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9 January Book Releases (And What to Read First)

By Ashly Moore Sheldon • January 03, 2020

Reading Ahead

Whether sparkling debuts or long-awaited sequels, the list of new books coming out in early 2020 has us pretty excited. Here we profile nine titles to look forward to in January, February and March. Plus what you can (and should!) read now while you wait.


Long Bright River (January 7)

Liz Moore's third novel tells the story of two sisters—one a cop, the other an addict—in a Philadelphia neighborhood rocked by the opioid crisis. Part family drama, part mystery, this novel is at once heart-pounding and heartwrenching.

What you can read now: The Unseen World by Liz Moore

American Dirt (January 21)

Being lauded as a modern-day Grapes of Wrath, this new American classic by Jeanine Cummins tells the story of Lydia, a bookseller in Aculpulco, Mexico, who is suddenly forced to flee her homeland with her young son when a drug kingpin targets her family.

What you can read now: The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

A Long Petal of the Sea (January 21)

The bestselling Isabel Allende returns with an epic story of romance and adventure, spanning decades and crossing continents. Two young people are thrown together as they flee the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War.

What you can read now: The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende


Weather (February 11)

Jenny Offill's 2014 novel, Dept. of Speculation, was named one of the Ten Best Books of the Year by the New York Times Book Review. Her timely, shimmering follow-up—the story of a family, and a nation, in crisis—is getting rave early reviews.

What you can read now: Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill

Real Life (February 18)

Brandon Taylor has developed a massive following as senior editor of Electric Literature and staff writer at Literary Hub, so we are so looking forward to his debut novel, focusing on the interpersonal forces surrounding race, trauma, and queerness.

What you can read now: In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado

The Splendid and the Vile (February 25)

From Erik Larson, the bestselling author of The Devil in the White City, comes his newest book of narrative nonfiction, this one offering a fresh and compelling portrait of Winston Churchill and London during the Blitz.

What you can read now: Dead Wake by Erik Larson


Writers & Lovers (March 3)

Award-winning author Lily King's latest novel captures a transitional moment in a young woman's life. Blindsided by her mother’s death, former child golf prodigy Casey Peabody struggles to find the balance between love, creativity, and ambition.

What you can read now: Euphoria by Lily King

The Mirror & the Light (March 3)

The wait is almost over for Hilary Mantel fans! The third installment in her Booker Prize-winning trilogy is arriving soon! This rich political saga, set in the court of Henry VIII, follows the rise and fall of consummate politician Thomas Cromwell.

What you can read now: Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel

The Glass Hotel (March 24)

In this multi-layered mystery, the National Book Award-nominated Emily St. John Mandel traces the lines between the disastrous collapse of a massive Ponzi scheme and a woman's perplexing disappearance.

What you can read now: Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

These are just a few of the books we are looking forward to in the next couple months. Let us know what you're excited about. And be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for daily book recommendations, literary tidbits, and more.

Read more by Ashly Moore Sheldon

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