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20 must-read books coming out in March

Seija is a Los Angeles-based features editor. Follow her on Instagram @_seija_ for musings on the latest movies, books, and in-flight magazines (really).

Infinite Country , by Patricia Engel

It's a tragedy to waste any space that could be dedicated to this book by mentioning American Dirt , but for the sake of radical honesty: This is the book you should read if you're considering reading American Dirt (or to make up for it if you did read it). Elena and Mauro fall in love as teenagers in a guerrilla-controlled Bogotá and eventually make their way to Texas, where a series of small decisions and non-decisions lead them to overstay their visas. Mauro is eventually sent back to Colombia with their oldest daughter, and the book traces each family member's separate lives as they try to make their way back to each other. (March 2)

The Smash-Up , by Ali Benjamin

The Trump administration may be over, but literature's reactionary boom is still going strong — we're going to be processing those four years for a long time, and authors are no different. Ali Benjamin's adult debut is told by Ethan, who moved to the Berkshires with his wife so they could raise their daughter away from the financial and spacial constraints of Brooklyn, and it's there that his wife, Zo's, protest fire is lit. She heads up a gang of nasty women, as it were, and becomes increasingly obsessed by the the violence of DJT and his brethren, so much so that it threatens the very fabric of her family. (March 2)

Klara and the Sun , by Kazuo Ishiguro

The Ishiguro of Never Let Me Go is back with a sci-fi-adjacent tale of an Artificial Friend (read: nearly sentient robot) named Klara, who is sent to live with a family and be a companion to a preteen girl. Klara narrates the world she encounters through her own very specific lens: a combination of the innocence of a toddler and the heightened intelligence and sensitivity of a mature adult. (March 2)

The Committed , by Viet Thanh Nguyen

Four years after his Pulitzer-winning The Sympathizer , Nguyen returns with a sequel . This time, the unnamed double agent and his companion Bon find refuge in Paris, where they immerse themselves in French culture and also get dragged into the drug trade. The narrative web of these novels is not for the faint of heart, but those who dare to enter will be rewarded. (March 2)

Lightseekers , by Femi Kayode

This mystery novel is set in Nigeria, where an investigative psychologist is sent to Port Harcourt to search for answers after three university students are tortured and murdered. (March 2)

Who Is Maud Dixon? , by Alexandra Andrews

The debut novel everyone will be talking about this spring is a twisty, spicy tête-à-tête that pits two very determined women against each other — but in a good way. Florence is a young aspiring novelist who gets a gig as a personal assistant to the reclusive, best-selling author Maud Dixon (whose real name is Helen). As she gets wrapped up in Helen's web, Florence realizes that her path to fame is far more sinister than she thought. (March 2)

Yolk , by Mary H.K. Choi

The third novel from YA author Choi ( Permanent Recor d) sneaks up on you with its insight and poignancy. When Jayne's estranged sister, June, gets a dreaded diagnosis, the girls realize how desperately they've always needed each other. Though college-age Jayne's often funny narration vacillates credibly between the conviction that she knows it all and terror that the world is beyond her grasp, her frequent pop culture references and odes to New York can grow tiresome and distracting. But when Choi focuses on her deeply human characters and their complex bonds, the sisters' tale is undeniable. (March 2) —Mary Sollosi

In the Quick , by Kate Hope Day

It's the female astronaut novel we never knew we needed. Protagonist June, an engineer on a space station, is haunted by the decades-past disappearance of a spacecraft (and its crew) that was using fuel cells invented by her late uncle. She goes in search of his former protégé in hopes they can work together to uncover what went wrong and bring the ship's crew back home. (March 2)

What's Mine and Yours , by Naima Coster

A wholly different kind of family novel, Coster's second book uses the integration of a North Carolina high school to explore the years-long chain of events set off when a Black and a white student meet. (March 2)

The Scapegoat , by Sara Davis

Ottessa Moshfegh kicked off a wave of brisk, occasionally confusing novels that involve themselves with a narrator's descent into obsession, and Davis' debut offers a worthy entrée into the genre. N works at a university in the Bay Area and recently lost his estranged father when he is visited by a few mysterious strangers who suggest there may be foul play afoot. But N lives in near isolation, and his version of events is unreliable, to say the least. You may not know what's happening for most of the book, but you will be very, very intrigued. (March 2)

How Beautiful We Were , by Imbolo Mbue

At long last, Mbue's sophomore novel arrives. While the thoughtful character-building of Behold the Dreamers remains, Beautiful 's narrative scope is far more ambitious. A village in an unnamed African country is taken over by an oil company, and the children begin getting sick and dying en masse. Told through the eyes of those who live, it sweeps through decades of the village's attempt to banish the oil company, to claim their rightful profits, to find any sort of recourse for the white men behaving badly. (March 9)

Acts of Desperation , by Megan Nolan

Comparing Irish debut novels to Sally Rooney is already a tired trope, but for better or worse it's a very good way to get the reader's attention. Desperation is a relationship story, told from the perspective of an unnamed twenty-something girl who falls hard and fast for Ciaran, a beautiful (but damaged) man she meets at a gallery. Their ups and downs may be more extreme than the more staid couplings, but we'd all be lying to ourselves if we said we don't recognize the mania of love in its pages. (March 9)

The Girls Are All So Nice Here , by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn

A college reunion. A toxic friend group. Revenge. All the makings of a page-turner are here in Flynn's book, which kicks off when Ambrosia Wellington receives an invitation to her college's 10-Year with the (unsigned, of course) note "We need to talk about what we did that night." (March 9)

The Arsonists' City , by Hala Alyan

The Arsonists' City — about three generations of the Nasr family — feels revolutionary in its freshness. Mazna Nasr, the novel's matriarch, grew up in Damascus. She meets Idris, a Beiruti med student, during the early days of the Lebanese civil war, and they marry and seek asylum in California; decades later they reconvene their adult children in present-day Beirut and prepare to sell their ancestral home. The book has all the elements we expect from a family saga, but set against the backdrop of Lebanon's long, sad history, the narrative stakes are so much higher. (March 9)

Firekeeper's Daughter , by Angeline Boulley

A YA thriller set on an Ojibwe reservation, Firekeeper follows 18-year-old Daunis after she witnesses a murder and agrees to go undercover to help the FBI track down a new drug that is ripping through Native communities. (March 16)

This Is the Fire , by Don Lemon

The CNN host begins by penning a letter to his nephew in this combination reported book and essay collection about the United States' history of racism, Lemon's experience interviewing politicians and activists, and his own family's painful history of slavery. (March 16)

My Friend Natalia , by Laura Lindstedt

This provocative Finnish author enters the fray of American literature (thanks to translation from David Hackston) with a racy, wonderfully weird novel about a therapist's sessions with a sex-obsessed woman. (March 23)

When Women Invented Television , by Jennifer Keishin Armstong

The journalist, who has published books on Seinfeld and Sex and the City , writes about four women who changed the way we watch TV thanks to their innovation, perseverance, and willingness to harness personal strife and use it to create. (March 23)

Of Women and Salt , by Gabriela Garcia

The multigenerational family saga goes to Miami with Garcia's exciting, poignant debut. It begins in the cigar factories of 19th-century Cuba, following members of one family as they make their way to America, where they find new opportunities but are also directly exposed to the brutality of a very flawed immigration system. (March 30)

The Final Revival of Opal and Nev , by Dawnie Walton

An ebony-skinned girl from Detroit and a flame-haired British folkie come together in the New York music scene of the early 1970s; after two cult albums and a sudden tragedy, their brief moment fades — until a journalist with a deeply personal connection to their past decides to revisit the story. Like Taylor Jenkins Reid's enormously popular Daisy Jones & the Six , Dawnie Walton's debut novel uses oral history as the form for her kaleidoscopic tale, though she can hardly be contained by it. The book bursts with fourth-wall breaks and clear-eyed takes on race, sex, and creativity that Walton (a former EW staffer) unfurls in urgent, endlessly readable style. (March 30) —Leah Greenblatt

Where Have You Gone Without Me? by Peter Bonventre

From former EW editor Peter Bonventre comes a story about a journalist's investigation of a theft at a New York City church he's led into the world of the mafia. As he finds himself among hitmen and criminals, an old girlfriend—who disappeared 15 years ago—resurfaces, and now threatens to upend his investigation. (March 30)

Related Articles

20 of the Best Books to Pick Up This March

Including new novels from Kazuo Ishiguro, Kaitlyn Greenidge, Imbolo Mbue, and Viet Thanh Nguyen.

best books march 2021

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It's March—not the cruelest month, but close. For one, is there anything anyone needs more right now than the warmth of spring, longer, sunnier days, the promise of the new? After a full year of COVID, quarantine and political divisions as deep as the Grand Canyon, we can at least be grateful for the solace to be found in a good book—or 20! We bring our favorite books of March 2021 to you as an early rite of spring, as good for the heart and soul as the sight of flowers blooming, or birds returning from their winter homes.

From Madagascar to France, from Cuba to East Germany, let some of the best books of spring 2021 take you away.

The Beauty of Living Twice by Sharon Stone

Stone’s memoir opens with a scene in a hospital bed, where the iconic actress is battling a brain bleed. That near-death experience and its aftermath is a jumping off point, an opportunity to reflect on the jagged, unlikely path that led her from a small town in Pennsylvania to becoming one of America’s hottest stars. But this is not your typical Hollywood autobiography. Brutally honest, restless and questing, Stone bravely grapples with her own imperfections with courage and candor.

The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race by Walter Isaacson

In his first intellectual canvas to showcase a woman, the doyen of American journalism and best-selling author of  Leonardo da Vinci  masterfully plots the groundbreaking career of Jennifer Doudna, the charismatic biochemist whose lab unlocked CRISPR, a transformative genetic therapy that would net her the 2020 Nobel prize. Isaacson’s vivid account is a page-turning detective story and an indelible portrait of a revolutionary thinker who, as an adolescent in Hawai’i, was told that girls don’t do science. Nevertheless, she persisted. 

The Committed by Viet Thanh Nguyen

In a sumptuous sequel to The Sympathizer,   Nguyen’s eponymous protagonist and his confrère Bon plunge into the drug-dealing netherworld of decadent Parisian elites and Vietnamese ex-patriates. The Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist captures, with grace and restraint, the foibles of two young men caught in a showdown between East and West. 

Dusk, Night, Dawn: On Revival and Courage by Anne Lamott

Aging, faith, marriage, self-forgiveness, sobriety, graciousness in the face of airline delays—these are the subjects of the bestselling author of  Bird by Bird  and  Operating Instructions 's latest guide to navigating the “third third” of one’s life, with all its “mess and redemption.” If you too need to “roll your eyes a little more softly” at yourself, read on.

Every Vow You Break by Peter Swanson

During her boozy bachelorette weekend, bride-to-be Abigail decides to make one last pre-nuptial mistake when she hooks up with a stranger. Yet this last grasp at freedom yields the opposite, as the man she slept with becomes her stalker. Hitchcockian chills and thrills abound in Swanson's latest mystery, a twisty tale of survival and deception. 

Fierce Poise: Helen Frankenthaler and 1950s New York by Alexander Nemerov

The cliché “starving artist” may actually apply to many young, hungry painters; but in 1950s Manhattan Helen Frankenthaler carried herself like an aristocrat: beautiful, privileged, confident, and determined to shape what she’d learned from Jackson Pollock and Clement Greenberg to her own ends. Nemerov picks one date from each year throughout the decade, creating a collage-like narrative that conjures the glamor and bustle of postwar New York City, when high art met downtown renegades. Gifted and business-savvy, Frankenthaler here finds her own thrilling visual style “over highballs amid the plucking of cello strings.” 

The Final Revival of Opal & Nev by Dawnie Walton

Opal is an Afro-Punk performer whose radical politics, idiosyncratic garb, and musical style make her feel like an outcast in her hometown of Detroit, but she finds an outlet for her talents in New York City, where she pairs up with British folkie Nev, and the two become music legends. Walton’s fabulous debut novel, which takes the form of an oral history, is an utterly fresh take on finding one’s voice, on systemic racism and sexism, and on freedom of expression. That these heavy subjects don’t weigh down this hugely entertaining novel are testament to Walton’s deftness and skill.

Girlhood by Melissa Febos

Febos is one of our most passionate and profound essayists, and in this follow-up to 2017's Abandon Me , she crafts an assemblage of memoir-cum-cultural-criticism that dissembles many of the myths women are told throughout their lives: that we ourselves are not masters of our own domains, that we exist for the pleasure of others and so our own pleasure is secondary and negligible. Girlhood , then, lays bare the process of unlearning this most deeply ingrained lesson of female adolescence, and offers us exquisite, ferocious language for embracing self-pleasure and self-love. It’s a book that women will wish they had when they were younger and that they’ll rejoice in having now. 

