New Historical Fiction

All of the titles featured here in this booklist we have in our collection. To see if an item is available to check out or place on hold, click the cover image or button to the right of the description.

Radar Girls

by Sara Ackerman

An extraordinary story inspired by the real Women’s Air Raid Defense, where an unlikely recruit and her sisters-in-arms forge their place in WWII history.

Daisy Wilder prefers the company of horses to people, bare feet and salt water to high heels and society parties. Then, in the dizzying aftermath of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Daisy enlists in a top secret program, replacing male soldiers in a war zone for the first time. Under fear of imminent invasion, the WARDs guide pilots into blacked-out airstrips and track unidentified planes across Pacific skies.

This inspiring and uplifting tale of pioneering, unsung heroines vividly transports the reader to wartime Hawaii, where one woman’s call to duty leads her to find courage, strength and sisterhood.

The Show Girl

by Nicola Harrison

Nicola Harrison’s The Show Girl gives a glimpse of the glamorous world of the Ziegfeld Follies, through the eyes of a young midwestern woman who comes to New York City to find her destiny as a Ziegfeld Follies star.

It’s 1927 when Olive McCormick moves from Minneapolis to New York City determined to become a star in the Ziegfeld Follies. Extremely talented as a singer and dancer, it takes every bit of perseverance to finally make it on stage. And once she does, all the glamour and excitement is everything she imagined and more―even worth all the sacrifices she has had to make along the way.

Then she meets Archie Carmichael. Handsome, wealthy―the only man she’s ever met who seems to accept her modern ways―her independent nature and passion for success. But once she accepts his proposal of marriage he starts to change his tune, and Olive must decide if she is willing to reveal a devastating secret and sacrifice the life she loves for the man she loves.

Basil's War

by Stephen Hunter

Basil St. Florian is an accomplished agent in the British Army, tasked with dozens of dangerous missions for crown and country across the globe. But his current mission, going undercover in Nazi-occupied France during World War II, might be his toughest assignment yet. He will be searching for an ecclesiastic manuscript that doesn’t officially exist, one that genius professor Alan Turing believes may hold the key to a code that could prevent the death of millions and possibly even end the war.

St. Florian isn’t the classic British special agent with a stiff upper lip―he is a swashbuckling, whisky-drinking cynic and thrill-seeker who resents having to leave Vivien Leigh’s bed to set out on his crucial mission. Despite these proclivities, though, Basil’s Army superiors know he’s the best man for the job, carrying out his espionage with enough charm and quick wit to make any of his subjects lower their guards.

The Women of Troy

by Pat Barker

A daring and timely feminist retelling of The Iliad from the perspective of the women of Troy who endured it–an extraordinary follow up to The Silence of the Girls from the Booker Prize-winning author of The Regeneration Trilogy.

Troy has fallen and the victorious Greeks are eager to return home with the spoils of an endless war–including the women of Troy themselves. They await a fair wind for the Aegean.

It does not come, because the gods are offended. The body of King Priam lies unburied and desecrated, and so the victors remain in suspension, camped in the shadows of the city they destroyed as the coalition that held them together begins to unravel. Old feuds resurface and new suspicions and rivalries begin to fester.

Largely unnoticed by her captors, the one time Trojan queen Briseis, formerly Achilles’s slave, now belonging to his companion Alcimus, quietly takes in these developments. She forges alliances when she can, with Priam’s aged wife the defiant Hecuba and with the disgraced soothsayer Calchas, all the while shrewdly seeking her path to revenge.

Her Heart for a Compass

by Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York

From one of the most famous former members of the British royal family, Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York —a mesmerizing novel of a young noblewoman’s coming-of-age that richly details both high society and low in Victorian England.

Queen Victoria’s close friend, the Scottish Duke of Buccleuch, Lady Margaret Montagu Scott is expected to make an advantageous marriage. But Margaret is an impulsive and outspoken girl in a repressive society where women are, quite literally, caged in corsets and required to conform.

When Lady Margaret’s parents arrange a society marriage for her, she tries to reconcile herself to the match. But shortly before her betrothal is announced, Margaret flees, leaving her parents to explain her sudden absence to an opulent ballroom stuffed with two hundred distinguished guests.

Banished from polite society, Margaret throws herself into charitable work and finds strength in a circle of female friends like herself—women intent on breaking the mold, including Queen Victoria’s daughter Princess Louise. Margaret resolves to follow her heart—a journey of self-discovery that will take her to Ireland, America, and then back to Britain where she finds the life she was always meant to lead.

A bold and thoughtful story about a rebellious woman finding herself and her voice in an age of astounding technological change and great social unrest, Her Heart for a Compass is a delicious costume drama rich in atmosphere, history, and color.

The Kitchen Front

by Jennifer Ryan

From the bestselling author of The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir comes an unforgettable novel of a BBC-sponsored wartime cooking competition and the four women who enter for a chance to better their lives.

Two years into World War II, Britain is feeling her losses: The Nazis have won battles, the Blitz has destroyed cities, and U-boats have cut off the supply of food. In an effort to help housewives with food rationing, a BBC radio program called The Kitchen Front is holding a cooking contest—and the grand prize is a job as the program’s first-ever female co-host. For four very different women, winning the competition would present a crucial chance to change their lives.

Strongheart: The Lost Journals of May Dodd and Molly McGill

by Jim Fergus

In 1873, a Cheyenne chief offers President Grant the opportunity to exchange one thousand horses for one thousand white women, in order to marry them with his warriors and create a lasting peace. These women, “recruited” by force in the penitentiaries and asylums of the country, gradually integrate the way of life of the Cheyenne, at the time when the great massacres of the tribes begin.

After the battle of Little Big Horn, some female survivors decide to take up arms against the United States, which has stolen from the Native Americans their lands, their way of life, their culture and their history. This ghost tribe of rebellious women will soon go underground to wage an implacable battle, which will continue from generation to generation.

In this final volume of the One Thousand White Women trilogy, Jim Fergus mixes with rare mastery the struggle of women and Native Americans in the face of oppression, from the end of the 19th century until today. With a vivid sense of the 19th century American West, Fergus paints portraits of women as strong as they are unforgettable.

A Peculiar Combination

by Ashley Weaver

The first in the Electra McDonnell series from Edgar-nominated author Ashley Weaver, set in England during World War II, A Peculiar Combination is a delightful mystery filled with spies, murder, romance, and the author’s signature wit.

FIRST RULE: DON’T LOSE YOUR CONCENTRATION.
Electra McDonnell and her family earn their living outside the law. Breaking into the homes of the rich and picking the locks on their safes may not be condoned by British law enforcement, but with World War II in full swing, Uncle Mick’s locksmith business just can’t pay the bills anymore.

SECOND RULE: DON’T MAKE MISTAKES.
So when Uncle Mick receives a tip about a safe full of jewels in an empty house, he and Ellie can’t resist. All is going as planned―until the pair is caught red-handed. But instead of arresting them, government official Major Ramsey has an offer: either Ellie agrees to help him break into a safe and retrieve blueprints crucial to the British war effort, or he turns her over to the police.

THIRD RULE: DON’T GET CAUGHT.
Ellie doesn’t care for the major’s imperious manner, but she has no choice. However, when they break into the house, they find the safe open and empty, and a German spy dead on the floor. Soon, Ellie and Major Ramsey are forced to put aside their differences to unmask the double agent, and stop Allied plans from falling into enemy hands.

