Posted April 28, 2014 by in Awesome Books

May 2014 Books Worth Anticipating

Through websites like Goodreads, NetGalley and Edelweiss, I get a bit of an advanced look at some of the biggest titles set for release in upcoming months. Here’s a sneak peek of the ten May 2014 books I’m most looking forward to:


 all the light we cannot see

1.      All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (May 6th)

Anthony Doerr is the author of some terrific short stories as well as a memoir, Four Seasons in Rome, which I included in my Italian reading list last summer. His new novel is set in Saint-Malo, on France’s Brittany coast, during the Second World War. Marie-Laure, whose father is master of the locks at Paris’s Museum of Natural History, loses her sight at the age of six. Meanwhile, in Germany, an orphan boy named Werner discovers he has a talent for repairing radios. The war will bring these two richly imagined characters together in an entirely unexpected way.



2.      Delicious! by Ruth Reichl (May 6th)

Ruth Reichl is a wonderful food writer: no surprise, since she has been chief restaurant critic for both the Los Angeles Times and the New York Times, as well as editor-in-chief of Gourmet Magazine. In her first novel, Billie Breslin travels from California to New York to take up a job with new culinary magazine Delicious! Through her work and her downtown wanderings, Billie learns more than she thought she ever would about the history of food – and about herself.


in velvet

3.      In Velvet by Burt Weissbourd (May 13th)

A bear biologist at Yellowstone National Park discovers some unusual animal behavior, as well as some startling genetic defects, in this out-of-the-ordinary wildlife-themed thriller from Burt Weissbourd, a former film producer now at work on his fourth novel.


the boy in his winter

4.      The Boy in His Winter by Norman Lock (May 13th)

Norman Lock extends the tale of Huckleberry Finn, first imagined by Mark Twain, across three centuries of American history. Huck’s raft washes up on shore after Hurricane Katrina; he narrates the novel as an old man in 2077, when he can look back on the full sweep of the South’s transformation, including the Civil War, Reconstruction, and the suppression of Native Americans.


the possibilities

5.      The Possibilities by Kaui Hart Hemmings (May 13th)

Sarah St. John’s son died in an avalanche in their Colorado ski town three months ago; now she must find ways of coping with her own grief, at the same time as she shares it with friends and family, including her son’s estranged father. I loved the 2011 George Clooney movie The Descendants, which was based on Hemmings’s previous book. This new novel takes up some of those same themes of bereavement and family secrets, treated in her trademark wry tone.


next life might be

6.      Next Life Might Be Kinder by Howard Norman (May 13th)

“After my wife, Elizabeth Church, was murdered by the bellman Alfonse Padgett in the Essex Hotel, she did not leave me.” What an opening line! And what a curious strategy: revealing the crime and the murderer all at once, and then suggesting an afterlife. Sam Lattimore met Elizabeth in a Halifax art gallery in the 1970s. The novel tracks their relationship, as well as the peculiar trajectory of Sam’s life without her. Howard Norman is one of those authors I’ve always meant to get into, so this seems a perfect place to start.


bellweather rhapsody

7.      Bellweather Rhapsody by Kate Racculia (May 13th)

Kate Racculia pours the guilty pleasures of Glee into her second novel, which centers on an ill-fated high school music festival. An orchestra member disappears from Room 712 of the Bellweather hotel, the very room where, 15 years ago, a murder-suicide occurred. As a blizzard threatens and the crime’s one witness returns to the scene, each soloist, including shy bassoon player Rabbit Hatmaker, gets a chance to have his or her say.


wynne's war

8.      Wynne’s War by Aaron Gwyn (May 20th)

Aaron Gwyn’s second novel is a modern war story, set in Afghanistan and Iraq, crossed with an old-fashioned Western: Captain Wynne has the unenviable task of driving his battalion’s horses through the mountains of enemy territory. Gwyn researched this novel by interviewing dozens of veterans, including Army Rangers and Green Berets.


appetite for violets

9.      An Appetite for Violets by Martine Bailey (May 22nd)

In Martine Bailey’s debut novel, Biddy Leigh, a bubbly eighteenth-century kitchen servant, travels with her master’s new wife from their English manor house to Tuscany, where she finds herself caught up in a murder mystery. This fresh work of historical fiction was inspired by Bailey’s reading of antique cookbooks. [This is the UK release date; the book won’t reach the U.S. until January 13th, 2015 (St. Martin’s Press).]


the tastemakers

10.  The Tastemakers: Why We’re Crazy for Cupcakes but Fed Up with Fondue by David Sax (May 27th)

David Sax, a Canadian journalist, takes readers on a tour through modern food fads, attempting to explain what becomes popular when, and why. Similarly, what happens to cause certain foodstuffs to then fall out of fashion? He has also written a history of the Jewish deli, entitled Save the Deli.



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

May 2014 Books Worth Anticipating 5.00/5 (100.00%) 1 vote

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.