If you’re an avid reader like me, your worst nightmare is standing in front of your bookcase (insert picture of bookcase overflowing with different sized books with colorful enticing spines and a few stacks on the floor because there’s no more room on the shelves) and trying to find the next book to rock your world. We all want to find a book that’s a knock it out of the park 5-stars. However, the number one problem is that we can’t help but be convinced to read some of the many new books released every month instead. Frankly, new releases can be a real dilemma. How does one choose from the plethora of newbies out there.
Well If you’re the kind of person that reads all the new books because you feel automatically left out of the literary conversation if you don’t, then this post is for you. If you’re dying to get to some lesser known but hopefully interesting reads you’re in the right place. I’m going to to share with you some of my anticipated new releases this year. Some of them you can already find in the shops and a few I’ve already read. Moreover the particularity of this list is that they are all diverse authors:
Lazaretto is Diane McKinney-Whetstone’s sixth novel. She is especially known for writing her successful bestselling contemporary novel Tumbling. One of the dominant aspects to McKinney-Whetstone’s novels is that they are set in her hometown Philadelphia. This is equally the case of Lazaretto which explores the arrival of immigrants whose first stop is the Lazaretto quarantine hospital. The Philadelphia Lazaretto was the first quarantine hospital, built in 1799, in the Untied States. Henceforth, this novel of historical fiction, plays out the story of the black community of Lazaretto, set in the aftermath of the Civil War and the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Fans of McKinney-Whetstone, I’m sure will be impatient to read Lazaretto which was released on the 12th of April. Her last novel was published in 2005, called Trading Dreams at Midnight.
In Other Words was released earlier this year in February and it is one that I personally can’t wait to peruse. Jhumpa Lahiri moved to Rome with her family in 2012 with the intention of immersing herself in Italian culture and language. Writing daily in her journal in Italian, her goal was to master the Italian language. Through the pages of this autobiographical novel, we see how Lahiri deals with a journey into new words, writing, learning, and being understood. For all of those who have ever had to live in a country while learning the language, In Other Words should be a relevant read. Lahiri wrote In Other Words in Italian; so that is inspiration to all language learners.
I had the pleasure of already reading and enjoying the next two books that I’m recommending The Book of Harlan by Bernice L. McFadden and The Birds of Opulence by Crystal Wilkinson. The Book of Harlan spans six decades and turns around Harlan the main character. The setting goes from Harlem Renaissance to Paris jazz clubs in Montmartre, Paris to the dark, horrific Buchenwald Concentration Camp. Just check out my review to hear more about it.
The Birds of Opulence develops a story in a small Kentucky town called Opulence. Four generations of women living under the same roof can make for a lot toes being stepped on. However, the stronger mothers love their daughters the more difficult relationships seem to be. Wilkinson explores major themes such as mother/daughter relationships, male/female relationships, community, race, and coming of age. Characters found in Wilkinson’s previous short story collect called Water Street appear in The Birds of Opulence. It’s a little book that packs a punch. Check out my review here.
The Blackbirds is the latest Eric Jerome Dickey release, April 19th. I haven’t had a chance to read it yet, but it’s on my TBR for this month. It’s a chick-lit or as I would like to refer to it as a “girlfriend book”. The blackbirds are four young women Kwanzaa, Indigo, Destiny, and Ericka, friends but close enough to be sisters. Of course they are all looking for something in particular – love, health, etc., however it’s their friendship that they value the most or do they.
Last but not least I recommend The Castle Cross the Magnet Carter released at the end of January this year, which is an epic historical fiction covering 1941 to the twenty-first century. It is written by The Wire tv writer and playwright Kia Northern and has been highly anticipated. Two white brothers growing up in rural Alabama and two black brothers growing up in a small town in Maryland whose families will encounter and conflict. Obviously not a simple story but an enticingly captivating one told in 800 pages. I’m looking forward to encountering all the various historical references; definitely a read to keep us engrossed and pondering. Personally, I can’t wait to get to it. It’s on my TBR this month.
I wrote this post as a guest on Callaloo Soup. Thanks for inviting me! Check out Francine’s creative simplicity, inspirations and resources blog. You’ll find everything from journaling, scrapbooking, reading recs, and plenty of other great ideas to lead your wholesome slow living life.
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16 Replies to “To New Release or Not”
Thanks for the recommendations.
I try to mix it up with new and older releases.
That Kia Corthron novel sounds excellent!
Yes it does. I’m going to be picking it up next week. I’m behind on my TBR but life happens. I’m reading the most I can.
I hope to see you blog more frequently in the coming months. If not, I understand, of course. 🙂
I have a hectic schedule and it’s hard to do everything. Will try to get back to blogging once a week. Thanks for the push. 😉
I have Lazaretto and The Book of Harlan on hold list at my library. Looking forward to reading them.
I know you’re going to enjoy The Book of Harlan. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for Lazaretto. It’s on my TR this month. Hope I’ll be able to get to it.
Great list! I just added all the ones to my list that weren’t already on there.
It looks to me like any of Diane McKinney-Whetstone’s books would be good reads!
Yes I think so. Lazaretto will be my first. I hope to get to it very soon….
Newbies! 🙂 I am always tempted but also somewhat resentful of these newbies always trying to distract me from all the books on my shelf already. But I mak notes of new releases and usually get around to them in a year or two. Love the look of the new Lahiri and also the Corthron sounds fantastic!
I’m getting ready to start the Corthron next week.
I’m trying really hard not to get swept along by the new releases this year so I can Focus on completing my Booker prize project and clear some space in the shelves. The Jhumpa Lahiri book is the one in yiur list that tempts me the most .. What an achievement.
I have to agree with you there. Writing a book in Italian when it’s your third language that you’re learning to master. Lahiri is brilliant! Can’t wait to pick it up.
Hi Didi – Reading is so complicated!!! lol! You know I find it most challenging to balance reading enticing new releases with getting around to older books that have been on my to-read-list overlong; and then, I also have the nerve to enjoy re-reading certain rich gems! (insert a heavy sigh) Oh well, thanks for sharing:)
Yes my Dear the struggle is real. I don’t always run for the newbies but this year I have been. (insert sigh). I’m trying to mix things up though. Here’s to the Backlist! 😉
The book of opulence is on my list. I did read In other words but I didnt enjoy it as much as Lahiri’s other works.
I hope to get it this summer. I think I’m going to like it. I love hearing about how people learn languages.
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