, a man of tremendous size, has the mind of a young child. Yet they have formed a "family," clinging together in the face of loneliness and alienation.

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The Other Wes Moore

F 189 .B153 M66 2011

Two kids with the same name were born blocks apart in the same decaying city within a few years of each other. One grew up to be a Rhodes Scholar, army officer, White House Fellow, and business leader. The other is serving a life sentence in prison. Here is the story of two boys and the journey of a generation.

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The Piano Lesson

PS 3573 .I45677 P54 2007


When Boy Willie, Berniece's exuberant brother, bursts into her life with his dream of buying the same Mississippi land that his family had worked as slaves, he plans to sell their antique piano for the hard cash he needs to stake his future. But Berniece refuses to sell, clinging to the piano as a reminder of the history that is their family legacy.

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Picking Cotton

Reserve Desk (Circulation Desk-1st floor)

The story behind the unlikely friendship which developed between the accused rapist Ronald Cotton--who served eleven years in prison for a crime he didn't commit--and his accuser, Jennifer Thompson, raped at knifepoint by a man who broke into her apartment while she slept.

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The Rose That Grew from Concrete

PS 3569 .H3234 R6 1999

Tupac's most honest and intimate thoughts conveyed through the pure art of poetry -- a mirror into his enigmatic life and its many contradictions. Written in his own hand at the age of nineteen, they embrace his spirit, his energy ... and his ultimate message of hope.

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A taste of honey : a play / by Shelagh Delaney.

PR 6007 .E327 T3 1959b

The play is the story of a working-class, adolescent girl and her relationships with the Black sailor who makes her pregnant; the homosexual art student who moves into her apartment to help her through her pregnancy; her fun-loving, saloon-frequenting mother; and Peter, her mother’s newly acquired husband.

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Their Eyes Were Watching God

PS3515.U789 T5 2006 Fiction

A novel about black Americans in Florida that centers on the life of Janie and her three marriages.

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Things Fall Apart

PR 9387.9 .A3 T5 1992b

A simple story of a "strong man" whose life is dominated by fear and anger.

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A Woman Like Me

Reserve Desk (Circulation Desk-1st floor)

The singer Bettye LaVette's autobiography charts one missed chance and blown opportunity after another on the way to belated renown 40 years into her career.

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When Bad Things Happen to Good People

BM 645 .P7 K87 2004

Harold Kushner, a Jewish rabbi facing his own child's fatal illness, deftly guides us through the inadequacies of the traditional answers to the problem of evil, then provides a uniquely practical and compassionate answer that has appealed to millions of readers across all religious creeds.