There are many things you cannot predict about the future, but there is one thing I know for sure about the coming year: the
new fiction books of 2019 will be extraordinary.
If you love romance, you're in luck. In 2019, Helen Hoang, Jasmine Guillory, Sally Thorne, and Jill Santopolo will all release new books. But if you're more inclined towards fantasy, that's OK, too: sci-fi star Ann Leckie has a new fantasy book coming out, and G. Willow Wilson and
The Tiger's Wife author Téa Obreht are both out with new books that blend history with magic. There are plenty of speculation fiction books in the works, too — including a sequel to The Handmaid's Tale!
And, of course, it's shaping up to be a phenomenal year for literary fiction. In 2019, expect new books from Helen Oyeyemi, Susan Choi, Nicole Dennis-Benn, Elizabeth McCracken, Valeria Luiselli, Taylor Jenkins Reid, Laila Lalami, and "Cat Person" author Kristen Roupenian.
The list below doesn't include any works by male authors, but don't forget that
The Underground Railroad author Colson Whitehead has a new novel, Nickel Boys, out next year.
Get ready to read your heart out — here are the 39 most-anticipated fiction books of 2019.
'Unmarriageable' by Soniah Kamal (Jan. 5; Ballantine Books)
Pride and Prejudice retelling is set in modern-day Pakistan — need I say more? After a rumor destroys the Binat sisters' fortune and prospects for marriage, their marriage-obsessed mother decides to find eligible bachelors for all her daughters at an upcoming wedding celebration. Click here to buy. 'The Au Pair' by Emma Rous (Jan. 8; Berkley Books)
On the day that Seraphine and her twin brother Danny were born, their mother died by suicide and their au pair fled. Years later, an adult Seraphine finds a mysterious picture from that fateful day... but there's only one baby in the photo.
Click here to buy. 'Mouthful Of Birds' by Samantha Schweblin (January 8; Riverhead)
Argentine writer Samantha Schweblin took the U.S. by storm with
Fever Dream. Her follow-up short story collection is haunting, mesmerizing, and mind-bending as fans of the author would expect. Click here to buy. 'You Know You Want This: "Cat Person" and Other Stories' by Kristen Roupenian (Jan. 15; Gallery/Scout Press) 'The Dreamers' by Karen Thompson Walker (Jan. 15; Random House)
This novel centers on a college town hit by a strange epidemic: People are falling to sleep and never waking up. But could their dreams be a clue to unlocking the mystery?
Click here to buy. 'Adéle' by Leila Slimani (January 15; Penguin Books)
Adèle leads the "perfect life." She is a journalist in Paris with a husband and young son. But Adéle is hiding a secret: She's addicted to sex.
Click here to buy. 'The Suspect' by Fiona Barton (Jan. 22; Berkley Books)
Fiona Barton won the hearts of thriller fans everywhere with
The Widow and The Child. Now, she's back with a novel about two 18-year-old girls who go missing on their gap year in Thailand. Kate Waters is first on the story, but, with her own son off traveling, this project hits a little too close to home. Click here to buy. '99 Percent Mine' by Sally Thorne (Jan. 29; William Morrow)
Darcy has had a massive crush on Tom Valeska since she was eight years old, and no other man can compare. The catch? Tom is Darcy's twin brother's best friend. But when her brother hires Tom to flip their grandmother's cottage, Darcy and Tom are suddenly too close for comfort, and the sparks begin to fly.
Click here to buy. 'The Falconer' by Dana Czapnik (Jan. 29; Atria Books)
This sizzling debut is a coming-of-age novel set in 1993 New York. It follows 17-year-old Lucy Adler, a street-smart basketball player who is often the only girl on the public courts. But when a pair of female artists invite Lucy into their world, she finds herself drawn to another kind of life.
Click here to buy. 'Bowlaway' by Elizabeth McCracken (Feb. 5; Ecco) Bowlaway follows three generations of a family who owns and operates a candlepin bowling alley in small town New England. The books begins at the turn of the 20th century with Bertha Truitt, who is found unconscious in a cemetery, with nothing but a bowling ball, a candlepin, and 15 pounds of gold. Click here to buy. 'The Lost Girls of Paris' by Pam Jenoff (Feb. 5; Park Row)
Hold on to your hats, because this exciting new book follows a ring of female secret agents in 1946 Manhattan, and it's inspired by true events. When Grace discovers an unattended suitcase filled with a dozen photographs of different women, her curiosity leads her to a group of missing female agents who were sent to Occupied Europe and never heard from again.
