New Fiction Roundup – May 2022

Get ready for summer reading with May new releases! It’s a (perhaps surprisingly) good month for new horror releases, as well as new titles from literary favorites, some great romance, and much more.

5/3: Book Lovers by Emily Henry
Cutthroat literary agent Nora takes a girls trip to Sunshine Falls, North Carolina but continually finds herself thrown together with Charlie, a brooding editor that she knows from home. Will they write their own love story? (romance) A Peak Pick!

5/3: Book of Night by Holly Black
Thief Charlie Hall is trying to get out of the business, but she works for some dangerous people: gloamists, magicians who manipulate shadows to eavesdrop and sometimes kill. With a desperate sister and a boyfriend hiding secrets, Charlie enters the hunt for a book that could unleash a terrifying power. (fantasy)

5/3: Companion Piece by Ali Smith
Pandemics, isolation, companionship, medieval clocks, poetry, and wordplay are rich ground for the author of the Seasonal Quartet. (general fiction)

5/3: The Hacienda by Isabel Canas
In 1820s Mexico, Beatriz accepts a marriage proposal and finds herself at a haunted estate, where she’ll rely on the help of a local priest to save herself and the others who live at the hacienda. (horror)

5/3: The Immortal King Rao by Vauhini Vara
17-year-old Athena recounts the story of her father, King Rao, who overcame being born into the lowest caste in India to become a tech billionaire. Thanks to one of King Rao’s inventions, The Harmonica, Athena has access to all his memories and must use them to absolve herself of his suspicious death. (general fiction) Continue reading “New Fiction Roundup – May 2022”

New Fiction Roundup – April 2022

New novels by heavy-hitters such as Jennifer Egan, Emily St. John Mandel, and Douglas Stuart join debut novels involving a heist, police in Lahore, and a trip across the 1880s American West.

4/5: The Candy House by Jennifer Egan
Tech mogul Bix Bouton develops “Own your Unconscious,” a technology that allows one to externalize their memory and share those memoires with others. In interlocking narratives told by multiple characters over several decades, the consequences of Bix’s technology are spun out. A sibling novel to Egan’s award winning novel A Visit from the Good Squad. A Peak Pick! (general fiction)

4/5: Four Treasures of the Sky by Jenny Tinghui Zhang
Kidnapped from China and smuggled to America, Daiyu constantly reinvents herself in order to survive, roaming across the 1880s American West as anti-Chinese sentiment sweeps across the country. A Peak Pick! (historical fiction)

4/5: Let’s Not Do That Again by Grant Ginder
Running for the US Senate, Nancy Harrison would like to focus on her campaign, but instead must grapple with two grown children who are adrift: Nick, aimlessly writing a musical about Joan Didion; and Greta, who finds herself in Paris with extremist protestors. (comic fiction)

4/5: Portrait of a Thief by Grace D. Li
In this lyrical heist novel that delves into diaspora, the colonization of art, and the complexity of Chinese American identity, a crew of five led by Harvard senior Will Chen attempt to steal five priceless Chinese sculptures from an American museum and return them to Beijing. (Crime thriller)

Continue reading “New Fiction Roundup – April 2022”

New Fiction Roundup – March 2022

March delivers a Dolly Parton/James Patterson collaboration, a deep dive into the family behind John Wilkes Booth by Karen Joy Fowler, a standalone by science fiction master John Scalzi, and much more.

3/1: The Night Shift by Alex Finlay
In 1999, four teen girls working at a Blockbuster Video are attacked and only one survives; 15 years later, a similar attack happens at an ice cream parlor. FBI agent Sarah Keller investigates, pulling original survivor Ella back into the fray to help her. (thriller)

3/1: One Italian Summer by Rebecca Serle
Left reeling by her mother Carol’s death, Katy travels solo to the Italian town where Carol spent the summer right before meeting Katy’s father. Then Carol reappears, 30 years old, and Katy has a magical chance to start healing from grief while understanding her mom’s past decisions. (general fiction) A Peak Pick!

3/7: Run Rose Run by Dolly Parton and James Patterson
Young singer-songwriter AnnieLee Keyes follows her dreams to Nashville even as she tries to avoid darkness from her past, with help from a country music great and a hunky session musician. (thriller)

3/8: Booth by Karen Joy Fowler
An epic novel about the family behind one of the most infamous figures in American history, John Wilkes Booth, amid the context of a pre-Civil War America riven by moral and political divides. From the author of the 2016 Seattle Reads selection We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves. (historical fiction) Continue reading “New Fiction Roundup – March 2022”

New Fiction Roundup – February 2022

What will you read this month?

2/1: Black Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson
Estranged siblings must come together when their mother dies and leaves them an unexpected inheritance: the recipe for a traditional Caribbean black cake, a family recipe with a long, tangled history, and an exhortation to “share the black cake when the time is right.” (general fiction) A Peak Pick!

2/1: The Books of Jacob by Olga Tokarczuk
Messianic figure Jacob Frank blazes a path cross 18th century Europe, gathering acolytes through force of personality and constant self-revision. (historical fiction)

2/1: The Christie Affair by Nina de Gramont
Revisiting Agatha Christie’s mysterious and still-unexplained 11-disappearnce in December 1926, with the story told by Nan O’Dea, who was having an affair with Christie’s husband. (historical fiction) A Peak Pick!

2/1: Don’t Cry for Me by Daniel Black
On his deathbed, Jacob writes letters to his estranged gay son Isaac, in which Jacob tries to explain his life, the unspoken truths of his heart, and Isaac’s inheritance of the ancestral trauma that extends back to the days of slavery in Arkansas. (general fiction) Continue reading “New Fiction Roundup – February 2022”

The Best in Genre Fiction: 2021

This January, groups of librarians from across the country met up virtually to hash out what they think were the best books published last year. The Notable Books List features literary fiction, nonfiction, and poetry; the Listen List is all about outstanding audiobooks; and The Reading List, which I want to tell you about today, highlights outstanding genre fiction in eight genres: Adrenaline (aka thrillers, adventure stories), Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Horror, Mystery, Relationship Fiction, Romance, and Science Fiction.

While each genre has a winner, it also has a four-title shortlist of runners up. Taken together, the five books in each genre represent a range of the types of stories a reader can find in that genre, with the idea that both longtime fans and new readers can find a title of interest. If you are looking to branch out into new areas of fiction reading, or for more suggestions in your favorite genre, it is a great list to browse.. Check out the 2022 winners and short list (for books published in 2021) below, with annotations from the ALA Reading List Council, or in our catalog.


Razorblade Tears by S.A. Cosby
Husbands Derek and Isaiah were estranged from their fathers, but after the couple is gunned down, ex-cons Ike and Buddy Lee seek personal redemption and bloody justice for their sons in this gritty, vengeance-fueled thriller.

Short List:
Bullet Train by Kotaro Isaka ♦ Never Saw Me Coming by Vera Kurian ♦ The Push by Ashley Audrain ♦ Red Widow by Alma Katsu Continue reading “The Best in Genre Fiction: 2021”