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The 50 best books of the year 2022

new books 2022 uk

From anti-romcoms and horror to razor-sharp essays and state-of-the-nation novels, it's been a brilliant year for books. Here are BBC Culture's top picks.

Bloomsbury (Credit: Bloomsbury)

Liberation Day by George Saunders

Known as a modern master of the form, this is George Saunders' first short story collection since 2013's Tenth of December, which was a National Book Award finalist. Liberation Day's nine stories consider human connection, power, enslavement and oppression with Saunders' trademark deadpan humour and compassion. "These stories are not only perfectly pitched; they come with enough comedy to have you grinning and enough empathy to suddenly stop you in your tracks," writes The Guardian , while according to the Sydney Morning Herald , "Saunders is masterful, he illuminates with a fierce flame". (RL)

The Kingdom of Sand by Andrew Holleran

Set in a drought-hit backwater of rural Florida, The Kingdom of Sand tells the story of a nameless narrator's existence of semi-solitude, as the memories of his other, previous life come and go. The Guardian said : "Holleran renders an elegiac and very funny contemplation of not just ageing but an age... A wistful, witty meditation on a gay man's twilight years and the twilight of America." The  novel is "all the more affecting and engaging", Colm Toíbín writes in the New York Times , because, in 1978, Holleran wrote the "quintessential novel of gay abandon", Dancer from the Dance. "Now at almost 80 years of age, he has produced a novel remarkable for its integrity, for its readiness to embrace difficult truths and for its complex way of paying homage to the passing of time." (LB)

Bournville by Jonathan Coe

An avid Europhile and chronicler of modern Britain, Jonathan Coe's latest spans 75 years of British history through the lives of one family living on the outskirts of Birmingham near a famous chocolate factory. The novel's events and characters cross paths with those from Coe's trilogy that began with 2001's The Rotters' Club and ended with the acclaimed Middle England (2018), and, like the latter, Bournville is "a state of the nation novel," writes the Observer , one that explores the personal and the political, and the relationship between Britain and Europe with "prose of enduring beauty". The FT writes that Coe has, "with considerable humour, satire – and at times, acute anger – established himself as the voice of England's political conscience". (RL)

Faber (Credit: Faber)

Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver

Barbara Kingsolver's modern reimagining of David Copperfield is a "powerful reworking" of Charles Dickens's most celebrated and personal novel, writes The Guardian , calling it "the book she was born to write". Set in Kingsolver's home region of Appalachia, it transposes Dickens's critique of the injustices of Victorian Britain to contemporary America, where Copperhead lives in near-destitution amid the US opioid crisis. "This serious subject matter belies the sheer fun that Kingsolver has with her endlessly inventive adaptation," writes the TLS , praising the novel's "sharp social observation and moments of great descriptive beauty." (RL)

Trespasses by Louise Kennedy

In 1970s Belfast, a young Catholic teacher, Cushla, meets an older, married Protestant man in the pub owned by her family, an encounter that changes both of their lives for ever. As an affair between the two progresses, the daily news of the Troubles unfolds, and tensions in the town escalate. Previously the author of short stories, in Trespasses, says the Washington Post , "Kennedy has more room to flesh out her characters and dramatise their predicaments. She does so masterfully, convincing her reader of all that unfolds". Meanwhile, The Spectator says : "This cleverly crafted love story about ordinary lives ravaged by violence tears at your heart without succumbing to sentimentality." (LB)

Penguin (Credit: Penguin)

The Whalebone Theatre by Joanna Quinn

When a whale washes up on the beach in Dorset near Cristabel Seagrave's home at Chilcombe estate, the 12-year-old claims it as her own. Benignly neglected by her step-parents, who are distracted by endless parties, she and her siblings find their own way to grow up and educate themselves. Then, as war approaches and their lives take different tracks, the siblings are drawn into the conflict. "Generous, filling, deeply satisfying, funny-sad, every page crammed with life and experience," is how the Sunday Times describes it. Quinn is "one of those writers who has her finger on humanity's pulse. An absolute treat of a book, to be read and reread". The Independent says: "This is a chunky novel to get lost in, full of pacy plotting and luscious language." (LB)

The Book of Goose by Yiyun Li

" The most propulsively entertaining of Li's novels ," according to the New York Times, The Book of Goose is the fifth from the Chinese-born, US-based writer. It is what The Observer calls a " deeply strange " tale of two adolescent girls in rural, post-war France who concoct a literary hoax and briefly become a publishing sensation. The Observer praises "the thrilling complexity of The Book of Goose's relationship with the literary impulse", while The New York Times calls it "an existential fable that illuminates the tangle of motives behind our writing of stories". (RL)

I'm Sorry You Feel that Way by Rebecca Wait

"Desperately sad – and extremely funny," is how iNews describes Rebecca Wait's fourth novel, I'm Sorry You Feel that Way. "Its exquisitely detailed examination of interpersonal relationships allows it to become furtively compassionate, generous even to the worst offenders and one of the richest explorations of family dysfunction I've read." The novel explores the intricacies of family relationships, as sisters Alice and Hanna face a challenging upbringing with a dominant mother, absent father and disapproving older brother. As adults, they must deal not only with disappointments in love and work, but also ever-more complicated family conflict and tensions. It is "razor-sharp", says The Observer . (LB)

The Passenger by Cormac McCarthy

According to The Atlantic , Cormac McCarthy's The Passenger, published in 2022, along with its follow-up, Stella Maris, are "the richest and strongest work of McCarthy's career," and represent a genuine publishing event. The 89-year-old writer of No Country for Old Men (2005) and The Road (2006) is considered one of America's greatest living novelists, and these typically apocalyptic, bleak books could well be his last. The Passenger, writes The Irish Times , is "among McCarthy's most quietly reflective novels, recalling the moments of serenity amid scenes of devastation that made The Road so haunting." (RL)

Fig Tree (Credit: Fig Tree)

Darling by India Knight

A 21st-Century retelling of Nancy Mitford's classic The Pursuit of Love , India Knight's novel Darling transposes the original to the bohemian household of Alconleigh farm in Norfolk. Our narrator is Franny, and teenage Linda Radlett lives with her rock-star father Matthew, ethereal mother Sadie, and her many siblings. It is an ambitious idea but, according to The Guardian , "Knight rises to that challenge with aplomb… Darling is a very human book, full of feelings and heartbreak and humour and joy". Meanwhile, iNews says  that the characters are depicted with an "enveloping warmth", and the novel is "an absolute hoot". It concludes: "This is a gorgeously bittersweet portrait of growing up, where happiness is only ever fleeting." (LB)

There are More Things by Yara Rodrigues Fowler

In 2019, following her debut novel Stubborn Archivist, Yara Rodrigues Fowler was named by the Financial Times as "one of the planet's 30 most exciting young people," and the author's follow-up has been shortlisted for the Orwell Prize for political fiction and the Goldsmiths Prize. There are More Things tells the story of Catarina – who grows up in a well-known political family in Olinda, Brazil – and Londoner Melissa. When the two women meet, as political turmoil in Brazil and the UK unfurls, their friendship intensifies. The novel is "an enriching read", says The Irish Times . "From the chaotic London riots and Brexit to the dark era of Brazil's military dictatorship, this novel paints a stirring portrait of the legacy of violence." (LB)

Seven Stories Press (Credit: Seven Stories Press)

Getting Lost by Annie Ernaux

"The quality that distinguishes Ernaux's writing on sex from others in her milieu is the total absence of shame," writes The Guardian of this memoir of a torrid, 18-month love affair between Ernaux and a married Russian diplomat that began in Leningrad in 1988 and continued in Paris. Getting Lost (which is published in translation this year) is the second book of Ernaux's to be inspired by the affair – the first, a slight, memoir-like novel, was Simple Passion (1991). Recently awarded the Nobel Prize for literature, Ernaux – now in her 80s – is a huge literary celebrity in France. Her writing on sex is spare and direct, explicit and subversive. Getting Lost is, writes The New York Times , "a feverish book… about being impaled by desire, and about the things human beings want, as opposed to the things for which they settle." (RL)

Fairy Tale by Stephen King

Written during the Covid-19 pandemic lockdowns, King's latest is a world-hopping fantasy whose hero is Charlie Reade, a talented 17-year-old who has lost his mother in a car accident and is caring for his grieving, alcoholic father. When Charlie befriends the reclusive Mr Bowditch and his ancient German Shepherd dog, Radar, he discovers underneath Bodwitch's shed a portal to the kingdom of Empis, where the people – who have a disfiguring illness called "the grey" – are facing a terrifying evil. Described as "a multiverse-traversing, genre-hopping intertextual mash-up" by the New York Times , Fairy Tale is, according to The Guardian , "vintage, timeless King, a transporting, terrifying treat". (RL)

Nightcrawling by Leila Mottley

At 20 years old, Leila Mottley became the youngest ever nominee when Nightcrawling was longlisted for the Booker Prize, and the novel was an instant New York Times bestseller. The story is based on a true crime in 2015, involving sexual exploitation, corruption and brutality in the Oakland police department. The novel's central character is 17-year-old Kiara Johnson, a protagonist who is "one of the toughest and kindest young heroines of our time," says the Guardian . "Restlessly truth-seeking, Nightcrawling marks the dazzling arrival of a young writer with a voice and vision you won't easily get out of your head." Nightcrawling is, says iNews , "an extraordinarily moving debut". (LB)

After Sappho by Selby Wynn Schwartz

Told in a series of vignettes, After Sappho reimagines the lives of a group of notable feminists, artists and writers of the past. Among them are Colette, Josephine Baker, Virginia Woolf and Sarah Bernhardt, each of them facing obstacles and battling for liberation and justice. According to the Irish Times , After Sappho " delivers on its own promise with great stylistic power and verve ". The Guardian says:"[With] sentences crisply flat yet billowing easily into gorgeous lyricism... [After Sappho] is a book that's wholly seduced by seduction and that seduces in turn." (LB)

Our Missing Hearts by Celeste Ng

From the author of the 2017 bestseller, Little Fires Everywhere, this dystopian novel is set in a post-crisis US of surveillance and book-banning, where children are forcibly separated from their parents, and people – particularly Asian-Americans – are condemned for "un-American" activities. Twelve-year-old Bird lives with his father, a talented linguistics professor forced to stack books in a library, while Bird's mother – a prominent Chinese-American poet – has disappeared three years' previously. Bird's quest to find her leads him to an underground network of librarian resistance-fighters, and towards the fate of the taken children. "Ng's own masterful telling of this tale of governmental cruelty and the shadow armies of ordinary citizens who both facilitate and resist is its own best testimony to the unpredictable possibilities of storytelling," writes NPR , while Vogue called Our Missing Hearts "an unwaveringly dark fairy tale for a world that has stopped making sense". (RL)

Sort Of Books (Credit: Sort Of Books)

The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida by Shehan Karunatilaka

Winner of the Booker Prize, The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida tells the magical story of a war photographer who has woken up dead, apparently in a celestial visa office. In the afterlife, surrounded by ghouls, he has seven moons to contact the man and woman he loves most. The novel "fizzes with energy, imagery and ideas against a broad, surreal vision of the Sri Lankan civil wars" say the Booker judges . The Guardian says the novel "recalls the mordant wit and surrealism of Nikolai Gogol's Dead Souls or Mikhail Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita... Karunatilaka has done artistic justice to a terrible period in his country's history." (LB)

The Colony by Audrey Magee

"The Colony contains multitudes – on families, on men and women, on rural communities – with much of it just visible on the surface, like the flicker of a smile or a shark in the water," writes John Self in  The Times . The novel portrays one summer on a small island off the coast of Ireland. Two separate visitors – an artist and a linguist, both seeking to capture the truth and essence of the place – force the islanders to question their own values and desires. "Austere and stark," writes the Financial Times , "The Colony is a novel about big, important things." (LB)

The Last White Man by Mohsin Hamid

From the author of The Reluctant Fundamentalist (2007) and the Booker-shortlisted Exit West (2017), Hamid borrows a clever conceit from Kafka's Metamorphosis to imaginatively consider race and racism through the character of Anders, a white man living in a small US town, who wakes up one morning to find his skin has turned dark. As Anders begins to face conflict in his life and relationships; and as more and more people follow suit, violence and unrest erupts on the streets. "For a novel that explores the functions and presumptions of racism, The Last White Man is a peculiarly hopeful story," writes The Washington Post . The Last White Man is "a short novel of very long sentences" that is, writes The Guardian , "[a] strange, beautiful allegorical tale… compellingly readable and strangely musical, as if being recounted as a kind of folktale to future generations." (RL)

Trust by Hernan Diaz

"A genre-bending, time-skipping story about New York City's elite in the roaring '20s and Great Depression," is how Vanity Fair describes Trust by Hernan Diaz, who was a Pulitzer finalist for his 2017 novel In the Distance. A legendary New York couple has risen to the top of a world of apparently endless wealth – but at what cost? Diaz's novel puts competing narratives into dialogue with each other, resulting in a puzzle that explores how power can manipulate the truth. Longlisted for the Booker Prize, Trust is a "surprising, engrossing and beautifully executed novel," says the Irish Times , that "confirms Diaz as a virtuoso of storytelling". (LB)

Bloomsbury (Credit: Bloomsbury)

Best of Friends by Kamila Shamsie

The seventh novel from the acclaimed Pakistani-British writer of A God in Every Stone (2014) and 2017's bestselling Home Fire, Best of Friends explores the intricacies of friendship through the lives of two very different women, lifelong friends Zahra and Maryam. The novel opens with them as teenagers in 1980s Karachi; later, they are successful forty-somethings living in London with deeply conflicting political views. When troubling events from their past resurface, their friendship is put to the test. "It's the deep-rooted and complicated bond between the two women that keeps us turning the pages," writes The Spectator . The Observer called it : "an epic story that explores the ties of childhood friendship, the possibility of escape, the way the political world intrudes into the personal, all through the lens of two sharply drawn protagonists." (RL)

Booth by Karen Joy Fowler

The story of six siblings and an injustice that shatters their close bond, Booth is the Booker-shortlisted novel by Karen Joy Fowler, author of the bestselling We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves. The Booth brothers and sisters grow up in 1830s rural Baltimore as civil war draws closer, each with their own dreams and battles to fight. One of them, Johnny, makes a decision that will change the course of history – the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. "In its stretch and imaginative depth, Booth has an utterly seductive authority," says The Guardian . The novel, says The Literary Review , "captures with enthralling vividness a country caught in the grip of fanatical populism, ripped apart by irreconcilable political differences and boiling with fury and rage... An unalloyed triumph". (LB)

Shrines of Gaiety by Kate Atkinson

Kate Atkinson won the Whitbread (later Costa) prize for her first novel, 1995's Behind the Scenes at the Museum. She has since published several novels – two of which also won Costa prizes – including the acclaimed Life After Life (2013), which was adapted into a BBC TV series this year. Set amid the dancers, drinkers and gangsters of "Roaring" 1920s London, Shrines of Gaiety is chock-full of sex, intrigue and vice coalescing around the figure of Nellie Coker, a notorious entrepreneur who presides over a series of Soho nightclubs. Shrines of Gaeity is, according to The New York Times , "a cocktail of fizz and melancholy, generously poured," while Atkinson is "a keenly sympathetic observer of human foibles, one who can sketch a character in one quicksilver sentence".  The novel is "a marvel of plate-spinning narrative knowhow,'' writes The Observer . (RL)

Macmillan (Credit: Macmillan)

Cult Classic by Sloane Crosley

Best-selling New York Times essayist Sloane Crosley has combined themes of love, luck and hipsterism to create a New York City anti-rom-com that is also a satire on internet millennial life. Publishers Weekly describes Cult Classic as "a witty and fantastical story of dating and experimental psychology in New York City… Thoroughly hilarious [and] sharply perceptive… Crosley has found the perfect fictional subject for her gimlet eye". The Los Angeles Times , meanwhile, says: "Crosley's writing is as funny as ever, with a great line or clever observation on nearly every page… Her fascinating conceits – entertaining and compelling in their own right – are the engines of the narrative, but her insights into contemporary life are the fuel." (LB)

Young Mungo by Douglas Stuart

Douglas Stuart, the author of the Booker Prize-winning Shuggie Bain (2020), has won rapturous praise once again for his second novel, a heartbreaking queer love story between Protestant Mungo and Catholic James, who come together across the divided landscape of a Glasgow council estate in the post-Thatcher era. "Young Mungo is a suspense story wrapped around a novel of acute psychological observation. It's hard to imagine a more disquieting and powerful work of fiction will be published anytime soon about the perils of being different," says Maureen Corrigan, book critic of NPR's Fresh Air . "If the first novel announced Stuart as a novelist of great promise, this confirms him as a prodigious talent," writes Alex Preston in The Observer . (RL)

Little Brown (Credit: Little Brown)

The Candy House by Jennifer Egan

In Jennifer Egan's 2011 novel A Visit from the Goon Squad, Bix Bouton featured as a minor character. Now he is back as a tech visionary at the opening of The Candy House, as CEO of internet giant Mandala who is in search of his next "utopian vision". Bouton's invention, Own Your Unconscious, is the catalyst for the novel's exploration of the end of privacy in the digital age and how tech turns the world upside down. Meanwhile, the underlying temptation metaphor of Hansel and Gretel's "candy house" permeates the book. It is an "exhilarating, deeply pleasurable" novel, says Prospect , while The New York Times calls it "a spectacular palace built out of rabbit holes". (LB)

Either/Or by Elif Batuman

A sequel to her 2017 Pulitzer-Prize nominated debut, The Idiot, Batuman's semi-autobiographical second novel continues the adventures of Selin Karadag, a Russian literature student in her sophomore year at Harvard University in 1996. Using Kierkegaard's classic philosophical work as a starting point, Soren ponders the meaning of life through the Danish philosopher's theory of the choice between morality and hedonism, using her literature syllabus as her guide. "Either/Or is a sequel that amplifies the meaning of its predecessor while expanding its philosophical ambit," writes Charles Arrowsmith in The Washington Post , while Sophie Haigney in The New Republic  praises Batuman's "brilliant, funny observations." (RL)

Penguin Random House (Credit: Penguin Random House)

Constructing a Nervous System by Margo Jefferson

In her follow-up to 2015's Negroland, Margo Jefferson blends criticism and memoir, recalling personal experiences and family members she has lost, as well as jazz luminaries, artists and writers she admires. The veteran critic draws on a rich life full of cultural experience, as well as new thinking about the part race has played in her life, and addresses the core theme of black female identity. "Her approach is an almost poetic presentation of fragments of her experiences as they ricocheted off artists whose work and lives she has found meaningful," says The Washington Post . "It's an extraordinary reading experience - the first book I recall wanting to reread immediately after reaching the end." Or, as The Observer puts it : "It is impossible not to be stirred by her odes to fellow black American strivers of excellence." (LB)

In Love: A Memoir of Love and Loss by Amy Bloom

Described by Hephzibah Anderson in The Guardian as "a courageous howl of a memoir" In Love… is the story of novelist and psychotherapist Bloom's journey to aid her husband to end his life, after a 2019 diagnosis of early-onset Alzheimer's. The narrative jumps back and forth, documenting the frustrations and administrative red tape Bloom encounters and the ethical considerations involved with assisted suicide, while drawing a vivid picture of her husband, the architect Brian Ameche, with wit, compassion and dark humour. The memoir acts as a powerful testament to the couple's "stickily close" and tender relationship, as Bloom, writes Salley Vickers, also in The Guardian : "has written about him [Brian] with all the brave-spirited, undaunted love to which the book bears stupendous witness." (RL)

Love Marriage by Monica Ali

The tragicomic novel Love Marriage tells the story of Yasmin, junior doctor and dutiful daughter, who, as her wedding day draws closer, begins to dismantle her own assumptions about the people around her. Both her and her fiance's family face an unravelling of secrets, lies and infidelities, and Yasmin must ask herself what a "love marriage" really means. Monica Ali's 2003 novel Brick Lane was shortlisted for the Booker Prize, and this is her most acclaimed book since then. It is a "rich, sensitive and gloriously entertaining novel – her fifth, and possibly her best," says the TLS , and "juggles so many questions and plot lines that we keep expecting one of them to break free and become detached… yet everything remains utterly coherent and convincing." The Spectator praises the novel too: "It dares to be deliberately funny," it says, and is "absolutely terrific… genuinely touching." (LB)

Hachette (Credit: Hachette)

Tiepolo Blue by James Cahill

Don Lamb is a repressed 40-something Cambridge art historian working on a monograph about the the paintings of the eponymous 18th-Century Venetian master. It's 1994, the contemporary art world is rapidly changing, and after an embarrassing faux pas, Lamb is removed from Cambridge to manage a South London gallery, where he encounters Ben, a young artist who introduces him to the capital's hedonistic nightlife and a reckoning with his sexuality. Tiepolo Blue combines "formal elegance with gripping storytelling," writes the FT . "[Its] delicious unease and pervasive threat give this assured first novel great singularity and a kind of gothic edge," writes Michael Donkor in The Guardian . (RL)

Fire Island: Love, Loss and Liberation in an American Paradise by Jack Parlett

In his meditative look back at the famous queer party island in New York, Jack Parlett adds his own autobiographical asides. The result is a place-based memoir about hedonism, reinvention and liberation that has been widely acclaimed. The New York Times says : "[Parlett's] concise, meticulously researched, century-spanning chronicle of queer life on Fire Island captures, with a plain-spoken yet lyric touch, the locale's power to stun and shame, to give pleasure and symbolise evanescence." Populated by the mid-century literati – WH Auden, James Baldwin, Patricia Highsmith all make appearances – the book explores the culture and hierarchies of Fire Island's communities. "Utopias tend to be flawed in revealing ways," says the TLS , and this "sets the tone for an island history that's deeply felt and keenly judged." (LB)

Pure Colour by Sheila Heti

A follow-up to her 2018 novel Motherhood, Sheila Heti's Pure Colour is billed as "a book about the shape of life, from beginning to end," and combines the real with the abstract and surreal in its story of Mira. An aspiring art critic, she meets and falls in love with Annie, who opens up Mira's chest to a portal with her enormous power. Later, when her father dies, Mira transforms into a leaf for a long section. Pure Colour is "simultaneously wise and silly, moving and inscrutable" writes Lily Meyer in NPR . "The apocalypse written as trance, a sleepwalker's song about the end of all things… Pure Colour is an original, a book that says something new for our difficult times",  writes Anne Enright in The Guardian . (RL)

Sea of Tranquillity by Emily St John Mandel

The prescient 2014 novel Station Eleven – a dystopian story of a devastating pandemic – was a hit for Emily St John Mandel, winning the Arthur C Clarke award, and also spawning a TV series. Her new book, the time-travelling story Sea of Tranquillity, begins in 1912, with a listless young British immigrant starting a new life in Canada who, when wandering in the woods, experiences an incomprehensible paranormal event. The narrative moves forward to the present day, and then to two futuristic time zones, weaving together disparate threads. The novel has "intellectual heft", says The Scotsman , and "St John Mandel is an intelligent, acute and sympathetic writer". Sea of Tranquillity is, says the Guardian , "hugely ambitious in scope, yet also intimate and written with a graceful and beguiling fluency." (LB)

Penguin Random House (Credit: Penguin Random House)

Memphis by Tara M Stringfellow

"A rhapsodic hymn to black women," writes Kia Corthron in the New York Times , of poet, storyteller and former lawyer Stringfellow's first novel, which spans 70 years and three generations: Hazel, daughters Miriam and August and granddaughter Joan. Memphis is, Stringfellow says, "an ode to my city and the black women living here in it... full of mystery and magic and humour and grit." The Irish Times praises Stringfellow : "Her women are vivid, formidable and funny, exposing the legacy of racial violence not just within the microcosm of family or the titular city, but nationally," while The Washington Post writes : "With her richly impressionistic style, Stringfellow captures the changes transforming Memphis in the latter half of the 20th Century.” (RL)

Time is a Mother by Ocean Vuong

In his second poetry collection, written in the aftermath of his mother's death, Ocean Vuong contemplates personal loss, the meaning of family, and tenderness in the face of violence. The episodic poem Dear Rose addresses his dead mother about her journey as an immigrant from Vietnam to the US. "Because Vuong plays with time by the millisecond – slowing down or speeding up old memories or conversations – he uncovers new enlightening details that have a life of their own," says The Guardian . Artfuse describes Time is a Mother as a "dazzling investigation of love and loss, inspiring both nostalgia and release", and says the poet's language, "recognises the trauma of death, but also revels in the glory of life". (LB)

Bloomsbury (Credit: Bloomsbury)

How High We Go in the Dark by Sequoia Nagamatsu

Much of Nagamatsu's debut novel was completed before 2020, and its themes will strike readers with their prescience. Set in the near-future, a team of scientists in Siberia discover a mummified pre-historic female corpse they name "Annie", which holds a disease that sets off a catastrophic pandemic named "the Arctic Plague". Nagamatsu focuses on the human side of the crisis, leaping forward 6,000 years to reveal a society that has commercialised death, and the long-reaching legacy of past decisions. Expansive and genre-defying, it is told through discrete stories that slowly coalesce. "Like a Polaroid photograph, How High We Go in the Dark takes time to show its true colours. When they finally appear, the effect is all the more dazzling," writes the Guardian . It is, writes the New York Times , "a book of sorrow for the destruction we're bringing on ourselves. Yet the novel reminds us there's still hope in human connections, despite our sadness." (RL)

Burning Questions by Margaret Atwood

Now in the seventh decade of her remarkable literary career, Margaret Atwood has written her third collection of essays that, says the i newspaper , "brims with enthusiasm and verve". Broadly looking at events of the past two decades, the range of subjects is wide – from censorship and Obama, to #MeToo and zombies. And there are insights into her own craft and the function of fiction. As the i puts it: "Atwood always makes the idea of big questions a little more digestible. You find yourself asking: what can fiction do? What can we do, generally?" The essays are full of a "droll, deadpan humour and an instinct for self-deprecation" says the Guardian . "Atwood remains frank, honest and good company." (LB)

Bless the Daughter Raised by a Voice in Her Head by Warsan Shire

This is Warsan Shire's long-awaited, first full-length poetry collection, after two pamphlets, Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth (2011) and Her Blue Body (2015). It arrives nearly six years after the Somali-British poet shot to world-wide fame collaborating with Beyoncé on the latter's ground-breaking visual albums, Lemonade (2016) and Black is King (2020). The poems in Bless the Daughter… draw from Shire's own experiences, bringing to vivid life black women's lives, motherhood and migration. "Shire's strikingly beautiful imagery leverages the specificity of her own womanhood, love life, tussles with mental health, grief, family history, and stories from the Somali diaspora, to make them reverberate universally," writes Dfiza Benson in The Telegraph . (RL)

Europa Editions (Credit: Europa Editions)

In the Margins: On the Pleasures of Reading and Writing by Elena Ferrante

In the Margins is a collection of four essays in which the best-selling, pseudonymous author of the Neapolitan Quartet articulates how and why she writes – and her inspiration, struggles and evolution as both a writer and reader. Ranging from philosophical to practical, the essays give the reader an insight into the enigmatic author's mind, and include an exploration of what a writer is – less an embodied entity, she says, than a stream of "pure sensibility that feeds on the alphabet". As the New York Times puts it: "For those who wish to burrow gopher-like into the author's mind, Ferrante has prepared a tunnel." (LB)

Moon Witch, Spider King by Marlon James

The Booker Prize-winning novelist returns with part two of his Dark Star fantasy trilogy, after 2019's Black Leopard, Red Wolf, which the author initially described as the "African Game of Thrones" (he later insisted this was a joke). A female-centric counternarrative to the first novel, Moon Witch, Spider King follows Sogolon, the 177-year-old antihero, and Moon Witch of the title, on an epic and characteristically violent journey. "Like an ancient African Lisbeth Salander," writes the FT , "she dedicates her lonesomeness to meting out lethal rough justice to men who harm women." Praising the novel in The New York Times, Eowyn Ivey writes , "the Moon Witch lit my path and showed me how a woman might navigate this dangerous, remarkable world". (RL)

Olga Dies Dreaming by Xochitl Gonzalez

Identity, elites, race and capitalism are the areas explored in this multi-layered novel, the first by Xochitl Gonzalez. This "impressive debut", says the Observer , is "deeply satisfying and nuanced… a tender exploration of love in its many forms". Set in New York City in the months around a devastating hurricane in Puerto Rico, Olga Dies Dreaming follows the story of wedding planner Olga and her congressman brother Prieto. Family strife, political corruption and the notion of the American dream all feature in this "irresistibly warm yet entirely uncompromising" novel, says The Skinny . (LB)

Penguin Books (Credit: Penguin Books)

Glory by NoViolet Bulawayo

NoViolet Bulawayo became the first black African woman – and first Zimbabwean – to be shortlisted for the Booker Prize, for her 2013 debut, We Need New Names. Nine years later, Glory is an Orwell-inspired fable set in the animal kingdom of Jidada, which satirises the 2017 coup that toppled Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe (Bulawayo has explained that Glory began its life as a non-fiction account of this history). As a fierce but comedic allegory, Glory can be seen as a companion piece to Wole Soyinka's 2021 satire of Nigerian society, Chronicles from the Land of the Happiest People on Earth . "By aiming the long, piercing gaze of this metaphor at the aftereffects of European imperialism in Africa, Bulawayo is really out-Orwelling Orwell," writes the New York Times . "Glory," writes the Guardian , "with a flicker of hope at its end, is allegory, satire and fairytale rolled into one mighty punch". (RL)

French Braid by Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler's 24th novel is "an extraordinarily rich portrait of a family in flux," according to the Evening Standard . "Tyler's set pieces seem undramatic, but her rhythms are masterly." The novel tells the story of the Garrett family across six decades, and like most of Tyler's works, is an ensemble piece that spans the generations, set in Baltimore. The story starts with a lakeside family holiday, where rifts emerge that are largely unvoiced, and that unravel in the lives of each family member as the years progress. It is "thoroughly enjoyable,"  says the Guardian , "and at this point any Tyler book is a gift". French Braid is "funny, poignant, generous… it suggests there's always new light to be shed, whatever the situation, with just another turn of the prism." (LB)

To Paradise by Hanya Yanagihara

Yanagihara's highly-anticipated third novel follows her bestselling, Booker Prize-shortlisted 2015 breakthrough, A Little Life. To Paradise, which was released in January to both rapturous acclaim and cries of dissent, is, like its predecessor, lengthy (at 720 pages) and dwells on deep suffering rather than joy, which has drawn criticism in some parts. Multi-form, and spanning three centuries, it is a compelling and wildly ambitious work, offering no less than an alternate retelling of the US, through 1890s New York, Hawaii and a dystopian, late-21st Century. "Resolution is not available here, but some of the most poignant feelings that literature can elicit certainly are," writes Vogue , while the Boston Globe calls it "a rich, emotional, and thought-provoking read." (RL)

Doubleday (Credit: Doubleday)

The School for Good Mothers by Jessamine Chan

Frida Liu is a working single mother in a near future who makes the mistake of leaving her child alone at home for a couple of hours one afternoon. Authorities are summoned by the neighbours, and her daughter Harriet is taken from her. Frida is given the choice to either lose her child permanently, or to spend a year at a state-run re-education camp for mothers where inmates must care for eerily lifelike robot children, equipped with surveillance cameras. Calling this novel "dystopian" doesn't feel quite right, says Wired . "Near-dystopian, maybe? Ever-so-slightly speculative? This closeness to reality is what turns the book's emotional gut punch into a full knockout wallop." The School for Good Mothers is, says the New York Times , "a chilling debut". (LB)

The Exhibitionist by Charlotte Mendelson

The Hanrahan family gather for a weekend as the patriarch Ray – artist and notorious egoist – prepares for a new exhibition of his art. Ray's three grown-up children and steadfast wife, Lucia, all have their own choices to make. This fifth novel by Mendelson has been longlisted for the Women's Prize, and has been highly praised. The Guardian points to the author's "succinct specificity of detail," and "a precision of observation that made me laugh frequently and smile when I wasn't laughing". According to the Spectator , Mendelson excels at "vivid, drily hilarious tales about messy families". The Exhibitionist is "a glorious ride. Mendelson observes the minutiae of human behaviour like a comic anthropologist." (LB) 

Free Love by Tessa Hadley

Described by The Guardian in 2015 as "one of this country's great contemporary novelists," British writer and academic Hadley has been quietly producing works of subtly powerful prose for two decades. Like her recent novels, The Past (2015) and Late in the Day (2019), Free Love – Hadley's eighth – explores intimate relationships, sexuality, memory and grief, through an apparently ordinary-looking suburban family. But, Hadley writes, "under the placid surface of suburbia, something was unhinged." Set amid the culture clash of the late 1960s, the novel interrogates the counterculture's idealistic vision of sexual freedom, in, writes the i newspaper , "a complex tale of personal awakening and a snapshot of a moment in time when the survivors of war were suddenly painted as relics by a new generation determined not to live under their dour and hesitant shadow." NPR writes , "Free Love is a fresh, moving evocation of the dawning of the Age of Aquarius." (RL)

Black Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson

A debut novel, Black Cake tells the backstory of an African-American family of Caribbean origin, and two siblings who are reunited after eight years of estrangement at their mother's funeral where they discover their unusual inheritance. The plot is driven by an omniscient narrator, dialogue and flashbacks. It is, says the New York Times , full of "family secrets, big lies, great loves, bright colours and strong smells". The themes of race , identity and family love are all incorporated, says the Independent , "but the fun is in the reading… Black Cake is a satisfying literary meal, heralding the arrival of a new novelist to watch." (LB)

Auē  by Becky Manawatu

Told through several viewpoints, Auē  tells the story of Māori siblings who have lost their parents, with each sibling telling their tale, and later their mother, Aroha, also telling hers from the afterlife. The novel has already won two awards in New Zealand, and is now gaining wider praise. "The plot reveals are masterful," says The Guardian . "Auē has done well because it is expertly crafted, but also because it has something indefinable: enthralling, puzzling, gripping and familiar, yet otherworldly." (LB)

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Toni Morrison on her mission to please black fans

How polyamory became a 'new normal', illustrator nominated for children's book prize.

