NPR’s Book Concierge 2023

National Public Radio (NPR) has just released the Book Concierge for 2023. This is NPR’s annual, interactive, year-end reading guide. They compile their list by requesting staffers and trusted critics to nominate their favorite books of the year. Then, the editors and producers at NPR Books sit down and select their favorites. 

The books on this list cover a variety of genres such as biographies, book club ideas, and nonfiction as well as the more traditional categories like mysteries and thrillers, and historical fiction. We have indicated the categories that NPR assigned each book beneath the title in BOLD.

The Texas Talking Book Program has a good number of them in our collection. We even have some of them in Spanish. We have placed those at the top of the list under the heading En Español. No matter which genre you enjoy, the staff at National Public Radio have chosen a favorite book published this year. Contact us and we can help you find your next favorite book.

For more information: https://apps.npr.org/best-books/#view=list&year=2023

En Español

ALAS DE SANGRA por by Rebecca Yarros (DB en proceso)
(Let’s Talk About Sex, Rather Long, Sci Fi, Fantasy, & Speculative Fiction, Staff Picks)
EDAD DEL VICIO por Deepti Kapoor (DB 115648 en proceso)
(Book Club Ideas, Identity & Culture, Mysteries & Thrillers, Rather Long, Realistic Fiction, Tales From Around The World, The Dark Side)
INVENCIBLE VERANO DE LILIANA por Cristina Rivera Garza (DB 107986)
(Biography & Memoir, Eye-Opening Reads, Family Matters, Nonfiction, Seriously Great Writing, Staff Picks, Tales From Around The World)
NUESTRA PARTE DE NOCHE por Mariana Enriquez (DBG 17386)
(Historical Fiction, Mysteries & Thrillers, Rather Long, Sci Fi, Fantasy, & Speculative Fiction, Seriously Great Writing, Tales From Around The World)
OTRA GRAN OBRA MAESTRA DEL CINE por Tom Hanks (DB en proceso)
(Funny Stuff, No Biz Like Show Biz, Realistic Fiction, Staff Picks)
 PACTO DEL AGUA por Abraham Verghese (DB en proceso)
(Book Club Ideas, Family Matters, Historical Fiction, Rather Long, Seriously Great Writing, Staff Picks, Tales From Around The World)
SPARE: EN LA SOMBRA por Prince Harry Duke of Sussex (DB 114176)
(Biography & Memoir, Book Club Ideas, Eye-Opening Reads, Family Matters, Nonfiction, Rather Long, Staff Picks, Tales From Around The World)
TRENZA DEL MAR ESMERALDA por Brandon Sanderson (DB 114177)
(Rather Long, Sci Fi, Fantasy & Speculative Fiction, Staff Picks)
VIENTO CONOCE MI NOMBRE por Isabel Allende (DB 115997)
(Eye-Opening Reads, Family Matters, Historical Fiction, Identity & Culture, Realistic Fiction, Seriously Great Writing)

