The Glass Hotel
Emily St. John Mandel
Station Eleven is one of my all-time favorite books and nearly always finds its way into my recommendations no matter who’s asking. I am gleefully awaiting this follow-up novel about a dastardly Ponzi scheme and a woman who goes missing at sea.
Long Bright River
Two sisters. Mickey, a cop on the streets of Philly. Kacey, an addict who disappears on her sister’s beat. One part suspense novel, one part heart-wrenching family saga, Long Bright River adds up to a fully engrossing tale.
The Authenticity Project
A lonely, aging artist decides to write his painfully honest life story in a plain green notebook. When he leaves it in the local café for a stranger to find, it sets off a cascade of journal entries from others in the neighborhood and leads to unexpected connections.
Darling Rose Gold
As if mother-daughter relationships weren’t fraught enough as is, this book takes it to another level. Rose Gold spends her childhood seriously ill with no apparent cause—until her mother goes to jail. When she’s released five years later, Rose Gold is ready for revenge.
When a 12-year-old boy is the sole survivor of a horrific plane crash that kills all of the 183 other passengers on board, he must learn to make his way in a world that spared him, and him alone. This book will break your heart and piece it back together.
A Long Petal of the Sea
The wondrous Isabel Allende is back, doing what she does best. This sweeping saga spans the decades and continents that separate a pair of young exiles from their homeland as they flee from the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War.
Recipe for a Perfect Wife
What could a modern woman possibly learn about marriage and fighting the patriarchy from a 1950s housewife? When Alice Hale leaves New York for the suburbs and finds an old cookbook from her home’s previous owner, she discovers more than a recipe for meatloaf.
When a man washes up on an English beach with no memory of who he is or where he came from, the country’s leading neuropsychiatrist is called in to help. But soon the doctor realizes that the past her patient is trying to remember is one she’s trying to forget.
The Vanished Birds
A woman traveling through space and time stumbles upon a boy who has fallen from the sky. Unable to speak, he can only communicate through the beautiful music he plays on his flute. The two form a family as they travel across the stars, but their connection is threatened when the boy’s past catches up with him.
When You See Me
Fans of bestselling suspense novelist Lisa Gardner will be thrilled to learn that her latest murder mystery brings together three of her most beloved characters—FBI Special Agent Kimberly Quincy, Detective D. D. Warren, and Flora Dane—to solve their toughest case yet.
What begins as a missed connection spirals out of control when Marco, recently divorced and struggling to cope, moves into a new apartment and begins receiving letters from a troubled woman. She’s writing to her ex-lover, a former tenant, but Marco becomes obsessed with finding out her identity.
Mix Agatha Christie, Donna Tartt, a dash of romance, and a twist of suspense, and you have Kate Weinberg’s debut novel. Set in an English university, this thriller follows a group of friends as they become entangled under the influence of a mesmerizing professor.
There’s a lot that Hollywood gets wrong, especially when it comes to race. Even in an era when stereotypes are being challenged, there still are few roles for an actor like Willis Wu, perpetually cast as Generic Asian Man. Will anyone but his mom ever see him as a leading man?
Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line
When a classmate disappears from the neighborhood of a sprawling Indian city where 9-year-old Jai lives, he takes his cue from reality police shows and sets out to solve the case. But what starts as a game turns sinister when more children disappear and the police don’t seem to care.
The Golden Cage
Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. Especially when that woman is a business strategist whose cheating husband’s billion-dollar company was built on her brains. In this psychological thriller, revenge is rich.
The Girl with the Louding Voice
This is the story of a Nigerian girl who knows an education is the only way that she—and all of the girls like her—can follow their dreams. Though she is sold into marriage and driven into servitude, she never gives up her fight to find her voice.
The Love Story of Missy Carmichael
There are some books that change you as a reader. A Man Called Ove was one of those books. Now, in Missy Carmichael, Ove fans can experience once again the transformative power of a character that burrows deep into your heart and stays there forever.
If I Had Your Face
Seoul, South Korea. Land of K-pop, brutal beauty standards, and rigid class divides. Four young women living in the same apartment building find solace in their friendship as they try to rise in a city that seems bent on keeping them down.
Vanessa Yu's Magical Paris Tea Shop
Sometimes seeing the future isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Ever since Vanessa Yu was a child, she’s been able to read people’s fortunes in tea leaves. She tried switching to coffee. She tried skipping the country. Now in Paris, she’s realizing there’s no escape from her own destiny.
Memoirs and Misinformation
If you like having your brain turned around by a Charlie Kaufman Hollywood conundrum à la Being John Malkovich or Adaptation, then grab the popcorn and pick up Jim Carrey’s fictional-but-semi-autobiographical novel. As he quips on the jacket copy, “None of this is real and all of it is true.” Huh.
