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Beyond Bestsellers - Fiction, Spring 2022

Great recent titles you may have missed, selected by our librarians.

April - June 2022 Issue


See also:

Apostol, Gina.  Bibliolepsy.
In this novel set in the Philippines during the regime of dictator Ferdinand Marcos, a girl and her sister are raised by their eccentric grandmother after their parents mysteriously disappear, and she falls in love with books. Ebook

Asim, Jabari.  Yonder.
A group of enslaved Black people living a harsh life on a Southern plantation rely on their own language and stories from Africa to hold on to their humanity until they are able to go in pursuit of freedom. Ebook
Barry, Quan.  When I’m Gone, Look for Me in the East.
A Mongolian Buddhist monk and his identical twin take a long dangerous journey through the Gobi Desert in search of a child he believes to be the reincarnation of an enlightened teacher. Ebook

Birdsong, Destiny O.  Nobody’s Magic.
Three novellas describe the lives of three young Black Louisiana women who have albinism and explore the ways their skin color and other people's reactions to it affect them.

Black, Daniel.  Don’t Cry for Me.
A Black man on his deathbed writes a letter to his gay son, acknowledging his failure to accept him and explaining how his own upbringing shaped his understanding of how to be a man.

Blackburn, Lizzie Damilola.  Yinka, Where Is Your Huzband?
In this comedy, a young Nigerian British woman sets out to find both a date for her cousin's wedding and a new job, in a hurry, while her large traditional family worries over her failure to get married. Ebook

Chang, Lan Samantha.  The Family Chao.
In this contemporary novel modeled on Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov, the three grown sons of an abrasive Chinese-American restaurant owner return home to Wisconsin for their annual family Christmas party; during the party, their father is found murdered. Downloadable audiobook

Evison, Jonathan.  Small World.
The characters in this epic novel are people from many different backgrounds and life experiences who meet on an Amtrak train in 2019, as well as ancestors of those passengers, living in the 1850's.

Fellman, Isaac. Dead Collections.
A trans vampire archivist at a historical society meets a woman who is donating documents and memorabilia left by her late wife, who was the writer of a popular sci-fi television series. Ebook

Fu, Kim.  Lesser Known Monsters of the 21st Century.  
A collection of twelve very original and imaginative short stories which blur the lines between reality and fantasy.

Guterson, David.  The Final Case.  
An elderly criminal attorney takes on his last case before retiring, defending a fundamentalist woman accused of torturing her adopted Ethiopian daughter to death, in this novel narrated by the attorney's son. Ebook

Hadley, Tessa.  Free Love.  
In this novel set in 1967 in London, a middle-aged suburban housewife, who has seemed content with her quiet domestic life, begins an affair with a twenty-year-old man.

Haigh, Jennifer.  Mercy Street.
The main character of this novel, set in Boston during the severe winter of 2015, is a counselor at a women's health center, where clients come for abortions, while protestors picket outside. Ebook, downloadable audiobook

Hamilton, Hugo.  The Pages.  
This novel, which moves back and forth in time, is narrated by a book titled Rebellion, a novel by an Austrian Jewish journalist which narrowly escaped being burned by Nazis in the 1930's.

Harding, Lisa.  Bright Burning Things.  
A former London stage actress, now a single mother living in Dublin and drinking heavily, is forced into rehab, and realizes she may lose her young son if she can't stay sober. Ebook, downloadable audiobook

Hawley, Noah. Anthem.
In this thriller set in a dystopian near-future with violent political strife and severe climate change, a group of teenagers escape from a hospital and try to fight an evil billionaire. Ebook

Ho, Jean Chen.  Fiona and Jane: Stories.
These short stories are told from the alternating perspectives of two young Taiwanese-American women, who despite taking different paths through life, have been best friends ever since childhood. Ebook, downloadable audiobook

