Taleen Voskuni’s sapphic rom-com, Sorry, Bro, is a beautifully crafted portrait of a woman and her Armenian American community.
Taleen Voskuni’s sapphic rom-com, Sorry, Bro, is a beautifully crafted portrait of a woman and her Armenian American community.
It can be hard to know where to begin when it comes to picking a book for the most romantic day of the year, but we promise you'll fall in love with these 9 romances from authors like Kate Clayborn and Olivia Dade.
It can be hard to know where to begin when it comes to picking a book for the most romantic day of the year, but we promise you'll fall in love with these 9 romances from authors like Kate Clayborn and Olivia Dade.

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There’s something strange, magical and maybe a little tragic about being a preteen girl. You’re not really a kid anymore, but you’re definitely not an adult. Your body is changing in ways that are weird, uncomfortable and deeply embarrassing. But at the same time, it’s so easy to imagine how it’ll all work out, that just around the corner, you’ll be in high school—doing cool and daring things, having epic romances, blossoming into someone gorgeous, confident and desirable, like a character from Sweet Valley High. For most people, a little bit of magic goes out of the world as you realize that growing up never really goes according to plan. But . . . what if you could get some of that magic back?

When Georgie Mulcahy returns to her Virginia hometown at the beginning of Kate Clayborn’s Georgie, All Along, her story is that she’s there to help her best friend, who’s about to have a baby. The truth is that she doesn’t know what to do with herself. After years working as a personal assistant to various Hollywood types, she’s great at managing other people’s lives but way less skilled at figuring out what she might want to do with her own. But while rummaging  through old boxes at her friend’s place, Georgie finds a diary their preteen selves filled with dreams about all the amazing things they would do in high school. The lists are a decade and a half old, but better late than never! Georgie hopes that checking off her younger self’s wish list will help her recapture her spark. And best of all, she has a partner in crime in her quest: Levi Fanning, reformed bad boy and the older brother of her former crush. 

Georgie is a very appealing heroine: warm and vibrant with irrepressible enthusiasm for even the more outlandish ideas. And Levi, despite his initial awkwardness, balances her out, giving her dreams a steadier foundation and paying attention to all the little things that make a dream special. Neither had the best reputation when they were actually in high school, and it’s sweet to see how healing it is for both of them to reclaim some of the experiences they never really got to have. Clayborn takes teen movie tropes and gently tweaks them into something more colorful and messy and real. The prodigal daughter comes home—but doesn’t immediately discover her dream bakery or bookstore waiting for her. She reunites with the boy of her preteen dreams, who is still handsome, charming and appealing—but it’s his gruff brother she falls for. The bad boy is reformed—but he carries a lot of baggage that he and the prodigal daughter have to work through together. 

Life and love aren’t as clean and simple as we think they’ll be when we’re younger. But as Georgie, All Along sweetly attests, the pitfalls and struggles along the way make the happily ever after all the more worth it.

Kate Clayborn’s small-town romance takes teen movie tropes and gently tweaks them into something more colorful and messy and real.
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We’re living in an age of reboots. Everywhere you turn, another classic show or movie is getting a fresh start or a cast reunion. So it feels very much of the moment to have a romance set during the production of a beloved TV series’ 20th anniversary special.

The Reunion, Kayla Olson’s adult debut, opens as Liv Latimer, star of the groundbreaking, wildly popular six-season smash-hit series “Girl on the Verge,” steps back into the shoes of her character, Honor St. Croix. Her return to playing Honor comes with a return to the spotlight—which she mostly shunned after the show ended, choosing to stick to smaller indie movies instead—and a return to Ransom Joel. Ransom was Liv’s co-star, best friend, on-screen love interest and longtime real-life secret crush. In the years since “Girl on the Verge,” he’s become an international action movie star. Liv’s been out of touch with Ransom for years, but it only takes minutes in his company for all the old feelings to come back twice as strong. And after all this time, it seems like her feelings might be reciprocated . . . but falling in love is hard enough when the whole world isn’t watching. 

There’s plenty of Hollywood glitz in The Reunion (with luxe descriptions of houses and events), but underneath all the glamour is the poignant aura of a high school reunion. There’s nothing like being surrounded by people who knew you as a kid to help you realize how much you’ve grown up and which opportunities you’ve let pass you by. Olson’s characters are easy to root for all the way through, to the point that I found myself caring deeply about the reboot of a show that never existed. In fact, “Girl on the Verge” sounds so great that I’m sad I can’t watch it myself. And when love finally happens for Ransom and Liv, I felt all the thrill of a dedicated fan, finally seeing my OTP come to life.

If The Reunion has a weakness, it’s how perfect Ransom and Liv are for each other. They seem so mutually smitten right from the start that I half expected this to be one of those romances in which the heroine finally gets a chance with the man of her dreams but then discovers that it’s someone else she’s meant to be with after all. But on the other hand, it’s nice to think that love can be that simple, that clean. Maybe that’s what we like about all these reboots: the idea that we can go back to what we loved before and find it right there waiting for us—just as sweet as we remember, with a payoff that’s just as satisfying as we always hoped it would be.

Kayla Olson’s sweet, satisfying romance follows two actors who uncover long-buried feelings when they reunite for the 20th anniversary of the show they starred in as teens.
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A Love by Design

Elizabeth Everett’s praiseworthy Secret Scientists of London series returns with the third installment, A Love by Design. Engineer Margaret Gault has recently returned to London from Paris and is intent on opening her own firm, despite all the struggles that await a businesswoman in Victorian England. Maggie quickly finds a promising and exciting commission, but she cannot avoid George Willis, the Earl Grantham, who broke her heart years ago. Unfortunately, George has grown into an extraordinarily handsome man with extraordinary goals—including educating children, regardless of gender. But Maggie can’t allow her still-strong feelings for him to get in the way of her dreams. After all, an engineer can’t be a countess and a countess can’t be an engineer . . . or so she thinks. It’s easy to sympathize with brainy Maggie and her quest for independence, and George proves to be a hero worthy of her. The fight for women’s rights is front and center, giving heft to this otherwise lighthearted romance.

