“Spring has returned,” Rainer Maria Rilke famously wrote. “The Earth is like a child that knows poems.” Then again, if you ask Dorothy Parker, “Every year, back comes Spring, with nasty little birds yapping their fool heads off and the ground all mucked up with plants.” Whichever side you take, this month will see great books popping up even faster than daisies and dandelions, and in some cases even making more noise than those fool birds. This month, settle in among the flowers with graphic memoirs, new novels from American legends, wine manuals from literary party boys, and lots of other stories great and small. Click through to read our list of must-reads for May, and let us know which books you’re most excited to read this month in the comments.
Are You My Mother: A Comic Drama, Alison Bechdel (May 1)
We loved Alison Bechdel’s first graphic memoir, Fun Home, which covered her relationship with her father and his suicide, but like many other fans, we wanted more — and in particular, we wanted to hear more about Bechdel’s eccentric, withholding mother. She has obliged with a second memoir, in part written about writing the first one (for some satisfying in-the-know intertextual payoff), that delves more deeply into their rather fraught relationship. “I would love to see your name on a book,” her mother tells her at one point. “But not on a book of lesbian cartoons.” Well, for our part, we love to see Bechdel’s name on almost anything, and especially this memoir, which is just as good as her first, and perhaps even more honest.