English Language

ABOVE GROUND by Clint Smith (DB 113995, BR 24835 IN PROCESS)
(Biography & Memoir, Family Matters, Identity & Culture, Short Stories, Essays, & Poetry, Staff Picks)
ABSOLUTION by Alice McDermott (DB IN PROCESS)
(Book Club Ideas, Family Matters, Historical Fiction, Realistic Fiction, Seriously Great Writing, Staff Picks)
AGE OF VICE by Deepti Kapoor (DB 111733, LB 14194)
(Book Club Ideas, Identity & Culture, Mysteries & Thrillers, Rather Long, Realistic Fiction, Tales From Around The World, The Dark Side)
ALL THE BEAUTY IN THE WORLD: THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART AND ME by Patrick Bringley (DB 113368)
(Biography & Memoir, Book Club Ideas, Eye-Opening Reads, For Art Lovers, Nonfiction, Rather Short, Staff Picks)
ALL THE SINNERS BLEED by S. A. Cosby (DB 115237)
(Identity & Culture, Mysteries & Thrillers, Seriously Great Writing, The Dark Side, The States We’re In)
AMERICAN STORY by Kwame Alexander (DB 111856)
(For History Lovers, Identity & Culture, Kids’ Books, Nonfiction)
ASTOR: THE RISE AND FALL OF AN AMERICAN FORTUNE by Anderson Cooper (DB IN PROCESS)
(Biography & Memoir, Eye-Opening Reads, Family Matters, For History Lovers, Nonfiction, Staff Picks, The States We’re In)
BEAST YOU ARE: STORIES by Paul Tremblay (DB IN PROCESS)
(Sci Fi, Fantasy, & Speculative Fiction, Seriously Great Writing, Short Stories, Essays, & Poetry, The Dark Side)
BEE STING by Paul Murray (DB IN PROCESS)
(Family Matters, Rather Long, Realistic Fiction, Seriously Great Writing, Tales From Around The World, The Dark Side)
BETTER THE BLOOD by Michael Bennett (DB 114557)
(Book Club Ideas, Historical Fiction, Identity & Culture, Mysteries & Thrillers, Tales From Around The World, The Dark Side)
BIG SWISS by Jen Beagin (DB 113281)
(Book Club Ideas, Funny Stuff, Let’s Talk About Sex, Love & Romance, Realistic Fiction, Staff Picks)
BIOGRAPHY OF X by Catherine Lacey (DB 113971)
(Book Club Ideas, For History Lovers, Rather Long, Realistic Fiction, Sci Fi, Fantasy, & Speculative Fiction, Seriously Great Writing, Staff Picks)
BIRNAM WOOD by Eleanor Catton (DB 115924)
(Book Club Ideas, Mysteries & Thrillers, Rather Long, Realistic Fiction, Seriously Great Writing, Staff Picks, Tales From Around The World, The Dark Side)
BLACKOUTS by Justin Torres (DB IN PROCESS)
(Book Club Ideas, Eye-Opening Reads, For History Lovers, Identity & Culture, Let’s Talk About Sex, Realistic Fiction, Seriously Great Writing, Staff Picks)
BRIGHT YOUNG WOMEN by Jessica Knoll (DB IN PROCESS)
(Book Club Ideas, Eye-Opening Reads, Historical Fiction, Identity & Culture, Mysteries & Thrillers, Staff Picks)
BURN IT DOWN: POWER, COMPLICITY, AND A CALL FOR CHANGE IN HOLLYWOOD by Maureen Ryan (DB 115381)
(Book Club Ideas, Eye-Opening Reads, Identity & Culture, No Biz Like Show Biz, Nonfiction, Rather Long, Staff Picks)
BUT WILL YOU LOVE ME TOMORROW?: AN ORAL HISTORY OF THE 60S GIRL GROUPS by Laura Flam and Emily Seiu Liebowitz (DB IN PROCESS)
(Biography & Memoir, Eye-Opening Reads, For History Lovers, For Music Lovers, Nonfiction, Rather Long, Staff Picks)
CASSANDRA IN REVERSE by Holly Smale (DB 115359)
(Book Club Ideas, Identity & Culture, Sci Fi, Fantasy, & Speculative Fiction, Staff Picks)
CENTRE by Ayesha Manazir Siddiqi (DB IN PROCESS)
(Mysteries & Thrillers, Sci Fi, Fantasy, & Speculative Fiction, Staff Picks, Tales From Around the World, The Dark Side)
CHAIN GANG ALL STARS by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah (DB 114336)
(Book Club Ideas, Eye-Opening Reads, For Sports Lovers, Sci Fi, Fantasy, & Speculative Fiction, Seriously Great Writing, Staff Picks, The Dark Side, The States We’re In)
CHOOSING FAMILY: A MEMOIR OF QUEER MOTHERHOOD AND BLACK RESISTANCE by Francesca T. Royster (DB 114746)
(Biography & Memoir, Book Club Ideas, Eye-Opening Reads, Family Matters, Identity & Culture, Nonfiction)
COUNTRY OF THE BLIND: A MEMOIR AT THE END OF SIGHT by Andrew Leland (DB 115575, BR 25166)
(Biography & Memoir, Book Club Ideas, Identity & Culture, Nonfiction, Science!)
COVENANT OF WATER by Abraham Verghese (DB 114896)
(Book Club Ideas, Family Matters, Historical Fiction, Rather Long, Seriously Great Writing, Staff Picks, Tales From Around The World)
CROOK MANIFESTO by Colson Whitehead (DB 115398)
(Book Club Ideas, Historical Fiction, Identity & Culture, Mysteries & Thrillers, Realistic Fiction, Seriously Great Writing, The Dark Side, The States We’re In)
CUBAN HEIRESS by Chanel Cleeton (DB 113946)
(Book Club Ideas, Historical Fiction, Love & Romance, Mysteries & Thrillers, Tales From Around The World)
DAY by Michael Cunningham (IN PROCESS)
(Book Club Ideas, Family Matters, Realistic Fiction, Seriously Great Writing, Staff Picks)
DOS AND DONUTS OF LOVE by Adiba Jaigirdar (DB 116288)
(Cookbooks & Food, Funny Stuff, Identity & Culture, Love & Romance, Young Adult)
EMILY WILDE’S ENCYCLOPEDIA OF FAERIES by Heather Fawcett (DB 112234, BR 24964 IN PROCESS)
(Love & Romance, Sci Fi, Fantasy, & Speculative Fiction, Staff Picks)
EMPTY THEATRE: OR THE LIVES OF KING LUDWIG II OF BAVARIA AND EMPRESS SISI OF AUSTRIA (QUEEN OF HUNGARY), COUSINS, IN THEIR PURSUIT OF CONNECTION AND BEAUTY DESPITE THE EXPECTATIONS PLACED ON THEM BECAUSE OF THE EXCEPTIONAL GOOD FORTUNE OF THEIR STATUS AS BELOVED NATIONAL FIGURES by Jac Jemc (DB 114965)
(Book Club Ideas, Eye-Opening Reads, Historical Fiction, Rather Long, Seriously Great Writing, Staff Picks, Tales From Around The World)
ENCHANTERS by James Ellroy (DB IN PROCESS)
(Historical Fiction, Mysteries & Thrillers, No Biz Like Show Biz, Rather Long, The Dark Side)
EYES & THE IMPOSSIBLE by Dave Eggers (DB 116273)
(For Art Lovers, Kids’ Books, Seriously Great Writing)
FAMILY LORE by Elizabeth Acevedo (DB 116553 IN PROCESS)
(Book Club Ideas, Family Matters, Identity & Culture, Love & Romance, Sci Fi, Fantasy, & Speculative Fiction, Seriously Great Writing, Staff Picks)
FAMILY MEAL by Bryan Washington (DB IN PROCESS)
(Book Club Ideas, Family Matters, Identity & Culture, Realistic Fiction, Seriously Great Writing)
FEVER IN THE HEARTLAND: THE KU KLUX KLAN’S PLOT TO TAKE OVER AMERICA, AND THE WOMAN WHO STOPPED THEM by Timothy Egan (DB 114864)
(Book Club Ideas, Eye-Opening Reads, For History Lovers, Identity & Culture, Nonfiction, Rather Long, Staff Picks, The Dark Side, The States We’re In)
FIRE WEATHER: A TRUE STORY FROM A HOTTER WORLD by John Vaillant (DB 116220)
