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28 Powerful Book Releases Top the List in April 2021

25 Powerful New Book Releases Top the List in April 2021

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 2021. If you ask us, the perfect April read inspires us to make a fresh start. So what are the best new books to read coming out in April  2021? Our intrepid team has been exploring and here’s what we found: 28 exciting and powerful new book releases, including novels and non-fiction, coming out this April 2021 that are at the top of the list for what to read next. Including a gift edition of Amanda Gorman‘s Inauguration 2021 poem, The Hill We Climb!

what are the most-anticipated new book releases for April 2021?

Wondering what to read in April 2021 among all the new novels and new non-fiction books?

It’s the first full month of spring, and there are memoirs and biographies of luminaries in literature and music. There’s also a bounty of new novels from favorite authors and some highly-anticipated debuts. And it’s National Poetry Month – so keep a poem in your pocket and consider picking up a new book or two of contemporary poetry, as well.

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new novels and poetry April 2021

The month sees new novels and short story collections from Haruki Murakami, Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney, Jhumpa Lahiri and Helen Oyeyemi. A previously unpublished novel from Richard Wright will hit the shelves. And among the buzzed-about literary debuts are new novels from Morgan Jerkins and Kirstin Valdez Quade.

25 Powerful New Book Releases Top the List in April 2021

new non-fiction books April 2021

Brandi Carlile has penned a memoir, and April 2021 sees the publication of a major biography of Philip Roth, a detailed account of the actions of the family behind the Purdue Pharmaceutical company, and a World War II history from Malcolm Gladwell. On the lighter side, there’s a new coffee table book about the glamorous intersection of fashion and air travel.

the best new books coming in April 2021

Here’s our pick of the top new book releases of April 2021 – novels, essay collections, and non-fiction – that we cannot wait to read. You can pre-order them now if you like.

New book releases the week of April 6, 2021

Here are the top new novels and non-fiction book releases of the first full week of April 2021.

1. First Person Singular: Stories by Haruki Murakami.


First Person Singular is a collection of eight first-person short stories, in which the lines are expertly blurred between fiction and memoir. In them, the novelist makes ample use of his trademark magical realism as he writes of baseball, jazz, childhood memories, young love and more.

2. Good Company by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney.


From the bestselling author of The Nest comes another charming and sharp tale of friendship and family in pre=pandemic New York City. The protagonist of Good Company, Flora Mancini, has happy, healthy relationships with both her husband, Julian, and best friend, Margot. Then she discovers Julian’s wedding ring hidden away in an envelope. What does it mean? And how is Margot connected? 

3. Peaces by Helen Oyeyemi.


The author of Gingerbread and many other fantastically whimsical novels returns with Peaces, a new love story. Otto and Xavier Shin are in love, and to celebrate their commitment, they board a sleeper train for a romantic getaway (with their pet mongoose along for the ride). It’s first class all the way in a former tea-smuggling train outfitted with personal touches all to their liking. They seem to be the only two riders onboard. At least, at the beginning . . . The publisher notes that this marvelous book “is about what it means to be seen by another person—whether it’s your lover or a stranger on a train.”

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4. Caul Baby by Morgan Jerkins.


The acclaimed author of the non-fiction This Will Be My Undoing has penned a debut novel, Caul Baby. The story follows the Melancons, a family whose babies are often born with a caul—a layer of extra skin with secret healing power. One of their desperate neighbors, Laila, struggles with infertility and wants a caul to end her series of heartbreaking pregnancies. But it’s her niece, Amara, who gives birth to a child with one. Raising questions as the baby grows about who the child’s true mother is – and about the very nature of motherhood itself.

5. The Five Wounds by Kirstin Valdez Quade.


As The Five Wounds begins, it’s Holy Week in Las Penas, New Mexico, and the village maverick, Amadeo, is rehearsing to play Jesus in the village’s passion play when his pregnant sixteen-year-old daughter shows up on his doorstep. Is an emotional resurrection in the cards?

6. Gold Diggers by Sanjena Sathian.


Spanning two continents, two coasts, and four epochs, the debut novel Gold Diggers deploys both social satire and magical realism in a story that asks the always-relevant question of what an immigrant community must do to achieve the American dream.

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7. Northern Spy by Flynn Berry.


With Northern Spy, the author of Under the Harrow and A Double Life returns with a literary thriller about two sisters who become entangled with the IRA in Northern Ireland. Tessa is a producer at the BBC and mother to a new baby boy. Her sister Marian has apparently joined the IRA and is part of a bank robbery captured on live television. How the politics of a divided Ireland affect their bonds as sisters makes for a riveting and timely read.

