Looking Ahead: April Titles

It's spring! Maybe! If it ever stops snowing!

...which means publishers are gearing up for summer reading, which means my the list of April titles I'm eyeing is an absurd length, and contains far more books than I could possibly hope to read. But since that's never stopped me from hoping, here are the new books I'm eager for this month:

The Confidence Code, by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman (HarperBusiness, April 15): Subtitled "The Science and Art of Self-Assurance---What Women Should Know," this book promises to be a follow-up to Lean In, which I finally read this year and found really resonated with me. Sign me up, please.

Bourbon, by Dane Huckelbridge (William Morrow, April 1): This bourbon-drinking booklover can't wait to dive into the history of this classic American spirit.

A Few Seconds of Radiant Filmstrip, by Kevin Brockmeier (Random House, April 8): I read (and loved) Kevin Brockmeier's The Illumination, so was excited to dive into the author's first memoir. This one focuses on just the seventh grade, and (spoilers) it's excellent. Stay tuned for a full review.

Cubed, by Nikil Saval (Doubleday, April 22): White collar Americans spend disproportionate amounts of time in small cube-shaped offices, and Nikil Saval's book promises to explore the history behind our workspaces. As one such white collar American working in an office (luckily mine has a door and real walls, so it doesn't technically qualify as a cube), I think this sounds fascinating.

The Remedy, by Thomas Goetz (Gotham, April 3): When this book was pitched to me, I saw the words "Arthur Conan Doyle," "lethal disease," and "popularize science," and knew this would be right up my alley.

How to Succeed in Business Without Really Crying, by Carol Leifer (Quirk Books, April 8): I swear I've never seen a book with such an impressive collection of blurbers. And while I usually take blurbs with a grain of salt (or twenty), it's hard to resist when Jerry Seinfeld, Whoopi Goldbery, J.J Abrams, Sarah Silverman and about a dozen other popular comedians are telling us to read this book. Stay tuned for more on this one later this week.

Murder on the Home Front, by Molly Lefebure (Grand Central, April 1): I've long been fascinated by the London Blitz and the amazing impact it had on London's citizens, military, architecture, history, etc. This history promises lots of Blitz information and a healthy dose of forensic science, too.

Creativity, Inc, by Ed Catmull and Amy Wallace (Random House, April 8): Buzz Lightyear on the cover + the brains behind Pixar Animation Studios + the development of creative culture = Read this.

The Empathy Exams, by Leslie Jamison (Graywolf, April 1): I actually know nothing about this collection except that someone on Twitter was raving about it. Behold the power of social media, because it's now firmly on my TBR list.

Thunderstruck and Other Stories, by Elizabeth McCracken (The Dial Press, April 22): A little bit weird, a little bit beautiful, a little bit emotional. I'm falling in love with McCracken's writing, one story at a time.

Astonish Me, by Maggie Shipstead (Knopf, April 8): I actually haven't (yet) read Shipstead's debut, Seating Arrangements, but I've heard enough good things about it to be interested in her sophomore effort, which takes on the world of ballet.

Frog Music, by Emma Donoghue (Little, Brown & Co, April 1): Emma. Donoghue. 'Nuff said.

Casebook, by Mona Simpson (Knopf, April 16): The story of a boy investigating his parents' separation, asking big questions about privacy in our age of oversharing. The Millions had this one on its list of most anticipated books in 2014, and I know it's on mine as well.

The Word Exchange, by Alena Graedon (Doubleday, April 8): Is it just me, or is everyone suddenly talking about this book? If you're not talking about it, now seems a good time to start. This one is reminiscent of Lexicon in the way it explores the power of language--or in this case, the power of taking language away--in a world in which dictionaries are no longer printed and people are dependent on their predictive smart devices. Sound eerily like our world? That's the best part.

Run, Don't Walk, by Adele Levine (Avery, April 10): I fell hard for Phil Klay's Redeployment last month, and plan to continue on the theme of reading more about our vets. While Klay came to the subject of war as a veteran, Levine approaches it after six years at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, rehabilitating soldiers in physical and emotional distress. The publisher's description promises "an array of oddball characters." Yes, please.

The Storied Life of AJ Fikry, by Gabrielle Zevin (Algonquin, April 1): Transformation, second chances, bookstores, and an exploration of why we read. Could you ring any more of my bells?


  1. What a great list you have! Frog Music, A.J. Fikry, The Word Exchange and Astonish Me were all on my TBR but you totally reminded me about The Empathy Exams! Rebecca from Book Riot raved about it months ago and I'd completely forgotten about it. I haven't read any McCraken, but I have The Giant's House downloaded on my Nook (like I said, I'm not one for short stories - I'll go for her novel.)

  2. I'm with you on Casebook. I thought Anywhere But Here was an all-time great. I recently finished Frog Music and I may stand on my own with this one. Started Word Exchange last night so too soon to tell. Great list!

  3. I loved Seating Arrangements, so Astonish Me is perhaps the spring book I am most eagerly awaiting. Seating Arrangements may have been a little cliche at points, but it was cliche in all the ways I love. It was a perfect summer read.

  4. Frog Music is definitely on my list!

  5. I can't wait for this one!

  6. I have Seating Arrangements out from my library now, so need to get to that one soon. Or maybe I'll wait to read it over the summer.

  7. Uh oh, does that mean you didn't like Frog Music? DO TELL!

  8. I'd forgotten about the Empathy Exams too until I started looking at all the books I'd tagged for April in Edelweiss. The beauty of Edelweiss!

  9. Liked but did not love. Not trying to compare it to Room but it lacked depth to me. Working on a review but feel like the cheese standing alone!

  10. Innnnteresting. Looking forward to your review!


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