Middletown Thrall Library Inspires You to travel outward... BEYOND THE BESTSELLERS: Featuring fresh authors and interesting stories often not found on 'bestseller' lists.

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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!


  • The Signal - Ron Carlson: Wyoming's Wind River Mountains are the setting of this suspenseful tale of love and redemption. The western wilderness is as carefully described as Mack and Vonnie's ten year relationship told through flashbacks during "one last" backpacking trip together.
  • Home Repair - Liz Rosenberg: Eve's first husband died in an automobile accident, but her second husband takes an easier way out. He goes on an errand during a tag sale at their Binghamton home and just never comes back. Life goes on for Eve and her teenage son and nine-year old daughter in this funny, gentle and wise novel. Readers of Anne Tyler, Laurie Colwin, and Allegra Goodman will enjoy.

Other general fiction titles to consider:


  • Four Freedoms - John Crowley: The American homefront during World War II is vividly recreated in this novel that follows the lives of workers in an aircraft factory in brand new Ponca City, Oklahoma. Themes of war, community, shared sacrifice, and identity are explored.
  • In the Shadow of Gotham - Stefanie Pintoff: Readers who enjoyed Caleb Carr's The Alienist will find much to like in this atmospheric historical set in New York City in 1905. Brooding over losing his girlfriend in the General Slocum Ferry disaster, Detective Simon Ziele investigates the death of a wealthy young woman.


  • Wife of the Gods - Kwei J. Quartey: When a local young women, a medical student in The Ghana Ministry of Health's AIDS program, goes missing and is found dead, Detective Inspector Darko Dawson is brought from the capital city to Ketanu to help solve the crime. Grittier than McCall Smith's No. 1 Ladies Detective Club series, this debut offers a sociologically and culturally rich depiction of its rural setting.
  • Baker Street Letters - Michael Robertson: Sherlock Holmes fans will be amused by this fast paced modern day debut, featuring solicitor Reggie Heath and his solicitor brother Nigel who has been suspended from legal practice due to misconduct. When Reggie leases office space on Baker Street, one of the conditions is he reply to inquiries addressed to Sherlock Holmes. Assigned to the task of sending formulaic answers by his older brother, Nigel instead becomes embroiled in an LA homicide.

Other mysteries to consider:


  • The City and the City - China Mieville: In the near future, two cities literally occupy the same space, but citizens are kept from acknowledging the other city by a terrifying border patrol called the Breach. A blend of science fiction and police procedural, this existential thriller is not an easy read, but Kirkus says the "spectacularly, intricately paranoid yarn is worth the effort."
  • Hylozoic - Rudy Rucker: Sequel to Postsinguar. Aliens realize that Earth now has singularity and invade to exploit humans. Will reality media stars and newlyweds Thuy and Jayjay be able to save humanity? Wildly imaginative and funny.
Another title to consider:


  • The Last Child - John Hart: Thirteen year old Johnny Merrimon is determined to find out what happened to his twin sister who diasappeared last year on her way home from the library. He has even visited the homes of known sex offenders in Raven County, NC looking for her. He has an ally in Detective Clyde Hunt who is just as obsessed. This character driven thriller is a page turner.
  • The Doomsday Key - James Rollins: In the sixth Sigma Force novel, the United States covert government team investigates the deaths of a famed geneticist at Princeton, a senator's son working in a Red Cross Camp in Africa, and a Vatican archaeologist - all found with a druid cross burned into their skin. An action packed swirl of science, history, and adventure, The Doomsday Key is lightening fast and fun.

Other thriller to consider:

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