Want more recommendations?

 

You can check out all of our online booklists (for kids and for adults), or reach out to us! Our staff is ready and willing to make reading, listening, or viewing recommendations to you! Email us at reference@benlib.org or contact us via our online form!

New Thriller and Suspense

All of the titles featured here in this booklist we have in our collection. To see if an item is available to check out or place on hold, click the cover image or button to the right of the description.

Bullet Train

by Kotaro Isaka

A dark, satirical thriller by the bestselling Japanese author, following the perilous train ride of five highly motivated assassins.

A massive bestseller in Japan, Bullet Train is an original and propulsive thriller that fizzes with an incredible energy and surprising humor as its complex net of double-crosses and twists unwind. Award-winning author Kotaro Isaka takes readers on a tension packed journey as the bullet train hurtles toward its final destination. Who will make it off the train alive—and what awaits them at the last stop?

Survive the Night

by Riley Sager

It’s November 1991. Nirvana’s in the tape deck, George H. W. Bush is in the White House, and movie-obsessed college student Charlie Jordan is in a car with a man who might be a serial killer.

Josh Baxter, the man behind the wheel, is a virtual stranger to Charlie. They met at the campus ride board, each looking to share the long drive home to Ohio. Both have good reasons for wanting to get away. For Charlie, it’s guilt and grief over the shocking murder of her best friend, who became the third victim of the man known as the Campus Killer. For Josh, it’s to help care for his sick father—or so he says.
 
The longer she sits in the passenger seat, the more Charlie notices there’s something suspicious about Josh, from the holes in his story about his father to how he doesn’t want her to see inside the trunk. As they travel an empty, twisty highway in the dead of night, an increasingly anxious Charlie begins to think she’s sharing a car with the Campus Killer. Is Josh truly dangerous? Or is Charlie’s jittery mistrust merely a figment of her movie-fueled imagination?
 
One thing is certain—Charlie has nowhere to run and no way to call for help. Trapped in a terrifying game of cat and mouse played out on pitch-black roads and in neon-lit parking lots, Charlie knows the only way to win is to survive the night.

The Turnout

by Megan Abbott

With their long necks and matching buns and pink tights, Dara and Marie Durant have been dancers since they can remember. Growing up, they were homeschooled and trained by their glamorous mother, founder of the Durant School of Dance. After their parents’ death in a tragic accident nearly a dozen years ago, the sisters began running the school together, along with Charlie, Dara’s husband and once their mother’s prized student.

Taut and unnerving, The Turnout is Megan Abbott at the height of her game. With uncanny insight and hypnotic writing, it is a sharp and strange dissection of family ties and sexuality, femininity and power, and a tale that is both alarming and irresistible.

Sleeping Bear

by Connor Sullivan

Perfect for fans of Brad Thor and Vince Flynn, this white-knuckled debut thriller follows a former Army veteran seeking solitude in the Alaskan wilderness after her husband’s death—only to find herself a pawn in a deadly game with Russia.

After her young husband’s untimely death, Army veteran Cassie Gale decides to take a few days of solitude in the Alaska wilderness before she starts her new job. But when she fails to show up on her first day and her dog is discovered injured at her wrecked campsite, her father knows that this is much more than a camping trip gone awry.

As it turns out, Cassie’s not the first person to disappear without a trace in Alaska’s northern interior. Bears. Wolves. Avalanches. Frostbite. Starvation. There are many ways to die in here. But not all disappearances can be explained. Cassie’s is one of them, along with a number of other outdoor enthusiasts who have vanished in recent years.

Regaining consciousness in a Russian prison, Cassie finds herself trapped in a system designed to ensure that no one ever escapes alive. It will require all her grit and skills to survive. Meanwhile, her father rushes to outrun the clock, scouring thousands of acres, only to realize she’s been taken by a far more nefarious adversary—one with the power of the Eastern Bloc behind it. Ties to his past life, one full of secrets, threaten to surface. He knows there’s a price to be paid, but he’s determined it won’t be his daughter.

Version Zero

by David Yoon

From the brilliant mind of New York Times bestselling author David Yoon comes a lightning-fast and scorchingly observant thriller about how we can save ourselves from the very real perils of a virtual world.

Max, a data whiz at the social media company Wren, has gotten a firsthand glimpse of the dark side of big tech. When he questions what his company does with the data they collect, he’s fired…then black-balled across Silicon Valley.

With time on his hands and revenge on his mind, Max and his longtime friend (and secretly the love of his life) Akiko, decide to get even by rebooting the internet. After all, in order to fix things, sometimes you have to break them. But when Max and Akiko join forces with a reclusive tech baron, they learn that breaking things can have unintended–and catastrophic—consequences.

Take It Back

by Kia Abdullah

From author Kia Abdullah, Take It Back is a harrowing and twisting courtroom thriller that keeps you guessing until the last page is turned.

Zara Kaleel, one of London’s brightest legal minds, shattered the expectations placed on her by her family and forged a brilliant legal career. But her decisions came at a high cost, and now, battling her own demons, she has exchanged her high profile career for a job at a sexual assault center, helping victims who need her the most. Victims like Jodie Wolfe.

When Jodie, a sixteen-year-old girl with facial deformities, accuses four boys in her class of an unthinkable crime, the community is torn apart. After all, these four teenage defendants are from hard-working immigrant families and they all have proven alibis. Even Jodie’s best friend doesn’t believe her.

But Zara does―and she is determined to fight for Jodie―to find the truth in the face of public outcry. And as issues of sex, race and social justice collide, the most explosive criminal trial of the year builds to a shocking conclusion.

A Man Named Doll

by Jonathan Ames

From the creator of HBO’s Bored to Death, a deliciously noir novel about idiosyncratic private detective Happy Doll and his quest to help a dying friend in a sun-blinded Los Angeles as “quirky, edgy, charming, funny and serious” as its protagonist.

Happy Doll is a charming, if occasionally inexpert, private detective living just one sheer cliff drop beneath the Hollywood sign with his beloved half-Chihuahua half-Terrier, George. A veteran of both the Navy and LAPD, Doll supplements his meager income as a P.I. by working through the night at a local Thai spa that offers its clients a number of special services. Armed with his sixteen-inch steel telescopic baton, biting dry humor, and just a bit of a hero complex, the ex-cop sets out to protect the women who work there from clients who have trouble understanding the word “no.”
 
Doll gets by just fine following his two basic rules: bark loudly and act first. But when things get out-of-hand with one particularly violent patron, even he finds himself wildly out of his depth, and then things take an even more dangerous twist when an old friend from his days as a cop shows up at his door with a bullet in his gut.
 
A Man Named Doll is more than just a fascinating introduction to one truly singular character, it is a highly addictive and completely unpredictable joyride through the sensuous and violent streets of LA.

The Wedding Night

by Harriet Walker

After ending her engagement, a woman decides to go on a much-needed getaway with her friends to clear her head—but she soon realizes her secret may be the one thing she can’t get away from.

When Lizzie calls off her wedding in the south of France only a week before the big day, not even her closest friends know why. But since the château is already paid for, they figure it’s the perfect place to take Lizzie and get her mind off her suddenly single state.

When the group arrives, it’s as if the wedding is waiting for them.

