It is that time of the month where all of us Book of the Month subscribers start to anxiously anticipate the next month’s releases. I am here to speculate and possibly predict which books will be selected for Book of the Month (BOTM) main picks and add-ons.
Because May was also a big publishing month with several book releases from previous BOTM authors, I think it is likely at least one May release will be included. I think it will likely be from my May BOTM predictions.
Contemporary & Literary Fiction
Mother Ocean Father Nation
A riveting, tender debut novel, following a brother and sister whose paths diverge—one forced to leave, one left behind—in the wake of a nationalist coup in the South Pacific.
The Girls in Queens
Christine Kandic Torres
A writer brimming with talent makes her exciting literary debut with a tale of two Latinx women coming of age in Queens, New York, an emotionally resonant novel infused with insight, power, and poignancy. Told in alternating timelines, The Girls in Queens is a novel for and of our time–a skillful exploration of the furious loyalty of young women, the complications of sexual abuse allegations within communities of color, and the danger of forgetting that sometimes monsters hide in plain sight.
Last Summer on State Street
For fans of Jacqueline Woodson and Brit Bennett, a striking coming-of-age debut about friendship, community, and resilience, set in the housing projects of Chicago during one life-changing summer. Last Summer on State Street explores the risk of connection against the backdrop of racist institutions, the restorative power of knowing and claiming one’s own past, and those defining relationships which form the heartbeat of our lives.
These Impossible Things
A razor‑sharp debut novel of three best friends navigating love, sex, faith, and the one night that changes it all. It’s always been Malak, Kees, and Jenna against the world. Since childhood, under the watchful eyes of their parents, aunties and uncles, they’ve learned to live their own lives alongside the expectations of being good Muslim women. Staying over at a boyfriend’s place is disguised as a best friend’s sleepover, and tiredness can be blamed on studying instead of partying. They know they’re existing in a perfect moment. With growing older and the stakes of love and life growing higher, the delicate balancing act between rebellion and religion is becoming increasingly difficult to navigate.
The Seaplane on Final Approach
A libidinous young woman seeks out experience on a remote Alaskan homestead in this hilarious and sensual novel about people who belong everywhere and nowhere and the vast, unknowable wilderness of desire. Hilarious, sensual, and charged with menace, The Seaplane on Final Approach brilliantly illuminates the mirage-thin line between the artificial and the feral. In this daring and psychologically razor-sharp debut, Rukeyser’s characters tear aside the facade of good manners to reveal all of our deepest needs and naked desires.
After Ellie’s father suddenly dies, she learns that he left his prized possession, that meant something to both of them, to someone the family has never heard of. Setting out to track this person down, she learns startling information about who her father really was and who she herself is becoming.
Woman of Light
There is one every generation, a seer who keeps the stories.
A dazzling epic of betrayal, love, and fate that spans five generations of an Indigenous Chicano family in the American West, from the author of the National Book Award finalist Sabrina & Corina.
The Scent of Burnt Flowers
Fleeing persecution in 1960s Alabama, a Black couple seeks asylum in Ghana with a college friend who happens to also be the country’s president. Fresh dangers and old secrets threaten their newfound freedom. Steeped in the history and mythology of postcolonial West Africa at the intersection of the civil rights movement in America, this gripping and ambitious debut merges political intrigue, magical encounters, and forbidden romance in an epic collision of morality and power.
Moonlight and the Pearler’s Daughter
For readers of The Light Between Oceans and The Island of Sea Women, a feminist adventure story set against the backdrop of the dangerous pearl diving industry in 19th-century Western Australia, about a young English woman who sets off to uncover the truth about the disappearance of her eccentric father.
For fans of Grey’s Anatomy and Seven Days in June, this dazzling debut novel by Shirlene Obuobi explores that time in your life when you must decide what you want, how to get it, & who you are, all while navigating love, friendship, and the realization that the path you’re traveling is going to be a bumpy ride.
How to Fake It in Hollywood
A talented Hollywood starlet and a reclusive A-lister enter into a fake relationship . . . and discover that their feelings might be more than a PR stunt in this sexy debut for fans of Beach Read and The Unhoneymooners.
