Ah, spring in Florida: not quite humid enough to be summer yet pleasant enough to send us out to the pool with a cold beverage in one hand and a book in the other. And this month there are more than a few potential good reads looming. Get an early start on your summer reading by grabbing a few of the books that everyone will be talking about in May.
▪ Zero K, Don DeLillo, Scribner (May 3): The author of Underworld, Libra, White Noise and Falling Man returns with this cryptic novel about a billionaire and his wife who want to be cryogenically frozen and reawakened when the world is a better place. Could be a long wait.
▪ The Veins of the Ocean, Patricia Engel, Grove (May 3): Of special local interest is the latest novel from Miami author Engel, about Reina Castillo, a troubled woman who moves to the Keys after a tragedy and meets a Cuban exile awaiting the arrival of his children from Havana.
▪ Everybody’s Fool, Richard Russo, Knopf (May 3): Sully, the anti-hero of Russo’s Nobody’s Fool, returns in this sequel to find himself gazing at his own mortality (a cardiologist has informed him he has only a year or two left to live). Like its predecessor, the novel also circles around the lives of other residents of upstate Bath, New York.
▪ LaRose, Louise Erdrich, Harper (May 10): Her last novel, The Round House, won the National Book Award for fiction. In LaRose, Erdrich continues what she started with 1984’s Love Medicine: chronicling the life and times of a widespread Ojibwe family, in this case Landreaux Iron, who makes a terrible mistake while hunting.
▪ The Fireman, Joe Hill, Morrow (May 17): He’s the son of Stephen King, but Hill stands on his own, with three excellent (and terrifying) novels under his belt (Heart-Shaped Box, Horns, NOS482). Now he turns his hand to a horror epic a la Justin Cronin’s The Passage trilogy, only instead of vampires wiping out humankind the danger is a spore that renders its hosts flammable.
▪ The City of Mirrors, Justin Cronin, Ballantine (May 24): Speaking of Cronin, he wraps up his monsters-take-over-the-world trilogy this month with this final installment, picking up where book 2, The Twelve, left off.
▪ Modern Lovers, Emma Straub, Riverhead (May 31): Straub’s amusing The Vacationers was the go-to summer read of 2014 and 2015, so chances are this new novel — about college bandmates navigating the perils of middle age — will be 2016’s must-read.