(Book Club Ideas, Eye-Opening Reads, Nonfiction, Rather Long, Science!, Seriously Great Writing, Staff Picks, Tales From Around The World)
FOURTH WING by Rebecca Yarros (DB 115206, BR IN PROCESS)
(Let’s Talk About Sex, Rather Long, Sci Fi, Fantasy, & Speculative Fiction, Staff Picks)
FRAUD by Zadie Smith (DB 116592 IN PROCESS)
(Book Club Ideas, Historical Fiction, Identity & Culture, Rather Long, Realistic Fiction, Seriously Great Writing, Tales From Around The World)
GHOST AT THE FEAST: AMERICA AND THE COLLAPSE OF WORLD ORDER by Robert Kagan (DB 112901)
(For History Lovers, Nonfiction, Rather Long, Staff Picks, Tales From Around The World)
GOLDEN SPOON by Jessa Maxwell (DB IN PROCESS)
(Cookbooks & Food, Funny Stuff, Mysteries & Thrillers, No Biz Like Show Biz, Staff Picks)
GONE TO THE WOLVES by John Wray (DB IN PROCESS)
(For Music Lovers, Funny Stuff, Identity & Culture, Rather Long, Realistic Fiction, Seriously Great Writing)
GOOD NIGHT, IRENE by Luis Alberto Urrea (DB 114929)
(Book Club Ideas, Eye-Opening Reads, Family Matters, Historical Fiction, Love & Romance, Rather Long, Staff Picks, Tales From Around The World)
GREAT ESCAPE: A TRUE STORY OF FORCED LABOR AND IMMIGRANT DREAMS IN AMERICA by Saket Soni (DB 113144)
(Book Club Ideas, Eye-Opening Reads, Identity & Culture, Nonfiction, Staff Picks, The States We’re In)
GUEST by Emma Cline (DB 114407, LB 14446, BR IN PROCESS)
(Book Club Ideas, Let’s Talk About Sex, Realistic Fiction, Seriously Great Writing, Staff Picks)
HALF KNOWN LIFE: IN SEARCH OF PARADISE by Pico Iyer (DB 114178)
(Biography & Memoir, Identity & Culture, Nonfiction, Rather Short, Seriously Great Writing, Tales From Around The World)
HANG THE MOON by Jeannette Walls (DB 114958, BR 25113 IN PROCESS)
(Book Club Ideas, Family Matters, Historical Fiction, The States We’re In)
HAPPY PLACE by Emily Henry (DB 114742, BR 24897 IN PROCESS)
(Let’s Talk About Sex, Love & Romance, Rather Long, Realistic Fiction, Staff Picks)
HEAT WILL KILL YOU FIRST: LIFE AND DEATH ON A SCORCHED PLANET by Jeff Goodell (DB 116475 IN PROCESS)
(Eye-Opening Reads, Nonfiction, Rather Long, Science!, Staff Picks)
HEAVEN & EARTH GROCERY STORE by James McBride (DB 115655 IN PROCESS)
(Book Club Ideas, Funny Stuff, Historical Fiction, Identity & Culture, Rather Long, Realistic Fiction, Seriously Great Writing, Staff Picks)
HELLO BEAUTIFUL by Ann Napolitano (DB 113288, LB 14282, BR 25090 IN PROCESS)
(Book Club Ideas, Family Matters, For Sports Lovers, Rather Long, Realistic Fiction, Staff Picks)
HOLLY by Stephen King (DB 116600 IN PROCESS, BR 25169 IN PROCESS)
(Mysteries & Thrillers, Rather Long, The Dark Side)
HOUSE OF EVE by Sadeqa Johnson (DB 112651)
(Book Club Ideas, Family Matters, Historical Fiction, Identity & Culture, Love & Romance)
HOW TO SELL A HAUNTED HOUSE by Grady Hendrix (DB 112120, LB 14730)
(Book Club Ideas, Family Matters, Mysteries & Thriller, Rather Long, Staff Picks, The Dark Side)
I HAVE SOME QUESTIONS FOR YOU by Rebecca Makkai (DB 112960, LB 14575)
(Book Club Ideas, Mysteries & Thrillers, Rather Long, Realistic Fiction, Staff Picks, The Dark Side)
IMMORTAL LONGINGS by Chloe Gong (DB 116607)
(Love & Romance, Sci Fi, Fantasy, & Speculative Fiction, Staff Picks)
IMPOSTER SYNDROME AND OTHER CONFESSIONS OF ALEJANDRA KIM by Patricia Park (DB 113468)
(Book Club Ideas, Identity & Culture, Realistic Fiction, Staff Picks, Young Adult)
IN MEMORIAM by Alice Winn (DB 116108)
(Book Club Ideas, Historical Fiction, Identity & Culture, Rather Long, Staff Picks, Tales From Around The World, The Dark Side)
INVISIBLE SON by Kim Johnson (DB 116471 IN PROCESS)
(Family Matters, Identity & Culture, Mysteries & Thrillers, Rather Long, Realistic Fiction, The Dark Side, Young Adult)
JOVITA WORE PANTS: THE STORY OF A MEXICAN FREEDOM FIGHTER by Aida Salazar (DB 114313)
(Biography & Memoir, For History Lovers, Kids’ Books, Nonfiction, Tales From Around The World)
JULIETA AND THE ROMEOS by Maria E. Andreu (DB IN PROCESS)
(Funny Stuff, Love & Romance, Rather Long, Young Adult)
KING: A LIFE by Jonathan Eig (DB 115189, BR IN PROCESS)
(Biography & Memoir, Eye-Opening Reads, For History Lovers, Nonfiction, Rather Long, Seriously Great Writing, Staff Picks)
KüNSTLERS IN PARADISE by Cathleen Schine (DB 115236)
(Book Club Ideas, Family Matters, Historical Fiction, Seriously Great Writing, The States We’re In)
LAND OF MILK AND HONEY by C. Pam Zhang (DB IN PROCESS)
(Book Club Ideas, Cookbooks & Food, Eye-Opening Reads, Rather Short, Sci Fi, Fantasy, & Speculative Fiction, Seriously Great Writing, Staff Picks)
LAST ANIMAL by Ramona Ausubel (DB IN PROCESS)
(Book Club Ideas, Family Matters, Realistic Fiction, Science!, Seriously Great Writing, Tales From Around The World)
LAST DEVIL TO DIE by Richard Osman (DB 116412 IN PROCESS)
(Funny Stuff, Mysteries & Thrillers, Realistic Fiction, Tales From Around The World)
LIBRARIANIST by Patrick deWitt (DB 116100, LB 14519, BR 25013 IN PROCESS)
(Book Club Ideas, Realistic Fiction, Staff Picks)
LIKE LAVA IN MY VEINS by Derrick Barnes (DB 116558 IN PROCESS, BR 25048 IN PROCESS)
(Comics & Graphic Novels, Identity & Culture, Kids’ Books, Staff Picks)
LILIANA’S INVINCIBLE SUMMER: A SISTER’S SEARCH FOR JUSTICE by Cristina Rivera Garza (DB 115091)
(Biography & Memoir, Eye-Opening Reads, Family Matters, Nonfiction, Seriously Great Writing, Staff Picks, Tales From Around The World)
LONE WOMEN by Victor LaValle (DB 114718)
(Book Club Ideas, Historical Fiction, Identity & Culture, Staff Picks, The Dark Side)
LONELY HEARTS BOOK CLUB by Lucy Gilmore (DB 114734)
(Book Club Ideas, Family Matters, Love & Romance, Realistic Fiction, Staff Picks)
LOOT by Tania James (DB 115153)
(For History Lovers, Funny Stuff, Historical Fiction, Identity & Culture, Seriously Great Writing, Tales From Around The World)
MADONNA: A REBEL LIFE by Mary Gabriel (DB IN PROCESS)
(Biography & Memoir, For Music Lovers, Identity & Culture, Nonfiction, Rather Long, Staff Picks)
MAGICIAN’S DAUGHTER by H. G. Parry (DB 113984)
(Family Matters, Rather Long, Sci Fi, Fantasy, & Speculative Fiction)
MAKING OF ANOTHER MAJOR MOTION PICTURE MASTERPIECE by Tom Hanks (DB 114593, LB 14418)
(Funny Stuff, No Biz Like Show Biz, Realistic Fiction, Staff Picks)
MAMA SHAMSI AT THE BAZAAR by Mojdeh Hassani (DB 114019 IN PROCESS)
(Family Matters, Funny Stuff, Kids’ Books, Tales From Around The World)
MANY ASSASSINATIONS OF SAMIR, THE SELLER OF DREAMS by Daniel Nayeri (DB 114135)
(Funny Stuff, Historical Fiction, Kids’ Books, Tales From Around The World)
