Fiction Recommendations

The Ways of the Dead

The ways of the dead : a novelBy Tucker, Neely, 1963-
Author Neely Tucker, a 25 year veteran news reporter, has created a flawed but thorough and determined character in Sullivan (Sully) Carter, a former Bosnian war correspondent who now works the crime beat for a major Washington, D.C. paper. When the daughter of a prominent judge is murdered, Sully jumps on the story despite his grudge against said judge from a previous case.... Read more
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Brilliance

BrillianceBy Sakey, Marcus
Every year, a certain percent of the population is born “brilliant”: with extraordinary capabilities making them particularly valuable to the government as scientists. Mostly feared and bullied by society, tier-one brilliants are taken from their families at age 8 and put in special academies until age 18, ostensibly to hone their special gifts, but in reality they are socialized to be loners devoted only to their handlers.... Read more
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Broken Monsters

Broken monstersBy Beukes, Lauren
Broken Monsters is a compelling page-turner told from the rotating point of view of the five main characters. The suspense is unbearable as their lives steamroll toward one another. Gabi is a stressed-out Detroit homicide detective who is saddled with a high profile career breaking case while raising her assertive 15 year old daughter, Layla.... Read more
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The Book of Strange New Things

The book of strange new things : a novelBy Faber, Michel
Peter is a Christian pastor with a shady past who is hired by USIC to minister to the indigenous population of Oasis, a planet they are colonizing. The Oaseans supply food for the USIC base in exchange for medicine, and seem to have a preternatural interest in receiving the Word of God, Whose Bible they call the Book of Strange New Things. They are overjoyed to receive Peter, as the previous pastor disappeared.... Read more
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A Better World

A better worldBy Sakey, Marcus
Marcus Sakey continues his outstanding dystopian trilogy (Book One was called Brilliance) with the suspenseful A Better World.There is growing animosity between the normals and the brilliants, as well as uproar over the lack of civil rights for brilliants. Two scientists (from Book One) have discovered a way to give anyone brilliants’ qualities, and the government wants what they know.... Read more
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Boy, Snow, Bird

Boy, snow, bird : a novelBy Oyeyemi, Helen
Boy is Boy Novak, who flees the abusive home of her father, Frank Novak, a New York rat-catcher. She settles in rural Massachusetts, eventually marrying Arturo Whitman, a widower with a young, angelic daughter named Snow. When Boy and Arturo have a daughter, the baby (named Bird) is born dark-skinned, exposing the Whitman family as light-skinned African Americans passing as white.... Read more
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The Narrow Road to the Deep North

The narrow road to the deep northBy Flanagan, Richard, 1961- author.
Australian author Richard Flanagan won the 2014 Man Booker Prize for this literary war story. This is a grimly realistic book with many disturbing scenes of the brutal mistreatment Australian POW’s suffered at the hands of the Japanese near the end of World War II, in this case, in Burma, tasked with building the Thai-Burma railroad through the jungle, (the same railroad immortalized in the movie Bridge on the River Kwai).... Read more
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Kill My Mother : A Graphic Novel

Kill My Mother : a graphic novelBy Feiffer, Jules
At age 85, Jules Feiffer is still receiving great reviews from all the major journals for his first graphic novel. Kill My Mother is the first book in a planned trilogy; the story starts in the Depression Era and the years leading into World War II. It concerns the plans of incorrigible teenager Annie to murder her hated widowed mother, who works in the office of a drunken private-eye.... Read more
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Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki & His Year of Pilgrimage

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and his years of pilgrimage : a novelBy Murakami, Haruki, 1949- author.
Published in April 2013 in Japan, Murakami’s latest novel had already sold over a million copies prior to its 2014 U.S. release. Tsukuru Tazaki is a young man with four very good friends; growing up together they have formed a tight-knit group and are virtually inseparable. Each member’s name means a different color, except Tsukuru’s , which means “builder” (hence the “colorless”).... Read more
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The White Mary

