Wondering what to read now? Here are all the hot new May 2022 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.
In case you’re new to Booklist Queen, every month I cover all the hottest new book releases. I try to read as many new book releases as I can to give you an honest perspective on what to read and what to skip.
However, I realize that my to-read list might not exactly match yours. That’s why I’ve also included some of the most popular May 2022 book releases from your favorite authors.
Enough from me. Let’s get on to the May 2022 book releases so you can fill up your to-read list.
Top May 2022 Book Releases
Holly Black debuted her first adult fantasy book about a world of shadow magic. For a cost, shadows can be altered for beauty or power, but the secrets of magic are closely guarded secrets. Living on the margins of society, Charlie Hall is a bartender trying to escape her former life as a con artist, a past she desperately wants to hide from her boyfriend, Vince. When a figure from her past returns, Charlie is dragged back into the magical underground market for magic texts in this new modern dark fantasy series.
Book of Night debuts a gritty version of Western Massachusetts, with complicated shadow magic that was often difficult to follow. Although technically an adult fantasy book, Book of Night reads just like a young adult fantasy, with protagonists perfectly posed to develop their own fandom. Yet, I struggled my way through the narrative, confused by the magical world and bored by the lifeless storytelling that plagued the entire novel, but especially the first half.
After a resurgence of popularity, E. Lockhart has penned a prequel to her TikTok sensation We Were Liars (a book I wholeheartedly recommend). Every summer, the Sinclair family vacations on their private island off the coast of Massachusetts. In Family of Liars, Lockhart takes you back a generation, to the parents’ youthful summer of secrets and sorrows that ends in betrayal, mistakes, and lasting consequences.
Cutthroat literary agent Nora Stephens lives her whole life in books. On a sisters’ trip to North Carolina, Nora dreams of becoming a heroine worthy of the books she reads. Instead, she keeps running into a brooding editor from back in the city. As their accidental meetings keep coming, Nora and Charlie begin to see each other differently in this enemies-to-lovers summer read.
Sarah Donhauser is surprised when her stepdaughter Ruby announces her engagement to her pandemic boyfriend. With only three months to the wedding at the family’s summer house on Cape Cod, family secrets and regrets create road bumps for all of the family members. As the wedding nears, confrontations lead to plenty of family drama in this summer beach read.
On the eve of her 40th birthday, Alice feels satisfied with everything in her life except her distant relationship with her father. When she wakes up the next day, she finds she has been transported back in the past to her 16-year-old self. Now with the eyes of an adult, Alice sees it as an opportunity to connect with her father and correct past mistakes.
In her imaginative new historical fantasy, Kelly Barnhill details the Mass Dragoning of 1955. In a shocking event, hundreds of thousands of ordinary mothers and wives transform into dragons and fly away. Was it by choice and where did they go? Alex can’t stop wondering after her beloved aunt is involved, but the subject is taboo though the consequences to her family are far-reaching.
D. J. Palmer
While on vacation to New York City, Michael Hart is shocked when his wife, Natalie, and their kids disappear. When he realizes she left voluntarily after discovering secrets about his past, Michael will stop at nothing to find them. Meanwhile, Natalie’s escape plan hits a hurdle when she begins to have crippling insomnia which makes her question who she can trust.
Book of the Month – May 2022
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, right now you can use my Book of the Month Club affiliate link to get your first book for $5!
The May Book of the Month selections are:
See the Complete List of Upcoming Releases!
Jenna Bush Hager’s May 2022 Pick
Shelby Van Pelt
After her husband died, Tova Sullivan began working the night shift at the Sowell Bay Aquarium. Thirty years ago, Tova’s son Erik disappeared on a boat in the Puget Sound, and cleaning the aquarium helps her cope. When she befriends Marcellus, the aquarium’s giant octopus, Marcellus discovers what happened to Erik and must find a way to show Tova the truth before it’s too late.
Reese’s Book Club May 2022
As a child, Esme often stayed out of sight under the table while her father and his colleagues worked on creating the first Oxford English Dictionary. When she discovers the word “bondmaid” which the men have rejected, Esme realizes that many words related to women and the poor are often ignored. So Esme sets off to collect her own Dictionary of Lost Words during the height of the women’s suffrage movement.
Oprah’s Book Club May 2022
The powerful memoir from actress and producer Viola Davis about finding herself. From her roots in a rundown apartment in Rhode Island to center stage in New York, Davis constantly had to find the courage to forget the judgment of the world and fall in love with herself.