Lunar Love

As Lauren Kung Jessen’s Lunar Love begins, Olivia Huang Christenson has just assumed responsibility for the titular matchmaking business, which is based on the Chinese zodiac. Her grandmother built Lunar Love from the ground up, and Olivia is determined to put its success above everything else, including her heart. But both are at risk when she has a meet-cute with charming startup advisor Bennett O’Brien. Lunar Love relies on personal touches like dating coaching, and Olivia thinks Bennett’s app takes all the humanity out of romance. To prove whose method works best, they make a very public bet to find matches for each other. Along the way, they bond over their multiracial heritages (she’s Chinese, Norwegian and Scottish; he’s Chinese and Irish) while enjoying some absolutely mouthwatering dates, like Chinese baking classes and a dumpling and beer festival. Told in Olivia’s fresh first-person voice, this story will have readers rooting for her to realize that even though their signs are incompatible, everything else points to Bennett being her perfect match.

The Heretic Royal

A princess struggles to find her place in her family in G.A. Aiken’s latest entry in the Scarred Earth Saga, The Heretic Royal. Ainsley Farmerson has been overshadowed by her older sisters all her life—two are now queens (one is, unfortunately, extremely evil), and a third is a ruthless war monk—so Ainsley decides to step up. At her side is rugged centaur Gruffyn, and as they face down dragons, demons and her evil sister’s machinations, Ainsley and Gruffyn forge an unbreakable bond. This tale of magic and mayhem is told from multiple perspectives, and readers will need to keep their wits about them as the action speeds along and the dialogue pings among sarcastic dragons, earnest fathers and obnoxious siblings.

Need a great new enemies-to-lovers romance? How about one between two rival matchmakers, or a Victorian nobleman and a female engineer?
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Some things are always in style: a little black dress, a great pair of jeans, hoop earrings and rom-coms. As charming as the classic cinematic love stories of the 1980s and ’90s, The Rom-Com Agenda by Jayne Denker is a paean to the genre.

Leah Keegan was her foster mother’s caretaker for a year before the older woman died. She’s quiet by nature, a loner by circumstance and a hopeless romantic. When she witnesses the failed marriage proposal of her friend Eli Masterson to Victoria, a woman he’s only dated for four months, Leah recognizes the bereft heart of a kindred spirit.

But while Leah’s response to her situation is to put on her big girl panties and try to move forward, Eli wallows in his misery and becomes stagnate. His whole identity, it seems, was dependent on an improbable future with a woman who never loved him. But thanks to nostalgic rom-coms, his gal pals have the solution: a makeover!

This cute friends-to-lovers romance can be a bit predictable, especially when it comes to Eli, who believes he’ll only be appealing to Victoria after changing everything about himself in order to become the ideal rom-com leading man. Meanwhile, his inability (and, really, unwillingness) to move on hampers his ability to pursue his budding attraction to Leah. As he works through the regimen his friends concoct, naturally based on a cadre of classic films, he slowly discovers that the woman he truly loves is right in front of him. 

It is actually Leah who is the true beneficiary of the rom-com agenda. Over the course of the project, she evolves into a more confident woman, one who overcomes the belief that she is unlovable to recognize that she deserves to be appreciated just as she is. It’s not only a lesson everybody needs to understand, but the cathartic reason people read romance in the first place.

Jayne Denker’s The Rom-Com Agenda is an adorable friends-to-lovers romance that celebrates the life lessons rom-coms provide.
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By day, Tara Chen, the heroine of Amy Lea’s Exes and O’s, works as a nurse. In her free time, she shares her love of romance novels on Instagram and TikTok. However, despite being an avid supporter of love, her own personal track record hasn’t been successful. Prompted by the end of her engagement, she decides to track down 10 of her exes to learn more about why their relationships ended. Best-case scenario? One of them realizes he’s made a terrible mistake, and Tara finds herself in a real-life second-chance romance. 

Tara’s new roommate, Trevor Metcalfe, is a firefighter who takes a casual approach to relationships. While Tara and Trevor don’t see eye to eye on love, he’s more than happy to be her wingman in her quest for romance. As Tara invests more and more time seeking out old flames, it becomes increasingly obvious that her happily ever after is with the sweet and supportive tattooed firefighter by her side. 

Tara’s unabashed love of romance novels will deeply resonate with fans of the genre. No matter the social media platform, romance lovers have a knack for finding community, and it’s lovely to see that depicted in Tara’s experiences as an influencer. She speaks the lingo fluently, which feels like a delightful inside joke between her and the reader.

Those who enjoy a slow-burn love story will especially want to bump this to the top of their to-be-read pile. Tara’s affable and friendly demeanor often catches Trevor adorably off guard, especially when she attempts to befriend his hookups. Helping Tara with her quest allows Trevor to examine his own way of approaching relationships and figure out why he’s been so avoidant of long-lasting attachments. 

Lea’s voice is so bright and witty that the more emotional parts of the story will sneak up on even the savviest romance readers. Exes and O’s is equal parts tender and laugh-out-loud funny, with an earnest appreciation for the genre singing loudly from every page. With her sophomore novel, Lea proves she’s here to stay. As for what comes next? The sky’s the limit.

Exes and O’s is equal parts tender and laugh-out-loud funny, with an earnest appreciation for the romance genre singing loudly from every page.

Ambitious historicals, creative rom-coms and a new wave of angsty romances are ready for their meet cute with readers in 2023.

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Georgie, All Along by Kate Clayborn

Kensington | January 24

Kate Clayborn’s gorgeously written romances are a perfect counterbalance to the current wave of high-concept rom-coms. Down-to-earth and achingly realistic, her novels catch people in the moments when their lives are starting to change for the better. Her latest book follows Georgie Mulcahy who, after being uprooted from her life in Los Angeles and returning to her small hometown, decides to check off all the items on her teenage self’s wishlist.

