April Showers and Books to Devour: 26 New Reads for Your TBR

If April showers are keeping you inside and on the hunt for a good book to pass the time, you’ve come to the right place! The past few weeks have brought us so many fantastic new releases across all genres. From family sagas to sci-fi thrillers to graphic histories, this month’s staff picks have just what you need to wait out the rain. Without further ado…

Recommended by Ann

The Candy House: A Novel Cover ImageThe Candy House: A Novel

Truly, this is one of the great books of our time, and much too ambitious and far reaching to be neatly folded into a couple of sentences. Trust me on this one. This should be Egan’s second Pulitzer.

The Candy House is our First Editions Club pick this month! Scroll down to read Ann’s letter to our FEC members and to learn more about the club!

Recommended by Karen

Fencing with the King: A Novel Cover ImageFencing with the King: A Novel

Diana Abu-Jabar has pulled threads from her own family history to write this engaging novel set in 1990s Jordan. Amani accompanies her father’s return to Jordan after years of living in the U.S. to find that the family, and in particular the uncle she has always loved and admired, is not quite what she thought they were.

Recommended by Lindsay

Four Treasures of the Sky: A Novel Cover ImageFour Treasures of the Sky: A Novel

Bold and breathtaking, Four Treasures of the Sky redefines the American Western novel. Jenny Tinghui Zhang’s debut spans from China to Idaho, following the journey of Daiyu, a young Chinese girl kidnapped from her home and sent overseas to America. This is the kind of historical fiction that prompts us to reevaluate what we know of this country’s history and leaves us better for having done so.

Recommended by Karen

Lessons in Chemistry: A Novel Cover ImageLessons in Chemistry: A Novel

This debut was a delight from start to finish. Elizabeth Zott was born just a decade too soon to forge the career in science she was destined for, so when she stumbled into a job as the host of a 1960s TV cooking show, she could not help but bring chemistry into her recipes. This book is filled with fabulous characters and is alternately touching and laugh-out-loud funny.

Recommended by Lindsay

Sea of Tranquility: A novel Cover ImageSea of Tranquility: A novel

As a card-carrying Emily St. John Mandel superfan, I’m incredibly biased, but I loved Sea of Tranquility. At this point, I just want to know if there’s any genre that Mandel can’t pull off. In Sea of Tranquility, Mandel seamlessly moves between historical fiction, contemporary realism, and sci-fi. This gorgeous novel is the perfect culmination of her talents.

Recommended by Chelsea

Like a Sister Cover ImageLike a Sister

No one seems to question the narrative when her estranged, reality-star half sister is found dead, so Lena decides to do it herself, tracking down her sister’s friends, flings, and even family. Garrett has created one of my favorite protagonists in Lena, and Lena’s wry observations about fame and family are extremely insightful and entertaining.

Recommended by Kathy

The Golden Couple: A Novel Cover ImageThe Golden Couple: A Novel

An unfaithful couple who seem to have everything turns to an unlicensed, unconventional therapist to save their marriage. Trouble ensues…..

Recommended by Ashby

The League of Gentlewomen Witches (Dangerous Damsels #2) Cover ImageThe League of Gentlewomen Witches (Dangerous Damsels #2)

The follow-up to The Wisteria Society of Lady Scoundrels. What a follow-up it is! Witches! Pirates! Adventure! Romance! Flying houses. Spells. A magical amulet that everyone wants to steal. In the middle of it all, the witch and the pirate fall for each other, literally and figuratively. Holton’s imagination makes for a delightful escape. So different and such fun! Unlike anything I have read before.

Recommended by Ben

The Temps Cover ImageThe Temps

At once a commentary on the young working generation and a gripping survival thriller, I’ll bet every millennial will identify with at least one character. Self-aware and fast-paced, feminist and prescient, DeYoung’s blend of capitalist critique, bureaucratic satire, and zombie mayhem stayed with me long after reading it. Fans of Dave Eggers will be delighted with this confident new voice.

Recommended by Sissy

Let's Not Do That Again: A Novel Cover ImageLet’s Not Do That Again: A Novel

Hilarious novel about a candidate for Senate and her adult children in Paris and NYC. Do not be the last person to read this! You will feel so left out!

