Happy May Day! Ah, May, warm weather, blooming flowers, plentiful sunshine, and good books. What more could we ask for?
May also brings us that most important of holidays: Mother’s Day.
Why not start a book club with your mom? Include your friends, your mom’s friends, and their moms. It’s a great way to get your nearest and dearest reading.
May I suggest these titles?
What to pick up now:
The Right-Hand Shore by Christopher Tilghman. This book is Book Passage’s Signed First Editions Club pick for May. Tilghman will be signing copies of his book and doing a reading at Lemuria Books in Jackson, MS, on May 16. The Right-Hand Shore is about race, class, forbidden love, family history and secrets all in the wake of the Civil War.
The Newlyweds by Nell Freudenberger. Boy, is this getting a lot of buzz! Amina moves from Bangladesh to Rochester, New York. She met George online and their marriage is an arranged one. In the nineteenth-century, Amina would have been called a mail-order bride. There is lots of hilarity, second guessing, and heartache in this one.
Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain. Fountain will read from and sign copies of his novel at Lemuria Books in Jackson, MS, on May 23. Billy and what is left of his unit are dubbed heroes after surviving a major battle in Iraq. They are invited to a Dallas Cowboys football game and participate in halftime in this funny and heartwrenching story.
All Woman and Springtime by Brandon W. Jones. North Korea, forced labor camps, a math prodigy, sex slavery. All these are topics in All Woman and Springtime, a novel that has been compared to Arthur Golden’s Memoirs of a Geisha. This novel will join the ranks of other recent books whose setting or topic is North Korea. Should be interesting.
The Uninvited Guests by Sadie Jones. This is set at the turn of the last century in England and will appeal to Downton Abbey fans, of which I am one. A train wrecks, leaving passengers stranded. They seek refuge with a family. One of the passengers has a history with the lady of the house. Sounds intriguing.
The Year of the Gadfly by Jennifer Miller. I was lucky enough to get my hands on an ARC of this one and let me tell you it is great! Be sure to check back soon for my interview with the author. Bullying, secret societies, insects, and Edward R. Murrow hallucinations make this a hit. The Year of the Gadfly will be released May 8.
Home by Toni Morrison. No one is like Toni Morrison, winner of the Nobel Prize. The first Morrison novel I read was The Bluest Eye, a book that not only made me cry but also made me think. Home explores the bonds of siblings and the aftermath of war. If it is anything like Morrison’s other work, it is sure to be a hit. It comes out May 8.
The Lola Quartet by Emily St. John Mandel. Set in Florida during the economic collapse, this novel is a literary noir with lots of jazz. Mandel explores the unreliability of memory in her novel, a very interesting topic. The Lola Quartet will be released May 15.
I Couldn’t Love You More by Jillian Medoff. Eliot is happy with her partner Grant and their three daughters, two of which are her stepdaughters. Then, an old love comes back into her life with shocking consequences. Medoff asks which of your children would you save if you could. This one could be THE summer’s biggest beach read. Look for it May 15.
What are you waiting for? Get to reading! And enjoy.