Library Reads: Books to start 2019

What could be better than a list of 10 librarian-recommended books coming out in the next month? A list of 14 is the answer to that question.

For January, in addition to the Library Reads Top Ten (books voted on by librarians across the U.S.), we’re highlighting four additional books from the Library Reads “Hall of Fame,” which means these authors have made the Top Ten List multiple times.  For the Hall-of-Fame authors’ titles, we’ve also included “read alikes,” or, rather, suggested books if you’re already a fan of that author.

Here are the Top Ten Library Reads picks for January 2019:


Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield
A wonderfully dark and mysterious read. Something happens one stormy winter solstice evening that triggers a chain of events that changes the lives of all the main characters. Moody and mystical. For readers who love gothic fiction like The Death of Mrs. Westaway and The Clockmaker’s Daughter.  ~ Melanie Liechty, Logan Library, Logan, UT

An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen
Struggling to stay afloat with a job as a makeup artist, Jessica signs up for a study, thinking she will earn some easy money. After the first two parts of the study, she gets invited to the professor’s house for more questions and more compensation. Fans of psychological thrillers won’t want to miss this one as Jessica is a compelling character and the novel will keep you reading long into the night. ~ Annice Sevett, Albert Lea Public Library, Albert Lea, MN

The Au Pair by Emma Rous
After giving birth to Seraphine and her twin brother Danny, their mother throws herself from a cliff. 25 years later, Seraphine finds a picture that makes her question everything she thought she knew about her childhood. For fans of compelling suspense novels and family secrets. ~ Selena Swink, Lake Public Library, Lake, MS

The Current by Tim Johnston
When two girls, trapped in a RAV4, fall into an icy river one dies and the other barely survives. Unanswered questions and old accusations resurface as the small Minnesota town recalls another incident ten years earlier where a girl died in the same river. For readers who love small town suspense. ~ Shellie Taylor, Iredell County Public Library, Statesville, NC

The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker
A virus appears in the small town of Santa Lora that causes its victims to fall into a deep sleep from which they cannot wake up. While this story is about a pandemic apocalypse, it also reminds us of our humanity and how we are all connected. For fans of The Country of Ice Cream Star and The Water Knife. ~ Cari Dubiel, Twinsburg Public Library, Twinsburg, OH

My Favorite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren
Another delightful contemporary rom-com from the author of Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating. Millie and her four male friends decide to jump into the pool of online dating together. When Millie matches with one of the friends, chaos ensues. For fans of The Kiss Quotient and The Wedding Date. ~ Kelsey Hudson, Middleton Public Library, Middleton, WI

The Red Address Book by Sofia Lundberg
A 96-year-old Swedish woman reflects on her life, paging through a long-kept address book. A compelling, charming, and ultimately heartwarming read. For fans of Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk and The Japanese Lover. ~ Brenda O’Brien, Woodridge Public Library, Woodridge, IL

The Suspect by Fiona Barton
Reporter Kate Waters pursues the story of two 18-year-olds who have gone missing in Thailand. The case takes a turn when the main suspect is Kate’s estranged son. For fans of twisty psychological suspense. ~ Jennifer Winberry, Hunterdon County Library, Flemington, NJ

Unmarriageable by Soniah Kamal
A thoroughly enjoyable retelling of Pride and Prejudice set in modern-day Pakistan. The characters, storyline, and dialogue are true to the original while being completely fresh. For readers who enjoy a comedy of manners. ~ Kristen Gramer, Lewes Public Library, Lewes, DE

Watching You by Lisa Jewell
Set in an upscale English neighborhood where everyone knows everyone and someone is always watching. When one of the residents is found murdered, the police investigation turns up long buried secrets. Told from multiple viewpoints and alternating between past and present. ~ Cyndi Larsen, Avon Free Public Library, Avon, CT


And now on to the “Hall of Fame” authors on Library Reads, each of whom has appeared on a list two or more times:

The Golden Tresses of the Dead: A Flavia de Luce Novel by Alan Bradley
Follow the delightful hijinks of the precocious Flavia and her faithful Dogger as they take on their first case as private investigators. Although this is the 10th Flavia de Luce adventure, it is one of those rare mysteries you don’t have to read in series order. ~ Abby Hardison Rowan Public Library, Salisbury, NC

Home Sweet Homicide by Craig Rice
Rabbit Cake by Annie Hartnett
The Case of the Missing Servant by Tarquin Hall
The Case of the Missing Books by Ian Sansom

In an Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire
Young Katherine stumbles into the Goblin Market, where order, friendship, and belonging carry a high price. The latest novella in the Wayward Children series shines just as bright as its kin, as McGuire spins a tale infused with mist-covered magic and sharp and creative storytelling. ~ Sharon Layburn, South Huntington Public Library, Huntington Station, NY

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
The Icarus Girl by Helen Oyeyemi
Among Others by Jo Walton
The Book of Lost Things by John Connelly

The Only Woman in the Room by Marie Benedict
A fascinating look at a famous movie star with an unexpected past: Hedy Lamarr, the Austria-born screen siren who was also a brilliant inventor. Brisk pacing and atmospheric scenes of pre-World War II Europe round out this intriguing work of historical fiction. ~ Alissa Williams, Morton Public Library, Morton, IL

The Paris Wife by Paula McLain
The Secret Life of Violet Grant by Beatriz Williams
Marlene by C.W. Gortner
The Race for Paris by Meg Waite Clayton

The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden
In this magnificent conclusion to the Winternight historical fantasy trilogy, Vasya risks everything to ensure that both medieval Russias–human and fey–can continue to live together. Exciting, moving, and beautifully written, this is a story readers will savor. ~ Beth Mills, New Rochelle Public Library, New Rochelle, NY

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik
The Winged Histories by Sofia Samatar
Deathlesss by Catherynne M. Valente
The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty

If the holds lists are too daunting for brand new books, you can cruise through earlier Library Reads lists here.

~ Posted by Linda J.


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