Earlier this year we celebrated our favorite authors that made it onto the 2023 LibraryReads Hall of Fame list, and we’re back with more! The superstar authors we’ve rounded up here have had multiple books appear on the LibraryReads monthly lists during the second half of the year. We’ve handpicked seven books by these show-stopping writers that showcase their talents, from their ability to craft heartwarming and unforgettable characters to their mastery over imaginative and unique plots. Whether you are wistful for a transportive historical drama or hungry for a darkly magical escape, these books will scratch the itch and introduce you to more authors you’ll never forget.
Mia Jacob has always found wonder and solace in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s THE SCARLET LETTER, particularly because, despite being written two hundred years ago, it seems to perfectly depict Mia’s stifling existence in a cult called the Community. Soon, reading transports her through time, where she falls in love with a brilliant writer and the idea of a new kind of freedom. But what if Mia never found his book, and never broke free of her constraints? THE INVISIBLE HOUR is a magical realism masterwork by the incomparable Alice Hoffman.
From the beloved New York Times bestselling author of The Marriage of Opposites and the Practical Magic series comes an enchanting novel about love, heartbreak, self-discovery, and the enduring magic of books.
One brilliant June day when Mia Jacob can no longer see a way to survive, the power of words saves her. The Scarlet Letter was written almost two hundred years earlier, but it seems to tell the story of Mia’s mother, Ivy, and their life inside the Community—an oppressive cult in western Massachusetts where contact with the outside world is forbidden, and books are considered evil. But how could this be? How could Nathaniel Hawthorne have so perfectly captured the pain and loss that Mia carries inside her?
Through a journey of heartbreak, love, and time, Mia must abandon the rules she was raised with at the Community. As she does, she realizes that reading can transport you to other worlds or bring them to you, and that readers and writers affect one another in mysterious ways. She learns that time is more fluid than she can imagine, and that love is stronger than any chains that bind you.
As a girl Mia fell in love with a book. Now as a young woman she falls in love with a brilliant writer as she makes her way back in time. But what if Nathaniel Hawthorne never wrote The Scarlet Letter? And what if Mia Jacob never found it on the day she planned to die?
Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote: “A single dream is more powerful than a thousand realities.”
This is the story of one woman’s dream. For a little while it came true.
In this historical mystery based on a real woman’s life and diary, it’s 1789. Midwife Martha Ballard knows all the secrets in her small Maine community and records them in her diary. Which is why she has a theory about who caused the death of a local gentleman, recently accused of rape and now entombed in ice. But when a local doctor overturns Martha’s theory and records the death as accidental, Martha must unearth the truth on her own. As the case deepens, and Martha’s diary becomes a central piece of evidence, she must decide whose secrets to keep.
Mother of two Alison doesn’t know how to feel when she discovers that her estranged mother, Mavis, has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. Mavis’s alcoholism made Alison’s childhood traumatic, but when Mavis comes asking to rebuild their relationship in the days she has left, Alison can’t say no. When disturbing, supernatural occurrences begin happening after Mavis’s arrival in Alison’s cozy Vermont home, Alison has to face what her mother really is to protect her family from an old nightmare in this psychological page turner.
The New York Times bestselling author of the “otherworldly treat” (People) The Drowning Kind and The Children on the Hill returns with a spine-tingling psychological thriller about a woman who, after taking in her dying, alcoholic mother, begins to suspect demonic possession is haunting her family.
Alison has never been a fan of Christmas. But with it right around the corner and her husband busily decorating their cozy Vermont home, she has no choice but to face it. Then she gets the call.
Mavis, Alison’s estranged mother, has been diagnosed with cancer and has only weeks to live. She wants to spend her remaining days with her daughter, son-in-law, and two granddaughters. But Alison grew up with her mother’s alcoholism and violent abuse and is reluctant to unearth these traumatic memories. Still, she eventually agrees to take in Mavis, hoping that she and her mother could finally heal and have the relationship she’s always dreamed of.
But when mysterious and otherworldly things start happening upon Mavis’s arrival, Alison begins to suspect her mother is not quite who she seems. And as the holiday festivities turn into a nightmare, she must confront just how far she is willing to go to protect her family.
Opal is determined to get her high-achieving younger brother Jasper out of their hometown of dead-end Eden, Kentucky. But when her dreams begin feeding a bone-deep obsession with a local haunted house and its reclusive owner, Arthur, Opal feels herself getting pulled back into the bad luck that has defined her family for generations. Despite it all, Starling House feels more like home to Opal than anywhere else, and to claim it, she’ll have to uncover its uncanny connections to “The Underland,” an eerie children’s book that Opal was given by her late mother.
