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18 Best New Novels and Non-Fiction Books Coming in January 2023

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New month, new books! Book Light is our Dandelion Chandelier curated list of the most-anticipated new book releases every month, and next up is January 2023. If you ask us, the perfect January read is a riveting call to action: it’s a new year, and a time to see things as they really are. So what are the best new new novels, poetry collections, memoirs and other non-fiction books to read coming out in January 2023? Our intrepid team has been exploring and here’s what we found: 18 new book releases coming soon that we cannot wait to read.

what are the most anticipated new novels and non-fiction book releases for January 2023?

Wondering what to read in January 2023? We’ve surveyed the landscape, and rounded up a list of the best new books coming this January. In many ways, understanding what the publishing industry has deemed important for the new year is a great window into the 2023 zeitgeist. You can judge for yourself what the cognoscenti seem to be anticipating based on this list.

The best most anticipated novels and non-fiction book releases with rave reviews to read among the top new books coming out in January 2023.
The best most anticipated novels and non-fiction book releases with rave reviews to read among the top new books coming out in January 2023.

new novels and poetry collections January 2023

Allegra Goodman has a new novel that is garnering rave reviews, as does De’Shawn Charles Winslow. And there are debut novels from new names like Parini Shroff.

new essay collections and non-fiction books January 2023

The big memoir of the month is Prince Harry’s account of his life to date. But Pamela Anderson weighs in as well.

the best new books coming in January 2023

Here’s our pick of the top new book releases of January 2023 that we cannot wait to read, including novels, poetry collections, memoirs and other non-fiction books. You can pre-order your favorites now, if you like.

The best most anticipated novels and non-fiction book releases with rave reviews to read among the top new books coming out in January 2023.

Top new book releases January 3, 2023

1. Brotherless Night by V. V. Ganeshananthan.

 

best new novels and non-fiction books coming January 2023

Set during the early years of Sri Lanka’s three-decade civil war, Brotherless Night is a novel about one young woman’s life choices in extreme situations. It’s 1981 and teenaged Sashi plans to be a doctor. But war takes her four beloved brothers and their friend away and her plans are dashed. When one of the Tamil Tigers recruits her to be a medic for the radical group, she’s at the center of the fight for a separate homeland for the Tamil minority and the human rights abuses that as a physician she cannot ignore.

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2. The Bandit Queens by Parini Shroff.

 

The Bandit Queens is a buzzy debut novel with a wickedly funny premise. A young woman in a small village in India “loses” her husband when he walks out on her one day. But somehow the village believes that she killed him – and she finds herself in high demand with other wives who are hoping for the same outcome.

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3. Sam by Allegra Goodman.

 

The protagonist of the new novel Sam is seven years old when the story begins. Growing up in Beverly, Massachusetts, her father is rarely around. But her mother is omnipresent and has big dreams for her only child. Fast forward to when Sam is 17, and one of her male coaches at school takes an inappropriate interest in her. She’s grieving the loss of her father and resisting her mother’s plans for her future. The novel has just been selected as the “Read with Jenna” pick of the month, so expect to hear more about it soon.

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Top new book releases January 10, 2023

4. Ghost Music by An Yu.

 

best new novels and non-fiction books coming January 2023

Ghost Music is set in contemporary Beijing, but explores themes of loss and disappointment by moving back and forth in time. A lonely music teacher longs for a child, but her husband refuses, even when his mother-in-law arrives from the countryside to lobby for a grandchild. Bonding over cooking rare mushrooms, the two women become allies, but the mysteries of a lost musician twist the plot in inventive ways.

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5. Small World by Laura Zigman.

 

best new novels and non-fiction books coming January 2023

Small World is the latest novel from one of our favorite authors. When one divorced sister invites another to move in temporarily in order to regroup and start over, the neighborhood social networking site, Small World, becomes an emotional anchor for one of them. The two sisters haven’t lived in the same place for over 15 years, and there are many things that they never discuss – including the fate of their late sister. Is the post-divorce rebound relationship that both of them need?

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6. Spare by Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex.

 

Spare, a highly anticipated memoir, promises to give “the definitive account of the experiences, adventures, losses and life lessons that have helped shape” Prince Harry. We’re staunch members of Team Meghan, and we’ve watched the Oprah interview and the Netflix documentary. And yet somehow we still want to know more. One bombshell that has already leaked to the press is Harry’s account of a physical attack by his brother, William, as their relationship disintegrated over Meghan’s treatment in the British press.

