New Book Releases: May 5, 2020

Each week, I’ll catalog the biggest and most exciting adult and YA fiction — and the occasional nonfiction — coming out that Tuesday.

LITTLE EYES, Samanta Schweblin. From the author of Fever Dream. A novel about globally popular mechanical stuffed animals with cameras for eyes. “Its investigation into solitude and online experience becomes only more poignant in a global lockdown,” writes The Guardian. I can’t wait to read this! Aggregated critical reviews, Bookshop.

A GOOD MARRIAGE, Kimberly McCreight. A federal prosecutor receives a call from a friend whose wife was found murdered, and whose community of elite Park Slope families aren’t what they seem. From the author of Reconstructing Amelia. Bookshop.

ALMOND, Won-Pyung Sohn, Joosun Lee (Translator). A teenager unable to feel certain emotions like anger or fear struggles to cope when an act of violence upends his stable life, and he forms a unique friendship with his bully. Bookshop.

ADULT CONVERSATION, Brandy Ferner. A restless mother and her therapist go on a trip to Las Vegas, where they will make choices that will alter the course of their lives. Bookshop.

I DON’T EXPECT ANYONE TO BELIEVE ME, Juan Pablo Villalobos, Daniel Hahn (Translator). A student is kidnapped by gangsters, who say in order to save himself and his cousin, must make the daughter of a corrupt politician fall in love with him — and also spend hours discussing the merits of humor in literature with the gang’s boss. Bookshop.

BIG SUMMER, Jennifer Weiner. An influencer is shocked when her former best friend from high school asks her to be her maid-of-honor. “Sexy and satisfying, ‘Big Summer’ will delight Jennifer Weiner’s many fans and could be just the absorbing take-me-away read so many of us need right now,” writes USA Today. Bookshop.

VANISHING MONUMENTS, John Elizabeth Stintzi. Thirty years after running away from home, a photographer returns to care for their mother, who is barely holding on in an assisted living facility. Bookshop.

THE RESOLUTIONS, Brady Hammes. Three high-achieving siblings reunite back home over the holidays as their lives and careers are on the verge of destruction. Bookshop.

OLD LOVEGOOD GIRLS, Gail Godwin. The story of the friendship between two young women in college in the 1950s and their reconnection ten years later. I started reading this, and find it delightful — warm and funny, but with an undercurrent of darkness and melancholy. Bookshop.

BRUNCH AND OTHER OBLIGATIONS, Suzanne Nugent. When their best friend dies, three frenemies must fulfill her dying wish: that they have brunch once monthly for a year. Bookshop.

STRANGE HOTEL, Eimear McBride. A nameless woman travels the world, running from her past as she meets up with strange men and investigates her own memories in a series of hotel rooms. From the author of A Girl Is A Half-Formed Thing. Aggregated critical reviews, Bookshop.

CLAP WHEN YOU LAND, Elizabeth Acevedo. In this YA novel written in verse, two girls, one from New York and the other the Dominican Republic, must come to terms when their fathers die in an airplane crash. From the author of Poet X. Bookshop.

THE NEW AMERICAN, Micheline Aharonian Marcom. A young Guatamelan-American discovers he is undocumented and, after being deported, goes on a long journey across Central and North America to return home to California. Bookshop.

THE PARIS HOURS, Alex George. The lives of four disparate people on the fringes of the artistic community intersect in the decade between the wars in Paris. Bookshop.

TELEPHONE, Percival Everett. When a geologist’s beloved daughter develops irreparable eye problems that threaten her expert chess ability, he escapes to New Mexico on a secret rescue mission. “Everett has created an exquisite portrait of grief and one man’s search for meaning in the face of unimaginable loss,” writes Booklist. Aggregated critical reviews, Bookshop.

