March means the beginning of Daylight Savings Time and spring break vacations and maybe — if you're lucky — the very first hints of flowers, and foliage, and warm weather. Depending on where you live, you may not be able to sprawl out in the park with a blanket and an iced drink quite yet, but you can certainly get a head-start on your spring reading with the
best new books of March.
If you loved
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, you'll be thrilled to learn that Taylor Jenkins Reid is back with a novel about an equally dynamic heroine, this one living a rock-n-roll lifestyle in the 1960s. Literary superstars Helen Oyeyemi, Pulitzer Prize finalist Laila Lalami, and 5 Under 35 honoree Halle Butler are also releasing new novels this month, and all three deserve a spot on your spring TBR list. This month even brings with it a previously unpublished story by Sylvia Plath, who died in 1963.
If you prefer nonfiction, March is certainly an exciting month: Books about murderess Lizzie Borden, poet Letitia Elizabeth Landon, and the
creator of the "Creature from the Black Lagoon" Milicent Patrick will expose you to a new perspective on women's history and how often it's distorted, revised, and forgotten.
Here are 33 books being published in March that you need to know:
'The New Me' by Halle Butler (March 5)
If you loved
My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh, don't miss this sardonic and grimly relatable new book from Halle Butler. Millie is 30-years-old and, well, "a work in progress." She has one friend, no hobbies, an attitude problem, and a closet full of dirty and/or torn clothes she wears to her boring temp job. But when an opportunity emerges for her to potentially leverage her job into a full-time gig, she envisions a whole new life for herself. Click here to buy. 'Gingerbread' by Helen Oyeyemi (March 5)
All the words you'd use to describe a perfectly enjoyable piece of gingerbread apply to this book. Helen Oyeyemi flexes her exceptional talents and infuses her magic into this novel about mothers, daughters, the stories we tell, and the secrets we keep.
Click here to buy. 'Long Live The Tribe Of Fatherless Girls' by T Kira Madden (March 5)
A dizzying and dazzling coming-of-age story,
Long Live The Tribe of Fatherless Girls is a story as hard to shake as glitter. T Kira Madden grew up in wealthy Parkland, just outside of Boca Raton. But despite her privilege, her inner world was often in flux: Her parents were, at varying points of her life, heavy drug users, and she struggled to pin-down a state of being that felt true. In this memoir, she writes of that longing for unique personhood, but also of family, of death, of grief, of love. Click here to buy. 'Daisy Jones & The Six' by Taylor Jenkins Reid (March 5) Almost Famous meets Reese Witherspoon's book club in Taylor Jenkins Reid's Daisy Jones and the Six. (As it so happens, Witherspoon is adapting the book into a limited series for Amazon.) An iconic cover is matched by an iconic story about the effervescent Daisy Jones and the highs-and-lows of the rockstar lifestyle of the late '70s, inventively told through interviews, emails, lyrics, and oral history. Click here to buy. 'L.E.L: The Lost Life and Scandalous Death of Letitia Elizabeth Landon, the Celebrated "Female Byron"' by Lucasta Miller (March 5)
This Women's History Month, why not indulge in the tale of a the poet Letitia Elizabeth Landon — pen-name: L.E.L. Her sweet, sentimental, romantic poems earned her fierce fans (and equally passionate critics) but her work — and the scandalous, rollocking story of her life — have mostly been lost to history, until now.
Click here to buy. 'The Lady From The Black Lagoon' by Mallory O'Meara (March 5)
Another perfect book for Women's History Month,
The Lady From The Black Lagoon centers the story of Milicent Patrick, who was scraped from the credits of Creature from the Black Lagoon despite being the only woman to have designed a classic movie monster. Written by screenwriter and film producer Mallory O'Meara, this book is an incisive criticism of the erasure of women in Hollywood through the lens of the life and legacy of Milicent Patrick. Click here to buy. 'Mary Ventura & The Ninth Kingdom' by Sylvia Plath (March 5)
This never-before-published story by
The Bell Jar author Sylvia Plath was written in 1952, when the late writer was a student at Smith College. An allegorical tale about one woman's strange train journey, this story is perhaps best-suited for Plath superfans who want to compare her early works to the writing for which she's best known. Click here to buy. 'The Stranger Diaries' by Elly Griffiths (March 5)
The protagonist of Elly Griffiths' new novel, Claire Cassidy, is a professor who specializes in the works of crime writer R.M. Holland. She, like any good thriller reader, knows how murder stories go. Even so, she isn't prepared for the fallout that occurs when a fellow teacher is murdered — and a scrap of paper with a line from R.M. Holland is found beside the body.