The next day, Lizzie wakes to find her friends have drunkenly reveled in the wedding-that-wasn’t—but not all their antics were benign. Someone is set on tormenting Lizzie, and she can’t figure out who.

The more the friends try to piece together exactly what happened that night, the more secrets start to come out.

The biggest secret of all—the one that must not be revealed—is Lizzie’s. But as intimidating messages appear around the château, it seems that someone intends to pursue her until it is. Will Lizzie ever be able to escape her past, or will it destroy more than one life on this trip?

Want more recommendations?

 

You can check out all of our online booklists (for kids and for adults), or reach out to us! Our staff is ready and willing to make reading, listening, or viewing recommendations to you! Email us at reference@benlib.org or contact us via our online form!

Happy National Craft Month!

Started in 1994, National Craft Month was designed to help people rediscover their creativity and learn about the wonderful world of crafting and all of its many benefits. 

With a broad range of crafts to choose from, National Craft Month inspires all kinds of mediums. From paper and wood to fabrics, paint and metal craft, the month is dedicated to creativity and inspiration.  Whatever motivates you, take your craft from idea to reality this month.

All of the titles featured here in this booklist we have in our collection. To see if an item is available to check out or place on hold, click the cover image or button to the right of the description.

Hoop-La!: 100 things to do with embroidery hoops

by Kirsty Neale

There are endless practical and decorative uses for the humble embroidery hoop: from pretty wall art and hanging mobiles to functional pin boards, key racks, mirrors and storage. Kirsty Neale explores the numerous different ways to decorate your hoops with a range of techniques including applique, embroidery, crochet, papercraft, painting, stamping, cross stitch and patchwork.

Crepe Paper Flowers: The Beginner's Guide to Making and Arranging Beautiful Blooms

by Lia Griffith

Crepe paper is the best material for creating paper flowers, especially for beginners. It’s forgiving and malleable–easy to cut, bend, curl, and shape into peony petals, daffodil trumpets, chrysanthemum blooms, and more. With 30 projects and an introduction to both crafting paper flowers and working with crepe paper, this book is full of inspiration and expert advice for beginners. If you have a Cricut Maker, you can download the templates to your machine so you can enjoy your own homemade bouquets in no time.

Parachute Cord Craft: Quick & Simple Instructions for 22 Cool Projects

by Samantha Grenier

Learn to weave and braid versatile parachute cord in an array of fashion colors to create attractive, useful accessories! 22 clever projects and step-by-step instructions for making fashionable bracelets and necklaces, belts, lanyards, dog collars, key fobs, and more. Discover the knots you need to know, get practical advice on tools and materials, learn the right way to melt and fuse the cut ends of your cord, and experiment with jewelry findings.

Duct Tape: 101 Adventurous Ideas for Art, Jewelry, Flowers, Wallets and More

by Forest Walker Davis

Sturdy and resistant, and with a myriad of interesting colors and patterns, duct tape is fast becoming a perfect crafting, home and DIY material. The book introduces this simple but versatile material and offers 101 creative projects to make.

DIY Crafts & Projects for Your Instant Pot: Lip Balm, Tie-Dye, Candles, and Dozens of Other Amazing Ideas

by David Murphy

What can you do with your Instant Pot? A lot more than dinner! Here are 50 projects anyone can make–handmade soap, infused liqueurs, tie-dye, and much more!

Paint Lab: 52 Exercises inspired by Artists, Materials, Time, Place, and Method

by Deborah Forman

Designed to inform and inspire new artists and rekindle passion for painting in experienced artists, this book offers a range of exercises broken down by theme and reinforces a fun and fearless approach to creating art.

Washi Tape: 101+ Ideas for Paper Crafts, Book Arts, Fashion, Decorating, Entertaining

by Courtney Cerruti

If you have never heard of washi tape, get ready to enter a bright new world of paper crafts! Originating in Japan, washi paper is stronger than wood-pulp paper making it perfect for use in projects like origami and scrapbooking. It’s safe to use almost anywhere and great fun for children!

Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts

by Martha Stewart

A comprehensive visual reference, this book covers everything a home sewer craves: the basics of sewing by hand or machine, along with appliqué, embroidery, quilting, dyeing, and printing craft techniques, and step-by-step instructions for more than 150 projects.

Want more recommendations?

 

You can check out all of our online booklists (for kids and for adults), or reach out to us! Our staff is ready and willing to make reading, listening, or viewing recommendations to you! Email us at reference@benlib.org or contact us via our online form!

Award-Winning 21st Century Irish Fiction

All of the titles featured here in this booklist we have in our collection. To see if an item is available to check out or place on hold, click the cover image or button to the right of the description.

Hamnet

by Maggie O’Farrell

A thrilling departure: a short, piercing, deeply moving novel about the death of Shakespeare’s 11 year old son Hamnet–a name interchangeable with Hamlet in 15th century Britain–and the years leading up to the production of his great play. England, 1580. A young Latin tutor–penniless, bullied by a violent father–falls in love with an extraordinary, eccentric young woman–a wild creature who walks her family’s estate with a falcon on her shoulder and is known throughout the countryside for her unusual gifts as a healer. Agnes understands plants and potions better than she does people, but once she settles with her husband on Henley Street in Stratford she becomes a fiercely protective mother and a steadfast, centrifugal force in the life of her young husband, whose gifts as a writer are just beginning to awaken when his beloved young son succumbs to bubonic plague.

Normal People

by Sally Rooney

Connell and Marianne grew up in the same small town, but the similarities end there. At school, Connell is popular and well liked, while Marianne is a loner. But when the two strike up a conversation—awkward but electrifying—something life changing begins.

A year later, they’re both studying at Trinity College in Dublin. Marianne has found her feet in a new social world while Connell hangs at the sidelines, shy and uncertain. Throughout their years at university, Marianne and Connell circle one another, straying toward other people and possibilities but always magnetically, irresistibly drawn back together. And as she veers into self-destruction and he begins to search for meaning elsewhere, each must confront how far they are willing to go to save the other.

Room

by Emma Donoghue

To five-year-old Jack, Room is the entire world. It is where he was born and grew up; it’s where he lives with his Ma as they learn and read and eat and sleep and play. At night, his Ma shuts him safely in the wardrobe, where he is meant to be asleep when Old Nick visits.

Room is home to Jack, but to Ma, it is the prison where Old Nick has held her captive for seven years. Through determination, ingenuity, and fierce motherly love, Ma has created a life for Jack. But she knows it’s not enough…not for her or for him. She devises a bold escape plan, one that relies on her young son’s bravery and a lot of luck. What she does not realize is just how unprepared she is for the plan to actually work.

Milkman

by Anna Burns

In an unnamed city, middle sister stands out for the wrong reasons. She reads while walking, for one. And she has been taking French night classes downtown. So when a local paramilitary known as the milkman begins pursuing her, she suddenly becomes “interesting,” the last thing she ever wanted to be. Despite middle sister’s attempts to avoid him―and to keep her mother from finding out about her maybe-boyfriend―rumors spread and the threat of violence lingers. Milkman is a story of the way inaction can have enormous repercussions, in a time when the wrong flag, wrong religion, or even a sunset can be subversive. Told with ferocious energy and sly, wicked humor, Milkman establishes Anna Burns as one of the most consequential voices of our day.

