23 Big Books of Spring

Posted by Hayley on March 5, 2018
Make some space on your bookshelf! A new season of irresistible stories is almost here.

To create our list of spring must-reads, we focused on what Goodreads members are anticipating and reactions from early reviewers. We measured anticipation by how many times a book has been added to Want to Read shelves, and then we only included books that have earned at least a four-star rating. (If you're curious how you can read prepublished books and be among the first to rate them, check out our book giveaways.)

Without further ado, here are the biggest books of the season. How many will you be checking out?


FICTION
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In this electrifying debut set in India and America, a devastating act of cruelty tears apart a friendship, catapulting young Poornima on a cross-continental journey to reunite with Savitha, the girl who taught her how to hope. (Check out our interview with Shobha here.)

Release date: March 7


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From neuroscientist Genova, the author of Still Alice, comes a heartbreaking exploration of redemption. Richard, once an accomplished pianist, and his caretaker and ex-wife, Karina, try to reconcile their past before it's too late. (Check out our interview with Genova here.)

Release date: March 20


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Shy college freshman Greer's meant-to-be love story with her boyfriend, Cory, takes a sharp turn when her path crosses with 63-year-old Faith Frank, a central pillar of the women's movement, in this smart, moving tale.

Release date: April 3


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The author of Fight Club returns to skewer our society in this timely satire. As geriatric politicians nudge the country closer to global war, a reckoning is coming—and only a mysterious book claims to know how to survive it.

Release date: May 1


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Romy is at the start of two consecutive life sentences. Faced with a new reality of pageantry and casual acts of violence, she embraces the absurdities of life in prison in this stunning novel from twice National Book Award-nominated Kushner.

Release date: May 1


MYSTERY & THRILLER
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Weirdness descends on the City by the Bay as bartender Sammy "Two Toes" Tiffin sees his schemes go south and the woman he loves, a comely blonde named Stilton (aka the Cheese), mysteriously vanishes.

Release date: April 17


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A series of grisly murders leaves clues pointing to men with airtight alibis, sending Detective Ralph Anderson racing to uncover the identity of the real killer in this riveting psychological thriller from the beloved bestselling author.

Release date: June 5


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Ten years ago, Finn's girlfriend, Layla, disappeared. Now engaged to Layla's sister, he hardly thinks about that dark spot in his past—until a Russian doll shows up, triggering a series of mind games all leading to the same question: Is Layla still alive?

Release date: June 19


NONFICTION
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Wrongfully convicted of capital murder in 1985 and sent to death row, Hinton finally won his release in 2015. This is his memoir, an extraordinary testament to the power of hope sustained through the darkest time.

Release date: March 27


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A brutally honest take on the impact of motherhood didn't exist when O'Connell got pregnant in her 20s, so she decided to write it herself. The result is this frank, funny look at being a mother in all its strange, awkward, and uncomfortable glory.

Release date: April 10


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In this first collection of nonfiction from the celebrated author of The Queen of the Night, Chee explores his education as a man, writer, and activist in a series of poignant, challenging, and thought-provoking essays.

Release date: April 17


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What would possess a person to steal dead bird skins? The author embarks on a worldwide investigation to uncover the "natural history heist of the century" in this rollicking true-crime adventure about obsession and the siren call of the wild.

Release date: April 24


YOUNG ADULT
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This West African-inspired fantasy, which has already been optioned for film, introduces readers to the world of Orïsha, where magic once thrived but is now persecuted. (The debut author recommended some of her favorite diverse books to us; check them out here!)

Release date: March 6


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Fate brought Cyro and Akos together—now it will divide them. In this electrifying sequel to Carve the Mark, a barbaric war threatens to overtake the galaxy while a soulless tyrant plots a merciless campaign for the throne.

Release date: April 10


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Step aside, Simon. Here Leah Burke, the best friend of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda's title character, takes center stage, tackling first love, senior-year angst, her own bisexuality, and a fracturing friend group. (Check out Albertalli's must-read love stories that champion LGBTQIAP+ love love here.)

Release date: April 24


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Mare Barrow knows victory comes at a price. In this epic conclusion to the Red Queen series, the little lightning girl puts her faith in the boy who broke her heart in order to overthrow a destructive, obsessive king and save her people and her country.

Release date: May 15


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The daughter of an underground rap legend, Bri wants to make it big to make her father proud—and to keep her family afloat—in this charming, inspiring tale from the author of the award-winning debut The Hate U Give. (Check out our interview with Thomas here.)

Release date: June 5


HISTORICAL FICTION
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German dissenter Franka Gerber hides deep in the Black Forest as World War II spreads across Europe, but her solitary existence is interrupted by the discovery of a wounded airman wearing a Luftwaffe uniform. Their tenuous bond becomes as inseparable as it is dangerous.

