May is blooming with brand-new reads with a little something for everyone. Love a celebrity memoir? Get a peek inside the minds of Brat Packer Andrew McCarthy, TV star Julianna Margulies and comedic actor Seth Rogen. Historical fiction your thing? “Hour of the Witch,” Chris Bohjalian’s latest, is set in 1660s Boston, while Maggie Shipstead’s “Great Circle” kicks off in Prohibition-era Montana and whirls you on a century-long globe-trotting adventure.
We’ve rounded up 22 new May book releases to add to your reading lists now, all available to purchase or preorder on Amazon.
‘Project Hail Mary’ by Andy Weir (starting at $14.99; amazon.com)
From the bestselling author of “The Martian” comes a new science-based thrill ride centered on the lone survivor on a mission to save humanity. The thing is, that survivor wakes to find himself millions of miles in space, with two dead crew members by his side, and can’t remember what, exactly, that mission is — let alone his own name. Yeah, we’re already hooked too.
‘Second Place’ by Rachel Cusk (starting at $12.99; amazon.com)
“Second Place” explores the relationship between narrator M, a writer, and artist L, a man she invites to her guesthouse. Based loosely on Mabel Dodge Luhan’s book about time spent with author D.H. Lawrence, L arrives with a young girlfriend, and M’s 21-year-old daughter and her boyfriend are living there as well. Relationships are explored, tensions rise and we’re here for all of it.
‘Gray Malin: The Essential Collection’ by Gray Malin (starting at $16.99; amazon.com)
Followers of fine art photographer Gray Malin’s iconic aerial shots will simply swoon over this luxury coffee table book celebrating the artist’s 10th anniversary and filled with images both well known and never before seen. From the beaches of Positano to the New York skyline to the salt flats of Bolivia, it’s a perfect way to transport yourself across the continents without having to leave home.
‘Hour of the Witch’ by Chris Bohjalian (starting at $13.99; amazon.com)
Historical fiction fans who also love a good thriller? Here’s a new one for your list: A 24-year-old Puritan in 1662 Boston is wed to a cruel yet powerful man. But in attempting to escape her marriage, she also becomes the focus of local rumors, suspicions and claims of witchcraft.
‘The Woman With the Blue Star’ by Pam Jenoff (starting at $11.99; amazon.com)
A trained historian and former diplomat, bestselling author Pam Jenoff (“The Orphan’s Tale,” “The Lost Girls of Paris“) brings forward the historical drama of Jewish refugees hiding from Nazis in the subterranean tunnels of the Kraków Ghetto during World War II. Sadie, 18, looks up one day through the street grate to see Ella, a Polish girl whose stepmother is aligned with the Germans. The two develop an unlikely friendship as danger flairs all around.
‘Persist’ by Elizabeth Warren (starting at $14.99; amazon.com)
US Senator and former presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren has written a book that’s part memoir and part call to action, focusing on six perspectives that helped shape not only her as a person but also her role in politics and advocacy: mother, teacher, planner, fighter, learner and woman. The book’s title, taken from being “warned” but “nevertheless, she persisted” and barred from speaking by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, became a rallying cry for feminists and Warren supporters. Both groups are likely to be inspired by the politician’s accomplishments and activism.
‘The Premonition: A Pandemic Story’ by Michael Lewis (starting at $9.18; amazon.com)
From the author of “Moneyball” and “The Big Short” comes this nonfiction look at three people who foresaw the coronavirus pandemic — a public health worker, a White House employee and a biochemist — and risked their careers as they questioned the government’s response and warned of the possibility of another (perhaps even worse) pandemic unfolding in the future.
‘The Last Thing He Told Me’ by Laura Dave (starting at $11.99; amazon.com)
Anxious for a new mystery to get your hands on? In Dave’s plot-twisting family suspense drama, Owen Michaels vanishes, and his new wife and 16-year-old daughter (who is not a fan of her stepmom) attempt to find out not only why and what happened to him but just exactly who, in fact, the real Owen Michaels is.
‘The Secret to Superhuman Strength’ by Alison Bechdel (starting at $12.99; amazon.com)
A book about exercise crazes gets the graphic novel/memoir treatment in this unique look at the author’s fascination with fitness. Known for “Fun Home” and “Are You My Mother?“, Bechdel writes of workout fads from Jack LaLanne to yoga to spin class, but also explores body image, connecting with nature and getting to the root of her continual search for self-improvement.
‘Sunshine Girl’ by Julianna Margulies (starting at $14.99; amazon.com)
If you loved her in “The Good Wife” and “ER,” you’ll likely be interested in learning more about actress Julianna Margulies in her new coming-of-age memoir. Nicknamed “Sunshine Girl” by her family, she writes of her unconventional (and often chaotic) upbringing, her relationships, her rejections and working her way to an award-winning acting career.
