Barbara Conaty

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Mother Doll

Imagining the afterlife has resulted in unforgettable recent novels like George Saunders’s Lincoln in the Bardo. Apekina’s hallucinatory use of occult communications transforms historical facts and emotional trauma into a phantasmagorical fable of Zhenia’s and Irina’s spiritual journeys. Balancing raucous hilarity with embedded pain, it may be the year’s weirdest one-of-a-kind read.

The Lies You Wrote

Women pathologists (Patricia Cornwell) and forensic anthropologists (Elly Griffiths) have starred in recent mysteries that appeared on best-of-the-year lists. Through her terrific new heroine, Labuskes has the fire and smarts to join them on the award dais.

Read-Alikes for ‘Code Red’ by Vince Flynn & Kyle Mills | LibraryReads


Night Train to Odessa

Grow’s novel can be ranked with Marina Lewycka’s A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian and Jonathan Safran Foer’s Everything Is Illuminated in capturing the essentials of modern Ukraine.

The House of Lincoln

Meticulously researched, brilliantly paced, and written for most levels of readers, this is the historical fiction genre at its very best.

President-Adjacent | Historical Fiction About the First Ladies and Their Circles


The President’s Wife

Wood’s book is a stately and dignified account that is beautifully leavened by intimate glimpses of Edith and Woodrow in their happiness, grief, anger, and optimism.

The Librarian of Burned Books

Terrific research buttresses strong writing that will keep readers riveted. Molly Guptill Manning’s When Books Went to War and Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 are great tandem reads for Labuskes’s latest.

In a Land Without Dogs the Cats Learn To Bark

Twenty years in the making, this saga alludes to the romantic work of Lermontov while also doing a great reprise of the jazz scene in Tbilisi. Compelling notes of Keith Gessen, Gary Shteyngart, and Jonathan Safran Foer will resonate for readers keeping up with Soviet absurdities in ex-USSR states.

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