The Librarian Recommends: Fall Picks 2020Posted: September 4, 2020
By: Brenna Murphy, Readers' Advisory Librarian
Here are some recent and captivating reads you’ll definitely want to pick up before the end of the year!
This gothic suspense novel set in Mexico is one of the spookiest genre-bending reads of the year. When Noemi receives a troubling letter from her cousin Catalina, she travels to her isolated country estate to check on her. Ever since Catalina’s marriage to an enigmatic Englishman, she has not been the same. Mexican Gothic is a combination of horror and suspense, with eerie characters and a creepy setting. Everyone is keeping secrets and nothing is as it seems – this book is a wild ride that is not for the faint of heart!
If you liked: Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier or The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson
In Wilkerson’s brilliant work of nonfiction, she makes the case that America is shaped by a hidden caste system. Wilkerson combines extensive research on the dynamics of hierarchy and power with the moving narratives of real people. This is a compelling and unforgettable work for anyone interested in social and racial justice.
If you liked: The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander or Stamped From the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi
The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
Twin sisters Desiree and Stella grow up in a small southern town haunted by the legacy of slavery, running away as teenagers to find a better life. The light-skinned girls are considered black in their hometown, but upon leaving Stella chooses to pass as white, while Desiree continues to live as a black woman. Told through alternating perspectives over many years, The Vanishing Half is an exquisitely written and engaging story – and my personal favorite book of 2020 so far!
If you liked: Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward or Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
The Night Swim by Megan Goldin
Attention, podcast lovers! In this work of fiction, true crime podcast host Rachel Krall investigates two crimes in a small town: one currently tearing the town apart as a trial begins, and another that was swept under the rug many years ago. The mystery and suspense are on high as the devastating truth is uncovered, and Rachel becomes deeply involved with the two crimes. A psychological page-turner you won’t be able to put down.
If you liked: The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides or Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney
Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi
In this eloquent novel, a family of Ghanaian immigrants struggle with addiction, mental illness, and spirituality. Gifty is a neuroscience Ph.D. student who is trying to understand the heartbreak in her own family through her research. Raised in the evangelical church, she begins to question her faith after losing her brother to opioid addiction. For fans of stunning prose, immigrant narratives, and heartbreaking storytelling.
If you liked: Exit West by Mohsin Hamid and Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie