There is going to be no dearth of great new books to dip into in the month of May. The options are going to be varied too, which includes the likes of a former flight attendant’s memoir to fantasy, non-fiction, thrillers, horror, adventure, and whatnot. Any book of any genre that you wish to read, and you can have it all this month. Here are some of the best titles coming out this month to help you get started.
Fly Girl: A Memoir by Ann Hood
In the book Fly Girl, Hood takes us into everything that she went through as a successful flight attendant. It was also a dream come true for Hood who landed the job of a flight attendant just out of college. Also, while it is the glamor and style associated with the job that catches the attention right away, the fact is that it’s a grueling schedule that one has to go through, clear a punishing training session, learn a lot of things and go about doing it all with a smile plastered on your face at all times, no matter the turbulence your plane or life is going through.
That said, the job is also about a lot of fun, getting to travel to unknown destinations, eat different cuisines, and meet with a lot of people in between. Set in 1978 which is also when the golden age of air travel was on its last legs, the book provides a rare and perhaps nostalgic account of what life was like behind the scenes back then. Hood was also among those who witnessed the transition that the airline industry went through – from an era of opulence to just the bare necessities. What seems amply clear from the book is that the job of a flight attendant is an adventure in life that you’d like to get into again and again no matter what.
This Time Tomorrow by Emma Straub
It’s a love story right but with humor and heart thrown in in good measure. The story revolves around Alice who falls asleep on her 40th birthday and wakes up to find she is reliving her 16th birthday. Now that’s quite something, to be back to the teen years which isn’t just about bubbling with excitement in your own life but also seeing your near and dear ones strong and young all over again.
In the story, Alice seems to be particularly excited about her dad whose failing health has been a constant source of worry while she was in her 40s. Now, while she is back being a 16-year old, getting to see her father hale and hearty is one of the best things she could have ever dreamed of. Does that mean she can do something that will let her have the sort of life and things around her the way she wants it to be? Grab a copy of the book to find out more.
Trust By Hernan Diaz
Benjamin and Helen Rask are a star couple that everyone in New York looks up to. Almost all of that has to do with the seemingly endless wealth they have amassed. While Helen hails from an aristocratic background, Benjamin has come to be known as a Wall Street tycoon, and a mighty successful one at that too. So far so good but both are also the center of many gossip stories where many speculate their wealth-making tactics reek of many a dark secret.
Now that’s just a part of the real plot given that there is also another plot that plays its part within the bigger plot, something that makes it a gem of a literary piece. There is suspense and thrill in almost every chapter that is waiting to get the better of you as you go about unraveling the hidden mysteries, the fact from the fiction, and the truth behind the myth.
‘My Seven Black Fathers: A Young Activist’s Memoir of Race, Family, and the Mentors Who Made Him Whole,’ by Will Jawando
Yemi is a black young man growing up in America and lives with his single white mother. Yemi also has a Nigerian connection as that is where his father hailed from. That is also where the complications start as the color of his skin is not something that his native Americans are quite fond of. However, just when the author thinks his self-esteem and the yearning to struggle in life had hit a nadir he hits upon seven fine gentlemen who shape him into the man he is now, a civil rights and education policy attorney as well as a civic leader. Interestingly, one among the seven happen to be none other than the ex-president Barack Obama who had made him his associate director of public engagement at the White House. What’s more, in a strange twist of events, Will even gets to reconcile with his father as well.
Mean Baby: A Memoir of Growing Up by Selma Blair
Here is another memoir that provides us an insight into the inner world of celebrities, the real story behind the external facade of glamor and glitz. The book also shines a light on the complexities involved in the relationship between a mother and daughter. The story also brings forth the experiences that Blair went through, which include getting addicted to booze while she was just seven. Thereafter there have been eating disorders as well as depression that has been her constant companions. In between, there sure have been moments of fun and laughter as well as those that have been a source of pain for Blair. In the end, the memoir turns out to be one that brings out all the facts with amazing clarity and honesty in a manner that can make you laugh your heart out while also serving as an eye-opener into the intricacies of life in Hollywood.
