Goodreads Members' Most Anticipated Books of April
According to some historians, the month of April is actually named after Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, by way of the Romans. There’s a bit of contention over the matter, actually. But the month has always been associated with the concepts of springtime and “opening”–as in the long-awaited opening of buds and flowers. And books, too.
New this month: Science fiction superstar Jeff VanderMeer warns of impending ecological strangeness in Hummingbird Salamander. Sally Hepworth writes of bloodlines and madness in The Good Sister. And author Judy Batalion uncovers some secret history in The Light of Days: The Untold Story of Women Resistance Fighters in Hitler's Ghettos. Also this month: San Francisco detectives, meddling aunties, and magical realism in 19th-century Norway.
Each month the Goodreads editorial team takes a look at the books that are being published in the U.S., readers' early reviews, and how many readers are adding these books to their Want to Read shelves (which is how we measure anticipation). We use the information to curate this list of hottest new releases.
Mystery-thrillers always benefit from an element of what we might call truthiness, in which the narrative incorporates actual historical cases and current criminal justice theory. The new book from Paula McLain (The Paris Wife and Circling the Sun) does just that. Anna Hart, a San Francisco missing persons detective on mandatory vacation, finds herself back on the job when a local girl goes missing in the California village of Mendocino.
Author Jeff VanderMeer (Annihilation, Borne) specializes in a kind of hybrid sci-fi strategy where ecological parable meets the older literary genre known as weird fiction. His new book is being billed as a “speculative thriller” concerning climate change, endangered species, and the possibility of apocalyptic ecoterrorism. Knowing VanderMeer, you can expect twists, turns, conspiracies, mysteries, cosmic awe, airtight plotting, and taxidermy. Oh, and the end of the world. That, too.
Recommended for readers of Gone Girl and Room, Carole Johnstone’s first thriller features Cat and El, estranged twins on either side of the Atlantic Ocean. When they were kids, Cat and El paid regular visits to an imaginary kingdom called Mirrorland in their sprawling Gothic house in Edinburgh, Scotland. Now El is missing and Cat has flown in to investigate. Are these intruding ghosts from the past actual, allegorical, or psychological?
Author and journalist Leone Ross (Orange Laughter) returns with a novel of imaginative fabulism set in the mysterious archipelago of Popisho. Xavier Redchoose is the macaenus of his generation, his duty is to make each resident of the islands one perfect meal. Xavier’s long-lost love Anise has her own magical powers, as a healer. A storm is coming. Popisho is “a world where magic is everywhere, food is fate, politics are broken, and love awaits.”
From the author of The Mother-In-Law comes another complex mystery about the enduring enigma of family. Rose and Fern seem as close as sisters can be. Fern is quirky and free; Rose is responsible and dependable. But years ago, Fern did something Very Bad. Rose has kept her secret, and others too, many of which concern the clan matriarch and an unfortunate family tendency toward madness.
Blending historical fiction with magical realism, Becoming Leidah promises a different sort of literary adventure. Set in the hinterlands of 19th-century Norway, the book follows the fate of Leidah Pietersdatter, a peculiar little girl with blue skin and webbed hands. Leidah’s mother is desperate to protect her child from the prejudices of the townsfolk, who have turned away from their old gods. Michelle Grierson’s book takes some interesting turns and is recommended for fans of Neil Gaiman and Alice Hoffman.
Debut author Jesse Q. Sutanto is enjoying a lot of good buzz with Dial A for Aunties, billed as a SoCal romance crossed with a murder mystery and a rom-com. See, Meddelin Chan has a problem. She just kinda-sorta killed her blind date. Complicating matters, the body has been accidentally shipped in a cake cooler to a billionaire’s upcoming wedding. Meddy’s mom concludes that there’s only one course of action: Time to call in the Aunties…
The Light of Days: The Untold Story of Women Resistance Fighters in Hitler's Ghettos
by Judy Batalion
by Judy Batalion
Author Judy Batalion’s nonfiction narrative history chronicles an amazing story out of World War II. The Light of Days profiles the insanely courageous Jewish women who fought their own guerrilla war against the Nazi regime in Poland. The so-called “ghetto girls” ambushed Gestapo officers and bombed German trains, while at the same time caring for the sick and spiriting refugees out of danger. Bonus fact: Steven Spielberg has optioned the book for a movie adaptation.
Journalist and alpha blogger Jenny Lawson (Let's Pretend This Never Happened) is generally acknowledged as one of the funniest writers on the planet. Her new book Broken (In the Best Possible Way) is said to be her most personal yet. Lawson details her experience with experimental treatments for depression, including transcranial magnetic stimulation. It shouldn’t be funny, yet somehow it always is. You know what they say about laughter and medicine.
Michelle Zauner’s highly anticipated autobiography details the author’s upbringing as a Korean-American kid trying to find her way in the ever-changing rhythms of the 21st century. Zauner, the prime mover behind the experimental indie pop project known as Japanese Breakfast, writes about memories of her grandmother in Seoul, the heartbreak of losing her mom to cancer, and her subsequent explorations into Korean heritage and cuisine.
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