Recommended by Ashby

Under Lock & Skeleton Key: A Secret Staircase Mystery Cover ImageUnder Lock & Skeleton Key: A Secret Staircase Mystery

The main character’s name is Tempest so you KNOW it’s gonna be good. Her family owns the coolest construction company ever – Secret Staircase Construction. Think sliding bookcases and HIDDEN READING NOOKS! Tempest is faced with a murder to solve which makes her wonder if the family curse is a real thing…a page-turner AND you will want to see if there is a Nashville construction company that installs secret passages.

Recommended by RJ

Dead Collections: A Novel Cover ImageDead Collections: A Novel

Dead Collections is both one of the strangest and most romantic explorations of queer identity I’ve ever read. A vampiric archivist and the widow of a famous science fiction showrunner each struggle to find a way forward in a life (or undeath) that hasn’t turned out the way they expected. Deeply introspective with an edge of supernatural mystery, this book has stuck with me long after I put it down.

Recommended by Sissy

Sari, Not Sari Cover ImageSari, Not Sari

I never read romances – I’m more of a thriller reader. The title caught my attention (hilarious) and I had to dive in. Singh has a sharp wit, and an Indian wedding is such a fun setting. Spring is coming and I needed a smart read that would make me smile.

Recommended by Jenness

The Book of Cold Cases Cover ImageThe Book of Cold Cases

A young true-crime blogger still coping with childhood trauma meets the woman at the heart of a 40 year old cold case who is finally ready to tell the truth. The story unfolds briskly, flowing smoothly between decades. Filled with intriguing characters, dysfunctional families, a little social commentary, and ghosts (real or imagined), this book doesn’t disappoint.

Recommended by Sissy

The Long Weekend: A Novel Cover ImageThe Long Weekend: A Novel

We are in rural Scotland, and there’s too much champagne, no cell signal, secrets, RAIN, wellies, a cool converted barn/lodge that’s cozy BUT THERE IS DANGER EVERYWHERE. I loved this thriller.

Recommended by RJ

The Chosen and the Beautiful Cover ImageThe Chosen and the Beautiful

By Nghi Vo

This haunting take on The Great Gatsby had me spellbound from beginning to end. Luxurious prose, emotionally charged social commentary, and unique twists on familiar characters make for a dark and dreamlike story that’s both strange and familiar at once. Out in paperback now!

Recommended by Alethea

Ash Tuesday Cover ImageAsh Tuesday

This debut novel follows a group of ghost tour guides in the month leading up to Mardi Gras. Full disclosure: I designed the book cover and layout. I was drawn to the project because I enjoy all things spooky. It became my favorite book of 2022 because its misfit characters felt like dear old friends by the time I reached the last page.

Recommended by Hannah

Reminders of Him Cover ImageReminders of Him

There isn’t another writer like Colleen Hoover. Everything she writes is packed with captivating prose and tons of emotion, and this novel is no exception. Kenna’s steadfast selflessness in the face of unspeakable adversity is as admirable as her situation is nuanced. Though this is shelved as a romance, it’s really a story of family, forgiveness, grief, and love. It’s heartfelt, emotional, and truly unforgettable.

Recommended by Lindsay

Heaven Is a Place on Earth: Searching for an American Utopia Cover ImageHeaven Is a Place on Earth: Searching for an American Utopia

For anyone who’s ever been fascinated by the idea of utopias—especially given the state of the world over the last few weeks/months/years—Adrian Shirk has written a beautiful book about just that. Heaven Is a Place on Earth is a remarkable examination of utopias in America, unearthing the often-problematic history behind them. With a blend of personal essay and researched history, this book is not to be missed.

Recommended by Ashby

The Wok: Recipes and Techniques Cover ImageThe Wok: Recipes and Techniques

His first cookbook, The Food Lab, explained the science behind cooking. This cookbook will change your approach to using the wok: keep it on the stove. He focuses on the science, making you appreciate FAST, delicious cooking. My pantry had the sauce staples required but a trip to the Asian grocery (K & S on Charlotte Pike) is an adventure for sauces and some of the best and cheapest produce around. Wok on!

