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Sweet Anticipation for May 2018

A review of New Titles by

Winter may be retaining its grip on us with white knuckle intensity, but yet another sign of spring is here with the appearance in LINKCat of May’s big titles. And what a lot of titles there are. To the highlights: 

--Nonfiction readers are in luck with an embarrassment of choices come May. Local favorite Michael Pollan delves deep into the science of LSD, magic mushrooms and other psychedelic drugs in How to Change Your Mind, a mind-bending blend of science, medicine, history and memoir. A newly discovered gem from Zora Neale Hurston, Barracoon, tells the remarkable story of Cudjo Lewis, a survivor of the last known slave ship to sail from Africa. Lewis’s account of the Middle Passage and his time in slavery are captured in Hurston’s singular style. New York Times columnist Carl Zimmer explores the subtleties of DNA in She Has Her Mother’s Laugh. Jon Meacham looks to history to better understand our current fraught political climate in The Soul of America:  The Battle of Our Better Angels. And for something on the lighter side, David Sedaris releases Calypso, a new collection of essays, at the end of the month, while reporter Dave Itskoff probes the complicated life of Robin Williamswith Robin, due out mid –month. 

--A few notable literary titles are landing on shelves this month. Poet and essayist Melissa Broder’s first novel, The Pisces, tells the story of a woman who falls for a merman; Kirkus Reviews remarked on its ‘black humor and biting insight.’ Another debut, Aja Gabel’s The Ensemble, follows the lives of the four members of a string quartet; Publisher’s Weekly notes that “The four characters are individually memorable, but as a quartet they're unforgettable.” Rachel Kushner, whose The Flamethrowers hit several best of lists, is back with The Mars Room, chronicling the life of a young woman who is beginning to serve consecutive life sentences. Paula McLain continues her fictionalized portraits of strong real-life women with Love and Ruin. Like her earlier hit The Paris Wife, Love and Ruin follows the life of one of Hemingway’s wives, third wife Martha Gelhorn, whose journalistic ambition matched that of her husband’s—with predictable results. Love and Ruin hits shelves May 1. 

--Looking for a good thriller? There are lots to choose from this May.  Michael Kortya might not be a household name, but his rogue investigators and remote locations have developed a following for those in the know. His latest, How It Happened, has already garnered multiple starred reviews, and will appeal to fans of William Kent Krueger and C. J. Box. Two British authors are getting attention for their releases this month. Those who enjoy particularly dark and twisty psychological stories might want to pick up Araminta Hall’s US debut, Our Kind of Cruelty, while Ruth Ware (The Woman in Cabin 10, The Lying Game) conjures hints of gothic Agatha Christie in The Death of Mrs. Westaway.

Click on through for the full list of new titles. Happy reading!

Apr 18, 2018