Loyalty Holiday Picks 2022: FICTION

Fiction fans, you're in the right place! The Loyalty Team has recommendations in every genre we lovemystery, romance, sci-fi, fantasy—and plenty of literary fiction picks, too. 

Click here to get back to the rest of Loyalty's 2022 Holiday Picks!

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Plum Bun: A Novel without a Moral By Jessie Redmon Fauset, Morgan Jerkins (Foreword by), Deborah McDowell (Afterword by) Cover Image
By Jessie Redmon Fauset, Morgan Jerkins (Foreword by), Deborah McDowell (Afterword by)
$18.00
ISBN: 9780807006603
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click on the title to see which location!
Published: Beacon Press - March 8th, 2022

A tour de force of a glimpse into the life of a young Black woman painter who chooses to pass for white, Redmon Fauset is faithful to the novel's subtitle: there is no moralizing to be found in these pages. Simply human truth, human mess, and her characters' attempts to walk the precarious tightrope generated by these conditions. Exquisitely written, this recovered classic is sure to please any fan of Passing or The Vanishing Half. — Malik


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Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow: A novel By Gabrielle Zevin Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780593321201
Availability: Not In Store - Available to special order for pickup or ship. For even speediest shipping we suggest our Bookshop.org page!
Published: Knopf - July 5th, 2022

"If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more."—Mr. Knightley to Emma, and also me every time I try to explain this stunning novel.

Tomorrow is about video games, yes, but it’s about so much more: making art; the joys and frustrations of creative partnership; friendship that spans decades, betrayals, triumphs, and tragedies; and love. Hands down my favorite book of 2022! — Amy


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Big Girl: A Novel By Mecca Jamilah Sullivan Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781324091417
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click on the title to see which location!
Published: Liveright - July 12th, 2022

Malaya is the Big Girl journeying through 90s Harlem fashion, music, and cross cultures. As Malaya learns about her body, what drives her to binge, her first love, friendship, and community in all its good and bad, you find yourself cheering for her and learning more about yourself. Mecca Jamilah Sullivan’s writing is crisp and urgent and you cannot put this book down. — Hannah


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Stories from the Tenants Downstairs By Sidik Fofana Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781982145811
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click on the title to see which location!
Published: Scribner - August 16th, 2022

When a rent increase goes into effect, many tenants struggle to make rent and keep the faith as they watch their neighbors get evicted one by one. The most impressive thing Fofana has done is write every story in the voice of its main character. No two stories could blend together despite the relationships and mentions of characters highlighted in other stores. These stories seem to be Fofana telling us he can successfully write as anyone he chooses. — Amani


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Woman of Light: A Novel By Kali Fajardo-Anstine Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780525511328
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click on the title to see which location!
Published: One World - June 7th, 2022

Woman of Light is an epic book spanning five generations of Indigenous Chicano women where the author’s love of research and the history of her people shines through in the sentences and the story. Fajardo-Anstine’s gorgeous prose is steeped in beauty, in sadness, in fury, and in joy. Readers will care deeply for this family and their stories that are integral to the American West, yet have been often overlooked. — Christine


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Bookish People By Susan Coll Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781400234097
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click on the title to see which location!
Published: Harper Muse - August 2nd, 2022

There are many charming bookstore themed books, but Bookish People is a comedy of missed manners, efforts gone awry, and just the amount of sweat the world of books takes. Written with love but a wry eye, Susan Coll’s take on a muggy week at a DC bookstore will have you turning the pages to find out what happens next to this motley crew, their constantly breaking vacuum, and their potentially ruinous authors. — Hannah


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Sweet, Soft, Plenty Rhythm: A Novel By Laura Warrell Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780593316443
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click on the title to see which location!
Published: Pantheon - September 27th, 2022

Welcome to the world of Circus Palmer, an aging musician still waiting for his big break. While this book takes place in Circus's world, the focus is on the women in his life. Women he's loved, women he's used, and the women he's left behind. Circus isn't the main character in the way we're used to. Most of what we know about him comes from these women and his interactions with them. A debut you won't forget. — Amani


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Black Cloud Rising By David Wright Falade Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780802159199
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click on the title to see which location!
Published: Grove Press - February 22nd, 2022

When Federal forces captured Roanoke Island, Virginia, in 1862, escaped and freed slaves flooded in, many later becoming some of the first black Union troops. In Black Cloud Rising by David Wright Falade, we follow former slave and now Union Army non-commissioned officer Sergeant Richard Etheridge of the African Brigade, led by one-armed abolitionist Brigadier General Edward Augustus Wild, as the unit fights its way through some of the same plantations where the men (and their families) had been enslaved. Outstanding. — David


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One's Company: A Novel By Ashley Hutson Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9780393866643
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click on the title to see which location!
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - June 14th, 2022

