It has been many long months since I’ve shared the books coming out that I’ve been most excited for, it’s been a long start to the new year to say the least. But there is nothing quite like the excitement of new titles coming out, so in addition to sharing what’s new in April, I’ve decided to throw in some highlights from earlier this year as well!
- Broken by Jenny Lawson: I absolutely love Jenny’s books and I think it is safe to say that Broken is my favorite of them all. I laughed, I cried, all in one long marathon sitting where I alternated chapters between reading and listening. Struggling with my own mental health during the past year, it was such a soothing balm to have Jenny tell me it’s okay that it’s not okay and that my feelings will pass. I also enjoyed continuing my tradition of reading her conversations with her husband out loud to my husband and seeing him react similarly to Victor once again! (out today)
- World Travel by Anthony Bourdain & Laurie Woolever: I was so excited when this book was announced – I had been surprised that Tony hadn’t done a new book of his travels for Parts Unknown as he had for No Reservations and Cook’s Tour and when he died, I thought we’d never get one. I was excited to learn more about his favorite places and was excited to see so many place I love as well included. Unfortunately it is hard to call this Tony’s last book and it is much more of a travel guide curated by Laurie with snippets from Tony, rather than his characteristic essay style. (out April 20th)
- The Hard Crowd by Rachel Kushner: I’m always on the lookout for a good essay collection and this is probably my favorite of 2021 so far. (out today)
- Finding Freedom by Erin French: Chef memoirs are another niche genre that I love and I was lucky to get to listen in on a conversation between Erin and her editor about putting her memoir together. I’d love the chance to get to eat at her restaurant in Maine. (out today)
- The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner: I love all things 18th century and London, so when the two are combined in a book, it’s sure to be a new favorite. I really enjoyed Nella and Eliza’s interactions as well as the modern day interludes of Caroline learning about their story.
- Band of Sisters by Lauren Willig: I love a good WWI book (there should be more!) and Lauren is one of my favorite historical fiction authors. She knows the time period well (having co-authored another WWI favorite of mine, The Glass Ocean) and her love for her characters also shines though. I delighted in getting to know Kate and Emmie and I’m sure fellow historical fiction lovers will love them as well!
- The Rose Code by Kate Quinn: While many WWII stories have been told in triplicate, Kate Quinn presents a new angle on the Bletchley Park/code breaker part of the war. She gives us three magnificent main characters who must navigate the turbulent waters not only of the war, but of a new puzzle to solve shortly before the royal wedding of Princess Elizabeth (QEII) and Prince Phillip.
- The Windsor Knot by S. J. Bennett: As a diehard royalist wondering what on earth I should read after finishing the latest season of The Crown, I was so excited to pick this up and see QEII as a crime solver a la Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple! Her assistant private secretary adds a whole different perspective and depth to the story that makes it so much more than just a fun mystery story.
- Bake From Scratch Volume 5 by Brian Hart Hoffman: The greatness of this baking cookbook series cannot be overstated – I’ve tried numerous recipes from the collection and all have turned out spectacularly! Every recipe is worth baking and all vary in difficulty for all levels of bakers. I cannot recommend them enough!
- All Girls by Emily Layden: A grippy and engrossing story from page one. Not only are the characters all a unique and fully fleshed out group of people, but I was delighted Emily included a neurodivergent character as well!
- The Kitchen Front by Jennifer Ryan: As someone who has rekindled their love of baking and cooking during the pandemic, I was so excited to find a book billed as Bake Off meets Downton Abbey! I loved Jennifer’s characters and was so excited to lose myself in the world of the British home front during World War II!
- Radiant by Liz Heinecke: I’ve been excited about this book for awhile as it continues my Marie Curie obsession and follows her friendship with performance artist Loie Fuller – I included this in one of my Nonfiction November posts!
- Siri, Who Am I? by Sam Tschida: Siri, Who Am I is a fun and quirky millennial mystery, full of pop culture references and thoroughly 2010s social media and technology. I loved how Mia’s voice came through clearly from the start, I felt I knew her better than she knew herself!
- Icebound by Andrea Pitzer: I love the influx of polar exploration books that have been coming out lately and Icebound is a worthy addition to this new pantheon of polar works. I enjoyed reading about the Dutch as a new and young country (a story I knew little about) as well as that of Barents!
- The Charmed Wife by Olga Grushin: I love a good fairy tale retelling, especially a dark and twisty one with witches that has me turning page after page, desperate to know the decision that Cinderella ultimately makes!
- The Liar’s Dictionary by Eley Williams: Ever since reading Word by Word, I’ve found myself particularly interested in lexicography and funky words are always fun. While I started this book expecting a good read, what I wasn’t expecting was a thoroughly entertaining novel about dictionaries to cross my path, but I’m ever so glad it did!
- Better Luck Next Time by Julia Claiborne Johnson: I have been anxiously awaiting Julia’s follow up to Be Frank With Me for five years and am happy to report that this is a very strong sophomore novel. I knew nothing of divorce ranches before reading, and the characters all leapt off the page and right into my heart (and I’ll always have a soft spot for a female aviator!)
- Pee Wees by Rich Cohen: Having just finished another of Cohen’s books, I enjoyed reading more of his work. As a child hockey player (a goalie, on the long list for a college team), I appreciated all the nuances of kids sports, but this time from the parents’ perspective. It was a fun and fully engrossing read, and the perfect book for recovering child players, and parents of said child players in need of a refreshed perspective.