The white Mary : a novelBy Salak, Kira, 1971-
Marika Vacera is a fearless war correspondent who seems addicted to a dangerous solo lifestyle and suffers from PTSD due to too many close calls. She settles into moving in with a new boyfriend and writing a biography of fellow journalist Robert Lewis, a prize-winning author and witness to many of the worst of wars’ atrocities.... Read more
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Nora Webster

Nora Webster : a novelBy Tóibín, Colm, 1955-
Nora Webster is a young Irish widow left with four children who struggles with loneliness and poverty when her beloved husband, Maurice, takes ill and dies. With two daughters away at school, Nora sends her two young sons away while she cares for their dying father. The story takes place in the 1970’s in a small Irish town, full of nosy neighbors and know-it-all relatives.... Read more
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Fire Shut Up in My Bones

Fire shut up in my bones : a memoirBy Blow, Charles M., 1970-
Charles Blow, journalist for the New York Times as well as a frequent television and radio commentator, has written an intimate memoir of his childhood through his college years at Grambling. The title is taken from a biblical text concerning the weight of carrying a painful childhood betrayal to such an extent that it defines his very self.... Read more
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That Night

That nightBy Stevens, Chevy
That Night is a fast-paced psychological thriller about a high school senior and her boyfriend who are wrongly convicted of murder. Ryan and Toni both come from dysfunctional families, so have bonded together planning their future. Ryan lives with his alcoholic, abusive father; Toni is the victim of a group of girls who bully and harass her both at school and at her job.... Read more
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The Quick : a novel

The quick : a novelBy Owen, Lauren, 1985-
This is a quietly powerful Gothic love story about vampires and vampire-killers set in Victorian London (1892), the era when Dracula was written. A delicious read, full of passionate characters, a cat-and-mouse hunt for a lost brother, a secret (men only) society with a life-changing entry requirement, and an intimate look at the heartbreaking loneliness of knowing what you have lost when you acquiesce to the “exchange”.... Read more
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All the Light We Cannot See

All the light we cannot see : a novelBy Doerr, Anthony, 1973-
Werner is an orphaned German teenager with a knack for electronics; his talent is noticed and he is selected for enrollment in an exclusive school where he is allowed access to a lab and individual instruction on radio transmitters. Marie-Laure is a blind French teen who lives with her father in Paris—he is the locksmith for the Museum of Natural History.... Read more
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Shotgun Lovesongs

Shotgun lovesongsBy Butler, Nickolas
Shotgun Lovesongs is Butler’s well-received debut novel, an ode to growing up in small-town Wisconsin (Butler’s home state) and male friendship. Four very different but long-time friends have taken their lives in different directions (one a farmer, another a rock star, a stock broker, and an ex-rodeo rider) and gone through life’s ups and downs, always keeping in touch, and eventually all coming back home to settle.... Read more
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The Illusion of Separateness

The illusion of separateness : a novelBy Van Booy, Simon
This beautiful small book (easily read in one sitting) is about the sometimes surprising interconnectedness among people. The title comes from this quote of Thich Nhat Hahn: “We are here to awaken from the illusion of our separateness.” The reader is introduced to John Bray, an American soldier whose plane crashes in France (WWII); he has a fateful encounter with a German soldier we later know as Mr. Hugo.... Read more
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The Museum of Extraordinary Things

The Museum of Extraordinary Things : a novelBy Hoffman, Alice
Prolific master storyteller Alice Hoffman recreates early 1900’s New York, in particular the side-show entertainments found on Coney Island, in her latest historical fiction, which has a touch of old-fashioned young romance, and a murder which must be solved. Two parallel plot lines slowly converge and fuel the madly chaotic ending, Hoffman employing her frequent magic realism to engage and hold the reader.... Read more
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The Cairo Affair

The Cairo affairBy Steinhauer, Olen
The Cairo Affair is such an intriguing spy thriller you might want to read it in one sitting: you won’t want to put it down without finding out what happens next.... Read more
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I Am Pilgrim

