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The 25 Best New Novels and Non-Fiction Books to Buy in May 2022

The best most anticipated new novels, poetry collections and non-fiction book releases to read among the books coming out in May 2022.

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 May 2022. So what are the best new new novels, poetry and essay collections, memoirs and other non-fiction books to read coming out in May 2022? Our intrepid team has been exploring and here’s what we found: 35 new book releases coming soon that we cannot wait to read.

what are the most anticipated new novels and non-fiction book releases for May 2022?

Wondering what to read in May 2022? We’ve surveyed the landscape, and rounded up a list of the best new books coming this May.

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new novels and poetry May 2022

There’s a lot going on the world of fiction this month, including new novels and poetry collections from favorite authors, including Ali Smith, Elif Bautman, Monica Ali, Hernan Diaz, Emma Straub and Maggie Shipstead. And buzzed-about new novels from Lillian Fishman and Vauhini Vara.

The best most anticipated new novels, poetry collections and non-fiction book releases to read among the books coming out in May 2022.

The best most anticipated new novels, poetry collections and non-fiction book releases to read among the books coming out in May 2022.

new memoirs, essay collections and other non-fiction books May 2022

The new non-fiction releases in May 2022 include memoirs from Robert McNamara’s son, Craig; writer Courtney Maum; actress Minnie Driver; and novelist Jhumpa Lahiri. There’s a history of women songwriters in country music. An ode to involved and engaged fathers and male role models who help shape boys into good men. And an elegiac book of essays from Geoff Dyer on the twilight years of enormously gifted athletes, artists, writers and musicians.

The best most anticipated new novels, poetry collections and non-fiction book releases to read among the books coming out in May 2022.

The best most anticipated new novels, poetry collections and non-fiction book releases to read among the books coming out in May 2022.

the best new novels and non-fiction books coming in May 2022

Here’s our pick of the top new book releases of May 2022 – novels, poetry and essay collections, memoirs and other non-fiction – that we cannot wait to read. Pre-order your favorites now!

best new novels, poetry and essay collections, memoirs and other non-fiction books in May 2022

best new novels, poetry and essay collections, memoirs and other non-fiction books in May 2022

new book releases May 3, 2022

1. Companion Piece by Ali Smith.

 

best new novels, poetry and essay collections, memoirs and other non-fiction books in May 2022

Companion Piece is a pandemic-era story from the fearless author of The Seasonal Quartet, which addressed issues in the news in a way that felt as if the works were live dispatches from the front. So this is one of the most-anticipated new novels of May 2022. A woman receives an unexpected call from a former classmate asking for help deciphering a puzzling interaction, and from there, Smith spins out a broader story about loneliness, refuge and freedom.

BUY NOW: $25.20

2. Love Marriage by Monica Ali.

 

In Love Marriage, Yasmin, a daughter of Indian parents who’s studying to become a doctor, and Joe, a white man whose mother is a well-known feminist, are getting married. As their families come together ahead of the wedding, new relationships are forged and bonds are broken.

BUY NOW: $24.99.

3. When Women Were Dragons by Kelly Barnhill.

 

In a plot that reminds us a bit of The Power, in When Women Were Dragons, we experience life through the eyes of a young girl whose beloved aunt was part of “the Mass Dragoning of 1955.” That’s when hundreds of thousands of ordinary women sprouted wings, scales, and talons; left a trail of fiery destruction in their path; and took to the skies. Was it their choice? What will become of those left behind? As in “The Once and Future Witches,” this is a timely meditation on rage, memory, and tyranny in a world that wants to keep women small and is terrified about what will happen when they rise en masse and take up the space they deserve.

BUY NOW: $25.20.

4. Liarmouth: A Feel-Bad Romance by John Waters.

 

best new novels, poetry and essay collections, memoirs and other non-fiction books in May 2022

The much-discussed and highly anticipated first novel by John Waters sounds as delightfully twisted as its title implies. Liarmouth is the story of

BUY NOW: $23.40

5. Acts of Service by Lillian Fishman.

 

best new novels, poetry and essay collections, memoirs and other non-fiction books in May 2022

The debut novel Acts of Service is

BUY NOW: $27.00

6. The Immortal King Rao by Vauhini Vara.

 

The Immortal King Rao is a debut novel about a young woman accused of killing of her father, a tech mogul cum government leader. It’s a meditation on families, capitalism and crime.  marries the family saga with a biotech satire. The Immortal King Rao jumps around in time as the titular King Rao’s daughter, Athena, navigates his very tangible memory on an Indian coconut plantation while serving time in prison after being accused of his murder.

The American government has been replaced by a corporation, and a climate crisis is ravaging Earth. Into this mix comes Athena, the daughter of King Rao, a tech C.E.O. In an effort to help reverse damage to the planet, she tells his story

BUY NOW: $25.16

7. Trust by Hernan Diaz.

 

best new novels, poetry and essay collections, memoirs and other non-fiction books in May 2022

In his second novel, Trust, the acclaimed author turns his eye to Manhattan during the Roaring 20’s and the Great Depression. Benjamin and Helen Rask have risen to the height of wealth, though rumors circulate about the circumstances of their fortune. A story within a story, the Rask mystery is the center of a successful 1938 novel, but the account everyone in New York seems to know isn’t the only version of their story.

