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What to Read in March: 13 Titles for Spring

Dazzling short stories, a historical novel about Lady Di and new novels from Anne Tyler and Karen Joy Fowler round out our pick of March’s best books / BY Nathalie Atkinson / February 25th, 2022


Dolly Parton’s collaboration with blockbuster novelist James Patterson on Run, Rose, Run (our current Zoomer cover story) may top our most-anticipated fiction list, but it’s not the only great read coming out this month. Dazzling short stories, a historical novel of Lady Diana Spencer, classic comic-book nostalgia, and juicy new novels from Anne Tyler and Karen Joy Fowler round out our pick of March’s best bets.

Obsessive Book Buyers: Zoomer editors have carefully curated our book coverage to ensure you find the perfect read. We may earn a commission on books you buy by clicking on the cover image. 

1Boothby Karen Joy Fowler

The Booker-winning author of We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves (and the beloved The Jane Austen Book Club) turns her attention to the troubled history of America leading up to the Civil War, as told through the distinguished 19th-century theatrical family that produced John Wilkes Booth, the infamous actor who assassinated U.S. President Abraham Lincoln in 1865 during a play at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C. (Mar. 8)


2Gloryby NoViolet Bulawayo

Inspired by the 2017 coup and fall of Zimbabwes longtime ruler Robert Mugabe, this political allegory set in the animal kingdom (think: Animal Farm) brings to life corruption, dictatorship and revolution in a small fictional African nation in inventive ways. The way Bulawayo, the Booker finalist for We Need New Names, harnesses the mythology and folklore of oral traditions to give the immersive read a cautionary, fable-like quality. (Mar. 8)


3Run and Hideby Pankaj Mishra

Mishra, the Indian editor who “discovered” Arundhati Roy and championed The God of Small Things, published his own debut novel, The Romantics , more than 20 years ago. The follow-up worth the wait, as his astute new literary novel plumbs the modern values and moral wasteland of the New India, and the commentary takes a layered epistolary form, populated by old-money Muslims, aspiring transnational citizens and the new hedge fund billionaires of global capitalism. (Mar. 1)

 

 

 

 


4A Coin for the FerrymanMegan Edwards

This inventive fantasy novel reaches back into classical antiquity to pluck Julius Caesar out of the past in the split second before he’s murdered. The test, to debrief historical figures, is part of an experimental time travel project headed by a Nobel laureate. It’s a premise, reminiscent of Michael Crichton’s Timeline, that pays off, especially with when the Roman politician shares his view of the modern world he’s been transported to – and the novel’s 1990s Las Vegas setting, in particular. Will they return Caesar to his rightful place in time before a disruption to the historical timeline has far-reaching consequences for the future? Beware the Ides of March, indeed. 


5French Braidby Anne Tyler

As Tyler, 80, herself recently admitted, “nothing happens in any of my books if you get right down to it.” Yet the Pulitzer winner’s novels still seem to contain everything in life. Her engrossing, 24th novel explores female artistic ambition and regret as it follows a Baltimore family in the 1950s and 1960s, and leading up to 2020, when the retired couple are delighted to have their adult son and grandson move in with them to ride out the pandemic. (Mar. 22)


6Beat the Devilsby Josh Weiss

Humphrey Bogart makes a cameo in this novel of an alternate 1958 America, one where Joseph McCarthy (the senator who instigated the blacklist and cultivated anti-communist sentiment) has parlayed his flair for paranoia into a presidential win. His infamous committee is now a full-fledged secret police force, and an LAPD detective and Holocaust survivor has to contend with this climate of widespread and barely concealed anti-Semitism as he investigates the suspicious deaths of filmmaker John Huston and a rising journalist named Walter Cronkite, who speak out against the oppressive White House regime. This paranoid thriller is surprisingly enjoyable, considering the xenophobia in this period so clearly mirrors our own. (Mar. 22)


7Daughters of the Deerby Danielle Daniel

The Sudbury author of children’s books turns her attention to century-old injustice and lays settler culture bare with her atmospheric new historical novel, inspired by her family’s ancestral link to a young girl who was killed in the 1600s. The story about Marie, a daughter of the Weskarini Deer Clan in the Algonquin territories (near Trois-Rivières) who is forced to marry a French settler, and her two-spirited daughter Jeanne, is a darkly illuminating origin story of France’s colonization of North America. (Mar. 8)


8Kamila Knows Bestby Farah Heron

What if Jane Austen’s Emma was set in Toronto and had a South Asian twist? This is the cheerful book I didn’t know my soul needed. In her follow-up to her breakout hit Accidentally Engaged, Heron reimagines Austen’s meddlesome matchmaker as an accountant who loves to tinker with her friends’ love lives. Kamila’s hobby is planning elaborate Bollywood movie nights, which means the Canadian author once again draws on her Tanzanian Muslim heritage for mouth-watering descriptions of meals. Reach for this rom-com when you need some diverting uplift — i.e. immediately.


