Tired of slogging through books that only end up disappointing you? Check out these ten tried-and-true fan favorites, all of which were penned by authors who made the 2023 LibraryReads Hall of Fame. This list honors writers who have had multiple books appear on the monthly lists of nationwide library staff picks since 2013. Each of these books exemplifies what makes these authors deserving of such a distinction: compelling plots, swift pacing, and razor-sharp writing. Once you’ve read one, pick up another book by these same authors, or check out the full list of superstar, library-minted favorites.
From the contemporary master of thrillers comes a woman-centric version of The Fugitive, whose pulse-pounding timeline will have readers hooked. Jack and her husband, Gabe, are world-class penetration specialists, known for being able to break into any building’s security system. When Jack finds Gabe dead at home, she becomes the police’s prime suspect. But Jack knows there’s someone else out there who is responsible, and she’s determined to track them down before she’s out of time.
The New York Times bestselling “new Agatha Christie” (Air Mail) Ruth Ware returns with this adrenaline-fueled thriller that combines Mr. and Mrs. Smith with The Fugitive about a woman in a race against time to clear her name and find her husband’s murderer.
Hired by companies to break into buildings and hack security systems, Jack and her husband, Gabe, are the best penetration specialists in the business. But after a routine assignment goes horribly wrong, Jack arrives home to find her husband dead. To add to her horror, the police are closing in on their suspect—her.
Suddenly on the run and quickly running out of options, Jack must decide who she can trust as she circles closer to the real killer in this unputdownable and heart-pounding mystery from an author whose “propulsive prose keeps readers on the hook and refuses to let anyone off until all has been revealed” (Shelf Awareness).
In 1920s and ’30s Britain, the Mitford sisters become well-known for being clever, beautiful, and scandalous. But their biggest scandal arrives in the form of Diana Mitford, who divorces her wealthy husband for a fascist leader, and her sister, Unity, who follows them to Munich. As whispers escalate about Unity becoming Hitler’s mistress, writer Nancy Mitford decides it’s time to learn what’s fact from fiction and begins digging into secret documents that will challenge her deepest loyalties on the brink of WWII.
Ten years ago, a devastating van crash killed many of one high school’s seniors and their teachers. Eight surviving students agree to begin meeting up annually at the Outer Banks to check in with each other and commemorate the event. But this year’s reunion is different. After one student, Cassidy, breaks her ties with the group, another survivor dies. And the reunion’s organizer, Amaya, has gone missing as a storm begins brewing off the coast, trapping those who remain in the coastal house and whipping up old suspicions.
From the New York Times bestselling author of All the Missing Girls and “master of suspense, Megan Miranda” (Mary Kubica, New York Times bestselling author of The Good Girl), a thrilling mystery about a group of former classmates who reunite to mark the tenth anniversary of a tragic accident—only to have one of the survivors disappear, casting fear and suspicion on the original tragedy.
On an idyllic island estate off the coast of New England in the mid-century, Emilia Winthrop, daughter of the estate’s caretaker, develops a rapport with adventurous and inspiring newcomer Olive Rainsford. But just as romance blossoms between Emilia and one of Olive’s nephews, an FBI agent shows up, claiming Emilia must help him capture a Soviet agent who lives there undercover. Almost a decade later, the spy Emilia helped convict has one last request, and Emilia is summoned to CIA headquarters to face the consequences of that long-ago decision, in this sweeping novel of historical and romantic intrigue.
In fifteenth-century China, women were expected to be wives. But Tan Yunxian’s grandmother raises her to learn how to recognize and treat women’s illnesses that often go undetected by men. As Yunxian learns and grows she becomes best friends with Meiling, a midwife in training, until she is shipped off in an arranged marriage. Her mother-in-law insists that she be a traditional wife, but Yunxian is determined to help other women, and, with the help of her friends, sets herself on a trajectory that will change the course of women’s medical history.
The latest historical novel from New York Times bestselling author Lisa See, inspired by the true story of a woman physician from 15th-century China—perfect for fans of See’s classic Snowflower and the Secret Fan and The Island of Sea Women.
According to Confucius, “an educated woman is a worthless woman,” but Tan Yunxian—born into an elite family, yet haunted by death, separations, and loneliness—is being raised by her grandparents to be of use. Her grandmother is one of only a handful of female doctors in China, and she teaches Yunxian the pillars of Chinese medicine, the Four Examinations—looking, listening, touching, and asking—something a man can never do with a female patient.
From a young age, Yunxian learns about women’s illnesses, many of which relate to childbearing, alongside a young midwife-in-training, Meiling. The two girls find fast friendship and a mutual purpose—despite the prohibition that a doctor should never touch blood while a midwife comes in frequent contact with it—and they vow to be forever friends, sharing in each other’s joys and struggles. No mud, no lotus, they tell themselves: from adversity beauty can bloom.
But when Yunxian is sent into an arranged marriage, her mother-in-law forbids her from seeing Meiling and from helping the women and girls in the household. Yunxian is to act like a proper wife—embroider bound-foot slippers, pluck instruments, recite poetry, give birth to sons, and stay forever within the walls of the family compound, the Garden of Fragrant Delights.
