35 Most Anticipated Fiction Books Of 2018 To Get You Pumped For A New Year Of Reading
I'm going to be real with you: this list was tough to write, because there are so many innovative, intriguing, kickass books coming out in 2018. Consider this your 2018 sampler plate — this is just a taste of the five-course dining experience of the new year.
2018 is bringing new books from some authors you already know and love, including Nnedi Okorafor, Lauren Groff, Neel Mukherjee, Jojo Moyes, Meg Wolitzer, and Amy Bloom. Plus, writers are branching out into new genres and audiences, which is always a treat. For instance, Pretty Little Liars author Sara Shepard and poet and essayist Melissa Broder are both releasing adult fiction novels next year.
My hope for you is that in 2018 you'll find a new favorite author, that you'll be surprised by a book, that you'll try something completely different from your usual. I hope a book makes you cry, and I hope a book makes you laugh. I hope you find a book that is so good, you text your best friend in the middle of the night and demand that they read it right away. Here are the books I'm most excited about in 2018:
'Mouths Don't Speak' by Katia D. Ulysse (January 2; Akashic Books)
After the 2010 Haiti earthquake kills her parents, a woman returns to Haiti after leaving it as a child, 25 years ago. A powerful and engrossing story, this read cannot be missed.
'A State of Freedom' by Neel Mukherjee (January 2; W.W. Norton & Company)
From the author of the incredible The Lives of Others, this novel was short-listed for the Man Booker Prize, and is finally coming to the United States. Set in modern India and "moving between the reality of this world and the shadow of another," this book follows five separate characters as they're brought to question what they want out of life.
'The Immortalists' by Chloe Benjamin (January 9; G.P. Putnam's Sons)
It's 1969, and a psychic has just arrived in New York City. She claims to be able to predict the date of your death. When the four Gold children have their fortunes told to them, the effects span out across decades as their lives take them in different directions.
'Neon in Daylight' by Hermione Hoby (January 9; Catapult)
From the remarkable voice of Hermione Hoby, this book tells the story of Katie, a young woman newly arrived to dizzying, dazzling New York from England. Her world is changed when she meets a writer named Bill and his daughter, Inez, and she falls into infatuation with both of them.
'The Widows of Malabar Hill' by Sujata Massey (January 9; Soho Crime)
Here's a spectacular mystery to kickstart your year. It's Bombay in 1921, and Perveen Mistry has just joined her father's law firm, making her one of the first female lawyers in India. While handling the will of a wealthy mill owner she discovers that all three of his widows have inexplicably left their inheritances to charity, and dives into a mystery that soon escalates to murder.
'The Night Masquerade' by Nnedi Okorafor (January 16; Tor.com)
At the start of the series, Binti was the first of her people to attend the finest institution in the galaxy, Oomza University, taking her on an eye-opening interstellar journey. In the third book, she's returned to her home planet, only to discover that the violence she thought had ended has stirred up again.
'Everything Here Is Beautiful' by Mira T. Lee (January 16; Pamela Dorman Books)
This exquisite book is one that will hurtle past all your expectations. It's the story of two sisters, Miranda and Lucia. When their mother dies, and Lucia starts to hear voices, Miranda is suddenly thrown into the role of protector, as Lucia refuses to have her life defined by her mental illness.
'Red Clocks' by Leni Zumas (January 16; Little, Brown and Company)
"What is a woman for?" That hair-raising question is at the heart of this all-too-timely speculative novel. Red Clocks imagines an America in which abortion and in-vitro fertilization are illegal, and every embryo is guaranteed full rights. The book follows four women (and one figure from the past) as they navigate identity and motherhood in an oppressive new world.
'Ms. Ice Sandwich' by Mieko Kawakami (January 23; Pushkin Press)
Haruki Murakami called out Kawakami as his favorite young writer, and Granta named her one of Japan's best young novelists, so you should be thrilled that her work is finally being published into English! In this quirky coming-of-age novel, a boy is obsessed with a woman who sells sandwiches. But everything changes when his friends hear about his adoration.