How Beautiful We Were by Imbolo Mbue

The second novel by the author of  Behold the Dreamers , which was an  Oprah’s Book Club selection , takes readers inside an African village whose very existence is being threatened by the machinations of an American oil company.  It’s a David and Goliath story for our times, a riveting tale of how people coming together to make change can topple even the fiercest, best-financed foe.

Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro

From the Nobel laureate and master of the hyperreal comes a gorgeously written novel that poses a question as old as Greek myths: What does it mean to be human? Klara, an Artificial Friend, smiles and nods to customers in Manager’s store while tracking each day by the sun’s arc. When a mother and daughter adopt Klara, a Pandora’s box of repressed emotion springs open, fleshing out Ishiguro's themes of resilience and vulnerability in our mad, mad world.

Libertie by Kaitlyn Greenidge

The Whiting Award-winning author of  We Love You, Charlie Freeman   and an indispensable cultural critic returns with a sweeping, engrossing new novel based, in part, on Susan Smith McKinney Steward, the first Black woman to become a doctor in New York State. Set in Reconstruction-era Brooklyn, Greenridge’s fictionalized tale follows the doctor’s young daughter—the titular Libertie—as she grapples with what freedom really means for Black women.

A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance by Hanif Abdurraqib

From Josephine Baker to Soul Train to “Sixteen Ways of Looking at Blackface,” Abdurraqib takes us on a wild ride through the history of Black performances, artists who crushed boundaries and carved out spaces for vigorous forms of African American expression. His is an intimate, conspiratorial voice, musically inflected, blending scholarship with anecdote, a “waltz in a circular chamber of your homies and not-homies, shouting chants of excitement.” 

My Brilliant Life by Ae-ran Kim

An eminent South Korean talent makes her American début in this poignant watercolor of a novel about a valiant, poetic teenager grappling with love and early mortality. Born with progeria, a genetic disorder, Areum is living on borrowed time, a sixteen-year-old caged in the body of a withered old man. He’s devoted to his best friend, Little Grandpa Jang, and his parents, who conceived him as teenagers; his last wish is to write a tribute. Wheelchairs, nightmares, on-line predators: nothing dissuades Areum from his dream, a “persimmon tree...sleek and its branches curved elegantly into the sky.”  Kim is a writer on the move. 

The Performance by Claire Thomas

As wildfires rage outside Melbourne, three women, all on the cusp of new lives, treat themselves to a night at the theater, entranced by Beckett and seeking finales to their own dramas. An acclaimed Australian writer spins an alluring play within a play, probing the ways we perform for each other, how our best selves are mere costumes we shed before curtain call. 

The Recent East by Thomas Grattan

An arresting and resplendent family saga, Grattan’s first novel is about a woman who sees her chance to flee her humdrum life in upstate New York when she inherits her parents' old mansion in East Germany after the Berlin Wall has fallen. She relocates with her two teenagers in tow (who begin referring to their mother as "The German Lady"), and this peculiar trio, like their new home, undergoes a series of profound transformations, "beautiful and scary all at once." 

Red Island House by Andrea Lee

By the acclaimed author of   Interesting Women   and  Sarah Phillips   comes a mesmerizing novel of a Black woman professor—Shay—whose rich Italian husband builds her a spectacular vacation house in Madagascar, where the family settles each summer. The lush natural habitat and privileged ex-pat existence contrast starkly with the island’s poverty and traditions, and Lee makes magic of this to deliver a singularly intriguing and mysterious saga that casts an enduring spell.

Sarahland by Sam Cohen

Each of the stories in this eccentrically inventive, loosely linked collection centers on different women named Sarah: a premed student, a sex worker, a Midwestern fanfiction writer, a polyamorous trans woman in Biblical times. But apart from the heroines' shared name, what really unites these wondrous pieces is Cohen's prose, as vibrant and unruly as lipstick smeared after a wild night out. Read an excerpt here . 

Second Nature: Scenes from a World Remade by Nathaniel Rich

Rich's elegy to a planet he likens to a critical care patient is lyrical, erudite, and devastating. From our earliest days on Earth, we humans have wrestled with who's in charge: us, or Mother Nature. That uneasy dance continues—no plant, animal, insect, grain of sand—has escaped the "clumsy human signature." Rich's investigation of "crimes against nature" and the people who are trying to stop them is alarming, enlightening, and necessary.

We Begin at the End by Chris Whitaker

When his childhood friend is paroled from prison after a 30-year sentence, Walk, the sheriff of the coastal California town where he grew up, must confront a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma: What happened all those years ago and why? He’s aided in his quest by Duchess, a savvy 13-year-old with the moxie of Harriet the Spy and the fearlessness of Scout Finch. Whitaker’s ravishing, pulse-raising suspense novel  illuminates how we fall prey to our own fierce desires for connection. 

Of Women and Salt by Gabriela Garcia

Garcia's debut novel is a meditation on motherhood, displacement, and cultural identity as protagonist Jeanette journeys to Cuba to reckon with her family’s legacy. From a 19th-century Cuban cigar factory to a detention center in Mexico, this stunningly accomplished first novel is both epic and intimate.

Headshot of Leigh Haber

Leigh Haber is Vice President, Books, Oprah Daily and O Quarterly. She is also Director of Oprah's Book Club. 

Headshot of Michelle Hart

Michelle Hart is the Assistant Books Editor of O, the Oprah Magazine. Other writing of hers has appeared on the Millions, the Rumpus, and the New Yorker . Her fiction has appeared in Joyland and Electric Literature. She has been awarded a fiction fellowship by the New York State Writers Institute and was once profiled in her hometown newspaper for being in the process of writing a novel--a novel she is still in the process of writing.

Headshot of Hamilton Cain

A former book editor and the author of a memoir, This Boy's Faith, Hamilton Cain is Contributing Books Editor at Oprah Daily. As a freelance journalist, he has written for O, The Oprah Magazine, Men’s Health, The Good Men Project, and The List (Edinburgh, U.K.) and was a finalist for a National Magazine Award. He is currently a member of the National Book Critics Circle and lives with his family in Brooklyn.  

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Booklist Queen

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The Epic List of March 2021 Book Releases

Wondering what to read now? Here are all the hot new March 2021 book releases for you. I’ll let you know what I’ve read, what I can’t wait to read, and what’s getting all the attention this month.

In case you’re new to Booklist Queen, every month I cover all the hottest new book releases. I try to read as many new book releases as I can to give you an honest perspective on what to read and what to skip. 

However, I realize that my to-read list might not exactly match yours. That’s why, this year, I’ve decided to also include some of the most popular March 2021 book releases from your favorite authors. 

Enough from me. Let’s get on to the March 2021 book releases so you can fill up your to-read list.

The highlights of the month:

  • A Nobel Prize Winner’s New Book
  • Five Delicious Historical Fiction Reads
  • Tons of Exciting Thrillers

Have I got you interested? Then keep scrolling to see our picks for the best of the March 2021 book releases.

Don’t Miss a Thing

Top March 2021 Book Releases

book cover Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro

Klara and the Sun

Kazuo ishiguro.

In his first novel since winning the Nobel Prize in Literature, Kazuo Ishiguro ponders the meaning of love through an unusual narrator. Klara is a robot, an Artificial Friend waiting to be bought and taken home to be a companion to a lonely child. Ishiguro’s brilliant writing brings Klara to life, with her keen observations about the world around her, forcing you to piece together complex situations as perceived through the lens of innocence. The story was just shy of being amazing like The Remains of the Day ; it didn’t quite take the depth I wanted. However, if you want a thoughtful read, you can’t go wrong with Ishiguro’s March 2021 book release.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Knopf through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Star

The Rose Code

During World War II, three women become unlikely friends while working as code breakers at Bletchley Park: Osla is desperate to prove she’s more than just a society girl; Mab is determined to rise above the poverty of her birth; and both encourage Beth, a shy local spinster, to step up and use her brilliant mind. Years after the war, the three women must come together one more time to help uncover a spy who was working in their midst.

Publication Date: 9 March 2021 Amazon | Goodreads | More Info

book cover How Beautiful We Were by Imbolo Mbue

How Beautiful We Were

Imbolo mbue.

In Kosawa, a small African village, an American oil company has ruined the farmland and polluted the drinking water, killing many of the children. Tired of receiving empty promises from the company and being ignored by the country’s dictator, the people of Kosawa are determined to fight back.

How Beautiful We Were is a stunning story told in the most boring fashion imaginable. Instead of writing in the same powerful style as Behold the Dreamers , Mbue decided to play with the narration. Chapters alternate between a collective “we” narration of the village children and first-person viewpoints from one particular family, both which tell the tale as dispassionately as possible. I struggled to stay awake reading this one, which is a shame because, with better delivery, this book could have knocked it out of the park.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Random House Publishing through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Half Star

The Lost Village

Camilla sten.

Among the March 2021 book releases is the English edition of a recent Swedish bestseller. In 1959, a Swedish mining town mysteriously vanished. Police only found the body of a woman stoned to death in the town square and a crying baby. Now, filmmaker Alice Lindstedt sets out to make a documentary and hopefully solve the mystery of what happened to the village, and her grandmother’s family.

While The Lost Village wasn’t an edge-of-your-seat thriller like Riley Sager’s or Stephen King’s books, I enjoyed the mood the story sets. You’re enveloped in a sense of dread as the small group explores the abandoned village and feels like they are being watched. The big reveal was an interesting twist that worked well with the rest of the story making this a delightfully spooky read.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from St. Martin’s Press through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

book cover Sunflower Sisters by Martha Hall Kelly

Sunflower Sisters

Martha hall kelly.

In a spin-off prequel of her bestseller, Lilac Girls , Martha Hall Kelly tells the tale of Caroline’s ancestor, a story inspired by true accounts. During the Civil War, Georgeann Woolsey feels trapped in a life of luxury and boldly enlists to become a Union nurse. There she meets an enslaved girl who joined the Union Army to flee her cruel mistress. Together they must face the cruelties of war and the inhumanity of their day.

Publication Date: 30 March 2021 Amazon | Goodreads | More Info

book cover A Million Reasons Why by Jessica Strawser

A Million Reasons Why

Jessica strawser.

Sela is in desperate need of a kidney transplant. She’s possibly found the perfect match; but how do you turn someone else’s life upside down by revealing that you are her previously unknown half-sister, the product of her father’s affair? As Sela begins to connect with Caroline, she must decide which she wants more – a sister or a kidney.

Jessica Strawser’s family drama was my surprise favorite of the March 2021 book releases. I absolutely loved the complicated relationship between Sela and Caroline. Each woman was realistic and nuanced, trying her best to navigate an unexpected situation while dealing with the choices of their parents. If you love women’s fiction, you can’t miss this thought-provoking tearjerker.

Save for Later

March 2021 Book Releases

Book of the Month – March 2021 Book Releases

Receiving my blue box from Book of the Month Club is a highlight of every month.

Here’s how it works – each month, they pick 5 books and you get to choose one book or skip until the next month. If you want to add any extra books, then you get them at a discounted price.

Each month is usually a mix of new releases and advance copies of unreleased books. If you are interested in joining, right now you can use my Book of the Month Club affiliate link to get your first book for $5 !

The March Book of the Month selections are:

book cover The Final Revival of Opal & Nev by Dawnie Walton

See the Complete List of Upcoming Releases !

Exciting New March 2021 Book Releases

book cover The Soul of a Woman by Isabel Allende

The Soul of a Woman

Isabel allende.

Bestselling author Isabel Allende meditates on what it means to be a woman and how feminism has shaped her throughout her life. After witnessing her mother struggle to raise three children alone, Allende swore she’d have the life her mother couldn’t. Throughout her life and her three marriages, Allende has witnessed the changes in the feminist movement, how much it has accomplished, and what is left to be done.

Publication Date: 2 March 2021 Amazon | Goodreads | More Info

book cover Win by Harlan Coben

Harlan Coben

Twenty years ago, a rich heiress was abducted. Although she escaped, her captors were never found or the family’s items recovered. When his suitcase is found at a murder scene, Windsor Horne Lockwood III, “Win” to his friends, becomes entangled in an investigation into two cold cases where the suspect may have also been involved in domestic terrorism.

Publication Date: 16 March 2021 Amazon | Goodreads | More Info

book cover Later by Stephen King

Stephen King

Jamie Conklin just wants an ordinary childhood. But nothing is ordinary about his unnatural abilities to see what no one else can see and learn what no one else can know. When he is recruited by an NYPD detective to help solve a case, Jamie’s life is threatened by a killer from beyond the grave.

book cover Every Vow You Break by Peter Swanson

Every Vow You Break

Peter swanson.

