Spring is here, which can mean only one thing: a new crop of books has arrived to sate even the hungriest readers. April’s most anticipated books include new non-fiction tomes, literary novels, works of genre fiction — and
plenty of new memoirs, including hotly-anticipated reads like Viola Davis’ Finding Me, Delia Ephron’s Left on Tenth, Margo Jefferson’s Constructing a Nervous System, Chloé Cooper Jones’ Easy Beauty, and Chloe Caldwell’s The Red Zone.
If memoirs aren’t your thing, the lit-fic offerings may be more up your alley. One of this month’s most exciting new novels is
The Candy House, Jennifer Egan’s long-awaited sequel to A Visit from the Good Squad. Station Eleven author Emily St. John Mandel is also returning this April with Sea of Tranquility; as is Girl at War author Sara Nović, whose novel True Biz offers a rare glimpse into the world of Deaf culture. And that’s not to mention the vampiric, literary delights of Claire Kohda’s Woman, Eating, the Groundhog Day-esque End of the World House from Adrienne Celt, or the newly-translated collection The Trouble with Happiness from The Copenhagen Trilogy author Tove Ditlevsen. Suffice to say, there’s no shortage of reading material hitting stores this month.
Below, the 49 most anticipated books of April 2022.
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One Hand to Hold, One Hand to Carve
M. Shaw’s dark new novella follows a pair of strange “brothers” — the twin halves of a vivisected corpse — as they try to build normal lives for themselves after they wake up in the morgue. They’re unable to remember the time they shared together, and they often find themselves at odds. But they may need each other more than ever before as they face this brave new world, where no one else quite looks like them.
The Return of Faraz Ali
Faraz, the son of a courtesan and a wealthy patron, has not seen his mother or sister in years — not since his father had him kidnapped and raised far from Lahore’s red-light district. Now grown and working as a police inspector, Faraz is uprooted once again at his father’s behest when he’s sent back to Lahore to cover up a murder.
The Trayvon Generation
Based on the author’s 2020
New Yorker essay of the same name, The Trayvon Generation reflects on the experiences of young, Black millennials and Gen-Zers, whose lives have been shaped by incidents of police brutality targeting their peers, and imagines what the future will — or could — hold for them.
Dreams Bigger Than Heartbreak
In Charlie Jane Anders’ highly anticipated sequel to
Victories Greater Than Death, best friends Tina, Rachael, and Elza find themselves separated when duty calls them to the far-flung fronts of an intergalactic war.
To the outside world, the Ladybird Scouts look like a standard-issue ladies’ social organization. But behind closed doors, Prue and her compatriots are actually monster-hunters — though the inter-dimensional parasites known as mulligrubs aren’t the only things Prue finds herself afraid of these days.
After making her debut with 2020’s
Godshot, Chelsea Bieker returns to stores this April with Heartbroke. Set in California, the stories in this collection dance along the borderline of fantasy and reality, as characters try and fail — and try again — to change their stars.
Award-winning actor Viola Davis’ memoir retraces her path to Hollywood success. Born in St. Matthews, South Carolina and raised in Rhode Island, Davis moved from living in “poverty and rat-infested apartments” to being one of the most sought-after stars in the United States. Brimming with love, heartbreak, and hard-won wisdom,
Finding Me is one of the year’s most anticipated memoirs.
The Candy House
Jennifer Egan’s long-awaited follow-up to the Pulitzer Prize-winning
A Visit from the Goon Squad is finally here. Set in an alternate version of the 2010s — one in which the tech world has finally figured out how to give humans perfect recall — The Candy House weaves its way through a series of interlocking stories, each one revolving around the true cost and weight of memories.
Lessons in Chemistry
A funny, poignant novel,
Lessons in Chemistry centers on Elizabeth Zott, a chemist and the unlikely star of a hit cooking show. It’s the 1960s, and even in California, society rarely acknowledges the achievements and potential of smart, successful women. But in homes around the country, Elizabeth Zott is about to shake things up in a big way.
Dead Girls Can’t Tell Secrets
In this new YA thriller from the author of
Little Creeping Things, a teen launches her own investigation after a hiking accident leaves her sister comatose. Evidence suggests that someone lured her to the scene of her accident, but finding out who did it will mean rubbing elbows with her would-be killer.