Jen, Gish.  Thank You, Mr. Nixon: Stories.
A collection of linked stories, written with wry humor, that explore the difficulties of bridging cultural differences for Chinese and Chinese-American people.
Jonas, Julia May.  Vladimir.
A middle-aged English professor at a small New York college, whose husband, the chair of her department, has been disciplined for a series of inappropriate relationships with female students, becomes obsessed with a young and handsome new teacher. Ebook, downloadable audiobook

Kirby, Gwen E.  Shit Cassandra Saw: Stories.
These playful, comic feminist stories center on women who find courage and strength, from the mythological Cassandra of Troy to contemporary characters. Ebook, downloadable audiobook

Lund, Emme.  The Boy with a Bird in His Chest.
In this allegorical coming-of-age tale, a boy who has a bird living inside his chest is kept hidden by his mother to protect him, but when he reaches adolescence, he goes to live with his uncle and cousin, and gradually comes to accept and celebrate his queerness. Ebook, downloadable audiobook

Manguso, Sarah. Very Cold People.
A woman looks back on her childhood in a poor and dysfunctional family living in a small town in Massachusetts, a place where girls were frequently abused by family members and teachers.

Maren, Mesha.  Perpetual West.
A graduate student, born in Mexico but raised by a white family in West Virginia, moves to Texas with his wife in order to learn more about Mexican culture, but after falling in love with a Mexican wrestler, he and his lover are kidnaped by a gangster. Ebook

May, Nikki.  Wahala.  
Three Anglo-Nigerian women living in London have been best friends since they met at University, but after a fourth woman, wealthy and manipulative, joins the group, she soon has the other women unhappy with their lives and each other. Ebook

Nagamatsu, Sequoia.  How High We Go in the Dark.
In this imaginative and sprawling science fiction novel, a fatal virus is released after an ancient body is dug up by scientists in Siberia, overwhelming societies with death, but also inspiring humans to strive for resilience. Ebook, downloadable audiobook

Ojeda, Monica.  Jawbone.
In this suspenseful horror novel from Ecuador, six friends at a Catholic girls' high school participate in increasingly violent rituals, opposed only by the school's new literature teacher.

Onyebuchi, Tochi.  Goliath.
This novel tells stories of life on a ruined Earth in the 2050's, when affluent people are able to escape to colonies in space, but the poor are left behind to salvage bricks to be sent to build the new world. Ebook
Patel, Neel.  Tell Me How to Be.  
When a young gay Indian-American man helps his mother clear out his childhood home after his father's death, his and other family members' secrets are revealed.

Prins, Mark.  The Latinist.  
A brilliant Oxford graduate student in classical studies discovers that her mentor, who has been a good friend to her, is deliberately sabotaging her career. Ebook

Sindu, SJ.  Blue-Skinned Gods.  
A young Indian man whose father is promoting him as a healer and an incarnation of the Hindu god Vishnu grows up secluded in an ashram, but when he travels to New York, he begins to break away from his father's expectations.

Slocumb, Brendan.  The Violin Conspiracy.
In this thriller, which is also a thoughtful examination of racism, a Black American violin prodigy is preparing to perform in the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, when his violin, a Stradivarius passed down in his family, is stolen. Ebook, downloadable audiobook

Tokarczuk, Olga.  The Books of Jacob.
This huge book by a Polish Nobel Prize winner follows the life and times of Jacob Frank, a charismatic Jewish merchant who became a religious leader in Ukraine in the 1750s and was eventually accused of heresy by Jews, Christians, and Muslims. Ebook

Wang, Weike.  Joan Is Okay.
A doctor in the intensive care unit of a Manhattan hospital is so dedicated to her work that when her father dies, she flies to China and back for the funeral in a single weekend. But after she is forced to take time off, she begins to examine the life she has led between two cultures. Ebook

Wright Faladé, David.  Black Cloud Rising.  
In this historical novel set during the U.S. Civil War and based on actual people and events, a freed slave, half Black and half white, joins the Union Army's African Brigade in Virginia and North Carolina, where he tries to gain the respect of both his white officers and his fellow Black soldiers. Ebook