It’s finally spring, and while we had a mild winter here in Virginia, I think we are all ready for warmer weather! I can’t wait to sit on my porch and read some of these books listed below!
April and May are huge months in the publishing world. Many of the biggest releases come out in these weeks, and I’ve compiled my most anticipated of these releases so you can get those pre-orders or library holds ASAP!
Books are listed in order of release date (subject to change). All links are Amazon affiliate links. If you’d like to support independent bookstores and creators, check out my Bookshop.org affiliate link.
A Girl Called Samson by Amy Harmon (April 1)
Harmon is one of my favorite historical fiction authors, and I can’t wait to read this book about a woman who disguised herself as a man to fight in the Revolutionary War. It’s actually currently available as part of Amazon’s First Reads so you can download it today!
Coronation Year by Jennifer Robson (April 4)
This is the third Robson book I’ve read, and I just love her writing! It’s about a historic hotel along the parade route of Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation in 1953, intertwining the lives of very different people who become a found family. I’ve already read it and absolutely adored it. How amazing that it is coming out just one month before the next coronation of Elizabeth’s son, Charles. What great timing! Find my Instagram review here.
The House is on Fire by Rachel Beanland (April 4)
I’ve already read this amazing historical fiction novel (review here!) and absolutely loved it. I knew I would since it is set in my current home of Richmond, VA and is about a historic event not many people know, the great Richmond theater fire of 1811. The novel is propulsive and unputdownable! Plus the author is presenting at my favorite bookish event of the year – the Junior League of Richmond’s Book and Author event in May.
The Cuban Heiress by Chanel Cleeton (April 11)
I’ve read all of Cleeton’s historical fiction books about Cuban-American history. They are lush and romantic with many unknown-to-me historical facts. This one about two women on a luxury cruise from New York to Havana looks heart pounding and exciting.
Only the Beautiful by Susan Meissner (April 18)
Meissner is my go-to historical fiction author, so there is no doubt that I’ve pre-ordered this book about a young mother’s fight to keep her child in the wake of WWII. And the cover is stunning!
The Dutch Orphan by Ellen Keith (April 18)
I love stories about sisters, and this one about two sisters in WWII-era Amsterdam and the secrets they keep looks great! I have an ARC from the publisher and will be reading it shortly!
The Golden Doves by Martha Hall Kelly (April 18)
I absolutely loved Kelly’s Lilac Girls, and I know I will devour this book about two female WWII spies hunting down a Nazi doctor who destroyed their families.
Fifth Avenue Glamour Girl by Renée Rosen (April 25)
My mom wore Estée Lauder cosmetics almost exclusively, so a book about the history of the woman behind the makeup is right up my alley! I have an ARC of this book thanks to being a patron of the Thoughts from a Page podcast and can’t wait to dig in. (Final review here)
The Long March Home by Marcus Brotherton and Tosca Lee (May 2)
I don’t think I’ve ever read a book about the Bataan Death March, and this one about three friends and their four year fight to survive it looks so compelling!
The Castle Keepers by Aimie K. Runyan, J’Nell Ciesielski, and Rachel McMillan (May 2)
After reading a couple of books about English manors last year, this novel about the families at Leedswick Castle through the centuries looks fascinating! Read my Austenprose review here.
The Secret Book of Flora Lea by Patti Callahan Henry (May 2)
This was a suggestion from Cindy at Thoughts from a Page through her read-alike requests recommendation service, and I can’t wait to dig into Henry’s latest about two sisters and a WWII-era mystery. It looks fabulous!
To Die Beautiful by Buzzy Jackson (May 2)
I first read about Dutch WWII Resistance fighter, Hannie Schaft, in the excellent 2021 nonfiction book Three Ordinary Girls, so I am very excited to read a historical fiction book about this brave young woman.
All the Pretty Places by Joy Callaway (May 9)
This gorgeous book is based on Callaway’s own family history, and it’s always so special when authors have a personal connection to their work! This novel is a lovely tale about one woman’s quest for autonomy over her own life in the Gilded Age where men rule and women have little hope to control their personal or professional destinies. It’s my current read, and I’m loving it! Find my review here.
The Old Lion: A Novel of Theodore Roosevelt by Jeff Shaara (May 16)
Shaara is a master at writing detailed historical fiction in a way that keeps you turning the pages. I can’t wait to read his latest about President Theodore Roosevelt! (Final review here)
The Paris Deception by Bryn Turnbull (May 30)
I’ll read about anything set in WWII-era Paris, and this book about two women forging paintings to save the real masterpieces from the Nazis looks really interesting! Plus I loved the author’s last book about the Russian imperial family.
To Swoon and to Spar by Martha Waters (April 11)
I’ve loved the other three books in the Regency Vows series, so I’m sure I’ll love this one as well. Waters writes witty banter and weaves in fun historical details to make the books historically accurate. And the covers are just so beautiful!