MASTER SLAVE HUSBAND WIFE: AN EPIC JOURNEY FROM SLAVERY TO FREEDOM by Ilyon Woo (DB 112758)
(Biography & Memoir, Book Club Ideas, Eye-Opening Reads, For History Lovers, Identity & Culture, Nonfiction, Rather Long, The States We’re In)
MONSTERS: A FAN’S DILEMMA by Claire Dederer (DB 114924)
(Book Club Ideas, For Art Lovers, For Music Lovers, Identity & Culture, No Biz Like Show Biz, Nonfiction, Seriously Great Writing, Staff Picks)
MUCH ADO ABOUT NADA by Uzma Jalaluddin (DB 116291)
(Identity & Culture, Love & Romance, Realistic Fiction, Staff Picks)
MUSEUM OF FAILURES by Thirty N. Umrigar (DB 116437 IN PROCESS)
(Book Club Ideas, Family Matters, Identity & Culture, Realistic Fiction, Staff Picks, Tales From Around The World)
MY MURDER by Katie Williams (DB 115403, LB 14422)
(Book Club Ideas, Funny Stuff, Mysteries & Thrillers, Sci Fi, Fantasy, & Speculative Fiction, Staff Picks, The Dark Side)
MY NAME IS BARBRA by Barbra Streisand (DB 116687 IN PROCESS)
(Biography & Memoir, For Music Lovers, No Biz Like Show Biz, Nonfiction, Rather Long, Staff Picks)
NONE OF THIS IS TRUE by Lisa Jewell (DB 116345 IN PROCESS)
(Book Club Ideas, Mysteries & Thrillers, Rather Long, Staff Picks, The Dark Side)
NORTH WOODS by Daniel Mason (DB 116389 IN PROCESSS)
(Book Club Ideas, Historical Fiction, Seriously Great Writing, Staff Picks)
OLD GOD’S TIME by Sebastian Barry (DB 114027)
(Mysteries & Thrillers, Realistic Fiction, Seriously Great Writing, Tales From Around The World, The Dark Side)
ONCE MORE WITH FEELING by Elissa Sussman (DB 115336)
(For Music Lovers, Let’s Talk About Sex, Love & Romance, No Biz Like Show Biz, Rather Long, Realistic Fiction, Staff Picks)
ORDINARY NOTES by Christina Elizabeth Sharpe (DB 114934)
(Biography & Memoir, Book Club Ideas, Identity & Culture, Nonfiction, Seriously Great Writing, Staff Picks)
OSCAR WARS: A HISTORY OF HOLLYWOOD IN GOLD, SWEAT, AND TEARS by Michael Schulman (DB 114470)
(Book Club Ideas, Eye-Opening Reads, For History Lovers, No Biz Like Show Biz, Nonfiction, Rather Long, Staff Picks)
OUR MIGRANT SOULS: A MEDITATION ON RACE AND THE MEANINGS AND MYTHS OF “LATINO” by Hector Tobar (DB IN PROCESS)
(Biography & Memoir, Book Club Ideas, Eye-Opening Reads, For History Lovers, Identity & Culture, Nonfiction, Seriously Great Writing, The States We’re In)
OUR SHARE OF NIGHT by Mariana Enriquez (DB 115900)
(Historical Fiction, Mysteries & Thrillers, Rather Long, Sci Fi, Fantasy, & Speculative Fiction, Seriously Great Writing, Tales From Around The World)
PINEAPPLE STREET by Jenny Jackson (DB 113575, BR 24904 IN PROCESS)
(Book Club Ideas, Family Matters, Funny Stuff, Realistic Fiction, Staff Picks, The States We’re In)
POSTCARD by Anne Berest (DB 115072)
(Book Club Ideas, Family Matters, Historical Fiction, Identity & Culture, Rather Long, Staff Picks, Tales From Around The World)
POVERTY, BY AMERICA by Matthew Desmond (DB 113856, LB 14415)
(Book Club Ideas, Eye-Opening Reads, Nonfiction, Staff Picks, The States We’re In)
PROMISES OF GOLD/ PROMESAS DE ORO by Jose Olivarez (DB 114551 IN PROCESS)
(Family Matters, Identity & Culture, Short Stories, Essays & Poetry, Staff Picks)
QUEEN OF DIRT ISLAND by Donal Ryan (DB 114146, BR 24899 IN PROCESS)
(Book Club Ideas, Family Matters, Historical Fiction, Realistic Fiction, Staff Picks, Tales From Around The World)
QUIETLY HOSTILE: ESSAYS by Samantha Irby (DB 115194)
(Biography & Memoir, Funny Stuff, No Biz Like Show Biz, Nonfiction, Short Stories, Essays & Poetry, Staff Picks)
RACHEL INCIDENT by Caroline O’Donoghue (DB 115387, LB 14692)
(Book Club Ideas, Funny Stuff, Let’s Talk About Sex, Love & Romance, Realistic Fiction, Staff Picks, Tales From Around The World)
RAW DOG: THE NAKED TRUTH ABOUT HOT DOGS by Jamie Loftus (DB 115180)
(Biography & Memoir, Cookbooks & Food, Funny Stuff, Nonfiction, Staff Picks, The States We’re In)
REDISCOVERY OF AMERICA: NATIVE PEOPLES AND THE UNMASKING OF U. S.  HISTORY by Ned Blackhawk (DB 115217 IN PROCESS)
(Eye-Opening Reads, For History Lovers, Identity & Culture, Nonfiction, Seriously Great Writing, Staff Picks, The States We’re In)
REMEMBER by Joy Harjo (DB 115904, BR 25039 IN PROCESS)
(For Art Lovers, Identity & Culture, Kids’ Books, Seriously Great Writing, Short Stories, Essays & Poetry)
RINGMASTER: VINCE MCMAHON AND THE UNMAKING OF AMERICA by Abraham Riesman (DB 114335)
(Biography & Memoir, Eye-Opening Reads, For Sports Lovers, No Biz Like Show Biz, Nonfiction, Rather Long, Staff Picks)
ROMAN STORIES by Jhumpa Lahiri (DB IN PROCESS)
(Book Club Idea, Identity & Culture, Rather Short, Realistic Fiction, Seriously Great Writing, Short Stories, Essays & Poetry, Tales From Around The World)
ROMANTIC COMEDY by Curtis Sittenfeld (DB 113860, LB 14285, BR 24945 IN PROCESS)
(Funny Stuff, Love & Romance, No Biz Like Show Biz, Realistic Fiction, Staff Picks)
ROUGH SLEEPERS: DR JIM O’CONNELL’S URGENT MISSION TO BRING HEALING TO HOMELESS PEOPLE by Tracy Kidder (IN PROCESS)
(Biography & Memoir, Book Club Ideas, Eye-Opening Reads, Nonfiction, Staff Picks)
SING HER DOWN by Ivy Pochoda (DB 114455)
(Book Club Ideas, Mysteries & Thrillers, Realistic Fiction, The Dark Side, The States We’re In)
SMALL MERCIES by Dennis Lehane (DB 114456, LB 14406)
(Book Club Ideas, Historical Fiction, Identity & Culture, Mysteries & Thrillers, Realistic Fiction, Seriously Great Writing, Staff Picks, The Dark Side, The States We’re In)
SOIL: THE STORY OF A BLACK MOTHER’S GARDEN by Camille T. Dungy (IN PROCESS)
(Biography & Memoir, Book Club Ideas, Family Matters, Identity & Culture, Nonfiction, Seriously Great Writing, Staff Picks)
SOME DESPERATE GLORY by Emily Tesh (BR IN PROCESS)
(Book Club Ideas, Rather Long, Sci Fi, Fantasy & Speculative Fiction)
SOMEONE ELSE’S SHOES by Jojo Moyes (DB 112338, LB 14576, BR 25197 IN PROCESS)
(Family Matters, Rather Long, Realistic Fiction, Staff Picks)
SPARE by Prince Harry Duke of Sussex (DB 112017, LB 14392)
(Biography & Memoir, Book Club Ideas, Eye-Opening Reads, Family Matters, Nonfiction, Rather Long, Staff Picks, Tales From Around The World)
SPELL OF GOOD THINGS by Ayobami Adebayo (DB IN PROCESS)
(Book Club Ideas, Family Matters, Identity & Culture, Realistic Fiction, Seriously Great Writing, Tales From Around The World)
STARLING HOUSE by Alix E. Harrow (DB 116445 IN PROCESS)
(Love & Romance, Sci Fi, Fantasy & Speculative Fiction, Staff Picks, The Dark Side, The States We’re In)
STUDY IN DROWNING by Ava Reid (DB 116420 IN PROCESS)
