10 May 2018 Book Releases I’m Excited About

May 2018 Book Releases I'm Excited About On Novels And Nonfiction

This post is coming a bit later than normal because I’m getting into the busiest time of the year at my real life job. Through end of May, I will likely have an even harder time than usual (ha ha) with keeping on a semi-regular posting schedule, so my apologies in advance!

For this month, I picked 10 releases as is the norm, but with a slight skew towards fiction (6) versus nonfiction (4). I just couldn’t choose between all the novels I was interested in reading. I’ve made a semi-resolution to dedicate myself to getting caught up with books I already own and haven’t read yet (in part because of the 11 signed books I acquired during the LA book Festival) so I may not get to many of these titles for a while – but boy do I wish I had the time to read all of them. I hope you get some good inspiration for your TBR!

Fiction Releases On Novels And NonfictionThe Perfect Mother Book Cover On Novels And NonfictionThe Perfect Mother by AimeeMolloy

Publication Date: May 1st 2018
Publisher: Harper
Length In Hardcover: 336
Goodreads Rating: 3.93

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Plot TeaserVanity Fair calls it one of the most anticipated books of the summer. Soon to be a major motion picture starring Scandal’s Kerry Washington.  An addictive psychological thriller about a group of women whose lives become unexpectedly connected when one of their newborns goes missing. As the police bungle the investigation and the media begin to scrutinize the mothers in the days that follow, damaging secrets are exposed, marriages are tested, and friendships are formed and fractured.

Why I'm InterestedI picked this thriller as my Book Of The Month selection for May, and I’m really looking forward to reading it. It’s being turned into a movie starring Kerry Washington, so it must be pretty scandalous (pun intended). The premise sounds original and I’m interested to see how the media element plays out. I always enjoy novels that incorporate interviews, articles or other faux primary sources in the narrative.

LineOnly Human Book Cover On Novels And NonfictionOnly Human by Sylvain Neuvel

Publication Date: May 1st 2018
Publisher: Del Rey Books
Length In Hardcover: 336
Goodreads Rating: 4.09

(available on Net Galley)

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Plot TeaserBook 3 in the Themis Files series. In her childhood, Rose Franklin accidentally discovered a giant metal hand buried beneath the ground outside Deadwood, South Dakota. As an adult, Dr. Rose Franklin led the team that uncovered the rest of the body parts which together form Themis: a powerful robot of mysterious alien origin. She, along with linguist Vincent, pilot Kara, and the unnamed Interviewer, protected the Earth from geopolitical conflict and alien invasion alike. Now, after nearly ten years on another world, Rose returns to find her old alliances forfeit and the planet in shambles. 

Why I'm InterestedI’ve heard great things about this sci-fi series from several different sources, including on Modern Mrs. Darcy’s podcast What Should I Read Next. She recommends listening to the first book in audiobook, as apparently it really is suited to the format. Maybe I’ll pick it as my next audiobook once I’m done with nonfiction titles Endurance, about the life of astronaut Scott Kelly.

LineThe Map Of Salt And Stars Book Cover On Novels And NonfictionThe Map Of Salt And Stars by Jennifer Zeynab Joukhadar

Publication Date: May 1st 2018
Publisher: Touchstone
Length In Hardcover: 368
Goodreads Rating: 3.85

(available on Net Galley)

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Plot TeaserThe story of two girls living eight hundred years apart—a modern-day Syrian refugee seeking safety and a medieval adventurer apprenticed to a legendary mapmaker—places today’s headlines in the sweep of history, where the pain of exile and the triumph of courage echo again and again. A deep immersion into the richly varied cultures of the Middle East and North Africa.

Why I'm InterestedI liked the mix of modern day highly-topical narrative and historical legend that the premise of this book offers. Syria is constantly in the news for the horrific plight of its civilians, and I’m interested to see the way in which the author of this novel strings together the experience of a modern-day Syrian refugee against the backdrop of a second narrative about the history of the Middle East and North Africa.

LineThe Poppy War Book Cover On Novels And NonfictionThe Poppy War by R. F. Kuang

Publication Date: May 1st 2018
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Length In Hardcover: 544
Goodreads Rating: 4.44

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Plot TeaserWhen Rin aced the Keju—the Empire-wide test to find the most talented youth to learn at the Academies—it was a shock to everyone, including the test officials, who couldn’t believe a war orphan from Rooster Province could pass without cheating.That she got into Sinegard—the most elite military school in Nikan—was even more surprising. But surprises aren’t always good. Because being a dark-skinned peasant girl from the south is not an easy thing at Sinegard. Targeted from the outset by rival classmates, Rin discovers she possesses a lethal aptitude for the nearly-mythical art of shamanism. 

Why I'm InterestedI don’t read a lot of fantasy, and also don’t generally delve into YA, and this book sounds like it’s definitely both. However, I like the idea that it’s set in China and that it has a militaristic theme to it – it sounds rooted in reality and yet exploring a parallel version of history to which some magic has been added. In some ways, the plot teaser reminds me of some of the Discworld novels, though I suspect the tone won’t be quite as humorous.

