If you’re like me, you always have trouble finding good new books to read. But hidden among the piles and piles of new book releases that hit store shelves every month lies a few great gems that are worth your time.
Whether you’re into mystery novels, romance, inspiration, science fiction or fantasy, there are plenty of great books to read that are set for release this month. Bestselling authors and new writers have new reads coming this month, and there are many of them that are getting great early reviews already. So if you’re looking for something to read soon, check out my list of the top 10 best new books to read in May 2016 (also check out our list of the best e-readers in 2016 if you’re looking for a new reading tablet):
1. The Crown (The Selection) by Kiera Cass
Kiera Cass is no stranger to the world of teen and young women’s fiction, as she has been on the New York Times’ bestsellers list before. Now, Cass will return with her latest entry in the popular Selection series with a new book titled The Crown, which is set for release on May 3. The Crown will be the fifth and final book in the bestselling young adult series. The series is a page-turner filled with romance and royalty, with a bit of dystopian fairy tale mixed in. If you’re unfamiliar with the series, I suggest catching up before picking this one up; it’s not a book you can just pick up and read and have it all make sense. But if you’ve read the previous four books in the series, prepare yourself for the next entry, The Crown.
Price: $11.99 (Hardcover, Kindle), $29.99 (Audio CD)
2. Extreme Prey by John Sandford
There’s another sequel that just debuted earlier this week, as John Sandford’s Extreme Prey hit store shelves just a few days ago. It already holds a whopping 4.6 out of 5.0 stars from over 123 reviewers on Amazon. It follows Lucas Davenport after the events of Gathering Prey, as he’s no longer employed by the Minnesota BCA. Davenport joins the campaign staff of his friend, a governor who is running for president. It’s all great until they find that they’re being shadowed by an armed man who has his crosshairs set on the potential future president.
Price: $17.40 (Hardcover), $14.99 (Kindle), $28.41 (Audio CD)
3. Bloodline by Claudia Grey (Star Wars)
Star Wars is as big as ever, coming hot off the release of December’s The Force Awakens and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story on the horizon. On May 3, Claudia Gray, writer of Star Wars: Lost Stars, will release a new Star Wars book that’s set in the years just before the events of The Force Awakens, focusing on the birth of the resistance. Senator Leia must fight off the dangers that threaten her democracy, including treacherous politicians, underworld kingpins and Imperial loyalists. Now, a new enemy at the edges of the galaxy emerges.
Price: $16.80 (Hardcover), $13.99 (Kindle), $32.35 (Audio CD)
4. 15th Affair (Women’s Murder Club) by James Patterson
Book lovers are no stranger to the many works of James Patterson, as the author has released numerous bestselling books. His newest novel is titled 15th Affair, and it’s one of the New Women’s Murder Club novels. It follows Lindsay Boxer, a detective on the chase of her own elusive husband, after she finds a missing blonde woman has ties to him. Obviously, her perfect life begins to unravel. If history is any indication, 15th Affair will be another Patterson New York Times bestseller, as he’s currently in the Guinness World Records for having the most bestselling books out of any other writer, alive or dead.
Price: $17.97 (Hardcover), $14.99 (Kindle), $25.80 (Audio CD)
5. Grit: The Power of Passions and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth
I’m not typically a big inspirational book reader, but every once in awhile, one comes across my desk that actually catches my eye. The ideas in Angela Duckworth’s new Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance can be applied to parents, students, athletes, business people and more. It’s about a special blend of persistence and passion called “grit.” Duckworth is the daughter of a scientist, and she’s now a celebrated researcher and professor. She notes that this “grit” can be learned, regardless of circumstances, and she talks about balancing high standards and a warm embrace for your child. It’s a very insightful read, and one of my personal favorites so far this year.
Price: $17.07 (Hardcover), $14.99 (Kindle), $18.54 (Paperback), $18.52 (Audio CD)
6. Imagine Me Gone by Adam Haslett
Pulitzer Prize finalist Adam Haslett has a novel coming out on May 3rd by the name of Imagine Me Gone. It’s set in 1960s London, and follows Maragaret, whose fiance, John, is hospitalized for depression. Struggling to deal with her fiance’s depression, she has to make a choice: carry on with their plans to marry, or back away from the suffering it’s going to bring her. The story tugs at the heart strings, and it’s told through alternating points of view of all five family members (the father, the mother, and their three children).
Price: $16.82 (Hardcover), $13.99 (Kindle), $35.00 (Audio CD)
7. The Fireman by Joe Hill
There are no shortages of post apocalyptic tales, but thankfully, it happens to be my favorite book genre. What do you get when you mix an award-winning, New York Times bestselling author and a terrifying new plague that could wipe out humanity? The Fireman, an upcoming novel by Joe Hill, which is set to release on May 17th. It sounds like an absolutely brilliant and thrilling novel that revolves around a worldwide pandemic, a plague that causes spontaneous combustion. The story follows a band of unlikely heroes who battle to save civilization, led by a powerful and mysterious man known as the Fireman. It’s also one of our picks for good books to read this summer.
Price: $19.19 (Hardcover), $14.99 (Kindle), $16.19 (Paperback)
8. Wilde Lake by Laura Lippman
Laura Lippman is well-known for her highly-regarded standalone novels, After I’m Gone, What the Dead Know, and I’d Know You Anywhere, and her latest book is likely to continue on her path of excellency. It’s called Wilde Lake, and it’s a novel that follows Luisa “Lu” Brant, a fiercely intelligent and ambitious state’s attorney who tries a mentally disturbed drifter who is accused of beating a woman to death — one of the rare cases of homicide in her town. But the case causes Lu to question her own family’s past, as she remembers the night that her brother saved his best friend at the cost of another man’s life. Now, she finds herself wondering if the case that cleared her brother so many years ago happened as she remembers, and it makes her ponder the legal system.
Price: $18.38 (Hardcover), $12.99 (Kindle), $17.46 (Paperback), $34.78 (Audio CD)
9. Sugar Daddy (Sugar Bowl #1) by Sawyer Bennett
Sawyer Bennett’s new series, Sugar Bowl, starts with Sugar Daddy, a tale of revenge revolving around a woman who was raped by an unknown man. Years later, she sees the man’s telltale tattoo on the TV screen, and discovers that he’s the millionaire founder of The Sugar Bowl, a match.com of sorts that pairs rich older men with young women. But while on the hunt for vengeance, she becomes intrigued, to say the least, by his charismatic business partner, Beckett North, a man who always gets what he wants. The new romance novel is receiving a ton of praise from other bestselling authors, and it looks to be a fun romantic romp.
Price: $3.99 (Kindle)
10. Before the Fall by Noah Hawley
If you love Lost, the ABC TV series that stole our time away so many years ago, then you’re going to want to give Before the Fall a read. It’s not quite as off-the-wall as Lost, but the story revolves around a crashed private jet that sees a down on his luck painter, Scott, and a four year old boy, the last remaining member of an incredibly wealthy family, as the last two survivors. The chapters delve into the various backstories of the many passengers and crew-members, and the aftermath of the crash, which sees Scott wondering if the plane crash wasn’t an accident. The story will get your pulse racing with its suspense, and it’ll also tug at the heart strings with the relationship that develops between the painter and the boy. Before the Fall will definitely be one of the best beach reads of the year.
Price: $16.82 (Hardcover), $13.99 (Kindle), $21.61 (Audio CD)