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22 May Releases We're Excited About

And what you can read in the meantime

By Ashly Moore Sheldon • April 23, 2023

Reading ahead

Our TBR stacks may already be teetering dangerously, but we keep finding new books we want to pile on top. From sparkling debuts to thrilling sequels to frothy romances, May’s most anticipated list is littered with must-reads! Here are 22 upcoming releases across a mix of genres. These titles are available for preorder, but in the meantime, peruse our recommendations for similar reads that you can enjoy now.

Literary fiction 

No Two Persons by Erica Bauermeister (May 2)

Alice has always been a writer, but her stories have been safe and detached, until a devastating event breaks her heart open. Her resulting novel changes the lives of her readers in different ways, each finding something different that alters their perspective and presents new pathways forward.

What to read first:  The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan

Paper Names by Susie Luo (May 2)

This novel explores the American experience from three different perspectives: Tony has sacrificed much to give his family a better life in America. His daughter, Tammy, grapples with the pressure of expectations. Oliver is a handsome white lawyer with a dark family secret. A violent attack intertwines their lives.

What to read first:  What's Mine and Yours by Naima Coster

Lucky Girl by Irene Muchemi-Ndiritu (May 2)

Soila is a lucky girl by anyone's estimation. Raised by her stern, conservative mother and a chorus of aunts, she has lived a privileged life in Nairobi. But, headstrong and outspoken, she flees her mother's expectations for a life in New York City that challenges all her beliefs about race, love, and family.

What to read first:  Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

The Collected Regrets of Clover by Mikki Brammer (May 9)

What's the point of giving someone a beautiful death if you can't give yourself a beautiful life? Death doula Clover Brooks feels a stronger connection with the dying than with the living. Until, at the behest of a feisty old woman, she embarks on a quest to uncover a long-ago love story—and perhaps, her own happy ending.

What to read first:  The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

Yellowface by R. F. Kuang (May 16)

Authors June Hayward and Athena Liu were supposed to be twin rising stars. But Athena's a literary darling and June is a literal nobody. So when Athena dies in a freak accident, June acts on impulse, stealing Athena's just-finished manuscript and passing it off as her own, along with a whole new cultural identity.

What to read first:  White Ivy by Susie Yang

Mystery, thriller, and horror

Warrior Girl Unearthed by Angeline Boulley (May 2)

Perry Firekeeper-Birch has always known who she is—the laidback twin, the troublemaker, the best fisher on Sugar Island. She's perfectly happy with her life just the way it is. But as the rising number of missing Indigenous women starts circling closer to home, Perry begins to question everything.

What to read first: The Firekeeper's Daughter by Angeline Boulley

Killing Me by Michelle Gagnon (May 16)

Smart and street-savvy, Amber Jamison can't believe it when she gets captured by a serial killer. But things get even weirder when she's rescued by a mystery woman who promptly disappears. Now she's embroiled in a deadly game. To survive, she may have to partner up with someone she's not sure she can trust. 

What to read first: Finlay Donovan is Killing It by Elle Cosimano

Sing Her Down by Ivy Pochoda (May 23)

No Country for Old Men meets Killing Eve in this gritty, feminist Western thriller. Florida and Dios meet as cellmates in the Arizona women's prison. When an unexpected reprieve gives them their freedom, Dios's fixation on Florida turns into a deadly cat-and-mouse chase. 

What to read first: These Women by Ivy Pochoda

The Senator's Wife by Liv Constantine (May 23)

While she's recovering from hip replacement therapy, Sloane Chase and her new husband Senator Whit Montgomery decide to hire a home health aide. At first, Athena seems like the perfect fit, but then Sloane begins to deteriorate. As she becomes sicker, she begins to suspect the worst about Athena's intentions.   

What to read first: The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine

Sci-fi and fantasy

The Ferryman by Justin Cronin (May 2)

The archipelago of Prospera lies hidden from the deteriorating outside world. Citizens enjoy long, fulfilling lives. When their health measures fall below 10 percent, they take a ferry ride to the Nursery for refurbishing. All is as it should be. But then ferryman Proctor Bennett begins to suspect that it's not.  

What to read first: The Passage by Justin Cronin

Atalanta by Jennifer Saint (May 9)

Born a daughter, rather than the son her parents wanted, Princess Atalanta is left on a mountainside to die. But she survives. Raised by a mother bear under the protective eye of Artemis, Atalanta grows up wild and free. This reimagining paints the legendary warrior as a woman who refuses to be contained.

