You guys, April is going to be a good month as far as books goes. As in, I think I have more books listed for this new releases April 2018-episode, than I have had for any before. Like, any. Even if I’ve only had like 7, 8 (?) posts featuring New Releases? This stuff is good!
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1. Leah on the offbeat, Becky Albertalli
Leah Burke—girl-band drummer, master of deadpan, and Simon Spier’s best friend from the award-winning Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda—takes center stage in this novel of first love and senior-year angst.
When it comes to drumming, Leah Burke is usually on beat—but real life isn’t always so rhythmic. An anomaly in her friend group, she’s the only child of a young, single mom, and her life is decidedly less privileged. She loves to draw but is too self-conscious to show it. And even though her mom knows she’s bisexual, she hasn’t mustered the courage to tell her friends—not even her openly gay BFF, Simon.
So Leah really doesn’t know what to do when her rock-solid friend group starts to fracture in unexpected ways. With prom and college on the horizon, tensions are running high. It’s hard for Leah to strike the right note while the people she loves are fighting—especially when she realizes she might love one of them more than she ever intended.
Now, I’m aware that I should probably read Love, Simon before I get to this one. Or at the very least go see the movie. And I promise, I am planning to! It’s just that I’ve heard so many thing about that first book, that I’m basically preparing myself to just want to read the next one right away. So what better moment to do so, than when they’re both out? Right?
2. I have lost my way, Gayle Forman
Around the time that Freya loses her voice while recording her debut album, Harun is making plans to run away from everyone he has ever loved, and Nathaniel is arriving in New York City with a backpack, a desperate plan, and nothing left to lose. When a fateful accident draws these three strangers together, their secrets start to unravel as they begin to understand that the way out of their own loss might just lie in helping the others out of theirs.
I’m aware that this one also has a publicatioon date for March, but somehow I didn’t really come across it when I made this overview last month. And I really am looking forward to this new release. So I figured I might as well just add it in here, right? As per the usual, for Gayle Forman, there’s drama, there’s music and – if the author stays true to form? There’s compelling writing that takes you right along through the story. And there’s a whole lot of that I’m wanting to read!
3. Other People’s Houses, Abbi Waxman
As the longtime local carpool mom, Frances Bloom is sometimes an unwilling witness to her neighbors’ private lives. She knows her cousin is hiding her desire for another baby from her spouse, Bill Horton’s wife is mysteriously missing, and now this…
After the shock of seeing Anne Porter in all her extramarital glory, Frances vows to stay in her own lane. But that’s a notion easier said than done when Anne’s husband throws her out a couple of days later. The repercussions of the affair reverberate through the four carpool families–and Frances finds herself navigating a moral minefield that could make or break a marriage.
This book sounds unlike anything I’ve ever read before. Undoubtedly, that’s more to do with what I’ve read before than with anything else, but still. The story sounds interesting, the possibilities endless – and why not expand my reading-field a bit, right?
4. The Home for Unwanted Girls, Joanna Goodman
Philomena meets The Orphan Train in this suspenseful, provocative novel filled with love, secrets, and deceit—the story of a young unwed mother who is forcibly separated from her daughter at birth and the lengths to which they go to find each other.
In 1950s Quebec, French and English tolerate each other with precarious civility—much like Maggie Hughes’ parents. Maggie’s English-speaking father has ambitions for his daughter that don’t include marriage to the poor French boy on the next farm over. But Maggie’s heart is captured by Gabriel Phénix. When she becomes pregnant at fifteen, her parents force her to give baby Elodie up for adoption and get her life ‘back on track’.
Elodie is raised in Quebec’s impoverished orphanage system. It’s a precarious enough existence that takes a tragic turn when Elodie, along with thousands of other orphans in Quebec, is declared mentally ill as the result of a new law that provides more funding to psychiatric hospitals than to orphanages. Bright and determined, Elodie withstands abysmal treatment at the nuns’ hands, finally earning her freedom at seventeen, when she is thrust into an alien, often unnerving world.
Maggie, married to a businessman eager to start a family, cannot forget the daughter she was forced to abandon, and a chance reconnection with Gabriel spurs a wrenching choice. As time passes, the stories of Maggie and Elodie intertwine but never touch, until Maggie realizes she must take what she wants from life and go in search of her long-lost daughter, finally reclaiming the truth that has been denied them both.
Again, this is quite unlike any book I’ve ever read. But I quite like that, you now? I got sucked into a whole reading about the children’s home in Ireland a while back. The stories are absolutely horrible. But it got me curious, you know? What other kind of stories are out there? And the fact that this one is inspired by true events? Just makes it that much more interesting!
5. The rules do not apply a Memoir; Ariel Levy
When thirty-eight-year-old New Yorker writer Ariel Levy left for a reporting trip to Mongolia in 2012, she was pregnant, married, financially secure, and successful on her own terms. A month later, none of that was true.
