Things I’m looking forward to this April - watching the bluebonnets shift from vibrant blue and lavender colors as they make way to paintbrushes that sprout with their deep red and orange hues. Then the bats begin emerging from down south and delight us as they fly out from under the South Congress bridge and into the Texas night sky. I can’t wait to shed my light jacket in favor of sunning my shoulders, and enjoy a few warm days where I can sneak in a ski on the fresh waters of Lake Austin. I absolutely love this time in Austin. I fall in love (again and again) with this city every April. Maybe it’s because the sun is starting to come out and stay out... So come, grab a book, soak up the landscape and fall in love with this beautiful city with me.
The Lifeguards by Amanda Eyre Ward
After her 2020 novel, The Jetsetters, was a New York Times bestseller and a Reese Book Club pick, Ward is back with a juicy new novel set in Austin. In The Lifeguards, three teen boys have a big secret, and it tears apart the friendship of their mothers. The book prominently features Zilker Park, Barton Springs, and the Greenbelt and I cannot wait to follow along as our local landscape sets the stage.
Four Treasures of the Sky by Jenny Tinghui Zhang
This highly anticipated debut novel by Austin-based author Jenny Tinghui Zhang is getting rave reviews, including from Ann Patchett, who called it “big-hearted and heartbreaking.” This story is told from the perspective of a Chinese immigrant (Daiyu) who is kidnapped and smuggled from China to America. From a calligraphy school to the mountains of Idaho, we can follow along as Daiyu must find herself in a hostile and xenophobic world.
Time is a Mother by Ocean Vuong
I’m incredibly excited for Vuong’s newest work, Time is a Mother. It’s the acclaimed poet’s first collection since the stunning On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous (one of my favorites). And this incredibly intimate collection about the aftermath of the author’s mother’s death is bold and brave.