THE LIBRARY SHELF: Try your luck with something new | Local columnists

There’s something particularly wonderful about opening a book by one of your favorite authors. You are already predisposed to love history.

You know you’re probably going to love the characters (or love to hate them, depending on your gender preference). In short, you can feel good about picking up the book from the shelf you’re about to settle into with something you’ll enjoy.

I certainly have reference authors. William Kent Kruger, Rhys Bowen and Louise Penny take me along with many of my favorite investigators to solve crimes. Rosamund Pilcher, Dorothea Benton Frank or Maeve Binchy can take me somewhere else and warm my heart along the way. Jenny Colgan, Sophie Kinsella and Emily Henry are sure to make me fall in love as their ever endearing characters chart the rocky waters of life. And when I need to catch up with old friends, Jane Austen is there for me.

Sometimes I need to make new friends. While it’s comfortable to turn to old favorites, sometimes I crave something new. Whether I want to broaden my horizons, listen to new voices, check out a hot new book, or just take a gamble, there’s nothing better than picking up a book from a newbie author.

Fortunately for us readers, this past year has produced a bumper crop of fabulous books by new authors. There are plenty of options to choose from right now if you’re looking for something different. Here are some new literary voices to discover:

• ‘The Reading List’ by Sara Nisha Adams: Set in London, this is a feel-good story about the strange friendships that can develop from shared reading.

• “The Push” by Ashley Audrain: half psychological thriller, half deep into the fears of mothers, half family saga, this is an intense and moving book.

• “School for Good Mothers” by Jessamine Chan: A dystopian story set in a time when parents are judged and sent to reformatory or prison if their parenting skills are lacking.

• “Waiting for the Night Song” by Julie Carrick Dalton: Dalton combines childhood memories of running around in the woods with a scientist’s desire to protect the environment, then weaves it all together with a mystery.

• “Greenwich Park” by Katherine Faulkner: This is a slowly building suspense story told from the point of view of three different characters. Do you really know your friends?

• “Department of Rare Books and Special Collections” by Eva Jurczyk: A love story for libraries disguised as a literary mystery.

• “We Are the Brennans” by Tracy Lange: If you think your family is dysfunctional and full of weird characters, read this book – yours will seem much more stable.

• “The Maid” by Nita Prose: a neurodiverse maid discovers a dead man and then finds herself suspected of the crime. This book has wonderful characters.

• Shauna Robinson’s “Must Love Books”: Less of a romantic comedy than the cover and title suggest, but a story of a young woman finding her way through some of life’s most important questions.

• “Dial A for Aunties” by Jesse Q. Sutano: Accidentally killed a blind date and need help getting out of trouble? Call your prying aunts – that’s sure to make things better!

• “The Sweet Taste of Muscadines” by Pamela Terry: Thick by summer in the south, this book deals with family secrets and small town problems, but leaves you with the sweet taste of finally finding your home.

• “Black Cake” by Charmaine Wilkerson: Beautifully written characters and Caribbean traditions come together to make this a gripping family drama.

These books and many more by beginning authors are available at the Stillwater Public Library. Who knows, if you try your luck with one of these new authors, you might find yourself with another old favorite to turn to!