Egg-cellent Reads for April: 24 New Picks

We have plenty of new releases across all genres for you to peruse this spring. From mermaids to pirates, philosophy to poetry, and even a play, our staff picks this month are sure to appeal to readers aplenty. So don’t put all your eggs in one basket! Grab a few new reads, and be sure to let us know which ones are egg-ceptional!

Recommended by Lindsay

American Mermaid: A Novel By Julia Langbein Cover ImageAmerican Mermaid: A Novel

I’m not someone who often laughs out loud at books—a snicker, sure, more often just a smile—but Julia Langbein’s American Mermaid had me cackling. A debut as sharp as it is hilarious, American Mermaid is the surreal feminist Hollywood-roast I didn’t know I needed but I’m so delighted to have!

Recommended by Kathy

Hang the Moon: A Novel By Jeannette Walls Cover ImageHang the Moon: A Novel

Just so much happens here, so many plot twists and turns you never see coming, it feels like a mystery, but really isn’t. A story of small-town South full of secrets, try this one for a great read!

Recommended by Cheryl

Hello Beautiful (Oprah's Book Club): A Novel By Ann Napolitano Cover ImageHello Beautiful (Oprah’s Book Club): A Novel

This novel favors Little Women with its strong matriarch and four daughters. There is also a young man wistful for a loving family. These modern well developed characters may be freer to make decisions but they affect the family just as strongly as Alcott’s story.

Recommended by Lindsay

White Cat, Black Dog: Stories By Kelly Link, Shaun Tan (Illustrator) Cover ImageWhite Cat, Black Dog: Stories

By Kelly LinkShaun Tan (Illustrator)

If talking animals, post-apocalyptic traveling thespians, and day trips to hell are your jam, come sit by me and let’s talk about Kelly Link’s incredible story collection White Cat, Black Dog. Link has truly outdone herself, taking on classic fairy tales and turning each one on its head in beautiful, vibrant prose. I loved every one of these bizarre, gorgeous stories.

Recommended by Rachel

The Crane Husband By Kelly Barnhill Cover ImageThe Crane Husband

A retelling of The Crane Wife in novella form, this story thrums with the magic of childhood and the fear of growing up. The story turns more unsettling with each page turn. Barnhill weaves generational trauma with myth and folklore for a tale that will linger long in your mind.

Recommended by Ashby

Vera Wong's Unsolicited Advice for Murderers By Jesse Q. Sutanto Cover ImageVera Wong’s Unsolicited Advice for Murderers

Romance. Young adult. Now mystery. Jesse Sutanto does it ALL. She does it all WELL. Vera, a 60-year-old widow who lives upstairs from her tea shop discovers a body downstairs. The Chinese mother who trolls the internet checking on her son turns detective. Along the way, customers become friends; she puts their lives “in order” and solves the murder.

Recommended by Jenness

Community Board: A Novel By Tara Conklin Cover ImageCommunity Board: A Novel

After a divorce, job loss, and (believed) parental abandonment, Darcy’s life is in turmoil. So she secludes herself in her childhood home, lives off canned goods, and keeps tabs on her small town via the online community board. As Darcy slowly rejoins society, her life – and the novel – expands with the awareness that we are all tied to our community and to others.

Recommended by Sydney

Romantic Comedy: A Novel By Curtis Sittenfeld Cover ImageRomantic Comedy: A Novel

Looking for a unique rom-com? Sally works her dream job as a writer for TNO (equivalent to our reality’s SNL). When her male co-worker starts dating a young starlet, Sally can’t help herself from poking fun at the phenomenon of Hollywood couples featuring mediocre men with gorgeous women—and how it’s never the other way around. That is, until, when Sally meets Noah Brewster: next week’s musical guest star.

Recommended by Ashby

The White Lady: A Novel By Jacqueline Winspear Cover ImageThe White Lady: A Novel

I am a huge fan of Winspear’s Maisie Dobbs books, mysteries set during the interwar period. This book gives us a new heroine, Elinor White, and a different time period: post WWII. A small village. Organized crime. Secrets from the past. Winspear weaves their presents and their pasts expertly. It all comes together to make for a page-turner with characters I hope will reappear in future novels.

Recommended by Katie

The Adventures of Amina al-Sirafi: A new fantasy series set a thousand years before The City of Brass By Shannon Chakraborty Cover ImageThe Adventures of Amina al-Sirafi

Amina al-Sirafi, the Indian Ocean’s finest pirate, is given the chance to captain one last adventure with her crew for a boon that can’t be passed up. Leaving behind her family, she quickly learns this job is more than she bargained for, but the stakes are raised and her daughter’s life now depends on her success. Chakraborty spins a fantastic tale of filled with adventure, fantastical beasts and family.

