Read-a-likes for Books with Long Holds Lists

By: Staff on Oct 20, 2023
See All Posts
Read-a-likes for Books with Long Holds Lists image

Are you on currently on the holds list for the most popular books in Milwaukee County? While you wait for your hold to dwindle from number two hundredth something to ready on the hold shelf, here are some book recommendations for less-popular titles to read while you wait.


With 347 holds, Ann Patchett’s Tom Lake has the highest number of holds in Milwaukee County. Endorsed by Reese Witherspoon as her August Book Club pick, this is a book for folks who enjoy a coming of age story that reflects on love and loss during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Recommendation 1 - Lucy by the Sea by Elizabeth Strout

“As a panicked world goes into lockdown, Lucy Barton is uprooted from her life in Manhattan and bundled away to a small town in Maine by her ex-husband and on-again, off-again friend, William. For the next several months, it’s just Lucy, William, and their complex past together in a little house nestled against the moody, swirling sea. Rich with empathy and emotion, Lucy by the Sea vividly captures the fear and struggles that come with isolation, as well as the hope, peace, and possibilities that those long, quiet days can inspire.” – Provided by Novelist.


Recommendation 2 - French Braid by Anne Tyler

“Follows the Garrett family from 1959 onward as they discover that their actions advance across decades and ripple through generations in the new novel by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Breathing Lessons.” – Provided by Novelist.


Recommendation 3 - All Adults Here by Emma Straub

“A warm, funny, and keenly perceptive novel about the life cycle of one family--as the kids become parents, grandchildren become teenagers, and a matriarch confronts the legacy of her mistakes.” – Provided by Novelist.


With 214 holds, James McBride’s The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store has the second highest number of holds in Milwaukee County. Winner of 2023 Kirkus Prize for fiction, this is a book for folks who enjoy emotional historical fiction that uncovers old secrets in a small town.


Recommendation 1 – Moonrise Over New Jessup by Jamila Minnicks

“Winner of the 2021 PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction, a debut novel follows a black woman who will do whatever it takes to protect all she loves at the beginning of the civil rights movement in Alabama.” – Provided by Novelist


Recommendation 2 – Take My Hand by Dolen Perkins-Valdez

“In 1973 Montgomery, Alabama, Civil Townsend, a young Black nurse working for the Montgomery Family Planning Clinic, grapples with her role when she takes two young girls into her heart and the unthinkable happens, and nothing will ever be the same for any of them.” – Provided by Novelist.


Recommendation 3 – The Heart of It All by Christian Kiefer

“Set in a failing small town in central Ohio, The Heart of It All asks how one manages, in an America of increasing unsurety, to find a sense of family and community. Focusing on the members of three families: the Baileys, a white family who have put down deep roots in the community; the Marwats, an immigrant family that owns the town’s largest employer; and the Shaws, especially young Anthony, an outsider whose very presence gently shakes the town’s understanding of itself.” – Provided by Novelist.


With 186 holds, Lisa Jewell’s None of this is True is tied for the second highest number of holds in Milwaukee County. This book is for folks who enjoy a psychological thriller that follows a true crime podcaster navigate deception and female friendship.


Recommendation 1 - The Anatomy of Desire by L.R. Dorn

“Claire Griffith has it all, a thriving career, a gorgeous boyfriend, glamorous friends. She always knew she was destined for more than the life her conservative parents preached to her. Arriving in Los Angeles flat broke, she has risen to become a popular fitness coach and social media influencer. Having rebranded herself as Cleo Ray, she stands at the threshold of realizing her biggest dreams. One summer day, Cleo and a woman named Beck Alden set off in a canoe on a serene mountain lake. An hour later, Beck is found dead in the water and Cleo is missing.” – Provided by Novelist.


Recommendation 2 – Greenwich Park by Katherine Faulkner

“A sophisticated female-led thriller about a woman whose life starts to unravel as a result of her friendship with an unpredictable single mother, Greenwich Park explores the terrible consequences of guilt, the complexity of female friendships, and the fallibility of the memories we cherish.” – Provided by Novelist.


Recommendation 3 – Dirty Laundry by Disha Bose

“A clique of mothers in a small Irish village react to the murder of their queen bee, whose picture-perfect life made easy money on Instagram and whose death provided each of them something to gain.” – Provided by Novelist.


With 181 holds, Abraham Verghese’s The Covenant of Water has the fourth highest number of holds in Milwaukee County. Selected by Oprah as her May book club pick, this book is for folks who enjoy historical fiction that follows one family through multiple generations in Kerala, South India. 


Recommendation 1 - The Old Drift by Namwali Serpell

“Three generations of a cursed family traverse from India and Italy to England and ultimately a fantastical Zambia of the near future, where an interstitial Greek chorus of mosquitoes traces their vibrant human experiences as children, parents and grandparents.” – Provided by Novelist.


Recommendation 2 - The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri

“Brothers Subhash and Udayan Mitra pursue vastly different lives--Udayan in rebellion-torn Calcutta, Subhash in a quiet corner of America--until a shattering tragedy compels Subhash to return to India, where he endeavors to heal family wounds.” – Provided by Novelist.


Recommendation 3 - The Color of Air by Gail Tsukiyama

“A young doctor finds his arrival home to Hawai’i coinciding with the awakening of the Mauna Loa volcano and its dangerous path toward their village, unearthing long-held secrets simmering below the surface that meld past and present.” – Provided by Novelist.


With 148 holds, Rebecca Yarros’ Fourth Wing has the fifth highest number of holds in Milwaukee County.              This book is for folks who enjoy adventure-filled fantasy with a steamy enemies-to-lovers romance. 


Recommendation 1 - A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik

“An unwilling dark sorceress destined to rewrite the rules of magic clashes with a popular combat sorcerer while resolving to spare the lives of innocents.” – Provided by Novelist.


Recommendation 2 - A Crown of Ivy and Glass by Claire Legrand

“Lady Gemma Ashbourne seemingly has it all. But underneath her glittering façade, Gemma is deeply sad. Worst of all, Gemma is the only Ashbourne to possess no magic. Instead, her body fights it like poison. Then she meets the devastatingly handsome Talan d'Astier. His family destroyed themselves, seduced by a demon, and Talan, the only survivor, is determined to redeem their honor. Gemma proposes a bargain: She'll help Talan navigate high society if he helps her destroy the Basks.” – Provided by Novelist.


Recommendation 3 - Fireborne by Rosaria Munda

“When a brutal revolution opens dragonrider classes to everyone, two orphans from very different backgrounds become rising stars in a new regime that is challenged by violent survivors of the former government.” – Provided by Novelist.