LineWhat Should Be Wild Book Cover On Novels And NonfictionWhat Should Be Wild by Julia Fine

Publication Date: May 8th 2018
Publisher: Harper
Length In Hardcover: 368
Goodreads Rating: 3.91

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Plot Teaser
Cursed. Maisie Cothay was born with the power to kill or resurrect at her slightest touch. She has spent her childhood sequestered in her family’s manor at the edge of a mysterious forest. Maisie’s father has warned Maisie not to venture into the wood. What he does not tell Maisie is that for over a millennium her female ancestors have also vanished into the wood. But one day Maisie’s father disappears, and Maisie must venture beyond the walls of her carefully constructed life to find him.

Why I'm InterestedAnother fantasy pick – so maybe my tendency to shy away from the genre is thawing. I did get not just Circe but Song Of Achilles signed recently after all. The plot of this novel reminds me of The Bear And The Nightingale by Katherine Arden which I recently read. I am captivated by the idea of a protagonist that has the gift of life and death – a woman unaware of her own strength who will undergo a quest that will bring her powers to light.

LineThe Death Of Mrs Westaway Book Cover On Novels And NonfictionThe Death Of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware

Publication Date: May 29th 2018
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Length In Hardcover: 320
Goodreads Rating: 4.08

(available on Net Galley)

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Plot TeaserOn a day that begins like any other, Hal receives a mysterious letter bequeathing her a substantial inheritance. She realizes very quickly that the letter was sent to the wrong person. Soon, Hal finds herself at the funeral of the deceased…where it dawns on her that there is something very, very wrong about this strange situation and the inheritance at the center of it.

Why I'm InterestedI’ve read one of Ruth Ware’s mysteries – The Woman In Cabin 10 – and liked it. I’ve been adding each new book she publishes to my TBR list, and since she’s still only at four with this one, she might be a good candidate for a future Author Spotlight. If you read her two other prior thrillers – In A Dark Dark Wood and The Lying Game – which one would you recommend more?

Monthly Releases Banner Nonfiction
Not That Bad Book Cover On Novels And NonfictionNot That Bad edited by Roxane Gay

Publication Date: May 1st 2018
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Length In Hardcover: 368
Goodreads Rating: 4.06

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Plot TeaserEdited and with an introduction by Roxane Gay, the New York Times bestselling and deeply beloved author of Bad Feminist and Hunger, this anthology of first-person essays tackles rape, assault, and harassment head-on. Contributions include essays from established and up-and-coming writers, performers, and critics, including actors Ally Sheedy and Gabrielle Union and writers Amy Jo Burns, Lyz Lenz, Claire Schwartz, and Bob Shacochis.

Why I'm InterestedThis definitely sounds like a tough read – possibly triggering for some. I’m interested, though, by the fact that it’s an anthology of essays by multiple writers – some well known and some less so – reflecting on their personal experiences with sexual harassment. There have been more and more books released on the topic recently, and this sounds like an extremely worthwhile addition to the discourse.

LineAn American Princess Book Cover On Novels And NonfictionAn American Princess by Annejet Van Der Zijl

Publication Date: May 1st 2018
Publisher: Amazon Crossing
Length In Hardcover: 234
Goodreads Rating: 3.68

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Plot TeaserBorn to a pioneering family in Upstate New York in the late 1800s, Allene Tew was beautiful, impetuous, and frustrated by the confines of her small hometown. From the vantage point of the American upper class, Allene embodied the tumultuous Gilded Age. Over the course of five marriages, she weathered personal tragedies during World War I and the catastrophic financial reversals of the crash of 1929. From the castles and châteaus of Europe, she witnessed the Russian Revolution and became a princess.

Why I'm InterestedTechnically, America never really had royalty. But I do love my biographies of aristocratic women, and in spirit, at least, Allene Tew does sound like she would qualify as an American Princess of her time. She must have been quite the character to have engaged in five marriages at a time when I’m sure that was at least frowned upon. Sounds like the kind of woman that makes for interesting reading.

LineMonsoon Mansion Book Cover On Novels And NonfictionMonsoon Mansion by Cinelle Barnes

Publication Date: May 1st 2018
Publisher: Little A
Length In Hardcover: 252
Goodreads Rating: 4.09

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Plot TeaserCinelle Barnes was barely three years old when her family moved into Mansion Royale, a stately ten-bedroom home in the Philippines. Filled with her mother’s opulent social aspirations and the gloriously excessive evidence of her father’s self-made success, it was a girl’s storybook playland. But when a monsoon hits, her father leaves, and her mother’s terrible lover takes the reins, Cinelle’s fantastical childhood turns toward tyranny she could never have imagined.