Books 2022: A pick of what's coming up

  • Published 28 December 2021

Man reading

Many of us have felt a more pressing need to find our own corner of heaven over the last two years, and some have found theirs between the covers of a book.

Despite the fragility of the wider economy, £1.1bn has been spent on 128 million books in the UK since mid-March, when market analysts Nielsen resumed their data reporting. That figure is up 9% from the same period in 2019.

The juggernaut that is Richard Osman's Thursday Murder Club books has led this drive forward, with both novels dominating the best-seller lists. Meanwhile, 30 of the top 50 bestselling books of 2021 were written by women.

These green shoots of optimism are of course set against a backdrop of continued uncertainty. But with hope in our hearts, let's look at just some of the new titles for 2022 that might nonetheless give the horizon a rosy glow.

Short presentational grey line

Familiar fiction

Marian keyes - again, rachel.

Marian Keyes

On and off the page, Marian Keyes' beguiling affability and fearless honesty about the crappy side of life have won her an army of worldwide fans. Her 15 titles include Sushi For Beginners, Anybody Out There, Grown Ups and her most successful, 1998's Rachel's Holiday.

In Keyes' first sequel, Rachel, the party girl who partied her way into rehab, is back - and sorted. Life's good. But circumstances and emotions are never that simple, and as ghosts from her past begin to resurface, Rachel battles to hold her nerve.

Published 17 February.

Douglas Stuart - Young Mungo

Douglas Stuart

Just how do you follow a major award-winning debut? If you've got grit, you get straight back in the saddle, which is precisely what Booker Prize-bagging Shuggie Bain author Douglas Stuart has done.

Like his debut, Young Mungo is set in Glasgow, where Stuart grew up, and takes on an unflinchingly tough, and deeply human, storyline. Set against the backdrop of 1980s working-class life, it follows two young men who live in constant fear of revealing they are in love with each other. The threat of violence lurks around every corner. Can they survive? Better still, can they escape?

Published on 14 April.

Jennifer Egan - The Candy House

This is the long-gestating sibling novel to Jennifer Egan's 2011 Pulitzer Prize-winning A Visit From The Goon Squad, which unfolded via 13 interrelated stories and saw Egan time-shifting and genre-bending.

Now it's 2010 and brilliant tech entrepreneur Bix Bouton develops Own Your Unconscious, a means of accessing every memory you've ever had, and sharing them in exchange for the memories of others. Again, Egan spins out the consequences of Bouton's invention through the linked narratives of multiple characters whose paths intersect over several decades.

Published on 28 April.

Candice Carty-Williams - People Person

Candice Carty-Williams

In 2019, Candice Carty-Williams' debut novel Queenie, the story of a troubled young Jamaican woman, became a word-of-mouth hit. It won book of the year at the British Book Awards , where judge Stig Abell described it as "an important meditation on friendship, love and race".

Now Carty-Williams has applied her deftness of touch to the story of Dimple Pennington, an up-and-coming lifestyle influencer whose own humdrum existence is far from inspiring. Then, a dramatic event brings her four estranged half-siblings crashing back into her life, along with their absent father. Carty-Williams asks: What is the true meaning of family, especially when your dad loves his Jeep more than his kids?

Published on 28 May.

Jessie Burton - House Of Fortune

Jessie Burton has written three best-selling novels for adults, including The Muse and The Confession. But it was historical thriller The Miniaturist, Burton's 2014 debut, that truly smashed the ceiling. The BBC also adapted it for TV.

It told of young bride Nella in 17th Century Amsterdam, whose miniature replica of her own house begins to mirror real life. This is the sequel, set 18 years later. The Brandt family are facing financial ruin. An invite to a lavish ball brings Nella hope of finding a way out. The ball does set things spinning, but when Nella feels a strange prickling sensation on the back of her neck, she wonders if the miniaturist has returned.

Published on 7 July.

Monica Ali - Love Marriage

Monica Ali

After a hiatus of 10 years, Monica Ali makes her return. She's written four novels but it was her first, Brick Lane (after the London neighbourhood at the heart of the city's Bangladeshi community), that made her name. It was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and made into a 2007 film.

Love Marriage again draws on Ali's Bangladeshi and English heritage. The story explores the challenges that may arise when different cultures try to come together. Young doctors Yasmin Ghorami and Joe Sangster are engaged. But as both families get to know each other Yasmin is forced to question what a "love marriage" - as opposed to the arranged marriages still the norm in her South Asian culture - truly means. Plans are already in the pipeline for a TV adaptation.

Published on 3 February.

Other novels from popular authors on the way include: Beth O'Leary - the No Show (28 April); Wilbur Smith - Storm Tide (14 April) and The New Kingdom (2 September); Mick Herron - Bad Actors (12 May); Sarah Vaughan - Reputation (3 March); Will Dean - First Born (14 April); Gregg Hurwitz - Dark Horse (17 February); and Lynda La Plante - Vanished (31 March); Richard Osman's third, as yet untitled, Thursday Murder Club mystery (September).

Fiction debuts

Amen alonge - a good day to die.

Amen Alonge

Trainee solicitor Amen Alonge is launching his writing career with an action-packed contemporary gangland thriller set in London. It primarily takes place in one day and revolves around the character known only as Pretty Boy.

He's returned to the city after 10 years' absence with just one thing on his mind: revenge. He's out to make the person responsible for his exile from the London underworld pay. But the hunter becomes the hunted, and Pretty Boy finds himself fighting for survival.

Published on 17 February.

Claire Kohda - Woman, Eating

Here's one for gothic horror fans - a modern day vampire thriller that also covers race, social isolation, unrequited love and parental loyalty. Musician and book critic Claire Kohda's debut introduces us to Lydia who is living a miserable existence.

Squatting in London, separated from her vampire mother, she's desperate to eat the delicious food she sees everywhere but can't. Her only sustenance has to be blood. Yet Lydia is no Dracula. She is half human. But pigs' blood is not a readily available commodity. We watch as Lydia battles not only her vampire hunger but also to find her place in the world.

Published on 24 March.

James Cahill - Tiepolo Blue

James Cahill

Academic Cahill's 1990s story focuses on Cambridge University art historian Professor Don Lamb whose brilliance belies a deep inexperience of life and love. Out of nowhere, he's forced to leave, and ends up working in a London museum. There he befriends Ben, a young artist who introduces him to the anarchic British art scene and the nightlife of Soho.

It opens his eyes to a liberating new existence. But his epiphany is also a moment of self-reckoning, as his oldest friendship - and his own unexamined past - are revealed in a devastating new light. His life begins to unravel leading to a dramatic fall from grace.

Published on 9 June.

Charmaine Wilkerson - Black Cake

Caribbean American Charmaine Wilkerson's novel was inspired by her late mother's legendary rum cake. And the complex 60-year family history behind such a delicacy is the axis upon which her story spins. It tells of estranged siblings who reunite for the funeral of their mother.

She's left them a puzzling inheritance: a voice recording in which everything the siblings believed about their family is upended. And then, there's a traditional Caribbean black cake made from a family recipe with a legacy that just might heal the wounds of the past.

Amy McCulloch - Breathless

Amy McCulloch

Amy McCulloch's experience as an expert mountaineer inspired her "top of the world" crime thriller, her debut novel for adults. It tells of struggling journalist Cecily Wong who is invited to interview famed mountaineer Charles McVeigh, on condition she joins his team on one of the Himalayas' toughest peaks.

But on the mountain, it's clear something is wrong. It begins small - a theft, an accidental fall. And then a note. Someone on the mountain has murder in mind and what better place than amidst such desolation and remoteness?

Dolly Parton and James Patterson - Run Rose Run

Dolly Parton and James Patterson

This one is a bit of curveball. Individually, neither global music star Parton nor bestselling thriller author Patterson is straight-out-of-the-oven. But as a writing double act they are. And this is Parton's first foray into the world of novels.

The result is a story no doubt inspired by Parton's background. It tells of a rising singing star, with songs about her difficult past - a past she needs to escape. Nashville is calling but even if she finds fame, the danger behind her might find her too.

Published on 7 March (and there will be a Parton album with the same title too).

Other fiction debuts include: Claire Alexander - Meredith, Alone (9 June); Ryan O'Connor - The Voids (10 March); Rev Richard Coles - Murder Before Evensong (9 June); Dolen Perkins-Valdez - Take My Hand (12 May); Jo Browning Wroe - A Terrible Kindness (20 January).

Non-fiction

Sara davies - we can all make it.

Sara Davies

Dragons' Den star Sara Davies shares her story of what it took to become one of Britain's biggest business names, with her company Crafter's Companion now worth £30m. She recalls how she started by running an enterprise from her university bedroom, followed by years of hard graft, doing whatever it took to achieve her dreams.

But this is not some dry "how to be as great as me" manual. Along the way, Davies lets us into her personal life and presents a warm and witty personality with no fire-breathing to be seen.

Michael Schur - How To Be Perfect

Michael Shur, creator of hit comedy shows The Good Place, Parks and Recreation, and Brooklyn 99, and writer of the US version of The Office, brings us a tongue-in-cheek book about what being a good person really means. It's not always easy to know what's good or bad in a world of complicated choices and bad advice, Schur says.

He tries to bring clarity by answering important questions like, "Should I punch my friend in the face for no reason?" Or, "Should I push one person off a bridge to save the lives of five others?" Sticky issues indeed.

Published on 25 January.

Abi Morgan - This Is Not A Pity Memoir

Abi Morgan is one of the most sought-after play and screen writers, whose credits include The Iron Lady, Suffragette, Sex Traffic, The Hour, Brick Lane and Shame. But behind the success, lies a fight for survival.

This is her moving story of her husband's struggles with illness - illness that led to him being rushed to hospital and put into a coma. It's also her account of her own battle against cancer and what trauma has taught her about the important things in life.

Published on 12 May.

Adam Kay - Title tbc

Adam Kay

Comedian and former doctor Adam Kay, the UK's best-selling non-fiction author, brings us his follow-up to his hit This Is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor, which is being adapted into a comedy drama by the BBC, starring Ben Whishaw as Kay.

The book was both laugh-out-loud funny and sad as Kay gave the lowdown on what it's like to be holding it together while serving on the NHS front line. His still untitled sequel follows in the same vein with anecdotes that recount both hilarious and heartbreaking stories from in and out of hospital.

Published in September.

When The Dust Settles - Lucy Easthope

Professor Lucy Easthope is the UK's leading authority on recovering from disaster. She's the one the authorities call when destruction and chaos strike. Her job is to plan for when things go wrong and respond with action and insight when they do.

It's seen her called to the scene of every major disaster of the past two decades, including 9/11, the 7/7 bombings, the Indian Ocean tsunami and the Covid-19 pandemic. In this candid memoir she introduces us to victims and their families, but also takes us into the government briefing rooms and bunkers, where confusion can reign supreme.

Published on 30 March.

Other non-fiction titles include : Adam Rutherford - Control (3 February); Minnie Driver - Managing Expectations (12 May); Raven Smith - Men (28 April); Bob Odenkirk - Comedy Comedy Comedy Drama (1 March); Edward Enninful - A Visible Man (6 September).

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new books 2022 uk

Book reviews: 47 of the best novels of 2022

New releases include The Singularities by John Banville and Saha by Cho Nam-Joo

  • Newsletter sign up Newsletter

1. The Singularities by John Banville

2. saha by cho nam-joo (trans. jamie chang), 3. bournville by jonathan coe.

  • 4. Molly & the Captain by Anthony Quinn

5. Darling by India Knight

6. the passenger by cormac mccarthy, 7. demon copperhead by barbara kingsolver, 8. liberation day by george saunders, 9. lucy by the sea by elizabeth strout, 10. the romantic by william boyd, 11. the marriage portrait by maggie o’farrell, 12. carrie soto is back by taylor jenkins reid, 13. lessons by ian mcewan, 14. the ink black heart by robert galbraith, 15. haven by emma donoghue, 16. trust by hernan diaz, 17. the last white man by mohsin hamid, 18. a hunger by ross raisin, 19. acts of service by lillian fishman, 20. the twilight world by werner herzog, 21. the exhibitionist by charlotte mendelson, 22. vladimir by julia may jonas, 23. to paradise by hanya yanagihara, 24. joan by katherine j. chen, 25. the house of fortune by jessie burton, 26. the seaplane on final approach by rebecca rukeyser, 27. the young accomplice by benjamin wood, 28. the sidekick by benjamin markovits, 29. nonfiction: a novel by julie myerson, 30. you have a friend in 10a by maggie shipstead, 31. very cold people by sarah manguso, 32. trespasses by louise kennedy, 33. elizabeth finch by julian barnes, 34. the candy house by jennifer egan, 35. companion piece by ali smith, 36. young mungo by douglas stuart, 37. sell us the rope by stephen may, 38. french braid by anne tyler, 39. good intentions by kasim ali, 40. the school for good mothers by jessamine chan, 41. pure colour by sheila heti, 42. a previous life by edmund white, 43. a class of their own by matt knott, 44. our country friends by gary shteyngart, 45. scary monsters by michelle de kretser, 46. free love by tessa hadley, 47. the fell by sarah moss.

As the author of three trilogies, John Banville is “no stranger to using recurring characters”, said Ian Critchley in Literary Review . But The Singularities takes this to extremes: so stuffed is it with “old Banville protagonists” that it is close to being a “literary greatest-hits collection”. The setting is Arden House – the crumbling Irish country house from Banville’s 2009 work The Infinities . Various characters from that work are joined by William Jaybey (from The Newton Letter ) and Freddie Montgomery (from The Book of Evidence ), among others. One doesn’t begrudge Banville his “game with his readers”: The Singularities is a “pleasure to read”.

With its “assembly of characters” and country house setting, this novel seems to have the “makings of a whodunnit”, said Tom Ball in The Times . But “no one dies”, or even falls out; and, in fact, little of consequence happens. Fortunately, “you don’t read Banville for his taut plots”. You read him because, every few pages, there’s a sentence “so perfectly contrived it stops you for a moment, achingly, like a beautiful stranger passing in the street”.

Knopf 320pp £14.99; The Week Bookshop £11.99

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The South Korean writer Cho Nam-Joo is best known for her 2016 novel Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982 , said Ellen Peirson-Hagger in The i Paper . A story of “everyday sexism”, it sold more than a million copies in South Korea and sparked a national conversation about the status of women. Cho’s latest novel, Saha , is “just as political” – though this time the focus is on class. Set in a dystopian future, the novel follows a disparate group of characters who live in some dilapidated buildings on the outskirts of “Town”, a fiercely hierarchical “privatised city-nation” where all aspects of life are tightly controlled. Offering a powerful critique of “plutocracy, systemic inequality” and “gendered violence”, the novel is “utterly captivating”.

Cho’s dystopia is “not particularly original”, and her plotting can be “surprisingly loose”, said Mia Levitin in The Daily Telegraph . But the novel’s characterisation is “touching” – and its themes are certainly powerful. At a time of rising global inequality – South Korea’s economy is dominated by “mega-corporations” – this is a book that “resonates widely”.

Scribner 240pp £14.99; The Week Bookshop £11.99

“Few contemporary writers can make a success of the state-of-the-nation novel,” said Rachel Cunliffe in The New Statesman . But one who can is Jonathan Coe. His latest charts 75 years of British history, following the lives of a single family, headed by matriarch Mary Lamb, who live on the outskirts of Birmingham, near the Bournville factory. Coe covers so much ground in just 350 pages by alighting only on key moments: VE Day in 1945; the Queen’s coronation; the 1966 World Cup; the death of Diana, Princess of Wales. The result is a “piercing” satire on Englishness that is “designed to make you think by making you laugh”. This is a warm and comforting book, said Melissa Katsoulis in The Times – like a “mug of hot chocolate”.

The final section, set during Covid-19, is very moving, said J.S. Barnes in Literary Review . But much of this novel is “flat and formulaic”. The use of hindsight is clunky: when Mary visits The Mousetrap in 1953, she thinks: “I imagine it will be closing before very long.” It feels like a “procession through well-worn territory”, rather than something designed to “excite or entertain”.

Viking 368pp £20; The Week Bookshop £15.99

4. Molly & the Captain by Anthony Quinn

Anthony Quinn is a “fine prose stylist, able to evoke the past with vivid immediacy”, said Alex Preston in The Observer . His ninth novel is a sweeping epic that consists of three interlinked sections. In the 1780s, Laura Merrymount – daughter of the Gainsborough-esque portraitist William Merrymount – strives to escape from her father’s shadow and become a painter herself. In Chelsea a century later, we meet the young artist Paul Stransom and his sister Maggie – who abandoned her own dreams of becoming an artist to care for their dying mother. And finally, in 1980s Kentish Town another artist, Nell Cantrip, suddenly acquires late-career fame. Marked by its “intricate”, immaculate plotting, this novel is a “rollicking read”.

I found the plotting a bit predictable, and the characterisation heavy-handed, said Imogen Hermes Gowar in The Guardian . But the book has interesting things to say “about women’s work and talent, and the life cycle of art”; and it is deftly put together by a writer who delights in the “granular details of an era”, while also understanding its broad sweep.

Abacus 432pp £16.99; The Week Bookshop £13.99

India Knight’s new book is a “contemporary reimagining” of Nancy Mitford’s The Pursuit of Love , said Christina Patterson in The Sunday Times . Updating “such a beloved novel” certainly isn’t easy – but Knight has pulled off the task with aplomb. In her version, the four Radlett children – Linda, Louisa, Jassy and Robin – are not the progeny of an English lord, but of an ageing and reclusive rock star. Desperate to protect his children from “modern life”, he has purchased a “vast Norfolk estate” – and it’s there that we first encounter Linda and her siblings, through the eyes of their cousin Franny. The narrative tracks their passage to adulthood, and their romantic entanglements – centred on “Linda’s pursuit of love”.

Darling works because, as in Mitford’s original, the details are so “bang on”, said Emma Beddington in The Spectator . Sometimes, Knight artfully tweaks them: she replaces hunting with swimming, and gives her adult characters jobs (Linda runs a café in Dalston). Mitford “diehards can rest easy: your blood vessels are safe with this faithful, fiercely funny homage”.

Fig Tree 288pp £14.99; The Week Bookshop £11.99

Cormac McCarthy’s first novel in 16 years explores “the very boundaries of human understanding”, said Nicholas Mancusi in Time . Investigating a plane crash in the Gulf of Mexico, diver Bobby Western discovers that one passenger is missing; soon he is being harassed by government agents. But the pretence that this is a thriller doesn’t last long: chapters in which Bobby discusses the meaning of life alternate with ones in which his maths genius sister Alice experiences schizophrenic hallucinations. It’s a deeply weird book, held together by “chuckle-out-loud” humour. A companion novel, Stella Maris , focusing on Alice, does little to explain it – but together they are “staggering”.

Sorry, said James Walton in The Times , but I can’t remember a recent novel so wildly indifferent to what its readers might enjoy, or even understand. The conversations that make up the bulk of it, ranging from nuclear physics to Kennedy’s assassination, are a complete ragbag. McCarthy’s gift for description and dialogue remains undiminished, but there’s no escaping the sense that The Passenger is “a big old mess”.

Picador 400pp £20; The Week Bookshop £15.99

Barbara Kingsolver’s latest novel is a retelling of David Copperfield , transposed to the “valleys of southwest Virginia at the height of America’s opioid crisis”, said James Riding in The Times . Demon Copperhead, the “rambunctious hero”, is “born in a trailer to a teenage single mother”, and grows up in a world of neglectful child protection services and dubious guardians. The characters are all recognisable from the Dickens novel – but appear in new guises: “Steerforth becomes Fast Forward, a pill-popping quarterback; Uriah Heep is U-Haul, a football coach’s errand boy”. Daring and entertaining, Demon Copperhead is “shockingly successful” – “like Dickens directed by the Coen brothers”.

It’s a promising premise, not least because in its extreme inequality, post-industrial America resembles Victorian England, said Jessa Crispin in The Daily Telegraph . Yet while Kingsolver closely cleaves to the story of the original, she “breaks the most important rule of working in the Dickensian mode”: the need to “show the reader a good time”. Hers is a retelling “beset by earnestness” – and as a result it falls flat.

Faber 560pp £20; The Week Bookshop £15.99

Besides being a Booker Prize winner with his only novel, Lincoln in the Bardo , George Saunders is “routinely hailed as the world’s best short story writer”, said James Walton in The Daily Telegraph . The American’s dazzling new collection – his first since 2013’s Tenth of December – shows why he garners such acclaim. As is customary in a Saunders collection, quite a few of the tales are “deeply strange”: in the title story, three people are kept permanently “pinioned to a wall”, enacting scenes from American history; another story is set in a theme park that has never received any visitors. Around half the tales, however, explore “recognisable social and political dilemmas”: two employees clashing at work; a mother’s despair about the state of America after her son is pushed over by a tramp. And whether Saunders is engaging with contemporary reality, or “taking us somewhere else entirely”, he never forgets that the most important duty of a writer is to make his work “winningly readable”.

Tenth of December was a “marvellous” collection, but unfortunately Liberation Day doesn’t hit the same heights, said Charles Finch in the Los Angeles Times . Although “the standard of Saunders’ writing remains astronomically high”, there are times here when he seems almost on auto-pilot, reprising themes and situations he has previously explored. It’s true that if you’ve read Saunders before, then parts of Liberation Day will sound “like self-parody”, said John Self in The Times . But then again, “it’s churlish to knock a true original for repeating himself”. When he’s at his best, Saunders’ “oblique, farcical, tragic” view of the world still has the ability to “take the top of your head off”.

Bloomsbury 256pp £18.99; The Week bookshop £14.99

“Elizabeth Strout is writing masterpieces at a pace you might not suspect from their spaciousness and steady beauty,” said Alexandra Harris in The Guardian . Lucy by the Sea is the third sequel to her acclaimed bestseller My Name is Lucy Barton . It takes place early during the pandemic, when Lucy and her ex-husband, William, leave New York for a friend’s empty beach house in Maine – for “just a few weeks”, he says. It is “a study of a later-life reunion between a man and woman who married in their 20s”. It isn’t “a tender tale”, as William isn’t an easy man to like, but it is “as fine a pandemic novel as one could hope for”.

Over the course of three Lucy Barton books, Strout has “created one of the most quizzical characters in modern fiction”, said Claire Allfree in The Times . Still, even this “avid fan” found herself wondering whether this instalment is “surplus to requirements”. This, sadly, is a novel that “mistakes simplistic observation for subtle insight, bathos for pathos”, and Lucy herself is “downright annoying”. I disagree entirely, said Julie Myerson in The Observer . Lucy by the Sea is a wonderful evocation of lockdown life. It is “her most nuanced – and intensely moving – Lucy Barton novel yet”.

Viking 304pp £14.99; The Week Bookshop £11.99

William Boyd’s 17th novel – his first set in the 19th century – is an “old-fashioned bildungsroman” that follows its “hero, Cashel Greville Ross, through a long and peripatetic life”, said Lucy Atkins in The Sunday Times .

After growing up in Ireland and Oxford, Cashel “impulsively joins the army” and finds himself “facing the French bayonets at the Battle of Waterloo”. He subsequently “hangs out” with Byron and Shelley in Italy, spends time in east India and New England, and becomes an opium addict, an author and a diplomat. Although the authorial winks can be groan-inducing – “Shelley can barely swim”, a friend of the poet declares – it is a “masterclass” in narrative construction and its ending is “genuinely poignant”.

Boyd is “as magically readable as ever”, said Jake Kerridge in The Daily Telegraph . But amid the non-stop action and “endless verbal anachronisms”, Cashel never quite emerges as a fully rounded character. Compared with Boyd’s previous “whole life novels”, such as Any Human Heart and Sweet Caress , The Romantic feels “glaringly synthetic”.

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Maggie O’Farrell’s last novel, the brilliant Hamnet , “fleshed out” the lives of Shakespeare’s children, said Elizabeth Lowry in The Daily Telegraph . Her latest brings another neglected historical figure into the light – the noblewoman Lucrezia de’ Medici. In 1560, a 16-year-old Lucrezia left Florence to begin her married life with Alfonso d’Este, heir to the Duke of Ferrara, Modena and Reggio. “Within a year, she was dead”; it was rumoured Alfonso had killed her. Taking these “suggestive details” as inspiration (as Robert Browning did in his famous poem My Last Duchess ), O’Farrell “constructs a convincing human drama”.

O’Farrell is a master of visual description, said Claire Allfree in The Times . A tiger moves “like honey dripping from a spoon”; through a window, the sound of sobbing drifts upwards “like smoke”. Yet the “headily perfumed” prose proves oddly dulling: rather than “springing forth messily alive”, Lucrezia seems “trapped beneath the weight” of the “relentless” description. Although it sets out to bring Lucrezia back to life, it ends up being a “bloodless book”.

Tinder Press 438pp £25; The Week Bookshop £19.99

Taylor Jenkins Reid is a TikTok phenomenon, said Marianka Swain in The Daily Telegraph . Thanks in part to BookTok – the social media app’s books community – her novels about glamorous women finding fame and fortune have sold in their millions. Continuing with that “winning strategy”, her latest centres on a “hotshot American tennis pro”.

Carrie Soto is a former world No. 1, who has won a record 20 grand slams. Now in her late 30s, she mounts an “unlikely comeback”, prompted by the emergence of a new star, Londoner Nicki Chan. This is a “compulsive, soapy page-turner” with “more substance than the average beach read”. In short, it’s an “ace” of an “escapist romp”.

Jenkins Reid has a “nose for a cultural moment”, said Susie Goldsbrough in The Times . And so this book’s appearance so soon after the retirement of Serena Williams – clearly an inspiration for Carrie – is “coincidental but not surprising”. Don’t expect “psychological depth”; “fundamentally, this is a sports story”, with whole chapters devoted to single matches. But it’s certainly very “fun to read”.

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Ian McEwan’s novels are often “lean, controlled enquiries” into specific historical moments, said Johanna Thomas-Corr in The New Statesman : 1950s Germany in The Innocent ; the Thatcherite 1980s in A Child in Time . But his 18th is very different – “baggier and more protean” than any of its predecessors. It’s also, “to my mind, McEwan’s best novel in 20 years”. His protagonist, Roland Baines, is a baby boomer who bears a strong resemblance to his creator, were his creator “not a hugely successful novelist”. Roland spends his childhood in Libya, then “attends a state-run boarding school” in England. And like McEwan, he discovers as an adult that he has a long-lost brother. Yet his life is notable for its lack of direction: he “scratches out a living as a hotel lounge pianist, an occasional tennis coach and a hack”. Humble and wise, Lessons is “an intimate but sprawling story about an ordinary man’s reckoning with existence”.

As is often the case for McEwan’s protagonists, Roland’s life “hinges” on a single traumatic episode, said Edmund Gordon in the TLS . Aged 14, he begins an affair with his piano teacher, Miss Cornell – a relationship which, while he “isn’t exactly a reluctant participant”, nonetheless wounds him. A second trauma follows in his 30s, when Roland’s German-born wife, Alissa, abandons him and their baby son to pursue her ambition of becoming a novelist, said Peter Kemp in The Sunday Times . While Roland is left a single parent, Alissa – somewhat implausibly – becomes “Germany’s greatest writer”. As the decades pass, the “social and domestic cavalcade of Roland’s life” plays out against the backdrop of “momentous global happenings” – from 9/11 to the Covid lockdowns. A “vividly detailed lifetime chronicle”, Lessons is a “tour de force”.

Yet it has its problems, said Claire Lowdon in The Spectator . This is a novel full of dropped storylines and non sequiturs, and McEwan can’t resist those “overbearing news bulletins” that have peppered his recent work (“The Profumo affair was only a year away” etc.). Still, Lessons is consistently enjoyable, and there’s something to be said for the “novelty” of reading a McEwan novel that feels more like “a Jonathan Franzen”. At the age of 74, his desire to try new things is impressive. “Despite the rambling and the rushed patches, here is a whole, unruly life between the covers of a single book: a literary feat of undeniable majesty.”

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This new crime novel by J.K. Rowling, using her Robert Galbraith pseudonym, has Cormoran Strike, her Afghan-War-veteran-turned-private detective, getting to grips with the world of online trolls, said Joan Smith in The Sunday Times .

