Beyond Bestsellers

by Michelle C.

Have you read every Dean Koontz or Danielle Steel? Are you looking for something new to read that you don’t have to wait in line for? We invite you to read along with us as we discover new books, take a walk outside our comfort zone, and share each other’s favorite under-the-radar books. On the first of each month we will explore a different theme, make a quiz and post reading suggestions here and on OverDrive, and encourage you to share your favorite titles. At the end of each month we will check in, following up with readers, and sharing more information about what makes each theme unique. The themes for Beyond Bestsellers are:

Jan. 2019:  Armchair Travel
Feb. 2019: Up Lit
Apr. 2019: Historical Fiction
May 2019: Humor
June 2019: Memoirs and Biographies
July 2019: Science Fiction
Aug. 2019: Romance – Beyond Nora Roberts
Sept. 2019: Fiction – Beyond The Goldfinch
Oct 2019: Beyond James Patterson
Nov. 2019: Myths and Legends

Each month we will encourage participants to create a list in our catalog with 4 or more books they would suggest for each theme. Please title the list “Beyond Bestsellers: <subtitle>.” For example if I create a list of cozy mysteries, I might title it “Beyond Bestsellers: Cozy Mysteries.” Be as creative as you like, but please include the Beyond Bestsellers header. The Beyond Bestsellers header allows us and other participants to search for your lists. Create the list anytime, during any theme. If you do it during the featured month, we may share your list here so even more people see your suggestions.

If you have never created a list using the catalog, check out these easy to follow instructions.

Lists completed during the month may be featured on the blog on the last day of the month. You can vote for your favorite lists by clicking the “like” heart at the top of any list.

To participate in Beyond Bestsellers, please sign up here.

If you have any questions, please comment below or contact us. We look forward to reading with you and hearing about the books you just couldn’t stop reading!

Previous themes:

Jan. 2018: Epic Fantasy
Feb. 2018: Historical Romance
Mar. 2018: Suspense
Apr. 2018: Cooking
May 2018: Humorous SFF
July 2018: Film Adaptations
Aug. 2018: LGBTQIA+
Sept. 2018: Short Stories
Oct. 2018: Weird History
Nov. 2018: Magical Realism
July 2017: Mysteries

And even further back…

Aug. 2017: True Stories

Sept. 2017: Westerns

Oct. 2017: Horror

Nov. 2017: Graphic Novels



32 responses to “Beyond Bestsellers”

  1. James McCallum says:

    I would like to have access to the recommended list via email.

    • Michelle C. says:

      Hi James, Thanks for commenting! When you register for Beyond Bestsellers you can sign up to get emailed the blog posts. The first list will be coming out on Saturday.

  2. Peggy Petersen says:

    This sounds like an interesting adventure in reading “outside the box.” Thank you for creative thinking!

  3. Sheri McKnight says:

    I would like to sign up but I’m not sure I will be able to follow through with making a list each month. Am I still welcome to join,even if I just end up reading what others have written?

  4. Vickie Finn says:

    This sounds exciting. Sign me up! I love to read, and have read all the books by my favorite authors. Is this an Oak Harbor exclusive ? Is it going to be an online chat or a blog? Only ones I’ve done were in college, and an online gemstone show were we can communicate with the host experts.

    • Hi Vickie! We’re inviting all Sno-Isle Libraries customers (and staff!) to participate. Everything will happen here on the blog, and lists will be created in the new catalog. I look forward to seeing your favorite authors pop up on your lists!

  5. Brian Sheehan says:

    One of the best things about living in Lynnwood has been the Library. For years, especially before but even after I bought an e-reader, the library has been the best bang for the buck in city services. The staff has always been cheerful and helpful, and it is gratifying to see all the young parents with kids checking out books. Life looks good when I visit the library. Thanks for being there!

    Brian Sheehan

  6. Patricia Cork Presley says:

    Wow, I think this a wonderful idea! It would be great if it was E-books as well.

    • Hi Patricia! It will definitely include ebooks! For the mystery theme starting today, we’ll have month-long no-wait access to A Study in Charlotte! We’ll have one no-wait ebook that matches the theme each month. Have fun!

    • Vickie Finn says:

      I didn’t realize that this doesn’t include e-books, that’s all I have reading for almost a year now, less waiting in line-I get impatient when in a series. Correct me if I am wrong. I have read hundreds and hundreds of books. Got hooked on e-books though.

      • Michelle C. says:

        I love reading e-books and they are definitely included! So are audiobooks and e-audiobooks (I listen to them in the car on my way to work).

