Amazon's Best Books of May: Today's Releases

PriestdaddyOur Spotlight Pick this month, Priestdaddy, proves that you can't judge a book by its cover (or its title, for that matter). We initially assumed it was a creepy memoir about a priest doing very unholy things. Instead (sweet relief!), it chronicles the hilarity that ensues when Ms. Lockwood and her husband, down on their luck, must move into the parish rectory where her married Catholic father works (yes, married, despite the Catholic bit). Reviewer Vannessa Cronin says that the "laughs range from silly to raunchy in a spectrum that might make David Sedaris envious."

Below are the rest of our favorite books of May, released today, or browse the full list here.

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Ginny Moon by Benjamin Ludwig
It’s the rare novel that has an autistic teenage heroine, and an even rarer novel is one that surprises you on every single page, as Ginny Moon quite emphatically does. Told from the point of view of thirteen-year-old Ginny, this absorbing debut sets at its heart Ginny’s obsession with “Baby Doll,” whom she unwillingly abandoned four years ago when she was taken away from her drug-addicted and abusive birth mother. Ginny fears Baby Doll is still in a suitcase, where she left her when the police separated Ginny from her mother, and Ginny has been testing and breaking the patience of various foster parents in her attempts to reunite with her mother so that Ginny can again take care of Baby Doll. Ginny is not stupid—she finds her birth mother on Facebook, steals another student’s phone to contact her, and concocts various plans to get back to her Baby Doll with a single-mindedness that is as daring as it is alarming, for Ginny is fully aware that her birth mother will likely again physically abuse her. Ginny’s unpredictability keeps the pressure high, and I wondered throughout how this novel could possibly deliver a satisfying conclusion. But Benjamin Ludwig, himself the foster parent of an autistic teen, pulls together the action into a tear-provoking finale that will have you cheering for the stubborn, brave, impulsive, and ultimately heroic Ginny Moon. (Heck, I’m getting teary just writing this review.) —Adrian Liang

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One Day We'll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter by Scaachi Koul
Some of the best books, in my opinion, don't really end when you turn the final page. Instead, something about them sticks with you, causes you to look back, challenges you, or maybe just revisits you from time to time. One Day We'll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter qualifies. In this case, not only do many of Scaachi Koul's laugh-out-loud accounts of her experiences in her everyday life bring smiles time and time again, they also strike with a surprising poignancy that both speaks to your core and challenges you moving forward. It's great for bite-sized reads in its structure, but good luck not devouring it in one sitting. Either way, the end seems to come much too soon. I’m expecting more great things from this author! --Penny Mann

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Time's a Thief by B.G. Firmani
B.G. Firmani’s debut novel reads like a time capsule. Her protagonist is Chess, a Barnard student who eventually lands a job working as an assistant in the West Village for a member of the wealthy Marr-Lowenstein family. Chess’s experience will resonate with anyone who has loved reading Jay McInerney, Bret Easton Ellis, Donna Tartt, Garth Risk Hallberg, or even J.D. Salinger—with the added touch that she is looking back on her early New York days from twenty years later, even as she describes it in vivid detail. This is a time and a place and an age that resonates with many, whether they’ve lived it themselves or just enjoy reading from the rich tradition of novels about coming of age in New York. --Chris Schluep

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Trajectory by Richard Russo
Trajectory is composed of four relatively long short stories, all of which eschew the blue collar characters that people most associate with Russo’s work. Instead these stories are about writers and college professors, taking apart their fears and wants with authorial precision, and showing us again why Russo is one of our greatest writers. --Chris Schluep

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American Kingpin by Nick Bilton
From drugs to fake IDs, counterfeit cash, even poison, you could buy it all on the Silk Road--a Web site hosted on the Dark Web, and created by an unassuming programmer-next-door gone very, very bad. American Kingpin is the heart-pounding story of the manhunt launched to put Ross Ulbricht and his billion-dollar operation out of business.


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