10 Books We Can’t Wait to Read in March
Like Disney+ and the dollar section at Target, March’s new books have something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for a witty collection of essays about having boobs, a joyous celebration of Black performance or a sweet story of finding love after loss, here are ten new books to add to your Bookshop cart.
1. How Beautiful We Were: A Novel by Imbolo Mbue
Set in the fictional African village of Kosawa, Mbue’s (Behold the Dreamers) latest is about environmental degradation wrought by an American oil company. Told from the perspective of a generation of children and the family of a girl named Thula, who grows up to become a revolutionary, How Beautiful We Were is an exploration of what happens when the reckless drive for profit comes up against one community's determination to hold on to its ancestral land.
2. The Soul of a Woman by Isabel Allende
As a child, Chilean writer Allende (A Long Petal of the Sea) watched her mother, abandoned by her husband, provide for her three small children. Determined to fight for the life her mother couldn't have, Allende became a fierce and defiant little girl, later riding the second wave of feminism as a young woman coming of age in the late 1960s. In this passionate memoir, Allende, now approaching 80, reflects on aging, sex, love and, most notably, her feminism—which began in kindergarten.
3. A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance by Hanif Abdurraqib
Inspired by a speech given by Josephine Baker at the March on Washington in 1963, Abdurraqib has written a profound reflection on how Black performance is woven into the fabric of American culture. Focusing on moments like the 27 seconds in the Rolling Stones’ “Gimme Shelter” in which Merry Clayton screams the words “rape, murder,” and Abdurraqib's own personal history of love, grief and performance, A Little Devil in America is a joyous ode to Black performance throughout history.
4. Sarahland: Stories by Sam Cohen
In America in 2021, you either know someone named Sarah or you’re named Sarah yourself. In this wonderfully weird debut story collection, Cohen explores identity, sexuality and relationships through a series of stories about characters named, you guessed it, Sarah. In one story, a Sarah finds pleasure—and a new set of problems—by playing dead for a wealthy necrophiliac. Another Buffy-loving Sarah uses fan fiction to work through romantic obsession. It’s witty, subversive and a whole lot of fun.
5. Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro
Kazuo Ishiguro is back and better than ever with Klara and the Sun, his first novel since being awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. The book centers on Klara, an Artificial Friend, or humanoid machine, who's a slightly older model than the current production run. In a similar vein as Ishiguro's fantastic Never Let Me Go, hist latest poses questions about what it means to love, and what happens to the people who must be cast aside in order for others to move forward.
6. Dusk, Night, Dawn: On Revival and Courage by Anne Lamott
In this collection of short, incredibly timely essays, Lamott attempts to answer the tough questions that many of us grapple with. Questions about how we can recapture the confidence we once had as we stumble through the dark times that seem increasingly bleak and how we can cope as bad news continues to pile up. Drawing from her own experiences, Lamott shows the intimate and human ways we can adopt to move toward places of light and hope.
7. Float Plan by Trish Doller
In the market for a sweet, funny romance? Ten months after Anna’s fiancé dies, Anna decides to embark on the boat trip they had planned together alone. But after a near collision, she realizes she needs help, hiring the charming sailor Keane. Living and working in in close quarters, Anna and Keane’s relationship changes rapidly, as Anna struggles with her sadness, guilt, and anger over her fiancé’s death and confusion about her mounting feelings for the new person in her life.
8. You're Leaving When?: Adventures in Downward Mobility by Annabelle Gurwitch
Annabelle Gurwitch is an actress, widely celebrated satirist and NPR contributor. Amidst all of those accomplishments, though, she's dealt with downward mobility of the financial and emotional sorts. In these essays, she touches on, among other things, her misadventures in love, economic vulnerability in the gig economy, raising nonbinary children, wellness fads and the mysteries of Zoom. Thoroughly modern and thoroughly entertaining.
9. A History of Scars: A Memoir by Laura Lee
In this moving debut, Lee explores the emotional scars we carry when dealing with mental and physical illnesses. Through stories about mountain climbing, cooking, growing up Korean American and more, Lee explores the legacy of trauma on a young queer child of immigrants.
10. A Boob’s Life: How America’s Obsession Shaped Me–and You by Leslie Lehr
Leslie Lehr boobs have gone from size AA to DDD and everything between, from puberty and motherhood to enhancement and cancer. At turns funny and heartbreaking, A Boob’s Life explores both the joys and hazards of living in a woman's body, as Lehr blends her personal narrative with national history, from the women's liberation movement to the current feminist dialogue.