The 20 best books of 2022, according to our critics

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Ask four critics to name their favorite books of any year and you’ll get an array of singular narratives. But if any theme emerged among our top 20 books of 2022, it was the individual struggle to shape the future in a range of hostile words: the harsh dystopias crafted by Celeste Ng and Sequoia Nagamatsu; the vicious liars who questioned Sandy Hook; the British colonizers Samuel Adams outwitted and the American colonizers bested by the great Native athlete Jim Thorpe. These are stories told brilliantly — substance meeting its match in style — in which reality might be inescapable, but hope is unkillable.

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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.

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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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The Best Books of 2022 So Far

books and author of 2022

I n a time that continues to be marked by uncertainty and devastation , books can provide solace and, perhaps, some answers to the biggest questions that arise when living through crises. The best books of the year so far pick apart what it means to grieve, how to love after loss, and what it takes to survive the unthinkable. In his celebrated new poetry collection, Ocean Vuong picks up the pieces of his life following the death of his mother. Jessamine Chan examines the lengths a parent will go for her child in her startling debut novel. And Margo Jefferson explores the relationship between art and humanity in her brilliant second memoir. Their stories, along with several others, offer a comforting reminder that we all grapple with hardship—and that there is light, even in the darkest of situations. Here, the best books of 2022 so far.

The Naked Don’t Fear the Water , Matthieu Aikins

books and author of 2022

In 2016, Canadian journalist Matthieu Aikins went undercover, forgoing his passport and identity, to join his Afghan friend Omar who was fleeing his war-torn country and leaving the woman he loved behind. Their harrowing experience is the basis for Aikins’ book The Naked Don’t Fear the Water , which chronicles the duo’s dangerous and emotional journey on the refugee trail from Afghanistan to Europe. As they are confronted with the many realities of war, Aikins spares no details in his urgent and empathetic narrative.

Buy Now : The Naked Don’t Fear the Water on Bookshop | Amazon

In Love , Amy Bloom

books and author of 2022

The first pages of Amy Bloom’s memoir set up the book’s devastating ending: It’s January 2020 and Bloom and her husband are traveling to Switzerland, but only Bloom will return home. Her husband plans to end his life through a program based in Zurich. He has Alzheimer’s and wants to die on his terms. Bloom introduces these facts swiftly and then packs an emotional punch: The next time she’s on an airplane, she’ll be flying alone. From there, Bloom details her husband’s wrenching decision and all that led up to their trip abroad. Though In Love is rooted in an impossibly sad situation, Bloom’s narrative is more than just an expertly crafted narrative on death and grief. It’s a beautiful love letter from a wife to her husband, rendered in the most delicate terms, about the life they shared together.

Buy Now : In Love on Bookshop | Amazon

The School for Good Mothers , Jessamine Chan

books and author of 2022

Frida Liu is a 30-something single mother struggling to keep up with the demands of her office job and raising her 18-month-old daughter after her husband left her for a younger woman. In Jessamine Chan’s unsettling debut novel, we begin on Frida’s worst day, when her lack of sleep has caused a lapse in judgment and she leaves her baby at home alone for two hours. Soon, Frida is sent to a government run facility with other mothers deemed “failures” by the state. Reminiscent of The Handmaid’s Tale , this eerie page-turner is a captivating depiction of a dystopian world that feels entirely possible. It’s not only the gripping story of Frida’s personal struggle, but also a thought-provoking work of commentary on American motherhood.

Buy Now : The School for Good Mothers on Bookshop | Amazon

The Candy House , Jennifer Egan

books and author of 2022

One of the most anticipated books of the year, The Candy House is Jennifer Egan’s follow up to her Pulitzer Prize-winning 2010 novel A Visit from the Goon Squad . That book was hailed for its innovative structure—one chapter was written as a Powerpoint presentation—and the new narrative follows suit in its impressive construction. This time, Egan spins fresh commentary on technology, memory, and privacy through 14 interlinked stories. In them, a machine called Own your Unconscious allows people to revisit any memories from their past whenever they want—if only they make those memories accessible to everyone else. It’s a thrilling concept brought together by Egan’s astute hand, offering a powerful look at how we live in an increasingly interconnected world.

Buy Now : The Candy House on Bookshop | Amazon

Olga Dies Dreaming , Xochitl Gonzalez

books and author of 2022

It’s the summer of 2017 and Olga Acevedo is seemingly thriving: She’s a wedding planner for the Manhattan elite and living in a posh (and rapidly gentrifying) Brooklyn neighborhood. The protagonist of Xochitl Gonzalez’s absorbing debut novel had humble origins as the daughter of Puerto Rican activists, raised by her grandmother in another part of the borough where she taught herself everything she needed to know to be where she is today. But in Olga Dies Dreaming , the reality of Olga’s self-made success is more complicated. She struggles with the loneliness that has accompanied meeting her lofty goals, and she’s haunted by the absence of the mother who abandoned her family when Olga was just 12 years old. As hurricane season in Puerto Rico amps up, Olga begins to grapple with family secrets just as she falls in love for the first time. What ensues is a thoughtfully depicted romantic comedy full of domestic strife, executed in Gonzalez’s vibrant prose.

Buy Now : Olga Dies Dreaming on Bookshop | Amazon

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Fiona and Jane, Jean Chen Ho

books and author of 2022

In her debut short story collection, Jean Chen Ho traces the evolution of a friendship between two Taiwanese American women for two decades. In interlinked narratives, told in alternating voices, Ho captures what makes female friendship so special by following these characters from their adolescence and beyond. Fiona and Jane’s bond is constantly tested, particularly as they navigate loss, breakups, and betrayal, but they always find their way back to each other. In intimate and layered terms, Ho describes the love that keeps their friendship together, even when life tries to pull them apart.

Buy Now : Fiona and Jane on Bookshop | Amazon

Constructing A Nervous System , Margo Jefferson

books and author of 2022

In 2015, the Pulitzer Prize-winning cultural critic Margo Jefferson released her debut memoir Negroland . In the award-winning book, Jefferson reflected on her life as she reckoned with what it meant to grow up as a privileged Black person in a wealthy area of Chicago, crafting a searing examination of race and class in America. The author now returns with a bruising second memoir that goes beyond her personal story, blending criticism and autobiography. Constructing A Nervous System is an exciting collection of Jefferson’s thoughts and musings on the world, from her love of Ella Fitzgerald and Bud Powell to her own writing process.

Buy Now : Constructing A Nervous System on Bookshop | Amazon

Vladimir , Julia May Jonas

books and author of 2022

Julia May Jonas’ outrageously fun and discomfiting debut Vladimir puts an unexpected twist on the traditional campus novel . Her narrator is a prickly English professor at a small liberal arts college who has developed a crush on her department’s latest recruit. Meanwhile, an investigation into her husband, the chair of the same department, looms large. He’s been accused of having inappropriate relationships with former students, but our protagonist could care less. As her feelings for the new hire enter increasingly dark territory, Jonas unravels a taut and bold narrative about power, ambition, and female desire.

Buy Now : Vladimir on Bookshop | Amazon

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Life Between the Tides , Adam Nicolson

books and author of 2022

Historian Adam Nicolson dissects all aspects of marine life to make stirring observations about crustaceans, humans, and the world in which we all live in this deftly reported book. In Life Between the Tides , Nicolson zeroes in on the tide pools he creates in a Scottish bay, which he describes in lyrical and engaging prose. Blending scientific research, philosophy, and moving commentary on what it means to live, Nicolson’s book defies genre categorization as the author, with the help of stunning illustrations, strives to tackle the biggest questions about humanity through investigating a sliver of the sea’s inhabitants.

Buy Now : Life Between the Tides on Bookshop | Amazon

Young Mungo , Douglas Stuart

books and author of 2022

The latest novel from Douglas Stuart shares a lot in common with his first, the Booker Prize-winning Shuggie Bain . In both, young men live in working-class Glasglow in the late 20th century with their alcoholic mothers. This time, the narrative focuses on the love story between two boys, Mungo and James, and the dangers that surround their romance. It’s a piercing examination of the violence inflicted upon queer people and a gripping portrayal of the lengths to which one will go to fight for love.

Buy Now : Young Mungo on Bookshop | Amazon

The Books of Jacob, Olga Tokarczuk

books and author of 2022

It’s been such a treat to read through Nobel Prize winner Olga Tokarczuk’s catalog as her books are being translated from Polish and released in English. The latest, translated by Jennifer Croft, is perhaps the author’s most ambitious. The Books of Jacob is a sprawling narrative set in the mid-18th century about a self-proclaimed Messiah who travels the Hapsburg and Ottoman empires. At more than 900 pages, the novel is a gigantic undertaking, but Tokarczuk fills the chapters with delectable prose to paint a portrait of this complicated man—based on a real-life figure—through the perspectives of the people in his life. In doing so, Tokarczuk creates a compelling psychological profile of a mysterious leader that masterfully oscillates between humor and tragedy.

Buy Now : The Books of Jacob on Bookshop | Amazon

Time Is a Mother , Ocean Vuong

books and author of 2022

Ocean Vuong’s second poetry collection finds the acclaimed writer wrestling with grief after he lost his mother to breast cancer in 2019. Like his novel On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous , this collection is a tender exploration of memory, loss, and love. Through 28 poems, Vuong showcases his original voice as he asks pressing questions about the limits of language and the power of poetry in times of crisis.

Buy Now : Time Is a Mother on Bookshop | Amazon

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The 22 best books published in 2022 so far, according to Goodreads

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  • Reviewers have already found some of their favorite new books released this year.
  • We turned to Goodreads reviewers to rank the most popular books of 2022 so far.
  • For more books, check out the most anticipated new books of 2022.

Insider Today

Although there are quite literally hundreds of books on my "to-be-read" list, I can't help but gravitate towards the latest releases that fellow readers are already predicting to be the best books of the year. Whether it's a new work from a favorite author or debuts that have been picked up by celebrity book clubs, readers are already finding their favorites of 2022 so far. 

To make this list, we looked at the most popular books on Goodreads . Goodreads is the world's largest online platform for readers to rate, review, and recommend their favorite books to friends and the community. All of these recommendations have been published in 2022 and are ranked by how often they've been added to readers' "Want To Read" shelves. 

Whether you're looking for a great new read to kick off your upcoming vacation or relax with in the morning, here are the 22 most popular books of 2022 so far.

The 22 best books of 2022 so far, according to Goodreads:

"reminders of him" by colleen hoover.

books and author of 2022

"Reminders of Him" by Colleen Hoover, available at Amazon and Bookshop , from $12.22

In Colleen Hoover's latest fan-favorite novel, Kenna Rowan is looking to prove herself so she can reunite with her four-year-old daughter, having just been released from her five-year prison sentence. Shut out by nearly everyone in her and her daughter's life, Kenna connects with Ledger Ward, a local bar owner, but as the romance between the two grows, Kenna risks everything to absolve her past and create a new future. You can find more of Colleen Hoover's most popular books here .

"The Paris Apartment" by Lucy Foley

books and author of 2022

"The Paris Apartment" by Lucy Foley, available on Amazon and Bookshop , from $18.16

When Jess is in need of a fresh start, she reaches out to her half-brother, Ben, to stay with him for a bit in his Paris apartment. Ben didn't seem thrilled about the arrangement, but when Jess arrives to find a shockingly stunning apartment, she finds that he is nowhere to be found. As this gripping thriller unfolds, Jess begins to look into Ben's strange and unfriendly neighbors, each of whom is a suspect with a secret. 

"The Maid" by Nita Prose

books and author of 2022

"The Maid" by Nita Prose, available on Amazon and Bookshop , from $16.90

"The Maid" is about Molly Gray, a 25-year-old hotel maid who is left struggling to fend for herself socially after her grandmother's passing. When Molly discovers Charles Black dead in a terribly ravished hotel room, the police immediately target her as a lead suspect until her friends step in to prove her innocence in this exciting thriller that's described as a "Clue"-like, locked-room mystery.

"Book Lovers" by Emily Henry

books and author of 2022

"Book Lovers" by Emily Henry, available on Amazon and Bookshop , from $12.96

Emily Henry's "Beach Read" and "People We Meet on Vacation" have already captured countless readers' hearts, so it's no surprise her latest release has already done the same. "Book Lovers" stars Nora Stephens, a literary agent whose love life is anything but a romance novel. When Nora's sister plans a trip for the two of them to a picture-perfect little town with a list of "to-do"s to live out the plot of a romance novel all their own, Nora finds herself not with a storybook prince, but a brooding editor from the city with whom she's had plenty of terrible run-ins in the past. 

"House of Sky and Breath" by Sarah J. Maas

books and author of 2022

"House of Sky and Breath" by Sarah J. Maas, available on Amazon and Bookshop , from $ 17.74

After saving Crescent City, Bryce Quinlan and Hunt Athalar are ready to slow down and find some normalcy once again, but as the ruler's threat grows, the two are slowly pulled into the rebel's plans. "House of Sky and Breath" is the sequel to "House of Earth and Blood" , a fan-favorite fantasy/romance featuring demons, angels, and fae.

"A Flicker in the Dark" by Stacy Willingham

books and author of 2022

A Flicker in the Dark by Stacy Willingham, available on Amazon and Bookshop , from $17.29

One of readers' favorite new thrillers this year is "A Flicker in the Dark," which follows Chloe Davis 20 years after her father's arrest for the serial murder of six teenage girls in her small town. As Chloe prepares for her wedding, teenage girls begin to go missing once again and Chloe isn't sure if she's just paranoid or nearing a killer for the second time in her life. 

"Hook, Line, and Sinker" by Tessa Bailey

books and author of 2022

"Hook, Line, and Sinker" by Tessa Bailey, available on Amazon and Bookshop , from $12.38

Fox Thornton has a reputation as a flirt but his new roommate, Hannah, seems entirely impervious to his flirtatious ways and insists they'll just be friends. In town for work, Hannah has her eye on a coworker and asks for Fox's help. But as they spend more time together, she can't help but fall for him as he tries to prove that he wants more with Hannah than just a short fling.

"Book of Night" by Holly Black

books and author of 2022

"Book of Night" by Holly Black, available on Amazon and Bookshop , from $17.76

Holly Black has written incredible fantasy young adult novels but makes her adult debut with "Book of Night," an urban fantasy that became a 2022 favorite before it was even published. Charlie Hall is trying to lay low in her shadowy, magical world when a figure from her past returns and thrusts her into a chaotic spin of murder, secrets, magic, and a fight for survival. 

"The Book of Cold Cases" by Simone St. James

books and author of 2022

"The Book of Cold Cases" by Simone St. James, available on Amazon and Bookshop , from $20.49

Shea Collins runs a popular true-crime website, a passion ignited after she was almost abducted as a child. When she runs into Beth Greer, an infamous suspect in an unsolved double homicide from 40 years prior, Shea asks for an interview, meeting Beth regularly at her alluring but uncomfortable mansion. As Shea and Beth grow closer, Shea's unease refuses to subside in this suspenseful thriller, perfect for those who love true crime.

"One Italian Summer" by Rebecca Serle

books and author of 2022

"One Italian Summer" by Rebecca Serle, available on Amazon and Bookshop , from $16.08

Just before their once-in-a-lifetime trip to Positano, Katy's mother tragically passes away, leaving Katy reeling and facing their adventure alone. Katy decides to take the trip anyway and as she walks the cliffsides of the Amalfi Coast, she magically sees her mother at 30 years old. Over the course of a beautiful summer, Katy gets to know her mother, her history, and her memories in a way she never could have imagined. 

"Black Cake" by Charmaine Wilkerson

books and author of 2022

"Black Cake" by Charmaine Wilkerson, available on Amazon and Bookshop , from $17.81

In the wake of their mother's passing, Byron and Benny are left with a voice recording and the family recipe for a traditional Caribbean black cake. As their mother's story unfolds, the siblings are set off on a journey of family history, inheritance, and relationships that reshapes their understanding of their mother, their family, and themselves. 

"Daughter of the Moon Goddess" by Sue Lynn Tan

books and author of 2022

"Daughter of the Moon Goddess" by Sue Lynn Tan, available on Amazon and Bookshop , from $23.49

"Daughter of the Moon Goddess" is a new young adult fantasy novel inspired by the legend of Chang'e, the Chinese moon goddess. Xingyin has grown up on the moon, hidden from the Celestial Emperor, but when her magic is discovered, she's forced to leave her mother and her home behind and embark on a legendary but dangerous journey to save her mother and the realm.

"The War of Two Queens" by Jennifer L. Armentrout

books and author of 2022

"The War of Two Queens" by Jennifer L. Armentrout, available on Amazon and Bookshop , from $18.87

Loved for its strong main characters, fast-paced action, and intense romances, Jennifer L. Armentrout's "Blood and Ash" series' latest book continues as Poppy determinedly sets out to destroy the Blood Crown and create a future where both kingdoms can rule in peace. Together, Poppy and Casteel know that there is far more than a war to face as they uncover what began eons ago.

"Gallant" by V.E. Schwab

books and author of 2022

"Gallant" by V.E. Schwab, available on Amazon and Bookshop , from $14.95

Olivia Prior has spent much of her young life at Merilance School for girls until the day she receives a letter inviting her home to Gallant, a large, strange family house. When Olivia crosses a ruined wall at the home at just the right moment, she finds herself in a crumbling and mysterious version of Gallant and searches for the secrets her family has held for generations. 

"Sea of Tranquility" by Emily St. John Mandel

books and author of 2022

"Sea of Tranquility" by Emily St. John Mandel, available on Amazon and Bookshop , from $16.25

In a propulsive novel that spans from 1912 Vancouver Island to a futuristic colony on the moon, Emily St. John Mandel's latest work follows three main characters through time and space as their lives are upended around various events. As Edwin St. Andrew crosses the Atlantic and arrives in the Canadian wilderness, Olive Llewellyn writes a pandemic novel during a pandemic, and detective Gaspery-Jacques Roberts investigates their strange stories, along with one of a childhood friend, their metaphysical and intertwining lives create an enchanting science fiction read. 

"The School for Good Mothers" by Jessamine Chan

books and author of 2022

"The School for Good Mothers" by Jessamine Chan, available on Amazon and Bookshop , from $18.19

Frida is struggling in nearly all aspects of her life when everything suddenly takes a turn for the worst when a lapse in judgment lands her in the hands of government officials who will determine if she must go to an institution that will measure her success and devotion as a mother. In this dystopian sci-fi novel, Frida must prove that she meets the standards of being a good mother or risk losing her daughter.

"The Golden Couple" by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

books and author of 2022

"The Golden Couple" by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen, available on Amazon and Bookshop , from $17.68

From bestselling author duo Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen comes a new, twisty domestic thriller about successful therapist Avery Chambers who lost her license because of her controversial methods. When Marissa and Mathew Bishop turn to Avery after Marissa's infidelity threatened to end their marriage, this suspenseful novel takes off on a collision course of dangerous secrets. 

"To Paradise" by Hanya Yanagihara

books and author of 2022

"To Paradise" by Hanya Yanagihara, available on Amazon and Bookshop , from $20.01

"To Paradise" spans three centuries and three versions of the American experiment: 1893, where New York is part of the Free States; 1993 Manhattan in the height of the AIDS epidemic; and 2093, in a society torn apart by plagues and totalitarian rule. In each of these sections, family, lovers, and strangers are torn apart and come together over what makes us uniquely human in a new, powerful piece of literary fiction by the same author of "A Little Life."

