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Arts + Culture

7 Amazing Books to Read this May

From a psychological thriller to a laugh-out-loud memoir, these are the seven books you won’t be able to put down this month. Happy reading!

See recent posts by April Ellis

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1

Into the Water, Paula Hawkins

When The Girl on the Train came out in 2015, it instantly flew off the shelves as the summer’s must-read. Now, author Paula Hawkins returns with her much-anticipated sequel, Into the Water. Similar to her debut novel, this thriller is stacked with suspicious characters and suspenseful plot twists, all centered around a woman whose body was found floating in the river. As the investigation unfolds, you’ll find that this isn’t the first death in this rural British town—and it may not be the last.

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2

Priestdaddy, Patricia Lockwood

If you thought nonfiction is dry and boring, Patricia Lockwood’s Priestdaddy is sure to prove you wrong. The laugh-out-loud memoir shows what it’s like to grow up as the daughter of a non-traditional Catholic priest, and how things change when she and her husband move back into the family home as adults. Although half the reason we love the book is thanks to her poetic yet profane writing, the narrative would be nothing without its central figure: her endearing father.

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3

Since We Fell, Dennis Lehane

From the genius behind Shutter Island and Mystic River, comes this year’s blockbuster hit, Since We Fell. The psychological page-turner follows Rachel Childs, a former journalist who gets sucked into a conspiracy theory after an on-air breakdown. We don’t want to give too much away, but with a bone-chilling first line like “On a Tuesday in May, in her thirty-fifth year, Rachel shot her husband dead,” we know you’ll be hanging on until the last word.

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4

Anything is Possible, Elizabeth Strout

The Pulitzer Prize-winning Elizabeth Strout is back at it again. But spoiler alert: despite its cheery title, this is definitely not a light beach read. The piece is a collection of short stories surrounding a cast of small-town people who are painfully connected through family drama and the trauma of their pasts. Threaded with loneliness, pity, desperation, and forbidden desire, Anything is Possible slowly reveals each of their deepest and darkest secrets.

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5

Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign, Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes

Let’s get real—no matter which side of the aisle you’re on, you just can’t escape America’s heated political climate. In Shattered, reporters Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes take a deep dive into dissecting Clinton’s campaign. And don’t worry, you won’t find any “alternative facts” here—hundreds of behind-the-scenes interviews went into their research, resulting in an eye-opening exposé of the election.

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6

And We’re Off, Dana Schwartz

Just in time for Mother’s Day, And We’re Off tells the heart-warming tale of a mother/daughter duo traveling around Europe for a summer. (Aka it’s the perfect YA book to pack in your beach bag). The adventure is told through the eyes of Nora, an idealistic teen whose grandfather surprises her with the all-expenses-paid trip so that she can further her career as an artist. But her mother, Alice, is worried about her daughter’s adventure, and in a stroke of spontaneity, decides to join her on the journey. The result is a bright, easy read about travel, family and growing up.

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7

American War, Omar El Akkad

The year is 2075, and America is a dystopia that has entered a second Civil War after global warming destroys its coastlines. The North/South feud focuses around energy; the South refuses to give up fossil fuels while the North only uses solar and wind. In the midst of the 20-year battle of biological warfare, terrorism, and drone attacks is a young girl who is a refugee from the South. Relying on his real-life experience as a war correspondent, Omar El Akkad masterfully builds the post-apocalyptic world into an eerie and terrifying warning of what society could become.

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