Abigail Baskin has hit the jackpot in her new marriage to the brilliant and kind millionaire Bruce Lamb. Until a one-night stand the night before her wedding comes back to haunt her, and the mystery man shows up on her honeymoon. Should she tell her perfect new husband or handle the psychopathic stalker on her own?

Publication Date: 23 March 2021 Amazon | Goodreads | More Info

book cover Remember by Lisa Genova

Lisa Genova

From the author of Still Alice , comes a look at how memories are made. Neuroscientist Lisa Genova explains why we remember some things and why we forget others. You’ll learn the science of how memories work, what you can reasonably expect from your memory as you age, and how to help protect your memory.

The Lost Apothecary

Sarah penner.

In 1791, Nella uses her London apothecary shop to sell poisons for women to use against abusive men. The only rules are that the poisons cannot be used against another woman and that you must leave a record in the apothecary’s register. When she befriends a 12-year-old girl, the consequences will last generations.

book cover Sparks Like Stars by Nadia Hashimi

Sparks Like Stars

Nadia hashimi.

In the 1970s, Sitara Zamani lives a privileged life in Kabul as the daughter of one of the President’s right-hand men. When the communist coup results in the murder of her entire family, Sitara escapes and is adopted by an American diplomat. Now a renowned surgeon, her world is rocked when the man who rescued her appears in her operating room, sending her on a search for answers.

Intriguing New Books Out

book cover The Memory Collectors by Kim Neville

The Memory Collectors

Kim neville.

With the strange ability to detect emotions left behind on objects, Ev has always kept herself apart from those around her worried she will fall to the same horrific end as her father. When she meets Harriet, an older woman with the same ability, Ev decides that might be able to help each other, Ev will help Harriet sort through her hoards of treasures and Harriet will help Ev learn to control her ability. When Ev’s sister returns pushing for answers to their past, Ev learns that Harriet suspects Harriet might have a connection to her family.

With one of the most unique premises I’ve seen in a while – a mix of contemporary fiction and magical realism, The Memory Collectors draws you in with its engaging storytelling. Ev, a modern-day Elsa struggling with her powers, is an easy character to cheer for as she begins to discover herself. If you want a dash of magic in a character-driven story, The Memory Collectors is a great choice to read this spring.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Atria Books through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

book cover Band of Sisters by Lauren Willig

Band of Sisters

Lauren willig.

In April 1917, a charismatic alumna gives an impassioned speech at Smith College urging the women to go to France to help with relief efforts. Kate Moran has no plans to go, but when a girl drops out, Kate’s best friend Emmeline begs her to fill the slot. Based on a true story, Band of Sisters tells of these brave women coping with the hardships of the war while navigating old rivalries and betrayals.

book cover Red Widow by Alma Katsu

After a mistake threatens her career, CIA Agent Lyndsey Duncan is excited to prove herself by heading an internal investigation into the Russian Division. Lyndsey worked in the Russian division for years and was known as a human lie detector. Working with the infamous Red Widow, Lyndsey must search for the mole in the department before more assets are killed.

book cover Of Women and Salt by Gabriela Garcia

Of Women and Salt

Gabriela garcia.

While battling addiction, Jeannette decides to learn more about her family history. She questions her mother Carmen, a Cuban immigrant, about her life but is unsatisfied with Carmen’s answers. Instead, Jeannette travels to Cuba to visit her grandmother and reckon with family secrets from three generations of strong women.

book cover The Dating Plan by Sara Desai

The Dating Plan

With no interest in love, software engineer Daisy Patel decides that the easiest way to get her family off her back is to arrange a fake engagement to her childhood crush. With his inheritance dependent on his marriage, Liam Murphy finds Daisy’s proposal a win-win scenario. However, history and chemistry threaten to derail their meticulous plan.

book cover Are We There Yet? by Kathleen West

Are We There Yet?

Kathleen west.

Alice has always strived for the perfect life, but everything starts falling apart at the same time. Her daughter is falling behind on her reading, her son has become a middle school bully, and her mom tells her that Alice has a long-lost sister. Following a group of suburban moms and their teenage children, Are We There Yet? poses the question, what do you do when your child is suddenly the problem child?

It took me over a month to finish Kathleen West’s family drama, which if you don’t know me, is insanely long. While the drama is highly realistic (secret Instagram accounts and judgemental moms), I just struggled to want to read about it. To make matters worse, I don’t feel like the moms learned much from their experiences. They still seemed rather judgemental by the end of the book. To be honest, stories like this make me dread the teenage years and swear I’ll never give my kids’ cell phones.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Berkley through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

book cover Spellmaker by Charlie N. Holmberg

Charlie N. Holmberg

Just six months after publishing Spellbreaker , Charlie Holmberg is back with the sequel in her Victorian Fantasy series. After discovering the mastermind behind the deaths of spellmakers around London, Elsie Camden is thrown into prison for illegal spellbreaking. To get her out, Bacchus must pretend they are engaged. This super cute Victorian Fantasy series would be perfect for teens or any reader who enjoys an adorable little story.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from 47North through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

book cover The Little French Bridal Shop by Jennifer Dupee

The Little French Bridal Shop

Jennifer dupee.

When Larissa Pearl returns home to sell her late aunt’s estate, she doesn’t realize that randomly trying on a wedding dress will lead to the whole town planning her wedding … with no groom in sight. Recently dumped by her boyfriend and fired from her job, Larissa has been acting out as she struggles with her mother’s growing dementia. As Larissa prepares the house for sale, she enlists the help of the estate’s caretaker Jack, a childhood friend who was the one who might have been.

Dupee’s cute novel takes a turn for the worse when she introduces Jack as the love interest. Apparently, Jack has just cheated on his wife of fifteen years. When she throws him out, he stays at the estate with Larissa, spending the time moaning about how much easier things are with Larissa than his wife. His biggest complaints are that his house is full of toddlers since his wife runs an at-home daycare (necessary given his low earnings) and that his Saturdays are spent running between soccer games for their triplet sons.

I have no idea why Dupee opted for the worst possible romantic lead, but it killed the story for me and will probably be my most-hated book of the year.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from St. Martin’s Press. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

book cover Rhapsody by Mitchell James Kaplan

Mitchell James Kaplan

One evening in 1924, Kay Swift witnesses George Gershwin playing “Rhapsody in Blue” at a concert. Thus begins a love affair between a society wife who longs for her own musical career and a young brilliant musician. Kaplan’s novel details the tangled bond between the two composers through the ups and downs of their careers, her loyalty to her husband, and his eventual death from brain cancer.

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What March 2021 Book Releases are You Most Excited to Read?

What books can you not wait to get your hands on this month? Did I miss any March 2021 book releases that you are anticipating? As always, let me know in the comments!

More New Book Releases:

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best new books march 2021

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New books: 22 new fiction and non-fiction titles to look out for in March 2021

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20 Best Books To Read in March

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MARCH 19, 2024

by Percival Everett

One of the noblest characters in American literature gets a novel worthy of him. Full review >

best new books march 2021

MARCH 5, 2024

by Xochitl Gonzalez

An uncompromising message, delivered via a gripping story with two engaging heroines. Full review >

WORRY

MARCH 26, 2024

by Alexandra Tanner

This hilarious, unremittingly jaundiced depiction of modern young adulthood hits rare extremes of both funny and sad. Full review >

GREAT EXPECTATIONS

MARCH 12, 2024

by Vinson Cunningham

A top-shelf intellectual bildungsroman. Full review >

WILD HOUSES

by Colin Barrett

A pointed and poignant commentary on life on the edges in rural Ireland. Full review >

PRIDE AND PRESTON LIN

by Christina Hwang Dudley

A contemporary spin on Jane Austen that combines the charm of the original with a new perspective. Full review >

HEADSHOT

by Rita Bullwinkel

The classic momentum of a sports narrative unfurls in unusually lyric and muscular language: a ferocious novel. Full review >

SAY HELLO TO MY LITTLE FRIEND

by Jennine Capó Crucet

Unclassifiable and unforgettable. Full review >

THE MORNINGSIDE

by Téa Obreht

A captivating blend of science fiction and magical realism with a wonderfully engaging protagonist. Full review >

HELP WANTED

by Adelle Waldman

The workplace dramedy of the year. Full review >

3 SHADES OF BLUE

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR

by James Kaplan

A marvelous must-read for jazz fans and anyone interested in this dynamic period of American music. Full review >

METARACISM

by Tricia Rose

A brilliant guide to a systemic malady that cannot be denied. Full review >

AMERICAN MOTHER

CURRENT EVENTS & SOCIAL ISSUES

by Colum McCann with Diane Foley

A harrowing memoir of grief and love. Full review >

YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR

by Morgan Parker

As Parker writes, “Words are ductile, delicate, and loaded like that.” Never more so than in her capable hands. Full review >

NO JUDGMENT

by Lauren Oyler

A challenging and often eye-opening nonfiction debut. Full review >

FEEDING GHOSTS

by Tessa Hulls ; illustrated by Tessa Hulls

A work that glimmers with insight, acumen, and an unwillingness to settle for simple answers. Full review >

HOW TO WIN AN INFORMATION WAR

by Peter Pomerantsev

A brilliantly inspired study of the power of propaganda to influence geopolitical narratives. Full review >

READING GENESIS

by Marilynne Robinson

In this highly learned yet accessible book, Robinson offers believers fresh insight into a well-studied text. Full review >

SOLDIERS AND KINGS

by Jason De León

An exemplary ethnography of central importance to any discussion of immigration policy or reform. Full review >

AN EMANCIPATION OF THE MIND

by Matthew Stewart

A sweeping, penetrating historical narrative. Full review >

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best new books march 2021

The best new books released in March, as selected by avid readers and critics

A collection of book covers on a green background

Welcome to ABC Arts' monthly book column: a shortlist of new releases read and recommended by The Book Show's Claire Nichols, The Bookshelf's Cassie McCullagh, ABC Arts' Nicola Heath and critic Declan Fry.

All read voraciously and widely, and the only guidelines we give them are: make it a new release; make it something you think is great.

Among our favourite reads in March are an exciting new work by ground-breaking philosopher Judith Butler, a pacy debut crime novel by ABC journalist Louise Milligan and a timely retelling of an American masterpiece by Booker-shortlisted author Percival Everett. 

Pheasants Nest by Louise Milligan

Allen & Unwin

A book cover showing a woman obscured by her long, windswept red hair against a blue background.

We already knew Louise Milligan could write. She won the Walkley Book Award for her non-fiction book Cardinal: The Rise and Fall of George Pell, and was Stella-shortlisted for her empathetic, furious follow-up, Witness, an investigation into the brutal cost of seeking justice. Now, she makes the move into crime fiction with a debut novel that begs to be read in a single sitting.

The book opens with reporter Kate Delaney waking up in the back of a car (the character is fictional but with her interest in social justice, her Irish background and her thick head of hair she bears more than a passing resemblance to Milligan herself).

She's been assaulted and kidnapped by a stranger after a night out in Melbourne. The car is heading north through the gothic landscapes of the NSW Southern Highlands, on its way towards Pheasants Nest Bridge — a place with a very real, grim history .

As a journalist, Kate knows how this story will play out in the media. She imagines the headlines, sees her face in an oval frame in the tabloids and knows suspicion will fall on her beloved partner Liam.

The writing style will be familiar to readers of contemporary crime fiction — present tense, short sentences — but this isn't your standard pulpy crime novel. Milligan writes with flair, and her characters will surprise you with their depth and gallows humour.

Her heroine, Kate, refuses to be a victim, even when restrained in the back of a car. And the investigating police officer, Peter D'Ambrosio, is a gentle, "weepy-eyed" man traumatised by the things he's seen in his job.

Milligan's years of reporting are on display in this novel, which explores the impact of a crime not only on the victim but on the family, friends and police officers who are spurred into action when the unimaginable happens.

— Claire Nichols

Who's Afraid of Gender? by Judith Butler

A book cover showing text in purple, yellow and white on a black background

As writers, we all love words (and, often, word salads). Books by academics or philosophers aimed at a wider audience are especially vulnerable. How do you convey nuance, intellectual disclaimers, histories and contexts, without it all becoming a ramble? Or, as a good friend and translator (let's keep him anonymous) told me: what to say of books that leave us thinking, simply, "Yes, and …?"

What I appreciated about this book is how the "and?" question offers readers an invitation — a way of thinking through issues of violence and subjugation, gender and sexuality, on which Butler has written presciently for several decades now.