Strike and his partner Robin are called to investigate the stabbing to death of a woman named Edie. She was the co-creator of a YouTube cartoon featuring “ghoulish” characters cavorting in a cemetery, and the finger of suspicion falls on a gamer known as “Anomie”, who had subjected Edie to a “torrent of lurid accusation” after claiming that she’d ripped off his ideas.

While the novel works as a “superlative piece of crime fiction”, its subject matter also feels highly pointed: Rowling has herself faced accusations of plagiarism, and she has been subjected to savage online abuse for arguing that aspects of trans ideology lead to the “erasure of the word ‘woman’”.

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Emma Donoghue’s latest novel is set in early 7th century Ireland, and centres on a trio of monks who build a monastic community on a tiny island, said Ron Charles in The Washington Post . The men set out in their “precarious boat” after their leader Artt – a “legendary holy man” – has a “vision of an island in the western sea”. When they reach a “large rock” covered in “birds, guano and little else”, Artt is convinced it’s the place from his dream – and resolves that he and his companions will never leave. Haven may sound like a work that “few readers have been praying for”, but it proves “transporting, sometimes unsettling and eventually shocking”.

There are some “striking formal similarities” between this novel and Donoghue’s 2010 bestseller Room , inspired by the Josef Fritzl case, said Paraic O’Donnell in The Guardian . Both are works of “radical minimalism”, about people who “struggle to preserve their humanity in utter isolation”. Although Haven is “created in a muted palette”, this is a work of impressive “narrative sustenance” – and is “crowded with quietly beautiful details”.

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Hernan Diaz’s Pulitzer Prize-nominated first novel, In the Distance, centred on a “penniless young Swedish immigrant” in California, said Jonathan Lee in The Guardian . His second concerns a “character at the other end of the economic scale” – a “Gatsby-like tycoon in 1920s New York” named Andrew Bevel. Rather than tell Bevel’s story straight, Diaz embeds it in four “interconnected narratives”: a fictionalised novel based on Bevel’s life; Bevel’s unfinished autobiography; a memoir by his ghostwriter; and fragments from his wife’s “long-withheld diary”. It sounds tricksy, but it’s surprisingly readable – like a “brilliantly twisted mix” of Borges and J.M. Coetzee, with “a dash” of Italo Calvino.

The “knotty ingenuity” of this novel makes it deserving of its place on this year’s Booker longlist, said Lucy Scholes in The Daily Telegraph . It is “destined to be known as one of the great puzzle-box novels”. I doubt that, said John Self in The Times . Parts are “original and surprising”, but overall it’s “well behaved and dull”, and consumed by its own cleverness. Like the tycoon at its centre, it’s “all smart, no heart”.

Picador 416pp £16.99; The Week Bookshop £13.99

Mohsin Hamid’s fifth novel begins with a transformation, said Alex Preston in The Observer : Anders wakes up one morning to find his skin has changed from white to black. This metamorphosis is not explained; instead, the focus is on its impact on the people around Anders. When he goes out, he feels “vaguely menaced”; his boss tells him he’d have killed himself had it happened to him. But then Anders finds that similar transfor­mations are taking place across the US, until eventually there is “just one white man left”. Written in “incantatory” sentences, The Last White Man is a “strange, beautiful allegorical tale”.

Mysterious transformations can be “fertile terrain” for fiction, said Houman Barekat in The Times : one thinks, most obviously, of Kafka’s Metamorphosis. But while that work resists easy interpretation, Hamid’s aims are all too obvious: this is “yet another liberal parable” about the “psychic underpinnings of racial prejudice”. Ultimately, it’s a book that says more about the “publishing industry’s anxious scrabble for topicality” than about “the human condition”.

Hamish Hamilton 192pp £12.99; The Week Bookshop £9.99

Most books billed as telling us “what it means to be human” really do no such thing, said John Self in The Observer . Ross Raisin’s A Hunger is an exception. The tale of a London “sous chef in her mid-50s”, this is the fourth novel by this talented writer – and it is his most “ambitious” yet, encompassing “work and family, desires and appetites, responsibility and identity”.

Raisin has always excelled at portraying working lives, said Alexandra Harris in The Guardian : Waterline , his second novel, centred on a Clyde shipbuilder; A Natural , his third, was about a lower league footballer. Here, he captures the rhythms of kitchen life so skilfully that it “makes one realise the degree to which work is still under-charted territory in literary fiction”. Yet the novel is about much more than cooking: Patrick, Anita’s husband of 30 years, has recently developed early-onset dementia, forcing her to combine the stresses of her job with a new role as a carer “changing incontinence pads”. The result is a “deeply thought out and beautifully unshowy” novel about the “conflicting demands of work and care”.

I wasn’t impressed, said Claire Lowdon in The Sunday Times . Although Raisin’s gifts for “startling descriptive prose” are evident – notably in a bravura opening set in a walk-in fridge – the novel overall is let down by “wooden dialogue”, characters who don’t seem real, and a clumsy structure in which Anita’s present-day travails are juxtaposed with “rushed and skimpy” scenes from her early life. It may not be perfect, but this is a deft exploration of “the guilt that accompanies female ambition”, said Amber Medland in the FT . Daring in what it sets out to achieve, A Hunger is equally “impressive in its execution”.

Jonathan Cape 464pp £18.99; The Week bookshop £14.99

Lillian Fishman’s debut is one of the most “searching and enthralling” novels about sex I’ve read in years, said Johanna Thomas-Corr in The New Statesman . “Eve is a 28-year-old barista from Brooklyn in a long-term relationship with Romi, a paediatrician.” Although Eve considers herself a lesbian, she has fantasies about sleeping with a “wild number of people”. When she posts nude pictures of herself online, they catch the attention of an artist called Olivia – who proves to be acting on behalf of a “tall, wealthy man in his 30s” named Nathan, who makes Eve his sexual “toy”. “Part erotic Bildungsroman, part melancholy comedy of manners”, Acts of Service is “startlingly accomplished”.

Well, I found it thoroughly tedious, said Jessa Crispin in The Times – less a novel than a crude allegory. Nathan is “basically Christian Grey from Fifty Shades rendered in marginally better prose”. Fishman’s reflections on the corrupting effects of “patriarchy” and “capitalism” have been far better expressed elsewhere. Overhyped and unoriginal, this is a disappointing addition to the “library of endless want”.

Europa Editions 224pp £12.99; The Week Bookshop £9.99

For 29 years after the end of the Second World War, a Japanese soldier named Hiroo Onoda held out on a small island in the Philippines, believing his comrades were still fighting, said Anthony Gardner in The Mail on Sunday . Now the great film director Werner Herzog, who befriended Onoda in 1997, has written an imaginative reconstruction of his experiences. Steeped in the atmosphere of the jungle, it’s an “enthralling” novel that explores the nature of time and warfare with great mastery.

Onoda’s single-minded intransigence makes him an archetypal Herzog hero, said Tim Robey in The Daily Telegraph , and this “Hemingwayesque” novella is highly cinematic, with short chapters and vivid scene-setting. But its refined prose gives it a sculptural quality too: its descriptions of the natural world are radiant. Herzog manages to inhabit the soldier’s mind, and to create a “visionary” narrative, said Peter Carty in The i Paper. Moral issues – Onoda killed a number of islanders – are somewhat sidelined, but this beautifully crafted book is a “literary jewel” nevertheless.

Bodley Head 144pp £14.99; The Week Bookshop £11.99

Charlotte Mendelson’s “riotous, prize-winning novels” tend to be about messy, dysfunctional families, said Leyla Sanai in The Spectator . Her fifth centres on a “monstrous” artist named Ray Hanrahan and his downtrodden wife, Lucia. Narcissistic, abusive and controlling, Ray has “quashed” Lucia’s own artistic ambitions for decades, forcing her to minister to his needs and look after their (now grown-up) children.

With an “ostentatious private view” of his work about to open, he has summoned friends and family to their north London house. The result is a “glorious ride” of a novel – one in which “Mendelson observes the minutiae of human behaviour like a comic anthropologist”.

There is a lot going on in this novel – “at times, too much” – but the overall “effect is exhilarating”, said Susie Mesure in The Times . Moving between perspectives, Mendelson cranks the drama up to a “fiery climax”. There’s a “hint of HBO’s Succession ” in this tale of a “family in thrall to a despotic patriarch”, said Madeleine Feeny in The Daily Telegraph . Mingling “eroticism, absurdity and pathos”, it’s “electric”.

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At first glance, this debut novel seems to be yet another post-#MeToo book “dissecting sexual trauma and queasy power dynamics”, said Laura Hackett in The Sunday Times . At a US liberal arts college, John, a senior English professor, finds himself accused of sexual impropriety by “seven students with whom he has had affairs”. But rather than adopt their perspective, the novel is narrated by John’s wife – who is anything but sympathetic towards them. She laments the fact that young women today seem to have “lost all agency”, and admits to having “enjoyed the space” that her husband’s infidelities provided. With its bracing take on sexual politics, Vladimir is an “astonishing debut”.

In its second half, the novel becomes primarily about “female appetite”, as the narrator develops an obsessive crush on a “gorgeous new junior professor”, said Lucy Atkins in The Guardian . May Jones’s “quietly captivating” voice dazzles until the end, when the novel is let down by a “heavy-handed denouement”. Still, in its willingness to tackle “complex”, provocative themes, this is “an engrossing and clever debut”.

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Hanya Yanagihara’s latest novel is the “keenly awaited” follow up to A Little Life , her “devastating story of irreparable human damage”, said David Sexton in The Sunday Times . It consists of three sections all set in the same New York building and taking place, respectively, in 1893, 1993 and 2093.

Part one re-imagines 19th century New York as a “liberal breakaway nation in which gay marriage is normal”. Part two, set in the “time of Aids”, focuses on a wealthy white lawyer and his young Hawaiian lover. Part three envisages an America that has been ravaged by “successive waves of viruses, every few years from 2020”. While a “less bludgeoningly powerful” work than A Little Life , it’s still “highly affecting”.

This is in many ways a “wantonly strange” work, said Claire Allfree in The Times : the convoluted narrative can be “frustratingly opaque”, and there’s a complete absence of humour. Yet there’s no denying Yanagihara’s skill at immersing us in the “emotional world of her characters”. For all its flaws, To Paradise is “frequently magnificent”.

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The story of Joan of Arc – a 15th-century peasant girl from northeast France who became a national heroine – has been told many times before, said Marianka Swain in The Daily Telegraph . But in her second novel, the American writer Katherine J. Chen offers a “fresh and utterly enthralling take”. Her Joan is not a religious icon – “gone are the visions” – but primarily a “woman of action”: she’s a child of remarkable physical gifts who, through a series of “serendipitous events”, becomes a key ally of the dauphin (later King Charles VII), helping to lead his armies against the English. “Vivid, visceral and boldly immediate”, the novel has already earned comparisons with Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall trilogy.

At once a “mystic, martyr and war hero”, Joan is a largely “incomprehensible” figure today, said Jess Walter in The New York Times . Chen, however, has a “lively stab” at making her seem relevant – in part by imagining her as an “abused child” who uses her anger to become an “avenging warrior”. “Rich” and “visceral” in its descriptions, Joan is “stirring stuff”.

Hodder & Stoughton 368pp £16.99; The Week Bookshop £13.99

In 2014, Jessie Burton’s debut novel The Miniaturist – about 18-year-old Nella Oortman’s coming of age in 17th century Amsterdam – became a global bestseller, said Gwendolyn Smith in The i Paper . Now Burton is back, with a “beguiling, tender sequel”, set 18 years later. Nella, now 37, is a widow (The Miniaturist climaxed with her husband’s execution for sodomy), who still lives in the “same grand address on Amsterdam’s Herengracht canal”. A “cold, austere place” in the previous book, the house is now suffused with “warmth and familiarity” – though it still “thrums with secrets”. “Wise and fabulously immersive”, this book, if anything, surpasses its predecessor.

I disagree, said Claire Allfree in The Daily Telegraph . Burton remains a “lovely writer”, who can craft “startlingly sculptural” sentences. But “where The Miniaturist was alive with spooky mystery”, this book lacks an “animating spirit”: characters, events and even the language seem contrived. “In seeking to bring more life to the characters in The Miniaturist, The House of Fortune somehow diminishes them instead.”

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Set in the Alaskan wilderness, Rebecca Rukeyser’s “wistful and sardonic” first novel is part adventure story, part coming-of-age tale, said The Irish Times . Seventeen-year-old Mira is working for the summer at a guest house run by a married couple, Stu and Maureen, alongside two other girls and a troubled chef. Much of her time is spent fantasising sexually about a boy she met the year before. Rukeyser’s descriptive prose is assured and elegant, and the story becomes increasingly tense, as Stu’s predatory behaviour towards the girls becomes apparent.

Mira’s adolescent yearning is well captured in this quirky, wry debut, said Siobhan Murphy in The Times . Rukeyser provides a “deftly juggled” mixture of merciless judgement and gentle compassion for her characters’ failings. There’s also plenty of comedy, said Cal Revely-Calder in The Sunday Telegraph, though the story becomes more “mature and melancholy” as it progresses. The Seaplane on Final Approach is about how “desire ruins everything”. And when the finale arrives, it is “catastrophic” – but it also provides “lengthy, gruesome fun”.

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“Few people outside the literary world” have heard of 41-year-old novelist Benjamin Wood, said Johanna Thomas-Corr in The Sunday Times . That’s a shame, because he’s “wonderful”. Already the author of “three richly layered novels”, he has now written a fourth, The Young Accomplice , which is “his most original yet”. Set in the 1950s, it centres on Arthur and Florence Mayhood, “childless architects in their 30s” who, inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright, dream of creating a communal-living project on their Surrey farm. To help them realise this ambition, they invite a pair of borstal leavers – brother and sister Charlie and Joyce Savigear – to live with them; unsurprisingly, things go wrong.

Compared with Wood’s previous novels, which blended “storytelling punch with literary sensibility”, this book at times feels muted, said John Self in The Times . Wood spends a lot of time in his characters’ heads; you wish for a bit more action. Still, there are compensations: the characters feel like “real people”, who you miss when they’re gone. This is a book that “digs its claws into you and sticks there”.

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Benjamin Markovits’s latest novel is a “compelling account of relative failure”, said Joseph Owen in Literary Review . Brian, the narrator, is a “big fat slow” Jewish kid from Austin, Texas, who becomes childhood friends with Marcus Hayes, his high school’s basketball star. Marcus is black, and from a broken home – for a while he lives with Brian’s family – but in adulthood, when Marcus becomes an “NBA superstar”, Brian is merely a “semi-successful” sportswriter. The novel convincingly portrays Brian’s “inhibited world-view”, which is “tainted by jealousy” of his friend. The result is a “bleak, amusing, ultimately absorbing read”.

This is a novel with the “topography of a classic American story”, said Stuart Evers in The Spectator : “sport as a metaphor for the fracture of the US; friendship as a microcosm of race relations”. It feels a little dated – a bit “male and white” – and the “detailed descriptions of basketball” could put some people off. In the final act, though, when Markovits unveils “his A-game”, the novel “ignites into something compelling and emotionally resonant”.

Faber 361pp £18.99; The Week Bookshop £14.99

In 2009, the novelist Julie Myerson found herself at the centre of a media storm after publishing a non-fiction account of her eldest son’s addiction to marijuana, said Hephzibah Anderson in The Observer . The episode, she has said, drove her to a “kind of breakdown”, and she has never directly addressed it in her writing. Except that now, in a way, she has. This, her 11th novel – entitled Nonfiction – is all about “teenage drug addiction”. The narrator is a once “happily married” writer, who is looking back on her attempts to save her heroin-addicted daughter “from self-destruction”. Given her own backstory, Myerson is risking a lot with such a novel – but “the results are nothing less than incandescent”.

The title is confusing, and deliberately so, said Alex Peake-Tomkinson in The Spectator . This is Myerson’s “squarest attempt so far at autobiographical fiction”. Yet in other ways, it seems a typical work: she has always explored “her worst fears in her novels”. Although I hope she will “look beyond her own life” in future, I found this a “satisfyingly propulsive” read.

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Maggie Shipstead’s “thrilling” historical epic, Great Circle , not only earned her a place on last year’s Booker shortlist, but also “proved a huge hit with readers”, said Lucy Scholes in the Financial Times . So it’s “savvy” of her publisher to bring out this collection of her short stories, written over the past 13 years. The tales vary widely in tone and setting – they transport us “from the catacombs of Paris, via an Olympic Village, to a guano island in the middle of the Pacific” – but taken together, they forcefully illustrate the “remarkable scope of Shipstead’s imagination and talent”.

While one or two of these stories seem a bit “too self-conscious”, most are superb, said Lizzy Harding in The New York Times . In the “sure standout”, “La Moretta”, a young couple’s honeymoon in Romania “transforms into folk horror à la The Wicker Man ”. Shipstead has an “unnerving ability to capture a character’s inner life in a few choice phrases”, said Stephanie Merritt in The Observer . “It’s a rare writer who can create a world as convincingly over a few pages as in a 600-page novel.”

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This “creepy coming-of-age tale” unfolds like a “darker version of Roald Dahl’s Matilda ”, except with “no Miss Honey coming to the rescue”, said Johanna Thomas-Corr in The Observer . Set in an “icy” Massachusetts town in the 1980s, it is narrated by Ruthie, an only child whose family is “on the edge of poverty”. Ruthie is an assiduous cataloguer of “everything she sees” – her mother’s lumpy body, her awkward dinners with richer school friends – but she doesn’t always understand the significance of what she sees. Marked by its “pitiless, minutely observed prose”, Very Cold People is a work that “will stay with me for a very long time”.

Manguso is especially good at evoking the “constraints and cruelties” of Ruthie’s home life, said Alexandra Jacobs in The New York Times . So successfully does she portray “boring old daily pain” that it almost seems redundant when “more dramatic plot-turns arrive” towards the end of the book. Very Cold People is at its best simply as a “compendium of the insults of a deprived childhood: a thousand cuts exquisitely observed and survived”.

Picador 208pp £14.99; The Week Bookshop £11.99

The Irish writer Louise Kennedy only began writing aged 47, but her rise has been meteoric, said Madeleine Feeny in The Spectator . The End of the World is a Cul de Sac, her debut short story collection, was “fought over” by nine publishers. And now, with this first novel, she has written what promises to be another hit. Plot-wise, Trespasses doesn’t break new ground, said Kevin Power in The Guardian: set near Belfast in 1975, it’s about a young Catholic primary school teacher who falls in love with a posh Protestant barrister. What distinguishes it is its “sense of utter conviction”. This is a story “told with such compulsive attention to the textures of its world that every page feels like a moral and intellectual event”.

Kennedy is a superbly visual writer, and her “idiomatic dialogue gives her prose real verve”, said Hephzibah Anderson in The Observer : the protagonist’s mother, catching sight of Helen Mirren on a chat show, describes her as a “dirty article”. Combining “unflinching authenticity” with a “flair for detail”, this is a “deftly calibrated” and ultimately “devastating” novel.

Bloomsbury 320pp £14.99; The Week Bookshop £11.99

Julian Barnes’s latest is that “old-fashioned thing, a novel of ideas”, said John Self in The Times . It is narrated by Neil, a former actor, but is really all about Elizabeth Finch, the “lecturer on a course on culture and civilisation that Neil took decades earlier”. Finch, who is “probably inspired” by Barnes’s friend, the late novelist Anita Brookner, is remembered as an inspirational teacher, someone “who obliged us – simply by example – to seek and find within ourselves a centre of seriousness”. Neil recalls their sort-of friendship – they occasionally met for lunch – and describes his quest, in the present day, to find out more about Finch in the wake of her death. Very much a “thinky” novel, Elizabeth Finch may be “rather less fun” than most of Barnes’s books, but it “offers plenty to chew on”.

“Part of the challenge of rendering a brilliantly inspirational teacher is making them sufficiently brilliant and inspirational,” said Sameer Rahim in The Daily Telegraph . Despite Neil’s insistence on Finch’s originality, “what she actually says tends to fall flat”. “She told me that love is all there is. It’s the only thing that matters,” a classmate of Neil recalls. The novel is further let down by its baffling middle section, which consists of Neil’s “stolid student essay” on the fourth century Roman emperor Julian the Apostate, whom Finch regarded as a kindred spirit, said Sam Byers in The Guardian .

It all adds up to a “work stubbornly determined to deny us its pleasures”. I disagree, said Peter Kemp in The Sunday Times . As a teacher, Finch “blazes with vividness”, and Neil’s essay is a “bravura exercise in nimbly handled erudition”. Elizabeth Finch “celebrates the cast of mind” – subtle, sceptical and ironic – that “Barnes most prizes”.

Jonathan Cape 192pp £16.99; The Week bookshop £13.99

Jennifer Egan’s new novel is a “sibling novel” to A Visit From the Goon Squad, her bestselling 2010 novel about rock music, “Gen-X nostalgia” and the “digitalisation of everything”, said Dwight Garner in The New York Times . Consisting of interrelated short stories which zigzag about in time, it resembles its predecessor in structure – and features many of the same characters. But at its centre is a new figure: the “Mark Zuckerberg-like” Bix Bouton, whose company, Mandala, has created an “implausible” device known as Own Your Unconscious, which lets users upload their own and other people’s memories, and “watch them all like movies”.

The sci-fi aspects of the book are neither new nor “particularly fully realised”, said Andrew Billen in The Times : memory uploads have been tackled better elsewhere. But this is essentially a book of short stories, and most of them are excellent and “brain-stretching”. What “really astounds is the visual brilliance of Egan’s writing across these disparate tales”. She won a Pulitzer for A Visit From the Goon Squad; I hope this book “wins another”.

Corsaid 352pp £20; The Week Bookshop £15.99

Ali Smith’s first novel since her “extraordinary Seasonal Quartet ” has a fitting title, said Alex Preston in The Observer , as it “springs from the same source as its predecessors”. Like them, it was “written and published swiftly”, to cram in recent events. It’s 2021, and Sandy, an artist, is “struggling through lockdown”. Her father is in hospital following a heart attack – and she “only has his dog for company”. Smith skilfully evokes the grim monotony of pandemic life, said Catherine Taylor in the FT – from the “regularity of testing” to “the exhaustion of medical staff”.

Much of the plot concerns Sandy’s “renewed acquaintance” with an old university friend Martina, who gets in touch to tell her about her recent interrogation by UK border police, said Philip Hensher in The Daily Telegraph . This leads to Sandy meeting Martina’s twin daughters, Eden and Lea, who are full of “millennial” rage and entitlement. Covering a “lot of contemporary ground”, Companion Piece offers an entertaining portrait of the “world we live in, by the most beguiling and likeable of novelistic intelligences”.

Hamish Hamilton 400pp £16.99; The Week Bookshop £13.99

Douglas Stuart’s debut, Shuggie Bain – the winner of the 2020 Booker Prize – was a “bleak autobiographical novel about a young boy caring for his alcoholic mother in 1980s Glasgow”, said Johanna Thomas-Corr in The Sunday Times . His follow-up is “cut from the same cloth”.

Fifteen-year-old Mungo lives with his mother and two older siblings in Glasgow’s East End. “His brother, Hamish, is a Faginesque Protestant gang leader; his sister, Jodie, is a do-gooding fallen angel; and their mother, Mo-Maw, is a woman ruined by alcohol.” As the novel opens, Mungo is shooed off by his mother on a fishing trip with two menacing strangers from her Alcoholics Anonymous group, who promise to teach him “masculine pursuits”.

Interspersed with this “gruesome excursion” are chapters set a few months earlier, detailing Mungo’s first love affair, with a Catholic neighbour called James. Although this “alternating timeline” feels forced at times, this is still a “richly abundant” work packed with fine writing and “colourful characters”.

It may be felt – with some justification – that Stuart has written the same book twice, said Nikhil Krishnan in The Daily Telegraph . Yet he “makes small differences count”. Because Mungo is older than Shuggie, he is able to see in his sexuality “not just a source of difference and alienation, but a possible route to escape and emancipation”. And Stuart widens his focus beyond family life, taking in the “Jets and Sharks world” of Glasgow’s sectarian politics.

Like its predecessor, this “bear hug of a new novel” has a “yeasty whiff of the autobiographical” about it, said Hillary Kelly in the Los Angeles Times . If you adored Shuggie Bain , this book “will please you on every page”.

Picador 400pp £16.99; The Week bookshop £13.99

Joseph Stalin “never spoke or wrote” about the two months he spent in London in the spring of 1907, attending the 5th Congress of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party, said Alasdair Lees in The Daily Telegraph . Into this “psychological aperture” steps Stephan May, whose sixth novel is an “openly confected” retelling of those “few overlooked weeks”.

It begins with a 29-year-old Stalin – then known by his nickname, Koba – landing at Harwich, fresh from “a campaign of terror and banditry” in his native Georgia. In London, he stays in a dosshouse in Stepney, while better-off attendees – including Lenin – lodge in Bloomsbury. May’s Stalin is a “figure of fascinating contradictions” – an “idealist and a thug” – and the novel a “captivating thought experiment”.

Sadly, it often falls “disappointingly flat”, said Simon Baker in Literary Review . There are “samey descriptions” of London’s “awful” pubs, and May makes too much use of summary. Despite having the makings of an “exciting political thriller”, the novel isn’t convincing enough for May’s story to really grow.

Sandstone 288pp £8.99; The Week Bookshop £6.99

Anne Tyler virtually created the “family novel” genre, but has “strayed into more diverse territory recently”, said Melissa Katsoulis in The Times . Fans will be delighted by the 80-year-old’s 24th novel, which marks a return to type. Set, almost inevitably, in Baltimore, it’s a multi-generational saga spanning six decades, about a “comfortingly average” family. Mercy and Robin Garrett “enjoy a smoothly conventional life” running a hardware store and raising their three children. But theirs is a family in which “certain things must never be said”, and as the decades pass, this creates division. French Braid is “Tyler at her most Tyler-ish: pleasant and inoffensive, yet surprisingly deep and moving”.

Near its end, the novel does take an unexpected turn, said Anthony Cummins in The Observer . Its final chapters are set during Covid – a topic Tyler suggested she’d never write about. Typically, however, she emphasises not the pandemic’s harrowing side, but its “potential to occasion reunion and reconnection”. This book may fall short of her best work – but “at this point any Tyler book is a gift”.

Chatto & Windus 256pp £16.99; The Week Bookshop £13.99

This “eagerly awaited” debut is being hailed as “part of a wave of novels by young men of colour exploring race, romance and mental health problems”, said Johanna Thomas-Corr in The Sunday Times . Nur, a 25-year-old online journalist from Birmingham who regularly suffers panic attacks, has been with Yasmina for four years. But he has yet to tell his Pakistani parents about the relationship: Yasmina’s family is Sudanese, and Nur has never got over his “mother’s disgust when she saw him hanging out with a black girl at school”.

On the surface a “poignant romance” about the barriers standing in the way of two young lovers, Good Intentions gradually reveals itself to be a deeper novel – about how an obsession with vulnerability can “make you forget your responsibility to others”.

Ali’s characters are “well-drawn”, and “what a tonic” to have a book about race in Britain set outside the capital, said Siobhan Murphy in The Times . Unfortunately, though, the unnecessarily complex structure necessitates a lot of darting “between points on the timeline” – and this, alas makes the novel rather “confusing”.

4th Estate 352pp £14.99; The Week Bookshop £11.99

Jessamine Chan’s “crafty and spellbinding” debut is set in a terrifyingly plausible dystopian America, said Molly Young in The New York Times . Frida Liu is a 39-year-old single mother with an 18-month-old daughter and a stressful job. One day, in a “spell of insomnia-induced irrationality”, she leaves her daughter unattended at home while running a work errand.

Neighbours hear the toddler crying, and alert the police. Frida is sentenced to a year in an “experimental rehab facility”, where women are moulded into better mothers by practising their parenting skills on AI dolls. The school continually berates Frida for her actions: her kisses, instructors tell her, “lack a fiery core of maternal love”.

It’s no surprise that this book has been “making waves” in the US, said Madeleine Feeny in The Daily Telegraph : “questions of how we define and evaluate motherhood pervade contemporary culture”. Beautifully lucid and elegantly written, this is a “must-read” novel, said India Knight in The Sunday Times – “a Handmaid’s Tale for the 21st century”.

Hutchinson Heinemann 336pp £12.99; The Week Bookshop £9.99

The Canadian writer Sheila Heti’s latest is “an original”, said Anne Enright in The Guardian . It’s a short novel about grief in which plot often gives way to “mystical” digressions that are “earnest, funny and sweet” – “a bit mad”, but in a good way.

Mira, a solitary woman in midlife, falls in love with Annie, a fellow student at their school for art criticism. Then Mira’s father dies, and his spirit joins her own inside a leaf, where they converse about “art, God, love and the transmigration of souls”, before Mira returns to “the pursuit of love”, her faith in “family and tradition” strengthened.

Billed as “a philosopher of modern experience”, Heti is known for her auto-fictional novels such as How Should a Person Be? (2010). Pure Colour is more like a fable, said Mia Levitin in the FT , in which God is an artist, and this world is his “first draft”, now “heating up in advance of its destruction”. Sadly, the book’s “meditations on grief” left me cold, and I found the prose “clunky” and “perilously close to kitsch”, with a naive, fairy-tale quality ill-suited to a story about middle age.

Harvill Secker 224pp £16.99; The Week Bookshop £13.99

Back in the 1970s and 1980s, Edmund White’s novels “forever enlarged what gay writing might do”, said Neil Bartlett in The Guardian . His latest book – “his 30th, by my count” – is an “elegant, filthy” work that “crackles with a heartfelt insistence that the old and hungry” still have much to tell us about “the dynamics of sex”.

In the year 2050, a married couple in a remote Swiss chalet decide to entertain each other by recounting their “previous sexual careers”. Constance, in her early 30s, is an “African-American orphan”, while Ruggero, her husband, is an elderly bisexual Sicilian aristocrat who is “legendarily well-connected (not to mention well hung)”.

As you’d expect, this novel is “elegantly written”, and contains many “arresting images”, said Peter Parker in The Spectator – but it’s fairly “preposterous”. The leap forward in time is merely a device allowing Ruggero to reminisce about his affair 30 years earlier with the now-forgotten writer Edmund White, then old and infirm: a “fat, famous slug”, he calls him. It is, however, all very entertaining.

Bloomsbury 288pp £18.99; The Week Bookshop £14.99

Unsure what to do after graduating, Matt Knott alighted on tutoring as an “easy way to make money”, said Georgia Beaufort in The Daily Telegraph . He duly joined an agency that specialised in finding “study buddies” for the children of the super-rich. With his “Cambridge degree and his floppy hair”, Knott proved a big success – and in this “very funny memoir”, he recounts his three years in the job.

His first assignment was in a house in Mayfair, where each day he sat in a “holding pool” of tutors waiting to see if he’d be picked to help a five-year-old with his homework. Other families were considerably friendlier: half servant, half family member, Knott accompanied his charges on various exotic holidays.

This amusing book sheds light on a ridiculous world of “butlers in very tight trousers” and “helicopter trips from Tuscan villas to smart restaurants in Rome”, said Roland White in the Daily Mail . In this milieu, five-year-olds eat lobster tempura for supper, and “PJs” stands for private jets instead of pyjamas. With his pleasing turn of phrase (these days he works as a screenwriter), Knott is a witty, observant guide.