This paperback debut book is a friggin delightful gem and you will find yourself swept into the mind of a woman whose first thought after winning the lottery is to recreate the apartment from Three’s Company to live out her comfort show in solitude. The rest has to be read to be believed, but this complicated internal adventure will become as bingeable a read as your favorite sitcom. — Hannah


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Cherish Farrah: A Novel By Bethany C. Morrow Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780593185384
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click on the title to see which location!
Published: Dutton - February 8th, 2022

Cherish Farrah follows Farrah and Cherish, two Black girls in a primarily white community, and how their world begins to break down as Farrah infiltrates Cherish’s white adoptive family, with increasingly unsettling consequences. These teenage girls are ferocious and not to be underestimated, and this book kept me uneasily on the edge of my seat until the very last page—I recommend reading in the daytime with all the lights on. — Amy


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My Darkest Prayer: A Novel By S. A. Cosby Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781250867636
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click on the title to see which location!
Published: Flatiron Books - December 6th, 2022

S.A. Cosby always writes these incredible nail biting, hanging off the side of your bed staying up until 3am stories. My Darkest Prayer is no different, set into a small town where corrupt police, crime, wannabe gangstas and secrets evolve. Our main character Nathan must navigate figuring out the truth in a town that seems everything but! — Chardai


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Marple: Twelve New Mysteries (Miss Marple Mysteries) By Agatha Christie, Naomi Alderman, Leigh Bardugo, Alyssa Cole, Lucy Foley, Elly Griffiths, Natalie Haynes, Jean Kwok, Val McDermid, Karen M. McManus, Dreda Say Mitchell, Kate Mosse, Ruth Ware Cover Image
$28.99
ISBN: 9780063136052
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click on the title to see which location!
Published: William Morrow - September 13th, 2022

Miss Marple is one of my heroes; constantly underestimated and always observing she brings the detective genre to its best heights. These twelve talented mystery, thriller, and suspense authors bring Jane Marple in their own scenarios and bring fresh perspective and lovingly told adventures to the indomitable detective. Those new to Agatha Christie and old hats like myself will find themselves charmed and intrigued by these new tales. — Hannah


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The Verifiers By Jane Pek Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780593313794
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click on the title to see which location!
Published: Vintage - February 22nd, 2022

I am a big fan of The Verifiers! Poirot meets Austen meets immigrant family for the digital dating world, with a queer Asian American protagonist. Jane Pek brings an original and refreshing take to the amateur sleuth novel and I am absolutely here for it! — Christine


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Bluest Nude: Poems By Ama Codjoe Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781571315427
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click on the title to see which location!
Published: Milkweed Editions - September 13th, 2022

Bluest Nude is a sensual, seductive, and luminous collection of poetry that draws the reader in with tenderness, vulnerability, and desire. These poems simultaneously satisfy while leaving you with an aching need for more. Ama Codjoe is now officially one of my favorite poets! — Christine


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Heart First into this Ruin_SPR22ARC By Coleman Cover Image
By Coleman
$22.95
ISBN: 9781574232530
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click on the title to see which location!
Published: David R. Godine Publisher - December 21st, 2021

Coleman's collected American Sonnets are a necessary rediscovery within the world of contemporary poetry. Wrenching and beautiful, these are the poems of a poet sharpening her sensibilities through the innovation of this decidedly American form. — Malik


Staff Pick Badge
Alive at the End of the World By Saeed Jones, D. a. Powell (Foreword by) Cover Image
By Saeed Jones, D. a. Powell (Foreword by)
$16.95
ISBN: 9781566896511
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click on the title to see which location!
Published: Coffee House Press - September 13th, 2022

Grief literature rarely brings me so much joy. This book is a release of the last few years, of awakening, of conversations revelatory and difficult, of lyrical sweeps and mourned absences. Jones once again proves his observations of community and character building in poetry are unmatched while giving the reader a much needed release. If you or yours have been going through it, you want this book at your side. — Hannah 


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Partners in Crime: A Novel By Alisha Rai Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780063119468
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click on the title to see which location!
Published: Avon - October 18th, 2022

Partners in Crime is Alisha Rai at her very best! This is an action-packed, swoon worthy second chance romance with humor, heart, and fun. Perfect for fans of The Lost City or Lovebirds; this book is an absolute blast! — Christine


Staff Pick Badge
Queerly Beloved: A Novel By Susie Dumond Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780593243978
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click on the title to see which location!
Published: Dial Press Trade Paperback - May 3rd, 2022

In mid-2010s Oklahoma, Amy is outed and fired from the Christian bakery where she works, leading her to an unintentional new gig as a professional bridesmaid. Mix wedding hijinks, a charmingly grungy queer bar, Amy’s loving friend group, and the cute and intriguing new girl in town, and you have a recipe for a delicious romcom. This is a delightful debut from local author Dumond. — Amy


