Book clubs looking for April reads are in luck: This month is delivering a crop of incredible titles. True crime fans can learn more about Jim Jones and the founding of Jonestown. Those looking for a thriller can travel to Washington to follow a woman as she learns that her new lover might be keeping deadly secrets. No matter what your book club is looking for, we’ve got you covered. For more excellent picks, check out our Spring Previews!
Most of us already know what happened at Jonestown in November of 1978. Over nine hundred people died, many of them children, after drinking a poisonous beverage in a Guyana jungle. What is much less clear is how on earth something like this could have happened, and what kind of person could have orchestrated such a tragedy. Readers will learn about the life of Jim Jones, and his path to that terrible day. Author Jeff Guinn takes an incomprehensible series of events and renders them expertly on the page.
Everyone keeps secrets. This is what Isabelle Austen reminds herself when she starts to become suspicious of Henry North, her new beau. After her mother’s death, Isabelle quits her job and moves to Washington to live on Parrish Island and run her family’s charter airline business. When she meets Henry, a professor from Boston University, he sparks a passion in her that she thought was long gone. But when a stranger reaches out to warn her about Henry’s mysterious past (complete with a dead fiancée and a missing wife), Isabelle grows uncertain. Is Henry’s adoration just a show? Could she be falling for a killer?
Travel to Pakistan in Nadeem Aslam’s new novel, and delve into the violent consequences of intolerance. One day, architect Nargis hears gunshots. From that moment, nothing is the same. She loses her husband, and with him, the opportunity to tell him a secret she has been carrying with her. To make matters worse, someone in town has taken to yelling the secrets of the community from the mosque’s minaret. Will Nargis be next? In a starred review, Kirkus raved that The Golden Legend is: “Brooding and beautiful: a mature, assured story of the fragility of the world and of ourselves.”
Book clubs craving a bit of historical fiction will definitely want to get their hands on this dramatic tale of sisters, love, and piracy. Neave and Lilly Terhune never wanted a life resigned to marriage. Shortly after the end of World War II, they decide to take their futures into their own hands and open a makeup business. It’s rough going at first, but soon business is booming. Suddenly, Lilly goes missing and it’s up to Neave to find her. The tale alternates between the story of the Terhune sisters and the text of The Pirate Lover, Neave’s favorite romance novel. The result is a genre-blending book that truly has it all: suspense, romance, action, and history.
Marriage is a rich topic for psychological thrillers, and Paula Priamos’ new novel Inside V is no exception. Ava’s husband Grant is gone. He was there, and then he wasn’t. All Ava knows is that she’s alone in her Palm Springs hotel room, and that her marriage’s foundation is crumbling. Worst still, Grant has an impending jail sentence for statutory rape (a crime he claims he did not commit). When he goes missing, Ava investigates, but the clues she finds are far more personal than she ever could have imagined.
Science fiction book clubs, rejoice! After eight long years, Cory Doctorow is back with a brand new adult novel, and it’s a wild ride. The year is 2071 and the world has been turned upside down. Climate change has left lands barren and desolate, cities have been abandoned and left ravaged. The rich grow more wealthy with each passing day, and the rest are left to simply survive. This elite society doesn’t welcome Hubert, Etc (a shortened version of his 20 plus names), so he decides to walk away and head into the great, unknown world beyond. This novel was inspired by Rebecca Solnit’s A Paradise Built in Hell, and ambitious book clubs might decide to tackle both to discuss the similarities.
Criminal Minds fans, we think this will be right up your alley. In this book, author Michael Cannell tells the story of a series of bombings in New York City, with the perpetrator leaving only the letters “FP” at the scene. Worse still, this went on for years–16 of them, to be more precise. After struggling to find the culprit, the police department brought in a psychiatrist to help get inside the head of whoever was committing these crimes. For readers who love the 1940s and 1950s, adore the Big Apple, and are fascinated by criminal profiling, this book is guaranteed to captivate.
Elana K. Arnold explores love, growing up, and girlhood in this visceral young adult novel. Sixteen-year-old Nina Faye will never forget the day that her mother told her that unconditional love didn’t exist, and that anyone could stop loving her at the drop of a hat. Nina believes this, but still finds herself bending over backwards to keep her boyfriend’s affections. When he leaves her anyway, she feels unmoored. She ruminates on a trip to Italy where her mother showed her the tortures that befell saints due to their unwavering beliefs. In a starred review, Kirkus called this novel “Unflinchingly candid, unapologetically girl, and devastatingly vital.”