The Season's Hottest Books & Some Readalikes

By Lynn Ann Lobash, Associate Director, Readers Services and Engagement
June 21, 2018

There are a some books that set the world on fire when the come out, and our collections team does their best to satisfy, but sometimes we need to put our patrons in a holds queue. However, there is no need for anyone to leave the library empty-handed. Here are some of the season's hottest books and some titles with similar appeal to give them while they wait.

The Mars Room

The Mars Roomby Rachel Kushner

Romy Hall is serving two consecutive life sentences at the Stanville Women’s Correctional Facility in central California. From prison she narrates her gritty past and present.

More prison stories:

The Graybar Hotel: Stories by Curtis Dawkins [ebook]

Fingersmith by Sarah Waters

Hag-seed: The Tempest Retold  by Margaret Atwood [ebook]

God Save Texas

God Save Texas: A Journey Into the Soul of the Lone Star State by Lawrence Wright [ebook]

An exploration of Texas history, politics, culture, and stereotypes.

More onTexas:

Best State Ever: A Florida Man Defends His Homeland  by Dave Barry [ebook]

In a Narrow Grave: Essays on Texas by Larry McMurtry

Half Broke Horses: A True-life Novel by Jeannette Walls [ebook]


Kudos by Rachel Cusk

The final work in the Outline Trilogy follows our protagonist, Faye, to a literary festival in Europe.

More stream-of-consciousness:

Autumn by Ali Smith

Autumn by Karl Ove Knausgaard

What We Lose by Zinzi Clemmons [ebook]

Wade in the Water

Wade in the Waterby Tracy K. Smith

An examination of race in America, past and present, political and personal.

More critical self-reflection via poetry:

Ordinary Beast: Poems by Nicole Sealy [ebook]

Don’t Call Us Dead: Poems by Danez Smith [ebook]

Not Here by Hieu Minh Nguyen [ebook]

There There

There There by Tommy Orange

An ensemble cast of Native Americans come together for the Big Oakland Powwow.

More Native American voices:

The Round House by Louise Erdrich [ebook]

Heart Berries: A Memoir by Terese marie Mailhot [ebook]

Where the Dead Sit Talking by Brandon Hobson [ebook]


Calypso by David Sedaris

A collection of darkly funny essays on middle age and mortality.

More sardonic humor-writing please:

New Ways To Kill Your Mother: Writers On Their Familiesby Colm Tóibín

The Uncollected David Rakoff  by David Rakoff [ebook]

The Hard Way On Purpose by David Giffels

The Outsider

The Outsider by Stephen King

A supernatural horror novel wrapped in a police procedural. A small town detective arrests a popular little league coach for the murder of a young boy and the case turns into something much more sinister than it appears on the surface.

For more evil transformations:

Horns by Joe Hill [ebook]

Mr. X by Peter Straub [ebook]

Sweet by Emmy Laybourne

Have trouble reading standard print? Many of these titles are available in formats for patrons with print disabilities.

Staff picks are chosen by NYPL staff members and are not intended to be comprehensive lists. We'd love to hear your ideas too, so leave a comment and tell us what you’d recommend. And check out our Staff Picks browse tool for more recommendations!