Trapeze 336pp £16.99; The Week Bookshop £13.99

Gary Shteyngart’s fifth novel is set during the far-off-seeming “early days” of the Covid pandemic, said Claire Lowdon in The Sunday Times . Sasha Senderovsky, a successful Russian-born US novelist (like his creator), has retreated to his large house in upstate New York, accompanied by a group of friends. Their plan is to ride out lockdown together but, predictably, things go wrong.

Various housemates fall out with one another; “plenty of partner-swapping” occurs. If the basic conceit owes a lot to Chekhov, the novel’s boisterous, madcap comedy owes at least as much to A Midsummer Night’s Dream . Shteyngart has brilliantly captured the “almost maniacal aliveness” of the early pandemic. If anyone writes a funnier lockdown novel, “I will eat my face mask”.

There’s so much going on in this somewhat “messy” novel that at times it’s exhausting to read, said John Self in The Times . A “little more stillness” would have been welcome. Still, it exhibits Shteyngart’s trademark “feverish energy” – and the result is “often funny” and “sometimes moving”.

Allen & Unwin 336pp £14.99; The Week Bookshop £11.99

“Michelle de Kretser’s slyly intelligent sixth novel pairs two first-person narratives,” said Anthony Cummins in The Observer . One is set in “dystopian near-future Melbourne” and follows Lyle, an immigrant who works for a sinister government agency created to deport immigrants. The other is set in 1981, and follows Lili, a 22-year-old Australian, during a carefree sojourn in the south of France. The link between the two narratives is mysterious – and even the order you read them in is “up to you”, on account of the book’s “reversible, Kindle-defying two-way design”.

The publisher has been “fastidious” in cooperating with de Kretser’s conceit, said Sam Leith in The Daily Telegraph : there are two front covers, two copyright pages, two sets of acknowledgements, and so on. “It’s sort of magnificent, and it’s also sort of gimmicky” – and it left me unsure if I was actually reading a novel, or simply two novellas yoked together. Perhaps, though, it doesn’t really matter. Filled with “apt quick literary brushstrokes and the gleam of humour”, both halves are equally “terrific”.

Allen & Unwin 320pp £14.99; The Week Bookshop £11.99

Tessa Hadley is justly lauded for “elevating the domestic novel to literary fiction” in her stories about the “shifting geometries” of middle-class families, said Mia Levitin in the FT . Free Love , her eighth novel, “adds a Sixties twist to Anna Karenina ”. Set in 1967, it centres on 40-year-old Phyllis Fischer, a well-off suburban housewife married to Roger, a senior civil servant. One summer night, twenty-something Nicky – the son of a family friend – comes to supper. He and Phyllis steal an “illicit kiss” – and embark on an affair. Leaving home without a forwarding address, Phyllis swaps her cosy life with Roger for “then-bohemian Ladbroke Grove” (where Nicky occupies a squalid bedsit). Hadley’s style is as “sumptuous” as ever, and her characterisations are superb. While this isn’t perhaps her best novel, its publication is a “cause for celebration”.

Hadley has been criticised for the “narrowness of her social concerns – her incorrigible preoccupation with Cecilias, Harriets and Rolands”, said James Marriott in The Times . So it’s gratifying that in this “beautiful and exciting” novel, she contrasts the bourgeois world with the “supremely undomesticated” 1960s counterculture.

Yet there’s a problem, said Johanna Thomas-Corr in The Sunday Times : Hadley is far more at home among herbaceous borders than in the “pot-smoking” milieu of Nicky and his friends. Her depictions of the Swinging Sixties rarely rise above cliché – and “when she tries to capture the life of a black nurse whom Phyllis befriends, the writing becomes laboured”. You sense Hadley “itching to get back to the bourgeois suburbs” – and as this disappointing novel progressed, I wished I was back there with her.

Jonathan Cape 320pp £16.99; The Week Bookshop £13.99

Sarah Moss’s 2009 debut novel, Cold Earth , imagined an out-of-control virus, said Hephzibah Anderson in The Observer . She returns to similar terrain with her latest novel – only this time with less need for invention. Set in November 2020, The Fell centres on Kate, a forty-something single mum, who “finally snaps” during a two-week quarantine period, and goes for a solitary walk in the Peak District. It’s “destined to be an ill-fated expedition”: the night draws in, Kate doesn’t return – and her absence is noticed by her teenage son Matt. With its vivid sense of “accumulating dread”, this is an “intense time capsule of a tale”.

Moss moves “gracefully” between various perspectives, said Sarah Ditum in The Times : that of Alice, an elderly neighbour; and Rob, a member of the mountain rescue team. Elegantly written and concise, The Fell is a “close-to-perfect” novel. Even though Moss has said it was written fast, the prose here feels “precision-tooled”, said Roger Cox in The Scotsman . Remarkably, in only 180 pages, she has captured “all of lockdown life”.

Picador 180pp £14.99; The Week Bookshop £11.99

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World Book Day: These are 34 of the best books that everyone is reading in 2022

By Lucy Morgan

The Best Books Coming Out In 2022

We're calling it: 2022 will be (and has already been) a phenomenal year for new books. Whether you've set yourself an ambitious reading target on Goodreads , or you're browsing for a bookworm friend, there's plenty of exciting literature to look out for in the new year. 

And what better day to get stuck into all the literary newness around than today: World Book Day. 

World Book Day changes lives through a love of books and shared reading. Their mission is to promote reading for pleasure, offering every child and young person the opportunity to have a book of their own. Their website explains that reading for pleasure is the single biggest indicator of a child’s future success – more than their family circumstances, their parents’ educational background or their income. Designated by UNESCO as a worldwide celebration of books and reading, World Book Day is marked in over 100 countries around the globe.

So, we've rounded up the best books out there right now, or available shortly, to add to your collection. As well as the highly-anticipated releases from literary giants, such as Monica Ali's Love Marriage and Isabel Allende's Violeta , there's also some cracking debut novels to keep an eye on, from Isaac and the Egg by Bobby Palmer to The Dictator's Wife by Freya Berry.

If you enjoyed Queenie, Candice Carty-Williams' bestselling debut, you'll be pleased to know her second novel, People Person , will be released in Spring 2022. Likewise, if you're a fan of Bethany Rutter's young adult novels, her first adult novel Welcome to Your Life is expected in March. 

We're also very excited about Why Did You Stay? by Rebecca Humphries, exploring how she was “forced into victimhood” by a Strictly Come Dancing scandal in 2018 before becoming an advocate for helping women end toxic relationships. Another celebrity book we highly recommend is Reclaiming by Love Island 's Yewande Biala: a moving collection of essays about protecting your sense of self as a marginalised person. 

So, donate to World Book Day here , then pick up a book, grab a cup of something comfortable, and settle in for a few pages, we promise your day will be all the better for it. 

Ready to get stuck in? Here are GLAMOUR's top 34 books to read (and fall in love with) in 2022:

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Fiona and Jane by Jean Chen Ho

Jean Chen Ho’s debut collection is a blazing depiction of all the highs and lows of female friendship. Taking place across two decades, Fiona and Jane follows two young Taiwanese American women, Fiona Lin and Jane Shen, as they fight to maintain their fierce friendship amidst the ever-changing cultural landscape of North America. 

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You Don't Know Us Negroes and Other Essays by Zora Neale Hurston

This collection of provocative essays (highly-anticipated ahead of its launch) from one of the world's most celebrated writers, Zora Neale Hurston spans three decades and was written of the shadow of the birth of the Harlem Renaissance, Montgomery bus boycott, desegregation of the military, and school integration. Hurston's writing articulates the beauty and authenticity of Black life as only she could. 

Collectively, these essays showcase the roles enslavement and Jim Crow have played in intensifying Black people's inner lives and culture rather than destroying it. She argues that in the process of surviving, Black people re-interpreted every aspect of American culture, modifying the language, mode of food preparation, the practice of medicine, and most certainly religion. The essays also cover the trial of Ruby McCollum, a wealthy Black woman convicted in 1952 for killing her lover, a white doctor.

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A Million Quiet Revolutions by Robin Gow

A Million Quiet Revolutions is an important story, told through the medium of verse, about two trans boys growing up alongside one another and falling in love. Aaron and Oliver are from a small town with few queer people, let alone trans men, and having each other to share milestones with has made things a little easier for them both. 

But just as their romantic relationship has begun, Aaron has to move away, leaving both boys feeling alone and isolated. So, they begin to delve into America's past to distract themselves and uncover the existence of two Revolutionary War soldiers whom they believe to have been two trans men in love. The story follows the two boys as they dig into America's history, discovering countless untold queer stories.

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Bitter by Akwaeke Emezi

Ahead of its release in Mid-February, Bitter was the much-anticipated companion novel set in the world of author Akwaeke Emezi's Stonewall Award-winning novel Pet . And it hasn't disappointed now it's here. This fantasy novel follows the titular character Bitter as she attends a school for creative teens called Eucalyptus, where she gets to focus on her painting with other creative kids like herself. However, outside the walls of the school, the streets of the town of Lucille are filled with protesters rallying against the town's many injustices. 

These rallies cause internal conflict for Bitter and the book deftly charts the impact this has on her as she grapples with her moral compass and wishes for safety. 

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The Last Suspicious Holdout by Ladee Hubbard

Critically acclaimed Rib King author Ladee Hubbard returns with The Last Suspicious Holdout , a collection of stories about Black people navigating a post-racial period. The 12 gripping tales told here deftly chronicle poignant moments in the lives of an African American community located in a “sliver of southern suburbia.” Spanning from 1992 to 2007, the stories represent a period during which the Black middle-class expanded while stories of "welfare Queens," "crack babies," and "super predators" abounded in the media. 

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Brown Girls by Daphne Palasi Andreades

A cracker of a first novel, Brown Girls offers an endlessly witty insight into the powerful friendships between young women of colour via Nadira, Gabby, Naz, Trish, and Angelique, who live in Queens, New York. 

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Olga Dies Dreaming by Xochitl Gonzalez

Olga and her brother Pedro are big names in their hometown of New York City, where their grandmother raised them. However, their familial history is embedded with trauma after their mother abandoned them to devote herself to a militant political cause. What follows is a powerful, intra-cultural reckoning with the very notions of sacrifice and survival. 

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Wahala by Nikki May

Ronke, Simi, and Boo are three Nigerian-British friends living in London who are seriously worried about what the future holds for them. Enter Isobel, a (not-so) charming blast from the past who wreaks havoc on their close-knit friendship group. What follows is a fast-paced, crime-thriller-esque tale that will have you screaming at the page…in a good way. 

By Fiona Ward

By Denise Primbet

By Georgia Lockstone

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Love Marriage by Monica Ali

Love Marriage is the first new novel in a decade from Monica Ali, the bestselling Booker Prize-shortlisted author of Brick Lane . It follows Yasmin, a successful doctor, and her fiancé, fellow doctor Joe. On the surface, they appear to have it all; but when their families meet, and their cultures collide, Yasmin is forced to rethink whether she wants a ‘love marriage’ after all. 

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Black Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson

This riveting debut novel traces the terse relationship between two siblings, Byron and Benny, who reluctantly come together in the wake of their mother's death. At the heart of the matter? Their mother's traditional Caribbean black cake and a mysterious voice recording. Secrets spill from every page, as Byron and Benny are forced to reckon with the price of their inheritance. 

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Again, Rachel by Marian Keyes

Rachel is officially back. And honestly? She can't come soon enough. Again, Rache l is the hugely-anticipated follow-up to Marian Keyes' hit Rachel's Holiday; it rejoins Rachel as she scrambles to stop her life from falling apart following the return of an old flame. 

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Real Easy by Marie Rutkoski

"How do women live their lives knowing that men can hurt them?" is the question at the root of this novel, which is set within the shady parameters of the strip club industry. Real Easy tackles the stigma around sex work head-on while uncovering the gritty details behind a complex murder and missing person investigation. 

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Thirty Things I Love About Myself by Radhika Sanghani

Radhika Sanghani's latest novel follows a highly-successful career in journalism, in which Radhika has written powerfully about everything from biohacking to singledom and self-love. Thirty Things I Love About Myself explores the latter, following Nina, a thirty-year-old woman on a mission to love herself. It may take an impromptu overnight stay in a prison cell to kickstart Nina's journey, but it's one we can all learn from. 

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Send Nudes by Saba Sams

An ode to the women you drunkenly befriend in club toilets, Send Nudes is an astonishing selection of short stories charting the ebb and flow of girlhood. Saba Sams' authoritative yet witty tone of voice shines through, rendering this one of the most exciting books to come out of 2022. 

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Violeta by Isabel Allende

The latest offering by Isabel Allende charts the epic chronicles of Violeta del Valle, a woman who was born as the ramifications of the First World War unfolded, endured the terror of the Spanish Flu, and survived the chaos of the Great Depression.

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Mona by Pola Oloixarac (translated by Adam Morris)

We meet the eponymous protagonist of Mona as she prepares to attend a literary festival in Sweden, where she's been nominated for the illustrious Basske-Wortz prize. Violence hangs heavily over the novel (where are Mona's bruises from?), but she uses a lethal cocktail of self-medication, cynicism and err, porn, to avoid confronting it. The result? Total oblivion. 

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The Dictator's Wife by Freya Berry

In one of the most compelling literary debuts of the year, Freya Berry tells the wanton tale of a dictator's wife, who is seemingly on trial for the crimes of her husband. The story is told through the eyes of a junior law associate on her defence team, who soon discovers she's far from immune from the defendant's charms – a sumptuously written story, which demands to be devoured in one sitting. 

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Girls Can Kiss Now by Jill Gutowitz

This timely collection of essays explores the intersection of queerness with core moments in pop culture (from Orange Is The New Black to Taylor Swift ) – all through the lens of the endlessly-witty Jill Gutowitz.  

Girls Can Kiss Now will be released on 8 March 2022. 

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Bless the Daughter Raised by a Voice in her Head , Warsan Shire

Warsan Shire's first full-length poetry collection is a landmark achievement. A vivid exploration of the love-strewn dynamic between mothers and daughters, this book is an aching recollection of all we have to gain – and lose – as we grow up.

Bless the Daughter Raised by a Voice in her Head will be released on 10 March 2022.

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Careering by Daisy Buchanan

Just over a year after releasing Insatiable: A Love Story For Greedy Girls (already a cult-favourite amongst young women), Daisy Buchanan is back with another love story. However, this time, the love interest is a glittering career in the magazine industry, and the relationship quickly becomes toxic. 

Careering will be released on 10 March 2022.

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Body Work: The Radical Power of Personal Narrative by Melissa Febos

“How do we write about our bodies, their desires and traumas?” is the question that Melissa Febos grapples with in this piercing – yet tender – reflection on what we can learn from memoirs (and how we write about ourselves). Prepare to rave about this book to everyone you've ever met, seriously. 

Body Work will be released on 17 March 2022.

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Woman, Eating by Claire Kohda

Lydia, the tortured star of this blistering tale, is what you might call a vampire. While she's constantly lured by human food (Japanese cuisine, in particular, has a starring role), her body can only digest blood. Her story is one of rapacious hunger. What's more, Lydia's fantasies of physical satiety can tell us a lot about the ways we're all searching – in one form or another – for belonging. 

Woman, Eating will be released on 24 March 2022.

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Welcome to Your Life by Bethany Rutter

We meet Serena, the protagonist of Bethany Rutter's first adult novel, in a pub – glass of wine in one hand, ice cream sundae in the other – where she's reflecting on her decision to abandon her fiancé…on their wedding day. What follows is a meaningful (and funny) journey of self-love, in which, as Bethany explains, “a fat girl gets to be the protagonist of her own story, rather than a silly footnote in someone else's.” We've waited a long time for this. 

Welcome to Your Life will be released on 31 March 2022.

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Easy Beauty by Chloé Cooper Jones

In a searingly powerful memoir, Chloé Cooper Jones inspects and reclaims the spaces in which disabled bodies are either denied access from or constrained to. In a society replete with beauty standards that increasingly seem to operate on averted gazes and unspoken (yet ever-narrowing) rules, this book demands to be looked in the eye. 

Easy Beauty will be released on 7 April 2022.

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None of This Is Serious by Catherine Prasifka

As we adapt to our increasingly online lives, Catherine Prasifka's debut is the antidote we never knew we needed. We meet Sophie, Prasifka's ultra-relatable protagonist, at a precarious time in her life: leaving university. What happens next is a worthy reminder that Instagram /= reality. 

None of This Is Serious will be released on 7 April 2022.

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People Person by Candice Carty-Williams

The follow-up to Candice Carty-Williams bestselling Queenie , her second novel centres around Dimple Pennington and her relationship with her half-siblings, Nikisha, Danny, Lizzie and Prynce. United only through their shared understanding of their father (and his love for his gold jeep), a dramatic event forces Dimple and her newfound family to get reacquainted. 

People Person will be released on 28 April 2022. 

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An Olive Grove in Ends by Moses McKenzie

Moses McKenzie's coming-of-age tale begins on the streets of inner-city Bristol. It follows Sayon Hughes, a young Black man, as he struggles to reconcile his desire for a new life with his loyalty to his lawless – but lovable – family. 

An Olive Grove in Ends will be released on 28 April 2022.

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Reclaiming by Yewande Biala

Following her appearance on Love Island in 2019, Yewande Biala has spoken about the racist “microaggressions”* she's encountered, from people refusing to pronounce her name correctly to highlighting the lack of diversity in TV. Reclaiming – her collection of essays about identity – is the natural next step. 

Yewande expertly examines the barriers that exist to marginalise Black women and women of colour, while envisaging a world where these barriers can be overcome and, better yet, dismantled. 

*In an article for The Independent , Yewande noted, “Microaggression has the prefix of “micro” attached, but anyone who has experienced this type of aggression will tell you that it feels anything but small.”

Reclaiming will be released on 12 May 2022.

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Take My Hand by Dolen Perkins-Valdez

In 1973, Civil Townsend, a newly-qualified Black nurse, joins a family planning clinic in post-segregation Alabama with the best of intentions: to empower women to make their own decisions about their bodies. However, her new patients, at just eleven and thirteen years old, are children. She doesn't know it yet, but the decisions she makes now will have a lasting impact on the rest of her life. 

An utterly gripping tale from start to finish, Take My Hand is storytelling at its finest. 

Take My Hand will be released on 12 May 2022.

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These Bodies of Water by Sabrina Mahfouz

Sabrina Mahfouz's poetic talents come to the forefront in this lyrical meditation on the influence of the British Empire in the Middle East. Part memoir, part history, These Bodies of Water defies categorisation in favour of a lucid, tumbling narrative that sweeps you along for the ride. Like all truly brilliant books, it's impossible to put down while you're reading, and impossible to forget about when you've finished.

These Bodies of Water will be released on 12 May 2022.

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Sex Bomb by Sadia Azmat

Sadia Azmat is a hijab-wearing British-Indian Muslim woman, a proud comedian, and a “very horny woman in tune with her sexual desires.” This memoir is a testament to embracing who you are – sexual fantasies and all – regardless of the (often patriarchal) societal expectations placed upon us. 

Sex Bomb will be released on 26 May 2022.

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Why Did You Stay? by Rebecca Humphries

After her partner cheated on her during his (mercifully short) stint on Strictly Come Dancing in 2018, the media eagerly anticipated Rebecca Humphries' response. Needless to say, it was magnificent: a steady yet eviscerating statement rejecting the victimhood imposed on her and shedding light over the oft-neglected realities of emotional abuse. 

Still, Rebecca was asked, ‘If he was so bad, why did you stay?’ Her first book gently (and with deft humour) unpacks the complexities behind this loaded question, as well as authoritatively answering it. Honestly? It's just a magical, magical book. 

Why Did You Stay? will be released on 7 July 2022.

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Until I Met You by Amber Rose Gill

If anyone is placed to write a story about a romance in the tropics, it's undoubtedly Love Island 2019 winner, Amber Gill. Her debut novel follows newly-single Samantha, who grudgingly forms a friendship with Roman, who has just left his corporate job for a fresh start in Tobago. Sparks (not to mention secrets) fly between the pair in what is surely one of the most charming stories to come out of 2022.

Until I Met You will be released on 7 July 2022.

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Isaac and the Egg by Bobby Palmer

Bobby Palmer's debut novel follows Isaac, an illustrator stricken with the most loathsome ailment of them all: grief. As he makes half-hearted attempts to keep up with the impossible reality of living after a loved one has died, Isaac forms an unlikely friendship with an egg-like creature, whom he names Egg. 

An extraordinary story ensues, brimming with magic and – perhaps most importantly – hope. 

Isaac and the Egg will be released on 18 August 2022.

For more from Glamour UK's Lucy Morgan , follow her on Instagram @lucyalexxandra .

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  • Best Of 2022

Best New Books of 2022 So Far

67 books that will make their much-anticipated debut in 2022.

new books 2022 uk

As POPSUGAR editors, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. If you buy a product we have recommended, we may receive affiliate commission, which in turn supports our work.

Each year brings its share of bookish surprises, including debuts that mark the arrival of literary superstars and long-awaited new releases from tried and true favourites. But even by the usual standards, the best books of 2022 are an impressive collection of thrillers , romance reads, literary fiction, and every genre in between . Whether you've been anxiously awaiting the next suspense-filled read from Lucy Foley or the buzz around Nikki May's debut Wahala has piqued your interest, 2022's most anticipated releases are sure to keep you turning pages (or staying up with your Kindle) all year long.

More of a nonfiction fan ? Don't worry, 2022 is looking out for you, too. Viola Davis and Hannah Gadsby are just two of Hollywood's brightest stars whose memoirs will have everyone talking. Add in engrossing books like South to America by Imani Perry and Admissions by Kendra James, it becomes clear there are plenty of reasons for nonfiction fans to rejoice this year.

No matter what kind of books you love, 2022's fresh reads are an astounding bunch. With new releases from the likes of Riley Sager, Jasmine Guillory, and Emily St. John Mandel, there's zero chance anyone will be able to complain about running out of incredible books to read anytime soon.

1 30 Things I Love About Myself by Radhika Sanghani

30 Things I Love About Myself by Radhika Sanghani

30 Things I Love About Myself by Radhika Sanghani is a book for anyone who has ever found themselves in a spiral of self-loathing. For Nina Mistry, hitting rock bottom means spending her 30th birthday in a holding cell. The floundering freelance journalist lands there after breaking up with her fiancé and realising she'll now have to move in with her mom and older brother. But even as she reaches her lowest point, Nina resolves to find 30 reasons to fall in love with herself over the next year, leading to a heartwarming and funny journey about one woman's radical quest to find self-acceptance.

2 Anthem by Noah Hawley

Anthem by Noah Hawley

Noah Hawley, the creator of the Emmy-winning FX series Fargo , has written one of the year's most highly anticipated thrillers. Anthem takes place during a moment in time that's incredibly similar to one we're all living through right now — but with a twist. Suddenly, teens across the world are discovering hidden messages in memes that only they can understand. Among them is Simon Oliver, who leaves the facility where he's trying to process the sudden death of his sister with a man called The Prophet and a woman named Louise. Together, they embark on a journey to stop a man called The Wizard, who preys on the vulnerable.

3 Brown Girls by Daphne Palasi Andreades

Brown Girls by Daphne Palasi Andreades

Daphne Palasi Andreades's debut novel Brown Girls is, at its heart, a coming-of-age story. Set in Queens, the novel follows Nadira, Gabby, Naz, Trish, and Angelique, a group of friends who are growing up feeling torn between two worlds. Each of them comes from a family of immigrants, and together they roam New York City, where they grapple with young adulthood, test the bonds of their friendship, and ultimately take divergent paths as they find themselves. This moving story puts the spotlight on the complexities of modern women friendships in a story about the beauty and tragedy of growing up.

4 Fiona and Jane by Jean Chen Ho

Fiona and Jane by Jean Chen Ho

Told across two decades, Fiona and Jane by Jean Chen Ho chronicles the friendship of two Taiwanese-American women who have been inseparable since second grade. Told through the lens of both women's perspectives, the story follows Fiona as she ultimately leaves behind Los Angeles to chase her dreams in New York City, while Jane stays behind to deal with the sudden death of her estranged father. As the distance strains their friendship, Jane and Fiona begin to drift in and out of each other's lives in this astounding novel about adult friendships and two remarkable women who aren't quite sure if they still fit together like they did when they were children.

5 The Ivory Key by Akshaya Raman

The Ivory Key by Akshaya Raman

The Ivory Key by Akshaya Raman is a YA fantasy debut about a quartet of siblings who are each in search of the Ivory Key — the literal key of magic — for their own reasons. Vira, Ronak, Kaleb, and Riya come from a royal family, but despite their shared upbringing, they have never been close. Now, with their kingdom on the verge of running out of magic, a situation that would lead to war, they have to band together to find the key — but the catch is none of them want the key for the same reason, leaving the door open for startling double-crosses and maybe even a bit of sibling bonding along the way.

6 Love at First Spite by Anna E. Collins

Love at First Spite by Anna E. Collins

Dani Porter is only looking for sweet revenge when she buys the vacant lot next to her ex's new house in Love at First Spite by Anna E. Collins. The interior decorator plans to build a holiday rental right next door to her ex-fiancé's house to ensure he doesn't get a moment's peace in the home they were going to share before he cheated on her with the realtor. Unfortunately, the only way to make Spite House happen is with the help of the incredibly uptight architect Wyatt Montego. However, it doesn't take long for Dani to realise Wyatt is way more than just a professional connection.

7 The Maid by Nita Prose

The Maid by Nita Prose

Nita Prose's entrancing debut The Maid is being hailed as something of a modern-day Clue . The locked-room mystery follows 25-year-old Molly, who is still learning how to navigate the world without the help of her grandmother. For Molly, the world can be a strange and chaotic place, but she thrives on restoring order, which makes her the perfect maid for the Regency Grand Hotel. However, when the young maid discovers a dead body in one of the rooms, she's the first person accused of the murder. Luckily, Molly and her friends are determined to crack the case before she goes down for a crime she didn't commit.

8 Olga Dies Dreaming by Xochitl Gonzalez

Olga Dies Dreaming by Xochitl Gonzalez

Both literal and metaphorical storms plague the Acevedo family in Xochitl Gonzalez's Olga Dies Dreaming . In the years since their mother left them to join a radical political movement, Olga and Pedro have become shining stars in New York. Pedro is a congressman, while Olga is one of the city's most sought-after wedding planners. But there are cracks in the lives of the siblings that are only magnified by the return of their mother. Blanca happens to reappear just in time for hurricane season, leaving Olga and Pedro to reckon with the damage she did to their lives just as Puerto Rico is hit by a devastating hurricane.

9 Reckless Girls by Rachel Hawkins

Reckless Girls by Rachel Hawkins

Rachel Hawkins's latest thriller Reckless Girls gives Agatha Christie's classic And Then There Were None a deliciously twisted modern update. When six gorgeous 20-somethings embark on a voyage to a secluded island with a history of shipwrecks, they expect nothing more than a blissful stay in paradise. Instead, they soon discover the island is a much darker and more isolated place than they ever could have imagined. First, one of them disappears, and then another vacationer ends up dead, leaving the remaining guests to unravel the mystery of what's really going on before they all meet an untimely demise.

10 The School For Good Mothers by Jessamine Chan

The School For Good Mothers by Jessamine Chan

Who gets to decide what it means for a woman to be a good mother? That's the question at the centre of Jessamine Chan's searing novel The School For Good Mothers . Everything in Frida Liu's life is complicated: her job is a disappointment to her parents, and her husband doesn't even bother to hide his affair. The one thing in Frida's life that is perfect is her daughter Harriet, but when Frida makes one mistake, the government suddenly has the power to decide whether or not she's a good mother — and if she's fit to parent Harriet at all.

11 Seasonal Work by Laura Lippman

Seasonal Work by Laura Lippman

New York Times bestselling author Laura Lippman is one of the best modern crime fiction writers around. That's why her new collection of short stories, Seasonal Work , is such a treat. Each story in the collection features a fascinating woman who ends up right at the centre of a plot full of intrigue and suspense. Short stories include "Just One More," in which a couple's attempt to spice up their marriage goes awry, and "Slow Burner," wherein a woman just can't help but investigate her husband's secret cell phone. These juicy mini mysteries are perfect for when you want a twisty but short read.

12 The Bone Spindle by Leslie Vedder

The Bone Spindle by Leslie Vedder

Sleeping Beauty gets a much needed upgrade in The Bone Spindle by Leslie Vedder. Briar Rose is a prince who has been under a sleeping curse for 100 years, just waiting for true love's kiss to wake him up. What he didn't expect was for a treasure hunter named Fi to prick her finger and suddenly gain the ability to see his spirit. Now Fi, her friend Shane, and Briar Rose must embark on a dangerous quest full of witches and magic in order to break the curse and set Briar Rose free. (And if Fi can avoid falling in love with the prince, she'll see that as an added bonus.)

Out Jan. 11

13 The Paris Bookseller by Kerri Maher

The Paris Bookseller by Kerri Maher

The Paris Bookseller by Kerri Maher is a can't-miss historical fiction title for anyone with a passion for books. In 1919, Sylvia Beach opens the famed Parisian bookstore Shakespeare and Company, which quickly becomes a gathering place for some of the brightest minds of the era, including Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and James Joyce. In fact, when Joyce's Ulysses is banned, Sylvia takes a chance and publishes the title herself. This one act tests the bookseller's friendships, puts her business at risk, and leads to a personal and professional crisis that will force her to decide just how much the bookstore means to her.

14 To Paradise by Hanya Yanagihara

To Paradise by Hanya Yanagihara

To Paradise by Hanya Yanagihara is a knockout of a novel. Spanning three centuries, the author chronicles three different eras in America history. First up is an alternate history version of 1893, in which New York is a free state where everyone can live and love as they please. Then there's 1993 New York, in which the AIDs crisis touches the lives of a couple whose age difference and secrets haunt them. Finally, Yanagihara turns her attention to 2093, in which a granddaughter is trying to move on in the aftermath of her grandfather's death, while also investigating the disappearance of her husband.

15 Wahala by Nikki May

Wahala by Nikki May

Wahala by Nikki May is like Sex and the City , but with a modern edge. Ronke, Boo, and Simi are Anglo-Nigerian best friends who share everything with each other — well, almost everything. Boo isn't as satisfied with her happily ever after as her friends think she is, Ronke is desperate to finally get married and start a family, and Simi doesn't know how to tell her husband she's not trying to get pregnant. Enter Isobel, a glamorous newcomer who shakes all of their lives up, while also exposing the glaring cracks in their friendship as she pushes the women outside of their comfort zones.

16 Weather Girl by Rachel Lynn Solomon

Weather Girl by Rachel Lynn Solomon

Rachel Lynn Solomon serves up another sunshiny rom-com in Weather Girl . Meteorologist Ari Abrams wants nothing more than to learn under her hero, the iconic Seattle weatherwoman Torrance Hale. Unfortunately, Torrance is too distracted by her divorce from the station's news director to pay Ari any attention. Always the optimist, Ari enlists the shy sports reporter Russell Barringer to help her reunite Torrance with her ex. As you can imagine, her efforts quickly become complicated by her own feelings for Russell, and the fallout that comes along with trying to play matchmaker in an already tense work environment.

