Spring is here! Book clubs are probably moving their gatherings from the toasty shelter of their homes to their sun-soaked patios. Whether or not blooming flowers and warm weather have made it to your backyard, we’re bringing spring directly to your book club. We’ve got some mystery, historical fiction, coming-of-age tales, and even a retelling of one of our favorite classics. There are plenty of good books to talk about.
Tayari Jones’s buzzworthy novel AN AMERICAN MARRIAGE is Oprah’s latest book club pick—and if that doesn’t move you to put this on your spring TBR, the timely plot certainly will. Celestial and Roy’s perfect marriage is ripped apart when Roy is arrested for a crime Celestial knows he didn’t commit. After five years, Roy’s conviction is suddenly overturned, and he returns to Atlanta ready to resume their life together. But is Celestial? AN AMERICAN MARRIAGE is a masterpiece of storytelling, an intimate look deep into the souls of people who must reckon with the past while moving forward. If it’s perfect for Oprah’s book club, it’s perfect for yours.
Kick off your springtime book club gatherings with this modern-day retelling of Louisa May Alcott’s LITTLE WOMEN. The Spring Girls—Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy—are a force of nature on the New Orleans military base where they live. As different as they are, with their father on tour in Iraq and their mother hiding something, their fears are very much the same. Struggling to build lives they can be proud of and that will lift them out of their humble station in life, one year will determine all that their futures can become.
After the announcement of Khaled Hosseini’s new book A SEA PRAYER, we’re revisiting his phenomenal fiction. A THOUSAND SPLENDID SUNS is one of our favorites. Hosseini’s heart-wrenching novel is about Mariam and Laila, two Afghani women jarringly brought together by war, loss, and fate. Chronicling 30 years of Afgahn history through the eyes of these two women, A THOUSAND SPLENDID SUNS paints a story of friendship, family, and love in a time of great unrest.
Fans of mysteries and crime novels from Laura Lippman and Megan Abbott will love this debut. Bernard White is a curmudgeonly widower who has lived in Seven Springs, Florida, for decades and has kept to himself since his wife passed. When his neighbor is murdered, he emerges from his solitude to reconnect with his fellow octogenarians. These connections become a literal lifeline as a second, and then a third, elderly woman is murdered, and “the originals,” as they call themselves, realize that they are being targeted.
Kim van Alkemade’s bestselling novel ORPHAN #8 is a bona fide book club favorite, which is why we’re thrilled to add her latest novel to our spring reading list. BACHELOR GIRL is a page-turning novel inspired by the true story of Jacob Ruppert, the millionaire owner of the New Yankees, and his mysterious bequest to an unknown actress in 1939. This one’s for fans of little-known history and sweeping romances.
Before you dive into Jessica Knoll’s latest nail-biter, THE FAVORITE SISTER, this May, revisit the brilliant book that first caught our attention. In Knoll’s debut novel, LUCKIEST GIRL ALIVE, Ani FaNelli leads a covetable life, with a glitzy magazine job, a blue-blooded fiancé, and a wardrobe to match. But when a violent, public trauma from her past threatens to destroy the life she’s worked tirelessly to attain, Ani must carefully weigh her chance at redemption.
Ani FaNelli is the epitome of young, modern women. And that’s not a good thing. Image-obsessed, cruel, and deceptive, Ani isn’t crazy so much as extraordinarily damaged from two traumatic high school events that are expertly revealed, piece by piece, in this masterful debut. I loved the anger in this political, well-observed novel, made more powerful by the reveal that Knoll’s own sexual assault contributed to its creation. Contemporary and timely: believe the hype.
Crazy like: Carrie Bradshaw with a cleaver.
Best crazy moment: Ani’s choice of porn. (Ouch.)
Naomi Jackson’s lyrical debut novel about community, betrayal, and love centers on two sisters who are exiled from Brooklyn to Bird Hill in Barbados after their mother can no longer care for them. In the summer of 1989, the young Phaedra and her older sister, Dionne, go to live with their grandmother Hyacinth. The story builds to a crisis when the father they barely know comes to Bird Hill to reclaim his daughters, and the girls must choose between the Brooklyn they once knew and loved or the Barbados of their family.
As you saw form our Facebook Live discussion of STILL ALICE, we’re huge fans of Lisa Genova because her books incite great conversation. Her latest, EVERY NOTE PLAYED, is a powerful and heart-breaking novel about a divorced couple whose relationship is redefined in the wake of a devastating ALS diagnosis. This is a masterful exploration of redemption and what it means to find peace instead of forgiveness.