"Violeta" by Isabel Allende

books and author of 2022

"Violeta" by Isabel Allende, available on Amazon and Bookshop , from $22.84

"Violeta" is a sweeping, century-spanning novel about a woman, born in 1920 to a family full of sons, whose life is continuously marked by historical events, crises, and life-changing love. Told in the form of a letter, Violeta recounts her early years in South America through decades of joy and loss and across a lifetime of emotional and inspiring events. 

"Reckless Girls" by Rachel Hawkins

books and author of 2022

"Reckless Girls" by Rachel Hawkins, available on Amazon and Bookshop , from $22.49

Set on an isolated Pacific island, this new thriller takes off with Lux, her boyfriend, Nico, and the two women who hired them to sail to Meroe Island, despite its eerie history of shipwrecks, cannibalism, and murder. When the four meet another couple on the island, they settle into a relaxing rhythm until a single stranger arrives and throws off the group's balance, uncovering cracks in their seemingly-perfect dynamics. 

"The Cartographers" by Peng Shepherd

books and author of 2022

"The Cartographers" by Peng Shepherd, available on Amazon and Bookshop , from $23.93

When Nell Young's legendary cartographer father is found dead in his office with a seemingly worthless map, her investigation reveals its incredibly valuable and rare nature, as well as the plot of a mysterious collector, determined to destroy every last copy. In this fantastical upcoming thriller, Nell's subsequent and remarkably dangerous journey reveals her family's darkest secrets and the power of the map. 

"The Christie Affair" by Nina de Gramont

books and author of 2022

"The Christie Affair" by Nina de Gramont, available on Amazon and Bookshop , from $17.33

"The Christie Affair" is a fascinating historical fiction account of the real-life 11-day disappearance of Agatha Christie. Told from Miss Nan O'Dea's point of view, Agatha's husband's mistress, this novel transports readers to 1925 London as Nan slowly lures Archie away from his wife, Agatha simply disappears, and one of the greatest manhunts of all time ensues.

books and author of 2022

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Check out both forthcoming titles to pre-order, and recently-released books to dive into now.

'Checkout 19,' 'Violeta,' 'Sea of Tranquility,' and 'You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty' are ...

Now that spring is here, summer feels like it’s right around the corner, and the good books just keep coming. In spite of recent difficulties , the publishing machine continues to bring its best and brightest new books to anxious readers in 2022. Among the year’s most anticipated titles are new releases from lit-fic darlings Hanya Yanagihara, Elena Ferrante, Emily St. John Mandel, and Ottessa Moshfegh. Literary fiction readers looking to expand their horizons should also check out debut novels from Julia May Jonas, Charmaine Wilkerson, and Jessamine Chan, all landing in stores this year.

Genre fans have plenty of new 2022 reads to dig into, as well. Thriller fanatics will delight in new novels from fan-favorite authors Lucy Foley and Simone St. James, as well as newcomer Gretchen Felker-Martin’s novel. In the world of science fiction and fantasy, Marlon James, Elizabeth Lim, Seanan McGuire, Tamsyn Muir, and Rebecca Roanhorse all have series continuations out in 2022.

That’s just a taste of what the year has in store! Below, the 100 most anticipated books of 2022.

W e only include products that have been independently selected by Bustle's editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.

The School for Good Mothers

'The School for Good Mothers' by Jessamine Chan

After her husband abandons her and their young daughter to live with his mistress, Frida finds herself in a dystopian re-education program for unfit mothers, in Jessamine Chan’s insightful debut.

Luckenbooth

'Luckenbooth' by Jenni Fagan

Luckenbooth begins in 1910, when the childless Minister of Culture and his fiancée hire a new maid, with the understanding that she’ll bear the Minister’s child. Unfortunately, this maid just so happens to be the daughter of the Devil himself, and her entrance into this unholy pact will have downstream effects for the residents of their Edinburgh tenement.

When You Get the Chance

'When You Get the Chance' by Emma Lord

From the author of Tweet Cute and You Have a Match comes When You Get the Chance , a coming-of-age story with a musical theater bent. It centers on Millie, a girl raised by a single dad who spends her days dreaming of Broadway. When she finds her dad’s old blog, Millie goes looking for her estranged mother. But will she get the answers she’s looking for? And, perhaps more importantly, how will what she finds change her plans for the future?

Where the Drowned Girls Go

'Where the Drowned Girls Go' by Seanan McGuire

The seventh installment in Seanan McGuire’s Wayward Children series, Where the Drowned Girls Go , follows Cora. She used to be a mermaid; now, knowing she’ll never go back to the Trenches, she’s determined to forget everything that happened to her in her previous life. But forgetting requires Cora to enroll at the Whitehorn Institute — another school for children who survived their magical adventures and returned to the “real world,” one that wants the children to forget instead of cope.

Olga Dies Dreaming

'Olga Dies Dreaming' by Xóchitl González

As Hurricane Maria devastates Puerto Rico, a pair of adult Nuyorican siblings — one a lawmaker, the other a high-profile wedding planner — reunite with their estranged, activist mother and wrestle with her complicated legacy, in this raw debut from Xóchitl González.

'Wahala' by Nikki May

In Nikki May’s debut, a tight-knit trio of Anglo-Nigerian friends find themselves increasingly at odds after a fourth woman infiltrates their friend group.

Daughter of the Moon Goddess

'Daughter of the Moon Goddess' by Sue Lynn Tan

When the Celestial Emperor sent Chang’e to live in exile, he forbade her from receiving visitors. Her daughter, Xingyin, is living proof that the Moon Goddess broke this rule, and Chang’e has done her best to hide her. After Xingyin’s magic attracts unwanted attention, however, she must venture into the Celestial Kingdom and hide in plain sight.

To Paradise

'To Paradise' by Hanya Yanagihara

From A Little Life author Hanya Yanagihara comes In Paradise , a novel that gingerly connects the stories of three very different Americans living in an alternate version of the United States. Set in the Gilded Age, the early ’90s, and the dystopic near-future, In Paradise is just as tender and shocking as its predecessor.

Yinka, Where Is Your Huzband?

'Yinka, Where Is Your Husband?' by Lizzie Damilola Blackburn

In Lizzie Damilola Blackburn’s debut novel, a British Nigerian woman straddles her friends’ and her family’s conflicting cultural expectations. Yinka, an Oxford grad, is focused on things other than love. But when her cousin’s wedding catches her without a prospective date, she finds herself actively looking for a partner for the first time.

Admissions: A Memoir of Surviving Boarding School

'Admissions: A Memoir of Surviving Boarding School' by Kendra James

As an admissions officer, Kendra James encouraged students from marginalized backgrounds to apply to the nation’s most elite boarding schools. As The Taft School’s first Black legacy student, she had much insight to offer them. Now, in Admissions , James tells her story in its entirety, for the first time.

You Don’t Know Us Negroes and Other Essays

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

Although she’s best known for novels like Their Eyes Were Watching God and Dust Tracks on a Road , Zora Neale Hurston was also one of her generation’s premier essayists. You Don’t Know Us Negroes , the first comprehensive collection of her nonfiction work, spans 35 years of essays, criticism, articles, and more.

Electric Idol

‘Electric Idol’ by Katee Robert

In this follow-up to Neon Gods , Katee Robert reimagines another Greek myth as a steamy romance. After Eros and Psyche attract paparazzi attention, Aphrodite demands that Eros assassinate the woman he was seen with. Instead, Eros marries her. It’s the first time he’s ever defied one of Aphrodite’s orders, and things don’t go as smoothly as he expects.

How High We Go in the Dark

'How High We Go in the Dark' by Sequoia Nagamatsu

After an Arctic expedition unleashes a deadly, long-dormant virus on the world in 2030, generations of humans find their lives irrevocably altered. Sequoia Nagamatsu’s How High We Go in the Dark follows humanity as it crashes, adapts, survives, and rebuilds over the course of centuries.

'Violeta' by Isabel Allende

Isabel Allende’s newest novel centers on the eponymous Violeta, a 100-year-old woman who writes her life story in a series of four letters. She begins on the night she was born 1920s-era Chile, and moves forward, capturing the 20th century just as it was in her brilliant little corner of the world — even as war, death, and devastation crept closer and closer to home.

The Red Palace

'Devil House' by John Darnielle

From author and The Mountain Goats frontman John Darnielle comes this Satanic Panic-infused novel. Here, a true-crime writer is presented with a lucrative proposition: move into an infamous murder house where two grisly killings took place in the ‘80s, and write the story of what really happened within its walls. As he digs further into the mystery of the titular Devil House, though, it quickly becomes clear that this is no ordinary case.

'The Red Palace' by June Hur

Set in 18th-century Seoul, June Hur’s The Red Palace centers on Hyeon, a lord’s daughter born out of wedlock. She takes a prestigious job working in the palace as a nurse, which she hopes will make her father proud. But when four women are found dead, the suspected killer — Hyeon’s mentor, Jeongsu — is thrust into the ignoble spotlight. It’s up to Hyeon and Eojin, a young policeman, to prove that Jeongsu is innocent, but as they close in on finding the real killer, the magnitude of their situation is made all too clear. After all, how can two commoners accuse the Crown Price of murder?

Thank You, Mr. Nixon

'Thank You, Mr. Nixon' by Gish Jen

The Resisters author Gish Jen returns this year with Thank You, Mr. Nixon — a short story collection that explores China, the United States, and how they’ve evolved over the past 50 years. From one girl’s letter to the late Richard Nixon, to a story about a pair of Hong Kong parents desperate to reconnect with their estranged, American daughter, Thank You, Mr. Nixon is as wry and sharply observed as Jen’s 2020 novel.

The Roughest Draft

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

Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka — a married writing duo known for their YA rom-coms — make their adult romance debut this year with The Roughest Draft . The novel centers on Katrina and Nathan, co-authors who haven’t written a book together since their falling out three years ago. When they fall on hard times, however, Katrina and Nathan are forced to join forces once again for an all-new book. But will they be able to put the past aside?

The Family Chao

'The Family Chao' by Lan Samantha Chang

In her first novel since 2010’s All Is Forgotten, Nothing Is Lost , Iowa Writers’ Workshop Director Lan Samantha Chang introduces readers to Big Leo Chao — the proprietor of Haven, Wisconsin’s beloved Chinese restaurant, Fine Chao — his wife, Winnie, and their three sons: Dagou, Ming, and James. Haven’s residents have always looked favorably upon Fine Chao and the family that runs it — but when Leo is murdered, and it becomes clear that all three of his sons had a motive, the community quickly turns on the boys.

Finlay Donovan Knocks ’Em Dead

'Finlay Donovan Knocks ‘Em Dead' by Elle Cosimano

Elle Cosimano returns to bookstores with the sequel to Finlay Donovan Is Killing It . In Finlay Donovan Knocks ‘Em Dead , forever-struggling writer Finlay faces another assassination plot. This time, it’s her ex-husband’s life that’s on the line, and only she can save him.

'Vladimir' by Julia May Jonas

As she weathers a slew of accusations against her husband, an English professor finds herself falling for a young visiting professor in Julia May Jonas’ debut. As slim as it is taut, Vladimir is perfect for fans of My Dark Vanessa and Adèle .

'Black Cake' by Charmaine Wilkerson

Charmaine Wilkerson’s Black Cake tells the story of two grieving, estranged siblings who must join forces to solve a mystery: Their recently deceased mother left them a black cake, the recipe, and a recording of her most tender secrets — revelations that might seal the siblings’ rift. Before publication, the novel was optioned by Hulu under Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Films production company — as strong an endorsement as any.

Yerba Buena

'Yerba Buena' by Nina LaCour

Nina LaCour’s enthralling Yerba Buena centers on Sara and Emilie, a bartender and a florist who find themselves drawn to one other. But both young women have unprocessed trauma to reckon with, and that may be enough to sink their burgeoning relationship.

Homicide and Halo-Halo

'Homicide and Halo-Halo' by Mia P. Manansala

In her follow-up to Arsenic and Adobo , Mia P. Manansala picks up with Lila right where she left off: at Tita Rosie’s Kitchen in Shady Palms. A teen beauty pageant has just come back to town, and Lila, a former pageant queen, isn’t feeling great about it. But when the event is rocked by a murder — a crime that’s pinned on Lila’s cousin and pageantry rival, Bernadette — Lila has no choice but to roll up her sleeves and solve another mystery.

Cherish Farrah

'Cherish Farrah' by Bethany C. Morrow

Bethany C. Morrow’s new thriller centers on Farrah and Cherish, teen best friends whose parents both belong to the same country club. Being the only two Black girls in the neighborhood is tough, but Farrah knows Cherish has it easy — her parents are white, after all. The two girls are pushed even closer together when financial hardship forces Farrah’s family to move, and she decides to live with Cherish. As Farrah becomes closer with Cherish’s parents, though, she begins to notice strange things happening around their home.

'Jawbone' by Mónica Ojeda

Teenage BFFs Annelise and Fernanda are inseparable — so what has Fernanda done to fall so far from Annelise’s good graces that, when she’s kidnapped and held hostage by their teacher, Annelise doesn’t come rushing to her side? Their conflict stems from the cult Annelise leads, which has Fernanda and their Catholic school classmates engaging in ever more dangerous rituals, all in the name of Annelise’s invented drag-queen god. Grim and twisted, Jawbone is one of the year’s most gripping must-reads.

Reclaim the Stars: 17 Tales Across Realms & Space

'Reclaim the Stars: 17 Tales Across Realms & Space,' edited by Zoraida Córdova

Edited by The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina author Zoraida Córdova, Reclaim the Stars is a must-read new collection of speculative fiction, comprised of 17 sci-fi and fantasy stories from Latin American diaspora writers.

Pure Colour

'Pure Colour' by Sheila Heti

From the author of Motherhood and How Should a Person Be? comes this highly anticipated new novel about a “first draft of the world” — a mysterious, magical place where people can become leaves, and spirits can travel through portals.

Moon Witch, Spider King

'Moon Witch, Spider King' by Marlon James

The second installment in Marlon James’ Dark Star trilogy centers on Sogolon the Moon Witch, a 177-year-old sorceress locked in a long-running battle with Aesi, the chancellor to the king. She was a villain in Black Leopard, Red Wolf , but in Moon Witch, Spider King , Sogolon gets the chance to share her side of the story.

When I’m Gone, Look for Me in the East

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

Quan Barry’s new novel, When I’m Gone, Look for Me in the East , takes readers on a journey across Vietnam and Mongolia. There, a pair of identical twin brothers who know each other’s thoughts — one a monk, the other a reincarnated soul — search for the reincarnation of a great Tibetan Buddhist leader.

Delilah Green Doesn’t Care

'Delilah Green Doesn’t Care' by Ashley Herring Blake

Delilah has never gotten along with her stepsister, Astrid, nor has she ever felt any fondness toward Astrid’s friends. When Astrid lays the guilt on thick, however, Delilah reluctantly agrees to photograph Astrid’s wedding, which will be held in their hometown. There, Delilah reunites with Claire — a member of Astrid’s old clique, who’s now a bookstore owner and single mom to an 11-year-old daughter. When sparks fly between the two of them, Delilah begins to wonder if her hometown isn’t so bad after all.

'Manhunt' by Gretchen Felker-Martin

If you have too much testosterone, you might as well be an animal. That’s a fact of life in Gretchen Felker-Martin’s social-horror novel, Manhunt , which takes place in a world where a disease is turning cis men feral. The story follows two trans women forced to hunt down infected people in the hopes that they’ll learn something that’ll save them from the same fate — a fate faced not just by their cis male targets, but by unlucky trans women, some trans men, and some people with PCOS. Together with a fertility doctor and a young trans man, these intrepid heroines face down a brutal landscape where far too many people — feral and not — would be happy to see them dead.

The Paris Apartment

'The Paris Apartment' by Lucy Foley

From the author of The Guest List and The Hunting Party comes The Paris Apartment . The story here centers on Jess, a down-on-her-luck woman who calls in a favor with her half-brother to get a fresh start. Ben didn’t seem too enthused about sharing his swanky Parisian digs with his half-sister, and he isn’t at home when Jess arrives. As Jess is about to realize, Ben may not be coming home at all.

'Scorpica' by G.R. Macallister

When the Queen of Scorpica — an all-female society of Amazon-esque fighters — gives birth to a daughter, the line of succession is thrown into chaos. One of her best fighters, the previous heir presumptive, challenges her and dies in the process, leaving behind a daughter of her own to one day challenge the queen. But Scorpica may have far bigger problems, as the young princess turns out to be one of the last girls born — not just in Scorpica, but in the world.

The Swimmers

'The Swimmers' by Julie Otsuka

Julie Otsuka’s latest novel is The Swimmers . Here, Otsuka introduces readers to an eclectic cast of characters, all connected by their penchant for swimming at the local recreational facility. Thanks to her dementia, one of these swimmers frequently finds herself flung backward into her past, reliving her wartime childhood spent in an internment camp — leaving her daughter to witness her steady decline.

Checkout 19

'Checkout 19' by Claire Louise Bennett

Pond author Claire-Louise Bennett returns to store shelves in 2022 with Checkout 19 , a coming-of-age story about a young, hyper-observant British writer.

The Rumor Game

'The Rumor Game' by Dhonielle Clayton and Sonia Charaipotra

From the authors of Tiny Pretty Things comes The Rumor Game , a YA thriller about three teen girls who must solve a mystery in order to protect their reputations. At their tony prep school, image is everything. But ex-It Girl Bryn, cheer captain Cora, and newly popular Georgie are beginning to realize that their social lives are mere houses of cards. Someone’s spreading rumors through the school’s social networks, but who? And, perhaps more importantly, why ?

The One True Me and You

'The One True Me and You' by Remi K. England

Fans of This Is How We Fly and Spoiler Alert would do well to check out Remi K. England’s The One True Me and You , a delicious queer rom-com. Kay, a burgeoning fanfic writer figuring out their gender identity, crosses paths with Teagan, a secretly nerdy — and secretly gay — pageant queen, when a hotel hosts a fandom convention and beauty pageant on the same weekend. There’s an instant connection between them, but will what happens at GreatCon stay at GreatCon?

'Gallant' by V.E. Schwab

A new standalone from V.E. Schwab? Yes, please! In this dark and magical YA novel, an orphaned teen receives a summons to her family’s ancestral home: the titular Gallant, haunted by ghouls. As Olivia works to unravel Gallant’s mysteries, she accidentally crosses a threshold into a dark-side-of-the-moon version of the stately manor, one in which the ghouls are real and Gallant is on its last legs.

Bless the Daughter Raised by a Voice in Her Head

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

Warsan Shire’s first new book since 2015’s Her Blue Body is also her first full-length collection. Drawing on Shire’s experience as the Kenyan-born British daughter of Somali British parents, Bless the Daughter Raised by a Voice in Her Head tackles many of the same themes as her previous work, with the same striking verse we’ve come to expect from her.

All My Rage

'All My Rage' by Sabaa Tahir

When the foundation of their friendship is shaken by a dramatic fight, two teens living in a small California town are forced to pick up the pieces of their lives — pieces their families cannot or will not reclaim. As Sal takes control of his family’s motel, Noor struggles to keep her college plans a secret from her abusive uncle, who expects her to spend the rest of her life working for him. They think their friendship is over, but when tragedy strikes, each will only have the other’s shoulder to cry on .

The Doloriad

'The Doloriad' by Missouri Williams

Missouri Williams’ postapocalyptic novel centers on one incestuous family cult, led by an enigmatic Matriarch. After a vision indicates there are other human survivors of the eco-catastrophe that led to society’s downfall, the Matriarch sends her daughter, Dolores, into the woods. Dolores is supposed to be an offering — a wife to another survivor, a bridge between the two groups — but she crawls back home, unmarried. Soon, the Matriarch’s grip on her children begins to weaken, and her carefully laid plans begin to crumble.