What to read first: Ariadne by Jennifer Saint

Fractal Noise, #2 in the Fractalverse Series, by Christopher Paolini (May 16)

July 25, 2234: When the crew of the Adamura discovers a massive circular pit on a seemingly uninhabited planet, they are obliged to investigate. For some this is the dream of the lifetime, for others a risk not worth taking, and for one, it is a desperate attempt to find meaning in an uncaring universe.

What to read first: To Sleep in a Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini

The Wishing Game by Meg Shaffer (May 30)

As a lonely neglected child, Lucy found her solace in books, especially those by Jack Masterson. When Masterson resurfaces with a new book and a one-of-a-kind competition, the now 26-year-old Lucy is in the running for the prize, which would give her the security she needs to adopt seven-year-old orphan Christopher.

What to read first: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V. E. Schwab

Historical fiction 

The Marriage Box by Corie Adjmi (May 2)

1970s New Orleans: When sixteen-year-old Casey Cohen falls in with a bad crowd, her parents turn her life upside down by returning to their Orthodox Syrian Jewish roots in Brooklyn. It's a culture shock, but then Casey falls for Michael and marries him, believing she can adjust. But things don't turn out to be that simple.

What to read first: Andrea Hoffman Goes All In by Diane Cohen Schneider

The Covenant of Water by Abraham Verghese (May 2)

The long-awaited new novel from the bestselling author is set in Kerala, on South India's Malabar Coast. Spanning the years 1900 to 1977, this stunning and magisterial epic traces three generations of a family that suffers a particular affliction: In every generation, at least one person dies by drowning.

What to read first: Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese

The Making of Another Major Motion Picture Masterpiece by Tom Hanks (May 9)

From the Academy Award-winning actor, this fun, light-hearted story takes you behind the scenes of the making of a major superhero movie and the inspiration behind it. Funny, touching, and thought-provoking, the novel traces cultural shifts in America over many decades starting in World War II.

What to read first: Uncommon Type by Tom Hanks

Good Night, Irene by Luis Alberto Urrea (May 30)

In 1943, Irene Woodward abandons an abusive fiancé in New York to enlist with the Red Cross in Europe. In training, she meets Dorothy Dunford, a towering Midwesterner with a ferocious wit. Although her service puts her in grave danger at times, Irene finds herself healed by friendship and love.

What to read first: The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah


Meet Me at the Lake by Carley Fortune (May 2)

The timing was wrong, but their connection was undeniable. After a magical twenty-four hours, Fern and Will made a pact to meet a year later. Fern showed up. Will didn't. Now, a decade later, Fern is managing her mother's beleaguered lakeside resort when Will turns up, with offers to help. Can she trust him?

What to read first: Every Summer After by Carley Fortune

Summer Reading by Jenn Mckinlay (May 16)

Sam is a dyslexic chef spending her summer on Martha's Vineyard. Ben is the interim director of the Island's library. An irresistible attraction blossoms as Ben inspires Sam to create the cookbook she has always dreamed of. While Sam jumps all in on helping Ben find the father he never knew.

What to read first: Beach Read by Emily Henry

The True Love Experiment by Christina Lauren (May 16)

Felicity "Fizzy" Chen is a romance novelist who's never been in love. Connor Prince is a documentary filmmaker who's out of his element when he's tasked with creating a reality tv show about finding true love. When he convinces Fizzy to be the star of his show, sparks fly. But the show's gotta go on, right?

What to read first: The Soulmate Equation by Christina Lauren

Planes, Trains, and All the Feels by Livy Hart  (May 23)

Cassidy is bound and determined to get home in time for her sister’s wedding. She never thought this would mean sharing the last rental car with Luke, the jerk who cut her off in line. But as they drive across the country together, their crackling chemistry becomes one more thing they have to navigate.

What to read first: It Happened One Summer by Tessa Bailey

That Summer Feeling by Bridget Morissey (May 30)

When Garland Moore’s husband surprises her with divorce papers on Valentine’s day, she's ready to give up on love. An invitation to go to summer camp for adults seems like a chance to start fresh, especially after she runs into a man from her past. But then she finds herself falling head over heels for his sister, instead.

What to read first: Delilah Green Doesn't Care by Ashley Herring Blake

Hopefully there’s something here that you want to add to your TBR list! Let us know which new books you’re most excited about this month.

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