THE BOOK OF V., Anna Solomon. Three women’s lives spanning thousands of years — from ancient Persia to 2016 — collide, revealing how women’s realities have changed and how they haven’t. “As with the best of desert island (or pandemic) reads, “The Book of V” radiates a dynamism that invites rereads and generously keeps giving — challenging and arousing us as it delights,” writes The Washington Post. Aggregated critical reviews, Bookshop.

EXILE MUSIC, Jennifer Steil. A Jewish family flees Nazi-era Vienna for Bolivia. Bookshop.

THE IMPERFECTS, Amy Meyerson. Three estranged siblings must reconcile their differences when their grandmother dies, leaving behind a mysterious, 137-karat gemstone that had been missing for 100 years. Bookshop.

THE LAW OF LINES, Hye-Young Pyun, Sora Kim-Russell (Translator). Two young women investigate the deaths of their family members, whom authorities have claimed — perhaps erroneously — both died by suicide. Bookshop.

TINY IMPERFECTIONS, Alli Frank, Asha Youmans. A former model, now an admissions director at an elite private school, must help her daughter balance her own college applications while trying to prevent her from making the same mistakes she did — all while managing the absurd expectations of the wealthy parents she works with. Bookshop.

FRACTURE, Andrés Neuman, Nick Caistor, Lorenza Garcia (Translators). A survivor of the atomic bomb experiences the 2011 earthquakes in Japan; meanwhile, four women who knew him well narrate their memories of him to an Argentinian journalist. Bookshop.

UNTOLD NIGHT AND DAY, Bae Suah, Deborah Smith (Translator). A young woman and her boss walk all over Seoul looking for their missing elderly friend. Bookshop.

FRIEND, Paek Nam-Nyong, Immanuel Kim (Translator). The story of the marriage of a North Korean couple, who are petitioning for a divorce. Bookshop.

GOLDILOCKS, Laura Lam. In a dystopian future in which there are increasing restrictions on women, a mother-daughter duo lead a mission to a planet where human life is possible, only to discover that life on Earth may be running out faster than anyone anticipated. Bookshop.

LOBIZONA, Romina Garber. In this YA fantasy, a Miami-based undocumented Argentinian teen on the run from her father’s crime family discovers that her family history is more…supernatural than she ever suspected. Bookshop.

NETWORK EFFECT, Martha Wells. An AI named Murderbot, who just wants to watch TV, finds itself sprung into action when its human acquaintances are kidnapped. Wells’ first four Murderbot novellas were sensations, and the first full-length book in the series is a funny, entertaining follow-up. Bookshop.

ONLY THE RIVER, Annie Raeff. A multi-generational family saga about a Viennese family that flees wartorn Europe for Nicaragua, and the Nicaraguan family there that, decades later, finds itself embroiled in the country’s revolution. Bookshop.

ALL ADULTS HERE, Emma Straub. After a senior witnesses a woman get hit by a bus, she begins to question a lifetime of choices, and her own skills and mistakes as a parent. “Straub’s novels are dearly beloved, and this might be her best yet,” writes Booklist. Aggregated critical reviews, Bookshop.

THE BOOK OF SECOND CHANCES, Katherine Slee. When a recluse’s cherished grandmother, a popular children’s book author, dies, she leaves behind a trail of clues leading to her last unpublished book manuscript for the recluse to find. Bookshop.

SHINER, Amy Jo Burns. When a miracle her roadside pastor performs turns to tragedy, a teenaged girl in rural West Virginia works to uncover her father’s mysterious power and her mother’s history. I’m so, so excited to read this! Booklist says it’s a “gorgeously written, plot-rich novel” and “exceptional in its power and imagination. It’s clearly a must-read.” Aggregated critical reviews, Bookshop.

Disclosure: I’m a affiliate partner! That means when you click through one of my Bookshop links and make a purchase, I earn a commission. This doesn’t influence the books I choose, since… that selection is already entirely personal and privy to my tastes and whims!

I’m a columnist for OneZero, where I write about the intersection of health & tech. Also seen at Elemental, The Atlantic, VICE, and Vox. Brooklyn, NY.

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