It’s tempting to look only forward as spring draws near, but the best new books arriving in March invite readers to revisit the past. The memoir Red paintSasha LaPointe is an Indigenous writer who makes peace about her past generational trauma to be able to embrace the future. The In The FellSarah Moss takes us back to the early days of pandemics, when our needs for individual freedom were balanced with each other’s responsibility. Und in Don’t Read DangerouslyAzar Nafisi looks at the impact literature plays in times of turmoil throughout history.
These are the top 10 new books you should read for March.
GroundskeepingLee Cole (March 1)
Owen, a former forester who was down on his luck, moved back to Kentucky with Donald Trump-supporting grandfather and uncle in the months preceding the 2016 election. Owen is allowed to take a class in writing as a trade for his groundskeeping work at the local college. He falls in love with Alma, an accomplished novelist and visiting professor. She’s the daughter of well-educated, liberal Bosnian immigrants—a background so different from Owen’s that it inevitably complicates their relationship. GroundskeepingThis poignant novel about American love, class and family is for those who are coming of age in Trump’s time.
Get it now Groundskeeping Bookshop | Amazon
Don’t Run Towards Danger! Confrontations with a Body Full of MemorySarah Polley (March 1)
In this collection of essays, Sarah Polley, who’s an actor, screenwriter, and director, examines the role memory has played in her most defining moments. She recalls that, after suffering a concussion, a doctor told her to retrain her brain by forging forward into the activities triggering her headaches and nausea—advice she carried into other aspects of her life. Avoid the Danger looks back at some of Polley’s most personal, formative experiences, including childbirth and the incident that caused her concussion.
Get it now Avoid the Danger Bookshop | Amazon
The FellSarah Moss (March 1)
Sarah Moss is a great choice if you are looking for an epic pandemic story. The FellThis story is about Kate, a woman who escapes her house while she’s under lockdown in November 2020. The search party flies across dramatic Northern England to rescue her. She doesn’t return. It turns out Kate has fallen and is injured, but the friends and family looking for her don’t know that. It is difficult to manage pandemic realities and their quest to find Kate. Does the concerned neighbor give in to the son’s concern or should he keep his distance at six feet? Do the searchers lose focus on their task or become distracted with arguing over masks. Moss’s eighth novel—which is a slim 192 pages—is thought-provoking and timely.
Get it now The FellBookshop | Amazon
Run, Rose, RunDolly Parton, James Patterson (March 7).
Superstar Dolly Parton’s first-ever novel has arrived—and it’s a thriller co-written with the prolific James Patterson. Run, Rose, Run The story is appropriately set in Nashville. A singer-aspiring is running from her past. If she wants to make it big, she’s going to have to figure out what to do about all the secrets and lies she had hoped to bury in her old life. The book will include 12 Parton songs, which will also be available on an album. Parton and a stellar line-up including country singer Kelsea Balerini will narrate it.
Get it now Run, Rose, Run Bookshop | Amazon
Be Dangerous: How Literature Can Subvert Troubled Times, Azar Nafisi (March 8)
Don’t Read DangerouslyAzar Nafisi presents letters to her deceased father that revolve around literature and resistance. Her compelling argument is that literature can be used to address social challenges. She urges her readers to choose their books carefully. It focuses on works by Toni Morrison (Salman Rushdie), James Baldwin, Margaret Atwood, and James Baldwin. Perhaps most significantly, Nafisi—author of Reading Lolita in Tehran—reminds us of the power of reading to help us endure difficult times.
Get it now Don’t Read Dangerously Bookshop | Amazon
Red Paint: A Coast Salish Punk’s Ancestral Autobiography, Sasha LaPointe (March 8)
In this absorbing memoir, Sasha LaPointe describes growing up in the Pacific Northwest’s punk scene while trying to honor her ancestral roots. LaPointe’s grandmother was a linguist who helped preserve her tribe’s language, Lushootseed, and LaPointe is determined to make her proud. In Red PaintShe reflects on her losses and traumas and ponders how she can make the best future possible for herself and her family. It’s a worthy tribute to Coast Salish women.
Get it now Red Paint Bookshop | Amazon
GloryNoViolet Bulawayo, March 8
NoViolet Bulawayo—whose debut, We require new names, was shortlisted for the 2013 Booker Prize—returns with an ambitious allegorical novel inspired by Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe’s fall from power. Glory is set in a fictional African nation that’s occupied exclusively by animals. Those animals’ voices are used to explore and expose social upheaval and political dictatorship in an unexpected way. It’s an absurd yet captivating examination of themes such as toxic masculinity, hero worship, and performative change.
Get it now Glory Bookshop | Amazon
We Were BirdsAyanna Lloyd Banwo, March 15,
The novel takes place in magical Trinidad and Tobago where Yejide and Darwin meet as they attempt to determine what owe one another. Yejide’s neglectful mother is dying and plans to pass on the power to guide souls into the afterlife, a responsibility Yejide does not want. Darwin is now working at a cemetery, although his family forbids him from interfacing with death. They became friends after they met at the cemetery. graveyard. We Were BirdsThis is a tribute to the belief that even broken traditions can be transformed into beautiful new beginnings.
Get it now We Were Birds Bookshop | Amazon
DisorientationElaine Hsieh Chou (March 22, 2002)
Ingrid Yang is a PhD student who’s rather disillusioned with her dissertation—until she makes a shocking discovery about its subject, the late fictional poet Xiao-Wen Chou. Ingrid’s life changes as she digs deeper into the findings. She finds herself involved in book burnings, campus protests, and confronting stereotypes and anti-Asian racism. Elaine Hsieh Chou’s debut novel is a provocative, satirical take on academia, full of surprising twists.
Get it now Disorientation Bookshop | Amazon
French Braid, Anne Tyler (March 22)
Anne Tyler, Pulitzer Prize winner for Fiction, places multigenerational family relations at the heart of her lovely novel. French Braid The Garretts are a fictional Baltimore family who have experienced many highs and lows throughout the years. Tyler examines the ways that family members influence each other—which sometimes only becomes apparent generations later. The characters’ hopes and struggles are relatable, and the novel shines with Tyler’s signature compassion and comfort.
Get it now French Braid Bookshop | Amazon