(Love & Romance, Sci Fi, Fantasy, & Speculative Fiction, Seriously Great Writing, Staff Picks, The Dark Side, Young Adult)
STOLEN COAST by Dwyer Murphy (DB 115407)
(Mysteries & Thrillers, Realistic Fiction, Staff Picks, The Dark Side, The States We’re In)
SYMPHONY OF SECRETS by Brendan Slocumb (DB 114928)
(Book Club Ideas, For Music Lovers, Historical Fiction, Identity & Culture, Mysteries & Thrillers, Rather Long, Realistic Fiction)
THERE WILL BE FIRE: MARGARET THATCHER, THE IRA, AND TWO MINUTES THAT CHANGED HISTORY by Rory Carroll (DB 113821)
(Eye-Opening Reads, For History Lovers, Nonfiction, Rather Long, Seriously Great Writing, Staff Picks, Tales From Around The World)
THICKER THAN WATER: A MEMOIR by Kerry Washington (DB IN PROCESS)
(Biography & Memoir, Book Club Ideas, Family Matters, Identity & Culture, No Biz Like Show Biz, Nonfiction, Staff Picks)
THIS BIRD HAS FLOWN by Susanna Hoffs (DB 115330)
(Book Club Ideas, For Music Lovers, Funny Stuff, Love & Romance, Realistic Fiction, Tales From Around The World)
THIS OTHER EDEN by Paul Harding (DB 113243, BR 24845 IN PROCESS)
(Book Club Ideas, Eye-Opening Ideas, Historical Fiction, Identity & Culture, Rather Short, Seriously Great Writing, Staff Picks, The States We’re In)
THORNHEDGE by T. Kingfisher (DB 116446 IN PROCESS, BR IN PROCESS)
(Book Club Ideas, Rather Short, Sci Fi, Fantasy & Speculative Fiction)
TOM LAKE by Ann Patchett (DB 116555 IN PROCESS, BR 25129 IN PROCESS)
(Book Club Ideas, Family Matters, Love & Romance, Realistic Fiction, Staff Picks, The States We’re In)
TRANSLATION STATE by Ann Leckie (DB 116532 IN PROCESS)
(Rather Long, Sci Fi, Fantasy, & Speculative Fiction, Staff Picks)
TRESS OF THE EMERALD SEA by Brandon Sanderson (DB 115506 IN PROCESS, BR 24995 IN PROCESS)
(Rather Long, Sci Fi, Fantasy & Speculative Fiction, Staff Picks)
TRUE LOVE EXPERIMENT by Christina Lauren (DB 115235)
(Family Matters, Let’s Talk About Sex, Love & Romance, Rather Long, Realistic Fiction, Staff Picks)
ULTRA-PROCESSED PEOPLE: THE SCIENCE BEHIND FOOD THAT ISN’T FOOD by Chris van Tulleken (DB IN PROCESS)
(Book Club Ideas, Cookbooks & Food, Eye-Opening Reads, Nonfiction, Science!, Staff Picks)
UNRAVELING: WHAT I LEARNED ABOUT LIFE WHILE SHEARING SHEEP, DYEING WOOL, AND MAKING THE WORLD’S UGLIEST SWEATER by Peggy Orenstein (DB 113482)
(Biography & Memoir, Eye-Opening Book Family Matters, For History Lovers, It’s All Geek To Me, Nonfiction, Rather Short, Staff Picks)
VAMPIRES OF EL NORTE by Isabel Cañas (DB 116478 IN PROCESS)
(Historical Fiction, Love & Romance, Mysteries & Thrillers, Sci Fi, Fantasy, & Speculative Fiction, Staff Picks, Tales From Around The World, The Dark Side)
VASTER WILDS by Lauren Groff (DB 116370, BR IN PROCESS)
(Book Club Ideas, Historical Fiction, Seriously Great Writing, Staff Picks, The Dark Side, The States We’re In)
VERA WONG’S UNSOLICITED ADVICE FOR MURDERERS by Jesse Q. Sutanto (DB 113039, LB 14540)
(Book Club Ideas, Family Matters, Funny Stuff, Mysteries & Thrillers, Staff Picks, The States We’re In)
VICTORY CITY by Salman Rushdie (DB 112519, LB 14581)
(Family Matters, Identity & Culture, Sci Fi, Fantasy, & Speculative Fiction, Seriously Great Writing, Tales From Around The World)
VULNERABLES by Sigrid Nunez (DB IN PROCESS)
(Book Club Ideas, Funny Stuff, Realistic Fiction, Seriously Great Writing)
WAGER: A TALE OF SHIPWRECK, MUTINY, & MURDER by David Grann (DB 113965, LB 14399)
(Book Club Ideas, Eye-Opening Reads, For History Lovers, Nonfiction, Staff Picks)
WARRIOR GIRL UNEARTHED by Angeline Boulley (DB 114761, BR 25116 IN PROCESS)
(Identity & Culture, Mysteries & Thrillers, Rather Long, Realistic Fiction, Staff Picks, The States We’re In, Young Adult)
WE COULD BE SO GOOD by Cat Sebastian (DB IN PROCESS)
(Book Club Ideas, Historical Fiction, Identity & Culture, Let’s Talk About Sex, Love & Romance)
WE WERE ONCE A FAMILY: A STORY OF LOVE, DEATH, AND CHILD REMOVAL IN AMERICA by Roxanna Asgarian (DB 114060)
(Book Club Ideas, Eye-Opening Reads, Family Matters, Identity & Culture, Nonfiction, Staff Picks, The States We’re In)
WELLNESS by Nathan Hill (DB 116388 IN PROCESS)
(Book Club Ideas, Family Matters, Funny Stuff, Love & Romance, Rather Long, Realistic Fiction, Seriously Great Writing)
WEYWARD by Emilia Hart (DB 113239, BR 24933 IN PROCESS)
(Family Matters, Historical Fiction, Realistic Fiction, Staff Picks, The Dark Side)
WICKED BARGAIN by Gabe Cole Novoa (DB 113355)
(Identity & Culture, Sci Fi, Fantasy, & Speculative Fiction, Tales From Around The World, Young Adult)
WIND KNOWS MY NAME by Isabel Allende (DB 115139, LB 14397, BR 25001 IN PROCESS)
(Eye-Opening Reads, Family Matters, Historical Fiction, Identity & Culture, Realistic Fiction, Seriously Great Writing)
WITCH KING by Marth Wells (DB 114938)
(Rather Long, Sci Fi, Fantasy, & Speculative Fiction)
WITHOUT CHILDREN: THE LONG HISTORY OF NOT BEING A MOTHER by Peggy O’Donnell Heffington (DB IN PROCESS)
(Book Club Ideas, Eye-Opening Reads, Family Matters, For History Lovers, Identity & Culture, Nonfiction, Staff Picks)
WITNESS: STORIES by Jamel Brinkley (DB IN PROCESS)
(Rather Short, Realistic Fiction, Seriously Great Writing, Short Stories, Essays, & Poetry, The States We’re In)
WOLVES OF ETERNITY by Karl Ove Knausgard (DB IN PROCESS)
(Book Club Ideas, Family Matters, Rather Long, Realistic Fiction, Seriously Great Writing, Staff Picks, Tales From Around The World)
WOMAN IN ME by Briteny Spears (DB IN PROCESS)
(Biography & Memoir, Book Club Ideas, Family Matters, For Music Lovers, No Biz Like Show Biz, Nonfiction, Staff Picks)
WRECK: A DAUGHTER’S MEMOIR OF BECOMING A MOTHER by Cassandra Jackson (DB 115198)
(Biography & Memoir, Book Club Ideas, Family Matters, Identity & Culture, Nonfiction, Staff Picks, The States We’re In)
WREN, THE WREN by Anne Enright (DB IN PROCESS)
(Book Club Ideas, Family Matters, Realistic Fiction, Seriously Great Writing, Short Stories, Essays, & Poetry, Staff Picks, Tales From Around The World)
YEAR MY LIFE WENT DOWN THE TOILET by Jake Maia Arlow (DB IN PROCESS)
(Family Matters, Funny Stuff, Identity & Culture, Kids’ Books)
YELLOWFACE by R. F. Kuang (DB 114930, BR 24934 IN PROCESS)
(Book Club Ideas, Identity & Culture, Realistic Fiction, Staff Picks, The Dark Side)
YOU COULD MAKE THIS PLACE BEAUTIFUL: A MEMOIR by Maggie Smith (DB 115170)
(Biography & Memoir, Book Club Ideas, Family Matters, Nonfiction, Seriously Great Writing, Short Stories, Essays, & Poetry, Staff Picks)

