Wait … what? Bill Clinton is writing a thriller about a president who goes missing? And Norwegian noir master Jo Nesbø is rewriting Macbeth? These are only two crazy-surprising books coming out this spring. Others include memoirs by Twin Peaks guy David Lynch and former FBI head James Comey.
In fiction, you have families moving to Alaska (and freezing), people falling in love with aquatic beings (and why not?), and great new books by Michael Ondaatje, Chuck Palahniuk, and other favorites.
The Line Becomes a River: Dispatches from the Border by Francisco Cantú (Riverhead, February). Cantú, former U.S. Border Patrol agent, writes about his encounters with border politics, immigrants, and social division.
Skin in the Game: Hidden Asymmetries in Daily Life by Nassim Nicholas Taleb (Random House, February). The influential author of The Black Swan discusses how willingness to accept our own risks is an essential attribute of heroes, saints, and people who flourish.
Maker of Patterns by Freeman Dyson (Liveright, March). The eminent professor emeritus at Princeton's Institute for Advanced Study, now 94, offers an autobiography taking a spectacularly original form – his letters throughout his life to great scientists. It's a history of both himself and a great age of science.
Great American Outpost: Fortune, Freedom, and Madness in the North Dakota Oilfield by Maya Rao (PublicAffairs, April). Thousands traveled to the Bakken oil field in North Dakota with dreams of oil and riches. It was a 21st-century gold rush. Rao follows the people, the boom, and the bust.
Enemies in Love: A German POW, a Black Nurse, and an Unlikely Romance by Alexis Clark (New Press, May). He was a German prisoner of war in an Arizona camp; she was a nurse. The authorities figured they'd never fraternize. Guess what happened?
No Ashes in the Fire: Coming of Age Black and Free in America by Darnell L. Moore (Nation, May). He somehow survived childhood during the AIDS and crack epidemics, and he found a calling in the Black Lives Matter and LGBTQ-rights movements.
Macbeth by Jo Nesbø (Hogarth, April). The Hogarth Shakespeare series asks prominent authors to retell the famed playwright's classics. And who you gonna call for bloody Macbeth? Who other than world-beater Nesbø, creator of Oslo policeman Harry Hole? His retelling is gritty, vivid, and entirely obsessive.