It’s spring! What better time to restock your bookshelves with some great new releases? Okay… we know you don’t really need an excuse to do that, but this season is offering a particularly promising new batch of titles! We’ve rounded them up to bring you BRMW’s Ultimate Spring Reading List: whatever your go-to genre, you’ll find your next great read here. Enjoy!
Anything is Possible – Elizabeth Strout
Strout is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Olive Kitteridge and My Name is Lucy Barton, and this, her latest offering, is already generating heaps of praise from critics. Billed as a psychological thriller, it is described as exploring “the whole range of human emotion through the intimate dramas of people struggling to understand themselves and others”. It will be available from 25 April 2017.
Exit West – Mohsin Hamid
The opening line of Exit West sets the stage: “In a city swollen by refugees but still mostly at peace, or at least not yet openly at war, a young man met a young woman in a classroom and did not speak to her.” Part love story, part social commentary,
Part love story, part social commentary, Exit West is as courageous as it is timely: soon after its release in March 2017, The New York Times Book Review declared that “It was as if Hamid knew what was going to happen to America and the world, and gave us a road map to our future”.
The Idiot – Elif Batuman
The Idiot has been generating a lot of buzz since its release in mid-March: it’s been described as a smart, hilarious and utterly heartbreaking anti-Bildungsroman. It tells the story of Selin, the daughter of Turkish immigrants, who arrives for her freshman year at Harvard brimming with expectations and ready to take anything on. The novel is set in 1995 and harkens back to an era when technology was still a novelty.
Crime / Thriller
Good Me, Bad Me – Ali Land
Milly is starting over: she’s moved in with a foster family, has started at a new school and is trying to make friends. What most people don’t know is that Milly is the daughter of an infamous child serial killer… and she’s harbouring a few dark secrets of her own.
This book was thrust into my hands by a very enthusiastic bookshop owner, who I later cursed in the wee hours of the night when I wasn’t able to put it down. This is Land’s debut novel, published in January this year.
Right Behind You – Lisa Gardner
This latest instalment in the Pierce Quincy/Rainie Conner “FBI Profiler” series was eagerly anticipated by fans and has not disappointed. Right Behind You is the story of Sharlah, their foster daughter (a popular theme at the moment, it appears), whose older brother seems to have embarked on a killing spree – but, naturally, the truth is a little more complicated than it seems…
Into the Water – Paula Hawkins
Yet another orphaned girl features as the protagonist of Paula Hawkins’s forthcoming novel, Into the Water, due for release in May 2017. Hawkins garnered massive attention from the publication of her first novel, The Girl on the Train, which has sold over 18 million copies and was adapted to film last year. This is her second novel, a story of murder and secrets that
This is her second novel, a story of murder and secrets that are teased by the warning: “Beware a calm surface—you never know what lies beneath.”
I Liked My Life – Abby Fabiaschi
Fabiaschi’s debut novel, released in January 2017, has been hailed as “heartbreaking and ultimately heartwarming”. It tells the story of Maddy, a seemingly content wife and mother who inexplicably commits suicide, leaving her friends and family devastated.
But Maddy isn’t ready to let go just yet – she watches her family from beyond, as they try to solve the mystery of why she left them.
The Duchess – Danielle Steel
With a career spanning more than four decades and dozens of novels to her name, Danielle Steel hardly needs an introduction. Her latest novel, The Duchess, is a historical family saga set in nineteenth-century England, and tells the tale of “a high-born young woman [who] is forced out into the world—and begins a journey of survival, sensuality, and long-sought justice.”
Sounds like juicy holiday reading! The Duchess will be released in June 2017.
All Grown Up – Jami Attenberg
At 39, Andrea Bern is unapologetically single, childfree and living life on her own terms – although she’s not always sure what those terms are. Released in March 2017, All Grown Up tells the story of Andrea and those closest to her in honest and often hilarious episodes, and the outcome is not what you might expect.
A definite “must-read” if you had no patience for Bridget Jones and her romantic foibles.
