45 New Books Coming Out In May 2019 To Add To Your Memorial Day Reading List
It's finally May, and that means you're probably starting to dream of park days, beach vacations, and other opportunities for reading in the sunshine. No matter what kind of book you prefer to take with you on those lazy days of summer, the titles will below will be the perfect companion. These are the 45 new books coming out in May 2019 that you need to add to your reading list.
There's plenty of swoony romance in these books, especially in two queer royal-themed love stories: Red, White, & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston and Her Royal Highness by Rachel Hawkins. Plus, Sonali Dev is back with a gender-swapped Pride & Prejudice retelling set in San Francisco, and Helen Hoang is releasing her second romance novel with an autistic protagonist.
If you're in the mood for a nonfiction book to get you through to Memorial Day weekend, try Furious Hours by Casey Cep, a meticulous history of To Kill A Mockingbird author Harper Lee and the brutal series of murders she spent years reporting on, or Rough Magic by Lara Prior Palmer, an account of one woman's journey on "the world's longest, toughest horse race" in Mongolia.
Need more recommendations? Here are Bustle's 45 most anticipated new books of May 2019:
'How It Feels To Float' by Helena Fox (May 7)
If you've read Anna Borges's story for The Outline "I Am Not Always Very Attached To Being Alive," you are perhaps already acquainted with the idea of "treading to stay afloat" when living with mental illness. In How It Feels To Float, author Helena Fox tells the story of a young woman floating through life, struggling to hide her dark thoughts and a past marked by intergenerational mental illness.
'Pride and Prejudice and Other Flavors' by Sonali Dev (May 7)
The first in a new series about the Rajes — a San Francisco-based Indian family descended from royalty — Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors is a powerful and playful gender-swapped retelling of Jane Austen's beloved classic. Dr. Trisha Raje is the best neurosurgeon in San Francisco, though that's still not enough to impress her over-achieving family. DJ Caine is an up-and-coming chef who has succeeded despite his rough upbringing. What happens when their very different worlds collide?
'The Farm' by Joanne Ramos (May 7)
Golden Oaks — the "Farm" — is a beautiful, lush getaway tucked away in the Hudson Valley. There, women are treated to all the amenities of a five-star spa, all for free. But there's a few catches: They can't leave for nine months, they can't talk to their family or loved ones, and they must fully immerse themselves in the process of producing a perfect baby – for someone else.
'The Bride Test' by Helen Hoang (May 7)
Like her critically acclaimed first novel The Kiss Quotient, Helen Hoang's new book centers a protagonist with autism, Khai Diep. Khai processes emotions differently than everyone else, and he avoids relationships because of it. But his family is determined to him to find the perfect bride — a mission that leads them to Esme, a mixed-race girl from Ho Chi Minh City.
'With The Fire On High' by Elizabeth Acevedo (May 7)
Elizabeth Acevedo's first novel The Poet X swept nearly every literary award for YA literature in 2018: The National Book Award, the Printz Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and more. In her follow-up, Acevedo turns to the world of culinary arts with a protagonist, Emoni, who must negotiate her passion for cooking with the reality of her life as a teenage mom.
'Hope & Other Punch Lines' by Julie Buxbaum (May 7)
Abbi has spent her entire life trying to play down her dubious legacy as Baby Hope, the subject of a photograph that became one of the most iconic images of the terrorist attacks of 9/11. But then she meets Noah, whose life was forever altered that day, too.
'Her Royal Highness' by Rachel Hawkins (May 7)
When she discovers her girlfriend has been cheating on her, a very heartbroken Millie decides to make a drastic life change and move to Scotland for boarding school. She quickly falls in love with the campus and everyone on it — except one person, her roommate, Flora, who just so happens to be a princess. Seriously.
'Finale' by Stephanie Garber (May 7)
'Exhalation' by Ted Chiang (May 7)
Ted Chiang — who wrote the story that inspired the movie Arrival — is back with a collection of nine stories that answer some of life's most difficult and universal questions through tales of aliens, time portals, and alternate universes.
'Juliet The Manic' by Juliet Escoria (May 7)
When this novel opens, 14-year-old Juliet is a fairly normal teenager, whatever that means: She gets good grades, and seems bound for success. But when she experiences a mental health crisis, she descends into a spiral of darkness that no one – not her family, not her friends, not her — knows how to deal with.
'Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me' by Mariko Tamaki and Rosemary Valero-O'Connell (May 7)
If you've ever been in an emotionally toxic relationship you couldn't seem to walk away from, this book is for you. Through gorgeous illustration and wry, playful prose, Mariko Tamaki and Rosemary Valero-O'Connell tells the story of Freddy, who has been told by everyone — even a medium, like, someone who talks to the dead — that she needs to say goodbye to Laura Dean.
'The Flight Portfolio' by Julie Orringer (May 7)
This harrowing novel is based on the real story of Varian Fry, an American journalist who organized an underground railroad during World War II to transport Jewish artists — including Hannah Arendt and Marcel Duchamp — away from the atrocities of the Holocaust.
