13 new books to read with your virtual book club in May
Looking for something new to read?
We don’t know about you, but ever since lockdown began we’ve found ourselves steadily working our way through our ‘to read’ pile — and picking up some more brilliant reads (because who couldn’t use a good book right about now?).
Bookshops across Ireland may not technically be open at the moment, but many of them are still processing orders and shipping them throughout the country.
Basically, it’s the perfect time to stock up on new books — and thankfully, there are plenty of great titles hitting shelves this month.
The Goodbye Man by Jeffery Deaver
In pursuit of two armed fugitives in the wilderness of Washington State, unique investigator Colter Shaw witnesses a shocking suicide. This leads him to the Foundation - a cult that promises to transform peoples lives. But is there more to it than meets the eye?
Shaw goes undercover to expose the Foundation's real purpose. Before long he meets the charismatic leader Master Eli, a man who commands terrifying loyalty from his followers.
Something truly dark is going on beneath the surface of the idyllic community. And as Shaw peels back the layers of truth, he begins to see there is only one way to escape the Foundation... and the price for that freedom might well be your very life.
Just My Luck by Adele Parks
It’s the stuff dreams are made of – a lottery win so big, it changes everything.
For fifteen years, Lexi and Jake have played the same six numbers with their friends, the Pearsons and the Heathcotes. Over dinner parties, fish & chip suppers and summer barbecues, they’ve discussed the important stuff – the kids, marriages, jobs and houses – and they’ve laughed off their disappointment when they failed to win anything more than a tenner.
But then, one Saturday night, the unthinkable happens. There’s a rift in the group. Someone doesn’t tell the truth. And soon after, six numbers come up which change everything forever. Lexi and Jake have a ticket worth £18 million. And their friends are determined to claim a share of it.
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins
It is the morning of the reaping that will kick off the tenth annual Hunger Games. In the Capitol, eighteen-year-old Coriolanus Snow is preparing for his one shot at glory as a mentor in the Games. The once-mighty house of Snow has fallen on hard times, its fate hanging on the slender chance that Coriolanus will be able to outcharm, outwit, and outmaneuver his fellow students to mentor the winning tribute.
The odds are against him. He's been given the humiliating assignment of mentoring the female tribute from District 12, the lowest of the low. Their fates are now completely intertwined — every choice Coriolanus makes could lead to favour or failure, triumph or ruin. Inside the arena, it will be a fight to the death. Outside the arena, Coriolanus starts to feel for his doomed tribute... and must weigh his need to follow the rules against his desire to survive no matter what it takes.
Stray by Stephanie Danler
After selling her first novel--a dream she'd worked long and hard for--Stephanie Danler knew she should be happy. Instead, she found herself driven to face the difficult past she'd left behind a decade ago: a mother disabled by years of alcoholism, further handicapped by a tragic brain aneurysm; a father who abandoned the family when she was three, now a meth addict in and out of recovery.
After years in New York City she's pulled home to Southern California by forces she doesn't totally understand, haunted by questions of legacy and trauma. Here, she works toward answers, uncovering hard truths about her parents and herself as she explores whether it's possible to change the course of her history.
Heatstroke by Hazel Barkworth
It is too hot to sleep. To work. To be questioned time and again by the police. At the beginning of a stifling, sultry summer, everything shifts irrevocably when Lily doesn't come home one afternoon.
Rachel is Lily's teacher. Her daughter Mia is Lily's best friend. The girls are fifteen - almost women, still children. As Rachel becomes increasingly fixated on Lily's absence, she finds herself breaking fragile trusts and confronting impossible choices she never thought she'd face.
It wasn't supposed to happen like this.
His And Hers by Alice Feeney
When a woman is murdered in Blackdown village, newsreader Anna Andrews is reluctant to cover the case. Anna’s ex-husband, DCI Jack Harper, is suspicious of her involvement, until he becomes a suspect in his own murder investigation.
Someone is lying, and some secrets are worth killing to keep.
The Disappearance of Stephanie Mailer by Joel Dicker
In the summer of 1994, the quiet seaside town of Orphea reels from the discovery of two brutal murders.
Confounding their superiors, two young police officers, Jesse Rosenberg and Derek Scott crack the case and arrest the murderer, earning themselves handsome promotions and the lasting respect of their colleagues.
But twenty years later, just as he is on the point of taking early retirement, Rosenberg is approached by Stephanie Mailer, a journalist who believes he made a mistake back in 1994 and that the real murderer is still out there, perhaps ready to strike again. Before she can give any more details however, Stephanie Mailer mysteriously disappears without trace, and Rosenberg and Scott are forced to confront the awful possibility that her suspicions might have been proved horribly true.
