7 Books We Can’t Wait to Read in March
What do an indie musician mourning the death of her mother, a young British Pakistani man struggling to maintain his golden child status and Sarah Michelle Geller have in common? We’re glad you asked. All three are at the center of some of March’s most hotly anticipated new books. From a collection of essays on the mainstreaming of lesbian culture to a brain health expert’s tips for being happier, here are seven titles we can’t wait to pick up this month.
1. Good Intentions by Kasim Ali
Nur is young British Pakistani man who has spent years omitting details about his personal life to his parents to maintain his image as the golden child. Now he’s in love with Yasmina, a Black woman, and steeling himself to tell his parents that he's seeing someone new. Jumping between the night Nur and Yasmina meet and the years that follow, Good Intentions tackles the complexities of immigrant families, racial prejudice and a man’s choice between familial obligations and the life he truly wants.
2. Peach Blossom Spring by Melissa Fu
In China in the late 1930s, Meilin and her 4-year-old son Renshu are forced to flee their home with the Japanese army approaching. Decades later, Renshu has settled in America as Henry Dao. Though his daughter is desperate to understand her heritage, he refuses to talk about his childhood. Spanning continents and generations, Peach Blossom Spring is a bold look at the history of modern China, told through the story of one family’s struggles to define what home really means.
3. The Unsinkable Greta James by Jennifer E. Smith
Right after the sudden death of her mother, indie musician Greta James falls apart on stage. The footage quickly goes viral and her career stalls. Months later, Greta reluctantly agrees to accompany her father on the Alaskan cruise her parents had booked to celebrate their 40th anniversary. The trip could be their last chance to heal old wounds, but it will also prove to be a journey of discovery for them both individually, as Greta meets Ben, a charming historian also struggling with a major upheaval in his own life. As the two work to figure out their lives, they find themselves drawn to and relying on each other.
4. Girls Can Kiss Now by Jill Gutowitz
Even before she was writing for publications like The New Yorker and Vanity Fair, writer Gutowitz was enthralled by pop culture. In her debut essay collection, she explores identity, desire and self-worth as they relate to the mainstreaming of lesbian culture. A blend of personal stories, sharp observations and whip-smart humor (like “An Exhaustive Explanation of Everything in Pop Culture That Is Undeniably Lesbian”), this timely collection seeks to help us make sense of our collective pop-culture past even as it points the way toward a very queer future.
5. Into Every Generation a Slayer Is Born: How Buffy Staked Our Hearts by Evan Ross Katz
In this debut, writer and podcaster Katz (whose work can be seen in GQ, New York Magazine and more) explores the cultural impact of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Part oral history, part celebration and part memoir of his own personal fandom, Katz interviewed the show’s cast, creators and crew along with famous fans like Stacey Abrams, Cynthia Erivo and Selma Blair, to explain how shows like Buffy can influence not only how we see the world but how we exist within it.
6. You, Happier: The 7 Neuroscience Secrets of Feeling Good Based on Your Brain Type by Dr. Daniel Amen
We could all stand to be a little happier, no? After studying more than 200,000 brain scans of people from 155 countries, psychiatrist and brain health expert Dr. Amen has zeroed in on seven neuroscience secrets that influence happiness. In You, Happier, he explains these practical, science-based strategies for optimizing your happiness while teaching the reader how to improve your overall brain health to consistently enhance your mood, distance yourself from the “noise” in your head, create happiness strategies based on your personality and more.
7. In the Margins: On the Pleasures of Reading and Writing by Elena Ferrante
In these four, crisp essays, the elusive author of the best-selling “Neapolitan Quartet” offers a rare look at the origins of her literary powers. Expanding on her influences, her struggles and her formation as a reader and a writer, she describes the perils of "bad language" and suggests ways in which it has long excluded women's truth while discussing the work of Emily Dickinson, Gertrude Stein and many others.