Release date: March 1


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Did Anastasia Romanov really survive the Russian Revolution? When a young woman bearing an uncanny resemblance to the Russian grand duchess emerges from a canal, she sparks rumors and conspiracies in this harrowing historical thriller. (Read our interview with Lawhon here.)

Release date: March 27


ROMANCE
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Determined to live a quiet life, billionaire heiress Kat Tanner changes her identity. It's all going smoothly until an annoying twist of fate requires that she marry—immediately. Now all she has to do is find a suitor who's single, trustworthy, and tolerable.

Release date: March 6


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Ex-con-turned-bodyguard Quasar doesn't believe in love at first sight until he spies gorgeous Dr. Randi…across the yellow tape of a gory crime scene. Romantic? Maybe not. But as the two are drawn into a deadly gang rivalry, Quasar is sure he's met the woman for him.

Release date: April 25


FANTASY & SCIENCE FICTION
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This is not Odysseus' story. In this reimagining of Homer's Odyssey, the goddess Circe grows up a strange child, finds herself banished to a deserted island, tames wild beasts, and encounters the Minotaur, Daedalus, and Odysseus himself.

Release date: April 10


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The climate wars left the world in shambles, and the denizens of Blackfish City, a floating metropolis in the Arctic Circle, struggle to survive. New hope arrives in the form of the "orcamancer," a strange woman riding an orca with a polar bear at her side.

Release date: April 17


What books are you most excited to read this season? Let us know in the comments!

Check out more recent blogs:
The Best Recommendations for Audiobook Newbies
Our Readers' Most Beloved Dr. Seuss Quotes
Elaine F. Weiss' What to Read this Women's History Month

Comments Showing 1-50 of 115 (115 new)


message 1: by Jonah Sidhom (new)

Jonah Sidhom Chris wrote: "23 books and not a single science fiction title in the list. Well, that's disappointing."

Are you ignoring Blackfish City?


message 2: by Ulla (new)

Ulla I'm very excited about Ashley Capes's new book in the NEVER fantasy series which is coming out soon:
The Phoenix of Kiymako


message 3: by Jonah Sidhom (new)

Jonah Sidhom Chris wrote: "Jonah Sidhom wrote: "Chris wrote: "23 books and not a single science fiction title in the list. Well, that's disappointing."

Are you ignoring Blackfish City?"

That's sci-fi? Because "'orcamancer,..."


'Climate wars' and 'floating metropolis' sounds sci fi to me, but I haven't read the book so I'm not sure.


message 4: by Johanna (new)

Johanna Obsidio? Where are you? I want you.


message 5: by Sam (new)

Sam Miller The orcamancer in Blackfish City is technologically bonded to her orca (nanites in their bloodstreams communicate wirelessly)

full disclosure: I wrote this book! I think of it as science fiction, but I definitely respect folks' perspectives if they see it otherwise.

Chris wrote: "Setting a world with climate wars and floating metropolises could be sci-fi, but it could also be fantasy. What clinched it for me was the "orcamancer".

Ah well, guess I shouldn't judge a book ba..."



message 6: by Ray (new)

Ray Why is Obsidio not on the list???????????


message 7: by Andrea (new)

Andrea Cox I'm anxious-excited for The Lost Castle (The Lost Castle #1) by Kristy Cambron and Things I Never Told You by Beth K. Vogt , both releasing this spring.


message 8: by Patricia (new)

Patricia What about Obsidio? Obsidio (The Illuminae Files, #3) by Amie Kaufman


Elizabeth ♛Smart Girls Love Trashy Books♛ Chris wrote: "Patricia wrote: "What about Obsidio? Obsidio (The Illuminae Files, #3) by Amie Kaufman"

It's the latest in a highly rated series, so I might try starting it. But the author's bio says she writes for young adults, a ge..."


Yeah.


message 10: by Phill (new)

Phill I have been waiting for Darynda Jones' 13th installment of the Charley Davidson series since I closed number 12! Can't wait to read it!


message 11: by Christopher (new)

Christopher I just finished reading The Hate U Give and loved it! I am definitely going to check out On the Come Up when it comes out.


message 12: by Topher (new)

Topher Colin wow... there is very little on this list that i want to explore... maybe it's the descriptions, maybe it's the titles... guess i'll find some other 'must read' lists.


message 13: by Jasmine (new)

Jasmine Topher wrote: "wow... there is very little on this list that i want to explore... maybe it's the descriptions, maybe it's the titles... guess i'll find some other 'must read' lists."

