The Reading List: April’s 10 Best Book Releases
10 new releases worth adding to your reading list this month.
1. Best Appetite-whetter
Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation by Michael Pollan
The ur-foodie embarks on the ur-foodie pilgrimage. With refreshing humility, Pollan learns (relearns?) to cook a recipe with each of the four elements-fire (barbecue), air (bread), water (braising) and earth (pickling and fermenting)-by apprenticing with masters.
2. Best Rib-tickler
Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls by David Sedaris
America’s foremost humorist leaves his narrative comfort zone-the bosom of his family and North Carolina-to write about such varied topics as Beijing squat toilets and human taxidermy.
3. Best Bone-chiller
Give Me Everything You Have by James Lasdun
This real-life story-about being stalked and publicly tormented by a deranged former student on the Internet-may have been horrific to experience, but it’s terrifically compelling to read.
4. Best Ginger Solidarity
Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
The beloved CanLit classic was recently reissued with a blonde cover model (sacrilege!). The only way to fight this atrocity: unearth your dog-eared, redheaded copy and reacquaint yourself with ol’ Carrots.
5. Most Prolific Prodigy
The Last Girlfriend on Earth by Simon Rich
At age 28, Rich has already released three books, had a stint writing for Saturday Night Live and doctored scripts for Pixar. His latest collection of whimsical romantic comedies includes the story of an early-20th-century Jewish immigrant who accidentally gets pickled for 100 years, only to wake up in 2013 Brooklyn.
6. Monarch of the Moment
Richard III by William Shakespeare
Between Kevin Spacey’s Plantagenetian manoeuverings on the new hit series House of Cards and the recent discovery of Dick’s hunchbacked bones in Leicester, now is the perfect time to stage a dramatic reading of Shakespeare’s most gruesome history.
7. Toothiest Tome
Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton
The ’90s classic gets a 3-D re-release this month. As scary as that will be-and nothing is scarier than watching someone getting eaten by a T. Rex while on the can-the source material provides just as many dino-sized thrills.
8. Prettiest Woman
Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote
Revisit Holly Golightly, American literature’s most beloved dilettante-slash-hooker, on her 55th birthday. Perfect for a rainy afternoon with your cat and “Moon River” LP.
9. American Gothic
The Accursed by Joyce Carol Oates
Fans of Oates’ magical realist Gothic saga will appreciate this latest instalment, which takes place in turn-of-the-century Princeton, New Jersey. Upton Sinclair, Woodrow Wilson, Grover Cleveland and Mark Twain all appear.
10. Death Becomes Her
Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
The heroine, Ursula Todd, has a seemingly countless stock of lives-an existential drag for her, but a boon for Atkinson, who creates a sinister, multi-tentacled universe of alternate realities and timelines.