Best New Books to Read Now: March 2019 Book Releases

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It’s only the beginning of the month, and we already are ready to declare the best new books to read now. Having scored a number of advance review copies of March new releases, we are excited to tell you that the options this month are spectacular!

In January, we polled our newsletter readers asking whether we should write about new releases at the beginning or the end of the month.

Posting at the beginning of the month is better for promotional reasons. People rarely want to click on a pin saying the best new books to read now … when now is really last month.

However, by posting later in the month, we knew we had a better chance of actually having read the books. It’s way better to say “this book is great” or “Skip this one.” instead of just describing each book as intriguing.

Our solution: it was time for us to access Advance Review Copies. In the mail, on our kindle, through Book of the Month and Amazon First Reads. In all, we were able to read 7 of the March new releases. That’s why we can say with confidence at the beginning of the month – these are the best new books to read now.

We can’t promise we’ll have this luck every month – but we’ll sure try. As it is, we hope you enjoy our March new releases list a bit earlier than normal this month.

This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, read our Disclosures.

The Best New Books to Read Now

Book cover for The Mermaid's Voice Returns in this One by Amanda Lovelace

The Mermaid’s Voice Returns in this One
by Amanda Lovelace

Among the best new books to read now would have to be The Mermaid’s Voice Returns in this One. Two-time Goodreads Choice Awards winner in poetry Amanda Lovelace is back with the 3rd entry into her Women Are Some Kind of Magic series. I rarely read poetry, so I struggled at first with the eccentric format of this collection. Nevertheless, I came to love her unconventional method. Considering how few words she actually uses, I’m amazed at the depth of feeling Lovelace is able to convey about the highs and lows, doubts and fears of sexual assault. I hope her collection does indeed help other women find their voices.

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

 

Book cover for Where the Forest Meets the Stars by Glendy Vanerah

Where the Forest Meets the Stars
by Glendy Vanderah

For Amazon Prime members, each month on the Kindle app, you can choose one of six free Kindle books – a month before they release. How cool is that? This month, I choose Glendy Vanderah’s debut novel, Where the Forest Meets the Stars, and I was not disappointed. While working on her graduate research in rural Illinois, Joanna Teale returns one night to find a little girl outside her cabin. But not just any little girl. Ursa claims to be an alien who needs to witness 5 miracles before she can return to her planet. This charming little story had me guessing the whole time. Was it a science fiction novel? Or was Ursa just an abused and neglected little girl.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Lake Union Publishing through Amazon First Reads. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

 

Book cover for The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See

The Island of Sea Women
by Lisa See

On the island of Jeju just off the Korean peninsula, lives a society where women are the breadwinners – sea divers, risking untold hazards to provide for their families from the ocean. Among them are best friends Mi-ja and Young-sook, two girls just entering their village’s diving collective. Telling the account of their lives from the Japanese occupation in the 1930s, through World War II and the tumultuous aftermath up to the present, Lisa See’s latest historical fiction novel is a beautifully written account. If you love reading historical fiction about different cultures, this is one that you don’t want to miss.

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

 

Book cover for Girl, Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis

Girl, Stop Apologizing
by Rachel Hollis

Following her 2018 bestseller Girl, Wash Your Face (which was our February book club pick, by the way), Rachel Hollis is back with a followup Girl, Stop Apologizing. While Girl, Wash Your Face was aimed at reminding women not to hold themselves back, her latest book release is more geared toward achieving goals. The weakest part of the book is the beginning where Hollis lists excuses that hold you back – I don’t have time, good girls don’t hustle, etc. This section feels like a lesser copy of her previous book. The book finds its stride in the second half when Hollis describes specific behaviors and skills you need to achieve your goals. If you approach the book with a specific goal in mind, you have a much better chance of enjoying this one. Overall, I would say this book is not as good as Girl, Wash Your Face, and probably only worth 3 stars.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from HarperCollins Leadership. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Related: New Fiction Releases Not to Miss: February 2019 Book Releases

 

Least Favorite New Book Releases

Book cover for Outer Order, Inner Calm by Gretchen Rubin

Outer Order, Inner Calm
by Gretchen Rubin

What do you get when the author of The Happiness Project (which I really loved) tackles minimalism – one of my favorite subjects? I expected to get a fun, well-researched book like her previous works. Instead, I received a collection of tips, quotes and sayings with little depth or research placed together in not the most orderly fashion. I appreciate that we was trying to keep the book minimal, but the whole thing felt half-baked, tired and far from original.

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

Book cover for The Last Year of the War by Susan Meissner

The Last Year of the War
by Susan Meissner

I seem to be ever in the search for the next great WWII historical fiction worthy of the best new books to read now, so I was extremely excited at the chance to review Susan Meissner’s latest book. Elise Sontag is a typical American teenager – until her family is moved to an internment camp because her German father is falsely accused of being a Nazi sympathizer. There she forges an undying friendship with Mariko Inoue, a friendship that will forever change the trajectory of her life. Unfortunately, The Last Year of the War didn’t live up to my expectations. The author seemed to rely too heavily on plot. She told, told, told all the things that happen to Elise without really showing any emotional depth. A well-researched take that just fell flat for me.