Yeah, nothing appeals to me, either. But just as well, as my to-read list is out of control, as I keep adding books faster than I read them! (My to-read list on Goodreads is not my full list.)


message 14: by Betsy (new)

Betsy A Call to Vengeance, by David Weber, third in the Manticore Rising series, in the Honorverse, but taking place soon after the founding of the Kingdom. It just came out today.


message 15: by Jorge (new)

Jorge  Ramos Jasmine wrote: "Topher wrote: "wow... there is very little on this list that i want to explore... maybe it's the descriptions, maybe it's the titles... guess i'll find some other 'must read' lists."

Yeah, nothing..."


Yeah same as you guys, a bit disappointing in not finding anything appealing to me, but my wtr list is already insane


message 16: by Bob (new)

Bob Albury Chuck Palahniuk The author of Fight Club, haunted, Invisible Monsters, and Survivor is an excellent writer/author. I find his work disturbing, blunt, and takes us to places most of us never explore. His characters are sharp, flawed, and real. His work is the only tomes I suggest with a disclaimer. I like the fact his syntax is deeper than so many popular writers today. He is thoughtful in his work, but brutal in context. Can't wait to read his next book.


message 17: by Duane (new)

Duane Leffel Well if you want a non-fiction book, check out "Kicking Gas & Taking Charge". It's a story about a Guinness World Record-setting tour using electric vehicles which ends with ideas that everyone can use to do their part for sustainability.


message 18: by Troy (last edited Mar 06, 2018 09:04AM) (new)

Troy Chris wrote: "Setting a world with climate wars and floating metropolises could be sci-fi, but it could also be fantasy. What clinched it for me was the "orcamancer".

Ah well, guess I shouldn't judge a book ba..."


Recognizing there's room for either genre, post-apocalyptic stories are usually considered to be within the Sci Fi genre. There may also be a Utopian/Dystopian element here (not having read the book), which are also usually thought to be Sci Fi.


message 19: by Laura Landon (new)

Laura Landon Waiting for Lethal White by Robert Galbraith (aka J K Rowling)


message 20: by Ken (new)

Ken Michael I didn't see What You Want To See by Kristen Lepionka, out May 1st. Follow-up mystery to The Last Place You Look


message 21: by Linda (new)

Linda Alonzo Laura Childs has a new cozy mystery out which I cannot wait to read. It is in her Tea Shoppe Mysteries series.


message 22: by Joseph (last edited Mar 06, 2018 09:54AM) (new)

Joseph I'm a bit angry and disappointed Kristin Harmel's The Room on Rue Amelie was omitted from the list of 23 Big Books of Spring. I finished an advance readers copy yesterday and it's one of the best two or three novels I've read in the past three years,.


message 23: by Troy (new)

Troy Chris wrote: "Troy wrote: "Recognizing there's room for either genre, post-apocalyptic stories are usually considered to be within the Sci Fi genre. There may also be a Utopian/Dystopian element here (not having..."

In post-modern terms, the writers thoughts would just be one more opinion with no special relevance :)


message 24: by Boweavil (new)

Boweavil It has certainly taken Christopher Moore's publisher a very long time to get this much awaited book out.


message 25: by Gwen (new)

Gwen Troy wrote: "Chris wrote: "Troy wrote: "Recognizing there's room for either genre, post-apocalyptic stories are usually considered to be within the Sci Fi genre. There may also be a Utopian/Dystopian element he..."

Well, I take your point. But in this case I do think the author's answer does carry more weight than ours, since it's a book that hasn't been released yet. Therefore the author has significantly more information than we do with which to form an opinion.


message 26: by Karen (new)

Karen Lloyd Disappointed that there is only one sci-fi book


message 27: by Kathryn (new)

Kathryn G.Phillips Where is Patti Callahan Henry’s book, Becoming Mrs. Lewis? Why is it not here under historical fiction?


message 28: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Greene Sam wrote: "The orcamancer in Blackfish City is technologically bonded to her orca (nanites in their bloodstreams communicate wirelessly)

full disclosure: I wrote this book! I think of it as science fiction, ..."


Sam! Thanks for clarifying because I too added it to my must read list because of your note. Good Job!


message 29: by David (new)

David Ray Where's "Time Jumpers" by Brandon Mull????


message 30: by Sean (new)

Sean Reilly Can't wait for Stephen king's new mystery


message 31: by Matthew (new)

Matthew Petersen Chris wrote: "23 books and not a single science fiction title in the list. Well, that's disappointing."
It's disappointing, to me, how sci-fi and fantasy are always bundled together. I see these as totally different genres and am often dismayed to see a bunch of fantasy titles in the sci-fi sections of book shops. 'Blackfish City' may be true Sci-Fi, however 'Cicre' does not fit the 'Sci-Fi' bill in my opinion.