Days Without End

by Sebastian Barry

Thomas McNulty, aged barely seventeen and having fled the Great Famine in Ireland, signs up for the U.S. Army in the 1850s. With his brother in arms, John Cole, Thomas goes on to fight in the Indian Wars—against the Sioux and the Yurok—and, ultimately, the Civil War. Orphans of terrible hardships themselves, the men find these days to be vivid and alive, despite the horrors they see and are complicit in.

Moving from the plains of Wyoming to Tennessee, Sebastian Barry’s latest work is a masterpiece of atmosphere and language. An intensely poignant story of two men and the makeshift family they create with a young Sioux girl, Winona, Days Without End is a fresh and haunting portrait of the most fateful years in American history and is a novel never to be forgotten.

A Ladder to the Sky

by John Boyne

Maurice Swift is handsome, charming, and hungry for fame. The one thing he doesn’t have is talent—but he’s not about to let a detail like that stand in his way. After all, a would-be writer can find stories anywhere. They don’t need to be his own.
 
Working as a waiter in a West Berlin hotel in 1988, Maurice engineers the perfect opportunity: a chance encounter with celebrated novelist Erich Ackermann. He quickly ingratiates himself with the powerful – but desperately lonely – older man, teasing out of Erich a terrible, long-held secret about his activities during the war. Perfect material for Maurice’s first novel.

Once Maurice has had a taste of literary fame, he knows he can stop at nothing in pursuit of that high. Moving from the Amalfi Coast, where he matches wits with Gore Vidal, to Manhattan and London, Maurice hones his talent for deceit and manipulation, preying on the talented and vulnerable in his cold-blooded climb to the top. But the higher he climbs, the further he has to fall…

Eggshells

by Caitriona Lally

An unemployed orphan living in the house of her recently deceased great aunt in North Dublin, Vivian boldly goes through life doing things in her own peculiar way, whether that be eating blue food, cultivating ‘her smell’, wishing people happy Christmas in April, or putting an ad up for a friend called Penelope to check why it doesn’t rhyme with antelope. But behind her heroic charm and undeniable logic, something isn’t right. With each attempt to connect with a stranger or her estranged sister doomed to misunderstanding, someone should ask: is Vivian OK?

A poignant and delightful story of belonging that plays with the myth of the Changeling and takes us by the hand through Dublin. A poetic call for us all to accept each other and find the Vivian within.

From a Low and Quiet Sea

by Donal Ryan

For Farouk, family is all. He has protected his wife and daughter as best he can from the war and hatred that has torn Syria apart. If they stay, they will lose their freedom, will become lesser persons. If they flee, they will lose all they have known of home, for some intangible dream of refuge in some faraway land across the merciless sea.

Lampy is distracted; he has too much going on in his small town life in Ireland. He has the city girl for a bit of fun, but she’s not Chloe, and Chloe took his heart away when she left him. There’s the secret his mother will never tell him. His granddad’s little sniping jokes are getting on his wick. And on top of all that, he has a bus to drive; those old folks from the home can’t wait all day.

The game was always the lifeblood coursing through John’s veins: manipulating people for his enjoyment, or his enrichment, or his spite. But it was never enough. The ghost of his beloved brother, and the bitter disappointment of his father, have shadowed him all his life. But now that lifeblood is slowing down, and he’s not sure if God will listen to his pleas for forgiveness. Three men, searching for some version of home, their lives moving inexorably towards a reckoning that will draw them all together.

Want more recommendations?

 

You can check out all of our online booklists (for kids and for adults), or reach out to us! Our staff is ready and willing to make reading, listening, or viewing recommendations to you! Email us at reference@benlib.org or contact us via our online form!

What’s New in Horror?

Do you love horror? Spooky, scary, unsettling page-turners that you just can’t put down? Below are a handful of our picks for new horror reads, hand-picked by our Adult Services Department staff. All of the titles featured here we have in our collection. To see if an item is available to check out or place on hold, click the cover image or button to the right of the description.

Malorie

by Josh Malerman

In the thrilling sequel to Bird Box, the inspiration for the record-breaking Netflix film that starred Sandra Bullock and “absolutely riveted” Stephen King, New York Times bestselling author Josh Malerman brings unseen horrors to life. The film adaptation of Malerman’s first novel, Bird Box, was watched by over forty-five million Netflix accounts in the first week, the best first seven days ever for a film on the platform. Countless more came to know the story through social media. The image of Sandra Bullock’s character, Malorie, blindfolded–as she’s led through a terrifying near-future apocalypse by the trained ears of her children–has become synonymous with a new generation of horror. Now from the mind of a true master of suspense comes the next chapter in the riveting tale. This time, Malorie is front and center, and she will confront the dangers of her world head-on. Twelve years after Malorie and her children rowed up the river to safety, a blindfold is still the only thing that stands between sanity and madness. There remains no explanation, no solution. But for the first time Malorie has allowed herself to hope: someone very dear to her, someone she believed dead, may be alive. Now she must choose: to live by the rules of survival that have served her so well, or to venture into the darkness and reach for home once more.

Survivor Song

by Paul Tremblay

In a matter of weeks, Massachusetts has been overrun by an insidious rabies-like virus that is spread by saliva. But unlike rabies, the disease has a terrifyingly short incubation period of an hour or less. Those infected quickly lose their minds and are driven to bite and infect as many others as they can before they inevitably succumb. Hospitals are inundated with the sick and dying, and hysteria has taken hold. To try to limit its spread, the commonwealth is under quarantine and curfew. But society is breaking down and the government’s emergency protocols are faltering. Dr. Ramola “Rams” Sherman, a soft-spoken pediatrician in her mid-thirties, receives a frantic phone call from Natalie, a friend who is eight months pregnant. Natalie’s husband has been killed–viciously attacked by an infected neighbor–and in a failed attempt to save him, Natalie, too, was bitten. Natalie’s only chance of survival is to get to a hospital as quickly as possible to receive a rabies vaccine. The clock is ticking for her and for her unborn child. Natalie’s fight for life becomes a desperate odyssey as she and Rams make their way through a hostile landscape filled with dangers beyond their worst nightmares–terrifying, strange, and sometimes deadly challenges that push them to the brink.

Devolution: A Firsthand Account of the Rainier Sasquatch Massacre

by Max Brooks

As the ash and chaos from Mount Rainier’s eruption swirled and finally settled, the story of the Greenloop massacre has passed unnoticed, unexamined, until now. But the journals of resident Kate Holland, recovered from the town’s bloody wreckage, capture a tale too harrowing and too earth-shattering in its implications, to be forgotten. Because if what Kate Holland saw in those days is real, then we must accept the impossible. We must accept that the creature known as Bigfoot walks among us, and that it is a beast of terrible strength and ferocity.

The Only Good Indians

by Stephen Graham Jones

Peter Straub’s Ghost Story meets Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies in this American Indian horror story of revenge on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation. Four American Indian men from the Blackfeet Nation, who were childhood friends, find themselves in a desperate struggle for their lives, against an entity that wants to exact revenge upon them for what they did during an elk hunt ten years earlier by killing them, their families, and friends.

Wonderland

by Zoje Stage

One mother’s love may be all that stands between her family, an enigmatic presence–and madness. After years of city life, Orla and Shaw Bennett are ready for the quiet of New York’s Adirondack mountains–or at least, they think they are. Settling into the perfect farmhouse with their two children, they are both charmed and unsettled by the expanse of their land, the privacy of their individual bedrooms, and the isolation of life a mile from any neighbor. But none of the Bennetts could expect what lies waiting in the woods, where secrets run dark and deep. When something begins to call to the family-from under the earth, beneath the trees, and within their minds-Orla realizes she might be the only one who can save them . . . if she can find out what this force wants before it’s too late.

