13 Books We Can't Wait to Read in May

may books hero

From rock climbing and sorority rush to string quartets and growing up in circuses, May’s best new books are far-reaching and oh so fun.

welcome to lagos chibundo onuzo
Cover: Catapult; Background: Twenty20


Welcome to Lagos by Chibundu Onuzo

Reminiscent of the work of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Chinua Achebe, Onuzo’s (The Spider King's Daughter) latest follows a Nigerian army officer who deserts his post and flees to Lagos with a band of ragtag runaways. Buy the book

alternative remedies for loss joanna cantor
Cover: Bloomsbury Publishing; Background: Twenty20


Alternative Remedies for Loss by Joanna Cantor

After the death of her mother, a young woman throws herself into the fast-paced Manhattan media world to escape the loss, and is instead taken on a cross-continental journey to uncover secrets from her mother's past. Buy the book

sorority genevieve sly crane
Cover: Gallery/Scout Press; Background: Twenty20


Sorority by Genevieve Sly Crane

A college co-ed is found dead in her sorority house (was it an accident?) in this coming-of-age story with a murderous twist. Buy the book

what should be wild julia fine
Cover: Harper; Background: Twenty20


What Should Be Wild by Julia Fine

Sixteen-year-old Maisie was born with the power to kill the living or resurrect the dead with her touch. Fine’s fantastical, darkly funny debut follows the teenager as she leaves the sequestered walls of her family home for the first time. Buy the book

the ensemble aja gabel
Cover: Riverhead Books; Background: Twenty20


The Ensemble by Aja Gabel

The Ensemble follows four young friends—members of a string quartet—as they navigate the surprisingly cutthroat world of classical music, growing as adults and performers. Buy the book

retta book cover
Cover: St. Martin's Press; Background: Twenty20


So Close to Being the Sh*t, Y’all Don’t Even Know by Retta

The hilarious star of Parks and Recreation and Good Girls, Retta knows how to get a laugh. Her debut essay collection tackles everything from abandoning her med school plans to stalking the cast of Hamilton. Buy the book

limelight amy poeppel
Cover: Atria; Background: Twenty20


Limelight by Amy Poeppel

Poeppel’s (Small Admissions) latest explores her three passions—NYC, theater and family—through the story of Allison, a woman who moves her family from suburban Dallas to Manhattan, where she finds herself in a weird, celebrity-adjacent world. Buy the book

not that bad roxane gay
Cover: Harper Perennial; Background: Twenty20


Not That Bad by Roxane Gay

Edited and with an introduction by Gay (Hunger), Not That Bad is a timely, necessary anthology of first-person essays about rape, assault and harassment, written by everyone from actress Gabrielle Union to writer Lyz Lenz. Buy the book

motherhood sheila heti
Cover: Henry Holt and Co.; Background: Twenty20


Motherhood by Sheila Heti

From the author of How Should a Person Be?, Motherhood asks what’s gained and what’s lost (physically, mentally and emotionally) when a woman becomes a mother—all with candor and humor. Buy the book

my morning routine book
Cover: Portfolio; Background: Twenty20


My Morning Routine by Benjamin Spall and Michael Xander

Ever wonder how some of the world’s most successful people start their days? Spall and Xander interviewed 64 overachievers (from Olympians to CEOs) to get their secrets and advice. Buy the book

that kind of mother rumaan alam
Cover: Ecco; Background: Twenty20


That Kind of Mother by Rumaan Alam

Confronting race, class and what it means to be a family, Alam’s (Rich and Pretty) new novel is about a posh white woman who adopts her black nanny’s son, and learns the difference between the life we're given and the life we choose.  Buy the book

robin dave itzkoff
Cover: Henry Holt and Co.; Background: Twenty20


Robin by Dave Itzkoff

New York Times culture writer Itzkoff chronicles the life and career of Robin Williams in this first major biography of the beloved—and troubled—comedy icon. Buy the book

end of the rope jan redford
Cover: Counterpoint; Background: Twenty20


End of the Rope by Jan Redford

For fans of Cheryl Strayed, a debut memoir by a Canadian alpinist about learning to rock climb, and figuring out along the way that marriage and motherhood take as much, if not more, bravery than reaching literal peaks. Buy the book

sarah stiefvater

Wellness Director

Sarah Stiefvater is PureWow's Wellness Director. She's been at PureWow for ten years, and in that time has written and edited stories across all categories, but currently focuses...