New Fiction Roundup – July 2022

Summer reading continues with these great new releases:

7/5: Acts of Violet by Margarita Montimore
After magician Violet Volk disappeared mid-act, her sister Sasha picked up the pieces and moved on. Coming up on the ten year anniversary, with both a podcast host and her niece digging up old memories, Sasha resolves to discover the truth about Violet. (general fiction) A Peak Pick!

7/5: Honey & Spice by Bolu Babalola
College radio host Kiki Banjo takes it as her mission to warn the women of the African-Caribbean Society against the players and cads who would break their hearts. But when she’s caught kissing Malakai Korede, who she just called out, she decides to save face by entering into a fake relationship with Malakai. Will they catch feelings? (romance) A Peak Pick!

Continue reading “New Fiction Roundup – July 2022”

July Author Events: Daniel James Brown, Fonda Lee, Annalee Newitz and more

Here are a few reasons to be indoors in July: The Seattle Public Library’s lineup of free author programs, including Daniel James Brown (“The Boys in the Boat”) in conversation with Tom Ikeda about his new book “Facing the Mountain;” and two terrific Clarion West events featuring authors Fonda Lee, Annalee Newitz and Charlie Jane Anders.

You can trek to our air-conditioned Central Library for these events, or watch them livestreamed from the comfort of your couch. Registration is required for both in-person and online attendance; check the event descriptions at for registration and links. See upcoming programs at

Jade City, Fonda LeeClarion West presents Fonda Lee

From 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Tuesday, July 5, Central Library and online

Fonda Lee is the World Fantasy Award-winning author of the epic urban fantasy “Green Bone Saga” as well as the acclaimed young adult science fiction novels “Zeroboxer,” “Exo,” and “Cross Fire.” This event is supported by The Seattle Public Library Foundation, author series sponsors the Gary and Connie Kunis Foundation and Seattle City of Literature, and is presented in partnership with University Book Store.

Virtual Writers Read

From 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday, July 10, online.

This monthly reading series features local writers reading from their diverse repertoires of poetry, short stories, novels and essays. It is Continue reading “July Author Events: Daniel James Brown, Fonda Lee, Annalee Newitz and more”

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.


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”