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9 Book Releases We’re Looking Forward To (And What to Read First)

By Ashly Moore Sheldon • March 13, 2020

Reading Ahead

Whether sparkling debuts or long-awaited sequels, the list of new books coming out in the next few months holds a lot of promise. Here we profile nine titles to look forward to in the next three months. Plus what you can (and should!) pick up while you wait.

April

Afterlife (April 7)

Fans of Julia Alvarez's richly poetic literature have been waiting a long time (almost 15 years!) for her newest novel. Meet Antonia, a woman who has had the rug pulled out from under her. After her husband dies on the day she retires from her job as a college professor, new problems keep piling up. While many might crumple, Antonia rises to the challenge. Described as compelling and cinematic, this book promises to enchant.

What you can read now: In The Time of Butterflies by Julia Alvarez

Godshot (April 7)

The debut novel from Chelsea Bieker is being lauded as a modern-day masterpiece. Lacey May is a fourteen-year-old girl living in a drought-stricken California farming town. She is one of many residents who have fallen under the sway of the charismatic Pastor Vern, a man with some decidedly unwholesome intentions. When her mother disappears and Lacey starts to doubt the pastor's motives, she embarks on an epic exploration of girlhood, faith, and the blood that binds and divides us.

What you can read now: White Oleander by Janet Fitch

Death in Her Hands (April 21)

The ever-provocative Ottessa Moshfegh returns with a genre-bending thriller (of sorts). An elderly woman finds a note in the forest near her home that reads:?Her name was Magda. Nobody will ever know who killed her. It wasn't me. Here is her dead body. But with no body and no clues, the woman is left to invent her own evidence as she tries to solve the mystery. As her obsession grows, the haunting metaphysical suspense builds to a full roar.

What you can read now: Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh

May

Dirt (May 5)

Following his widely acclaimed bestseller about training under the great Mario Batali, Bill Buford's newest food memoir takes place in France as he finagles a job learning the art of French cuisine from great Lyon chef Michel Richard. Having recently become a first-time father to twins, Buford is honing new skills inside and outside the kitchen. An energetic, exquisite writer, he finds the humor and pathos in stories both absurd and transcendent. A tasty treat, indeed!

What you can read now: Heat by Bill Buford

A Children's Bible (May 12)

Lydia Millet's previous novels and short story collections showcase her original voice and resonant style. Her new book depicts a group of teens reluctantly joining their hedonistic parents for a vacation in a New England lakeside mansion. When a violent superstorm hits, the adults party on while the youths abscond out into the chaotic dystopian landscape. Taking on the heady topic of teenage alienation and adult complacency in the face of environmental destruction, this allegorical tale hits a timely chord.

What you can read now: Fight No More: Stories by Lydia Millet

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (May 19)

This new prequel from Suzanne Collins takes place 64 years before the beginning of her blockbuster trilogy. The story opens on the morning of the reaping for the tenth Hunger Games. Need we say more? Didn't think so.

What you can read now: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

June

The Vanishing Half (June 2)

Impressive newcomer Brit Bennett is back with a multigenerational saga about twin sisters living in a small southern black community in the 1950s. After running away from home at the age of 16, their paths diverge sharply. Ten years later, one of them is living back in the town she once fled and raising a young daughter; the other, passing for white and hiding her identity from her husband. Early buzz indicates that Bennett's new novel is every bit as scintillating as her acclaimed debut.

What you can read now: The Mothers by Brit Bennett

Utopia Avenue (June 2)

After a five-year hiatus, bestselling author David Mitchell returns with the saga of "the strangest British band you never heard of." Set in the late 1960s this ambitious 600-page novel is reportedly filled with all the best things—sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll. The central question: "Can we change the world in turbulent times, or does the world change us? Utopia means 'nowhere' but could a shinier world be within grasp, if only we had a map?"

What you can read now: Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

The Lying Life of Adults (June 9)

Like her wildly popular Neapolitan series, Elena Ferrante's newest story is again situated in Naples. Set in the 1990s, the novel's central character is a disenchanted young girl on the cusp of womanhood and the book's first line is a zinger: "Two years before leaving home my father said to my mother that I was very ugly." Early reviews promise that Ferrante fans won't be disappointed.

What you can read now: My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante

These are just a few of the books we are looking forward to in the next couple months. Let us know what you're excited about! Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for daily book recommendations, literary tidbits, and more.

Read more by Ashly Moore Sheldon

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