Spring is officially here, even if the weather hasn’t caught up yet. And even though it’s the season of cleaning and organizing, we like to take a few breaks to enjoy a book or twenty. From romances to memoirs to thrillers, we have a list of books releasing in time for a spring picnic.
The Survivalists by Kashana Cauley
An often ridiculed and misunderstood sect of society is humanized in a way unseen before. The protagonist, a single-minded successful lawyer, develops a relationship with a coffee entrepreneur who lives with doomsday preppers. Funny, enlightening, and curious, this novel will have your mind reeling with information and your belly hurting from laughter.
“A great and engrossing read, Kashana humanizes a way of life that is often made fun of and makes the reader understand why someone would go to such great lengths to prepare for the future, so much so she almost sold me on those Life Preserver soy bars!”—Trevor Noah
Central Places by Delia Cai
One week at home: have to fiance meet the immigrant parents, reminisce about the small town and people she grew up with, then get on with the life she’s worked hard for. Seems simple enough. Cai explores sensitive topics of interracial relationships, the small-town dynamic between the predominantly white community and people of color, and the harsh realities of a mother who expects the best and slights the protagonist at every turn. A novel about coming to terms with one’s future and one’s past in comedic and emotionally fraught prose.
“A meet-the-parents comedy of manners! A town-mouse-country-mouse premise! A well-observed study of a provincial Manhattanite! Central Places has it all. It brims with charm, zippy observations, and the troublesome task of squaring who you are with who you were and who you want to be.”—Bustle
The Last Tale of the Flower Bride by Roshani Chokshi
A magical tale about marriage and secrets, this novel has all the hallmarks of a fantastic fairy tale. The romance will keep you invested in the dynamics of what was a HEA relationship as the mystery of Indigo’s familial home and past keeps you clinging to the edge of your seat. Prepare for a dark romantic fairytale, unlike anything you’re familiar with.
“Chokshi’s tale is as sweet as a piece of fairy fruit, and just as wicked. Every bite is velvet, every swallow is gold, and the taste lingers like a fever dream.”— V. E. Schwab, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue
Black Candle Women by Diane Marie Brown
If you love Practical Magic, you will fall head over heels for Brown’s debut novel. Generational curses, familial secrets, and richly imagined magic are fleshed out in beautiful prose. Dive in to see how one woman’s quest for love shatters years of secrets and heartache that started with the family matriarch.
“Black Candle Women is a bold and tender story about three generations of women each attempting to find their way amidst the gifts and curses they’ve inherited. This novel is a wondrous celebration of womanhood.”—Cleyvis Natera, author of Neruda on the Park
Things We Hide From the Light by Lucy Score
Score returns to Knockemout, VA, in the sequel to her Contemporary Romance Things We Never Got Over. Packed with steamy romance, hard-hitting truths, and comedic writing that will bring tears to your eyes, this romance checks all the boxes.
“I love the quirks, charm, and uniqueness of small-town Knockemout, and the geriatric neighbor, Mrs. Tweedy, is pure comic gold. She’s freaking brilliant and stole most every scene she was in.”—Book Addict Book Blog
You Could Make This Place Beautiful by Maggie Smith
A memoir with deeply impactful life lessons, Smith lays her life bare in this poignant non-fiction. Smith teaches the reader what it’s like to find one’s self in middle age. She explains the journey she took after divorce, not only of recovery after a heartbreak but of finding the power to continually grow and rebuild.
“The bestselling poet and author of the “powerful” (People) and “luminous” (Newsweek) Keep Moving offers a lush and heartrending memoir exploring coming of age in your middle age.”—Atria/One Signal Publishers
Hit Parade of Tears by Isumi Suzuki
Sci-fi and Fantasy fans will be thrilled with this collection of 11 short stories that take what they’re accustomed to and distort it with great imagination. For lovers of Suzuki’s work, even decades after her death, prepare for this compilation of chaotic and comedic stories. Suzuki’s work has been brilliantly translated for English-speaking readers.
“[Suzuki] has produced stories that delight in weaving the uncanny into everyday experiences. The stories are edgy and comic, taking a sharp, sardonic scalpel to male privilege in Japanese society … a singular voice in Japanese literature.”—Michael Cronin, Irish Times
Before We Were Innocent by Ella Berman
Friendship, loss, and a tragic decades-long secret are exposed in this thriller when two women are thrust into a murder investigation eerily similar to the one they lost their friend in. This tale delves into the topics of how events from adolescence haunt one’s adult life and the bonds that unite through the intervening years.
“This tale of how the emotional bonds forged in youth can define people’s lives long afterward will resonate with many.”—Publishers Weekly
Sizzle Reel by Carlyn Greenwald
This queer romance is sure to have you devouring it in one sitting. Greenwald’s authentic tale is an engaging read about coming out, friendship, and first loves. Set in Hollywood, a cinematographer is determined to make it in the industry while figuring out who she is and how to navigate her own sexuality.
“Greenwald’s coming-of-age romance is as charming and witty as it is tender, relatable, and poignant. LA and the high-stress world of the entertainment industry sizzles on the page. Greenwald affirms, with gentleness and care, the experience of grappling with sexuality and coming out later in life. This book is sexy, sweet, and full of love; for ourselves, for queerness, for found family, and for the one person your heart belongs to.”—Ruby Barrett, author of The Romance Recipe
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