'Glory' by NoViolet Bulawayo

An allegory in the vein of Animal Farm , NoViolet Bulawayo’s Glory tells the story of a nation populated by animals whose world is rocked by the loss of their longtime leader, Old Horse. Taking inspiration from the coup that ended Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe’s 30-year-long reign, Glory is a timely examination of what happens when generations of people must navigate a world in which major cultural touchstones have been lost.

The World Cannot Give

'The World Cannot Give' by Tara Isabella Burton

Laura, the new girl at St. Dunstan’s Academy, thinks she knows just what to expect. St. Dunstan’s is the school her favorite novelist, Sebastian Webster, attended, and Laura expects it to mirror his writing perfectly. She quickly falls in with a clique of Webster fans, led by fellow student Virginia Strauss — a girl who’s every bit as devoted to her schoolwork and physical fitness as she is to Christ. But when Virginia’s clique begins to look suspiciously cult-like, the school’s chaplain steps in, and Laura is forced to make a series of difficult, if not impossible, choices.

Girls Can Kiss Now

'Girls Can Kiss Now' by Jill Gutowitz

The ever-hilarious and insightful Jill Gutowitz hits bookshelves this Spring with Girls Can Kiss Now , her debut essay collection. Using anecdotes from her own personal history and pop culture relics, Gutowitz explores how lesbianism went mainstream.

Our Lady of Mysterious Ailments

'Our Lady of Mysterious Ailments' by T.L. Huchu

In this sequel to The Library of the Dead , Ropa, a Scottish ghostalker of Zimbabwean heritage, attempts to crack the case of Max Wu — a student attending a magical school for boys. Max is currently in a coma, and neither magic nor modern medicine has a cure for what ails him. As she investigates Max’s school, Ropa soon stumbles on a ghostly entity that may be the cause of the boy’s illness.

Body Work: The Radical Power of Personal Narrative

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

Substance use disorder, sex work, violence, and recovery each play a large role in this new memoir from the author of Whip Smart and Girlhood . Dubbed a “must read” by no less than Mary Karr, Body Work examines the ways in which our bodies are linked to our labor and production — philosophically, physically, and psychically.

In the Margins: On the Pleasures of Reading and Writing

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

From the beloved, pseudonymous author of My Brilliant Friend comes In the Margins , a new collection containing Ferrante’s own reflections on her literary life.

The Cartographers

'The Cartographers' by Peng Shepherd

For Nell Young, there’s no one who can outshine dear old dad, Daniel Young. Sure, Daniel fired Nell, scuttled her burgeoning cartography career, and stopped speaking to her, but that doesn’t mean she can’t still love him. When Daniel dies in his office, however, Nell finds herself in possession of a rare map — the one that led to their cataclysmic falling out. Not only is it rare, but it’s also highly sought after… by someone who wants to destroy both the map and its owners.

The Book of Cold Cases

'The Book of Cold Cases' by Simone St. James

Forty years after she was acquitted of two murder charges, Beth sits down with Shea — a former abductee-turned-crime blogger — to tell her side of the story. As Shea conducts interview after interview with Beth, she becomes increasingly unsettled. Something in Beth’s palatial house is even more fearsome than her reputation.

Disorientation

'Disorientation' by Elaine Hsieh Chou

Ingrid Yang has a problem. The 29-year-old, Taiwanese American PhD candidate has spent the last four years working on her dissertation about one Chinese poet’s body of work — but she’s still not sure what part of it, exactly, to write about. When she makes a chance discovery in the poet’s archive, Ingrid thinks she’s found the answer to her problems. But finishing this PhD will take more than mere chance, and it might just change Ingrid’s perspective forever.

The Bone Orchard

'The Bone Orchard' by Sara A. Mueller

Sara A. Mueller’s The Bone Orchard centers on Charm: a witch, a war bride, and the last of her people. Held in sexual bondage by the Emperor, Charm has made the best of a bad situation — but freedom may be just around the corner. When her captor dies, he leaves Charm with one final task, after which her servitude will be ended: identifying which one of the Emperor’s own sons murdered him, and declaring the other heir to his throne.

Four Aunties and a Wedding

'Four Aunties and a Wedding' by Jesse Q. Sutanto

Jesse Q. Sutanto’s follow-up to Dial A for Aunties is Four Aunties and a Wedding . Meddy’s getting married, and she’s hired another Chinese-Indonesian family’s business to take care of the catering and photography, all so her own aunties can enjoy the big day without having to work. Everything seems great... until Meddy finds out what the contractors’ real family business is. Looks like the aunties will have to work on this wedding, one way or another.

The Resting Place

'The Resting Place' by Camilla Sten

Eleanor once looked into the eyes of her grandmother’s killer and lived, but her prosopagnosia guarantees that she’ll never be able to identify the perpetrator — not if they’re caught, and not if they come back looking for her. Now, Eleanor has inherited her grandmother’s home: a place full of family secrets, some of them deadly. After moving in, Eleanor quickly becomes convinced that the killer has come to finish the job. But which one of her new neighbors could it be?

'Monarch' by Candice Wuehle

Jessica just wanted to know where her mysterious bruises were coming from. Now, she’s uncovered a deeply rooted government conspiracy: a Project MKUltra-adjacent endeavor, called MONARCH, which turned child beauty queens into sleeper agents. As one of MONARCH’s own agents, Jessica realizes her whole life has been a lie. Now, she has a new mission in life: figuring out if her childhood love, Veronica, was part of MONARCH.

The Return of Faraz Ali

'The Return of Faraz Ali' by Aamina Ahmad

Faraz Ali has lived his life according to his father’s whims. His father is the reason why Faraz was removed from his mother’s home in Lahore’s red-light district, and he’s the reason why Faraz is going back to the Mohalla now. Acting as the new police chief, Faraz is living a new, very different life in the Mohalla. But when he’s instructed to cover up the murder of a young sex worker, something about the case is rubs him the wrong way. He’s going to defy his father’s wishes for the first time... even if he’s worried about the consequences.

'Finding Me' by Viola Davis

Viola Davis, the Academy Award-winning star of Fences and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom , tells her life story for the first time in her new memoir.

The Candy House

'The Candy House' by Jennifer Egan

The companion to A Visit from the Goon Squad , Jennifer Egan’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Candy House centers on Bix — the 40-year-old CEO of a company that lets people own, control, and share their memories.

'True Biz' by Sara Nović

Girl at War author Sara Nović returns to store shelves this year with True Biz . Set in the halls of the River Valley School for the Deaf, this insightful novel follows two students, Charlie and Austin, who, along with their headmistress, February, find themselves embroiled in a desperate bid to protect River Valley and its way of life. This is an immersive look at the too-rarely explored world of Deaf culture.

Time Is a Mother

'Time Is a Mother' by Ocean Vuong

Six years after he published his T.S. Eliot Prize-winning collection, Night Sky with Exit Wounds , Ocean Vuong is back on the scene with an all new set of short stories. Time Is a Mother explores many of the same themes as On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous , Vuong’s recent, acclaimed novel, including the poet’s identity as a Vietnamese American.

Left on Tenth: A Second Chance at Life

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

Following the loss of her sister and husband to cancer, You’ve Got Mail screenwriter Delia Ephron wrote an op-ed that caught the attention of an old beau — a man she couldn’t remember dating, but fell in love with, nonetheless. Four months into their relationship, Ephron discovered that she, herself, had cancer. In Left on Tenth , the Siracusa author ruminates on this new phase of her life.

The Romantic Agenda

'The Romantic Agenda' by Claire Kann

From the author of Let’s Talk About Love comes this adult rom-com about two people — an asexual woman harboring a secret crush and a jilted ex-boyfriend with a chip on his shoulder — who team up to sink another couple’s ship. Naturally, they choose to do so by pretending to fall for one another, thinking it’ll make the couple jealous… and, as all romance readers well know, fake-dating hijinks will soon ensue.

The End of the World House

'End of the World House' by Adrienne Celt

One woman’s attempts to keep her best friend from moving hours away leave them both trapped in the Louvre, forced to live the same day over and over again, in this novel from The Daughters author Adrienne Celt.

Sea of Tranquility

'Sea of Tranquility' by Emily St. John Mandel

Station Eleven and The Glass Hotel author Emily St. John Mandel is back next year with Sea of Tranquility , a novel that traces three very different lives — those of an early-20th century aristocrat shunned by his peers, a lunar colonist conducting a book tour on Earth, and a detective who tracks his childhood friend to the least likely place imaginable — over the course of three eventful centuries.

The Memory Librarian: And Other Stories from Dirty Computer

'The Memory Librarian: And Other Stories from Dirty Computer' by Janelle Monáe

Set in the world of superstar Janelle Monáe’s Dirty Computer , The Memory Librarian collects Afrofuturist short stories written by Monáe and others, including acclaimed writers like Eve L. Ewing and Sheree Renée Thomas.

Fevered Star

'Fevered Star' by Rebecca Roanhorse

Rebecca Roanhorse returns in 2022 with Fevered Star , the highly anticipated follow-up to Black Sun . As a sea change brings a new force in to rule over Tova, new alliances will be forged, tested, and broken.

'The Fervor' by Alma Katsu

Historical horror master Alma Katsu’s next book looks deep into the dark heart of World War II-era America. Set in 1944, The Fervor follows Meiko and Aiko from their home in Seattle to an isolated Japanese internment camp in Idaho. There, the mother and daughter find themselves threatened, not only by racism and war, but also by a seemingly innocuous virus that swiftly turns deadly. With a potentially supernatural disease ravaging the camp, Meiko and Aiko team up with two allies to fight back. But can they put a stop to the epidemic before it’s too late?

Fight Like Hell: The Untold History of American Labor

'Fight Like Hell: The Untold History of American Labor' by Kim Kelly

In this slim volume, Teen Vogue journalist Kim Kelly recounts the history of Americans’ ongoing fight for unionization. Spanning more than 150 years of American history, Fight Like Hell is a must-read for any U.S. worker.

Book of Night

'Book of Night' by Holly Black

Holly Black’s adult debut is Book of Night , an urban fantasy set in an alternate reality where shadows can be magically manipulated to affect others’ memories and emotions. For con artist Charlie, shadow trading is a part of her past she’d just as soon forget. Fortunately, she’s beginning to make a life for herself outside of it — until a figure from her past comes back to haunt her, and her whole life is thrown into chaos.

Book Lovers

'Book Lovers' by Emily Henry

Emily Henry’s new romance novel is an enemies-to-lovers story you won’t want to miss. Libby knows what her older sister, Nora, needs to get her groove back: a girls’ trip to a sleepy North Carolina town. Away from the big city, the last person literary agent Nora expects to run into is Charlie, an editor she’s never gotten along with. Yet here Charlie is. And there. And there. And there . As the two keep running into each other over the course of their vacations, they begin to realize kismet may want a word with them.

I Kissed Shara Wheeler

'I Kissed Shara Wheeler' by Casey McQuiston

Chloe didn’t want to uproot her Southern California life to spend her high school years among the holier-than-thou students at Willowgrove Christian Academy in Alabama — that was her moms’ decision. Still, she’s determined to win valedictorian, and there’s just one person standing in her way: the principal’s very popular daughter, Shara. But when Shara disappears after kissing Chloe and two of the boys in their class, Chloe finds herself racing against the clock to solve a mystery before graduation .

'Elektra' by Jennifer Saint

Ariadne author Jennifer Saint returns to store shelves in 2022 with Elektra . Set in the midst of the Trojan War, this Greek myth re-telling centers on three women. First, there’s Clytemnestra, whose husband, King Agamemnon, goes to war with Troy when Helen — Clytemnestra’s sister and the wife of Agamemnon’s brother, Menelaus — is kidnapped by Paris. Then, there’s Paris’ sister, Cassandra, whose visions of Troy’s coming reckoning are ignored by all, thanks to Apollo’s curse. Finally, there’s Elektra herself: Clytemnestra’s youngest daughter, who is fated to witness her people’s undoing in the aftermath of the war.

Mean Baby: A Memoir of Growing Up

'Mean Baby: A Memoir of Growing Up' by Selma Blair

Selma Blair has written a haunting memoir about alcohol use disorder, attention-seeking behaviors, and life in Hollywood.

Siren Queen

'Siren Queen' by Nghi Vo

Set in an alternate version of Old Hollywood, in which studio executives and aspiring stars make magical pacts and sign them in blood, Nghi Vo’s Siren Queen centers on Luli Wei — a Chinese American actress whose refuses to portray stereotypical characters on-screen, and winds up exclusively playing monstrous villains.

This Time Tomorrow

'This Time Tomorrow' by Emma Straub

When Alice goes to bed on the night before she turns 40, she’s struck by the absence of her father: the man who raised her himself, who’s now living alone in poor health. When she wakes up, she’s 16 again. Her 49-year-old father is full of vim and vigor. But given a second chance, can Alice save their relationship?

'Either/Or' by Elif Batuman

Taking its name from a Kierkegaard work, Either/Or picks up with Selin — the protagonist of Elif Batuman’s celebrated 2017 novel, The Idiot — during her sophomore year at Harvard. She’s just returned from her trip to the Hungarian countryside, which was arranged by her crush, Ivan. Now, she’s looking for answers to the big questions, like what to do when your crush’s ex keeps trying to contact you.

You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty

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

From the author of Pet and The Death of Vivek Oji comes You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty . In their stunning romance debut, Akwaeke Emezi introduces readers to Feyi Adekola, a young woman who lost her partner five years ago. Now, with her career about to take off, Feyi’s finally ready to give in to her friend’s demands that she re-enter the dating pool. But something’s about to change in Feyi’s life, something that may make her pump the brakes on her new relationship... or give up love for good.

The Messy Lives of Book People

'The Messy Lives of Book People' by Phaedra Patrick

A bookish maid who dreams of becoming an author scores her dream job when she’s hired to clean the home of her favorite writer, Essie Starling. Everyone knows Essie is antisocial, so color Liv surprised when the two begin to build a friendship. Color Liv even more surprised when Essie dies… and tasks her with finishing her novel-in-progress. Now working in Essie’s stead, Liv begins to uncover secrets about the late author’s life, including a connection she didn’t know they shared.

Tracy Flick Can’t Win

'Tracy Flick Can't Win' by Tom Perotta

One of 2022’s most anticipated sequels is Tracy Flick Can’t Win , the long-awaited follow-up to 1998’s Election — the source material for Reese Witherspoon’s classic film. Plucky go-getter Tracy may not be a student anymore, but that doesn’t mean she’s left high school behind. Now working as an assistant principal, Tracy gets sees an opportunity to get the promotion she deserves when the school’s principal retires. But will anyone see how perfect Tracy is for the job?

For the Throne

'For the Throne' by Hannah Whitten

As the Second Daughter of the queen, Red was born to be sacrificed to the Wolf who controls the Wilderwood. In For the Wolf , Red was shocked to learn the Wolf was a man, not an animal, and was even more surprised when she found herself falling for and marrying him. Now, Red’s story continues in For the Throne , which finds her older sister, the First Daughter, lost in the magical territory belonging to their greatest enemies. She’ll have to play nicely with an unlikely ally — and face a new destiny — if she wants to save her world.

'Lapvona' by Ottessa Moshfegh

Ottessa Moshfegh’s latest follows Marek, a shepherd’s son who’s been born into an uncaring, unjust world. He lives in Lapvona: a small village lorded over by the cruel and excessive Villiam, whose wickedness is only magnified when famine spreads across his fiefdom. Villiam’s preparing to attack his own people, and Marek, his pagan wet nurse, and the village priest are about to find themselves inextricably linked to one another.

A Taste of Gold and Iron

'A Taste of Gold and Iron' by Alexandra Rowland

A fantasy romance set in an Ottoman Empire-inspired world where myths come to life, A Taste of Gold and Iron is one of the year’s most exciting new books. The novel follows the shy, anxious Prince Kadou, who agrees to investigate crimes against a local guild after he publicly embarrasses his sister, the queen, by fighting with her child’s father. Accompanied by his handsome new bodyguard, the stoic Evemer, Kadou stumbles upon a counterfeiting scandal that will rock all of Arasht, where such a crime is both felony and heresy.

Our Crooked Hearts

'Our Crooked Hearts' by Melissa Albert

Dana and Ivy have a lot in common, and not just because Dana is Ivy’s mom. Years ago, over the course of one unspeakable summer in the city, a teenaged Dana was forced to reckon with powers she didn’t not truly understand. Now, a series of strange events is about to bring 17-year-old Ivy’s suburban adolescence to a shocking end, and her mom may be the only one who truly understands what she’s up against.

'Godslayers' by Zoe Hana Mikuta

In this sequel to Gearbreakers , Eris and Sona find themselves on opposing sides of the war between Godolia and the occupied territory known as the Badlands. Now, Sona is convinced she’s always been loyal to Godolia — thanks to some brainwashing from the colonizers’ leadership — and Eris must decide how far she’ll go to save the girl she loves.

Honey & Spice

'Honey & Spice' by Bolu Babalola

If there’s one thing Kiki knows, it’s how to avoid being tied down. There are too few men out there worthy of wasting time on, at least in her opinion — which she shares with anyone who’ll listen on the Whitewell University campus. Soon, though, circumstances forced Kiki to fake-date Malakai, a guy who embodies everything wrong with the men she’s told young women to stay away from. Her reputation is at stake, but Kiki’s got another, bigger problem — she’s falling for Malakai, and hard .

The Pallbearers’ Club

'The Pallbearers' Club' by Paul Tremblay

Back in high school, Art was the very antithesis of cool. I mean, a metalhead who volunteered as a pallbearer and wore a brace to correct his scoliosis is... not exactly someone others aspire to be. Art’s only friend, Mercy, was just as much of an outcast as Art, but she was cool. Sure, she took pictures of corpses and talked a lot about digging up graves, but who really cared at the end of the day? She was his friend, and Art could use as many of those as he could get. Except now that he’s writing his memoir, Mercy’s blown back into his life, and she doesn’t remember things the way he’s written them.

A Prayer for the Crown-Shy

'A Prayer for the Crown-Shy' by Becky Chambers

Becky Chambers’ sequel to A Psalm for the Wild-Built follows Sibling Dex and Mosscap — a Tea Monk and a robot sent to commune with human society — as they visit the more urban areas of their home moon, searching for answers to the robots’ questions about humanity’s intrinsic needs.

The Man Who Could Move Clouds

'The Man Who Could Move Clouds' by Ingrid Rojas Contreras

Fruit of the Drunken Tree author Ingrid Rojas Contreras returns to stores this summer with a memoir, The Man Who Could Move Clouds . When she was 8 years old, Rojas Contreras’ mother awoke from a coma with the ability to commune with spirits. Decades later, Rojas Contreras herself sustained a head injury that led to amnesia, which blurred parts of her Colombian childhood with her fortune-telling mother and curandero grandfather. As her memories returned, Rojas Contreras was left not with supernatural talents, but with the desire to know more about her family’s legacy.

What Moves the Dead

'What Moves the Dead' by T. Kingfisher

T. Kingfisher’s new novel is an Edgar Allan Poe retelling that shouldn’t be missed. What Moves the Dead follows Alex as they rush to be by the side of their childhood friend, Madeline, who lies on her deathbed at her family’s estate. But the Usher estate is strange, and its inhabitants — which include Madeline’s brother, Roderick — are even stranger. With few allies to aid them, Alex plunges into the mystery of the House of Usher.