Click here to buy. 'Queen Bey' by Veronica Chambers (March 5)
Veronica Chambers, an editor at
The New York Times, assembled an all-star cast of writers — including Lena Waithe, Brittney Cooper, and Reshma Saujani — to write about the legacy and impact of the world's most dazzling celebrity: Beyoncé. Click here to buy. 'Dealing In Dreams' by Lilliam Rivera (March 5)
In this dystopian YA novel from the author of
The Education of Margot Sanchez, a teenage girl named Nalah negotiates her life as the leader of Mega City's most respected all-girl crew with her dreams of securing a home in the exclusive Mega Towers. Click here to buy. 'Deaf Republic' by Ilya Kaminsky (March 5)
You may recognize the name
Ilya Kaminsky from his Twitter account, where he frequently shares lines from literature with his nearly 10,000 followers. (He attributes a recent post to fellow poet Anne Sexton: "Joy that isn't shared, I heard, dies young.") But Kaminsky doesn't only deal in the words of other writers; he writes, too. Bravely, and with fierce conviction. In Deaf Republic, Kaminsky dives into the inner world of people affected by the atrocities of the world, as they all deal with the fallout of the murder of a deaf boy. Click here to buy. 'Field Notes On Love' by Jennifer E. Smith (March 5) Field Notes on Love is as dreamy as delightful as you've come to accept from YA rom-com queen Jennifer E. Smith. When Hugo's girlfriend unexpectedly dumps him right before their long-planned week-long train journey together, he desperately places an ad for someone with the exact name as her — Margaret Campbell — to take the non-transferrable ticket. Mae, full name Margaret Campbell, an aspiring film student who's still reeling from her rejection to USC, answers. Click here to buy. 'Karamo: My Story of Embracing Purpose, Healing, and Hope' by Karamo Brown (March 5) Queer Eye's cultural expert Karamo Brown tells his life story — and gives fans a delicious behind-the-scenes look at the taping of the feel-good Netflix series — in his new memoir. Click here to buy. 'Era of Ignition' by Amber Tamblyn (March 5)
Amber Tamblyn — actress, director, and Time's Up co-founder — knows the ins-and-outs of Hollywood, and she especially knows how misogyny and rape culture are baked into the system. In
Era of Ignition, she examines the evolution of her own feminism and the changing nature of feminism at-large. Click here to buy. 'Sissy: A Coming Of Gender Story' by Jacob Tobia (March 5)
A necessary read about gender, society, and the very real costs of prejudice and ignorant,
Sissy by Jacob Tobia is an honest, funny, and poignant memoir that will completely make you rethink the construct of gender. Click here to buy. 'The Trial Of Lizzie Borden' by Cara Robertson (March 12)
You know Lizzie Borden. Even if you can't remember exactly what she did (hacked her parents to death), you know that she's a murderer, bad, and perhaps even evil. In
Trial of Lizzie Borden, Cara Robertson dissects the courtroom transcripts, newspaper articles, and local accounts of her arrest and trial to form a fuller picture of the story of Lizzie Borden. Click here to buy. 'All The Wrong Places' by Joy Fielding (March 12)
Online dating can be emotionally and spiritually draining — and, in Joy Fielding's new novel, quite literally deadly. When four women try online dating, they hope to meet someone who will give them butterflies. Instead, they each unknowingly set a date with a serial killer.
Click here to buy. 'If, Then' by Kate Hope Day (March 12)
If you've ever wondered what your life would look like in alternate timelines,
If, Then will certainly appeal to you . In Kate Hope Day's debut novel, four ordinary people in Clearing, Oregon begin to have visions of parallel versions of their lives. As these visions grow more and more frightening, all four must reckon with the ramifications in their "real" timeline. Click here to buy. 'SHOUT' by Laurie Halse Anderson (March 12)
You probably recognize Laurie Halse Anderson as the author of
Speak, but did you know she also writes poetry? In this memoir, the YA legend reckons with her own history of sexual assault through a series of haunting, vulnerable, and striking poems. Both a love letter to survivors and a call-to-action, SHOUT is a necessary read of the #MeToo era. Click here to buy. 'What You Have Heard Is True' by Carolyn Forché (March 19)
Poet Carolyn Forché did not anticipate that she would bear witness to the beginnings of war in El Salvador, an experience that shaped her as a writer, an activist, and a human being. In this blazing memoir, she recounts that experience and offers a full picture of a land and people made victim by the violence of the United States.
