Readers' Most Anticipated Books of January
New year! New books! New this month: Scandal rocks an elite British boarding school in The Divines. A dark secret spans several generations in The Last Garden in England. And the Gothic classic Jane Eyre gets a twisted reboot in The Wife Upstairs. Also look for World War I drama, spooky tech-bro cultists, and some old-school science fiction.
Each month the Goodreads editorial team takes a look at the books that are being published in the U.S., readers' early reviews, and how many readers are adding these books to their Want to Read shelves (which is how we measure anticipation). We use the information to curate this list of hottest new releases.
This highly anticipated mystery/thriller dares to aim high, delivering a modern and significantly twisted update on the gothic classic Jane Eyre. Author Rachel Hawkins moves the action to a creepy One Percenter hive of Southern McMansions, where down-and-out Jane makes her way walking dogs and stealing the occasional jewelry piece from her clients. Everything changes when Jane meets the neighborhood’s designated mystery man, a widower whose wife died under dubious circumstances. In fact, the former Mrs. Rochester refuses to stay buried. Uh-oh.
Dark, funny and wickedly satirical, Black Buck follows the increasingly treacherous life of 22-year-old Darren, the first and only Black salesman at New York City’s hottest startup company. Life in the fast line has its risks, however. Darren soon discovers that, at sufficient levels of weirdness, tech-bro corporate America is indistinguishable from a doomsday cult. Black Buck is getting lots of advance buzz–Colson Whitehead calls it “mesmerizing”–and is recommended for fans of Ralph Ellison, Paul Beatty, Fran Ross, and Ishmael Reed.
Author Julia Kelly, a specialist in WWII historical fiction, wanders up and down the temporal map in this ambitious new novel. Unspooling along three separate timelines, The Last Garden in England follows the effects of one dark secret from 1907 to 1944 to the present day. Everything revolves around the famed Highbury House estate and its treasured gardens–a perfect place for burying secrets, figuratively and otherwise. Why choose between historical fiction and contemporary fiction if you don’t have to? There are no rules.
When St. John the Divine, an elite English boarding school, was abruptly shuttered in the 1990s, everyone knew there had been a scandal, although no one knew the specifics. Josephine, now a thirty-something Los Angeleno, has spent years trying to forget those details–she hasn’t spoken to another Divine girl in 15 years. But now the memories are coming back, and they’re threatening to spiral out of control. Recommended for fans of The Girls and Normal People.
Author and rapper Angie Thomas returns with a new story set 17 years before the events in her heralded YA bestseller The Hate U Give. Teenage Maverick Carter, son of a former gang legend now in prison, has to grow up in a hurry when he discovers he’s about to be a father himself. When Mav gets a chance to go straight, he takes it. But walking away from street life can be dangerous, too. It’s hard out here for a new dad.
Historical fiction, done properly, is one of the abiding delights of a serious reading habit. Meet Me in Bombay should fit the bill. Set in 1913 colonial India, Jenny Ashcroft’s new story follows Englishwoman Madeline Bright and her deepening romance with historical hottie Luke Devereaux. But the shadow of The Great War is falling across the continent and Luke must depart. Danger and loss encroach from all directions. Can love triumph in the wondrous city of Bombay?
Isaiah and Samuel, two enslaved young men on a Deep South plantation, don’t have much. But they have one another, and it’s been that way as long as anyone can remember. But things take a turn for the worse when a fellow slave looks to gain favor by preaching the master’s intolerant interpretation of scriptures. Isaiah and Samuel’s love, previously simple and accepted, is suddenly viewed as sinful and dangerous. Author Robert Jones, Jr. conjures a story of terrible suffering and the power of love.
Fans of The Mandalorian will want to keep an eye out for Persephone Station, an innovative new entry into the canon of space-opera style science fiction. A backwater planet finds itself in the midst of lethal corporate intrigue when one town’s resident criminal class squares off against the galaxy’s amoral power brokers. The corporate raiders have no honor, but the criminals do–especially the renown ex-marine Angel and her crack squad of washed-up mercenaries. There will be blood.
A poetic coming-of-age story, Nadia Owusu’s Aftershocks thoroughly scrambles the usual genre classifications, combining memoir with cultural history and contemporary resonance. Owusu grew up all over the world–Rome, London, Dar-es-Salaam, Kampala. Her mother abandoned her at two years old, and her father died when she was just 13. By the time she arrives at university in New York, it’s all she can do to hold herself and her siblings together. And you thought your freshman year was rough…
Michael Leviton had an unusual childhood. His family valued honesty over everything and he was taught to always voice his opinions, regardless of how hurtful or offensive or inappropriate. As you can imagine, it got weird. By the time he was 29 years old, Leviton had told exactly three lies in his entire life. This wry and quirky autobiography details Leviton’s life in what he affectionately calls “our little honesty cult.”
Comments Showing 1-37 of 37 (37 new)
date newest »
back to top