Wondering what to read now? If you’re looking for book suggestions, look no further! Here are all the hot new March 2020 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.
Last month, I struggled to find enough decent titles to fill out my new release list. That wasn’t a problem this month. Quite the opposite, I found more exciting March 2020 book releases than I thought possible.
Seriously, every publishing house must have saved their best books for March, because I am blown away by the quality of the titles this month. I expect March will have more books on the best of the year lists than any other month.
Just take a peek at this month’s highlights:
- The much-anticipated new book from the author of Station Eleven
- A new fantasy series from Sarah J. Maas
- A five-star historical fiction novel in the running for my top book of the year
- Nonfiction books from big names – Carrie Underwood, Dave Hollis, and Anne Bogel
Have I got you interested? Then keep scrolling to see our picks for the best of the March 2020 book releases.
March 2020 book Releases – Advance Review Copies
A Good Neighborhood
Therese Anne Fowler
In a gentrifying North Carolina neighborhood, the clash between new and old has deadly consequences. Professor Valerie Alston-Holt has lived in Oak Knoll for decades. It’s where she raised her son Xavier, who is off to college soon. But things go horribly wrong when her new neighbors, the Whitmans, move in. Brad Whitman’s monstrosity of a house damages the root system of Valerie’s precious oak tree, an unforgivable offense in Valerie’s eyes. Yet despite the differences in race, class, and lifestyles, Xavier falls in love with Whitman’s stepdaughter.
I must say, Fowler is an excellent writer. For the most part, her characters shine through and she draws you in with the power of her storytelling. Normally, A Good Neighborhood would be a solid four stars for me, except two points keep nagging at me. First, Brad Whitman’s character felt a bit contrived and too heavy-handed. Serving as the antagonist, he didn’t have enough nuance and felt like a caricature. Secondly, the ending left me so downtrodden. After all that, what was the point?
Usually, I’m all about sad endings, but this one felt like too much, maybe because in all its hopelessness, it rang as too realistic. I can see why other people will give it 4 or 5 stars, but only 3.5 stars from me.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from St. Martin’s Press through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
The Glass Hotel
Emily St. John Mandel
After the success of her novel Station Eleven, Emily St. John Mandel’s newest novel was my most anticipated of the March 2020 book releases. Mandel starts you off with a teaser – a woman falling into the ocean with a few flashes along the way. Then she slowly unravels a story of Vincent, a hotel bartender, and Jonathan Alkaitis, a rich financier running a Ponzi scheme.
After reading the book, I’m having difficulty deciphering my feelings. Her writing is exquisite – both haunting and soulful. Yet, the story drifts along without an anchor. Although the characters are connected, the narrative doesn’t have any driving force, lacking a central message. If you plan to read it, I suggest tempering your expectations.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Knopf Doubleday Publishing through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
The Red Lotus
While touring Vietnam, emergency room doctor Alexis is startled when her boyfriend Austin vanishes on a bike ride. The only clue is one of his empty packets of energy gel left behind on the road. Quickly Alexis learns that Austin had been lying about why they were in Vietnam. The deeper Alexis digs the more she realizes that Austin was not what he seemed.
Chris Bohjalian’s fun thriller won’t exactly keep you glued to the edge of your seat, but his story is compelling enough to keep you reading. As a protagonist, Alexis hits all the right notes, swaying from grieving girlfriend to curious investigator. The ending has the perfect mix of action and danger, and the epilogue was spot-on. While The Red Lotus might get lost among all the incredible March 2020 book releases, it’s a solid story for fans who enjoy a good detective story.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Doubleday Publishing through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Get Out of Your Own Way
With the success of his wife’s book, Girl, Wash Your Face, Dave Hollis has his own self-help book now addressing the lies that men tell themselves. Having read (and loved) Girl, Wash Your Face, it was interesting to get a behind the scenes peek at the Hollis’s marriage. While Rachel was pushing herself to be her best self, Dave was languishing behind, acting like a complete jerk. Instead of blaming his wife, he eventually realized he needed to fix himself.
I respect how forthright Hollis is in his book. He doesn’t always come off in the best light, and it takes courage to admit your flaws. Dave Hollis’s writing is not nearly as compelling as Rachel’s (though many found her style completely off-putting), but I found his advice to be rather solid in places. However, I don’t see his target audience picking up a self-help book or appreciating being gifted one.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Harper Collins Leadership through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Code Name Hélène
Put down the phones. I’ve found my frontrunner for the best book of the year. Based on a true story, Nancy Wake, a New Zealander living in Paris, becomes a spy for the British and rises to one of the top leaders of the French Resistance and one of the most decorated women of the war. The story is split into two narratives – the first starting with Nancy parachuting into France in 1944 and the second telling of her courtship with her husband, Henri Fiocca, in 1938. Lawhon has done her research, using Wake’s own words as much as possible.
