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Beyond Bestsellers - Fiction, Spring 2023

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

April - June 2023 Issue


See also:

Angel-Ajani, Asale.  A Country You Can Leave.
A biracial teenage girl living in a California desert mobile home park with her Russian mother tries to make sense of their difficult relationship and find her own identity. Ebook

Brooks-Dalton, Lily.  The Light Pirate.
In this dystopian novel set in a climate-devastated Florida in the near future, a girl whose mother died giving birth to her during a massive hurricane grows up friendless until she meets an older neighbor who is a survivalist. Ebook, downloadable audiobook

Burnet, Graeme Macrae.  Case Study.
This complex novel tells the story of a 1960's-era anti-psychiatry therapist in London and a woman who investigates him under an assumed name because she believes he is responsible for her sister's suicide.

Cauley, Kashana.  The Survivalists.
In New York City, an ambitious Black lawyer falls in love with a man who, with his housemates, is stockpiling guns in preparation for an apocalypse, and becomes more and more entangled in their schemes. Ebook

Chokshi, Roshani.  The Last Tale of the Flower Bride.
In this gothic fairy tale, a poor man marries a mysterious and wealthy heiress, who makes him promise not to question her about her past. But when they move to her childhood home, her secrets begin to surface and he breaks his promise. Ebook, downloadable audiobook

Dev, Sonali.  The Vibrant Years.
Three American women of East Indian descent support each other through their different challenges – the youngest is trying to design a successful computer app; her mother, a television journalist, feels stymied in her career; and the mother's former mother-in-law is using a recent inheritance to move into a new upscale community while she fears that a choice she made in the past is catching up with her.

Divakaruni, Chitra Banerjee.  Independence.    
This historical novel set in India at the time of independence from Britain portrays the effect that freedom and partition had on a Hindu Bengali family living near Calcutta, particularly their three daughters, who become separated in the aftermath. Ebook

Dong, Maria.  Liar, Dreamer, Thief.
A mentally unstable young woman, estranged from her Korean family and working a dead-end job as a temp, becomes obsessed with a co-worker, and after his death, tries to unravel a conspiracy involving him.

Douaihy, Margot.  Scorched Grace.
In this mystery novel set in New Orleans, a former punk rocker, who has become a devout nun, despite her tattoos and queer identity, investigates an arson attack on the convent's parochial school.

Engel, Patricia.  The Faraway World: Stories.
A collection of ten short stories, primarily featuring Colombian immigrants in the United States and Cuba, with gritty, realistic plots and empathetic writing. Ebook

Enriquez, Mariana.  Our Share of Night.
In this gothic horror story set in Argentina, a man allows his in-laws, members of a murderous religious order, to use his paranormal abilities to control a dark force that arises during their rites, but he starts to resist when he realizes that his son's life is threatened by the group.

Harding, Paul.  This Other Eden.
This novel is based on a true historical incident that took place in 1912, when the mixed-race residents (Irish, Black, and Penobscot) of Malaga Island, off the coast of Maine, were forcibly removed due to the governor's belief in the pseudo-science of eugenics.

Jha, Sonora.  The Laughter.
In this dark comedy set in academia, an older white man who is a literature professor at a college in Seattle and considers himself a liberal, falls in love with a younger colleague, a Pakistani woman, and is caught up in a drama involving her nephew.

Jones, Dan.  Essex Dogs.
This suspenseful and deeply researched adventure novel follows a group of ten English soldiers in the Fourteenth Century as they fight their way through France during the Hundred Year's War.

Lipman, Elinor.  Ms. Demeanor.
This romantic comedy begins when a New York attorney is seen and videotaped having sex with a co-worker on the roof of her apartment building; after she is sentenced to six-months of home confinement, she tries to unravel a mystery involving the woman who reported her. Ebook, downloadable audiobook

Lipsyte, Sam.  No One Left to Come Looking for You.
In this lively comic mystery set in New York City in the 1990s, a rock musician sets out in pursuit of his bass guitar, which another band member has pawned. And then a murder takes place. Ebook

Malhotra, Aanchal.  The Book of Everlasting Things.
In Lahore, India, a Hindu boy, whose family operates a perfume business, meets a Muslim girl whose father has taught her his trade of calligraphy. They fall in love, but the Partition of India in 1947 breaks up their relationship.