'New Daughters of Africa: An International Anthology of Writing by Women of African Descent' edited by Margaret Busby (May 7)
Twenty-five years after the publication of her Daughters of Africa anthology, Margaret Busby is back with a second collection, this one also showcasing the work of 200 women writers of African descent.
'Middlegame' by Seanan McGuire (May 7)
Dodger — skilled in math and chess — and Roger — skilled in words and languages — are twins who don't know of the other's existence and have grown up in opposite sides of the world. But when they suddenly form a telepathic connection with one another, they realize they are not ordinary people. They were created for a very specific purpose.
'The Last Time I Saw You' by Liv Constantine (May 7)
'Split-Level' by Sande Boritz Berger (May 7)
When a housewife, bored by the routine of her suburban life, convinces her husband to join her for a couples sanctuary, she doesn't expect that he will come away from it with a newfound desire for an open marriage.
'Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee' by Casey Cep (May 7)
Harper Lee never published a book in her lifetime that wasn't about Scout Finch, but she worked on one for a long time: A book based on the true story of Reverend Willie Maxwell, who killed five family members for the insurance money before he was murdered himself. In Furious Hours, Casey Cep gives readers a brilliant history of the life-insurance industry (it's more exciting that it sounds!), a riveting true crime story, and a dazzling biography of one of America's most beloved writers.
'Dear Scarlet: The Story Of My Postpartum Depression' by Teresa Wong (May 7)
Postpartum depression affects up to 15% of mothers, but too often the quiet feelings of inadequacy and loss go undiscussed. In this graphic memoir, Teresa Wong opens the doors of conversation through a letter to her daughter, Scarlet.
'Rough Magic' by Lara Prior Palmer (May 7)
On a whim, 19-year-old Lara Prior-Palmer decided to enter "the world's longest, toughest horse race" in Mongolia. Though she had no formal training, she raced for 10 days, battling dehydration, extreme heat, and unfathomable obstacles along the way.
'Somewhere Only We Know' by Maureen Goo (May 7)
In a Roman Holiday-esque tale of love and fame, a K-Pop starlet and a tabloid reporter experience one magical day that might change their lives forever.
'The Goodbye Diaries: A Mother Daughter Memoir' by Marisa Bardach Ramel and Sally Bardach (May 7)
After Sally Bardach was diagnosed with terminal cancer, she and her then college-aged daughter made a pact to write a memoir together, one told in alternative voices. Bardach wrote much of her half of this memoir before her death, and Ramel has spent the years since reflecting, writing, and editing this exploration of loss and its aftermath.
'Nocturna' by Maya Motayne (May 7)
In a Latinx-inspired world, a shape-shifting, magic-wielding thief is on a mission to steal a legendary treasure from Castallan's royal prince in order to appease the mobster on her back. But the royal prince needs her as much as she needs the treasure: He needs her magic to bring back his brother from the dead.
'The Unhoneymooners' by Christina Lauren (May 14)
Olive, the maid of honor at her sister's wedding, and Ethan, the best man, hate each other. But when the entire wedding party — minus the two of them — gets food poisoning, they're offered the chance of a free vacation, the honeymoon the bride and groom can no longer go on. But what happens when the two are thrown together for an extended period of time in paradise? You can read an excerpt now on Bustle.
'Lima :: Limón' by Natalie Scenters-Zapico (May 14)
The second collection from poet Natalie Scenters-Zapico, Lima :: Limón explores, as her first collection did, the complicated intimacy between border cities El Paso and Juarez, and machismo, violence, and the particular nuances of life as a Mexican-American in between two countries and two identities.
'Orange World' by Karen Russell (May 14)
Swamplandia! author Karen Russell explores the simple beauty of ordinary life through surreal, imaginative, supernatural tales of ghosts and deserts and the devil.
'We Hunt The Flame' by Hafsah Faizal (May 14)
In this fantasy set in an Arabian-inspired world, Zafira — a girl who disguises herself a boy on her missions to the cursed forest of the Arz — embarks on a quest to find an artifact that can save her people from encroaching threats. But she doesn't know that someone else is on a mission to find the artifact, too — and they'll kill her if necessary.
'I Wish You All The Best' by Mason Deaver (May 14)
When Ben comes out to their parents as nonbinary, their forced out of their house. They turns to their sister and her new husband for help and shelter, and they hope to survive the rest of senior years without making too much noise at their new school. But that all changes when they meet Nathan, a charismatic student who takes Ben under his wing.
'Once More We Saw Stars' by Jayson Greene (May 14)
Jayson Greene's two-year-old daughter, Greta, was sitting on a park bench on the Upper West Side with her grandmother when a stray piece of brick fell from the building above, and hit her on the head. She died several days later, the victim of an unfathomable and inexplicably random tragedy. In this memoir, Greene writes about the painful process of grieving and beginning again in this breathtaking memoir about loss, love, and discovering a new sense of reality.
'There's Something About Sweetie' by Sandhya Menon (May 14)
Ashish Patel just got dumped, and he's just heartbroken enough to let his parents match him up with a girl they think is a better fit than his ex. Sweetie Nair is a track athlete on a mission to show the world that it's OK to be fat. When these two meet, it's magic.