It Sounds Like This

'It Sounds Like This' by Anna Meriano

Anna Meriano’s It Sounds Like This centers on Yasmín, a high-school flutist whose dream of making first chair is dashed when she accidentally gets the entire low brass section in trouble. A band without a low brass section isn’t a band at all, but Yasmín has a plan to achieve her dreams. All she has to do is learn to play the tuba and whip some freshmen brass players into shape. Easy peasy, right?

Blood Like Fate

'Blood Like Fate' by Liselle Sanbury

Fans of Liselle Sambury’s Blood Like Magic pick up with Voya at her lowest point yet. She’s lost everything, including the boy she refused to kill. To make matters worse, she may have to end his life anyway. With the fate of the world at stake, Voya faces even bigger challenges in this highly anticipated sequel.

My Government Means to Kill Me

'My Government Means to Kill Me' by Rasheed Newson

This debut novel from The Chi producer Rasheed Newson follows one young, gay Black man as he forsakes the Midwest to join ACT UP in 1980s New York City.

The Dragon’s Promise

'The Dragon's Promise' by Elizabeth Lim

The sequel to Elizabeth Lim’s Six Crimson Cranes is out in Fall 2022. Although not much is known yet about this sure-to-be-a-bestseller, Lim’s 2020 novel — a retelling of “The Six Swans” fairytale — has readers excited for what’s to come.

Self-Made Boys: A Great Gatsby Remix

'Self-Made Boys: A Great Gatsby Remix' by Anna-Marie McLemore

Anna-Marie McLemore’s Great Gatsby retelling casts Nick as a young, Latino trans man who discovers that his cousin, Daisy, is now passing for white in the big city. As he’s swept up into the glitz and glamor of Daisy’s new life, Nick discovers that his mysterious and fabulously wealthy new neighbor, Jay, is also trans — and he’s carrying a torch for Daisy.

The Sunbearer Trials

'The Sunbearer Trials' by Aiden Thomas

The Sunbearer Trials is the first book in a planned duology from Cemetery Boys author Aiden Thomas. The novel follows Teo — the 17-year-old trans son of the bird goddess, Quetzal — as he unexpectedly finds himself forced to compete in a deadly challenge with nine other teenage semidioses. It’s a game where the loser is sacrificed to fuel the sun, and Teo’s up against stiff competition.

Nona the Ninth

'Nona the Ninth' by Tamsyn Muir

The third novel in Tamsyn Muir Locked Tomb quartet — formerly a trilogy — Nona the Ninth is currently slated for release next fall. Not much is known about the third Locked Tomb book at the time of this writing, and after the murder mystery of Gideon and the court intrigue of Harrow , what comes next is anyone’s guess.

Lark & Kasim Start a Revolution

'Lark & Kasim Start a Revolution' by Kacen Callender

Kacen Callender’s new YA novel centers on Lark, a 17-year-old writer who decides that they need to amass 50,000 Twitter followers in order to land a book deal. When their ex-best friend, Kasim, tweets out a missive on unrequited love from Lark’s account, Lark covers for him and takes responsibility for writing the post. Now, everyone thinks Lark was tweeting about their own crush, Eli. Everyone, that is, except those who know the truth: Kasim wrote the tweets… and he was writing about Lark.

Station Eternity

'Station Eternity' by Mur Lafferty

Mallory has a knack for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. You see, people die around her constantly . And the minute someone finds out this isn’t your first time being at a murder scene? Well, you become Suspect No. 1. To get away from the carnage that inexplicably follows her, Mallory moves as far away from human society as she can get: outer space. Living on a sentient space station turns out to be just what she needed… until the other humans begin to arrive.

Strike the Zither

'Strike the Zither' by Joan He

Another retelling, Joan He’s 2022 novel Strike the Zither takes on the legendary Romance of the Three Kingdoms . Here, two women — a warlordess and her chief strategist — face insurmountable odds to win a war on two fronts and do battle against the powers of Fate itself.

Tread of Angels

'Tread of Angels' by Rebecca Roanhorse

The Fallen — descendants of the angels who fought God and paid the price — would have been wiped out long ago, were it not for their unique ability to find a resource necessary to live life as they know it. Even still, the Fallen remain at the tail end of the pecking order — though some, like Celeste, manage to live a comfortable life. When her estranged sister Mariel is accused of murdering an Archangel, however, Celeste will risk everything to save her, even if it means becoming embroiled in the trial of the century.

This article was originally published on Dec. 14, 2021

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Penguin Random House

The Must-Read Books of 2022

Discover the books people can’t stop talking about from mysteries and thrillers, to love stories and cookbooks, these are the best books of the year..

Our Missing Hearts Book Cover Picture

Our Missing Hearts

By celeste ng, paperback $18.00, buy from other retailers:.

The Violin Conspiracy Book Cover Picture

The Violin Conspiracy

By brendan slocumb, paperback $17.00.

All My Rage Book Cover Picture

All My Rage

By sabaa tahir, paperback $12.99.

Carrie Soto Is Back Book Cover Picture

Carrie Soto Is Back

By taylor jenkins reid.

Solito Book Cover Picture

by Javier Zamora

The Book of Form and Emptiness Book Cover Picture

The Book of Form and Emptiness

By ruth ozeki.

Sparring Partners Book Cover Picture

Sparring Partners

By john grisham.

Jennifer Chan Is Not Alone Book Cover Picture

Jennifer Chan Is Not Alone

By tae keller, paperback $8.99.

True Biz Book Cover Picture

by Sara Novic

The Light We Carry Book Cover Picture

The Light We Carry

By michelle obama, hardcover $32.50.

A Scatter of Light Book Cover Picture

A Scatter of Light

By malinda lo.

The Maid Book Cover Picture

by Nita Prose

The Myth of Normal Book Cover Picture

The Myth of Normal

By gabor maté, md, hardcover $30.00.

Family of Liars Book Cover Picture

Family of Liars

By e. lockhart.

The Marriage Portrait Book Cover Picture

The Marriage Portrait

By maggie o'farrell.

Nightcrawling Book Cover Picture

Nightcrawling

By leila mottley.

I Must Betray You Book Cover Picture

I Must Betray You

By ruta sepetys.

Marriage Be Hard Book Cover Picture

Marriage Be Hard

By kevin fredericks and melissa fredericks, hardcover $26.00.

Sea of Tranquility Book Cover Picture

Sea of Tranquility

By emily st. john mandel.

One Step Too Far Book Cover Picture

One Step Too Far

By lisa gardner.

Black Cake (TV Tie-in Edition) Book Cover Picture

Black Cake (TV Tie-in Edition)

By charmaine wilkerson.

Book Lovers Book Cover Picture

Book Lovers

By emily henry, hardcover $27.00.

Mercury Pictures Presents Book Cover Picture

Mercury Pictures Presents

By anthony marra.

Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow Book Cover Picture

Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow

By gabrielle zevin, hardcover $28.00.

Lapvona Book Cover Picture

by Ottessa Moshfegh

The Old Place Book Cover Picture

The Old Place

By bobby finger.

Woman of Light Book Cover Picture

Woman of Light

By kali fajardo-anstine.

Paradise Falls Book Cover Picture

Paradise Falls

By keith o'brien.

Nothing More to Tell Book Cover Picture

Nothing More to Tell

By karen m. mcmanus, hardcover $19.99.

Mean Baby Book Cover Picture

by Selma Blair

Time Is a Mother Book Cover Picture

Time Is a Mother

By ocean vuong.

Mad Honey Book Cover Picture

by Jodi Picoult and Jennifer Finney Boylan

Scenes from My Life Book Cover Picture

Scenes from My Life

By michael k. williams and jon sternfeld.

We Refuse to Forget Book Cover Picture

We Refuse to Forget

By caleb gayle.

Love on the Brain Book Cover Picture

Love on the Brain

By ali hazelwood.

Lessons in Chemistry Book Cover Picture

Lessons in Chemistry

By bonnie garmus, hardcover $29.00.

The Verifiers Book Cover Picture

The Verifiers

By jane pek.

From Strength to Strength Book Cover Picture

From Strength to Strength

By arthur c. brooks.

The Palace Papers Book Cover Picture

The Palace Papers

By tina brown, paperback $20.00.

To Paradise Book Cover Picture

To Paradise

By hanya yanagihara.

Trust (Pulitzer Prize Winner) Book Cover Picture

Trust (Pulitzer Prize Winner)

By hernan diaz.

Five Survive Book Cover Picture

Five Survive

By holly jackson, paperback $14.99, preorder from:.

What Happened to the Bennetts Book Cover Picture

What Happened to the Bennetts

By lisa scottoline.

Shine Bright Book Cover Picture

Shine Bright

By danyel smith.

Companion Piece Book Cover Picture

Companion Piece

By ali smith.

This Time Tomorrow Book Cover Picture

This Time Tomorrow

By emma straub.

The Love of My Life Book Cover Picture

The Love of My Life

By rosie walsh.

Bittersweet (Oprah's Book Club) Book Cover Picture

Bittersweet (Oprah’s Book Club)

By susan cain.

Vigil Harbor Book Cover Picture

Vigil Harbor

By julia glass.

Prisoners of the Castle Book Cover Picture

Prisoners of the Castle

By ben macintyre.

The Dragon's Promise Book Cover Picture

The Dragon’s Promise

By elizabeth lim.

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Bonnie Garmus, Rosie Andrews, Ayanna Lloyd Banwo, Daniel Wiles, Emilie Pine, Lauren John Joseph, Louise Kennedy, Jo Browning Wroe, Moses McKenzie, Sheena Patel. Photographs by Antonio Olmos and Patrick Bolger for the Observer.

Introducing our 10 best debut novelists of 2022

We talk to the authors of the most exciting first-time novels of the year, exploring everything from the English civil war to Instagram, TV chefs to knife crime

T his is the ninth year in which the Observer ’s writers and editors spent the busy weeks before Christmas with our heads down in dozens of forthcoming debut novels, written by authors who live in the UK and Ireland, in order to give you a heads-up on 2022’s 10 best. The result, we think, always merits attention. We told you how good Douglas Stuart was, long before he won the Booker for Shuggie Bain ; ditto Caleb Azumah Nelson, winner of this year’s Costa first novel prize. We told you about Gail Honeyman before Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine sold millions of copies around the world; we even told you about Sally Rooney before she became Sally Rooney. We’re as excited as ever about this year’s selection. The class of 2022 reminds us that the novel is a form without limits or rules. From a hard-hitting depiction of the aftermath of knife crime to the comic travails of a reluctant TV chef; from historical novels set during the Industrial Revolution and the English civil war to an Instagram stalker’s splenetic monologue; from stories set over a single day, a year or a century; from works of lapel-grabbing sexual candour to otherworldly tales of a supernatural tint, there’s a novel here to thrill everyone.

Happy reading. Anthony Cummins

Sheena Patel

I’m a Fan (Rough Trade Books, 5 May)

I like novels where attraction isn’t just sex: it can be domination, obliteration

Sheena Patel

“I didn’t want to completely break you. I hope it’s funny as well,” says Sheena Patel, of her first novel, I’m a Fan , a twisted romance blazing with angry verve. Its unnamed narrator, a vengeful young Londoner of Gujarati heritage, is seething about “the man I want to be with” – an older artist stringing her along with multiple other lovers, not least “the woman I’m obsessed with”, a white American whose online presence the narrator avidly hate-scrolls. Luring us into its ugliest depths with killer comic timing, the fractured narrative unfolds as a series of vitriolic salvos on sex, race and the internet. “The only stories we’re allowed to tell are like, oh, this poor bitch, this man is being horrible to her,” Patel explains. “I wanted my narrator to be bad. She became this monster. I couldn’t talk to anyone about it while I was writing because I had to stay in this space of what I’d say if I had no filter. I was like, what would you do if you were completely unbridled and didn’t sign up to the contract of being a good person? And it was such a hungry voice: I want, I want, I want.” Patel, 34, who lives in London, set up the poetry collective 4 Brown Girls Who Write in 2017 after she realised three of her friends were, like her, writing poetry without telling anyone. Nina Hervé, the publisher of Rough Trade Books, put out their pamphlet in 2020 after Patel had contacted her on Instagram asking her to watch them perform. Encouraged by Hervé to write her own book, Patel switched to prose but didn’t want a “novelistic” narrative, borrowing the story’s jump-cut structure from her work as an assistant director in film and television. Another important influence was the book Shame Space , by the American artist Martine Syms. “She says something like: ‘I’m sick of white people.’ I was like, I can’t believe you wrote that down. I wanted my book to pull apart whiteness but not in a way that was, you know, ‘how to be a good ally’. It was more like, I would like to fuck you up actually and not guide you through this.” Is the internet dehumanising us? It’s amazing and terrible. I’m interested in how it changes us. We’re so reptilian. You could just look me up and know everything about me but you’re sitting there pretending that you don’t know anything about me. We all do it, but we don’t talk about it. I’m fascinated by what that distortion does to your brain, when you know too much and have to pretend you don’t. What did you read growing up? My parents were typically Indian in that education was the thing that mattered most, but we never had books in the house. As a teenager I found Jun’ichirō Tanizaki’s novel The Key in a charity shop and I really liked how dark it was. It’s about a couple where the woman’s writing a diary and knows her husband’s reading it. It seems like she’s being vulnerable but she isn’t really. I like novels about the violence between men and women, or between women and women, where attraction isn’t just sex: it can be domination, obliteration. Why is that a theme in fiction now, do you think? We’re in a patriarchy. It’s not a now thing; Jean Rhys was writing all this stuff. The novel mirrors the violence in the world, but I wanted the narrator to be complicit. She thinks she’s of more value because she’s younger and can have children; these systems she’s screaming about have got her own behaviour trapped as well. I decided early on that I wanted absolutely no redemption. AC

Ayanna Lloyd Banwo

When We Were Birds (Hamish Hamilton, 10 February)

I believe in ghosts like some people believe in God

Ayanna Lloyd Banwo

Ayanna Lloyd Banwo, 41, emerged from the University of East Anglia’s MA in creative writing with a manuscript for When We Were Birds , her masterly debut novel. It announces an important new voice in fiction, at once grounded and mythic in its scope and carried by an incantatory prose style that recalls Arundhati Roy’s hugely impactful debut, The God of Small Things (1997), which Lloyd Banwo cites as a major influence. Born and raised in Port of Spain, Trinidad, she also sees her work within a tradition of female Caribbean writers including Olive Senior, Jamaica Kincaid and Lorna Goodison, but says the biggest influence on her writing was the oral storytelling of women in her own household: “My grandmother told stories like it was breath.” Following the deaths of her mother, her father and her grandmother in Trinidad, Lloyd Banwo moved to the UK five years ago and lives in Battersea, south London. Her writing draws on grief, but Lloyd Banwo’s literary gift lies in her capacity to transfigure that emotion – to conjure a cosmic landscape where the living coexist among the dead. When We Were Birds is both a love story and a ghost story – the tale of a down-on-his-luck gravedigger and a woman descended from corbeau, the black birds that fly east at sunset, taking with them the souls of the dead.

How long have you been writing? For a long time. As a child growing up. But it was only around 2013, 2014 that I started to think: is this a thing I could actually do?

What was th e turning point for you? Bocas lit fest, 100%. It’s a literary festival in Trinidad-Tobago that happens every year. It’s run by Nicholas Laughlin and Marina Salandy-Brown and a small but very dedicated team. Just seeing writers up close and hearing them talk about how they wrote and what their process was and how they got published… That was a really big deal.

How was your experience of the MA at UEA? It was the best year I had had in a long time – the first time I was able to just write.

Do you believe in ghosts? Yeah, I do. I think if I actually saw ghosts I’d be very frightened but I believe in ghosts like some people believe in God, purely on faith, not on evidence. We have to go somewhere and it just makes sense to me that some people are ready to leave – they’ve made their peace – but that [other] people don’t know how to.

Are you working on your second novel? Yes. It’s set in the same world as When We Were Birds and I’m delving down more explicitly into the idea of inheritance and houses. Houses as capital, houses as domestic space, memory space, dream space. The novel looks at a house that has been passed down through five generations of women, and the protagonist has returned home to inherit this house. She’s going to sell it off because her life is not in Trinidad any more and then finds that she can’t for various mysterious, supernatural reasons. It tracks a relationship with a house that doesn’t want to be parted from her. Ashish Ghadiali

Emilie Pine

Ruth & Pen (Hamish Hamilton, 5 May)

Fiction is hard… at least with my own life I knew the plot

Emilie Pine

On 7 December 2019, the academic and essayist Emilie Pine stepped out of her workplace and into the streets of Dublin where a climate crisis protest – one of many around the world – was in full swing. “I was on my lunch break, and there were marchers, speeches and so many young people who were really passionate about it all, and I thought: this , this is the day that it needs to be set on.”

“It” is her debut novel, Ruth & Pen , a tale of two women set over the course of a single day. Ruth is a therapist floored by her failure to have a child after IVF. Pen is a neurodivergent 16-year-old, negotiating a first date as well as the protest. Pine is a professor of modern drama at University College Dublin and the author of a celebrated collection of personal essays called Notes to Self . Her novel is urgent and uplifting; these women are unknown to each other but united in an insistence that they will be themselves, in grief and love, whatever the outcome.

How did you arrive at the women? I started with Ruth. I always had her; I’d had her in my mind as a character for years and I had [the book taking place] over a much larger span of time, and then the more I thought about it, the more I thought so many decisions come down to one day and those moments that look like ordinary moments. And then I thought, I need another character and I want a teenager. I wanted that idea of different points in our lives.

Where did Pen come from? I had the first line of Pen, which is two girls kissing on Instagram, in my head, and that was it, she just went from there. I suppose some of Pen’s characteristics are mine, from when I was a very bookish teenager. I wasn’t very good with people, and was very serious and very political. Pen is in many ways a typical 16-year-old. She is really curious and eager to join the world, and yet brings her own insecurities with her. What I think about neurodiversity is that it shines a spotlight on everybody’s neurodiversity, and some people just have some characteristics that put them within the autism bracket. What Pen shows are the problems with adhering to norms. The journey that Pen goes on in the novel feels to me like one where she inhabits the idea that – as her therapist says to her – neurodiversity is a strength.

You wrote about your own experience of infertility in Notes to Self . Did you draw on that for Ruth? I worried a lot about this, and there were points writing Ruth’s story when I thought: I can’t do this, I can’t go back there, I can’t rehearse the emotions all over again, it’s too hard. And then I thought, the reason I chose [what happens to] Ruth was as a way of not writing my story. It may sound contradictory but it was a way for me to imagine a different trajectory through that experience of trying and not being able to have children, and also to kind of come out the other side.

Which did you find easier to do – the novel or your essays? It’s so much harder to write fiction! Because at least with my own life I knew the plot.

You write in longhand. Yes, in exercise books. One of the reasons for that is because the pages are quite small so I feel like I’m making progress. But also, I can’t read back; I don’t read back what I’m writing. If I write on screen I instantly start editing.

What do you do when you’re not working? I go to the theatre all the time. Theatre is the highest art form. Ursula Kenny

Daniel Wiles

Mercia’s Take (Swift Press, 2 February)

Finding the screenplay for Pulp Fiction was huge: I’d no idea you could do that in writing

Daniel Wiles

Hilary Mantel is among the early admirers of Daniel Wiles’s feverishly compulsive first novel, Mercia’s Take , which takes place during the Industrial Revolution and centres on Michael, an exhausted Black Country miner desperate to spare his young son from having to follow him into the pit. Narrated with spectacular economy, in a thudding, rhythmic staccato studded with local vernacular, the book deftly folds themes of pride, masculinity and ecological ruin into its central story: the visceral vengeance quest that ensues after a fellow miner makes off with Michael’s life-changing haul of gold.