Who's Afraid of Gender sees them taking names (spoiler alert: the Roman Catholic Church is one) and, yes, maybe kicking a bit of ass. As Butler puts it: "A clear threat for some, but for others, a sign of hope, even a sight of gathering, 'gender' is in the process of getting queered, reworked and revised, twisted and replaced."

For those who fear this queering, Butler offers counsel: "They have a great deal to lose, and they should start that process of mourning."

A great deal to lose? Yes, and … not because gender is a zero-sum game. Categories like "woman" can become closed, narrow, a site of reactionary binaries and new forms of fascism when they are used to frame questions around sexuality and gender as either/or. These are complicated social constructions, often saddled with enough oppressive expectations and demands already.

To identify as any gender, Butler suggests, is to become part of a community whose cultures and struggles no one can exclusively claim.

Moreover, the category is not static: it changes over time. It is made up of histories and contexts that cannot be easily simplified or reduced, especially by those who would use this as a means of excluding others. Its malleability has enabled different actors — from feminists to trans activists — to fight for change in the ways that we define and treat women and men.

As Butler writes, "If these were timeless categories, they could not be redefined, which means that whatever the category of 'women' once meant is what it means forever. That would toss both feminism and history into the dustbin."

In large part, Butler's concern is with the mutability of sex and gender (and mutability does not mean something is "not real"; as history shows, something can be both real and changeable).

They explore the view from the Vatican (not great); how gender has been treated by the courts; the deprivation of healthcare and the censorship of education; whether our ideas about "sex" and biological difference really are permanent and universal; the interventions of racial and colonial legacies across the globe; and considerations of gender in different languages.

Although it contained some odd moments , I appreciated Butler's reflections on translation: the pronouns and words people use to discuss gender are often refused and criticised on the basis of some supposed linguistic rule-breaking or grammatical incompatibility, both within the conventions of English and of other languages.

When I first began reading Who's Afraid of Gender, I was at the gym. A bro walked past, fingers clicking, nodding. I like this! they said. Reading during the break!

I nodded back. Yeah, bro.

And when I returned to Butler, everything I knew — or thought I knew — went on breaking.

– Declan Fry

James: A Novel by Percival Everett

A book cover with light blue and black text and a drawing of a black boy with a stick over his shoulder on an orange background

One, and just one, of the extraordinary things about James by Percival Everett is that, for anything that can be said regarding it, the opposite is also true. It's safe, but also dangerous. It's heartbreaking, but also utterly hilarious. It's a simple tale, but also complex, profound, crammed with ideas.

The award-winning writer of more than 25 books — including 2001's Erasure that was turned into the 2023 film American Fiction , which won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay — Everett now turns his unique voice to reimagining The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, told through the eyes of the enslaved character Jim.

The safety here comes in the surety of the writing; we're in the hands of a writer in full and effortless flight, each word deliberate, each sentence winnowed of chaff.

The danger comes in the remaking of an American masterpiece. Mark Twain's book can never be the same now that James exists. Now we've seen the world through the eyes of the "enlightened" Huck's sidekick, how can Twain's Jim now be anything but a glaring omission, a yawning void waiting to be filled by the magnificent human Everett has created or, perhaps, restored?

Danger is also in the deliciously nervous laughter Everett elicits: a wandering troupe of blackface minstrels see no issue with enlisting James to their lampoonery; a would-be lynch mob is thwarted by its own stupidity and blind prejudice.

But while there's electricity in its humour, there's a heavy weight in its heart. The cost of a single stolen pencil is distressing beyond words, and yet we know that price was paid over and over again.

The bitter truth was never so generously offered.

— Cassie McCullagh

Scrap by Calla Henkel

A book cover showing a stylised graphic of a woman with sharp bobbed hair on a red background

"Someone is always guilty — this is the intrinsic propulsion of true crime…"

That's the opening of Calla Henkel's gracefully written and very, very funny book. It is even better than her debut, Other People's Clothes, which won her a cult following.

Artist Esther Ray thinks she has finally found home. Her childhood has been difficult — a "shitty duplex in Dayton, Ohio" with an "alcoholic beauty of a mother" tragically killed in a car accident. Her father is barely there.

"I had spent many early teenage nights" she reflects, "staring into the pudgy brick houses of the nicer neighborhoods, astral-projecting into the glowing living rooms until I could feel their throw blankets scratching my own shoulders." Now she lives a peaceful country idyll in a ramshackle house up in the woods with her fiancé, Jessica.

But when Jessica dumps Esther and their "cottage-core-lesbian-fantasy" she retreats, seeking solace in the world of true-crime podcasts — Bundy, Manson, the Gilgo Beach murders. She wants to find a way out, gorging on "the extra-terrestrial world of sociopathic behavior, convincing myself that Jessica was no different from them — I was after-all a woman she had abandoned in the mountains".

Now, alone and with a mortgage to pay, she turns to Naomi Duncan, wealthy patron of the arts ("She had a sort of prophetic new age look, part Florence and the Machine, part aspirational Jane Goodall").

Naomi offers Esther a job, one with a five-page NDA: collate and turn a couple of decades' worth of the Duncans' family photos and mementos into a series of specially made scrapbooks. It's a surprise, Naomi says, for her husband on his birthday.

As Esther trawls through the family photos, she begins to encounter weirder elements — invoices, receipts, financial statements — all of which Naomi hopes she will include.

Strange things start to happen. An odd neighbour moves in down the road. Esther begins to uncover sinister things about the Duncans' daughter, Tabitha — something that seems connected to the loss of the family's second daughter. And then Naomi dies suspiciously…

Twisty and acerbic, this is the sharp-tongued meditation on money, art, power and the joy of being totally destroyed by a good true-crime podcast that I didn't know I needed.

Outspoken by Sima Samar with Sally Armstrong

HarperCollins Australia

A book cover with text overlaid on a photograph of a woman teaching a class of girls wearing headscarves outdoors

Outspoken — a memoir by Afghan doctor, politician and human rights advocate Sima Samar — opens with a violent attack on a girls' school on a bright spring morning in May 2021. The final death toll was more than 85, most of them schoolchildren.

It was a devastating moment for Samar, who has collaborated with Canadian journalist Sally Armstrong to produce a fascinating insider's view of her decades-long fight to defend human rights in a country long besieged by war and religious extremism.

"When the first explosion tore into the Sayed Al-Shuhada school in Dasht-e-Barchi, a neighbourhood in West Kabul where members of the Hazara ethnic minority live, my hopes for the future were dashed and my heart broke — again," she writes.

Samar was born in Jaghori, a district 300 kilometres south-west of Kabul, in 1957. She always felt uneasy about the way women were treated in Afghan society but, with her father's support, she attended school in Lashkar Gah and later university in Kabul, where she studied medicine. In the early 80s, after her husband was detained by the government, Samar escaped the capital and established a medical practice in Jaghori.

"Practising medicine in a rural district demonstrated brutally that the lives of women were nearly unbearable and that the lack of education and abject poverty were the direct result of the turmoil the country was in," she writes.

In the last five decades, Afghanistan has found itself at the centre of a series of conflicts that serve as proxy wars for larger geopolitical rivalries, including the Cold War and the War on Terror. And as Samar illustrates in her memoir, the civilian population, particularly the women, has paid a terrible price for this misfortune.

When the occupying Soviets withdrew from Afghanistan in 1989, they left a power vacuum that triggered a "fratricidal bloodbath", as mujahideen battled for power across the country and set the stage for the rise of the Taliban, who took power in 1996. The Taliban's ascendency spelled disaster for Afghan women, whose already-limited freedom was further curtailed. Samar describes shocking atrocities committed against women that come straight from the pages of The Handmaid's Tale, including public whipping and death-by-stoning.

Afghanistan again found itself at the centre of a geopolitical storm in the aftermath of September 11. However, throughout the years of war, Samar continued to run schools and hospitals and advocate for the women of Afghanistan on the international stage.

Following the US-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, Samar took her place in the cabinet as deputy chair and minister for women's affairs in President Hamid Karzai's Interim Administration. She went on to chair the newly created Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) from 2002 to 2019, and served on the UN Secretary-General's High-Level Panel on Internal Displacement.

Samar offers a damning account of the political missteps that led to the Taliban regaining power and the catastrophic fall of Kabul in August 2021. She writes: "The Taliban played the international community like a fiddle."

Outspoken is also Samar's call to the world to continue fighting for the rights of women and girls in Afghanistan at a critical moment in the nation's history.

"I leave you with hope — hope that my own story helps Afghans to invest in the female members of their families, to respect freedom of choice for their daughters and sisters, to create a future with values that see women as partners."

– Nicola Heath

On Kim Scott by Tony Birch

A book cover with a purple background, white text and two small circular black and white photos of male authors

The latest addition to Black Inc's Writers on Writers series is significant: this is the first to feature a Black writer appraising the work of another Black writer. Tracing Kim Scott's career, Tony Birch adopts a patient, rigorous approach — a testament to his years of scholarship and teaching.

The canonising implicit in the Writers on Writers series encourages consideration, not only of some of our most beloved authors, but also of the nation itself.

In the same year Scott's Miles Franklin-winning Benang was published, the historian Henry Reynolds asked "Why weren't we told?" . Birch looks at how the process of "settlement", both historically and within Scott's work, has seen Australia transplant its "frontiers" inside of "the civilised world of the institution and a supportive bureaucratic framework".

What anthropologist W.E.H Stanner called "the great Australian silence" is a tale everyone may choose, if they wish, to hear. Or not: Scott's writing reminds us that we have not always lived within the same silences in this country.

Part of Birch's work here is in tracing questions of continuity and change. He looks at how the initial effect of Scott's most acclaimed novels, and the questions they pose, transform over time into aftershocks and renewed invitations.

No slouching here: Birch covers the range of Scott's writing as a musician plays the registers — the discordant and dissonant as well as the harmonies and depths.

He writes of real-life historical figures like AO Neville, who had a disastrous (and ongoing) effect on Aboriginal communities, comparing Neville to the insatiable and conniving character Ern Scat (that name!) in Benang. We are reminded that Scott's novel, with its "first white man born" protagonist, is a provocation: he is trying to describe a history that resists the closed-book logics of finality and conclusion.

"Some pieces easily connect to each other," Birch writes of Benang. "Others do not. Do not try to force the pieces together, as they will refuse your efforts… The reader [must] keep faith with the artist."

As in much of the Black Inc. series, the critic's own life and their appraisal of the author's work coalesce in vivid set pieces: I think of Josephine Rowe, haunted and unmoored by her encounter with Beverley Farmer's The Bone House at Bertie and Lorri Whiting's studio in Rome; or Stan Grant reading Thomas Keneally's Jimmie Blacksmith, revealing the contradictions of self and identity in his desire "to tell you exactly who he is, just so long as he doesn't think you are trying to tell him first".

Birch shows us that, in the work of Kim Scott, decolonisation and self-determination are not matters of guilt or hand-wringing. They are much less matters of settler-colonial self-absorption — they are an ongoing and constant practice.

We all live on Country. We all respect and follow Country. Even upon a stolen continent we can, if we choose to, still learn to share something. Something that cannot be broken, something that can never be taken.

Tune in to ABC RN at 10am Mondays for  The Book Show  and 10am Saturdays for  The Bookshelf .

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Best March Books We Reviewed

As spring is officially in full bloom and the sunshine is soaking through the trees, we’re beginning to think about using moisturizer with SPF and, of course, reading.

Yes, the New Year’s resolution is still going strong as the third month of the year is coming to a close. After reading 13 books in January and soaking up all the good rom-coms in more last month, too, I have the ranked-and-reviewed edit of the best March books to sort through below.

As always, I have a vigilant eye on new releases and hidden gems worth page-turning through. From current picks from Reese’s Book Club to Read with Jenna , along with Book of the Month , there are so many epic titles I’ve completed and enjoyed this month. Hence, the creation of this review.

RELATED : Best February books we read, ranked and reviewed

In total, I read 16 books cover to cover. Below, you’ll find my review notes along with some commentary from the Amazon Book Editors on most titles. This is a page you’ll want to save for your next book haul, of which should be now. Add to cart, add to cart .

“Part of Your World” by Abby Jimenez

"Part of Your World" by Abby Jimenez

“Part of Your World” by Abby Jimenez was the first book I read and March and an absolute five-star read for me. In fact, it goes down in history as one of the most memorable and well-written rom coms I’ve enjoyed.