Click here to buy. 'More Than Words' by Jill Santopolo (Feb. 5; G.P. Putnam's Sons)
The author of
The Light We Lost is back with another gorgeously heart-breaking and romantic read. After her father dies, Nina Gregory begins to question everything she thought she knew about the men in her life: her father, her boyfriend, even her (achingly handsome) boss. This one is certainly going to sweep you up in feelings. Click here to buy. 'Lost Children Archive' by Valeria Luiselli (February 12; Knopf)
This February, the author of
The Story of My Teeth and Tell Me How It Ends delivers a novel that follows a family as they drive from New York to Arizona. As they drive, the father, a documentarian, works on a project to capture "an inventory of echoes" from their surroundings, while the mother finds herself consumed by the news of the thousands of children being held in detention centers at the southern U.S. border. Click here to buy. 'American Spy' by Lauren Wilkinson (Feb. 12; Random House)
It's 1986. Marie Mitchell, a young black woman, works as an intelligence officer with the FBI, a position that means she constantly has to jump through extra hurdles to get ahead in her career. So when she's tasked with a huge mission, she says "yes," despite her misgivings are the task at hand: To seduce, observe, and ultimately overthrow rebel Thomas Sankara.
Click here to buy. 'The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls' by Anissa Gray (Feb. 19; Berkley Books)
At the heart of this novel are the Butler sisters: Althea, Viola, and Lillian. When Althea and her husband are arrested, the family falls into disgrace. As Althea awaiting trial, Viola and Lillian take care of her teenage daughters in this stark, emotional story you don't want to miss.
Click here to buy. 'The Raven Tower' by Ann Leckie (Feb. 26; Orbit)
You may know Ann Leckie from the stack of Hugo, Nebula, and Arthur C. Clarke awards she collected for
Ancillary Justice and its sequels. But in her latest novel, the sci-fi novelist tries her hand at fantasy. In The Raven Tower, she introduces readers to a world in which gods play with the fates of humans... and humans meddle with the gods, too. Click here to buy. 'Vacuum in the Dark' by Jen Beagin (Feb. 26; Scribner)
The sequel to
Pretend I'm Dead also follows Mona, a 26-year-old cleaning lady in Taos, New Mexico. This time, she's got a new (slightly unstable) boyfriend named Dark, who happens to be one of her clients' husbands. Click here to buy. 'Gingerbread' by Helen Oyeyemi (March 5; Riverhead)
The author of
Boy, Snow, Bird and What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours examines the role of gingerbread in classic children's literature in her new novel. At the center is a mother and daughter, Perdita and Harriet, who — despite the appearance of normality — live in a house imbued with magic. Click here to buy. 'Daisy Jones & The Six' by Taylor Jenkins Reid (March 5; Ballantine Books)
If you read
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, you have probably been counting down the days until you can read a new Taylor Jenkins Reid book. Her new book is juicy tell-all-style page-turner that follows the rise — and fall — of a legendary '60s rock band. Click here to buy. 'The New Me' by Halle Butler (March 5; Penguin Books)
One of the National Book Foundation's 5 Under 35 honorees, Halle Butler is sure to become one of your new favorite writers. In this "dark comedy of female rage" (to quote Catherine Lacey), a 30-year-old woman grapples with a reality that feels increasingly hollow.
Click here to buy. 'The Bird King' by G. Willow Wilson (March 12; Grove Press)
A new book by the author of
Alif the Unseen and Ms. Marvel is definitely cause to celebrate. Set in Muslim Spain during the Spanish Inquisition, The Bird King fuses history with magic to tell the story of friends Fatima, a concubine in the royal court of Granada, and Hassan, the palace mapmaker with a secret: He can draw maps of places he's never been and alter reality. When Hassan finds himself under threat, he and Fatima travel through Spain (with the help of a jinn) in pursuit of freedom. Click here to buy. 'If, Then' by Kate Hope Day (March 12; Random House)
This debut novel follows four neighbors as they begin to see themselves in parallel realities. As their visions become increasingly disturbing, it becomes clear that something catastrophic is in the works.
Click here to buy. 'The DNA of You and Me' by Andrea Rothman (March 12; William Morrow)
Emily has been hired to figure out where smell comes from. Little does she know that her research is in direct competition with the research of the other two scientists in the lab. But when she and one of her colleagues fall in love, things get complicated, and she must choose between her research and her heart.
Click here to buy. 'Queenie' by Candice Carty-Williams (March 19; Orion Publishing)
The book follows Queenie Jenkins, a 25-year-old Jamaican British woman working at a national newspaper. Having to navigate the racial and class politics of her workplace isn't easy, and dealing with a messy breakup isn't fun either. So Queenie finds herself asking a
lot of questions... and making some ill-advised decisions as she tries to deal. Click here to buy. 'The Old Drift' by Namwali Serpell (March 21; Hogarth)
This epic debut novel from Zambian author Namwali Serpell tells the story of three families over three generations. It begins in 1904, a few miles from Victoria Falls, in a small colonial settlement called The Old Drift. But one mistake sets off a major rift between a black family, a brown family, and a white family that ripples across the next century.
