With the arrival of spring comes many brand new books to add to your to-be-read stack. This is great news, because warmer weather also brings the promise of more reading time: Afternoons spent in the park, impromptu road trips, lazy days spent lounging by the pool, spring break vacations... if you're anything like me you'll need a book (or two) to bring along for all of it. And I, for one, am desperate to get my hands on one of spring's best new memoirs, 29 of which I've listed below. These books, all released between March and May are enthralling and hilarious, captivating and heartbreaking, healing and illuminating.
Whether you're looking for celebrity stories (Queer Eye's Karamo Brown and Tan France both have books out this spring, as does Chelsea Handler), insider political tales (Valerie Jarrett and Alyssa Mastromonaco are both publishing books with stories about their time in Obama's White House) or moving takes on family, love and loss (Erin Lee Carr's All That You Leave Behind, Jayson Greene's Once More We Saw Stars, and Abby Maslin's Love You Hard must be read with box of tissues) you'll find it all on the list of 29 must-read memoirs below:
'Long Live The Tribe of Fatherless Girls' by T Kira Madden
T Kira Madden's memoir — a true dream for anyone who feels fierce nostalgia for the '90s — follows her coming-of-age in Boca Raton, Florida.
'So Here’s the Thing…' by Alyssa Mastromonaco (March 5)
Former Obama staffer Alyssa Mastromonaco shares her personal experiences of working in the West Wing to finding a wing woman, tackling the highs and lows of bodies, politics, relationships, and more.
'Karamo: My Story of Embracing Healing, Purpose and Hope' by Karamo Brown
Queer Eye's culture expert, Karamo Brown, invites readers into his complicated upbringing, overcoming drug addiction, and his journeys to fatherhood and being cast on the popular Netflix series.
'Sissy: A Coming-Of-Gender Story' by Jacob Tobia
Sissy takes readers from Jacob Tobia's Methodist childhood to the hallowed halls of Duke University to the portrait-laden parlors of the White House — recounting every stage of a gender revolution.
'This Much Country' by Kristin Knight Pace
After a crippling divorce, Knight Pace accepted an offer to live at a friend's cabin outside of Denali National Park in Alaska for a few months, where she took care of her friend's eight sled dogs and experienced a change of perspective.
'The Wrong End of the Table: A Mostly Comic Memoir of a Muslim Arab American Woman Just Trying to Fit In' by Ayser Salman
When Salman, a self-professed "shy, awkward Arab girl with a weird name" is uprooted from her homeland of Iraq and thrust into the cold, alien town of Columbus, Ohio, her journey to "becoming American" is anything but smooth.
'Too Much Is Not Enough' by Andrew Rannells (March 12)
Actor Andrew Rannells takes readers through his super relatable twenty-something experience of moving from Omaha to New York City, where he planned to make it on Broadway.
'Under Red Skies: Three Generations of Life, Loss, and Hope in China' by Karoline Kan
Through the stories of three generations of women in her family, Karoline Kan, a former New York Times reporter based in Beijing, reveals how they navigated their way in a country beset by poverty and violent political unrest.
'Love You Hard: A Memoir of Marriage, Brain Injury, and Reinventing Love' by Abby Maslin (March 12)
As Abby Maslin's husband, TC, recovered from a severe traumatic brain injury that left him unable to speak and walk, Abby faced the challenge of caring for — and loving — a husband who now resembled a stranger.
'Running Home' by Katie Arnold
For more than a decade, Katie Arnold chased adventure around the world, reporting on extreme athletes. But when her father died of cancer, she turned to the thing that has always made her feel most alive: running.
'What You Have Heard Is True: A Memoir of Witness and Resistance' by Carolyn Forché (March 19)
This memoir by renowned poet Carolyn Forché tells the story of her time in El Salvador during the late 1970s, when the country was on the verge of civil war, and she was swept up in the activist movement there.
'The Sun Is a Compass: A 4,000-Mile Journey into the Alaskan Wilds' by Caroline Van Hemert
When ornithologist Caroline Van Hemert began to feel stifled in the isolated, sterile environment of the lab, she and and her husband set off on a 4,000 mile wilderness journey from the Pacific rainforest to the Alaskan Arctic, all of which she recounts in her book.
