Fri. Jun 21st, 2024

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From Drag Race host RuPaul’s memoir to a posthumous novel from Nobel Prize–winning author Gabriel García Márquez, the 2024 books lineup offers something for every reader.

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In Funny Story, romance novelist and #BookTok darling Emily Henry serves up a feel-good pairing of polar opposites. In The Demon of Unrest, best-selling historical nonfiction writer Erik Larson chronicles the turbulent months leading up to the start of the American Civil War. Also on the way: buzzy releases from established fiction favorites including Tana French, Kristin Hannah, and Kevin Kwan.

Here, the 25 most anticipated books of 2024.

Martyr!, Kaveh Akbar (Jan. 23)

In poet Kaveh Akbar’s debut novel, a newly sober Iranian immigrant befriends a terminally ill painter living in a museum. The former shares some traits with the author—Akbar was born in Tehran and is also in recovery. Martyr! captures the bond between the unlikely duo, punctuated by Akbar’s lyrical prose.

Buy Now: Martyr! on Bookshop | Amazon

Come and Get It, Kiley Reid (Jan. 30)

Kiley Reid’s 2019 debut novel Such a Fun Age, which was longlisted for a Booker Prize, centered on the relationship between a babysitter and her wealthy employer. In her follow-up, Reid draws on similar themes, again focusing on a young woman struggling to make ends meet who comes to rely on an older woman with more resources. This time, it’s a resident assistant carrying out questionable tasks for a visiting professor at the University of Arkansas. As their relationship grows more complicated, Reid unveils another twisty narrative full of observations about class and power.

Buy Now: Come and Get It on Bookshop | Amazon

The Women, Kristin Hannah (Feb. 6)

In 2015, Kristin Hannah’s best-selling novel The Nightingale explored the myriad ways that French women both played a role in and were deeply impacted by World War II. In The Women, she delves into how the lives of young American women who volunteered to serve in Vietnam were shaped by the conflict. The historical fiction epic centers on Frances “Frankie” McGrath, a 20-year-old nursing student who enlists in the Army Nursing Corps in 1965 right before her older brother Finley is killed overseas. Hannah’s latest is both a coming-of-age story and an examination of a turbulent and divisive era.

Buy Now: The Women on Bookshop | Amazon

The Book of Love, Kelly Link (Feb. 13)

In her highly anticipated debut novel, Pulitzer Prize finalist Kelly Link takes readers on a surreal journey to a fictional coastal town in Massachusetts. It’s been nearly a year since teenagers Laura, Daniel, and Mo disappeared and were later presumed dead—leaving Laura’s sister Susannah grieving and alone. But then the impossible happens: the trio, alongside another older spirit, are resurrected by a mystical being the kids previously knew as their high-school music teacher. The four formerly deceased characters are forced to compete in a series of high-stakes magical challenges. The winners get to stay alive—and the losers will be sent back to the realm of the dead. Link weaves together elements of horror, fantasy, and magical realism in a twisting, turning, and often whimsical tale.

Buy Now: The Book of Love on Bookshop | Amazon

Supercommunicators, Charles Duhigg (Feb. 20)

Through deep reporting and scientific research, Charles Duhigg, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Power of Habit, breaks down his tools for becoming someone with the ability to effectively communicate in any scenario, otherwise known as a “supercommunicator.” Duhigg argues there are three types of conversations—practical, emotional, and social—and supercommunicators can recognize which they are having and understand how to adapt accordingly. Drawing on exchanges ranging from a jury deliberation to a surgeon advising a patient, Duhigg provides a framework for having more empathetic and productive interactions.

Buy Now: Supercommunicators on Bookshop | Amazon

Splinters, Leslie Jamison (Feb. 20)

In a memoir that centers the trials and triumphs of motherhood, Leslie Jamison, the best-selling author of The Recovering and The Empathy Exams, recounts the disintegration of her marriage in the months after her daughter was born. Through piercing prose, Jamison delivers an intimate account of her relationships with men, her parents, her child, and herself as she investigates, in her own words, the “difference between the story of love and the texture of living it.”

Buy Now: Splinters on Bookshop | Amazon

Grief Is for People, Sloane Crosley (Feb. 27)

From the author of the 2022 novel Cult Classic and the 2008 best-selling essay collection I Was Told There’d Be Cake comes a memoir about friendship, love, and death. Shortly after Sloane Crosley’s New York apartment was burglarized, one of her closest friends, book publicist Russell Perreault, died by suicide. Crosley unpacks that distressing time, which took place over the span of just one month in 2019, to craft a poignant remembrance of her late mentor—an influential yet flawed figure in the high-pressure publishing industry. She elegantly processes her grief over two seemingly unconnected traumas in her life.

Buy Now: Grief Is for People on Bookshop | Amazon

Wandering Stars, Tommy Orange (Feb. 27)

Pulitzer Prize finalist Tommy Orange’s new historical fiction novel imagines how three generations of a family are affected by the real-life Sand Creek Massacre of 1864, in which more than 230 Cheyenne and Arapaho people were killed by the U.S. Army in Colorado. Orange follows the son of a survivor of the attack, a boy who is sent to the Carlisle Indian Industrial School and taught a curriculum designed to erase Native American history. Wandering Stars flips forward to 2018, in the aftermath of a shooting, and reveals how the past is tied to the present.