A Madman’s Will: John Randolph, Four Hundred Slaves, and the Mirage of Freedom by Gregory May (April 11)
As I have been reading more about the Randolph family during my deep dive into First Ladies (the family had many ties to Thomas Jefferson), I was fascinated with the stories about the bizarre and erratic John Randolph. This book looks to explain the dichotomy of his personality.
To the Last Extremity: The Battles for Charleston, 1776-1782 by Mark Maloy (April 15)
Charleston is my favorite city, and while I know alot about its Civil War history, I don’t know as much about its Revolutionary War history. I’m excited to read this latest book in the Savas Beatie Emerging Revolutionary War series.
The First Lady of World War II: Eleanor Roosevelt’s Daring Journey to the Frontlines and Back by Shannon McKenna Schmidt (May 2)
I love books about the First Ladies, so I put this upcoming release about Eleanor Roosevelt during WWII on my TBR as soon as I heard about it! She’s a fascinating woman, and I can’t wait to learn more about her trip to the frontlines of the Pacific theater in 1943.
London: A Guide for Curious Wanderers by Jack Chesher (May 9)
I wish this guide to London’s historical sites had been out last year for my trips, but I’ll be happy to virtually wander its streets again using this book from a favorite tour guide. Be sure to follow him on Instagram @livinglondonhistory for great videos about London!
You: The Story: A Writer’s Guide to Craft Through Memory by Ruta Sepetys (May 16)
Not a traditional history nonfiction book, this workbook guides you through prompts to write your own history using Sepetys’ own research techniques. Since she writes amazing YA historical fiction novels, this is sure to be a great book for any writer in your life. It would also make a great Mother’s Day gift!
Cassandra in Reverse by Holly Smale (May 9)
Time travel/sliding doors/Groundhog Day novels are some of my favorite contemporary books, so this one about a woman cursed to relive the worst day of her life over and over is a must-read for me!
The Comeback Summer by Ali Brady (May 9)
This writing duo is back with a fun and heartfelt tale about two sisters trying to save their grandmother’s business by facing their worst fears. I really enjoyed their debut novel last year, The Beach Trap, and am excited to read the ARC I received from being a Thoughts from a Page patron! (Final review here)
On Fire Island by Jane L. Rosen (May 23)
Just the description of this book makes me tear up! A book editor, mom, and wife dies at the age of thirty-seven but spends one last summer with her family, discovering the effect she had on the people she loves. I pre-ordered this as soon as I discovered it!
This Bird has Flown by Susanna Hoffs (April 4)
A romance set in the music industry and written by a singer from an eighties girl band? Yes, sign me up! This book about a has-been singer who falls in love with an Oxford professor looks great!
Yours Truly by Abby Jimenez (April 11)
Jimenez is my favorite contemporary romance writer, and I am eagerly looking forward to her fifth book. This one focuses on a character we met in last year’s Part of Your World, Briana, and her relationship with a fellow doctor. It will be the perfect light yet heartfelt read as we lead up to summer!
Happy Place by Emily Henry (April 25)
Henry is the new it girl in contemporary romance and for good reason. My favorite was her debut, Beach Read, and I’m excited to read her new book about a former couple having to pretend to be together again. It looks so cute, and the cover definitely makes me happy!
Famous for a Living by Melissa Ferguson (May 16)
My favorite romance from 2022 was Ferguson’s Meet Me in the Margins, so I was very excited to read her newest book about a social media influencer stuck in the wilds of Montana. It was hilarious yet packed a real punch in its commentary on how we live our lives online. I absolutely devoured it (Final review here)!
It Was an Ugly Couch Anyway: And Other Thoughts on Moving Forward by Elizabeth Passarella (May 2)
I laughed out loud while reading Passarella’s debut, Good Apple: Tales of a Southern Evangelical in New York, and I think this essay collection about grief and moving on will be just as funny and poignant.
There were a few recent and upcoming releases in historical fiction for YA and middle grade readers that I wanted to be sure to mention. They’re perfect for your kids who need to read a good historical fiction book for a school project or for an upcoming spring break trip!
Iceberg by Jennifer A. Nielsen (March 7)
Nielsen is my go-to historical fiction writer for middle grade with her prolific tales about war and disasters. Her new book about the Titanic looks amazing!
Bea and the New Deal Horse by L.M. Elliott (March 28)
I love Elliott’s work, so I’m really looking forward to this novel set on a Virginia horse farm during the Great Depression.
A Sky Full of Song by Susan Lynn Meyer (April 11)
I’ll read anything related to Little House on the Prairie, and this book has been billed as a parallel story about a Jewish girl from Ukraine living in early 20th century North Dakota.
Kep Westguard Rebel Spy by Eileen Schnabel (April 18)
A time-traveling teenager from Schnabel’s first book, Kep, is now infiltrating the British camp before the Battle of Saratoga. I love anything time-travel related and how her books involve teens changing history!
I Survived the Great Chicago Fire, 1871 (I Survived Graphic Novel #7) by Lauren Tarshis (May 2)
This is one of my son’s favorite I Survived books, and now it’s being made into a graphic novel!
I think this book list will keep us busy reading well into the summer! What is your most anticipated spring release?