Death in Her Hands
Imagine walking through a forest and stumbling upon a handwritten note that says, “Her name was Magda. Nobody will ever know who killed her. It wasn’t me. Here is her dead body.” I mean, what would you do? Ottessa Moshfegh masterfully weaves suspense, black humor, and twisted reality into a novel that you won’t be able to shake long after you finish it.
All Adults Here
Emma Straub can do no wrong, and her next book may be her best yet. With her signature insight into the foibles of families, Straub captures the struggles and joys of parenting across the generations with warmth and wit.
Latitudes of Longing
Part fairy tale, part love letter to the earth, this wondrous book from a new voice will leave you breathless. It weaves together the interconnected stories of unforgettable characters ranging from a scientist to a clairvoyant, a yeti to a turtle, and the ghost of an evaporated ocean. Pure magic.
This “firsthand account of the Rainier Sasquatch Massacre” by the author of World War Z is a chilling survival narrative told from the perspective of a woman who only barely lives to tell the tale. This is a Bigfoot legend more horrifying than any childhood nightmare could conjure.
When Bird Box was released on Netflix, it became an instant sensation. Now author Josh Malerman has heeded the clarion call for a sequel, and man has he delivered. This next installment centers around Malorie—the blindfolded woman in those indelible images from the film—as she navigates the terrors of the near-future apocalypse.
Red Dress in Black and White
Modern-day Istanbul is a city filled with wealthy businessmen, struggling artists, expats, and spies. It’s also at the center of a fierce political firestorm. In this novel, an American woman attempts to leave her Turkish husband to return home to America with her young son, but a tangle of corruption, deception, and diplomacy stand in her way.
All My Mother's Lovers
What if everything you thought you knew about your parents was wrong? Read It Forward contributor, book critic, and essayist Ilana Masad’s debut novel tells the story of a woman who goes on a search to uncover her dead mother’s secret life, and finds herself along the way.
The Book of Longings
Sue Monk Kidd
The latest novel from bestselling author Sue Monk Kidd imagines the story of Ana, a brilliant and ambitious young woman living in Nazareth in the first century. She is married to Jesus. If there’s such a thing as biblical fan fiction, this is it at its best.
Redhead by the Side of the Road
You know you’re in good hands when you pick up a novel written by Anne Tyler. Her latest book follows a middle-aged man as his rigidly organized life is thrown completely off by the simultaneous news that his girlfriend is being evicted and that he may—or may not—have a teenage son.
Love After Love
Written in luscious prose, this book brings to life the sights, sounds, flavors, and characters of Trinidad. It’s the story of an unconventional family that weathers the storms of love, abuse, secrets, and despair. Ingrid Persaud will crack open your heart with the compassion and warmth she pours into her characters. A must read.
The Two Lives of Lydia Bird
I have to admit that I let out a little squeal when I heard that Josie Silver was back with a new book. One Day in December was a perfect modern romance, and I cannot wait to jump in to her follow-up love story about a woman who has the chance to undo the tragic death of her fiancé. But living parallel lives (think Sliding Doors with Gwyneth Paltrow) comes with tough choices.
We Wish You Luck
This is a campus caper that uncovers the dark and competitive underbelly of MFA writing programs. It’s the story of three graduate students and their relentless ambition to become unforgettable literary luminaries, no matter the cost.
We Ride Upon Sticks
It’s 1989 in the small Massachusetts town known best for hosting the original 1692 witch trials. The local high school field hockey team is fighting its way to the state finals. In this Heathers-meets-coven comedy, these girls will do anything it takes to win, even if it means channeling dark powers.
The Illness Lesson
Prepare to be haunted by this story of an all-girls school in 19th-century Massachusetts. As the students begin to exhibit mysterious symptoms one by one, a sinister physician is called in to treat them. But the source of the illness may run deeper than anyone suspects.
Apeirogon: A Novel
It’s not hyperbole to call Colum McCann one of the greatest writers of our time, and his latest novel is his most ambitious to date. It trains an unflinching gaze on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the unfathomable human cost this conflict has wrought.
The Red Lotus
Alexis is an emergency room doctor on a bike tour in Vietnam with her boyfriend. When he disappears on a solo ride, leaving no trace but an energy-gel pack on the side of a dusty road, Alexis starts asking questions that lead her into danger.
I Know You Know Who I Am
This brilliant collection of short stories by Peter Kispert is a delicious debut filled with lying liars and unreliable narrators. His characters wind themselves into webs of intimacy, deceit, and performance while the author skillfully spins his way deep into the heart of what it means to be human.
Lidia Yuknavitch’s first collection of short stories cuts to the bone. Her characters are painted in extraordinary relief, from an 8-year-old underground organ courier in Eastern Europe to a starry-eyed janitor constructing a fantasy world from discarded objects. It’s a visceral exploration of life and love at the margins of modern society.
