The 50 most anticipated books of 2019

Another year, another (long) reading list

From hotly anticipated sequels to epic romances to addictive thrillers, book lovers will have lots to choose from next year. Here we present our comprehensive guide to the 50 most anticipated books of the next 12 months. Read on, and click the release dates (where applicable) to get your 2019 pre-orders going!

Chigozie Obioma, An Orchestra of Minorities

A Man Booker Prize finalist, Obioma could break out with U.S. audiences with this passionate, emotional contemporary twist of Homer’s Odyssey, set in the outskirts Umuahia, Nigeria. (Jan. 8)

Mesha Maren, Sugar Run

A tense, atmospheric Southern noir spiked with queer themes, Sugar Run weaves between two timelines in its depiction of Jodi, a woman just finishing an 18-year prison sentence. (Jan. 8)

Madhuri Vijay, The Far Field

A debut novel that finds a young woman visiting India in the wake of her mother’s death, where she seeks answers about her family’s past — and herself. (Jan. 15)

Kristen Roupenian, You Know You Want This

Roupenian inked a huge book deal off of her buzzy New Yorker short story “Cat Person,” and here’s the first result: a collection that provocatively tackles sex and power. Read an excerpt. (Jan. 15)

Tim Johnston, The Current

Johnston dazzled with his breakout thriller, Descent; his follow-up is a more ambitious page-turner, unpacking how a shocking murder impacts the denizens of a small Minnesota town as they weather suspicion, guilt, and grief. (Jan. 22)

Whitney Scharer, The Age of Light

Scharer’s splashy first book is a lush fictionalized study of Lee Miller, the photographer who struck up a passionate dalliance with the artist Man Ray. Read a preview. (Feb. 5)

Marlon James, Black Leopard, Red Wolf

Teased as the “African Game of Thrones,” this epic fantasy by the Man Booker Prize winner (A Brief History of Seven Killings) is set to kick off a new trilogy called The Dark Star. Read a preview. (Feb. 5)

Elizabeth McCracken, Bowlaway

The brilliantly witty writer returns with her first novel in 18 years, an incisive and generous portrait of a New England clan who operate a candlepin bowling alley. (Feb. 5)

Esmé Weijun Wang, The Collected Schizophrenias

Wang won a prestigious Whiting Award for this utterly unique book of essays: a deep, illuminating, and explosively written dive into a life of living with mental illness. (Feb. 5)

Eva Hagberg Fisher, How to Be Loved

Fisher recounts the harrowing fallout of the rupture of an undiscovered mass in her brain at age 30, as well as the people — a few friends in particular — who helped bring her back to herself. (Feb. 5)

Jill Abramson, Merchants of Truth

The product of a seven-figure book deal, Merchants of Truth may be the definitive report on the disruption of the news media over the last decade. Abramson, the former executive editor of The New York Times who was controversially fired some years ago, seems like the perfect person to tell that story. (Feb. 5)

Angie Thomas, On the Come Up

Thomas had a big 2018 without even publishing a book, as the adaptation of her red-hot debut, The Hate U Give, hit theaters to great acclaim. Now the author has her encore: the story of aspiring rapper Bri, and an ode to hip-hop. Read a preview. (Feb. 5)

Christopher Castellani, Leading Men

A slice of queer historical fiction which we hope is as delectable as it sounds. Castellani examines the relationship between Tennessee Williams, his lover Frank Merlo, and the mysterious young beauty Anja Blomgren which formed over the hot, fateful summer of 1953. (Feb. 12)

Valeria Luiselli, Lost Children Archive

This could be a major moment for Luiselli, the two-time National Book Critics Circle Award finalist behind Faces in the Crowd and The Story of My Teeth. Her new book is in many ways a classic American family road-trip novel, only one that confronts our ongoing immigration border crisis. (Feb. 12) 

Tomi Adeyemi, Children of Virtue and Vengeance

One of 2018’s breakout authors, Adeyemi continues the remarkable story of Zélie and Amari in her sequel to Children of Blood and Bone. (March 5)