'Still Me' by Jojo Moyes (January 30; Pamela Dorman Books)
Yeah, Me Before You fans, get psyched, because the third installment is finally coming next year. Louisa Clarke has just landed in New York City, where she finds herself thrown into high society and meets an intriguing man, Joshua, who carries some secrets from her past.
'An American Marriage' by Tayari Jones (February 6; Algonquin Books)
Celestial and Roy have been married for a year when the unthinkable happens: Roy is arrested and sentenced to 12 years in prison for a crime Celestial knows he didn't commit. After years apart, Roy's sentence is overturned and he returns home unexpectedly early. Can the two resume their life together?
'Call Me Zebra' by Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi (February 6; Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
One of the recipients of National Book Foundation's "5 Under 35" Award, Azareen Van der Vilet Oloomi will blow you away with this book. After fleeing Iran, Zebra and her father built a new home in New York City, finding refuge in books. Years later, Zebra leaves America and embarks on a literary pilgrimage that unexpectedly spins into an affair.
'The Great Alone' by Kristin Hannah (February 6; St. Martin's Press)
In this unforgettable novel set in 1974, thirteen-year-old Leni's father uproots their family and moves them to Alaska. As winter comes, the family finds themselves hopelessly unprepared in this vast and strange place.
'How To Stop Time' by Matt Haig (Feb. 6; Viking)
Matt Hazard is not immortal, but he is aging very slowly. Thus, he has been alive for centuries, and has lived through some of history's greatest moments. But living long comes with its own unique set of challenges, and he has one rule which he never, ever breaks: Don't fall in love. But then he breaks it. If you're not convinced yet, you should know that Benedict Cumberbatch has already signed on to star in the movie adaptation!
'White Houses' by Amy Bloom (February 13; Random House)
From the beloved author of Lucky Us, and Away comes a historical fiction about the forbidden love affair between Eleanor Roosevelt and Lorena Hickok, Need I say more? You're obviously going to be hooked.
'Freshwater' by Akwaeke Emezi (February 13; Grove Press)
In this striking debut novel, a young Nigerian woman develops separate selves within herself, a result of "being born with one foot on the other side." We follow her from her childhood in Nigeria, to her college life in America, exploring trauma in a fierce, unforgettable read.
'Sunburn' by Laura Lippman (February 20; William Morrow)
You won't be able to put down this electric psychological thriller. Two lovers, Polly and Adam, are locked in a game of cat and mouse. But who is chasing whom?
'Speak No Evil' by Uzodinma Iweala (March 6; Harper)
A long-anticipated novel by the author of Beasts of No Nation that tells the story of two friends navigating the harsh realities of life. Beneath the surface of his privileged life, Niru is hiding a secret: he's gay. When this is discovered by his conservative Nigerian parents, a massive fallout ensues. As he leans on Meredith, the two find themselves hurtling towards a dark future.
'The House Of Broken Angels' by Luis Alberto Urrea (March 6, Little Brown)
Pulitzer Prize finalist and author of The Hummingbird's Daughter Luis Alberto Urrea delivers another amazing read in House of Broken Angels. Miguel Angel De La Cruz — also known as Big Angel — is the family patriarch. But he's dying of cancer. Before he takes his last breath, he's throwing a legendary birthday party — both for him and his mother who just died.
'Rainbirds' by Clarissa Goenawan (March 6; Soho Press)
This literary debut is sure to spark your attention. Set in fictional small town Japan, when Ren's sister is murdered, he finds himself stepping into her life, trying to put together the mysterious puzzle pieces of her death, and the emotional circumstances of their childhood together.
'Girls Burn Brighter' by Shobha Rao (March 6; Flatiron Books)
From the author of An Unrestored Woman, this searing read, set in India and America, tells the story of two friends who are torn apart but never stop trying to find each other.
'The Merry Spinster: Tales of Everyday Horror' by Mallory Ortberg (March 13; Holt Paperbacks)
I always want to dive into the mind of Mallory Ortberg (co-creator of The Toast). Adapted from her "Children's Stories Made Horrific" series, this book provides some updates to well-known children's stories that change them into something else entirely.
