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12 Books to Read This Spring

Mysteries, memoirs, short stories, suspense novels — all by female authors — make this a spring to remember.

Women Rowing North

Women Rowing North, by Mary Pipher

If you looked to Mary Pipher’s Reviving Ophelia while raising your daughters, you will be as overjoyed as we are to read her new guide to wisdom, authenticity, and bliss for women as they age. “If we can keep our wits about us, think clearly, and manage our emotions skillfully, we will experience a joyous time of our lives. If we have planned carefully and packed properly, if we have good maps and guides, the journey can be transcendent,” Pipher writes.

The Lost Man

The Lost Man, by Jane Harper

Jane Harper wowed us with The Dry, and now she’s back with a brutal tale of vengeance set in the Australian outback. Suspicion swirls when two of three brothers meet at the fence line between their cattle ranches; the third brother lies dead at their feet. Like the lonely outback, the book is a slow burn with few suspects and lots of twists that keep you reading through the night.

The Dreamers

The Dreamers, by Karen Thompson Walker

A dreamy new novel by the author of The Age of Miracles tells the story of a mysterious illness that triggers perpetual sleep. Panic ensues as the illness spreads throughout the town. Scans show extreme brain activity and asks the question, what are they dreaming about? Other questions, such as what would our life be like if we were truly awake?, make for an intriguing page-turner.

Late in the Day

Late in the Day, by Tessa Hadley

The lives of two close-knit couples are irrevocably changed by an untimely death of one of them. The loss unmoors the remaining three friends and as they grieve, old entanglements create complications. Love and sorrow are entwined throughout the past and present telling of their story and the characters’ ordinary lives.

Mouthful of Birds
Mouthful of Birds, by Samanta Schweblin

This brilliant collection of short stories will haunt you with their themes of women on the edge, their worlds turned upside down and at odds with reality. If you think life should go one way but seldom does, these characters will leave you breathless.

You Know You Want This, by Kristen Roupenian

We shared Kristen Roupenian’s New Yorker story, “Cat Person,” because it was both compulsively readable and somehow fresh and funny. She continues to push the connections between gender, sex, and obsession with this collection of dark stories that both fascinate and repel. You may not know you want it, but you do.

The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls

The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls,  by Anissa Gray

Critics are comparing this debut novel to An American Marriage. It’s a stunning portrayal of three sisters and the trial that upends their lives after the oldest sister and her husband are arrested for food stamp fraud and charity embezzlement.

The Unwinding of the Miracle

The Unwinding of the Miracle, by Julie Yip-Williams

Julie Yip-Williams’ memoir is more about living than it is a chronicle of her life after she’s diagnosed with terminal metastatic colon cancer at age 37. Born blind in Vietnam, Yip-Williams narrowly escaped euthanasia at the hands of her grandmother, only to flee with her family to the United States, where she would become a Harvard-educated lawyer. It’s a shattering story — and a guide to being alive that will shake you to your core.

Ginger Bread
Gingerbread, by Helen Oyeyemi

You can smell the gingerbread baking in this mysterious new tale. It’s a modern take on Hansel and Gretel, with delicious twists in a story that’s a mystical fable about family, jealousy, grudges, and wealth.

Queenie

Queenie, by Candice Carty-Williams

Queenie Jenkins is a 25-year-old Jamaican British woman living in London and working at a national newspaper. As she careens from one questionable decision to another in this new novel, she finds herself wondering, What are you doing? Why are you doing it? Who do you want to be? — all of the questions we keep trying to answer as well.

Girls With Sharp Sticks

Girls With Sharp Sticks, by Suzanne Young

“Some of the prettiest flowers have the sharpest thorns.” And so it goes with the girls of Innovation Academy, beautiful, obedient, and carefully controlled. Described as “Westworld meets The Handmaid’s Tale, set in a scary near-future, this one is a suspenseful and timely read.

The Farm

The Farm, by Joanne Ramos

Joanne Ramo’s debut novel is set in New York’s Hudson Valley in a luxury retreat that sounds too good to true. What’s not to love about daily massages, organic meals, and fitness trainers — all for free? A nine-month commitment, cut off from the world, while you produce the perfect baby for a stranger.

Photos: Courtesy of the publishers

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