The Hacienda by Isabel Cañas
In a classic example of the heart ruling over the head, Beatriz goes on to marry the handsome Don Rodolfo Solórzano while choosing to ignore all the rumors of his first wife’s demise under mysterious circumstances. Instead, she had hoped to settle down in the safe recluse of the Hacienda San Isidro. Little did she know the sheer horror that is awaiting her in the otherwise serene and calm looking Hacienda set amidst the beautiful countryside.
Later, when Rodolfo goes back to work in the city, strange voices and visions come to haunt Beatriz while she is sleeping. She also gets the eerie feeling of invisible beings following her, things that Rodolfo’s sister, Juana refuses to pay heed to. But then, Juana herself is scared to enter Hacienda after dark. The cook too takes to burning copal incense on the kitchen’s edge while inscribing strange symbols on its doorway. It is here that Beatriz begins to wonder as to what Doña Solórzano might have gone through and what happened to her in the end.
Desperate for a way out, Beatriz seeks help from the young local priest, Padre Andrés. Now, Andrés too might be the best person to deal with the situation given his own special powers. He is also determined to take on the dark powers, perhaps more so given the sense of weakness that he develops for the young woman. However, will Andrés be able to defeat the darkness that seems to have the better of him?
All of this makes The Hacienda a must-read for fans of horror stories.
River of the Gods: Genius, Courage, and Betrayal in the Search for the Source of the Nile by Candice Millard
The River of the Gods is an adventure story at its roots but has other elements such as ambushes, rivalry, and false starts thrown in though it is the human pursuit of conquest that triumphs in the end. The story revolves around the explorer Richard Burton who loved to speak different languages and knew 25 of those. He was also perhaps as much addicted to sex as he loved to explore the unknown. The journey he took to discover the headwaters of the Nile in 1857 is also considered one of his greatest adventures as well.
In the book, author Candice Millard provides a graphic account of the epic trip back in those days when men had to depend more on their instincts than instruments. If the journey itself wasn’t challenging enough, the explorer also had to endure competition from fellow traveler John Hanning. The competition was such that there were frequent clashes as well. The book also brings to focus the story of another man, African guide Sidi Mubarak Bombay who have largely been ignored in the history books.
Liarmouth: A Feel-Bad Romance By John Waters
Sex, crime, and an almost unending stream of lies, that’s how John Waters’ latest literary piece, Liarmouth can be described best. Marsha Sprinkle is a suitcase thief and a scammer par excellence but is able to dodge the law each time thanks to her uncanny ability of camouflage. So much off the track that she has got into that her own family disowns her and would even prefer to see her dead. For her family, she is Liarmouth though things take a dramatic shift once she meets a man who, as they say, makes her tell the truth.
Overboard by Sara Paretsky
Detective V.I. Warshawski is on the trail of a missing girl who is later found injured and hiding near Lake Michigan. However, the case takes on a different turn once the girl is reported missing from the hospital. Little did V.I. know she is up against something more sinister and elaborate than she had ever expected. In pursuit of the missing girl, V.I. soon finds herself dealing with an organized crime syndicate involving corrupt officials in Chicago as well as some of the most dangerous criminals to walk the city streets. V.I. is however determined to take things apart to unravel the truth and won’t even let the pandemic undermine her efforts.
Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt
The book delves into the intricate but honest relationship that develops between an octopus and Tova, a widowed aquarium employee. If losing her husband wasn’t enough, Tova also had to endure the disappearance of her 18-year old son Erik on a boat 30-years ago under mysterious circumstances.
Now, Marcellus, the old giant Pacific octopus living in the aquarium known more than anyone could have ever imagined. The eight-legged creature is also determined to make good use of every ounce of his strength and intellect to trace the missing kid. Marcellus not only has to find out what led to the disappearance of Erik but has to get his act right in tracing the young man before it’s too late.
As it is, octopuses have always been known to be smarter than we humans have ever thought possible and the story brings to light the same all over again. The story also shows how the secrets from the past can help sort things out in the future and help achieve things that may not have felt possible otherwise.
With a keen interest in tech, I make it a point to keep myself updated on the latest developments in technology and gadgets. That includes smartphones or tablet devices but stretches to even AI and self-driven automobiles, the latter being my latest fad. Besides writing, I like watching videos, reading, listening to music, or experimenting with different recipes. The motion picture is another aspect that interests me a lot, and I'll likely make a film sometime in the future.