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 2024. 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 fiction and nonfiction books to read coming out in January 2024? Our intrepid team has been exploring and here’s what we found: the new book releases coming soon that we cannot wait to read.
what are the most anticipated new novels, other fiction and nonfiction book releases for January 2024?
Wondering what to read in January 2024? 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 2024 zeitgeist. You can judge for yourself what the cognoscenti seem to be anticipating based on this list.
the best new fiction and nonfiction books coming in January 2024
Here’s our roundup of the best, most anticipated new novels and other fiction, memoirs and other nonfiction books releases coming out in January 2024. You can pre-order your favorites now, if you like. Or hit your favorite bookstore this week!
Top new book releases January 2, 2024
1. The Book of Fire: A Novel by Christy Lefteri.
The author of The Beekeeper of Aleppo returns with a novel set in present-day Greece. A married couple and their child are living an idyllic life when a wildfire sweeps through the forest surrounding their home. What follows in a story of “love, loss, and redemption in the face of unimaginable tragedy.”
2. Wild and Distant Seas: A Novel by Tara Karr Roberts.
Wild and Distant Seas takes Moby-Dick as its starting point, and then diverges with a partial retelling of the classic interwoven with wholly original historical fiction. It’s a sweeping narrative, following a widow living on Nantucket and her descendants from mid-nineteenth century New England to Brazil, Florence, and Idaho.
3. The Age of Deer: Trouble and Kinship with our Wild Neighbors By Erika Howsare.
The Age of Deer “investigates our connection with deer—from mythology to biology, from forests to cities, from coexistence to control and extermination—and invites us to contemplate the paradoxes of how humans interact with and shape the natural world.” Now if we could just get them to stop eating up our backyard garden . . .
Top new book releases January 9, 2024
4. The Fetishist: A Novel by Katherine Min.
On a cold, gloomy night, twenty-three-year-old Kyoko stands in the rain with a knife in her hoodie’s pocket. Her target is Daniel, who seduced Kyoko’s mother then callously dropped her, leading to her death. But tonight, there will be repercussions. Following the unsuspecting Daniel home, Kyoko manages to get a rash kidnapping plot off the ground . . . and then nothing goes as planned.” The Fetishist is a poignant meditation on race, loyalty, and a grieving daughter’s revenge.
5. My Friends: A Novel by Hisham Matar.
The Booker Prize–nominated and Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Return is back with a new novel, My Friends, set in the months before and during the Arab Spring. A young Libyan man studying abroad in Edinburgh unexpectedly meets the author of a short story that changed his life as a child. As strife engulfs his home, their friendship challenges everything he thought he understood and valued.
6. Holiday Country: A Novel by Inci Atrek.
The debut novel Holiday Country sounds like perfect reading on a winter’s day. It’s the story of “a young woman’s dangerous summer romance during an idyllic vacation on the Aegean coast.”
7. Inverno: A Novel by Cynthia Zarin.
“Inverno is a love story that stretches across decades. And also the story of Caroline, waiting in Central Park in a snowstorm for her phone to ring, yards from where, thirty years ago, Alastair, as a boy, hid in the trees. Will he call? Won’t he?”
8. You Only Call When You’re in Trouble: A Novel by Stephen McCauley.
From one of our favorite novelists comes a new witty and heartwarming tale about family. “After a lifetime of taking care of his impossible but irresistible sister and his cherished niece, Tom is ready to put himself first. An architect specializing in tiny houses, he finally has an opportunity to build his masterpiece. Assuming, that is, he can stick to his resolution to keep the demands of his needy family at bay.”
9. Naomi Osaka: Her Journey to Finding Her Power and Her Voice by Ben Rothenberg.
In this new biography of tennis phenomenon and activist Naomi Osaka, we live the stories “behind her Grand Slam-winning career, her headline-making advocacy for racial justice and mental health, and the challenges of a life in the international spotlight. Naomi Osaka is everywhere, but how did she get there?”
