The Lists

What are the Best New Books Coming in April 2019?

New month, new books! Book Light is our curated list of the titles we’re most excited about that are being published in the coming month. (We’ve also got a few thoughts on the perfect books to read in the month of April). Our intrepid team has been exploring the most-anticipated new books and here’s what we found. These are the new releases, and our picks for the best new books coming in April 2019.

take a trip this April with a new release

The new releases of April are both cosmic and close to home. There are novels about physics and family. About matriarchs and motherhood. Space exploration and psychotherapy.

The month’s bookshelf is full of journeys, real and imagined: to the moon, to high school, to the bloody past and to the possibly dystopian future.

Happy, though, moms and grandmothers are along for the ride. Undoubtedly as a precursor to Mother’s Day, there are fond remembrances and detailed biographies of mothers and grandmothers both famous and obscure. Plus a touching tribute to a beloved dad.

Get ready for a brilliant month of books – here’s what April has in store.

best new books coming in April 2019

Here’s our pick of the top new books – novels, essay collections, and non-fiction – that we cannot wait to read. You can pre-order them now if you like.


Lost and Wanted by Nell Freudenberger. One of our very favorite authors – she wrote the splendid The Newlyweds – returns with a new novel. What do physics and grief have in common? How can a scientist reckon with the inexplicable, for instance, the appearance of a ghost? Narrated by a renowned physicist, this work asks life’s biggest questions in a rumination on the space that exists between friends, families, colleagues, and lovers. It’s a new, humanistic kind of mystery novel. – Publication date: April 2, 2019


I Miss You When I Blink: Essays by Mary Laura Philpott. In this memoir-in-essays, the author shares what happened after she checked off all the boxes on her career and life to-do list (job, spouse, house, and kids). And then realized she might need to reinvent the list—and herself.  Filled with wry observations about home, work, and creative life, the author takes on the conflicting pressures of modern adulthood and tells us what she’s learned.  – Publication date: April 2, 2019


American Moonshot: John F. Kennedy and the Great Space Race by Douglas Brinkley. As the fiftieth anniversary of the first lunar landing approaches, the award winning historian and perennial New York Times bestselling author takes a fresh look at the space program, President John F. Kennedy’s inspiring challenge, and America’s race to the moon. – Publication date: April 2, 2019


Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, HER Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed by Lori Gottlieb.  A psychotherapist and advice columnist at The Atlantic reveals what it’s like to be on both sides of the couch with doses of humor and insight. – Publication date: April 2, 2019


Stony the Road: Reconstruction, White Supremacy, and the Rise of Jim Crow by Henry Louis Gates Jr. This history from the Harvard professor and author moves from the Reconstruction Era to the “nadir” of the African-American experience under Jim Crow, through to World War I and the Harlem Renaissance. – Publication date: April 2, 2019


Why Don’t You Write My Eulogy Now So I Can Correct It?: A Mother’s Suggestions by Patricia Marx and Roz Chast. A New Yorker writer and an award-winning cartoonist team up and bring to life the mordant ripostes that the former’s mother tried to (lovingly) pass off as encouragement to her daughter. – Publication date: April 2, 2019


The Matriarch: Barbara Bush and the Making of an American Dynasty by Susan Page. Written by USA TODAY’s Washington Bureau chief, this biography is informed by over one hundred interviews with Bush friends and family members, hours of conversation with Mrs. Bush herself in the final six months of her life, and access to her diaries. The book examines not only her public persona but also less well-known aspects of her life. – Publication date: April 2, 2019


Save Me the Plums: My Gourmet Memoir by Ruth Ruth Reichl. For the first time, the author chronicles her groundbreaking tenure as editor in chief of Gourmet magazine. Complete with recipes, this book is a personal journey of a woman coming to terms with being in charge and making a mark, following a passion and holding on to her dreams—even when she ends up in a place she never expected to be. – Publication date: April 2, 2019


Women Talking by Miriam Toews. In this novel, the author gives voice to eight women as they grapple with the trauma and power of patriarchy. Based on real events and told through the “minutes” of the women’s all-female symposium that the eight convene, the author uses wry, politically engaged humor to relate a tale of women claiming their own power to decide. The great Margaret Atwood said its events “could be right out of The Handmaid’s Tale.” – Publication date: April 2, 2019