Buy Now: Wandering Stars on Bookshop | Amazon

The Hunter, Tana French (March 5)

Contemporary mystery master Tana French returns to the fictional West Irish village of Ardnakelty for a sequel to her Western-inspired 2020 novel The Searcher. In that book, retired Chicago police detective Cal Hooper moved to the sleepy rural enclave to rebuild his life, and was drawn into a missing-persons case by local teenager Trey Reddy. The Hunter picks up two years later with Cal and his girlfriend acting as parental figures to Trey, whose long-absent father returns to Ardnakelty with a scheme to find gold in the remote town. But Trey’s not happy to see him—and wants revenge. Hailed as the queen of Irish crime fiction, French spins a taut tale of retribution, sacrifice, and family.

Buy Now: The Hunter on Bookshop | Amazon

Anita de Monte Laughs Last, Xochitl Gonzalez (March 5)

In Xochitl Gonzalez’s new novel, a first-generation Ivy League art history major named Raquel discovers the work of Anita de Monte, a popular 1980s artist who was mysteriously found dead in New York City. As Raquel researches de Monte’s life, she starts dating another student, who is older and has many connections in the art world. Raquel begins to see parallels between her life and de Monte’s, leading her to question her relationship and her place on campus. Just like her 2022 best seller Olga Dies Dreaming, Gonzalez’s latest is a dissection of social status and privilege.

Buy Now: Anita de Monte Laughs Last on Bookshop | Amazon

The House of Hidden Meanings, RuPaul (March 5)

RuPaul, star of the hit reality show RuPaul’s Drag Race, has written three autobiographical books, but his fourth might be his most personal. In the upcoming memoir, RuPaul details the challenges of growing up Black and queer with a father who was out of the picture, and how he found love and family with his husband George LeBar. As he said in a video statement, “This world today feels so hostile and it’s such a scary place to be vulnerable in, but I did it. So get ready.”

Buy Now: The House of Hidden Meanings on Bookshop | Amazon

Until August, Gabriel García Márquez (March 12)

Arriving almost a decade after Nobel Prize winner Gabriel García Márquez’s death is a recently rediscovered novel, translated by Anne McLean from the original Spanish. Until August is set in the Caribbean, where a woman married for 27 years takes a new lover every time she comes to visit her mother’s grave. As she gives into her desires, a powerful narrative about love and freedom emerges. The novel promises to be full of the absurd circumstances the Colombian magical realism master is known for.

Buy Now: Until August on Bookshop | Amazon

Who’s Afraid of Gender?, Judith Butler (March 19)

Preeminent gender studies scholar Judith Butler unpacks how authoritarian regimes and fascist movements use anti-gender ideology as a fear-mongering tool to distract from globally destructive forces like war and climate change. At a time when anti-LGBTQ and anti-trans rhetoric is being weaponized by right-wing extremists around the world, Butler argues that opposing these conservative and incendiary concepts requires solidarity among all those fighting for equality.

Buy Now: Who’s Afraid of Gender? on Bookshop | Amazon

James, Percival Everett (March 19)

Pulitzer Pulitzer finalist Percival Everett reimagines Adventures of Huckleberry Finn from the point of view of Finn’s enslaved friend Jim in his new novel James. In this gripping thriller, Huck Finn has embarked on a journey down the Mississippi River after faking his own death to escape his abusive father, and Jim goes into hiding on an island when he finds out he’s going to be sold into slavery and separated from his family.

Buy Now: James on Bookshop | Amazon

The Morningside, Téa Obreht (March 19)

In The Morningside, Téa Obreht introduces us to the half-underwater ruins of Island City (an apparent fictional facsimile of Manhattan), where preteen Silvia and her unnamed mother have just moved into a decaying luxury high-rise. Adapted from Obreht’s 2020 short story of the same name, the dreamlike novel draws on elements of folklore and fairy tales for a narrative set eerily close to present day that explores environmental collapse and human resilience.

Buy Now: The Morningside on Bookshop | Amazon

There’s Always This Year, Hanif Abdurraqib (March 26)

Cultural critic Hanif Abdurraqib looks at basketball as a lens to try and understand why some people make it big in America and others don’t. He weaves together threads from his own relationship to the sport alongside history and contemplates the meaning of home. Like he did in his 2021 book A Little Devil in America, which was a finalist for a National Book Award, Abdurraqib distills a huge aspect of American culture to consider its societal implications.

Buy Now: There’s Always This Year on Bookshop | Amazon

Like Love, Maggie Nelson (April 2)

A collection of essays drawn from nearly 20 years of genre-defying author Maggie Nelson’s work, Like Love offers incisive commentary on topics ranging from music and literature to feminism and queerness to motherhood and love. Featuring cultural criticism, conversations with friends, and tributes to beloved artists like Björk and Prince, the chronological anthology examines the purpose of art and how Nelson’s relationship to her own writing has changed over time.

