The 21 most anticipated books of 2023

Heidi Montag said it best when she tweeted, “There’s just something about holding a book.” So true… and a new collection of titles due out in 2023 will inspire the same devotion to Montag to the hobby of reading.

The books we’re most excited about in 2023 include a stunning collection of edgy debuts, sultry nightlife romps, and tender and swashbuckling coming-of-age shops. We are thrilled with everything from earth angel, the first collection of short stories by Magazine foreverfrom Madeline Cash, on impiety and the digital life, to Dizz Tate’s debut novel Brutes, set in the Florida version of A24, to an anthology of black punk writing. In short, it will be especially nice to hold a book in your hand this year.

Read on for NYLON’s list of the 20 books we’re most excited to read in 2023.

SAM by Allegra Goodman – Penguin Random House, January 3

“There’s a Girl, and Her Name is Sam,” begins this tender coming-of-age novel that touches on the pillars of growing up — you know, like class, addiction, lust, and following your dreams. It follows seven-year-old Sam through her teenage life, where all she wants to do is climb up and put on the right kind of jeans, asking universal questions like what happens to a girl’s sense of joy and self-confidence as she becomes a woman?

The Fragments by Bret Easton Ellis – Knopf January 17th

Set in 1981 Los Angeles, Bret Easton Ellis’ first novel in over a decade follows a group of friends through their senior year at an exclusive elementary school. All Xanax and Porsches, innocence is lost and paranoia builds as a serial killer preys on the San Fernando Valley, targeting teenagers – and seems to grow ever closer to the group of friends.

Brutes by Dizz Tate – Catapult February 7

In this coming-of-age novel that brings to mind Virgin suicides if it were set in the Florida of A24, the preacher’s daughter goes missing and a group of thirteen-year-old girls become obsessed with mystery, uncovering a dark secret about their town that will haunt them forever.

Dyscalculia: A Love Story of Epic Miscalculation by Camonghne Felix – Penguin Random House, February 14th

‘Dyscalculia’ is a disorder that makes learning maths difficult (raise your hand if you have that too!), but that childhood diagnosis becomes a helpful framework for Camonghne Felix into her adulthood, particularly after she’s been through a breakup shocking that takes her to the hospital. That’s where she plays out the childhood trauma and past heartbreak through lens dyscalculia, making her think about what else she’s miscalculated in her life about her.

Your driver is waiting by Priya Guns – Penguin Random House February 28

A genre reboot of the 70s film Taxi driver, Priya Guns’ viciously satirical dark comic novel is about a chauffeur who barely shares control. Broke, alone and looking for love and financial security, she finally lets her guard down about her love for her, only to see her girlfriend do something unforgivable and it all blows up.

Thirst for salt by Madelaine Lucas – Tin House, March 7

In this sultry coming-of-age novel, a young woman meets a man 20 years her senior while on vacation in an isolated Australian coastal town. She is drawn to her simple life, a balm for her chaotic upbringing. But after witnessing something strange, she loses her moorings, questioning everything she thinks she wants.

Nothing special by Nicole Flattery – Bloomsbury, March 2nd

Mae is 17 years old in 1966 New York City and lives in a run-down apartment with her alcoholic mother and her mother’s on-and-off boyfriend. She drops out of school only to be hired as Andy Warhol’s typist, in a coming-of-age game through the countercultural movement that explores nightlife, art and independence.

STASH: My hidden life by Laura Cathcart Robbins – Simon & Schuster, March 7th

Laura Cathcart Robbins, podcast host The only one in the room, wrote a memoir about propelling addiction that has her going from piling pills in her Louboutins and popping them between PTA meetings to dealing with divorce and a custody battle. As Robbins tries to undo her life choices, she must deal with self-sabotage and internalized racism to deal with her years-long drug addiction.

The fifth wound by Aurora Mattia – Nightboat, 7 March

Aurora Mattia’s cosmic and intimate collection of love and coming-of-age trans fantasy tells diverse stories of time travel, transphobia and stabbings, and romance T4T.

Tweakerworld by Jason Yamas – Unnamed Press, March 7

The meth crisis meets the Bay Area’s gay culture in this gripping memoir by Jason Yamas, a film producer who finds himself controlling the entire marketplace of San Francisco’s gay community, where he encounters a decadent party cast that transforms the concept of “who a tweaker is” on his head, showing him a kind of deadly nirvana.

Flow by Jinwoo Chong – Melville House, March 21st

A time-bending neo-noir novel in the vein of Lin Ma SeparationFlux is about the lives of three men at a loss, whose lives converge when a 28-year-old discovers a time-traveling conspiracy at his new workplace that is being used to cover up a web of dark secrets.

Parade of Tears: Stories by Izumi Suzuki – Verso Books, April 11

In this gripping book of short stories by Japanese science fiction author Izumi Suzuki, classic science fiction and fantasy concepts are chopped up and scrubbed: a cheating husband receives bestial punishment from a wife; bored high school students discover another dimension, but aren’t all that impressed; and the space pirates find a mysterious child in space.

Borderless: Swahili Stories – Publishers Group West, April 11

This collection of eight contemporary short stories from Kenya and Tanzania, all translated from Swahili, follows the stories of Nairobi landfills, cross-country bus rides, and spaceships blasting prisoners through eternity, examining life as we know it today and exploring vibrant Afro-futurist stories and visions.

Earth Angel by Madeline Cash – CLASH April 14th

The glittering debut short story collection by Forever Mag founder Madeline Cash promises an exalted collection of stories about godlessness and the digital life, including stories from Isis’ rookie, a teenage beauty queen, an app that throws a sleepover for a friendless office worker, and a story which explores the laws of architectural consistency in Laurel Canyon.

MONSTERS: A fan’s dilemma by Claire Dederer – Penguin Random House, April 23

What do we do with monstrous men? Claire Dederer asks that in her latest work, a nonfiction work that explores what we do in the wake of discovering horrific acts by some of the artists we love most, asking dark and dark questions: What does female monstrosity look like? Does monstrosity serve art? How do you balance moral outrage and love of work?

We three Of Agbaje-Williams Hours – Penguin Random House, May 16

Set over the course of a single day, this bold and edgy debut novel explores the intrigues of the ménage à trois in a comedy of manners about the tensions between a husband, his wife, and his best friend.

A trans man walks into a gay bar by Harry Nicholas – Jessica Kingsley Publishers, May 18th

Harry is a single, transmasculine, freshly dated gay man who recently broke up with his girlfriend of five years. In his gritty memoir, he talks about what the experience was like from self-digging, exploring Grindr to sauna sex, and all the joy and mess in between.

Jessica Kingsley Editors

Barbie horse by Geena Rocero – Penguin Random House, May 30

Model-turned-producer Geena Rocero has written a heartfelt memoir of her life as a trans-Filipino queen who went back in the closet to modeling in New York City — until she realized she felt more empowered to live the his truth as the iconoclast that “I always have been.

Pharmacy all night by Ruth Madievsky – Catapult, July 11th

In this fever dream of a novel, two sisters in Los Angeles share a bag of pills at a nightclub, forcing one of them to commit an act of drugged violence – just before the other disappears, leaving one to figure out what happened.

Black punk now by James Spooner and Chris L. Terry – Soft Skull Press, October 2023

This comprehensive anthology of contemporary nonfiction, fiction, illustrations, and comics covers the past, present, and future of black punk, including contributions from influential writers such as novelist Brontez Purness and critic Hanif Abdurraqib.

Death Valley by Melissa Broder-Scribner, Fall 2023

From the author of fed milk and one of the best writers on Twitter comes a comic novel about pain that becomes a story of survival in the California desert.

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