Click here to buy. 'Lot' by Bryan Washington (March 19)
One of the most highly anticipated short story collections of the year, Bryan Washington's
Lot tells the tale of one young man's journey confronting his legacy and accepting his sexuality. Through the eyes of this unnamed narrator, Washington gives readers a slice of the kaleidoscopic wonder and variety of Houston, Texas. Click here to buy. 'Queenie' by Candice-Carty Williams (March 19)
Queenie is 25-years-old, Jamaican-American, recently single, and working at a newspaper where she's constantly fighting to fit in with her all-white, middle-class co-workers. Her journey to "having it all figured out" is always messy, occasionally infuriating, and often frustrating — but you'll never stop rooting for her.
Click here to buy. 'Small Town Hearts' by Lillie Vale (March 19)
OK so it's not
quite warm yet, but you can still lay out in the sun (indoors, by a window, with the heaters on) and enjoy this sunny, feel-good queer romance set in a Maine beach town. Bev's romantic life is — to put it mildly — a disaster, but a cute artist named Levi in town for the summer catches her eye. But of course, she's not totally over her ex-girlfriend... Click here to buy. 'Internment' by Samira Ahmed (March 19) Internment is fiction, but it reads like something that could happen all-too-soon if people don't fight back against forces of racism, xenophobia, and prejudice. Set in a near-future America where Muslim-Americans are forced into camps, the YA novel follows one teenager on a quest for freedom. Click here to buy. 'Look How Happy I'm Making You' by Polly Rosenwaike (March 19) Look How Happy I'm Making You is a story collection that tackles motherhood in all its complexities: the feeling of wanting it; the feeling of maybe wanting it, but not being totally sure; the feeling of being completely, totally, utterly, desperately overwhelmed by it when it happens. Whatever your stance on becoming a mom, you'll want to read this book. Click here to buy. 'Good Talk: A Memoir In Conversation' by Mira Jacob (March 26)
Vibrant, inventive, and vulnerable, Mira Jacob's graphic memoir
Good Talk addresses head-on the complexities of being fully American while also being fully Jewish, fully Indian, fully mixed, fully whatever in the era of Trump. Told through a series of conversations between Mira and her young son, Good Talk attempts to answer, with humor and heart, some of the most difficult questions of all. Click here to buy. 'The Other Americans' by Laila Lalami (March 26)
Pulitzer Prize finalist Laila Lalami spins a narrative of family, love, murder, race, religion, and class through the story of one Moroccan immigrant's sudden death and its ramifications on six other Americans.
Click here to buy. 'The Old Drift' by Namwali Serpell (March 26)
Already being called the Zambian version of
One Hundred Years of Solitude, Namwali Serpell's The Old Drift is a multi-generational novel that traces the interconnected lives of three families over a century. It's subversive and bold, and sure to be named as one of the best novels of the year. Click here to buy. 'Burnout: The Secrets To Unlocking The Stress Cycle' by Emily Nagoski, PhD., & Amelia Nagoski, DMA (March 26)
You've probably heard all the buzz about burnout: People — Millennials, particularly — are more stressed than ever about money, life, jobs, hobbies, mental health, and love. But in this book, Emily and Amelia Nagoski examine specifically how it affects women — and how financial, cultural, and social forces disproportionately affect women and make them more prone to burning out.
Click here to buy. 'No Happy Endings' by Nora McInerny (March 26)
From the author of
It's Okay to Laugh and host of the podcast Terrible, Thanks for Asking comes another frank, honest exploration of loss and "moving on." Since losing her husband, Nora McInerny has remarried and expanded her family (she now has four kids) but she never loses sight of her sadness, despite all her joy. In No Happy Endings, she writes about the aftermath of an extraordinary loss and the absurdity of the idea that you'll ever be completely healed. Click here to buy. 'Julia Child: The Last Interview And Other Conversations' by Julie Child, with introduction by Helen Rosner (March 26)
Julia Child — heard of her? Even if the extent of your kitchen expertise is "well, Seamless already has my order saved" you will still enjoy these conversations with the chef who made it her mission to make cooking accessible and fun.
Click here to buy. 'Sing To It' by Amy Hempel (March 26)
Short fiction queen Amy Hempel is back with a collection of 15 stories about characters so singularly baffling and fascinating that you won't be able to help but see a bit of yourself (and your loved ones) in them.
Click here to buy. 'Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think, and Do' by Jennifer L. Eberhardt, PhD (March 26)
Researcher Jennifer L. Eberhardt unpacks the science of bias, its real-world implications, and its systemic underpinnings in this eye-opening examination of one of humanity's biggest failings.
Click here to buy.