Whether you’re looking for a great book to pack in a picnic basket or just want to avoid spring cleaning (hey, we don’t blame you), May has plenty of fantastic reads in store: Everything from compulsively readable memoirs like Gabourey Sidibe’s essays and David Sedaris’ diaries to vacation-ready page-turners from Dennis Lehane and Edan Lepucki.
Check out EW’s May recommendations, below.
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1. Gabourey Sidibe, This Is Just My Face (May 1)
The Empire and Precious star spun her droll Twitter account into a book deal — but unlike other social-media-savvy starlets, Sidibe, who grew up in New York City with a stern Senegalese father and has struggled with body image, actually has something to say. (And don’t worry, you’ll still laugh out loud, too.) Order it here.
2. Lisa Ko, The Leavers (May 2)
When Deming Guo was 11, his Chinese immigrant mother, Polly, left for work at a nail salon and never returned. In alternating perspectives, this heart-wrenching literary debut tells both of their stories. Order it here.
3. Patricia Lockwood, Priestdaddy (May 2)
In this strange, charming memoir, Lockwood, a poet, juxtaposes stories from her childhood — her father was a Catholic priest — against the months she and her husband spent living in her childhood home. Order it here.
4. W. Kamau Bell, The Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell (May 2)
Bell, the host of CNN’s United Shades of America, tackles everything from racism to his life growing up as a Blerd (Black nerd) to his struggles to find his comedic voice in this illuminating memoir. Order it here.
5. Emily Barr, The One Memory of Flora Banks (May 2)
Despite having no short-term memory, 17-year-old Flora Banks decides to travel all the way to Svalbard, Norway, after receiving an email from Drake, her best friend’s boyfriend — and the subject of her only memory: kissing him before they left. Barr’s YA debut is a riveting page-turner that will keep you hooked till the end. Order it here.
6. Dennis Lehane, Since We Fell (May 9)
The latest page-turner from Shutter Island and Mystic River author Lehane centers on Rachel Childs, a journalist who’s lived a relatively reclusive life after suffering an on-air breakdown, as she gets unexpectedly sucked into a mind-boggling conspiracy. Order it here.
7. Edan Lepucki, Woman No. 17 (May 9)
Lepucki, author of the 2014 dystopian novel California, takes the Golden State as inspiration once again in this dark tale about a writer in Hollywood who, taking a break from her husband, grows close to the mysterious artist she hires as a live-in nanny. Order it here.
8. Paul Theroux, Mother Land (May 9)
Set on Cape Cod, Mother Land centers on a cruel, narcissistic matriarch and the ways she controls her husband and their seven now-grown children, often expertly pitting them against one another. Order it here.
9. Julie Murphy, Ramona Blue (May 9)
In the Dumplin’ author’s new novel, Ramona, a six feet tall teenager with blue hair, must juggle familial responsibilities with a new love of swimming and a familiar old friendship — all while questioning her sexual fluidity. Order it here.
10. Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich, The Fact of a Body (May 16)