15 highly anticipated April releases we recommend you read this month

Apr 1 2022, 1:00 pm

We decided against leaving the list blank this month in honour of April Fools’ Day. Besides, it’s World Book Day on April 23, a day dedicated to picking up and immersing yourself in a new book; therefore, we felt we had to bring you some options.

Our highly anticipated April releases list includes a selection of books in the fiction and nonfiction genres, with everything from hilarious and heartbreaking short stories and essays, to poignant and significant memoirs, uplifting humour, and heart-pounding thrillers, from award-winning novelists, bestselling writers, and debut authors. 

We have a great line-up this month, with books from comedy writer Mary Laura Philpott, debut Canadian author Tajja Isen, critically acclaimed writer Douglas Stuart, and world-renowned poet Ocean Vuong. 

These are 15 books we recommend this month.

Bomb Shelter by Mary Laura Philpott

From the bestselling author of Miss You When I Blink, Philpott’s latest offering is an excellent collection of hilarious short essays about life, love, grieving, and growing older. In each story, Mary Laura brings her delightful humour while she reminisces on her childhood, yearns for more time with her kids, and reminds us that we’re all human — while she burns the breadcrumbs and fails to spatchcock a chicken. Bomb Shelter is as emotionally impactful as it is funny. You’ll reach the end and want to start all over again.

Easy Beauty by Chloé Cooper Jones

Pulitzer Prize finalist Chloé Cooper Jones’ memoir is a sensational and tremendously moving read about disability and motherhood. Her pain is physical, caused by a rare congenital condition called sacral agenesis, and with her remarkable writing talents, Jones grips the attention of readers while talking about moving through the world in a body that looks different from others. Readers will see the world through her eyes as she reclaims the spaces she’d previously been denied, travelling to far-flung places like Rome, Utah and Milan in this transformative read. 

Broken Horses: A Memoir by Brandi Carlile

Six-time Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter Brandi Carlile’s forthcoming memoir is expressive and courageously honest. Carlile bares her entire self in Broken Horses, taking readers through the events that shaped her life. She talks openly about her experience of coming out as a teenager when she struggled with the tension between her sexuality and her faith.

Brandi invites readers along on her journey as she gains success as a singer, collaborating with her personal heroes like Elton John, Dolly Parton, and Joni Mitchell. This celebrity memoir is significant, intimate, and not to be missed.

The Candy House by Jennifer Egan

Named a Most Anticipated Book of the Year by Time, Vogue, Glamour, and many more publications. Jennifer Egan’s latest offering is complete with her signature prose and mesmerizing narratives while she intelligently stitches in characters from her previous Pulitzer Prize-winning book, A Visit from the Goon Squad

Centred around 40-year-old Bix and his new technology, “Own Your Unconscious,” a revolutionary advancement that allows you to access every memory you’ve ever had in exchange for the memories of others. The Candy House is an intoxicating novel and, according to a starred review from Publishers Weekly, “is Egan’s best yet.”

Jill by Julie Pace and Darlene Superville

Dr. Jill Biden is many things: first, she’s a wife, mother, and grandmother. The cherished First Lady of the United States is also an educator, an advocate for military spouses, and a philanthropist for cancer research initiatives. In this insightful and well-researched biography, authors Julie Pace and Darlene Superville talk about Jill and Joe’s early days together, the raising of their sons Beau and Hunter, and the birth of their daughter Ashley. 

They reveal a private side to Jill that’s held the Biden family together through 44 years of marriage, many monumental celebrations and devastating losses. For another side of the Biden family, we also recommend Hunter Biden’s harrowing memoir, Beautiful Things

Watch out for Her by Samantha M. Bailey

Toronto-based bestselling author Samantha M. Bailey’s latest spine-chilling thriller is almost here, and you don’t want to miss it. Watch Out for Her is about Sarah Goldman, mother to six-year-old Jacob. Sarah’s suffering from trauma over a previous incident involving a babysitter she hired to look after her son, and she’s relieved to move across the country for a fresh start. 

Just as she’s getting settled in her new abode, Sarah notices that she’s under the watchful eye of several cameras that have been set up in her private space. She can’t help but wonder, has her past caught up with her? Expertly crafted, Bailey’s psychological suspense novel will hold you captive from the very first page. 

Post Traumatic by Chantal V. Johnson

Chantal V. Johnson’s debut follows Vivian, a devoted lawyer who advocates for mentally ill patients at a psychiatric hospital in Manhattan. On the outside, she’s a success, but on the inside, she’s a flawed and complex character. Vivian is struggling with her own mental health issues and trauma, increased by the everyday stresses of being a Black Latinx woman in America.

Filled with warmth, humour and hope, Post Traumatic is a new form of survivor narrative, featuring a lovable and unforgettable protagonist. 

