If you’re sorting through next year’s reading list, there are plenty of good books to choose from.
But which authors will rise to the top of the bestseller list?
Of course, the Duke of Sussex’s memoir Spare (Bantam, 10 January) is likely to outsell January sales, but there’s a buzz around several other turntables throughout the year, in both fiction and non-fiction.
May’s coronation should also spawn some royal books.
“It looks like it’s going to be a really good year, as we have a lot of great books in every area,” says Bea Carvalho, head fiction buyer at Waterstones.
Richard Osman’s fourth book in The Thursday Murder Club series (as yet untitled, Penguin, Sept) will no doubt be another rousing crime hit, as booksellers expect much interest in Victory City (Jonathan Cape, Feb 9), Sir Salman Rushdie’s forthcoming novel, written before he was attacked in New York.
“There has been a real influence from BookTok (a community within TikTok, where people give each other advice) which has had a hugely positive impact on the book trade.
“Certain genres have really benefited, including romance, which is booming,” says Carvalho. There will also be a continued push for diversity and recognition for authors of color, he adds.
People with large online followings could make their mark in 2023, predicts Caroline Sanderson, associate editor of trade publication The Bookseller.
“Increasingly, TikTok has a big influence on what gets posted.”
Guides to mental health, lifestyle and thrift will prevail rather than the raft of traditional diets and notebooks coming out in the new year, she continues. “It’s more about mental health and lifestyle and thrift, people squatting.”
Here are just a few of the books that experts say could be important in 2023.
Happy Place by Emily Henry (Viking, April 27): One of the current stars of romantic fiction tells us the story of a couple who go to their cottage every year to enjoy the sea air with their favorite friends. But this year they are blatantly lying, as they broke up six months ago and have not told anyone. Can they pretend for a week without their friends finding out?
Romantic comedy by Curtis Sittenfeld (Doubleday, April 6): From the international bestselling author of American Wife and Rodham comes this story about a best-selling screenwriter for a legendary TV comedy series and her long-abandoned search for love as she falls for a pop idol .
Old Girls in the Woods by Margaret Atwood (Chatto & Windus, March 7): The award-winning author of The Handmaid’s Tale offers this collection of 15 short stories, ranging from two best friends who disagree about their shared past, to the right way to keep someone from choking.
Thrifty cooking by Jack Monroe (Bluebird, Jan. 5): Sanderson anticipates this book with money-saving recipes and home hacks is going to be big. “She is a great campaigner for highlighting food poverty and the plight of people on the lowest incomes.”
Georgina Easterbrook’s Crystal Trail (Michael Joseph, March 16): With over a million followers on TikTok, Easterbrook’s guide on how crystals can boost self-confidence and improve all aspects of your life may be valuable.
“It intersects with manifesting, which started with Rhonda Byrne’s book The Secret (Simon & Schuster), manifesting the life you really want,” says Sanderson.
Poster: Vice Deeper by Roxie Nafousi (Michael Joseph, January 5): The sequel to his bestselling Manifest aims to take people deeper into their healing journey.
The Bret Easton Ellis Fragments (Swift Press, Jan. 27): In his first novel in 13 years, the bestselling author of American Psycho delivers this chilling story that follows a group of privileged high school friends in Los Angeles as a serial killer strikes the city. Set in 1981, the story explores the emotional fabric of 17-year-old protagonist Bret and his obsession with the killer.
A death in the parish of the Reverend Richard Coles (Orion, June 8): If you prefer intimate crime, you can opt for the second in this genre from the famous vicar, which sees the return of Canon Daniel Clement who tries to keep order in the village of Champton as he investigates what seems a ritual killing.
The Year of the Locust by Terry Hayes (Bantam, June 8): From the best-selling author of I Am Pilgrim, a Richard & Judy Bookclub phenomenon, comes Hayes’ second novel. In it, its hero Kane travels to the badlands where the borders of Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan meet to exfiltrate a man with information vital to the security of the West. But instead he meets an adversary who will bring the world to the brink of extinction.
Elliot Page’s page (Doubleday, June 6): The Oscar-nominated actor, the first openly trans man to grace the cover of Time magazine after coming out as transgender in 2020, charts his life in a memoir full of behind-the-scenes details and intimate interrogations about sex, love, trauma, and Hollywood.
A pebble in Aasmah Mir’s throat (Headline, May 18): Fascinating memoirs by broadcaster and Times Radio Breakfast Show co-presenter (and former Saturday Live presenter with Richard Coles) who recalls her story as a young girl of Pakistani descent growing up in her native Glasgow, paralleling that of her mother, who was sent abroad to Scotland after marrying a man she barely knew.
There are also memoirs from Paris Hilton, Jon Snow and Melanie Sykes, while Geordie Shore star Charlotte Crosby talks pregnancy and motherhood in Me, Myself & Mini Me (Headline, March 2) and Tess Daly offers style guidance Fitness and Wellness Life Guide 4 Steps to Be Happier and Healthier (Bantam, March 16).
‘Cli-fi’ (climate drama)
Birnam Wood by Eleanor Catton (Granta, March 2): The author of The Luminaries brings us a new psychological thriller about a group of guerrillas cultivating land in unclaimed spaces such as abandoned parks and roadsides, who clash with a man who bought the earth and made a bunker to protect himself from the impending apocalypses.
Go Like a River by Shelley Read (Doubleday, April 6): One of Doubleday’s key titles for 2023, this ambitious and compassionate tale of female resilience is set in a breathtaking image of our natural world: its trees, mountains and light.
Breathe by Sadiq Khan (Hutchinson Heinemann, May 25): The Mayor of London was diagnosed with adult-onset asthma while training for the 2014 London Marathon and has become passionate about climate change. This seven-step guide aims to garner support for tough action on this issue.
Godkiller by Hannah Kaner (HarperCollins, Jan. 23): Preorders are going well for this story about a world where gods are projected by the beliefs of the inhabitants — and not always forces for good. The protagonist is out to get them.
Small Worlds By Caleb Azumah Nelson (Viking Penguin, May 11): From the award-winning and bestselling author of Open Water comes his expansive new novel about fathers and sons, faith and friendship, set over the course of three summers in the life of a young British-Ghanaian musician from the South -east of London.
The making of another great cinematic masterpiece by Tom Hanks (Hutchinson Heinemann, May 9): The Academy Award-winning actor is surely in the ideal position to write this debut novel that charts the story of how a colossal star-studded superhero action movie is made, spanning 80 years. It features a colorful cast of characters including a pompous movie star and an eccentric director. The novel follows Hanks’ bestselling collection of short stories.
Fold It Calm: Simple origami to calm the mind by Li Kim Goh (Ebury, March 2): “We’ve had coloring books to calm you down, but we’re turning to origami. According to editors, origami is the 10th most wanted skill on YouTube, and this author has more than two million TikTok followers, so that could be a good fit,” says Sanderson.