Why I'm InterestedThis memoir caught my eye because it’s set in the Philippines, a country I know relatively little about. I can tell that by reading Cinelle’s personal riches to rags story, you’d also learn a lot about the history and culture of the Philippines throughout the years of her life. And I’m not embarrassed to say that, having an occasionally dramatic family myself, I kind of like to eavesdrop on others’ crazy family stories.

LineThe Mirage Factory Book Cover On Novels And NonfictionThe Mirage Factory by Gary Krist

Publication Date: May 15th 2018
Publisher: Crown Publishing
Length In Hardcover: 416
Goodreads Rating: 4.3

(available on Net Galley)

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Plot TeaserLittle more than a century ago, the southern coast of California–bone-dry, harbor-less, isolated by deserts and mountain ranges–seemed destined to remain scrappy farmland. Then, as if overnight, one of the world’s iconic cities emerged.  Spanning the years from 1900 to 1930, The Mirage Factory is the enthralling tale of an improbable city and the people who willed it into existence by pushing the limits of human engineering and imagination.

Why I'm InterestedI somehow got access to an ARC for this book on Net Galley, despite being beyond delinquent with my ARC reviews at the moment. One day I shall get caught up (sung to the tune of One Day My Prince Will Come). Anyways, I live in Los Angeles and definitely don’t know nearly enough about its history and also the origins of the entertainment industry I work in, so I wanted to read this book to rectify that. Line

Which of these May 2018 Book Releases are you most interested to read? Let me know in the comments!

You can also take a look at my 2017 Wrap-Up for a list of books I reviewed this past year, and here are lists for book releases from April 2018March 2018,  February 2018December 2017/January 2018, November 2017 and October 2017 as well.

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  11 comments for “10 May 2018 Book Releases I’m Excited About

  1. May 4, 2018 at 6:06 pm

    I was very interested in The Map of Salt and Stars and have started it, but stalled. Interspersing the mythological girl with the modern day girl’s story really slows the pace. The writing is beautiful, though, so i’m sure I’ll go back.

    What Should Be Wild is, indeed, wild. I’m about 20% in and am not sure where it’s going, but it’s a highly inventive concept.

    I’m an Tudor nut so am really looking forward to Allison Weir’s new historical novel about Jane Seymour. It’s part of a series she’s writing on all of Henry VIII’s wives and so far it has been fantastic.

    Liked by 1 person

    • May 4, 2018 at 8:14 pm

      Thank you for your comment Catherine, and for the inside info on The Map Of Salt And Stars and What Should Be Wild. How are you finding the writing in What Should Be Wild? I’ll have to look into that series by Allison Weir, though I prefer to read nonfiction versions of noble women’s lives. I find they’re scandalous enough they don’t need to be novelized to keep my interest 😉 lol

      Like

      • May 5, 2018 at 4:35 am

        Not sure the right words- detailed, atmospheric, descriptive? Kind of dense, but not in a way that is too much. There are just a lot of characters and plot from the get-go.

        Weir has written a number of non-fiction books about the Tudors as well. She doesn’t focus on the scandal in the fiction just goes well beyond the stereotypes they’ve been given- that Anne Boleyn was a whore and a witch, etc. Because she isn’t restricted by how little documentation exists for women of that time. I’m loving them. Definitely a great escape.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. May 5, 2018 at 2:57 am

    The Perfect Mother looks really good. I think all writers and publishers need to stop so we can all read the amazing books that already exist. Every month I feel like I get behind 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • May 7, 2018 at 3:39 am

      I used to read mostly classics before my blogging days but the anxiety about keeping up with new releases has definitely grown in the last two years of blogging!

      Like

  3. May 6, 2018 at 3:29 am

    So many new books!! 🙈

    Liked by 1 person

  4. May 20, 2018 at 6:54 am

    The Map of Salt and Stars looks interesting!

    Like

  5. May 26, 2018 at 2:26 am

    I’d say I’ve had my eye on both What Should Be Wild and The Map Of Salt And Stars. The Map Of Salt And Stars is so relevant with all the ongoing turmoil going on in Syria, so I will definitely be making an effort to pick it up. I just recently read Refugee, a middle grade book, that featured a Syrian family seeking refuge, and it was really emotional. I feel like more people need to pick up books like this & have more empathy for these people.

    Like

  6. May 28, 2018 at 3:15 am

    Oh, wow! This is a great list of upcoming publications. I had thought a few of them were out already… Oops! An American Princess and Monsoon Mansion are the only two Non Fiction picks of mine on this list. I am intentionally skipping the Gay until I hear reviews from others. I just… I don’t know if I am strong enough for that. Right? Right.

    As far as The Themis Files are concerned… YES! They are epistolary novels. I really enjoyed the first book, which I earlier this year. In general, I’ve heard great things about many epistolary novels which are produced as full-cast audiobooks. All three Illuminae Files audiobooks are great! Do you enjoy epistolary novels, typically?

    Like

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