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Riley Heruska
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May is always a great month for books. So many publishers have released new, exciting titles, and we're ready to dive into all of them. To narrow down your selection, we've picked ten of the most highly-reviewed novels that were published recently. Snag one of them for your next lounge by the pool. 

Love and Ruin by Paula McLain 

The woman behind The Paris Wife returns, and this time, she's diving deep into the tumultuous relationship between Ernest Hemingway and his wife, Martha Gellhorn. Follow along as Hemingway establishes his influential career and risks everything for a passionate, fiercely independent woman during the late 1930s. 

“Paula McLain is considered the new star of historical fiction, and for good reason.” - Ann Patchett, Country Living

The Perfect Mother by Aimee Molloy 

The May Mothers all gave birth during the same month, and as a result, they love to meet up and share their stories of parenthood. However, when one of the women's babies is abducted, they are forced to examine the most disturbing, private parts of their lives. Everything will be turned upside down in their quest to find the missing child. 

"An electrifying thriller—and a subtle, savvy skewering of the endless expectations of modern motherhood." - Book of the Week People 

Furyborn by Claire Legrand 

This first book in Legrand's exciting new YA series straddles two timelines. In one, a powerful young woman is desperate to do anything to keep her best friend, the prince, safe. In the other, a bloodthirsty young hunter struggles to survive as she navigates politics and adventures. The question is, how do these two stories connect? 

"Beautiful, brutal, heart-stopping, and epic, Furyborn is a world to lose yourself in-just bring weapons. It's dangerous there." - Laini Taylor, New York Times bestselling author 

Calypso by David Sedaris 

If you're in need of a good laugh, then snag a copy of Calypso stat. Sedaris unveils a series of personal stories that are equal parts dark and hilarious. You'll be thoroughly entertained as he discusses love, aging, mortality, and his experiences as a writer. 

"Sedaris collects 21 essays largely about family bonds and getting older in this hilarious yet tender volume...The author's fans and newcomers alike will be richly rewarded by this sidesplitting collection."?Publishers Weekly (starred review) 

The Outsider by Stephen King 

The King is back, and in his newest novel, he's telling the story of a brutally-murdered young boy and the baseball coach who is accused of the crime. The coach, Maitland, claims he is innocent, but it's no use. To clear his name and prevent another horrific murder from occurring, he must concoct a plan to reveal the true killer on the prowl. Hold on to your seat because this novel is a wild ride. 

"A juicy tale that plays at the forefront of our current phobias... [The Outsider] will remind readers of King's early novel It." - Kirkus Reviews

The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware 


With a style likened to that of Agatha Christie, Ware tells the story of a tarot card reader who incorrectly inherits a large fortune. When she attends the funeral of the dead woman, she realizes that there's more to than meets the eye to this woman's death. Beware: Ware will put you on the edge of your seat and keep you there for hundreds of pages. 

“Ware’s fourth novel is her best yet, with steadily increasing tension, a complicated twisty mystery, and a sharp, sympathetic heroine who’s up to the challenge of solving it… well-crafted, gothic-tinged suspense.” - Library Journal (starred review)

How to Walk Away by Katherine Center 

It seems like Margaret Jacobsen has it all: a promising career, a wonderful relationship with her dream man, and plenty of joy. Then, tragedy strikes and Jacobsen is forced to face the life she never dreamed of having. Nothing will ever be the same again, and yet she must learn to be brave in the face of such pain. 

"A heartbreak of a novel that celebrates resilience and strength." - Jill Santopolo, bestselling author of The Light We Lost

When Never Comes by Barbara Davis 

Christy-Lynn didn't have an easy childhood; she was born to a drug addict and forced to hit the road at a young age. Eventually, she married a bestselling novelist, but her life is shattered when his body is pulled from Echo Bay. Now, she's surrounded by more fear and mysteries than ever before. Will she ever be able to love and find happiness again? 

“Brimming with compassion and a refreshingly grown-up romance, Barbara Davis’s story of a woman who has left herself behind in more ways than one is imbued with grace, patience, and hope." - Emily Carpenter, author of Burying the Honeysuckle Girls and The Weight of Lies

Not That Bad: Dispatches From Rape Culture by Roxane Gay and Others 

Edited by Roxane Gay, the author of Bad Feminist and Hunger, this anthology contains several essays about assault, rape, and the harassment in today's society. It's not an easy read, but it's an important one that will leave you with much to think about. 

"The lauded social critic and provocateur curates a diverse and unvarnished collection of personal essays reckoning with the experiences and systemic dysfunction that produced #MeToo." - O: The Oprah Magazine

The Map of Salt and Stars by Jennifer Zeynab Joukhadar 

This moving debut details the survival story of two young Syrian girls. One is a modern-day refugee, the other is a medieval adventurer who lived long ago. As the story progresses, the reader witnesses how courage and exile are two common themes in the lives of these young women. 

"Nour’s family constantly endures hardship. . . but her young, honest voice adds a softer, coming-of-age perspective to this story of loss, hope, and survival. . . This imaginative yet very real look into war-torn Syria is a must." - starred Booklist review 

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