Levy picks you up and hurls you through the story of how she built an unconventional life and then watched it fall apart with astonishing speed. Like much of her generation, she was raised to resist traditional rules–about work, about love, and about womanhood.
“I wanted what we all want: everything. We want a mate who feels like family and a lover who is exotic, surprising. To be youthful adventurers and middle-aged mothers. We want intimacy and autonomy, safety and stimulation, reassurance and novelty, coziness and thrills. But we can’t have it all.”
In this memoir, Levy chronicles the adventure and heartbreak of being “a woman who is free to do whatever she chooses.” Her own story of resilience becomes an unforgettable portrait of the shifting forces in our culture, of what has changed–and of what is eternal.
I mean, I don’t know quite what’s going on with me, right now. None of these books seem to be the kind of books I would normally like reading. Like, at all. Yet this story, again, speaks to me somehow. And considering I was trying to read more true stories and history? This sounds rather perfect!
6. The Best We Could Do: an illustrated memoir; Thi Bui
Now in paperback, Thi Bui’s critically acclaimed and beautifully illustrated story of her family’s journey from their war-torn home in Vietnam to their new lives in America. Exploring the anguish of immigration and the lasting effects that displacement has on a child and family, Bui documents the difficulties immigrants face as they build new lives for themselves. At the heart of Bui’s story is a universal struggle: adjusting to life as a first-time mother. With haunting, poetic writing and breathtaking art, The Best We Could Do examines the strength of family, the importance of identity, and the meaning of home, providing inspiration to all who search for a better future while longing for a simpler past.
Again, this one technically already had its publication date in March. But the paperback is coming out for the first time in April, so surely that counts? Also, I’ve been trying to read more diverse for years but keep getting side tracked (and yes, I’m aware how incredibly privileged that sounds, but I’m trying). So this really does sound like the perfect work to (hopefully) get me back on track with that?
7. A Lady’s Guide to Selling Out, Sally Franson
Casey Pendergast is losing her way. Once a book-loving English major, Casey lands a job at a top ad agency that highly values her ability to tell a good story. Her best friend thinks she’s a sellout, but Casey tells herself that she’s just paying the bills—and she can’t help that she has champagne taste.
When her hard-to-please boss assigns her to a top-secret campaign that pairs literary authors with corporations hungry for upmarket cachet, Casey is both excited and skeptical. But as she crisscrosses America, wooing her former idols, she’s shocked at how quickly they compromise their integrity: A short-story writer leaves academia to craft campaigns for a plus-size clothing chain, a reclusive nature writer signs away her life’s work to a manufacturer of granola bars.
When she falls in love with one of her authors, Casey can no longer ignore her own nagging doubts about the human cost of her success. By the time the year’s biggest book festival rolls around in Las Vegas, it will take every ounce of Casey’s moxie to undo the damage—and, hopefully, save her own soul.
Told in an unforgettable voice, with razor-sharp observations about everything from feminism to pop culture to social media, A Lady’s Guide to Selling Out is the story of a young woman untangling the contradictions of our era and trying to escape the rat race—by any means necessary.
Now, the description of the narrative style on its own could have made me interested in reading this book. But, again, the story doesn’t sound too shabby either, right? 🙂
8. Sharp: The Women Who Made an Art of Having an Opinion, Michelle Dean
Dorothy Parker, Rebecca West, Hannah Arendt, Mary McCarthy, Susan Sontag, Pauline Kael, Joan Didion, Nora Ephron, Renata Adler, and Janet Malcolm—these brilliant women are the central figures of Sharp. Their lives intertwine as they cut through the cultural and intellectual history of America in the twentieth century, arguing as fervently with each other as they did with the sexist attitudes of the men who often undervalued their work as critics and essayists. These women are united by what Dean terms as “sharpness,” the ability to cut to the quick with precision of thought and wit, a claiming of power through writing rather than position.
Sharp is a vibrant and rich depiction of the intellectual beau monde of twentieth-century New York, where gossip-filled parties at night gave out to literary slanging-matches in the pages of the Partisan Review or the New York Review of Books as well as a considered portrayal of how these women came to be so influential in a climate where women were treated with derision by the critical establishment.
Mixing biography, literary criticism, and cultural history, Sharp is an enthralling exploration of how a group of brilliant women became central figures in the world of letters despite the many obstacles facing them, a testament to how anyone not in a position of power can claim the mantle of writer and, perhaps, help change the world.
Another one that cold probably count towards reading more non-fiction and more diverse. But mainly: another one that sounds incredibly interesting. Doesn’t it? 🙂
And there you have it, that’s the new releases I’m most looking forward to for April! Did I miss any? DO you have any other new releases I should check out? Be sure to let me know below!