Nora Goes Of Script
Evvie Drake Starts Over meets Beach Read in this heartwarming and hilarious novel about a divorced romance channel screenwriter whose script about her marriage’s collapse just might help her reclaim her life and find love.
The Dead Romantics
A disillusioned millennial ghostwriter who, quite literally, has some ghosts of her own, has to find her way back home in this sparkling adult debut from national bestselling author Ashley Poston.
Thrillers, Mysteries, & Horror
For fans of Hustlers and How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia, the story of two Asian American women who band together to grow a counterfeit handbag scheme into a global enterprise—an incisive and glittering blend of fashion, crime, and friendship.
The Lies I Tell
Meg Williams. Maggie Littleton. Melody Wilde. Different names for the same person, depending on the town, depending on the job. She’s a con artist who erases herself to become whoever you need her to be―a college student. A life coach. A real estate agent. Nothing about her is real. She slides alongside you and tells you exactly what you need to hear, and by the time she’s done, you’ve likely lost everything.
Can’t Look Away
Part romance, part domestic thriller, Carola Lovering’s Can’t Look Away asks the ultimate questions: What happens when life turns out nothing like we thought it would, when we were young and dreaming big? Does growing up mean choosing with your head, rather than your heart? And do we ever truly get over our first love?
The Woman in the Library
The tranquility is shattered by a woman’s terrified scream. Security guards take charge immediately, instructing everyone inside to stay put until the threat is identified and contained. While they wait for the all-clear, four strangers, who’d happened to sit at the same table, pass the time in conversation and friendships are struck. Each has his or her own reasons for being in the reading room that morning―it just happens that one is a murderer.
One of the Girls
It was supposed to be the perfect weekend away. Six very different women travel to a sun-soaked Greek island for a bachelorette trip, to celebrate Lexi’s upcoming wedding. From the glorious ocean views to the quaint tavernas and whitewashed streets, the vacation seems too good to be true. But dangerous undercurrents run beneath the sunset swims and midnight cocktails – because each of the women is hiding a secret. Someone is determined to make sure that Lexi’s marriage never happens – and that one of them doesn’t leave the island alive.
The House Across the Lake
Casey Fletcher, a recently widowed actress trying to escape bad press, has retreated to the peace and quiet of her family’s lake house in Vermont. Armed with a pair of binoculars and several bottles of bourbon, she passes the time the glamorous couple living in the house across the lake. What Casey doesn’t realize is that there’s more to the story than meets the eye—and that shocking secrets can lurk beneath the most placid of surfaces.
Fantasy, Science Fiction, & Magical Realism
It seems like any other day: You wake up, pour a cup of coffee, and head out. But today when you open your front door, waiting for you is a small wooden box. This box holds your fate inside: the answer to the exact number of years you will live.
One night in New York City’s Chinatown, a woman is at a work reunion dinner with former colleagues when she excuses herself to buy a pack of cigarettes. On her way back, she runs into a former boyfriend. And then another. And . . . another. Soon nothing is quite what it seems as the city becomes awash with ghosts of heartbreaks past.
This Vicious Grace
Three weddings. Three funerals. Alessa’s gift from the gods is supposed to magnify a partner’s magic, not kill every suitor she touches.
Now, with only weeks left until a hungry swarm of demons devours everything on her island home, Alessa is running out of time to find a partner and stop the invasion. When a powerful priest convinces the faithful that killing Alessa is the island’s only hope, her own soldiers try to assassinate her.
From MSNBC anchor and New York Times bestselling author Katy Tur, a shocking and deeply personal memoir about a life spent chasing the news. n Rough Draft, Tur writes about her eccentric and volatile California childhood, punctuated by forest fires, earthquakes, and police chases—all seen from a thousand feet in the air. She recounts her complicated relationship with a father who was magnetic, ambitious, and, at times, frightening. And she charts her own survival from local reporter to globe-trotting foreign correspondent, running from her past.