“This opposite-attracts romance will make you swoon with delight,” Kami Tei, editor of Amazon Books editorial, told The Post. “ER doctor Alexis has expectations to carry on the family legacy; however, her pull to Daniel, the small-town carpenter, has her questioning everything.”

Just as I did, Tei adored Alexis and Daniel but also fell in love with the cast of characters surrounding them. “Compelling topics like classism, depression, and domestic violence bring depth to this story, making it relatable to the everyday struggles of real people,” she added.

“Yours Truly” by Abby Jimenez

"Yours Truly" by Abby Jimenez

The second book in the “Part of Your World” series, “Yours Truly” by Abby Jimenez was just as incredible as the first. With a unique premise of the male and female love interest writing notes to each other, their story is one of the most realistic I’ve encountered in a rom-com. Additionally, the representation of mental health was tasteful and relatable to nearly every reader who may struggle with overthinking and other struggles.

“Abby Jimenez continues to elevate her signature realistic romance writing style with ‘Yours Truly,'” Tei added. “Set in the same hospital as her last novel, Part of Your World, this enemies-to-lovers and fake-dating story is more complex than your typical romance. There are struggles with anxiety, illness, betrayal…and, of course, romance.”

“The Hunting Party” by Lucy Foley

"The Hunting Party" by Lucy Foley

For a thriller that takes place at a hunting lodge, I’d say “The Hunting Party” by Lucy Foley was a cozy and suspenseful read. While not eerily scary, it was still a well-done who-dun-it where everyone was a suspect.

“Don’t you just hate it when you reunite with old college friends at a remote hunting lodge, and then you get snowed in before you realize one of you is a murderer?” Vannessa Cronin, senior editor of Amazon Books Editorial, questioned. “It makes keeping your friends close and your enemies closer fraught with the difficulty of the deadly kind. A fresh spin on the whodunit, with a great why-dun-it plot line.”

Not to mention, this one keeps those pages turning fast.

“The Last Love Note” by Emma Grey

"The Last Love Note" by Emma Grey

“The Last Love Note” by Emma Grey is an emotional novel about grief, love and reflection. Extremely well done, it was a memorable book that will surely leave a lasting impact after you’ve read the last page.

And, if you know you’ll never stop loving the husband you lost way too soon, what hope can you have for a second chance at love? “Grey’s novel is heartbreaking and funny-bone-tickling by page turns,” Cronin noted. “It captures all of the messy, funny, scary, beautiful and sad stops on the road to realizing that, with hope and resilience, an unexpected second act might still be in the cards.”

“Bye, Baby” by Carola Lovering

"Bye, Baby" by Carola Lovering

Meet another five-star read of mine for the month of March: “Bye, Baby” by Carola Lovering. As part of Sarah’s Selects — a seriously good Amazon book club — I finished this in practically one sitting. If you love gripping friendship tropes with an air of mystery and a swanky urban setting, this book is surely for you.

“Billie West is sitting in a New York City apartment when she hears her childhood best friend, Cassie, let out a bloodcurdling scream from the floor above her,” Sarah Gelman, editorial director of Amazon Books Editorial and founder of Sarah Selects, shared. “Cassie is screaming because her baby has disappeared from her apartment. Billie knows this because she is the one who has kidnapped the baby. If this creepy scene doesn’t immediately hook you, check your pulse!”

For that reason “Bye, Baby” is a psychologically twisted story about a longtime friendship and the rift caused not only by time but also when one friend is a parent and the other is not at that phase of life just yet.

“Listen for the Lie” by Amy Tintera

"Listen for the Lie" by Amy Tintera

“A funny mystery is almost always a contradiction — either the funny or the mystery usually ends up taking a back seat,” Cronin said. “This is not the case in ‘Listen for the Lie,’ in which Lucy returns to her small Texas town to take on a podcaster who’s digging into the night Lucy can’t remember when, to hear the townspeople tell it, she killed her best friend.”

I thoroughly enjoyed this mystery and it surely kept me on my toes. It was also a fairly quick read because I wanted to get to the ending (and, there was a quite shocking twist!) “This is a fresh juicy murder mystery with a deliciously untrustworthy narrator,” Cronin added. “You will want to discuss this read with someone.”

“Women of Good Fortune” by Sophie Wan

"Women of Good Fortune" by Sophie Wan

“Women of Good Fortune” by Sophie Wan is giving “ Crazy Rich Asians “: it’s witty, infused with Asian culture that will fascinate you and has a memorable plot.

Set against a high-society Shanghai wedding, this novel centers around a reluctant bride and her two best friends. All of them have their own feelings as to how society treats women and are *very* much over it, so they conjure a plan to steal all the gift money on the big day of the marriage that, at its core, wasn’t of true love. This was one of the most unique books I’ve read and a must-read, for sure.

“Fool Me Once” by Ashley Winstead

"Fool Me Once" by Ashley Winstead

“Fool Me Once” by Ashley Winstead has been on my reading list for a while and a book I’d recommend to anyone who loves plots starring ambitious characters in a glossy, glamorous setting. Lee Stone, a high-powered communications director at a women-run electric car company, had four major heartbreaks of her own. Then, someone from her past shows up…

When Ben shows up five years later, working as a policy expert for the most liberal governor in Texas history, it happens to be the same time Lee is fighting to get a clean energy bill rolling. Soon enough, they’re forced to work together, where old flames are on the rise. Well-written, unique and coming-of-age, I found this fiction read to be delightful from beginning to end.

“Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of an American Family” by Robert Kolker

"Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of an American Family" by Robert Kolker

For lovers of sociology and family dynamics, “Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of an American Family” by Robert Kolker is an inside look at a midcentury American family with twelve children, six of them diagnosed with schizophrenia. Ultimately, the family ties became science’s “great hope,” per Goodreads, in the quest to understand the disease.

“Six of Don and Mimi Galvin’s twelve children were diagnosed with schizophrenia, starting when the eldest was a teen, and mental illness rampaged through the family,” Cronin explained. “Kolker frames an unforgettable, heart-rending story against the bewildering history of schizophrenia, and elevates both with outstanding reportage, deep empathy and superb storytelling.”

“Anita de Monte Laughs Last” by Xóchitl González

"Anita de Monte Laughs Last" by Xóchitl González

As Reese’s Book Club pick for March, “Anita de Monte Laughs Last” by Xóchitl González happened to be featured on my personal to-read list as well, so I was excited to dive into this one. It reminded me much of “Gilmore Girls” in a unique way, as the protagonist was a student of art who had an infectious drive for what she pursued.

This novel moves back and forth through different time periods, from Anita’s rising art fame in 1985 to Raquel, a third-year art history student in 1998. Without giving too much away, it’s a witty and clever examination of power, love and art and — most importantly — what dictates our legacy.

“Never Too Late” by Danielle Steel

"Never Too Late" by Danielle Steel

As a women with dozens of New York Times’ best-sellers, Danielle Steel continues to publish relaxing and character-centric stories with unique messages. “Never Too Late” is her latest novel, which I found refreshing and a bit different from the other books I read this month.

Following the death of her beloved husband, Kezia Cooper Hobson decides to leave her home in San Francisco and move to a luxury penthouse in Manhattan, where her two daughters live. Soon enough, Kezia finds smoke and flames pour from famous landmarks, which leads to great bonding and healing among the characters. Simply put, it’s a book that’ll open everyone’s perspectives, for sure.

“The House on Mango Street” by Sandra Cisneros

"The House on Mango Street" by Sandra Cisneros

For the month of March, Read with Jenna had two book club picks, and I decided to read “The House on Mango Street” by Sandra Cisneros as it was more my speed.

Translated all over the world and considered an academic classic, this novel, in a nutshell, is the story of a young Latina girl growing up in Chicago, inventing for herself who and what she will become. 

“My Husband” by Maud Ventura

"My Husband" by Maud Ventura

OK, we all need to talk about “My Husband” by Maud Ventura. If you love gripping novels about relationships and obsession, this story is one of the quickest reads, with the main premise of a woman wholeheartedly obsessed with her husband. In a way, it’s a raw satire.

Darkly funny and marked with a poignant twist, you’ll come to find out if their relationship will withstand her passionate love — or, if that love will allow for the relationship to crumble.

Other March Books to Read, per the Amazon Books Editorial team

“expiration dates” by rebecca serle.

"Expiration Dates" by Rebecca Serle

“I know I love a book when I can’t stop thinking about it,” Abby Abell, senior editor of Amazon Books Editorial, told The Post. “That’s how I feel about the latest from Rebecca Serle (author of “In Five Years” and “One Italian Summer”), which is one of our Best of the Month reads.”

What’s more, I read an advance copy of this title a few months ago and loved it, all because this other focuses on magical realism which gives extra oomph to your traditional fiction read. “For over twenty years, Daphne has received a note telling her how long her relationships will last,” Abell shared. “Until one day, Daphne receives a note with just a name —Jack.”

Ultimately, this novel goes beyond a lighthearted romance to explore the ways we let fate shape our lives, for better or worse. 

“The Hunter” by Tana French

"The Hunter" by Tana French

“With plotlines that mine family, deception, and revenge, Irish author French delivers a mesmerizing master class in character development and plotting, propelled by all the atmosphere and suspense of a thriller, but studded with the pinprick emotional accuracy of a top-notch literary novel,” Cronin shared.

She told The Post that not only she but the Amazon Books Editorial team at large, were so bummed when it ended, “we thought about starting it all over again.”

“This Could Be Us” by Kennedy Ryan

"This Could Be Us" by Kennedy Ryan

Have you ever been so into a story that nothing else around you registers, as you take slow, deep breaths and absorb every word? That is exactly the trance “This Could Be Us” put the Amazon Books Editorial team in.

“So multi-dimensional — as life can be — ‘This Could Be Us’ covers both the negative and the positive outcomes of divorce, self-discovery, autism, raising kids, the power of friendships and other huge life changes…but it is written in a way that is real and relatable,” Tei offered.

Steeped in lessons of self-love and opening yourself to receive the love you deserve from others,” she said “this is a read you won’t be able to put down.”

“If You Can’t Take The Heat: Tales of Food, Feminism and Fury”by Geraldine DeRuiter

"If You Can't Take The Heat: Tales of Food, Feminism and Fury"by Geraldine DeRuiter

Come for the amazing cover, stay for the laugh-out-loud funny and blisteringly smart read.

“Food writer Geraldine DeRuiter dishes out pop culture, thought-provoking insights, and hard-fought wisdom that will make you chortle, tear up, and text everyone you know,” Lindsay Powers, senior editor of Amazon Books Editorial, said. “This is one of our Best of the Month nonfiction reads.”

“The Trading Game: A Confession” by Gary Stevenson

"The Trading Game:  A Confession" by Gary Stevenson

“It seems like dishy finance reads are having a moment — Carrie Sun’s memoir of working at a hedge fund, Michael Lewis’s biography of Sam Bankman-Fried and now ‘The Trading Game,'” Al Woodworth, senior editor of Amazon Books Editorial, shared.

Describing deals as “bank robbery,” Stevenson lays bare the high-stakes world of risk and reward that dominated his time in trading. “If you’re a fan of the show “Billions” or loved the canonical Liars Poker, Stevenson’s memoir will hit like the rush of a deal,” he added.

Hunting for a headline-worthy haul? Keep shopping with Post Wanted.

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best new books march 2021

The New York Times Best Sellers - April 07, 2024

Authoritatively ranked lists of books sold in the united states, sorted by format and genre..

This copy is for your personal, noncommercial use only.

  • Combined Print & E-Book Fiction

THE WOMEN by Kristin Hannah

7 weeks on the list

by Kristin Hannah

In 1965, a nursing student follows her brother to serve during the Vietnam War and returns to a divided America.

  • Apple Books
  • Barnes and Noble
  • Books-A-Million

THE #1 LAWYER by James Patterson and Nancy Allen

New this week

THE #1 LAWYER

by James Patterson and Nancy Allen

A criminal defense attorney in Biloxi becomes the prime suspect in his wife’s murder.

FOURTH WING by Rebecca Yarros

47 weeks on the list

FOURTH WING

by Rebecca Yarros

Violet Sorrengail is urged by the commanding general, who also is her mother, to become a candidate for the elite dragon riders.

IRON FLAME by Rebecca Yarros

20 weeks on the list

The second book in the Empyrean series. Violet Sorrengail’s next round of training might require her to betray the man she loves.

JAMES by Percival Everett

by Percival Everett

A reimagining of “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” shines a different light on Mark Twain's classic, revealing new facets of the character of Jim.

  • Combined Print & E-Book Nonfiction

GET IT TOGETHER by Jesse Watters

GET IT TOGETHER

by Jesse Watters

The Fox News host gives his take on some people whose political views differ from the ones to which he subscribes.

