April 2020 is finally here, and it's brought a boatload of great reading material with it. Bustle has compiled the 18 most anticipated books of April 2020 for you to check out below, so you can build your spring TBR the right way. Keep reading to find out which books your friends and family won't be able to get enough of this month.
With social distancing set to stick around until at least Apr. 30, you may find yourself with plenty of reading time this month. You're in luck, because April has some truly fantastic books to offer. Jennifer Finney Boylan has a new memoir out this month, and you'll also see a posthumous collection of short fiction from none other than Madeleine L'Engle land on a shelf near you. And did we mention that Julia Alvarez is publishing her first adult novel in almost 15 years this month?
So make sure you're all stocked up on the essentials, and settle in to get some dedicated reading time in this month. You've got the whole month of April to catch up on your TBR, and you shouldn't feel guilty about adding one or two more great books to your list.
Mad, Bad & Dangerous to Know by Samira Ahmed (Apr. 7)
Love, Hate and Other Filters author Samira Ahmed weaves together the lives of two young Muslim women living 200 years apart in this new novel. Mad, Bad & Dangerous to Know centers on Khayyam, a Chicagoan spending the summer between high school and college in Paris, and Leila, a 19th-century concubine in love with someone other than the man who lords over her. Their stories intersect in ways neither of them can possibly imagine, making Ahmed's new novel a fierce, feminist coming-of-age story.
Afterlife by Julia Alvarez (Apr. 7)
Julia Alvarez returns to the adult fiction market with Afterlife. Recently retired and even more recently widowed, former college professor Antonia must weather the disappearance of her similarly retired sister, Izzy, with little help. That is, until her life intersects with those of two teenage lovers, Mario and Estela, who need her help.
Conjure Women by Afia Atakora (Apr. 7)
After midwife and healer Rue attends to the birth of a baby boy born with a caul, children in the area begin to die from a mysterious illness, and the superstitious townsfolk believe that little Bean is a portent of evil, if not evil himself. A charismatic preacher named Bruh Abel complicates things for Rue, who wants to protect Bean, but isn't sure whom she can trust, in this poignant debut novel.
Little Universes by Heather Demetrios (Apr. 7)
After a tsunami claims the lives of their parents, twin high-school seniors Mae and Hannah must uproot themselves for a cross-country move. Stress and grief pitch Hannah into the throes of substance abuse, leaving Mae, an aspiring astronaut still sorting out her own bereavement, to save her.
Strike Me Down by Mindy Mejia (Apr. 7)
When the prize wallet for Strike's inaugural kickboxing tournament goes missing, one of the feminist company's married co-founders hires a forensic accountant, Nora Trier, to find out where the money's gone. But Nora has a secret that links her to Strike, and it may prevent her from telling the truth about what happened to the missing $20 million.
The Love Story of Missy Carmichael by Beth Morrey (Apr. 7)
At 79, Missy Carmichael is downright curmudgeonly. Widowed and separated from her adult children, Missy doesn't cultivate relationships with anyone nearby. But the sudden entrance of a reckless dog named Bob into Missy's life could change everything for the better.
To Have and to Hoax by Martha Waters (Apr. 7)
A married couple fake illness and injury in order to make each other fall in love in this madcap Regency romance. To Have and to Hoax centers on Violet and James, who, five years into their marriage, have spent four years without speaking to one another. They both want that spark back, but neither feels they can risk vulnerability by telling the other how they feel. What are a lord and lady to do? Come up with elaborate ruses, of course.
Perfect Tunes by Emily Gould (Apr. 14)
Fifteen years after she pursued a music career in the East Village, Laura has settled down in Brooklyn to raise her daughter, Marie. Now a teenager, Marie wants to know more about her biological father, but Laura has closed the book on that period of her life. Emily Gould's Perfect Tunes is a heartfelt exploration of the mother-daughter relationship and what it means to let go of the life you once wanted for yourself.
This Is Big: How the Founder of Weight Watchers Changed the World (and Me) by Marisa Meltzer
Part memoir, part biography Marisa Meltzer's This Is Big explores her own complicated relationship with diet culture through the lens of Weight Watchers founder Jean Nidetch's life. If you've ever been critical of diets, diet companies, and diet culture in the past, you're going to love what Meltzer has to offer here.
Why We Swim by Bonnie Tsui (Apr. 14)
Why do people swim? It may seem like an odd question, especially if you've grown up surrounded by swimming pools and annual trips to the beach, but you've probably never stopped to ask why humans want to dive in. Bonnie Tsui's Why We Swim is a thoughtful inquiry into human nature and a must-read for April.
Good Boy: My Life in Seven Dogs by Jennifer Finney Boylan (Apr. 21)
Long Black Veil author Jennifer Finney Boylan returns to bookstores with a new memoir this April. In Good Boy, Boylan revisits seven key moments in her life, telling them through the lens of her relationships with her canine companions. It's a funny and uplifting book that's perfect for dog lovers everywhere.
The Silence of Bones by June Hur (Apr. 21)
A gothic YA novel set in 19th-century Korea, June Hur's The Silence of Bones centers on Seol, a teenage girl hired out to the police, who finds herself working a murder case alongside an untested investigator. When her partner becomes the primary suspect in the case, however, Seol is the only person who can prove his innocence — or guilt.
The Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd (Apr. 21)
Born into a wealthy family in Galilee, Ana wasn't supposed to marry the 18-year-old son of a Nazarene carpenter. Her husband supports her intellectual and spiritual pursuits, which can be dangerous under the Roman occupation. As political unrest comes closer to her doorstep, Ana must move to Alexandria as her husband, Jesus, becomes a public speaker, and her brother, Judas, a zealot.
The Moment of Tenderness by Madeleine L'Engle (Apr. 21)
A collection of short stories from the late Madeleine L'Engle, The Moment of Tenderness contains 18 stories, many of them previously unseen, that trace the major moments in the author's life — from childhood to motherhood and everything in between.
Girl Gone Viral by Alisha Rai (Apr. 21)
When her conversation with a handsome stranger accidentally sets Twitter ablaze, Katrina finds her carefully crafted bubble of privacy popped. Everyone wants to know if #CuteCafeGirl will end up with #CafeBae, but no one guesses that Katrina, who has now relocated to Jas' family estate to lie low, actually has the hots for him instead.
How to Pronounce Knife by Souvankham Thammavongsa (Apr. 21)
A slim, trim collection of stories from poet Souvankham Thammavongsa, How to Pronounce Knife explores some of the same themes the author has previously tackled in her poetry, including meaning-making and belonging. The stories here will gut you, as Thammavongsa's insight proves to be razor-sharp.
Time of Our Lives by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka (Apr. 21)
Fitz knows his days spent with his mother, who has been diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's, are limited. Juniper wants nothing more than to get some time and space away from her parents and five siblings. From the moment they meet on a college tour, it's clear that the two teens are headed in different directions in life, but what if they're on a collision course?
Take Me Apart by Sara Sligar (Apr. 28)
Years after his mother's death, Theo hires Kate to archive her work. As she sorts through the photographer's life in pictures and scraps of writing, Kate becomes increasingly obsessed with the other woman. Miranda's death has always been a mystery, but can Kate find out the truth before it catches up to her?