March into Spring with These 33 New Reads

We’re springing forward this weekend, and longer days means more light to read by! Eager to start a new read but don’t know what to choose? Perhaps one of our staff picks this month will pique your interest. Start scrolling and have a browse!

Recommended by Ann

The Sun Walks Down: A Novel By Fiona McFarlane Cover ImageThe Sun Walks Down: A Novel

The Sun Walks Down is the book I’m always longing to find: brilliant, fresh and compulsively readable. It is marvelous. I loved it start to finish.

Recommended by Lindsay

I Have Some Questions for You: A Novel By Rebecca Makkai Cover ImageI Have Some Questions for You: A Novel

I should’ve known that Rebecca Makkai taking on a true-crime mystery would knock me off my feet, but I was not prepared for I Have Some Questions For You to hold me captive for days straight while I devoured every chapter. To put it mildly, I am obsessed with this book—it’s gripping, character-driven, and ridiculously well-written.

Our March First Editions Club pick! Scroll to the bottom of this post to read more about it.

Recommended by Jenness

Maame: A Today Show Read With Jenna Book Club Pick By Jessica George Cover ImageMaame

I loved this quiet, quirky, heartfelt book about 25-year-old Maddie and her journey through many of life’s contrary experiences: first love and heartbreak, familial responsibility and independence, ambition and settlement. Naive yet over-burdened for her age, Maddie is a sympathetic and dauntless character you will root for. It makes you wish her world – our world – was a little easier to navigate.

Recommended by Katie

The Farewell Tour: A Novel By Stephanie Clifford Cover ImageThe Farewell Tour: A Novel

For lovers of Daisy Jones and Bastard Out of Carolina, The Farewell Tour is an incredible look at the sacrifices women are asked to make for their creativity and passion. A peer of Tammy, Loretta & Dolly, Lil Waters never quite reached the same level of fame. Staring down a diagnosis that will end her career, Lil heads out on one final tour and finds herself contending with her past in ways she never expected.

Come join us for an event with Stephanie Clifford in conversation with Ketch Secor of Old Crow Medicine Show on Tuesday March 21st! Register for free here.

Recommended by Lindsay

In Memoriam: A novel By Alice Winn Cover ImageIn Memoriam: A novel

Alice Winn’s incredible debut has one of the most arresting love stories I’ve read in a long time. Set during WWI, In Memoriam follows the young boys who were sent to the front. Get ready to feel your feelings—don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Recommended by Chelsea

On the Savage Side: A novel By Tiffany McDaniel Cover ImageOn the Savage Side: A novel

Although this novel is based on the disappearance of six women in Ohio, this is not a thriller or true crime novel. Instead it is a heartbreaking exploration of addiction, dreams, and women who are trapped between both. McDaniel’s language is exquisite, and she has perfected the Midwestern gothic genre.

Recommended by Jenny

The Foxglove King (The Nightshade Crown #1) By Hannah Whitten Cover ImageThe Foxglove King (The Nightshade Crown #1)

Hannah Whitten is back again with a new fantasy series! Follow Lore, a woman with a dark power, as she explores the corrupt intrigue and power plays of the elite. This book is a perfect blend of dark fantasy and royalcore.

Recommended by Jake

Scorched Grace: A Sister Holiday Mystery By Margot Douaihy Cover ImageScorched Grace: A Sister Holiday Mystery

Scorched Grace follows Sister Holiday, a queer, chain-smoking punk rocker-turned-nun. When her school becomes the target of a series of fires, Sister Holiday adds sleuth to the list as she decides to track down the culprit herself. A engaging mystery and a luminous New Orleans backdrop make for a great start to what is sure to be an excellent series.

Recommended by Hannah P.

Bliss Montage: Stories By Ling Ma Cover ImageBliss Montage: Stories

 By Ling Ma

In this beautiful and bizarre short-story collection, Ling Ma explores contemporary life through a lens of dark surrealism: A woman lives with her 100 ex-boyfriends. An exhausted professor finds escape through an office closet. A dangerous drug causes invisibility. Ma’s writing is rich, haunting, and thought-provoking. Fans of A24 films will love this one!

Recommended by Patsy

The Bandit Queens: A Novel By Parini Shroff Cover ImageThe Bandit Queens: A Novel

Geeta has lost her husband–she has no idea where he is; people assume he is dead. As women in unhappy marriages seek her help, awkward and hilarious situations arise. This deftly written debut novel tackles underpinning themes of female friendships, domestic violence, and life in a patriarchal society of castes. Worth a read!

Recommended by Ashby 

Murder Your Employer: The McMasters Guide to Homicide By Rupert Holmes Cover ImageMurder Your Employer: The McMasters Guide to Homicide

This is Rupert Holmes who wrote The Pina Colada song? YES! Begin with the premise that there are ethical reasons for killing someone AND there is a school to teach you how to do it. Take classes, practice on classmates, write a thesis that is your murder plan, get it approved by your professors, and kill. Entertaining throughout, and the graduates’ targets seem worthy of being bumped off.

