New month, new books! Book Light is our Dandelion Chandelier curated list of the most-anticipated new book releases every month, and next up is April 2020. If you ask us, the perfect April read gives us a sense of rebirth and renewal. So what are the best new books to read coming out in April 2020? Our intrepid team has been exploring and here’s what we found.
what are the most-anticipated new book releases for April 2020?
Wondering what to read in April 2020? We’ve surveyed the landscape, and rounded up a list of the best new books coming this April.
What are the common themes in the crop of most-anticipated new book releases this month? Well, there’s nothing on our list about COVID-19, contagion, pandemics and viruses.
There are two new novels about young musicians who meet and then lose the loves of their lives, and what happens next.
There’s a new book of poems for anxious people. Can’t wait to read that one.
In nonfiction, there are inspiring memoirs from tough boss women, and biographies of lesser-known figures from the distant past that have startling relevance for our lives today.
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Several beloved authors are back with new works, including Ottessa Moshfegh, Marie Kondo, Julia Alvarez and Anne Tyler. And there are some highly buzzed-about debuts (we’re looking at you, Valentine).
What to read in April 2020? That’s gonna be a tough call. How much free time do you have, dear reader?
the best new books coming in April 2020
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 (and if you do, full disclosure, we may earn a small commission on the sale).
New books coming in the week of April 7, 2020
God Shot by Chelsea Bieker. This story of a young girl growing up in thrall to a magnetic preacher has been compared to the work of Annie Proulx. The area of the Central Valley where fourteen-year-old Lacey May and her alcoholic mother live was once an agricultural paradise. Now due to a drought, it’s an environmental disaster. In their desperation, residents have turned to a cult leader named Pastor Vern for guidance. He promises, through secret “assignments,” to bring the rain everybody is praying for – Publication Date: April 7, 2020
Redhead by the Side of the Road by Anne Tyler. Micah Mortimer is a creature of habit. The superintendent of a Baltimore apartment building, he’s content to lead a circumscribed life. But one day his routines are blown apart. His woman friend (he refuses to call anyone in her late thirties a “girlfriend”) tells him she’s facing eviction, and a teenager shows up claiming to be his son – Publication Date: April 7, 2020
How Much of These Hills Is Gold by C Pam Zhang. This debut novel is set against the twilight of the American gold rush. Two orphaned children of immigrants are on the run in an unforgiving landscape—trying not just to survive but to find a home. Along the way, they encounter giant buffalo bones, tiger paw prints, and the specters of a ravaged landscape. The author explores race in an expanding country, and the highly topical question of where and whether immigrants are allowed to belong – Publication Date: April 7, 2020
Afterlife by Julia Alvarez. Antonia Vega is an immigrant writer forced to cope with the sudden death of her husband, her sister’s disappearance, and an undocumented teenager who shows up at her doorstep all at once. Set in the current political moment of tribalism and distrust, the novel explores pressing questions. What do we owe those in crisis in our families? How do we live in a broken world without losing faith in one another or ourselves? – Publication Date: April 7, 2020
The Beauty of Your Face by Sahar Mustafa. In this ripped-from-the-headlines novel, Afaf Rahman, daughter of Palestinian immigrants, is the principal of Nurrideen School for Girls. A Muslim school in the Chicago suburbs. One morning, a shooter―radicalized by the online alt-right―attacks the school. As Afaf listens to his terrifying progress, she reflects on her memories of life in America – Publication Date: April 7, 2020
Conjure Women by Afia Atakora. This debut novel is set in America before and after the Civil War. A mother and daughter with a shared talent for healing—and for the conjuring of curses–set their rural town alight with fear. The birth of child sparks spreading superstition that threatens their newly won, tenuous post-war freedom – Publication Date: April 7, 2020
Valentine by Elizabeth Wetmore. This debut novel that explores the lingering effects of a brutal crime on the women of one small Texas oil town in the 1970’s. Odessa, Texas, stands on the cusp of the next great oil boom. In the early hours of the morning after Valentine’s Day, a teenager is viciously attacked in a nearby oil field. The act of brutality is tried in churches and barrooms before it can reach a court of law. When justice is evasive, the stage is set for a showdown with potentially devastating consequences – Publication Date: April 7, 2020
Miss Austen by Gill Hornby. England, 1840. For the two decades following the death of her beloved sister, Jane, Cassandra Austen has lived alone. Now in her sixties and increasingly frail, Cassandra goes to stay with the family of her long-dead fiancé, in search of a trove of Jane’s letters. As the novel unfolds, we learn the untold story of the most important person in the famous author’s life. – Publication Date: April 7, 2020
Joy at Work: Organizing Your Professional Life by Marie Kondo and Scott Sonenshein is filled with stories, studies, and strategies to help eliminate clutter and make space for work that really matters at the office – Publication Date: April 7, 2020
