Most Anticipated Books Hitting Shelves This Spring

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Spring means green grass, warm weather and, of course, the promise of summer — but it’s also bringing good news to those hoping to find a great book to read. As spring arrives, book lovers can expect to see a wide variety of literature. Ranging from fiction that dives into murder and smallpox, to travel books that take a closer look at Paris, these selections are expected to be the cream of the crop in the literary world.

Compiled from a list of titles released by Publisher Weekly, here’s a look at some of the most anticipated books expected to hit the shelves this spring.

Fiction

Frog Music by Emma Donoghue is expected to be released in April. It takes place in San Francisco in the summer of 1876, and the city is in the midst of dealing with a horrendous heat wave, the proliferation of baby farms, and a smallpox epidemic. The book is based on the circumstances surrounding the real-life murder of Jenny Bonnet and is told from the point of view of the character Blanche Beunon, who became friends with Bonnet and was with her the night she was killed. Frog Music has murder, period song lyrics ,and historic details that make it clear Donoghue’s done her research.

Debuting in June, The Quick by Lauren Owen takes place in London in 1892. The main character, James Norbury, an aspiring poet who’s quite shy, finds a place to stay with a charming aristocrat. “Through this new friendship, he is introduced to the drawing rooms of high society and finds love in an unexpected quarter. Then, he vanishes without a trace,” Publisher Weekly says.

All Our Names by Dinaw Mengestu delves into love, affairs, and a romantic relationship between an American woman and an African man in the 1970s. Expected to hit shelves in March, the story has two narrators — one who’s speaking from the past in Africa and one who’s in present-day America, and each have a relationship with a man named Isaac. The two take turns throughout the story describing their relationships with Isaac, which involve feelings of connection, disruption, engagement, abandonment, hope and delusion.

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Crime/Mystery/Thriller

I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes is expected to be released in May. The main character, Pilgrim, is the only one who can link a series of deaths that span across the world. This includes the murder of an anonymous young woman in a run-down hotel. Oh, and in case that’s not enough to get you hooked, the young woman’s features have been dissolved by acid.

The Black-Eyed Blonde: A Philip Marlowe Novel, by Benjamin Black, is coming to you in March. “Black (the pseudonym that John Banville uses for his crime fiction) isn’t the first to tackle the daunting challenge of recreating the distinctive narrative voice of Raymond Chandler’s world-weary, mean streets — walking L.A. private eye, Philip Marlowe,” Publishers Weekly writes. The character featured in the title, Clare Cavendish, wants Marlowe to find her lover, Nico Peterson, who disappeared two months earlier. The book appears to wrap up quickly after Marlowe discovers that Peterson died from a hit-and-run. However, that’s just the beginning, and a new mystery quickly begins to unravel.

Memoir

Living with a Wild God: A Nonbeliever’s Search for the Truth About Everything by Barbara Ehrenreich, the author of Nickel and Dimed, debuts in April. This book is about a quest, which begins in adolescence, to discover the truth about everything. Ehrenreich’s book is based on a notebook she started when she was 14 after a series of “dissociative” episodes. The book reads like a great study of her early quest for cosmic knowledge, Publishers Weekly says.

Coming in June, Hillary Rodham Clinton’s Memoir candidly recalls her time as secretary of state (2009-2013.) The memoir also includes her thoughts about how to navigate through 21st Century challenges, says Simon and Schuster.

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Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror

Half a King by Joe Abercrombie, expected to hit shelves in July, is a fantasy trilogy “about a bookish disabled man who reluctantly accepts the throne of a troubled kingdom,” according to Publishers Weekly. Prince Yarvi vows to regain a throne that he didn’t want, but in order to do, so he gains the help of a collection of outcast and lost souls, Amazon says. “But even with loyal friends at his side, Yarvi finds his path may end as it began — in twists, and traps, and tragedy.”

Premonitions by Jamie Schultz is about a woman who agrees to steal an artifact for a crime lord so that she can keep paying for a magical drug. The drug suppresses the hallucinations she has of the future. Premonitions is set to hit shelves in July, writes Greenburger Associates.

Travel

The Nile: A Journey Downriver Through Egypt’s Past and Present by Toby Wilkinson, to be released in June, lets readers accompany an Egyptologist down the Nile. The books shows how the river has “continually brought life to an ancient civilization and sustained its successors, now in tumult,” Publishers Weekly writes.

Set for a March release, How Paris Became Paris: The Invention of the Modern City is by Joan DeJean. The book dives into the birth of Paris in the 17th Century. It discusses how Henri IV (1553-1610) centralized France’s administrative functions, constructed the first bridge to cross the Seine, and built the first urban public square.

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