Middletown Thrall Library shows you sights... Beyond the Bestsellers - Your Quarterly Guide to Discovering New and Interesting Books + Authors - Summer 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:

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  • 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.
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  • 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!
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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

  • The Summer Guest - Alison AndersonThe Summer Guest - Alison Anderson - In the late 1800s while vacationing with his family, Anton Chekhov develops a friendship with Zinaida Mikhailovna, a young, blind, dying doctor. Zinaida documents the friendship with Chekhov in a journal which is discovered over a hundred years later by Katya Kendall, who believes it might be just what she needs to save her failing publishing house.
  • Homegoing - Yaa GyasiHomegoing - Yaa Gyasi - A sweeping family saga follows the lives of two half-sisters-one married into privilege in colonial Ghana, the other kidnapped and sold into slavery-and their descendants from the 18th century through the present. The reader experiences pivotal historic moments through the eyes of seven generations of vibrant characters on both sides of the Atlantic in this compelling debut.
  • The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper - Phaedra PatrickThe Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper - Phaedra Patrick - A year after the death of his beloved wife Miriam, widower Arthur Pepper finds a charm bracelet that points to a side of her that he never knew. Arthur sets out on a journey around the world to learn the story behind each of the charms. As he learns about his wife's past, Arthur also makes discoveries about himself in this heartwarming debut.

Other titles to consider:

Historical Fiction

  • My Name Is Leon - Kit de WaalMy Name Is Leon - Kit de Waal - In 1980s England, mixed-race Leon is the proud big brother to white Jake and will do anything to protect him. His world is upended when they are first taken away from their mother, and then Jake is quickly adopted. Leon must struggle with his anger and hurt as he tries to reunite his family in this emotional story of the unconditional love between brothers.

Other titles to consider:




Science Fiction & Fantasy

  • Roses and Rot - Kat HowardRoses and Rot - Kat Howard - In this modern fairy tale, happy endings have a price to be paid. Sisters Imogen and Marin have both been accepted into Melete, a prestigious art community, providing an escape from their mother, who could rival any storybook wicked stepmother. However, this idyllic retreat holds a dark and sinister secret that threatens to tear the two sisters apart. Kat Howard's debut promises to haunt readers long after the end.
  • Infomocracy - Malka OlderInfomocracy - Malka Older - Global organization Information has transformed the world into a collection of microdemocracies called Centenals. Governments range from purely corporate entities, to idealistic issues focused groups all competing to gain the Supermajority. However, some are determined to take down the system, and a conspiracy threatens the upcoming election. Older's timely debut examines the meaning of democracy and the power of information to manipulate opinion.
  • Smoke - Dan VyletaSmoke - Dan Vyleta - In an alternative Victorian England, the dark cloud over London is not from factories, but from the smoke that emanates from the people for each and every sin, visibly marking them. While on holiday, boarding school friends Charlie and Thomas discover there is more to the smoke than they knew, leading them on a quest to stop a conspiracy and reveal the truth. This atmospheric historical fantasy will leave readers pondering the nature of sin and morality. Perfect for fans of Neil Gaiman or Susanna Clarke.

Other titles to consider:


  • Mission Hill - Pamela WechslerMission Hill - Pamela Wechsler - Harvard Law graduate Abby Endicott loves her job as chief of the homicide unit for the Boston district attorney's office, despite the disapproval of her well-to-do family. When her colleague and lover, Tim Mooney is killed at the start of a case involving a local gang member whom Abby believes also killed her best friend years before, Abby can't help but get involved.
  • Keep You Close - Lucie WhitehouseKeep You Close - Lucie Whitehouse - For years after a falling out with her teenage best friend, Rowan Winter hopes for a reconciliation. Instead Rowan learns that her best friend has died in an accident that Rowan finds suspicious. Determined to find the truth behind her friend's death, Rowan unravels the previous ten years, uncovering secrets and clues while confronting her own grief.

Other titles to consider:

Beyond the Bestsellers
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