21 Hot Picks from Book Editors to Start a Great Year of Reading

Posted by Marie on January 17, 2019


One of the easiest ways to achieve your 2019 Goodreads Reading Challenge goals is to read books you can't put down. To help, we gave popular book and media editors a mission: Pick three page-turners that will leave readers hungry for more. And they delivered! Besides recommending new releases, a few also suggested upcoming books. For these picks, we listed the dates when they'll be available. Enjoy, and let us know which ones you'll be adding to your Want to Read shelf.


Picks from theSkimm

Below are recommendations from theSkimm's editorial team. To receive updates on all the latest news, be sure to sign up for their free daily newsletter.

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The Immortalists follows four siblings over decades after a psychic tells them when they're all going to die. Your 2019 fortune: You won't be able to put this book down.


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Fruit of the Drunken Tree follows two Colombian girls who form an unlikely friendship during the rising violence brought on by drug lord Pablo Escobar. Think: Narcos meets Little Women.


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From the Corner of the Oval is written by former President Obama's stenographer. Hint: the one who transcribes everything. She was a fly on the wall for some of the biggest moments in political history.


Picks from Esquire

Adrienne Westenfeld is the assistant editor at Esquire. For more of her recommendations, check out her list of most anticipated reads.

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Now that the HBO miniseries has ended, start your year in reading by savoring My Brilliant Friend. This modern masterpiece is the rare literary page-turner: an incandescent novel about the complicated force of female friendship that's at once cerebral and unputdownable.


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In The Feral Detective, Jonathan Lethem's rollicking first detective novel since Motherless Brooklyn, an embittered reporter teams up with a mysterious loner to find a friend's missing daughter. The investigation lands this unlikely pair smack in the middle of a standoff between haves and have-nots in a rural corner of SoCal.


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If it's short stories you're looking for rather than a novel, start your reading challenge with Evening in Paradise. Everything you've heard about Berlin is true—these spare, forceful stories, jam-packed with unforgettable images and lively prose, are deeply affecting and deeply memorable.


Picks from Refinery29

Elena Nicolaou is the entertainment writer for Refinery29. Be sure to check out other books she and her team can't wait to read this year.

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The Falconer is the new definitive New York coming-of-age story. Lucy Adler, the endearing high school senior and gifted basketball player at the center of the novel, will take you back to your moony-eyed younger self. Expect to underline many poignant sentences.

Release Date: January 29


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In The Book of M, civilization doesn't end with a bang but with people around the world losing their shadows—and their memories. The book follows a husband and wife's odyssey toward the cure. Shepherd's debut balances remarkable prose and propulsive, satisfying plot.


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Believe the hype. In this debut, Oyinkan Braithwaite conjures up a dark and unforgettable sister duo: Ayoola, the strikingly beautiful younger sister with a penchant for killing her boyfriends, and Korede, the somber older sister there to clean up her sister's messes, literally.


Picks from PopSugar

Below are recommendations from the PopSugar team. If you want to push your bookish boundaries, take a look at the prompts from PopSugar's 2019 Reading Challenge.

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Taylor Jenkins Reid's sexy, pull-at-your-heartstrings novel Daisy Jones & the Six is an ode to '70s rock with a badass, flawed heroine. Fans of A Star Is Born and Almost Famous, prepare to devour this story of love and forgiveness.

—Tara Block, Growth and Strategic Features Director

Release Date: March 5


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Curtis Sittenfeld is a master of writing complicated, fascinating characters, and her book of short fiction, You Think It, I'll Say It, zooms in on everyday interactions with surprising implications. The poignant scenes and witty lines will sit with you.

—Laura Meyers, Trending and Viral Features Director


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R.O. Kwon's writing style is just as unique and absorbing as the story in The Incendiaries, which digs into the intoxicating dangers that two college students face their first year at university, like first love and religious fundamentalism. Oh, and a cult.

—Quinn Keaney, Entertainment Editor


Picks from Outside Magazine

Below are recommendations from Erin Berger, the senior editor of Outside Magazine.

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This dark, surreal story collection offers the satisfaction of finishing a piece (multiple times!) through perspective-hopping vignettes. Groff doesn't need many pages to nail down the human psyche and the weirdness of her chosen home state.


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Whenever I'm in a rut and staring down an ambitious reading list, I reach for books that I know I'll blow right through. Ideal candidate: this true-crime book in which nobody dies and fly-fishing becomes the world's most interesting sport.


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Feeling stuck in her own life, Smith becomes obsessed with Barbara Newhall Follett, an adventurer who deliberately disappeared in 1939. The result is a compelling memoir-slash-historical adventure about women who want to escape.


Picks from Bustle

Cristina Mari Arreola is the senior book editor at Bustle. For more reading inspiration, be sure to check out the Bustle Book Club.

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If you, like me, begin each year with a heaping dose of anxiety over all the things you must accomplish in the next 12 months, read this book. This essay collection will remind you that sometimes you need to just let things fall where they may.


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In under 200 pages, Terese Marie Mailhot will wreck you emotionally and take your breath away with her biting, raw prose. This book will make you fall in love with the act of reading all over again as you launch into your Goodreads Challenge.


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The inaugural title for Bustle's Book Club, The Dinner List is the perfect book to read with a group because—trust me—you'll want to discuss this one with everyone you know. I walked away from this book with so many necessary questions about myself.