17 Admissions by Kendra James

Admissions by Kendra James

Kendra James is the first African American legacy student to graduate from The Taft School, and she's spilling everything about her experience at the mostly white boarding school in her memoir Admissions . In her own professional life, James went on to specialise in diversity recruitment for prep schools, and it was during this time she realised she was leading a new generation of students to walk the same complicated path she did. That's when she decided to write Admissions , an account of the microaggressions and elitist nonsense she faced during her time at Taft, as well as an examination of the way pop culture depicts boarding school life.

Out Jan. 18

18 Hotel Portofino by J.P. O'Connell

Hotel Portofino by J.P. O'Connell

If you love period dramas like Downton Abbey and The Crown , then you need to read Hotel Portofino by J.P. O'Connell immediately. The dazzling mystery has already been turned into a TV series that is set to air on PBS later this year, and it's easy to see why. Set at an upper-class British hotel in the 1920s-era Italian Riviera, the story follows Bella Ainsworth, the hotel's owner who is struggling to keep her haughty guests happy and her troubled family afloat. When a love match for her son falls through, Bella's situation goes from bad to so much worse.

19 How High We Go in the Dark by Sequoia Nagamatsu

How High We Go in the Dark by Sequoia Nagamatsu

There are shades of Cloud Atlas in Sequoia Nagamatsu's enthralling and sprawling sci-fi debut How High We Go in the Dark . The story spans hundreds of years and focuses on an interconnected cast of characters who are trying to survive in a world ravaged by climate change. Beginning in 2030 when an Arctic plague sweeps across the world, the story quickly becomes an ode to human perseverance and the enduring nature of love. From an unlikely love story that unfolds at a theme park for terminally ill children to an intrepid grandmother's attempt to find a new home planet for herself and her granddaughter, every storyline within this dazzling novel will touch your heart.

20 How to Love Your Neighbour by Sophie Sullivan

How to Love Your Neighbour by Sophie Sullivan

Sophie Sullivan serves up the HGTV-style rom-com the world needs right now in How to Love Your Neighbour . After putting herself through interior design school by working an impressive number of jobs, Grace Travis has finally found the perfect fixer-upper to call her own. There's just one problem: her next-door neighbour happens to be a ruthless real estate developer named Noah Jansen, who wants nothing more than to buy Grace's house so he can expand his own dream home into the lot it is sitting on. However, Grace has waited far too long to have a home of her own to give up without a fight.

21 Made in Manhattan by Lauren Layne

Made in Manhattan by Lauren Layne

Made in Manhattan by Lauren Layne flips My Fair Lady on its head, and the results are as hilarious as they are swoon-worthy. Violet Townsend effortlessly fits in among Manhattan's elite, thanks in no small part to her need to please everyone around her. This goes double for her grandmother, who has a big favour to ask of Violet. She needs her granddaughter to help her friend's newly discovered grandson, Cain Stone, learn how to navigate the upper crust world of New York City. Unfortunately for Violet, Cain, a born and bred Louisianan, has zero interest in playing by the New York City rules Violet lives by.

22 Must Love Books by Shauna Robinson

Must Love Books by Shauna Robinson

In an era where job satisfaction and the toll a bad job can take on a person's mental health seems to be on everyone's mind, Must Love Books by Shauna Robinson is an absolute must-read. At the heart of the story is Nora Hughes, whose love of reading led her to what was supposed to be her dream job as an editorial assistant at Parsons Press. But after five years of taking coffee orders and working late hours, Nora's hard work is rewarded with a pay cut. This leaves her with no other option but to secretly take on a job with Parsons's rival publisher, even as author Andrew Santos tries to give her a compelling reason to stick with her dream job turned nightmare.

23 On a Night Like This by Lindsey Kelk

On a Night Like This by Lindsey Kelk

On a Night Like This by Lindsey Kelk is a Cinderella -inspired rom-com that might just make you believe in magic. Fran Cooper is ready to change her life, and, thanks to her new job as a celebrity assistant, she's on the right path. Still, there's no getting around the fact that's she's a gatecrasher at the Crystal Ball, an exclusive party held on an island in Italy. That's exactly why she needs to resist the charms of Evan, an effortlessly cool American who wants Fran to have one epic, adventurous night with him — even though it quickly becomes clear they're both looking for something more.

24 The Other Family by Wendy Corsi Staub

The Other Family by Wendy Corsi Staub

Expect to sleep with the lights on after reading The Other Family by Wendy Corsi Staub. The Howell family are California transplants who find the perfect brownstone to move into in Brooklyn. There's plenty of room for the couple, their daughters, and even their pug. There's just one catch: the previous residents of their dream home died in an unsolved triple homicide. Soon, the Howells begin to feel as if someone is watching their family, and the eldest daughter Stacey just can't stop digging into the case. However, she may discover her own family has a shocking connection to the previous owners that will upend the Howell family's seemingly perfect lives forever.

25 Reminders of Him by Colleen Hoover

Reminders of Him by Colleen Hoover

Colleen Hoover returns with another touching romance novel in Reminders of Him . A horrible mistake landed Kenna Rowan in prison for five years. Now released, she wants nothing more than to be reunited with her daughter and start a new life for the both of them. Sadly, no one in her hometown is willing to give her a chance except for local bar owner Ledger Ward. As Ledger and Kenna grow closer, their connection puts the bar owner's good standing in the town at risk, but their connection might just be strong enough to risk losing everything over.

26 What Might Have Been by Holly Miller

What Might Have Been by Holly Miller

Holly Miller's Sliding Doors -style romance What Might Have Been is all about how one decision can change the course of your life forever. On the night Lucy quits her job, she meets a photographer named Caleb, and bumps into Max, the man she always believed was the love of her life. Now she has two choices: stay in her seaside town with Caleb and finally write the novel she's been dreaming about for ages, or head to London with Max, where she has an opportunity to revitalize her career. The story follows Lucy down both paths as destiny works its magic on her life.

27 Yinka, Where Is Your Huzband? by Lizzie Damilola Blackburn

Yinka, Where Is Your Huzband? by Lizzie Damilola Blackburn

Yinka, Where Is Your Huzband? by Lizzie Damilola Blackburn is a delightful romantic comedy that refuses to play by the genre's rules. Yinka is a successful 30-something-year-old with a good job and a wonderful group of friends. Even though her life is, by all accounts, a happy one, her traditional Nigerian mother and aunties can't stop asking her when she'll get married. While Yinka prefers to believe love will find her when the time is right, she decides to find a date for her cousin's wedding in hopes of making her family happy. In the process, she might just find something more important: herself.

28 Good Rich People by Eliza Jane Brazier

Good Rich People by Eliza Jane Brazier

Good Rich People by Eliza Jane Brazier comes with a jaw-dropping twist right out of the gate: the story revolves around a wealthy couple who amuse themselves by inviting self-made entrepreneurs to live in their guesthouse and then set out to destroy their lives. However, they get more than they bargained for when Demi moves in. Their latest target has secrets of her own, and she's been through too much in her life to let a pair of bored rich people ruin her one shot at living the good life. Soon, Demi and the couple are locked in a battle that's destined to end badly for everyone involved.

Out Jan. 25

29 The Roughest Draft by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka

The Roughest Draft by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka

Former writing partners Katrina Freeling and Nathan Van Huysen are forced to reunite to finish one more romance novel in Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka's second chance romance The Roughest Draft . The bestselling authors have successfully avoided each other since their private falling out, but with one book left on their contract, they reunite in the heat of the small Florida town where they penned their first book to write one more story. In the process, the duo might just have a shot of working out their differences and remembering why they made such a great team in the first place.

30 Something Fabulous by Alexis Hall

Something Fabulous by Alexis Hall

Boyfriend Material author Alexis Hall turns his attention to the regency era in the fun and frothy Something Fabulous . Valentine Layton is a duke with a problem. His father always hoped he would marry Miss Arabella Tarleton, but when he proposes, she literally runs away from his proposition of a marriage of convenience. Now, Valentine is on a mission to find Arabella with her romantic and dramatic twin brother Bonny at his side. The only trouble is, Bonny has a way of getting under the duke's skin like no one else has before — and that could be quite inconvenient indeed.

31 South to America by Imani Perry

South to America by Imani Perry

Imani Perry delves deep into the complicated past and present of the south in South to America . Perry argues that in order to understand America as a whole, you must first understand the idiosyncrasies and myriad of cultures that exist in the south. But first, the native Alabaman had to return home to delve into her roots and explore both the dark side of southern culture and the positive parts that are seldom appreciated by those who aren't from the region. The end result is an essential cultural exploration that will ultimately help people better understand the complexities of this country we call home.

32 Violeta by Isabel Allende

Violeta by Isabel Allende

Bestselling author Isabel Allende's Violeta is a sweeping story of one woman's long and extraordinary life. Born in 1920 South America, Violeta has only been alive a few weeks when the Spanish flu visits their shores. Thanks to her father, her family makes it through the pandemic unscathed, but there are more trials on the horizon, including the Great Depression, the rise of tyrants, first loves, terrible heartaches, and another much more modern pandemic. Spanning 100 years, this stunning novel will show you the history of our modern times through the story of one fascinating woman's life.

33 Black Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson

Black Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson

Charmaine Wilkerson's debut novel Black Cake is an emotional tour de force. When their mother dies, estranged siblings Byron and Benny return home to claim a most unusual inheritance. Their mother has left behind a traditional Caribbean black cake, a harrowing story of a woman fleeing her island home after being suspected of murder, and instructions to share the cake together "when the time is right." But first, Byron and Benny must solve the mystery of the secrets their mother kept from them and find their way to each other before they can truly understand where they come from.

34 The Liz Taylor Ring by Brenda Janowitz

The Liz Taylor Ring by Brenda Janowitz

At once an emotional love story and a family drama, The Liz Taylor Ring by Brenda Janowitz will pull you in with mystery and romance. Years after the death of their parents, the Schneider children reunite under one roof when the eleven-carat ring their father gifted their mother resurfaces after having gone missing for years. At first, the adult children can only see the monetary value of the ring, but it soon becomes apparent the ring that looks so much like the one Richard Burton gave Liz Taylor after they separated holds family secrets they never could have imagined.

35 This Woven Kingdom by Tahereh Mafi

This Woven Kingdom by Tahereh Mafi

The first book in Tahereh Mafi's highly anticipated fantasy series This Woven Kingdom is inspired by Persian mythology. The crown prince Kamran knows there are prophecies foretelling the death of the king, but he never could have anticipated what would happen when they come to pass. As far as he knew, Alizeh was nothing more than a servant, but in truth she's the heir to the Jinn kingdom. Now her rise to power is destined to not only challenge his claim to the crown, but also to upend the world as they know it in the first chapter of what's set to be an epic trilogy.

36 I'm So Not Over You by Kosoko Jackson

I'm So Not Over You by Kosoko Jackson

Who doesn't love a second chance romance with a side of fake dating? In I'm So Not Over You by Kosoko Jackson, Kian can't help but hope that his ex's text message means Hudson is ready to apologise for their breakup so they can finally get back together. Instead, Hudson has a proposition for Kian: he wants his ex to pose as his boyfriend for a family dinner. When Kian agrees, the last thing he expects is to end up as Hudson's plus one at the most buzzed about wedding of the year, and yet that's exactly what happens, leaving him to wonder just how fake their arrangement really is.

Out Feb. 22

37 The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley

The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley

The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley is an enticing Parisian locked room mystery with enough twists and turns to keep even the most seasoned of thriller fans guessing. With her life in shambles, Jess is in need of a change of scenery, and her half-brother reluctantly obliges by inviting her to stay with him in his apartment in Paris. However, when Jess arrives, her brother is nowhere to be found, and the longer he's missing, the more suspicious she becomes about his seemingly nice neighbours. As she investigates the people who may or may not know what happened to her brother, Jess finds herself in the middle of a potentially deadly situation.

38 When I'm Gone, Look for Me in the East by Quan Barry

When I'm Gone, Look for Me in the East by Quan Barry

Faith and brotherhood are at the heart of Quan Barry's compelling new novel When I'm Gone, Look for Me in the East . Set in Mongolia, the story follows a young monk, Chuluun, who sets off on a journey with his twin brother, Mun, to find the reincarnation of a religious figure known as the great lama. Complicating their journey is the fact that the brothers can hear each other's thoughts, and Mun has long since given up the monastic life, leaving his relationship with his brother strained. As they make their way across Mongolia, the boys' faith will be tested, as will their bond.

39 All My Rage by Sabaa Tahir

All My Rage by Sabaa Tahir

Sabaa Tahir is known for her richly drawn YA fantasy series An Ember in the Ashes , but in All My Rage , she proves she's equally adept at writing unforgettable contemporary stories too. Beginning in Lahore, Pakistan, with the story of the main characters' parents, this astounding story follows best friends Salahudin and Noor as they navigate life in Juniper, California. After a fight tests their bond, the teens must follow their own paths as Sal tries to save his family's failing hotel business by any means necessary and Noor saves money for college in hopes of escaping her alcoholic uncle's control.

Out March 1

40 Gallant by V.E. Schwab

Gallant by V.E. Schwab

Bestselling author V.E. Schwab creates a new dark fantasy world in Gallant . At the centre of the story is the idea that everything casts a shadow, even the world itself. Olivia Prior just happens to be able to move between the real world and the shadow world, which puts her in a unique position to study the crumbling manor that is Gallant. When she crosses over into the shadow world, she sees firsthand the darkness that has haunted her family for decades, and now she has to make a choice: join the darkness or fight against it for the sake of generations to come.

41 Hook, Line, and Sinker by Tessa Bailey

Hook, Line, and Sinker by Tessa Bailey

It Happened One Summer took the romance world by storm in 2021, and now Tessa Bailey is returning to the world of the Bellinger sisters in Hook, Line, and Sinker . This time around Hannah takes centre stage as she moves into the spare bedroom in her best friend Fox Thornton's apartment. What she doesn't realise is that notorious ladies' man Fox is nursing a serious crush on his best pal, but he's determined not to let it ruin their friendship — even if that means helping her hook-up with a co-worker she can't get out of her head.

42 One Italian Summer by Rebecca Serle

One Italian Summer by Rebecca Serle

One Italian Summer by Rebecca Serle is a different kind of love story. This moving novel tells the story of Katy, whose best friend has always been her mother. Just before Katy and her mom, Carol, are set to take a trip of a lifetime to Positano, where her mom spent one magical summer before meeting Katy's dad, Carol dies. Grief-stricken, but determined to follow in her mother's footsteps, Katy goes on the trip alone, and soon something magical happens. Somehow, she ends up running into the 30-year-old version of her mom, giving her a chance to get to know a side of her mother she's never known before.

43 A Thousand Steps Into Night by Traci Chee

A Thousand Steps Into Night by Traci Chee

Traci Chee draws on Japanese folklore in her vibrant new fantasy novel A Thousand Steps Into Night . Set in the world of Awara, where monsters, humans, and gods must all coexist, Miuko is living a quiet life as an innkeeper's daughter until she's cursed. Now, Miuko can't stop herself from turning into a demon whose touch is deadly unless she embarks on a quest to bargain with the gods themselves. Along the way she encounters a meddlesome demon prince, tricksters, and a cast of unforgettable characters as she slowly begins to realise she may not want to return to her old life after all.

44 Truth and Other Lies by Maggie Smith

Truth and Other Lies by Maggie Smith

Three women's lives collide in surprising and twisted ways in Truth and Other Lies by Maggie Smith. Megan Barnes's mother, Helen, is running for Congress, which means she wants Megan to put her life as a reporter on hold until after the election. Instead, Megan finds a fulfiling new job with Pulitzer-prize-winning journalist Jocelyn Jones. But just as she's settling into her new life, an anonymous tweet puts Helen's entire career in jeopardy, forcing her daughter to search for the troll who is out for her. Unfortunately for Megan, the answers she finds are destined to leave her torn between her mother and her mentor.

Out March 8

45 The Book of Cold Cases by Simone St. James

The Book of Cold Cases by Simone St. James

Simone St. James specialises in writing haunting thrillers, and The Book of Cold Cases will definitely give you chills. True crime blogger Shea spends her nights delving into unsolved murder cases, but she gets more than she bargained for when she begins investigating the 1977 Lady Killer Murders. Years ago, Beth Greer was acquitted of the murders, and swiftly moved back to her isolated mansion. Now she has agreed to be interviewed by Shea, who visits her at her spooky manor. It's not long before Shea begins to notice strange occurrences in Beth's home, but by then it's far too late for her to turn her back on the unusual case.

Out March 15

46 One Night on the Island by Josie Silver

One Night on the Island by Josie Silver

Prepare to have your heart warmed by One Night on the Island by Josie Silver. Just in time for her thirtieth birthday, Cleo Wilder heads off to Ireland for a solo retreat in a charming cabin where she plans to map out the next phase of her career. However, a mix-up leaves the cabin double-booked, forcing Cleo to share the space with Mack Sullivan, an American on a mission to trace his Irish roots. Neither one of them wants company, but until the next ferry comes they're stuck together, which might be exactly what they need, even if they can't see it at first.

47 The White Girl by Tony Birch

The White Girl by Tony Birch

Tony Birch is Australia's foremost Indigenous writer, and The White Girl marks his stateside debut. This haunting novel is set in 1960s Australia, where racist laws threaten to separate a family due to the colour of a little girl's skin. Odette Brown has raised her fair-skinned granddaughter, Sissy, since her own daughter left the girl when she was just 1. However, when the government realises the now 13-year-old Sissy is being raised by an Aboriginal family, they take steps to have her removed from Odette's care. Sissy and Odette aren't going to be separated without a fight.

48 Remember Me by Estelle Laure

Remember Me by Estelle Laure

Remember Me by Estelle Laure is a YA novel that poses a difficult question. If you could have all of your most painful memories removed, would you do it? And if so, what would be the cost? That is the question that plagues Blue Owens after she chooses to have her memories removed, leaving her to piece together her past with the help of the very person she was trying to forget. Now Blue has no choice but to confront the painful memories she so desperately wanted to leave behind if she has any hope of ever feeling whole again.

Out March 22

49 Ten Steps to Nanette by Hannah Gadsby

Ten Steps to Nanette by Hannah Gadsby

First her Netflix comedy special Nanette pushed the bounds of comedy to their breaking point, and now Hannah Gadsby is ready to flip the script on memoirs with Ten Steps to Nanette . Gadsby's memoir explores her childhood in the isolated community of Tasmania, Australia, her journey as a queer woman, and her autism diagnosis before delving into how she created her groundbreaking comedy special. From turning her back on the traditional tenants of humour to owning her role as a truth-teller in a field plagued by misogyny, Gadsby's story is every bit as unique and powerful as the artist herself.

Out March 29

50 Cover Story by Susan Rigetti

Cover Story by Susan Rigetti

Cover Story by Susan Rigetti is an unforgettable tale of scams and double-crosses told through emails, diary entries, and FBI correspondence. Lora Ricci is beyond excited when she lands a summer internship at Elle , and her future only looks brighter when the wealthy Cat Wolff takes her under her wing. It's not long before Lora is swept up into Cat's world, working as her ghostwriter by day and joining her at lavish parties by night. But not all is at it seems between these two women, and by the end, they're inadvertently caught up in a caper for the ages.

Out April 5

51 Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel

Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel

Award-winning author Emily St. John Mandel is back with her most ambitious novel to date in Sea of Tranquility . Spanning centuries, the story begins in 1912 with a young man who hears the echo of violin strings in the forest, before moving two centuries forward to cover the doomed book tour of moon-dweller Olive Llewellyn. Finally, the story winds its way to Gaspery-Jacques Roberts, a detective investigating an anomaly that appears to have driven a young man mad in his prime and trapped an author on a plague-ravaged Earth, among other strange occurrences. Now it's up to Gaspery to figure out who tampered with time itself and why.

52 Radically Content by Jamie Varon

Radically Content by Jamie Varon

In a world that's constantly telling us that we're not enough, Jamie Varon's Radically Content is nothing short of revolutionary. Mixing elements of a memoir with an exploration of the industries selling the myth that only perfection can equal contentment, Varon offers readers an alternative to putting off satisfaction until some magical number of life achievements has been unlocked. Instead of waiting for your life to become perfect, the author serves up practical tools to help you find contentment in this moment by redefining success, learning to truly trust yourself, creating your own healing rituals, and living every day with intention.

Out April 12

53 Fevered Star by Rebecca Roanhorse

Fevered Star by Rebecca Roanhorse

The next book in Rebecca Roanhorse's inventive fantasy series Between Earth and Sky is finally here. In Fevered Star , readers return to The Meridian where a people who have been taught not to worship gods are suddenly confronted with legends come to life. With the world plunged into darkness, Xiala finds an ally in the former Priest of Knives as a war wages both among the gods and on earth. Meanwhile, living avatars Serapio and Naranpa fight for their personhood even as destiny seems to be pointing toward them reshaping the world, whether they're ready to carry that weight or not.

Out April 19

54 Finding Me by Viola Davis

Finding Me by Viola Davis

With an Oscar, an Emmy, and two Tonys, Viola Davis is one of the most acclaimed actors working in Hollywood today. As an actor, producer, and writer, she's already a hero to her many fans, but in her new memoir Finding Me , Davis promises to share a side of herself she's never shared before. From her childhood spent in Rhode Island to her Hollywood breakthrough and beyond, Davis's memoir is an honest and open account of her real-life hero's journey that's sure to touch the hearts of anyone who picks it up. And as is always the case with the incomparable Davis, you can expect her story to inspire readers, too.

Out April 26

55 Book Lovers by Emily Henry

Book Lovers by Emily Henry

Book Lovers by Emily Henry is a rom-com for anyone who doesn't feel like the hero of their own story. Literary agent Nora Stephens certainly doesn't see herself as the star of an epic tale. She's neither sweet, nor plucky, but she does love books and her little sister. That's why she agrees to go on a trip with her sister, who is determined to make Nora see herself the way she does. Instead, Nora finds herself constantly bumping into brooding editor Charlie Lastra, who she knows from the city. If this was a story, their constant run-ins would be defined as a meet-cute, but this is real life, and Nora is determined not to fall for Charlie, no matter what the universe has to say about it.

56 Book of Night by Holly Black

Book of Night by Holly Black

Acclaimed YA author Holly Black is set to make her adult debut with the epic modern fantasy novel Book of Night . Charlie Hall is a master thief who has spent most of her life helping gloamists, magicians who manipulate shadows, keep their secrets safe. But Charlie is ready to go straight now, even if that means working in a dive bar. Unfortunately for her, her sister and her boyfriend have other, far more nefarious plans. It's not long before Charlie is pulled back into the underworld of the gloamists, but this time around, the fate of the world might depend on her stopping them and the many other people who seek to control the shadow world.

57 By the Book by Jasmine Guillory

By the Book by Jasmine Guillory

Jasmine Guillory reimagines Beauty and the Beast for a new generation in her delightful new rom-com By the Book . At 25, Isabelle is exhausted by a job where she's both overworked and perpetually underpaid. Still, her love of books is too strong for her to walk away from the world of publishing just yet, so when she hears her boss complaining about a "beast" of an author who just can't seem to meet his deadline, she offers to secure Beau Towers's manuscript in exchange for a promotion. What she doesn't expect is for Beau to be a brooding and withdrawn man who can only write his novel with her by his side.

58 I Kissed Shara Wheeler by Casey McQuiston

I Kissed Shara Wheeler by Casey McQuiston

Casey McQuiston has already conquered the world of adult romance, and now the bestselling author is turning their attention to the YA genre. McQuiston will make their YA debut with the hilarious and fast-paced romance I Kissed Shara Wheeler . Four years after her moms moved her to Alabama to attend a Christian school, Chloe Green is about to make her dream of beating Shara Wheeler out for the title of valedictorian come true. But then Shara kisses her and seemingly disappears, leaving behind a trail of clues that might just reveal there's more to Chloe's rival than she gave her credit for.

59 Every Summer After by Carley Fortune

Every Summer After by Carley Fortune

The magic and romance of summer is palpable in Carley Fortune's Every Summer After . Years after she stopped visiting Barry's Bay, an unexpected phone call draws Persephone Fraser back to the place where she spent her summers as a child. The mother of her first love, Sam Florek, has died, and although she and Sam drifted apart long ago, she knows she would regret not being there to say goodbye to his mother. What she doesn't expect is for the chemistry between her and Sam to still be so strong. But is it really strong enough for them to have a second chance at love?

60 Set on You by Amy Lea

Set on You by Amy Lea

Set on You by Amy Lea is so funny, warmhearted, and insightful it's hard to believe it's a debut. The story follows curvy fitness influencer Crystal Chen, who thrives on defying expectations and creating a positive community online. What she doesn't expect is for firefighter and squat rack thief Scott Ritchie to upend her entire world and break down her carefully cultivated defences. As her chemistry with her hunky gym nemesis grows, Crystal also begins to question her online philosophies as she discovers that always presenting a perfect, perpetually curated persona to the world isn't as easy as she once thought it was.

61 Siren Queen by Nghi Vo

Siren Queen by Nghi Vo

Old Hollywood comes to life with a twist in Nghi Vo's Siren Queen . In the pre-Code era, trying to be a star is dangerous for Luli Wei, but she's determined to conquer Hollywood on her own terms. That means she'd rather play a monster than a maid, as long as the character is a juicy one. However, there's more to this version of Hollywood than first meets the eye. Deals are done in blood magic and businesses thrive by sacrificing young starlets like her. In a world where monsters and magic are real, the stakes for Luli are literally life and death.

62 This Time Tomorrow by Emma Straub

This Time Tomorrow by Emma Straub

This Time Tomorrow by Emma Straub will transport readers back to 1996 as a daughter gets a second chance to connect with her ailing father. On the eve of her 40th birthday, Alice wakes up as a teenager in her 1996 childhood home. This strange occurrence puts her in a unique position to spend precious time with her father while he is still young and healthy. Additionally, she has a new perspective on life thanks to her age and experiences, which leaves her wondering if there's anything she can change in the past that might have a ripple effect on her and her father's futures.

63 Tracy Flick Can't Win by Tom Perrotta

Tracy Flick Can't Win by Tom Perrotta

Tracy Flick, the infamous character who was made famous by Reese Witherspoon in Election , is back in Tom Perrotta's long-awaited follow-up Tracy Flick Can't Win . Now older and still craving the spotlight, Tracy is an assistant principal at a public high school where she's working extra hard to prove she's ready to be promoted to the position of principal. But the closer she gets to her goal, the more she can't help but wonder if everyone from her male colleagues to the school board president's wife is working to prevent her from finally landing the promotion she knows she deserves.

64 The House Across the Lake by Riley Sager

The House Across the Lake by Riley Sager

Riley Sager continues his run of serving up cinematic thrillers with The House Across the Lake . Widowed actress Casey Fletcher is bored and hiding away from the press in her family's Vermont lake house when she begins spying on the glamorous couple who live across the lake. At first, Tom and Katherine Royce's lives appear to be perfect, but the more she sees, the more she wonders what's really going on in their home. Her curiosity only intensifies when she strikes up a friendship with Katherine, who abruptly and suspiciously disappears, leaving Casey to wonder if Tom has done something nefarious to his wife.

Out June 21

65 American Royalty by Tracey Livesay

American Royalty by Tracey Livesay

The comparisons Tracey Livesay's American Royalty will draw to the real-life narrative surrounding Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan Markle are inevitable. But that only makes this steamy and achingly romantic love story all the more enticing. Rapper Danielle "Duchess" Nelson needs to generate some publicity fast if she wants people to forget about her clash with a pop star that's gone viral, and what better way is there to drum up buzz than by dating the reclusive Prince Jameson, who has just recruited her to play at a farewell concert for his late grandfather?

Out June 28

66 Dele Weds Destiny by Tomi Obaro

Dele Weds Destiny by Tomi Obaro

Set against the backdrop of a lavish wedding in Lagos, Dele Weds Destiny by Tomi Obaro tells the story of three old college friends in Nigeria who are reuniting for the first time in 30 years. At one point in their lives, Funmi, Enitan, and Zainab were inseparable, but over the years their friendship has been tested by betrayals and distance. However, now that Funmi's daughter, Destiny, is getting married, the women are reuniting once again. But it quickly becomes apparent that something about Destiny's upcoming wedding doesn't feel quite right, leaving the friends to come together for one another as a crisis looms.

67 Heat Wave by TJ Klune

Heat Wave by TJ Klune

TJ Klune's unforgettable and dynamic The Extraordinaries goes out with a bang in Heat Wave . Nick, Seth, Gibby, and Jaz are all back as they try to protect Nova City, while also restoring a sense of justice and order to the people who live there. But just as things appear to be settling down for the gang, an unexpected hero returns to Nova City and lands on Nick's doorstep. In the process, Nick is forced to revaluate everything he thought he knew about being himself and living a heroic life as the story builds to its thrilling conclusion.

Out July 19

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new books 2022 uk

The new book releases you need in your life

It's a seriously good year for new books – thrillers, haunting debuts, short stories, non-fiction...

new books for 2022

I can't tell you how excited I am. There are novels that will make you LOL and sob tears of sadness and joy, thrillers that will keep you up until the early hours, moving memoirs, historical fiction that will immerse you in a bygone era, haunting and creepy tales that will stay with you long after you turn the last page, advice for dating, manuals for getting what you want from work/life and essay collections to help you consider the world we live in...

Non-fiction includes Emma Gannon's hotly anticipated (Dis)connected , which will help you reassess your relationship to Insta and Annie Lord's Notes on Heartbreak , for anyone who has ever suffered a broken heart. There's also powerful fiction including The Herd by Emily Edwards, which feels particularly poignant as it has the vaccination debate at its heart, and Sophie Haydock's The Flames , which brings the muses of artist Egon Schiele to life. All should spark some good bookclub discussions, too...

So if your new year's resolution is to read more, you're in for an absolute treat. Here are all the 2022 new release books to pre-order right now . You'll have bundles of books arriving through your letterbox ready to devour right up until summer. Yep, a constant refresh of your to-be-read pile. You're welcome.

Shy by Annie Ridout

Shy by Annie Ridout

I was always the shy girl at school, cheeks burning with embarrassment if I was asked to speak out loud in front of the whole class. I always thought my shyness was something I needed to get over, but maybe I just needed this book in my life? 

The blurb:  Partly genetic, partly environmental, shyness is largely viewed as a character flaw, something that needs to change, but why is no one talking about the benefits of being shy? For example, shyness usually equates to being an excellent listener, considerate speaker and thoughtful observer. Interweaving personal experience with expertise from clinical psychologists, Annie explores why shyness affects some more than others, and offers tried-and-tested tools to help the reader deal with elements of shyness that can feel debilitating. 

(Dis)connected: How to Stay Human in an Online World by Emma Gannon

(Dis)connected: How to Stay Human in an Online World by Emma Gannon

Out 13 January 2022

I relate to every single thing that Emma Gannon writes – both in print and in her monthly newsletter, The Hyphen . Her debut novel, Olive , about a happily child-free woman and her three mates was one of my fave reads of 2020.