I am PilgrimBy Hayes, Terry, 1951- author.
Scott Murphy is a retired federal agent who just can’t stay retired. He is drawn to a murder in New York which is a textbook case of perfection. Murphy should know; he wrote a book on crime investigation, and this killer must have read it. Murphy is then recruited to be the lead investigator on an international case to hunt down a rogue terrorist who has cloned a deadly virus and plans to unleash it in the United States.... Read more
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The Circle

The Circle : a novelBy Eggers, Dave
Mae Holland lands a dream job, with the help of her friend Annie, at the information-hub company known as The Circle (kind of an über-Google merged with every social media you can think of). The Circle provides every amenity the workers want, quickly instilling a high level of loyalty to the agenda of the Three Wise Men who run the Circle.... Read more
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Doctor Sleep

Doctor Sleep : a novelBy King, Stephen, 1947-
So, what ever happened to Danny Torrence, the weird little kid in The Shining? It took the creator many years to get around to answering this question; this reader was pretty pleased with the result. Dan’s all grown up, has a host of problems, not the least of which are recurring visits from the halls of the Overlook Hotel.... Read more
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The Woman Who Lost Her Soul

The woman who lost her soulBy Shacochis, Bob author.
This is a long complicated book, but well worth the effort. Parts mystery, spy novel, lurid romance, and history lesson, The Woman Who Lost Her Soul is just that—a young woman groomed by her father to become an elite deep cover spy is forever chasing her real identity.... Read more
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The Orchard of Lost Souls

The orchard of lost souls : a novelBy Mohamed, Nadifa, 1981-
Nadifa Mohamed’s poignant novel reveals the horrific circumstances of women and children in Somalia during the civil war which started in 1987. In particular, the lives of three women intersect and their fates seem entwined. Deqo is a 9-year old girl, an orphan, who ends up running away from the refugee camp after failing to remember her dance steps at a political rally. Wise and enterprising, she lives on the streets.... Read more
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The Abomination

The abominationBy Holt, Jonathan, 1962-
The setting is Venice: the body of a murdered woman dressed in Catholic priest’s clothing washes up on the shore and becomes known as the Abomination because there are no women priests, or are there? This is the first book of a planned trilogy by British author Holt with Italian Captain Kat Tapo as the lead detective. The murder also seems to be of interest to U.S.2nd Lt. Holly Boland, recently stationed in Italy.... Read more
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Award Winners & Bestsellers

Nobel Prize
2015 Prize in Literature
Svetlana Alexievich

National Book Award

2015 Prize for Fiction
Fortune Smiles
by Adam Johnson

2015 Prize for Nonfiction
Between the World and Me
by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Newbery Medal
2016 award
Last Stop on Market Street

by Matt de la Peña

Caldecott Medal
2016 award
Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear
b
y Lindsay Mattick, illustrated by Sophie Blackall

Printz Award

2016 award
Bone Gap

by Laura Ruby

New York Times Fiction Bestsellers (top 5 combined print & e-book sales)
The Last Mile
, by David Baldacci
The Obsession
, by Nora Roberts
Stuck-up Suit, by Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward
Bounty, by Kristen Ashley
The Girl on the Train
, by Paula Hawkins
 

New York Times Nonfiction Bestsellers (top 5 combined print & e-book sale)
The Rainbow Comes and Goes, by Anderson Cooper and Gloria Vanderbilt
The Sleep Revolution, by Arianna Huffington
When Breath Becomes Air
, by Paul Kalanithi
Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates
, by Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaegar
Alexander Hamilton
, by Ron Chernow

 

More Award Winners & Bestsellers

Following is a list of award-winning and bestselling materials from a variety of sources. Links will take you to an external page that will open in a new window. If YDL does not have an item you are interested in, please submit a Materials Suggestion to us.

Academy Awards

American Booksellers Association National Indie Bestsellers

Billboard Top 100 songs

Caldecott Medal

Coretta Scott King Award

New York Times Bestsellers

Newbery Medal

Printz Award