13 Space Horror Novels

Space: Where no one can hear you scream…because sound is just vibrating air, space has no air to vibrate, and therefore there can be no sound.

We have 13 science fiction horror novels set in space. Some feature extraterrestrials like SALVAGED and PITCH DARK. Others like HULL ZERO THREE and SALVATION DAY deal with threats created by members of humanity. ALL of them will make your spine tingle.

ALIEN; ALIENS; AND ALIEN 3: THE OFFICIAL MOVIE NOVELIZATION by Alan Dean Foster (DB 104030, BR 04215)
ALIEN COVENANT by Alan Dean Foster (DB 115465)
DEAD SILENCE by S. A. Barnes (DB 107261)
DEATH TROOPERS by Joe Schreiber (DB 70317, BR 18837)
HULL ZERO THREE by Greg Bear (DB 72718)
LAST ASTRONAUT by David Wellington (DB 96204)
PITCH DARK by Courtney Alameda (DB 90442)
SALVAGED by Madeleine Roux (DB 97865)
SALVATION DAY by Kali Wallace (DB 96354)
SCOURGE BETWEEN STARS by Ness Brown (DB 114290, BR 24888)
SHIP OF FOOLS by Richard Paul Russo (DB 51885)
SIX WAKES by Mur Lafferty (DB 87293, BR 21864)
SOLARIS by Stanislaw Lem (DB 82495, BR 21113)

Weird Westerns

What happens when eerie things occur in the west? You get weird Westerns. Here at the Texas Talking Book Program we have creepy cowboys, ghoulish gunslingers, and paranormal pardners of all kinds. So, consider spending some time on the frontier where fantasy meets the wild weird West.

BLOOD RIDERS by Michael P. Spradlin (DB 76040)
BUNTLINE SPECIAL: A WEIRD WEST TALE by Michael D. Resnick (DB 92468)
DEAD MAN’S HAND: AN ANTHOLOGY OF THE WEIRD WEST (DB 79467)
FLAMING ZEPPELINS: THE ADVENTURES OF NED THE SEAL by Joe R. Lansdale (DBC 04855)
GUNSLINGER: THE DARK TOWER, VOLUME 1 by Stephen King (DB 62356)
HAUNTED MESA by Louis L’Amour (DB 26016)
HERMANO by Carmen Baca (DBC 10279) en español
IN THE VALLEY OF THE SUN: A NOVEL by Andy Davidson (DB 90852; LB 09283)
MAN IN THE BLACK HAT by Melissa Bowersock (DBC 12879)
OF GRAVE CONCERN: AN OPHELIA WYLDE PARANORMAL MYSTERY by Max McCoy (DC 06565)
PORTLANDTOWN: A TALE OF THE OREGON WYLDES by Rob Deborde (DB 75792)
RAZORED SADDLES (DBC 14471)
SILVER ON THE ROAD: A DEVIL’S WEST NOVEL by Laura Anne Gilman (DB 83792)
SIX-GUN TAROT: A GOLGOTHA NOVEL by R. S. Belcher (DB 76240)
THOUSAND CRIMES OF MING TSU by Tom Lin (DB 104311)
UNBURY CAROL by Josh Malerman (DB 90710)
VERMILION: THE ADVENTURES OF LOU MERRIWETHER, PSYCHOPOMP by Molly Tanzer (DB 84396)