Do I Know You? by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka

Berkley | January 24

After making their adult debut with The Roughest Draft, YA author duo Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka are back with another multilayered second-chance romance. This time, it’s between unhappily married couple Eliza and Graham, who, while on a weeklong trip for their fifth anniversary, find themselves enjoying each other’s company once again when they pretend to be strangers.

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Secretly Yours by Tessa Bailey

Avon | February 7

After completing the Pacific Northwest-set Bellinger Sisters duology, which earned her a spot as one of BookTok’s favorite authors, Tessa Bailey is taking her magic touch down to Napa, California, for A Vine Mess, a series that follows two heirs to a family winery. First up is Julian Vos, a buttoned-up professor who finds himself falling head over heels for gorgeous gardener Hallie Welch. 

Radiant Sin by Katee Robert

Sourcebooks Casablanca | February 7

Katee Robert’s marvelous Dark Olympus series, which reimagines and remixes the most famous love stories of Greek mythology, continues with Radiant Sin, a modern take on the story of Apollo and Cassandra. Apollo is the secret-keeper of the isolated city of Olympus, and he goes on an undercover mission with his employee Cassandra—and they have to pretend to be a couple. That’s right, it’s a workplace romance plus fake dating!  

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The Secret Lives of Country Gentlemen by KJ Charles

Sourcebooks Casablanca | March 7

A highly prolific, critically adored self-publishing phenomenon, KJ Charles writes gay historical romances that vary in tone, genre and era, but all display her signature wit and cunningly constructed characters. Her first novel with a major publisher in several years is, therefore, a cause for celebration in itself. Add a plot described as “Bridgerton” meets “Poldark,” and we might just be looking at the next romance phenomenon.

Something Wild & Wonderful by Anita Kelly

Forever | March 7

Anita Kelly’s cooking show rom-com, Love & Other Disasters, was one of the most impressive debuts of 2022 and one of our favorite romances of the year. But it looks like Kelly might outdo themself with their more emotional sophomore novel, which follows two men who fall in love while hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. 

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The Portrait of a Duchess by Scarlett Peckham

Avon | March 7

It’s been three whole years (an eternity in Romancelandia) since Scarlett Peckham released The Rakess, a formally ambitious Regency romance starring a fiery proto-feminist. The long-awaited follow-up will return to the radical Society of Sirens, a group of convention-defying heroines advocating for women’s rights, and tell the love story of radical painter Cornelia Ludgate and Rafe Goodwood, a man who’s just inherited a dukedom and intends to use his new fortune and position to advocate for social reform.

Infamous by Lex Croucher

Griffin | March 21

If we are to have a wave of “Bridgerton”-esque takes on historical fiction that play fast and loose with accuracy, please let some of them be as entertainingly nasty and gleefully unrestrained as Lex Croucher’s Reputation. Her sophomore novel, Infamous, sounds like a chaotic spin on a beloved historical romance trope: the house party. When Edith “Eddie” Miller and her best friend, Rose, get an invite to scandalous poet Nash Nicholson’s country estate, Eddie finds herself torn between dreams of literary success and her friendship with Rose, all while struggling to untangle her increasingly complicated feelings for both Rose and Nash.

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Hotel of Secrets by Diana Biller

Griffin | March 28

Diana Biller’s lush and intricately detailed books are especially notable for their unique settings. Rather than the familiar milieu of Regency or Victorian England, Biller has given readers a gothic love story in Gilded Age New York City, a second-chance romance in late 19th-century Paris and now Hotel of Secrets, an exciting tale of spies and luxury hotels in 1870s Vienna. 

Romantic Comedy by Curtis Sittenfeld

Random House | April 4

During the COVID-19 pandemic, some of us got into baking; Curtis Sittenfeld got into “Saturday Night Live.” Following on the heels of her bestselling Rodham, her latest novel wonders: What would happen if “SNL” had a female writer who wrote a sketch that lampooned the generations of male writers who have brought their female celebrity girlfriends on as hosts? And what if the female writer ended up falling for a male host in turn?

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The Plus-One by Mazey Eddings

Griffin | April 4

The wedding from hell drives two childhood enemies into each other’s arms for a round of fake dating in the new rom-com from Mazey Eddings, the author of A Brush With Love and Lizzie Blake’s Best Mistake. It sounds very hijinks-heavy, but based on Eddings’ previous novels, there will be a lot of heart underneath all the shenanigans.

To Swoon and to Spar by Martha Waters

Atria | April 11 

Viscount Penvale thinks he has established an excellent marriage of convenience with Jane Spencer. But unbeknownst to him, Jane is plotting to stage a haunting of Trethwick Abbey, the home they just inherited together, to get him to abandon the property and let her live her life as she pleases. This plan will obviously go very well, and Penvale and Jane will not in any way fall in love.

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Verity and the Forbidden Suitor by J.J. McAvoy

Dell | April 11

J.J. McAvoy’s Aphrodite and the Duke introduced readers to her “Bridgerton”-inspired take on the Regency and the delightful Du Bell family. In Verity and the Forbidden Suitor, the Du Bells play host to the titular character, a duke’s sister who falls in love with a dashing doctor who’s unfortunately a deeply unsuitable match for her on account of his being an illegitimate child.  

Yours Truly by Abby Jimenez

Forever | April 11

The marvelous Abby Jimenez writes romances that strike a seemingly impossible balance between sweet comedy and emotional angst. Her latest follows two doctors who overcome a truly terrible first impression to become workplace besties and maybe something more.

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The Fiancée Farce by Alexandria Bellefleur

Avon | April 18

After completing her fan-favorite Written in the Stars trilogy, Alexandria Bellefleur is giving her readers a delightfully genre-specific literary love story between a bookseller and a romance cover model.