I'M GLAD MY MOM DIED by Jennette McCurdy

62 weeks on the list

I'M GLAD MY MOM DIED

by Jennette McCurdy

The actress and filmmaker describes her eating disorders and difficult relationship with her mother.

THE WAGER by David Grann

48 weeks on the list

by David Grann

The survivors of a shipwrecked British vessel on a secret mission during an imperial war with Spain have different accounts of events.

THE BODY KEEPS THE SCORE by Bessel van der Kolk

186 weeks on the list

THE BODY KEEPS THE SCORE

by Bessel van der Kolk

How trauma affects the body and mind, and innovative treatments for recovery.

KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON by David Grann

121 weeks on the list

KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON

The story of a murder spree in 1920s Oklahoma that targeted Osage Indians, whose lands contained oil.

  • Hardcover Fiction

46 weeks on the list

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  • Hardcover Nonfiction

76 weeks on the list

BARBIE: THE WORLD TOUR by Margot Robbie and Andrew Mukamal

BARBIE: THE WORLD TOUR

by Margot Robbie and Andrew Mukamal

The producer and star of the movie “Barbie” teams up with her stylist and a fashion photographer to capture looks inspired by the doll-size originals.

OUTLIVE by Peter Attia with Bill Gifford

52 weeks on the list

by Peter Attia with Bill Gifford

A look at recent scientific research on aging and longevity.

  • Paperback Trade Fiction

HAPPY PLACE by Emily Henry

3 weeks on the list

HAPPY PLACE

by Emily Henry

A former couple pretend to be together for the sake of their friends during their annual getaway in Maine.

ICEBREAKER by Hannah Grace

58 weeks on the list

by Hannah Grace

Anastasia might need the help of the captain of a college hockey team to get on the Olympic figure skating team.

THE HOUSEMAID by Freida McFadden

THE HOUSEMAID

by Freida McFadden

Troubles surface when a woman looking to make a fresh start takes a job in the home of the Winchesters.

THE TEACHER by Freida McFadden

THE TEACHER

A math teacher at Caseham High suspects there is more going on behind a scandal involving a teacher and a student.

THE INMATE by Freida McFadden

A nurse practitioner at a maximum-security prison gave testimony against her former boyfriend that put him behind bars.

  • Paperback Nonfiction

283 weeks on the list

160 weeks on the list

The story of a murder spree in 1920s Oklahoma that targeted Osage Indians, whose lands contained oil. The fledgling F.B.I. intervened, ineffectively.

MASTERS OF THE AIR by Donald L. Miller

8 weeks on the list

MASTERS OF THE AIR

by Donald L. Miller

An account of the American Eighth Air Force in World War II; the basis of the TV series.

THINK AGAIN by Adam Grant

13 weeks on the list

THINK AGAIN

by Adam Grant

An examination of the cognitive skills of rethinking and unlearning that could be used to adapt to a rapidly changing world.

THE BOYS IN THE BOAT by Daniel James Brown

159 weeks on the list

THE BOYS IN THE BOAT

by Daniel James Brown

The story of the American rowers who pursued gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games; the basis of the film.

  • Advice, How-To & Miscellaneous

ATOMIC HABITS by James Clear

226 weeks on the list

ATOMIC HABITS

by James Clear

SUPERCOMMUNICATORS by Charles Duhigg

5 weeks on the list

SUPERCOMMUNICATORS

by Charles Duhigg

MOSTLY WHAT GOD DOES by Savannah Guthrie

MOSTLY WHAT GOD DOES

by Savannah Guthrie

ZAYTINYA by José Andrés with Michael Costa

by José Andrés with Michael Costa

THE CREATIVE ACT by Rick Rubin with Neil Strauss

THE CREATIVE ACT

by Rick Rubin with Neil Strauss

  • Children’s Middle Grade Hardcover

HEROES by Alan Gratz

by Alan Gratz

The friends Frank and Stanley give a vivid account of the Pearl Harbor attack.

THE SUN AND THE STAR by Rick Riordan and Mark Oshiro

THE SUN AND THE STAR

by Rick Riordan and Mark Oshiro

The demigods Will and Nico embark on a dangerous journey to the Underworld to rescue an old friend.

THE COMPLETE COOKBOOK FOR YOUNG CHEFS by America's Test Kitchen Kids

191 weeks on the list

THE COMPLETE COOKBOOK FOR YOUNG CHEFS

by America's Test Kitchen Kids

Over 100 kid-tested recipes from America's Test Kitchen.

FERRIS by  Kate DiCamillo

by Kate DiCamillo

During the summer before fifth grade, 10 year-old Ferris contends with friends’ and family’s bouts with love.

THE EYES AND THE IMPOSSIBLE by Dave Eggers. Illustrations by Shawn Harris

11 weeks on the list

THE EYES AND THE IMPOSSIBLE

by Dave Eggers. Illustrations by Shawn Harris

A dog who serves as the eyes for three bison in a park enclosure devises a plan to free them.

  • Children’s Picture Books

HOW TO CATCH THE EASTER BUNNY by Adam Wallace and Andy Elkerton

29 weeks on the list

HOW TO CATCH THE EASTER BUNNY

by Adam Wallace and Andy Elkerton

The Easter Bunny avoids traps in order to deliver eggs and candy.

THE GOOD EGG PRESENTS: THE GREAT EGGSCAPE! by Jory John. Illustrated by Pete Oswald

25 weeks on the list

THE GOOD EGG PRESENTS: THE GREAT EGGSCAPE!

by Jory John. Illustrated by Pete Oswald

Good Egg and his pals escape their carton!

PETE THE CAT: BIG EASTER ADVENTURE by James Dean and Kimberly Dean

45 weeks on the list

PETE THE CAT: BIG EASTER ADVENTURE

by James Dean and Kimberly Dean

A certain rabbit needs Pete's help.

GRUMPY MONKEY SPRING FEVER by Suzanne Lang. Illustrated by Max Lang

GRUMPY MONKEY SPRING FEVER

by Suzanne Lang. Illustrated by Max Lang

Jim Panzee catches a bad case of spring fever.

DRAGONS LOVE TACOS by Adam Rubin. Illustrated by Daniel Salmieri

436 weeks on the list

DRAGONS LOVE TACOS

by Adam Rubin. Illustrated by Daniel Salmieri

What to serve your dragon-guests.

  • Children’s Series

DIARY OF A WIMPY KID written and illustrated by Jeff Kinney

784 weeks on the list

DIARY OF A WIMPY KID

written and illustrated by Jeff Kinney

The travails and challenges of adolescence.

PERCY JACKSON & THE OLYMPIANS by Rick Riordan

717 weeks on the list

PERCY JACKSON & THE OLYMPIANS

by Rick Riordan

A boy battles mythological monsters.

A GOOD GIRL'S GUIDE TO MURDER by Holly Jackson

130 weeks on the list

A GOOD GIRL'S GUIDE TO MURDER

by Holly Jackson

Pippa Fitz-Amobi solves murderous crimes.

BOYS OF TOMMEN by Chloe Walsh

2 weeks on the list

BOYS OF TOMMEN

by Chloe Walsh

In Ireland, friends at the private school Tommen College prepare for adulthood.

HARRY POTTER by J.K. Rowling

783 weeks on the list

HARRY POTTER

by J.K. Rowling

A wizard hones his conjuring skills in the service of fighting evil.

  • Young Adult Hardcover

POWERLESS by Lauren Roberts

by Lauren Roberts

Forbidden love is in the air when Paedyn, an Ordinary, and Kai, an Elite, become romantically involved.

DIVINE RIVALS by Rebecca Ross

40 weeks on the list

DIVINE RIVALS

by Rebecca Ross

Two young rival journalists find love through a magical connection.

THE PRISONER'S THRONE by Holly Black

THE PRISONER'S THRONE

by Holly Black

An imprisoned Prince Oak must decide between his love and his kingdom.

RUTHLESS VOWS by Rebecca Ross

RUTHLESS VOWS

In the sequel to "Divine Rivals," Roman and Iris will risk their hearts and futures to change the tides of the war.

MURTAGH by Christopher Paolini

by Christopher Paolini

Murtagh and his dragon, Thorn, must find and outwit a mysterious witch.

Weekly Best Sellers Lists

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  • Best Of 2021

Best New Romance Books of March 2021

The 10 best new romance books of march 2021 are perfect for ringing in spring.

best new books march 2021

As POPSUGAR editors, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. If you buy a product we have recommended, we may receive affiliate commission, which in turn supports our work.

If you're looking for love this month, ditch the dating apps and turn to one of March's best romance reads instead. Whether you're looking for something steamy or sweet (or both!), this month's selection of new releases has you covered. Among the highlights are Talia Hibbert's latest instalment in her Brown sisters series, a fake-dating rom-com from Sara Desai, and a moving story about characters finding love after suffering a profound loss. The one thing all of March's best new romances have in common is that they'll keep you up way past your bedtime turning the pages to find out whether the protagonists will get the happily ever afters they deserve.

Need even more romance-read suggestions? Don't forget to check out the best swoon-worthy books of February , too.

1 The Wedding Game by Meghan Quinn

The Wedding Game by Meghan Quinn

Meghan Quinn's The Wedding Game has a genius premise: crafting queen Luna Rossi convinces her brother and his husband-to-be to join her in competing on a DIY reality show called The Wedding Game , where she meets Alec Baxter, a cynical divorce lawyer. If you're guessing that sparks fly between Luna and the gruff Alec, then you are absolutely right, and it's magical.

Out March 1

2 Accidentally Engaged by Farah Heron

Accidentally Engaged by Farah Heron

Attention, Great British Baking Show fans: this one is for you. Accidentally Engaged by Farah Heron follows Reena Manji, who is far more interested in baking than she is in dating the men her parents have deemed a potential "Good Muslim Husband." But when a once-in-a-lifetime chance to enter a prestigious baking competition comes along, Reena is ready to swallow her pride and pretend to be engaged to the gorgeous Nadim if that's the price she has to pay for admission.

Out March 2

3 Float Plan by Trish Doller

Float Plan by Trish Doller

Float Plan by Trish Doller is an emotionally complex story about two people who are learning to love again after taking to the high seas on a sailboat. Before his death, Anna and her fiancé had planned to go on a sailing trip in the Caribbean, but now that he's gone, she needs someone else to help her keep the boat on track. That someone is the Irish sailor Keane, who is navigating some grief of his own when he agrees to join Anna on her adventure.

4 Yes & I Love You by Roni Loren

Yes & I Love You by Roni Loren

Roni Loren's Yes & I Love You follows Hollyn, a witty reviewer who hides behind her online identity as Miz Poppy until her boss requests for her to add videos to her posts. This leads her to the handsome barista and aspiring actor Jasper Deares, who volunteers to help her conquer her fears.

5 Act Your Age, Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert

Act Your Age, Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert

Talia Hibbert's bestselling Brown sisters series continues with Act Your Age, Eve Brown . This time around, it's the energetic and unpredictable Eve's turn to find love after her parents force her to figure out what she wants to do with her life. Their ultimatum leads her to the door of the orderly and practical bed-and-breakfast owner Jacob Wayne, whom she promptly (accidentally) hits with her car.

Out March 9

6 The Devil Wears Black by L.J. Shen

The Devil Wears Black by L.J. Shen

The Devil Wears Black by L.J. Shen is a deliciously seductive second-chance romance novel. Everything in Maddie Goldbloom's life is perfect until her no-good ex Chase Black shows up asking her to pose as his fiancée. And while the request is ridiculous, she simply can't pass up the chance to toy with the man who broke her heart.

7 Everything After by Jill Santopolo

Everything After by Jill Santopolo

Jill Santopolo's Everything After is a beautiful tearjerker about a woman torn between her first love and the wonderful life she has built with a new man. Fifteen years ago, Emily lost Rob, the man she loved, and her passion for music all in one horrible year. And while she thought she had moved on, a new tragedy brings back ghosts from her past she never expected to encounter again.

8 Sandcastle Beach by Jenny Holiday

Sandcastle Beach by Jenny Holiday

Sandcastle Beach by Jenny Holiday is a hate-to-love romance that's as funny as it is sexy. Maya Mehta is on a mission to save her local community theatre, and the only thing standing in her way is her arch nemesis: Benjamin "Law" Lawson, a local bar owner. When the two go head to head to compete for a grant, sparks fly as Maya and Law begin to realise why people say there's a thin line between love and hate.