A Wonderful Stroke of Luck by Ann Beattie. the author’s twenty-first book is about the complicated relationship between a charismatic teacher and his students. At a boarding school in New Hampshire, Ben joins the honor society led by Pierre LaVerdere, an enigmatic, brilliant, yet perverse teacher who instructs his students not only about how to reason, but how to prevaricate.  – Publication date: April 2, 2019


Fifty Things That Aren’t My Fault by Cathy Guisewite. The creator of the long-running Cathy comics returns with a collection of wryly observed essays about aging, dating, and motherhood. – Publication date: April 2, 2019


An Economist Walks into a Brothel: And Other Unexpected Places to Understand Risk by Allison Schrager. Through empirical research findings and economic analysis, an economist equips readers with five principles for dealing with risk. They’re developed from insights gleaned from interviews with a professional poker player; a paparazzo in Manhattan; horse breeders in Kentucky; and a war general who led troops in Iraq. – Publication date: April 2, 2019


The League of Wives: The Untold Story of the Women Who Took on the U.S. Government to Bring Their Husbands Home by Heath Hardage Lee is the true story of the fierce band of women who battled Washington―and Hanoi―to bring their husbands home from the jungles of Vietnam. One hundred and sixteen American servicemen endured years of brutal torture. On February 12, 1973, they were released. It was only months later that they learned that their rescuers were their wives. These women, who formed The National League of Families, became powerful and fervent advocates, going to extraordinary lengths to help POWs and those Missing in Action. – Publication date: April 2, 2019


Trust Exercise by Susan Choi. The Pulitzer Prize finalist for American Woman sets her new novel in a 1980’s performing-arts high school, introducing an intriguing love story before shifting to something much darker — and more shocking. – Publication date: April 9, 2019


All That You Leave Behind: A Memoir by Erin Lee Carr. David Carr was in the prime of his career when he suffered a fatal collapse in the newsroom of The New York Times in 2015. Shattered by his death, his daughter Erin Lee Carr, at age twenty-seven an up-and-coming documentary filmmaker, began combing through the entirety of their shared correspondence—1,936 items in total—in search of comfort and support. The result is a poignant coming-of-age story that offers a raw and honest glimpse into the multilayered relationship between a daughter and a father. – Publication date: April 9, 2019


The Second Mountain: The Quest for a Moral Life by David Brooks.   – Publication date: April 16, 2019


Normal People by Sally Rooney. From the author of Conversations with Friends comes a new novel – an examination of class and love through the on-again-off-again relationship between two Irish teens. – Publication date: April 16, 2019


Feast Your Eyes by Myla Goldberg. The author of Bee Season returns with a story about Lillian, whose passion for photography and desire to pursue her singular vision scandalizes her family, prompts her arrest, and causes many to question whether she’s a good mother. – Publication date: April 16, 2019


Machines Like Me by Ian McEwan. The author of Atonement returns with a novel that features synthetic humans whose personalities can be designed. In an imaginary alternative 1980’s London, two lovers are tested in the grim shadow of a lost war.  – Publication date: April 23, 2019


The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World by Melinda Gates. “How can we summon a moment of lift for human beings – and especially for women? Because when you lift up women, you lift up humanity.” For the last twenty years, Melinda Gates has been on a mission to find solutions for people with the most urgent needs, wherever they live. Throughout this journey, one thing has become increasingly clear to her: If you want to lift a society up, you need to stop keeping women down.  – Publication date: April 23, 2019


Nanaville: Adventures in Grandparenting by Anna Quindlen considers the different roles we play throughout our lives. With the help of personal stories, the Living Out Loud author offers advice on the unique joys and problems of middle age – Publication date: April 23, 2019


The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters by Balli Kaur Jaswal. – Publication date: April 23, 2019


Spring by Ali Smith. From the Man Booker-short-listed author of Autumn and Winter comes the highly anticipated third novel in the acclaimed Seasonal Quartet. This series of stand-alone novels features books that separate but interconnected (as the seasons are).   – Publication date: April 30, 2019


Why You Like It: The Science and Culture of Musical Taste by Nolan Gasser. Everyone loves music. But what is it that makes music so universally beloved and have such a powerful effect on us? In this sweeping and authoritative book, Dr. Nolan Gasser―a composer, pianist, and musicologist, and the chief architect of the Music Genome Project, which powers Pandora Radio―breaks down what musical taste is, where it comes from, and what our favorite songs say about us. – Publication date: April 30, 2019

That’s it – our picks for the best new books coming in April 2019. What do you think? Which one will be at the top of your nightstand?

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