Announcing the May 2023 LibraryReads List

By Rachel Mann | April 17 2023 | NewsLibraryReads

Public library staff across the nation have spoken! Congratulations to the books selected for the May 2023 LibraryReads Top Ten List.

Request eGalleys for Your May Readers’ Advisory.


For more information about the program, or to learn how to vote for your favorite upcoming books, visit LibraryReads.org. And, don’t forget, voting for the June LibraryReads list ends 5/1!

Check out which June titles we’re loving.

TOP PICK

The Ferryman
A Novel

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Passage comes a riveting standalone novel about a group of survivors on a hidden island utopia—where the truth isn’t what it seems.

“In a world where people don’t die but are ferried away to be regenerated into a 16-year-old with no memories, Proctor is responsible for making sure the “retirees” go without a fuss. But he is quickly drawn into a mystery at the heart of their society. The multi-layered quality moves this from a poignant story into thriller, into world-exploring science fiction.”— John Sloan, Chicago Public Library

NoveList read-alike: Saha by Nam-Ju Cho


TOP TEN LIST

Chain Gang All Stars
A Novel

Two top women gladiators fight for their freedom within a depraved private prison system not so far-removed from America’s own in this explosive, hotly-anticipated debut novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Friday Black.

“In a near-future America, prisoners can opt into a gruesome program of death matches against other prisoners. Their lives are broadcast to a bloodthirsty public, and they can win their freedom if they kill enough opponents. The novel employs an effective series of rotating narrators to tell all sides of this story, forcing us to look at how we dehumanize prisoners.”— Laura Bovee, Chicopee Public Library

NoveList read-alike: Bitch Planet by Kelly Sue DeConnick


The Guest
A Novel

A young woman pretends to be someone she isn’t in this stunning novel by the New York Times bestselling author of The Girls.

“Alex is coasting through life on the grace and credit card of her older boyfriend for the summer. She can’t return to the city now that her roommates want nothing to do with her, and her friends have all disappeared. There is nothing she won’t do, and no one she won’t manipulate, to get what she needs: a bit more time. Perfect for fans of The Talented Mr. Ripley.”— Kimberly McGee, Lake Travis Community Library

NoveList read-alike: Luster by Raven Leilani


Killing Me

Utterly original and wildly entertaining, Killing Me is a laugh-loud-loud thriller with a protagonist whose life is a total mess.

“Amber has very strong opinions about people who fall prey to serial killers and is sure that being savvy and street smart will keep her safe. Until she is taken by a serial killer, and her life becomes a hot mess. This quirky, snarky book reads like Janet Evanovich teamed up with Stephen King.”— Linda Quinn, Fairfield Public Library

NoveList read-alike: Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone by Benjamin Stevenson


Practice Makes Perfect
A Novel

A small-town sweetheart and an emotionally unavailable bad boy try to find some common ground in this chemistry-filled romance from Sarah Adams, author of The Cheat Sheet and When in Rome.

“A sweet Kentucky florist looking for love asks her sister-in-law’s bodyguard to help her sass up after a date accuses her of being too boring. With wonderful characters, this cute romance is a great second installment in the When in Rome series.”— Sonya Skibicki, Bartlett Public Library District

NoveList read-alike: The American Roommate Experiment by Elena Armas


Quietly Hostile
Essays

A hilarious new essay collection from #1 New York Times bestselling unabashed fan-favorite Samantha Irby invites us to share in the gory particulars of her real life, all that festers behind the glitter and glam.

“If you haven’t already read Irby: 1) Who are you and how do you live? 2) This is a perfect time to start. Reading her relatable essays feels like hanging out with an older sister who doesn’t sugarcoat the awkward parts of life and helps you recognize you’re not the only one faking your way through adulthood.”— Rebecca Hayes, Highland Park Public Library

NoveList read-alike: She’s Nice Though by Mia Mercado


The Wishing Game
A Novel

Years ago, a reclusive mega-bestselling children’s author quit writing under mysterious circumstances. Suddenly he resurfaces with a brand-new book and a one-of-a-kind competition, offering a prize that will change the winner’s life in this absorbing and whimsical novel.

“In this magical tale, a beloved children’s author announces a tantalizing game: four fans can compete to win the only copy of his new book. All the contestants are intriguing, but readers will root for Lucy, a teacher’s aide desperate to find the money needed to adopt an orphaned boy.”— Beth Mills, New Rochelle Public Library

NoveList read-alike: Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan


HALL OF FAME

The Celebrants
A Read with Jenna Pick (A Novel)
Big Chill for our times, celebrating decades-long friendships and promises—especially to ourselves—by the bestselling and beloved author of The Guncle.

“This story of four lifelong friends going through the challenges of middle age will make the reader feel like they know each character intimately by the end. And even when tragic events occur, there is still humor and a lot of heart. Highly recommended for readers looking for a light read with emotional depth.”—Elizabeth I., DeKalb County Public Library System

NoveList read-alike: This Time Tomorrow by Emma Straub


The Senator's Wife
A Novel
A D.C. philanthropist suspects that her seemingly perfect employee is secretly plotting to steal her husband, her reputation—even her life—in this seductive novel of psychological suspense from the internationally bestselling author of The Last Mrs. Parrish.

“After her husband was murdered, Sloane never expected to find happiness, but she did…with Whit, who was married to her husband’s killer. Whit considerately hires an aide for Sloane, who has a chronic illness, to help her recover from major surgery. But as she suffers debilitating flare-ups and Whit exhibits suspicious behavior, Sloane wonders whether she will ever get her life back. This thriller will keep readers up well after bedtime.”—Chris Markley, Kingsport Public Library

NoveList read-alike: The Personal Assistant by Kimberly Belle