"Cat Person" Author Kristen Roupenian's New Book & 18 Other Fiction Books Hitting Shelves In January 2019
The new year is finally upon us, and readers, you know what that means: It is officially time to get started on your 2019 TBR list. Luckily for you, there are a ton of exciting new fiction books coming out in January that will make starting the year off on the right foot — or in this case, on the right page — easier than ever.
If you were one of the many readers who fell in love with The New Yorker's viral 2017 short story "Cat Person," you'll be thrilled to learn its author Kristen Roupenian is releasing her debut story collection this month. If you've been waiting for something new to scratch your thriller itch, you'll be pleased to know The Widow author Fiona Barton is back with another novel of psychological suspense, this time about every parent's worst nightmare: their children's disappearance. If you prefer love stories over mysteries, news that Sally Thorpe is releasing another rom-com — one that features an epilogue starring Lucy Hutton and Josh Templeman from her hit debut The Hating Game — just might give you butterflies.
In addition to the many books coming out in January by authors you're familiar with, including Samanta Schweblin, Seanan McGuire, and the writing duo Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen, there are also some great debuts hitting shelves from authors you don't yet know but will certainly love. Pushcart Prize recipient Madhuri Vijay's book The Far Field is shaping up to be one of the month's most anticipated releases, and Sophie Mackintosh's first novel The Water Cure, which was a breakout debut in the U.K. last year and longlisted for the 2018 Man Booker Prize, is finally hitting U.S. bookstores.
If you are ready to begin crossing names off of this year's reading list, ere are the best new fiction books of January 2019 to help get you started.
'Looker' by Laura Sims (Jan. 8; Scribner)
In this Hitchcockian thriller, an unhappily childless and recently separated woman on the verge of a breakdown obsessively observes her neighbor, an actress who seems to have everything the book's unnamed narrator does not. When their interaction at the annual block party leads to disastrous results, what started as a curious preoccupation spirals out of control.
'An Orchestra of Minorities' by Chigozie Obioma (Jan. 8; Little, Brown and Company)
From Man Booker Finalist and author of The Fisherman comes a heartbreaking story about young Nigerian poultry farmer who sacrifices everything for a chance to be with the woman he loves. A contemporary retelling of Homer's classic The Odyssey, this modern epic is narrated by a chi, or guardian spirit, who has lived for hundreds of years.
'The Water Cure' by Sophie Mackintosh (Jan. 9; Doubleday)
In this Man Booker Prize nominated debut, which Margaret Atwood calls a "gripping, sinister fable," three sisters on an isolated island are raised to fear men. When their father disappears and three strangers — two men and a boy — wash up on their shore, the girls get caught up in sexual desire, sibling rivalry, and psychological cat-and-mouse game that will change each of their lives.
'Sugar Run' by Mesha Maren (Jan. 8; Algonquin Books)
In this gritty debut, a woman recently released after 18 years in prison searches for a new life in West Virginia. When she falls in love with a troubled young mother living in a motel with her children, both women are excited for what looks like a fresh start. But when you have a past that refuses to stay in the past, can you ever really hope to get a new beginning?
'An Anonymous Girl' by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen (Jan. 8; St. Martin's Press)
From the writers behind the smash hit The Wife Between Us comes a brand new novel of psychological suspense. In An Anonymous Girl, a young woman signs up for a psychological study that makes her question what is real, what is manipulation, and what exactly the motives of the doctor conducting the experiments really are.
'Mouthful of Birds: Stories' by Samanta Schweblin (Jan. 8; Riverhead Books)
In her latest collection, international literary star Samantha Schweblin presents 20 new and mesmerizing stories. Like her previous work and her award-nominated novel Fever Dream, Mouthful of Birds blurs the line between what is reality, what is fantasy, and what is madness.
'The Only Woman in the Room' by Marie Benedict (Jan. 8; Sourcebooks Landmark)
Based on an incredible true story, the latest novel from bestselling author Marie Benedict tells of the life of Hedy Lamarr. An Austrian-born scientist turned accidental Hollywood screen star best known for her role in Samson and Delilah, Lamarr invented a revolutionary radio guidance system that helped shape the outcome of World War II.
