So what does May have to offer booklovers?
May sees the release of several new books from literary heavy hitters, so if you like your prose mind-bending and your characters conflicted, it’s a good month for you. There’s new work from American legend Toni Morrison, plus John Irving, Irvine Welsh and Hilary Mantel, who has released a sequel to her Booker Prize winner Wolf Hall. But the following five books are the ones I think you really need to know about.
There are some funny memoirists around at the moment, from new kid on the block Kevin Wilson to the genre’s current master, David Sedaris. Australian blogger Jenny Lawson certainly deserves her place among them with the release of her first book, Let’s Pretend this Never Happened. Her examination of human awkwardness is funny, and the details of her adult life are very funny. But it’s when Lawson delves into memories of her child hood and adolescence –complete with her father’s taxidermy home business- that Let’s Pretend This Never Happened surges into so-funny-it-hurts territory. She is getting wide international acclaim for this book, and rightly so. Read it: just not in public.
From funny to truly inspiring, with The Woman Who Changed Her Brain by Barbara Arrowsmith-Young. It’s the newest addition to the influx of brain and brain-training related books that have followed the surprise smash hit The Brain That Changes Itself. Arrowsmith-Young’s entry into this burgeoning genre is highly personal as she discusses the significant learning disabilities she had when she was a child, causing teachers to label her ‘stubborn or worse’. As an adult who had persevered to make it to graduate school, she came across new research which indicated that the brain can be strengthened and improved through simple exercises. She has been at the forefront of such research ever since, and this memoir is a truly illuminating mix of personal experience and captivating science (no, really).