Mallon, Thomas.  Up With the Sun.
This novel is based loosely on the life and violent death of Dick Kallman, a mostly unsuccessful actor and closeted gay man who worked on Broadway and in television in the 1950s and 1960s.

Markley, Stephen.  The Deluge.
This large and complex novel that focuses on the threat of catastrophic climate change is set in the present and near-future, and features a large cast of characters - activists, scientists, and politicians.

McDaniel, Tiffany.  On the Savage Side.
A pair of twins, who grow up in great poverty in a rust-belt city, with family members who are prostitutes and drug addicts, concoct an imaginary life, inspired by the stories their Cherokee grandmother told them, but are unable to escape their violent and hopeless reality.

McFarlane, Fiona.  The Sun Walks Down.
In this historical novel set in the South Australian outback in 1883, a six-year old boy goes missing after a dust storm, and members of his farming community, as well as a local Aboriginal man, form a search party to try to find him.

Moeng, Gothataone.  Call and Response: Stories.
A collection of short stories set in modern Botswana, whose characters are strong women who struggle for the freedom to live the lives they choose amid the traditional expectations of their homeland. Ebook

Newitz, Annalee.  The Terraformers.
This science fiction book, which is made up of three interrelated novellas, is set on a corporate-owned planet called Sask-E where both human and non-human residents struggle with issues involving ecology, urban planning, and personhood. Ebook

O’Connor, Joseph.  My Father’s House.
In this novel based on a true story, an Irish Catholic priest, based in the Vatican during the Nazi occupation of Rome in 1943-44, uses his position to smuggle Jews and others at risk of persecution safely out of the country.

Pardo, Paz.  The Shamshine Blind.
In this alternative history, Argentina has won the 1982 war with Britain over the Falklands Islands by developing powerful hallucinogenic dyes which can be used as weapons, and an American law enforcement agent who specializes in pigments is pulled into a murder investigation.

Peyton, Tracey Rose.  Night Wherever We Go.
In this historical novel set in Texas in the decade before the Civil War, six enslaved Black women work for a plantation family, which, struggling with debt, hires a series of Black men to impregnate them. Ebook

Rehman, Bushra.  Roses, in the Mouth of a Lion.
A Muslim girl grows up in a conservative Pakistani-American community in Queens, New York, in the 1980s, and comes to terms with her cultural and sexual identity. Ebook

Salesses, Matthew.  The Sense of Wonder.
A Korean-American basketball player suddenly becomes a star for the New York Knicks, after another player is sidelined by an injury; meanwhile, the player's girlfriend, who produces Korean soap operas, tries to create a new basketball-themed television show. Ebook

Schwartz, Selby Wynn.  After Sappho.
This novel, which combines fiction and non-fiction, provides short biographies of writers, artists, and other prominent women of the early 20th Century, and imagines what their lives and relationships were like.

Shearer, Eleanor.  River Sing Me Home.
In this story set in the Caribbean in the 1830's, an enslaved woman, after being told that slavery has ended but she is still not free, escapes from the sugarcane plantation where she has been working, and goes in search of her five children. Ebook

Shroff, Parini.  The Bandit Queens.
In this darkly comic novel set in a poor village in India, a woman, who was abandoned by her husband but is suspected of having murdered him, joins a micro-loan group to get help with her jewelry business, and receives requests from other women in the group to murder their husbands. Ebook, downloadable audiobook

Smiley, Jane.  A Dangerous Business.
In this quirky novel that takes place in California during the 19th Century gold rush, two young prostitutes, inspired by Edgar Allen Poe's detective fiction, work together to solve a series of murders. Ebook, downloadable audiobook

Winslow, De'Shawn Charles.  Decent People.
In this sequel to the author's first novel, a Black woman leaves New York City in the 1970s and returns to her small segregated North Carolina hometown of West Mills to be with her fiance, only to find that he is accused of murdering his three half-siblings. Ebook

Yu, An.  Ghost Music.
In this somewhat surreal novel set in Beijing, a lonely young wife and piano teacher begins to receive boxes of rare mushrooms from a stranger, and sets out to find who the sender is and why the mushrooms are being sent. Ebook

Zigman, Laura.  Small World.
Two sisters, middle-aged, childless, and recently divorced, move in together, though they have never been close, and gradually explore their childhoods, which were disrupted by the death of their middle sister. Ebook, downloadable audiobook