'Her One Mistake' by Heidi Perks (Jan. 8; Gallery Books)
Charlotte said she would watch the children, so when her best friend Harriet's daughter goes missing at the school fair, she feels entirely responsible for the tragedy. Harriet can't help but blame Charlotte too, and can no longer bring herself to talk to the woman who was once her only confidant. That is, until a police investigation into the disappearance reveals dark secrets leaves Harriet with no choice but to turn to Charlotte for help finding her missing child.
'In an Absent Dream' by Seanan McGuire (Jan. 8; Tor.com)
This stand-alone fantasy from Seanan McGuire's popular Wayward Children series offers readers the prequel story of Lundy, a very serious young girl who prefers studying and dreaming to training for her future as a respectable housewife. When she finds a doorway that leads her to another world, Lundy is willing to do anything to stay just a little bit longer.
To Keep the Sun Alive' by Rabeah Ghaffari (Jan. 15; Catapult)
Set in the year 1979, this debut from Rabeah Ghaffari explores the lives of everyday men and women in Iran right before the country's revolution. Told through a host of unique characters, including servants, children, and friends, To Keep the Sun Alive tells the largely untold personal stories behind one of modern world history's most important political moments.
'The Dreamers' by Karen Thompson Walker (Jan. 15; Random House)
In this novel from the bestselling author of The Age of Miracles, an ordinary California town experiences the extraordinary when its citizens begin contracting mysterious illness that triggers perpetual sleep. Those affected seem to be experiencing unusually high levels of brain activity while they dream, but what is it that are they dreaming of, and what will it take to wake them up?
You Know You Want This' by Kristen Roupenian (Jan. 15; Gallery/Scout Press)
In her highly anticipated debut collection, the author behind the viral "Cat Person" story offers up a host of strange, fascinating, and downright delightful narratives you won't be able to stop talking about. Spanning a range of genres and topics, it is equal parts dark, uncomfortable, and funny.
'Elsey Come Home' by Susan Conely (Jan. 15; Knopf)
When Elsey, a depressed and alcohol-dependent wife, mother, and painter, is given an ultimatum from her husband — attend a weeklong mountain retreat or the marriage is over — she knows she has no choice but to give it a shot. There, she finds an unlikely group of allies who help her realize that if she has any shot at a happy future, she must confront the most painful parts of her past.
'The Far Field' by Madhuri Vijay (Jan. 15; Grove Press)
In this novel from Pushcart Prize-winner Madhuri Vijay, a young woman searches for a lost figure from her childhood. On a journey that takes her from Southern India to Kashmir and beyond, she must reckon with pressures both personal and political.
'The Suspect' by Fiona Barton (Jan. 22; Berkley Books)
Two eighteen-year-old girls go missing in Thailand in the latest psychological thriller from The Widow author Fiona Barton. Their parents are desperate for answers, and so is journalist Kate Waters, who is willing to do anything to be the first to find the story and uncover the truth.
'Golden Child' by Claire Adam (Jan. 29; SJP for Hogarth)
Thirteen-year-old Trinidadian boys Peter and Paul may be twins, but they could not be more different. Paul has always been an oddall, while Peter has been told his whole life of the greatness his father Clyde believes he is destined to achieve. But when Paul disappears and Clyde's search of him stretches from hours to days, the heartbroken father's world is shattered as he is forced to make an impossible decision about his son's fate.
'We Cast a Shadow' by Maurice Carlos Ruffin (Jan. 29; One World)
In this piercing satire, a father living in a near-future Southern city plagued by police violence will do anything to protect his son from the rampant racism that threatens their very existence. Anything, including signing his son up for an experimental medical procedure that promises to change his appearance and erase his blackness.
'The Falconer' by Dana Czapnik (Jan. 29; Atria Books)
In this coming-of-age-story that is being compared to a modern-day Catcher in the Rye, seventeen-year-old Lucy Adler is in unrequited love with her wealthy best friend and basketball pick-up teammate Percy. As she struggles to deal with her feelings for someone from a completely different world than her own, Lucy finds herself drawn to yet another kind of life when two provocative female artists show her what is left of New York's bohemia.
'99 Percent Mine' by Sally Thorne (Jan. 29; William Morrow)
In the latest rom-com from bestselling author Sally Thorne, successful photographer Darcy finally gets an opportunity to pursue her long time crush, Tom, who just so happens to be her twin brother's best friend and expressly off-limits. When their grandmother dies and leaves Darcy and her brother a rundown cottage, and Tom shows up to put his house-flipping skills to good use, Darcy finds herself unable to walk away from what could be her last chance at true romance.