Would it be so hard to separate fantasy from Sci-Fi, when categorising books?


message 32: by Rejean (new)

Rejean Levesque Can't wait for "Noir" by Christopher Moore. I hope it's good as his previous 15 novels.


message 33: by Matt (new)

Matt Chris wrote: "23 books and not a single science fiction title in the list. Well, that's disappointing."

Haha, or is it?!


message 34: by Dawn (new)

Dawn McClain No Christian Fiction/Mysteries? This is a genre, you know!


message 35: by Andrea (new)

Andrea Cox Dawn wrote: "No Christian Fiction/Mysteries? This is a genre, you know!"

Which Christian fiction books are you most looking forward to this spring?


message 36: by Jasmine (new)

Jasmine Matthew wrote: "It's disappointing, to me, how sci-fi and fantasy are always bundled together. I see these as totally different genres and am often dismayed to see a bunch of fantasy titles in the sci-fi sections of book shops."

I've never been a fan of sci-fi and fantasy (don't hate me!), so haven't read much (the plots just do not interest me). So genuine question from someone who isn't particularly familiar with these genres: what is the difference between them?


message 37: by Jasmine (new)

Jasmine Thanks for the clear explanation, Chris!


message 38: by Herodotus (new)

Herodotus You want Christian Fiction?
Read the Bible!


message 39: by Edward (new)

Edward Burton Herodotus wrote: "You want Christian Fiction?
Read the Bible!"


Geeze, what a killjoy thing to say. I'll bet you keep your porch lights off during Halloween.


message 40: by Flo (new)

Flo As you can see, too many books look good and are added to my wtr long long list. The ones i cant resist: Everything by Meg Wolitzer is a must and Christopher Moore, Rachel Kushner? Can't resist!


message 41: by Mariah (new)

Mariah Looking forward to reading the latest Ian Rutledge mystery, The GateKeeper.


message 42: by Wormys_Queue (new)

Wormys_Queue Chris wrote: "An interesting example of changing genres is with the Star Wars universe. The Force was a magical field that pushed the series into fantasy. Then it turned out the Force was created by Midi-chlorians, at which point the series slid over the line to science fiction."

And still that makes Star Wars into a Prime example of why it isn't as easy to separate Sci-fi from Fantasy as it may seem at the first glance. Sci-Fi tales often have a lot of fantastic elements while fantasy tales can also have elements that would normally count as Sci-fi in nature. So if you try to separate those genres that will probably lead to an awful lot of heated discussions about which genre a specific book might belong to.


message 43: by Valerie (new)

Valerie Panosian I'd like to see more historical ficton....


Elizabeth ♛Smart Girls Love Trashy Books♛ Valerie wrote: "I'd like to see more historical ficton...."

Me too!


message 45: by Vfirth (new)

Vfirth I pre-ordered Burn Bright by Patricia Briggs and it arrived on my Kindle this morning. Really looking forward to reading it as I've yet to read a disappointing Patricia Briggs book!


message 46: by Jennene (new)

Jennene Colky Questions for fellow book-lovers:

1) When, oh when, is Hilary Mantel going to release the third and final volume in her magnificent series on Thomas Cromwell? It's obvious she is in love with her subject and doesn't want to have to kill him off, but History is History, please get 'er done, Ms Mantel, your public is waiting-- or, at least, I am!!
2) I am totally smitten with JK Rowling's (writing as Robert Galbraith) British PI Cormoran Strike, and also wondering when (if?) there will be another book in this series. I now see there is a BBC series based on the books thus far, must check that out, but nothing compares to a book.


message 47: by Maureen (new)

Maureen Chris wrote: "Jonah Sidhom wrote: "Chris wrote: "23 books and not a single science fiction title in the list. Well, that's disappointing."

Are you ignoring Blackfish City?"

That's sci-fi? Because "'orcamancer,..."


OMG on my floor laughing at your response! Brilliant :)


message 48: by Matthew (new)

Matthew Petersen That's why star trek is better than star wars. Star trek Is 'true' sci-fi.
(flame-on!) 😈

PS I actually like both, but couldn't resist 😉


message 49: by Viola (new)

Viola Thanks for the list. I just added a few more books to WTR list.


message 50: by Julie (new)

Julie Drucker Herodotus wrote: "You want Christian Fiction?
Read the Bible!"


That's not very nice. There is a lot of good Christian Fiction out there and even some new and up and coming authors! Try reading Destiny of King's by Fiona Tarr. Good Book!


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