Readers' Most Anticipated Books of January

Posted by Cybil on January 1, 2021

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.
 


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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?


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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.


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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.


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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…


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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.”



 


Which new releases are you looking forward to reading? Let's talk books in the comments!

Check out more recent articles, including:
January's Most Anticipated Romances
January's Most Anticipated YA Books
The Most Anticipated Books of 2021

Comments Showing 1-38 of 38 (38 new)

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message 1: by Crummlesglope (new)

Crummlesglope awsome


message 3: by Annie (new)

Annie I'm always attracted by the covers of books. I don't know why. Concrete rose is in my virtual bookshelf because I read the Hate U give. All of those choices looking good.


message 4: by bookcaked (new)

bookcaked So excited for Persephone and Aftershocks!


message 5: by Diamond Scott (new)

Diamond Scott This was a pretty good book


message 6: by Hazel Bee (new)

Hazel Bee I want to read The Prophets & The Last Garden of England is a me book.


Jasa (Lost in Plots) Of all the books on this list, I’m most excited for “The Divines”, but I’m also eager for the publication of “The Charmed Wife” (Olga Grushin) and “The Push” (Ashley Audrain). This year, I hope to keep up with newly published works and also catch up on books published in 2020, so I’ve got quite a year planned - keeping my fingers crossed! 🥳


message 8: by Hellinger (new)

Hellinger Institute Nice


Brynne Koontz Mixon I’ve already read The Wife Upstairs and it was a bit of a ride. Haha. Can’t wait to read some of these others!


message 10: by Mikki (new)

Mikki I added a few of these to my shelf. Covers usually grab my attention. Looking forward to Angie Thomas’s book Concrete Rose and also Black Buck by Mateo Askaripour.


Camilla Reed-Pinchuk I have already read Hate U give.


message 12: by Will (new)

Will There are a number of books that I am eagerly anticipating reading for January! It looks like my reading challenge is going to be met again this year. I’m hoping to join a good book discussion group here to talk about some of these.


message 13: by Vicki Mencarini (new)

Vicki Mencarini Annie wrote: "I'm always attracted by the covers of books. I don't know why. Concrete rose is in my virtual bookshelf because I read the Hate U give. All of those choices looking good."

Annie , I totally agree to these 2 books !!! Just what I like !!! Vicki M .


message 14: by Vicki Mencarini (new)

Vicki Mencarini Annie wrote: "I'm always attracted by the covers of books. I don't know why. Concrete rose is in my virtual bookshelf because I read the Hate U give. All of those choices looking good."

Annie , I also am excited to read Concrete Rose !! Vicki M .


message 15: by Vicki Mencarini (new)

Vicki Mencarini Hazel Bee wrote: "I want to read The Prophets & The Last Garden of England is a me book."Hazel Bee these 2 books look very promising as great reads !!!!! I can't wait !!!! Vicki M .

J. wrote: "I’m exited for my book, JUDD coming out!"

J. wrote: "I’m exited for my book, JUDD coming out!"
Hazel Bee , these 2 books excite


message 16: by Vicki Mencarini (new)

Vicki Mencarini Hellinger wrote: "Nice"

A great year of reading !!! I'm excited to start 2021books & finish 2020 too


message 17: by Ruperto (new)

Ruperto Prieto Wow. Those look good.


message 18: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Ambo-Smith The Wife Upstairs is so good! 🤗


message 19: by Vicki Mencarini (new)

Vicki Mencarini Will wrote: "There are a number of books that I am eagerly anticipating reading for January! It looks like my reading challenge is going to be met again this year. I’m hoping to join a good book discussion grou..."

Will , I totally agree !!!! I can't wait to start !! What a great selection ! Vicki M .


message 20: by Schizoid (new)

Schizoid Nightmares The website appears to be being flooded with accounts that include highly suspicious and spamy-looking links in their bio. Goodreads for whatever reason does not appear to offer a "report" button on profiles. If this is permitted to continue, I predict the vast majority of new accounts, if not already, will be spam bots—and will dominate the website in the future—if not the present.

If you need examples, just check some of my "followers," many (or most, or almost all, or all) of whom are no doubt the result of programs masquerading as humans.

Goodreads should include a feature to easily report non-humans. If I have missed this, let me know.

All non-humans should be eliminated from the website. Goodreads needs to improve mechanisms for the elimination of non-humans. One is too many, but as it stands right now, there are far too many, and their existence has been tolerated for far too long.

