anticipated books May 2019

In May, we are spoilt for choice! The number of good books releasing is off the charts. While Mark Haddon, Mark Manson and John Grisham all have new offerings, there are also a couple of stunning debut novels. Expect a book that will tell you how global superpowers function and a few that will give you exhilarating history lessons. Short stories, literary fiction, and even a biography about a book, May seems to have it all! This is our list of 16 of the most anticipated books releasing in May.


How They Rule The World

Pedro Banos

The world has increasingly become fraught with tension as nuclear superpowers threaten to face off in battle. Former Spanish Defence specialist, Pedro Banos writes this international bestseller in which he gives personal insights on how global powers dominate the world. From brute military strength to political ploys, in this book, Banos presents 22 rules that all countries follow to establish global dominion.

Releasing on May 2. Buy it here.


The Doll Factory

Elizabeth Macneal

Set in 1850s London, Elizabeth Macneal’s debut novel has garnered rave reviews internationally. The protagonist of the story, Iris, is a budding artist but has to work in a doll factory painting doll faces to make ends meet. Her life takes an unexpected turn when a creepy taxidermist, Silas, becomes obsessed with her and begins stalking her. A terrifying tale ensues as Silas is willing to do whatever it takes to ensure Iris is his. Fair warning- there are horror themes as well as depictions of animal cruelty, so this book is not for the faint-hearted.

Releasing on May 2. Buy it here.


Everything In Its Place: First Loves And Last Tales

Oliver Sacks

Everything In Its Place collects 33 unpublished essays by Oliver Sacks, a neurologist and the author of bestselling books, The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat and The River Of Consciousness. The book is the perfect homage to Sacks, who passed away in 2015, as it showcases his myriad interests. In this volume, you’ll find essays on Tourette’s syndrome, the ageing brain, and dementia as well as libraries, museums and ginkgo. There is even an essay on New York City’s streetlamps! Strange and insightful, Everything In Its Place is bound to be a treat for curious minds.

Releasing on May 2. Buy it here.


Everything Is F*cked: A Book About Hope

Mark Manson

Business blogger and author of the wildly successful, The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A F*ck, Mark Manson, writes this follow-up book which promises to be just as brilliant. While The Subtle Art was focused on the self, Everything Is F*cked focuses on macro-level events and how to deal with them. From political upsets to natural calamities and terrorist threats, the world is not in a happy place right now. Using his extensive research as well as ancient philosophical wisdom, Manson begs his readers to question their relationship with the world around them and what they can do to make a difference. This book promises to change the way you think.

Releasing on May 14. Buy it here.


Theodore Boone: The Accomplice

John Grisham

John Grisham is one of the world’s most famous authors and his legal dramas are nearly always best-sellers. His latest offering, Theodore Boone: The Accomplice, the seventh book in his Theodore Boone series, promises to be an exciting read. As a troubled Woody Lambert lands himself in jail for a crime he did not commit, he needs good legal aid, but none is forthcoming. Enter 13-year old Theodore Boone who dreams of being a brilliant courtroom lawyer and advises Lambert on his legal troubles. This book is entertaining and gripping at the same time.

Available from May 14.



Ted Chiang

Award-winning author Ted Chiang’s new collection of short stories promises to be exhilarating and poignant at the same time. These nine short stories are essentially science-fiction but also explore themes of loneliness, redemption and the nature of the universe, amongst others. The eponymous short story, Exhalation, is written in an epistolary format and deals with an alien scientist who is struggling with the ramifications of his discovery, while The Lifecycle of Software Objects delves into affection for objects with highly-evolved AI. Each story will leave you pondering on what it means to be human.

Releasing on May 16. Buy it here.


The Life And Legend Of The Sultan Saladin

Jonathan Phillips

Christian-Muslim tension goes back centuries, and in this biographical work, Jonathan Philips writes the story of Saladin, the man who recaptured Jerusalem from the Crusaders and returned it to Islamic rule, after 90 years, in 1187. From exploring Saladin’s roots to how he became a popular leader and finally to his role in winning back Jerusalem, Philips gives us a definitive portrayal of one of the world’s first jihadists.

Releasing on May 16. Buy it here.


The Forest Of Wool And Steel

Natsu Miyashita

This international phenomenon finally comes to India in May. From one of Japan’s foremost authors, this is the inspiring story of a young man following his passion and dreams, knowing that he has only one true calling- to play the piano. Even though he experiences self-doubt, he doesn’t stray from his path and trains with single-minded purpose. Set in small-town Japan, this book will show you that while following your passion isn’t always easy, it is worth it for those who are willing to persevere. Whether or not you’ve found your true passion, this book is bound to be an exquisite read.

Releasing on May 16. Buy it here.


