The 10 best new books to read in April to take your mind off things

These days, social distancing is our new normal. We’re video chatting with friends, streaming new Hulu shows, finishing jigsaw puzzles at lightning-fast speeds, and tuning in for at-home workouts. And, of course, we’re doing a ton of reading. In these strange, uncertain times, books are a huge source of comfort to many. It’s okay to get lost in a story and disappear into a different world for a few hours. To help take your mind off things, here are the best new books we plan on reading in April 2020:

1Godshot by Chelsea Bieker, out April 7th.


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Godshot, a novel about a 14-year-old trying to escape from a cult, is unlike anything we’ve ever read before. If you’re fed up with straight white men abusing their power, this book will get you fired up all over again. It’s a literary masterpiece; its themes of trauma, motherless-ness, and resilience will stay with you for a long time.

2How Much of These Hills Is Gold by C Pam Zhang, out April 7th.

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How Much of These Hills Is Gold is another stunning debut to add to your list. It follows two siblings, the newly orphaned children of immigrants, on an epic search for identity, belonging, and home.

3Betsey: A Memoir by Betsey Johnson with Mark Vitulano, out April 7th.

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Everybody has a favorite Betsey Johnson dress, outfit, or accessory. Now, she’s telling the story of how she built her empire from scratch—and all the ups and downs she encountered along the way. Her memoir will make you smile just as much as her designs do.

4The Beauty of Your Face by Sahar Mustafah, out April 7th.

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The Beauty of Your Face follows Afaf, a principal at a Muslim school for girls, as a radicalized shooter attacks the school. The story toggles between her past and present, digging up memories of prejudice, injustice, and heartbreak. Now more than ever your bookshelf needs Sahar Mustafah’s powerful, moving, and beautifully written prose.

5Something She’s Not Telling Us by Darcey Bell, out April 7th.

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It’s not easy to top A Simple Favor, but Darcey Bell pulled it off. Her next thriller is a fast-paced novel about two women, a mysterious kidnapping, and a web of lies.

6A Tender Thing by Emily Neuberger, out April 7th.

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If you need a break from the present, hop back in time to the bright lights of Broadway in the 1950s. A Tender Thing follows Eleanor from a small town in Wisconsin to the streets of New York. When she’s cast as the lead in a controversial new musical, she quickly learns more about racism and prejudice than she’d ever known before. Fans of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel will love it.

7Master Class by Christina Dalcher, out April 21st.

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Christina Dalcher is the master of a fascinating premise. She did it with Vox, and now she’s done it again with Master Class, a novel about an extreme educational system that only sets certain students up for success. It’s fictional, but it still hits a little too close to home about what could happen in the future.

8Death in Her Hands by Ottessa Moshfegh, out April 21st.

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My Year of Rest and Relaxation is pretty much the perfect self-quarantine novel. After you re-read it, treat yourself to Ottessa Moshfegh’s new novel. Death in Her Hands, which follows a woman who finds a haunting note in the words, is her darkest and sharpest story yet.

9Pretty Things by Janelle Brown, out April 21st.

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If your own life feels a little too overwhelming right now, disappear into the truly wild world of Pretty Things. This twisted thriller follows a vengeful grifter and an Insta-famous heiress thrust together by the scam of a lifetime. You won’t know who’s telling the truth, and you won’t be able to put it down until you have answers.

10The Knockout Queen by Rufi Thorpe, out April 28th.

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If you want a book you can really take your time with and sink your teeth into, pick up The Knockout Queen. It’s about an unlikely friendship between Michael, a gay teen boy, and Bunny, a larger-than-life athletic talent. Thorpe’s beautiful, vulnerable writing reminds us that both good and evil exist in everyone. You’ll savor every word.

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