  7. […] Bestsellers with the theme of mysteries! If you have not heard of Beyond Bestsellers, check out our post from earlier this week. Beyond Bestsellers is a new community reading program where we will be […]

  8. Mary Anne R says:

    Anxious to find some new authors. One of my favorite authors is Louise Penny.

    • Michelle C. says:

      Mary Anne, I stumbled across Still Life at a book sale at the library and loved it. I hope you find some good new authors through the lists created!Still Life

  9. Lila Rhodes says:

    Donna Andrews helps me through the drab days of winter. One should read Murder with Peacocks first because all the rest are spoilers for it. The first paragraph of The Penguin Who Knew Too Much I consider about the best opening paragraph in the business.

  10. Marie says:

    I have several favorite mystery authors.

    For a classic mystery, try Ngaio Marsh’s Inspector Alleyn mysteries. Marsh was a contemporary of Agatha Christie, and, I think, at least as good a writer. The first in the 32-book series is A Man Lay Dead.

    Want something a bit darker? I recommend Camilla Läckberg’s mysteries set in Fjällbacka, Sweden. The Ice Princess is first.

    Mary Anne R., I love Louise Penny too! Glass Houses will be out soon.

    Another fantastic series set in a far-off place is Ann Cleeves’s Shetland mysteries. Start with Raven Black.

    • Michelle C. says:

      Great suggestions, Marie! I added in some links to your comment so that anyone interested could take a look at the books you suggested.

  11. Sheri McKnight says:

    Well, darn. I did go in and figure out to create a list and put this title on it, but then realized I didn’t read it this month so guess it really isn’t eligible. I’m going to leave it anyway and try to read a different one to add to the list. I thought the description part meant describe the book but I soon discovered my mistake. I still want to say something about this writer/series though so decided to just put it here in a comment. Obviously she has been writing a long time though I only found her recently. I didn’t even know there was a category called Amish mysteries but I guess this falls into that. The author is Linda Castillo and the series is about Kate Burkholder. Kate was raised Amish but left the community and became a detective. Now she is often called upon to help solve mysteries in the Amish community since she speaks the language and understands the rules. I like reading series in order and as near as I can tell, the first in this series is Pray For Silence. Please let me know if making this type of comment is suitable for this group and if so, is there a better place to put it? I remain moderately technologically challenged but still interested. Thanks for your help.

    • Michelle C. says:

      Hi Sheri, This is exactly the type of comment that is suitable for this group! I’m also going to email you, if you don’t mind, with some instructions on how to add comments within your list. The new catalog calls the comments “annotations” and they can be fun to add because they let people know why they should read a book. You also only need to add one book to your list that you have read for Beyond Bestsellers; the rest of the books can be ones that you have read in the past or that you think sound interesting (so definitely keep the Linda Castillo book in there!).

      I just discovered that Amish Dystopian novels are a category now. It makes sense since in a post-apocalyptic world people who don’t use electricity and know how to live off the land will obviously do better at surviving. I have to admit to being intrigued by the idea of an Amish mystery.

  12. Sheri McKnight says:

    Thanks, Michelle. As it turned out, I deleted the whole list because I couldn’t figure how to edit out something I didn’t want in there. (I’ll have to go back in and re-do it) I did think of putting the comment in the annotation area, but it seemed too long to fit the space and I thought people would not want to have to keep scrolling along.

  13. […] to September! The bad news: Summer is unofficially over. The good news: A new Beyond Bestsellers theme is upon us! New to Beyond Bestsellers? Not sure how to get started with our new community […]

  14. […] listening to this for our Beyond Bestsellers: Western theme. I loved this author’s The Sparrow, which was just so philosophical considering […]

  15. […] guessed it, participants, it’s October and we’ve reached our fourth Beyond Bestsellers theme: […]

  16. […] I have a few more for you, and remember that they can satisfy your horror read for Beyond Bestsellers! […]

  17. Anh H. says:

    Hello, I was wondering how I can find the lists of recommended titles created by other readers? Where should I navigate to from this page in order to access these lists? Thank you!

    • Emily Z says:

      That’s a great question, Anh. My favorite way of discovering lists is to use the search bar at the top of the Sno-Isle website. You can keep the default “catalog” option the same, but click on where it says “Keyword” and change it to “List”. Then you can enter whatever search terms you would like and click on the green magnifying glass button (or just tap the Enter key). This is one of the ways we find the awesome Beyond Bestsellers you all create for our different themese each month. We put in “Beyond Bestsellers” and that month’s theme in the search bar. My current search for Beyond Bestsellers: Suspense brought up this There are also sub-genres on the left side of the results page (under the Form/Genre) that can be used to narrow the search results further.

  18. Ruth Griffith says:

    Will you have another “Beyond Bestsellers” theme for June? 🙂

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