Stanford Law graduate Chantal V. Johnson’s debut follows Vivian, a young, Black Latinx lawyer whose self-medication for her past, unresolved trauma threatens to derail her promising future.
Pulitzer finalist Chloé Cooper Jones’ memoir centers on her experiences living with chronic pain caused by a lifelong physical disability. Inspired in part by the shift Jones saw in others’ perceptions of her during her pregnancy,
Easy Beauty challenges deep-seated assumptions about who gets to be capable, trustworthy, and desirable.
Portrait of a Thief
Stolen Chinese art languishes in American museums, and someone is willing to pay a life-changing sum to get it back. Together, five Chinese American college students — Will, Lily, Irene, Daniel, and Alex — set out to liberate some priceless statues, but soon find themselves examining their own personal relationships with China and the United States.
Sea of Tranquility
From the author of
Station Eleven and The Glass Hotel comes Sea of Tranquility. Stretching from 1912 to well into the 25th century, Emily St. John Mandel’s new novel moves between characters separated by wide swathes of time and space, who are nevertheless united by a single, strange experience that changes their lives forever.
In a Garden Burning Gold
Wilder Girls author Rory Power returns to stores this month with In a Garden Burning Gold, the first installment in a new fantasy epic. Here, the twin children of a godlike ruler are forced to wade into the murk and mire of political intrigue when a resistance movement, stoked by their father’s instability, begins to take hold across the land.
Deaf culture is vibrant and thriving, but entertainment media with good d/Deaf representation remains rare. Enter Sara Nović’s
True Biz, a revelatory and refreshing novel about three people — a socially isolated new student, a popular kid wrestling with a shifting family dynamic, and an administrator struggling to juggle life and work — whose lives crash into one another at a boarding school for deaf students.
Decades ago, Joan’s grandfather, Memphis’ first Black detective, built a grand old house in one of the city’s most storied neighborhoods — but his tenure there was cut short by his brutal murder at the hands of a lynch mob. Now, it’s 1995, and Joan’s mother has brought Joan and her sister to this same old house to escape domestic violence. As the past continues to haunt 10-year-old Joan, she channels her trauma into art.
Time Is a Mother
Ocean Vuong returns to his poetic roots with
Time Is a Mother. In this all-new poetry collection, the author of On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous and Night Sky, with Exit Wounds retraces old ground covered in his previous books, layered with the lingering grief from his mother’s death.
Four Treasures of the Sky
Trafficked into the United States from China, Daiyu never wanted the destiny that’s been handed to her, but she’s too full of life to quit. As racist social sentiment and legal policy threatens her existence in 19th-century America, Daiyu bounces from place to place, looking for a new home and fighting to survive.
A Tiny Upward Shove
Marina Salles is an aswang — a shapeshifting cryptid out of Filipino legend. She used to have a life of her own, but that was taken from her. Now, Marina has access to the minds and memories of all the people she knew in life, including her killer. Through these myriad lenses, Marina will discover how fate conspired to end her.
Left on Tenth: A Second Chance at Life
Life is a roller-coaster, as Delia Ephron can attest. In
Left on Tenth, she reflects on how a pair of tragic losses — the deaths of her sister and husband — snowballed into a love affair with a widower she’d briefly dated and forgotten years earlier. And how just as she thought she’d pulled away from rock bottom, she was diagnosed with the same kind of cancer that claimed her sister’s life.
Constructing a Nervous System
Blending life writing with fiction, poetry, and other speculative forms,
Negroland author Margo Jefferson’s new memoir is a raw, personal, and experimental work.
The Romantic Agenda
Claire Kann’s adult debut is a twisty rom-com with an asexual lead. Here, Joy finds herself destroyed by the news that her best friend — and secret crush — Malcolm, is in love with another. Joy’s never told Malcolm how she feels, but she may yet get her chance: Malcolm has just invited her to spend the weekend away with him, his paramour, and a friend named Fox. Together, Joy and Fox hatch a plan that’s sure to get Malcolm’s attention. But is Joy setting her sights on the wrong partner?
Gen-Z vampire Lydia inherited her mother’s stomach and her father’s appetites, leaving her doomed to crave sushi when she can only drink blood. Settling into a bohemian lifestyle that sees her living apart from her mother for the first time, Lydia tries to find her place among humans, but feels pulled in opposite directions by her heritage.
