Middletown Thrall Library helps readers grow... Beyond the Bestsellers - Discovering New and Interesting Authors - Fall 2016 Edition

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BTB is published quarterly.

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Beyond the Bestsellers highlights new and notable authors not often found on bestseller lists. Discover new books and writers you might enjoy!

To learn more about a book and check on its availablity within the library system, please click or tap on its cover or title.

You can also click / tap an author's name to locate any additional titles by that writer in the library catalog.

General Fiction

  • It Ends with Us - Colleen HooverIt Ends with Us - Colleen Hoover - Coming from a rough past, Lily is making a fresh start when she falls for neurosurgeon Ryle, who makes an exception to his no-dating policy for Lily. Not all is roses in their whirlwind romance, and when Lily runs into her first love, Ryle begins showing all the warning signs her mother once disregarded. She tries to ignore and justify his actions, but she must learn how hard it is to let go in this heart-wrenching, yet hopeful story.
  • Today Will Be Different - Maria SempleToday Will Be Different - Maria Semple - Eleanor Flood wakes up one day deciding to be her best self, and not the mess she usually feels like. However, life seems to be conspiring against her as she goes from one misadventure to another, from her son faking being sick and her husband hiding secrets to her publisher trying to reach her about a long overdue memoir. Present-day chapters alternate with flashbacks to Eleanor's childhood and relationship with her now estranged sister in this offbeat funny novel from the author of Where'd You Go Bernadette?
  • A Boy Made of Blocks - Keith StuartA Boy Made of Blocks - Keith Stuart - When the stress of raising an eight-year-old with Autism becomes too much for parents Alex and Jody, they decide to try a separation. As Alex's life crumbles around him, his son, Sam, discovers the online building game Minecraft, and suddenly, Alex can connect with his son in a way that he never could before. Alex begins to rebuild his life and relationships in this moving debut.

Other titles to consider:

Historical Fiction

  • Mischling - Affinity KonarMischling - Affinity Konar - This character-driven tale of two courageous girls in the most horrific circumstances is sure to haunt the reader long after the end. Stasha and Pearl are the twin daughters of a Jewish physician during the height of the Holocaust. By virtue of being twins they live, but only to become experiments in Mengele's Zoo. When Pearl disappears, Stasha refuses to succumb to grief and despair. With the help of Feliks, a boy who also lost his twin, Stasha escapes the death march as Auschwitz is evacuated. Together they dream of vengeance and a better life to come.
  • The Last Days of Night - Graham MooreThe Last Days of Night - Graham Moore - It is the dawn of the age of electricity in this atmospheric legal thriller by award-winning author and screenwriter Moore. Set in the midst of the "War of Currents" the story follows Paul Cravath, a freshly minted lawyer hired by George Westinghouse to countersue Thomas Edison over who truly invented the light bulb. Determined to win, Cravath enlists the help of notorious eccentric NIkola Tesla, which proves to be more of a challenge than expected. The intense pace of the plot is offset by philosophical questions about the nature of invention in this compelling historical novel.

Other titles to consider:


  • Dead Souls - J. Lincoln FennDead Souls - J. Lincoln Fenn - A bad day leads Fiona Dunn to a bar and a man who claims to be the Devil offering a deal - a wish in exchange for her soul. Thinking it's a joke, or a bad pickup line, Fiona wishes for at-will invisibility to spy on her wayward boyfriend. The next morning she finds a card with the date of sale and space for a favor owed. She, and others who have selfishly sold themselves, live in fear of when the card will be filled, and what unconscionable act they will be called on to do. For fans of Dean Koontz or Stephen King.

Another title to consider:


  • The Secrets of Wishtide - Kate SaundersThe Secrets of Wishtide - Kate Saunders - In the first of a new series, widow Laetitia Rodd supports herself by taking on investigations to "manage and prevent scandal." The clever, resourceful investigator takes on the role of governess to an aristocratic family to look into a potential unsuitable match for the elder son. She uncovers long hidden family secrets and is soon called upon to find a murderer. This delightful mystery is sure to please fans of Agatha Christie's Miss Marple or M.C.Beaton's Agatha Raisin.
  • IQ - Joe IdeIQ - Joe Ide - Isaiah Quintabe, or IQ, is an unlicensed investigator from a tough area of LA who takes on the cases the police ignore. His clients pay what they can, which doesn't always pay the bills, forcing IQ to take on cases he would rather not. This time he must track down who is trying to kill a prominent rapper who may also be having a breakdown. The current case is interspersed with flashbacks to IQ's youth and his history with his partner Dodson in this suspenseful, gritty tale of an inner-city Sherlock Holmes.
  • Sun, Sand, Murder - John Keyse-WalkerSun, Sand, Murder - John Keyse-Walker - There's trouble in paradise in this award-winning debut. Special Constable Teddy Creque of Anegada in the British Virgin Islands never expected to have to deal with any real crimes on his peaceful island, but that all changes when the body of a research biologist is found on a remote beach. Teddy uncovers more than he bargained for when he tries to notify the next-of-kin and can find no record of the victim's existence. He must answer the questions "who was this man?" and "what was he really involved with?" in this well-paced, vibrant mystery.

Other titles to consider:


Science Fiction & Fantasy

  • The Queen of Blood - Sarah Beth DurstThe Queen of Blood - Sarah Beth Durst - In a world where the only one holding back elemental spirits from destroying mankind is the chosen queen, attacks are growing more frequent. Daleina, student at the academy for queen's heirs, is weak in magic, but smart and determined to aid her land. Teamed with disgraced champion Ven, she must find the source of the spirits' restlessness and increased assaults. First in a dark new epic fantasy series, The Queen of Blood is for fans of well-developed characters and strong world-building.
  • Crosstalk - Connie WillisCrosstalk - Connie Willis - A simple outpatient procedure is available to increase empathy between romantic partners, and Briddey and Trent decide to try it before getting engaged. Something goes wrong, and rather than being emotionally connected to Trent, Briddey is telepathically bonded to coworker C.B. The unexpected connection leads to a succession of misunderstandings and comic incidences as Briddey discovers the downside of constant communication in this humorous look at the modern obsession with being connected.

Other titles to consider:


Beyond the Bestsellers
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