9Not Everybody Lives the Same Wayby Jean-Paul Dubois

A middle-aged man, sharing a Montreal prison cell with a Hells Angels enforcer, looks back on his life, from his childhood in France to the Quebec mining town where he grew up. The nature of his crime isn’t revealed until the very end of the novel, which won the 2019 Prix Goncourt, France’s top literary prize. One juror called it a masterpiece “full of humanity, melancholy, irony.” (Mar. 29)


10Seeking Fortune Elsewhereby Sindya Bhanoo

Every one of the eight short stories in this collection by the U.S. journalist cuts to the quick. But the daughter who has consigned her mother to a far-away retirement home in India, and the small but significant way her mother rebels, stands out even among the gems about love, aging and family alienation. (Mar. 8)


11Secret Identityby Alex Segura

This is a perfect read for fans of Michael Chabon’s Kavalier & Clay, as Segura, an award-wining crime writer, inserts an aspiring creative into the seedy, thinly veiled world of comic book publishing in 1970s New York. The literary mystery that ensues follows a talented LGBTQ womans struggle for opportunities and recognition, while being equal parts hardboiled noir and a love letter to classic comics, with illustrated pages from fictional The Legendary Lynx peppered throughout. (Mar. 15)


12Stray Dogsby Rawi Hage

Along with religion, photography is one of the recurring themes in Hage’s new book of stories. The Lebanon-born Canadian writer knows the medium intimately, having tried to make a living as a photographer before turning to words, and it is still an abiding passion. His philosophical interest in images appears in this wide-ranging collection, revealing snapshots of characters from Beirut and Berlin to Tokyo and his own backyard in Montreal’s Little Italy. (Mar. 1)


13The People’s Princessby Flora Harding

In the film Spencer, Kristen Stewart’s Oscar-nominated portrayal of Princess Diana hinges on the royal’s haunting visions of Anne Boleyn, the doomed queen she’s been reading about on Christmas holidays at Sandringham. This affecting, dual-timeline tale takes a similar approach, but imagines Lady Diana Spencer during her engagement to Prince Charles in the months leading up to their 1981 wedding, as she reads the intimate journal of 19th-century Princess Charlotte of Wales and makes an emotional connection with the royal who felt trapped and died tragically young. (Mar. 15)


THE SCROLL

Salman Rushdie, Novelist Who Drew Death Threats, Is Stabbed at New York LectureThe Indian-born novelist who was ordered killed by Iran in 1989 because of his writing, was attacked before giving a talk on artistic freedom.


Raymond Briggs, Creator of Beloved Children’s Tale ‘The Snowman’, Dies at 88First published in 1978, the pencil crayon-illustrated wordless picture book sold more than 5.5 million copies around the world while a television adaption became a Christmas favourite in Britain and was nominated for an Oscar.


Canadian Author Emily St. John Mandel Makes Barack Obama’s 2022 Summer Reading ListObama's list includes everything from fiction to books on politics, cultural exploration and basketball.


Canadian Author Rebecca Eckler to Launch RE:books Publishing House Focused on Female Authors and Fun ReadsThe former National Post columnist says her tagline is ‘What’s read is good, and what’s good is read.’”


Brian Thomas Isaac’s “All the Quiet Places” wins $5,000 Indigenous Voices AwardThe B.C. author, a retired bricklayer, drew on his childhood growing up on the Okanagan Indian reserve for his coming-of-age story set in 1956


Canadian-American Author Ruth Ozeki Wins Women’s Book Prize for “The Book of Form and Emptiness”The UK judges said her fourth novel, inspired in part by the Vancouver Public Library, contained "sparkling writing, warmth, intelligence, humour and poignancy."


The Bill Gates Summer Reading List Includes a Sci-Fi Novel On Gender Inequality Suggested by His DaughterBill Gates' summer reading list includes fiction and non-fiction titles that cover gender equality, political polarization and climate change.


American novelist Joshua Cohen wins the Pulitzer Prize for fiction for “The Netanyahus”The 2022 Pulitzer prizes include this satirical look at identity politics, focused on the father of former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, at a crucial time in the Jewish state’s history


Margaret Atwood, Alice Munro Among Canadian Authors Recognized in Commemorative Reading List Marking Queen’s Platinum JubileeThe authors are among six Canadian scribes included on the The Big Jubilee Read list.