9 Emerett Has Never Been in Love by Anyta Sunday

Emerett Has Never Been in Love by Anyta Sunday

Emerett Has Never Been in Love by Anyta Sunday is an LGBTQ+ romance that's full of witty banter and breathtakingly romantic moments. The story centres on the titular Emerett, who is distracting himself from his best friend's marriage by playing matchmaker. But what he doesn't expect is for his best friend's dad, Knight, to catch his eye along the way.

Out March 15

10 The Dating Plan by Sara Desai

The Dating Plan by Sara Desai

Sara Desai's latest rom-com, The Dating Plan , is all about finding love when you least expect it. When both Daisy Patel and Liam Murphy find themselves in need of a romantic partner, they strike a bargain to pretend to be engaged. However, they forgot to factor one thing into their perfect plan: what happens when they develop real feelings for one another?

Out March 16

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best new books march 2021

best new books march 2021

The Best New Book Releases Out March 26, 2024

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Erica Ezeifedi

Erica Ezeifedi, Associate Editor, is a transplant from Nashville, TN that has settled in the North East. In addition to being a writer, she has worked as a victim advocate and in public libraries, where she has focused on creating safe spaces for queer teens, mentorship, and providing test prep instruction free to students. Outside of work, much of her free time is spent looking for her next great read and planning her next snack. Find her on Twitter at @Erica_Eze_ .

View All posts by Erica Ezeifedi

Make sure to check out the Trans Readathon when you have a moment. It ends on March 29th.

And, Rebecca Joines Schinsky gets into some of the latest bookish goings-on in this roundup of Today in Books , which includes common myths surrounding book bans.

When it comes to new releases, I’ve been loving the Black horror girlie surge that’s been part of the Horror Renaissance , the latest of which is Dead Girls Walking by Sami Ellis. It’s a YA slasher that follows a girl looking for her mother’s body at the summer camp that — get this — her serial killer father once owned. Supreme horror mess of the highest order.

Another new horror title, albeit an adult one, is Diavola by Jennifer Marie Thorne. Diavola also has some family drama going on, this time set against a haunted Italian villa during a vacation. Finally, there’s the conclusion to troubled, half-Native teen Jade Daniels’s Indian Lake saga in The Angel of Indian Lake by Stephen Graham Jones.

Stepping outside of horror, Like Happiness by Ursula Villarreal-Moura sees protagonist Tatum Vega getting her newfound peace upended when news breaks that a famous author — someone she dated years ago — has been accused of assault. And, from the author of The Enchanted — which I inhaled when it was first published years ago — comes Sleeping Giants , a tale of foster kids, abuse, and real-life monsters. Lastly, Worry by Alexandra Tanner, is a debut described as “a Seinfeldian novel of existentialism and sisterhood.”

In the featured books below, there’s an entry into a popular cozy mystery series, queer love across timelines, a reimagining of Icarus , and more.

cover of The Good, the Bad, and the Aunties by Jesse Q. Sutanto

The Good, the Bad, and the Aunties by Jesse Q. Sutanto

Sutanto stays with her foot on our necks with these new releases, phew . After last year’s über popular Vera Wong’s Unsolicited Advice for Murderers , she’s back with another cozy mystery, this time a continuation of her bestselling Aunties series. Here, Meddy Chan travels to Jakarta to spend the Chinese New Year with family. But then, a former fling of one of Meddy’s Aunties — affectionately known as Second Aunt — shows up trying to stunt with bougie gifts. Well, one of the gifts was actually meant for a business rival, and it being accidentally given to Meddy’s family sets her and her Aunties up to become mixed up in a decades-long feud between Jakarta’s business organizations. When things get really real — and Meddy and her family are put in harm’s way — it’s up to Meddy to save them all.

cover of There's Always This Year: On Basketball and Ascension by Hanif Abdurraqib; photo of a Black boy sitting in a basketball hoop

There’s Always This Year: On Basketball and Ascension by Hanif Abdurraqib

Hanif Abdurraqib is the National Book Award-nominated author of A Little Devil in America , and here he aims his poetic eye at basketball. With his usual mix of the personal and communal, he looks at one of America’s favorite sports, examining its history, who makes it and who doesn’t, and LeBron James.

cover of How to Solve Your Own Murder by Kristen Perrin

How to Solve Your Own Murder by Kristen Perrin

This is being compared to Knives Out , which makes it perfect for the fun-seeking cozy mystery reader. Almost 60 years ago, Frances was just a teenager at a fair with friends when a fortune-teller told her that someone would kill her. She spends the rest of her life trying to figure out her own future murderer. Then, one day, Annie is called to her great-aunt Frances’ huge country estate. She’s been murdered, and it’s up to Annie to figure out who did it. Good thing the dearly departed Frances kept detailed notes on potential suspects…

cover of Icarus by K. Ancrum

Icarus  by K. Ancrum 

In this queer Icarus retelling, the titular character is an art thief, but one with a victim who kind of has it coming. Icarus only steals from the wealthy Mr. Black by replacing his priceless art with his father’s flawless forgeries as part of revenge for Icarus’ mother’s death. A strict set of rules keeps Icarus from being exposed, until he gets caught by Mr. Black’s son, Helios, one night. But the enigmatic Helios doesn’t turn him in — instead, he asks for Icarus’ friendship. This friendship turns into something more that threatens everything — even what Icarus and his father hold dear.

cover of The Emperor and the Endless Palace; wildly colorful illustration of mountains, oceans, clouds, trees, a dragon, and a large jungle cat

The Emperor and the Endless Palace  by Justinian Huang

Across multiple timelines and lives, two men are reborn, each life proving to them the eternity of love: a young emperor gets seduced by a courtier in 4 BCE, an innkeeper helps a mysterious visitor in 1740, and a college student meets an intriguing stranger in modern-day L.A.

cover of The Rise and Fall of the Second American Republic: Reconstruction, 1860-1920 by Manisha Sinha

The Rise and Fall of the Second American Republic: Reconstruction, 1860-1920 by Manisha Sinha

Sinha gives us a new look at a pivotal moment in U.S. history: Reconstruction. Despite Reconstruction’s claim of granting true freedom to Black people after the Civil War, the country’s leaders proved to not be very concerned with equality after all. And, by looking at imperialist desires, northern labor conflict, women’s suffrage, and the Chinese Exclusion Act, Sinha shows how the failed promise of Reconstruction resulted in capitalism running amok and a special kind of race-based tyranny.

Other Book Riot New Releases Resources:

  • All the Books , our weekly new book releases podcast, where Liberty and a cast of co-hosts talk about eight books out that week that we’ve read and loved.
  • The New Books Newsletter , where we send you an email of the books out this week that are getting buzz.
  • Finally, if you want the real inside scoop on new releases, you have to check out Book Riot’s New Release Index! That’s where I find 90% of new releases, and you can filter by trending books, Rioters’ picks, and even LGBTQ new releases!

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best new books march 2021

The Best Reviewed Books of the Month: March 2024

New books from tana french, colin barrett, and more..

A look at the month’s best new releases in crime fiction, mystery, and thrillers, via Bookmarks .

best new books march 2021

Ben H. Winters, Big Time (Mulholland Books)

“A weird and wonderful cautionary tale … It features the month’s most engaging investigator, a schlumpy bureaucrat roused to action.”

–Sarah Lyall ( New York Times Book Review )

best new books march 2021

Colin Barrett, Wild Houses (Grove Press)

“Barrett’s dialogue, spiked with the timbre of Irish speech and shards of local slang, makes these characters sound so close you’ll be wiping their spittle off your face … The craft of Wild Houses shows a master writer spreading his wings — not for show but like the stealthy attack of a barn owl. Despite moments of violence that tear through the plot, the most arresting scenes are those of anticipated brutality … Barrett cleverly constructs his novel … Given the pervasive gloom, the fact that these chapters spark with life — even touches of humor — may seem impossible, but it’s a measure of Barrett’s electric style. Tense moments suddenly burst with flashes of absurdity or comic exasperation. Clearly, those years of writing short stories have given Barrett an appreciation for how fit every sentence must be; there isn’t a slacker in this trim book. Even the asides and flashbacks hurtle the whole project forward toward a climax that feels equally tensile and poignant, like some strange cloak woven from wire and wool.”

–Ron Charles ( Washington Post )

best new books march 2021

Maggie Thrash, Rainbow Black (Harper Perennial)

“Stunning and intense … At once a rivetingly dramatic procedural and an intimate portrait of a relationship forged in trauma.”

–Bridget Thoreson ( Booklist )

Andrey Kurkov (transl. Boris Dralyuk), The Silver Bone (Harpervia)

“It is a gift for crime fiction fans that he writes in this genre … Kurkov, as filtered through the supple translation of Boris Dralyuk, infuses The Silver Bone with wry humor.”

–Sarah Weinman (New York Times Book Review)

best new books march 2021

Tana French, The Hunter (Viking)

“Suspense is in the details — small details — scattered throughout … The extraordinary sequel to … A singularly tense and moody thriller, but it’s also an exceptional novel because of its structure.”

–Maureen Corrigan (Washington Post)

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The 10 best new books of March 2024

  • Deep Read ( 2 Min. )

March 21, 2024

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.” This saying, attributed to motivational speaker William Arthur Ward, also describes the attitude of many characters in our 10 best books for this month. 

Individuals sowing the seeds for change include Franklin D. Roosevelt’s secretary of labor, Frances Perkins, in the historical novel “Becoming Madame Secretary,” and George C. Marshall, in the biography “The Making of a Leader,” whose design for post-World War II Europe became known as the Marshall Plan.   

Among the authors of nonfiction books, Marilynne Robinson draws on her love of Scripture in “Reading Genesis,” Elizabeth Kolbert offers an antidote to climate despair in “H Is for Hope,” and Nancy A. Nichols explores the social impact of driving in “Women Behind the Wheel.” 

Why We Wrote This

Books we love this month include a legendary romance between two poets, a thrilling mystery set in Ireland, and a compelling biography of George C. Marshall, architect of the Marshall Plan.

The Swan’s Nest,  by Laura McNeal

Laura McNeal’s historical novel “The Swan’s Nest” captures the great love between poets Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Robert Browning. McNeal dramatizes the challenges the two Romantics overcame to forge a life together.

Becoming Madam Secretary,  by Stephanie Dray

Frances Perkins, Franklin D. Roosevelt’s secretary of labor, steps crisply and convincingly from the pages of Stephanie Dray’s novel. As events unfold – including the Great Depression – Perkins practices an ethos of “investigate, agitate, legislate” to effect change. 

Help Wanted,  by Adelle Waldman

Adelle Waldman’s novel looks at the hardships faced by part-time workers at a big-box store. Her characters, who long for the stability, benefits, and job security of full-time work, cook up a plan that sparks their hopes and dreams.

The Hunter,  by Tana French

Tana French stretches the tension – and the mystery genre – like taffy in her return to the ethically murky Irish village of Ardnakelty. Retired Chicago cop Cal Hooper has crafted a life with veterinarian Lena and Trey, the teen he teaches carpentry and ethics. Then Trey’s father returns, claiming, “There’s gold in them hills.” Only those who have read “The Searcher” first will fully appreciate the stakes as Cal and Lena work to save Trey.

James,  by Percival Everett

Huck Finn’s sidekick Jim earns pride of place in Percival Everett’s retelling of “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.” Here, he becomes James, a smart, self-educated man confronting a vivid cast of ne’er-do-wells, enslavers, and fellow escapees as he wends north hoping to buy his family’s freedom. 

The Far Side of the Desert,  by Joanne Leedom-Ackerman

Alliances – familial, situational, political – gird this engrossing thriller from novelist Joanne Leedom-Ackerman. U.S. foreign service officer Monte disappears during a visit to Spain; the search to find her, spearheaded by older sister Samantha, ricochets from Morocco and Egypt to Washington. Monte’s captivity is brutal, but there’s resilience, too, as both sisters slay old demons and chart new paths.

Reading Genesis,  by Marilynne Robinson

Marilynne Robinson, author of the 2005 Pulitzer-winning novel “Gilead,” offers her idiosyncratic reading of the Book of Genesis. By not taking any of the familiar Bible stories at face value, she makes a case for God’s enduring covenant with creation.

The Making of a Leader,  by Josiah Bunting III

Rather than focusing on George C. Marshall’s military accomplishments during World War II and, later, his role in rebuilding postwar Europe, historian Josiah Bunting III examines Marshall’s early years. His insightful, admiring biography illuminates Marshall’s leadership qualities.

Women Behind the Wheel,  by Nancy A. Nichols

Journalist Nancy A. Nichols offers a spirited exploration of the effects of the automobile on American women. She documents the ways driving has both expanded women’s freedoms and, citing midcentury isolation in the suburbs, limited their opportunities.