Ever since Monsoon Wedding hit theaters, the opulence and beauty of Indian weddings have dazzled the Western imagination. Now we can step through the pages into the lavish preparations—and family dramas—that color these extravagant affairs.
The New Life of Hugo Gardner
OK boomer, so what do you do as an octogenarian Upper East Sider whose wife leaves you for a younger man? Head to Paris, of course. This satire of New York’s aging elite is a witty commentary on growing older and starting over in our modern world.
My favorite type of book is a multigenerational family saga, and Greenwood delivers. In the 1930s, paterfamilias Everett makes a fortune in timber. In the ’70s, Willow is an environmental protester atoning for her father’s sin. And in 2038, Jake is guiding tourists through one of the last forests on Earth. This sweeping novel is a reminder of how our roots to family and the planet are deeply intertwined.
The lakeside Midwestern university town where Wallace is pursuing a graduate degree in biochem is a long way away from his African-American Alabama childhood. He’s mastered the art of compartmentalization, but one summer weekend threatens to unearth his past and upend his equilibrium.
Make way for a new genre hitting the shelves: millennial mysteries. This thriller takes place in an exclusive women-only co-working space in New York City, where social-media mavens and female entrepreneurs flock for mentorship and community. On the night of a glitzy news conference, the charismatic founder disappears, and everyone is a suspect.
Under the Rainbow
After a small Kansas town is labeled “the most homophobic town in the US,” a national nonprofit sends in a task force of queer activists to live among the locals for two years in order to change the hearts and minds of the community. What could possibly go wrong?
Last Couple Standing
Four couples have been friends since college, and ever since, their lives have followed similar trajectories: marriage, kids, and now as they enter their 40s, divorce. As three of the four couples part ways, Jessica and Mitch decide to take unconventional measures to save their marriage. Will having sex with hot bartenders help them grow old together? Asking for a friend…
Spanning two generations before and after the Civil War, this novel shines a light on what it was like to be a woman, a healer, a slave, and a child on a Southern plantation. Meticulously researched, the novel vividly portrays the Antebellum years through the Reconstruction era in the South.
Margo and Luke, a pair of 20-somethings working at a tech start-up in New York, steal the company’s tech for revenge—but Margo dies in a car accident during the heist. Luke hacks into her computer to find out if her death really was an accident, and gets pulled into her secret online life. Full of humor and incisive commentary on race and privilege in tech, this one is unputdownable.
It's Not All Downhill From Here
Fans of How Stella Got Her Groove Back and Waiting to Exhale are going to need to make room on the shelf for another winner from Terry McMillan. Her latest novel explores how a confident older woman and her tight circle of friends are determined to make the most of the years to come.
How Much of These Hills Is Gold
C Pam Zhang
Few stories of the gold rush are told from the perspective of children, let alone immigrant children orphaned in a western mining town. In this beautifully written debut, siblings Lucy and Sam must fight for survival and find a home without losing touch with their Chinese heritage.
What does it mean to be American in our contemporary political landscape? Who gets to decide what rights and responsibilities come with citizenship? In these fraught times, novelist Laila Lalami channels her personal experience as an immigrant from Morocco into a beautifully written memoir that is enlightening and deeply thought-provoking.
The Smallest Lights in the Universe
Sara Seager is an MIT astrophysicist who’s spent her career searching for exoplanets with just the right conditions to sustain life. But when her husband passes away and leaves her a widow at 40 with two young sons, she finds herself truly alone in the universe, searching for a way to live on.
Making Our Way Home
Between 1916 and 1970, some 6 million African Americans left the Jim Crow South and moved across America in search of a better life. Blair Imani illustrates the profound impact that the Great Migration had on Black identity and American culture in the 20th century.
Brother & Sister
In her latest memoir, beloved film star Diane Keaton returns to the page with a loving tribute to her troubled brother. While the siblings grew up sharing bunk beds and stories, their paths took wildly different turns in adulthood. Keaton shares her brother’s struggle with alcoholism and explores the bonds that hold families together through good times and bad.
The Splendid and the Vile
“Riveting” is not the first word that comes to mind when I’m presented with a nonfiction portrait of Winston Churchill. But Erik Larson is a genius storyteller who can piece together archival documents, diary entries, and once-secret intelligence reports into an absolutely gripping narrative. Do not miss.
I Want You to Know We're Still Here
Esther Safran Foer
Esther Safran Foer’s parents were the sole survivors of their families during the Holocaust. She was raised in the silent shadow of tragedy, and it wasn’t until later in life that Esther learned her father had a previous wife and daughter who were killed during the war. She travels to Ukraine to find the shtetl where her father hid, and the story she uncovers reshapes her identity.
