Here’s how our perfect spring Saturday would go: We’d wake up at a reasonable (but not too early time), grab a latte from our favorite coffee shop (the one with the cute baristas), head to a park with a good book (armed with sunscreen) and spend between two and four hours reading outside. Are you with us? If so, consider executing the aforementioned plan with the help of these seven books, all out in May.
THE AWKWARD AGE BY FRANCESCA SEGAL
Kind of like a modern-day Brady Bunch , Segal’s latest novel is about the struggles of blended families. Teenage Gwen and her mom, Julia, have been on their own since Gwen’s father died. That is, until Julia takes up with an American doctor, who moves into the ladies’ London townhouse with his son, Nathan. Switching between points of view, Segal paints a sympathetic and funny picture of what it means to find love after having children.
YOU DON’T LOOK YOUR AGE…AND OTHER FAIRY TALES BY SHEILA NEVINS
In addition to being a famed movie producer and president of HBO Documentary Films for more than 30 years, Sheila Nevins is basically every friend you’ve ever had rolled into one funny, insightful package. Her new book is a collection of essays on everything from being a woman in a male-dominated industry to coping when your adult children won’t return your calls. For an extra-fun experience, check out the audio book, read by the likes of Judith Light, Glenn Close, Lena Dunham, RuPaul and Meryl Streep.
ASTROPHYSICS FOR PEOPLE IN A HURRY BY NEIL DEGRASSE TYSON
Our favorite astrophysicist understands that not everyone was blessed with the intellectual gifts (and capacity for contemplating the cosmos) that he was. His newest book translates high-level stuff (like black holes, quarks and quantum mechanics) into terms us normal folks can understand.
THEFT BY FINDING: DIARIES (1977-2002) BY DAVID SEDARIS
We’ll be honest: We’d read a grocery list as long as it was penned by David Sedaris. His newest offering pulls from over 25 years’ worth of his personal diaries, taking on everything from his stint as a Macy’s Christmas elf to even more on the mean French teacher we first met in Me Talk Pretty One Day . (Read: very, very funny.)
THIS IS JUST MY FACE: TRY NOT TO STARE BY GABOUREY SIDIBE
The Oscar-nominated star of Precious and Empire is funny, wise and super smart. In her new memoir, she chronicles her very un-Hollywood upbringing in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, and Harlem with a polygamous father and gifted mother, who supported Sidibe and her brother by singing in the subway. Her unconventional rise to fame is inspiring, but the book never feels too earnest (especially when Sidibe talks about her first job as a phone sex “talker”).
LILLI DE JONG BY JANET BENTON
In this historical novel, a young Quaker woman has a child out of wedlock in 1800s Pennsylvania. (The scandal!) Benton’s enthralling account of the titular protagonist Lilli’s life speaks to the power of a mother’s love and her refusal to part with her child despite moral condemnation and financial ruin. Tackling subjects of equal pay and the rights of working mothers, Benton shows how far we’ve come—and how far we still have to go.
THE LITTLE BOOK OF LIFE HACKS BY YUMI SAKUGAWA
Author, illustrator and comic book artist Sakugawa wants to make your life happier, healthier and more beautiful. She’s done so by publishing this gorgeous book chock-full of helpful tips for everything from getting rid of dark under-eye circles (Hint: use tea bags or frozen vegetables) to making a tiny apartment feel like a palace.