11 New Books to Add to Your Reading List in April
From Greek gods and a modern hero of human rights, to untold histories, unexpected perspectives, and mysteries—of the human mindandcriminal variety—there's something for everyone in April's fresh bloom of new books.
Perhaps the nearest generational heir to Seinfeld's "show about nothing" ideology, beloved humorist and essayist Crosley brings her trademark wit and self-deprecation into a new phase of life. With her latest collection, the late-stage millennial finds herself dealing with the unpleasant realizations of her age—her irritation with a young, carousing neighbor; the questions of fertility and motherhood; and the fallibility of her body—as well as her travels, fights with the man holding her internet domain name hostage, and musings on celebrity inspired by an appearance onGossip Girl.
Look Alive Out Thereby Sloane Crosley, , amazon.com on April 3.
In her debut novel, Castillo takes on the immigrant struggle through the lens of one extended Filipino family. When Hero De Vera arrives in America, a complicated political past trailing behind her, she finds more questions of identity than she does answers. Between caring for her younger cousin and falling in love with makeup artist Rosalyn, Hero must tend with the emotional turmoil of her uncle, a trained surgeon forced to work as a security guard after fleeing political trouble in the Philippines, and her long-suffering aunt, who's shouldered much of the burden of making a life in the U.S. In this complex, nuanced novel, Castillo delves into a reality too often ignored by mainstream America, uncovering universal emotional truths along the way.
America Is Not the Heartby Elaine Castillo, , amazon.com on April 3.
The fraternity of the recovering has a long and storied lineage, with the likes of Raymond Carver, Jean Rhys, and Elizabeth Bishop contributing accounts of their own struggles, spirals, and submissions to addiction. In this moving and brutally honest memoir, Jamison joins their ranks, taking an unflinching look at her own descent into alcoholism—first as a way to cope with shyness in her 20s, and later, to cope with life. Far from saccharine or prosaic, Jamison asks hard questions of herself as well as her contemporaries of the bottle, pondering the relationship between creativity and addiction through her own experiences and those of the great writers in whose steps she follows.
The Recoveringby Leslie Jamison, , amazon.com on April 3.
Life is perfect for college freshman Greer: she's in a relationship with a boy she loves, she's learning and exploring new sides of herself, and she just landed the opportunity of a lifetime—a chance to work with her idol, Faith Frank, an icon of the women's rights movement. But then Greer finds herself questioning whether all these facets of her life can coexist—and what she'd be willing to give up to become the kind of woman she's always dreamed of being.
The Female Persuasionby Meg Wolitzer, , amazon.com on April 3.
As President of Planned Parenthood for more than a decade, Richards has made a name for herself as a champion of women's rights, but the story of how she found her way there is just as inspiring as the work she promotes. Richards' story—born the daughter of Texas's first female governor and a civil rights attorney, meeting her husband through her work with labor unions in New Orleans, and, of course, testifying before Congress in the fateful 2015 hearing that made her a household name—emphasizes that not only are human rights her life's work, but that defending those rights is the work of a lifetime.
Make Troubleby Cecile Richards, , amazon.com on April 3.
Far beyond the typical, this short story collection revolves around characters of color from walks of life less commonly explored in even the most diverse of media. An ASMR Youtube sensation, an enthusiastic cosplayer, prep school mothers, and two young women encountering the question of racial authenticity in the face of skintone prejudice and interracial romance all come vividly to life in the pages of Thompson-Spires's sardonic, incisive debut.
Heads of the Colored PeopleBy Nafissa Thompson-Spires, , amazon.com on April 10.
Circe is the sorceress best known for turning men into pigs in Homer'sThe Odyssey, but this retelling of the Greek myth weaves together the classics to create a portrait of an awkward young woman growing into her own power—both literal and metaphorical—and learning to accept herself. The seemingly ordinary daughter of the sun god Helios, Circe grows up feeling like a disappointment, until first romance reveals there is far more to her than anyone—including herself—ever expected.
Circeby Madeline Miller, , amazon.com on April 10.
Joan Didion, Nora Ephron, Dorothy Parker—incisive, unique, opinionated women are the subject of this nonfiction debut. Though they came from different time periods and flourished in different fields, Dean finds thematic connections between the ten women she profiles, providing education and inspiration for all gutsy gals.
Sharpby Michelle Dean, , amazon.com on April 10.
ThePretty Little Liarsauthor makes her adult fiction debut with this tense, page-turning mystery. After someone tries to murder novelist Eliza, she finds herself embroiled in circumstances that eerily mirror her own fiction, the lines between reality and her own feverish imagination blurring as she struggles to discover who's out to get her before it's too late.
The Elizasby Sara Shepard, , amazon.com on April 17.
Novelist Sittenfeld's first short story collection sharpens its focus on the experience of women in modern America, beginning and ending with two stories featuring the election of Donald Trump. Sittenfeld's richly-written, evocative characters find themselves navigating the unease of social strata, the realities of parenting, and the difficulties of having your most firmly-held beliefs challenged—all written with such intimacy and empathy, you'll think you could bump into one just around the next corner.
You Think It, I’ll Say Itby Curtis Sittenfeld, , amazon.com on April 24.
Pulitzer Prize winner King returns with a new nonfiction story for those craving aSerial-esque fix. The book follows an investigation into the potentially botched commitment of young, developmentally challenged Jesse Daniels for the rape of a wealthy Floridian woman in the 1950s. Spotlighting racial politics in the Jim Crow South, corrupt officials, and a crusading journalist braving violence in her quest for justice, King provides a glimpse into the past that is equal parts enlightening, frustrating, and invariably un-put-downable.
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