At the Edge of the Woods
A J-horror novel in the vein of Jac Jemc’s
The Grip of It, Masatsugu Ono’s At the Edge of the Woods centers on a father and son who must navigate life on the fringes of civilization after their pregnant wife and mother goes to live with her birth family in the hopes of staving off a miscarriage. Left alone in the near-wilderness, they face a series of inexplicable encounters, each more daunting than the last.
An Arrow to the Moon
Romeo and Juliet riff steeped in Chinese mythology, Emily X.R. Pan’s An Arrow to the Moon centers on two Taiwanese American teens, Hunter and Luna, who discover they were born on the same day to parents who immigrated from the same country. When they strike up a romance, deeply-buried family secrets are unearthed.
Behind Her Eyes author Sarah Pinborough returns to store shelves this month with a new psychological thriller. Insomnia follows Emma, a successful lawyer and a loving wife and mother of two, as she navigates the fraught days leading up to her 40th birthday. Emma’s mother was 40 when she changed irredeemably for the worse. Will her traumatized daughter suffer the same fate?
An unwanted daughter born to a poor family in rural South Korea, San has spent her whole life trying to make her dreams come true. Now living in Seoul and working at a job she hates, San finds herself drawn to two people: her female coworker and a male photographer. But can a woman who struggles to connect with others manage to make her fledgling relationships stick?
The Red Zone
Another memoir about living with disabilities, Chloe Caldwell’s
The Red Zone explores the author’s experiences living with premenstrual dysphoric disorder and long journey to a diagnosis. Here, the discovery that premenstrual syndrome is not a universal experience becomes a launchpad for a deeper exploration of chronic and contentious illness, and a reflection on our often-fraught relationships with our period cycles.
End of the World House
This sci-fi comedy follows Bertie and Kate, two best friends whose closeness is threatened when one accepts a job offer in another city, six hours away. When Kate refuses to stay in San Francisco, Bertie plans a trip to Paris, where the two women soon find themselves separated and caught up in a
Groundhog Day scenario.
Flirting with Fate
Ava was on her way to be with her dying grandmother when she was involved in a minor traffic accident. Her grandmother passed away before she could arrive, and Ava missed out on getting her inheritance: a blessing passed through the generations from mother — or grandmother — to daughter. Except that Ava’s grandmother
did give her a blessing, or at least tried to. Now, Ava must find a boy involved in the same accident, who accidentally received her blessing, before it’s too late.
The Trouble with Happiness
Originally composed in the 1950s and ’60s, the works in Tove Ditlevsen’s new collection have never before been translated into English. These Copenhagen-set short stories focus on quiet, interpersonal incidents that have catastrophic consequences for those involved.
Hild author Nicola Griffith’s new novella is a gender-bent spin on the legend of Percival and the Holy Grail. Here, a young, queer woman named Peretur leaves the remote home she shares with her mother to seek her fortune in the court of King Artos. Disguised as a man, she steals the heart of Nimuë, the legendary Lady of the Lake, and goes on the ultimate quest: to seek the Grail.
The Drowning Summer
In this paranormal thriller, two ex-friends must work together to solve a six-year-old mystery before their Long Island town is overrun by the spirits of the dead. Everyone believes Evelyn’s father was responsible for killing three teenagers all those years ago, even after Evelyn called up a ghost in his defense. Now, she’s summoned another spirit, and things have gone sideways. She’s going to need help from Mina, an old friend who comes from a long line of mediums, to keep Long Island safe from what she’s unleashed.
Part of Your World
Alexis has every reason not to make things official with Daniel. He’s 10 years younger than she is, settled into his life as a small-town carpenter, and would never live up to her family’s lofty expectations. But as each date with Daniel proves better than the last, Alexis is forced to question what it is that
she — and not her family — wants out of life, in this new rom-com from the author of The Happily Ever After Playlist.
The Memory Librarian: And Other Stories from Dirty Computer
With each passing year, it becomes more and more clear that Janelle Monáe can do
anything. In April 2022, Monáe’s hit visual album goes analog with this anthology of short stories set in the Afrofuturist world of Dirty Computer. The Memory Librarian is a must-read for any Janelle Monáe fan.
Rebecca Roanhorse’s Between Earth and Sky series continues this month with
Fevered Star, the follow-up to Black Sun. Here, three people bound by destiny — the blind avatar of an ancient god, the sea captain who delivered him to a holy city, and the priest his powers unseated — find themselves scattered to the winds in an increasingly unstable world.