Taylor Jenkins Reid, Daisy Jones and the Six

Amazon is already developing a series — produced by Reese Witherspoon — adapted from this sketching of a ’70s rock band, digging deep into the group’s interpersonal relationships as well as the L.A. music scene around them. (March 5)

Helen Oyeyemi, Gingerbread

The always terrific Oyeyemi (Boy, Snow, Bird) returns with a mystical exploration of family legacy, carried on through a gingerbread recipe. (March 5)

T Kira Madden, Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls

Madden brings her sharply funny voice to her new book, which humanely explores her coming of age as a biracial queer teenager in Boca Raton, Florida, and the climate of abuse and addiction that surrounded her. (March 5)

Kathryn Davis, The Silk Road

Davis has been around for a while, this being her eighth novel, and in a perfect world her latest will lead more to discover her. With nothing less than the human condition on its mind, The Silk Road works in archetype and allegory to produce a slim (not even 150 pages!) but resounding book unlike any you’ve ever read. (March 5)

Mitchell Jackson, Survival Math: Notes on an All-American Family

Jackson revisits his early years in a black Portland neighborhood, telling the stories of his struggling family members and analyzing the marginalizing cultural forces around them. (March 5)

Samira Ahmed, Internment

A story of hope and resistance, Internment is set in a horrifying “15 minutes in the future” United States, following 17-year-old Layla Amin as she is forced into an internment camp for Muslim-Americans along with her parents. Read an excerpt. (March 19)

Bryan Washington, Lot

This eagerly awaited short-story collection, excerpted in The New Yorker to much fanfare, depicts its author’s hometown of Houston with empathy, tragedy, and exceptional specificity. (March 19)

Evan James, Cheer Up, Mr. Widdicombe

We know how this one tends to go: a big summer family gathering, filled with dysfunction and secret-spilling and absurd misunderstandings. Fingers crossed that first-time novelist James can put his own quirky stamp on the subgenre. (March 26)

Samantha Downing, My Lovely Wife

The thriller we’re most excited to stay up with all night. A married couple of 15 years have developed a unique habit to keep their relationship alive: getting away with murder. What could go wrong? (March 26)

Laila Lalami, The Other Americans

Lalami again tackles themes of immigration, family, and consequence in her latest, which begins on the suspicious murder of a Moroccan immigrant. (March 26)

Chris Rush, The Light Years

Rush situates his coming of age in the optimistic ’60s — ignoring college, joining the counterculture — against a turbulent era in American history. (April 2)

Nell Freudenberger, Lost and Wanted

Freudenberger’s cosmic new novel, narrated by a renowned physicist, asks life’s biggest questions in a rumination on the space that exists between friends, families, colleagues, and lovers. It’s a new, humanistic kind of mystery novel. (April 2)

Miriam Toews, Women Talking

The award-winning novelist (A Boy of Good BreedingIrma Voth) returns with what may be her most experimental work yet, giving voice to eight women as they grapple with the trauma and power of patriarchy. Margaret Atwood said its events “could be right out of The Handmaid’s Tale.” (April 2)

Susan Choi, Trust Exercise

The Pulitzer Prize finalist (American Woman) immerses readers in an ’80s performing-arts high school, introducing an intriguing love story before shifting to something much darker — and more shocking. (April 9)

Sally Rooney, Normal People

Coming off her lauded debut, Conversations With Friends, Rooney has written a sweeping romance for her second literary act. It’s already an award-winning hit in her native U.K. (April 16)

Ian McEwan, Machines Like Me

The master of historical fiction (Atonement) imagines an alternative 1980s London, with two lovers tested in the grim shadow of a lost war. (April 23)

Lara Prior-Palmer, Rough Magic

Think the next Educated or Wild. Palmer’s memoir of beating the odds to become a horse champion is an inspiring saga of perseverance — and a classic underdog tale. (May 7)

Emily Nussbaum, I Like to Watch: Arguing My Way Through the TV Revolution

The Pulitzer Prize-winning New Yorker TV critic singularly traces the medium’s evolution from a variety of angles, in a set of essays which collectively argue that “we are what we watch.” (May 14)

