Middletown Thrall Library leads you out of the woods... Beyond the Bestsellers - Your Quarterly Guide to Discovering New and Interesting Books + Authors - Winter 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

  • A Hard And Heavy Thing - Matthew J. HeftiA Hard And Heavy Thing - Matthew J. Hefti - Long ago, Levi, a sergeant in the Army, made a decision resulting in three men dead and two severely wounded. Now home, Levi is racked with guilt and contemplating suicide until Nick, one of the men he saved, urges him to write to try and recover his life.
  • The Improbability of Love - Hannah RothschildThe Improbability of Love - Hannah Rothschild - Annie McDee, who is employed by two less-than-reputable art dealers, happens upon a painting in a junk store that turns out to be a lost masterpiece. Through Annie's search for the origins of the painting, she discovers not only dark secrets of art history but also the possibility of love.
  • The Past - Tessa HadleyThe Past - Tessa Hadley - Four middle-aged siblings and their guests arrive at a crumbling English country home belonging to their grandparents to decide what to do with the property. The household's connections to the past, and the siblings' reunion uncovers secrets, resentments, and familial allegiances.

Other titles to consider:

Historical Fiction

  • Sword of Honor - David KirkSword of Honor - David Kirk - In 17th century Japan, the Great Samurai Musashi Miyamoto leaves as a fugitive after not dying on the battlefield. He launches a solo rebellion against "the Way," the Samurai code demanding self-sacrifice, and travels to Kyoto with other war refugees to confront the Yoshioka sword school that ordered his death.

Another title to consider:


  • Riot Most Uncouth - Daniel FriedmanRiot Most Uncouth - Daniel Friedman - When arrogant Trinity College student Lord Byron learns a young woman was murdered near his residence, he decides, as a poet, he must use his astute insights to assist in finding the killer. While being barred from the investigation by the police constable, he teams with two detectives to discover the truth.
  • Recipes for Love and Murder - Sally AndrewRecipes for Love and Murder - Sally Andrew - Tannie Marie writes a column combining recipes and advice for the local paper in Klein Karoo, South Africa. When a woman requesting advice about an abusive husband is found dead, Tannie Marie turns amateur sleuth, much to the ire of Detective Lt. Henk Kannemeyer.
  • Once a Crooked Man - David McCallumOnce a Crooked Man - David McCallum - Bit-part actor Harry overhears a pending mob murder plot and flies to London to warn the victim. Mistaken for a mob enforcer, Harry gets wrapped up in the plan, finds a suitcase full of cash, and gets pursed by both the law and the criminals!

Other titles to consider:


  • Put a Ring on It - 9780451474186Put a Ring on It - Beth Kendrick - Ever-cautious Brighton Smith throws caution to the wind after being left abruptly by her fiancée. She finds herself at a drive-thru chapel, marrying eligible bachelor, Jake Sorenson. When Brighton discovers why he married her so quickly, she must decide if she should cut her losses, or give love a chance.
  • The Spinster's Guide to Scandalous Behavior - Jennifer McQuistonThe Spinster's Guide to Scandalous Behavior - Jennifer McQuiston - Lucy Westmore has no plans to marry and so is thrilled when her spinster aunt leaves her a cottage. Her father is not thrilled and tries to sell the cottage to Lord Branston. While visiting the cottage, Lucy meets Branston, and they fight for the cottage and their feelings for each other.

Other titles to consider:

Science Fiction & Fantasy

  • The Core of the Sun - Johanna SinisaloThe Core of the Sun - Johanna Sinisalo - The Health Authority has assigned all women to two categories: the docile, who can marry and have children, and the strong-willed, who are forced into hard labor. Vanna has spent her life hiding her intelligence until she must use it to find her missing sister, funding her mission by growing illegal chili peppers.

Another title to consider:


  • Where It Hurts - Reed Farrel ColemanWhere It Hurts - Reed Farrel Coleman - Former Suffolk County cop Gus Murphy lost everything after the death of his son. Now divorced, broke and working as a hotel van driver, Gus reluctantly decides to help Tommy Delcamino, a criminal he crossed paths with during his police days, track down the murderer of Tommy's son.
  • The Mulberry Bush - Charles McCarryThe Mulberry Bush - Charles McCarry - A spy on a mission to avenge his father, a disgraced CIA agent, finds himself in Argentina to infiltrate the remains of a terrorist organization through the daughter of the group's former leaders. The daughter, also seeking justice for her father, becomes an unlikely ally in a tangled web of deceit and danger.

Another thriller to consider:

Beyond the Bestsellers
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