The Deep

by Alma Katsu

From the acclaimed and award-winning author of The Hunger comes an eerie, psychological twist on one of the world’s most renowned tragedies, the sinking of the Titanic and the ill-fated sail of its sister ship, the Britannic. Brilliantly combining the supernatural with the height of historical disaster, The Deep is an exploration of love and destiny, desire and innocence, and, above all, a quest to understand how our choices can lead us inexorably toward our doom.

The Chill

by Scott Carson

Far upstate, in New York’s ancient forests, a drowned village lays beneath the dark, still waters of the Chilewaukee reservoir. Early in the 20th century, the town was destroyed for the greater good: bringing water to the millions living downstate. Or at least that’s what the politicians from Manhattan insisted at the time. The local families, settled there since America’s founding, were forced from their land, but they didn’t move far, and some didn’t move at all… Now, a century later, the repercussions of human arrogance are finally making themselves known. An inspector assigned to oversee the dam, dangerously neglected for decades, witnesses something inexplicable. It turns out that more than the village was left behind in the waters of the Chill when it was abandoned. The townspeople didn’t evacuate without a fight. A dark prophecy remained, too, and the time has come for it to be fulfilled. Those who remember must ask themselves: who will be next? For sacrifices must be made. And as the dark waters begin to inexorably rise, the demand for a fresh sacrifice emerges from the deep…

The Hollow Ones

by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan

Odessa Hardwicke’s life is derailed when she’s forced to turn her gun on her partner, Walt Leppo, a decorated FBI agent who turns suddenly, inexplicably violent while apprehending a rampaging murderer. The shooting, justified by self-defense, shakes the young FBI agent to her core. Devastated, Odessa is placed on desk leave pending a full investigation. But what most troubles Odessa isn’t the tragedy itself — it’s the shadowy presence she thought she saw fleeing the deceased agent’s body after his death.

From the authors who brought you The Strain Trilogy comes a strange, terrifying, and darkly wondrous world of suspense, mystery, and literary horror. The Hollow Ones is a chilling, spell-binding tale, a hauntingly original new fable from Academy Award-winning director Guillermo del Toro and bestselling author Chuck Hogan featuring their most fascinating character yet.

Want more recommendations?

 

You can check out all of our online booklists (for kids and for adults), or reach out to us! Our staff is ready and willing to make reading, listening, or viewing recommendations to you! Email us at reference@benlib.org or contact us via our online form!

Christmas Crime Novels

Love crime and also Christmastime? Check out this festive rundown of crime fiction set during the holiday season, hand-picked by our Adult Services Department staff.

  • All of the titles featured here we have in our collection. To see if an item is available to check out or place on hold, click the cover image or button to the right of the description.

  • Want more holiday reads? Contact the Adult Services Desk at (630) 766-4642 for recommendations.

A Christmas Revelation

by Anne Perry

Formerly a river urchin living on the banks of the Thames, nine-year-old Worm has never experienced a family Christmas. But thanks to a job at Hester Monk’s clinic in Portpool Lane, he’s found a makeshift family in kindly volunteer Miss Claudine Burroughs and curmudgeonly old bookkeeper Squeaky Robinson.

When Worm witnesses the abduction of a beautiful woman by a pair of ruffians just days before Christmas, he frantically turns to Squeaky for help. A one-time brothel owner, Squeaky knows the perils of interfering in nasty business, but he can’t bear to disappoint Worm—or leave the boy to attempt a rescue on his own. What neither of the would-be saviors expects, however, is that the damsel in distress already has her dilemma well in hand . . . and is taking steps to bring her captors to justice for crimes far worse than kidnapping. But the rogues, as cunning as they are deadly, are not to be underestimated. The aid of cynical old Squeaky and hopeful young Worm just might make the difference between a merry triumph over evil and a terrible yuletide tragedy.

The Mistletoe Murder

by P.D. James

The newly appointed Sgt. Dalgliesh is drawn into a case that is “pure Agatha Christie.” . . . A “pedantic, respectable, censorious” clerk’s secret taste for pornography is only the first reason he finds for not coming forward as a witness to a murder . . . A best-selling crime novelist describes the crime she herself was involved in fifty years earlier . . . Dalgliesh’s godfather implores him to reinvestigate a notorious murder that might ease the godfather’s mind about an inheritance, but which will reveal a truth that even the supremely upstanding Adam Dalgliesh will keep to himself. Each of these stories is as playful as it is ingeniously plotted, the author’s sly humor as evident as her hallmark narrative elegance and shrewd understanding of some of the most complex–not to say the most damning–aspects of human nature. A treat for P. D. James’s legions of fans and anyone who enjoys the pleasures of a masterfully wrought whodunit.

The Twelve Clues of Christmas

by Hazel Gaynor

Scotland, 1933. While her true love, Darcy O’Mara, is spending his feliz navidad tramping around South America and her mother is holed up in a tiny village called Tiddleton-under-Lovey with droll playwright Noel Coward, Georgie is quite literally stuck at Castle Rannoch thanks to a snowstorm.
 
It seems like a Christmas miracle when she manages to land a position as hostess to a posh holiday party in Tiddleton. The village should be like something out of A Christmas Carol, but as soon as she arrives things take a deadly turn when a neighborhood nuisance falls out of a tree. On her second day, another so-called accident results in a death—and there’s yet another on her third, making Georgie wonder if there’s something wicked happening in this winter wonderland… 

He Sees You When You're Sleeping

by Mary Higgins Clark

Sterling has been waiting outside heaven’s doors since he was hit in the head with a golf ball 46 years ago, but his self-centered attitudes on earth haven’t earned him entrance. On a special probationary pass back to the living, Sterling must find one person who needs his help and meet that need. Carol Higgins Clark has a beautiful, musical voice, perfectly suited to this holiday tale of love and redemption. Highlighted by appropriate music at appropriate moments, her performance might be that of an angel, so sweet is its rhythm and so delicate its layers of emotion and excitement. No matter that Mary Higgins Clark’s mobsters and their antics don’t carry their usual tension and believability; this parable needs only the ring of spiritual truth, which sounds loud and clear.

Plum Pudding Murder

by Joanne Fluke

The Cookie Jar’s busiest time of the year also happens to be the most wonderful time…for Christmas cookies, Hannah’s own special plum pudding—and romance! She also gets a kick out of “Lunatic Larry Jaeger’s Crazy Elf Christmas Tree Lot,” a kitschy carnival taking place
smack-dab in the middle of the village green. But then Hannah discovers the man himself dead as a doornail in his own office…
 
Now, with so many suspects to investigate and the twelve days of Christmas ticking away, Hannah’s running out of time to nab a murderous Scrooge who doesn’t want her to see the New Year…

How the Finch Stole Christmas!

by Donna Andrews

Meg’s husband has decided to escalate his one-man show of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol into a full-scale production with a large cast including their sons Jamie and Josh as Tiny Tim and young Scrooge and Meg helping as stage manager.

The show must go on, even if the famous―though slightly over-the-hill―actor who’s come to town to play the starring role of Scrooge has brought a sleigh-load of baggage and enemies with him. And why is Caerphilly suddenly overrun with a surplus of beautiful caged finches?

