Fully booked: Seven books to read this spring

Including a powerful debut, a gothic read and a fast-paced YA

When self-isolation is the order of business, we're here with some shelf-inspiration. Here, our books editor Lynsey May picks a selection of recently and soon to be published books to add to your reading pile (whether it's physical or virtual) this spring.

The Butchers by Ruth Gilligan
The story starts with a grotesque photo of a murdered Butcher (a group who kills cows in accordance with Irish folklore) and quickly takes the reader back to unravel the circumstances that make the picture possible. It's a tense and compelling read.
Out Thu 26 Mar from Atlantic.

Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell
Longlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction, Hamnet is a sumptuous story of love, desperation and loss. It's a tender and powerful reimagining of the life of story of Hamnet Shakespeare, son of the world's most famous playwright and largely lost to history.
Out Tue 31 Mar from Tinder Press.

The Loop by Ben Oliver
A fast-paced YA that's enjoyable for teens and adults alike, The Loop is a dystopian sci-fi adventure with plenty of thrills and chills. Luka Kane is in a prison controlled by artificial intelligence. Everything is always the same, until the day it isn't.
Out Thu 2 Apr from Chicken House.

Fully booked: Seven books to read this spring

Gavin Francis

Before my Actual Heart Breaks by Tish Delaney
This hard-hitting book from Delaney sets one woman's struggle with the hand dealt to her against the backdrop of the Northern Irish Troubles. This powerful debut examines the bonds of hate – and love – in a story of one family.
Out Thu 14 May from Hutchinson.

The Temple House Vanishing by Rachel Donohue
An atmospheric, gothic read, The Temple House Vanishing is a mystery set in a Catholic boarding school. Years after the disappearance of a pupil and teacher, a journalist with a childhood connection to the missing girl tries to uncover the truth.
Out now from Corvus.

Harley in the Sky by Akemi Dawn Bowman
For readers aged 12 and over, this magical story about a young trapeze artist takes a good look at love, loyalty and tough choices. Harley follows her dreams and joins a circus but by doing so, she's risking everything she's ever known.
Out now from Ink Road.

Island Dream by Gavin Francis
This gorgeous book from Gavin Francis looks at our collective fascination with islands by blending his own experiences with great voyages from literature as well as a splash of psychology and philosophy. It's at heart, an exploration of isolation and connectedness that's particularly timely.
Out Thu 7 May from Canongate.

Follow The List's Staying In is the New Going Out articles for more recommendations, alternative online events, press releases, refund policies, restaurant deliveries and further general information.

Join our newsletter