Good Morning America’s May 2022 Pick
An explosive story about three women whose midlife crises bring a newfound power. Alone in her 40s, former nurse Nessa discovers she can hear voices from the dead. Meanwhile, Harriet and Jo are undergoing their own transformations. When the trio discover a dead body that the police write off as an overdosed sex worker, their investigation leads them into the dark secrets of the exclusive neighborhood.
The Most Anticipated May 2022 Book Releases
In Tokyo Ever After, Princess Izumi learned that her absent father is the Crown Prince of Japan. As she settles into her life as a princess, Izumi is thrilled when her parents get engaged. However, the Imperial council is refusing to approve of the marriage. Izumi must become the perfect princess to win the Imperial council’s favor while dealing with her own romantic troubles.
Although I adored Tokyo Ever After, a Princess Diaries meets Crazy Rich Asians mash-up, I thought the sequel was cute but unremarkable. I know some fans will swoon over Izumi’s new love triangle, but I was disappointed in the lack of character development and the retread drama from the first book.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Flatiron Books through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Journalist Cecily Wong has given up everything to join famous mountaineer Charles McVeigh on his record-breaking climb of Mt. Manaslu, the eighth-highest peak in the world. When a climber dies in a freak accident, Cecily worries the expedition might have to turn back. Then a second climber dies, and Cecily wonders if, instead of blaming the deaths on altitude sickness, she’s trapped high in the mountains with a killer.
You can tell that McCulloch has actually summited Mt. Manaslu because her descriptions of high altitude climbing felt intensely real. I loved that Cecily was a relatable beginning climber caught up in an adventure that pushed her to her limits. The mystery itself was overly complicated and a bit disappointing, but I still think this is a fun read for anyone looking for an adventure.
Although from the outside her life appears perfect with all the trappings of success, Leah knows that you can never know what goes on behind closed doors. When Leah notices another woman, McKenna, whose life seems headed down a similar path, she surreptitiously begins to watch over her. Despite having never met, Leah decides that even if she can’t save herself, she might be able to save McKenna.
In his first-ever collection of novellas, John Grisham uses the law as a common theme to talk much more about life. In one story, Jake Brigance must deal with the return of a former Clanton lawyer who stole money from clients and then disappeared. Also included are stories of a death row inmate with a final request and two brothers fighting over their inherited law firm.
A man with amnesia wakes up in a post-apocalyptic world, injured and alone. He has vague memories of life before, but can’t seem to piece together how the world has come to its current state. As his memories return, he struggles to survive in the harsh environment until he meets a boy and realizes that life is much different than he thought.
City of Orange is not what you expect, which is a two-edged sword. The snippet conveys an exciting post-apocalyptic story, and City of Orange is anything but excited. The story is slow-paced and, quite honestly, drags for most of the book. However, the unexpected message of the book is clever and thought-provoking. Unfortunately, I’m not sure the slog of reading the book is worth the reward at the end.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Putnam through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Kim Michele Richardson
In the sequel to The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek, famed blue-skinned pack librarian Cussy and her husband have been hiding from the law for years. When they are arrested, their daughter Honey Lovett takes up her mother’s library route to prove that she can live independently without a guardian.
After moving from Southern California to attend a Christian academy in Alabama, Chloe Green has one goal in sight: winning valedictorian. Her only competitor is Shara Wheeler, the principal’s perfect prom queen daughter. As graduation approaches, Shara kisses Chloe and then vanishes. As Chloe tracks down the other people Shara kissed and follows her cryptic notes, Chloe realizes that there is much more to her small Alabama town, and Shara, than she thought.
Mary Kay Andrews
Young widow Hattie Kavanaugh finds her family home restoration business in trouble after one too many bad investments. Strapped for cash, she accepts an invitation to star in a home renovation reality show cast against a male lead who is either a love interest or her worst nightmare. When their renovation uncovers clues to a missing persons case, Hattie finds her emotions caught between a weary detective and her handsome costar.
When Ariel Price wakes up in Lisbon, her husband’s side of the bed is empty. She immediately knows something is wrong. But as she goes to hotel security, the police, the American embassy, she begins to realize that she doesn’t know nearly as much about her new husband as she should. Why is he even in Lisbon and why did he bring her on his business trip? The clock is ticking and Ariel becomes so desperate she might even turn for help to the last person she ever wanted to ask.
Mystery clings to Sara Foster, a sought-after bartender at an upscale L.A. restaurant, whose past keeps her from trusting others. When perpetual undergrad Emilie Dubois takes a job arranging flowers at Yerba Buena, she immediately feels a connection with Sara. As the two women battle the demons of their past and struggle to find their place in the world, they must decide if their love is worth the risk.
Popular May Upcoming Releases
What May 2022 book releases are you most excited to read?