How the Finch Stole Christmas! is guaranteed to put the “ho ho hos” into the holidays of cozy lovers everywhere with its gut-bustingly funny mystery.

Festive in Death

by J.D. Robb

It’s Christmas, but Lieutenant Eve Dallas is in no mood to celebrate. While her charismatic husband Roarke plans a huge, glittering party, Eve has murder on her mind.

The victim – personal trainer Trey Ziegler – was trouble in life and is causing even more problems in death. Vain, unfaithful and vindictive, Trey had cultivated a lot of enemies. Which means Eve has a lot of potential suspects. And when she and Detective Peabody uncover Trey’s sinister secret, the case takes a deadly turn.

Christmas may be a festival of light, but Eve and Roarke will be forced once more down a very dark path in their hunt for the truth.

The Body in the Sleigh

by Katherine Hall Page

 Caterer and minister’s wife Faith Fairchild is back to solve her eighteenth deadly mystery in The Body in the Sleigh—the latest perfect puzzler in author Katherine Hall Page’s multiple Agatha Award-winning series. Set on Sanpere Island in Maine’s Penobscot Bay, this atmospheric holiday whodunit is chock-full of suspense, surprises, real heart, and small miracles. And, as always, the mystery comes with recipes for delectable holiday treats from Faith Fairchild’s kitchen.

Want more recommendations?

 

You can check out all of our online booklists (for kids and for adults), or reach out to us! Our staff is ready and willing to make reading, listening, or viewing recommendations to you! Email us at reference@benlib.org or contact us via our online form!

Contemporary Christmas Novels

Looking for some festive holiday reads this season? Check out eight of our favorite contemporary Christmas novels of the last couple of years, hand-picked by our Adult Services Department staff.

  • All of the titles featured here we have in our collection. To see if an item is available to check out or place on hold, click the cover image or button to the right of the description.

  • Want more holiday reads? Contact the Adult Services Desk at (630) 766-4642 for recommendations.

Mr. Dickens and His Carol

by Samantha Silva

Charles Dickens is not feeling the Christmas spirit. His newest book is an utter flop, the critics have turned against him, relatives near and far hound him for money. While his wife plans a lavish holiday party for their ever-expanding family and circle of friends, Dickens has visions of the poor house. But when his publishers try to blackmail him into writing a Christmas book to save them all from financial ruin, he refuses. And a serious bout of writer’s block sets in.

Frazzled and filled with self-doubt, Dickens seeks solace in his great palace of thinking, the city of London itself. On one of his long night walks, in a once-beloved square, he meets the mysterious Eleanor Lovejoy, who might be just the muse he needs. As Dickens’ deadlines close in, Eleanor propels him on a Scrooge-like journey that tests everything he believes about generosity, friendship, ambition, and love. The story he writes will change Christmas forever.

Seven Days of Us

by Francesca Hornak

It’s Christmas, and for the first time in years the entire Birch family will be under one roof. Even Emma and Andrew’s elder daughter—who is usually off saving the world—will be joining them at Weyfield Hall. But Olivia, a doctor, is only coming home because she has to. She’s just returned from treating an epidemic abroad and has been told she must stay in quarantine for a week…and so too should her family. For the next seven days, the Birches are locked down, cut off from the rest of humanity, and forced into each other’s orbits. In close proximity, not much can stay hidden for long, and as revelations and long-held tensions come to light, nothing is more shocking than the unexpected guest who’s about to arrive….

Last Christmas in Paris

by Hazel Gaynor

August 1914. England is at war. As Evie Elliott watches her brother, Will, and his best friend, Thomas Harding, depart for the front, she believes—as everyone does—that it will be over by Christmas, when the trio plan to celebrate the holiday among the romantic cafes of Paris. But as history tells us, it all happened so differently…

Evie and Thomas experience a very different war. Frustrated by life as a privileged young lady, Evie longs to play a greater part in the conflict—but how?—and as Thomas struggles with the unimaginable realities of war he also faces personal battles back home. Through their letters, Evie and Thomas share their greatest hopes and fears—and grow ever fonder from afar. 

Christmas 1968. With failing health, Thomas returns to Paris—a cherished packet of letters in hand—determined to lay to rest the ghosts of his past. But one final letter is waiting for him…

Hiddensee: A Tale of the Once and Future Nutcracker

by Gregory Maguire

Hiddensee imagines the backstory of the Nutcracker, revealing how this entrancing creature came to be carved and how he guided an ailing girl named Klara through a dreamy paradise on a Christmas Eve. At the heart of Hoffmann’s mysterious tale hovers Godfather Drosselmeier– the ominous, canny, one-eyed toy maker made immortal by Petipa and Tchaikovsky’s fairy tale ballet– who presents the once and future Nutcracker to Klara, his goddaughter.

Christmas in London

by Anita Hughes

It’s a week before Christmas, and Louisa Graham is working twelve hour shifts at a bakery on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. When a young cooking show assistant comes in from the rain and begs to buy all the cinnamon rolls on her tray, she doesn’t know what to do. Louisa is just the baker, and they aren’t hers to sell. But the show burned the rolls they were supposed to film that day; so she agrees.

The next morning, Louisa finds out that her cinnamon rolls were a hit, but the star of the show was allergic, and the whole crew is supposed to leave for London that afternoon. They want Louisa to step in for their annual Christmas Eve Dinner TV special at Claridge’s. And then there’s Kate, the show’s beautiful producer. On their first day in London she runs into the skinny boy she jilted at St. Andrew’s in Scotland ten years ago. Now he’s a handsome, brilliant mathematician, and newly divorced. Their familiar spark is still there, but so is the scar of how they left things. Kate and Louisa are busy preparing for the show, but old and new flames are complicating their work.

Christmas on the Island

by Jenny Colgan

It’s a time for getting cozy in front of whisky barrel wood fires, and enjoying a dram and a treacle pudding with the people you love—unless, of course, you’ve accidentally gotten pregnant by your ex-boss, and don’t know how to tell him. In the season for peace and good cheer, will Flora find the nerve to reveal the truth to her nearest and dearest? Will her erstwhile co-parent Joel think she’s the bearer of glad tidings—or is this Christmas going to be as bleak as the Highlands in midwinter?

Meanwhile Saif, a doctor and refugee from war-torn Syria is trying to enjoy his first western Christmas with his sons on this remote island where he’s been granted asylum. His wife, however, is still missing, and her absence hangs over what should be a joyful celebration. Can the family possibly find comfort and joy without her?

One Day in December

by Josie Silver

Laurie is pretty sure love at first sight doesn’t exist anywhere but the movies. But then, through a misted-up bus window one snowy December day, she sees a man who she knows instantly is the one. Their eyes meet, there’s a moment of pure magic…and then her bus drives away.

Certain they’re fated to find each other again, Laurie spends a year scanning every bus stop and café in London for him. But she doesn’t find him, not when it matters anyway. Instead they “reunite” at a Christmas party, when her best friend Sarah giddily introduces her new boyfriend to Laurie. It’s Jack, the man from the bus. It would be.

What follows for Laurie, Sarah and Jack is ten years of friendship, heartbreak, missed opportunities, roads not taken, and destinies reconsidered. One Day in December is a joyous, heartwarming and immensely moving love story to escape into and a reminder that fate takes inexplicable turns along the route to happiness.

