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FIRST Book Club: 7 Feel-Great Reads You’ll Love for April 26th – May 2nd

This week, we are sharing our new favorite family sagas, romances, thrillers, mysteries and more!

Welcome, literature lovers, to the FIRST for Women weekly book club!

Here at FIRST for Women, when we’re not hard at work bringing you stories about health, nutrition, beauty and lifestyle, we like to kick back with a good book.

We know firsthand that reading provides relief from stress, improves brain health and ushers in more joy. So we rounded up our editors’ top seven book picks — of new and old favorites — for  April 26th – May 2nd, 2024. We cover our new favorite family saga’s, romances, thrillers, mysteries and more! Keep reading for all of the FIRST book club picks!

We’d also love to hear what books you’re reading this month and how they made you feel!

Women’s Fiction: After Annie

by Anna Quindlen

After Annie by Anna Quindlen (first book club)
Random House

“I knew going in that this would be a tearjerker, but sometimes we all need a good cry,” says Patty Bontekoe, FIRST Executive Editor. The book begins with Annie’s sudden death, leaving behind her husband, Bill, her four young kids and her best friend, Annemarie. Told from the points of view of Bill, Annemarie and Ali, Annie’s 13-year-old daughter, we see clearly how Annie was the center of their world and how big a loss this was. “There’s not much action in this book, but it was moving seeing how those closest to Annie navigated grief,” says Patty. “It was a great reminder of the power of love and our ability to carry on amid heartache­ — without forgetting those we’ve lost.” (Random House, 2024)

Fiction: Welcome Home, Caroline Kline

by Courtney Preiss

Welcome Home, Caroline Kline by Courtney Preiss (FIRST book club)

“I’m forever a Jersey girl at heart, so when a friend told me about this book set near the Jersey Shore, it was an auto-buy for me,” says Melissa D’Agnese, FIRST Senior Editor. This shimmering debut novel by Courtney Preiss follows newly single and jobless Caroline Kline. Her father, Leo, asks her to move back to New Jersey while he recovers from an injury. But he doesn’t need a caretaker — Leo needs Caroline to replace him in his local men’s softball league. Now, she has to step up to bat in more ways than one. “At its heart, this is a story about second chances filled with humor and wit,” says Melissa. “I was cheering Caroline on until the last page! ” (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2024)

Family Saga: The House of Plain Truth

by Donna Hemans

The House of Plain Truth by Donna Hemans  (First Book Cover)
Zibby Books

“I had a long travel day last week and wanted a good read to keep me entertained,” shares Carissa Mosness, FIRST Assistant Digital Editor. “And this book was so engrossing.” Shocking moments and complex family dynamics combine in this novel inspired by the author’s real life. After receiving heartbreaking news about her father, Pearline flees Brooklyn for her childhood home in Jamaica. But when she arrives, Pearline is met with family tension and then her father’s dying wish: to repair their long-broken family legacy and find the sister and two brothers no one has seen in more than 50 years. Told in dual time lines, from modern-day Brooklyn and Montego Bay to 1930s Havana, Pearline must figure out how much she is willing to risk for her family before it’s too late. “This is a lush, layered and compelling family saga about generational secrets, loyalty and finding home,” says Carissa. “It was, at certain times, heart-wrenching, but the story had me turning pages late into the night.” (Zibby, 2024

Mystery: The Antique Hunter’s Guide to Murder

by C.L. Miller 

The Antique Hunter’s Guide to Murder by C.L. Miller (FIRST Book Club)
Atria Books

“I like my mystery novels served with a side of excellent character development, and this didn’t disappoint,” says Kristina Mastrocola, FIRST Senior Editor. Antique hunter Freya Lockwood’s former mentor, Arthur Crockleford, is found dead just days after reaching out to her for the first time in years. Now, Freya finds herself thrust into a world where one precious object may be the key to revealing a shocking truth. Raves Kristina, “I was glued to this captivating tale!” (Atria, 2024)

Romance: From Lukov With Love

by Mariana Zapata

From Lukov with Love by Mariana Zapata  (FIRST Book Club)
Headline Eternal

“I always adore a slow-burn romance,” says Raquel Lekic, FIRST Editorial Assistant. “It’s fun watching the love story unfold!” Ice skater Jasmine Santos is asked to do a partner skate alongside her mortal enemy — the famed Ivan Lukov. As the pair spends more time together, Jasmine realizes she may need to reconsider everything she thought she knew about Ivan. “The slow simmer between this duo was amazing,” says Raquel. “Fans of the movie The Cutting Edge will love this read!” (Headline Eternal, 2022

Thriller: The Fortune Seller

by Rachel Kapelke-Dale

The Fortune Seller by Rachel Kapelke-Dale (FIRST Book Club)
St. Martin’s Press

“After a stressful week, I needed an escape,” admits Carey Ostergard, FIRST Executive Editor. “So I cozied up on the sofa with this riveting, heart-racing saga!” Rosie Macalister has worked hard to fit in with her rich friends on the Yale equestrian team. So when mysterious tarot reader and excellent rider Annelise Tattinger joins the squad, tensions rise among the teammates. But it isn’t until Rosie’s first job at a hedge fund that she uncovers Annelise’s true identity. Says Carey, “What an enthralling, juicy mystery!” (St. Martin’s, 2024)

Cozy Mystery: The Garden Plot

by Marty Wingate

The Garden Plot by Marty Wingate (FIRST Book Club)
Joffe Books

“My favorite way to spend sunny weekends is in my yard planting flowers,” shares Lauren Blum, FIRST Associate Editor. “To keep my joy going after a day of planting, I dove into this on-theme whodunit!” Prunella Parke decides on a whim to pick up her life in the U.S. and become a gardener for the English home of the wealthy Vernona Wilson. While digging and prepping the grounds, she unearths a body and an ancient Roman mosaic. Says Lauren, “This was a delightfully clever tale — I felt like I was cracking the case right alongside Pru!” (Joffe, 2023)

For more FIRST Book Club picks:

FIRST Book Club: 7 Feel-Great Reads You’ll Love for April 19th – April 25th

FIRST Book Club: 7 Feel-Great Reads You’ll Love for April 12th – April 18th

FIRST Book Club: 7 Feel-Great Reads You’ll Love for April 5th – April 11th

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