Jayson Greene, Once More We Saw Stars

Eliciting praise from the likes of Cheryl Strayed and Jonathan Lethem, Greene’s memoir meditates on how to move on from the unimaginable — the death of a child — and once again find meaning and hope. (May 14)

Ocean Vuong, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous

The poet stirred up enormous interest for his debut novel, a lyrical tracing of refugee life that confronts themes of masculinity and sexuality. Will it live up to the hype? (June 4)

Nicole Dennis-Benn, Patsy

The new novel from acclaimed author Dennis-Benn (Here Comes the Sun) offers a pained look at a Jamaican mother who leaves her family for a life in America, and at the daughter she leaves behind. (June 4) 

James Ellroy, This Storm

For lovers of big, ambitious, muscular historical fiction: The L.A. Confidential author may just top himself with this 600-plus-page epic set in Los Angeles at the dawn of World War II. (June 4)

Blake Crouch, Recursion

Shonda Rhimes and Matt Reeves pre-emptively acquired this novel in a blockbuster Netflix deal, with plans to adapt it into both a film and a TV series. Naturally, intrigue is high. Recursion envisions the aftermath of a brilliant female scientist inventing a powerful technology that allows people to entirely reinvent intense, visceral memories. Read an excerpt. (June 11)

Catherine Chung, The Tenth Muse

The Tenth Muse centers on Katherine, an aspiring mathemtician whose studies take her deep into her family history, and a legacy of genius and empowerment which probes compelling questions about her identity. (June 18)

Kate Atkinson, Big Sky

Anyone who loves Jackson Brodie is likely already champing at the bit for this one. Atkinson’s first Brodie novel in nine years finds the ex-military police, ex-Cambridge constabulary working as a private investigator. (June 25)

Chuck Wendig, Wanderers

It’s been an up-and-down year for Wendig, but he’s set to make a significant literary statement in 2019 with this Station 11-esque panorama of a post-apocalyptic America. Read an excerpt. (July 2)

Colson Whitehead, The Nickel Boys

We’ve been eagerly awaiting Whitehead’s follow-up to The Underground Railroad. It’s another period novel, this time set at a reform school in the Jim Crow South. (July 16)

George Takei, They Called Us Enemy

The Star Trek actor recounts his childhood in an American concentration camp during World War II in this stark, moving graphic memoir. (July 16) 

Téa Obreht, Inland

The Tiger’s Wife was one of 2011’s very best books, so there’s plenty of reason to cheer the fact that author Téa Obreht is finally returning with a new novel. Inland is set in the lawless, drought-ridden lands of the Arizona Territory in 1893, and follows a frontierswoman awaiting the return of her husband. Read a preview. (Aug. 13)

James Gregor, Going Dutch

Call this a comedy of manners for the (very) modern age. Set in the isolating vastness of New York City, Going Dutch develops a complex, unusual relationship between a struggling young gay writer and the female classmate who yearns for his company. (Aug. 20)

Elizabeth Strout, Olive, Again

Strout’s book of stories Olive Kitteridge felt like it had so much more to say — even after that superb HBO adaptation — so news of another collection set in this world is most welcome. (Sept. 3)

Margaret Atwood, The Testaments

The Handmaid’s Tale was first published in 1985; more than 30 years later, a sequel is on the way — though it’s not connected to Hulu’s adaptation. (Sept. 10)

Leslie Jamison, Make It Scream, Make It Burn

Jamison wowed us with her expansive, ingenious The Recovering earlier this year, so safe to say that news of a new essay collection from the author has us excited. (October)

Erin Morgenstern, The Starless Sea

The Night Circus author Morgenstern returns with her first novel in seven years, another high-wire fantasy, this time interweaving magical and romantic elements. “When I started working on my new novel, I thought I was writing a book about books, but as it turns out I was writing a book about stories,” the author says. Read more. (Nov. 5)

Ronan Farrow, Catch and Kill

Rumor is that Farrow’s book on sexual abuse in Hollywood — expanding on his Pulitzer Prize-winning reporting of such disgraced figures as Harvey Weinstein — will hit shelves before the end of 2019. Farrow most recently published bombshell allegations against former CBS chief Les Moonves for The New Yorker, which led to his ousting from the network. (2019)

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