Royal Holiday

by Jasmine Guillory

Vivian Forest has been out of the country a grand total of one time, so when she gets the chance to tag along on her daughter Maddie’s work trip to England to style a royal family member, she can’t refuse. She’s excited to spend the holidays taking in the magnificent British sights, but what she doesn’t expect is to become instantly attracted to a certain private secretary, his charming accent, and unyielding formality.

Malcolm has worked for the Queen for years and has never given a personal, private tour—until now. He is intrigued by Vivian the moment he meets her and finds himself making excuses just to spend time with her. When flirtatious banter turns into a kiss under the mistletoe, things snowball into a full-on fling.

Despite a ticking timer on their holiday romance, they are completely fine with ending their short, steamy affair come New Year’s Day. . .or are they?

Want more recommendations?

 

You can check out all of our online booklists (for kids and for adults), or reach out to us! Our staff is ready and willing to make reading, listening, or viewing recommendations to you! Email us at reference@benlib.org or contact us via our online form!

New Contemporary Romance for 2020

Contemporary romance is broadly described as the time period for romance set after World War II, and is sometimes referred to as “modern romance” — whisking readers from small-town settings to bustling cities, and featuring a variety of delightful storylines. Below are our picks for the best new contemporary romance reads of 2020, hand-picked by our Adult Services Department staff.

  • All of the titles featured here we have in our collection. To see if an item is available to check out or place on hold, click the cover image or button to the right of the description.

Love Her or Lose Her

by Tessa Bailey

Rosie and Dominic Vega are the perfect couple: high school sweethearts, best friends, madly in love. Well, they used to be anyway. Now Rosie’s lucky to get a caveman grunt from the ex-soldier every time she walks in the door. Dom is faithful and a great provider, but the man she fell in love with ten years ago is nowhere to be found. When her girlfriends encourage Rosie to demand more out of life and pursue her dream of opening a restaurant, she decides to demand more out of love, too. Three words: marriage boot camp. 

The Happy Ever After Playlist

by Abby Jimenez

Sloan Monroe can’t catch a break. Two years after losing her fiance, her life consists of cemetery visits, unorthodox art projects, and drinking sessions with her best friend, Kristen. So when a dog dashes in front of her car and gets her a ticket for obstructing traffic, Sloan is at her wits’ end. But after meeting the ridiculously attractive and charming owner of the trouble-making retriever, she begins to think that maybe her luck has finally started to turn around… When Jason Larsen — a.k.a. Jaxon Waters, rock n’ roll’s newest prodigy — turns on his phone after a two-week hiking trip in Australia, he’s shocked to find out that his beloved dog Tucker escaped his babysitter and is being held hostage by a beautiful woman. As Jason and Sloan begin to fall for each other, past traumas and rising tensions prove that their seemingly perfect match may just go to the dogs.

Girl Gone Viral

by Alisha Rai

In Alisha Rai’s second novel in her Modern Love series, a live-tweet event goes viral for a camera-shy ex-model, shoving her into the spotlight—and into the arms of the bodyguard she’d been pining for.

The Honey-Don’t List

by Christina Lauren

From the New York Times bestselling author behind the “joyful, warm, touching” The Unhoneymooners comes a delightfully charming love story about what happens when two assistants tasked with keeping a rocky relationship from explosion start to feel sparks of their own.

Marriage on Madison Avenue

by Lauren Layne

Can guys and girls ever be just friends? According to Audrey Tate and Clarke West, absolutely. After all, they’ve been best friends since childhood without a single romantic entanglement. Clarke is the charming playboy Audrey can always count on, and he knows that the ever-loyal Audrey will never not play along with his strategy for dodging his matchmaking mother-announcing he’s already engaged…to Audrey. But what starts out as a playful game between two best friends turns into something infinitely more complicated, as just-for-show kisses begin to stir up forbidden feelings. As the faux wedding date looms closer, Audrey and Clarke realize that they can never go back to the way things were, but deep down, do they really want to?

The Worst Best Man

by Mia Sosa

A wedding planner left at the altar? Yeah, the irony isn’t lost on Carolina Santos, either. But despite that embarrassing blip from her past, Lina’s offered an opportunity that could change her life. There’s just one hitch… she has to collaborate with the best (make that worst) man from her own failed nuptials. Marketing expert Max Hartley is determined to make his mark with a coveted hotel client looking to expand its brand. Then he learns he’ll be working with his brother’s whip-smart, stunning–absolutely off-limits–ex-fiancée. And she loathes him. If they can nail their presentation without killing each other, they’ll both come out ahead. Except Max has been public enemy number one ever since he encouraged his brother to jilt the bride, and Lina’s ready to dish out a little payback of her own. Soon Lina and Max discover animosity may not be the only emotion creating sparks between them. Still, this star-crossed couple can never be more than temporary playmates because Lina isn’t interested in falling in love and Max refuses to play runner-up to his brother ever again.

Been There, Married That

by Gigi Levangie Grazer

In a world where therapist look like the Real Housewives of Equinox, where friends dispense Xanax like Pez, and where a woman’s status is directly linked to the how few carbs she eats…can one Hollywood wife take back her life?

The Worst Best Man

by Mia Sosa

Perfect for fans of Me Before You and One Day—a striking, powerful, and moving love story following an ambitious lawyer who experiences an astonishing vision that could change her life forever.

Want more recommendations?

 

You can check out all of our online booklists (for kids and for adults), or reach out to us! Our staff is ready and willing to make reading, listening, or viewing recommendations to you! Email us at reference@benlib.org or contact us via our online form!

Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of 2020 (so far):

Dystopian futures, galaxies far, far away, mysterious magic, and the supernatural! Below are our picks for the best new science fiction and fantasy reads of 2020 (so far!), hand-picked by our Adult Services Department staff.

  • All of the titles featured here we have in our collection. To see if an item is available to check out or place on hold, click the cover image or button to the right of the description.

The City We Became

by N.K. Jemisin

Three-time Hugo Award-winning and New York Times bestselling author N.K. Jemisin crafts her most incredible novel yet, a story of culture, identity, magic, and myths in contemporary New York City.

Riot Baby

by Tochi Onyebuchi

Rooted in foundational loss and the hope that can live in anger, Riot Baby is both a global dystopian narrative and an intimate family story with quietly devastating things to say about love, fury, and the black American experience. Ella and Kev are brother and sister, both gifted with extraordinary power. Their childhoods are defined and destroyed by structural racism and brutality. Their futures might alter the world. When Kev is incarcerated for the crime of being a young black man in America, Ella–through visits both mundane and supernatural–tries to show him the way to a revolution that could burn it all down.

The Resisters

by Gish Jen

The time: Some thirty-five years hence. The place: AutoAmerica–governed by “Aunt Nettie,” an iBurrito of AI algorithms and the internet, in a land half under water. The people: Divided into the angelfair “Netted,” whose fate it is to have jobs and live on high ground, and the mostly coppertoned “Surplus,” whose jobs have been stripped and whose sole duty now is to consumeThe story: A Surplus family–he was once a professor, she is still a lawyer–has a girl child, Gwen, who’s born with a golden arm. When AutoAmerica and ChinRussia decide to revive the Olympics, suddenly Gwen, who’s been playing in the Resisters League her parents have organized, is in great demand. An amazing story of a world that looks only too possible, and a family struggling to maintain its humanity in circumstances that daily threaten their every value as well as their very existence.