Betsey: A Memoir by Betsey Johnson with Mark Vitulano. Throughout her decades-long career, the legendary designer has created fun, subversive clothing at an accessible price point. Now she’s sharing the story of how she built an empire from scratch– Publication Date: April 7, 2020
Camp Girls: Fireside Lessons on Friendship, Courage, and Loyalty by Iris Krasnow. The author fondly reflects on her summer camp experiences at Camp Agawak in Wisconsin, and the lessons she and her fellow campers learned there that stayed with them throughout their lives– Publication Date: April 7, 2020
Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of an American Family by Robert Kolker. The Galvins were an extraordinary family, and not for a fortunate reason. In the 1970’s, six of their 12 children received a diagnosis of schizophrenia. The silver living was that it gave scientists hope that the family could help unlock their understanding of the disease. What took place inside the house on Hidden Valley Road was so extraordinary that the Galvins became one of the first families to be studied by the National Institute of Mental Health – Publication Date: April 7, 2020
Lincoln on the Verge: Thirteen Days to Washington by Ted Widmer. Abraham Lincoln boards a train for Washington and his inauguration—an inauguration Southerners have vowed to prevent by any means necessary. Drawing on new research, this account reveals the President-Elect as a work in progress. Showing him on the verge of greatness, and even foiling an assassination attempt – Publication Date: April 7, 2020
New books coming in the week of April 14, 2020
Perfect Tunes by Emily Gould. In this novel, Laura arrives in New York City’s East Village in the hopes of recording her first album. A talented songwriter, she’s just beginning to book gigs when she falls hard for a troubled but magnetic musician whose star is on the rise. Their time together is stormy and short-lived. Fifteen years later, Laura’s teenage daughter, Marie, is asking questions about her father, questions that her mother does not want to answer – Publication Date: April 14, 2020
Simon the Fiddler by Paulette Jiles. Set in the last year of the Civil War, this is the story of 23 year-old Simon, who is conscripted into the Confederate Army. His talent with a fiddle gets him a position in a regimental band. At a compulsory performance he spots Doris, an indentured servant from Ireland, who is part of the household staff of a Union colonel. The two go their separate ways, but Simon cannot forget her and sets out on an odyssey to find her – Publication Date: April 14, 2020
Notes From an Apocalypse: A Personal Journey to the End of the World and Back by Mark O’Connell. The author traveled across the world to understand how people are bracing for “civilizational collapse,” spending time with preppers, conspiracy theorists and even hopeful Mars colonists. He also visited the sites of previous disasters, such as Chernobyl, to understand how we might live through the worst – Publication Date: April 14, 2020
Why Fish Don’t Exist: A Story of Loss, Love, and the Hidden Order of Life by Lulu Miller. David Starr Jordan discovered nearly a fifth of the fish known to humans in his day. But he was perhaps even more distinguished because of his resilience. Jordan’s precious specimen collections were demolished first by lightning, then by fire, and finally by the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. The indomitable scientist began rebuilding his collection immediately afterward. The author holds him out as a model for how to go on when all seems lost – Publication Date: April 14, 2020
This Is Big: How the Founder of Weight Watchers Changed the World—and Me by Marisa Meltzer. Jean Nidetch, who started Weight Watchers in 1963, was a pioneering and overlooked female founder. When the author reads her obituary, it sparks her to write this book. Weaving Jean’s story as a weight loss maven and entrepreneur with her own journey through Weight Watchers, the author chronicles the deep parallels, and enduring frustrations, in the decades-long efforts both women made to lose weight. And keep it off – Publication Date: April 14, 2020
Becoming Wild: How Animal Cultures Raise Families, Create Beauty, and Achieve Peace by Carl Safina. The author examines culture in animal societies, showing that even sperm whales, scarlet macaws and chimpanzees experience life with the understanding that they are individuals in a community with rules and norms that evolve over time – Publication Date: April 14, 2020
The Address Book: What Our Street Addresses Reveal About Identity, Race, Wealth, and Power by Deirdre Mask. Learn how residential streets get their names, and houses their numbers. And what this history reveals about class, race, power, and identity. The headline is that street addresses were not invented to help you find your way; they were created to find you. In many parts of the world, your address can reveal both your race and your class – Publication Date: April 14, 2020
On All Fronts: The Education of a Journalist by Clarissa Ward. The recipient of multiple Peabody and Murrow awards, Ward is a world-renowned conflict reporter. A speaker of seven languages, she’s done assignments from Baghdad to Beirut to Beijing. This memoir focuses on her work and life with particularly deep insights into the war in Syria – Publication Date: April 14, 2020
New books coming in the week of April 21, 2020
