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”

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.

Adrenaline

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”