Recommended by Aly

Y/N: A Novel By Esther Yi Cover ImageY/N: A Novel

By Esther Yi

This may be the weirdest book I have ever read, but somehow it makes sense. Our character falls into the world of K-pop fandom and her life is consumed, rationalizing her increasingly obsessive thoughts and behavior through a Your Name self-insert fanfiction. Hauntingly accurate at times, Yi gives us a narration that shows exactly what we don’t want to become and what we are worried others think we might be.

Recommended by Ashby

The Mostly True Story of Tanner & Louise By Colleen Oakley Cover ImageThe Mostly True Story of Tanner & Louise

A nanny for an octogenarian? That’s what brings Tanner and Louise together. Louise doesn’t want a nanny. Tanner wants to play video games. After news stories about a jewel heist pulled off by someone who looks a lot like Louise, Louise makes Tanner flee town with her; the adventures begin. Two unlikely partners in…crime? Friendship? Life? A great read where opposites become friends. Move over Thelma and Lousie.

Recommended by Hannah K.

Before I Let Go (Skyland) By Kennedy Ryan Cover ImageBefore I Let Go

Yasmen & Josiah had the love of a lifetime, but after a series of devastating blows, they learned love can’t solve everything. They now have an amicable post-divorce rhythm co-parenting and operating their restaurant, but these soulmates find themselves drawn to each other time and again. Can they build back stronger than ever before, or is it too late for them to find forever?

Recommended by Patsy

A Likely Story: A Novel By Leigh McMullan Abramson Cover ImageA Likely Story: A Novel

All 35 year-old Isabelle wants is a successful career as an author, like her father. Following her mother’s death, she stumbles onto a family secret, revealed as she’s sorting through her mother’s belongings. Has her father been living a lie? A propulsive tale that touches on themes of identity and truth-telling, this one unravels in a way that will keep you up late at night reading.

Recommended by Jordan

The Society of Shame By Jane Roper Cover ImageThe Society of Shame

Kathleen Held is a politician’s wife who rises to unwanted fame when a picture of her with a period stain on her pants goes viral. Humiliated, she decides to make lemonade out of the situation and become the voice for the controversial #YesWeBleed movement. This novel is both satirical and sweet with thought-provoking themes of feminism, activism, and mother-daughter bonding.

Recommended by Marcia

This Bird Has Flown: A Novel By Susanna Hoffs Cover ImageThis Bird Has Flown: A Novel

The lead singer of The Bangles has written a novel! It was all I needed to know. I went straight home (might have queued up a song or two), and started to read. And didn’t stop. What a treat! A sexy, delicious story about musician Jane Start who desperately needs some luck – both professionally and personally. Susanna Hoffs has written a fun one! Walk like an Egyptian straight to the bookstore and grab this one!

Recommended by RJ

Feed Them Silence By Lee Mandelo Cover ImageFeed Them Silence

This near-future novella follows a scientist who receives an experimental implant that allows her to directly experience the emotions and experiences of a wild wolf struggling against environmental collapse. Her bond with the wolf is contrasted with her failing marriage, painting a complex and bittersweet portrait of communication and connection.

Recommended by Katie

The Plus One: A Novel By Mazey Eddings Cover ImageThe Plus One: A Novel

Mazey Eddings is fast becoming one of my go-to romance authors. She just doesn’t disappoint. The Plus One has it all, enemies to lovers, fake dating, forced proximity. Eddings has a way of writing characters you root for so hard to find their happily ever after.

Recommended by Ann

Poverty, by America By Matthew Desmond Cover ImagePoverty, by America

In reading Poverty, By America, I felt like Matthew Desmond was sitting at my kitchen table, explaining the complexities of poverty in a way I could completely understand. This book is essential and instructive, hopeful and enraging. It is a roadmap for how we can be better people, working together to build a better country.

Recommended by Hannah K.

Above Ground By Clint Smith Cover ImageAbove Ground

Smith’s newest poetry collection is stellar from start to finish. A thorough exploration of what it means to raise a Black-American family in a world characterized by tumult, these poems wrestle with our ability to hold joy and despair in equal measure. This is a must-read poetry collection.