Buy Now: Like Love on Bookshop | Amazon

Table for Two, Amor Towles (April 2)

Amor Towles’ latest is an immersive collection of short works of fiction set in turn-of-the-millennium New York and Golden Age Hollywood. The book features six short stories and a novella that centers on Evelyn Ross, a character from Towles’ debut novel The Rules of Civility. The author, whose previous three novels have collectively sold more than six million copies worldwide, told Today that the majority of the narratives in Table for Two deal with fateful encounters between strangers or family members. “When I finished the collection,” he said, “it occurred to me that in many of the stories, a critical moment in the tale involved two of the characters facing each other across a kitchen table to confront some new reality in their lives.”

Buy Now: Table for Two on Bookshop | Amazon

Knife, Salman Rushdie (April 16)

On Aug. 12, 2022, Booker Prize winner Salman Rushdie survived a stabbing in which he lost sight in one eye and the use of one of his hands (the latter is coming back). While he’s best known for his magical realism, Rushdie draws on his own experience recovering from the traumatic attack in his latest book. In an interview with TIME earlier this year, the novelist described writing the book as part of his healing process—“a way of kind of taking charge of it”—and not letting the incident control him.

Buy Now: Knife on Bookshop | Amazon

Real Americans, Rachel Khong (April 30)

In her second novel, Rachel Khong serves up a story about race and power in America. Like her 2017 debut Goodbye, Vitamin, Real Americans is set on the West Coast, this time on a small island off the coast of Washington state. It’s 2021, and Lily Chen is a single mom raising a 15-year-old boy who decides to search for his birth father. But the journey is complex—and uncovering answers about the boy’s father only leads to more questions. By following three generations of the family, Khong explores the forces that shape a person’s sense of self and probes the connection between identity and fate.

Buy Now: Real Americans on Bookshop | Amazon

Funny Story, Emily Henry (April 23)

A risingstar writer of literary romance, Emily Henry has garnered a devout readership by consistently delivering dreamy modern love stories. Building on a run of best-sellers—from Beach Read (2020) to Happy Place (2023)—in which Henry found innovative ways to subvert tropes of the genre, Funny Story puts the author’s signature spin on the idea that opposites attract. The novel centers on Daphne, a down-on-her-luck librarian whose fiancé Peter recently dumped her for his childhood best friend Petra. Finding herself at a crossroads, Daphne decides to move in with Petra’s ex-boyfriend Miles. Hijinks, heartache, and a healthy dose of temptation ensue.

Buy Now: Funny Story on Bookshop | Amazon

The Demon of Unrest, Erik Larson (April 30)

Best-selling author Erik Larson has spent his writing career meticulously reconstructing critical junctures in history, from the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair in The Devil in the White City to the rise of the Third Reich in In the Garden of Beasts to the sinking of the Lusitania in Dead Wake. Larson’s nonfiction accounts of these fateful events feel like novels, making his books as readable as they are informative. In The Demon of Unrest, Larson digs into the months between Abraham Lincoln’s election as the 16th president of the United States and Confederate forces firing the first shots of the Civil War at Fort Sumter. As Larson told the Associated Press, he was particularly interested in exploring “the human element—the hubris, the personalities, the ambitions, the egos”—that led to America’s fracturing.

Buy Now: The Demon of Unrest on Bookshop | Amazon

This Strange Eventful History, Claire Messud (May 14)

Inspired by acclaimed author Claire Messud’s own ancestry, This Strange Eventful History chronicles seven decades in the lives of a fictional family of Algerian-born French citizens. Opening with the patriarch, naval attaché Gaston, while he is stationed in Greece as Paris falls to the Nazis, the novel unfolds as war, distance, politics, and faith test the family’s ties. Messud follows the Cassars from 1940 to 2010, weaving a complex, multi-generational saga against the backdrop of World War II, the Algerian Revolution, and beyond.

Buy Now: This Strange Eventful History on Bookshop | Amazon

Lies and Weddings, Kevin Kwan (May 21)

Much like his blockbuster Crazy Rich Asians trilogy, Kevin Kwan’s latest novel satirizes super-rich Asian jetsetters—only this time he’s sending up the English upper classes. In the follow-up to 2020’s Sex and Vanity, a former Hong Kong supermodel is pressuring her son, the future Earl of Greshambury, to pursue a wealthy woman at his sister’s glamorous Hawaii wedding because the family is secretly bogged down by debt. But when a volcano erupts and ruins the nuptials, it also knocks all of the schemer’s plans off course. What ensues is a hilarious, richly detailed family affair that takes place around the world, from Hawaii to Venice to Los Angeles to the English countryside.

Buy Now: Lies and Weddings on Bookshop | Amazon

Tehrangeles, Porochista Khakpour (June 11)

The tragicomic novel from Porochista Khakpour follows the Milani family, Iranian American multimillionaires and wannabe reality TV show stars in the City of Angels. They are finally close to landing their own series, but before the cameras even start rolling, family secrets start leaking out. The Milanis begin to realize the price of fame—and it might just be their downfall.

Buy Now: Tehrangeles on Bookshop | Amazon

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