Middletown Thrall Library Lights a Path... BEYOND THE BESTSELLERS: Your Personal Guide to Interesting Books Not Necessarily Found on Bestseller Lists: Summer 2008 Edition

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Past Issues

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

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!


  • City of Thieves - David Benioff - Seventeen year-old Lev Beniov is thrown in jail in 1941 Leningrad for looting. Instead of the death sentence he expects, he and his charismatic cellmate are given the nearly impossible task of finding a dozen eggs for a powerful colonel's daughter's wedding cake. This is a wise, funny and thrilling adventure cum coming of age story.
  • America America - Ethan Canin - In 1971, Corey Sifter, the son of a plumber, is befriended by wealthy Liam Metarey. He falls for Meteray's daughter and joins the presidential campaign of Henry Bonwiller, a United States Senator from New York whom Metarey wants to put in the White House. When a young woman is found dead, and Bonwiller is implicated in her death, will Corey be blind to the truth? Jerome Charyn in Publisher's Weekly calls this novel "a powerful lament that haunts us like a latter day ghost of The Great Gatsby."

Other general fiction titles to consider:


  • The Gift of Rain - Tan Twan Eng - Half British and half Chinese, Philip Aminius Khoo Hutton lives on the Malaysian island of Penang. In 1939, when sixteen year-old Philip is taught aikido by an elderly Japanese diplomat who rents a neighboring island from Philip's father, he becomes an unwitting accomplice to the Japanese invasion of Malaysia. Trusted by no one, he must work in secret to save as many people as he can from the brutality he has helped bring upon them.


  • Dust of Death - Paul Charles - "The bloodied body of a crucified man is discovered in the Second Federation Church in an Irish Heritage Town on the first Friday of summer. The investigations by Inspector Starrett of the Serious Crime Unit and his young team soon reveal a County Donegal that is not nearly as righteous as its many churches might suggest." (From book jacket)
  • The Calling - Inger Ash Wolfe - Detective Inspector Hazel Micallef, investigating the murder of an acquaintance, discovers a series of murders across Canada in which the victims' corpses have had their mouths manipulated into screams. The tension mounts as Micaleff, a sixty-one year old divorced recovering alcoholic, puts herself increasingly at risk in attempts to bring an end to the killing. Wolfe is a pseudonym for a literary novelist.

Other mysteries to consider:


  • Private Arrangements - Sherry Thomas - When Lady Tremain, files for divorce, Lord Tremain consents on one condition - that she provide him with an heir. This debut, set in the late nineteenth century, has been called intelligent, refreshing and thought provoking, but mostly it sounds like fun!


Other sci-fi titles to consider:


  • Collision - Jeff Abbott - A corporate consultant picking up the pieces of his life after the murder of his wife and a former CIA agent working for a covert ops group propel this nonstop, heart pounding, action thriller.
  • Don't Tell A Soul - David Rosenfelt - Already under suspicion for the murder of his wife, Tim Wallace's life gets worse when a stranger in a bar tells him a secret. Suspenseful, great characters - this one is hard to put down!

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