The blurb:  Millennials might have grown up online but now they want to log off. And it's not just millennials. A year of lockdowns, Zoom meetings and reduced physical contact has made us more dependent on the internet than ever before – but has it lost its humanity? Our focus on community and real connection has been sent off-course and we're becoming more aware of how the algorithm manipulates us and how our data has made us a product to be sold. So, where do we go from here and how can we get back on track?  (Dis)connected  examines these topics and offers tangible tips and advice for those of us who might feel a little lost right now and want to find themselves again.

Send Nudes by Saba Sams

Out 20 January 2022

A collection of short stories that speak to the female experience. I want to be friends with the women Saba Sams writes, the kind that you meet in nightclub toilets and are BFFs with for just one night. Compulsive writing that can easily be devoured in one sitting. Painfully relatable but in a really satisfying way.

The blurb:  In 10 stories, Saba Sams dives into the world of girlhood and immerses us in its contradictions and complexities: growing up too quickly, yet not quickly enough; taking possession of what one can, while being taken possession of; succumbing to societal pressure but also orchestrating that pressure. These young women are feral yet attentive, fierce yet vulnerable, exploited yet exploitative. Threading between clubs at closing time, pub toilets, drenched music festivals and beach holidays, these unforgettable short stories deftly chart the treacherous terrain of growing up – of intense friendships, of ambivalent mothers, of uneasily blended families, and of learning to truly live in your own body.With striking wit, originality and tenderness,  Send Nudes  celebrates the small victories in a world that tries to claim each young woman as its own.

The Maid by Nita Prose

Not to be confused with the memoir Maid by Stephanie Land , or the Netflix series starring Margaret Qualley ...

The blurb:  Molly the maid is all alone in the world. A nobody. She’s used to being invisible in her job at the Regency Grand Hotel, plumping pillows and wiping away the grime, dust and secrets of the guests passing through. She’s just a maid – why should anyone take notice? But Molly is thrown into the spotlight when she discovers an infamous guest, Mr Black, very dead in his bed. This isn’t a mess that can be easily cleaned up. And as Molly becomes embroiled in the hunt for the truth, following the clues whispering in the hallways of the Regency Grand, she discovers a power she never knew was there. She’s just a maid – but what can she see that others overlook?

Supporting Trans People of Colour by Sabah Choudrey

Out 21 January 2022

This is an empowering handbook and resource to support trans people of colour.

The blurb:  Providing an accessible and authoritative introduction to issues around trans inclusion, this book uses case studies, tips, checklists and anonymous survey results to set out best practice for any professionals working with trans people to create safer spaces, support and awareness. Trans people of colour are often excluded because gender and race are treated as separate issues. They are therefore left out from movements and services and in trans and non-binary spaces, their POC identities are overlooked. Choudrey's guide introduces the theory of intersectionality from the start, giving practical tips and steps to ensure that the community as a whole may be represented and creates a safer space for trans people of colour to thrive.

Wolfskin by Lara Moreno, translated by Katie Whittemore

Out 24 January 2022

This book is full of intimate moments and features two intense main characters that will draw you in and hold a mirror up to your own life. 

The blurb:  Sofía is 35 and her husband has left her. Her father died the year before, and her mother is living in the Canary Islands with a new partner. Sofía flees the city with her young son, seeking refuge in her father's house on the southern coast of Spain, where she spent summers as a girl. Her younger sister, with whom she has a close but uneasy relationship, joins her. Living together again, the sisters face their present as well as their childhood and tangled past. A novel from one of Spain's most remarkable authors, Wolfskin is an intimate meditation on ambivalence and motherhood, eroticism and disappointment, family violence and failure, and ultimately, the possibility-or impossibility-of living with those you love.

The Herd by Emily Edwards

Out 3 February 2022

This novel feels incredibly poignant for our times. The author Emily Edwards got the first seed of an idea for the novel in 2018 when she was pregnant with her first baby. A debate about vaccines was sparked between her husband and her birthing doula – one was for and one was against. It opened up Emily's eyes to both sides of the argument. She starting asking everyone who would speak to her about their opinion on vaccinations. She wrote the novel in the first lockdown – the timing was, in her words, "extraordinary". It's a must-read about how our individual choices can directly effect those around us.

The blurb:  You should never judge how someone chooses to raise their child.  Elizabeth and Bryony are polar opposites but their unexpected friendship has always worked. They're the best of friends, and godmothers to each other's daughters – because they trust that the safety of their children is both of their top priority.

But what if their choice could harm your own child?  Little do they know that they differ radically over one very important issue. And when Bryony, afraid of being judged, tells what is supposed to be a harmless white lie before a child's birthday party, the consequences are more catastrophic than either of them could ever have imagined...

Black Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson

This debut novel is about sibling relationships and family secrets. And if you need another reason to read it? It's already being developed into a drama series for Hulu – by none other than Oprah! Oh and it involves cake, of course.

The blurb: Eleanor Bennett won't let her own death get in the way of the truth. So when her estranged children – Byron and Benny – reunite for her funeral in California, they discover a puzzling inheritance. First, a voice recording in which everything Byron and Benny ever knew about their family is upended. Their mother narrates a tumultuous story about a headstrong young woman who escapes her island home under suspicion of murder, a story which cuts right to the heart of the rift that's separated Byron and Benny. Second, a traditional Caribbean black cake made from a family recipe with a long history that Eleanor hopes will heal the wounds of the past. Can Byron and Benny fulfil their mother's final request to 'share the black cake when the time is right'?

Block, Delete, Move On by LalalaLetMeExplain

Out 10 February 2022

A book by the anonymous Instagram relationship account @lalalaletmeexplain that everyone currently on the dating scene needs to read rn.

The blurb:  Have you ever been on a disastrous date and vowed never to use apps again? Are you blaming yourself for the things going wrong in your love life? Do you always seem to become attached to people who treat you badly? The sad truth is that when it comes to modern dating, there are a whole host of challenges and hurdles to overcome. From ghosting and negging to gaslighting and abuse, this book teaches you what to look out for, to make sure that you're not accidentally dating men with toxic traits who secretly hate women, or who just want to have sex and run. It will empower you to use your voice and walk away if you spot warning signs in relationships, by highlighting the red flags and the types of fuckboy that you might run into when dating, as well as the green flags and signs that indicate a healthy partnership.

Ella Baxter New Animal by Ella Baxter

Out 17 February 2022

Sex, BDSM, death, grief – what more could you want from a novel? An intense and incredible read. 

The blurb:  Amelia is no stranger to sex and death. Her job in her family's funeral parlour, doing make-up on the dead, might be unusual, but she's good at it. Life and warmth comes from the men she meets online – combining with someone else's body at night in order to become something else, at least for a while. But when a sudden loss severs her ties with someone she loves, Amelia sets off on a 72 mission to outrun her grief – skipping out on the funeral, running away to stay with her father in Tasmania and experimenting on the local BDSM scene. There she learns more about sex, death, grief, and the different ways pain works its way through the body. It takes two fathers, a bruising encounter with a stranger and recognition of her own body's limits to bring Amelia back to herself. 

Pure Colour by Sheila Heti

I adored Sheila Heti's Motherhood , the novel revolved around an artist who can't decide if she wants children. Pure Colour will make you question life and choices in the same philosophical and lyrically written way.

The blurb:  Here we are, just living in the first draft of creation, which was made by some great artist, who is now getting ready to tear it apart. In this first draft, a woman named Mira leaves home to study. There, she meets Annie, whose tremendous power opens Mira's chest like a portal – to what, she doesn't know. When Mira is older, her beloved father dies, and she enters that strange and dizzying dimension that true loss opens up. 

Pure Colour  tells the story of a life, from beginning to end. It is a galaxy of a novel: explosive, celestially bright, huge, and streaked with beauty. It is a contemporary bible, an atlas of feeling, and a shape-shifting epic. Sheila Heti is a philosopher of modern experience, and she has reimagined what a book can hold.

Arrival by Nataliya Deleva

Out 24 February 2022

Arrival  is an exploration of the ripple effects of domestic abuse. 

The blurb:  The story follows a young woman fleeing her home country and trying to rebuild her life, after she has suffered violence at the hands of an alcoholic father. Prompted by her therapist, the unnamed protagonist starts processing the abuse experienced in her childhood while also pondering what it means to be a mother when consumed by trauma. The novel bends form to accommodate the narrator’s scattered mind and her attempt to assemble a version of herself through fragments and stitches of memories, borrowed conversations and minutiae that linger and haunt.

The Doloriad by Missouri Williams

Out 1 March 2022

Gothic, strange, provocative, but also incredibly moving and absolutely unforgettable, a wild debut from a truly original new voice that will blow your mind. Love the weird cover too. 

The blurb:  In the wake of a mysterious environmental cataclysm that has wiped out the rest of humankind, a family descended from incest cling to existence on the edges of a ruined city. The family is mercilessly ruled by The Matriarch who dreams of starting humanity over. Her children and the children they have with one another aren’t so sure. Surrounded by the silent forest and the dead suburbs, they feel closer to the ruined world than to their parents. Nevertheless, they scavenge supplies, collect fuel, plant seeds, and attempt to cultivate the poisoned earth, brutalising and caring for one another in equal measure. When The Matriarch dreams of another group of survivors she sends away one of her daughters, the legless Dolores, as a marriage offering. Her return triggers the breakdown of The Matriarch’s fragile order and the control she wields over their sprawling family begins to weaken. The children seize their chance to escape with terrible and lasting consequences.

Burning Questions by Margaret Atwood

My fave author of all time. Reading The Handmaid's Tale as a teenager was one of my defining reading experiences, so I am excited about this. 

The blurb:  Why do people everywhere, in all cultures, tell stories?How much of yourself can you give away without evaporating? How can we live on our planet? Is it true? And is it fair? What do zombies have to do with authoritarianism?

In over 50 written pieces from 2004 to 2021 pieces Atwood aims her prodigious intellect and impish humour at our world, and reports back to us on what she finds. The roller-coaster period covered in the collection brought an end to the end of history, a financial crash, the rise of Trump and a pandemic. From debt to tech, the climate crisis to freedom; from when to dispense advice to the young (answer: only when asked) to how to define granola, we have no better questioner of the many and varied mysteries of our human universe.

The Lying Club by Annie Ward

Out 3 March 2020

Who can resist a juicy revenge thriller? And this one is both shocking and scandalous. For anyone who adored  Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty . Obsessed.

The blurb:  Three women. Two bodies. One big lie... At an elite private school nestled in the Colorado mountains, a tangled web of lies draws together three vastly different women. Natalie, a young office assistant, dreams of having a life like the school moms she deals with every day. Women like Brooke, a gorgeous heiress, ferociously loving mother and serial cheater, and Asha, an overachieving and overprotective mom who suspects her husband of having an affair. Their fates are bound by their relationships with the handsome, charming assistant athletic director Nicholas, who Natalie loves, Brooke wants and Asha needs. But when two bodies are carried out of the school early one morning, it seems the jealousy between mothers and daughters, rival lovers and the haves and have-nots has shattered the surface of this isolated, affluent town – a town where people will stop at nothing to get what they want.

The School for Good Mothers by Jessamine Chan

Out 3 March 2022

This dystopian novel, of course, reminds us of  Margaret Atwood's  The Handmaid's Tale , with its themes of surveillance, control and body autonomy. Topics brought up in the book are both horrifyingly familiar and shockingly unbelievable at the same time.

The blurb:  Frida Liu is struggling. She doesn’t have a career worthy of her Chinese immigrant parents’ sacrifices. What’s worse is she can’t persuade her husband, Gust, to give up his wellness-obsessed younger mistress. Only with their angelic daughter Harriet does Frida finally feel she’s attained the perfection expected of her. Harriet may be all she has, but she’s just enough. Until Frida has a horrible day. The state has its eyes on mothers like Frida — ones who check their phones while their kids are on the playground; who let their children walk home alone; in other words, mothers who only have one lapse of judgement. Now, a host of government officials will determine if Frida is a candidate for a Big Brother-like institution that measures the success or failure of a mother’s devotion. Faced with the possibility of losing Harriet, Frida must prove that she can live up to the standards set for mothers — that she can learn to be good.

Prep, Push, Pivot: Essential Career Strategies for Underrepresented Women by Octavia Goredema

Out 8 March 2022

Need some work motivation? Author Octavia Goredema is an award-winning career coach and this is an indispensable guide for women looking for a new job, dealing with job loss, pivoting to a new career, or returning to the workforce after an extended absence.

The blurb:  Discover your true worth, cement your career values, and carve out a realistic and aspirational career plan. Learn how to position yourself for a promotion, navigate a break in your career, and integrate your role as a mother or caregiver with your professional life. Deal with monumental career changes, contribute to the development of the women around you, and benefit from an array of professional resources in your journey forward. Perfect for women who are ready to overcome any obstacles that await them,  Prep, Push, Pivot  is a thoughtful road map to help women chart their professional and personal success.

The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley

A gripping, page-turning, can't-put-down thriller is exactly what I'll need in my life come March, pre-ordering right now. Lucy Foley's words always hook me in right from the first sentence... 

The blurb:  A beautiful old apartment block, far from the glittering lights of the Eiffel Tower and the bustling banks of the Seine. Where nothing goes unseen. And everyone has a story to unlock.  The watchful concierge The scorned lover The prying journalist The naïve student The unwanted guest Something terrible happened here last night. A mystery lies behind the door of apartment three. Only you – and the killer – hold the key...

The Flames by Sophie Haydock

Out 17 March 2022

One for those who adore historical fiction that has the power to transport you to a bygone era and see the world through the eyes of women from the past. Author Sophie Haydock got the idea for this novel as she was wandering around an exhibition of Egon Schiele's work, she started to wonder what these women in his striking work were thinking, and so she brought their story to life. 

The blurb:  Every painting tells a story, but what if the women on the canvas could talk? Vienna, at the beginning of the 20th century, is an exhilarating social whirl, a city of ideas, of music, of groundbreaking art, lead by Gustav Klimt until the arrival of his scandalous protegee, Egon Schiele. Into this world come four women – Adele, Gertrude, Wally and Edith – each with their own story to tell. Four flames, four wild, blazing hearts, longing to be known. In an elegant bohemian city like Vienna, everything seems possible - until an act of betrayal changes everything. For just as a flame has the power to mesmerize, it can also destroy everything in its path..

Funny Farm: My Unexpected Life with 600 Rescue Animals by Laurie Zaleski

Out 22 March 2022

And I thought I was brave for rescuing one dog...

The blurb:  Laurie Zaleski never aspired to run an animal rescue; that was her mother Annie's dream. But from girlhood, Laurie was determined to make the dream come true. Thirty years later as a successful businesswoman, she did it, buying a 15-acre farm deep in the Pinelands of South Jersey. She was planning to relocate Annie and her caravan of ragtag rescues – horses and goats, dogs and cats, chickens and pigs – when Annie died, just two weeks before moving day. In her heartbreak, Laurie resolved to make her mother's dream her own. In 2001, she established the Funny Farm Animal Rescue outside Mays Landing, New Jersey. Today, she carries on Annie's mission to save abused and neglected animals. 

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Booklist Queen

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Upcoming Book Releases

The Most-Anticipated Upcoming Book Releases

Take a look ahead at all the upcoming book releases this year. Find out what the most-anticipated upcoming book releases are in the coming months.

What is it about a new book release that gets my heart pumping?

I may have a to-read list as tall as a mountain and a bookshelf already overflowing with books, but I still simply can’t resist upcoming book releases.

Instead of fighting my desire to read all the new books out, I’m embracing my penchant for finding the next great book.

If you love new book releases as much as I do, enjoy this list of all the upcoming book releases that have caught my eye. This upcoming book releases list is constantly updating, so be sure to come back and check again soon.

Every month, I update this list, removing books already published and adding upcoming book releases that catch my eye. Don’t worry, if you are looking for books already published this year, I’ve still got you covered with my list of 2024 book releases .

Have a book that belongs on my list?

If you are an author or publisher with a book you feel belongs on my list, find out how to work with me . Be sure to read my review policy before submitting your request.

Are you just reader excited about a book coming out? I’d love to hear from you, too! You can also contact me to suggest any upcoming book releases you think I would love.

Don’t Miss a Thing

February 2024 Upcoming Book Releases

book cover The Women by Kristin Hannah

The Women by Kristin Hannah

Historical Fiction February 6, 2024 Amazon | Goodreads | More Info

A female nursing student impulsively joins the Army Nurse Corps to serve in the Vietnam War like her brother.

book cover Fourteen Days by Margaret Atwood

Fourteen Days by Margaret Atwood

Literary Fiction February 6, 2024 Amazon | Goodreads | More Info

A collection of stories about residents of an apartment building during the pandemic with each character’s story written by a different famous author.

book cover A Love Song for Ricki Wilde by Tia Williams

A Love Song for Ricki Wilde by Tia Williams

Romance February 6, 2024 Amazon | Goodreads | More Info

A misfit Atlanta socialite moves to Harlem and embarks on a romance with a mysterious and passionate artist that will change them forever.

book cover The Teacher by Freida McFadden

The Teacher by Freida McFadden

Mystery & Thriller February 6, 2024 Amazon | Goodreads | More Info

A math teacher is nervous when the student at the center of last year’s scandal is placed in her class.

book cover Redwood Court by DeLana R. A. Dameron

Redwood Court by DéLana R. A. Dameron

A series of vignettes about a Black working class family in South Carolina as the youngest daughter comes of age.

book cover The Resort by Sara Ochs

The Resort by Sara Ochs

Mysterious deaths start stacking up with ties to a group of expats living in Thailand who are all outrunning their pasts.

book cover Everyone Who Can Forgive Me is Dead by Jenny Hollander

Everyone Who Can Forgive Me is Dead  by Jenny Hollander

The survivor of a massacre finds her newly rebuilt life threatened when a fellow survivor announces they are creating a movie about that night.

Book Cover Bride by Ali Hazelwood

Bride by Ali Hazelwood

Paranormal Romance February 6, 2024 Amazon | Goodreads | More Info

The daughter of a powerful Vampyre, Misery Lark is promised in marriage to their mortal enemies, the Weres, as a peacekeeping measure.

book cover The Phoenix Crown by Kate Quinn and Janie Chang

The Phoenix Crown by Kate Quinn and Janie Chang

Historical Fiction February 13, 2024 Amazon | Goodreads | More Info

Two women must solve the mystery of an ancient Chinese relic that disappeared during the San Francisco Earthquake only to turn up years later in Paris.

book cover The Fox Wife by Yangsze Choo

The Fox Wife by Yangsze Choo

Historical Fantasy February 13, 2024 Amazon | Goodreads | More Info

In 1908, a woman seeking justice for her son and a detective travel from China to Japan searching for truth while navigating the truths and myths about fox spirits.

book cover Ready or Not by Cara Bastone

Ready or Not by Cara Bastone

Romance February 13, 2024 Amazon | Goodreads | More Info

An accidental pregnancy leaves a woman to rethink her life in this friends-to-lovers romance.

book cover The Warm Hands of Ghosts by Katherine Arden

The Warm Hands of Ghosts by Katherine Arden

Skeptical after her brother’s death in WWI, Laurie volunteers as a nurse in Belgium and hears rumors of a man who can make soldiers forget.

book cover End of Story by A. J. Finn

End of Story by A. J. Finn

Mystery & Thriller February 20, 2024 Amazon | Goodreads | More Info

A woman is invited to write the life story of a reclusive mystery writer who might have been involved in the disappearance of his wife and son decades earlier.

book cover Heartless Hunter by Kristen Ciccarelli

Heartless Hunter by Kristen Ciccarelli

Fantasy February 20, 2024 Amazon | Goodreads | More Info

A witch and a witch hunter using each other for information accidentally fall in love.

book cover Supercommunicators by Charles Duhigg

Supercommunicators by Charles Duhigg

Nonfiction February 20, 2024 Amazon | Goodreads | More Info

Using the power of storytelling, Duhigg teaches you become more adept at recognizing and navigating any conversation you find yourself in.

book cover Wandering Stars by Tommy Orange

Wandering Stars by Tommy Orange

Literary Fiction February 27, 2024 Amazon | Goodreads | More Info

In the 1800s, two children attend a school that tries to strip them of their Native Identity while in 2018, a descendant tries to hold her family together after a school shooting.

Book Cover Brooklyn by Tracy Brown

Brooklyn by Tracy Brown

Contemporary Fiction February 27, 2024 Amazon | Goodreads | More Info

During her dying moments, a woman contemplates what led her to become the cold calculating manipulator that everyone wanted dead.

book cover Normal Women by Philippa Gregory

Normal Women by Philippa Gregory

Nonfiction February 27, 2024 Amazon | Goodreads | More Info

A retelling of British history with the contributions of ordinary women at the forefront.

Explore More February Releases

Save for Later

The Best Upcoming Book Releases 2024

March 2024 Upcoming Book Releases

Book Cover Expiration Dates by Rebecca Serle

Expiration Dates by Rebecca Serle

Romance March 5, 2024 Amazon | Goodreads | More Info

Every time she dates a new man, Daphne receives a paper telling how long the relationship will last until she goes on a blind date without an expiration date.

book cover The Great Divide by Cristina Henriquez

The Great Divide by Cristina Henríquez

Historical Fiction March 5, 2024 Amazon | Goodreads | More Info

A look at the building of the Panama Canal and the ups and downs of the people who lived nearby and worked on its construction.

book cover The Hunter by Tana French

The Hunter by Tana French

Mystery & Thriller March 5, 2024 Amazon | Goodreads | More Info

Sequel to The Searcher . When Trey’s long-lost father appears searching for gold, former detective Cal Hooper must protect everything he’s built in Ireland.

book cover Murder Road by Simone St. James

Murder Road by Simone St. James

After picking up an injured hitchhiker who dies, a newlywed couple investigates a series of murders along a deserted stretch of road.

book cover The Prisoner's Throne by Holly Black

The Prisoner’s Throne by Holly Black

Fantasy March 5, 2024 Amazon | Goodreads | More Info

Sequel to The Stolen Heir . The battle for Elhame concludes. Can the imprisoned prince defeat the vengeful queen?

Book Cover The New Couple in 5B by Lisa Unger

The New Couple in 5B by Lisa Unger

A couple inherits a luxury apartment in New York City only to discover that something darker is happening behind the perfectly constructed facade.

book cover Maktub by Paulo Coelho

Maktub by Paulo Coelho

Literary Fiction March 5, 2024 Amazon | Goodreads | More Info

The first English translation of a collection of Coelho’s stories that highlight the human experience.

book cover Still See You Everywhere by Lisa Gardner

Still See You Everywhere by Lisa Gardner

Mystery & Thriller March 12, 2024 Amazon | Goodreads | More Info

Frankie Elkin goes undercover on a remote Pacific island to solve the long-ago disappearance of a convicted serial killer’s sister before her execution date.

Book Cover After Annie by Anna Quindlen

After Annie by Anna Quindlen

Contemporary Fiction March 12, 2024 Amazon | Goodreads | More Info

When Annie Brown dies, her husband, four children and best friend are all left reeling and must find themselves again.

book cover Good Half Gone by Tarryn Fisher

Good Half Gone by Tarryn Fisher

Mystery & Thriller March 19, 2024 Amazon | Goodreads

A woman goes undercover at an isolated insane asylum to solve her sister’s long-ago disappearance.

book cover The Truth About the Devlins by Lisa Scottoline

The Truth About the Devlins by Lisa Scottoline

Mystery & Thriller March 26, 2024 Amazon | Goodreads | More Info

The black sheep in a family of lawyers tries to save the family firm after his older brother murders a client accused of embezzlement.

Explore More March Releases

April 2024 Upcoming Book Releases

book cover Table for Two by Amor Towles

Table for Two by Amor Towles

Literary Fiction April 2, 2024 Amazon | Goodreads | More Info

Six short stories about the delicate nature of modern marriage and a novella about Evelyn Ross from Rules of Civility rebuilding a life in the Golden Age of Hollywood.

book cover The Cemetery of Untold Stories by Julia Alvarez

The Cemetery of Untold Stories by Julia Alvarez

A writer tries to bury her unfinished manuscripts, but the characters have a life of their own and their narratives inspire the local townspeople.

Book Cover Just for the Summer by Abby Jimenez

Just for the Summer by Abby Jimenez

Romance April 2, 2024 Amazon | Goodreads | More Info

A man cursed that every woman he dates goes on to find true love after they breakup dates a woman with the same curse … just for the summer.

book cover Daughter of Mine by Megan Miranda

Daughter of Mine by Megan Miranda

Mystery & Thriller April 9, 2024 Amazon | Goodreads | More Info

The daughter of a local detective returns to her hometown to find that the drought has revealed clues to her mother’s disappearance hidden in the lake bed.

book cover The Familiar by Leigh Bardugo

The Familiar by Leigh Bardugo

Historical Fantasy April 9, 2024 Amazon | Goodreads | More Info

During Spain’s Golden Age, a maid finds herself caught up in politics when the King’s disgraced former secretary learns she can do magic.

book cover A Calamity of Souls by David Baldacci

A Calamity of Souls by David Baldacci

Mystery & Thriller April 16, 2024 Amazon | Goodreads | More Info

In Southern Virginia in 1968, a white male lawyer and a Black female lawyer work together save an innocent man from the electric chair.

book cover An Unfinished Love Story by Doris Kearns Goodwin

An Unfinished Love Story by Doris Kearns Goodwin

Nonfiction April 16, 2024 Amazon | Goodreads | More Info

Weaving together American history and her personal life, historian Goodwin gives an intimate look at the 1960s from her and her husband’s time working with the political leaders of the day.

book cover Funny Story by Emily Henry

Funny Story by Emily Henry

Romance April 23, 2024 Amazon | Goodreads | More Info

When her fiancé leaves her, Daphne becomes roommates with her ex-fiancé’s new fiancée’s ex.

book cover Darling Girls by Sally Hepworth

Darling Girls by Sally Hepworth

Mystery & Thriller April 23, 2024 Amazon | Goodreads | More Info

When a body is discovered on the farm where they grew up, three foster sisters find themselves the prime witnesses, and possibly suspects.

book cover A Game of Lies by Clare Mackintosh

A Game of Lies by Clare Mackintosh

In the Welsh mountains, DC Ffion Morgan investigates a group of reality stars, each with an alibi and a reason to kill.

book cover The Demon of Unrest by Erik Larson

The Demon of Unrest by Erik Larson

Nonfiction April 30, 2024 Amazon | Goodreads | More Info

The tumultuous five months between Abraham Lincoln’s election and the firing on Fort Sumter.

book cover Miss Morgan's Book Brigade by Janet Skeslien Charles

Miss Morgan’s Book Brigade by Janet Skeslien Charles

Historical Fiction April 30, 2024 Amazon | Goodreads | More Info

A New York public librarian becomes intrigued with the story of an American librarian who created librarians in France during World War I.

Explore More April Releases

May 2024 Upcoming Book Releases

book cover The Return of Ellie Black by Emiko Jean

The Return of Ellie Black by Emiko Jean

Mystery & Thriller May 7, 2024 Amazon | Goodreads | More Info

When a missing teenager reappears after two years, a detective must figure out what she’s hiding and who is is protecting.

book cover This Summer Will Be Different by Carley Fortune

This Summer Will Be Different by Carley Fortune

Romance May 7, 2024 Amazon | Goodreads | More Info

After years of having summer flings together, a woman returns to Prince Edward Island to find his flirty behavior has changed and so has her heart.

book cover Lovers and Liars by Amanda Eyre Ward

Lovers and Liars by Amanda Eyre Ward

Contemporary Fiction May 14, 2024 Amazon | Goodreads | More Info

Three sisters reunite for a destination wedding at an English castle and must learn to make new choices to find joy in one another again.

book cover One Perfect Couple by Ruth Ware

One Perfect Couple by Ruth Ware

Mystery & Thriller May 21, 2024 Amazon | Goodreads | More Info

Five couples competing on a reality television show are trapped on a remote island during a storm with life and death stakes.

book cover Lies and Weddings by Kevin Kwan

Lies and Weddings by Kevin Kwan

Contemporary Fiction May 21, 2024 Amazon | Goodreads | More Info

A future earl must decide whether to marry a rich wife to save the family’s debts or follow his heart in a globetrotting romantic comedy.

book cover The Last Murder at the End of the World by Stuart Turton

The Last Murder at the End of the World by Stuart Turton

On an idyllic island, the last of humanity’s survivors have 92 hours to solve the murder of one of their scientists, except their memories have been wiped.

book cover Better Left Unsent by Lia Louis

Better Left Unsent by Lia Louis

Romance May 21, 2024 Amazon | Goodreads | More Info

For years, Millie has vented her true feelings into unsent emails which throws her life into crisis when they all accidentally get sent.

book cover You Like It Darker by Stephen King

You Like It Darker by Stephen King

Horror May 21, 2024 Amazon | Goodreads | More Info

A collection of twelve short stories that delve into the darker side of life.

book cover The Guncle Abroad by Steven Rowley

The Guncle Abroad by Steven Rowley

Sequel to The Guncle . Gay Uncle Patrick once again steps in to help his niece and nephew, hoping to teach them about love as their father is set to remarry.

book cover Goddess of the River by Vaishnavi Patel

Goddess of the River by Vaishnavi Patel

Fantasy May 21, 2024 Amazon | Goodreads | More Info

A retelling of the story of Ganga, goddess of the river, who was cursed to become mortal. Marrying a queen, Ganga escapes her curse but leaves her son behind leading to tragedy.

book cover Camino Ghosts by John Grisham

Camino Ghosts by John Grisham

Mystery & Thriller May 28, 2024 Amazon | Goodreads | More Info

Bookstore owner Bruce Cable reunites with Mercer Mann for another island mystery.

book cover Southern Man by Greg Iles

Southern Man by Greg Iles

Fifteen years after the Natchez Burning trilogy, Penn Cage must a billionaire Presidential candidate who would tear the country apart.