In this unputdownable domestic thriller, popular true crime podcaster Alix Summers meets seemingly harmless Josie Fair at a bar. After they hit it off, they run into each other again later outside Alix’s children’s school, where Josie reveals she would be a good subject for Alix’s podcast. But as Alix pursues the lead and falls deeper into the darkness that defines Josie’s life, she begins to realize that Josie might already have embedded herself too far into Alix’s own life to be forgotten.
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author known for her “superb pacing, twisted characters, and captivating prose” (BuzzFeed), Lisa Jewell returns with a scintillating new psychological thriller about a woman who finds herself the subject of her own popular true crime podcast.
Celebrating her forty-fifth birthday at her local pub, popular podcaster Alix Summer crosses paths with an unassuming woman called Josie Fair. Josie, it turns out, is also celebrating her forty-fifth birthday. They are, in fact, birthday twins.
A few days later, Alix and Josie bump into each other again, this time outside Alix’s children’s school. Josie has been listening to Alix’s podcasts and thinks she might be an interesting subject for her series. She is, she tells Alix, on the cusp of great changes in her life.
Josie’s life appears to be strange and complicated, and although Alix finds her unsettling, she can’t quite resist the temptation to keep making the podcast. Slowly she starts to realize that Josie has been hiding some very dark secrets, and before she knows it, Josie has inveigled her way into Alix’s life—and into her home.
But, as quickly as she arrived, Josie disappears. Only then does Alix discover that Josie has left a terrible and terrifying legacy in her wake, and that Alix has become the subject of her own true crime podcast, with her life and her family’s lives under mortal threat.
Who is Josie Fair? And what has she done?
Abby is (mostly) excited to marry Mark, her childhood sweetheart from a weight-loss camp her mother forced her to attend. But she still doesn’t feel quite settled: in her apartment, in her body, or with Mark. After agreeing to lead a cycling trip from NYC to Niagara Falls, Abby gets more than she bargained for when both Sebastian (an ex-flame) and her mother (still diet obsessed) both join the group. Abby has over 700 miles to work through her relationships—both romantic, and to her mother and herself—in this empowering novel by bestselling author Jennifer Weiner.
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Weiner comes a warmhearted and empowering new novel about love, family, friendship, secrets, and a life-changing journey.
Thirty-three-year-old Abby Stern has made it to a happy place. True, she still has gig jobs instead of a career, and the apartment where she’s lived since college still looks like she’s just moved in. But she’s got good friends, her bike, and her bicycling club in Philadelphia. She’s at peace with her plus-size body—at least, most of the time—and she’s on track to marry Mark Medoff, her childhood summer sweetheart, a man she met at the weight-loss camp that her perpetually dieting mother forced her to attend. Fifteen years after her final summer at Camp Golden Hills, when Abby reconnects with a half-his-size Mark, it feels like the happy ending she’s always wanted.
Yet Abby can’t escape the feeling that something isn’t right...or the memories of one thrilling night she spent with a man named Sebastian two years previously. When Abby gets a last-minute invitation to lead a cycling trip from NYC to Niagara Falls, she’s happy to have time away from Mark, a chance to reflect and make up her mind.
But things get complicated fast. First, Abby spots a familiar face in the group—Sebastian, the one-night stand she thought she’d never see again. Sebastian is a serial dater who lives a hundred miles away. In spite of their undeniable chemistry, Abby is determined to keep her distance. Then there’s a surprise last-minute addition to the trip: her mother, Eileen, the woman Abby blames for a lifetime of body shaming and insecurities she’s still trying to undo.
Over two weeks and more than seven hundred miles, strangers become friends, hidden truths come to light, a teenage girl with a secret unites the riders in unexpected ways...and Abby is forced to reconsider everything she believes about herself, her mother, and the nature of love.
In this darkly imaginative retelling of The Nutcracker, two sisters are caught in a magical rivalry. Clara and Natasha have been relegated to dueling roles their whole lives by their godfather Drosselmeyer, a tyrant whose magic imprisons a whole city. While Clara has always been the beautiful, favored light to Natasha’s overlooked darkness, Natasha sees an opportunity for revenge in an enchanted nutcracker Drosselmeyer brings to a family gathering. The nutcracker offers entry into a new world, one run by the Sugar Plum Fairy—who may have more power than Drosselmeyer, but a darker bargain to offer, too.
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