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

Related: Don’t Buy the Hype: Read This Not That

 

Book of the Month – New Book Releases

Book cover for A Woman is No Man by Etaf Rum

A Woman is No Man
by Etaf Rum

In February for my very first Book of the Month selection, I chose Etaf Rum’s debut novel, A Woman is No Man. Following three generations of Palestinian women, Rum’s powerful story highlights the dangers of beliefs that view women as inferior. The tale begins with the arranged marriage of Isra, forced to move to America where she knows no one. Years later, Isra’s daughter Deya herself faces an arranged marriage in Brooklyn. This raw account of the oppression of women in an extremely strict family is depressing and at the same time beautifully written. Certainly worth a read, and easily one of the best new books to read now.

 

Book cover for Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Daisy Jones and the Six
by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Already snapped up by Reese Witherspoon’s company to become an Amazon miniseries, Daisy Jones and the Six is making waves this month. After her highly successful novel The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, Taylor Jenkins Reid is back with an addictingly fun read about the rise to fame in rock and roll. With sex, drugs, and plenty of drama, you’ll feel like watching a biopic on VH1. Selected by Book of the Month club for March, Daisy Jones and the Six is definitely one of the best new books to read now.

 

Book cover for Before She Knew Him by Peter Swanson

Before She Knew Him
by Peter Swanson

I wanted to highlight just one more Book of the Month selection for this month. Most every month, the Book of the Month selections include a thriller, and this month is no different. For years, Hen has been dealing with bipolar disorder, but she finally seems to have gotten her condition under control. Until her new neighbor moves in, a neighbor she becomes convinced is a killer. Is she really on to something, or is she having another psychotic break? A fun new psychological thriller perfect for any one who loves a good mystery.

Related: The Best New Books of the Year (So Far)

 

New Fiction Releases on our To-Read List

Book cover for Return of the Thief by Megan Whalen Turner

Return of the Thief
by Megan Whalen Turner

Twenty years after she began her bestselling The Queen’s Thief series, Megan Whalen Turner’s sixth and final book is finally here. One last time, follow along as the crafty thief Eugenides must use all his wits to fend off the cruel Mede empire, prevent an internal coupe, and protect the kingdoms of Attolia, Eddis and Sounis. I was disappointed when the 5th book contained only a side story, so I’m excited to see Turner return to her beloved characters.

 

Book cover for Gingerbread by Helen Oyeyemi

Gingerbread
by Helen Oyeyemi

Recently, I’ve seen Gingerbread listed by a number of publications among the best new books to read now. The premise certainly sounds imaginative. Perdita Lee and her mother Harriet may seem like your average Londoners, but if you look closely something is amiss. In reality, they are famous for their gingerbread, a secret family recipe that is popular in Druhástrana, a far away fairy tale land of Harriet’s childhood. I’m intrigued to see if Oyeyemi’s imagination can draw me in, or if it will fall flat.

 

Book cover for The Path Made Clear by Oprah Winfrey

The Path Made Clear
by Oprah Winfrey

I have literally seen nothing on this book – no reviews, no mentions, nada. But it’s Oprah Winfrey! How could I not consider it one of the best new books to read now? Everyone has a purpose in lie. By sharing lessons from her own life as well as wisdom from others, Winfrey sets out to help you discover what your own purpose is and help you live it. I’m thinking we are in for a Girl, Wash Your Face, Oprah Winfrey-style, and I can’t wait.

Did we miss any March new releases on our list of the best new books to read now?

2019's Best New Books to Read Now - Check out our list of the most-anticipated march 2019 book releases and see which ones to add to your reading list.

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4 Comments

  • Reply CJ | A Well-Read Tart March 5, 2019 at 8:04 am

    Thanks for this overview! Glad to hear that you enjoyed Daisy Jones. I loved Evelyn Hugo, but the premise of Daisy Jones doesn’t really interest me; however, since I love Jenkins Reid’s writing so much, I am tempted to try it. Good to know someone with similar book tastes thinks it’s worth the read. 😀

    I unfortunately have to say that I’m NOT excited to see a new release from Lisa See. I just Marie Kondo’d my books, and my hardcovers of See’s were one of the easy giveaways, lol. I’ve read quite a few of her books, and while well-written, I found them all incredibly depressing. I just can’t do it anymore!

    I REALLY want to read Gingerbread. I’ve heard great things about Oyemi; her type of magical realism seems right up my alley.

  • Reply Cris March 8, 2019 at 5:20 pm

    This is a great overview of monthly reading options! I have a couple of these waiting here for me, and a couple more I plan to get. And I got Daisy, but now I want the other two BOTM titles you featured!!

  • Reply Cat Palmer March 13, 2019 at 11:40 am

    Great list of books. I love that you are compiling this list. A great go-to for the month.

  • Reply Sarah's Book Shelves March 20, 2019 at 7:34 am

    Love this post! Like your newsletter readers, I like seeing round-ups of must read books at the beginning of the month. Daisy Jones was awesome – will definitely be one of my favorites of 2019. And, A Woman is No Man was powerful as well.

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