Bibliography of American Scientists

Did you know that the recent Christopher Nolan film Oppenheimer was based on a book? Well, it was! It was based on AMERICAN PROMETHEUS by Kai Bird. It even won the Pulitzer Prize for Biography in 2006. This made us wonder, what other great biographies and autobiographies on great American scientists do we have in the TBP collection? So we decided to search the catalog. We even found the autobiography of a scientist who is blind! Here are some of the titles we discovered:

AMERICAN PROMETHEUS: THE TRIUMPH AND TRAGEDY OF J. ROBERT OPPENHEIMER by Kai Bird (DB 61087)
ARBORNAUT: A LIFE DISCOVERING THE EIGHTH CONTINENT IN THE TREES ABOVE US by Margaret Lowman (DB 104556, LB 13833)
ATOMIC WOMEN: THE UNTOLD STORIES OF THE SCIENTISTS WHO HELPED CREATE THE NUCLEAR BOMB by Roseanne Montillo (DB 105401)
AVOID BORING PEOPLE: LESSONS FROM A LIFE IN SCIENCE by James Watson (DB 66912)
FROM IMMIGRANT TO INVENTOR: AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF THE SERBIAN-AMERICAN PHYSICIST, CHEMIST AND PIONEER OF ELECTRICAL TRANSMISSION AND THE LONG-DISTANCE TELEPHONE LINE by Michael Pupin (DB 98555)
GIRL DECODED: A SCIENTIST’S QUEST TO RECLAIM OUR HUMANITY BY BRINGING EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE TO TECHNOLOGY by Rana El Kaliouby (DB 99895)
HIDDEN FROM HISTORY: THE LIVES OF EIGHT AMERICAN WOMEN SCIENTISTS by Kim K. Zach (DB 58587)
LAB GIRL by Hope Jahren (DB 84436; LB 08952)
POISON SQUAD: ONE CHEMIST’S SINGLE-MINDED CRUSADE FOR FOOD SAFETY AT THE TURN OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY by Deborah Blum (DB 92502)
PRIVILEGED HANDS: A SCIENTIFIC LIFE by Geerat J. Vermeij (DB 42911, BR 10669)
PROVING GROUND: THE UNTOLD STORY OF THE SIX WOMEN WHO PROGRAMED THE WORLD’S FIRST MODERN COMPUTER by Kathy Kleiman (DB 115112)
RISE OF THE ROCKET GIRLS: THE WOMEN WHO PROPELLED US, FROM MISSILES TO THE MOON TO MARS by Nathalia Holt (DB 84440; LB 08653)

Juvenile Nonfiction

ADVENTUROUS SPIRIT: A STORY ABOUT ELLEN SWALLOW RICHARDS by Ethlie Ann Vare (DB 36589)
Grades 2-4.

Explore Music and the Literature That Inspired It in the TBP Collections

By Becky

There are so many books that have inspired musicians. Alice in Wonderland alone inspired everyone from Jefferson Airplane to Tom Petty, Lady Gaga, the Beatles, and others. Check out ALICE IN WONDERLAND; and THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS by Lewis Carroll (DB 50842; BR 12746) from the Talking Book Program collections.

Tolkien’s Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion have inspired hundreds of songs, such as Led Zeppelin’s “Ramble On.” FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING: BEING THE FIRST PART OF THE LORD OF THE RINGS by J. R. R. Tolkien (DB 47486; BR 09745; LB 04282) and SILMARILLION by J. R. R. Tolkien (DB 60367; BR 11510).

And there are many songs that reference The Master and Margarita. Probably the best known is Rolling Stones: “Sympathy for the Devil.” THE MASTER AND MARGARITA by Mikhail Bulgakov (DB 37107; BR 19148).

Andrew Hozier-Byrne (who performs as Hozier) has a new album coming out in August, inspired by his experience during the pandemic. Several interviews mention that Hozier began to reference epic poetry during lockdown.  Some of Hozier’s new songs are based on Dante’s Inferno and Ovid’s Metamorphoses. We have both in our collection: METAMORPHOSES by Ovid (DB 114243; BR 07318); and INFERNO by Dante Alighieri (DB 76353, BR 19903).Hozier wrote another one of the new songs after hearing Egyptian journalist Mona Eltahawy talk about feminism; it’s called “Swan Upon Leda,” another call-back to myth. In our collection: ONE HUNDRED ESSENTIAL MODERN POEMS (contains “Leda and the Swan”) (DB 65015).

What are some other literary works that have inspired music? We’ve found quite a few.

Kate Bush has been introduced to a new generation of fans because of her song “Running Up the Hill” being used in a streaming show. She also wrote a song called “Wuthering Heights,” based upon the 19th century English novel. WUTHERING HEIGHTS by Emily Bronte (DB 25178; BR 22475; LB 04699).

Basing a song on Fyodor Dostoevsky seems especially impressive—even a novella. There’s a song called “From Under the Floorboards” by the band Magazine. It is based on Dostoevsky’s Notes From Underground–the friend who told me about it says it gets bonus points for condensing the whole spirit of the novella into four minutes! NOTES FROM UNDERGROUND by Fyodor Dostoyevsky (DB 37598).

Of course, I can’t talk about music based on literature without including U2, my favorite band. From their very first album, they were referencing books and poems in the lyrics—”Shadows and Tall Trees” comes from William Golding’s LORD OF THE FLIES (DB 48388, BR 09480, BR 22324), and in “The Ocean,” they refer to Oscar Wilde. BEST OF OSCAR WILDE: SELECTED PLAYS AND LITERARY CRITICISM by Oscar Wilde (DB 62711; BR 16500). Bono used the Bible as inspiration for many of his songs: for example, taking the 40thPsalm as lyrics for the song “40.” A good half of U2’s song lyrics have biblical allusions.

“Exit,” on their album The Joshua Tree, was inspired by Norman Mailer’s The Executioner’s Song; it is probably their darkest song. THE EXECUTIONER’S SONG by Norman Mailer (DB 13985). Bono also wrote a song with Salman Rushdie. “The Ground Beneath Her Feet” was not just influenced by but directly taken from his novel; he sent a copy to Bono and asked him to set some of the words to music. GROUND BENEATH HER FEET by Salman Rushdie (DB 48279).And their latest two albums got their titles from William Blake’s poetry collections. SONGS OF INNOCENCE AND EXPERIENCE (BT 03983). For audio: SELECTED POEMS by William Blake (DB 20845).

I’m sure I’ve missed a ton of books that have inspired music, so if you’ve been yelling a title while reading this, put it in a comment below.