Happy Place by Emily Henry

Berkley | April 25

What is there to say about Emily Henry that hasn’t already been said? Her gorgeously written, achingly sexy romances live up to the hype and then some (even that feels like an understatement). This spring will see her pen her first second-chance romance, between a married couple who haven’t told their close-knit friend group that they’ve broken up and must now endure one last summer vacation to Maine while trying to keep their secret under wraps.

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The True Love Experiment by Christina Lauren

Gallery | May 16

The beloved author duo behind The Soulmate Equation and The Unhoneymooners are heading to Hollywood! Romance novelist Felicity “Fizzy” Chen has a terrible secret: She’s never actually been in love. But filmmaker Connor Prince thinks that’s actually the perfect hook for a dating show, one that, in a twist that will thrill reality TV fans and romance readers alike, Fizzy demands be cast according to romance novel archetypes.

Once More With Feeling by Elissa Sussman

Dell | May 30

Speaking of Hollywood, Elissa Sussman’s adult debut, Funny You Should Ask, was one of the best Los Angeles-set love stories we’ve seen in years. In the same style as her first novel, her follow-up will move back and forth in time in the lives of a pop star and a boy band member, from the height of their fame to when they’re reunited years later, when both blame the other for destroying their career. 

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Unfortunately Yours by Tessa Bailey

Avon | June 6

That’s right, Tessa Bailey fans—you’re getting not one but two new books this year! The second A Vine Mess romance will center on a modern marriage of convenience between Napa heiress Natalie Vos and vineyard owner August Cates. It can be difficult to create meaningful stakes in a marriage of convenience in a world where women have, you know, rights and the ability to more easily divorce their husbands, but Bailey is a pro at crafting rom-com hijinks underpinned by relatable emotion.

We Could Be So Good by Cat Sebastian

Avon | June 6

You’d think that the 1950s would be a prime setting for historical romance, especially given that today’s romance authors are just as interested in unpacking intersections of race, class and sexuality as they are in reveling in glamorous period trappings. It’s still a sea of Regency and Victorian love stories out there, but maybe Cat Sebastian, who is also in the midst of a series set in the Georgian era, can start a trend with We Could Be So Good, a love story between two men who both work in midcentury New York City’s newspaper industry. 

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A Dish Best Served Hot by Natalie Caña

MIRA | June 27

Natalie Caña’s absolutely marvelous debut, A Proposal They Can’t Refuse, left us hungry for more. Thankfully, she’ll soon be back with another romance featuring the restaurant-owning Vega family. This time, oldest brother Saint is the one about to fall—for his young daughter’s teacher.

It Happened One Fight by Maureen Lee Lenker

Sourcebooks Casablanca | July 11

Maureen Lee Lenker’s column in Entertainment Weekly is one of the best places (other than here, obviously) to read romance reviews, so it’s especially intriguing to see that she’ll be writing a love story of her very own. It Happened One Fight is set in the golden age of Hollywood and follows two movie stars who, after accidentally getting married during a prank gone wrong, head to Reno, Nevada, to both complete their latest film together and get a divorce.

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Say Yes to the Princess by Charis Michaels

Avon | July 11

Charis Michaels finished her absolutely adorable, fairy tale-inspired Awakened by a Kiss series last year, and her next series will have another theme near and dear to historical romance fans’ hearts: royalty! Say Yes to the Princess, the first book in the Hidden Royals series, will follow a French princess who escaped the French Revolution and the fixer who falls in love while trying to keep her from uncovering the British government’s secrets.

How to Tame a Wild Rogue by Julie Anne Long

Avon | July 25

Despite its grandiose name, the Grand Palace on the Thames is more snuggly than sophisticated, a cozy boarding house where rogues and nobility alike can let their guard down, sink into a comfortable chair and maybe find love. The latest star-crossed pair is privateer Lorcan St. Leger and Lady Daphne Worth, who must pose as a married couple to find refuge in the boarding house’s only available suite.

Kiss the Girl by Zoraida Córdova

Hyperion | August 1

The Meant to Be series has already given readers Julie Murphy’s take on Cinderella (If the Shoe Fits) and Jasmine Guillory’s take on Beauty and the Beast (By the Book), and now Zoraida Córdova will take a turn with Kiss the Girl, a modern spin on The Little Mermaid. In her reimagining, Ariel is a world-famous pop star who runs away to join an up-and-coming singer on the road for his latest tour.

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Codename Charming by Lucy Parker

Avon | August 15

Beloved, critically acclaimed rom-com author Lucy Parker will continue her Palace Insiders series with Codename Charming, an opposites-attract romance between a prince’s stoic royal bodyguard and that same prince’s happy-go-lucky personal assistant.

Discover all of BookPage’s most anticipated books of 2023.

The 26 love stories we can’t wait to swoon over this year
Most anticipated books of 2023 image

January 2023

BookPage’s most anticipated books of 2023

Oh, the possibilities that await in a new reading year! For readers who like to plan ahead, the editors of BookPage spotlight some of the books they’re most looking forward to this year.

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Thanks to new releases from Colson Whitehead, Lauren Groff, Abraham Verghese, Mary Beth Keane, Tom Hanks, Elizabeth Acevedo and more, we can’t wait for 2023 reading to begin.

The Faraway World book cover

The Faraway World by Patricia Engel

Avid Reader | January 24

When it came out in 2021, Colombian American writer Patricia Engel’s fourth novel, Infinite Country, got a ton of positive attention (from Reese’s Book Club, Book of the Month and more) and instantly hit the New York Times bestseller list. This cool follow-up collection includes nine of Engel’s best short stories, all previously published, and one new tale that’s never been published before.

The World and All That It Holds by Aleksandar Hemon

MCD | January 24

Bosnian American author, screenwriter and critic Aleksandar Hemon has been a finalist for the National Book Award twice (for Nowhere Man and The Lazarus Project), collaborated with Lana Wachowski and David Mitchell on The Matrix Resurrections, frequently writes for The New Yorker and has earned a whole host of literary awards and prizes. His next novel, which opens with the murder of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo, is an epic saga centered on two lovers who do their best to survive the trenches of World War I.

