Three books coming in May

These books arriving soon have caught my attention. Simply put, they look like good ones. I share them here so you, too, can consider and anticipate them.

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Ohio author Anthony Doerr’s new novel is a World War II story about the converging lives of a German soldier and a blind French girl in occupied France 1944, specifically in Saint-Malo, Brittany. Their parallel lives and coming together take us through this 400+ page novel that I’m thinking could be a great book to put on the summer stack. In an author video, Doerr says the themes he wanted to write about include the magic of radio, the invasion of Paris and the power nationalism can have over a child’s mind. He also mentions wanting to write about a boy trapped in the city of Saint Malo, a town Doerr visited and where he gained inspiration. He is an award-winning novelist with a gift for writing gorgeous prose and memorable, engaging stories.  Kirkus Reviews, Publisher’s Weekly and Library Journal, the book industry’s forecasting magazines, give Doerr’s new novel starred reviews of excellence.

RozChast_memoirCan’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast

Roz Chast, a cartoonist for The New Yorker since 1978, has penned a memoir about the aging of her parents. Better said, she’s written and illustrated the story, as it’s a graphic memoir with text and drawings. From the publisher: “Spanning the last several years of their lives and told through four-color cartoons, family photos, and documents, and a narrative as rife with laughs as it is with tears, Chast’s memoir is both comfort and comic relief for anyone experiencing the life-altering loss of elderly parents.” Publisher’s Weekly, Kirkus Reviews and Library Journal all give the book starred reviews. You can see samples of illustrations in the book via The New Yorker.  Chast’s father died in 2007 and her mother died in 2009 (via The Washington Post).

Bird Box by Josh MalermanBird Box by Josh Malerman

Here’s a first novel about an apocalyptic reality set in a Michigan community. It doesn’t sound like something I’d typically want to read; however, after being completely smitten with Jeff VanderMeer’s Annihilation, I find myself wanting to add Bird Box to my reading pile. The plot involves creatures that drive people to madness and suicide, blindfolds to protect people from seeing the mysterious creatures and a woman and her children fleeing to safety. The publisher’s website writes: “Written with the narrative tension of The Road and the exquisite terror of classic Stephen King, Bird Box is a propulsive, edge-of-your-seat horror thriller set in an apocalyptic near-future world — a masterpiece of suspense from the brilliantly imaginative Josh Malerman.” Malerman is the lead singer and songwriter for The High Strung from Detroit. You can read an interview with him in The Huffington Post. Publisher’s Weekly and Kirkus Reviews give stars, but Library Journal went negative, saying the “extreme suspense becomes tedious after about 50 pages.”

Correction: The original title for the blog post incorrectly stated the three books are novels. Chast’s book is a memoir. The blog post title was changed to reflect the correction.

9 thoughts on “Three books coming in May

  1. Bird Box sounds intriguing. I have Annihilation and hope to get round to reading it soon, so many people are saying good things about it on my internet 😉


    1. The second installment of VanderMeer’s trilogy, “Authority,” also comes out in May. If you wait a little longer, you could read “Annihilation” and “Authority” in sequence. Might be fun that way.


  2. Anthony Doerr is a delight — and it’s been wonderful to see a talented Ohio author grow and blossom into a truly great writer. I can’t wait to read his newest work. Thanks for letting us know about it!


  3. I did read the excerpt of the Roz Chast in the New Yorker — omg! As the one review puts it….. torn between laughing and crying. She is a genius.


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