Yoko Ono by Donald Brackett

An in-depth account of the life of Yoko Ono written by Toronto-based music critic Donald Brackett. This insightful book covers everything from the childhood of the acclaimed artist to her fraught relationship with Beatles star John Lennon and everything in between. Brackett recounts Yoko’s days spent at Sarah Lawrence College and her time in Tokyo’s avant-garde scene. Then there are the iconic years she spent with Lennon, which made headlines around the world. 

An Artful Life repaints Ono’s incredible journey and tells her breathtaking story on her own terms. If you’re in Vancouver, we recommend the Yoko Ono: Growing Freedom exhibit at the Vancouver Art Gallery, running until May 1, 2022.

Young Mungo by Douglas Stuart

From the Booker Prize-winning author of Shuggie Bain comes a gripping new story about the meaning of masculinity, the violence faced by many queer people, and the dangers of loving too much. Set against the backdrop of Glasgow and centred around Protestant Mungo and Catholic James, who find themselves on opposite sides of sectarian lines. The two men become best friends, fall in love, and dream of escaping the city. A deeply moving and stunning love story, the two men must hide their love for one another while also finding a way to build a future together.

Idiots by Laura Clery

In funny woman Laura Clery’s first book, Idiot, she shared her rise from broke, unemployed, drug addict to social media sensation. In her latest offering of essays, Laura shares everything about motherhood (more than anyone ever asked for). She’ll make you laugh, she’ll make you cry—but most importantly, she’ll make you feel less alone. 

Beware, Clery has no filter, and there’s no holding back as she shares tales of adult diapers, vacuum extraction, and laxative overdoses. Laura also leans into her vulnerability in the book and opens up about her postpartum depression and extramarital affairs. 

Portrait of a Thief by Grace D. Li

Will Chen, the son of Chinese immigrants, is a senior at Harvard. He’s the perfect student, fulfilling his parents’ American Dream. A mysterious benefactor reaches out to Will with an illegal job offer—to steal back five priceless Chinese sculptures.

Ocean’s Eleven meets The Farewell; he soon finds himself with a crew—a well-written cast of Chinese American characters. If they succeed, they each have a chance to earn 50 million dollars and make history. Fast-paced, thrilling, and action-packed, Li’s debut is riveting. 

The Younger Wife by Sally Hepworth

A forthcoming thriller from New York Times bestselling author Sally Hepworth, and we are so here for it. The Younger Wife is a domestic suspense novel about the Aston family. We’re introduced to daughters Tully and Rachel, who are trying to come to terms with their father’s new relationship with a woman named Heather.

Stephen wants to marry Heather but must divorce his current wife first. The problem is, she’s in a care home with Alzheimer’s. Seeped with secrets, lies, and brilliantly crafted, Hepworth proves yet again to be a master at building suspense and creating an unputdownable work of fiction.

Time Is a Mother by Ocean Vuong

The immensely talented and critically acclaimed Ocean Vuong is back with a second poetry collection, this time searching for life while shifting through the various stages of grief after his mother’s death. Time is a Mother is a deeply intimate collection that explores themes of personal loss, relationships, and the meaning of family. 

LitHub stated in their review, “All of Ocean Vuong’s writing shows masterful attention to detail. He comes at language with a magnifying glass. He holds words differently than everyone else, and when he hands them to you, they are changed.”

The No-Show by Beth O’Leary

Fantastically uplifting, charismatic, and well-written, Beth O’Leary’s The No-Show is the only rom-com you need to read this month. Siobhan, Miranda, and Jane are the leading ladies in this heartwarming read. The only thing they have in common is that they’ve all been stood up on Valentine’s Day—by the same man.

Enter Joseph Carter. Where was the catch of the day while all three women stood by waiting? In the style of her bestsellers, The Flatshare and The Switch, this is another character-driven novel from O’Leary that’s simply brilliant.

Some of My Best Friends by Tajja Isen

When Canadian Tajja Isen’s not doing the voice-over of some of our most loved cartoons like Atomic Betty and The Berenstain Bears, she’s working as editor-in-chief of Catapult magazine. In her highly anticipated collection of nine essays, she takes on the cartoon industry’s pivot away from colour-blind casting — the practice of casting without considering the actor’s ethnicity, skin colour, sex and/or gender. She also examines the literary world’s hunt for more diversity and the law’s refusal to see inequality.

It’s with sharp and captivating prose that Tajja weaves in her own lived experiences between what we say and what we do. Kirkus stated in their starred review, “this book shows a bracing willingness to tackle sensitive issues that others often sweep under a rug.” A timely and engaging read, Isen shows the true breadth of her writing skills in this remarkable debut.

Sean LoughranSean Loughran

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