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Maame by Jessica George

St. Martin’s | January 31

This debut novelist comes to us from the editorial department of Bloomsbury UK, which means she’s got industry know-how to back up her Queenie-style novel about a Ghanaian British woman who’s making a life for herself amid familial difficulties, workplace racism and the day-to-day ups and downs of friendship and love.

Tomb of Sand by Geetanjali Shree, translated by Daisy Rockwell

HarperVia | January 31

Tomb of Sand was the first Hindi novel to even be nominated for the International Booker Prize, which makes Geetanjali Shree’s win even more wonderful. At more than 600 pages, it’s an absolute door stopper that follows the story of an 80-year-old woman whose children do their best to shake her from her depression after the death of her husband. Nothing helps—until a cane covered in butterflies seems to work magic, pulling Ma into a series of adventures.

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Essex Dogs by Dan Jones

Viking | February 7

The bestselling author and historian (Powers and Thrones, Crusaders, The Templars) makes the leap to fiction with a novel about the Hundred Years’ War. The first installment of a trilogy, it promises to be a well-researched, intimate look into medieval warfare from the perspectives of the soldiers themselves.

Someone Else’s Shoes by Jojo Moyes

Pamela Dorman | February 7

British author Jojo Moyes’ 2019 historical novel, The Giver of Stars, transported readers to Depression-era Kentucky for a heartwarming story about packhorse librarians. For her next book, she’s returning to the realm of escapist contemporary fiction—and more specifically, the flirty world of Paris for One. An adaptation of a story from that collection, Someone Else’s Shoes follows two women whose lives are changed when they accidentally swap gym bags and literally have to walk in each other’s shoes.

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A Spell of Good Things by Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀

Knopf | February 7

Nigerian author Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀’s 2017 debut novel, Stay With Me, was shortlisted for the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction (now called the Women’s Prize for Fiction) and received the 9mobile Prize for Literature and the Prix Les Afriques. We’ve been looking forward to her follow-up for a long time, even putting it on last year’s list of most anticipated fiction in an attempt to manifest it. Finally, it’s here! Adébáyọ̀ takes us back to Nigeria for a story of two families divided, the two young people who connect them and the power structures of the political system that surround them.

Victory City by Salman Rushdie

Random House | February 7

The next novel from literary icon Salman Rushdie comes bittersweetly, as a horrifying attack on the author’s life last autumn will undoubtedly cast a shadow over the publication. Victory City is nevertheless a welcome return to the realm of the fantastical (like in Midnight’s Children and Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights) after Rushdie dabbled in contemporary satire for his last few works. Styled after classic Sanskrit epics, it tells the story of a woman who, with help from a goddess, calls forth the existence of Bisnaga—literally “victory city.”

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I Have Some Questions for You by Rebecca Makkai

Viking | February 21

Rebecca Makkai’s previous novel, The Great Believers, received a lot of positive attention in 2018 and even earned a Stonewall Book Award. Her fourth novel pursues questions of memory and complicity through the story of a film professor and podcaster who has been asked to teach at her former New Hampshire boarding school. Upon her return, she is drawn back into the 1995 murder of a classmate, for which the school’s athletic trainer, Omar, was convicted.

Birnam Wood by Eleanor Catton

FSG | March 7

Eleanor Catton MNZN (that’s right—she has a New Zealand Order of Merit) is the author of the internationally bestselling The Luminaries (winner of the Man Booker Prize) and The Rehearsal (winner of the Betty Trask Prize, which is awarded to first novels written by authors under the age of 35 who reside in a current or former Commonwealth nation). As a screenwriter, she adapted The Luminaries for a miniseries and Jane Austen’s Emma for feature film (the one starring Anya Taylor-Joy’s nosebleed). Her next novel is a work of climate fiction about a guerrilla gardening group invited to work some abandoned farmland that has been purchased by a billionaire who claims he’s building an end-times bunker.

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The Farewell Tour by Stephanie Clifford

Harper | March 7

Considering that Daisy Jones & The Six was so obviously a nod to Fleetwood Mac, we have been hoping for a few more books in the music novel trend to honor the old timers, the originals, the classics. Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn and other grand dames of country music come to mind when we think about Lillian Waters, the singer at the heart of the next novel from Stephanie Clifford, the author of Everybody Rise. Set in the 1980s, The Farewell Tour follows Lillian on her final tour—and through the many events of her life, all the way back to her humble beginnings.

Old Babes in the Wood by Margaret Atwood

Doubleday | March 7

Soothsayer Margaret Atwood returns to short fiction with her first collection since 2014’s Stone Mattress. Six of the 15 stories have been previously published (some having appeared in The New Yorker and the New York Times Magazine), and the collection is anchored by seven tales that follow married couple Tig and Nell, who at this point are old friends to longtime readers of Atwood.

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Dust Child by Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai

Algonquin | March 14

Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai is a literary luminary in Vietnam, and now she’s making waves stateside, beginning with her critically acclaimed English-language debut, The Mountains Sing (2020). Inspired by the author’s own work reuniting Amerasian children with their family members, her next novel moves between past and present Vietnam to explore the long-term effects of the Vietnam War through the stories of two Vietnamese sisters, an American GI and the child of a Black American soldier and a Vietnamese woman.

The London Séance Society by Sarah Penner

Park Row | March 21

Sarah Penner’s first novel, The Lost Apothecary, was a huge hit, earning bestseller slots in both hardcover and paperback, and the rights have already been sold to Fox. Her highly touted second book returns to London for a Victorian mystery filled with seances, mediums, cults and secret societies. 

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Chain-Gang All-Stars by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah

Pantheon | April 4

It’s a big deal when a short story collection becomes an instant New York Times bestseller, and doubly so when it’s a debut, as in the case of Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah’s devastating and surreal Friday Black. One of the National Book Foundation’s “5 Under 35” honorees, Adjei-Brenyah will publish his first novel this spring, and the premise is everything we could hope for: Two female gladiators fight for their freedom from a private prison system modeled after our own American system.

