May is going to be a great month! I can already tell, between all the holds I have to pick-up from the library this week, the books I’ve already checked out, this month’s new releases, and upcoming film adaptations….it’s going to be busy! I just hope I can read fast enough for everything I have in the mix.
April was a pretty great month. I especially loved reading Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye, as well as Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel and The Relic Master by Christopher Buckley. It was definitely a month of high-paced thrills and science fiction wonders. But there were also some not so stand out novels, such as The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh. While enjoyable, I think there could have been more to the story or more growth in the characters – it just can’t be compared with my other reads from the month.
I thought this would be a short post, recap on the books I read in April, give my favorite an extra spotlight, show upcoming reads for May, and briefly touch on a few May releases I’m excited for…..but that list has just reached 12…..and I could easily make it even longer. Get your TBR list ready!
Heat & Light by Jennifer Haigh: May 3rd
A once booming coal town in the hills of Pennsylvania could be brought back to life with the discovery of natural gas in their own Marcellus Shale, but between environmental impacts and rising moral dilemmas, will they choose to drill? As a geologist, I can’t wait to read this! Just the mention of the Marcellus is enough to bring out my inner nerd. (448 pages)
Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman: May 3rd
I’m currently reading A Man Called Ove and loving it! Backman’s new novel is very reminiscent of the story, perhaps just switched with a female lead, but even so, I can’t wait to read it. Who can deny a story filled with cranky elders finding new and unexpected friendships? (336 pages)
Zero K by Don Delillo: May 10th
A rich family is secretly investing in a top secret cryogenics experiment, bringing a new meaning to life and death, and our ever-growing abilities to tempt fate. (288 pages)
LaRose by Louise Erdrich: May 10th
This novel is almost impossible to describe in just one sentence – “an emotionally haunting contemporary tale of tragic accident, a demand for justice, and a profound act of atonement with ancient roots in Native American culture.” A heartbreaking tale that might take me a while to actually read – but only because I know it’s going to completely crush me. (384 pages)
The Noise of Time by Julian Barnes: May 10th
Based on the life of Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich, Barnes explores the vision of a relentless artist as he seeks to escape the barriers of society and looming evolution of the Soviet Union. Not quite a novel, but not yet a biography – this is sure to be a fascinating read. (180 pages)
Valiant Ambition by Nathaniel Philbrick: May 10th
Full title is Valiant Ambition: George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Fate of the American Revolution. A new work of non-fiction following the famed commanders of the American Revolution from the wars humble beginnings to Arnold’ shocking attempts at treason. (448 pages)
The Gene: An Intimate History by Siddhartha Mukherjee: May 17th
A new biography on the gene, from its historical origins to recent, ground-breaking discoveries – this should be an interesting read, if not for the narrative style alone. Between the science, Mukherjee interweaves his family’s tragic history of mental illness, doubtlessly the inspiration behind his extensive research. After reading Inheritance by Sharon Moalem, I’ve got the itch to learn more, and this is just the book! (608 pages)
Don’t You Cry by Mary Kubica: May 17th
I am so, so excited for this release! I’m definitely on a mystery/thriller bandwagon, and I can’t wait to see what Kubica has in store for us next. A Chicago woman disappears without a trace leaving her friends investigating a suspicious letter found among her possessions. Meanwhile, a mysterious woman arrives in a small town in Michigan, using her charms to draw in an innocent young coffee shop worker. Could these two women be related? We’ll have to wait to find out! (320 pages)
The Fireman by Joe Hill: May 17th
Yes – another new apocalyptic novel! An unknown epidemic sweeps the world “like a wildfire”, inducing its victims to burst into flames. While the world collapses and terror takes over, a pregnant nurse desperately clings to hope at the first sign of the illness on her skin, a gold fleck. Known as The Fireman, one man has learned to control the fire within him as he avenges the wronged. Can she learn his secrets in time to protect her child? (768 pages)
Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danier: May 24th
A debut novel, Tess is looking to make something of herself, and without any family or money, she moves from the Midwest to experience life in the big city, New York. With a little luck, she lands a job at a high-end restaurant, falling right into the arms of the bad boy bartender. (368 pages)
The City of Mirrors (Passage #3) by Justin Cronin: May 24th
The third and final installment of The Passage series – I really need to finish the first already! After a hundred years of darkness and the fall of The Twelve, humanity’s survivors can finally dare to dream of a life outside of walls, to build a new world. But, not before one last stand, a final fight between darkness and light. (624 pages)
A Hero of France by Alan Furst: May 31st
I can’t help but love all World War II novels, especially when espionage is involved! Dark and suspenseful, Furst captures Paris at the height of the Nazis occupation, but the leader of the French Resistance has returned, gathering support from courageous citizens to make history. (256 pages)
What will you be reading in May? Any releases I should add to my list!?