Posted March 31, 2014 by in Book Lists

10 April Books Worth Anticipating

Through websites like Goodreads, NetGalley and Edelweiss, I get a bit of a sneak peek at some of the biggest titles set for release in upcoming months. Here are ten of the books being published this April that I’m most looking forward to:


Look Who's Back

1. Look Who’s Back by Timur Vermes (April 3rd)

This one has already been a bestseller (1.3 million copies) in Vermes’s native Germany, and is set to make a splash in English-speaking countries too. The premise of the novel is that Adolf Hitler did not commit suicide in his underground bunker; rather, he survived and ‘woke up’ in Germany in 2011. This first-person narrative promises to be irascible and politically incorrect – I’m hoping for the kind of dark, iconoclastic humor I loved in Shalom Auslander’s Hope: A Tragedy (which, in a somewhat similar plotline, posits that Anne Frank is still alive and living in an attic in upstate New York). [Check out my Bibliophile’s Miscellany of postmodern Holocaust literature for more darkly comic tales in the same vein.]


First Fifteen Lives

2. The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North (April 8th)

North’s debut novel sounds a lot like Kate Atkinson’s Life After Life (which Lauren reviewed for us here): the title character keeps dying and being resurrected into his childhood to start it all over again. The time travel aspect never becomes far-fetched, though, but remains a believable literary format for examining chance, regret, and what can be salvaged from the wreckage of mistakes.


plover doyle

3. The Plover by Brian Doyle (April 8th)

This is Doyle’s second novel set on the Oregon coast. His protagonist, Declan O’Donnell, sails out onto the open ocean, determined to leave behind all the people and problems that plague him. Yet, despite this hermit’s wish, his boat starts to fill up with unexpected visitors of every variety… It sounds like the best maritime allegory since Life of Pi.


dirty daddy

4. Dirty Daddy by Bob Saget (April 8th)

Hey, we’re all Full House fans here; there’s no shame in that. So I can’t wait to hear what the real-life “Danny Tanner” was like. Hint: I’ve heard he’s not nearly as squeaky clean as his television counterpart. This tell-all celebrity memoir (a genre I usually avoid like the plague) promises to reveal the reality of backstage life on Full House and America’s Funniest Home Videos, plus lots more about some of America’s most beloved comedians.


run don't walk

5. Run, Don’t Walk: The Curious and Chaotic Life of a Physical Therapist Inside Walter Reed Army Medical Center by Adele Levine (April 10th)

The NetGalley blurb describes this one as “M*A*S*H meets Scrubs in a sharply observant, darkly funny, and totally unique debut memoir” from a physical therapist who worked with soldiers returning from Afghanistan and Iraq. Levine introduces some unforgettable characters with unbelievable stories.


home sweet anywhere

6. Home Sweet Anywhere: How We Sold Our House, Created a New Life, and Saw the World by Lynne Martin (April 15th)

Sure to induce envy in would-be wanderers everywhere, Martin’s account of her travels with her husband Tim swings from Mexico to Marrakech. Since their decision to live “home-free,” Lynne and Tim have resided in Argentina, Turkey, France, Italy, Great Britain, and Ireland; they currently have no permanent address and hope to keep it that way. She also founded a Hollywood PR firm and a gourmet cheese company, and has four children and seven grandchildren – what an eventful life!



7. Thunderstruck & Other Stories by Elizabeth McCracken (April 22nd)

McCracken’s memoir of losing a child, An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination, is one of the best books I’ve read in recent years (I featured it in my article on cathartic books). I also enjoyed her novel The Giant’s House, about a Cape Cod librarian who forms an unusual friendship with an outsized man. So now I’m looking forward to trying out the short stories in this collection preoccupied with loss and missing persons.


lovers at the

8. Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932 by Francine Prose (April 22nd)

Set in Paris between the 1920s and World War II, Prose’s latest novel (her seventeenth!) was originally intended to be a nonfiction study of the Hungarian photographer George Brassaï, who took a famous photograph of lovers at a Montparnasse nightclub. Instead, Prose decided to weave the histories of Brassaï, Henry Miller, Peggy Guggenheim, and a famous lesbian athlete, Violette Morris, all thinly-veiled, into a fictional account told by multiple narrators. I’m expecting a fast-paced, bohemian romp – but with some serious themes, too, as the Nazi threat grows.


struck by genius

9. Struck by Genius: How a Brain Injury Made Me a Mathematical Marvel by Jason Padgett with Maureen Ann Seaberg (April 22nd)

I love memoirs about unexplained medical phenomena (such as two recent amnesia memoirs I reviewed for BookTrib, I Forgot to Remember by Su Meck with Daniel de Visé, and The Answer to the Riddle is Me by David Stuart MacLean, or Brain on Fire by Susannah Cahalan). Padgett’s promises to be another great addition to the genre. After a violent mugging, he discovered that his brain worked differently: he was now a math and physics whiz, and he saw complicated geometric figures everywhere he looked – turning them into beautifully precise works of art.


wives of los

10. The Wives of Los Alamos by TaraShea Nesbit (April 24th)

I’m always intrigued by novels written in the rare first-person plural narrative voice. This one should be particularly interesting because it tells the collective story of the women who accompanied their scientist husbands to the Los Alamos site where the atomic bomb was built. While history was being made on base, the wives were mostly distracted by the business of everyday life – but they would still come to share in the guilt about what this invention would mean to the world.



Maybe I’ll even manage to review a couple of these for you next month! Stay tuned…

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Rebecca Foster

An American transplant to Reading, England – a fitting place for a fiendish bibliophile. After six years as a library assistant, I am recklessly embarking on a freelance writing career. I review books for Kirkus Indie, The Bookbag, For Books' Sake, We Love This Book, and Bookmarks magazine, and also volunteer with Greenbelt Festival's literature program. I read everything from theology to popular science, but some favorite genres are literary fiction, biography and memoir, historical fiction, graphic novels, and nature writing. Check out all my articles.