The House Is on Fire by Rachel Beanland

Simon & Schuster | April 4

The author of Florence Adler Swims Forever, winner of the National Jewish Book Award for Debut Fiction, returns with a second novel that’s been building buzz for almost a year. The House Is on Fire follows four characters over the course of three days in the aftermath of the real-life 1811 theater fire in Richmond, Virginia—the deadliest disaster in American history at that time.

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Panther Gap by James A. McLaughlin

Flatiron | April 4

James A. McLaughlin’s debut novel, Bearskin, won the 2019 Edgar Award for Best First Novel, and for his sophomore outing, he’s sticking with wilderness-set literary thrillers. Panther Gap follows two adult siblings who are brought back to the Colorado ranch of their childhood by the prospect of an inheritance from their grandfather, and they’re quickly sucked into a dangerous game that involves drug cartels, domestic terrorism and more.

Homecoming by Kate Morton

Mariner | April 4

Every single Kate Morton novel has been a bestseller, so five years is a long time for her fans to wait for a follow-up to The Clockmaker’s Daughter. Morton’s upcoming family saga has been compared to The Lake House, her “most successful book to date,” because of the crime at the story’s center. It’s about a woman who discovers a connection between her family history and the fictional “Turner Family Tragedy of Christmas Eve, 1959.”

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Greek Lessons by Han Kang, translated by Deborah Smith and Emily Yae Won

Hogarth | April 18

From the South Korean author of The Vegetarian, winner of the International Booker Prize, comes another haunting slim novel, this one about the bond that forms between a man losing his sight and a woman losing her voice.

Saturday Night at the Lakeside Supper Club by J. Ryan Stradal

Pamela Dorman | April 18

Doubling down on the down-home Midwestern goodness of his first two novels, Kitchens of the Great Midwest and The Lager Queen of Minnesota, bestselling author J. Ryan Stradal spins another yarn to warm the heart. It’s the story of a married couple who come from two very different restaurant families, so we’re expecting stick-to-your-stomach casseroles, wild rice and walleye, polka bands and lots of feelings.

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The Covenant of Water by Abraham Verghese

Grove | May 2

Readers who loved Abraham Verghese’s major word-of-mouth hit, Cutting for Stone, have waited more than a decade for this follow-up, and its ambitious length (700+ pages) and epic premise certainly provide some context as to why it took so long to appear. Drawing early comparisons to Pachinko, The Covenant of Water spans from 1900–1977 and follows three generations of a family living in the coastal town of Kerala, India. But this family has a particular problem: In every generation, at least one member of the family dies by drowning.

The Half Moon by Mary Beth Keane

Scribner | May 2

With her novel Ask Again, Yes, Mary Beth Keane solidified her place among the family drama greats like Celeste Ng, Emma Straub, Brit Bennett, Laurie Frankel and Dani Shapiro. Keane’s next novel unfolds during one week in the life of a married couple whose partnership has hit rough waters. He’s the new owner of the Half Moon bar, and she’s grappling with the possibility that, after years of trying to conceive, she may not get to be a mother. And then a bar patron goes missing and a blizzard hits the town. We expect great characters, sharp detail and emotional devastation.

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The Making of Another Major Motion Picture Masterpiece by Tom Hanks

Knopf | May 9

Sure, Tom Hanks is the Academy Award-winning actor and the best 1990s rom-com hero (fight me, Hugh Grant), but more importantly, he’s also the bestselling author of the short story collection Uncommon Type. Hanks’ first novel, the ambitiously titled The Making of Another Major Motion Picture Masterpiece, moves from 1947 to 1970 to the present day as it follows the process of transforming a little comic book into a “star-studded, multimillion-dollar superhero action film.” The novel will include three eight-page comic books, all written by Hanks and illustrated by Robert Sikoryak.

The Guest by Emma Cline

Random House | May 16

Emma Cline followed up her bestselling 2016 debut novel, The Girls, with a story collection in 2020 (Daddy) that got a ton of attention, so we expect similar excitement for her second novel, The Guest. Con artists, hustlers and social media scammers continue to be hot right now, particularly in film and TV (think Elizabeth Holmes, that Fyre Festival bro, Anna Delvey and Adam Neumann), and this is the kind of character at the heart of Cline’s next book, though refreshingly, it seems like she might not be a total sociopath.

Yellowface by R.F. Kuang

William Morrow | May 16

We really love an angry publishing novel (The Other Black Girl was one of the best in this, the era of the Great Resignation), so we’re looking forward to R.F. Kuang’s shift into contemporary literary fiction after her mind-blowing work in fantasy. (Babel was one of our Top 10 Books of 2022, and her Poppy War series continues to get tons of love.) The brilliantly titled Yellowface is the story of a bestselling author who is pretending to be Asian American and who stole her masterwork from an actual Asian American woman.

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The Late Americans by Brandon Taylor

Riverhead | May 23

Brandon Taylor’s 2020 debut, Real Life, rocketed him into the center arena of literary fiction, and he has maintained his spot through his brilliant voice, which he shares via his viral Substack newsletter, “Sweater Weather.” In 2021 he followed up that first book with a bestselling story collection, Filthy Animals, and now he’s delivering another novel, The Late Americans, which follows a group of friends and lovers living in Iowa City, Iowa.

Good Night, Irene by Luis Alberto Urrea

Little, Brown | May 30

We’ve been fairly patient about getting another novel from Luis Alberto Urrea, whose 2018 novel, The House of Broken Angels, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Urrea’s next novel shifts away from his typical terrain of first- and second-generation stories centered on the U.S.-Mexico border to explore a different element of his heritage. Good Night, Irene is inspired by the author’s mother’s experiences during World War II, when she worked with the American Cross and was present for the liberation of Buchenwald.