‘Great Circle’ by Maggie Shipstead (starting at $14.99; amazon.com)
Marian Graves, born in 1914, develops a love of flying planes as a girl and works for a rich bootlegger to get the chance to soar across the skies. A century later, scandal-ridden actress Hadley Baxter finds herself playing Marian, who vanished while attempting to circumvent the planet, in a Hollywood film — and the sweeping, interwoven lives of the two women intersect.
‘That Summer’ by Jennifer Weiner (available May 11, starting at $14.99; amazon.com)
Beach read season kicks off with this new release from bestseller Weiner (“Big Summer,” “Good in Bed“) that follows Daisy, a married, successful woman feeling dissatisfied with her life who begins receiving emails meant for another woman whose life seems much more glamorous than her own. The two meet and become friends, but their connection may not have been entirely accidental. Yes, please.
‘Notes on Grief’ by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (available May 11, starting at $9.99; amazon.com)
In this expansion of a New Yorker piece, Adichie, the bestselling author of “We Should All Be Feminists,” writes of her father’s death, sharing his story of surviving Nigeria’s Biafran war and becoming the country’s first statistics professor, and also the struggle of dealing with the loss of a loved one during a global pandemic.
‘Brat: An ’80s Story’ by Andrew McCarthy (available May 11, starting at $14.99; amazon.com)
If “Pretty in Pink,” “St. Elmo’s Fire” and “Less than Zero” continue to stay in heavy rotation on your must-watch list, odds are Andrew McCarthy’s new memoir is as much a no-brainer as Andie ending up with Blane at the prom. The Brat Packer focuses on growing up in New York City in the ’80s, getting candid about lost innocence and the highs and lows of his rise to fame in Hollywood.
‘While Justice Sleeps’ by Stacey Abrams (available May 11, starting at $13.99; amazon.com)
From the former Georgia House of Representatives minority leader and gubernatorial candidate comes this political-legal thriller centered on Avery Keene, a law clerk for a Supreme Court justice. When the justice falls into a coma and Avery is tasked with serving as his power of attorney and legal guardian, she discovers secret research into a high-powered conspiracy. Filled with plot twists and turns, it’s being compared to “The Pelican Brief.”
‘Billie Eilish’ by Billie Eilish (available May 11, starting at $16.99; amazon.com)
Fans of pop sensation and Grammy winner Billie Eilish will delight in her new photo book that offers a visual storytelling of her life, from her childhood to being on tour, with hundreds of never-before-seen pictures included.
‘The Summer of Lost and Found’ by Mary Alice Monroe (available May 11, starting at $13.99; amazon.com)
In the seventh book of the bestselling Beach House series, Linnea and the Rutledge family return, this time dealing with love, friendship and family during the time of a coronavirus-spurred quarantine. Haven’t read all the books? No worries. This beach read stands on its own and serves as a perfect kickoff to summer.
‘Yearbook’ by Seth Rogen (available May 11, starting at $14.99; amazon.com)
The actor and writer famous for films such as “Superbad,” “Pineapple Express” and “Long Shot” shares a collection of true — and, unsurprisingly, funny — personal essays that touch on everything from doing standup comedy as a teen to time spent at Jewish summer camp to doing drugs to adventures in Los Angeles.
‘People We Meet on Vacation’ by Emily Henry (available May 11, starting at $9.99; amazon.com)
Sunscreen? Check. Beach chair? Check. Frozen daiquiri? Check. All you need now for your Memorial Day getaway is the latest from Henry (“Beach Read“), surrounding two besties — wild child Poppy and bookish Alex — who vacationed together every summer for 10 years until a fight ended their streak. Hoping to make amends, she invites him for one more trip. And the rest is what rom-com dreams are made of.
‘Freedom’ by Sebastian Junger (available May 18, starting at $12.99; amazon.com)
The bestselling author of “Tribe” and “The Perfect Storm” returns with his nonfiction account of a 400-mile journey he took from Washington, D.C., to western Pennsylvania, walking along train tracks and ruminating with his companions on war, community, frontier life and, as the title states, freedom.
‘Noise: A Flaw in Human Judgment’ by Daniel Kahneman, Olivier Sibony and Cass R. Sunstein (available May 18, starting at $15.99; amazon.com)
Ever wonder why people sometimes make such bad judgments? Nobel laureate, Princeton psychology professor and bestselling author Daniel Kahneman, along with Cass R. Sunstein, a legal scholar and Harvard law professor, and Olivier Sibony, an HEC Paris business professor, tackle that question and explore how variables of “noise,” akin to bias, affect errors in decision-making. The authors also offer ways to reduce noise and bias — important advice in today’s complicated world.
‘Heaven’ by Mieko Kawakami (available May 25, starting at $11.59; amazon.com)
Japan’s Mieko Kawakami (“Breasts and Eggs“), a rising young star in the literary scene, returns with a raw story of bullying and pain, but also friendship. Told through the eyes of a tormented 14-year-old boy who befriends an also-bullied girl, it details not only the savagery they face but also the psychology behind their decisions to passively resist their attackers.