Staff Pick Badge
You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty: A Novel By Akwaeke Emezi Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781982188702
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click on the title to see which location!
Published: Atria Books - May 24th, 2022

I almost never read romance novels because the threat of cheesy lines and unrealistic pairings gives me the ick. I trusted Emezi to give me real love, real dialogue, and a story only they could tell. What I got was all that and a personal attachment to every character in the story. You might cry, you might laugh, but you won't be able to put it down. — Amani


Staff Pick Badge
A Proposal They Can't Refuse: A Rom-Com Novel By Natalie Caña Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780778386094
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click on the title to see which location!
Published: Mira Books - June 7th, 2022

Kamilah and Liam, two stubborn (and sexy) people with a fraught history going back years, are unexpectedly forced into a fake engagement to protect their neighboring family businesses (her Puerto Rican restaurant and his Irish distillery). This steamy, inter-cultural romance novel has delicious food descriptions, a large and lovable cast of extended family, and incredible long-denied chemistry between the two leads. Best of all, it has the most delightful pair of meddling, matchmaking grandpas. — Amy and Sandie


Staff Pick Badge
Before I Let Go (Skyland) By Kennedy Ryan Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9781538706794
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click on the title to see which location!
Published: Forever - November 15th, 2022

When I read the first page of Before I Let Go, I knew it would be my favorite read of the year. Kennedy Ryan IS romance. She is the highs/lows, the tears/butterflies. Before I Let Go is the perfect second chance love story. You are left thinking about Josiah and Yasmen long after you're finish with the pages. Before I Let Go reminds us why romance will forever reign as the superior genre. — Chardai


Staff Pick Badge
Babel: Or the Necessity of Violence: An Arcane History of the Oxford Translators' Revolution By R. F. Kuang Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780063021426
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click on the title to see which location!
Published: Harper Voyager - August 23rd, 2022

Dark Academia + “burn it all down” vibes w/ a biracial protagonist in early 1800s Oxford. In this standalone fantasy filled with footnotes, silver bars are imbued with magical properties through the art of language translation. Kuang masterfully examines the traumas of colonialism and racism and how language is a tool of power for the British Empire. Babel is angry, ambitious, brilliant, and full of rage. — Christine


Staff Pick Badge
Africa Risen: A New Era of Speculative Fiction By Sheree Renée Thomas, Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki, Zelda Knight Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9781250833006
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click on the title to see which location!
Published: Tordotcom - November 15th, 2022

This mind bending anthology encompassing fantasy, afro-futurism, science fiction and every iteration in between and beyond is a must read. Featuring thirty-two writers you will be so glad to come to know, this anthology brings to American publishing the incredible work happening in African and Afro-diaspora that we have been too long without! It could be robots, goddesses, or miners but the characters and worlds you meet within these pages will stick to your bones forever. — Hannah


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The Monsters We Defy By Leslye Penelope Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780316377911
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click on the title to see which location!
Published: Redhook - August 9th, 2022

In The Monsters We Defy, Leslye Penelope takes us on a magical heist set in 1920s D.C. I can never resist black folk magic and have a strong nostalgia for old Black Hollywood glamour so this was an obvious addition to my TBR. What I didn't expect was a wonderfully crafted world I recognized (who doesn't spend a night or two out on U Street) with a fantastical twist that makes you wonder if we are oblivious to the magic all around us. — Amani


Staff Pick Badge
The Sunbearer Trials (The Sunbearer Duology #1) By Aiden Thomas Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781250822130
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click on the title to see which location!
Published: Feiwel & Friends - September 6th, 2022

Reading The Sunbearer Trials aligned my chakras and left me feeling moisturized, hydrated, and fully replenished. There's lovable characters you want to be best friends with, thrilling action, lots of heart and humor, plus it's super queer and inclusive—The Sunbearer Trials is officially one of my favorite fantasy books ever! — Christine


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One for All: A Novel By Lillie Lainoff Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780374314613
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click on the title to see which location!
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) - March 8th, 2022

I’m contractually obligated to love a badass girl with a sword, and this gender-swapped Three Musketeers retelling has plenty of them! One for All is a gorgeously written, action-packed, emotional page-turner with all my favorite things: a feminist spin on a classic, a fierce and complicated disabled protagonist, and have I mentioned the badass girls with swords yet?? — Amy


Staff Pick Badge
All My Rage: A Novel By Sabaa Tahir Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9780593202340
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click on the title to see which location!
Published: Razorbill - March 1st, 2022

When a beloved author switches genres, you're not sure it's going to work out, but All My Rage proves Sabaa Tahir can write a realistic coming-of-age novel with the same compelling characterization, pacing, and heart as in her best-selling fantasy quartet. Noor and Salahudin's tale of love and loss is heartbreaking and hopeful. A highly personal story, this is a perfect pick for fans of fiery, thought-provoking YA. — Sandie