April showers bring May flowers, but they also bring the chance to curl up with an excellent new book while you wait for said flowers. Here, five to put on your must-read list.

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april books oxford
Cover: Dey Street Books; Background: Twenty20

“When You Find Out the World Is Against You” by Kelly Oxford

If you’re not already following Kelly Oxford on Twitter, you’re missing out. If you haven’t already read her first collection of essays, Everything Is Perfect When You’re a Liar, you’re definitely missing out. This Canada-born, L.A.-based writer and mom of three speaks candidly and hilariously about everything from stalking her husband when he goes on an accidental date with another man to the time she got into a fight with her parents after almost getting swept up into a tornado.

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april books strout
Cover: Random House; Background: Twenty20

“Anything Is Possible” by Elizabeth Strout

We devoured Strout’s last novel, My Name Is Lucy Barton, and her latest—which is loosely linked to Lucy Barton—is no different. Told from multiple points of view, it’s about residents of a small town in Illinois struggling with the most relatable and quotidian problems in a way that’s so relatable, you’ll swear you know these characters. (In fact, it reminds us a bit of another of Strout’s masterpieces, the excellent Olive Kitteridge.)

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april books miranda
Cover: Simon & Schuster; Background: Twenty20

“The Perfect Stranger” by Megan Miranda

Fans of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train will blow through this new thriller, a follow-up to Miranda’s best-seller All the Missing Girls. Here, a flailing Boston journalist sets out to find her missing friend. The only problem? That friend might not have ever existed at all. Dun dun dunnn.

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april books arimah
Cover: Riverhead Books; Background: Twenty20

“What It Means When a Man Falls From the Sky” by Lesley Nneka Arimah

This long-awaited debut short story collection is all about the ties that bind us, whether it’s from mother to child, husband to wife or lover to friend. Unforgettable characters, unexpected plot lines (a woman longing for a baby makes one out of her hair) and Arimah’s vibrant prose have placed her firmly on our “remember this writer’s name” list.

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april books watts
Cover: Ecco; Background: Twenty20

“No One Is Coming to Save Us” by Stephanie Powell Watts

Billed as an African American version of The Great Gatsby set in modern-day North Carolina, Watts’s latest novel is an example of a reinvented classic that gets it so right. JJ (who goes by Jay now, natch) returns to his hometown with grand plans to build a mansion and win over the beautiful Ava, whom he’s loved since they were kids. It’s honest and heartbreaking and sentimental—yet never cloying.

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