Click here to buy. 'The Other Americans' by Laila Lalami (March 26; Pantheon)
The author of
The Moor's Account is back with another unforgettable read, and it's a family saga, a murder mystery, and a love story all in one. When a Moroccan immigrant is killed by a speeding car under suspicious circumstances, his death brings together a strange cast of characters, all with their own mysteries and motivations. Click here to buy. 'White Elephant' by Julie Langsdorf (March 26; Ecco)
This novel begins the construction of an enormous house that looms over the neighborhood that surrounds it. When its owner cuts down the beloved maple tree of his neighbors, a wave of resentment rushes through the subdivision. Hold on to your hats if you love suburban drama.
Click here to buy. 'The Affairs of the Falcóns' by Melissa Rivero (April 2; Ecco)
A Peruvian family flees to New York City in the 1990s. But they are undocumented, and their ability to find opportunity is severely limited, forcing them to confront a difficult question: Should they stay in the U.S. — or return to Peru?
Click here to buy. 'Trust Exercise' by Susan Choi (April 9; Henry Holt and Co.)
Pulitzer Prize finalist Susan Choi is back with another remarkable novel with a narrative twist that will knock you out.
Trust Exercise begins with the story of students at a performing arts high school in the 1980s — but dramatically changes course when those students grow up. Click here to buy. 'When We Left Cuba' by Chanel Cleeton (April 9; Berkley Books)
If you adored
Next Year in Havana (a Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick!), you're definitely going to want to get your hands on this newest book from Chanel Cleeton. Set in 1960s Florida, When We Left Cuba follows Beatriz Perez, a sugar heiress whose life was torn apart by the Cuban Revolution. With nothing to lose, Beatriz risks everything to assist the CIA by infiltrating Fidel Castro's inner circle. Click here to buy. 'Normal People' by Sally Rooney (April 16; Hogarth)
The newest novel from the author of
Conversations with Friends is coming to the U.S. this April. It's the story of two teenagers who form a deep bond in high school — one that they keep secret from their friends and family. When they both move away to attend the same college, their relationship morphs into something entirely different. Click here to buy. 'The Bride Test' by Helen Hoang (May 7; Berkley Books)
Helen Hoang delivers a sparkling sequel to the
Kiss Quotient, and it follows a familiar character: Khai Diep, Quan's autistic younger brother. Khai has no interest in relationships, but his mother wants him to find love. She travels to Vietnam to find him a bride, and there, she finds Esme, a mixed-race girl living in the slums of Ho Chi Minh City. But when Esme arrives in America with plans to seduce Khai, things don't go totally as planned. Click here to buy. 'Juliet the Maniac' by Juliet Escoria (May 7; Melville House)
This is the exciting first novel from the author of the poetry collection
Witch Hunt and short story collection Black Cloud. Juliet the Maniac is one of those coming-of-age stories that will feel so darn personal, you'll wonder if Escoria had a secret recording device in your own teenage heart. Click here to buy. 'Patsy' by Nicole Dennis-Benn (June 4; Liveright)
A Jamaican woman named Patsy has spent years waiting for a visa to the U.S., so she can be reunited with her oldest friend (and secret love), Cicely. When it finally arrives, she leaves behind her young daughter and religious mother to move to Brooklyn. But the life she finds there isn't what she expected: She's undocumented and working as a bathroom cleaner and nanny.
Click here to buy. 'Mostly Dead Things' by Kristen Arnett (June 5; Tin House)
Lit Hub column about librarian life is an absolute gem — and now she is giving her fans a novel about a woman named Jessa-Lynn Morton who steps up to run her family's taxidermy shop after her father dies by suicide. Click here to buy. 'The Gone Dead' by Chanelle Benz (June 25; Ecco)
This novel centers on a young woman who returns to her father's home in the Mississippi Delta, 30 years after his death. But when she arrives, she hears a strange rumor about herself, and what really happened the day he died.
Click here to buy. 'The Wedding Party' by Jasmine Guillory (July 16; Berkley Books)
In her new romance novel, Jasmine Guillory zooms in on
The Wedding Date protagonist Alexa's best friends, Maddie and Theo, who hate each other. But after an ill-conceived hook up, the two can't seem to deny their growing attraction to each other. Click here to buy. 'Inland' by Téa Obreht (Aug. 13; Random House)
The Tiger's Wife, Téa Obreht's new book combines myth, magic, and history. Set in the deserts of the Arizona Territory in 1893, the books follows Nora, a frontierswoman who is in search of water and Lurie, a former outlaw. Click here to buy. 'The Testaments' by Margaret Atwood (Sept. 10; Chatto & Windus)