Despite the fact that we’re about to get hit with a FOURTH nor’easter in just three weeks, it’s almost officially spring. Our clocks sprang forward, the groundhog’s extra six weeks of winter are up, and the first day of spring is tomorrow, Tuesday, March 20th. Now is the perfect time for some spring cleaning. You can make room on those bookshelves, then immediately fill them up again with these books coming out this week.
But before we get to the books coming out this week, let’s do a quick HG Book Club check-in. By now, you should be about three-fourths of the way through our March pick, which is Mrs. by Caitlin Macy. How are we feeling? Which woman do you relate to the most? Who do you think is hiding the biggest secret? And who, pray tell, is speaking in italics?! We’ll find out soon enough. Don’t forget to take a pic while you read and tag #HGbookclub on Instagram so we can see. (Do it for the ‘Gram. The cover is a work of art, no?)
Here are 13 books coming out this week that you don’t want to miss!
1Alternate Side by Anna Quindlen, out March 20th
If you’re big on novels about seemingly perfect marriages between seemingly perfect people that get turned upside down by a big neighborhood ~incident~, then you’re going to want to pick up Alternate Side. Even if you’re not a wealthy New Yorker and you’ve never fought over a parking space, you’ll still love this story about a tight-knit community that’s forced to take sides.
2Bury What We Cannot Take by Kirstin Chen, out March 20th
When 12-year-old Ah-Liam misjudges an action by his grandmother and reports her to the Maoist Party, his family is forced to flee to Hong Kong. But the government will only issue an exit visa to one child, and they’re forced to choose who to leave behind. Bury What We Cannot Take is a beautiful story about family, freedom, and the choices we make.
3The Gunners by Rebecca Kauffman, out March 20th
Mikey is reuniting with the Gunners, his childhood friend group, in the wake of one of them committing suicide. Searching for answers, the Gunners begin to open up and share stories and secrets from the past. As Mikey comes to terms with Sally’s death, he’s also forced to confront his own darkness.
4Stray City by Chelsey Johnson, out March 20th
At 24, Andrea escapes her Midwestern roots for a new life in Portland, where she finds a home in the LGBT community. One night, she drunkenly hooks up with a man — and becomes pregnant. Fast forward 10 years later to when her daughter starts asking questions about her father and Andrea must address the past she tried to leave behind. Stray City is a smart, funny, and moving debut. We already can’t wait for Chelsey Johnson’s next novel.
5Just the Funny Parts by Nell Scovell, out March 20th
Think you don’t know who Nell Scovell is? Think again. She’s written for everything from The Muppets to Murphy Brown. Oh, and she also co-wrote Lean In with Sheryl Sandberg. Now, Just the Funny Parts: … And a Few Hard Truths About Sneaking Into the Hollywood Boys’ Club is the memoir you need on your nightstand. It offers a glimpse into what working in TV is like and provides helpful tips on dealing with difficult work environments.
6The Italian Party by Christina Lynch, out March 20th
Michael and Scottie are the perfect American couple living abroad in Italy. Except it turns out, these newlyweds have kept a lot of secrets from each other. And when Scottie’s Italian teacher goes missing, they all come tumbling out. Set in the Italian countryside in the 1950s, The Italian Party is charming fun from cover to cover.
7The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan, out March 20th
Everyone experiences grief differently. For Leigh, who is mourning the loss of her mother, it’s taken the form of a bird. When Leigh visits Taiwan to meet her maternal grandparents, she’s determined to find the bird and uncover family secrets. Emily X.R. Pan has created a lush, colorful world that beautifully combines lyrical prose with a touch of magical realism.
8The Baby Plan by Kate Rorick, out March 20th
Having a baby is more complicated than it used to be. For starters, people didn’t used to share their sonogram pictures on Facebook or throw increasingly one-upping gender reveal parties. The Baby Plan follows three women whose lives intertwine while they’re all pregnant. While it’s over the top at times, it’s also still 100% relatable. Even if you’re not ready to have a baby, Rorick will still make you laugh out loud.
9How to Love the Empty Air by Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz, out March 20th
This is Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz’s seventh collection of poetry, and we think it’s her best yet. Deeply personal, emotional, and engaging, she takes us through the journey of losing her mother. And she holds nothing back.
10Tyler Johnson Was Here by Jay Coles, out March 20th
Tyler Johnson Was Here is a work of fiction. But unfortunately, it’s also far from it. It tells the story of Tyler, a Black teenager shot and killed by a police officer, and his twin brother, Martin, left to wonder the true meaning of justice. It’s the perfect companion read to The Hate U Give and Dear Martin. And how gorgeous is that cover?
11The Broken Girls by Simone St. James, out March 20th
There are rumors that Idlewild Hall, a boarding school in Vermont, is haunted. And journalist Fiona Sheridan wants to get to the bottom of them. Her sister was found dead there twenty years ago. Even though the case was closed, Fiona thinks there’s something off about it to this day. When Idlewild Hall goes under renovation, she decides to write about the school for the newspaper. In the process, she uncovers dark secrets that were meant to stay hidden. Could they be linked to her sister’s murder? And will digging deeper only put her in more danger? The Broken Girls is equal parts captivating and disturbing.
12The Italian Teacher by Tom Rachman, out March 20th
Pinch is the son of Bear Bavinsky, a famous Italian painter. The Italian Teacher follows his life as an aspiring artist, always falling short and living in his father’s shadow. Despite never measuring up to Bear, Pinch is determined to leave a legacy of his own. The Italian Teacher is a rich novel with a colorful cast of memorable characters.
13The Wild Inside by Jamey Bradbury, out March 20th
Tracy is a musher, trapper, and hunter in Alaska. She’s always been safe in the woods — until one day, she gets knocked unconscious by a stranger. The next day, she sees a man emerge from the woods with a knife wound, made by a hunting knife similar to hers. Was he her attacker? And did she attack him back? Something dangerous is going on, but she’s afraid to reveal the truth about what happened. The Wild Inside is a mysterious page-turner that will have you hooked from the very beginning.