The Best New Books Coming Out This Spring
Spring cleaning? How about spring reading. Here's a curated list of the season's best literature, from romantic reads to gothic novels.
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Run Towards the Danger by Sarah Polley
Director and actor Sarah Polley last plumbed her personal history in her acclaimed 2012 documentary, Stories We Tell. Her first book, a collection of memoirish essays, is inspired by advice she got from a therapist: to face danger head on, rather than cower in fear. The frank, searing pieces reconstruct her difficult childbirth, concussions, the terror of stage fright, and how she confronts these memories in order to move past them. Buy the book.
Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel
Fresh off HBO’s chilling adaptation of her novel Station Eleven, Mandel is back with yet another work of ethereal science fiction. This time, the action toggles between Vancouver Island in the early 20th century, a moon colony in the 22nd and a plague-ravaged Earth in the 24th. Slowly the storylines reveal surprising connections, melding into a haunting epic about time, art and survival. Buy the book.
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The Candy House by Jennifer Egan
This techno-creepy new novel involves many of the same characters as Egan’s 2011 bestseller, A Visit from the Goon Squad. A new social media network allows users to share every unfiltered memory, and access others’ in return. Goon Squad became famous for its playful formats—one chapter was a PowerPoint presentation—and Egan lives up to her whimsical reputation, writing chapters as series of tweets, emails and dialogues. Buy the book.
Mansions of the Moon by Shyam Selvadurai
Before the Buddha became the Buddha, he was a young Hindu aristocrat named Siddhartha Gautama. But this new novel isn’t about him. It’s about Yasodhara, the wife he left behind when he renounced his earthly life to seek enlightenment. Like Maggie O’Farrell’s magnificent Hamnet, it’s a bruising, beautiful character study imagining the inner lives of the forgotten women behind history’s fabled great men. Buy the book.
Like Yasodhara, here are 10 incredible Canadian women you probably didn’t learn about in history class.
The Hacienda by Isabel Cañas
In Cañas’s gothic novel, the Mexican countryside is just as spooky and melancholy as the English moors. The deliciously pulpy tale follows a young woman trapped in a seemingly haunted villa after the end of the Mexican War of Independence in the 1810s, and the Catholic priest (and secret sorcerer) who helps her exorcise the hacienda’s demons. Buy the book.
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Trust by Hernan Diaz
Anyone in need of an escape from the miseries of today will delight in Diaz’s mysterious, mythical epic set in the original Roaring ’20s. It’s about Benjamin and Helen Rask, a pair of preposterously wealthy, notoriously eccentric tycoons in Jazz Age New York whose gossipy shenanigans and secrets threaten to destroy their cushiony lives. Buy the book.
This Time Tomorrow by Emma Straub
For smart, heartfelt literary bubblegum, it doesn’t get better than Emma Straub, whose novels offer fresh twists on the everyday relationships that form the glue of our lives. Her latest adds a sprinkle of fantasy to the mix. Alice is a middle-aged school admissions officer who’s transported back into her 16-year-old body, giving her the opportunity to reconnect with her father and correct the mistakes that left them estranged. Buy the book.
You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty by Akwaeke Emezi
Emezi, known for her wildly inventive literary fiction, including Freshwater and The Death of Vivek Oji, has written her first romance novel about a young widow still grieving the death of her husband five years later. But when she travels to a mansion on a remote island, she finds unexpected love. It’s a swirling, scorching romp, full of decadent food, tropical glamour and the wistful hope that comes with a second chance at love. Buy the book.
After you’ve read these new spring releases, check out 12 movies that were better than the books they were based on.