BUY NOW: $25.20.

8. All the Lovers in the Night by Mieko Kawakami.

 

In All the Lovers in the Night, the author of Breasts and Eggs returns with a story about reinvention. Fuyuko is a freelance copy editor in her mid-thirties. Working and living alone in a city where it is not easy to form new relationships, she has little regular contact with anyone other than her editor at work. She resolves to make a fundamental change. But as she tries to transform herself, painful episodes from the past surface. And her behavior slips further and further beyond the pale.

earlier novels about the lives of women, “Breasts and Eggs” and “Heaven.” Here she focuses on a shy proofreader who is coaxed out of her solitude by a physics teacher — and confronts unsettling episodes from her past.

BUY NOW: $25.20.

9. Anna: The Biography by Amy Odell.

 

Anna, a new biography of the longtime Vogue chief draws on hundreds of interviews, tracing Anna Wintour’s path from 1960s London to the most powerful position in fashion journalism. veteran fashion journalist Amy Odell spoke with more than 250 people for this new book, including Tom Ford, Grace Coddington, Serena Williams, and more.

BUY NOW: $25.99.

10. My Seven Black Fathers: A Young Activist’s Memoir of Race, Family, and the Mentors Who Made Him Whole by Will Jawando.

 

My Seven Black Fathers is an examination of and celebration of the relationships the author had as a young Black man growing up in poverty with a series of Black male mentors that enabled him to thrive. He makes a passionate case for how such men can help shape the fortunes of the next generation, which explains his deep involvement in My Brother’s Keeper, the not-for-profit organization created to foster and honor these kinds of relationships.

BUY NOW: $19.60.

11. The Year of the Horses: A Memoir by Courtney Maum.

 

best new novels, poetry and essay collections, memoirs and other non-fiction books in May 2022

The Year of the Horses is a poignant glimpse into the author’s struggles with depression. It’s also an eye-opening series of portraits of women who became famous for their horse-riding.

BUY NOW: $25.16

12. Fly Girl: A Memoir by Ann Hood.

 

In 1978, when flight attendant job interviews included weight measurements, TWA hired her right out of college. Although a glamorous international lifestyle was attractive, she soon learned more than airport codes and meal service skills, developing valuable expertise that served her well, like how to speak and act with authority, assess people and defuse trouble. With celebrity sightings, emergency situations and mile-high club thrill-seekers, her chatty memoir is filled with engaging stories

BUY NOW: $21.99.

13. Managing Expectations: A Memoir in Essays by Minnie Driver.

 

In Managing Expectations, Driver shares tales from her peripatetic childhood in England and Barbados. And then chronicles her journey through many of the challenges many women face: navigating failure, fighting for success, learning to cope with the trials and joys of motherhood, and processing grief and loss.

BUY NOW: $19.59.

14. The Last Days of Roger Federer: and other endings by Geoff Dyer.

 

best new novels, poetry and essay collections, memoirs and other non-fiction books in May 2022

Lit Hub describes the highly anticipated non-fiction book The Last Days of Roger Federer as “an examination of the twilight days of famous artists, writers, musicians and athletes Dyer has loved, intertwined with his own experience of aging.”

BUY NOW: $25.20.

May 10, 2022

15. There Are Places in the World Where Rules Are Less Important Than Kindness: And Other Thoughts on Physics, Philosophy and the World by Carlo Rovelli.

 

This new collection of essays, There Are Places in the World . . . , reveals a curious intellect always on the move. Rovelli invites us on an accessible and enlightening voyage through science, literature, philosophy, and politics.

Written with his usual clarity and wit, this journey ranges widely across time and space: from Newton’s alchemy to Einstein’s mistakes, from Nabokov’s lepidopterology to Dante’s cosmology, from mind-altering psychedelic substances to the meaning of atheism, from the future of physics to the power of uncertainty.

BUY NOW: $26.00.

16. Her Country by Marissa R. Moss.

 

According to the author of Her Country, in 2021 only 16 percent of country music played on the radio was by women.

BUY NOW: $28.99.

17. Because our Fathers Lied by Craig McNamara.

 

best new novels, poetry and essay collections, memoirs and other non-fiction books in May 2022

Every now and then, the apple does fall quite far from the tree. The author of Because Our Fathers Lied had quite a consequential father: Robert McNamara, John F. Kennedy’s Secretary of Defense and the architect of the Vietnam War. The offspring of the war’s mastermind failed his draft board physical, then publicly demonstrated against the war. In later years, he drove a motorcycle across Central and South America before deciding to become a walnut farmer in Northern California. If you’ve watched the irresistible documentary “The Fog of War,” you need to read this account of what McNamara’s own family made of the war and its aftermath.