H Is for Hope,  by Elizabeth Kolbert 

New Yorker science writer Elizabeth Kolbert’s trenchant essays on climate change are combined with haunting illustrations by Wesley Allsbrook into a graphic nonfiction alphabet. It’s an urgent, innovative book.  

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6 Books To Read This Month, From Cli-Fi Fiction To NYC Misadventures

Bustle’s columnist recommends a selection of old and new books that’ll get you in the mood for spring.

Three books Bustle's columnist recommends for March 2024.

Happy soon-to-be Spring! March jumpstarted a new publishing season, and based on this month’s crop of new books, there’s a wealth of exciting reads to look forward to. This month is unusually packed with amazing books — Lit Hub’s columnist Maris Kreizman calls it the best month for books in years — so you’ll have more than enough to choose from. Below are some of my favorites, and you can find even more standouts on Bustle’s spring preview list , but I’ve also included some oldies that, for one reason or another, seem to embody the energy of spring. This doesn’t necessarily have to do with a book’s timeline, but more so with the feelings it evokes — a sense of rebirth, optimism, vitality, and even a bit of whimsy. (Bonus points if you’re an audiobook fan and take these in on a brisk, sunny walk; I specifically recommend listening to Loot !)

Something Old

His only wife by peace adzo medie.

Peace Adzo Medie’s debut novel was one of my favorites of 2020; a vibrant, transportive story that allowed an escape from the many devastations of that year. It follows Afi, a Ghanaian seamstress who agrees to marry a very wealthy man she’s never met. The marriage is a favor for his mother, who’d cared for Afi and her own mother after her father’s death, and who is desperate to get her son to leave the woman he’s already living with. Unsurprisingly, it isn’t an ideal match — though Afi is set up in a swanky new apartment and given access to Accra’s most elite corners, her husband largely ignores her — but Afi quickly realizes this is a gift: She has the freedom (and money) to indulge in herself, and we’re along for the exciting ride.

Cover of His Only Wife by Peace Adzo Medie.

Loot by Tania James

Bear with me here, but Loot is the kind of book I always think I won’t enjoy. I see an abundance of proper nouns in the description — the many countries the story spans, important people the protagonist meets, key dates in history that I should probably recognize but don’t — and it all becomes a blur. But it is also the kind of book that reminds me I’m playing myself if I don’t push past this first impression. Loot centers on Abbas, a precocious 17-year-old woodworker in 18th-century India who is recruited by the capricious Tipu Sultan to craft a giant tiger automaton. (This is an actual, unbelievable work of art , which I didn’t put together until finishing the book.) Over decades, James describes his miraculous coming-of-age through political upheaval, nautical scandal, minor acts of fraud, and, of course, enriching friendships. I devoured this poignant, endearing, and surprisingly funny book, and was enveloped so easily in its world that I barely had to backtrack to brush up on the details.

Cover of Loot by Tania James.

Neon in Daylight by Hermione Hoby

Literary fiction has no shortage of stories about fumbling 20-somethings arriving in New York with lofty goals and dubious means, so it takes a lot for one of those novels to stand out the test of time. When I think about Londoner-turned-New Yorker Hermione Hoby’s 2018 debut, I can immediately remember the feeling of it — the city heat, the spontaneity, the thrill of never knowing where the day will take you. It follows British grad school student Kate, who’s thrust into New York City’s chaos after relocating stateside — especially when she inadvertently starts dating her new friend’s father. It’s immersive, insightful, and told with perfectly drawn-out tension.

Cover of Neon in Daylight by Hermione Hoby.

Something New

The morningside by téa obreht.

I’m a sucker for possible-future climate fiction, and Obreht’s latest immediately hooked me. In the world of The Morningside, 11-year-old Silvia and her mother have been forced out of their war-torn homeland and placed in a once-grand city (strongly hinted at being New York) that is now mostly underwater. They land in The Morningside, an apartment building clinging desperately to the luxury it once held, where they live with her aunt who works as superintendent. Silvia is desperate to understand her family’s history, and though her mother has been tight-lipped about it, her aunt is more than happy to share the mythology of their people and ancestral land. It’s a beautiful examination of displacement, identity, and the effects of unchecked political power, enriched with touches of magical realism and dystopia.

Cover of The Morningside by Téa Obreht.

James by Percival Everett

Percival Everett is wildly prolific, both in terms of his output and the amount of genres he’s able to master. (FYI: American Fiction , the film adaptation of his 2001 satirical novel Erasure , just won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay.) In James , he takes on literary canon revision, reimagining Adventures of Huckleberry Finn with Jim — the enslaved Black man who escapes down the Mississippi River with Huck — at the center. Everett’s version allows us to see a more realistic, often brutal version of the pair’s journey — all through the eyes of a fully realized Jim, a learned discerning man with agency and ambition.

Cover of James by Percival Everett.

Something Out of the Blue

Caps lock: how capitalism took hold of graphic design, and how to escape from it by ruben pater.

I am not even remotely a graphic designer — the extent of my artistic abilities involve experimenting with Canva templates for former jobs — but as someone generally interested in the entwining of money and art, this hefty tome caught my attention at my local bookstore a few months back. Technically Caps Lock is a reference text, so I’ve been consuming it in bits here and there, but its comprehensive look at the evolution of design alongside politics is told with accessible, compelling analysis, making it far from dry. Featuring work from modern radical design groups, Caps Lock probes the less obvious effects of capitalism: How does design serve the economy, and how does it uphold its institutions? Can design be divorced from political forces? What would that look like?

Cover of Caps Lock by Ruben Pater.

7 best movies to watch right now before they leave Netflix this month

This is your last chance to watch these top Netflix movies right now before they're gone

Keanu Reeves as John Wick, walking through a rainy street, in John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum

Sadly, it's time for more great movies to leave Netflix. Each month, the popular streaming service adds a ton of new movies . But what the Netflix gods give us, they also taketh away, and that means there are some movies you need to watch right now before they're gone from Netflix for good. Or, at least gone for now.

This month, the best Netflix movies leaving the service include the criminally underrated "Jackie Brown" from Quentin Tarantino. We also say goodbye to some of the few good DC comics movies and one of my favorite action movies — nay, one of my favorite movies — of all time. Read on to see the five best movies you need to watch before they leave Netflix in March 2024.

And for more recommendations see our list of the 5 best movies to stream this weekend on Netflix, Prime Video, Hulu and more .

'Wonder Woman' (2017)

One of three genuinely good DC movies leaving this month, "Wonder Woman" stars Gal Gadot as Diana Prince, aka the titular Wonder Woman. The entire movie is technically a flashback, but this origin story in essence starts with Diana's upbringing in Themyscira, the mythical home of the Amazonian race.

But part way through, the arrival of U.S. Air Army Corps pilot Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) shatters Diana's perception of the world. What follows is a well-executed World War I period piece with a compelling villain (David Thewlis) and excellent on-screen chemistry between Gadot and Pine. The sequel to this movie is forgettable, but this is still a must-watch.

Watch on  Netflix  by March 31

'The Suicide Squad' (2021)

Speaking of forgettable movies, the original "Suicide Squad" from 2016 was forgettable , and that's being generous. The premise of both films? A group of criminals — led by Bloodsport (Idris Elba) in this edition — are assembled into Task Force X by Amanda Waller (Viola Davis). Their mission, which they're forced to accept or tiny bombs explode in their heads, is to infiltrate the island nation of Corto Maltese and to destroy the covert laboratory Jötunheim.

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But while Margot Robbie and Joel Kinneman reprise their roles as Harley Quinn and Rick Flagg, respectively — yes, this is technically a sequel — you don't need to have any recollection of the original to watch James Gunn's version. And you should definitely watch Gunn's version. It's funny, it's irreverent and it's incredibly violent. It may honestly be my favorite movie of the DC Extended Universe. Come for the many on-screen deaths, stay for Peacemaker's (John Cena) completely unitentional deadpan humor.

'Shazam!' (2019)

To me, "Shazam!" is the "Ant-Man" of the DC Extended Universe. There's nothing groundbreaking about it, but it's well-paced, engaging and frankly underrated. If I was to pick a DC movie I could just start watching no question when it comes on cable, this would be toward the top of the list.

This origin story superhero movie stars Asher Angel as Billy Batson. Billy is a 14-year-old boy who's made his way through the Philadelphia foster care system and is still searching for his birth mother. One day, after defending his foster brother Freddy (Jack Dylan Grazer), he's empowered with "the wisdom of Solomon, the strength of Hercules, the stamina of Atlas, the power of Zeus, the courage of Achilles, and the speed of Mercury" by the wizard Shazam (Djimon Honsou). Now, all Billy needs to do is say the magic word — "Shazam!" — and he becomes a superhero (Zachary Levi) on par with any other.

'Jackie Brown' (1997) 

Speaking of underrated, Quentin Tarantino's "Jackie Brown" is underrated . Is it as good as "Reservoir Dogs," "Pulp Fiction," "Kill Bill" or "Inglorious Basterds?" Well ... no, but that doesn't mean it isn't excellent! After all, this is Tarantino we're talking about. He's basically made one movie that wasn't great, and even then "Death Proof" is, at worst, fine.

This homage to 1970s blaxploitation films based on "Rum Punch" by Elmore Leonard (of "Justified" fame), this movie stars Pam Grier as the titular Jackie Brown. Jackie is a flight attendant who smuggles money from Mexico into the U.S. for gun runner Ordell Robbie (Samuel L. Jackson). After being caught by ATF Agent Ray Nicolette (Michael Keaton) and LAPD Detective Mark Dargus (Michael Bowen), they try to recruit her to turn on Robbie. Does that go according to plan? You'll have to watch to find out.

Watch on  Netflix  by March 30

'John Wick' (2014)

"John Wick" is one of the four greatest movies of all time. Period. This movie is a flawless execution of an action movie and runs just a mere 101 minutes. In that time though, we get incredible world-building and the creation of a now iconic character. There's no filler, and it's more grounded than the three movies that would follow.

The movie stars Keanu Reeves as the titular John Wick, a legendary assassin who has retired and is grieving the loss of his wife Helen (Bridget Moynahan). In her last act from beyond the grave, she sends him a beagle to help him cope with the loss. So when Russian mobster Iosef Tarasov (Alfie Allen) kills the dog and steals Wick's car, you know he's made a fatal mistake. Turns out, so does literally everyone else in this world but Iosef, and now they're cowering in fear as Wick — aka the Baba Yaga (a mythical Slavic spirit) — is out for revenge.

'John Wick: Chapter 2' (2017)

Just because the sequel to "John Wick" isn't quite as perfect as the original film doesn't mean it isn't still excellent. In fact, some may prefer the more fantastical, comic book-like story and world of this movie to the darker, more grounded predecessor. Especially since the fight scenes do admittedly get turned up a level.

In "John Wick: Chapter 2," Reeves reprises as the titular assassin Wick, who tries to remain retired until his old crime world acquaintance Santino D'Antonio (Riccardo Scamarcio) comes back into his life and uses their world's traditions to force John back into the game. After Santino destroys John's house with a grenade launcher, John is left with an impossible choice — get revenge on Santino or fulfill his oath and kill the Italian crime lord's sister (Claudia Gerini).

'John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum' (2019)

If you managed to already watch the first two "John Wick" movies before March 30, then it's time to boot up the third. Or, to be honest, you could just watch it on its own. While groundwork is laid in the previous two movies, "John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum" is still plenty good and plenty entertaining on its own. That said if you do want to watch "John Wick: Chapter 2," you should stop reading now and go do that.

Reeves, of course, returns yet again as the titular assassin John Wick, who is very much unretired after the events of the previous movie. Now, the consequences of his actions against the High Table — rulers of the criminal underworld — have come home to roost at the New York City Continental Hotel. What follows is 131 minutes of pure action movie gold. Make sure to watch this movie before it leaves Netflix.

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Malcolm McMillan

Malcolm McMillan is a senior writer for Tom's Guide, covering all the latest in streaming TV shows and movies. That means news, analysis, recommendations, reviews and more for just about anything you can watch, including sports! If it can be seen on a screen, he can write about it. Previously, Malcolm had been a staff writer for Tom's Guide for over a year, with a focus on artificial intelligence (AI), A/V tech and VR headsets.

Before writing for Tom's Guide, Malcolm worked as a fantasy football analyst writing for several sites and also had a brief stint working for Microsoft selling laptops, Xbox products and even the ill-fated Windows phone. He is passionate about video games and sports, though both cause him to yell at the TV frequently. He proudly sports many tattoos, including an Arsenal tattoo, in honor of the team that causes him to yell at the TV the most.

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COMMENTS

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