Middletown Thrall Library invites you on a literary safari... BEYOND THE BESTSELLERS: Powerful Stories and Spectacular Selections Often not Naturally Found on Bestseller Lists Summer 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

  • The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake - Aimee Bender. When she is 9 years old, Rose Edelstein discovers she has a gift. When she eats, she can taste the emotions of the person who made the food. Throughout her life, Rose must learn to live with the knowledge of her mother's unhappiness, her father's pain, and her brother's disorder. Though not always happy, Ruth draws closer to her family and realizes that some feelings go deeper than taste. This coming of age story explores human emotions through a universal medium: food!
  • A Visit from the Goon Squad - Jennifer Egan. Eagan's novel chronicles the lives of Bennie Salazar and his secretary Sasha from the 1970's to the year 2020. Bennie is a record-company executive who, in his younger years, was in a punk rock band. Sasha is a mother and kleptomaniac. As we follow them from past to present, to a believable vision of the future, we begin to understand how we all evolve.
  • The Spot: Stories - David Means. Everyone has a certain spot significant to them. In David Mean's collection of stories, each tale revolves around a single spot and a single event, and with each rotation readers are exposed to a new angle and interpretation.

Other titles to consider:

Historical Fiction

  • The Outer Banks House - Diann Ducharme. Two years after the end of the Civil War, Abigail Sinclair lives a quiet life with her parents, and, at their request, she teaches Ben Whimble, her father's fishing guide, to read. Though she wants nothing to do with him at first, the two slowly form a bond and fall in love. When Abigail's father, who is a Ku Klux Klan member, involves Ben in their contemptuous deeds, a tragedy threatens to separate the lovers forever.
  • The Rebellion of Jane Clarke - Sally Gunning. Jane moves from Cape Cod to Revolutionary-era Boston after refusing to marry a man her father chose for her. While living with her elderly aunt, Jane must face many battles, both personal and war related. After witnessing what became known as the Boston Massacre, Jane reevaluates many things she thought were true and has to make a difficult choice. Historical figures such as John Adams and Henry Knox appear in this novel, which is sure to keep readers immersed in Jane's world.

Other titles to consider:


  • Death Watch - Jim Kelly. In Kelly's police procedural, Detective Peter Shaw teams up with his late father's partner, Detective George Valentine, to investigate a young man's demise. Shaw soon finds out his father and Valentine investigated the death of the victim's twin sister 18 years ago. This, along with a homeless shelter burning and the discovery of bodies missing organs, leads Shaw to find out who the Organ Grinder is and to reopen a cold case.
  • Mr. Peanut - Adam Ross. David Pepin seems to be happily married to his wife... until she is found dead. David, a video game designer and prime suspect, is writing a novel that chronicles his life with his wife. The detectives investigating the case seem to have mysterious and violent marital lives as well. Adam Ross's first novel is a creepy exploration of human emotions and motives.
  • Truth - Peter Temple. Inspector Stephen Villani is under pressure: he is investigating a penthouse murder and the torture of three men while trying to keep his marriage together and help his addicted teen daughter. As he uncovers political and police corruption, he questions the line between right and wrong. The story and the quality of the writing make this book tough to put down!

Other mysteries to consider:

Science Fiction & Fantasy

  • Under Heaven - Guy Gavriel Kay. . In his novel, Kay creates a fictional Empire, Kitai, which is based on Tang Dynasty China. Shen Tai's father was a great general who died in battle. In order to honor his father, Shen Tai buries all of the dead at the sight of his father's last battle. It is because of this that Shen Tai is given a gift that gives him great power and puts him in great danger. Shen Tai and his body guard, Wei Song, must find out who wants Shen Tai dead. Though the land is fictional, Kay's novel is thoroughly researched and believable.

Other titles to consider:


  • Twentynine Palms - Daniel Pyne. After Jack Baylor has an affair with his best friend's wife, he finds that he needs to get out of L.A., and fast. The quiet town of Twentynine Palms seems like the perfect place to lay low. Unfortunately for Baylor, his friend is already following him. When a family disappears from the motel where he is staying, Baylor becomes the police's prime suspect. Baylor gets some unexpected help as he attempts to clear his name.

Other thrillers to consider:

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