Some of the new titles coming out in April seem particularly timely in light of the current national discourse. Here’s our guide to the top 10 most anticipated books scheduled for publication this month.
by Omar El Akkad
A tense, smart dystopian thriller about a second American Civil War. When the North and the South are divided yet again in 2074, Sarat is 6 and living in Louisiana with her family. But when her father is killed, her family is forced into a camp. As the years go by with no resolution, she is influenced by her surroundings and turned into a weapon of war. This is a chilling debut.
by Julie Buntin
A gorgeous, devastating debut about teen friendship, tragedy, and making peace with the past. Cat was 15 when she moved to Michigan and became close friends with her wild neighbor, Marlena. A year later, Marlena dies. Decades later, Cat must confront the ghost of her past and seek forgiveness in order to find peace in her life.
The Redemption of Galen Pike
by Carys Davies
An alderman shares a secret with Queen Victoria. A kindly Quaker spinster’s visits to a condemned prisoner have an unexpected effect on her life. A famous writer makes a new purchase. These stories and more comprise this wildly fantastic collection, a book full of striking prose and imagination.
Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America
by James Forman Jr.
A hard-hitting, important examination of America’s criminal justice system, focusing on the rise of mass incarceration and its disproportionate impact on people of color. A former D.C. public defender, Forman makes his case by telling the stories from all sides, including police officers, politicians, victims and defendants.
Sunshine State: Essays
by Sarah Gerard
The author of the wonderful novel “Binary Star” turns her attentions to the truth with this fabulous collection of essays, which use Florida as the backdrop for her explorations of the economic and environmental issues threatening the country. Building from her own personal experiences, such as her job at a bird sanctuary and a friendship turned sour, this is collection of beautiful, keenly observed stories with a lot of heart.
Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI
by David Grann
A new David Grann book is cause for celebration! This is one of those banana-pants “truth is stranger than fiction” tales: In the 1920s, members of the Osage Indian nation in Oklahoma were the richest people in the world per capita — until someone started murdering them. Not only were the crimes baffling, but several people who dared to investigate the killings were also murdered. So a young J. Edgar Hoover formed a task force specifically to solve the case. Using painstaking research and shocking new evidence, Grann has compiled a page-turning, true-crime masterpiece.
What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky: Stories
by Lesley Nneka Arimah
An excellent new collection of stories revolving around the ties that bind us to each other and to the places we call home. There’s a woman desperate for a baby who weaves a child out of hair, three women who are visited by specters of war, a father struggling to protect his daughter, cousins discovering the common ground in their lives, and more. Arimah is an author to watch.
Imagine Wanting Only This
by Kristen Radtke
Radtke showcases her considerable artistic talent with this graphic memoir, an examination of the ruins of both body and land. “Imagine Wanting Only This” addresses her life after the death of a beloved uncle, an unusual discovery in an abandoned building, and the reality of living with a rare, inherited heart disease. It is a moving book about loss, hope, and the struggle to rise from what came before us and decide what to leave for the world that will come after us.
Double Bind: Women on Ambition
edited by Robin Romm
A necessary collection that explores society’s tendency to label women with ambition as “aggressive” and “unlikable,” with a far-ranging group of essays discussing what is needed to shatter the glass ceiling. Contributors include Roxane Gay, Francine Prose, and Nadia Manzoor.
by Jesse Ruddock
A remarkable, beautiful, and sad novel about a young mother and her fierce love for her son, and the cold, unfriendly town where they reside. Rachel and Tristan live in the sparsest conditions, but she will not accept any help, choosing to keep her son safe from the harsh reality of the world. But, when Tristan is forced to be on his own, he learns just how lonesome and painful life can be. The writing in this book is gorgeous, and the story is gut-wrenching. Perfect for people who like to be destroyed by what they read.