Sandy’s Selections: Book Recommendations for Spring Reading

Sandy's spring reading list includes several fiction novels, an historical fiction, and even a memoir. Find a sunny spot and dive into adventure!
Sandy's Selections Book Recommendations for Spring Reading

Spring is so close we can almost smell the fresh flowers blooming. That’s not the only thing awakening in April — new memoirs, fiction, satire, mysteries, and nonfiction books are releasing, ready to enlighten and inspire. It’s the perfect time of year to get started on some new reading material to have an awakening of our own: one of imagination and adventure. This month, Sandy brings us a selection of spring reading materials, including historical fiction, mystery, and even a memoir. So, find a sunny spot to settle in and break out a new book (or two). 

The Hunter by Tana French | Mystery\Thriller

The Hunter by Tana French
The Hunter by Tana French

In The Hunter, a local teenager’s grifter dad reappears after a long absence, touching off a local crime wave. Family ties are tested as secrets and revenge creep through the small town. Is there gold in the mountains – or something much more sinister? Set in Ireland, the story shares an interest in exploring the lives of flawed and compelling characters and finds much to love in this atmospheric story.

James by Percival Everett | Satire

James by Percival Everett
James by Percival Everett

James is a provocative and enlightening work of literary art. It brings to life a reimagining of Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, as told from the perspective of Jim. This reveals “James” as a far more resourceful, cunning, and powerful character than we knew. As the narrator, James, the enslaved man who accompanies Huck down the Mississippi River, recounts the classic tale with surprising new details.

Listen for the Lie by Amy Tintera | Mystery

Listen for the Lie by Amy Tintera
Listen for the Lie by Amy Tintera

Listen for the Lie is an edgy mystery novel, a riveting and suspenseful thriller that will keep readers engaged to the very end!! There is tension, dark humor, suspense, fast pacing, drama, secrets, and revealing podcast interviews. Dysfunctional families, biased neighbors, and a main character that you cannot help but cheer for is what makes this a phenomenal thriller! There is no end to the surprises.

Women of Good Fortune by Sophie Wan | Fiction

Women of Good Fortune by Sophie Wan
Women of Good Fortune by Sophie Wan

In Women of Good Fortune, a bride-to-be is about to marry into one of Shanghai’s most prominent families. She just has one secret: she doesn’t love her fiancé and is only marrying him to solve her family’s financial woes. This bride isn’t in love or ready for marriage but has always been taught that money is the ticket to a good life. It’s a glimpse of the extravagant life of Shanghai’s elite while exploring societal norms and gender expectations.

Can’t We Be Friends by Eliza Knight and Denny S. Bryce | Historical Fiction

Can't We Be Friends by Eliza Knight and Denny S, Bryce
Can’t We Be Friends by Eliza Knight and Denny S. Bryce

Can’t We Be Friends uncovers the boundary-breaking, genuine friendship between Ella Fitzgerald, the Queen of Jazz, and iconic movie star Marilyn Monroe. The two women met when Monroe was looking for help with her singing for “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.” While it seemed like they had nothing in common, they were both underestimated by the many men in their lives. Each strived to be the absolute best in their field.

One Hour of Fervor by Muriel Barbery | Literary Fiction

One Hour of Fervor by Muriel Barbery
One Hour of Fervor by Muriel Barbery

One Hour of Fervor explores the deep love of a father and what is gained and what is lost when one chooses a “family” of friends over one’s biological family. In doing so, the book captures the darkness that pushes people apart and the circumstances that can draw them together again. The beautiful descriptions of nature and the infusion of Japanese folklore give the story an elegant and meditative quality.

Here After by Amy Lin | Memoir

Here After by Amy Lin
Here After by Amy Lin

Here After is a memoir about a young woman’s grief after her husband dies unexpectedly. This shatters any set ideas of commonly held “truths” about what the grieving process ever held about grief, strength, and memory. Here After reads like poetry. Do not avoid the heavy subject matter you will find in this memoir. It is a profound and complex gift. This book is a little wonder—a clear, utterly courageous act of love.

In Case You Missed It: Here are Sandy’s Selections from April 2023!

Dust Child by Nguyen Phan Que Mai | Historical Fiction

Dust Child is a family saga about secrets, hidden trauma, and the overriding power of forgiveness. Told in the voices of two Vietnamese sisters, an American veteran, as well as the child of a Black American soldier and a Vietnamese woman, is the story of how those who inherited tragedy can redefine their destinies.

Pineapple Street by Jenny Jackson | Fiction

Pineapple Street is a story of the lives of three young women navigating the complexities of life in the outrageous world of generational wealth and privilege. The book puts together the understanding of the beauty and difficulty of belonging, how our desires can clash with our inherited narrative, and what happens to the people we love when we need to rewrite the story.

The London Seance Society by Sarah Penner | Fiction

In The London Seance Society, a grieving young woman takes an apprenticeship with a world-famous medium to investigate her sister’s murder. She finds herself communing with ghosts, spirits, and demons, both living and dead… and discovers secrets too sinister and supernatural powers too deep to imagine.