The Women with Silver Wings
Katherine Sharp Landdeck
This is the story of the veterans our country forgot. More than 1,100 female pilots served during WWII, and 38 of them did not survive the war. Although they were not authorized to fly in combat, the Women Airforce Service Pilots were instrumental in training pilots and ferrying bombers and supplies across the country. That is, until they were disbanded by Congress when the men started coming home from Europe.
Be My Guest
Priya Basil was born in London to an Indian family of Sikh heritage. She grew up in Kenya and moved to Berlin as an adult. Across all of these cultures, preparing meals and offering them to others is how humans express love and support. This book is a deeply personal meditation on food, community, and the meaning of generosity.
What We Carry
Maya Shanbhag Lang
How much can you judge another woman’s choices? What if that woman is your mother? These are the questions Maya Shanbhag Lang wrestles with as she raises her own young daughter while caring for her aging mother who suffers from Alzheimer’s. This memoir explores the complicated relationship of immigrants and their children as well as the powerful and sometimes suffocating bonds between mothers and daughters.
Good Morning, Destroyer of Men's Souls
Nina Renata Aron
Addiction is a disease. So is codependence. In this searing memoir, we peer into the dark depths of a woman’s obsessive love affair with an addict. Codependence has long been pathologized as a female condition, so Nina Renata Aron draws on academic research and psychology to shed light on women, addiction, and love.
This is the story of five brilliant women—poets Anne Sexton and Maxine Kumin, painter Barbara Swan, sculptor Mariana Pineda, and writer Tillie Olsen—who converged at Radcliffe College’s Institute for Independent Study in the early 1960s. Together these friends, artists, and activists paved the way for modern feminism.
Sami Tamimi and Tara Wigley
In partnership with Yotam Ottolenghi, Sami Tamimi has co-authored two bestselling cookbooks: Ottolenghi and Jerusalem. Now Tamimi returns with a new cookbook that not only shares recipes from his homeland but also tells the story of Palestinian cuisine from the perspective of his upbringing in Jerusalem.
My Wild Garden
This literary gardener’s notebook from one of Israel’s most celebrated novelists is a delight for readers and green thumbs alike. In his garden, Meir Shalev cultivates lemon trees, cures his own olives, and rescues a purple snapdragon from the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway. It’s a celebration of the joy of living on our little patch of earth.
In this exposé, Rachel Maddow uncovers the crimes, cover-up, and ultimate downfall of Nixon’s criminally corrupt vice president, Spiro Agnew. With the country fixated on the Watergate scandal, Agnew’s brazen corruption scandal almost went unnoticed, and has largely been forgotten decades later.
In April 2015, Freddie Gray was arrested by Baltimore police and thrown into the back of a van. By the time he arrived at the station, he was in a coma from which he would never wake. His death sparked five days of riots that shook Baltimore to its core and brought national attention to the ugly history of police brutality against Black Americans. This is the story of the uprising through the eyes of seven Baltimoreans whose lives have been changed by this violence.
While intersectional feminism is gaining traction in some circles, too many mainstream feminists—namely white feminists—are focused on increasing privilege for themselves rather than addressing systemic issues like food insecurity, a living wage, and access to healthcare. Mikki Kendall passionately argues for an overhaul of a movement that has left too many women behind.
Buy Yourself the F*cking Lilies
By all accounts, Tara Schuster is a badass. She’s a VP of Talent and Development at Comedy Central, worked on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and launched Key & Peele. But underneath the success, she was a hot mess. In this hysterical “guide to growing up,” she coaches readers through the daily rituals that have helped her get a grip.
Get ready to upgrade your armchair travel to first class. This collection of 200 stunning images from the Dame Traveler Instagram community showcases the bold and brave female travelers who are inspiring women to set out on solo adventures around the world. Fasten your seatbelts for FOMO ahead.
Nobody Will Tell You This But Me
TV comedy writer and New Yorker “Daily Shouts” columnist Bess Kalb has crafted a love letter in memoir form to her grandmother, Bobby Bell, who passed away in 2017. In the book, Bobby is still speaking to Bess from beyond the grave, imparting the same wisdom and candor that connected them across the generations.
Pull out your pencils, open a spreadsheet, log in to Goodreads, or do whatever it is you do to track your TBR, because this is it. The big list. The mega reveal. The NBA draft for readers. What follows is a list of more than 65 of the most anticipated new releases coming to a bookstore near you in 2020. We’ve included something for everyone—fiction, nonfiction, sci-fi, romance, short stories, memoirs, mysteries, and thrillers—from beloved, prolific authors and stunning emerging voices. What a glorious time it is to be a reader!
Featured Image: Robert Driscoll