Middletown Thrall Library invites you... Beyond the Bestsellers - Your Seasonal Guide to New and Interesting Authors - Winter 2015 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!

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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.

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Click below for previous BTBs and more reading recommendations:

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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

  • Limbo - Melania MazzuccoLimbo - Melania Mazzucco - Manuela Paris left her seaside home outside of Rome as a teenager to build a new life as a soldier. Now she returns home from Afghanistan on Christmas Eve, injured, disillusioned, and suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Manuela soon befriends Mattia, a secretive stranger staying at an otherwise vacant hotel in her hometown. As her relationship with Mattia develops, Manuela reveals her story as a soldier before, during, and after the war. A moving reflection on life, love, and waiting in limbo for the next phase of life to begin.
  • Mermaids in Paradise - Lydia MilletMermaids in Paradise - Lydia Millet - Deborah and Chip, two newlyweds honeymooning at a Caribbean resort, find themselves in the middle of controversy after befriending a marine biologist who believes she has sighted mermaids at a nearby coral reef. Once news of the sighting spreads, media chaos ensues, resort management looks to bill the mermaids as the ultimate tourist destination and the marine biologist turns up dead. This quirky, satirical novel maintains its dry sense of humor while delving into various, thought-provoking social issues.

Other titles to consider:

Historical Fiction

  • A Price to Pay - Alex CapusA Price to Pay - Alex Capus - Alex Capus' novel emerges from a brief moment when the lives of three historical figures intersect at the Zurich train station in November of 1924. The paths of Laura d'Oriano, an aspiring singer turned Allied spy, pacifist Felix Bloch, who later ends up working on the Manhattan Project, and Emile Gillieron who goes on to become an infamous art forger are traced from their chance meeting to when they each make the choices that will enter their names into history.
  • Vanessa and Her Sister - Priya ParmarVanessa and Her Sister - Priya Parmar - Vanessa and Her Sister is a novel about the relationship between painter Vanessa Bell, her sister Virginia (Woolf) and their circle of artist and intellectual friends known as the Bloomsbury Group. The rich and complex story is told in the format of Vanessa's diary, as well as through letters and telegrams, detailing Vanessa and Virginia's complicated and unconventional lives and the tension and love between them.

Other titles to consider:


  • Land of Careful Shadows - Suzanne ChazinLand of Careful Shadows - Suzanne Chazin - Detective Jimmy Vega is called in to investigate the murder of a Hispanic woman when concerns arise that it might be a hate crime fueled by anger over illegal immigration. In the small, usually peaceful upstate New York town, Vega's investigation uncovers dark secrets about the town, its residents, and even Vega himself. Land of Careful Shadows, the first in a new series, is a suspenseful and engaging novel that takes a timely look at the issue of immigration.
  • The Bishop's Wife - Mette Ivie HarrisonThe Bishop's Wife - Mette Ivie Harrison - Linda Wallheim is the mother of five boys and wife of a Mormon bishop residing in Draper, Utah. The disappearance of a young Mormon mother from her community makes Linda suspicious of the missing woman's husband, and she starts investigating their relationship. Linda's determination to find the truth uncovers more questions and creates waves within her family, community, and religious beliefs. The complex mystery is interwoven with detailed accounts of modern day Mormon life.

Other titles to consider:


  • Silver Thaw - Catherine AndersonSilver Thaw - Catherine Anderson - Amanda takes refuge from her abusive husband in a run-down cabin with her six year old daughter in the rural town of Mystic Creek, WA. Amanda records her thoughts and fears on small pieces of paper she then throws into the wind and the surrounding wilderness. Unbeknownst to her, nearby rancher Jeb Sterling finds and reads these personal, melancholy notes and is driven to meet their writer. A good winter read, this is the first in a new heartwarming series.
  • Missing Reels - Farran Smith NehmeMissing Reels - Farran Smith Nehme - Ceinwen Reilly, a recent transplant to NYC from Yazoo City, Mississippi, works at a vintage clothing store during the day, perfecting her retro look, and spends her evenings at the city revival houses watching classic films. Ceinwen strikes up a relationship with an English mathematics professor and fellow classic film buff. Together they embark on a cinema-related sleuthing expedition. This quirky, upbeat romance brims with both 1980s New York City and classic film nostalgia.
  • The Dress Shop of Dreams - Menna van PraagThe Dress Shop of Dreams - Menna van Praag - Since losing her parents, scientist Cora Sparks has spent most of her life hard at work in her laboratory or visiting the dress shop owned by her grandmother, Etta. What Cora doesn't know is that her grandmother has the ability to weave magic into the garments she sells and tailors for her clients. When Etta uses her magic to help Cora find happiness with a shy bookseller, she sets into motion a series of events much different than what she had planned. A magical and elegant romance, much like the dresses found in grandmother Etta's shop.

Other titles to consider:

Science Fiction & Fantasy

  • The Three-body Problem - Cixin LiuThe Three-body Problem - Cixin Liu - During the Cultural Revolution in China, a young woman is sent to a re-education camp after her father's politically motivated killing and winds up at Red Coast, a top secret military base. Years later, Red Coast contacts an alien civilization on the brink of disaster and planning to invade Earth, creating a global division between those welcoming the alien race and those planning on fighting it. This first book in an epic trilogy weaves science and sci-fi into an intricate and intense read.
  • The Turning Season - Sharon ShinnThe Turning Season - Sharon Shinn - Veterinarian and shape-shifter Karadel tries to manage her life as a small town vet while maintaining her secret shape-shifting life and community. While Karadel works to discover a drug able to control shape-shifting, the tenuous balance of her life is toppled by a new love interest and a dangerous event in her best friend's life. A suspenseful, modern day fantasy, The Turning Season builds on the elaborate world created in the Shifting Circle Series.

Other titles to consider:


  • Into a Raging Blaze - Andreas NormanInto a Raging Blaze - Andreas Norman - Carina Dymek, a mid-level Swedish civil servant, is tossed into a top secret international espionage plan when she is given a USB drive by a mysterious stranger. Data on the drive details a proposed multinational counter-terrorism group working outside of the government. This fast-paced, suspenseful thriller written by a Swedish tackles questions on what price is worth paying for safety.
  • Genocide of One - Kazuaki TakanoGenocide of One - Kazuaki Takano - Mercenaries sent into the Congo to kill pygmies and an anthropologist are made to think they will save the world from a virus. Team leader Jonathan soon realizes the real "threat" is a three year old with supreme intelligence from a mutated gene. Could this young genius save Jonathan's own son? This techno-thriller is Japanese author Takano's first English translation into English.

Other thrillers to consider:

Beyond the Bestsellers
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