You’ll fall in love with Henri and cheer on Nancy as she transforms into a fierce fighter and respected commander. As the earlier timeline catches up with the later one, you’ll feel all the emotions of a woman caught up in a terrible war. Although I generally hold giveaways for my ARCS, you better believe that I’m keeping this one all to myself.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Doubleday Publishing through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Could you wear only 33 items for 3 months? Taking a capsule wardrobe to a whole new level, Courtney Carver’s take minimalism into the fashion realm. You might think that having a million choices would allow you to be extremely stylish, but Carver points out it’s just the opposite. By limiting your wardrobe to items you love, you’ll have more fashion sense, more money and more time to do other things.
I’m not going to lie, I was insanely excited to read this book. In 2018, Courtney Carver’s blog post on Project 333 was my first experiment with minimalism. I may have bent the rules a bit, but I tested her idea of limiting my wardrobe to only 33 items for 3 months. And I loved it. Now, two years later, my wardrobe is slightly bigger, but not much. I can personally attest that this method does work.
While her method is solid, I’m not 100% sure Project 333 needed a full book to explain the concept. However, Carver does a great job filling up space without making you feel like she’s just filling up space. She dives into the minimalist mindset and motivation and then sets you at ease that you won’t miss your overstuffed closet. Whether you pick up the book or just check out her blog, Project 333 is a great minimalist experiment to try.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tarcher Perigree through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Darling Rose Gold
For her entire childhood, Rose Gold thought she was sick until as a teenager she realized her mother was poisoning her. After five years in prison, Patty Watts walks out of prison and into Rose Gold’s life again. Rose Gold is no longer a child and is now ready for her dear old mother. Wrobel’s thriller is told from a split perspective: Patty’s modern-day viewpoint and Rose Gold’s story from the last five years. While Wrobel has some tricks up her sleeves, the story overall is too predictable. I wanted more suspense and more debate on Rose Gold’s motives. Among the huge wave of exciting March 2020 book releases, this middle of the road thriller fails to stand out.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Berkley Publishing Group through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
In Five Years
Lawyer Dannie Cohan knows exactly where she’ll be in five years – until on the night of her engagement to her perfect boyfriend David. In her post-engagement bliss, she has a vision of herself in five years engaged to someone else. She doesn’t think much of it, though she continually puts off her wedding. Until years later when she meets the same man, dating her best friend.
From the synopsis, I thought In Five Years would be a light-hearted romantic comedy, something quick and easy, perfect for vacation. Serle starts off light but then surprises you with a serious turn about halfway through. Beach read goes out the window and thought-provoking steps in. I felt compelled to know if the vision came true and surprised at how well Serle countered my expectations.
Last year, I read her first book, The Dinner List, and felt it was rather self-indulgent. While I still think her writing could use some work, I was extremely impressed with the progress she has made with In Five Years. I can’t wait to read whatever she writes next.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Atria through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Book of the Month – March 2020 Selections
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, you can use my Book of the Month Club affiliate link to get a discount on your first book!
Here’s a look at the March Book of the Month selections.
The Most Anticipated March 2020 Book Releases
The City We Became
N. K. Jemisin
Hugo Award-winning author N. K. Jemisin is back among the March 2020 book releases with a new fantasy series. Every city has a soul, and New York City has five. All five must band together to stop an ancient evil from tearing their beloved city apart. I have no idea what to do with that premise, but if her past success is any indication, this one will be making waves in 2020.
The Mirror & the Light
Hilary Mantel finds her way into the most-anticipated new books out in March with the third and final book of her Thomas Cromwell series. With Anne Boleyn dead, Thomas Cromwell continues to support King Henry VIII. However, when the Spanish ambassador points out that the King always turns on those closest to him, Cromwell starts to wonder if his turn is next.
The Honey-Don’t List
With a book deal and a new show, home remodeling and design experts Melissa and Rusty Tripp are about to hit it big, if they don’t kill each other first. It’s up to their assistants Carey and James to keep things on track, and maybe find some love along the way. The writing duo Christina Lauren have developed a big following with their romance stories, so I expect this March release will be highly talked about in the next few months.
The Boy From the Woods
As a boy, Wilde was found as a feral child living in the woods. Thus, he has never really integrated into society. With two teenage disappearances in his town, Wilde must discover what happened to them and to himself all those years ago. Coben’s known for his top-notch thrillers, so I have high hopes for his latest book release.
The Two Lives of Lydia Bird
Following the success of her last novel, One Day in December, Josie Silver lands among the March 2020 book releases with an intriguing what-if scenario. After the death of her fiance, Lydia eventually begins to move on and love again. Unexpectedly in her dreams, she gets a chance to live the life she would have had with her fiance. Which life, and love, should she choose? Coming in with strong reviews on Goodreads, this romance has certainly piqued my interest with it’s Sliding Doors style premise.