8. Philip Roth: The Biography by Blake Bailey.


Author of more than 30 literary works in over 50 years, Philip Roth embodied and captured a slice of the American zeitgeist as well as any writer of his generation. The deeply researched Philip Roth was decades in the making and is likely to serve as the definitive biography of this iconic author. Lit Hub predicts that its publication will be “one of the biggest literary events of the season.”

9. My Broken Language by Quiara Alegría Hudes.


From the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and writer of the acclaimed musical In The Heights, My Broken Language is a lovely coming-of-age memoir. Set in “an ailing Philadelphia barrio,” the author shares with warmth and love the impact that her sprawling Puerto Rican family had as her “collective muse.”

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10. The Hard Crowd by Rachel Kushner.


The Hard Crowd: Essays 2000-2020 collects two decades of literary journalism, cultural criticism, and memoir from a brilliant writer. Spanning topics across art and literature as well as politics and adventure travel, this is an eclectic and riveting collection. There are pieces on Jeff Koons, Denis Johnson, and Marguerite Duras. A journey through a Palestinian refugee camp. An illegal motorcycle race down the Baja Peninsula. 1970s wildcat strikes in Fiat factories. Also her love of classic cars, and her young life in the music scene of her hometown, San Francisco.

11. Broken Horses: A Memoir by Brandi Carlile.


new novels and non-fiction book releases, including essays, and what to read of the best new books this April 2021

In Broken Horses, the six-time Grammy winner shares her inspiring life story. Carlile was born into a musically gifted, impoverished family on the outskirts of Seattle, and grew up in a state of constant change (she reports moving house 14 times as a child). As an openly gay teenager, Carlile grappled with the tension between her sexuality and her religious faith. Ultimately, she achieved both professional and personal joy, raising two children with her wife, Catherine Shepherd and collaborating with artists like Elton John, Dolly Parton, Mavis Staples and Pearl Jam. This is a life story perfect for this moment – about the power of grit, faith, love and raw talent in the most challenging of times.

12. Broken (in the best possible way) by Jenny Lawson.


In Broken (in the best possible way), the author of Furiously Happy and Let’s Pretend This Never Happened comes a book filled with humor and honesty about depression and anxiety.

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13. A Summer Place by Tricia Foley.


new novels and non-fiction book releases, including essays, and what to read of the best new books this April 2021

In A Summer Place: Living by the Sea, a Hamptons-based interior designer shares her tips on how to create airy and relaxed home décor schemes that capture the essence of the seaside. Find insights and inspiration on summer decorating style, casual outdoor entertaining, seasonal flowers and weekend guest tips. Just in time for the season.

BUY NOW: $44.

14. BuildHer by Rebeka Morgan and Kribashini Hannon.


Just in time for the spring renovation season comes BuildHer: Empowering Women to Build & Renovate Their Dream Home. For years, the BuildHer Collective has helped women around the world make home building and renovating a fun, rewarding and empowering experience. Using case studies and stories that work for varying levels of experience in building and construction – including absolute beginners – this is a primer that will rev you up for your next big project. Even if its at work and not at home.

BUY NOW: $35.

15. DUMBO: The Making of a New York Neighborhood by Paul Goldberger.


new novels and non-fiction book releases, including essays, and what to read of the best new books this April 2021

DUMBO: The Making of New York Neighborhood is an expert insider’s visual tour of one of the most happening neighborhoods in New York City: DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) in Brooklyn. The author is the former architecture critic for The New Yorker, and winner of the Pulitzer Prize for criticism for his work at The New York Times. Filled with historic imagery and new photography, this is a brilliant way to understand how the forces of real estate, art and commerce together created a marvelous residential neighborhood (and social media magnet) where once there were only abandoned industrial sites.

BUY NOW: $65.

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New book releases the week of April 13, 2021

Here are the top new novels and non-fiction book releases of the second week of April 2021.

16. Antiquities by Cynthia Ozick.


In Antiquities, an elderly WASP man mulls the burdens of his youth as he prepares to write his memoir. Lloyd Wilkinson Petrie, one of the seven elderly trustees of the now defunct (for thirty-four years) Temple Academy for Boys, is preparing a memoir of his days at the now-defunct school.


17. Early Morning Riser by Katherine Heiny.


In Early Morning Riser, a breezy new rom-com, Jane falls in love with Duncan. Who is easily the most-desired bachelor in their small town in Michigan. He’s the kind of guy who maintains friendships with his ex’s. And their new beaus. So is there really room for 5 (or more) people in this relationship?

18. The Souvenir Museum: Stories by Elizabeth McCracken.


The award-winning author of Bowlaway returns with a short-story collection. In these new tales, the mysterious bonds of family are tested, transformed, fractured, and fortified. A recent widower and his adult son ferry to a craggy Scottish island in search of puffins. An actress who plays a children’s game-show villainess ushers in the New Year with her deadbeat half brother. A mother, pining for her children, feasts on loaves of challah to fill the void. And a first date becomes unforgettably strange.

