10 Of The Most Anticipated Book Releases Of May 2020

The prequel to "The Hunger Games" trilogy is among the top books coming out this month.

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The 10 top book releases of May 2020.
The 10 top book releases of May 2020.

Although spring is rolling into summer, many of us are still cooped up at home practicing safe social distancing. Fortunately, there is a fresh crop of books being released this month that are perfectly suited to whip you away into a different time, world or both.

ICYMI, we’re teaming up with the literary experts at Goodreads to bring you each month’s most anticipated book releases. This month, if you’re looking for a fantastical escape, you should consider the Hunger Games trilogy prequel, “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” by Suzanne Collins, or “Shakespeare for Squirrels” by Christopher Moore. If you’re looking for more of a historical journey, check out “The Library of Legends” by Janie Chang or “The Paris Hours” by Alex George. Simply want to step into someone else’s shoes? There are two exceptional memoirs out this month: “Hollywood Park” by Mikel Jollett and “The Hilarious World of Depression” by John Moe.

If you are stuck at home, now is the perfect time to fire up that Kindle and dive into a new world. And although you could find all of the books below on Amazon, you could also consider supporting your local bookstores instead. If you live in an area with pick-up and delivery options for small businesses, it might be worth calling up your local independent bookshop to see what options it has.

Keep scrolling for the most anticipated books of May. And if you need more reading inspo, check out our guides to top April book releases and top March book releases.

Take a look:

1
“All Adults Here” by Emma Straub
Amazon
Does your birth order affect who you become as a person? How do your relationships with your siblings change as you all become adults? Who decides what events shape you or your children's lives? “All Adults Here” by Emma Straub follows Astrid Strick after an unexpected accident causes her to reflect on her parenting of her three children who are now grown. Read more about it on Goodreads, and grab a copy on Amazon.

Expected release date: May 5
2
“Big Summer” by Jennifer Weiner
Amazon
Daphne Berg broke up with her best friend six years ago, and they haven’t spoken since. Then her ex-BFF, the lovely and successful Drue, pops back into her life with an odd request: Will Daphne be her maid-of-honor at her picturesque and glamorous Cape Cod wedding? Daphne accepts, even though she isn’t the same person she was six years ago. What follows is a story about female friendship, social media, body image and more. Read more about it on Goodreads, and grab a copy on Amazon.

Expected release date: May 5
3
“Hollywood Park” by Mikel Jollett
Amazon
“Hollywood Park” is a remarkable memoir by Mikel Jollett. In what Goodreads calls a “raw, poetic and powerful voice,” Jollett describes his childhood in the violent Church of Synanon cult, his escape with his mother and brother, and the tumultuous road that follows, eventually taking him to Stanford University and beyond. "Good Morning America" calls this memoir a “story of fierce love and family loyalty.” Read more about it on Goodreads, and grab a copy on Amazon.

Expected release date: May 5
4
“The Hilarious World of Depression” by John Moe
Amazon
“The Hilarious World of Depression” is a follow-up to the podcast of the same name. In this book, John Moe explores his own experiences with depression, the disease’s connection to the world of comedy, our current understandings (and the unknowns) and more. Filled with both humorous anecdotes and insightful findings, “The Hilarious World of Depression” is a fresh and inspiring examination of depression today. Read more about it on Goodreads, and grab a copy on Amazon.

Expected release date: May 5
5
“The Paris Hours” by Alex George
Amazon
“The Paris Hours” takes place over the course of a single Parisien day in 1927. This lovely story by Alex George follows “four ordinary people” in the dazzling city of artists, musicians and genius as they each search for something they have lost. “When the quartet’s paths finally cross in an unforgettable climax, each discovers if they will find what they are looking for,” says Goodreads. Read more about it on Goodreads, and grab a copy on Amazon.

Expected release date: May 5
6
“Catherine House” by Elisabeth Thomas
Amazon
The mysterious and highly selective Catherine House school is known for both its experimental curriculum and the successful students it churns out. When Ines decides to attend Catherine House deep in the woods of rural Pennsylvania, she agrees, like all other students, to forgo all contact with the outside world for three years. Goodreads calls this gothic novel “a devious, deliciously steamy, and suspenseful page-turner with shocking twists and sharp edges that is sure to leave readers breathless.” Read more about it on Goodreads, and grab a copy on Amazon.

Expected release date: May 12
7
“The Library of Legends” by Janie Chang
Amazon
When Japanese bombs start falling on the city of Nanking, China, in 1937, Hu Lian and her classmates must flee 1,000 miles by foot to China’s safe western provinces. Not only do Hu Lian and her classmates have to worry about constant aerial attack — they have also been entrusted with the Library of Legends, a 500-year-old collection of myths and folklore that seems to awake immortals and guardian spirits along the way. Read more about it on Goodreads, and grab a copy on Amazon.

Expected release date: May 12
8
“Shakespeare for Squirrels” by Christopher Moore
Amazon
Buckle in for “Shakespeare for Squirrels,” an uproarious take on Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” — transformed into a murder mystery. “Shakespeare for Squirrels” follows Pocket of Dog Snogging, the main character from Moore’s “Fool” and “The Serpent of Venice,” as he tries to track down the murderer of the mischievous fairy Puck. This twist on Shakespeare’s classic is sure to be a funny, fast-paced and wild read. Read more about it on Goodreads, and grab a copy on Amazon.

Expected release date: May 12
9
“The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” by Suzanne Collins
Amazon
It’s time to dive back into the world of Panem with Suzanne Collins’ prequel to the Hunger Games series. “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” takes place 65 years before the first “Hunger Games” book, on the morning of the reaping of the Tenth Hunger Games. Find out what happened in the decades before Katniss and Peeta. Read more about it on Goodreads, and grab a copy on Amazon.

Expected release date: May 19
10
“The Jane Austen Society” by Natalie Jenner
Amazon
Jane Austen lovers unite! “The Jane Austen Society” is an uplifting story that follows five strangers from different paths of life who unite in the aftermath of WWII. They meet in Chawton, the final home of Jane Austen, to commemorate the great author and form the Jane Austen Society. Read this powerful and moving historical fiction tale about the humanity within us all. Read more about it on Goodreads, and grab a copy on Amazon.

Expected release date: May 26