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7. The Survivalists by Kashana Cauley.

 

best new novels and non-fiction books coming January 2023

The novel The Survivalists follows a lawyer’s detour into an underground world of people who believe the apocalypse is coming and are trying to get ahead of it. She’s grieving the loss of her mother, and searching for a way to lessen her anxiety about the future and her sadness over her inability to protect herself and her loved ones from harm.

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8. The Half Known Life: In Search of Paradise by Pico Iyer.

 

The Half Known Life is the latest from the philosopher and travel writer. Traveling from Iran to North Korea, from the Dalai Lama’s Himalayas to the ghostly temples of Japan, he brings together a lifetime of explorations to explore the dream of finding utopia. And asking how we might find peace in the midst of difficulty and suffering.

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Top new book releases January 17, 2023

9. Decent People by De’Shawn Charles Winslow.

 

The author of In West Mills returns with a new novel set in the same community, Decent People. It’s 1976 and three secretive siblings have been shot in the still-segregated town of West Mills, North Carolina. The authorities don’t have a sense of urgency about the crime, but someone has a lot of questions for which she expects answers — Jo Wright, freshly back home from NYC and ready to take matters into her own hands.

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10. Really Good, Actually by Monica Heisey.

 

Here’s the summary of the debut novel Really Good, Actually from the comedian and screenwriter Monica Heisey: “Maggie is fine. She’s doing really good, actually. Sure, she’s broke, her graduate thesis on something obscure is going nowhere, and her marriage only lasted 608 days, but at the ripe old age of twenty-nine, Maggie is determined to embrace her new life as a Surprisingly Young Divorcée™.”

Say no more. We’re all in.

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11. Please Report Your Bug Here by Josh Riedel.

 

best new novels and non-fiction books coming January 2023

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12. Master Slave Husband Wife: An Epic Journey from Slavery to Freedom by by Ilyon Woo.

 

best new novels and non-fiction books coming January 2023

Master Slave Husband Wife is an account of an incredible true story. in 1848, Ellen and William Craft escaped slavery and fled to the north. They survived by having Ellen pass as a wealthy, disabled White man. With William posing as “his” slave. It worked until the Fugitive Slave Act forced them to go back on the run.

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13. The Sense of Wonder by Matthew Salesses.

 

The new novel The Sense of Wonder has shades of the true story of Jeremy Lin, who played in the NBA and started a bout of “Lin-sanity” when he went on a tear for the New York Knicks. In the novel, when Won Lee, the first Asian American in the NBA, stuns the world in a seven-game winning streak, the global media audience dubs it “The Wonder.”

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Top new book releases January 24, 2023

14. The Faraway World: Stories by Patricia Engel.

 

best new novels and non-fiction books coming January 2023

In the new short story collection The Faraway World, the bestselling novelist explores themes of community, regret and migration.

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15. Dior by Sarah Moon.

 

best new novels and non-fiction books coming January 2023

The new three-volume collection Dior is filled with gorgeous fashion photos taken by French photographer Sarah Moon. Through her lens, we learn the history of the house of Dior. Sure, we saw the Dior exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum last fall. But we are more than happy to dive back into this beautiful world again.

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Top new book releases January 31, 2023

16. Central Places by Delia Cai.

 

In the new novel Central Places, a timeless story of bringing a boyfriend home to meet the parents is overlaid with the story of immigrants in America. Since moving away from the central Illinois town she grew up in, Audrey Zhou has gotten a high-powered job and found the perfect man. Now, she’s bringing her fiancé back to meet her Chinese immigrant parents. What could go wrong?

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17. River Sing Me Home by Eleanor Shearer.

 

best new novels and non-fiction books coming January 2023

The Emancipation Act of 1834 should mean that Rachel is a free woman. But the man who owns the plantation says that it changes nothing. So she escapes. Her five surviving children have all been sold to other plantations. So she goes in search of them, traveling to Trinidad, Barbados and British Guiana, fueled by a mother’s love.

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18. Love, Pamela by Pamela Anderson.

 

best new novels and non-fiction books coming January 2023

It may not be the biggest memoir of the month, but Pamela Anderson’s life story is surely almost as interesting as Prince Harry’s, right?

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the best new books coming in January 2023

That’s our take on the best, most anticipated novels and non-fiction book releases to read among the top new books coming out in January 2023. What’s at the top of your list, dear reader?

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