If you've got the mid-April blues (how is it still raining... and snowing?), I've got a solution: This week's new book releases will pull you out of that slump faster than you can say, "Is it Memorial Day weekend yet?"
On the nonfiction side of things, this week brings with it plenty of female-authored books to get you through your week: there's a new memoir about modern motherhood, On Motherhood Before I Was Ready; Sally Kohn is releasing her debut, aptly timed book, The Opposite of Hate; Sharp, an examination and celebration of the sharp witted women who have shaped our cultural and literary history, is dropping this week, as is The Displaced, a collection of essays about the refugee experiences, edited by Pulitzer Prize winner Viet Thanh Nguyen, Fascism: A Warning by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Daughter of the Winter Queen, about the four granddaughters of Mary, Queen of Scots by nonfiction writer Nancy Goldstone, and For Every One, a poem and call-to-arms by beloved YA author Jason Reynolds.
On the fiction side of things, this week brings plenty of thrillers, including After Anna, a haunting drama about the strains of melding different families into one, Macbeth, a Jo Nesbo-authored retelling of the Shakespearean play, and Devils Unto Dust, a post-Civil War-era young adult novel set in the deserts of West Texas, where a mysterious and devastating sickness has taken hold of the population.
This week also brings one phenomenal short story collection — Heads of the Colored People — and the highly anticipated second novel from classicist Madeline Miller, Circe, a retelling of the story of literature's first witch.
Here are the 13 books you need to know this week:
'And Now We Have Everything: On Motherhood Before I Was Ready' By Meaghan O'Connell
Meaghan O'Connell's accidental pregnancy led to two frightening realizations: she wanted to keep the baby, and she didn't exactly know how to even prepare for motherhood. In this memoir of her pregnancy, childbirth, and early motherhood, O'Connell unpacks just what makes having a child so difficult, on so many different levels.
'The Opposite Of Hate' By Sally Kohn
The debut book from CNN's Sally Kohn, The Opposite of Hate is the balm your soul needs amid the deluge of breaking news. Kohn draws on psychological and scientific research as well as historical examples and modern anecdotes to dissect the roots of racism and hate and offers a solution on how to mend the divides.
'Sharp' By Michelle Dean
In Sharp, Michelle Dean dives deep into the lives and achievements of 10 women — from Dorothy Parker to Susan Sontag to Nora Ephron — and examines the elusive idea of "sharpness" that defined their work and set them apart in a male-dominated world.
'For Every One' by Jason Reynolds
Originally performed as a poem at the Kennedy Center for the unveiling of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, Jason Reynold's For Every One is a stunning call-to-action to the kids who are too scared to dream of a world where things are better than they are right now. Short and stirring, this poem is a reminder that hope and faith are necessary tools in both the path of resistance and the path to happiness.
'After Anna' by Lisa Scottoline
When Maggie marries her dream man, Dr. Noah Alderman, and reconnects with the daughter she gave away at birth, Anna, she thinks her life has pretty much peaked. But then Anna is murdered — and Noah is charged with the crime.
'Fascism' by Madeleine Albright
An ominous title for ominous times: In Fascism: A Warning, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright examines the roots of Fascism in the 20th century and argues that it poses as great a threat to democracy now as it did during World War II.
'Macbeth' by Jo Nesbo
The newest installment in Hogarth's Shakespeare project, Macbeth is a retelling of the play of the same name, with a crime thriller twist like only Jo Nesbo can write.
'Daughters of the Winter Queen: Four Remarkable Sisters, the Crown of Bohemia, and the Enduring Legacy of Mary, Queen of Scots' by Nancy Goldstone
A nonfiction book just as thrilling and dramatic as any reality television show, Daughters of the Winter Queen is the story of the four daughters of Elizabeth Stuart, granddaughter of Mary, Queen of Scots.
'Devils Unto Dust' by Emma Berquist
A mysterious, horrifying sickness has spread across the West Texas in the decade since the Civil War. Those inflicted — the shakes, as they're called — attack the living, and those unaffected are only as safe as the walls they've built. If you love creepy, historical thrillers with a supernatural twist, don't miss this story about 17-year-old Willie's journey into the desert to find her missing father.
'Circe' by Madeline Miller
In this retelling of the Greek mythological story of Circe, literature's first witch, Madeline Miller spins a feminist tale about one woman's solo stand against the powers of a man's world.
'Heads of the Colored People' by Nafissa Thompson-Spires
If you're on the hunt for a short story collection this week, let this be it. Nafissa Thompson-Spires is making her presence known with utterly unique characters and a wicked sense of humor all of her own in this collection about the complexities and realities of black culture.
'The Displaced: Refugee Writers On Refugee Lives' edited by Viet Thanh Nguyen
Edited by Pulitzer Prize winner Viet Thanh Nguyen, The Displaced is an incisive and heartbreaking exploration of the refugee crisis, told through the perspective of 17 writers who have lived it, including Porochista Khakpour and Vu Tran.
'Cake' By Maira Kalman and Barbara Scott-Goodman
For the dessert to top off your week of reading, try Cake by artist Maira Kalman and food writer Barbara Scott-Goodman. Filled with delectable images and recipe pairings, this book is the sweet topper your week needs.