10 Books to Read in April
This month's new releases include a Netflix-bound heist novel, an African cookbook by a rising-star chef, and a retrospective look at the Love Canal disaster. 📚
Whether you’re looking for a good read to curl up with during April’s showers or want a book to take with you on your Spring Break travels, this month sees some stunning debuts and releases from favorite authors.
By Grace D Li
With funding from China’s youngest billionaire, Will Chen has assembled a Chinese American crew to steal back five fountain heads that were looted from Beijing’s Summer Palace in 1860. The five thieves travel the world to pull off their daring heists from some of the best museums. Along the way, they also grapple with their Chinese American identity, relationships and adulthood. A thrilling debut that’s already in development at Netflix. // Available April 5. Library catalog link here.
By Emily St. John Mandel
In the Canadian wilderness in 1912, an exiled British scion hears violin music and the sounds of a busy transportation hub. One hundred years later, a similar experience happens to someone else. Two hundred years later, it happens again. In 2401, the Time Institute sends someone back in time to investigate. The interwoven stories of those who experience these time anomalies hold wonderful surprises for fans of Mandel’s earlier works. At turns playful and tragic, it’s ultimately a satisfying and tender read. // Available April 5. Library catalog link here.
By Gary Phillips
Freelance photographer Harry Ingram spends his time listening to the police scanner to get the photos he sells to local papers and magazines in L.A.’s Black community. While visiting the scene of a car accident, he recognizes the victim—a friend from his army days in Korea. But something about the scene isn’t right, leading Harry into a troubling investigation. The story is deeply rooted in early 1960s Los Angeles history from a celebrated author of noir fiction. // Available April 12. Library catalog link here.
By Liz Bowery
As if trying to win a presidential campaign wasn’t hard enough, political consultant Thom has to deal with data analyst Clay, who lives to get under his skin. A photo of one of their many fights ends up going viral, but the angle of the shot makes it look like they’re actually kissing—and they’re now the internet’s favorite couple. To help the campaign, they’re asked to maintain the ruse, but real feelings are on the line and election day is looming in this fake-dating enemies-to-lovers romance. // Available April 26. Library catalog link here.
By Chloé Cooper Jones
Born without a sacrum (the bone that connects the spine to the pelvis), author Chloé Cooper Jones has known pain—from the physical pain of her disability to the emotional pain that comes from the way others see (or don’t see) her body. After becoming a mother, she travels the world and reflects on her life, beauty and disability, and grapples with the ways she bought in to the ideas others had about her body and its worth. // Available April 5. Library catalog link here.
By Anto Cocagne
Chef Anto, a rising food star from Gabon, highlights the food of Gabon, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Congo and Ethiopia in a wide range of dishes. Filled with tips for the home cook and easy substitutions, the book also includes interviews with a number of sub-Saharan African personalities to create a beautiful and fascinating read. // Available April 12. Library catalog link here.
By Keith O’Brien
When Hooker Chemical dumped toxic waste in a small waterway in suburban Niagara Falls, there were serious health repercussions for the neighborhood, some of them fatal. But the environmental disaster of Love Canal wouldn’t have become a household name without the tireless work of the citizen-activists who worked to expose the truth and help their neighbors. O’Brien follows a wide cast of residents in this in-depth look at the disaster that led to the creation of Superfund legislation. // Available April 12. Library catalog link here.
By AJ Jacobs
Jacobs starts with his own love of crossword puzzles (and is tickled to discover he’s one of the clues in a Saturday New York Times crossword), pans out to other brain-teasers such as jigsaws and corn mazes, and then takes an even broader look at the history of puzzles and those who make them. Along the way, he explores why humans are so drawn to puzzles and why we enjoy them so much. With the author’s trademark self-deprecating humor (he proudly finishes second-to-last at an international jigsaw competition in Spain) and several puzzles created just for readers of the book, this latest is sure to delight puzzle fans and Jacobs fans alike. // Available April 26. Library catalog link here.
By ML Smoker and Natalie Peeterse, illustrated by Dale Ray DeForest
Kimi’s grandmother wants Kimi to learn about and appreciate their Lakota heritage and culture, but Kimi doesn’t understand how it fits in with modern life. She would rather spend her time building her social media presence. But when she finds herself transported into a magical world and pursued by the trickster Raven, she’ll need to use the cultural knowledge she gained from her grandmother if she’s ever going to get home. This new graphic novel is an exciting format shift for acclaimed poet ML Smoker. // Available April 26. Library catalog link here.
By Hanna Alkaf
Last year, Najwa’s best friend, Trina, died at a Scrabble tournament. This year, Najwa returns to the tournament in an attempt to find closure and a way to move through her grief. But then cryptic messages begin to appear on Trina’s Instagram account. Her death means a new champion will be named at this year’s tournament. As the competition grows and the Instagram posts continue, Najwa and her friends begin to wonder if perhaps Trina’s death wasn’t an accident—and if they might be next—in this gripping thriller. // Available April 19. Library catalog link here.