'The Female Persuasion' by Meg Wolitzer (April 3; Riverhead Books)
Get ready for another incredible novel from powerhouse author, Meg Wolitzer. When Greer scores a job with Faith Frank, a legendary leader of the women's movement, she must come to terms with her own feminism — and what it means to be a part of something with growing pains that sometimes ask you to compromise your own morals.
'Sophia Of Silicon Valley' by Anna Yen (April 10; William Morrow)
This smart and funny book tells the story of an Asian-American woman working in Silicon Valley during the tech boom. With appearances by Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, and other tech celebs, this book is an inside look on what it means to be a woman — and the daughter of immigrants — in tech.
'Heads of the Colored People' by Nafissa Thompson-Spires (April 10; Atria)
Thompson-Spires' writing is stark and immediate, and this collection of short stories will have you reeling. You get the feeling that Thompson-Spires knows her characters down to a molecular level, each story igniting its own spark.
'Circe' by Madeline Miller (April 10; Lee Boudreaux Books)
Fans of The Song of Achilles, get excited. Madeline Miller is back in 2018 with another book, this one about Circe, the daughter of Helios and a witch with powers beyond her — and the gods' — imagination.
'Macbeth' by Jo Nesbo (April 10; Hogarth)
The story of Macbeth in the hands of thriller superstar Jo Nesbo? Sign me up. Nesbo sets the Scottish Play in a run-down, industrial town during the 1970s as two policeman – Duncan, idealistic and steadfast, and Macbeth, manipulative and violent — navigate the drug problem that has festered throughout the town.
'The Elizas' by Sara Shepard (April 17; Simon & Schuster)
Buckle up Pretty Little Liars fans, because author Sarah Shepard is here with her first adult novel, and it is sizzling. When debut novelist Eliza Fontaine is rescued from the bottom of a pool, nobody believes her when she says she was pushed. So Eliza takes it upon herself to investigate, unlocking a dizzying array of questions.
'You Think It, I’ll Say It: Stories' by Curtis Sittenfeld (April 24; Random House)
Curtis Sittenfeld has wowed readers with her spectacular novels and now she's back with some excellent short fiction, and each one of these pieces has Sittenfeld's characteristic spark.
'The Pisces' by Melissa Broder (May 1; Hogarth)
From her poetry to her essay collection So Sad Today to her twitter account by the same name, I love everything Melissa Broder does. Now she's making her fiction debut in a novel "about love, anxiety, and sea creatures" that simmers with Broder's distinct voice.
'The Mars Room' by Rachel Kushner (May 8; Scribner)
In her new book, The Flamethrowers author Rachel Kushner zeroes in on the life of Romy Hall, a woman serving two consecutive life sentences in the Stanville Women's Correctional Facility.
'The Favorite Sister' by Jessica Knoll (May 15; Simon & Schuster)
In 2018, you're finally getting the follow-up from Luckiest Girl Alive author Jessica Knoll. Two sisters join the cast of a reality TV series. One won't make it out alive. So... who did it?
'Florida' by Lauren Groff (June 5; Riverhead Books)
Fates and Furies author Lauren Groff is back with an eclectic collection of short stories with Florida at the heart of them all.
'Who Is Vera Kelly?' by Rosalie Knecht (June 12; Tin House)
A "twisty, literary, women-driven spy novel"? I'm here for it. It's New York City in 1962, and Vera Kelly is a quick-witted waitress who lands herself a job with the CIA. Now she's in Argentina, getting pulled into the wild worlds of the radicals she's been hired to infiltrate. Don't miss this wild ride!
'My Year of Rest and Relaxation' by Ottessa Moshfegh (July 10; Penguin Press)
This new novel from Man Booker finalist Ottessa Moshfegh tells the story of a young New Yorker who "attempts a yearlong hibernation with the help of an off-the-grid therapist" during the 2000 presidential election.