12 new books to read in April, according to Amazon’s book editors

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Spring is officially here, and while reading is an excellent pastime throughout the year, the sentiment seems to especially apply to warmer months, from sitting in the park with a good book to taking long walks listening to audiobooks.

Thankfully, Amazon's book editors have delivered on an exciting, engaging list of reads for April. Included are thrilling novels that explore the inner workings of a fictional 1970s rock act and witty takes on the immigrant experience of the American Dream.

As joyful as reading can be, it's also a powerful tool for education. Diving into vulnerable, informative topics like depression and supporting a loved one through chronic illness can be an effective and compassionate way to empathize with the experiences of others - which are subjects explored in some of this month's books as well. If you're eager to learn more about all 12 of Amazon's top picks for this month, we included descriptions provided by Amazon's editorial team below.

Here are Amazon's top 12 books of April 2021:

Captions have been provided by Amazon's book editors.

'Broken (in the best possible way)' by Jenny Lawson
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In her third memoir, Jenny Lawson gets to the heart of what it's like to live in her shoes (which, incidentally, she's always losing, because of the memory loss associated with depression) as she undergoes experimental treatments for her depression. With fervor, Lawson weaves between moments of slapstick comedy to the depths of despair, including her own emergency checklist when her "body feels like a prison."  In other words, Lawson is not afraid to give voice to the ups and downs of what it means to feel "Broken, in the best possible way." –Al Woodworth

'Of Women and Salt' by Gabriela Garcia
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From Cuba to Miami, Gabriela Garcia presents a sweeping — but swift — portrait of three generations of Cuban women, exploring themes of trauma, motherhood, addiction, love, and, immigration. Garcia's novel gets at the very core of our humanity — the wounds we've endured (whether from oppressive governments, love, or hate) and how they're passed on, but also the fiery determination that lives in each of us. Beautifully written, "Of Women and Salt" expresses the hope and the heartbreak of moving on. —Al Woodworth

'Caul Baby' by Morgan Jerkins
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In her best-selling memoirs, "This Will Be My Undoing" and "Wandering in Strange Lands" Morgan Jerkins effectively laid bare what it means to be a Black American woman through personal essays and tracing her ancestor's roots (or lack thereof due to the Great Migration). In "Caul Baby," her debut work of fiction, Jerkins weaves a story of family and secrets, magic and loss, culminating in an unforgettable portrait of Black motherhood. –Al Woodworth

'The Good Sister' by Sally Hepworth
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Sally Hepworth's "The Good Sister" achieves the impossible trio of creepy, tender, and funny. And while she is drawing comparisons to popular writer Liane Moriarty — both are Australian writers of domestic suspense — I found this tale of two sisters to be more of a mash-up of "Gone Girl" and "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time." Hepworth is an author poised to break out. —Sarah Gelman

 

'Gold Digger' by Sanjena Sathian
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Sanjena Sathian's debut, "Gold Diggers," is a masterfully sly, painfully on-point giggle-fest, as lay-about high school student Neil Narayan comes of age — awkwardly — in the Bush-era suburbs of Atlanta. Sathian's superpower is being able to give readers a crash course in the immigrant experience of the American Dream, while simultaneously — and with the aid of magic realism—nailing answers to universal questions, such as, "Was the indignity of your teenage self always so close at hand, long after you thought you'd escaped?" –Vannessa Cronin

'The Last Bookshop in London' by Madeline Martin
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Cast out by her uncle, young Grace Bennett arrives in London in August of 1939, taken in by a family friend. Anxious not to rely on charity, she reluctantly takes a job at the Primrose Hill bookshop. She's no reader, but as the Blitz gets underway — and London enters a mettle-testing period of blackouts, bunkers, and nightly bombings — Grace develops a love of reading and finds ways to put her new passion to good use. An amusing, suspenseful, and uplifting historical with heart-warming motifs that have never felt more topical or vital. –Vannessa Cronin

'The Final Revival of Opal & Nev' by Dawnie Walton
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Dawnie Walton's debut novel has all of the dishy ingredients you'd want in a story about a scrappy rock duo that came to fame in the 1970s: Sex! Drugs! Scandal! Bell-bottoms! But this is a clever Trojan horse of a plot that contains a powerful critique of racism and sexism. It also, thankfully, includes Opal: a flawed, fierce, force of nature asserting herself in a world that makes it more difficult for women to thrive, especially women of color. So, come for the '70s fun, but stay for a bold new voice in fiction that skillfully serves some much-needed medicine with just the right amount of sugar. –Erin Kodicek

'Mirrorland' by Carole Johnstone
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Once inseparable, identical twins El and Cat have been estranged for 12 years when El goes missing and Cat returns to their childhood home after two decades spent far away. As children, imagination ruled within this house, which the girls called Mirrorland. As each piece of the puzzle — El's disappearance, the memories Cat buried in the dark corners of her mind — falls into place, the desire to know what is fantasy versus reality, and what truths lie behind a wall of denial, becomes more urgent and terrifying. Johnstone has plenty of tricks up her sleeve in this suspenseful tale of betrayal and revenge, memory and imagination, and the thin line between love and hate. —Seira Wilson

'The Five Wounds' by Kirstin Valdez Quade
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Kirstin Valdez Quade treats us to the crackling inner life and logic of each member of the Padilla family as they scrape by in a small New Mexico town: an unemployed father trying to start up a windshield repair business; his weary ex; their pregnant, hopeful teenage daughter; a handful of tios; and the paternal grandmother who holds them together while carrying her own secret. What's thrilling and poignant is how fully absorbed they all are by the details of their own lives. This dazzling cross-generational portrait admits the eloquence in how we disappoint ourselves and the ones we love.—Katy Ball

'Good Company' by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney
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On the morning of her daughter's high school graduation, Flora Mancini finds her husband's wedding ring hidden in the garage — the same ring he claimed to have lost over a decade ago. Flashbacks unveil the intricate relationship between Flora, her husband Julian, and their mutual friend, Margot, now a television star. Sweeney, hailed for her debut "The Nest," does dysfunction well, and this juicy story about the complicated bonds between friends, lovers, and children does not disappoint. —Sarah Gelman

'Crying in H Mart' by Michelle Zauner
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For those who don't know Michele Zauner, she's the indie rock star behind the solo musical act Japanese Breakfast. She's also a daughter, foodie, Korean-American, and writer who effectively gives voice to grief and complicated mother-daughter relationships. When she was 26, Zauner's mother was diagnosed with cancer and her memoir, "Crying in H-Mart," chronicles the decline of her mother's health and her own journey in finding her sense of self, showing just how important it is to accept someone fully for who they are — and loving them just the same. –Al Woodworth

'Philip Roth' by Blake Bailey
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It's a brave writer who undertakes a biography about Philip Roth, undeniably a luminary of the contemporary novel. But Blake Bailey, who previously — and impressively — tackled the life of John Cheever, brings out Roth in all his wild talent and wicked behavior. This is a brilliant biography, personal but even-handed, that is worthy of its subject. —Chris Schluep

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