Recommended by RJ

The Last Tale of the Flower Bride: A Novel By Roshani Chokshi Cover ImageThe Last Tale of the Flower Bride: A Novel

This lush, dreamlike mystery uses fairytale tropes to illustrate both the beauties and dangers of all-consuming love. Dark, strange, and overwhelmingly luxurious.

Recommended by Cheryl

It's One of Us: A Novel of Suspense By J. T. Ellison Cover ImageIt’s One of Us: A Novel of Suspense

Ellison consistently weaves complex mysteries. This one takes place in Nashville during the last couple of years. A couple is struggling with infertility, a neighbor is murdered, and the husband is questioned, putting more stress on the marriage. Any more more description would be a spoiler. Highly recommend.

Recommended by Hannah K.

Weyward: A Novel By Emilia Hart Cover ImageWeyward: A Novel

In this utterly captivating debut, Hart manages to weave an intricate, beautifully written novel about three women and their inextricable connection to nature. This intergenerational tale snared me from the first page and wouldn’t let go. If you enjoy complex conversations about legacy, gender and control, nature and witchy-ness, and female power, this should be next on your list.

Recommended by Ashby

The Little Wartime Library By Kate Thompson Cover ImageThe Little Wartime Library

Books = comfort. Based on a real place and real people, this WWII novel is set in a magical place: a library in a tube station. There is a theater and a cafe too. Clara, librarian and war widow, creates this space below the bombing. She and her assistant Ruby are extraordinary women doing extraordinary things. I wanted to visit their library.

Recommended by Rachel

Arch-Conspirator By Veronica Roth Cover ImageArch-Conspirator

A bite sized masterpiece. Arch-Conspirator is a retelling of Antigone with the perfect sci fi twist. I took a glance at the first page and did not put it down until I’d finished the whole thing! Felt like I was walking through a dream as I read it. Truly beautiful.

Recommended by Katie

Something Wild & Wonderful By Anita Kelly Cover ImageSomething Wild & Wonderful

Have you ever read a book and catch yourself weeks later still swooning? That is how I feel about Anita Kelly’s sophomore release. A perfect grumpy/sunshine dynamic, a spectacular meet cute, and chemistry for days. Grab a copy and I can assure you, you will love Alex and Ben as much as I do.

Recommended by Maddie

The Laughter: A Novel By Sonora Jha Cover ImageThe Laughter: A Novel

In The Laughter, Oliver Harding is a middle-aged tenured professor who has developed somewhat of an obsession with his younger Pakistani Muslim colleague, Ruhaba. This novel is a masterful piece of art from beginning to end. Jha somehow pulled off writing a narrator that I despised from page one yet still felt so eager and compelled to keep reading from.

Recommended by Cheryl

Reef Road: A Novel By Deborah Goodrich Royce Cover ImageReef Road: A Novel

This is a mystery of an unsolved murder of a 12 year old girl in Pittsburgh. Flash forward to Palm Beach, Florida a generation later where 2 neighbors are intertwined in the case unknowingly? Add COVID and a husband who has taken his kids to Argentina and the new friends need each other. What are they hiding?

Recommended by Marcia

Pineapple Street: A Novel By Jenny Jackson Cover ImagePineapple Street: A Novel

I devoured this book in just over two days! A humorous and wildly entertaining novel about an uber-rich family in Brooklyn coming to terms with their wealth and how best to deal with it. Take this book on your spring break trip!

Recommended by Paige

Forbidden Notebook: A Novel By Alba de Céspedes, Ann Goldstein (Translated by), Jhumpa Lahiri (Foreword by) Cover ImageForbidden Notebook: A Novel

 By Alba de CéspedesAnn Goldstein (Translated by), Jhumpa Lahiri (Foreword by)

This novel, set and originally published in Italy in 1952, tells the story of Valeria via entries in her secret diary, written in a notebook purchased illegally on a Sunday. A tale of self-discovery and the struggle to free ourselves from the roles imposed on us, this beautiful new translation is a vivid reminder that no matter the year or language, we must continue the fight to write and live our own stories.

Recommended by Katie

A Witch's Guide to Fake Dating a Demon By Sarah Hawley Cover ImageA Witch’s Guide to Fake Dating a Demon

Mariel Spark is supposed to be one of the most powerful witches of her generation, but much to her family’s disappointment, she prefers a life of garden hexes and potions. When one of her spells goes wrong, Mariel finds herself in the company of one very sexy and powerful demon. While she’s certain she wants to ditch her demon companion, he makes a pretty powerful case for sticking around.

Recommended by Jordan

The Sweet Spot: A Novel By Amy Poeppel Cover ImageThe Sweet Spot: A Novel

What a charming read about unlikely friendships forming in the most inconvenient and unexpected ways. This is a book for everyone who loves quirky characters and intertwining stories following multiple points of view.

Recommended by Marcia

The House Guest By Hank Phillippi Ryan Cover ImageThe House Guest

This book did its job and kept me guessing until the end. It has everything you want in a suspense novel – money, divorce, motive, revenge, twists and turns on every page!

Recommended by Cheryl

Imagine Spielberg and Hitchcock making a movie of an adventurer as a student reading hieroglyphics at a dig in Egypt, later joining the Paris Resistance, uncovering tombs, and saving ancient temples from drowning in the Nile dam by uniting unfriendly nations. This is not a male role but the true story of a daring determined female Louvre Egyptologist.