How might a woman like Yunxian break free of these traditions, go on to treat women and girls from every level of society, and lead a life of such importance that many of her remedies are still used five centuries later? How might the power of friendship support or complicate these efforts? Lady Tan’s Circle of Women is a captivating story of women helping other women. It is also a triumphant reimagining of the life of a woman who was remarkable in the Ming dynasty and would be considered remarkable today.
From the writing pair who hooked readers with THE SOULMATE EQUATION comes a linked story about one jaded romance novelist finding true love. Fizzy Chen might be a beloved romance novelist, but she doubts the real thing exists for her. Connor Prince, a single-father documentarian, is determined to prove her wrong when he realizes casting her as his love-seeking heroine in a new reality show could be his ticket to success. But when the cameras start rolling, both begin to realize real romance might lie off camera.
Sparks fly when a romance writer and a documentary filmmaker join forces to craft the ultimate Hollywood love story—but only if they can keep the chemistry between them from taking the whole thing off script—from the “divine” (Jodi Picoult) New York Times bestselling authors of The Soulmate Equation and The Unhoneymooners.
Felicity “Fizzy” Chen is lost. Sure, she’s got an incredible career as a beloved romance novelist with a slew of bestsellers under her belt, but when she’s asked to give a commencement address, it hits her: she hasn’t been practicing what she’s preached.
Fizzy hasn’t ever really been in love. Lust? Definitely. But that swoon-worthy, can’t-stop-thinking-about-him, all-encompassing feeling? Nope. Nothing. What happens when the optimism she’s spent her career encouraging in readers starts to feel like a lie?
Connor Prince, documentary filmmaker and single father, loves his work but when his profit-minded boss orders him to create a reality TV show, putting his job on the line, Connor is out of his element. Desperate to find his romantic lead, a chance run-in with an exasperated Fizzy offers Connor the perfect solution. What if he could show the queen of romance herself falling head-over-heels for all the world to see? Fizzy gives him a hard pass—unless he agrees to her list of demands. When he says yes, and production on The True Love Experiment begins, Connor wonders if that perfect match will ever be in the cue cards for him, too.
“Full of big laughs, a few tears, and some seriously steamy scenes” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review), The True Love Experiment is the book fans have been waiting for ever since Fizzy’s debut in the New York Times bestselling The Soulmate Equation.
When both philanthropist Sloane Chase and Senator Whit Montgomery lost their spouses years ago, it brought them closer, and led to their decision to remarry each other. When Sloane’s lupus puts stress on their hectic schedules, they decide to hire Athena, a seemingly perfect health aide. But as Sloane’s condition seems to inexplicably worsen and she thinks she may have witnessed some intimate looks between Athena and her husband, Sloane wonders if the people closest to her might have agendas that are contrary to their caring demeanors.
The paths of four seemingly unconnected individuals collide in Sicily, in this twisted story of ambition, corruption, and justice. Franco is a lemon grower trapped by the caste system, and he is tasked by his baron to kidnap a young boy. Gaetano is part of an aristocratic vigilante group, determined to root out crime, including this most recent kidnapping. Mafalda is a new mother who is devastated when tragedy strikes. And Alfredo is a goatherd forced into being a hermit to avoid detection as a Jew. LOYALTY is a dramatic account of the rise of the mafia by this bestselling thriller writer.
When Alexis meets the man of her dreams, she marries him without a second thought. But after discovering that Marcus’s first wife is missing and suspected dead, Alexis unearths secrets that result in Marcus disappearing without a trace. A year later, Alexis is attacked at her home, and while her hearing impairment leaves her unable to positively identify her attacker to the police, she suspects she knows who’s to blame. And now she must wait for his return—only this time, she’ll be ready to face her nightmare.
The follow-up to the story MY HEART IS A CHAINSAW, DON’T FEAR THE REAPER is a gripping horror thriller perfect for fans of the slasher genre. Four years after the events of the previous book, Jade Daniels is released from prison and returns to secluded Proofrock only to find the place ravaged by a serial killer. Dark Mill South, recently escaped from prison, is out for revenge for the thirty-eight Dakota men who were hanged in 1862, and he’ll stop at nothing until he gets it.
December 12th, 2019, Jade returns to the rural lake town of Proofrock the same day as convicted Indigenous serial killer Dark Mill South escapes into town to complete his revenge killings, in this “superb” (Publishers Weekly) sequel to My Heart Is a Chainsaw from New York Times bestselling author Stephen Graham Jones.
Four years after her tumultuous senior year, Jade Daniels is released from prison right before Christmas when her conviction is overturned. But life beyond bars takes a dangerous turn as soon as she returns to Proofrock. Convicted Serial Killer, Dark Mill South, seeking revenge for thirty-eight Dakota men hanged in 1862, escapes from his prison transfer due to a blizzard, just outside of Proofrock, Idaho.
Dark Mill South’s Reunion Tour began on December 12th, 2019, a Thursday.
Thirty-six hours and twenty bodies later, on Friday the 13th, it would be over.
Don’t Fear the Reaper is the “adrenaline-filled” (Library Journal, starred review) sequel to My Heart Is a Chainsaw from New York Times bestselling author Stephen Graham Jones.
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