Old Babes in the Woods by Margaret Atwood | Fiction

Old Babes in the Woods is a collection of short stories written by Margaret Atwood, and it’s a good variety of stories that show off her range as a writer. There are fifteen stories in all, with seven of them featuring a married couple, Tig and Nell. While each can be read as a standalone, you are best served reading the stories in order. 

The Golden Spoon by Jesse Maxwell | Mystery

The Golden Spoon is the baking contest that will kick off the 10th anniversary season of the hit show BAKEWEEK. Six contestants work to prove their culinary talents over five days, preparing different types of baked goods, including bread, pies, and then cake. This is a deliciously suspenseful thriller for murder mystery buffs and avid bakers alike.

Stash by Laura Cathcart Robbins | Memoir

Stash is about Laura, and it’s the story of a beautiful, Black, wealthy woman’s journey to sobriety amidst addiction to Ambien, privilege, and self-sabotage. With courage and candid openness, Laura reveals how she managed to begin the long journey toward sobriety and what it means to be Black in a white world. 

Two Wars and a Wedding by Lauren Willig | Historical Fiction

The Greco-Turkish War of 1897 and the Spanish-American War of 1898 are the wars in Two Wars and a Wedding, the story of an aspiring archaeologist and Smith College graduate, Betsy Hayes, striving to make her place in a man’s world. This is an unforgettable saga of friendship, love, and fighting for what is right.

In Case You Missed It: Here are Sandy’s Selections from April 2018!

The Shape of Water by Guillermo Del Toro and Daniel Kraus | Sci-Fi/Fantasy

The Shape of Water
The Shape of Water

The Best Picture Academy Award winner of 2017 was released in book version two days after the awards ceremony.

The Shape of Water is a romantic drama filled with fantasy elements. It’s the story of a Sea God (modeled after the “Creature from the Black Lagoon”) who is captured in the Amazon River and studied to discover its secret powers. Whether or not one has already seen the movie, it is a lovely surprise and a fast read.

The Leader’s Bookshelf by James Stavridis and R. Manning Ancell | Nonfiction

The Leader's Bookshelf
The Leader’s Bookshelf

The “top fifty” books recommended in The Leader’s Bookshelf were chosen by 200 Four-Star military leaders. They are the titles that strongly influenced their leadership skills and provided special insights. The 50-chapter summaries help the reader determine which books are personally the most relevant and/or appealing. It is a tremendous resource for any leader, whether in family life, organizations, or professionally. 

Artemis by Andy Weir | Science Fiction

Artemis
Artemis

Artemis is an exciting action-adventure sci-fi story set on a lunar colony several decades in the future. The heroine is a 26-year-old desperate to become rich, so she gets involved in a complicated heist. This fast-moving, fun book will give you a look at the economy and sociology of a functional moon colony might be like, including how to cope with crime, new currency, and the colony’s politics. Very imaginable!

Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer | Fiction

The Female Persuasion
The Female Persuasion

The Female Persuasion is a timely novel about feminism, female power, and mentorship. Much has changed in the feminist movement for all women, and the book observes (and comments on) these changes. The author has an effortless, engrossing style and pays attention to details that seamlessly connect all the dots in the book’s four major storylines. This is an excellent story of a female mentor’s influence on a mentee.

The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen | Psychological Thriller

The Wife Between Us
The Wife Between Us

The Wife Between Us is about the truth in marriage. There is the husband’s truth, the wife’s truth, and also the real truth. What we think we see and what is happening can be very different. This is a fiendishly clever romantic thriller that keeps the reader guessing. Unforgettable twists lead to shocking revelations throughout, including the epilogue. Best of all, Steven Spielberg has optioned the book, so we can look forward to the movie! 

Paris By the Book by Liam Callanan | Mystery

Paris by the Book
Paris by the Book

In Paris by the Book, a mother from Wisconsin travels to Paris with her two daughters in search of her eccentric husband, a novelist. He has vanished but leaves enough clues to suggest he is in Paris. Is he hiding from his family or searching for them? Is he alive in Paris? Did he die in a tragic boating accident? The mystery about the husband’s fate makes this a page-turner, but the real story lies in the mother’s rediscovery of herself.

I am, I am, I am: Seventeen Brushes with Death by Maggie O’Farrell | Memoir

I Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes with Death
I Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes with Death

In I Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes with Death, British author Maggie O’Farrell weaves a stunning collection of stories about her near-death experiences. There are 17 encounters at different ages and different locations: a near-drowning, close calls during surgeries, confronting a murderer on a deserted hiking trail, dysentery, meningitis, and a plummeting plane. We meet O’Farrell as a daughter, a student, an office worker, a wife, and a traveler. The snapshots reveal a thoughtful, determined woman who remains resilient despite frequent traumas. It is not a conventional memoir, but it is one the reader won’t soon forget.

If you are an Amazon Prime member, you get a free Prime Read each month. Right now, our favorite is the best-seller The Maid’s Diary by Loreth Anne White.

Read Next:

Sandy’s Selection: 10 Most Highly Anticipated Books for 2024

Sandy’s Selections of New Books

Sandy’s Selections: Your February Reading List

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