Explore More May Releases

June 2024 Upcoming Book Releases

book cover Eruption by Michael Crichton and James Patterson

Eruption by Michael Crichton and James Patterson

Mystery & Thriller June 3, 2024 Amazon | Goodreads | More Info

A deadly volcanic eruption is about to burst on the Big Island of Hawaii forcing a terrifying military secret to come to light.

book cover Shelterwood by Lisa Wingate

Shelterwood by Lisa Wingate

Historical Fiction June 4, 2024 Amazon | Goodreads | More Info

A park ranger deals with a missing teen and a burial site that might be connected to two young girls journeying through the Oklahoma wilderness in 1909.

book cover The Unwedding by Ally Condie

The Unwedding by Ally Condie

Mystery & Thriller June 4, 2024 Amazon | Goodreads | More Info

Post-divorce, a planned anniversary trip becomes a solo trip where a killer stalks the guests at a luxury resort cut off by a mudslide.

book cover Birds Aren't Real by Peter McIndoe and Connor Gaydos

Birds Aren’t Real by Peter McIndoe and Connor Gaydos

Humor June 4, 2024 Amazon | Goodreads | More Info

The “true” story behind the government conspiracy that has replaced all birds with surveillance drones for the last several decades.

book cover Swan Song by Elin Hilderbrand

Swan Song by Elin Hilderbrand

Contemporary Fiction June 11, 2024 Amazon | Goodreads | More Info

Nantucket’s Chief of Police must postpone his retirement when a multi-million dollar mansion burns to the ground and his daughter’s best friend goes missing.

book cover The Housemaid is Watching by Freida McFadden

The Housemaid is Watching by Freida McFadden

Mystery & Thriller June 11, 2024 Amazon | Goodreads | More Info

The Housemaid finally settles down to a life in the suburbs with her family but becomes suspicious of her new neighbors.

book cover Not in Love by Ali Hazelwood

Not in Love by Ali Hazelwood

Romance June 11, 2024 Amazon | Goodreads | More Info

A biotech engineer falls into a steamy affair with the businessman in charge of orchestrating a hostile takeover of her startup food science company.

book cover The Rom-Commers by Katherine Center

The Rom-Commers by Katherine Center

An unknown screenwriter gets to rewrite a rom-com with her idol but it turns out he doesn’t believe in love.

book cover The God of the Woods by Liz Moore

The God of the Woods by Liz Moore

In 1975, the daughter of a wealthy summer camp owner goes missing from her camp bed just like her older brother did fourteen years ago.

book cover One of Our Kind by Nicola Yoon

One of Our Kind by Nicola Yoon

A woman moves her family to a planned Black utopian suburban only to find everyone obsessed with the community wellness center.

book cover Middle of the Night by Riley Sager

Middle of the Night by Riley Sager

Mystery & Thriller June 18, 2024 Amazon | Goodreads | More Info

Thirty years after his childhood friend disappeared while they were camping in his backyard, a man returns home to find answers.

book cover The Midnight Feast by Lucy Foley

The Midnight Feast by Lucy Foley

A locked-room mystery at the opening weekend of The Manor, a luxury resort in an ancient forest.

book cover The Next Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine

The Next Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine

Sequel to The Last Mrs. Parrish . With Jackson Parrish’s release from prison imminent, his new wife Amber and his ex-wife Daphne get caught in a cat-and-mouse game.

book cover Same As It Ever Was by Claire Lombardo

Same As It Ever Was by Claire Lombardo

Contemporary Fiction June 18, 2024 Amazon | Goodreads | More Info

A long-lasting marriage is threaten by their children’s struggles and the reemergence of a past flame.

book cover A Novel Love Story by Ashley Poston

A Novel Love Story by Ashley Poston

Romance June 25, 2024 Amazon | Goodreads | More Info

When her car breaks down, a woman finds herself in the town of her favorite romance book series.

book cover Husbands & Lovers by Beatriz Williams

Husbands and Lovers by Beatriz Williams

Historical Fiction June 25, 2024 Amazon | Goodreads | More Info

A mother whose son needs a kidney transplant must face two long-held secrets: her summer love affair with a famous singer and her mother’s adoption from an Irish orphanage

book cover Children of Anguish and Anarchy by Tomi Adeyemi

Children of Anguish and Anarchy by Tomi Adeyemi

Fantasy June 25, 2024 Amazon | Goodreads | More Info

Legacy of Orïsha Book 3. Zelie must rescue her people from the King of the Skulls who is desperate to harness her power for his own.

Explore More June Releases

July 2024 Upcoming Book Releases

book cover The Same Bright Stars by Ethan Joella

Same Bright Stars by Ethan Joella

Contemporary Fiction July 2, 2024 Amazon | Goodreads

The lonely owner of a family-owned beachfront restaurant in Delaware whether to sell to a major developer.

book cover Like Mother, Like Daughter by Kimberly McCreight

Like Mother, Like Daughter by Kimberly McCreight

Mystery & Thriller July 9, 2024 Amazon | Goodreads

When her mother disappears, Cleo learns her corporate lawyer mother was her firm’s fixer, willing to stop at nothing to protect Cleo.

book cover The Great Hemisphere by Mateo Askaripour

The Great Hemisphere by Mateo Askaripour

Science Fiction July 9, 2024 Amazon | Goodreads

An invisible woman sets off to find her missing brother who is the chief suspect in a high-profile political murder.

book cover The Briar Club by Kate Quinn

The Briar Club by Kate Quinn

Historical Fiction July 9, 2024 Amazon | Goodreads

A mysterious widow at a 1950s women’s boardinghouse in Washington, D.C., creates powerful female friendship but holds a devastating secret.

book cover The Lost Story by Meg Shaffer

The Lost Story by Meg Shaffer

Fantasy July 16, 2024 Amazon | Goodreads

Childhood best friends must return to a magical realm to find the long-lost sister they knew when living there.

book cover The Bright Sword by Lev Grossman

The Bright Sword by Lev Grossman

After King Arthur’s death, a young knight and a ragtag band of leftovers from the fellowship try to rebuild Camelot.

book cover The Wilds by Sarah Pearse

The Wilds by Sarah Pearse

Mystery & Thriller July 16, 2024 Amazon | Goodreads

While on vacation in Portugal with her brother, Detective Elin Warner comes across a disturbing map left behind by a missing woman.

book cover Slow Dance by Rainbow Rowell

Slow Dance by Rainbow Rowell

Contemporary Fiction July 23, 2024 Amazon | Goodreads

Inseparable high school friends reconnect years after she went to college and he joined the Navy, trying to figure out where the friendship went wrong.

book cover What Have You Done? by Shari Lapena

What Have You Done? by Shari Lapena

Mystery & Thriller July 30, 2024 Amazon | Goodreads

A popular teen found dead in a hayfield leaves a small-town on edge, knowing that someone among them is a killer.

book cover Such Charming Liars by Karen M. McManus

Such Charming Liars by Karen M. McManus

Young Adult Mystery & Thriller July 30, 2024 Amazon | Goodreads

Kat tags along with her mother for one last jewel heist that turns dangerously deadly after two men from their past arrive.

Explore More July Book Releases

Upcoming Book Releases 2024

book cover And So I Roar by Abi Dare

And So I Roar by Abi Daré

Contemporary Fiction August 6, 2024 Amazon | Goodreads

Sequel to The Girl with the Louding Voice . Tia is forced to make a choice between protecting Adunni or learning the truth her mother has hidden from her.

book cover House of Glass by Sarah Pekkanen

House of Glass by Sarah Pekkanen

Mystery & Thriller August 6, 2024 Amazon | Goodreads

A child advocate must work with a young girl who witnessed her nanny’s possible murder during her parent’s bitter divorce but refuses to speak.

book cover The Housekeeper's Secret by Iona Grey

The Housekeeper’s Secret by Iona Grey

Historical Fiction August 13, 2024 Amazon | Goodreads

In 1911, a Northern England housekeeper with a secret past has a intensely forbidden love affair with a  mysterious new footman.

book cover By Any Other Name by Jodi Picoult

By Any Other Name by Jodi Picoult

Historical Fiction August 20, 2024 Amazon | Goodreads

While researching the life of the women who penned Shakespeare’s play, Melina Green must decide whether to give credit for her work to a man.

book cover Somewhere Beyond the Sea by TJ Klune

Somewhere Beyond the Sea by TJ Klune

Fantasy September 10, 2024 Amazon | Goodreads

Sequel The House in the Cerulean Sea . Arthur Parnassus’s hope of adopting the six magical children is threatened by a revelation from his past.

book cover Counting Miracles by Nicholas Sparks

Counting Miracles by Nicholas Sparks

Contemporary Fiction September 24, 2024 Amazon | Goodreads

An Army Ranger set out to find meet the father he never knew falls in love with a doctor who is a single mom.

book cover The Bletchley Riddle by Ruta Sepetys and Steve Sheinkin

The Bletchley Riddle by Ruta Sepetys and Steve Sheinkin

Middle Grade Historical Fiction October 8, 2024 Amazon | Goodreads

Two teenagers living among the WWII codebreaking factory at Bletchley Park try to unravel the mystery of their mother’s death.

book cover The Grey Wolf by Louise Penny

The Grey Wolf by Louise Penny

Mystery & Thriller October 29, 2024 Amazon | Goodreads

In the 19th book of the series, Québécois Inspector Armand Gamache is faced with a complex case where friends seem like enemies and enemies act like friends.

What upcoming book releases are you most excited to read?

Rachael

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15 Great Reads To Curl Up With This Autumn

By Hayley Maitland

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The Story Of Art Without Men by Katy Hessel

“In October 2015, I walked into an art fair and realised that, out of the thousands of artworks before me, not a single one was by a woman.” So begins Katy Hessel’s provocative 459-page volume, which retraces the history of art through a female lens – taking in everyone from Renaissance nun Plautilla Nelli, who started an all-female workshop in her convent, to Dadaist renegade Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, who’s often mistakenly credited with Duchamp’s “Fountain”. Consider it Ernst Gombrich’s The Story Of Art for the Instagram generation.

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The Marriage Portrait by Maggie O’Farrell

Maggie O’Farrell follows Hamnet with another work inspired by a literary masterpiece. In lieu of a Shakespearean tragedy, The Marriage Portrait takes Robert Browning’s 1842 poem “My Last Duchess” as its terrifying starting point, reimagining the life of Lucrezia de’Medici in 16th-century Florence. The narrative begins a year after her marriage to the Duke of Ferrara, when the 16-year-old bride begins to suspect that her husband may be trying to murder her – and it only gets more sinister from there.

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A Visible Man by Edward Enninful

Essential reading for fashion lovers, British Vogue ’s editor-in-chief traces his journey from his Ghanaian childhood to Vogue House in his critically acclaimed memoir – juxtaposing powerful meditations about racism and classism in the industry with 24K-gold anecdotes (see the moment at which a heavily pregnant Rihanna sauntered into his Longleat wedding in the middle of the ceremony).

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Best Of Friends by Kamila Shamsie

Fans of Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Quartet will love the latest from Kamila Shamsie. The story hinges on a deep-rooted friendship between Zahra and Maryam, forged as teenagers in Karachi and continued in modern-day London under markedly different (but equally dubious) political circumstances. The sort of novel destined to spark a million WhatsApp chats between lifelong girlfriends.

Out 27 September

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Shrines Of Gaiety by Kate Atkinson

The Roaring 2020s may never quite have materialised, but at least Kate Atkinson brings to life 1920s London in exquisite detail for Shrines Of Gaiety . Her irresistible protagonist: Nellie Coker, mother of six children and a nightclub empire that’s put her on the wrong side of DCI John Frobisher. Devour the novel, then go in search of the autobiography of Kate Meyrick, the real-life maverick who inspired Nellie. Atkinson at her inimitable best.

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I Fear My Pain Interests You by Stephanie LaCava

Having dropped out of Brown and reached a turning point in her relationship with a 57-year-old lover, twenty-something Margot – the daughter of music legends – decamps to a Montana mansion to recoup. There, she meets a surgeon named “Graves”, who may be interested in her romantically, or might just be fascinated by her peculiar medical condition: an inability to feel any sort of bodily pain. One for fans of Ottessa Moshfegh.

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Our Missing Hearts by Celeste Ng

Little Fires Everywhere ’s Celeste Ng returns with a dystopian novel set in an America where all people of Asian origin are treated with racist suspicion – a situation made even worse by the passing of the Preserving American Culture & Traditions Act, a hideously nativist piece of legislation. After his Chinese-American mother disappears after resisting its principles, 12-year-old Bird sets out to find her, taking him on an odyssey across a deeply hostile country. Powerful and brilliant.

Out 4 October

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Our Missing Hearts by Celeste NG

Lucy By The Sea by Elizabeth Strout

You would be forgiven for avoiding any pandemic-set novels for the rest of the decade, but it’s worth making an exception for Elizabeth Strout’s Lucy By The Sea . The third instalment in the Pulitzer-winning author’s Lucy Barton trilogy, it follows our middle-aged heroine to Maine where she plans to ride out Covid-19 with her first husband, William. There, beside the ocean, Lucy’s past returns to haunt her once more, and her future comes – for better or worse – into sharp focus. A cathartic read.

Out 6 October

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Haywire by Craig Brown

Craig Brown is best known for Ma’am Darling , his wholly gripping and formally clever biography of Princess Margaret , but his satire is equally deserving of praise (and genuinely hysterical). Haywire gathers together his best work for various publications over the decades, from his skewering of “Mary Berry’s Household Tips” (“Cupboards are ideal for putting things in…”), to a mock interview between Piers Morgan and Kim Jong-Un.

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Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver

“First, I got myself born.” The Poisonwood Bible ’s Barbara Kingsolver translates David Copperfield to 21st-century Appalachia in the breathlessly paced and socially charged Demon Copperhead , which revolves around 11-year-old protagonist Demon as he struggles towards maturity against the backdrop of the opioid crisis. One of the best new books of the year, not just the season.

Out 18 October

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Just Sayin’ by Malorie Blackman

After seeing Noughts + Crosses adapted for the screen with a cameo from Stormzy, beloved children’s author Malorie Blackman releases her memoir through the artist’s Merky imprint. Tracing her quest to become a writer in the face of constant resistance (including no less than 80 rejections from publishers), it’s a lesson in perseverance – and a demand for systemic change in the world of letters.

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Liberation Day by George Saunders

After proving himself a master of short-form fiction, George Saunders scooped the Booker with his elegiac first novel, Lincoln In The Bardo . Now, he’s back with another collection of stories – his first since 2014’s Tenth Of December – which includes fresh tales alongside pieces from The New Yorker . So good it almost makes you wonder why anyone else bothers.

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The Passenger by Cormac McCarthy

Sixteen years after earning a Pulitzer for The Road , Cormac McCarthy is gifting readers with a pair of decidedly strange novels: The Passenger and, a few months later, its companion story Stella Maris . The former revolves around mathematical genius and salvage diver Bobby Western, who’s sent to investigate a plane crash only to find that one of the bodies is missing – prompting a chilling government investigation. Worth the wait.

Out 25 October

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Extenuating Circumstances by Joyce Carol Oates

Extenuating Circumstances brings together works from the first 30 years of Oates’s career. Themed around crime and suspense, it veers towards the gothic – see “The Revenge Of The Foot”, when a college student arrives at a party with a human foot – without ever losing its emotional nuance (“American Abroad” is a literary gut punch). Even more chilling? Oates’s most recent novel, Babysitter , which follows a Detroit housewife beginning an affair at the same moment that a serial killer, known only as the Babysitter, terrorises the city.

Out 10 November

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Elizabeth Taylor by Kate Anderson Brower

Kate Anderson Bower spoke to more than 250 of Elizabeth Taylor’s confidantes while writing the first authorised biography of the Cleopatra star, which touches on everything from her two marriages to Richard Burton to her campaigning work as an AIDS activist. Also included within its pages: excerpts from Taylor’s own deliciously gossipy journals and never-before-seen photographs of the jewellery fanatic.

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The 50 Best New Books of 2022 That You Won't Be Able to Put Down

Wondering what you should be reading this year? Our list includes romance novels, non-fiction best-sellers, thrillers and so much more.

30 best new books to read in 2022 so far

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And this year's crop of new releases will do all of that, and more. Some of your favorite authors have new books out that rival their previous releases (peep that new Jennifer Egan!) and a whole host of debut authors also came out with stellar reads that will leave you hungry for their next one before you reach the last page. These are the best and most-anticipated books we've found so far, with something for fans of every genre and style. Of course, we have to acknowledge that "best" might mean something different to everyone. There are as many reading appetites as there are readers, so if your favorite book of 2022 doesn't make our list, don't despair. Let us know in the comments, and you might just inspire someone else to pick it up, too.

Fiona and Jane by Jean Chen Ho

Fiona and Jane by Jean Chen Ho

Fiona and Jane are best friends, navigating their tumultuous teenage years together, as well as their family histories and all that comes with them. But when Fiona moves across the country, their bond weakens and threatens to break. This novel about the power of female friendship will give you a gorgeous peek into both women's perspectives on a shared story that has as many facets as they do.

The School for Good Mothers by Jessamin Chan

The School for Good Mothers by Jessamin Chan

Frida's daughter Harriet is everything to her. But when she makes a terrible one-time mistake, the state decides that she has to prove her ability to be a good mother in order to remain one at all. This scarily prescient novel that's reminiscent of Orwell and Vonnegut explores the depths of parents' love, how strictly we judge mothers and each other and the terrifying potential of government overreach.

30 Things I Love About Myself by Radhika Sanghani

30 Things I Love About Myself by Radhika Sanghani

Newly single freelance writer Nina isn’t exactly flourishing, especially after she has to move back in with her depressed brother and her overbearing mother. But when she finds herself reading a self-help book in jail on her 30th birthday (long story), she embarks on a journey toward self-love, learning lessons most of us could stand to hear, too.

Shit Cassandra Saw: Stories by Gwen E. Kirby

Shit Cassandra Saw: Stories by Gwen E. Kirby

Just because Cassandra can see the future doesn't mean she's sharing what she finds there. In this wildly inventive collection of stories, Kirby explores the power of feminity in its many forms – including as brazen witches, virgins who can't be sacrificed and even cockroaches who catcallers fear. It's laugh-out-loud funny, sometimes brightly painful, thought-provoking and completely original.

How High We Go in the Dark by Sequoia Nagamatsu

How High We Go in the Dark by Sequoia Nagamatsu

When an archaeologist witnesses the unleashing of a long-buried plague, it changes the course of history. This hauntingly beautiful story focuses on how the human spirit perseveres through it all. With everything from a cosmic search for home to a theme park for terminally ill kids and a talking pig, it’s a lyrical adventure that feels fantastical yet familiar.

Notes on an Execution by Danya Kukafka

Notes on an Execution by Danya Kukafka

Serial killer Ansel Packer is going to die for his crimes in 12 hours. But as the clock ticks down, we get to know the women who passed through his life, including his desperate mother and the homicide detective who became obsessed with his case. It’s a chilling, surprisingly tender tale of how each tragedy ripples through many lives.

RELATED: 25 Best True Crime Books of All Time to Unleash Your Inner Sherlock

Good Rich People by Eliza Jane Brazier

Good Rich People by Eliza Jane Brazier

The rich live differently than the rest of us, and that's never more evident than this chilling account of one family that plays a sick and twisted game with their tenants. When one (an interloper herself) decides that she's not just a pawn, nobody wins – or do they?

Devil House by John Darnielle

Devil House by John Darnielle

Fans of true crime, police procedurals and books that stick with you for weeks after you reach the last page, don't sleep on the latest from the multitalented Mountain Goats singer. It follows a true crime writer who's trying to figure out what really happened at a dilapidated former porn store where locals (and lore) say the Satanic panic resulted in death, but the truth goes so much deeper than that.

Don't Say We Didn't Warn You by Ariel Delgado Dixon

Don't Say We Didn't Warn You by Ariel Delgado Dixon

Two sisters' paths repeatedly diverge and intersect through this story about trauma and reckoning with it. Through life in an abandoned warehouse just outside NYC, stints at a wilderness rehabilitation center and a scrabble to find their footing as young adults, this is a sharp and unsettling story of two girls' ongoing search for their own place in the world and how their history shapes who they become.

Very Cold People by Sarah Manguso

Very Cold People by Sarah Manguso

Midwesterners, New Englanders and anyone from small town America will recognize the contours in this quietly beautiful novel about what it feels like to grow up an outsider. It's a starkly lyrical exploration of the darkness that lies underneath a lily white community with an emotional resonance that sneaks up on you and won't let go.

Where I Can't Follow by Ashley Blooms

Where I Can't Follow by Ashley Blooms

In a little mountain town hit hard by poverty and the opioid epidemic, there's a chance at escape. Magical doors appear to some people as a way out, but once they step through, there's no turning back. This fantastically real, absorbing novel explores what it would feel like to have an escape hatch from the hardships of life, and the agonizing decision whether to leave everyone you love behind.

The Last Suspicious Holdout by Ladee Hubbard

The Last Suspicious Holdout by Ladee Hubbard

From the author of The Rib King comes a collection of stories about the Black residents of a southern suburb in the years between the beginning of the Clinton administration and Obama's election. It's about racism, the war on drugs, class and struggle, but at its heart, it's a portrait of a community. While it doesn't flinch away from the hard truth, it's also filled with love and a steely kind of hope.

When We Were Birds by Ayanna Lloyd Banwo

When We Were Birds by Ayanna Lloyd Banwo

This eerily magical, richly atmospheric novel follows Darwin, a devout Rastafarian whose poverty forces him to cast off his religion to become a gravedigger, and Yejide, one of a line of women who have the power to usher the dead into the afterlife. Darwin gets mixed up in some funny business and Yejide is looking for a way out of the life she's been handed. When they're drawn together, they discover whether their love can rival the forces working against them.

Disorientation by Elaine Hsieh Chou

Disorientation by Elaine Hsieh Chou

Ingrid has hit a wall in her PhD research on poet Xiao-Wen Chou when she comes across something that suggests he may not have been who he seems. Before she knows it, Ingrid has blown open a scandal that threatens her relationship with her fiancé and her best friend, her academic department and even her own self-knowledge. This is a fresh, hilarious and thoughtful satire that'll make you think about cultural identity in a whole new way.

Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel

Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel

If you loved Station Eleven , you'll adore this dystopian novel that's about time travel as much as it is about love and family, and what happens when we lose sight of what's truly important. It takes the reader from a plague-ravaged earth to moon colonies, from 1912 to the near future in a triumph of science fiction for those who think they hate science fiction.

The Candy House by Jennifer Egan

The Candy House by Jennifer Egan

You don't have to read A Visit From the Goon Squad to love this sibling novel to Egan's stellar hit. The revolutionary technology Own Your Unconscious allows users to store and access their memories – and other people's. Through complex and intimate intertwining narratives, it follows a cast of characters' experiences with Bouton's creation, and how its consequences echo through the decades.

End of the World House: A Novel by Adrienne Celt

End of the World House: A Novel by Adrienne Celt

What do you get when you take Groundhog Day, add a dash of the apocalypse, a little French obsession and mix in female friendship and romantic entanglement? This firecracker of a book that gets weirder and more bizarrely funny the more pages you turn.

Nobody Gets Out Alive: Stories by Leigh Newman

Nobody Gets Out Alive: Stories by Leigh Newman

The Alaskan wilderness is unforgiving, and so is life for the people who live there. In this arresting collection of stories, we meet people who are fighting not only the snowy tundra, but addiction, heartbreak, complicated families and the demons so many of us carry with us, regardless of when or where we live.

When We Fell Apart by Soon Wiley

When We Fell Apart by Soon Wiley

Min can’t believe his Korean girlfriend Yu-jin died by suicide, right before graduation. As he embarks on a quest to uncover the truth, he learns more about Yu-jin’s life as the daughter of a high-ranking government official, the true nature of her bond with her roommate So-ra, and his own bi-racial identity. This compelling, propulsive novel is as complex as the characters it follows.

You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty by Akwaeke Emezi

You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty by Akwaeke Emezi

A sharply original novel about love, friendship and the journey grief takes, this one will ring true for so many of us these days. Five years after losing the love of her life, Feyi's BFF, Joy, wants her to get back out there, but when she does, Feyi finds herself thrown into her future without a net. For anyone who's been feeling a little lost, let this book give you some inspiration.

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New book releases 2022

The best new books coming out in 2022

Whether you’re partial to fantasy or allegory, sci-fi or satire, there’s something for everyone on our list of highly-anticipated releases for 2022

Calling all readers, bibliophiles and bookworms . Great news on the literature front: 2022 is set to be a great year for releases. Perhaps you’re in the mood for escapism , in which case retreat into the dreamy world of Emily St. John Mandel. Or, if you’re in the market for some hard-edged social commentary, Xochitl Gonzalez and Jennifer Egan’s new works may be just the ticket. Elsewhere, Douglas Stuart and Bernadine Evaristo tell the stories of the marginalised in their fiction and non-fiction works respectively. And there’s so much more on offer. Here is our definitive list of the best books coming out in 2022.

Fiona and Jane by Jean Chen Ho

new books 2022 uk

Female friendship is the theme of Jean Chen Ho’s debut novel. Specifically, the friendship between Fiona and Jane, two Taiwanese-American women living in Los Angeles. Told through a series of vignettes corresponding to moments in their lives – first time drinking, sexual experiences, moments of loss – the novel follows the pair through nearly two decades. Their relationship endures distance, betrayal, and ambition, and serves as an unflinching reminder of how childhood friendship can be both comforting and stifling. But through the complex layers of intensity and resentment remains a deep-seated and enduring love.

Out now, Penguin Random House, £14.99, wordery.com

Olga Dies Dreaming by Xochitl Gonzalez

new books 2022 uk

Xochitl Gonzalez’ debut novel was optioned for a television series (with Aubrey Plaza set to play the titular role) before it hit the shelves. The story follows Puerto Rican-American siblings Olga and Prieto Acevedo, the former a wedding planner to New York’s elite and the latter a rising star in local politics. Their lives are turned upside down when Hurricane Maria brings their mother, a radical activist who left them as children, barrelling into their lives. The novel spans themes of toxic families, romantic comedy and racial politics, even slipping in an extra narrative about government corruption. Gonzalez deftly weaves together the various and disparate threads.

Out now, Little, Brown Book Group, £14.99, waterstones.com

To Paradise by Hanya Yanagihara

new books 2022 uk

A Little Life broke us, and we’re afraid to say that we don’t think you’ll be getting any respite from Hanya Yanagihara’s follow up novel. To Paradise takes us through three different versions of America: a post-civil war USA, the 1990s AIDS crisis, and a dystopian future. In the first scenario, it is 1893 and the heir of a distinguished family resists unwanted betrothal. In the second, a young Hawaiian man lives with his older, wealthier partner in 1993 Manhattan. Finally, in 2093, society is governed by totalitarian rule as a scientist’s granddaughter tries to find her missing husband. The characters, in their respective centuries, occupy the same townhouse on Washington Square Park, but they are also connected through their doomed pursuit of an American utopia.

Out now, Pan Macmillan, £16.99, waterstones.com

Manifesto: On Never Giving Up by Bernardine Evaristo

new books 2022 uk

The author of the Girl, Woman, Other recalls her journey from grotty London flats to Booker Prize glory in her non-fiction debut. Evaristo was born to an English mother and Nigerian father – one of eight children growing up in a detached house in Woolwich. In Manifesto , she recalls her desire to fit in with white friends at school, and the internalised racism she levelled at her own father. Evaristo tells of how bricks were thrown through the window at home and how her mother was warned against ‘producing inferior mongrels’. She chronicles her romantic life, from a long-distance affair with a Dutch woman to a psychologically controlling older partner, as well as the backstories to her published works. A fascinating insight into the life of a modern literary great.

Out 18 January, Penguin, £14.99, dauntbooks.co.uk

Violeta by Isabel Allende

new books 2022 uk

The titular character of Isabel Allende’s new novel has just turned 100, and writes a letter to her true love reminiscing on the upheavals of the last century. She begins on the day of her birth in 1920 – the first daughter in a family of five sons. The ripples of the Great War are still being felt when Spanish flu arrives on the shores of South America, and although her family comes through the crisis unscathed, they must then face a new one in the Great Depression. They are forced to relocate, where Violeta comes of age, later bearing witness to the fight for women’s rights, the rise and fall of tyrants, and not one, but two, pandemics.

Out 25 January, Bloomsbury Publishing, £14.99, waterstones.com

The Candy House by Jennifer Egan

new books 2022 uk

The highly anticipated sequel to Jennifer Egan’s A Visit from the Goon Squad, The Candy House is set in alternate 2010, where a tech entrepreneur pioneers a new technology that allows access to every memory you’ve ever had and the ability to share them in exchange for access to the memories of others. In this world, there are ‘counters’ who exploit the technology, and ‘eluders’ who fight for their right to privacy. The story is told through a dizzying array of styles, including omniscient, first-person plural, a duet of voices, an epistolary chapter, and a chapter of tweets – a frenetic format which emulates moving among dimensions in a role-playing game, and echoes Egan’s focus on the dangers of technology and social media.

Out 5 April, Little, Brown Book Group, £17.99, waterstones.com

Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel

new books 2022 uk

Emily St. John Mandel’s sixth book takes the reader from Vancouver Island in 1912 to a colony on the moon hundreds of years later. The novel starts with the exile of Edwin St. Andrew from polite society, after which he finds himself in British Columbia, where he mysteriously hears the notes of a violin echoing in an airship terminal. Two centuries later, writer Olive Llewellyn is travelling across the globe promoting a book that contains a striking passage about a man playing a violin in an airship terminal. Their stories are woven together by Gaspery-Jacques Roberts, a detective hired to investigate an anomaly in the North American wilderness. Sea of Tranquility is a novel about time travel and metaphysics that also captures the reality of our current moment.

Out 5 April, Pan Macmillan, £14.99, waterstones.com

Young Mungo by Douglas Stuart

new books 2022 uk

Booker Prize-winning author Douglas Stuart’s second novel is a queer love story set in working-class Scotland. In the hyper-masculine world of Glasgow’s housing estates, Mungo and James’ love, forged in a pigeon dovecote, is strictly elicit. Threat of discovery is made all the more untenable by the fact that they hail from Protestant and Catholic families respectively, and that Mungo’s older brother is a local gang leader with a brutal reputation to uphold. Stuart paints a vivid picture of working class life, sectarianism, the bounds of masculinity, the pull of family, and the violence faced by so many queer people.

Out 5 April, Pan Macmillan, £16.99, waterstones.com

Left on Tenth: A Second Chance at Life by Delia Ephron

new books 2022 uk

Delia Ephron’s story is nothing short of incredible. After the loss of her husband to cancer, she wrote a New York Times op-ed on the trials of cancelling his phone contract. It was read by Peter, also grieving the loss of his spouse, who had dated Ephron more than 50 years prior. After several weeks of exchanging emails he flew to see her, and they instantly fell for one another. Months later, though, it all came crashing down: Ephron was diagnosed with an aggressive form of leukaemia. Her memoir seesaws between the suicidal lows of illness and the giddy highs of love, all the while talking with clarity, humour, and honesty about death.

Out 12 April, Transworld Publishers, £16.99, waterstones.com

Either/Or by Elif Batuman

new books 2022 uk

Elif Batuman’s 2018 novel, The Idiot , introduced readers to Selin, a Harvard freshman and bookish daughter of Turkish immigrants. Either/Or picks up during our protagonist’s sophomore year: it’s 1996, and Selin is determined to shed her first-year innocence. Influenced by her literary syllabus and worldy peers, she decides upon universal importance of parties, alcohol, and sex, and resolves to execute them in practice. International travel is also on Selin’s coming-of-age-agenda, and she takes a summer job with the student-run guidebook. She is profoundly disappointed when she is dispatched to Turkey, the locus of childhood trips, but the experience turns out to be defining.

Out 24 May, Penguin Books, £12.99, foyles.co.uk

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2022 Rules & Eligibility

The 2022 Goodreads Choice Awards have two rounds of voting open to all registered Goodreads members. Winners will be announced December 08, 2022.

Opening Round: Nov 15 - 27

In the first round there are 20 books in each of the 15 categories, and members can vote for one book in each category.

Final Round: Nov 29 - Dec 04

The field narrows to the top 10 books in each category, and members have one last chance to vote!

2022 Eligibility

Books published in the United States in English, including works in translation and other significant rereleases, between November 17, 2021, and November 15, 2022, are eligible for the 2022 Goodreads Choice Awards. Books published between November 16, 2022, and November 14, 2023, will be eligible for the 2023 awards.

