Back to top

Beyond Bestsellers - Fiction, Winter 2023

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

January - March 2023 Issue


See also:

Belcourt, Billy-Ray.  A Minor Chorus.
In this novel by a Canadian poet, a queer Indigenous man, fed up with the racism he has encountered in academia, abandons his Ph.D. Dissertation, and returns to his home in Northern Alberta to write a novel based on his memories and conversations with friends and relatives.

Chatagnier, Ethan.  Singer Distance.
In this science fiction novel set in 1960, a group of graduate students from MIT travel to Arizona to respond to a mathematical message from Mars.

Cruz, Angie.  How Not to Drown in a Glass of Water.
After an immigrant from the Dominican Republic living in New York City loses her job, she enrolls in a program which provides her with benefits in exchange for meeting weekly with a job counselor, to whom she tells the story of her life. Ebookdownloadable audiobook

Escoffery, Jonathan.  If I Survive You.
A collection of linked stories about a Jamaican family who moved to Miami in the 1970s and the problems they faced from poverty, hurricanes, and racism; their son especially has difficulties finding his true identity and place in the world.

Everett, Percival.  Dr. No.
This comic and inventive spoof of international thrillers features a University professor who is an expert on nothing, a billionaire whose ambition is to become a super-villain in a James Bond story, and a one-legged bulldog.

Finger, Bobby.  The Old Place.
This novel, which takes place in a small Texas town in August 2014 during the week leading up to the annual church picnic, focuses on a retired teacher with long-buried secrets that eventually catch up to her. Ebook

Harris, Robert.  Act of Oblivion.
In this historical thriller set in the 17th century, a minister to King Charles II is assigned the task of finding the thirteen men who signed the warrant ordering the beheading of Charles I, including two men who have fled to Massachusetts.

House, Silas.  Lark Ascending.
After the United States is taken over by religious extremists and fires have destroyed much of the country, a young American man sails with his family and other refugees to Ireland, seeking sanctuary, only to find that the border has been closed.

Howrey, Meg.  They’re Going to Love You.
A freelance choreographer in Los Angeles preparing to visit her dying father in his Greenwich Village apartment looks back on her life with him and his husband, her love for ballet, and the shocking incident that led to their estrangement twenty years earlier.

Huynh, Carolyn.  The Fortunes of Jaded Women.
In this comical story set in Southern California, the women in a Vietnamese-American family seem doomed to live their lives without love, happiness, or sons, due to an ancient family curse, until a psychic tells one of them that she can end the curse if she restores her relationships with estranged family members.  Ebook, downloadable audiobook

Jimenez, Simon.  The Spear Cuts Through Water.
In this adventure fantasy, the Moon goddess, a prison guard, and a one-armed warrior set off on a journey in search of freedom and a way to end the reign of the ruthless emperor and his sons.

Jones, Gayl.  The Birdcatcher.
A Black American travel writer moves to a Mediterranean island to stay with friends, a sculptor and her husband, who the sculptor frequently attempts to murder.

Kennedy, Deborah E.  Billie Starr's Book of Sorries.
A young single mother in a small Indiana town, down on her luck and constantly apologizing to her daughter, is offered a job seducing a candidate for political office in order to derail his campaign.

Kennedy, Louise.  Trespasses.
This Irish novel, set in Belfast during the violent religious conflicts of the mid 1970s, concerns a Catholic school teacher and part-time barmaid, who has an affair with an older married Protestant barrister.  Ebook, downloadable audiobook

Li, Yiyun.  The Book of Goose.
A young Frenchwoman living on a Pennsylvania farm with her husband looks back on her adolescence after World War II and her intense friendship with another teenage girl.

Ma, Ling.  Bliss Montage.
A collection of 8 surreal, funny, and disturbing short stories, many of them featuring Chinese-American women.

McCracken, Elizabeth.  The Hero of This Book.
In this book, which is part fiction and part memoir, the author shares her memories of her late mother, who was an extraordinary person, and also writes about writing and storytelling.  Ebook

Millet, Lydia.  Dinosaurs.
A lonely middle-aged man moves from Manhattan to Phoenix in search of a fresh start after a traumatic break-up and becomes friendly with the family next door – a psychotherapist, her husband, and their two children.

