Looking Ahead: May Titles

02 May 2014

The sun is shining, spring has sprung, and spring reading is upon us! And by "spring reading," I mean "publishers are gearing up for summer reading, so May is a crazy big publishing month." As though April wasn't enough! In all seriousness, though, there's an excellent crop of new books coming out this month, and the month will culminate in Book Expo America, which will mean so. many. more. books.

All good things. Without further ado:


Fear: A Novel of World War I, Gabriel Chevallier, Malcolm Imrie, John Berger (NYRB, May 20): First published in 1930, never before published in the United States, now on offer from NYRB, novel of World War I... so many reasons to pick this up, right?

Invisible City, by Julia Dahl (Minotaur, May 6): A journalist investigates a murder in an Ultra-Orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn--and also looks for her mother, herself an Ultra-Orthodox Jew, who left Rebekah and her father over 20 years ago.

My Real Children, by Jo Walton (Tor, May 20): I love love looooved Jo Walton's Among Others, so was ridiculously excited to see she has a new novel out this month, this one asking--and answering--the "What if?" question by exploring one woman's life that splits in two possible directions.

The Old-Fashioned: Stories of the World's First Classic Cocktail, with Recipes and Lore, by Robert Simonson, Daniel Krieger (Ten Speed Press, May 13): I'm always fascinated by the history of cocktails, and this promises not only that, but more than 50 variations on the classic old-fashioned.

The Painter, by Peter Heller (Knopf, May 6): It feels like May is the month of new novels from authors I really want to read but haven't picked up yet. Peter Heller is another of these--I've had The Dog Stars on my list for what feels like ages--and his newest centers on "an artist trying to outrun his past."

The Phantom of Fifth Avenue, by Meryl Gordon (Grand Central, May 27): The story of a wealthy socialite who went from bell of the ball to recluse hospital resident... this story has odd parallels with the life of Zelda Fitzgerald and Miss Havisham both--and it's true.

The Bees, by Laline Paull (Ecco, May 6): The publisher's blurb calls this "part parable, part coming-of-age story, part pure page-turner," and I've heard lots of blogger raves on this one.

The Temporary Gentleman, by Sebastian Barry (Viking, May 1): I picked up Barry's The Secret Scripture on a whim at the library years ago, and fell for his writing... so of course I'm anxious for another of his novels. Plus, it's Ireland and World War II history and other things I love to read about. So.

To Rise Again at a Decent Hour, by Joshua Ferris (Little, Brown & Co, May 13): Ferris! Joshua Ferris! Has a new novel! I don't even know what it's about, and I'll still read the heck out of it.

An Untamed State, by Roxane Gay (Grove Press, May 6): The story of a woman kidnapped for ransom, held hostage, and the consequences of her thirteen-day captivity. I've heard so very many good things about this one. So. Very. Many.

That's obviously far more than I'll read next month, though a girl can always dream. What's on your radar for May?

16 comments :

  1. I hadn't heard of Fear until now, but I'm going to have to run off and mark that one down! May is totally bringing me out of my slump and I'm loving it.

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  2. The Phantom of Fifth Avenue- is that fictionalized version of Huegette Clark or another non-fiction look at her life? Empty Mansions came out last year and was fabulous reading- just because of the amount of wealth this woman had and how none of her homes were ever lived in. Bizarre but great reading.

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  3. THE BEES is being talked about everywhere right now. I still can't decide if I want to read it or not. I'm reading An Untamed State right now, but I'm not sure if i like it or not.

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  4. Gorgeous selection.

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  5. As the Crowe FliesMay 3, 2014 at 12:23 PM

    May is always such an exciting pub month. May, September, and October always seem to bring the best books. Of the ones you've listed, I've only read The Painter already. I'm still undecided about whether The Bees will be for me or not.

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  6. This is a lot of books that I've never even heard of before! Hopefully when you have the chance of reading them and I read your reviews they'll be some standouts to add to my tbr list. Torn Away by Jennifer Brown is the next book on my radar. I'm lucky enough to be able to read it before it comes out this May.

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  7. I LOVE NYRB, the covers are always amazing. I've been thinking about requesting Fear, but it just sounds so heavy and I've read one too many difficult books lately, but I do love the look of Fear.

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  8. OMG I forgot the Jo Walton book was coming out this month! Yayyyy.

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  9. I didn't love it as much as I adored Among Others, but it's still Jo Walton!

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  10. It does look so, so heavy. But also so, so good.

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  11. There were a lot of books I'd tagged for May that I had actually completed forgotten about, so it was fun to revisit my list for this post!

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  12. Yes, September and October are always something of an onslaught of new titles as well, aren't they?

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  13. An Untamed State is one of those books I did not want to read but also found myself completely incapable of looking away from. I'm still torn as to how to even begin to write about it.

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  14. I believe non-fiction! I haven't read Empty Mansions yet, but it's on my (very long) list.

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  15. I'm hoping for the same thing... though the fact that it's taken me 11 days to respond to this comment and I've read about 1 book since putting this post up does not speak wonders for the end of my slump. Hoping Bout of Books gives me a kick in the pants...

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