Top new book releases week of January 16, 2024
10. Iris van Herpen: Sculpting the Senses by Iris van Herpen and Cloe Pitiot, with a foreword by Tilda Swinton.
This coffee table book accompanies the retrospective on the work of designer Iris van Herpen at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. “Sculpting the Senses offers an overview of Iris van Herpen’s work over the past 16 years. It not only shows the most iconic designs, but also explores her forward-looking vision of fashion on a deeper level. On the basis of 100 dresses, it becomes clear how much the designer challenges our vision of “Haute Couture”.
11. Filterworld: How Algorithms Flattened Culture by Kyle Chayka.
From New Yorker staff writer and author of The Longing for Less comes Filterworld, a history and investigation of a world ruled by algorithms, which determine the very shape of our culture itself.
12. Beautyland: A Novel by Marie-Helene Bertino.
Nylon praises this new novel from the author of Parakeet, whose protagonist is Adina, “an alien who sends faxes to her home planet, describing everything from the TV show Cheers to hair products to fitness culture. Despite being distinctly alien, Adina makes a home for herself — until a friend urges her to share her messages with the world to see if she might not be as alone as she thinks.”
13. Ilium: A Novel by Lea Carpenter.
The author of Eleven Days returns with a new thriller set in the world of international espionage. from London to Mallorca, Croatia, Paris, and Cap Ferret: the gripping and suspenseful story of a young woman who after a hasty marriage unwittingly becomes a perfect asset in a covert special operation.
Top new book releases January 23, 2024
14. Praisesong for the Kitchen Ghosts: Stories and Recipes from Five Generations of Black Country Cooks by Crystal Wilkinson
Praisesong for the Kitchen Ghosts sounds like nourishment for mind, body and soul. “A lyrical culinary journey that explores the hidden legacy of Black Appalachians, through powerful storytelling alongside nearly forty comforting recipes, from the former poet laureate of Kentucky.”
15. Dead in Long Beach, California: A Novel by Venita Blackburn.
In the highly anticipated and buzzy new novel Dead in Long Beach, California, we follow a young woman stricken by grief. “Coral is the first person to discover her brother Jay’s dead body in the wake of his suicide. There’s no note, only a drably furnished bachelor pad in Long Beach, California, and a cell phone with a handful of numbers in it. Coral pockets the phone. And then she starts responding to texts as her dead brother.”
“In this debut novel from the acclaimed short-story author of How to Wrestle a Girl, a dystopian writer discovers her brother’s body—and his cellphone. Blinded by grief, she begins responding to his texts as him, blurring the boundaries between the world she is living in and the one she is inventing on the page.”
16. Madness: Race and Insanity in a Jim Crow Asylum by Antonia Hylton.
There are have been several acclaimed novels that trace the history and emotional impact of detention homes and orphanages that were the sites of horrific abuses of young Black boys. The reality is even more wrenching. In Madness, an award-winning journalist “tells the story of Crownsville Hospital, one of the nation’s last segregated asylums located in Maryland. She paints a vivid account of the inhumane conditions, including Black patients forced to undergo experimental treatment without their consent.”
17. Martyr!: A Novel by Kaveh Akbar.
This debut novel by poet Kaveh Akbar follows Cyrus, an orphaned, newly sober son of Iranian immigrants who seeks out a terminally ill painter living out her final days at the Brooklyn Museum, in a search of a family secret. Nylon praises it as “razor sharp and viciously funny.”
18. Karl Lagerfeld: A Life in Houses by Patrick Mauriès and Marie Kalt.
This is the first publication dedicated to Karl Lagerfeld’s glamorous homes, known for their eclectic interiors, ranging from the art deco to the ultramodern. We eagerly await a surprise Coupette sighting as part of the voyeuristic thrills.
Top new book releases January 30, 2024
19. Good Material: A Novel by Dolly Alderton.
The author of Ghosts and Everything I Know About Love returns with a new novel, Good Material. Expect a “sharply funny and exquisitely relatable story of romantic disaster and friendship, with two endings.”
