Is it really time to start talking about spring? March is one of the quieter months, publishing-wise, before the big surge into the May and June summer reading months, but there’s still quite a few titles that will be in demand hitting shelves this month. On to the highlights:
-Fantasy fans! Reviewers are running out of superlatives in describing Tomi Adeyemi’s debut Children of Blood and Bone, the first volume in a planned YA trilogy. Centered on Zelie, a young woman determined to restore magic and her peoples’ rights after years of injustice in a kingdom that regards both magic and descendants of the maji as dangerous, the book is winning praise not just for its complex characters and brisk plot, but in its message of embracing one’s heritage. Kirkus called it ‘raw’ and ‘exceptional’, while Publisher’s Weekly praised its ‘kaleidoscopic narrative’ and how Adeyemi ‘conjures a story that resonates with magic both literal and figurative while condemning apathy in the face of injustice.’
-Mystery fans will be satisfied by the appearance of new installments in some favorite series. Elizabeth George, whose last Inspector Lynley novel appeared in 2015, returns with The Punishment She Deserves on March 20. Featuring Lynley’s partner Barbara Havers in a more prominent role, Punishment promises to continue George’s handling of contentious social issues within a complex central mystery that her fans have come to love. Jacqueline Winspear’s fan favorite Maisie Dobbs appears again in To Die But Once, with the detective looking into the disappearance of a teen boy against the backdrop of the brutal bombings of 1940 Britain. C. J. Box’s Wyoming based game warden/detective Joe Pickett also makes a return in The Disappeared, given the task of tracking down a British woman whose disappearance may have a connection to falconers and a wind farm.
-Nonfiction doesn’t get much more timely than Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin’s War on America and the Election of Donald Trump by Washington journalists Isikoff and Corn. Both authors have extensive experience reporting politics and elections specifically. Look for it on shelves March 20th. Coming on the centennial of the ratification of the nineteenth amendment, Elaine Weiss’ The Woman’s Hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote examines the final days of fight for women’s suffrage, weaving a compelling drama with solid historical research. Library Journal calls it essential to understanding why universal, unrestricted suffrage continues to be an issue to this day.
-Readers of a more literary bent have plenty to look forward to this month. Perennial favorite Anna Quindlen turns her attention to the microcosm of one city block and all the drama behind its seemingly quiet facades in Alternate Side, appearing mid-month. Nigerian-American author Uzodinma Iweala’s sophomore novel, Speak No Evil, tells the story of a young Nigerian man whose self-discovery while studying in America results in devastating consequences both for himself and the friends that remain in America. In a starred review, Booklist says, “Portraying cross-generational and -cultural misunderstandings with anything but simplicity, Iweala tells an essential American story.” Lisa Genova, whose novel Still Alice touchingly portrayed the difficulties of an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, turns her attention to Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS) in Every Note Played. Featuring a former pianist whose diagnosis requires his still-angry and hurt ex-wife to care for him, Kirkus calls the novel ‘an eloquent and touching imagining of how a peaceful terminal place might be reached.’