Spring into this Season’s Great Reads

Even as all evidence of winter starts to melt away, you’ll still find us cuddled up with a good book. Here are some of our favorite picks from among the spring’s new releases.

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FINDING ME

VIOLA DAVIS

HarperOne

A versatile and fiercely talented actor, Viola Davis has won numerous awards for her performances on stage and screen. But aside from her portrayal of those memorable characters, Davis has her own story to share. This deeply moving memoir dives into what she calls a “complicated past” and how she grew to become a woman with purpose and confidence.

Davis is the first African-American to win the “Triple Crown of Acting”: an Oscar, an Emmy, and a Tony.

THE LOVE OF MY LIFE

ROSIE WALSH

Pamela Dorman Books

Emma, an esteemed marine biologist, lives a happy life with her husband, Leo, and their young daughter. But that life is built on lies. When Emma falls ill, Leo, an obituary writer, turns to writing about his wife as a coping mechanism. But the more he researches about her life before they were married, the more he sees that the facts just don’t add up about Emma—in fact, she is not Emma at all. As Leo digs more deeply into his wife’s dark past, “Emma” must come clean to him about who she is—and who else she’s loved.

This page-turner is a must-read for both romance and thriller lovers.

FRENCH BRAID

ANNE TYLER

Knopf

In the summer of 1959, the Garrett family takes what would be their only family vacation together. Though they all live under the same roof, they are worlds apart. Mercy, an aspiring painter, must put aside her artistic inclinations so she can focus more on household duties for Robin, her husband. Alice and Lily, their teen daughters, have completely different personalities from each other. And David, the youngest, just wants out. With poignancy and humor, Tyler weaves a tale of a family’s passage through the decades and how their bonds can be both a joy and a burden.

This is the 24th novel from the Pulitzer-Prize winning author.

TIME IS A MOTHER

OCEAN VUONG

Penguin Press

In his sophomore collection of poems, Vuong pours out his grief after his mother’s death. With similar themes to those in his highly acclaimed debut novel, this latest creation reflects on family and loss through the lens of Vietnamese-American culture. Vuong’s poems are beautiful and heartbreaking, as well as a vivid display of his experimentation with language and its structure.

Vuong’s first novel, “On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous,” won numerous awards and was translated into 34 languages.

UNFOLLOW YOUR PASSION

TERRI TRESPICIO

Atria Books

Wait, aren’t we supposed to follow our passion? Make a plan? Not necessarily. Trespicio, an award-winning writer, speaker, and brand advisor, wants you to live your life according to your own rules, not someone else’s. With candor and plenty of humor, this book delivers the kick in the pants you need to find meaning in your own life, on your own terms. If you’ve always believed that there’s only one path to finding your purpose, Trespicio will help you discover the detours.

This book is based on the author’s TEDx talk, which has more than six million views

FOR THE YOUNG BELLAs: A Lesson about Love and Acceptance

GUAPO’S GIANT HEART: THE TRUE STORY OF THE CALF WHO KEPT GROWING

JANET ZAPPALA AND WENDY PERKINS ILLUSTRATED BY LARA CALLEJA

A baby calf named Guapo loves growing up on the small farm he shares with his animal friends, including his best friend, Mabel, a pot-bellied pig. But he keeps on growing! Soon, he must leave the farm and Mabel to go live at a large animal sanctuary, where he can have more room. Guapo’s size intimidates the other animals, who are reluctant to befriend him. Can he win them over despite their differences?

Based on the true story of a gentle giant named Guapo and his animal friends, this beautifully illustrated children’s book is a gentle lesson in how to love and accept others despite our differences.

Janet Zappala is an Emmy award-winning TV journalist with a penchant for helping others, including animals. She has volunteered for years at the Coachella Valley Horse Rescue, where she first encountered Guapo. While this gentle giant could have easily been the star of one of her news reports, Janet was drawn to the idea of getting his message of love and acceptance out to as many children as possible. That’s when she teamed up with her friend, author Wendy Perkins, and illustrator Lara Calleja to introduce Guapo to the world.

“Children and animals are my two favorites,” Janet says. “They are the innocents on this planet; they need advocates, they need people to care and love them and be kind to them.”

FINDING STRENGTH IN FAITH

GREED & GRACE: ONE WOMAN’S FAITH-FILLED JOURNEY TO FREEDOM FROM GENERATIONAL DECEIT

DENA MCCOY

Trilogy

How can you move on in life when the very people you love and trust the most have deceived you? This is the question Dena McCoy struggled to answer when circumstances within the family business left her ostracized from her own flesh and blood. With enormous strength and faith in a higher power, she was able to transcend the greed that still separates her family to this day with grace.

A mother of two, Dena wrote this memoir “to reclaim my life and my narrative and also do the same for my children,” she says. While it was difficult at times to be so vulnerable, she found the writing to be cathartic, especially when she realized her story could help others. “I had a message to help people take pain and turn it into purpose,” she says.

In addition to being an author, Dena is an entrepreneur, model, and actor. She is also the vice president and fourth-generation trustee of her family’s philanthropic foundation.

Photography by Luciana Pampalone @LucianaPampalone Makeup and hair by Kerin @Glamgoneviral

A Star is Reborn

“Blonde,” Joyce Carol Oates’ fictional account of the life of Marilyn Monroe that was a bestseller back in 2000, is finally getting the Hollywood treatment. Ana de Armas plays the famous bombshell, alongside Bobby Cannavale and Adrian Brody as two of the many men who loved her. The movie, which is in post-production, was written and directed by Andrew Dominik. The soundtrack by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis is just another reason we’re excited for this to hit the screen later this year.

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