Book Buzz: 20th Century Family Sagas, Mysterious Thrillers, Short Story Collections, Native American Nonfiction, and Westerns Galore

Every month, we’re profiling new-ish releases that are getting critical and commercial buzz. For December, we’re looking at a family saga set on the cusp of WWII, a thriller about mysterious disappearances in an Appalachian resort town, a short story collection about veterans, a Western from Geronimo’s perspective, a history centered on Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull, and an audiobook about a Chinese woman’s saga in the 19th century American West.

If you like character driven-family sagas/literary fiction:

Marianne Wiggins’s Properties of Thirst (2022)

Rocky has carefully guarded his family ranch in California during the Depression years–he’s especially determined to ensure the LA Water Corporation doesn’t acquire it, despite their best machinations. Then, his son is deployed to a place called Pearl Harbor, the government decides to build an internment camp next door, and his daughter falls in love with the man tasked with building the camp. Complications ensue.

Recommended for those who enjoy the work of Anita Shreve.

If you need a thriller:

Megan Miranda’s The Last to Vanish (2022)*

Abigail enjoys the life she’s built for herself in the town of Cutters Past, North Carolina. She’s a resort manager there, and the town is a noted rafting and hiking destination. It’s also known for a string of mysterious disappearances, but Abigail has put little thought into that, until a journalist comes to town and she starts to wonder what secrets lurk underneath the surface of this picturesque place.

*Ebook and audiobook also available on Libby.

Recommended for those who enjoy the work of Lisa Unger and Paula Hawkins.

If you prefer anthologies:

Bill Glose’s All The Ruined Men (2022)

As a young man and the product of a military family, Bill Glose served as an officer in the paratroopers during the Gulf War. After concluding his military career, Glose turned to writing and has earned a reputation as a skilled writer about war and its aftermath. All The Ruined Men, his first short story collection, has received a lot of praise for its sensitive portrayals of the “forever war” that lasts long after combat has concluded.

Recommended for those who enjoy the work of Phil Klay.

If you want a Western with a Native American perspective:

W. Michael Farmer’s The Iliad of Geronimo: A Song of Blood and Fire (2022)

In his latest book, W. Michael Farmer draws parallels between the Greek warriors in the Iliad and Geronimo and his fellow Apache warriors who fought the United Stated in the 19th century. The ten years leading up to Geronimo’s final surrender are chronicled from his perspective in this book.

Recommended for those who enjoy the work of Jory Sherman and Louis L’Amour.

If you enjoy nonfiction about the American West and Native American history:

Mark Lee Gardner’s The Earth Is All That Lasts: Crazy Horse, Sitting Bull, and the Last Stand of the Great Sioux Nation (2022)

You don’t have to be a whiz at history to recognize the names Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull and know their connection to the Battle of the Little Bighorn. But for many people, that’s about all they know about these famous historical figures. Author Mark Lee Gardner is less interested in rehashing the battle than he is in providing historical context for their lives and providing a full biography of both men.

Recommended for those who enjoyed Evan S. Connell’s Son of the Morning Star and/or Nathaniel Philbrick’s The Last Stand.

If you love audiobooks:

Jenny Tinghui Zhang’s Four Treasures of the Sky (2022)**

Loosely based on a true story, this novel recounts the story of Daiyu. She’s kidnapped from her native China and brought to San Francisco and eventually finds her way to 19th century Idaho. This debut novel has generated a lot of buzz for the way it incorporates historical fiction and magical realism.

**Also available as a physical book in the system.

Recommended for those who enjoyed C. Pam Zhang’s How Much of These Hills Is Gold.

What’s your favorite new-ish books? What books are you buzzing about these days? Have you read any of these books? Tell us in the comments! As always, please follow this link to our online library catalog for more information on any of these items or to place them on hold.

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Author: berryvillelibrary

"Our library, our future"

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