The Farm

Joanne Ramos

Already considered THE debut novel of the year, Joanne Ramos’ dystopian fiction, The Farm, is one of the most anticipated books of May. Full of dark humour, this book is a thought-provoking take on topics such as White Privilege, motherhood and the actual worth of money. As Jane, a struggling young mother, becomes a surrogate for an uber-wealthy client and moves to ‘The Farm’, she begins to question if missing her own daughter’s growing years to earn money is worth it or not and struggles with existential questions. This novel will make you sit up and think of what truly matters in life.

Releasing on May 18. Buy it here.


The Porpoise

Mark Haddon

Mark Haddon shot to fame with The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time and his latest book, The Porpoise promises to be just as interesting a read. In this book, Haddon retells Shakespeare’s Pericles and also uses elements from the Greek legend of Appolonius. As Philippe’s wife, Maja, is killed in a plane crash, he finds himself raising his daughter, Angelica, and turns into an over-protective and sexually-abusive father. Meanwhile, Angelica loses herself in literature and embarks on a fantasy journey to escape her predicament. This poignant book is a treat for all fans of mythology and classics.

Releasing on May 21. Buy it here.


The Ministry Of Truth: A Biography Of George Orwell’s 1984

Dorian Lynskey

1984 is an iconic novel and few other books have influenced modern culture the way this book has. Words created by Orwell, like ‘Big Brother’ and ‘Thought Police’, are used even today, and you can even see the book’s influence on the works of authors such as Margaret Atwood and Alan Moore. 2019 marks its 70th anniversary and, in The Ministry Of Truth, Lynskey explores how exactly this novel came to be and what influenced Orwell to write it. Not only does he investigate the socio-economic period when 1984 was written, but also how fiction and history can ultimately influence and inform each other.   

Releasing on May 30. Buy it here.


I Spy: My Life in MI5

Tom Marcus

MI5 was famous even before James Bond and British secret service agents constantly battle threats to the U.K. and the world in general. I Spy is a follow up to Soldier Spy and, in it, ex-MI5 agent, Tom Marcus, takes his readers on a journey deep into the spy world by recounting real-life missions. This book is probably more thrilling than any spy fiction as Marcus’ memoir features dangerous Russian agents, noble sacrifices, and nail-biting fights-to-the-finish. While the world of international espionage may seem glamorous, this novel will give you an accurate picture of what it is like to live the life of a spy.

Releasing on May 30. Buy it here.


Range: How Generalists Triumph In A Specialized World

David Epstein

The term ‘jack of all trades, master of none’ is often used to describe someone who hasn’t been particularly successful in any one field, but, in Range, Epstein theorises that being a ‘jack of all trades’ is exactly what will make someone successful in their chosen field. In a world obsessed with specialisation, this book claims that it is important to have experience across a wide range of activities and interests. Detours from your ‘chosen’ path are important to make you excel in what you do. Backed up with extensive research, Epstein makes a compelling argument for the importance of being a ‘generalist’ to ‘make it’ in current times.

Releasing on May 30. Buy it here.


Bitcoin Billionaires

Ben Mezrich

Mezrich’s previous book, The Accidental Billionaires, was about Facebook founders Mark Zuckerberg and the Winklevoss twins. Bitcoin Billionaires is about the Winklevoss twins’ lives after they were ousted from Facebook. They had lots of money, but nowhere to invest it since other young entrepreneurs didn’t want to incur Zuckerberg’s wrath. However, once the twins stumble upon cryptocurrency and Bitcoin, they reinvent themselves and ultimately become the first Bitcoin billionaires towards the end of 2017. This book follows their journey, their ongoing battle with and revenge on Facebook and their trials and tribulations with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Releasing on May 31. Buy it here.


Falter: Has the Human Game Begun To Play Itself Out?

Bill McKibben

World-famous environmentalist, Bill McKibben, returns to writing with his new book on climate change. Arguing that we are fast approaching a tipping point, McKibben gives his readers a dire warning- humanity itself is now at stake. He says that we need to address three issues- how to live on a damaged planet, our proclivity to put the interest of the individual above that of the collective, and our usage of technology that harms nature. This book is a call to arms against those who are actively killing our planet.  

Releasing on May 31. Buy it here.


She-Merchants, Buccaneers And Gentlewomen: British women In India 1600 – 1900

Katie Hickman

British women arrived in India long before the Colonial rule and took up various professions in the many kingdoms that existed- from governesses and teachers to artists, writers and even businesswomen. Exploring the stories of some of these women, Hickman takes us on an immersive ride through previously unexplored history. Women who survived sieges and massacres, swashbuckling sea-faring ladies and seamstresses who created successful businesses find their stories told in this book.

Releasing on May 31. Buy it here.

Disclaimer: Some of these books were previously available on Kindle or as international editions which were available for import. This list features Indian editions of these books, which tend to be more affordable. The information featured here is accurate as of April 26, 2019.