Wiles, who lives in his home town of Walsall, wrote it during a master’s degree at the University of East Anglia, funded by a Booker Prize Foundation scholarship, which pays all costs and is awarded to one writing student a year. “I wouldn’t have been able to do the course otherwise, so it was lucky,” he says. He applied after an undergraduate writing course at Wolverhampton, where he tried to write American crime screenplays under the lingering spell of the Quentin Tarantino movies he first watched with his older brothers. “It wasn’t until the last year of that degree that I thought: I’ve got this huge breadth of material right here. I started to become more proud of the area and its history, and the way people talk.” Having dug into the archives of his local library, Wiles honed his manuscript under lockdown while living in Norwich near the UEA campus. But a classmate told him it wasn’t long enough to be a novel, and agents agreed. One night he decided to email the book straight to Mark Richards, the publisher of Swift Press , without a pitch or synopsis; Richards rang the next morning with an offer. Wiles says his family didn’t believe him when he said he was publishing a novel. “They were like: ‘You can’t do that. How much do you have to pay to get the books printed?’ But by the time there was a preorder link, they really got onboard with it.”

What led you to mining as a subject? I was drawn to the idea of the Earth as a living thing that’s being sort of killed. Mining gave so much to the country and the world in that period of time; now we’re seeing the lasting effects. Definitely the main thing that people will take away from this novel is that it’s a revenge story about a father trying to look after his son and make a better future for him. I don’t think many people will pick up on the book as a commentary on global warming but that was strongly in my mind when I was writing. What did you read growing up? I never really grew up interested in books. Finding the screenplay for Pulp Fiction was huge: I’d no idea you could do that in writing. Later I was blown away by The Friends of Eddie Coyle by George V Higgins. The whole novel was in this Boston dialect, moving the narrative in the most economic way; looking back, it definitely had an effect. What are you writing now? I’ve been working on another novel, set just after the Romans left Britain. If somebody said to me, write about anything in the modern day or in your own fantasy world, I’d be like, OK, where are my constraints? Finding out how I can say something about today with this alien past world is just something that attracts me. AC

Bonnie Garmus

Lessons in Chemistry (Doubleday, 5 April)

I can’t be one of those writers who goes to a coffee shop, because I read everything out loud

Bonnie Garmus

An American in London, Bonnie Garmus had an itinerant childhood as the daughter of an entomologist whose work took the family to places including Colombia, the Everglades and, for just one week before war broke out, Pakistan.

Her humorous novel Lessons in Chemistry is set in California in the early 1960s and centres on one-of-a-kind heroine Elizabeth Zott – chemist, single mum, and reluctant star of a TV cooking show called Supper at Six – and her mission to challenge the status quo. An ex-copywriter, Garmus landed herself a top-tier agent even before she’d finished a draft; the book would take six years to complete, and has since been optioned by Apple TV+, with Brie Larson attached to star.

Despite having announced she was going to be a novelist when she was just five, Garmus makes her debut aged 64, and is thrilled to be proof that it’s never too late. To aspiring authors of any age, her advice is simple: “Never, ever, ever give up. You cannot quit – that’s the death of it, right there.”

How did the novel come about? Honestly, the whole book came from a bad mood. I’d been in an all-men meeting and felt a lot of garden-variety dismissiveness. Elizabeth Zott was a minor character in another book I’d shelved years earlier, and as soon as I got home, I heard her. I felt like she was sitting across from me, saying: “Me, I have a story to tell you, and it’s much worse than what you’re experiencing.” I wrote the first chapter instead of doing my work.

How would you sum the book up in a sentence? I would say Elizabeth Zott is a rational person who exists in an irrational society – that’s why she doesn’t fit in, that’s what makes her so interesting, and that’s why we need her more than ever, because our society has become more and more irrational.

What’s the secret to comic writing? It’s really hard but keep slimming it down. It’s all in the timing of the sentence and it has to be brief and quick to work.

When and where do you write? Early in the morning. A lot of the time, I wake up because a character is saying something. We live in a fairly small flat and I usually sit at our dining room table – I can’t be one of those writers who goes to a coffee shop, because I read everything out loud. My husband sits three feet away and has to wear noise-cancelling headphones. I don’t write every day but I work every day, just thinking, thinking, thinking. If I write from an outline it’s like having a to-do list – the creativity goes away, the characters will not talk to me.

What’s the worst thing about being a writer? The worst thing is when nothing comes. It’s so defeating and so discouraging. You just have to allow yourself to hear your characters – don’t decide what they’re going to say beforehand, let them tell you what happened to them.

And the best? I love having my characters teach me things about me that I didn’t even know.

Name a favourite debut novel. I have two: Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh, which I read as a kid, and The Secret History by Donna Tartt, which I still revisit because I love it so much. Hephzibah Anderson

Moses McKenzie

An Olive Grove in Ends (Wildfire, 28 April)

A lot of my bredrin have come up to me and said: ‘Your book will be the first book I ever read’

Moses McKenzie

Moses McKenzie, 23, never thought of writing a novel until he had to read Cormac McCarthy at university. He smiles to recall his “completely misplaced arrogance”. “I’ve generally got a lot of opinions, and if I’m not liking what I’m reading… I wasn’t feeling it. I was just thinking, I’m better than this; if my man can do it, I can do it! So I went home to write a book.” He shakes his head at the memory of the result. “It was horrible, convoluted, all over the place.” But he realised that he had enjoyed the process and soon wrote two further manuscripts before landing an agent and a two-book deal with An Olive Grove in Ends , drafted in three months in 2019, the year he graduated. Set among a richly drawn cast in a Jamaican-Somali community in Bristol, it follows the turbulent, often painful childhood and teens of Sayon, a drug dealer trying to keep his crimes secret from the pastor’s daughter he’s in love with. His engrossing first-person narrative, lyrical and slangy by turns, is the vehicle for a tough yet tender story of faith and friendship, as well as money, knife crime and the failings of the British education system. McKenzie calls it an ode to Easton, the Bristol neighbourhood he grew up in after his father emigrated from Jamaica. Lately the area has witnessed rapid gentrification. “I’ve never seen anything happen so brutally,” he says. “Growing up, it was just a bubble of blackness. This is where I first felt safe, this is where I first felt happy, this is where I made the majority of my connections in my life.”

His second book, which he’s writing now, will also be set in Bristol, this time during the St Pauls riot of 1980. “But after that I won’t write about Bristol in a novel again. I don’t want to be ‘a Bristol writer’. I intend to write until I die.” How did the novel’s voice come about? Very naturally. Everyone’s talking how I talk or how the person next to me talks. If I’m writing for myself, people similar to me will understand. Whoever else can tap into it is an extra blessing. Was it uncomfortable to write about an antihero? Not at all. If someone like Sayon sees violence everywhere he looks, perpetrating it is normal. Rather than punishing someone, it makes more sense to rehabilitate them. For most of the story the police are absent: the book isn’t about the punishment other humans can give, it’s about whether God will punish us. In self-governed places, there are often no consequences. I’ve seen people do crazy things and get away with it. It won’t make the news, it won’t make any noise whatsoever. Did you worry about how to portray your area? Creators have a responsibility to be accurate, especially when you’re black, but you can’t tell every single story in one story. The Somali community is a community I have a lot of friends in and that I’ve grown up around, but I have to be careful writing about it because I’m on the outside. With the Jamaican community I can speak more freely. How have your friends responded to the book? It makes me happy that a lot of my bredrin have come up to me and said: “Your book will be the first book I ever read.” For a lot of them I think it will be. That goes back to the education system teaching black boys differently to how they teach others, not taking an interest, policing us, setting incredibly low expectations. What was the last novel you read? One Hundred Years of Solitude . I’m researching my third novel at the moment. I really like magical realism so I had to go to the source. AC

Jo Browning Wroe

A Terrible Kindness (Faber, 16 January)

With writing, you have to know the smells, the sounds

Jo Browning Wroe

When she was a child, Jo Browning Wroe and her family went to live in a crematorium in Birmingham where her father had got a job as superintendent. Growing up, she was aware that her home was unusual, but there were advantages; the grounds were beautiful, and after 6pm she and her sister had them to themselves. She also developed an early understanding of what happens when someone dies. She knew not to be seen playing when hearses were on the move, to avoid treading on the ashes from the cremators, and she appreciated the seriousness with which the undertakers took their roles, the quiet commitment. It was this dignity of labour that she wanted to honour in her highly accomplished and affecting debut, A Terrible Kindness . The novel is set in the world of embalming, and draws on the experience of embalmers sent to Aberfan in the aftermath of the 1966 landslide, when coal slurry buried a school , claiming 144 victims, most of whom were children.

Wroe lives in Cambridge and worked in publishing before taking an MA in creative writing at UEA in 2000. Since then she has been teaching, editing and “learning my craft… It’s just taken this long, it really has, and I’ve loved the process.”

Did writing about Aberfan feel a somewhat daunting responsibility? I was very aware that it was a responsibility with every sentence I wrote, but the book is about somebody who goes to help there and then leaves, it’s not trying to inhabit the experience of somebody from Aberfan. It all started when I came across an article about the embalmers’ contribution there. I was incredibly moved, and my background just made me absolutely lean into this story and think: Oh my goodness.

Did you learn a lot about embalming? I did. I got to know a local embalmer, a delightful chap who loved talking about it, about all the funny things, the difficult things, and I said to him: “Can I actually come and watch?” I knew I had to because of that thing about writing; you have to know the smells, the sounds. I’m a bit of a fainter so they put a great big leather armchair in the room so that I could just go over and fall into it if needs be. It was fine. I didn’t faint, I found it very moving; the tenderness and kindness.

WG Sebald was your tutor at UEA . What did you learn from him? It was the term that he died , so it was all quite dramatic and sad. He was very dry and droll, very likable but sort of Eeyore-ish, and he said on the very first session – : you should think carefully about doing this writing business because you’re miserable if you’re writing, and you’re even more miserable if you’re not.

You don’t sound very miserable. No, I’m not! I’m definitely a different personality type, but the most helpful thing he taught us was when he asked us all to bring in our favourite passage from literature, so we all brought in what we thought were these gleaming, shining lines, and I brought in Michael Cunningham’s The Hours . And basically he encouraged everyone else to rip into it. And for every piece there was somebody in the room who would say “I can’t stand it, it’s overdone”, it’s too this, it’s too that. And his simple point was that you’re never going to get a piece that everybody likes.

A lot of people seem to like your book… The past few days have been exciting. Simon Mayo said: “I’m going to call this early – book of the year 2022”, which was nice. It’s also going to be adapted for TV but I’m not allowed to talk about that. UK

Louise Kennedy

Trespasses (Bloomsbury, 14 April)

I thought, maybe I don’t have 25 years to arse around and write a novel

Louise Kennedy

Set in Northern Ireland in 1975, Trespasses , by Louise Kennedy, is the story of Cushla, a young Catholic primary school teacher who gets in over her head trying to help Davy, a working-class pupil whose father is a victim of sectarian violence. She’s also caring for her mother, helping run the family pub and, most urgently, falling for a married barrister twice her age.

It’s a layered, involving story, told with artfully quiet symbolism and remarkable narrative control as it stages a creeping clash between Cushla’s roles as a daughter, lover and teacher at a time of political tumult. “I think we all have all sorts of lives that we’re living at the same time,” says Kennedy, 54. She was diagnosed with melanoma shortly after starting the book in March 2019. “I had fairly horrible surgery and was off work for about three months. I thought, maybe I don’t have 25 years to arse around and write a novel.” It took nine drafts. “I had to push myself every single day even though I just wanted to bowk all over the laptop.” Her agent sought Kennedy out in 2018 after reading a story published in a Belfast literary magazine. In Silhouette went on to be shortlisted for the Sunday Times short story award and became part of her 2021 collection, The End of the World Is a Cul de Sac , sold to Bloomsbury together with Trespasses after a nine-way auction. Kennedy lives in Sligo and has two children. Previously she had worked for nearly 30 years as a chef, only starting to write in 2014 after a friend persuaded her to tag along to a workshop. “The first meeting was mortifying,” says Kennedy. “The others had been writing since school. I said: ‘Oh, I’m only here because she made me come.’ I agreed to try and write something. I hadn’t a clue what I was doing, but by the end of the first paragraph I just thought: I don’t want to get out of this seat.” Where did Trespasses come from? My family had a bar in the north in a place similar to the one in the novel. I wasn’t taught by anybody like Cushla but I could’ve been one of Davy’s classmates. The novel maybe isn’t a view of the north people see often. These [Cushla’s family] are middle-class Catholics: they’re not being pulled out of their beds by soldiers every night. They’re trying to find a way to keep their heads down in an area where they’re in the minority, but at the same time they’re aspirational. There absolutely are snobberies within those Catholic communities; it’s not “we’re all downtrodden together”. Had you always wanted to write? No! I was roaring in a kitchen every Saturday night, prodding steaks and this sort of carry-on. Before I had kids I was probably out every night after work. That’s what chefs do. Then I’d get up and lie in bed and read for a few hours. I worked in a big bookshop in Dublin part-time for a couple of years in the early 90s and that was probably good for my reading. I read all of Ellen Gilchrist, I liked her. I liked Isabel Allende’s stories. I read Raymond Carver as well. What was the value of working in a writer s’ group? As the weeks passed, nobody missed a deadline, nobody added in anything that was shit; you didn’t want to be the one to do it. That said, pretty quickly all of us were writing about the same things and nobody realised. There were several stories about drowning, and we were thinking, OK… There was this weird stuff going on around trees as well, so that had to stop. You need to pull back and work on your own, but for the first while it was amazing. AC

Lauren John Joseph

At Certain Points We Touch (Bloomsbury, 3 March)

It was like being possessed and it was incredibly cathartic. I cried the entire time

Lauren John Joseph

Ahead of the publication of At Certain Points We Touch , Lauren John Joseph, 39, has been hailed by one critic as “a shocking new talent” and their book as “a stone-cold masterpiece”. A lot to live up to, but Joseph seems ready to take it in their stride having had two years to anticipate this moment since the manuscript was picked up by Bloomsbury. Born in Liverpool and hailing from “a background of striking dock workers and long-term unemployed”, Joseph was the eldest of eight children and became the first in their family to go to university (reading American Studies at King’s College London and Berkeley). At Certain Points We Touch moves between backdrops of contemporary queer London, San Francisco and New York and draws on the tragic autobiographical material of a friend and lover’s premature death to deliver a moving portrait of youth, friendship and first love.

Who are your literary influences? One of the big influences on this book is Edmund White’s Nocturnes for the King of Naples , which is written with the same narrative framing. Also, Olivia Laing’s Crudo , which was liberating, and Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon . I love how that book moves between violence and tenderness and how she modulates between a real world and a magical world so effortlessly.

Your novel comes out of incredibly personal material . Was that hard? I felt compelled to write it. I didn’t want to write it. I thought: leave this in the past, this is too dark, too heavy. It will destroy you. [But] I couldn’t not. It was like being possessed and it was incredibly cathartic. I cried the entire time. I was crying as I wrote it, as I edited it, but I’ve come out the other side now with a better understanding and it’s been a healing process.

What have you learn ed about healing? That you have to circulate your feelings.

How did you first get into writing? I remember being on the estate when I was maybe six, seven, eight and I had a neighbour called Winnie, who would buy me exercise books to write stories in. Also, my mother just read all the time – she never watched television [and so] I didn’t watch television myself until I went to college. I read whatever she was reading. Shakespeare and Tolkien and Terry Pratchett.

Tell me more about your process. Are you disciplined or haphazard? Very disciplined. I have to be completely isolated to write. For At Certain Points We Touch , I went away to any place that would have me. I spent time in Norway, Costa Rica, Mexico. I would go for a month at a time, write and do nothing else – just leave the house once a day to find something to eat, find a Coke and then get back to it. Three months of travelling and solitude.

So novel-writing for you is not part of everyday life? I’m constantly writing, but the actual construction of the sentences, I’m not doing that every day. I’m kind of fascinated by someone like Donna Tartt, who says she can just do it on the bus. I can’t do that. With the actual construction of the sentences, I almost don’t feel like I’m writing at all – I feel like I’m a body and my hands are moving over the keyboard. It’s really a trip. AG

Rosie Andrews

The Leviathan (Bloomsbury, 17 February)

Political sovereignty was a question in the 17th century… and it still hasn’t been resolved

Rosie Andrews

Rosie Andrews, 38, is a secondary school English teacher, based in Hertfordshire, who started writing in earnest in 2018 and was immediately shortlisted in the HG Wells short story competition. She then signed up to a 12-month fiction writing course with Cambridge Writers, out of which came the idea for The Leviathan , written over nine or 10 months and then picked up by Bloomsbury’s Raven Books, which will publish the novel next month. “I don’t mean to make it sound easy,” Andrews says, describing a process that has been as methodical and attentive to historical detail as it has been carried on favourable winds. The end result is a supernatural mystery spanning the age of enlightenment and combining big ideas with an insistent narrative drive.

You’ve split the story between 1643, the year of a significant turning point in the English civil war, and 1703. Why? I find the civil war interesting in terms of the landscape of belief that started to transform [society], particularly in Britain. People fundamentally believing in religious principles and believing in the idea of the supernatural started to think in a more rational way. But that transition was so chaotic and so turbulent. One of the events that happens in the 1703 narrative is a great storm, which was a real event that people thought happened as a punishment – to punish them for moving away from God. I thought that was interesting and that it framed the story quite nicely.

Is there a contemporary resonance for you , or do we just immerse ourselves in the past ? I love the past for its own sake, but we’re also living through some of the most chaotic political and social times we might remember, and you can’t help but think about those resonances. One of the things they were thinking about in the 17th century was this question of political sovereignty – who gets to rule whom, and on what basis, and how far do people get to decide their own destiny versus putting it into the hands of a monarchical or democratic structure. If you look at events like Brexit, the coming to power of Trump, the pandemic and the question of individual rights versus our responsibilities to wider society, it’s clear that these questions from the 17th century haven’t been resolved.

Where did the impulse to start writing come from? I was a full-time teacher for a while. Then I had my daughter and when I went back to work I went back full-time. Having my daughter led me to question what I really enjoyed, where I really wanted to spend the limited amount of free time that you have when you have a child, and I’d started to get more interested, because I was teaching it, in how a story works, what makes it work, and I started to think, well could I try that… That’s where that came from. An idea of limited time.

Which writers have most influenced you? My absolute favourite​s​ are Tolkien and Orwell. Tolkien was an early love. It’s the escapism that really attracted me [as a teenager]. With Orwell, on the other hand, it’s his lucidity. What he wanted to convey is exactly what comes across in his writing – there’s no ambiguity. Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre was an important book for me​ as well​. That was my first experience in fiction of what I’d call psychological realism – the feeling of being inside the character’s head. Not all writers can do it. And I love CS Lewis. I love the magic. AG

  • The Observer

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books and author of 2022

The Award-Winning Novels of 2022

The books that took home this year's biggest literary prizes.

Awards ceremonies are back, baby.

Yes, for the first time since 2019, your favorite writers actually got to dress up and attend a fancy party or two this year. From the Pulitzer to the Booker, the Nebula to the Edgar, here are the winners of the biggest book prizes of 2022.

Congratulations to all!

PULITZER PRIZE FOR FICTION

Awarded for distinguished fiction published in book form during the year by an American author, preferably dealing with American life.

