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Let’s check out five potential book club picks for April 2022!
April is a great month for new books. For instance, Take My Hand by Dolen Perkins-Valdez, Portrait of a Thief by Grace D. Li and Four Treasures of the Sky by Jenny Tinghui Zhang are all publishing that month. BTW, I covered these and more in my huge 2022 Book Club List and my Spring 2022 Book List post.
And yes, there are even more books publishing at the beginning of April! In this list, I’ve included three additional titles that will publish on April 5. Each of these sound like fantastic book club picks.
I’m also including two previously published titles and my original book club questions for both. So whether you want a new release or looking for an older title, I got you covered here!
Memphis by Tara M. Stringfellow
Memphis by Tara M. Stringfellow is a literary saga that follows three generations of a Southern Black family. The story is told over 70 years and moves back and forth in time and focuses on a daughter’s search to understand the family more and the critical choices made throughout the years. I can’t wait for this one! Here’s the full synopsis:
Summer 1995: Ten-year-old Joan, her mother, and her younger sister flee her father’s explosive temper and seek refuge at her mother’s ancestral home in Memphis. This is not the first time violence has altered the course of the family’s trajectory. Half a century earlier, Joan’s grandfather built this majestic house in the historic Black neighborhood of Douglass—only to be lynched days after becoming the first Black detective in the city. Joan tries to settle into her new life, but family secrets cast a longer shadow than any of them expected.
As she grows up, Joan finds relief in her artwork, painting portraits of the community in Memphis. One of her subjects is their enigmatic neighbor Miss Dawn, who claims to know something about curses, and whose stories about the past help Joan see how her passion, imagination, and relentless hope are, in fact, the continuation of a long matrilineal tradition.
Joan begins to understand that her mother, her mother’s mother, and the mothers before them persevered, made impossible choices, and put their dreams on hold so that her life would not have to be defined by loss and anger—that the sole instrument she needs for healing is her paintbrush.
Unfolding over seventy years through a chorus of unforgettable voices that move back and forth in time, Memphis paints an indelible portrait of inheritance, celebrating the full complexity of what we pass down, in a family and as a country: brutality and justice, faith and forgiveness, sacrifice and love.
Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel
I’m sure you’re well-familiar with Emily St. John Mandel’s novels, especially with the recently released HBO version of Station Eleven. She’s back with a new novel of art, time, love, and plague that takes the reader from Vancouver Island in 1912 to a dark colony on the moon five hundred years later. Sounds compelling, original and one that will generate plenty of discussion. Here’s the full synopsis:
Edwin St. Andrew is eighteen years old when he crosses the Atlantic by steamship, exiled from polite society following an ill-conceived diatribe at a dinner party. He enters the forest, spellbound by the beauty of the Canadian wilderness, and suddenly hears the notes of a violin echoing in an airship terminal—an experience that shocks him to his core.
Two centuries later a famous writer named Olive Llewellyn is on a book tour. She’s traveling all over Earth, but her home is the second moon colony, a place of white stone, spired towers, and artificial beauty. Within the text of Olive’s best-selling pandemic novel lies a strange passage: a man plays his violin for change in the echoing corridor of an airship terminal as the trees of a forest rise around him.
When Gaspery-Jacques Roberts, a detective in the black-skied Night City, is hired to investigate an anomaly in the North American wilderness, he uncovers a series of lives upended: The exiled son of an earl driven to madness, a writer trapped far from home as a pandemic ravages Earth, and a childhood friend from the Night City who, like Gaspery himself, has glimpsed the chance to do something extraordinary that will disrupt the timeline of the universe.
A virtuoso performance that is as human and tender as it is intellectually playful, Sea of Tranquility is a novel of time travel and metaphysics that precisely captures the reality of our current moment.
The Wise Women by Gina Sorell
The Wise Women by Gina Sorell follows a mother and two adult daughters as they navigate love, relationships and bad advice. I love the premise—an advice columnist mother and her daughters who absolutely don’t want her advice but yet they all still need each other. This promises to be an entertaining read. Here’s the full synopsis:
Popular advice columnist Wendy Wise has been skillfully advising the women who write to her seeking help for four decades, so why are her own daughters’ lives such a mess? Clementine, the working mother of a six-year-old boy, has just discovered that she is actually renting the Queens home that she thought she owned, because her husband Steve secretly funneled their money into his flailing start-up. Meanwhile, her sister Barb has overextended herself at her architecture firm and reunited semi-unhappily with her cheating girlfriend.
When Steve goes MIA and Clementine receives an eviction notice, Wendy swoops in to save the day, even though her daughters, who are holding onto some resentments from childhood, haven’t asked for her help. But as soon as Wendy sets her sights on hunting down her rogue son-in-law, Barb and Clementine quickly discover that their mother has been hiding more than a few problems of her own.
As the three women confront the disappointments and heartaches that have accumulated between them over the years, they discover that while the future may look entirely different from the one that they’ve expected, it may be even brighter than they’d hoped.
The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris
The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris is an intriguing and original thriller. The story follows two young Black women who meet against the starkly white backdrop of New York City book publishing. I was truly shocked at all the reveals in this story. Here’s the full synopsis:
Twenty-six-year-old editorial assistant Nella Rogers is tired of being the only Black employee at Wagner Books. Fed up with the isolation and microaggressions, she’s thrilled when Harlem-born and bred Hazel starts working in the cubicle beside hers. They’ve only just started comparing natural hair care regimens, though, when a string of uncomfortable events elevates Hazel to Office Darling, and Nella is left in the dust.
Then the notes begin to appear on Nella’s desk: LEAVE WAGNER. NOW.
It’s hard to believe Hazel is behind these hostile messages. But as Nella starts to spiral and obsess over the sinister forces at play, she soon realizes that there’s a lot more at stake than just her career.
A whip-smart and dynamic thriller and sly social commentary that is perfect for anyone who has ever felt manipulated, threatened, or overlooked in the workplace, The Other Black Girl will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very last twist.
The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles
I just finished The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles. While I had some mixed opinions, especially as the book went on, I did like it overall. And there is so much to talk about with this book. I know, it’s lengthy but I promise your book club meeting will be lively when discussing this one. Here’s the full synopsis:
In June, 1954, eighteen-year-old Emmett Watson is driven home to Nebraska by the warden of the juvenile work farm where he has just served fifteen months for involuntary manslaughter. His mother long gone, his father recently deceased, and the family farm foreclosed upon by the bank, Emmett’s intention is to pick up his eight-year-old brother, Billy, and head to California where they can start their lives anew. But when the warden drives away, Emmett discovers that two friends from the work farm have hidden themselves in the trunk of the warden’s car. Together, they have hatched an altogether different plan for Emmett’s future, one that will take them all on a fateful journey in the opposite direction—to the City of New York.
Spanning just ten days and told from multiple points of view, Towles’s third novel will satisfy fans of his multi-layered literary styling while providing them an array of new and richly imagined settings, characters, and themes.