Middletown Thrall Library invites you on a literary safari... BEYOND THE BESTSELLERS: An Update on Above-average Fiction Often Not Found on Bestseller Lists Fall 2010 Edition

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Past Issues

Missed a past issue of Beyond the Bestsellers? Click below for previous BTBs and more reading recommendations:

We invite you to consider any of the titles below the next time you're looking for something interesting to read. To learn more about a book and check on its availablity within the library system, click a title link below.

You can also click on an author's name to see if any additional titles by that author are available in the library system.

Some book records in the library catalog have additional links you can click to learn more about the book and the author. Some titles even have chapter excerpts that you can read online!

Scroll down and browse by genre to begin!

General Fiction

  • My Hollywood - Mona Simpson. Claire, a new mother in a slowly failing marriage, hires Lola, a woman working to pay for her children's education in the Philipines, as a nanny. Lola soon begins to do much more than she is hired for, patching up Claire's marriage and life. The complexities of motherhood and friendship are explored in Simpson's first novel in ten years.
  • Strangers at the Feast - Jennifer Vanderbes. When three generations of the Olsen family gather for Thanksgiving, they are not as happy as they seem. Strained relationships, bad decisions and false shows of happiness culminate in a crime that rocks their world.

Other titles to consider:

Historical Fiction

  • Gentleman Captain - J.D. Davies. This seventeenth century high-seas adventure chronicles the exploits of Matthew Quinton, a gentleman in Samuel Pepys' navy.
  • The Bells - Richard Harvell. Born in a belfry to a deaf-mute mother, Moses has a preternatural gift of hearing. Cast out and separated from his mother by her paramour, the village priest, Moses is rescued by two monks, becomes a member of the Abbey's choir, falls in love with the daughter of a wealthy patron, and is castrated by his choirmaster. Set in eighteenth century Switzerland and Vienna, this debut showcases the triumph of the human spirit.

Other titles to consider:


  • In Search of Mercy - Michael Ayoob. Dexter Bolzjak, a goalie who blew his high school state championship eight years ago and was abducted and tortured by disappointed fans, gets by now working in a warehouse. When offered some serious money by an old drunk named Lou to find his film star girlfriend, Dexter embarks on a search resulting in nightmares both real and imagined.
  • The Rhetoric of Death - Judith Rock. Charles du Luc arrives in Paris in 1686 to teach rhetoric and direct dance at the college of Louis le Grand. A former soldier. who has spent the last seven years as Jesuit seminarian, LeDuc is soon caught up in a student's murder. This suspenseful debut is filled with political turmoil and church intrigue.

Other mysteries to consider:

Science Fiction & Fantasy

  • Wings of Fire - Jonathan Strahan. Dragons, dragons and more dragons! In this book, various authors have brought to life dragons of every shape, size, and level of fierceness. Whether they are breathing fire, kidnapping princesses, or guarding treasure, there is a dragon to capture any imagination.

Other titles to consider:


  • Venom - Joan Brady. Helen Freyl and her grandmother are thrilled when they find out the bees they are raising have a venom with amazing healing properties. They are even more thrilled when they are at the center of a bidding war between two pharmaceutical companies who want the rights to the venom. But when they find out that one of the companies is conducting deadly experiments, Helen is in danger of becoming the next victim.
  • The Queen of Patpong - Timothy Hallinan. After travel writer Poke Rafferty finally marries his girlfriend, Rose, things seem to be settling into place. They have an adopted daughter and a comfortable life. Until that is, predator Howard Horner shows up and Rose's past collides with the present. In order to survive, Poke and Rose must travel their most dangerous path yet: Rose's past as queen of Patpong Road.

Other thrillers to consider:

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