We analyze statistics from the millions of books added, rated, and reviewed on Goodreads to nominate 20 books in each category. Opening round official nominees must have an average rating of 3.50 or higher at the time of launch. A book may be nominated in no more than one genre category, but can also be nominated in the Debut Novel category. Only one book in a series may be nominated per category. An author may receive multiple nominations within a single category if he or she has more than one eligible series or more than one eligible stand-alone book. Learn more

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These are the 12 most anticipated books of 2022, according to Goodreads members

new books 2022 uk

Maybe your New Year's resolution is to go on more walks or eat healthier foods — or maybe it's as simple as reading more. Since you've got the next 12 months ahead of you, you might find a few good recommendations to be helpful when it comes to adding to your reading list .

So, we tapped Goodreads to see what new titles everyone wants to get their hands on this year. Goodreads found 12 books set to release this year that its members (more than 125 million of them) can't wait for. These new releases sit atop members' "want-to-read" shelves.

While not all of these books are available right now — most of them are available for pre-order until their expected release date, so you can have your monthly read planned ahead of time.

From mystery novels to romance reads, these are the most anticipated books of 2022, according to Goodreads members.

What to read in 2022

"to paradise," by hanya yanagihara.

"To Paradise"

"To Paradise"

This book starts out in an alternate version of America in 1893, but by the time you've reached the end, it has spanned three centuries. As you read, you'll find that each of the characters in each of the three different Americas in this book, despite living different lives, is united by the same things that have tested them. You'll find similar themes of love, wealth, family and paradise. This pick hits shelves on Jan. 11.

"Violeta," by Isabel Allende

"Violeta"

"Violeta"

New York Times-bestselling author Isabel Allende's newest novel is set to release on Jan. 25. It centers around Violeta, the first girl in a family of five boys, whose life is marked by "extraordinary events" such as the Spanish flu and the Great Depression. It is written in the form of letters to someone she loves, an inspiring and emotional detailed account of her life, and the joys and losses she has experienced.

"Black Cake," by Charmaine Wilkerson

"Black Cake," by Charmaine Wilkerson

"Black Cake"

Byron and Benny are left with a lot of questions after the death of their mother, Eleanor Bennett. Mainly, questions about the inheritance she left behind: a traditional Caribbean black cake. She also leaves them with a voice message that tells the story of her life in pieces — and they're left to put them together and share the cake "when the time is right." You can read this book on Feb. 1.

"The Paris Apartment," by Lucy Foley

"The Paris Apartment"

"The Paris Apartment"

New York Times-bestselling author Lucy Foley's new novel will debut on Feb. 22. It tells the story of Jess, who needs a fresh start and leans on her half-brother, Ben, who lives in Paris, for a place to stay. When she arrives at his apartment, however, he's not there. Although she comes to the city of lights to escape the past that has been plaguing her, she finds herself digging into Ben's future.

"Young Mungo," by Douglas Stuart

"Young Mungo"

"Young Mungo"

Douglas Stuart's " Shuggie Bain " won the 2020 Booker Prize. Stuart's next novel, "Young Mungo," is the love story of Mungo and James — a Protestant and Catholic, respectively. The hyper-masculine environment around them forces them to hide their true selves, and they eventually find themselves apart. They'll have to do everything they can to find their way together again. It will release on April 5.

"The Candy House," by Jennifer Egan

"The Candy House"

"The Candy House"

Bix Bouton is 40, the successful head of a tech company, the father of four kids and hungry for new ideas. After he stumbles into a conversation group, he gets his big new idea: “Own Your Unconscious.” With this technology, you can access every memory you've ever had — and exchange them for the memories of others. Centering around characters whose lives have all intersected at one point, this story tells the tale of love, human connection and privacy. You can find this book on shelves on April 5.

"Memphis," by Tara M. Stringfellow

"Memphis"

"Memphis"

After Joan discovers she has the power to change her family's legacy, she finds a way to heal with all of the trauma that they have been through — with her paintbrush. Her art becomes a way for her to understand the sacrifices those who came before her made. The story itself spans 70 years, touching upon the generational experiences and the complexities of life that we face both as individuals and as a country. This title will officially be released on April 5.

"Sea of Tranquility," by Emily St. John Mandel

"Sea of Tranquility"

"Sea of Tranquility"

In the latest from the author of " Station Eleven ," Edwin St. Andrew has crossed the Atlantic at just 18 years old and finds himself entering a forest when he reaches land. He hears a violin echoing in an airship terminal and is spooked. Two centuries later, a writer features a passage in a book that seems a little too familiar: A man plays his violin in an airship terminal as a forest rises around him. A detective is later hired to unearth the story of this occurrence, and what he finds is nothing short of extraordinary. It will be released on April 5.

"Book Lovers," by Emily Henry

"Book Lovers," by Emily Henry

"Book Lovers"

Another read from New York Times-bestselling author Emily Henry, "Book Lovers" centers around bookworm Nora Stephens and editor Charlie Lastra, who've met on more than one occasion (and it's never gone well). While they keep bumping into each other in the small town of Sunshine Falls, North Carolina, where Nora has escaped to for the summer, they can't help but wonder if it keeps happening for a reason. "Book Lovers" will be available on May 3.

"South to America," by Imani Perry

"South to America"

"South to America"

Imani Perry's book is built on the idea that the history of America is more linked to the South than you think and that if you want to understand the country as a whole, you might want to start by understanding this region. In this story, a native Alabaman returns home and looks at her state with fresh eyes — and learns about the stories and experiences of others she's met along the way. By weaving these stories together, Perry has crafted a book that takes you not only below the Mason-Dixon line but also through the country as a whole. It will be available starting Jan. 25.

"The It Girl," by Ruth Ware

"The It Girl"

"The It Girl"

New York Times-bestselling author Ruth Ware is back with a mystery about one woman's search to find answers about her friend's murder. The convicted killer might be innocent — and now Hannah must search for the truth all over again, which might hit closer to home than she expects. You can start reading this pick on July 12.

For more stories like this, check out:

  • Want to read more in 2022? Here are 4 books to get you started
  • Jenna Bush Hager picks 'captivating' dystopian drama for January 2022
  • 5 books to read after 'Bright Burning Things' by Lisa Harding

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18 best new books to read in 2024, from historical fiction to romance novels

Discover debut novelists and immersive page-turners from acclaimed authors this season, article bookmarked.

Find your bookmarks in your Independent Premium section, under my profile

You won’t want to put down these tomes

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The beginning of a new year is the perfect time to refresh your reading pile. Whether you have a penchant for a crime caper or love reading a romantic romp, there’s no better way to cure any January blues than with a good book (or two).

While we eagerly await stretching out on a sun lounger with a book in the summer, the colder months offer ample opportunity to cosy up and dive into a new tome. From immersive historical epics to novels that transport you to warmer climes, the main criteria for a good winter book is simple: you won’t want to put it down.

Luckily, last year’s titles and this year’s early releases leave you spoiled for choice. From romance novels to Booker Prize-nominated tomes and laugh-out-loud stories, the mix is as eclectic as ever.

This year’s reading pile sees plenty of acclaimed debuts from the likes of Yomi Adegoke, Maud Ventura and Alice Winn, as well as eagerly anticipated titles from acclaimed authors such as Kiley Reid, Paul Murray, Dolly Alderton, Zadie Smith , Colson Whitehead and Jen Beagin.

The varied authorship is reflected in the diverse themes addressed, ranging from an Irish family in turmoil and love in the trenches of the First World War to slavery in the Caribbean, and dating across the political spectrum and dark domestic dramas.

Related stories

How we tested.

To narrow down our list of the best books to read this winter, we looked for original page-turners with superb quality prose and a captivating story that stayed with us after we’d reached the end. From books for history-lovers to romance novels, witty romantic comedies and acclaimed prize-winners, there’s something for every type of reader.

The best new books to read in winter 2024 are:

  • Best new release – The Bee Sting by Paul Murray, published by Hamish Hamilton: £17.49, Amazon.co.uk
  • Best literary thriller – Yellowface by Rebecca F Kuang, published by The Borough Press: £13.39, Amazon.co.uk
  • Best war novel – In Memoriam by Alice Winn, published by Viking: £11.72, Amazon.co.uk 
  • Best buzzy book – The List by Yomi Adegoke, published by Fourth Estate: £8, Amazon.co.uk
  • Best subversive romance novel – Everything’s Fine by Cecilia Rabess: £12.99, Amazon.co.uk

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‘The Bee Sting’ by Paul Murray, published by Hamish Hamilton

bee sting .jpg

  • Best : Overall new release
  • Genre : Comedy drama
  • Release date : 8 June 2023

Paul Murray’s The Bee Sting is a tour de force of fiction. The Barnes, a once-well-off Irish family, are in the midst of emotional and financial strain. Set during turbulent months in their claustrophobic town (think floods, droughts and the aftermath of recession), Murray expertly gives us each family member’s perspective of the same events – with flashbacks unravelling an intricate story of betrayal, crime and lust.

Profound on the human condition, utterly gripping and peppered with comedy, Murray’s novel is a must-read this year.

  • Apple Books: £9.99, Apple.com
  • Kindle: £9.99, Amazon.co.uk
  • Audible: £14.87, Amazon.co.uk

‘Good Material’ by Dolly Alderton, published by Fig Tree

good material .jpg

  • Best : Comedy novel
  • Genre : Comedy
  • Release date : 9 November 2023

Some writers suffer from second-novel syndrome, but not Dolly Alderton. The author and columinist’s second book Good Material is a cliché-avoiding break-up novel, in the vein of Nick Hornby’s High Fidelity .

Told through the eyes of recently dumped Andy, we follow him as he grapples with single life after his girlfriend realised she wanted to be alone. This in itself is a powerful narrative, with Alderton making a case for the happy and single 30-something woman.

Genuinely laugh-out-loud funny – with characters straight out of a Richard Curtis film (the elderly lodger who’s prepping for doomsday is a highlight) – whipsmart dialogue and relatable millennial themes (Alderton’s forte) mean there’s never a dull moment. Despite it being a pleasingly easy read (we tore through it in a single day), Good Material still manages to be thought-provoking and wise.

  • Audible: £11.37, Amazon.co.uk

‘Yellowface’ by Rebecca F Kuang, published by The Borough Press

yellowface .jpg

  • Best : Literary thriller
  • Genre : Thriller
  • Release date : 25 May 2023

A satire of the publishing industry and brazen exploration of cancel culture, Rebecca F Kuang’s literary heist Yellowface is one the most gripping books of the year. It begins with the freak accident death of young, famed writer Athena Liu (she chokes on pancake mixture, setting the preposterous tone for the rest of the book), witnessed by her sometimes-friend and aspiring (currently failing) novelist June Hayward.

After June steals Athena’s unfinished manuscript and publishes it under her own name to acclaim, she is thrown into the fame, money and relevance she’s always desired. But when her secret threatens to become known, June must decide how far she will go to maintain her reputation. Addictive and uncomfortable, with plenty of savagely funny moments, Kuang’s novel is a must-read this autumn.

  • Apple Books: £4.99, Apple.com
  • Kindle: £7.99, Amazon.co.uk
  • Audible: £11.38, Amazon.co.uk

‘In Memoriam’ by Alice Winn, published by Viking

in memoriam .jpg

  • Best : War novel
  • Genre : Historical fiction
  • Release date : 9 March 2023

Beginning in a private boarding school for boys, before taking us to the horror of the trenches during World War One, Alice Winn’s blistering debut is an unforgettable read. We’re first introduced to the book’s central figures – Gaunt and Ellwood – in 1914, when both schoolboys are secretly in love with each other. When half-German Gaunt is pressured by his mother to enlist in the British army, he is relieved to run away from his forbidden feelings for his best friend. But when the true terror of the war is revealed to him, he is soon devastated when Ellwood and other classmates follow him to the Western Front.

A love story set against the tragedies of war, Winn’s rousing writing transports you to the trenches, where an entire generation of lost men are brought to vivid life – the characters will stick with you, long after the final page.

  • Apple Books: £7.99, Apple.com

‘The Fraud’ by Zadie Smith, published by Hamish Hamilton

the fraud .jpg

  • Best : Novel about real people
  • Genre : Historical
  • Release date : 7 September 2023

Zadie Smith’s first foray into historical fiction, The Fraud is based on true events and juxtaposes a portrait of Victorian life and slavery in the Caribbean. The titular fraud in question is the Tichborne Claimant – a butcher who claimed to be an aristocratic heir in an 1873 trial that gripped the country. Real-life cousin and housekeeper to the largely forgotten novelist William Ainsworth, Smith reimagines Eliza Touchet’s mostly unknown life and her fascination with the case and its prime witness, an ageing Black man named Andrew Bogle.

The author’s version of Bogle’s backstory provides most of the second half of the book, beginning with his father’s abduction in the 1770s to the Hope Plantation in Jamaica. Affecting and devastating, it’s in stark contrast to the humdrum domestic middle-class Victorian life also explored. In typical Zadie style, the narrative structure and decade leaping require you to pay attention – but you’re heavily rewarded with the sheer breadth of the novel and its vividly painted characters.

‘The List’ by Yomi Adegoke, published by Fourth Estate

the list .jpg

  • Best : Buzzy summer book
  • Genre : Relationships, social media
  • Release date : 20 July 2023

The book that everyone’s talking about, Slay In Your Lane writerYomi Adegoke’s debut novel is so buzzy that an HBO TV adaptation is already in the works. Podcaster Michael and journalist Ola are a young couple on the cusp of marriage when their world is blown apart by allegations of abuse made against Michael online in “The List”.

Having made a career of exposing such men, Ola is torn between believing Michael’s innocence or supporting the women who anonymously submitted their stories to the list. Thought-provoking and topical in its exploration of life both online and offline, and the fallout of cancel culture, it’s written with sharp insight and is impossible to put down. The hype is real.

  • Kindle: £4.99, Amazon.co.uk
  • Apple Books: £11.99, Apple.com

‘Big Swiss’ by Jen Beagin

big swiss .jpg

  • Best : Sex comedy
  • Genre : Dark comedy
  • Release date : 18 May 2023

A sex comedy with darkness at its centre, Jen Beagin’s latest novel is narrated by Greta, a 45-year-old who lives in a decrepit Dutch farmhouse and transcribes for a sex therapist. Knowing everyone’s secrets in the small town of Hudson is no problem when you’re a relative recluse – that is until she bumps into Flavia, aka Big Swiss, her nickname for the 28-year-old married Swiss woman who suffered a terrible beating that she regularly transcribes (and is infatuated with).

Their dog park meeting leads to a passionate relationship with both women trying to escape their own traumas. Greta’s mother committed suicide when she was 13 years old while Flavia’s attacker has just been released from prison. An off-kilter romance with lashings of psychological thriller, darker moments are balanced with Beagin’s witty writing, idiosyncratic characters and laugh-out-loud passages. Naturally, there’s already an HBO adaptation starring Jodie Comer in the works.

  • Apple Books: £8.99, Apple.com

‘Everything’s Fine’ by Cecilia Rabess, published by Simon & Schuster

everythings fine .jpg

  • Best : Subversive romance novel
  • Genre : Romance

A subversive love story set against the political polarisation of America, Cecilia Rabess’s Everything’s Fine is a funny and punchy debut. Jess – Black and liberal – immediately dislikes her Ivy League college classmate Josh – white and conservative – but when they find themselves working in the same company after graduating, a cantankerous friendship turns into a passionate relationship.

Set against the backdrop of Trump’s presidential campaign, the novel explores if ideological opposites can be together – with its most heated moments taking place over arguments about Maga hats, wealth inequality and wokeism. Commenting perceptively on politics and economics, Rabess’s writing is just as enthralling on lust and sex. Concluding on the eve of the 2016 election, the novel questions whether love really can conquer all. We tore through it in two sittings.

  • Apple Books: £0.99, Apple.com

‘Crook Manifesto’ by Colson Whitehead, published by Fleet

colson whitehead .jpg

  • Best : Best crime novel
  • Genre : Crime, historical
  • Release date : 18 July 2023

Two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Colson Whitehead is back with the second instalment to his New York crime trilogy. First introduced in 2021’s Harlem Shuffle , furniture salesman and ex-fence Ray Carney returns to the criminal underbelly of the city in Crook Manifesto , in a bid to secure Jackson 5 tickets (which were like gold dust in 1971) for his daughter.

Jumping through the years up to 1976, Whitehead casts a satirical eye on New York during the tumultuous decade, touching on everything from police corruption and the Black Liberation Army to Blaxploitation. Blending family drama with history and culture, the sequel has the feel of a Quentin Tarantino movie and we were hooked.

‘Romantic Comedy' by Curtis Sittenfeld, published by Doubleday

romantic comedy .jpg

  • Best : Rom-com
  • Genre : Romantic comedy
  • Release date : 6 April 2023

Having previously given voice to President’s wives in the acclaimed American Wife and Rodham , Curtis Sittenfeld has set her sights on the comedy world in her latest novel – aptly named Romantic Comedy . Protagonist Sally is a successful writer at a Saturday Night Live -inspired sketch show, and has, thus far, been unlucky in love. When she meets pop idol Noah Brewster on the show in 2018, she develops a school-girl crush that challenges her cynicism about love.

Picking up the story two years later, in 2020, during the pandemic, the two reconnect over email (this section is stellar) and meet up in LA.

Sittenfeld explores the world of celebrity, modern dating, lockdown and Covid-19 with wit, humour and often profundity. A light-hearted page-turner that’s funny, romantic and heartwarming.

  • Kindle: £8.99, Amazon.co.uk
  • Apple Books:  £7.99,  Apple.com
  • Audible:  £11,37,  Amazon.co.uk

‘Ordinary Human Failings’ by Megan Nolan, published by Vintage

ordinary human failings.jpg

  • Best : Best family drama
  • Genre : Crime
  • Release date : 13 July 2023

Megan Nolan’s Acts of Desperation was one of our favourite reads last year and we loved the writer’s second novel just as much. A unique take on the crime genre, Ordinary Human Failings marks a dramatic departure from the tone and plot in Nolan’s debut. Set in the 1990s in London, tabloid journalist Tom Hargreaves believes he’s stumbled upon a career-making scoop when a child is murdered on a housing estate.

As fingers start pointing towards a family of Irish immigrants, the Greens family, Tom hunkers down with them to drive into their history. At the centre of the family is Carmel, a beautiful yet mysterious young mother, who is forced to reckon with how her 10-year-old daughter is implicated in a murder investigation. Tom’s probing soon reveals the regrets, secrets and silences that have trapped the Greens for decades. Intriguing and vast in scope, it’s an old-fashioned page-turner.

‘The Happy Couple’ by Naoise Dolan, published by Orion Publishing

happy couple .jpg

  • Best : Anti-romance novel
  • Genre : Comedy/satire

Naoise Dolan’s follow-up to 2020’s Exciting Times, this book is infused with the same biting social commentary and humour. A satirical spin on the marriage genre, it follows late-20-somethings Luke and Celine – both of whom think the other is out of love with them – on the cusp of their wedding day. Whether they’ll make it to the end of the aisle or not forms the tension of the novel.

Switching perspectives between their nearest and dearest, from best man Archie (Luke’s ex and sometimes-lover) to Celine’s sister (suspicious of Luke’s frequent disappearances), Dolan explores the anxieties of modern love. A wedding novel permeated by emotional turmoil rather than romance, its self-aware characters and comedic-timing cement Dolan as one of the sharpest writers around.

‘Penance’ by Eliza Clark, published by Faber & Faber

penance .jpg

  • Best : Fictional non-fiction book
  • Release date : 6 July 2023

A fictional story told in the manner of Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood, Eliza Clark’s Penance delves into the grisly torture and murder of 16-year-old Joan Wilson on the eve of the Brexit referendum in the seaside town of Crow. Three years after the murder, obsession with true crime is at an all-time high and an American podcast draws awareness to the case.

Ex-tabloid hack Alec Z Carelli sets out to write the “definitive account” of the murder – which was committed by three school girls – through eyewitness accounts, interviews and correspondence. Living in the town, exploring its history and its people, Carelli recounts the lives of the teenage murderers and the sinister world of online true-crime fandoms. As well as questioning Carelli’s morality in exploiting a horrific murder for his own career, Clark questions society’s preoccupation with gruesome true crime. Unnerving, superbly written and engrossing, the ending is pitch perfect.

  • Apple Books: £12.99, Apple.com

‘The Only One Left’ by Riley Sager, published by Hodder & Stoughton

The Only One Left by Riley Sager best new books 2023

  • Best : Gothic thriller
  • Genre : Crime, mystery
  • Release date : 4 July 2023

In 1929, three members of the Hope family were murdered in their clifftop mansion. Decades later, the book’s protagonist Kit McDeere takes on a job caring for Lenora Hope who has been in the house ever since and is the only remaining member of the Hope family. She also happens to be the one accused of carrying out the murders.

This book is breathtakingly twisty and while the mystery unravels, the claustrophobia becomes almost unbearable as the Hope’s End mansion itself begins succumbing to the sea and crumbling like the cliffs. We found ourselves literally gasping out loud as secrets were revealed. The Only One Left is a Gothic thriller, with horror elements and is perfect for cosying up with as autumn turns to winter.

  • Apple Books:  £4.99,  Apple.com
  • Kindle:  £4.99,  Amazon.co.uk
  • Apple Books:  £9.99,  Apple.com
  • Audible:  £11.37,  Amazon.co.uk

‘My Husband’ by Maud Ventura, published by Hutchinson Heinemann

My Husband by Maud Ventura best new books 2023

  • Best : Domestic thriller
  • Genre : Domestic noir, thriller
  • Release date : 27 July 2023

Obsessed with her husband, the main character of this dark domestic drama spends her days over-analysing her husband’s words, agonising over perceived slights and fantasising about imagined scenarios that send her swirling into flights of jealousy and passion. Her deep obsession eclipses everything else in her life including her relationship with her children, her work and her friendships.

Her roller-coaster of emotions and unhinged antics are fascinating to follow and we found ourselves devouring this darkly humorous work in less than two days. This fresh and easy-to-read book is translated from French by Emma Ramadan.

‘Kala’ by Colin Walsh, published by Atlantic Books

  • Best : Coming of age thriller
  • Genre : Drama, crime

A group of six friends living in a small Irish seaside town are inseparable until one day, Kala goes missing. Fifteen years later, three of the friends are back in Kinlough and human remains are found in the woods nearby, bringing the past screaming back.

Jumping between the time when the group was in secondary school and the present day, the mystery slowly unravels as we explore the heavy family traumas and broken friendships from the past. A complicated small-town community is the claustrophobic backdrop to the story which creates a refreshing mixture of family drama and crime thriller.

The story is told from the point of view of three of Kala’s friends who come back together and delve into the past to try and make sense of Kala’s death. There’s the loyal Mush who has always been in Kinlough, working in his mother’s cafe, hiding his mysterious facial scars from the world. Helen is the hard-headed former best friend of Kala who is now a journalist and is in town for her father’s impending wedding. And Joe, who is now a world-famous musician, has a hometown residency in a local bar, and is trying to reconnect to his old friends.

The use of three distinct narrative voices is well executed with clues cleverly revealed via the three protagonists and concludes with a major twist that you won’t see coming.

  • Apple Books: £5.99, Apple.com
  • Kindle: £4.68, Amazon.co.uk
  • Audible: £15.74, Amazon.co.uk

‘The Guest’ by Emma Cline, published by Vintage Publishing

emma cline .jpg

  • Best : Stylish novel
  • Release date : 18 May 2013

A follow-up to the critically acclaimed The Girls , Emma Cline’s The Guest follows 22-year-old escort Alex as she drifts from pool to beach during a chaotic week in sun-drenched Long Island. Cast out by the older man she was staying with, instead of returning to the city, she stays on the island and adapts to survive – believing they can be romantically reunited five days later at his Labor Day party.

In each encounter with individuals, groups at parties or old acquaintances, she leaves disaster in her wake. Though the story is a simple premise, each page is loaded with tension and risk, thanks to Cline’s stylistic writing. The poetic form and metaphorical use of water (swimming is survival) adds to the novel’s hazy feel. The Guest is also a deft exploration of social mobility, as Alex navigates the class system of Long Island.

‘Come and Get It’ by Kiley Reid, published by Bloomsbury publishing

kiley reid .jpg

  • Best : Society satire
  • Release date : 30 January 2024

Kiley Reid’s debut Such a Fun Age was a runaway success in 2020. Now she’s back with Come and Get It , a page-turning take on money and power dynamics. Desperate to get on the property ladder, graduate and land a good job, Millie is working as a student advisor and living in dorms. Meanwhile, visiting professor and writer Agatha is doing research for a new book and wants to interview some of the students in Millie’s dorm.

Jumping at the chance to increase her income, Millie agrees, and the two women become embroiled in a world of student angst, pranks, and theatrics. Despite the story rarely leaving campus grounds, the novel has a gripping wide scope that explores society’s obsession with money, desire, and consumption.

Pre-order this new book now, ahead of its 30 January release date.

  • Apple Books: £10.99, Apple.com
  • Kindle: £7.97, Amazon.co.uk

The verdict: Best novels to read 2024

Paul Murray’s The Bee Sting is storytelling at its best. Moving, witty and funny, the fast-paced tome will keep you gripped until the very last page. Zeitgeist-y and engrossing, Rebecca K Kuang’s Yellowface is the perfect literary thriller for cosying up with this autumn, while the topical and thought-provoking The List by Yomi Adegoke deserves the hype.

For a funny yet wise novel, pick up Dolly Alderton’s Good Material , while historical tome In Memoriam by Alice Winn will linger long in your mind, thanks to its emotional heft.

Discover more great authors and books you’ll love in our fiction review section

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Crime and thrillers

The best crime and thriller books of 2022

Ajay Chowdhury and Ian Rankin are among the authors of this year’s standout novels, including cosy escapes, dodgy cops and a murder told backwards

The best books of 2022

G iven the relentlessly grim nature of the news this year, it’s hardly surprising that escapism in the form of cosy crime continues to challenge traditional crime/thriller bestsellers, with Richard Osman’s third Thursday Murder Club mystery, The Bullet That Missed (Viking), riding high in the charts. The last 12 months have seen a bumper crop of excellent books at the cosy end of the spectrum, from Ajay Chowdhury’s second crime novel, The Cook (Harvill Secker), set against the backdrop of an east London curry house, to veteran Canadian author Louise Penny’s 18th Armand Gamache novel, A World of Curiosities (Hodder & Stoughton).

The Bullet That Missed by Richard Osman 9780241512425

Inventiveness appears to be on the rise, too. Janice Hallett’s second novel, The Twyford Code (Viper), told in transcribed audio files retrieved from an iPhone, succeeds in being fiendishly clever and very moving. Authors such as Gillian McAllister, whose Wrong Place Wrong Time (Michael Joseph) is an ingeniously plotted murder mystery in which time travels backwards, and Gabino Iglesias, whose high-octane southern noir thriller The Devil Takes You Home (Wildfire) has supernatural elements, are also giving the genre a welcome shot in the arm. Others have approached familiar tropes from new angles: the main character in CS Robertson’s The Undiscovered Deaths of Grace McGill (Hodder & Stoughton) is not a cop but a “death cleaner”.

A World of Curiosities by Louise Penny

The year has been punctuated by the collective groans of crime fiction critics as the results of yet another male celebrity’s lockdown diversion landed on their doormats (presumably the female celebrities were too busy home schooling). The most impressive of these is Frankie Boyle’s Meantime (John Murray): set in Glasgow during the aftermath of the 2014 referendum on Scottish independence, it’s both funny and moving.

There have been plenty of excellent non-celebrity debuts. Standouts include Patrick Worrall’s complex spy thriller The Partisan (Transworld); Conner Habib’s Hawk Mountain (Transworld), a paranoid and unsettling tale of masculinity in crisis; and Wake (Hodder & Stoughton), Australian newcomer Shelley Burr’s sensitive exploration of the aftermath of trauma in a parched outback town. Katie Gutierrez’s More Than You’ll Ever Know (Michael Joseph) is an intelligent and nuanced examination of the complicated relationship between a true-crime writer and her subject, a female bigamist. And The Maid by Nita Prose (HarperCollins) will have you rooting for its titular heroine, neurodivergent Molly, as she finds herself caught up in a web of deception at the fancy Regency Grand Hotel.

Recent revelations have meant that the British public’s growing distrust of the police is very much a part of the UK’s permacrisis . Ian Rankin, creator of maverick cop John Rebus, commented recently that there are “big questions” for authors who write police procedurals. “In the current state of the world, how can you write about a police officer and make them the goody, when we look around us and see that so often the police are not the goodies?” In his latest Rebus novel, the splendid A Heart Full of Headstones (Orion), an officer who has been charged with domestic violence tries to make a deal by stitching up dodgy colleagues.

Maror by Lavie Tidhar

There have been strong additions to other long-running and well-loved police series, such as Give Unto Others (Hutchinson Heinemann), the 31st novel to feature Donna Leon’s Commissario Brunetti, and The Murder Book (Little, Brown), 18th outing for Mark Billingham’s Tom Thorne. More recent additions to the police procedural canon include Elly Griffith’s DI Harbinder Kaur, who had her third outing in Bleeding Heart Yard (Quercus), and Alan Parks’s shambolic, mid-70s Glaswegian detective Harry McCoy, who had his fifth in May God Forgive (Canongate). Maror by Lavie Tidhar (Apollo), an epic, multi-generational thriller set in Israel, with an enigmatic cop at its centre, is also well worth the read.

Breaking Point by Olivier Norek (MacLehose)

Highlights in historical crime include Blue Water (Viper) by Leonora Nattrass, a shipboard thriller set in 1794, and The Lost Man of Bombay (Hodder & Stoughton), the third in Vaseem Khan’s excellent series set in post-partition India. Alternative history has been well served by the thoroughly chilling Queen High (Quercus), CJ Carey’s sequel to last year’s superb Widowland, which imagines a postwar Britain under Nazi rule.

Although translated crime fiction seems thinner on the ground at the moment, the quality is high: standouts include Olivier Norek’s impressive policier Breaking Point (MacLehose, translated from French by Nick Caister) and Antti Tuomainen’s delightfully funny The Moose Paradox (Orenda, translated from Finnish by David Hackston). All in all, the genre seems in good shape: a broader church, less formulaic and more exciting.

  • Best books 2022
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Love can be a labyrinth of clichés and conflicting advice, but there are wise experts out there – whether you’re in a relationship, out of it, or just looking to understand yourself better.

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Every year Valentine’s Day rolls around, inevitably prompting us to reflect on the state of our love lives. Perhaps you’re being whisked away on a romantic retreat with your beau, perhaps you’ve forgotten about it entirely, perhaps you’re nursing a heartbreak, or perhaps you're celebrating being single.

While pink hearts and date nights take over the Western world on 14th February, checking in with your hopes, priorities, and contentment in relationships is a lifelong commitment – and rarely something that can be helped by the closing scenes of a rom-com .

With that in mind, here is a list of brilliant, insightful and inspiring books that can help you to better understand what you need from – and what you bring to – the romantic relationships in your life.

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