Prize money: $15,000

The Netanyahus: An Account of a Minor and Ultimately Even Negligible Episode in the History of a Very Famous Family by Joshua Cohen (New York Review of Books)

“Cohen has performed a literary miracle of sorts, transforming the shadowy, dour figure of Benzion Netanyahu into the protagonist of an uproariously funny book. In its skewering of the small-mindedness of academic culture, The Netanyahus conjures up the hilarity of David Lodge, and in its piercing gaze and over-the-top, transgressive moves, it evokes the late Philip Roth, who ripped open the soul of the American Jewish parvenu—and that figure’s grinding quest for respectability—like no one else …

It is striking how much Cohen gets right about Netanyahu’s scholarship, the historiographical traditions against which he pushed, and the milieux in which he was formed, particularly the distinctive academic culture of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem … Cohen’s narrator captures something essential about the actual Netanyahu … Cohen lays out the twists and consequences of Netanyahu’s argument with exceptional acuity. But he is equally exceptional in tacking back to the comic.”

–David N. Myers ( The Los Angeles Review of Books )

Finalists: Francisco Goldman, Monkey Boy (Grove) · Gayl Jones, Palmares (Beacon)

* NATIONAL BOOK AWARD

Recognizes an outstanding work of literary fiction by a United States citizen.

Prize money: $10,000

The Rabbit Hutch by Tess Gunty (Knopf)

“The aspect of unreality—albeit carefully constructed unreality—is central to Ms. Gunty’s presentation of American malaise, which occupies an unstable realm between portraiture and allegory. It is never altogether clear whether her characters are in the grip of some transformative religious awakening or simply suffering from untreated mental illness. The ambiguity is the source of this novel’s remarkable nervous energy. A feeling of genuine crisis—unrooted but ferociously tangible—propels the narrative through its many twists to the catharsis of its bizarre ending …

The tension is not uniformly unflagging. An extended middle section recounting Blandine’s doomed love affair with her high-school music teacher is out of proportion in both length and tone, seeming to belong to a more realistic coming-of-age debut. But this does little to offset the unnerving vision and conviction of the most promising first novel I’ve read this year.”

–Sam Sacks ( The Wall Street Journal )

Finalists: Gayl Jones, The Birdcatcher (Beacon) · Jamil Jan Kochai, The Haunting of Hajji Hotak and Other Stories (Viking) · Sarah Thankam Mathews, All This Could Be Different (Viking) · Alejandro Varela, The Town of Babylon (Astra House)

* BOOKER PRIZE

Awarded for the best original novel written in the English language and published in the UK.

Prize money: £50,000

The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida by Shehan Karunatilaka (W. W. Norton & Company)

“By striking contrast, and even if the title promises book-club exotica, The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida is preternaturally irreverent about the manifold brutalities in Sri Lanka during its 26-year civil war … Karunatilaka’s novel breaks with conventional modes of storytelling to reveal humanness in a strange, sprawling, tragic situation … Karunatilaka’s book is supremely confident in its literary heterodoxy, and likewise in offering idiosyncratic particularities of ordinary Sri Lankan life well beyond the serious matters of politics, history, religion and mythology … But readers everywhere will find in such demanding specificity what we all seek from great books: the exciting if overwhelming fullness of an otherwise unknown world told on its own terms, and that frisson of unexpected identification and understanding that comes from working to stay in it.”

–Randy Boyagoda ( The New York Times Book Review )

Finalists: NoViolet Bulawayo, Glory (Viking) · Percival Everett, The Trees (Graywolf) · Alan Garner, Treacle Walker (HarperCollins) · Claire Keegan, Small Things Like These (Grove) · Elizabeth Strout, Oh William! (Random House)

* INTERNATIONAL BOOKER PRIZE

Awarded for a single book in English translation published in the UK.

Prize money: £50,000, divided equally between the author and the translator

Tomb of Sand Geetanjali Shree

Tomb of Sand by Geetanjali Shree, tr. from Hindi by Daisy Rockwell  (HarperVia)

“There is no one quite like Ma in contemporary literature, which is perhaps one reason why Shree, along with her translator, Daisy Rockwell, won this year’s International Booker prize … Indeed, in its boldness and experimentation—and in its likelihood of influencing a new generation of authors—this breakthrough novel recalls Shree’s fellow Indian-born Booker laureates, Arundhati Roy in The God of Small Things (1997) and Salman Rushdie in Midnight’s Children (1981) … Geetanjali Shree’s novel—which thoroughly deserves its Booker triumph—also seeks to ask who India belongs to.”

–Sonia Faleiro ( Times Literary Supplement )

Finalists: Cursed Bunny by Bora Chung, tr. from Korean by Anton Hur (Algonquin) · A New Name: Septology VI-VII by Jon Fosse, tr. from Norwegian by Damion Searls (Transit) · Heaven by Mieko Kawakami, tr. from Japanese by Sam Bett and David Boyd (Europa Editions) · Elena Knows by Claudia Piñeiro, tr. from Spanish by Frances Riddle (Charco Press) · The Books of Jacob by Olga Tokarczuk, tr. from Polish by Jennifer Croft (Knopf)

* NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD

Given annually to honor outstanding writing and to foster a national conversation about reading, criticism, and literature. Judged by the volunteer directors of the NBCC who are 24 members serving rotating three-year terms, with eight elected annually by the voting members, namely “professional book review editors and book reviewers.”

The Love Songs of W. E. B. Du Bois by Honoree Fanonne Jeffers (Harper)

“[A] sweeping, masterly debut novel … Jeffers has deftly crafted a tale of a family whose heritage includes free Blacks, enslaved peoples and Scottish and other white colonialists … Jeffers is an award-winning poet, and she is never doing just one thing with her text … Class and colorism are constant tensions in the novel, and Jeffers expertly renders a world of elite African Americans … The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois is quite simply the best book that I have read in a very, very long time. I will avoid the cliché of calling it ‘a great American novel.’ Maybe the truest thing I could say is that this is an epic tale of adventure that brings to mind characters you never forget …

The sign of a great novel is that the author creates a world and when she moves her hands away, the world is still in motion. The idea being that, in the very best novels, every important detail is so lovingly attended to that the novelist’s intention is as invisible and powerful as gravity. The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois is such a world.”

–Veronica Chambers ( The New York Times Book Review )

Finalists: Colson Whitehead, Harlem Shuffle (Doubleday) · Joshua Cohen, The Netanyahus (New York Review of Books) · Rachel Cusk, Second Place (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) · Sarah Hall, Burntcoat (Custom House)

* KIRKUS PRIZE

Chosen from books reviewed by  Kirkus Reviews that earned the Kirkus Star.

Prize money: $50,000

Trust by Hernan Diaz (Riverhead)

[An] enthralling tour de force … Each story talks to the others, and the conversation is both combative and revelatory … As an American epic, Trust gives The Great Gatsby a run for its money … Diaz’s debut, In the Distance , was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the PEN/Faulkner Award. Trust fulfills that book’s promise, and then some … Wordplay is Trust ’s currency … In Diaz’s accomplished hands we circle ever closer to the black hole at the core of Trust … Trust is a glorious novel about empires and erasures, husbands and wives, staggering fortunes and unspeakable misery … He spins a larger parable, then, plumbing sex and power, causation and complicity. Mostly, though, Trust is a literary page-turner, with a wealth of puns and elegant prose, fun as hell to read.”

–Hamilton Cain ( Oprah Daily )

Finalists: Michelle de Kretser, Scary Monsters (Catapult) · Arinze Ifeakandu, God’s Children Are Little Broken Things (Public Space Books) · Susan Straight, Mecca (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) · Yoko Tawada, Scattered All Over the Earth (New Directions) · Olga Tokarczuk, The Books of Jacob (Riverhead)

* WOMEN’S PRIZE FOR FICTION

Awarded to a female author of any nationality for the best original full-length novel written in English and published in the United Kingdom.

The Book of Form and Emptiness by Ruth Ozeki (Viking)

“… [an] ambitious and ingenious novel that presents a stinging exploration of grief, a reflection on our relationship to objects, a potent testament to the importance of reading, writing, and books … The most endearing aspect of Ozeki’s novel is its unabashed celebration of words, writing, and reading. A library is one of the novel’s most enchanted settings, at once a refuge from the cacophony of objects that overwhelms Benny at home and in school and a magical portal to a world of self-discovery and unexpected connections …

The Book of Form and Emptiness is charming and warm, dynamic and filled with love, but over-full and a bit undisciplined. It meanders and digresses … But its heart, its ardent, beating heart, is huge. Ozeki’s playfulness and zaniness, her compassion and boundless curiosity, prevent the novel from ever feeling stiff or pretentious. Clever without being arch, metafictional without being arcane, dark without being nihilistic, The Book of Form and Emptiness is an exuberant delight.”

–Pricilla Gilman ( The Boston Globe )

Finalists: Lisa Allen-Agostini, The Bread the Devil Knead (Myriad Editions) · Louise Erdrich, The Sentence (Harper) Meg Mason, Sorrow and Bliss (Harper Perennial) · Elif Shafak, The Island of Missing Trees (Bloomsbury) · Maggie Shipstead, Great Circle (Knopf) · Morowa Yejidé, Creatures of Passage (Akashic)

* PEN/FAULKNER AWARD

Awarded to the author of the year’s best work of fiction by a living American citizen.

The Wrong End of the Telescope by Rabih Alameddine (Grove)

“Alameddine’s spectacular novel is rendered through the refreshingly honest lens of Dr. Mina … Dr. Mina is the storyteller the refugees deserve: respected by the Europeans, but steeped in their traditions and history … This is the first novel I’ve read that gives ample room to the ugliness of certain camp volunteers (the bored, the coddled, those battling pangs of uselessness) and the many humiliations some inflict on the displaced. But calling out anyone who gave up a vacation to meet boats seems ungrateful, so the refugees smile for their rescuers’ camera-phones and keep quiet … Alameddine’s irreverent prose evokes the old master storytellers from my own Middle Eastern home, their observations toothy and full of wit, returning always to human absurdity …

Again and again, Dr. Mina cracks open the strange, funny and cruel social mores of East and West. She shows us that acceptance and rejection exist across borders and often manifest in surprising ways … Throughout the book, Dr. Mina addresses a blocked and disillusioned Lebanese writer who, having seen too much displacement and horror, finally breaks. I found this mysterious unnamed listener deeply poignant.”

–Dina Nayeri ( The New York Times Book Review )

Finalists: Nawaaz Ahmed, Radiant Fugitives · Carolyn Ferrell, Dear Miss Metropolitan · Imbolo Mbue, How Beautiful We Were · Carolina de Robertis, The President and the Frog

* PEN/ROBERT W. BINGHAM PRIZE FOR DEBUT FICTION

Awarded to an exceptionally talented fiction writer whose debut work represents distinguished literary achievement and suggests great promise.

Prize money: $25,000

Skinship by Yoon Choi (Knopf)

“The impossibility of fully knowing someone else, or indeed oneself (the inevitable lacunae!), is an eternal theme of fiction, framed in infinite ways. The immigrant experience, in which multicultural characters necessarily navigate these gaps, is one such frame, and Yoon Choi’s beautiful debut story collection Skinship (Knopf, $26) uses it to bring a rich and engaging new voice to contemporary American letters. With refreshing amplitude, patience, and (dare I say) wisdom, Choi’s stories explore the complexities of her characters’ diverse experiences … In each story, Choi evokes a world entire, an endeavor that extends beyond content into form.”

–Claire Messud ( Harper’s )

Finalists: Carribean Fragoza, Eat the Mouth That Feeds You (City Lights Books) · Dantiel W. Moniz, Milk Blood Heat (Grove Press) · Clare Sestanovich, Objects of Desire: Stories (Knopf) · Chris Stuck, Give My Love to the Savages: Stories (Amistad Press)

* ANDREW CARNEGIE MEDAL FOR EXCELLENCE IN FICTION

Awards established in 2012 to recognize the best fiction and nonfiction books for adult readers published in the U.S. in the previous year. Administered by the American Library Association.

Prize money: $5,000 (winner), $1,500 (finalists)

The Thousand Crimes of Ming Tsu by Tom Lin (Little Brown and Company)

“… addictively gruesome … manages to enhance a wild, wild western with Odyssean devotion, magic realism and historical racism, to create quite the unlikely love story gone awry … Ming’s story of denial becomes Lin’s ingenious assertion of his own Chinese American heritage, his fiction a literal projection of the Chinese American experience onto the page. Lin cleverly reclaims the language as he marks each of the story’s three parts with untranslated Chinese characters … With dexterous agility, Lin showcases Ming’s multi-faceted identity as a native-born American, a builder of transcontinental railroads, a rebel against racist laws, a killer of injustice–and maybe even a hero who might finally get the girl.”

–Terry Hong ( Shelf-Awareness )

Finalists: Kirsten Valdez Quade, The Five Wounds (W. W. Norton & Company) · Lauren Groff, Matrix (Riverhead)

* International DUBLIN Literary Award

An international literary award presented each year for a novel written in English or translated into English.

Prize money: €100,000

The Art of Losing by Alice Zeniter (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

“Zeniter has used fiction to demystify the war, its evolution and its fallout through an enthralling saga of three generations of a family from Algeria’s mountainous Kabylia region who left the country in 1962 and moved to France … Ms. Zeniter’s extraordinary achievement is to transform a complicated conflict into a compelling family chronicle, rich in visual detail and lustrous in language. Her storytelling, splendidly translated by Frank Wynne, carries the reader through different generations, cities, cultures, and mindsets without breaking its spell … Ms. Zeniter shows fiction’s power as a hedge against loss of the past: the art of regaining.”

–Liesl Schillinger ( The Wall Street Journal )

Finalists: Catherine Chidgey, Remote Sympathy (Europa Editions) · David Diop, At Night All Blood Is Black (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) · Akwaeke Emezi, The Death of Vivek Oji (Riverhead) · Danielle McLaughlin, The Art of Falling (Random House) · Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, Noopiming: The Cure for White Ladies (University of Minnesota Press)

* CENTER FOR FICTION FIRST NOVEL PRIZE

An annual award presented by The Center for Fiction, a non-profit organization in New York City, for the best debut novel.

The Five Wounds by Kirsten Valdez Quade (W. W. Norton & Company)

“In three parts that unfold over the course of a year in the aptly named New Mexico town of Las Penas, The Five Wounds is a knife-sharp study of what happens to a family when accountability to other people goes out the window. Quade’s characters are experts at pushing love away, especially when intimate connection is most necessary … As each member of the Padilla family battles their personal demons, hope shimmers like a mirage over everyday life, a sweet what-if that Quade expertly suspends above the text …

It is a treat to see the author’s exceptional command of pacing on display in a novel. Proof that what you say is just as important as how you say it, her precise lines are wanting in neither substance nor style, and her darkly hilarious, tender, gorgeous use of language is one of the crowning pleasures of the novel … an irreverent 21st-century meditation on the restorative powers of empathy.”

–Elena Britos ( BookPage )

Finalists: Priyanka Champaneri, The City of Good Death (Restless Books) · Linda Rui Feng, Swimming Back to Trout River (Simon & Schuster) · Honorée Fanonne Jeffers, The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois (Harper) · Violet Kupersmith, Build Your House Around My Body (Random House) · Patricia Lockwood, No One Is Talking About This (Riverhead) · Jackie Polzin, Brood (Doubleday)

* Los Angeles Times Book Prize

Recognizes outstanding literary works as well as champions new writers.

Prize money: $1,000

(Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction)

Brood by Jackie Polzin (Doubleday)

“Shortly after I started reading Brood, the debut novel from St. Paul writer Jackie Polzin, I dashed off a note to a poet friend who used to keep a flock of Rhode Island Reds in her backyard. You will love this book, I told her, the voice is wry and rare and old-fashioned in a good way, reminds me of E.B. White’s essays about his farm. And so funny! … the sprightliness of the voice had me so snowed that it took a while to realize that Brood is actually a story of unremitting loss … Has anyone ever described chickens better than Jackie Polzin? It seems unlikely … This little book was acquired by Doubleday in a two-day, nine-house bidding war, which is saying a lot for a skinny debut novel about raising chickens. But as Polzin points out, ‘A chicken’s life is full of magic. Lo and behold.’”

–Marion Winik ( The Star Tribune )

Finalists: Natasha Brown, Assembly (Little Brown and Company) · Thomas Grattan, The Recent East (MCD) · Jocelyn Nicole Johnson, My Monticello (Henry Holt) · Benjamín Labatut, When We Cease to Understand the World (New York Review of Books)

In the Company of Men by Véronique Tadjo

In the Company of Men by Véronique Tadjo (Other Press)

“I was captivated by the book’s multiple points of view, though I may have approached the work more like a collection of stories than a novel. Each chapter presented a different account of the Ebola outbreak, so the chapters felt more like varying personal stories, occurring simultaneously in a time of ceaseless crisis. Formally, I found the mythos of the trees centered and grounded the true-to-life narrative work in and beyond pure fiction. Indeed, the mythical turn creates a stake in poetics …

The essayistic voice of each account is quite poetic … the sentence-level overturning of words all in all shows a commitment to language and interest in repetition; the recurring sentence patterns mimic how thoughts overturn in the mind and shift to progress a beating heart forward … Tadjo’s book…weaves poetry and music into the everyday experiences of healthcare workers, so its soul is rich.”

–Kara Laurene Pernicano ( Full Stop )

Finalists: Mariana Enriquez, The Dangers of Smoking In Bed (Hogarth) · Saïd Sayrafiezadeh, American Estrangement (W. W. Norton) · Claire Vaye Watkins, I Love You But I’ve Chosen Darkness (Riverhead) · Joy Williams, Harrow (Knopf)

* Edgar Award

Presented by the Mystery Writers of America, honoring the best in crime and mystery fiction.

(Best Novel)

Five Decembers by James Kestrel (Hard Case Crime)

“Some of my favorite crime novels juxtapose individual murders against the backdrop of wartime mass carnage. This is tough to pull off; it takes a skilled writer to keep the horror of such crimes vivid and stark when they’re surrounded by so much other death. In Five Decembers , James Kestrel, a pseudonym for the horror and suspense novelist Jonathan Moore, does this very, very well … War, imprisonment, torture, romance, foreign language and culture are all explored with genuine feeling. The novel has an almost operatic symmetry, and Kestrel turns a beautiful phrase, too.”

–Sarah Weinman ( The New York Times Book Review )

Finalists: Rhys Bowen, The Venice Sketchbook (Lake Union) · S.A. Cosby, Razorblade Tears (Flatiron) · Will Leitch, How Lucky (Harper) · Kat Rosenfield, No One Will Miss Her (William Morrow)

* (Best First Novel)

Deer Season Erin Flanagan

Deer Season by Erin Flanagan (University of Nebraska Press)

“Flanagan balances the mystery and its surprising resolution with her emotionally rich character explorations. This is a standout novel of small-town life, powered by the characters’ consequential determination to protect their loved ones at any cost.”

–Publishers Weekly

Finalists: Vera Kurian, Never Saw Me Coming (Park Row) · Fabian Nicieza, Suburban Dicks (G.P. Putnam’s Sons) · JoAnn Tompkins, What Comes After (Riverhead) · Caitlin Wahrer, The Damage (Pamela Dorman Books)

* NEBULA AWARD

Given each year by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America for the best science fiction or fantasy novel.

A Master of Djinn

A Master of Djinn by P. Djèlí Clark (Tordotcom)

“Clark deftly explores colonialism and the history of Cairo with an immersive setting that acts as another character in this delightful combination of mystery, fantasy, and romance. Give this to alternate history enthusiasts and mystery readers who enjoy a dose of the magical. Fans of S. A. Chakraborty, Martha Wells, and Zen Cho should be particularly pleased.”