'Rulers For Visiting' by Jessica Francis Kane (May 14)
May Attaway, more at home with plants than people, decides to embark on a modern-day female Odyssey journey when she's given some time off from her job as a gardener. Her mission? To reconnect with four of her once-close friends, one by one.
'Red, White & Royal Blue' by Casey McQuiston (May 14)
Alex Claremont-Diaz, the son of the president of the United States, is young, handsome, charming, and widely beloved. The only thing the tabloids have got on him is a beef with an actual prince, Henry of Wales. In a desperate attempt at damage control, heads of state force the two to be friends — but it might end up being more than that.
'Home Remedies' by Xuan Juliana Wang (May 14)
In 12 breathtaking stories, Xuan Juliana Wang dismantles the tropes of the immigrant narrative and challenges the stereotypes about what it means to live as a Chinese-American youth in a country so different from the one of your family.
'Necessary People' by Anna Pitoniak (May 21)
Stella and Violet have been best friends since college, despite growing up on vastly different ends of the economic spectrum. Violet, who grew up poor, has always worked hard. Stella, who grew up rich, has never had to try to get what she wants. When the two are hired by the same news station, resentment boils, and competing ambitions threaten to ruin their friendship — and their lives.
'Star-Crossed' by Minnie Drake (May 21)
Childhood sweethearts Justine and Nick are fated to fall-in-love again — at least, according to Justine. Nick is more inclined to follow his horoscope than follow his heart. Luckily for Justine, Nick reads the horoscopes that appear in the very same magazine where she works. Can she play with fate? Or will another Aquarius fall for her subconscious tinkering?
'Girl Gone Viral' by Arvin Ahmadi (May 21)
Opal, a skilled coder, has thrown herself into school since her dad disappeared when she was 10 years old. When WAVE, the world's biggest virtual reality platform, announces a contest where the winner gets to meet its billionaire founder, Opal is intrigued. Because that billionaire founder worked closely with her dad, and he might have some answers.
'Finding Our Place In The Universe' by Hélène Courtois, translated by Nikki Kopelman (May 21)
This book, a work-in-translation, is a stunning account of the journey to map our universe and pinpoint the precise location of Earth, as told by the woman who led the team of researchers who achieved this phenomenal feat.
'The Missing Season' by Gillian French (May 21)
Kids in this town go missing every October, disappeared by a mysterious monster in the marshes called The Mumbler. Clare is new to town, and she doesn't quite believe the urban legend. But soon, she becomes unable to deny the reality that something dark is afoot.
'The Edge Of Every Day' by Marin Sardy (May 21)
Just a few months following the publication of Esme Wang's memoir in essays, The Collected Schizophrenias, Marin Sardy releases her own memoir, about the mental illness that runs through her family. The book is a powerful examination of intergenerational mental illness, an incisive criticism the treatment of mentally ill in society and in the healthcare system, and a poignant ode to love and family.
'Let Me Hear A Rhyme' by Tiffany D. Jackson (May 21)
When Steph is murdered, his best friends and sister make a pact to keep his legacy alive through his music. But when one of Steph's tracks goes viral and sparks the interest of music label rep, the friends have to reckon with the truth about what happened to him.
'Birthday' by Meredith Russo (May 21)
Meredith Russo, the author of If I Was Your Girl, is back with a gorgeous story of first love. Eric and Morgan share a birthday, and everything else, too. This book follows the two on six of their birthdays — only on their birthday — and in the process, tells a wrenching story about love, friendship, sexuality, and gender.
'The Favorite Daughter' by Kaira Rouda (May 21)
Jane hasn't been the same since her teenage daughter died in a tragic accident a year ago. But the more she thinks about it, the more she realizes that the events of that night don't add up. And she thinks her husband is hiding a secret that could tie everything together.
'Stay Sexy And Don't Get Murdered' by Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark (May 28)
The hosts of My Favorite Murder are making their book debut with Stay Sexy & Don't Get Murdered, a memoir about their road to fame built on their obsession with all things grisly and gruesome.
'Anthony Bourdain Remembered' (May 28)
When celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain died by suicide in 2018, his fans, family, and friends were shocked. In this tribute to his life and work, Jose Andrés, Eric Ripert, Barack Obama and others pay tribute to the iconic world traveler.
'Ask Again, Yes' by Mary Beth Keane (May 28)
Kate and Peter were forced apart by a violent accident when they were both in the eighth grade. When they find their way back to each other, their relationship is tested by the events of their past and their complicated family histories.
'These Witches Don't Burn' by Isabel Sterling (May 28)
Hannah is a witch. For real. She lives in Salem, Massachusetts with a coven and everything, even though she can't actually use her magic in front of non-witches. When evidence of dark magic begins to appear all over Salem, Hannah is forced to team up with the only person who takes the bad omens seriously, her ex-girlfriend, Veronica. (Also a witch.) But things get even more complicated when Hannah meets another girl.