BUY NOW: $29.00

May 17, 2022

18. This Time Tomorrow by Emma Straub.

 

best new novels, poetry and essay collections, memoirs and other non-fiction books in May 2022

Straub’s latest novel, This Time Tomorrow, features a 40-year-old woman who returns to the day of her 16th birthday. Time travel seems to be a Thing right now (witness the success of One Italian Summer).

BUY NOW: $21.99.

19. You Have a Friend in 10A by Maggie Shipstead.

 

You Have a Friend in 10A is the debut story collection from the best-selling novelist, and it promises the same pleasures that her novels consistently deliver: wry humor, intelligence, a hearty dose of skepticism and some hard truths.

BUY NOW: $27.00.

20. Notes on Your Sudden Disappearance by Alison Espach.

 

The author of one of our favorite fun and frothy novels, The Adults, returns with a summer story. In Notes on Your Sudden Disappearance, Sally spends much of that summer at the pool, watching in confusion and excitement as her sister falls deeper in love with Billy―until a tragedy leaves Sally’s life forever intertwined with his.

Opening in the early nineties and charting almost two decades of shared history and missed connections, Notes on Your Sudden Disappearance is both a breathtaking love story about two broken people who are unexplainably, inconveniently drawn to each other and a wryly astute coming-of-age tale

BUY NOW: $21.99.

21. Translating Myself and Others by Jhumpa Lahiri.

 

best new novels, poetry and essay collections, memoirs and other non-fiction books in May 2022

Translating Myself and Others, her first collection of essays, explicates her lifelong engagement with translation. As an immigrant child she struggled to determine how she should address her mother on a holiday card — “Ma,” the Bengali term, or its American English equivalent, “Mom.” As an adult she embarked on some early literary-translation efforts, eventually deciding to move to Rome, learn Italian, write in Italian and then translate her own words into English. That’s an absolutely formidable level of intelligence at work.

BUY NOW: $21.95.

May 24, 2022

 

22. Either/Or by Elif Bautman.

 

If you loved The Idiot (and we really did) you’ll be pleased to learn that Either/Or is the sequel to that thoughtful and immersive tale of a Harvard freshman who falls in and out of love. This new novel picks up where that one left off, with Selin now a sophomore at Harvard, trying to untangle all that has happened, and all that could.

BUY NOW: $24.30.

23. You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty by Akwaeke Emezi.

 

The author of The Death of Vivek Oji returns with a very different kind of novel. A “fun and steamy romance,” to be exact. Set in the art world, You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty is the story of Feyi Adekola, a young woman still grieving the loss of her lover in a tragic accident 5 years earlier. After a steamy encounter at a rooftop party that cascades into a whirlwind summer romance, she finds herself dating the perfect man. There’s just one problem: the overwhelming desire Feyi feels when she meets the gaze of the one person in the world who is absolutely off-limits—his father.

BUY NOW: $24.30.

24. Avalon by Nell Zink.

 

In Avalon, Bran spends her days tending plants, slogging through high school, and imagining what life could be if she had been born to a different family.

And then she meets Peter, a beautiful, troubled, and charming train wreck of a college student from the East Coast, who launches his teaching career by initiating her into the world of literature and aesthetics. As the two begin a volatile and ostensibly doomed long-distance relationship, Bran searches for meaning in her own surrounding. She knows how to survive, but her happiness depends on learning to call the shots.

BUY NOW: $27.00

May 31, 2022

25. The Latecomer by Jean Hanff Korelitz.

 

best new novels, poetry and essay collections, memoirs and other non-fiction books in May 2022

The author of last summer’s twisty thriller The Plot returns with The Latecomer, a domestic drama about a Brooklyn family. The Oppenheimers are comfortable in their Brooklyn home, but they’re not happy: Salo, haunted by a car crash from his college years, is stirred by art, and not much else; his wife, Johanna, wants nothing but a cohesive family. When their triplets prepare to leave home, she decides to have a fourth child, bringing long-held secrets to the forefront.

BUY NOW: $25.20.

most anticipated new novels and non-fiction books coming in May 2022

That’s our take on the best most anticipated new novels and non-fiction book releases to read among the books coming out in May 2022. What’s at the top of your list this month, dear reader?

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For access to insider ideas and information on the world of luxury, sign up for our Dandelion Chandelier Newsletter hereAnd see luxury in a new light.

This article contains affiliate links to products independently selected by our editors. As an Amazon Associate, Dandelion Chandelier receives a commission for qualifying purchases made through these links. 

Pamela Thomas-Graham is the Founder & CEO of Dandelion Chandelier. A Detroit native, she has 3 Harvard degrees and has written 3 mystery novels published by Simon & Schuster. After serving as a senior corporate executive, CEO of CNBC and partner at McKinsey, she now serves on the boards of several tech companies. She loves fashion, Paris, New York, books, contemporary art, running, skiing, coffee, Corgis and violets.

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