What to read in 2023

Whether you’ve made a decision to read more or just upgrade your must-read book, the new year is a great time to figure out your next book plan. Luckily, 2023 promises to be a fantastic year for book lovers, with plenty of new releases and highly anticipated returns to look forward to.

Here are some options worth considering:


Ghost music by An Yu (January 10)

If you enjoyed An Yu’s charming debut novel Braised pork, his follow up should definitely be on your TBR. In ghost music, Yu tells a semi-surreal story of music and mysterious mushrooms centered around Song Yan, a former pianist who wishes to have children (unlike her husband). But as she deals with her growing tension in her home, Song Yan begins to have recurring dreams about mushrooms that originated in her mother-in-law’s birthplace in China. Soon, a packet of those same mushrooms leads Song to a mysterious house where she discovers a world-famous pianist who disappeared ten years ago. Kirkus reviews he says Yu’s story “contrasts the immediacy of daily life in Beijing with a mesmerizing dreamscape”. You pre-order here.

Maame by Jessica George (January 31)

Jessica George’s upcoming debut Maame it has been generating buzz since 2021, when it was acquired in an eight-way auction. Bestselling author Celeste Ng calls it “an utterly fascinating and deeply moving portrait of the joys — and the guilt — of trying to find your way in life.” George’s ‘perfect’ novel follows Maddie, a Ghanaian-born Londoner, as she navigates the complexities of modern life. Maddie is saddled with a dead-end job where she is often the only black person in the room. She is also left to care for her ailing father while her mother is away in Ghana for a year, grappling with family duties and struggling to find her true place. Maame has been described as “funny, heartbreaking, utterly relatable and powerfully authentic,” making clear why it’s one of the most anticipated releases of the year. Preorder here.

Other books to read in January:

The stolen heir by Holly Black (January 3); Replacement by Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex (January 10); Hell bent by Leigh Bardugo (January 10); Really good, actually by Monica Heisey (January 17); The distant world by Patricia Engel (January 24); With love, Pamela by Pamela Anderson (January 31)


Victoria city by Salman Rushdie (February 7)

The fifteenth novel by critically acclaimed author Salman Rushdie Victoria city will be released in 2023, less than a year after being brutally attacked during a conference in New York. Rushdie has already proven herself to be one of the most accomplished literary stars of his generation, and her forthcoming epic fantasy novel promises to be one of the best releases of the year. Set in 14th-century India (and stylized to mimic a translation of an Indian epic myth), Victoria city follows a young girl who becomes the earthly host body of a goddess following a divine encounter. Over the next 250 years, she builds a magical empire… only for the city to finally turn against her. Time magazine calls Victoria city a “majestic saga looking at what it’s really like to be the center of the universe”. He preorders here.

A mystery of mysteries: the death and life of Edgar Allan Poe by Mark Dawidziak (February 14)

Framed as an exploration of the author’s mystifying death, A mystery of mysteries it is sure to fascinate even the slightly curious Edgar Allan Poe fan. Former film and television critic Mark Dawidziak explores the alleged causes of Poe’s death and offers a poignant analysis of the writer’s prolific work, even debunking some myths on the subject about him. A mystery of mysteries he has “revelations to spare,” he says Publisher’s Weekly, thus earning a place on readers’ shelves this year. He preorders here.

Other books to read in February:

When you try to go home by Jennifer Maritza McCauley (February 7); The latest story of the flower bride by Roshani Chokshi (February 14); Sink: a memory by Joseph Earl Thomas (February 21); I have some questions for you by Rebecca Makkai (February 21)


What happened to Ruthy Ramirez by Claire Jimenez (March 7)

This debut novel by newcomer Claire Jimenez has been named one of the most anticipated books of 2023 by Happy reading. What happened to Ruthy Ramirez follows a Puerto Rican family on Staten Island as they struggle to cope with the disappearance of their fiercely independent sister Ruthy. But when a woman who looks a lot like Ruthy shows up on a reality TV show, the family reunites to search for her long-lost member. Today calls What happened to Ruthy Ramirez “a hilarious and heartbreaking examination of sisterhood, generational trauma, and the bonds that hold families together.” He preorders here.

Old girls in the woods by Margaret Atwood (March 7)

Internationally acclaimed author Margaret Atwood has been publishing her first collection of short stories since 2014 Stone collection. The Fifteen Stories in Old girls in the woodssome of which have appeared in The New Yorker, offer a new collection of short stories inspired by the uncertainty of the pandemic era. Atwood’s trademark wit and creativity should be on full display in this collection; there’s even a story where she imagines herself conversing with iconic science fiction author George Orwell during a séance. Expect “seven extraordinary stories that follow a married couple through the decades, the big and small moments that make up a long life of uncommon love – and what comes after,” according to the book’s text. Fans of the author of The Handmaid’s Tale should pre-order this one before it releases in the spring. He preorders here.

Other books to read in March:

Who is believed?: When the truth is not enough by Dina Nayeri (March 7); Hello Beautiful by Ann Napolitano (March 14); Birdgirl: Looking up to the sky in search of a better future by Mya-Rose Craig (March 28); Evil eye of Etaf Rum (March 28); The human origins of Beatrice Porter and other essential ghosts by Soraya Palmer (March 28); Above Ground by Clint Smith (March 28)


Chain Gang All Stars by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah (April 4)

The upcoming release should pique your interest if titles like Octavia Butler’s Parable of the sower and of Atwood handmaid’s tale I’m more your vibe. Chain Gang All Stars is the highly anticipated debut novel by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, the author of New York Times-bestselling short story collection, black friday. Adjei-Brenyah’s new book depicts a dystopian future where female prisoners fight in gladiator-style battles for a chance to be free. Happy reading calls it “a vicious attack on America’s for-profit prison systems,” a description echoed from the blurb on the book’s back cover: “a damning, kaleidoscopic look at America’s prison system’s unholy alliance of systemic racism, unchecked capitalism, and the incarceration of mass.” Preorder here.

A living remedy: a memory by Nicole Chung (April 4)

Nicole Chung she’s back with a sequel to her 2018 memoir All you can know, a touching ode to his experiences growing up as a Korean-American adopted by a white family. Chung’s new project, A Living Remedy: A Book of Memoirs, chronicles the heartbreaking loss of her adoptive parents to a failing health care system, following the author as she faces her grief and contemplates America’s inequality. “In this country, unless you attain extraordinary wealth, you probably won’t be able to help your loved ones in all the ways you had hoped. You will learn to live with the specific and empty guilt of those who give themselves up to shoulders the hardships, yet I am unable to take anyone else with me,” Chung writes, according to a fragment on the back cover of the book. You pre-order here.

Other books to read in April:

People who report more stress by Alejandro Valero (April 4); A Fever in the Heartland: The Ku Klux Klan’s Plot to Take Over America and the Woman Who Stopped Them by Timothy Egan (April 4); Homecoming by Kate Morton (April 4); Romantic comedy by Curtis Sittenfeld (April 4); The Trackers by Charles Frazier (April 11); You could make this place beautiful by Maggie Smith (April 11); Alejandra’s obsession by V. Castro (April 18)


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