House of Earth and Blood
Sarah J. Maas
Sarah J. Maas kicks off her new Crescent City adult fantasy series with the story of half-Fae half-human Bryce Quinlan intent on avenging the death of her friends. She teams up with Fallen Angel Hunt Athalar for a tale of danger, romance, and magic. With two huge fantasy series under her belt (Throne of Glass and A Court of Thorns and Roses), you better believe that Maas’s newest book is the most-anticipated book in all the March 2020 book releases.
A modern-day take on Anna Karenina, Anna K is living the high life in Manhattan. While her brother is dealing with a sexting scandal and her sisters is recovering from an injury, Anna has it all. Until she meets the Alexia “Count” Vronsky, a typical playboy who bounces around from boarding school to boarding school doing whatever he feels like. When these opposites attract, Anna must decide how much she is willing to risk for a relationship without losing herself in the process. Listed by Book of the Month as a gritter Gossip Girl with a half-Korean lead, Anna K will appeal to any readers who to imagine the lives of the obscenely rich.
Find Your Path
The queen of country music enters the book world with a new fitness book. Believing that fitness is a lifelong pursuit, Underwood shares her tips to becoming the strongest version of yourself. With meal plans, recipes, workout guides and plenty of tips, Carrie Underwood is giving you all the tips to get a body like hers. I love that she is talking about lifestyle changes and not crash diets, because becoming healthy is a journey – and a hard one at that.
Don’t Overthink It
The ultimate bookworm, Anne Bogel, of the book blog Modern Mrs. Darcy and the podcast What Should I Read Next?, knows a thing or two about making big decisions. In her new book, she explains that indecision and negative thought patterns don’t have to be your life. You can stop overthinking it and start living the life you most want.
My Dark Vanessa
Kate Elizabeth Russell
Among one of the most highly anticipated books of March 2020 is this dark debut novel exploring the relationship between a naive young girl and her manipulative teacher. As a fifteen-year-old, Vanessa began an affair with her 42-year-old English teacher. Now almost two decades later, when allegations arise against Mr. Strane, Vanessa must confront the reality of her past and reassess her first love. In the post #Metoo era, Russell raises questions about such pressing topics as consent and victimhood that this will be one of the year’s must-read novels.
Lady In Waiting
If you’ve ever wanted a behind-the-scenes look at the British monarchy, you have your chance in this March 20202 releases. Anne Glenconner served as a maid-of-honor for Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation and lady-in-waiting to Princess Margaret until the Princess died in 2002. With fascinating details, Glenconner’s memoir shows what it was like to live in the shadow of the crown.
The Fifteen Percent
In his new book, Terry Giles tries to answer the question, Why do some people overcome hardships better than others? Giles calls this small group of people who seem to rise above against all odds, The Fifteen Percent. What makes them different, and how can you learn to overcome your obstacles. If you saw my business books post a few weeks ago, you’ll know that this style of book is right up my alley.
What March 2020 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 2020 book releases that you are anticipating? As always, let me know in the comments!
More New Book Releases:
CJ | A Well-Read Tart says
Oooh, glad to hear your thoughts on Darling Rose Gold. I’m intrigued by the premise, but also kinda hesitant to try it since I don’t love Manipulative Mom stories, but if you didn’t like this one very much, it’s a Must-Skip for me, haha.
Pleasantly surprised to hear you liked In Five Years! I feel like that theme is overdone in literature/movies, but it sounds like the author pulled this one off and managed to make it stand out a bit. Might be worth picking up.. 🙂
I’m really interested in reading My Dark Vanessa. What an interesting premise given all the allegations that come out lately in the media, and the power given to women’s voices with #metoo. Sounds like an intriguing read!!
I think my problem with Darling Rose Gold is that the mom wasn’t manipulative enough. You knew right away were both the mom and Rose Gold stood, there wasn’t enough suspense.
Susan Hosokawa says
I wish people would do their research when writing about historical people. Nancy Wake was not an Australian expat, but rather a New Zealand expat! Book looks intriguing anyway given this mistake., so might have to keep an eye out for it.
Oh, that mistake was all mine, not the author’s. Thanks for catching it. I fixed it in the description. The book is great, and you should definitely check it out if you have the chance.
Sheree @ Keeping Up With The Penguins says
Great round-up! I’m actually really looking forward to reading Rose Gold (though a little confused by the various titles it’s been given in various regions – it’s The Recovery Of Rose Gold here, but Darling Rose Gold in other places? Why?), and Anna K and My Dark Vanessa both sound great!
The Recovery of Rose Gold just doesn’t sound as compelling. I wonder why they switched it.