What happened to Stephanie Mailer? What did she know? And what really happened in Orphea all those years ago?
The Italian Escape by Catherine Mangan
Niamh Kelly has made a right pig's ear of her life thus far. She's thirty-three, still living at home and was recently dumped ... by her boss. So when her sister invites her to tag along on a work trip to Italy's Ligurian coast, impulsive Niamh jumps at the chance, and discovers a world of wine, opportunity and friendship.
Having fallen in love with the town of Camogli, she decides to stay and open a coffee shop - even if she has no idea what she's doing. But when a sudden family tragedy and a tricky tourist season threaten her new business, Niamh isn't so sure she can stick it out.
With help from her new-found community, can she make her new life a success?
The Down Days by Ilze Hugo
In the aftermath of a deadly outbreak--reminiscent of the 1962 event of mass hysteria that was the Tanganyika Laughter Epidemic--a city at the tip of Africa is losing its mind, with residents experiencing hallucinations and paranoia. Is it simply another episode of mass hysteria, or something more sinister? In a quarantined city in which the inexplicable has already occurred, rumors, superstitions, and conspiracy theories abound.
During these strange days, Faith works as a fulltime corpse collector and a freelance "truthologist," putting together disparate pieces of information to solve problems. But after Faith agrees to help an orphaned girl find her abducted baby brother, she begins to wonder whether the boy is even real. Meanwhile, a young man named Sans who trades in illicit goods is so distracted by a glimpse of his dream woman that he lets a bag of money he owes his gang partners go missing-leaving him desperately searching for both and soon questioning his own sanity.
Over the course of a single week, the paths of Faith, Sans, and a cast of other hustlers--including a data dealer, a drug addict, a sin eater, and a hyena man--will cross and intertwine as they move about the city, looking for lost souls, uncertain absolution, and answers that may not exist.
The New Girl by Harriet Walker
Glamorous Margot Jones is the fashion editor at glossy women's magazine Haute, and pregnant with her first child. Margot's used to her carefully curated life being the object of other women's envy - who wouldn't want her successful career, loving husband, beautiful house and stylish wardrobe?
Maggie, a freelance journalist, certainly knows she doesn't measure up. So when Margot gets in touch to suggest she apply for her maternity cover at Haute, Maggie seizes the chance at living a better life - even if it's only temporary.
But the simultaneous arrival of Margot's baby and a brutal end to her oldest friendship sends Margot into a spiral of suspicion and paranoia. Are Maggie's motives as innocent as they seem? And what happens at the end of the year when Margot wants her old life back - especially if Maggie decides she doesn't want to leave?
Looking for Eliza by Leaf Arbuthnot
Ada is a widowed writer, navigating loneliness in Oxford after the death of her husband. She has no children. No grandchildren. She fears she is becoming peripheral, another invisible woman.
Eliza is a student at the university. She finds it difficult to form meaningful relationships after the estrangement of her mother and breakup with her girlfriend.
After meeting through Ada's new venture, 'Rent-a-Gran', and bonding over Lapsang Souchong tea and Primo Levi, they begin to find what they're looking for in each other. But can they cast off their isolation for good?
Big Summer by Jennifer Weiner
Six years after the fight that ended their friendship, Daphne Berg is shocked when Drue Cavanaugh walks back into her life, looking as lovely and successful as ever, with a massive favor to ask. Daphne hasn't spoken one word to Drue in all this time--she doesn't even hate-follow her ex-best friend on social media--so when Drue asks if she will be her maid-of-honor at the society wedding of the summer, Daphne is rightfully speechless.
Drue was always the one who had everything--except the ability to hold onto friends. Meanwhile, Daphne's no longer the same self-effacing sidekick she was back in high school. She's built a life that she loves, including a growing career as a plus-size Instagram influencer. Letting glamorous, seductive Drue back into her life is risky, but it comes with an invitation to spend a weekend in a waterfront Cape Cod mansion. When Drue begs and pleads and dangles the prospect of cute single guys, Daphne finds herself powerless as ever to resist her friend's siren song.
Dear Child by Romy Hausmann
A windowless shack in the woods. Lena's life and that of her two children follows the rules set by their captor, the father: Meals, bathroom visits, study time are strictly scheduled and meticulously observed. He protects his family from the dangers lurking in the outside world and makes sure that his children will always have a mother to look after them.
One day Lena manages to flee - but the nightmare continues. It seems as if her tormentor wants to get back what belongs to him. And then there is the question whether she really is the woman called 'Lena', who disappeared without a trace 14 years ago. The police and Lena's family are all desperately trying to piece together a puzzle which doesn't quite seem to fit.