Culture

March 2022’s Must-Read Book Releases

This month, we’re into Y2K-era doom, environmental destruction novels, and queer coming-of-age stories.

How’s that 2022 reading goal going? Whether you’re burning through books or you got distracted watching Inventing Anna, here’s a fresh stack of new releases to revamp your reading routine. Read on for the best books of March 2022.

Bless the Daughter Raised by a Voice in Her Head by Warsan Shire - Penguin Random House, March 1

In what is maybe my favorite book title I’ve seen so far in 2022, Warsan Shire — noted collaborator on Beyoncé’s Lemonade and Black Is King — writes poetry about migration, womanhood, trauma, and resilience.

Penguin Random House

Penguin Random House

Ripe: Essays by Negesti Kaudo - Mad Creek, March 2

In this debut essay collection about the expansiveness of millennial Black womanhood and Black Midwesterness (and that’s been compared to other influential collections on intersectionality like Hood Feminism and Against White Feminism), Negesti Kaudo explores race, class, sexuality, and more.

Mad Creek

Mad Creek

THE DOLORIAD by Missouri Williams - MCD X FSG ORIGINALS, MARCH 1

In this beautifully strange, unsettling gothic debut novel, environmental destruction has wiped out humanity, except for a Matriarch and her brother who form an incestuous family. They try to restart humanity, scavenging for supplies and watching old VHS tapes until one day their already fragile order gets disturbed in ways they can’t control.

MCD x FSG Originals

MCD x FSG Originals

The Believer: Encounters with The Beginning, The End, and Our Place in the Middle by Sarah Krasnostein - Tin House, March 1

Exploring the minor themes of creation, destruction, and the human condition, Sarah Krasnostein interviews everyone from a death doula to a geologist who believes the world is only six thousand years old, to a ghost-hunter neurobiologist to a UFO enthusiasts to Mennonite families in New York to explore the vastness of belief systems that ultimately net out in all of us just trying to survive. Whew!

Tin House

Tin House

Memphis by Tara M. Stringfellow - Dial Press, March 1

In this debut novel, ten-year-old Joan flees her abusive father with her mom and brother, who seek refuge in her mother’s hometown of Memphis. There, Joan grows up painting portraits of its citizens, eventually weaving the story of a place and her family’s deep roots there.

Dial Press

Dial Press

Heavy Metal Headbang by Melissa Meszaros - Oil On Water Press, March 3

A Hollywood publicist’s life gets turned upside down when she gets in an accident on her way to a Judas Priest concert that causes a traumatic brain injury in this raw rock ‘n roll memoir about resilience and survival.

Oil On Water Press

The Last Suspicious Holdout by Ladee Hubbard - HarperCollins, March 8

This collection of short stories spans from 1992 to 2007 and is centered on a Black neighborhood in a Southern suburb — at a time when the Black middle-class was expanded while media latched onto stories of “welfare Queens” and “crack babies.” Hubbard’s previous book The Talented Ribkins was praised by Toni Morrison, which is the only cosign needed.

HarperCollins

HarperCollins

The World Cannot Give by Tara Isabella Burton - Simon & Schuster, March 8

This queer, coming-of-age, psychological novel is about a girl who transfers to a chilly, picturesque boarding school in Maine and becomes obsessed with the girl who leads the cult chapel choir. Think preppy, Gothic, woods, dark academia, obsession, Fight Club, drama!

Simon & Schuster

Simon & Schuster

Red Paint: The Ancestral Autobiography of a Coast Salish Punk by Sasha taqʷšəblu LaPointe - Counterpoint, March 8

This memoir is about a Native woman growing up in the thriving punk scene of the Pacific Northwest trying to balance her punk rock life while doing the honor of her icon great-grandmother — a linguist who helped preserve her Indigenous language — proud.

Counterpoint

Counterpoint

ELEUTHERIA by Allegra Hyde - Vintage, March 8

What do you do when the world is ending from climate change? Peace out and join a group of eco-warriors on an island in the Bahamas (only they might not be who they say they are!) At least that’s what Willa Marks does in Allegra Hyde’s debut novel about the devastation of both climate change and heartbreak.

Vintage

Vintage

GIRLS CAN KISS NOW: Essays by Jill Gutowitz - Atria, March 8

In this punchy essay collection, very online writer Jill Gutowitz chronicles major lesbian pop culture moments of the 2000s, including everything from the 2009 Gossip Girl Rolling Stone cover to the day Orange Is The New Black hit Netflix. And of course, some personal stories, like when the FBI showed up at her house because she tweeted a Game of Thrones meme.

Atria

Atria

When We Were Birds by Ayanna Lloyd Banwo - Doubleday, March 15

In this gorgeous debut novel, two outsiders meet in an ancient, sprawling Trinidadian cemetery in a mythic love story about life, death, and everything in between.

Doubleday

Doubleday

IN THE MARGINS: On the Pleasures of Reading and Writing by Elena Ferrante, translated by Ann Goldstein - EUROPA EDITIONS, MARCH 15

Elena Ferrante, the premiere writer in anonymity, has written a book about writing. After you watch the highly-anticipated, devastatingly beautiful third season of the adaption of her novel My Brilliant Friend on HBO, read about her influences, struggles, and formation as a reader and writer.

Europa Editions

EUROPA EDITIONS

Disorientation by Elaine Chou - Penguin Random House, March 22

In this satirical, outrageous debut novel, Ingrid Yang, a 29-year-old PhD student, just wants to be done with her dissertation on the late canonical poet Xiao-Wen Chou. But she finds a note in his archives that leads to an explosive discovery that upends her world and the world of everyone around her, shifting Yang’s relationship to white men, white institutions and herself in what becomes a kind of Asian American literary studies whodunnit with at least one drug hallucination scene. Nothing better to spoof and critique than the absurdity of academia.

MONARCH by Candice Wuehle - Soft Skull Press, March 29

This intoxicating and strange psychological debut novel is about a child beauty queen who finds out she’s unknowingly an agent of a shadow government project helmed by her own father. Combining folklore, ‘90s true crime stories, theories of human consciousness and Y2K-era pop culture and doom, it’s a novel that’s as addicting as it is heartbreaking.

Soft Skull Press