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”

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”

New Fiction Roundup – January 2022

Let’s kick off the reading year! January brings us compelling tales of friendship, pulse-pounding thrillers, deep dives into historical eras both real and imagined, and much more.

1/4: Anthem by Noah Hawley
In this sprawling near-future thriller, a group of teenagers break out of an anxiety rehab center determined to bring down an evil billionaire, even as a plague spreads that seems to cause suicidal deaths in teenagers. (thriller/general fiction)

1/4: Brown Girls by Daphne Palasi Andreades
Four friends from immigrant backgrounds come of age in Queens, New York, vowing to stay close even while exploring different paths forward.  A Peak Pick! (general fiction)

1/4: Honor by Thrity Umrigar
Journalist Smita Agarwal returns to India for the first time since she left for the United States at age 14, where she covers an explosive court case involving a mixed Hindu/Muslim marriage. (general fiction)

 1/4: Fiona and Jane by Jean Chen Ho
In this intimate portrait of a friendship, two young Taiwanese American women, best friends since second grade, navigate friendship, identity, sexuality and heartbreak over two decades. (general fiction)

1/4: The Maid by Nita Prose
Molly Gray struggles with social situations and reading social cues, but navigates the world using a code of rules from her Gran. Now working as a hotel maid, Molly finds a wealthy guest murdered in his bed and sets out to solve the crime. A Peak Pick! (mystery)

1/4: No Land to Light On by Yara Zgheib
Young Syrian couple Hadi and Sama have made a home as expats in Boston, waiting on the birth of their first child. When Hadi’s father dies in Jordan, he flies back for the funeral – only to be refused reentry into the United States. Can they find their way back to the life they dreamed of together? (general fiction)

1/4: Olga Dies Dreaming by Xochitl Gonzalez
Puerto Rican New Yorker Olga is a successful wedding planner to the wealthy who is grappling with her ambitions, both personal and professional, when her activist mother returns to New York City trailing family secrets. A Peak Pick! (general fiction) Continue reading “New Fiction Roundup – January 2022”

Seattle Staff Faves 2021: Fiction

We asked staff across the system to tell us their favorite novels published in 2021, and what a list we made together! Here are 10 of the 53 books recommended by your library staff, along with a link to the full list for your reading pleasure.

A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers
“Hugo Award winner Chambers (the Wayfarers series) launches the Monk and Robot series with this contemplative, bite-size novel.” — Publishers Weekly

Black Water Sister by Zen Cho
“Recently arrived in Malaysia, Jess begins hearing the voice of her estranged, deceased grandmother, Ah Ma. Soon, she’s pulled into Ah Ma’s unfinished business, acting as a medium for the deity Black Water Sister and going up against a gang who would pave over Black Water Sister’s temple.” —Andrea

Defekt by Nino Cipro
” This follow-up to 2020’s Finna follows Derek, coworker of Ava and Jules and seemingly the perfect corporate employee at the dimension-spanning LitenVärld furniture store.” — Booklist

Razorblade Tears by S.A. Crosby
“Two fathers, one Black and one white, seek revenge on those responsible for murdering their gay sons. A propulsive and gritty thriller.” — Frank Continue reading “Seattle Staff Faves 2021: Fiction”