April’s best new books

In Reading Lists - Best New Books by The Editors

This month brings a bounty of new books. Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney’s follow-up novel to her wildly popular The Nest has already been selected as the April pick for Jenna Bush Hager’s book club. Plus, a hidden history of the Jewish women who fought back against the Nazis has already been optioned for the screen by Steven Spielberg, so read it here before you see it. Whether you’re waiting in line for your vaccine or relaxing in the sunshine, there’s a great read on this list for you.

Good Company by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney

Calling The Nest author’s newest novel “filled with charm, humor, and grace,” Jenna Bush Hager chose Good Company to be her Read With Jenna book club’s April pick. When a woman discovers a secret her husband has been keeping from her for years, everything she thinks she knows about their relationship begins to unravel. “I was captivated by the way the author writes intimately about human connection, including the ties between mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, and friends,” said the Today Show host.
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Caul Baby by Morgan Jerkins

Magical realism meets modern-day Harlem in the enthralling fiction debut from Morgan Jerkins, known for her eye-opening memoir Wandering in Strange Lands, and named one of Forbes’ 30 Under 30 for 2021. An influential family of women wield their healing powers for wealth and status, but when they take in a magical child to raise as their own, they set off far-reaching repercussions that could come back to haunt them.
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Beautiful Things by Hunter Biden

With so many stories out there about Hunter Biden, it’s been difficult to separate rumor from reality. In this unflinching memoir, he tells his side of the story. In vivid detail, Biden recounts a tumultuous life with nuance and perspective that can only come from the person who lived it.
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The Light of Days by Judy Batalion

Already optioned by Steven Spielberg for the screen, this is the gripping, previously hidden story of a courageous group of women who fought back against the Nazi occupation in Poland. These resistance fighters employed ingenious — and incredibly dangerous — tactics, like seducing and then killing German soldiers, hiding guns in loaves of bread, and bombing German train lines. A stirring tribute to unsung heroes.
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The Cost of Knowing by Brittney Morris

Through a fantastical twist, Brittney Morris (SLAY) shows exactly how high a toll sexism and racism take on a young Black boy. Whenever Alex touches anything, he can briefly see into the future — a glimpse of how he will break up with the girlfriend he loves, a vision of how his brother will die. The key to confronting these frightening futures requires learning from the past and staying in the present. Morris’ sophomore effort cements her place as one of contemporary YA’s greats.
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The Sky Blues by Robbie Couch

Being openly gay in a small town is hard, and Sky’s certainly seen his fair share of hardship: His mom kicked him out and he’s constantly hiding burn scars from an accident. Still, Sky is determined to make his senior year great with an epic promposal, even when homophobic hackers try to ruin that, too. A book that’s overflowing with Pride.
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Zara Hossain Is Here by Sabina Khan

Zara Hossain is Here is one of the most pointed and heartbreaking looks at all the issues that face immigrants in America, from the long green card process to the constant microaggressions that always threaten to escalate into something more. Set in Corpus Christi, Texas, the book is based on author Sabina Khan’s experience growing up Bangladeshi in the mostly white town.
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The Infinity Courts by Akemi Dawn Bowman

Artificial intelligence takes over, but with an intriguing twist: Instead of a robot rebellion taking place on Earth, it happens in the afterlife. Ophelia — an AI that behaves much like our beloved Siri — has taken over the afterlife, called Infinity, where human consciousness has become enslaved to the machine. When Nami Miyamoto dies and discovers Infinity is no longer a haven, she’s determined to restore balance to the world and figure out what it means to be human. A unique take on a universal theme.
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Oculta by Maya Motayne

The rare sequel that matches — or possibly even exceeds — its predecessor. The kingdom of Castallan is once again under threat, this time from a large crime syndicate that’s targeting the next International Peace Summit. It’s up to a brave prince and a shifty thief to save the day.
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Open Water by Caleb Azumah Nelson

This poetic debut — told memorably in second person — revels in the beauty of Black art while exposing systemic racism, grappling with police brutality, and condemning the toxic expectation that young Black men mask their emotions. When two young artists meet in a London pub, can the pull they feel toward each other withstand the forces threatening to keep them apart?
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The Prison Healer by Lynette Noni

This grimdark fantasy series is a brutal look at life in a punishing prison. (Think Sarah J. Maas or Sabaa Tahir, but with even more violence.) Seventeen-year-old Kiva has been in Zalindov prison for most of her childhood because her family is fighting against the crown. After her father dies, Kiva succeeds him as the prison’s healer, but when she’s unable to heal the ill Rebel Queen, Kiva has to take her place in the Trial by Ordeal in a gamble to keep herself — and the revolution — alive. The fictional setting of Zalindov is based on Fremantle Prison in Western Australia.

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Marriage Story by Richard Russo

If you were to describe America as a relationship, what would that look like? For Pulitzer Prize-winning author Richard Russo (Empire Falls), he sees it in terms of his parents’ breakup. Writing through the lens of a working class couple in post-World War II America, Russo sheds light on the Trump era and the fickle heart of the American Dream in this thought-provoking Scribd Original.
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The Man Who Lived Underground by Richard Wright

Much like Richard Wright’s iconic classics, Native Son and Black Boy, The Man Who Lived Underground will stick with you long after you finish it. This previously unpublished novel from the 1940s conveys the harrowing story of a man who, after being forced into confessing to a murder he didn’t commit, escapes and survives in the sewers beneath Chicago.
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World Travel by Anthony Bourdain

The late, and impossibly great, Anthony Bourdain continues to bring us his infectious enthusiasm for the wondrous world he left all too soon. There’s no better way to escape quarantine than with the beloved travel companion as he bestows his best stories and recommendations culled from a lifetime of exploration.
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Kate in Waiting by Becky Albertalli

Kate in Waiting is Becky Albertalli’s first solo work outside of the Simonverse (Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda), and it’s a smash-hit that puts refreshing spins on queer love story tropes. The titular Kate and her best friend Anderson have a crush on the same boy from theater camp — and nothing goes as you would expect from that fraught premise. An uber-cute YA novel about the power of friendship.
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The Big Lie by Kurt Eichenwald

A stunning takedown of the fraud, incompetence, and arrogance that fueled the false — and deadly — conspiracy theory linking autism to vaccines. This deeply researched, step-by-step breakdown by Kurt Eichenwald (The Informant) is a necessary read for the current Covid-19 and anti-vaxxer crises. For fans of “Bad Blood” and badass investigative reporting, as well as anyone who wants to amplify good science, good ethics, and true facts.
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What Happened To You? by Oprah Winfrey and Bruce D. Perry

Oprah wants you to stop asking people the judgy question “What’s wrong with you?” and instead initiate a supportive conversation with “What happened to you?” In this powerful personal and scientific exploration of the lasting impact of trauma, Oprah joins forces with child trauma expert and neuroscientist Dr. Bruce Perry. Together they explore how a deceptively simple shift in perspective can pave the way for remarkable healing.

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Fugitive Telemetry by Martha Wells

Everyone’s favorite Murderbot is back — this time, to solve a murder it definitely didn’t commit and is determined to prove so. Full of that exasperated Artificial Intelligence wit that makes this series such a delight.

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