How to Pronounce Knife: Stories by Souvankham Thammavongsa. In the first story in this debut collection, a young girl brings a book home from school and asks her father to help her pronounce a tricky word, a simple exchange with unforgettable consequences. The stories focus on characters struggling to find their bearings in unfamiliar territory, or shuttling between idioms, cultures, and values – Publication Date: April 21, 2020
Life For Sale by Yukio Mishima. A darkly funny cult classic of a novel from one of Japan’s most revered authors, available in English for the very first time. After botching a suicide attempt, salaryman Hanio Yamada decides to put his life up for sale in the classifieds section of a Tokyo newspaper – Publication Date: April 21, 2020
Love Poems for Anxious People by John Kenney. The author of Love Poems for Married People and Love Poems for People with Children is back with a new collection of poems. This time he’s taking on one of the most common feelings in our day-and-age: anxiety. From awkward social interactions and insomnia to nervous ticks and writing and rewriting that email, the travails of modern life are all here, in all their awful glory – Publication Date: April 21, 2020
The Moment of Tenderness by Madeleine L’Engle. In a selection of eighteen stories discovered by one of L’Engle’s granddaughters, we see how the author’s personal experiences and abiding faith informed the creation of her many cherished works, including A Wrinkle in Time – Publication Date: April 21, 2020
Death in Her Hands by Ottessa Moshfegh follows elderly widow Vesta Gul as she happens upon a mystery that quickly obsesses her. Walking with her dog in the woods by her new lake house, Vesta finds a note that reads, “Her name was Magda. Nobody will ever know who killed her. It wasn’t me. Here is her dead body.” — but there is no body. Vesta commits herself to not only solving this mystery but also understanding the woman at the center of it.– Publication Date: April 21, 2020
If I Had Your Face by Frances Cha. In this debut novel set in current-day Seoul, four young women who are neighbors in an apartment building struggle to make their way in a world defined by impossible standards of beauty, ruthless social hierarchies and K-pop mania – Publication Date: April 21, 2020
Warhol by Blake Gopnik. The respected art critic takes on Andy Warhol in all his depth and dimensions in this comprehensive biography. We see the arc of his life, from a working-class Pittsburgh upbringing to an early career in commercial art, to total immersion in the “performance” of being an artist. Warhol made deliberate attempts to thwart his future biographers, so it has been difficult to form an accurate and complete image. But with unprecedented access to Warhol’s archives, Gopnik brings the man to life – Publication Date: April 21, 2020
Begin Again: James Baldwin’s America and Its Urgent Lessons for Our Own by Eddie S. Glaude Jr. This is one of the most-anticipated new book releases in April 2020. After the killings of the civil rights leaders Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr., James Baldwin became a far more political writer, grappling with the legacy and reality of racism in the United States. The author, chair of the African-American Studies department at Princeton, explores the parallels between that period and our current moment, blending biography, memoir and cultural criticism – Publication Date: April 21, 2020
New books coming in the week of April 28, 2020
Swimming in the Dark by Tomasz Jedrowski. Set in the early 1980’s in Poland against the violent decline of communism, this novel tells a tender and passionate story of first love between two young men who eventually find themselves on opposite sides of the political divide. Shifting from the intoxication of first love to the quiet melancholy of growing up and growing apart, its already generating comparisons to Call Me By Your Name – Publication Date: April 28, 2020
The Compton Cowboys: The New Generation of Cowboys in America’s Urban Heartland by Walter Thompson-Hernandez. A New York Times reporter tells the true compelling story of The Compton Cowboys, a group of African-American men and women who defy stereotypes and continue the proud, centuries-old tradition of black cowboys in the heart of an American city. To most people, Compton is known only as the home of rap greats NWA and Kendrick Lamar, and for its seemingly intractable gang violence. But in 1988, Mayisha Akbar founded The Compton Jr. Posse to provide local kids and teenagers with a safe alternative to the streets – Publication Date: April 28, 2020
Conditional Citizens: On Belonging in America by Laila Lalami. What does it mean to be American? In this starkly illuminating book, the Pulitzer Prize–finalist recounts her unlikely journey from Moroccan immigrant to U.S. citizen. Drawing on history and literature, she elucidates how accidents of birth—such as national origin, race, and gender—that once determined the boundaries of “Americanness” still cast their shadows today – Publication Date: April 28, 2020
best new book releases in April 2020
Those are our picks for the best and most-anticipated new book releases coming soon – and an overview of options to answer the question of what to read in April 2020. What’s at the top of your list?
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For access to insider ideas and information on the world of luxury, sign up for our Dandelion Chandelier newsletter, here. And see luxury in a new light.
Join our community
For access to insider ideas and information on the world of luxury, sign up for our Dandelion Chandelier newsletter. And see luxury in a new light.