Summer Vacations Bibliography

Vacation, all we ever wanted. Vacation, time to get away. But sometimes we can’t get away for a vacation. Yet you can always escape by reading. Here is a list of books where the characters go on vacation. They span all genres: romance, horror, historical fiction, fantasy.

Fantasy

DEATH’S EXCELLENT VACATION edited by Charlaine Harris and Toni L. P. Kelner (DB 71580)
SHARKS IN THE TIME OF SAVIORS by Kawai Strong Washburn (DB 9895)

Historical Fiction

FRENCH BRAID by Anne Tyler (DB 107336)
FRENCH FOR MURDER by Verity Bright (DB 111302)
LIONESS by Chris Bohjalian (DB 107943)

Horror Fiction

CABIN AT THE END OF THE WORLD by Paul Tremblay (DB 92126)
GETAWAY by Lamar Giles (DB 111267)
NEVERLAND by Douglas Clegg (DB 72089)
THIRTEEN DAYS BY SUNSET BEACH by Ramsey Campbell (DB 94701)

Romance

HOW TO KEEP A SECRET by Sarah Morgan (DB 93429)
MUCH ADO ABOUT YOU by Samantha Young (DB 102516)
PEOPLE WE MEET ON VACATION by Emily Henry (DB 103191)
UNHONEYMOONERS by Christina Lauren (DB 95304)

Thrillers

GIRL OVERBOARD by Sandra Block (DB 108649)
HOUSE ON FRIPP ISLAND by Rebecca Kauffman (DB 105164)
ISLAND by Adrian McKinty (DB 108002)
RECKLESS GIRLS by Rachel Hawkins (DB 106455)
TAKE ME HIGHER by Pamela Clare (DB 109192)
VACATION by T. M. Logan (DB 100556)

Science Fiction

TROUBLE ON PARADISE by Doug Tisdale, Jr. (DB 105971)

Women’s Fiction

ENCHANTED AUGUST by Brenda Bowen (DB 81867)
SUMMER RENTAL by Mary Kay Andrews (DB 74258)

Staff Pick – WHITE NOISE by Don DeLillo, DB 23512


The recent adaptation of WHITE NOISE to the small screen via Netflix has brought renewed interested in this 1985 National Book Award-winning novel. Stylistically complex, Don DeLillo expertly lampoons modern American late 20th century life in this offbeat comedic masterpiece. Talking Book Collection DB 23512.

NLS Annotation This black comedy zeroes in on the absurdities of life and the fear of death in contemporary America. Jack Gladney, professor at a small Midwestern college, created the discipline of “Hitler studies” even though he knows no German. He lives happily with his wife, Babette, and their children from former marriages. Both share a pervasive dread of death that is justified when a cloud of lethal fumes threatens to engulf their quiet college town. Some strong language. National Book Award for Fiction.1985.

If you enjoy satire of American life and the human condition, you might also like Jonathan Franzen’s book FREEDOM (DB 71329).

Staff Pick – Laura Jean– BLACK RIVER by S. M. Hulse: BR 20669, DB 80695

Do you enjoy psychological fiction with flawed but sympathetic characters set amidst the backdrop of the modern West? You might enjoy BLACK RIVER, by S. M. Hulse. Leisurely paced with a strong sense of place, Black River won the 2015 Reading the West Book Award and was nominated for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize in 2015.

NLS Annotation: Wes Carver has not returned to Black River since he was held hostage in a prison riot while serving as a corrections officer. Now his former captor, Bobby Williams, is up for release, and Wes must consider what he believes and whether he can let Williams walk away. Some violence and some strong language. 2014.

If you have already read this book, or simply enjoy modern westerns told in a lyrical style that delve into the thoughts of the characters, you might also enjoy The Plainsong series by Kent Haruf.

Staff Pick – Laura Jean– AGAINST THE TIDE by Elizabeth Camden, DB 77493

Do you enjoy Christian Historical fiction with a romantic twist? You might enjoy AGAINST THE TIDE by Elizabeth Camden. Winner of both the RITA Award for romantic fiction and the Christy Award for Christian fiction, this suspenseful and atmospheric novel follows immigrant and translator, Lydia as she struggles with her beliefs and the persistent problems caused by her tumultuous childhood. She also wrestles with her growing attraction to Lieutenant Banebridge, “Bane”, a man with a difficult past of his own.

againstthetide

NLS Annotation: Boston, 1891. Lydia Pallas works as a translator for the Navy Yard. When Lieutenant Alexander Banebridge requires Lydia’s skills for a case, she becomes his assistant. As Lydia is drawn deeper into Bane’s mission to end the opium trade, a relationship develops between them. RITA Award, Christy Award. 2012.

Set in Boston during the last decade of the 19th century, Ms. Camden describes the role that the legal opium trade played at this time in the United States. It was a fascinating backdrop against which to set Lydia and Bane’s story.

If you already read this book or simply enjoy gentle historical romances with an independent female lead in an urban setting, you might try the RITA Award winner for 2016, TIFFANY GIRL by Deeanne Gist, DB 83138.

Staff Pick – Laura Jean– BEST TO LAUGH: A NOVEL by Lorna Landvik, DBC 02662

If you like books that have a nostalgic and upbeat tone, similar to FRIED GREEN TOMATOES AT THE WHISTLESTOP CAFÉ by Fannie Flagg, you may really enjoy BEST TO LAUGH by Lorna Landik.

You can get a sense of Ms. Landvik’s sense of humor and writing style from the Bio and FAQ section on her webpage. She explains how she gets ideas for her books with the following quote: “I buy them from the Idea Man; two for a dollar. Early in my career, he tried to sell me an idea about a girl with a dragon tattoo, but I bought the idea for The Tall Pine Polka instead. When he’s out on the road, selling stuff I declined to J. K. Rowling or Suzanne Collins, I scavenge around and find ideas in roadside cafes, in a whiff of pipe smoke or ripe peaches, in an autumn vista, in a song fading out on the car radio, in the stillness of my monkey mind.”

Ms. Landvik brings this same wit and whimsy to the protagonist in BEST TO LAUGH, Candy, who with the help of an ensemble of zany friends and her personal “life saber”, embraces her new life in 1970s Hollywood.

 

NLS Annotation As a child, Candy Pekkala seemed to get unhappy experiences in Minnesota, so when a cousin called with a Hollywood apartment, Candy jumped at it. Her new fellow tenants include a female bodybuilder, a ruined nightclub impresario, and a well-connected old Romanian fortune-teller. Candy figured if she always lived by her wits here, she would have a chance to live with them. There are game show appearances, temp jobs and the allure of stand-up comedy. For high school and adult readers.

If you enjoyed this book or generally like humorous books with a host of quirky characters, you might try BIG STONE GAP by Adriana Trigiani, DB 52742.