'The Salt Path' by Raynor Winn
Just days after Raynor learns that Moth, her husband of 32 years, is terminally ill, they make the brave and impulsive decision to walk the 630 miles of the sea-swept South West Coast Path, from Somerset to Dorset.
'Unbecoming: A Memoir of Disobedience' by Anuradha Bhagwati
After a lifetime of buckling to the demands of her strict Indian parents, Bhagwati abandoned grad school to join the Marines. But as a bisexual woman of color in the military, she faced misogyny, racism, and sexual violence at every stage.
'Good Talk' by Mira Jacob
Her six-year-old son's questions about race, sexuality, and the 2016 U.S. presidential elections led Mira Jacob to think back to her own most formative conversations about race, color, sexuality, and love, some of which she includes in this book.
'What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker' by Damon Young
Damon Young uses his first memoir to chronicle his efforts to survive as he battles, and attempts to make sense of, the ever-shifting definitions of what it means to be Black (and male) in America.
'I Miss You When I Blink' by Mary Laura Philpott
In this memoir, Philpott explores what happened after she's checked off everything on her life's to-do list — career, marriage, motherhood — and instead of contentment found herself feeling anxious and stuck.
'Maybe You Should Talk To Someone' by Lori Gottlieb
Lori Gottlieb, a therapist, recounts sessions with her clients — and sessions with her own therapist, who helped her cope after a life-altering break-up.
'Save Me the Plums: My Gourmet Memoir' by Ruth Reichl
Trailblazing food writer and restaurant critic Ruth Reichl chronicles her groundbreaking tenure as editor in chief of Gourmet.
'Finding My Voice' by Valerie Jarrett
Valerie Jarrett was the longest serving advisor in the Obama White House, so her memoir is full of incredible stories about working with the former president. But this book is also an account of her journey to becoming one of the most influential Black women in America.
'The Honey Bus: A Memoir of Loss, Courage and a Girl Saved by Bees' by Meredith May
Meredith May forged an unbreakable bond with her grandfather, an eccentric beekeeper, as a child while dealing with her mother's volatile mental illness. In this memoir, she writes about it all.
'Meander, Spiral, Explode!' by Jane Alison
Novelist and writing teacher Jane Alison uses her own experiences of the craft to share a modern writing manifesto that encourages creatives to leave outdated modes of storytelling behind and embrace the dramatic arcs we see in life and nature.
'Fifty Things That Aren't My Fault: Essays from the Grown-Up Years' by Cathy Guisewite
Cathy Guisewite, creator of the famed Cathy comic strip, shares thoughts on aging, womanhood, and especially aging: aging parents, aging children, and her own aging self.
'All That You Leave Behind' by Erin Lee Carr (April 9)
Erin Lee Carr, the daughter of late journalist David Carr, combs through the thousands of emails her father sent her throughout his life, using them as the lens through which she explores love, grief, addiction, and family.
'Notes from a Young Black Chef' by Kwame Onwuachi (April 9)
By the time he was 27, Kwame Onwuachi had competed on Top Chef, cooked at the White House, and opened and closed one of the most talked about restaurants in America. Here, he shares his culinary coming-of-age as a young Black chef in the world of fine dining.
'Life Will Be The Death Of Me' by Chelsea Handler (April 9)
In her latest memoir, comedian Chelsea Handler writes about the personal reckoning she experienced after the 2016 presidential election.
'Magical Realism for Non-Believers: A Memoir of Finding Family' by Anika Fajardo (April 16)
At 21, young Minnesotan woman Anika Fajardo boarded a plane to Colombia to discover a birthplace that is foreign to her and a father who is a stranger.
'Naturally Tan' by Tan France (May 14)
Queer Eye's resident fashion expert goes behind the wardrobe in Naturally Tan, revealing what it was like to grow up gay in a traditional Muslim family in Doncaster, England.
'Once More We Saw Stars' by Jayson Greene (May 14)
In Once More We Saw Stars, Jayson Greene writes about the tragic death of his two-year-old daughter, Greta, in a memoir as much about hope and healing as it is about grief and loss.