–Anna Mickelsen ( Booklist )

Finalists: C. L. Clark, The Unbroken (Orbit US) · S.B. Divya, Machinehood (Gallery / Saga) · Arkady Martine, A Desolation called Peace (Tor) · Jason Sanford, Plague Birds (Apex)

* HUGO AWARD

Awarded for the best science fiction or fantasy story of 40,000 words or more published in English or translated in the prior calendar year.

A Desolation Called Peace by Arkady Martine (Tor)

“… themes have evolved in complexity, diving deeper into an intrigue about the very nature of life and death. The central cast is as appealing as ever, and the cats..are a delightful addition … Martine’s debut showcased her consummate skill and perfect blend of narrative, humor and world-building; her second effort highlights her thematic ambition, and her abilities as a writer are more than equal to the task. Desolation is the kind of book that crouches in your mind, waiting for a quiet moment. It is hard to read slowly, but demands to be savored, lest you miss some of the cleverest and most elegant foreshadowing in modern science fiction … carries its own distinctive melody … Arkady Martine’s first book was a deserving Hugo winner. Her second might eclipse it.”

–Noah Fram ( BookPage )

Finalists: Becky Chambers, The Galaxy, and the Ground Within (Harper Voyager) · Ryka Aoki, Light From Uncommon Stars (Tor Books) · P. Djèlí Clark, A Master of Djinn (Tordotcom) · Andy Weir, Project Hail Mary (Ballantine) · Shelley Parker-Chan, She Who Became the Sun (Tor Books)

* BRAM STOKER AWARD

Presented by the Horror Writers Association for “superior achievement” in horror writing for novels.

My Heart is a Chainsaw Stephen Graha Jones

My Heart is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones (Gallery / Saga)

“Jones’s My Heart Is a Chainsaw is such an accomplishment; it makes me want to watch all the horror. This novel is a paean to slasher films, a devotional about an acolyte written by an obsessive. And it’s a lot of fun … Jade’s awkwardness and insecurities, her intractable obstinacy, her refusal to behave in a socially acceptable manner, all make her a believable nuisance to the adults in her life…She’s respectful and patient, with an irrepressible sense of humor to balance our her sense of horror. We’re so much on her side we find ourselves hoping for the worst … When things get going, they really go gonzo, and we’re scrabbling to hang on by our fingernails throughout the climax. Everything promised in the first act is gleefully delivered in the third with comedy, pathos and a machete clutched in the hands of an unforgettable character.”

–Ellen Morton ( The Washington Post )

Finalists: V. Castro, The Queen of the Cicadas (Flame Tree Press) · Grady Hendrix, The Final Girl Support Group (Berkley) · Cynthia Pelayo, Children of Chicago (Agora Books) · Chuck Wendig, The Book of Accidents (Del Rey)

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From long-awaited follow-ups by award-winning authors to engrossing debut thrillers and memoirs.

composite of the most anticipated book releases of 2024

Reading enthusiasts know there's nothing like finally getting your hands on (or receiving a Libby notification for) a book you've been waiting months (or years) to read and then diving in head-first. Lucky for us lit-obsessed editors at Marie Claire , 2024's publishing slate is stacked with buzzy releases, from the returns of several beloved female authors to glossy new tell-alls. For the impatient, many of our picks for our year's best reads have already hit the shelves (including a debut novel by a member of the MC team!). From chilling thrillers and steamy romances , to engrossing memoirs and self-help inspiration , read on for our most anticipated books of 2024.

"I'm such a sucker for twisty thrillers with complex female protagonists—as you'll learn later down this list, when I ran out of new books in the genre, I wrote one myself—and Stacy Willingham is among the very best of them. This book has it all: a college campus rocked by a sudden tragedy; female friendship tested to the brink; and twists you won't see coming. Willingham gets better with each book, and this is my favorite yet." - Jenny Hollander, Digital Director

"This new release from Kaveh Akbar is about many things—addiction, family, the immigrant experience, and sobriety—but above all, it’s a beautiful meditation on how one man finds meaning. Guided by the spectres of his ancestors, newly sober Iranian-American Cyrus Shams spends the novel exploring his family’s past in order to make sense of his own life." - Gabrielle Ulubay, Beauty Writer

"I’m a die-hard Sarah J. Maas fan and have been counting down the days till this release since that cliff hanger in the last book. I’m not the only one either— BookTok can’t stop talking about this series and it absolutely deserves all of the hype. While I don’t want to spoil the magic that is this series, I will say that is has everything you could want in a fantasy romance book: complex characters, heart-pounding romance, lavish world building, and so many twists and turns. I’m expecting all of this and more in the latest installment." - Brooke Knappenberger, Associate Commerce Editor

"Chung's 2022 short story collection Cursed Bunny shook me to my core with its exploration of female autonomy among societal expectations, told through fantastical and horrifying metaphors, often involving bodily functions. (I wasn't the only one awed by the collection, judging by its inclusion among the 2023 National Book Award finalists for Translated Literature.) The South Korean author publishes her follow-up set of stories this year, also translated by Anton Hur, which promises to include "a variety of possible fates for humanity" that will definitely keep me up at night. - Quinci LeGardye, Contributing Culture Editor

"Is it weird to call your own book a "most anticipated"? Sure, but I'm really proud of this one, so bear with me. This thriller—my first novel!—follows Charlotte "Charlie" Colbert, a magazine editor who witnessed a massacre at her elite graduate school a decade earlier. When one of Charlie's former classmates decides to make a film about what really happened that night, Charlie is forced to confront the "black holes" in her memory and decide, once and for all, how far she'll go to hide the truth. Called "an undeniable page-turner" by Booklist and "a twisty, thrilling story" by Town and Country, I'm hoping this one keeps you up late." - JH

"I'm admittedly a bit picky when it comes to romance, but Tia Williams is a go-to author for epic love stories that give me all the feels, from Jenna and Eic's forbidden love in The Perfect Find , to Eva and Shane's fateful second chance in Seven Days in June . Her next novel takes tells a tale of magical realism in Harlem, NYC, where Ricki Wilde flees to escape her famous Atlanta family and start her own flower shop. Soon, she meets a handsome stranger named Ezra “Breeze” Walker, and their instant connection leads her down an extraordinary path. - QL

"If a female journalist is writing a book, I'm adding to cart and pre-ordering. Savannah Guthrie anchors The Today Show on NBC as one-half of its first female co-anchor team, and this book takes us inside her mind on the day she was named co-anchor (and, if you'll remember, not Ann Curry) in July 2012 alongside Matt Lauer; he later left amidst controversy in 2017. She writes about the times life didn't work out the way she wished it would (and how that's okay) and how her faith has sustained her through the highs and lows of life." - Rachel Burchfield, Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor

"This book is dedicated to 'the 80 percent of women who don't believe they're enough, the 75 percent of female executives who deal with imposter syndrome, and the 91 percent of girls and women who don't love their bodies.' Those statistics are staggering—and sad. After laying it all out there in her memoir, Believe IT , the cofounder of IT Cosmetics and the first ever female CEO of a L'Oréal brand, is back in her second book to talk about all of us and our worthiness journeys, while sprinkling in some of her story as well. At the crux of the book is how to stop doubting yourself out of your own destiny and how to use self-worth as a tool to success in every way: internally, externally, emotionally, socially, relationally, and financially." - RB

"When Xochitl Gonzalez published her New York Times bestselling novel Olga Dies Dreaming, she charmed millions of readers and took the literary world by storm. Now, she’s written a new novel called Anita De Monte Laughs Last, which is told through the perspectives of two distinctive, unforgettable characters. The first, Anita de Monte, is a rising star in the New York City art world in 1985, but she is found dead before she can achieve lasting success. The second, Raquel, discovers Anita’s tale while in college, and finds that the deceased artist’s story is eerily, uncannily similar to her own." - GU

"Morgan Parker got her start in publishing poetry, including the gorgeous collections Magical Negro and There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé, but I've been eagerly awaiting more prose from the author since her debut YA novel Who Put This Song On? made me feel so seen as a former lonely Black girl growing up in white suburbia. Her first nonfiction book, a memoir-in-essays, examines her own lifelong loneliness due to America's cultural treatment of Black people throughout history. If you know me IRL, expect every conversation to start with 'You should check out this book' for the rest of the year." - QL

"As the Prince and Princess of Wales debate on where to send their eldest, Prince George, to school ( boarding school or not? That's the question du jour), Princess Diana's only brother, Earl Charles Spencer, is releasing a memoir about his traumatic boarding school experience. Sent away at age eight, he writes about the 'culture of cruelty' at the school he attended in his youth and provides 'important insights into an antiquated boarding system.' He also reportedly speaks to his schoolboy contemporaries as well as references his own letters and diaries from the time period to reflect on 'the hopelessness and abandonment he felt.' Through this book he reclaims his childhood, and we all get to bear witness to the journey." - RB

"This book appears to be a memoir, with a twist. Part personal journey, part exploration into mental health, it cites psychologists, psychiatrists, scientists, and thought leaders on how to understand why we think and feel the way we do, and why this may be holding us back. I have long been compelled by the First Lady of Canada, and I'm interested to see how she navigates talking about her divorce from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, which is still ongoing, in the book's pages. (They separated last year after 18 years of marriage.)" - RB

"Seven years after her moving debut Goodbye, Vitamin , Khong returns with a multigenerational saga about a Chinese American family, as its members try to define their own lives against the forces of fate and history. In 1999, broke media intern Lily Chen meets and falls in love with Matthew, her boss's wealthy nephew. Later, in 2011, 15-year-old Nick Chen (raised by Lily as a single mother in Washington state) sets out to find his biological father. The Washington Post compared the novel to Gabrielle Zevin's Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow  , so I'm expecting an immersive story I won't be able to put down." - QL

"As someone who spends entirely too much time on X/Twitter, I can't wait to get my hands on Russell's history of Black visual culture, from early 1900s photographs to today's memes. In her latest book, the author of Glitch Feminism argues that Black images have always been central to shaping American culture, from the photographs of Emmett Till, to the televised broadcasts of civil rights protests, to pop culture moments like Michael Jackson's 'Thriller,' to citizen-recorded images of police brutality." - QL

"For their latest release, Emezi, the genre-spanning author of works including You Made A Fool Of Death With Your Beauty  and  The Death of Vivek Oji , takes on the thriller genre as a group of people are sucked into the underbelly of a Nigerian city. When Kalu attends an exclusive sex party hosted by his best friend—fresh off a break-up from his long-time girlfriend—he makes a decision that plunges their lives into chaos, as they desperately try to escape a looming threat." - QL

"I was lucky enough to get an advance copy of this mystery thriller, and now I'm recommending it to every Bachelor fan I know. The novel follows Julia Walden, an advanced synthetic robot designed to compete on the latest season of The Proposal and win the heart of lead Josh LaSala. It flashes back and forth between her time on the reality show and 15 months later, when Julia and Josh are married and raising a newborn among a hostile community in small-town Indiana. When Josh goes missing, and Julia becomes the prime suspect, the Synth takes the investigation into her own hands." - QL

"Emily Giffin's books come out in a cadence of about once every two years, and I have this (annoying) habit of buying the new book the day it comes out, tearing through it at lightning speed, and then having to wait 730 days for my next hit. I've loved Giffin's work for decades, from her debut Something Borrowed , which was later made into a film starring Ginnifer Goodwin and Kate Hudson, to her last book, Meant to Be , which (spoiler alert) is a fictionalization of JFK Jr. and Carolyn Bessette's love story. Next up is The Summer Pact , which centers around "a group of friends [who, in the wake of a tragedy] make a pact that will cause them to reunite a decade later and embark upon a life-changing adventure together." If Giffin is writing it, I'm going to be reading it." - RB

"I'm a sucker for literary novels about women being young and messy in NYC, and this already-acclaimed novel gives major Luster vibes. (Raven Lelani even blurbed it.) The unnamed narrator is a wealthy Palestinian woman struggling to reconcile her ideal life with her lived reality; her inheritance and her homeland are both unreachable, as she makes a living teaching middle school and participating in a pyramid scheme reselling Birkin bags. As she slowly becomes obsessed with purity and cleanliness in an attempt to regain control, the woman "spectacularly" unravels." - QL

"I loved Obuobi's debut On Rotation (a #ReadWithMC pick !), and I was lucky enough to get an advance copy of her sophomore novel, Between Friends and Lovers . I devoured this book, which stars the surefooted Dr. Josephine Boateng—known to her countless Instagram followers as Dr. Jojo—and Mal, an overnight sensation thanks to his first novel (he isn't exactly sure how to deal with that yet). Mal might just be the person who can finally break down Jo's walls...but to do that, she'll need to let go of her longtime best friend and long-hidden crush, Ezra. If you delight in complex, charming love stories, this one's for you." - JH

" Rip Tide is many things: a deep-dive into the perils of trying to escape your past; a poignant depiction of sisterhood and the ways it evolves; and the tantalizing idea of coming home again. When a body washes ashore in the beach town of their childhood, sisters Kimmy and Erin, both of whom recently returned to Rocky Cape, must wrestle with the ghosts they believed they'd left behind at the shore: both the ones they're eager to revisit, and the ones they can't face." - JH

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books and author of 2022

books and author of 2022

Books and Authors 2024, List of Books Writers & Authors

  • Books and Authors

Books and Authors 2024

Books and authors 2023, books and authors 2022, books and authors 2021, books and authors 2020, books and authors 2019, books and authors 2018.

Table of Contents

Famous Books and their Authors are now part of every exam. Books and authors cover a vast range of genres and periods, but here are some notable examples across various categories. T For the important Government exams, if have come up with important books and their authors. The government exams, like RRB, Bank Exams, UPSC, IBPS, and SSC, are some of the exams in which two or three questions from books and authors are asked in the general awareness section. Check the famous and award-winning books and authors for 2024, 2023, 2022, 2021, 2020 , 2019 and 2018 .

Books and authors have played pivotal roles in the evolution of societies. Throughout history, written works have been catalysts for change. They have challenged oppressive systems, championed human rights, and sparked movements for social justice. Authors are the magicians who conjure worlds out of thin air. They craft characters with unique voices, settings with vivid details, and narratives that transport readers to distant realms. Through their creative brilliance, authors enable us to experience the lives, struggles, and triumphs of fictional and historical figures alike. 

The relationship between books and authors is a fundamental and symbiotic one. Authors are individuals who write and create the content found in books, and books serve as a medium through which authors communicate their ideas, stories, knowledge, and perspectives to readers. Here is the list of Authors who have published their books in the year 2024 and the list will be updated timely. 

The relationship between books and authors is one of profound influence and symbiosis, shaping societies, sparking revolutions, and expanding the horizons of the mind. In the below table, we have explored the names of Books and Authors 2023.

The list of Books and Authors of 2022 has been enlisted below and will be updated with the release of new books. 

Check the complete list of Books & Authors of 2021 in the below table. 

Check the important books and its authors of 2020 in the table below.

Check the important books and its authors of 2019 in the table below.

Check the important books and its authors of 2018 in the table below.

Q 1. Who won the Jnanpith Award 2023?

Q 2. Won won the Man Booker Prize 2019?

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Q 4. Who won the Saraswati Samaan 2019?

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Q6. Who is the author of ‘Bose: The untold story of an inconvenient nationalist’?

Q7. Which book is shortlisted for International Booker Prize 2022?

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Books to help you be better at love

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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The New York Times Best Sellers - March 03, 2024

Authoritatively ranked lists of books sold in the united states, sorted by format and genre..

This copy is for your personal, noncommercial use only.

  • Combined Print & E-Book Fiction

THE WOMEN by Kristin Hannah

2 weeks on the list

by Kristin Hannah

In 1965, a nursing student follows her brother to serve during the Vietnam War and returns to a divided America.

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FOURTH WING by Rebecca Yarros

42 weeks on the list

FOURTH WING

by Rebecca Yarros

Violet Sorrengail is urged by the commanding general, who also is her mother, to become a candidate for the elite dragon riders.

BRIDE by Ali Hazelwood

by Ali Hazelwood

Issues of trust arise when an alliance is made between a Vampyre named Misery Lark and a Were named Lowe Moreland.

IRON FLAME by Rebecca Yarros

15 weeks on the list

The second book in the Empyrean series. Violet Sorrengail’s next round of training might require her to betray the man she loves.

HOUSE OF FLAME AND SHADOW by Sarah J. Maas

3 weeks on the list

HOUSE OF FLAME AND SHADOW

by Sarah J. Maas

The third book in the Crescent City series. Bryce wants to return home while Hunt is trapped in Asteri's dungeons.

  • Combined Print & E-Book Nonfiction

KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON by David Grann

116 weeks on the list

KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON

by David Grann

The story of a murder spree in 1920s Oklahoma that targeted Osage Indians, whose lands contained oil.

THE WAGER by David Grann

43 weeks on the list

The survivors of a shipwrecked British vessel on a secret mission during an imperial war with Spain have different accounts of events.

THE BODY KEEPS THE SCORE by Bessel van der Kolk

181 weeks on the list

THE BODY KEEPS THE SCORE

by Bessel van der Kolk

How trauma affects the body and mind, and innovative treatments for recovery.

THE BOYS IN THE BOAT by Daniel James Brown

132 weeks on the list

THE BOYS IN THE BOAT

by Daniel James Brown

The story of the American rowers who pursued gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games; the basis of the film.

OUTLIVE by Peter Attia with Bill Gifford

47 weeks on the list

by Peter Attia with Bill Gifford

A look at recent scientific research on aging and longevity.

  • Hardcover Fiction

41 weeks on the list

THE HEAVEN & EARTH GROCERY STORE by James McBride

26 weeks on the list

THE HEAVEN & EARTH GROCERY STORE

by James McBride

Secrets held by the residents of a dilapidated neighborhood come to life when a skeleton is found at the bottom of a well.

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  • Hardcover Nonfiction

MEDGAR & MYRLIE by Joy-Ann Reid

MEDGAR & MYRLIE

by Joy-Ann Reid

The MSNBC host details how the wife of the civil rights leader Medgar Evers carried forward their legacy after his assassination in 1963.

OATH AND HONOR by Liz Cheney

11 weeks on the list

OATH AND HONOR

by Liz Cheney

The former congresswoman from Wyoming recounts how she helped lead the Select Committee to Investigate the Jan. 6. Attack on the United States Capitol.

WHAT HAVE WE HERE? by Billy Dee Williams

New this week

WHAT HAVE WE HERE?

by Billy Dee Williams

The stage and screen actor traces his life from his childhood in Harlem to becoming a pop culture icon.

  • Paperback Trade Fiction

THE TEACHER by Freida McFadden

THE TEACHER

by Freida McFadden

A math teacher at Caseham High suspects there is more going on behind a scandal involving a teacher and a student.

ICEBREAKER by Hannah Grace

53 weeks on the list

by Hannah Grace

Anastasia might need the help of the captain of a college hockey team to get on the Olympic figure skating team.

THE HOUSEMAID by Freida McFadden

THE HOUSEMAID

Troubles surface when a woman looking to make a fresh start takes a job in the home of the Winchesters.

A COURT OF SILVER FLAMES by Sarah J. Maas

12 weeks on the list

A COURT OF SILVER FLAMES

The fifth book in the Court of Thorns and Roses series. Nesta Archeron is forced into close quarters with a warrior named Cassian.

