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Help with Some Titles

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Hello everyone. I'm not really sure where this thread fits but I made it here since I am asking about reading recommendations for one of my annual reading challenges. The website I usually buy books from issues a reading challenge at the start of every year with the purpose of reading one book per month and they always give multiple choices. However this year I am having a hard time following it since it contains a lot of new literature which I am not very familiar with. 


I first ran into a problem when I saw that I have to read a book by an author of colour. Now, I've just read Beloved by Toni Morrison and I have no idea who any of the people they recommend are: Helen Oyeyemi, Shonda Rimes or Nicola Yonn. I guess I could always read something by Oprah or Obama or... I assume Martin Luther King wrote something but what about fiction? What about The Colour Purple by Alice Walker? 


Second topic: Modern poetry. Besides Yeats, I am clueless to poetry. And I only bought a volume of his works because I was in Dublin. They recommend Ariel by Sylvia Plath, Bukowski's Love is a Dog from Hell or Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur. Many booktubers did not like Milk and Honey for some reason so I guess Plath or Bukowski it is. I read The Bell Jar but I don;t think you can tell how good of a poet someone is based by a novel. Any recommendations here? I'm fine with both of them really. 


My third and biggest challenge comes in the form of a novel where the action takes place in two different times or the action jumps from one period to another. The Girl You Left Behind  by Jojo Moyes is recommended here and Cloud Atlas is a no brainer but what  about something that is not 500 pages long? 


Thx for reading this longish post.

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Hmm, I'm not familiar with any of their recommendations either.


For the first, I'd recommend James Baldwin.  Another Country is one of his best known works, and my personal favourite, chronicling racial and emotional tensions between a group of friends in 1950s New York.


For the second, poetry is my blind spot, although I've read and enjoyed some Allen Ginsberg, which is modern-ish?  You might like Howl -- which is short, at least!


And for the third, I can suggest a couple:


In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, which hops back and forth to give the point of view of the killers as they prepare for their crime, to the crime's aftermath and the narrator's interviewing of the townsfolk.  That's not a big time jump, though, so might not be what you're looking for.


Then there's Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides, which tells the tale of three generations of one family, each in their own time period.  It's not far off 500 pages, however!

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