The month of May is here again, which means it's finally time to start thinking about your summer reading list. No, we’re not talking about those dreaded textbooks which your school might have encouraged you to read before September. We’re talking about the array of fun and fantastical reads which are being released over the coming months.
After all, there really is nothing better on a sunny, May afternoon than being able to sit down in the garden with a lovely cup of tea in one hand and a thrilling new read in the other.
Down below, we’ve rounded up the best new books which we’re dying to dive into this month. If you’re planning a summer holiday, then any one of these May releases would make a perfect companion.
Check out our top reading recommendations of new releases down below:
Book Lovers by Emily Henry – out now
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Beach Read and People We Meet on Vacation comes Book Lovers, a charming rom-com about Nora, a cutthroat literary agent who believes herself to be nobody’s heroine, and Charlie, a bookish brooding editor from back in the city who knows he’s nobody’s hero.
As the two bump into each other again and again — in a series of coincidences no editor worth their salt would allow — what they discover might just unravel the carefully crafted stories they’ve written about themselves.
The Last To Disappear by Jo Spain – out on May 10
When young London professional Alex Evans is informed that his sister’s body has been pulled from an icy lake in Northern Lapland, he assumes his irresponsible sister accidentally drowned. He travels to the wealthy winter resort where Vicky worked as a tour-guide and meets Agatha Koskinen, the detective in charge. Agatha is a no-nonsense single mother of three who already thinks there’s more to Vicky’s case than meets the eye.
As the two form an unlikely alliance, Alex also begins to suspect the small town where his sister lived and died is harbouring secrets. It’s not long before he learns that three other women have gone missing from the area in the past and that his sister may have left him a message.
Sorry For Your Trouble by Ann Marie Hourihane – Paperback out now
In Sorry for Your Trouble, Ann Marie Hourihane holds up a mirror to the Irish way of death: the funny bits, the sad bits, and the hard-to-explain bits that tell us so much about who we are. She follows the last weeks of a woman's life in hospice; she witnesses an embalming; she attends inquests; she talks to people working to prevent suicide; she follows the team of specialists working to locate the remains of people 'disappeared' by the IRA; and she visits some of Ireland's most contested graves. She also explores the strange and sometimes surprising histories of Irish death practices, from the traditional wake and ritual lamentations to the busy commerce between anatomists and bodysnatchers. And she goes to funerals, of ordinary and extraordinary people all over the country – including that of her own father.
Sorry for Your Trouble sheds fresh, wise and witty light on a key pillar of Irish culture: a vast but strangely underexplored subject.
The Echo Chamber by John Boyne – Paperback out May 12
Powered by John Boyne's characteristic humour and razor-sharp observation, The Echo Chamber is a satiric helter skelter, a dizzying downward spiral of action and consequence, poised somewhere between farce, absurdity and oblivion. To err is maybe to be human but to really foul things up you only need a phone.
The Belladonna Maze by Sinead Crowley – out now
An old house can hold many secrets. Hollow park in the west of Ireland certainly does. At the heart of the gardens is an intricate maze, named after a deadly poison, Belladonna. If you know the way through, it's magical, a hiding place and playground like no other. If you don't, it's a place of fear and sinister riddles, where a young girl once went missing and was never seen again.
A Mother’s Heart by Carmel Harrington – out May 26
Hawkes Bay, New Zealand:
While Rachel Butler likes her life in a pretty Dublin coastal village, her heart lies in Hawkes Bay, where she grew up. Visiting for the first time since tragedy tore her family apart, she and her stepchildren fall for its beauty and outdoor lifestyle.
As Rachel picks up the threads of her life as a single parent, she can’t shake off the memories of her loving family in New Zealand – and her dream house, the villa on the bay. But it’s time to move forwards with their life in Ireland, close to the children’s grandparents, amid the familiar surroundings they all know well.
Until the children’s grandmother, still grieving, starts to interfere, questioning Rachel’s position as stepmother.
Until Rachel’s attempts to strengthen the family she loves so dearly backfires, pitting everyone against each other.
And until her late husband’s parents mend the rift that has existed as long as she’s been married – bringing with them an explosive secret….
Family Of Liars by E. Lockhart – out now
The thrilling prequel to the TikTok phenomenon and #1 New York Times bestseller We Were Liars takes readers back to the story of another summer, another generation, and the secrets that will haunt them for decades to come.
A windswept private island off the coast of Massachusetts.
A hungry ocean, churning with secrets and sorrow.
A fiery, addicted heiress. An irresistible, unpredictable boy.
A summer of unforgivable betrayal and terrible mistakes.
Welcome back to the Sinclair family.
They were always liars.
Together We Burn by Isabel Ibañez – out May 31
An ancient city plagued by dragons. A flamenco dancer determined to save her ancestral home. A dragon hunter refusing to teach her his ways. They don't want each other, but they need each other, and without him her world will burn.
This Time Tomorrow by Emma Straub – out May 17
On the eve of her 40th birthday, Alice's life isn't terrible. She likes her job, even if it isn't exactly the one she expected. She's happy with her apartment, her romantic status, her independence, and she adores her lifelong best friend. But her father is ailing, and it feels to her as if something is missing. When she wakes up the next morning she finds herself back in 1996, reliving her 16th birthday. But it isn't just her adolescent body that shocks her, or seeing her high school crush, it's her dad: the vital, charming, 40-something version of her father with whom she is reunited. Now armed with a new perspective on her own life and his, some past events take on new meaning. Is there anything that she would change if she could?
Sparring Partners by John Grisham – out May 31
#1 New York Times bestselling author John Grisham is the acknowledged master of the legal thriller. In his first collection of novellas, law is a common thread, but America’s favourite storyteller has several surprises in store.