Recommended by Sydney

Once Upon a Tome: The Misadventures of a Rare Bookseller By Oliver Darkshire Cover ImageOnce Upon a Tome: The Misadventures of a Rare Bookseller

Before I started working as a bookseller some-odd years ago, I, too, overly-romanticized what it must be like to work at a bookstore. I’ve since had plenty of bizarre experiences to wake me from that perfect fantasy—but for those of you who don’t see yourself slinging books for a living anytime soon, I highly recommend Darkshire’s chronicles of working in an antiquarian bookshop. Cynical and cozy all at once!

Recommended by Maddie

How to Think Like a Woman: Four Women Philosophers Who Taught Me How to Love the Life of the Mind By Regan Penaluna Cover ImageHow to Think Like a Woman: Four Women Philosophers Who Taught Me How to Love the Life of the Mind

Parts memoir and biography, this is a rich account of women philosophers ignored by history. After graduating with a minor in philosophy without ever learning about a woman in the field, I realize how critical books like this are. “To think like a woman, to produce and create like a woman, often involves anger. It’s a feature of a woman’s psyche as she comes into her own in a world that (still) does not want her to.”

Recommended by Jordan

Is This Normal?: Judgment-Free Straight Talk about Your Body By Dr. Jolene Brighten, NMD Cover ImageIs This Normal?: Judgment-Free Straight Talk about Your Body

I have a feeling this book will live on my nightstand forever because even after I finished reading it, I am constantly wanting to look back at it for reference. Remember the puberty books we all got when we were 12? This is like that, but for adults.

Recommended by Maddie

The New Me By Halle Butler Cover ImageThe New Me

The New Me scratched an itch in my brain. Millie is wandering aimlessly through adulthood, and her internal monologues read like a direct rip from my innermost self. I laughed and I cringed at the moments of self-recognition I found on every page. (This book is exactly what I’m talking about when I say I want to read “no plot, just vibes.”)

Recommended by Paige

Straight Man: A Novel (Vintage Contemporaries) By Richard Russo Cover ImageStraight Man: A Novel (Vintage Contemporaries)

This satirical novel tells the story of a small-town college professor in the throes of a midlife crisis. It tackles serious topics, worthy of discussion, and is also seriously funny. Read it and watch it—this book is the basis for the new show Lucky Hank!

Recommended by Jake

The Flick (Tcg Edition) By Annie Baker Cover ImageThe Flick 

Taking place entirely in a movie theater, Annie Baker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play follows the lives (or lack thereof) of three of its employees. Masterfully intertwining comedy and tragedy, The Flick is a stunning love letter to movies and the underpaid employees that show them, filled with exceptional characters and moving dialogue. My favorite play ever written, I find something new to adore with every visit.

Recommended by Rachel

Men Explain Things to Me By Rebecca Solnit Cover ImageMen Explain Things to Me

This book should be required reading. The introductory essay explores “mansplaining” and the first usage of the word, but the collection doesn’t stop there. Each essay explores statistics surrounding violence against women. I felt shock, rage, depression, and true sorrow, and I’d still recommend it to all.

First Editions Club: April Selection

You Could Make This Place Beautiful: A Memoir By Maggie Smith Cover ImageYou Could Make This Place Beautiful: A Memoir

By Maggie Smith

Dear friends,

I very nearly lost my mind while trying to find the right book for April. I wanted something fresh and different, something that addressed the world we are living in now. Many books came close, but nothing was perfect. I was holding out for perfect. All of us at Parnassus were reading everything we could get our hands on. We talked about April all the time.

Then my sister, Heather, picked up Maggie Smith’s memoir, You Could Make This Place Beautiful. While everyone else was talking, she was at her desk reading, and when we stopped talking, she started reading aloud. We listened. It really sounded good. “I’m taking this one home,” Heather said.

The next morning she called and told me to come over and get the book. She was halfway through and she wanted me to have it because she thought this was the one.

And she was right. So why does this feel like a big deal? Well, it’s a memoir, and we don’t usually pick memoirs. It’s a very personal memoir about divorce, which might not be everybody’s thing, but Maggie Smith is a poet, and how she writes and thinks—how she takes responsibility for her life—is extraordinary. This book is extraordinary. If memoirs aren’t for you, tell yourself it’s a novel, and it will work. Tell yourself it’s a primer on the role that poetry can play in our lives, even if you think there is no place for poetry in your life. This book will help you see it everywhere.

Take a good look at the cover. Isn’t it beautiful? That’s how beautiful the whole book is. That’s how many secret doors it opens. Forget about expectations, just turn the page and step inside.

-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.