The birds are singing, the bees are buzzing, flowers are starting to bloom. All this can only mean one thing — new books are coming your way! And what better way to welcome the joys of spring publishing than with a spectacular new read. From wickedly hilarious essays to magical realism, high-stakes thrillers, musical memoirs, and an explosive, previously unpublished novel that’s sure to be one of the biggest literary events of the year, here are our picks for the best new books to look out for this April.
Good Company: A Novel
Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney
Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney’s talents are once again on full display; complicated family dynamics and smart, thoughtful characters that draw you in. Immerse yourself in the quirky, unpredictable NYC theater world. While the professional dramas are playing out, of course, the relationship drama takes center stage: Flora, Julian, Margot, and David’s lives are relatable, tragic, and charmed. You will empathize with every decision and sacrifice and won’t be tempted to leave at intermission. Good Company is an engaging story of love, marriage, and friendship — those bonds that equally heal and wound. Fans of The Nest will not be disappointed.
The Man Who Lived Underground
Richard Wright, Malcolm Wright (Afterword)
It’s hard to tell what’s more shocking: The nature of the story when it was written or just how pertinent it is today. Maybe these points are equally so — which means you have a couple of great reasons to delve into this unearthed classic. This explosive, previously unpublished novel from the 1940s by the legendary author of Native Son and Black Boy is sure to be the literary event of the season.
The five-time Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter pens her life story, filled with heart-wrenching drama and amazing fortitude. Carlile’s story takes readers through her impoverished childhood, tough adolescence dealing with her sexuality, being openly gay as a teen, and ultimately finding music to be a salve to her emotional wounds. This is will be one of the biggest music books of the year.
The Drowning Kind
Does the allure of a New England summer retreat with an old hotel and a mysterious cold spring hold any pull? If so, then it’s time to take a dip into the deep end of the pool with The Drowning Kind. The bond of sisters, family dynamics and hidden diaries swirl through this horror novel that will keep you asking, “what’s next?” For those nights you just don’t want to fall asleep.
What Comes After: A Novel
JoAnn Tompkins’ What Comes After is an extraordinary debut literary thriller. In the wake of the devastating and shocking loss of two teenage boys, a community is shrouded in mystery and grief until an unfamiliar teenage girl arrives, changing everything. This is a tender and propulsive story of family — both biological and found — human connection, and forgiveness. A must-read for anyone searching for a mystery with heart.
Northern Spy: A Novel
It takes a special skill to combine a historical political backdrop with personal conflict. This is the stuff of a great novel — to switch between the worlds where our hearts and mind reside daily. Flynn Berry takes us to Northern Ireland with the sweep of her pen into the thrilling tale of two sisters who become entangled with the IRA. “Berry shows a le Carré-like flair for making you wonder what’s really going on at any given moment.”—The Washington Post
Astrid Sees All: A Novel
New York City, 1984: The glittering East Village club scene sets the stage for this irresistible novel around female friendship, sex and what it’s like to be young in search of your identity. Twenty-two-year-old Phoebe Hayes is Astrid the Star Girl, reading movie ticket stubs rather than tarot cards while she grieves the death of her father. “With shades of both Gatsby and Warhol, Standiford has created a vivid portrait of a seedy, edgy, artsy, and seething New York City that will never exist again.” —Elizabeth Gilbert, author of City of Girls
We Are Watching Eliza Bright
Sometimes it takes a work of fiction to dissect the ills of society. A.E. Osworth’s tech world and writing background make this one of the most important cyber-thrillers of the 21st century. “Osworth offers a sharp take on the deeply disturbing misogyny that lurks online as well as a hopeful look at combatting it.”— PW
Gold Diggers: A Novel
How far would you go for the American dream? Sanjena Sathian’s brilliantly original debut follows first-generation Indian immigrant neighbors Neil and Anita as they straddle the line between their ambitions and their parents’ pursuit of the American dream — all with a touch of magic. Anita has her sights set on Harvard and Neil has his sights set on making it through his summer math class and, well, Anita. Neil soon discovers the secret to Anita’s recent successes; it’s pure gold and he wants in. What happens next in this page-turning debut is all at once mystical, tragic, and at times pretty funny.
Broken (in the best possible way)
Jenny Lawson fans rejoice! This new collection of essays on depression and mental health, physical health, family, insurance companies, or shoes that go missing is often raw and hard, but incisive and original. Lawson’s generosity in sharing her darkest moment is matched by an equal capacity to find the absurd, the ridiculous, the sweet and tender, and to serve it up with a deliciously skewering, wicked sense of wry humor.
Hardcover $23.49 | $28.00
Last Chance Texaco: Chronicles of an American Troubadour
Rickie Lee Jones
Two-time Grammy Award-winner Rickie Lee Jones has led an interesting life starting with being a teenage runaway, chasing gigs and having a love affair with Tom Waits. But her life story gave her the fuel to create amazing lyrics. Besides reading about her storied musical career, her somewhat notorious family history could fill a book. Fans will love her tenacity and showmanship, one of the many reasons she’s still just as relevant today.
Crying in H Mart
If you’re not familiar with the name, Michelle Zauner, you may recognize her band, Japanese Breakfast. Zauner is an amazing songwriter, and her writing chops are on full display in this often-wistful memoir describing life as a rebellious youth trying to reconcile her Asian heritage in a very white Eugene, Oregon. Her mom plays a major role in the book and she looms over her in varying degrees during her life especially when she becomes ill. Crying in H Mart is a story of family, food, grief and endurance, and one we can’t stop talking about!
Authentic: A Memoir by the Founder of Vans
Paul Van Doren
Authentics, Old Skools, Sk8-Hi’s, Slip-Ons or Eras? How many smiling memories of life in your Vans, the fun in your footsteps, and that bit of connection to a culture of skaters, surfers, graffiti artists, rockers and “Off the Wall” renegades? All of this for the reasonable price of an excellent shoe, made by people who held fast to what was right and knowing what was wrong. Van Doren’s founding tale of an iconic brand is a delightful mix of biography, advice, business profile and inspiration.
Philip Roth: The Biography
In more than 30 literary works over 50-plus years, Philip Roth captured indelible moments of the American temporal zeitgeist. He was towering, frustrating, charming, divisive, alarming and controversial. Blake Bailey has given us a brilliantly fitting, beautifully crafted and magisterial biography of this big life, this deeply influential writer, good, bad, ugly and sublime.
A riveting reclamation of a previously lost history and testimony to the powerful impact during WWII of Jewish female resistance fighters from the ghettoes of Poland. Battalion’s is a remarkable and keenly important feat of research and historical sleuthing. While Light of Days may read like hair-raising historical fiction, these stories of terrifying bravery at great personal risk are as real, as moving, and inspiring as they get.