Middletown Thrall Library eggs you on... Beyond the Bestsellers - Your Quarterly Guide to Discovering New and Interesting Books + Authors - Spring 2016 Edition

More about BTB...

BTB is published quarterly.

Free printed copies of BTB are available at Middletown Thrall Library.

Check out our Booklovers Web Guide for sites especially helpful to readers: book clubs, reading groups, book discussions, reviews, reading advisories, publishers, bookstores, and more!

Keep up with forthcoming titles and new authors by visiting our Booklovers Blog.

Looking for something "good" to read? Or is there a book you really like and want to tell others about? Check out Thrall's own free RAVES! service for readers.

Have you tried Novelist Plus yet? Find books and authors based on ones you like. Login using your Thrall Library card.

Looking for suggestions? Stop by our Readers' Advisory Center by Reference or ask a librarian for recommendations on what you might like to read next.

Also check out our Random Reads and Random GREATS pages for random popular and awarded titles, authors, as well as topics you might find interesting.

Click here to view current bestseller lists and other award-winning books.

Previous Issues

Click below for previous BTBs and more reading recommendations:

Free Services
  for Booklovers!

  • Booklovers Web Guide - Websites, forthcoming titles, book reviews, reading advisories, and more! Also check out our blog and "Booklover's Lane" on our home page.
  • eBooks / eAudio / eVideos - Freely download books, audio eBooks, and videos at home! Please be sure to log into the eBooks catalog to search and see all Thrall's offerings!
  • Future Title Watch - View monthly lists of notable new titles and future bestsellers!
  • Literature & Poetry - Enjoy classic and contemporary writers and poets and much more! Also check out our literary criticism databases
  • Novelist Database - Locate books and authors based on ones you like.
  • Reader's Advisory Center - Visit our Reference Department and enjoy specialized guides designed to help you locate books and authors you might enjoy reading.
  • Random Greats! - Explore randomly selected awarded books and authors!
  • RAVES! for Readers - Discover fresh and different books and authors, suggest titles to other readers, and comment on books. You can also quickly check if a book is available in the library catalog!
  • Reading Plans - Members of Middletown Thrall Library can request their very own reading plans for free. Tell us what you like to read, and we will present reading suggestions tailored to your tastes!
  • Virtual NewsStand - Enjoy easy access to magazine articles and more on the Web.
  • Virtual Reference Library - History, culture, religion, and more titles freely available online.
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

  • Alice and Oliver - Charles BockAlice and Oliver - Charles Bock - In the early 1990's, Alice and Oliver are a quintessential, successful New York City couple enjoying life with their newborn daughter. Their lives are quickly changed when Alice is diagnosed with cancer, and their focus switches to navigating the medical system and fighting for her survival.
  • Daredevils - Shawn VestalDaredevils - Shawn Vestal - In the 1970's, fifteen year old Loretta is married off by her devout Mormon parents to an older man with another wife and family. When her husband relocates them to Idaho, Loretta meets her husband's nephew, a Zepplin and Evel Knievel fan, and they decide to run away together. Vivid and thrilling, this debut has heart.
  • The Last Painting of Sara De Vos - Dominic SmithThe Last Painting of Sara De Vos - Dominic Smith - In 1631, Sara De Vos becomes the first woman master painter in the Guild of St. Luke's in Holland. By the 1950's, however, only one of her paintings survives, and struggling graduate student Ellie Shipley is paid to paint a forgery of it. Years later, both copies of the painting threaten to arrive at an opening that Ellie is curating.
  • The Best Place on Earth - Ayelet TsabariThe Best Place on Earth - Ayelet Tsabari - Eleven short stories that span the globe, focusing on the lives of Israeli residents and Diaspora. Themes of faith, family, travel and tradition are explored through an array of characters searching for a place that feels like home.

Other titles to consider:

Historical Fiction

  • The Translation of Love - Lynne KutsukakeThe Translation of Love - Lynne Kutsukake - After being released from a Canadian internment camp, Aya Shimamura and her father are forced to return to war-torn Japan. Aya, born and raised in Vancouver, is an outcast in her new homeland and teased at school. Aya forges an unlikely alliance with bully Fumi, as they search for Fumi's missing sister.
  • Ginny Gall - Charlie SmithGinny Gall - Charlie Smith - In the Jim Crow south, young Delvin is raised by the local undertaker after his mother is accused of murder and flees town. A series of tragedies prompts Delvin to leave, exploring the country and looking for his mother until he is falsely accused of a crime and must fight to survive.

Other titles to consider:


  • Black Rabbit Hall - Eve ChaseBlack Rabbit Hall - Eve Chase - Soon to be married Lorna visits Black Rabbit Hall, a dilapidated manor home, as a potential wedding venue. Mrs. Alton, the former lady of the house, invites Lorna to stay awhile, eager for the much needed income. The longer Lorna visits, however, the more she becomes drawn into the eerie past and secrets the house holds.
  • Speakers of the Dead - J. Aaron SandersSpeakers of the Dead - J. Aaron Sanders - In 1843 New York, a young Walt Whitman is determined to prove his friend, Lena, innocent of her husband's murder. Through his investigation, Walt finds himself in the seedy world of body-snatching, where recently deceased corpses are stolen to sell to medical students.

Other titles to consider:


  • Sweet Haven - Shirlee McCoySweet Haven - Shirlee McCoy - Accountant Adeline Lamont, loves the quiet steadfastness of her hometown but when her grandfather is hurt and needs Adeline to run the family chocolate business, she can't quite get the family recipe right. However, even if she struggles, she certainly does not want help from her new tenant, returning resident Sinclair Jefferson.

Science Fiction & Fantasy

  • Version Control - Dexter PalmerVersion Control - Dexter Palmer - Rebecca Wright navigates a personal tragedy while working at an online dating company but has a persistent feeling that things are not quite right in the world around her. Meanwhile her husband, a disgraced physicist, is noticeably absent as he works on his causality violation device, an invention he insists is not a time machine.

Other titles to consider:


  • Breaking Wild - Diane Les BecquetsBreaking Wild - Diane Les Becquets - When Amy Rae LaTour heads out for a weekend of bow hunting in the Colorado wilderness and does not return, ranger Pru Hathaway is called out to find her. Even after the search is called off, Pru believes she can find Amy Rae alive and continues to search for her.
  • All Things Cease to Appear - Elizabeth BrundageAll Things Cease to Appear - Elizabeth Brundage - College professor George Clare returns to his rural upstate NY home to find his wife murdered and their three year old daughter alone in her room. While George is the primary suspect, the case remains unsolved for years as the tragic history of the house and the tight-knit community become entwined in the case.

Another thriller to consider:

Beyond the Bestsellers
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