Queen Elizabeth II’s Aide Reveals Details of Life in Royal Pandemic Lockdown in New Addition to BookAngela Kelly, who's worked for the Queen for 20 years, discusses everything from cutting the Queen's hair to "the light and laughter that was shared ... even in the darkest moments."


New Leonard Cohen Story Collection, ‘A Ballet of Lepers,’ Set for October ReleaseThe collection features a novel, short stories and a radio play written between 1956 and 1961.


Archived Letters Reveal How Toni Morrison Helped MacKenzie Scott Meet Future Husband Jeff BezosBezos hired Scott at the hedge fund where he worked after receiving a recommendation from Morrison. Shortly thereafter, the pair married and Scott helped Bezos launch Amazon.


Prince Harry’s Memoir is Set to Rock the MonarchyFriends say the California-based royal got a million-pound book deal to write "an intimate take on his feeling about the family."


European Jewish Congress Asks Publisher to Pull Anne Frank BookThe Congress says 'The Betrayal of Anne Frank' has "deeply hurt the memory of Anne Frank, as well as the dignity of the survivors and the victims of the Holocaust."


Canadian Author Details Anne Frank Cold-Case Investigation That Named Surprise Suspect in Her Family’s Betrayal in New BookAhead of the 75th anniversary of the publication of Frank's 'The Diary of a Young Girl' in June, a team that included a retired FBI agent and around 20 historians, criminologists and data specialists identified a relatively unknown figure as a leading suspect in revealing her family's hideout.


Man Who Tricked Authors Into Handing Over Unpublished Manuscripts Arrested by FBI in New YorkFilippo Bernardini, an employee of a well known publication house, has been arrested for stealing hundreds of unpublished manuscripts.


Hollywood Legend Betty White Has a Last Laugh in New Biographic Comic BookThe creators of the biographical comic book have released similar books about Hollywood legends like Carrie Fisher, Lucille Ball, David Bowie and Elizabeth Taylor.


Barack Obama Reveals His List of Books That Left “A Lasting Impression” in 2021Obama's favourite 2021 reads include two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning author Colson Whitehead's 'Harlem Shuffle' and 'Klara and the Sun,' by Nobel Prize-winning author Kazuo Ishiguro


“Interview With the Vampire” Author Anne Rice Dies at 80 — Tributes Pour in From Stuart Townsend and OthersThe author, who was best known for her work in gothic fiction, died on Saturday evening as a result of complications from a stroke.


Norma Dunning wins $25,000 Governor General’s English fiction prize for ‘Tainna’The Edmonton-based Inuk writer explores themes of displacement, loneliness and spirituality in six short stories


Omar El Akkad wins $100,000 Giller prize for “What Strange Paradise”The former Globe and Mail reporter, who published "American War" to acclaim in 2017, tackles the global migrant refugee crisis in his second novel


South African Author Damon Galgut Wins the Booker Prize For ‘The Promise’Galgut received nominations for his 2003 and 2010 works before finally taking home the prize this year. 


Hollywood Legend Paul Newman Discusses Life, Acting and Aging Gracefully in Newly Discovered MemoirPublishers of the newly discovered memoir say the Hollywood legend wrote the book in the 1980s in response to the relentless media attention he received during that time.


Here’s What You Need to Know About the Toronto International Festival of AuthorsDirector Roland Gulliver lands in Toronto to open his second, much-expanded virtual festival with more than 200 events


Tanzanian Novelist Gurnah Wins 2021 Nobel Prize in Literature for Depicting the Impact of Colonialism and Refugee StoriesGurnah, 72, is only the second writer from sub-Saharan Africa to win one of the world's most prestigious literary awards


Miriam Toews Garners Third Giller Prize Nomination for “Fight Night” after Shortlist AnnouncedSophomore efforts from novelists Omar El Akkad and Jordan Tannahill join debut books from Cheluchi Onyemelukwe-Onuobia and Angélique Lalonde


Tina Brown’s New Book, ‘The Palace Papers’, Covers the Royal Family’s Reinvention After Diana’s Tragic DeathTina Brown's sequel to her 2007 release 'The Diana Chronicles' is set to hit shelves April 12, 2022. 


Audible.ca Releases Andrew Pyper’s Exclusive Audiobook “Oracle” For New Plus Catalogue LaunchThe thriller about a psychic FBI detective is one of 12,000 titles now available for free to members


Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen to Release Book Based On Their “Renegades” PodcastThe new book will feature a collection of candid, intimate and entertaining conversations


Prince Harry Will Publish a Memoir in Late 2022Harry says he's writing the book "not as the prince I was born but as the man I have become."


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