Spring reading is upon us, and it’s time for the blossoming of some great new releases. This March, we’re being treated to some truly juicy new fiction books. These books are the perfect companion for your spring travels or a cozy day at home.
This list is filled with books that seek to find the hidden magic of our world, reflecting back visions of reality that will have your imagination whirring. From street gangs to refugee camps to the wild deserts of Arizona, we’ve got a wide array of experiences to explore and discoveries to make. This month also has a great showing of international writing, with authors hailing from China, Ireland, and shockingly even North Korea.
Plus this month we’re being treated to some characters that are one-of-a-kind and just plain cool. One of my favorite parts of reading is when you get to share an intimate bond with a character, and there are so many opportunities to find that here.
Spring is a time for fresh starts and new beginnings. So, as we march forward into a new season, take this opportunity to fall in love with a brand new book. Because, seriously, what could be a better way to start things off?
1 'Exit West' by Moshin Hamid (March 7; Riverhead Books)
A vital refugee story with a little magic to it, this jaw-dropping book is already making waves. Nadia and Saeed are forced to flee their homeland during a destructive civil war. With nothing but a rumor to guide them, they travel through a magical door that takes them to a refugee camp on the Greek island, Mykonos. Exit West is a brilliant exploration of the refugee experience that will blow you away.
2 'All Grown Up' by Jami Attenberg (March 7; Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Jami Attenberg will have you laughing, cursing, and ranting right along with her book's vibrant main character, Andrea — a 39-year-old single New Yorker trying to figure out how to hold her life together. (And trying to figure out what 'having your life together' even means.) This book has got serious spunk.
3 'The Accusation: Forbidden Stories from Inside North Korea' by Bandi (March 7; Grove Press)
These astounding stories were written by a North Korean and smuggled out of the country. All set during Kim Jong-Il's leadership of the country, each story is an illuminating glimpse into the daily lives of people living under the country's tight-fisted government.
4 'The Idiot' by Elif Batuman (March 14; Penguin Press)
The year is 1995, and Selin, the daughter of Turkish immigrants, is starting her first year at Harvard. She's given an e-mail address and strikes up a correspondence with an older mathematics student from Hungary. As she meets new people, studies foreign languages, and travels Europe, Selin comes into herself as a writer... and an adult.
5 'Eggshells' by Caitriona Lally (March 14; Melville House)
Vivian has no friends, no job, and no social skills — plus, she is convinced she is a changeling. In this quirky urban fantasy, she sets off on a simple but terrifying mission: to find a friend.
6 'Frontier' by Can Xue (March 14; Open Letter)
Freshly translated from one of China's up-and-coming authors, Frontier is a magical realism marvel that follows Liujin, a young woman who has set out on her own in a place called Pebble Town. Suspend your disbelief for this one — this novel will take you on a wild, hallucinatory ride.
7 'Lola' by Melissa Scrivner Love (March 21; Crown)
The Crenshaw Six is a cutthroat gang in South LA, and it's secretly lead by Lola, a tough and wickedly smart young woman posing as the gang leader's girlfriend.
8 'Sonora' by Hannah Lillith Assadi (March 28; Soho Press)
In the enigmatic Arizona desert, Ahlam, the daughter of a Palestinian refugee and an Israeli, finds herself drawn to her tempestuous classmate, Laura. But as the desert begins to change, the two trek to New York to pursue their passions, and their deep bond tightens and grows in unexpected ways.
9 'The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley' by Hannah Tinti (March 28; Dial Press)
Loo's father, a career criminal always on the run, has been shot twelve times. In this book, Loo explores the stories behind each of his bullet wounds, and begins to unravel the mystery of who her father is and what happened to her long-deceased mother.