Book Recommendations

Spring’s most Anticipated Titles and a Trip Back to the Stacks

Spring and fall are big seasons for book lovers. Readers, librarians and book sellers everywhere are anxious to see which authors will have new books, eager to predict which titles will be the hot books of the year, and whether the next book in a beloved series will finally come out (I’m looking at you Justin Cronin)!

Loads of publications come out with their own lists to create buzz and get readers excited. Here are just a few to help fill up your to-read lists: Publisher’s Weekly , Buzzfeed, Amazon , and Vogue.

The only problem: long waiting lists. If you’re excited about any of these titles you’re probably not the only one.  Placing a hold with your library card is the best way to ensure you get those new, must-read titles.

While you’re waiting allow me to recommend a few highly acclaimed novels from last year that you may have missed.




Delicious Foods by James Hannaham

Accolades: Named a best of the year book by Kirkus Reviews, Buzzfeed, Publishers Weekly, and BookPage.

When Eddie’s father passes away, his mother, Darlene turns to drugs and is lured away to work for a company called Delicious Foods. Held captive by their cruel practices and the drugs they give her to feed her addiction, Darlene must fight desperately to break away from the company and reunite with her son. Powerfully moving, funny at times and beautifully written, this book demands your attention.





The Green Road by Anne Enright

Accolades: Longlisted for the Booker Prize & named a best book of the year by Publishers Weekly and Kirkus Reviews.

I love a good family drama and this one promises to deliver. Matriarch of the Madigan family is selling her house and dividing the proceeds up among her scattered children. The family reunites for one last Christmas, opening old wounds and leaving the fate of the family bond uncertain. If this kind of story appeals to you, also try The Turner House by Angela Flournoy, in which a Detroit family must come to terms with their house being sold and the ties that hold their family’s future together.





The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen

Accolades: Named a best book of the year by The New York Times Book Review, Library Journal, Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly, The Guardian, and many more.

As Saigon falls in 1975, the captain, a trusted adviser of one South Vietnamese general, escapes with him and his men to Los Angeles. The captain, however, is a Communist spy, planted to report back to the Viet Cong. The story follows him as he struggles with this role of spy and sheds new and interesting light on the Vietnam War. This page-turner is filled with intrigue and is a must-read.

Read alikes are book recommendations based on the books you already love!



If you enjoyed the drama, small town tension, and whodunit mystery of Gone Girl, try Defending Jacob by William Landay. In Defending Jacob, assistant district attorney Andy Barber’s son is accused of a gruesome crime. Find out how far Andy will go to protect his child.

If Nick and Amy’s intense and twisted relationship kept you on the edge of your seat, try Euphoria by Lily King. A love triangle grips the lives of three anthropologists in the 1930s. Based on the life of Margaret Mead and winner of many accolades, it was rated one of the best books of 2014!

If dark and twisty is your favorite kind of book try The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson. In this modern retelling of Patricia Highsmith’s Strangers on a Train (also a great read), two strangers meet in an airplane and decide to commit the ultimate crime.





If you enjoyed following the characters in Station Eleven from settlement to settlement, try California by Edan Lepucki. In this debut novel, Cal and Frida search for a safe place to raise their unborn child in post-apocalyptic California.

If you enjoyed the overlapping story lines, and multiple character perspectives, try The Passage by Justin Cronin. His novel (and sequel The Twelve) traces the stories of various groups of people trying to survive in America after a mysterious illness turns people into creatures of the night.

If you liked the airport museum in Station Eleven, try A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller Jr. This classic of speculative fiction follows a group of monks in Utah who chronicle and try to preserve life after nuclear annihilation destroys the world as they knew it.





If you’re new to fantasy and not sure what to read next try Stephen King’s series The Dark Tower. Follow Roland, the last gunslinger, on his quest to find the Dark Tower and the secrets held within.

If you loved the grand scope of Martin’s series and loved the theatrical television series, try going back to where it all began, and read J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings series. One of the greatest epic fantasies complete with epic film series. You can watch and read this wonderful tale.

If you’re ready to dive into another epic fantasy series, with loads of characters, and political intrigue (this time with a conclusion), try The Malazan Book of the Fallen series by Steven Erikson. Book one is called Gardens of the Moon.