  • Paperback Nonfiction

278 weeks on the list

155 weeks on the list

The story of a murder spree in 1920s Oklahoma that targeted Osage Indians, whose lands contained oil. The fledgling F.B.I. intervened, ineffectively.

154 weeks on the list

CASTE by Isabel Wilkerson

by Isabel Wilkerson

The Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist examines aspects of caste systems across civilizations and reveals a rigid hierarchy in America today.

EVERYTHING I KNOW ABOUT LOVE by Dolly Alderton

35 weeks on the list

EVERYTHING I KNOW ABOUT LOVE

by Dolly Alderton

The British journalist shares stories and observations; the basis of the TV series.

  • Advice, How-To & Miscellaneous

THE HOLY GRAIL OF INVESTING by Tony Robbins with Christopher Zook

THE HOLY GRAIL OF INVESTING

by Tony Robbins with Christopher Zook

ATOMIC HABITS by James Clear

221 weeks on the list

ATOMIC HABITS

by James Clear

THE CREATIVE ACT by Rick Rubin with Neil Strauss

57 weeks on the list

THE CREATIVE ACT

by Rick Rubin with Neil Strauss

HOW TO KNOW A PERSON by David Brooks

17 weeks on the list

HOW TO KNOW A PERSON

by David Brooks

THE BOY, THE MOLE, THE FOX AND THE HORSE by Charlie Mackesy

214 weeks on the list

THE BOY, THE MOLE, THE FOX AND THE HORSE

by Charlie Mackesy

  • Children’s Middle Grade Hardcover

HEROES by Alan Gratz

by Alan Gratz

The friends Frank and Stanley give a vivid account of the Pearl Harbor attack.

WONKA by Sibéal Pounder

9 weeks on the list

by Sibéal Pounder

The movie novelization and prequel to "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," written by Roald Dahl.

REFUGEE by Alan Gratz

250 weeks on the list

Three children in three different conflicts look for safe haven.

THE SUN AND THE STAR by Rick Riordan and Mark Oshiro

THE SUN AND THE STAR

by Rick Riordan and Mark Oshiro

The demigods Will and Nico embark on a dangerous journey to the Underworld to rescue an old friend.

WONDER by R.J. Palacio

431 weeks on the list

by R.J. Palacio

A boy with a facial deformity starts school.

  • Children’s Picture Books

LITTLE BLUE TRUCK'S VALENTINE by Alice Schertle. Illustrated by Jill McElmurry

28 weeks on the list

LITTLE BLUE TRUCK'S VALENTINE

by Alice Schertle. Illustrated by Jill McElmurry

Little Blue Truck delivers Valentine's Day cards to all his farm animal friends.

LOVE FROM THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR by Eric Carle

56 weeks on the list

LOVE FROM THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR

by Eric Carle

A ravenous insect returns with its appetite intact.

LOVE FROM BLUEY by Suzy Brumm

8 weeks on the list

LOVE FROM BLUEY

by Suzy Brumm

The love between parents and their children.

IN MY HEART by Jo Witek. Illustrated by Christine Roussey

20 weeks on the list

IN MY HEART

by Jo Witek. Illustrated by Christine Roussey

An exploration of feelings.

HOW TO CATCH A LOVEOSAURUS by Alice Walstead. Illustrated by Andy Elkerton

13 weeks on the list

HOW TO CATCH A LOVEOSAURUS

by Alice Walstead. Illustrated by Andy Elkerton

The Catch Club Kids attempt to catch a dinosaur that wants to spread love and kindness.

  • Children’s Series

PERCY JACKSON & THE OLYMPIANS by Rick Riordan

712 weeks on the list

PERCY JACKSON & THE OLYMPIANS

by Rick Riordan

A boy battles mythological monsters.

DIARY OF A WIMPY KID written and illustrated by Jeff Kinney

779 weeks on the list

DIARY OF A WIMPY KID

written and illustrated by Jeff Kinney

The travails and challenges of adolescence.

HARRY POTTER by J.K. Rowling

778 weeks on the list

HARRY POTTER

by J.K. Rowling

A wizard hones his conjuring skills in the service of fighting evil.

A GOOD GIRL'S GUIDE TO MURDER by Holly Jackson

125 weeks on the list

A GOOD GIRL'S GUIDE TO MURDER

by Holly Jackson

Pippa Fitz-Amobi solves murderous crimes.

THE HUNGER GAMES by Suzanne Collins

315 weeks on the list

THE HUNGER GAMES

by Suzanne Collins

In a dystopia, a girl fights for survival on live TV.

  • Young Adult Hardcover

DIVINE RIVALS by Rebecca Ross

DIVINE RIVALS

by Rebecca Ross

Two young rival journalists find love through a magical connection.

POWERLESS by Lauren Roberts

by Lauren Roberts

Forbidden love is in the air when Paedyn, an Ordinary, and Kai, an Elite, become romantically involved.

RUTHLESS VOWS by Rebecca Ross

RUTHLESS VOWS

In the sequel to "Divine Rivals," Roman and Iris will risk their hearts and futures to change the tides of the war.

MURTAGH by Christopher Paolini

by Christopher Paolini

Murtagh and his dragon, Thorn, must find and outwit a mysterious witch.

NIGHTBANE by Alex Aster

by Alex Aster

In this sequel to "Lightlark," Isla must chose between her two powerful lovers.

Weekly Best Sellers Lists

Monthly best sellers lists.

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Did a Florida school district send permission slips to teach kids Black history? Here are the facts

The incident appears to have arisen out of confusion over the parental rights in education law, signed into law by gov. ron desantis in 2022.

books and author of 2022

When Chuck Walter saw the permission slip from his daughter’s Miami school, he turned to social media.

Sharing an image of a form that requested parental signature for his first grader to attend a 30-minute “read-aloud” activity in which she would hear a “book by an African American author,” Walter aired his disbelief.

“I had to give permission for this or else my child would not participate???” Walter  wrote Feb. 12 on X . The image showed that the library event would involve guests — “fireman/doctor/artist,” it read.

Walter told  NBC News  that he gave the Coral Way K-8 Center teacher “verbal consent” for the Black History Month activity but was told that the form must be signed or his child could not participate.

books and author of 2022

A photo of a permission slip Coral Way K-8 Center sent home to parents. (Screenshot/X)

The image sparked outcry. And soon Florida Education Commissioner Manny Diaz, Jr.,  responded on X  calling news of the permission slip a “hoax.”

“Florida does not require a permission slip to teach African American history or to celebrate Black History Month,” Diaz wrote Feb. 13. “Any school that does this is completely in the wrong.”

Florida Department of Education spokesperson Cailey Myers also told PolitiFact that permission slips are not required for students to receive “ordinary instruction, like African American History, in Florida.” Education leaders did not answer our questions about what book was being read during the event.

So, what happened here? The incident appears to have arisen out of confusion over the  Parental Rights in Education law,  signed into law by Gov. Ron DeSantis in 2022 and  expanded in 2023 .

The legislation bans classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity in all public schools through 12th grade. The law’s supporters say it gives greater parental control over children’s education; critics have dubbed it the  “Don’t Say Gay” law .

Rule requires parental consent for ‘field trips, extracurricular activities and supplemental programs’

One rule in the new law,  6A-10.085 , requires schools to seek parental consent before children can participate in “field trips, extracurricular activities and supplemental programs.” It doesn’t say that teaching any particular subject, including Black history, requires permission.

The local district in late November implemented its permission slip policy to comply with the rule. The policy requires parental consent for extracurricular activities, including guest speakers, tutoring sessions and school dances.

Miami-Dade County Public Schools spokesperson Elmo Lugo said in an email to PolitiFact that the event’s description “may have caused confusion,” but said the district is working with schools to emphasize the importance of clearly stating what kinds of events require permission.

In this case, Lugo said, the permission slip was sent home “because guest speakers would participate during a school-authorized education-related activity,” not because it involved a Black author.

The state’s education department didn’t respond to PolitiFact’s questions about whether it believes the school district was interpreting the law correctly.

In an  undated letter  addressed to Coral Way’s principal, Florida Board of Education Chair Ben Gibson characterized the state’s policy as a way to “keep parents informed of the extracurricular activities their children are participating in” and said it appeared Coral Way had misinterpreted this as applying to “ordinary instruction.”

“This should be obvious on its face, and therefore, those providing guidance to you and your school are either grossly misinterpreting the rule or simply engaged in nothing more than a political ploy,” Gibson wrote, according to a copy of the letter that the Department of Education shared with PolitiFact.

Both before and after Walter’s X post, Miami-Dade school board members questioned how the rule was being executed and asked administrative staff to ask the state to clarify how to properly apply the rule.

“There’s no permission slip to teach Black history,” board member Steve Gallon III said  during a Feb. 13 meeting.  “And that’s the narrative that’s been formulated that I think we have to be bold and transparent and open about clarifying and debunking as much as we can.”

Teaching African American history is  required by state statute  and Miami-Dade schools comply with that throughout the year, the district’s chief academic officer, Lourdes Diaz, said in the meeting.

“For teachers to convey curriculum to students in the classroom — that is instruction — but activities that are sponsored by the school, created for students to study or participate in that are outside of that would require a permission form,” Diaz told school board members. “But the instruction of a required topic, be it Black history, Holocaust education, women’s history, all the other ones, does not require a form, per se.”

This fact check was originally published by PolitiFact , which is part of the Poynter Institute. See the sources for this fact check here .

books and author of 2022

Opinion | Is local news access tied to how much money you make?

A new report identifies the disparity between the haves and have-nots for local journalism — and household income plays a big role.

books and author of 2022

Trump’s claim that Biden directed the New York civil fraud investigation is baseless

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10 Best Sci-Fi TV Shows Based on Books, Ranked

W hether it's within the pages of books or on TV screens, sci-fi narratives are always thrilling. The best of them often stimulate the mind and captivate people’s imaginations while remaining grounded in reality. The increasing demand for sci-fi stories imply that viewers will not tire of this genre any time soon. Considering that unique and intriguing science fiction TV shows and movies continue to be churned out, it is evident that sci-fi is one of the most prevalent genres today.

Fans of sci-fi books understand the thrill of seeing their favorite stories adapted for the screen. If skillfully executed, seeing characters come to life deepens the reader’s connection to them. These visual adaptations not only bring intricate details in source materials to life, but also create a more immersive and tangible experience that extends beyond the reader’s imagination. Silo , for example, is one of the newest sci-fi TV series based on books, which has garnered a dedicated audience after it premiered in May 2023.

These 10 sci-fi TV shows bring the imaginative worlds created by authors to a larger audience.

Brave New World (2020)

Brave new world.

Release Date 2016-00-00

Main Genre Sci-Fi

Brave New World is loosely based on Aldous Huxley’s classic novel of the same name, which is set in a future where technological and scientific advancements have created a highly controlled and stable society. While everyone may seem happy in this utopian world, a hidden decay lurks beneath the surface.

What Makes It Great

This sci-fi TV show boasts a thought-provoking narrative that will appeal to both fans and non-fans of the source material. Despite not following the book closely, the series compensates with its great acting, excellent pacing, camera work, and visual effects. Rooted in the book’s universe, Brave New World proves to be an absolute enjoyment across its nine episodes for those willing to see it as its own story. Overall, it is a riveting sci-fi series that exposes the hypocrisies of the modern world.

Stream on Peacock

Under the Dome (2013-2015)

Under the dome.

Release Date 2013-06-24

Cast Eddie Cahill, Mackenzie Lintz, Alexander Koch, Rachelle Lefevre, Mike Vogel, Dean Norris, Colin Ford

Main Genre Drama

Genres Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller

Based on the novel of the same name by Stephen King, Under the Dome unfolds in the small town of Chester’s Hill, where a massive transparent dome descends, cutting the town from the outside world. As the town grapples with this abrupt isolation, tension arises, prompting characters to delve into the mystery behind the doom and its origins.

Opinions on Under the Dome are mixed, with some commending its suspenseful premise and exploration of individuals trapped in a confined environment. Others, however, argue that it deviates from its source material and has pacing issues. Nonetheless, for enthusiasts of Stephen King’s works or those who enjoy sci-fi shows set in small towns, this series proves to be intriguing, especially when viewed with an open mind. Notably, this sci-fi series features great love stories between its characters, emerging as one of its strongest points.

Stream on Paramount+

The 100 (2014-2020)

Release Date 2014-03-19

Cast Marie Avgeropoulos, Lindsey Morgan, Richard Harmon, Eliza Taylor, Bob Morley, jr bourne

Genres Family, Drama, Thriller

The 100 is a dystopian sci-fi series that sees the Earth no longer habitable, with the world's population residing in various spacecrafts. After some time, 100 delinquents are sent back to the planet's surface to test its habitability. While there, they form a new colony, but also face off against multiple threats that include, among many things, human survivors with no restraint and mutated creatures. Beyond its simple survival story, The 100 incorporates elements of political intrigue and power struggles among characters, making it more intriguing.

While there are some significant changes in plot, character development, and narrative direction, The 100 shares some fundamental concepts with Krass Morgan’s book series, on which it is based. Viewers who expect an exact adaptation may be disappointed, but the TV series is equally intriguing as the book, never afraid to delve into darker themes while constantly keeping viewers guessing about the fate of the characters and, by extension, humanity.

Stream on Netflix

Related: Best Sci-Fi Movies of 1950s, Ranked

Altered Carbon (2018-2020)

Altered carbon.

Release Date 2018-02-02

Cast Renee Goldsberry, Will Yun Lee, Anthony Mackie

Genres Sci-Fi

Set in a futuristic urban landscape reminiscent of Blade Runner , The Matrix and Akira , this Cyberpunk cinematic work centers on Takeshi Koviacs, who awakens centuries after his death to discover his consciousness has been placed in a new body. A gritty noir series, Altered Carbon is based on Richard K. Morgan’s 2002 novel of the same name.

While screen adaptations can’t translate every detail of a book, Altered Carbon effectively captures Takeshi Koviacs’ journey in a strange world marked by a big divide between the privileged and the less fortunate. Despite certain discrepancies between the book and series that may be noticed by those who have read the source material, Altered Carbon will be enjoyed by viewers who appreciate dystopian futures with a blend of well-choreographed action and philosophical exploration. The series boasts a compelling combination of an intriguing plot, strong characters, thought-provoking themes, and more, just like Morgan's novel.

The Handmaid’s Tale (2017-Present)

The handmaid's tale.

Release Date 2017-04-26

Cast O.T. Fagbenle, Elisabeth Moss, Yvonne Strahovski, Joseph Fiennes, Ann Dowd

Genres Drama

Regarded as one of Hulu’s finest series , The Handmaid’s Tale unfolds in an authoritarian regime where women are treated like second-class citizens and any who tries to escape is punished. June is one of those who tried to escape her fate in this oppressive society but ends up getting caught and is forced to become a Handmaid, tasked with bearing children for childless government officials.

The Handmaid’s Tale transforms one of the most celebrated works of contemporary literature into a compelling yet nightmarish television series. It undoubtedly captivates viewers, immersing them in the miseries and emotions of its characters. Critically acclaimed for its faithful adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s book, the show, like its literary counterpart, has earned praise for its powerful exploration of real-life injustices and the dangers of religious extremism.

Stream on Hulu

Foundation (2021-Present)

Release Date 2020-00-00

Cast Lee Pace, Terrence Mann, Jared Harris

Inspired by the classic sci-fi novel series by American author Isaac Asimov, whose work has had a profound influence on the science fiction genre, the high-concept sci-fi series, Foundation , follows a band of characters as they join forces to prevent humankind from falling into the dark age.

While the series does stray somewhat from the book, Foundation is quite exceptional in its own rights. Although fans of the book may not be entirely happy with its deviation from the book's core aspects, some viewers agree that it is an epic story with an intellectual depth seen in its source material. For those willing to look beyond its faults, this AppleTV+ original emerges as a well-crafted, modernized sci-fi series with a cool concept, well-executed character arcs, and outstanding performances.

Stream on AppleTV+

The Man in the High Castle (2015-2019)

The man in the high castle.

Release Date 2015-01-15

Cast Ferry van Tongeren, Jaap Sinke, Chelah Horsdal, Jason O'Mara, Rufus Sewell, Brennan Brown, Alexa Davalos

The Man in the High Castle is a well-crafted portrayal of an alternate world where Nazi Germany and Japan both won World War II, and subsequently divided up America. Various characters living in this divided America navigate political intrigue, resistance movements, and a series of films depicting an alternate reality where the Allies won the war.

The Man in the High Castle is as ambitious and thought-provoking as Philip K. Dick’s historical novel, from which it is adapted. Despite its flaws, the series is a unique and visually striking series that delves into the darker side of authoritarian rule, while capturing humans' indomitable spirit in the face of harsh realities and adversity. As a brilliant alternate history TV show, it does its best to earnestly follow its well-written source material, with actors skillfully breathing life into both virtuous and villainous characters.

Stream on Prime Video

The Peripheral (2022)

The peripheral.

Release Date 2022-10-21

Cast T'Nia Miller, Gary Carr, Louis Herthum, JJ Feild, Jack Reynor, Chloe Grace Moretz

Genres Drama, Mystery, Thriller, Science Fiction

Rating TV-MA

Ranking among the best sci-fi series on Prime Video , The Peripheral is adapted from the 2014 novel by the renowned sci-fi author, William Gibson. The narrative revolves around a gamer who, after witnessing a murder in virtual reality, embarks on a journey to save humanity from a menacing force bent on destroying it.

The Peripheral is one of those adaptations that feel like you're actually watching the book come to life. It’s an exciting and original Prime Video show that demands viewers’ attention right from the onset as its twisty plot unfolds. While it’s often praised as a solid sci-fi series with great visuals and outstanding performances, others feel its premise is not fully developed. Despite any shortcomings, viewers who enjoy mysterious and engaging sci-fi will find satisfaction in both the book and the series.

Silo (2023-Present)

Release Date 2023-05-05

Cast Rebecca Ferguson, Common, Harriet Walter, Will Patton, Tim Robbins

Genres Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi

Creator Graham Yost

Read Our Review

An AppleTV+ series, Silo is an adaptation of the first book, Wool , from Hugh Howey’s trilogy of the same name. Set in a distant future where Earth has become uninhabitable due to toxic air and environmental hazards, this dystopian series follows a group of survivors who live in a massive underground structure known as the Silo.

Much like the book, the series presents an engaging storyline with great world-building and a gradual revelation of truth that keeps viewers invested in the characters’ fate. While some aspects of the show may be puzzling to viewers, fans of the book will, however, have a better understand of the unfolding of events and characters. It is an interesting and suspenseful dystopian series that many may find difficult to stop, just as readers similarly couldn’t put down the book.

The Expanse (2015-2022)

The expanse.

Release Date 2015-00-00

Cast Wes Chatham, Steven Strait, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Cas Anvar

Genres Drama, Sci-Fi

The Expanse is adpated from the series of sci-fi novels written by James S. A. Corey, the collective pseudonym for authors Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck. Remaining true to its source material throughout its six seasons, the series begins with a mysterious conspiracy involving a missing woman which threatens the fate of earth. As the tension escalates, a tough detective and a renegade ship’s captain join forces to investigate the unfolding crisis.

The Expanse stands as a show committed to closely following its source materials, even though there may be minor differences between the show and the book, due to the latter’s more detailed nature. Also, while the book tells the story from the point of view of certain characters, the show unfolds through the perspective of various characters. Nevertheless, it is one mind-blowing sci-fi series .

10 Best Sci-Fi TV Shows Based on Books, Ranked

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  1. The 22 Best Books of 2022

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  1. The Best Books of 2022

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