Your thoughts?


message 21: by Angelo Valderas (new)

Angelo Valderas Angelo Valderas


message 22: by Boakye (new)

Boakye D. Yes!


message 23: by Emmy May (new)

Emmy May Same!


message 24: by Zachary (new)

Zachary Morris Some other books I'm excited for this month are Remote Control by Nnedi Okorafor and Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo!


message 25: by ClaraBelle (new)


message 26: by Jim (new)

Jim Schizoid wrote: "The website appears to be being flooded with accounts that include highly suspicious and spamy-looking links in their bio. Goodreads for whatever reason does not appear to offer a "report" button o..."

Use the Flag button. GR isn't great about removing obvious fake accounts or spam postings, but they do try.
Regardless, just focus on the books and the people you know/follow and ignore the bullshit.


message 27: by Kasia (new)

Kasia Got Wife Upstairs arriving next week, can't wait :)


message 28: by Schizoid (new)

Schizoid Nightmares Jim wrote: "Schizoid wrote: "The website appears to be being flooded with accounts that include highly suspicious and spamy-looking links in their bio. Goodreads for whatever reason does not appear to offer a ..."

Where's the flag button? I don't see it any where on profiles.


message 29: by juniper (new)

juniper excited for The Prophets and The Divines!!


message 30: by Ty (new)

Ty Schizoid wrote: "Jim wrote: "Schizoid wrote: "The website appears to be being flooded with accounts that include highly suspicious and spamy-looking links in their bio. Goodreads for whatever reason does not appear..."

Click on the users profile image. On the photos page underneath the image you will see an option to flag. Choose the first option for a user that has violated TOS and in the explanation you can describe the nature of the flag.


message 31: by Schizoid (new)

Schizoid Nightmares Ty Antony wrote: "Schizoid wrote: "Jim wrote: "Schizoid wrote: "The website appears to be being flooded with accounts that include highly suspicious and spamy-looking links in their bio. Goodreads for whatever reaso..."

That worked, albeit only for the suspected non-humans with profile pictures. Nonetheless, it's better than nothing and most of them have profile pictures anyway. I reported all the ones that I have noticed.

Undoubtedly, they utilize these profile pictures to masquerade as human beings.

Hopefully Goodreads will swiftly remove the non-humans from the website. The more they are tolerated, the more they will pollute the digital ecosystem here. While total eradication of non-humans is not always possible, as they seem to spread at an alarming rate, abusing the open nature of the Internet, the less the better.

I much appreciate the response!


message 32: by Ty (new)

Ty Schizoid wrote: "Ty Antony wrote: "Schizoid wrote: "Jim wrote: "Schizoid wrote: "The website appears to be being flooded with accounts that include highly suspicious and spamy-looking links in their bio. Goodreads ..."

Many of the type of accounts that you are describing seem to be older accounts that have gone inactive for a period of a few years and then pop back up only to follow other users and share the spam link. Most likely people are getting hacked


message 33: by James (new)

James Paull The Nadia Owusu sounds fantastic! Can't wait.


message 34: by Mikkel (new)

Mikkel Andersen Black Buck
by Mateo Askaripour: Sounds interesting.


message 35: by Robert (new)

Robert Pennie Fucked Up
by Damien Ark: This is my most sought-after book this year.


message 36: by Isabella (new)

Isabella I really excited for keeper of the lost cities 9 to come ou! By Shannon messenger.


message 37: by Pirjo (new)

Pirjo Mustonen My favorites detective storeys/thrillers this year are Anne Hillermans The Stargazer and Sujata Masseys The Bombay Prince.

My best actors include Michael Stanley, Qiu Xiaolong, Tarquin Hall, and - other than thrillerists - Sarah Lark and Jojo Moyes, but they aren't supposed to publish this year, if I'm right...


message 38: by Jodi (last edited Jan 19, 2021 06:30AM) (new)

Jodi Schizoid wrote: "Jim wrote: "Schizoid wrote: "The website appears to be being flooded with accounts that include highly suspicious and spamy-looking links in their bio. Goodreads for whatever reason does not appear..."

You're so right! Unfortunately, the FLAG button is available when you click on their photos, but if they don't have a photo associated with the profile it's more difficult. You have to go through a lot of searching to try to report them. I reported two of my "followers" the other day who had PORN links on their profiles. It wasn't easy, but I finally found a Contact Us link.


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