The Hidden Girl and Other Stories

by Ken Liu

From award-winning author Ken Liu comes his much anticipated second volume of short stories. Ken Liu is one of the most lauded short story writers of our time. This collection includes a selection of his science fiction and fantasy stories from the last five years-sixteen of his best-plus a new novelette.

Chosen Ones

by Veronica Roth

Fifteen years ago, five ordinary teenagers were singled out by a prophecy to take down an impossibly powerful entity wreaking havoc across North America. He was known as the Dark One, and his weapon of choice–catastrophic events known as Drains–leveled cities and claimed thousands of lives. Chosen Ones, as the teens were known, gave everything they had to defeat him. On the tenth anniversary of the Dark One’s defeat, something unthinkable happens: one of the Chosen Ones dies. When the others gather for the funeral, they discover the Dark One’s ultimate goal was much bigger than they, the government, or even prophecy could have foretold–bigger than the world itself.

Harrow the Ninth

by Tamsyn Muir

After rocking the cosmos with her deathly debut, Tamsyn Muir continues the story of the penumbral Ninth House in Harrow the Ninth, a mind-twisting puzzle box of mystery, murder, magic, and mayhem. Nothing is as it seems in the halls of the Emperor, and the fate of the galaxy rests on one woman’s shoulders.

The Seep

by Chana Porter

When an alien entity invades Earth, anything imaginable is possible—literally. A utopian future without capitalism or social barriers might seem like the perfect reality, but when Trina’s wife Deeba decides to be reborn as a baby to experience an even better life, Trina is left alone and heartbroken. What does it mean to be unhappy in a seemingly perfect world, and is it possible to save those who have already decided the alien Seep is the answer to everything?

The Vanished Birds

by Simon Jimenez

Nia Imani is a woman out of place and outside of time. Decades of travel through the stars are condensed into mere months for her, though the years continue to march steadily onward for everyone she has ever known. Her friends and lovers have aged past her, and all she has left is work. Alone and adrift, she lives for only the next paycheck, until the day she meets a mysterious boy, fallen from the sky. The scarred child does not speak, his only form of communication the beautiful and haunting music he plays from an old wooden flute. And over years of starlit travel, these two outsiders discover in one another the things they lacked. But Nia is not the only one who wants the boy. The past hungers for him, and when it catches up, it threatens to tear this makeshift family apart.

Want more recommendations?

 

You can check out all of our online booklists (for kids and for adults), or reach out to us! Our staff is ready and willing to make reading, listening, or viewing recommendations to you! Email us at reference@benlib.org or contact us via our online form!

What’s New: Thrillers for 2020

Do you love a gripping page-turner that you just can’t put down? Below are a handful of our picks for the best new thrillers of 2020, hand-picked by our Adult Services Department staff. All of the titles featured here we have in our collection. To see if an item is available to check out or place on hold, click the cover image or button to the right of the description.

The Missing American

by Kwei Quartey

After her dreams of becoming a police officer come crashing down, Emma starts working for a private detective agency in Accra. Anxious about her uncertain future and career in the city, she soon finds herself investigating the case of a missing American citizen in Ghana. In a plot that expands continents and the secrets of two countries, Emma must navigate a convoluted world of international scams, fetish priests, and the mysteries of the dead.

The Majesties

by Tiffany Tsao

Gwendolyn and Estella have always been as close as sisters can be. Growing up in a wealthy, eminent, and sometimes deceitful family, they’ve relied on each other for support and confidence. But now Gwendolyn is lying in a coma, the sole survivor of Estella’s poisoning of their whole clan. As Gwendolyn struggles to regain consciousness, she desperately retraces her memories, trying to uncover the moment that led to this shocking and brutal act. Was it their aunt’s mysterious death at sea? Estella’s unhappy marriage to a dangerously brutish man? Or were the shifting loyalties and unspoken resentments at the heart of their opulent world too much to bear? Can Gwendolyn, at last, confront the carefully buried mysteries in their family’s past and the truth about who she and her sister really are?

A Good Man

by Ani Katz

Paul Martin was a devoted family man who had all the trappings of an enviable life: a beautiful wife and daughter, a well-appointed home on Long Island’s north shore, a job at a prestigious Manhattan advertising firm. He was also a devoted son and brother, shielding the women in his orbit from the everyday horrors of the world. But what happens when Paul’s fragile ego is rocked? After committing an unspeakable act–that he can never undo–Paul grapples with his sense of self. Sometimes he casts himself as a victim and, at other times, a monster. All he ever did was try to be a good man, but he may actually be a very, very bad man.

The Holdout

by Graham Moore

Maya Seale believes that Bobby Nock is innocent, so she becomes determined to persuade her fellow jurors of it. Ten years after the trial and Maya’s successful campaign for his innocence, a documentary crew starts to look into what happened between the jurors behind closed doors. Maya, now a defense attorney, finds her life under scrutiny, as a body of one of her fellow jurors is found in her apartment.

The Rabbit Hunter

by Lars Kepler

Ten little rabbits, all dressed in white tried to get to heaven on the end of a kite. Kite string got broken, down they all fell, Instead of going to heaven, they all went to… It begins with a nursery rhyme. Nineteen minutes later you die. A masked stranger stands in the shadows. He watches his victim through the window. He will kill him slowly–make him pay. Soon the Rabbit Hunter has claimed another three victims. This predator will stop at nothing to reap his ultimate revenge. It’s up to Joona Linna and Saga Bauer to untangle one of the most complex cases of their career, and follow the killer’s trail of destruction back to one horrific night of violence.

Hi Five

by Joe Ide

Isaiah Quintabe, the genius PI who combines book smarts, street smarts, and enough blistering action to melt the pavement of East Long Beach, is back with a new adventure. Fresh off the beating he took at the hands of a gang of ex-Abu Ghraib thugs working as paramilitary contractors, IQ is determined to build a life for himself with his new girlfriend, Grace. For once, he wants to be normal–a normal guy, with a normal PI business, doing the best he can. But this is IQ, and trouble is never far behind him. Joined by his faithful band of fast-talking, sharp-tongued partners, Deronda and Dodson, the cases are wild, the mysteries twisty, and the driving fast.

The Janes

by Louisa Luna

On the outskirts of San Diego, the bodies of two young women are discovered. They have no names, no IDs, and no family looking for them. Fearing the possibility of a human trafficking ring, the police and FBI reach out to Alice Vega, a private investigator known for finding the missing, for help in finding out who the Janes were – and finding the others who are missing. Alice Vega is a powerful woman whose determination is matched only by her intellect, and, along with her partner Cap, she will stop at nothing to find the Janes before it is too late.

Deep State

by Chris Hauty

Recently elected President Richard Monroe–populist, controversial, and divisive–is at the center of an increasingly polarized Washington, DC. Never has the partisan drama been so tense or the paranoia so rampant. In the midst of contentious political turf wars, the White House chief of staff is found dead in his house. A tenacious intern discovers a single, ominous clue that suggests he died from something other than natural causes, and that a wide-ranging conspiracy is running beneath the surface of everyday events: powerful government figures are scheming to undermine the rule of law–and democracy itself. The unthinkable is happening. The Deep State is real. Who will die to keep its secrets and who will kill to uncover the truth?

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