I Am the Ghost in Your House
Pie and her mother aren’t
really ghosts, but they might as well be. The invisible mother-daughter duo is always on the move, spending nights in houses, vehicles, apartments, stores… wherever they happen to roam. But now, for the first time ever, it’s 17-year-old Pie’s turn to choose their next destination, and she doesn’t think twice — they’re heading back to Pittsburgh, where she first fell in love.
Set in Shenyang, a New York-sized city in the chilly climes of northwestern China, the three novellas in Shuang Xuetao’s
Rouge Street attempt to capture real lives lived on the boundary between fantasy and reality. As gritty as it is hopeful, this collection from an established voice in Chinese literature is one of the year’s most anticipated English translations.
I’ll Be You
Pretty Things author Janelle Brown returns to store shelves this month with I’ll Be You, a taut new thriller. The story centers on identical twins Sam and Elli, who were once completely inseparable, and borderline successful child stars to boot — but haven’t spoken in years. Now, Elli has gone missing from her picture-perfect life as a wife and mother, and it’s up to ne’erdowell Sam to track her down. But will Sam be able to uncover all of Elli’s closely-held secrets before it’s too late?
As the Cultural Revolution dawns, 16-year-old Mei accepts an offer to go to the capital as a courtesan to high-ranking Party members. Once there, she places herself into Chairman Mao’s orbit, with fascinating results.
After tackling the sinking of the
Titanic in 2020’s The Deep, Alma Katsu sets her sights on America’s internment of its ethnically Japanese citizens with The Fervor. In 1944, Meiko and Aiko — an airman’s wife and her young daughter — are forced to leave their home in Seattle for a remote site in Idaho. There, they must confront a horrifying reality as a supernatural disease begins to claim lives all over the camp.
Fight Like Hell: The Untold History of American Labor
Sally Fields’ turn in
Norma Rae might be all many Americans can think of when it comes to the labor movement, but it’s not all white women working in textile mills. As Kim Kelly’s Fight Like Hell shows, Americans of color have consistently led the charge in demanding greater protections for workers. At a time when labor unions are making significant gains across the United States, Kelly’s microhistory is a timely must-read.
Nettle & Bone
T. Kingfisher returns this April with
Nettle & Bone. In this twisted fairytale, a young woman strikes a deal with a mysterious gravewitch: If Marra completes three trials, the gravewitch will help her kill an evil prince and rescue her older sisters. Aided by a broad cast of quirky characters that includes a demon-possessed chicken, Marra fights to protect those she loves.
The Children on the Hill
In the 1970s, a Vermont psychiatrist brought home a strange girl to live with her two grandchildren, and the kids bonded over a monster-hunting game. Now, decades later, the host of a monster-themed podcast travels to Vermont to investigate a monster sighting and kidnapping.
The Void Ascendant
The third book in Premee Mohamed’s Locus Award-nominated Beneath the Rising trilogy is finally landing in stores this April. Seven years after the last man from Earth became a prophet to a race of Ancient Ones-worshipping cultists, he finds himself faced with an impossible task: spring a god from prison and kill the powerful creatures that destroyed his home planet.
The gods Kaikeyi has been taught to worship never seem to answer her prayers; it seems they only serve the interests of men like her father, men who cast out their wives and use their only daughters for political gain. So when Kaikeyi discovers an ancient power that’s hers to control, she finds herself in a position of strength, and at incontrovertible odds with everything she’s been taught to revere.
One of Us Is Dead
A thriller perfect for fans of
Desperate Housewives, Jeneva Rose’s One of Us Is Dead centers on four socialites — Shannon, Crystal, Olivia, and Jenny — whose lives begin to spiral out of control when one’s divorce leaves a massive vacuum in their social circle. Darkly funny and deliciously vicious, these unlikable women are sure to spice up your spring reading list.
The Good Left Undone
The legacy of one woman’s harrowing World War II romance echoes into the modern day in this captivating historical novel from
Big Stone Gap author Adriana Trigiani. Banished from her hometown for counseling a woman about contraception, Domenica, a nurse, goes to work in a nunnery. She plans to take her vows, but when Fate sends a handsome seaman across her path, her life veers into unknown territory. Later, Domenica’s aging daughter must share her story with the family that has waited a century to hear it.