The Best New Book Releases Out April 2, 2024

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Erica Ezeifedi, Associate Editor, is a transplant from Nashville, TN that has settled in the North East. In addition to being a writer, she has worked as a victim advocate and in public libraries, where she has focused on creating safe spaces for queer teens, mentorship, and providing test prep instruction free to students. Outside of work, much of her free time is spent looking for her next great read and planning her next snack.

Find her on Twitter at @Erica_Eze_.

And just like that, it’s Poetry Month! I’ve included a couple of new collections below to get you started on your poetry readings if you want to partake.

For those romantically-minded, there are the new releases Relative Strangers by A.H. Kim — a Sense and Sensibility retelling — and Just for the Summer by Abby Jimenez — a Reddit romance (an incongruous phrase, if ever there was one).

In the realm of memoirs, Sociopath by Patric Gagne offers a look at an often misunderstood personality disorder. And then there’s Maurice Ashley’s Move by Move, another unique memoir that details life lessons the author learned from being the first Black American to become the International Grand Master of Chess.

And, in the new entry into one of my fave millennial-led subgenres (Hot Mess), A Good Happy Girl by Marissa Higgins, a young and self-destructive female attorney seeks a high-stakes relationship with a married lesbian couple. Phew.

Finally, among the new releases listed below is a collection of nature poetry, a subversive horror anthology, illuminating historical fiction, and more.

cover of We Loved It All by Lydia Milletcover of We Loved It All by Lydia Millet

We Loved It All by Lydia Millet

We Loved It All is award-winning Millet’s first nonfiction book. In it, she skates across genres to ponder on nature and our relationship to it. Millet has worked for decades advocating for endangered species at the Center for Biological Diversity, and here, she argues that for humans to live our best emotional and spiritual lives, we have to realize the importance of other fauna and flora.

cover of The Black Girl Survives in This Onecover of The Black Girl Survives in This One

The Black Girl Survives in This One, edited by Desiree S. Evans, Saraciea J. Fennell

This week brings another entry to the Black girl horror surge I just mentioned last week. In this collection, authors tell 15 thrilling stories that center Black girls and subvert horror tropes. There are monster slayers, contentious spirits, and face-to-face showdowns with death. Authors included are Erin E. Adams, Charlotte Nicole Davis, Zakiya Dalila Harris, Justina Ireland, L. L. McKinney, Vincent Tirado, and others.

If you’re looking for more YA horror, there’s the fabulist and southern gothic Something Kindred by Ciera Burch.

cover of Clear by Carys Daviescover of Clear by Carys Davies

Clear by Carys Davies

Ivar has been living by himself, save for a few animals, on an island north of Scotland for decades. Then, after all that time of minding his business, an impoverished Scottish minister, John, shows up to evict him. But the process doesn’t go too smoothly. When John first gets to the island, he falls and hurts himself, and it’s Ivar who takes care of him. Though the two men don’t speak the same language, they learn to communicate, and Ivar is able to see himself through another person for the first time in a long while.

cover of Beautiful Beautiful by Brandon Reidcover of Beautiful Beautiful by Brandon Reid

Beautiful Beautiful by Brandon Reid

In this Indigenous coming-of-age debut novel, 12-year-old Derik Mormin learns of the trauma of his ancestors, explores the differences between rural and urban living, and reconsiders masculinity. It’s got a unique perspective that looks at everything from primordial visions to dances with (tamed) cannibals, and it all starts with a storm.

cover of The Titanic Survivors' Book Club by Timothy Schaffertcover of The Titanic Survivors' Book Club by Timothy Schaffert

The Titanic Survivors’ Book Club by Timothy Schaffert

We readers love a good book about books, and this one has such an interesting premise. Yorick is an apprentice librarian who was meant to curate the Titanic’s second-class library, but one of his superiors takes his place at the last minute. After the ship inevitably sinks, he finds his name on a list of people lost to the tragedy, and it makes him think a bit. This brush with mortality leads him to open a bookshop in Paris like he’s always wanted to, and he even finds a secret society of other people who were meant to board the Titanic, but, through a twist of circumstances, didn’t. In this society — which turns into a book club of sorts — he meets heiresses and alluring men, some of whom he experiences love/friendship triangles with. Then the group gets shaken up by the threat of the Great War and a member’s death.

cover of You Are Here: Poetry in the Natural World, edited by Ada Limón cover of You Are Here: Poetry in the Natural World, edited by Ada Limón 

You Are Here: Poetry in the Natural World, edited by Ada Limón 

As I mentioned earlier, April is Poetry Month, and this collection — edited by the 24th Poet Laureate of the United States — is perfect for those of us ready to engage with a new kind of nature poetry. The 50 previously unpublished poems here are everyone from Joy Harjo to Jericho Brown, and look at how we relate to our natural environments, whatever they may entail.

For more new poetry, there’s With My Back to the World by Victoria Chang.

Other Book Riot New Releases Resources:

  • All the Books, our weekly new book releases podcast, where Liberty and a cast of co-hosts talk about eight books out that week that we’ve read and loved.
  • The New Books Newsletter, where we send you an email of the books out this week that are getting buzz.
  • Finally, if you want the real inside scoop on new releases, you have to check out Book Riot’s New Release Index! That’s where I find 90% of new releases, and you can filter by trending books, Rioters’ picks, and even LGBTQ new releases!

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