Moore, Alan.  Illuminations: Stories.
A collection of short stories by the renowned graphic novelist, full of dark humor and imaginative fantasy, including a novella which satirizes the comic book industry.

Munoz, Manuel.  The Consequences: Stories.
A collection of short stories set in the Fresno, California area in the 1980s, portraying the lives and burdens of Mexican-American farm workers and their children.  Ebook

Newman, Catherine.  We All Want Impossible Things.
A woman whose long-time best friend is dying of cancer tries to keep her friend comfortable in hospice, while dealing with her upcoming loss and complications in her own life.  Ebook, downloadable audiobook

Pamuk, Orhan.  Nights of Plague.
In this historical novel, set on a fictional island belonging to the dying Ottoman empire in the early 20th century, the sudden appearance of bubonic plague and accompanying quarantine causes political shake-ups and division between the Greek Orthodox and Turkish Muslim communities.  Ebook

Polk, C. L.  Even Though I Knew the End.
In this fantasy/noir mystery set in Chicago in the 1940s, a queer private investigator who sold her soul to the devil is given the chance to get it back in exchange for tracking down a magical serial killer called the White City Vampire.  Ebook

Reid, Iain.  We Spread.
The narrator of this psychological suspense novel is an aged artist who, after falling in her apartment, is moved into a small isolated retirement home, where she soon finds that its friendly, cozy appearance is deceiving.  Ebook

Rosen, Lev AC.  Lavender House.
In this murder mystery set in San Francisco in the early 1950s, a former police inspector, fired for being gay, meets a woman in a bar who hires him to investigate the death of her wife.  Ebook, downloadable audiobook

Ruiz, Rudy.  Valley of Shadows.
In this historical adventure novel set in the 1880s, a Mexican cowboy is hired as the new sheriff of a Texas town where a series of gruesome murders and kidnappings are taking place.

Serpell, Namwali.  The Furrows.
In this emotionally intense story, a young biracial woman, who was 12 years old when her younger brother drowned at the beach, tries over and over again to make sense of his death and her loss.  Ebook

Sexton, Margaret Wilkerson.  On the Rooftop.
In this family story set in San Francisco in 1953, a Black woman trains her three daughters to sing by rehearsing them on their roof; but just as her dream of a better life for them seems to be coming true, the daughters are ready to go their separate ways, and their supportive neighborhood is threatened by gentrification.  Ebook, downloadable audiobook

Shamsie, Kamila.  Best of Friends.
Two 14-year-old girls in Karachi, Pakistan, who are best friends despite differences in temperament and background, make a sudden bad decision, with traumatic results; years later, they are both working in London, and remain friends, until someone from their past appears and brings the experience back to them.

Strong, Lynn Steger.  Flight.
Three siblings and their spouses, gathered together for their first Christmas since their mother died unexpectedly, try to keep the family traditions alive, while clashing over what to do with her house, their only inheritance from her.  Ebook

Tang, Belinda Huijuan.  A Map for the Missing.
A Chinese mathematics professor living in the U.S. returns home to China for the first time in nearly ten years to search for his missing father and reconnects with his family history and a woman he once loved.  Ebook

Warrell, Laura.  Sweet, Soft, Plenty Rhythm.
A Boston-based traveling jazz musician, who seems irresistible to women but panics whenever a woman wants to get closer, tries to advance his stalled music career and attempts to be a better father to his teenage daughter.  Ebook
Wilson, Kevin.  Now is Not the Time to Panic.
In this story set in small town Coalfield, Tennessee in 1996, a teenage girl who is a writer and her new boyfriend, an artist, plaster their town with copies of a confrontational poster they have created, leading to mass hysteria across the country.  Ebook, downloadable audiobook

Wurth, Erika T.  White Horse.
In this supernatural thriller and horror story, a young woman of Apache and Chickasaw descent, who has always believed her mother had abandoned her shortly after her birth, is given a bracelet once belonging to her mother, which leads to ghostly visions and unleashes a monstrous entity.

Yagi, Emi.  Diary of a Void.
In this Japanese novel, a young woman, tired of the sexism at her workplace, announces that she is pregnant (although she is not), so she can no longer make the coffee, wash the dishes, or work extra hours.