Release Date: September 11


Picks from Marie Claire

Rachel Epstein is the assistant editor at Marie Claire. For more recommendations, check out her team's best books of 2018.

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Ariel Levy's memoir about love, loss, and healing is a must-read for every woman. No matter what age you are, you'll relate to Levy somehow as she details her journey through her career, relationships, pregnancy, and how life always comes full circle despite the unexpected hardships.


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Marie Claire chose The Proposal for its November #ReadWithMC pick, and most of us finished it in two days. Jasmine Guillory's hilarious-yet-woke depiction of characters Nik and Carlos is exactly what we need to escape today's overwhelming news cycle. Learn more about Marie Claire's new online book club here.


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Reese Witherspoon loved Daisy Jones & the Six so much that she's planning on turning it into a limited TV series, which is reason enough for us to start reading it. We love a complex female lead just as much as the next woman, and we hear it will make you incredibly nostalgic for the '70s music scene.

Release Date: March 5









Comments Showing 1-21 of 21 (21 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Glory (new)

Glory Dey Great listing, contains many interesting books worth a read. I am excited to check these out! Cheers!


message 2: by Dana Al-Basha (new)

Dana Al-Basha دانة الباشا Great lists! Many of them are on mine as well... let's see how this year will go.


message 3: by Aenea (new)

Aenea Jones I have 100+ books lying next to my couch on my "to read" pile... and you are throwing even more at me how can you adsfgdghdfg


message 4: by Cyn (new)

Cyn Looking forward to picking up Daisy Jones & the Six!


message 5: by Ann (new)

Ann Aenea wrote: "I have 100+ books lying next to my couch on my "to read" pile... and you are throwing even more at me how can you adsfgdghdfg"

I have to small bookshelves on either side of me in the room I am in. These bookshelves have both books of mine and my husbands. I also have so many yet to read. This list is interesting but I am not adding anything to my list of these.


message 6: by Aenea (new)

Aenea Jones Ann wrote: " I have to small bookshelves on either side of me in the..."

... I hope it didn't sound like I had no bookshelves :D
I just prefer to have the unread ones stacked next to my couch as a constant reminder that I need to read them. If I would put them neatly in a shelf, they would be too inconspicuous :)


message 7: by Sophie (new)

Sophie Aenea wrote: "I have 100+ books lying next to my couch on my "to read" pile... and you are throwing even more at me how can you adsfgdghdfg"

LOL. I don't know what your acronym means, but I am sure I agree!


message 8: by Rob (new)

Rob I recommend Michael Palin’s Erebus. Incredible.


message 9: by Vikas (new)

Vikas Good list and yeah I agree with Sophie as well :P


The Cabaret Consortium Consignment As the greatest travel writer in the world, Paul Theroux, resides in the United States, we look forward to his next book. Do you have a heads up? WHEN?


message 11: by Ann (new)

Ann Aenea wrote: "Ann wrote: " I have to small bookshelves on either side of me in the..."

... I hope it didn't sound like I had no bookshelves :D
I just prefer to have the unread ones stacked next to my couch as a..."

lol no I was just saying that I have books near me and they just sit on my shelves unread. Partly because I have a spouse who wouldn't let me read without interrupting me at some point most of the time. I have finished books with him around in the past. I just never know lol. Good luck in your attempts to read a book in the near feature.


message 12: by Aenea (new)

Aenea Jones Ann wrote: "Aenea wrote: "Ann wrote: " I have to small bookshelves on either side of me in the..."

... I hope it didn't sound like I had no bookshelves :D
I just prefer to have the unread ones stacked next to..."


Aww, he wants attention, that's cute :D
Thanks, good luck to you too ^^


message 13: by Ann (new)

Ann Aenea wrote: "Ann wrote: "Aenea wrote: "Ann wrote: " I have to small bookshelves on either side of me in the..."

... I hope it didn't sound like I had no bookshelves :D
I just prefer to have the unread ones sta..

Not cute but I am more and more compelled to read again more often since joining goodreads:)



message 14: by Erica (new)

Erica Moura I picked 3 from the lists, thanks for the suggestions!


message 15: by Shahla (new)

Shahla G Very good list , I will start next month 👍🏻


message 16: by Mohammad (new)

Mohammad PanjehDokht If you don't have time and wanna read quickly, you can choose "You Think It, I'll Say It" by Curtis Sittenfeld ...


message 17: by Ann (new)

Ann Walton buy?


message 18: by TMR (new)

TMR Cyn | READ? wrote: "Looking forward to picking up Daisy Jones & the Six!"

It’s an awesome read for sure. You won’t regret it.


message 19: by TMR (new)

TMR This is an awesome pick up of stories, looking forward to reading them!


message 20: by Ambre (last edited Nov 10, 2019 11:41AM) (new)

Ambre Aenea wrote: "I have 100+ books lying next to my couch on my "to read" pile... and you are throwing even more at me how can you adsfgdghdfg"
SAME!!! And I just can't resist! But I love the fact that I can make lists of stuff I want to read, so I don't have to immediately go out and buy it because if I don't have it written down somewhere, I WILL forget it, lol.


message 21: by Ann (new)

Ann Ambre wrote: "Aenea wrote: "I have 100+ books lying next to my couch on my "to read" pile... and you are throwing even more at me how can you adsfgdghdfg"
SAME!!! And I just can't resist! But I love the fact tha..."


I have books to read too that I own and on my to read list on here keeps growing


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