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I Am Homeless if This Is Not My Home by Lorrie Moore

Knopf | June 20

Lorrie Moore has kept us well-fed with her acclaimed short stories, but we’re excited to check out her first novel since A Gate at the Stairs (2009). I Am Homeless if This Is Not My Home is a ghost story spanning three decades, exploring grief and the unseen through “A teacher visiting his dying brother in the Bronx. A mysterious journal from the nineteenth century stolen from a boarding house. A therapy clown and an assassin, both presumed dead, but perhaps not dead at all.”

Little Monsters by Adrienne Brodeur

Avid Reader | July 11

Adrienne Brodeur, author of the bestselling memoir Wild Game, kicked off her publishing career by founding the fiction magazine Zoetrope: All-Story with filmmaker Frances Ford Coppola, so it was only a matter of time before she ventured into fiction. Her first novel, Little Monsters, draws from the biblical tale of Cain and Abel to explore the complicated family dynamics of an oceanographer father and his two grown children, all of whom live on Cape Cod.

Crook Manifesto by Colson Whitehead

Doubleday | July 18

Colson Whitehead, two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize for The Underground Railroad and The Nickel Boys, could write a grocery list and we’d elbow your grandma out of the way to be the first to read it. His 2021 novel, Harlem Shuffle, was a heist novel that also dedicated plenty of space to appreciating midcentury furniture, and we’re over the moon that it’s also the first in a trilogy. Whitehead’s Ray Carney is back this summer in Crook Manifesto.

Somebody’s Fool by Richard Russo

Knopf | July 25

Pulitzer Prize winner Richard Russo takes us back to the town of North Bath in upstate New York for the third time, 10 years after the death of Donald “Sully” Sullivan from Nobody’s Fool and Everybody’s Fool. Gentrification and the appearance of a dead body now plague North Bath, where Sully’s now-adult son, Peter, remembers his father’s legacy and grapples with his own relationship to parenthood.

Family Lore by Elizabeth Acevedo

Ecco | August 1

Elizabeth Acevedo became a superstar of young people’s literature after her YA novel The Poet X won the National Book Award, the Michael L. Printz Award, the Pura Belpré Award and the Carnegie Medal, among other awards. The adult fiction realm welcomes her with open arms this summer, when she’ll publish a family drama that spans past and present, Santo Domingo and New York City, to tell the epic story of a Dominican American family.

The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store by James McBride

Riverhead | August 8

James McBride can do it all—short stories, biographies, a National Book Award-winning novel—but we’re especially partial to this big-hearted fiction kick he’s on. Following Deacon King Kong, McBride is sticking with stories of community secrets, this time in a small-town novel inspired by his own upbringing.

Prophet by Helen Macdonald and Sin Blaché

Grove | August 8

Beloved naturalist writer Helen Macdonald (H Is for Hawk, Vesper Flights) ventures into fiction along with first-time novelist Sin Blaché, and their collaboration has a creepy plot unlike anything we could’ve predicted. Set in England and America, Prophet follows a former MI6 agent and an American intelligence officer who join forces to investigate an ominous substance called Prophet, which seems to be using people’s memories against them.

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Evil Eye by Etaf Rum

Harper | September 5

It seemed like everyone was talking about Etaf Rum’s debut novel, A Woman Is No Man, in the summer of 2019. Her follow-up returns to themes originally explored in her first book: the expectations and demands placed on Palestinian American women. This time, she’s focusing closely on the life of one wife and mother who must reconcile with her conservative family’s past.

The Vaster Wilds by Lauren Groff

Riverhead | September 5

Lauren Groff clearly loves us and wants us to be happy, because we’ve only had to wait two years since Matrix for her next novel, this one “a nail-biting survival story and a penetrating fable about trying to find new ways of living in a world succumbing to the churn of colonialism.”

Land of Milk and Honey by C Pam Zhang

Riverhead | September 29

C Pam Zhang’s daringly original debut novel, How Much of These Hills Is Gold, completely transformed the Western fiction genre with its magical tale of two Chinese American siblings trying to survive amid the American gold rush. We have high hopes for her follow-up: Set in the near future (just a bit further along in our planet’s demise), this speculative cli-fi novel follows a chef who takes a job on a decadent mountaintop colony.

Family Meal by Bryan Washington

Riverhead | October 10

No one captures the sorrow and beauty of a coming-of-age love story quite like Bryan Washington, so we are thrilled to hear that the author of Lot and Memorial is back this fall with another intimate novel that focuses on the lives of two young men.

Discover all of BookPage’s most anticipated books of 2023.

A year of great fiction is just around the bend! Discover the 38 books we’re most excited to read.

Among these 33 nonfiction books we can’t wait to read, you’ll find gems from old favorites and delights from debut authors who just might become your new favorites.

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B.F.F. by Christie Tate

Avid Reader | February 7

If you haven’t yet read Christie Tate’s 2020 memoir, Group, let me begin by saying that you are missing out. Tate’s chaotic yet heartwarming first book was all about the unconventional group therapy setting that helped her work through her issues with intimacy. In it, she depicted her journey toward healing by telling a room full of near-strangers the messy, brutal truth about her relationships to sex, food, relationships and everything in between. In her second memoir, B.F.F.: A Memoir of Friendship Lost and Found, Tate focuses on the elusive intimacy of friendship, recounting the tumultuous, emotional and funny process of learning how to have and be a friend. It yet again strikes that perfect balance of an author spilling the dirt and baring her soul.

Dinner With the President by Alex Prud’homme

Knopf | February 7

In addition to being Julia Child’s grandnephew and the co-author of her memoir, My Life in France, Alex Prud’homme is also a lively writer in his own right. In Dinner With the President: Food, Politics, and a History of Breaking Bread at the White House, he veers from the French food beat to offer anecdotes, stories and hidden histories about 26 U.S. presidents and their particular tastes for food and drink. If you’ve ever wondered which dishes reminded Abraham Lincoln of his childhood on the Kentucky frontier, or which president had a weakness for butter pecan ice cream, Dinner With the President will satisfy your every curiosity.