20. Mrs. Quinn’s Rise to Fame: A Novel by Olivia Ford.
If you’re a fan of The Great British Baking Show – and seriously, who isn’t? – this is the new novel being released in January 2024 for you. Like The Golden Spoon, it takes a reality baking show as its jumping-off point and explores the emotion turmoil roiling one of the contestants. “After fifty-nine years of marriage, as her husband Bernard’s health declines, and her friends’ lives become focused on their grandchildren—which Jenny never had—Jenny decides she wants a little something for herself. So she secretly applies to be a contestant on the prime-time TV show Britain Bakes.”
21. Everyone on This Train Is a Suspect: A Novel by Benjamin Stevenson.
The author of one of our favorite novels from 2023, Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone, is back. His new cozy murder mystery is set on a train, with passengers including mystery writers, agents, editors, and fans. Barnes and Noble deems it “a ridiculously clever locked-room mystery that is as full of hilarity as it is of suspects.”
22. Come and Get It: A Novel by Kiley Reid.
The author of Such a Fun Age returns with another provocative novel about race, class and power. “In 2017, Agatha, a commanding 38-year-old white woman with several books to her credit, arrives at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, to study attitudes toward weddings. Then she switches her focus to campus culture, helped by 24-year-old Black resident assistant, with whom she becomes dangerously involved.”
23. This Is the Honey: An Anthology of Contemporary Black Poets, edited by Kwame Alexander.
This is the Honey is “a breathtaking poetry collection on hope, heart, and heritage from the most prominent and promising Black poets and writers of our time, edited by Why Fathers Cry at Night author and #1 New York Times bestselling author Kwame Alexander.” The works were chosen for their ability to inspire, and the collection includes poems fromRita Dove, Jericho Brown, Ross Gay, Tracy K. Smith and Terrance Hayes, each of which “capture poignant moments of beauty and pride.”
24. The War Below: Lithium, Copper, and the Global Battle to Power Our Lives by Ernest Scheyder.
In The War Below, the Reuters energy reporter examines the trillion-dollar battle for the resources to power a sustainable future. “Tough choices loom if the world wants to go green. The United States and other countries must decide where and how to procure the materials that make our renewable energy economy possible. To build electric vehicles, solar panels, cell phones, and millions of other devices means the world must dig more mines to extract lithium, copper, cobalt, rare earths, and nickel. But mines are deeply unpopular, even as they have a role to play in fighting climate change. These tensions have sparked a worldwide reckoning over the sourcing of these critical minerals,”
25. The Survivors of the Clotilda: The Lost Stories of the Last Captives of the American Slave Trade by Hannah Durkin.
This riveting new nonfiction book tells the “history of the Clotilda, the last slave ship to land on US soil, through the stories of its survivors—the last documented survivors of any slave ship—whose lives diverged and intersected in profound ways.”
“Docked in Mobile Bay, Alabama, in July 1860—more than half a century after the passage of a federal law banning the importation of captive Africans, and nine months before the beginning of the Civil War. The last of its survivors lived well into the twentieth century. They were the last witnesses to the final act of a terrible and significant period in world history.”
26. Hard By A Great Forest by Leo Vardiashvili.
We close our list of the best, most anticipated new novels and other fiction, memoirs and other nonfiction books releases coming out in January 2024 with a fresh new voice. In this debut novel, Saba is just a child when he flees the fighting in the former Soviet Republic of Georgia with his older brother, Sandro, and father, Irakli, for asylum in England. Two decades later, all three men are struggling to make peace with the past, haunted by the places and people they left behind.
When Irakli decides to return to Georgia, pulled back by memories of a lost wife and a decaying but still beautiful homeland, Saba and Sandro wait eagerly for news. But within weeks of his arrival, Irakli disappears, and the final message they receive from him causes a mystery to unfold before them: “I left a trail I can’t erase. Do not follow it.”
the best new books coming in January 2024
That’s our take on the best, most anticipated novels and other fiction and nonfiction book releases to read among the top new books coming out in January 2024. What’s at the top of your list, dear reader?