Recommended by Jake

Winning Fixes Everything: How Baseball's Brightest Minds Created Sports' Biggest Mess By Evan Drellich Cover ImageWinning Fixes Everything: How Baseball’s Brightest Minds Created Sports’ Biggest Mess

The next great baseball book. The other, darker side of the coin to Moneyball, Winning Fixes Everything is a deep dive into a deeply toxic culture whose emphasis on victory, no matter the cost, led to the biggest cheating scandal of the 21st century. Often reading like a thoroughly engaging business book, this peek behind the curtain is among the most informative sports books I’ve ever read.

Recommended by Elyse

He Called Me Sister: A True Story of Finding Humanity on Death Row By Suzanne Craig Robertson, Helen Prejean (Foreword by), Bill Moyers (Preface by) Cover ImageHe Called Me Sister: A True Story of Finding Humanity on Death Row

 By Suzanne Craig RobertsonHelen Prejean (Foreword by), Bill Moyers (Preface by)

An unlikely relationship cultivated over years with a man on death row. Moving from strangers to friends to family, this is a story of humanity, compassion, fear, love, and forgiveness. Wherever you stand on the death penalty, you should read this book.

Recommended by Jenness

Madame Restell: The Life, Death, and Resurrection of Old New York’s Most Fabulous, Fearless, and Infamous Abortionist By Jennifer Wright Cover ImageMadame Restell: The Life, Death, and Resurrection of Old New York’s Most Fabulous, Fearless, and Infamous Abortionist

The fascinating, little-known history of a determined British immigrant turned entrepreneur who became one of the most notorious women in mid-1800’s New York. The self-taught, self-branded “Madame Restell” was a sensational figure in the early movement for women’s reproductive freedom, even if her motives were often more capitalist than altruistic.

Recommended by Cheryl

Watergate: A New History By Garrett M. Graff Cover ImageWatergate: A New History

Watergate still intrigues people with the political characters, the Washington Post, Martha Mitchell, and a president who thought he was above the law. There have been so many books, articles and documentaries over the last 50 years. This truly well written thriller pulls it all together.

Recommended by Patsy

One: Simple One-Pan Wonders: [American Measurements] By Jamie Oliver Cover ImageOne: Simple One-Pan Wonders

British chef Jamie Oliver makes dinner preparation and cleanup easy with this collection of to-die-for recipes which require only a single vessel for preparation. This cookbook is packed with gorgeous photos and simple instructions for every night and fancy dinners. Favorites at my house are his mussel fagioli pasta, the fragrant mixed seafood stew. Honey orange tea cake, anyone? Inspiration inside!

Recommended by Rachel

Beartown: A Novel (Beartown Series) By Fredrik Backman Cover ImageBeartown: A Novel (Beartown Series)

If you want to discover your new favorite book, read Beartown. Dozens of character POVs, phenomenal writing, heartbreaking story line, & a thrilling murder mystery. You will be hooked from the very first line. Seriously, open it and read the first line.

Recommended by Kathy

Telex from Cuba: A Novel By Rachel Kushner Cover ImageTelex from Cuba: A Novel

What was Cuba like before Castro and communism took over? This eye-opening, gripping story of Americans living in Cuba in the 1950s smacks of colonialism and privilege, yet is humorous and touching. Why did I not read this when it came out in 2008?

Recommended by Heath

The Piano Lesson (Drama, Plume) By August Wilson Cover ImageThe Piano Lesson 

An African American family in 1930’s Pittsburgh struggles to keep a part of their heritage while looking to create a new future for themselves. If you liked Fences and want to take a deeper dive into August Wilson’s work, I recommend this.

First Editions Club: March Selection

Dear friends,

Like so many other hundreds of thousands of readers, I loved Rebecca Makkai’s Pulitzer Prize finalist, The Great Believers. Published in 2018, it’s still one of the first books I’ll put in people’s hands when they say, “I just want to read something great.”

Now Rebecca Makkai is back with a book that’s wildly differentand equally winning. I Have Some Questions for You is the story of Bodie Kane, a successful Los Angeles podcaster and film professor who goes back to her New Hampshire boarding school to teach a twoweek class in the winter. But as far as Bodie’s come in her life since graduating in 1995, she finds that memories of the past are waiting for her in every building, and most of them have to do with her high school roommate, Thalia, who was murdered their junior year. The case was wrapped up neatly but Bodie’s starting to think the wrong person was convicted.

I Have Some Questions for You is a murder mystery and a takedown of the culture of social media. It’s Bodie’s almost unwilling examination of the sexual harassment she endured as a teenager and an exhausted scroll through all the murdered women and girls we read about and hear about whose stories start to run together after a while.

The result is a novel that’s gripping, enraging, and curiously funny. How does it manage to be funny? Because Rebecca Makkai is brilliant and fearless and clearly fed up. She’s willing to take on everything, beginning with who really killed Thalia. Find a couple of free days and a comfortable spot on the couch. Once you start this one, you’ll have a hard time stopping.

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.