What have you been reading this spring? I’ve been reading a ton of NEW spring releases these past months, and I wanted to take this opportunity to share a smattering with you now, before the Summer Reading Guide releases later this month.
Today’s list includes late winter and spring releases I loved but that you won’t see in the pages of the Summer Reading Guide, and I didn’t want to wait any longer to share them with you. This list encompasses a wide variety of genres and topics that I enjoyed in print, ebook, or on audio.
What new winter and spring releases have you enjoyed lately? Tell us all about them in comments; you know we’d love to hear.
The untold story of the Titanic of the South, and a poignant exploration of how survivors across centuries cope in the aftermath of tragedy. When Savannah art professor Everly Winthrop signs on to curate a museum collection dedicated to the 1838 sinking of the steamship Pulaski, she’s consumed by the mysteries surrounding the exploded ship and its passengers. As she examines freshly unearthed artifacts from the shipwreck, she’s forced to confront her role in a painful loss of her own. Both past and present storylines probe how those who physically survive a disaster still may emotionally survive the aftermath. Don’t miss the author’s note. (Content warning for death of a loved one and intimate partner abuse.) More info →
A multi-layered story about a quirky librarian struggling with social functioning, in the vein of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine. Fern and Rose are twins, but they couldn’t be more different. Fern has sensory processing disorder, but she thrives at the library where order reigns supreme. Ever the sensible one, Rose assumes a caretaker role with her sister. Feeling indebted to her sister, Fern makes a grand gesture to repay Rose—and it changes the relationship between the sisters forever. When this complicated family story takes a turn into psychological drama you’ll be left wondering, who is the good sister? More info →
I read this YA novel at the suggestion of our What Should I Read Next patrons who called it a YA hidden gem. This story is set in the world of books and reading, with book festivals, literary fandoms, and bookstores featuring heavily in the plot. Not long after her best friend Jenna dies in a tragic accident, Amelia receives a very special book in the mail, sent by way of her local bookstore. It's a limited edition title that technically shouldn't exist, and, hopeful that her friend is sending her a secret message, Amelia abandons Texas for small-town Michigan, where she's determined to find the answers she's convinced Jenna wanted her to find. Part mystery, part love story, and wholehearted tribute to the reading life and the books that change our lives. More info →
In her newest historical novel, set in WWII Britain, where England's pressing needs unite three unlikely women in a common cause: breaking codes at Bletchley Park. Well-to-do Osla is a society girl, often accused of having more beauty than brains. Determined Mab grew up poor in London's east end, and seeks a better life for herself and her young sister. And miserable Beth, doormat daughter to the overbearing mother who billets Bletchley Park girls to help the war effort. This book grabbed me from the opening pages, but I'll admit I began turning them faster when we veered into spy thriller territory. Solidly entertaining—I especially enjoyed the story on audio, as narrated by Saskia Maarleveld—though The Huntress remains my favorite Quinn novel. More info →
I adored this short story collection which featured a host of eccentric characters navigating tricky family relationships. I found myself longing to spend more time with nearly every character, and in one sense, I got my wish: the spine that holds these dozen stories together is those featuring Jack and Sadie, whom we visit at different points in their relationship throughout the book. Reading this felt like an emotional roller coaster; McCracken left me breathless as her characters' thoughts and actions elicited giggles and then gasps, often not just in the same story but on the same page. Her style feels deceptively light, as this book goes to hard places, examining depression, suicide, aging, and a host of terrible things happening to children. Yet I didn't want to put it down. Would you believe this is the first of her work I've read? Feel free to tell me which of her works I should read next in comments. More info →
In this beautifully written debut, which begins in 1970s Vietnam, a woman flees Saigon with her sons to to escape the encroaching Communist regime. She can't understand how her husband was left behind—he was ready to board the escape boat with his family, but she must make her way to New Orleans without him. Over the years, her countless letters go unanswered, but she longs for her sons to have a father again, and wonders how much their struggles would be eased were he present. The story unfolds over the course of thirty years: we see those boys grow up and wrestle with identity, family, and their pervasive sense of otherness. Those reading with a literary lens will enjoy noting the ways Nguyen plays with the water motif in this perceptive character study. Similar in tone to Ocean Vuong's On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous; if you enjoyed the one, you'll like the other. More info →
I've come to love novels in verse on audio, and especially enjoyed listening to the author narrate her own free verse poems. Skyy is used to feeling invisible to those around her, often disappearing into the shadow of her beautiful best friend Lay Li. Skyy feels most like herself on the basketball court, where she's free to be unapologetic about who she is and what she wants. After a big fight with Lay Li, Skyy finally gathers the courage to examine the nature of their toxic relationship, and reflect on who she really is, and who she wants to become. Browne's verses engage all the senses, vividly portraying Skyy's neighborhood, her inner turmoil, and finally, her growing sense of self-worth. More info →
With winning characters, a multigenerational found family, and a fun Chicago setting, this romance is going to make a whole lot of readers happy. Will and Nora live two floors apart from each other, where late night balcony chats bring them closer together—and their clashing plans for the building spark a surprising rivalry. I expected an absorbing plot and engaging characters from the returning SRG author’s Romeo and Juliet-inspired second-chance love story; I did not expect it to get me right in the feels. Heads up for several open door scenes. More info →
What are your favorite books from the spring season? Share your new or backlist recommendations in the comments.