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19. Empire of Pain by Patrick Radden Keefe.


Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty, written by a staff writer at The New Yorker, is the story of the Sacklers, the family behind Purdue Pharmaceuticals and the opioid crisis. OxyContin

New book releases the week of April 20, 2021

Here are the top new novels and non-fiction book releases of the third week of April 2021.

20. The Man Who Lived Underground by Richard Wright.


According to Library of America, The Man Who Lived Underground was written in the same period as Wright’s masterpieces Native Son and Black Boy. Yet is has never before been published in its entirety. So this is a Big Deal Book Event that lots of people will be talking about. It also feels urgent – as if it could have been written this month. Fred Daniels, a Black man, is picked up by the police after a brutal double murder and tortured until he confesses to a crime he did not commit. After signing a confession, he escapes from custody and flees into the city’s sewer system.


21. Hot Stew by Fiona Mozley.


new novels and non-fiction book releases, including essays, and what to read of the best new books this April 2021

Hot Stew is the much-anticipated follow-up to the author’s debut novel, Elmet. In the middle of the bustle of Soho in London sits a prime piece of real estate occupied by a brothel. A young millionaire, Agatha Howard, wants to convert it into luxury condos as soon as she can kick out all the tenants. But it appears that some of them are not going to go quietly.

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22. The Free World by Louis Menand.


The Free World: Art and Thought in the Cold War is the author’s follow-up to the Pulitzer Prize–winning The Metaphysical Club. In it, he offers a new intellectual and cultural history of the postwar years.

BUY NOW: $28.

23. World Travel by Anthony Bourdain and Laurie Woolever.


World Travel: An Irreverent Guide is a wonderful inside guide to some of the world’s most fascinating places, as seen and experienced by the late author – a writer, television host, and relentlessly curious traveler. In this practical, fun and frank travel guide we’re introduced to some of his favorite places—in his own words.

New book releases the week of April 27, 2021

Here are the top new novels and non-fiction book releases of the last week of April 2021.

24. Whereabouts by Jhumpa Lahiri.


Whereabouts is a new novel from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Lowland and Interpreter of Maladies. The narrator is a single woman in her mid-40s questioning her place in the world. We see the emotional turmoil she faces as she spends a day at the seashore, wavering between stasis and movement. And between the need to belong and the refusal to form lasting ties. The transformative power of the ocean view forces her to change the way she views her life, love and work.

BUY NOW: $20.

25. The Hill we Climb by Amanda Gorman.


In celebration of National Poetry Month, Amanda Gorman’s powerful and historic poem “The Hill We Climb,” which she read with such stunning impact at President Joe Biden’s 2021 inauguration, is being published in a keepsake/gift edition. With a lovely foreword by Oprah Winfrey, this is the perfect way to commemorate a seminal moment and a reminder of the power of a brilliant poem.

BUY NOW: $15.99.

26. The Bomber Mafia by Malcolm Gladwell.


new novels and non-fiction book releases, including essays, and what to read of the best new books this April 2021

At first glance, The Bomber Mafia: A Dream, a Temptation, and the Longest Night of the Second World War seems to be a departure from the behavioral economics tomes like The Tipping Point that made the author famous. It’s an account of the bombing of Tokyo in 1945. Soon enough, though, it becomes clear that this too is a instructional manual on how our choices can influence life and history in unexpected and unintended ways. Two American generals — Haywood Hansell and Curtis LeMay — take differing approaches to air warfare. And the outcomes leave a powerful legacy in military strategy that still govern decision-making today.

BUY NOW: $20.

27. Come Fly with Me by Jodi Peckman.


As our wanderlust is rising and international travel becomes more of a reality, there’s no better time to pick up Come Fly with Me: Flying in Style. As its publisher notes, “nothing captures our yearning for travel, freedom, glamour, and adventure than the fantasy of flying away from it all.” Curated by a notable photo editor, this handsome coffee table book is a celebration of the airport as a fashion runway throughout the past 50 years.

BUY NOW: $30.

28. Authentic: A Memoir by Paul Van Doren.


new novels and non-fiction book releases, including essays, and what to read of the best new books this April 2021

If you loved Shoe Dog (and who didn’t?), you’ll love this memoir of a high school dropout who went on to establish one of the world’s most iconic footwear brands. Paul Van Doren is the founder of Vans—the shoe company beloved by skateboarders, creatives and tech moguls the world over. Authentic is his story.

BUY NOW: $24.

the most-anticipated new novels and non-fiction books April 2021

Those are our picks for the best and most-anticipated new book releases coming in April 2021. So many options to answer the pressing matter of what to read in April 2021! What’s at the top of your list? Whatever you decide, stay safe and strong, dear reader.

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