The start of something new — whether it be the year, season or month — somehow feels like the perfect time to start a new reading list. So, now that we’re officially in spring, TODAY tapped two bestselling authors to help narrow down some of the best books to read right now.
Isaac Fitzgerald, bestselling author of “How to Be a Pirate” and the forthcoming memoir “Dirtbag, Massachusetts,” and Jasmine Guillory, the bestselling author of “While We Were Dating,” stopped by to share their four recommendations for your spring reading list .
From a Korean American cookbook to a historical fiction fantasy novel, keep reading to see all eight of the author-approved reads for spring.
Best new books for spring 2022
Jasmine’s fiction pick
“Like A Sister,” by Kellye Garrett
Guillory’s fiction pick is a mystery that she says has everything she loves the most about the genre: “an intriguing set up; an absorbing storyline that kept me guessing; a satisfying ending; and most of all, incredibly well developed characters that I kept thinking about long after I finished the book,” she said. “I want everyone I know to read it so we can talk about it.”
Isaac’s fiction pick
“Pure Colour,” by Sheila Heti
Fitzgerald says this is the most imaginative and moving book by Sheila Heti yet. It centers around and is narrated by a woman “in the first draft of the world” who loses her father and is forced to decide whether she wants to stay in her world de ella or follow him to another. Though it is packed with Heti’s signature wit and style of writing, Fitzgerald says it is also “challenging, expansive, sad and beautiful.”
Jasmine’s non-fiction pick
“Korean American: Food That Tastes Like Home,” by Eric Kim
Though this cookbook is full of delicious recipes, Guillory says it gives readers so much more than that. She says she had fun both reading and cooking from the book. “I loved reading through this cookbook like a novel; the stories that Eric Kim tells you along with these recipes are warm, funny, heartbreaking, and joyful,” Guillory said. “You learn about him and his family from him — especially his mother, Jean, who has a starring role in this cookbook — and his relationship from him to food and cooking.”
Isaac’s non-fiction pick
“The Naked Don’t Fear the Water,” Matthieu Aikins
Fitzgerald says this is a “deeply reported” book on the refugee crisis in Afghanistan — the people who have risked everything in the hopes of living a better life in Europe. He notes that it still exemplifies compassion, as it is evident that Aikins cares deeply about the lives of those who he is reporting on. This new release is a “hugely consequential” book that is both powerful and heartfelt, as Fitzgerald puts it.
Jasmine’s author’s choice pick
“Kiss & Tell,” by Adib Khorram
Who can resist a boy band? This coming-of-age novel, which Guillory describes as “big, bold and tons of fun,” centers around the star. The book explores concepts such as fame, relationships and sexuality and Guillory added that along the way, she felt “so much empathy” for all of the characters and the ending “felt like a big hug.”
Isaac’s author’s choice pick
“Moon Witch, Spider King,” by Marlon James
Despite being the second book Marlon James’ Dark Star Trilogy, Fitzgerald says you don’t have to read the first book before opening up this “masterclass in world building.” The “haunting, blood-soaked read” follows Sogolon, a nameless orphan, on their journey from orphan into the Moon Witch. It is steeped in African mythology and filled with characters you’ll find yourself fascinated by, Fitzgerald added.
Jasmine’s kid’s pick
“My Moms Love Me,” by Anna Membrino
Guillory says that this picture book makes for a “perfect” baby shower present. Kids will love the illustrations and parents will love reading it, she added.
Isaac’s kid’s pick
“The Atlas Six,” by Olivie Blake
A group of young people are invited to a secret magical academy to compete against one another in order to become a powerful magician. What can go wrong? Fitzgerald says this “‘dark academia’ masterpiece” will have you gripping the edge of your seat as you turn page by page.
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