Recommended by Sydney

IIn the Margins: On the Pleasures of Reading and Writing Cover Imagen the Margins: On the Pleasures of Reading and Writing

By Elena FerranteAnn Goldstein (Translator)

This genius collection, coming from one of the most beloved novelists of our time, explores the dichotomy between reading and writing. It’s Elena Ferrante, need I say anything else?

Recommended by Cheryl

Lessons From The Edge: A Memoir Cover ImageLessons From The Edge: A Memoir

Marie Yovanovitch, former Ambassador to Ukraine, was a key figure in Trump’s impeachment trial. She was dedicated to the US showing integrity wherever she was stationed. As she also served in Russia and Kyrgyzstan, there were moments when it felt like the book was a thriller! I could not stop reading. It is important to understanding what is happening today.

Recommended by Ashby

Alfred HITCHCOCK: Master of Suspense (NBM Comics Biographies) Cover ImageAlfred HITCHCOCK: Master of Suspense (NBM Comics Biographies)

By Noel SimsoloDominique He (Illustrator)

Who can deny the thrill of Hitchcock’s cinematic masterpieces? Both the work and the man are intriguing. He said, “There is no terror in the bang, only in the anticipation of it.” He CREATED suspense, the feeling that grows in the pit of your stomach and makes your palms sweaty as you watch. The music builds it. The actions build it. The camera angles build it. This graphic novel explores the man as well as his work.

Recommended by Sydney

How to Take Over the World: Practical Schemes and Scientific Solutions for the Aspiring Supervillain Cover ImageHow to Take Over the World: Practical Schemes and Scientific Solutions for the Aspiring Supervillain

In this book, Ryan North presents hilarious hypotheticals with detailed research. No need to actually become a supervillain, but I loved learning about these outlandish, yet somehow feasible possibilities. A fascinating (and humorous) deep-dive into science, technology, and history.

Recommended by Jordan

Never Simple: A Memoir Cover ImageNever Simple: A Memoir

In this beautifully tragic memoir, Scheier recalls growing up alongside her mother’s continuous struggles with mental illness and addiction, and having to be the adult they both needed when she was just a child. Fans of other dysfunctional family memoirs such as The Glass Castle and Educated will not be able to put this one down.

Recommended by Ashby

Pinball: A Graphic History of the Silver Ball Cover ImagePinball: A Graphic History of the Silver Ball

By Jon Chad

Remember “Pinball Wizard” by The Who? Remember going to the arcade with a roll of quarters? Pinball dates back to Louis XIV. A graphic novel detailing the history of pinball seems the perfect fit. Remember the bells and whistles? Hitting the button at just the right moment to send the ball back up to earn more points? The machines that were named after bands or TV shows: Kiss, Dukes of Hazzard, Happy Days, Motley Crue…

First Editions Club: April Selection

The Candy House: A Novel Cover ImageThe Candy House: A Novel


Dear friends,

One of the wonderful things about my reading life is that I get books before other people do. Books come to me months and months in advance of publication, often without cover art or jacket copy (which, if it’s there, I try to ignore). Books come to me well before they’ve been reviewed. No one I know is talking about them because no one I know has read them yet. What this means is that I get to experience a book without knowing what’s coming next. No one has tried to take something wildly, necessarily complicated and turn it
into something simple and easy digested. The book is still its deeply imagined and far-reaching self.

This was how I first read Jennifer Egan’s The Candy House, and I hope this will be the way you read it, too. Start now, because very soon everyone will be talking about it, and you’ll be so lucky to have entered into it knowing nothing. It is a book so startling and important, so funny–wise–terrifying–eye-opening–hopeful, I could hardly believe it.

I hope that TIME magazine puts Jennifer Egan on the cover and hails her as the greatest novelist of our age, because she is, and this is her greatest novel. We are so, so lucky that she signed these first editions for Parnassus.


Ann Patchett

More about our First Editions Club: Every member receives a first edition of the selected book of the month, signed by the author. Books are carefully chosen by our staff of readers, and our picks have gone on to earn major recognition including the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and the PEN/Faulkner Award. Plus, there’s no membership fee or premium charge for these books. Build a treasured library of signed first editions and always have something great to read! Makes a FABULOUS gift, too.