Sci-Fi / Fantasy
Norse Mythology – Neil Gaiman
If you’re a loyal Gaiman fan, no doubt you have devoured his latest offering already; but if you’re new to the author (or even the genre!) then Norse Mythology is a great place to start. Gaiman has always drawn inspiration from ancient mythology for his fiction, and in this novel, he crafts these ancient strands of folklore into a compelling new narrative.
The Trials of Apollo Book 2: The Dark Prophecy – Rick Riordan
This eagerly-anticipated second instalment in the Trials of Apollo series is due for release in May 2017. It continues with the story of the god Apollo, who has angered his father Zeus and, as punishment, been sent back to earth as a geeky, acne-spotted teenager. I see a big screen adaptation in his future…
The Collapsing Empire – John Scalzi
When human colonies throughout the universe are threatened by a change in the laws of physics, it’s up to three individuals to save the entire race. Described as Game of Thrones in space, Scalzi’s latest offering has just hit the market to enthusiastic reviews.
It’s the first book of a new series dubbed The Interdependency, setting the stage for an epic interstellar battle and marking a strong return to the space opera genre for the author.
Anne Boleyn: A King’s Obsession – Alison Weir
It’s not often that an established and respected historian makes the switch to successful novelist, but that’s just what Alison Weir has achieved. Perhaps best known for the acclaimed biography The Six Wives of Henry VIII (1991), Weir released the first of her Six Tudor Queens fiction series, Katherine of Aragon: The True Queen, in 2016.
Its highly anticipated sequel, Anne Boleyn: A King’s Obsession is due for release in May 2017. While you wait, you can catch up on the e-short she released in March this year, The Blackened Heart, a companion novella which bridges the first two novels in the series.
Before We Were Yours – Lisa Wingate
Set in Memphis in 1939, Before We Were Yours tells the story of Rill, a twelve-year-old girl who fights to keep her four younger siblings together as a family when they are separated from their parents and forced into an orphanage.
This novel is being promoted as a “must-read” for fans of Orphan Train and The Nightingale and is due for release in June 2017.
In Farleigh Field – Rhys Bowen
This World War II epic is described as “a sweeping and riveting saga of class, family, love, and betrayal” – everything we love about British aristocracy drama! MI5 operative Ben Cresswell is tasked with investigating whether a soldier found dead in the sprawling grounds of Farleigh Field, the ancestral home of Lord Westerham and his five daughters, was a German spy.
Naturally, he discovers the Westerham family has secrets of their own. If you’re still suffering from Downton Abbey withdrawals, this one is for you.
Born A Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood – Trevor Noah
In case you’ve been living under a rock this past year or so (and, to be fair, I wouldn’t blame you if you have), Trevor Noah is the host of The Daily Show, having filled the very big shoes of Jon Stewart after his departure in 2015. In this, his first book, he shares his experiences of growing up in late-apartheid South Africa; as the product of an illegal interracial relationship, he was quite literally born a crime.
Noah’s very particular brand of perceptive, close-to-the-bone humour translates well to the page, and I have it on good authority that the audiobook version – read by Noah himself – is brilliant. Born a Crime was published in November 2016 and has already spent several months on The New York Times Bestseller List.
On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century – Timothy Snyder
I’m not going to get all political now, but this is a fascinating – and very timely – “how to” guide on resisting tyranny in the modern world. Snyder draws on the age-old philosophy of learning from past mistakes in this short, yet bold assessment of the current global political landscape. Published in February 2017, it’s currently holding firm on The New York Times Bestseller List.
Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls – Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo
As the mother of a little girl, I succumbed to paroxysms of delight when I discovered this book: a collection of gorgeously illustrated bedtime stories that feature real-life girl-superheroes. From the Bronte sisters to Coco Chanel and Malala Yousafzai, this inspiring collection of stories introduces children and adults alike to some of the most remarkable women in our shared global history.
This should be required reading for – well, everyone, actually! Check out the incredible Kickstarter journey that brought us this book here: https://www.rebelgirls.co/
2 thoughts on “The Ultimate Spring Reading List”
The Trials of Apollo: The Dark Prophecy is an incredible book, just finished reading it last night. It is definitely worth a read.
A book not mentioned is Cassandra Clare’s book, The Lord of Shadows which is the second book in her new series The Dark Artifices. It is an extraordinary read!