12 Books We Can’t Wait to Read in April
After a few weeks of social distancing, we’ve started to go a little stir-crazy. Luckily, loads of fabulous new books are on the horizon, featuring cult leaders, missing sisters and the woman who founded Weight Watchers.
1. How Much of These Hills Is Gold by C. Pam Zhang (April 7)
Newly orphaned children of immigrants, Lucy and Sam suddenly find themselves alone in a land that refutes their existence. As they flee from their western mining town, they set off to bury their father in the only way that will set them free from their past. Broadly, the story explores race and the question of where immigrants are allowed to belong. But on a micro level, it’s about the memories that bind and divide families and the desperate search for home.
2. Godshot by Chelsea Bieker (April 7)
In Peaches, California, 14-year-old Lacey May lives with her alcoholic mother in an area that was once an agricultural paradise but is now an environmental disaster. During a disastrous drought, the town’s residents turn to a cult leader, Pastor Vern. Though Lacey has no reason to doubt the pastor, her life soon implodes when her mother is exiled from the community. Abandoned and distraught, Lacey May moves in with her widowed grandmother. As she endures the increasingly appalling acts of men, she goes on a quest to find her mother at all costs.
3. Afterlife by Julia Alvarez (April 7)
Fourteen years after the publication of her last books, Alvarez (In the Time of the Butterflies, How the García Girls Lost Their Accents) is back with a novel about Antonia Vega, a retired professor. As she mourns the passing of her husband and frets over the sudden disappearance of a sister, she befriends an undocumented teenager, who adds another layer to this powerful story about how we live in a broken world without losing faith in one another or ourselves.
4. Strike Me Down by Mindy Mejia (April 7)
Nora is a forensic accountant in Minneapolis. Her firm’s latest client is Strike, an anti-corporate, feminist athletic empire that’s about to host a major kickboxing tournament with $20 million in prize money. But when the prize money goes missing, Nora is hired to find both the thief and the money. The problem is, Nora has a secret connection to Strike that could change the course of the investigation in a shocking—and even deadly—way.
5. Chosen Ones by Veronica Roth (April 7)
In this first adult novel from best-selling YA author Roth (the Divergent series), it’s been a decade since five teenagers saved the human race from an evil villain known as the Dark One. Now they’re no longer teenagers, and the world has all but forgotten their heroism. Not long after a big celebration marking the tenth anniversary of the Dark One’s death, they realize he may not be gone after all, and everything they thought they knew is wrong.
6. Perfect Tunes by Emily Gould (April 14)
In the early 2000s, singer-songwriter Laura moves from Ohio to New York City’s East Village in the hopes of recording her first album. Then, she falls hard for a musician whose star is on the rise. Cut to 15 years later, when Laura’s teenage daughter, Marie, starts asking questions about her father. Though she’s living a stable life in Brooklyn, it looks nothing like the life she expected when she moved to New York, making her reluctant to open up to Marie—and confront what could’ve been.
8. This Is Big: How the Founder of Weight Watchers Changed the World (and Me) by Marisa Meltzer (April 14)
Writer Meltzer (The Cut, The New Yorker, The New York Times) went on her first diet at 5 years old. Nearly 40 years later, she came across an obituary for Jean Nidetch, the housewife who founded Weight Watchers in 1963. She goes on to weave Jean’s path as a weight-loss maven with her own journey through Weight Watchers, along the way examining each woman’s decades-long efforts to lose weight and keep it off.
9. Dancing at the Pity Party by Tyler Feder (April 14)
From her mother's first oncology appointment to her funeral and what follows, Feder’s graphic memoir is about making sense of life as a motherless daughter. She shares deeply candid anecdotes about important post-death firsts and the difficulty of ending old traditions and starting new ones. Touching and sweetly humorous, Dancing at the Pity Party is for anyone struggling with loss who just wants someone to get it.
10. Why Fish Don't Exist by Lulu Miller (April 14)
Lulu Miller is a Peabody Award–winning journalist and cofounder of NPR’s beloved science podcast Invisibilia. Her nonfiction debut is the strange tale of 19th-century scientist David Starr Jordan, who made it his life’s work to discover and catalog as many of the world’s fish as he could. Decade by decade, he built one of the most important specimen collections in history. Then the 1906 San Francisco earthquake hit, sending more than a thousand of his fish, housed in glass jars, plummeting to the floor and shattering his life’s work. Miller digs into this obscure moment in science history while exploring the nature of persistence and of life’s purpose.
11. If I Had Your Face by Frances Cha (April 21)
Set in contemporary Seoul, Korea, Cha’s debut novel is about four young women: Kyuri is a beautiful woman working in an exclusive underground bar where she entertains businessmen; Miho is a talented artist who grew up in an orphanage but won a scholarship to study art in New York; Ara is a hairstylist obsessed with a boy-band pop star; and Wonna is a newlywed trying to have a baby.
12. There I Am: The Journey from Hopelessness to Healing—a Memoir by Ruthie Lindsey (April 21)
When she was 17 years old, Ruthie Lindsey was hit by an ambulance near her home in rural Louisiana and given a 5 percent chance of survival. Somehow, she defies the odds, leaving the hospital on her own two feet. A few years later, newly married and living in Nashville, she begins to experience debilitating pain, eventually becoming dependent on prescription painkillers. As her life begins to unravel, she returns home to Louisiana and sets out on a journey to heal her mind, body and soul.
13. The Moment of Tenderness by Madeleine L'Engle (April 21)
Published 13 years after A Wrinkle in Time author L’Engle’s death, this powerful collection of short stories is inspired by her early life and career, from her lonely childhood in New York to her life as a mother in small-town Connecticut. In a selection of 18 stories (some of which have never been published), we see how L'Engle's personal experiences and abiding faith informed the creation of her many cherished works.