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Drama Free by Nedra Glover Tawwab

TarcherPerigee | February 28

Therapist Nedra Glover Tawwab is the reigning queen of setting boundaries. Her 2021 book, Set Boundaries, Find Peace, as well as her popular Instagram account, have helped thousands of people better navigate sticky situations at work, at home and in their communities. Her second book, Drama Free: A Guide to Managing Unhealthy Family Relationships, focuses on what to do when your family of origin is a source of strife, stress and conflict rather than support, security and confidence. It’s a great resource for readers who are just beginning to understand the dynamics within their families of origin and the effects those relationships have had on their development. It’s also a helpful how-to manual for readers who are well aware of the issues in their families but are unsure how to improve their situations. As always, Tawwab is a sound and trustworthy guide.

Enchantment by Katherine May

Riverhead | February 28

Katherine May’s 2020 book, Wintering, is one of those works you return to year after year, a cold weather ritual nearly as important as taking your vitamin D supplements. Her books are a wonder—and speaking of wonder, Enchantment: Awakening Wonder in an Anxious Age is all about getting in touch with this feeling when everything around you is swirling with fear, change and unpredictability. By harnessing the magic of attention, ritual and the natural world, May shows readers how to find stillness and awe in their disordered day to day. But Enchantment is more than mere self-help. May’s chops as a beautiful writer and original thinker elevate her books to pure poetry.

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The Odyssey of Phillis Wheatley by David Waldstreicher

FSG | March 7

Biography lovers are in for several treats in 2023, starting with The Odyssey of Phillis Wheatley: A Poet’s Journeys Through American Slavery and Independence. Historian David Waldstreicher draws parallels between Wheatley’s personal story and Homer’s “The Odyssey,” emphasizing both her mastery of the classics and the epic scale of Wheatley’s life: She was born in 1753 in West Africa; enslaved and taken to North America, where she learned to read and began to write poetry; became the first African American author of a book of poetry, after which her enslavers emancipated her; died at the age of 31, having written some of the most influential verse about the American Revolution. Waldstreicher fills in this sketch with all the fascinating detail of a proper page-turning biography.

Saving Time by Jenny Odell

Random House | March 7

Since the release of her 2019 book How to Do Nothing, the cult of Jenny Odell has spread far and wide. Her call to resist the efficiency-obsessed and technology-dependent constraints of modern life has resonated with thousands of people limping through late-stage capitalism—and her appeal only grew once work collided with a global pandemic in 2020. Odell’s next book, Saving Time: Discovering a Life Beyond the Clock, expounds on the ideas established in How to Do Nothing and drills even deeper to question the cultural construction of time itself. If you recoil when you hear the phrase “time is money,” this book will be a liberating, stimulating, challenging delight.

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Once Upon a Tome by Oliver Darkshire

Norton | March 14

Debut author Oliver Darkshire gives bibliophiles plenty to rejoice over in Once Upon a Tome: The Misadventures of a Rare Bookseller, his memoir of stumbling backward into a job at Henry Sotheran Ltd. in London. Full of cozy charm, pointed humor and a clumsy sense of adventure, it’s a coming-of-age tale about trying to find your footing in those first few precarious years after graduating from college. It’s also an ode to the dying art of antiquarian bookselling as Darkshire learns the ropes of his new role and joins the line of professionally bookish types who have kept the shop running since 1761. Readers who are fans of “books about books” definitely won’t want to miss this one in 2023.

Paris by Paris Hilton

Dey Street | March 14

If you were alive in the 2000s, you likely have hundreds of memories (many of them involuntary) of Paris Hilton, the blond, bejeweled hotel heiress who took “famous for being famous” to new heights. However, given what we now know about the punishing media machine of the early aughts—in addition to the revelations of the 2020 documentary This Is Paris—it’s reasonable to wonder how much of what we think we know about Hilton is true. Hopefully her memoir, aptly named Paris: The Memoir, will clear up the smoke and mirrors. It seems there may be more to the DJ, model and reality TV star than purse chihuahuas and low-rise velour track pants after all.

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Poverty, by America by Matthew Desmond

Crown | March 21

Winner of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction Matthew Desmond is back with more searing sociological commentary. Poverty, by America builds on the groundbreaking storytelling in Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, zooming out from that book’s focus on housing insecurity to encompass the broader issues that contribute to America’s poverty epidemic, such as low wages and wealth inequality. Ultimately, Poverty, by America tackles the question: Why does the richest nation on Earth have more poverty than any other advanced democracy? It’s an unwieldy question, but Desmond is just the man to tackle it.

The Best Strangers in the World by Ari Shapiro

HarperOne | March 21

Broadcaster, journalist and host of the NPR news program “All Things Considered” Ari Shapiro adds “author” to his string of credits this March. The Best Strangers in the World: Stories From a Life Spent Listening is a memoir in essays that goes behind the scenes of his exciting professional life (riding on Air Force One with the president, reporting on the Syrian refugee crisis) as well as his personal life (his childhood, his marriage and his love of musical theater). In both spheres, Shapiro is charming and personable, sharing his life with a mixture of earnestness and panache. If you’re a fan of “All Things Considered,” you’ll likely hear his voice in your head while reading; we bet the audiobook for this one will be stellar.

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The Wounded World by Chad L. Williams

FSG | April 4

Armchair historians with an interest in World War I should mark their calendars for April. Brandeis University professor of history Chad L. Williams’ The Wounded World focuses on the evolution of W.E.B. Du Bois’ stance on the First World War and Black Americans’ role within it. After the great thinker, sociologist and author originally came out in support of the Allied cause, he came to regret this decision and struggled for two decades to write a definitive account of Black Americans’ involvement in the war, which he never finished. Williams chronicles Du Bois’ attempt to write that history, illuminating new insights into Black people’s experiences during the 20th century along the way.

A Fever in the Heartland by Timothy Egan

Viking | April 4

National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize winner Timothy Egan has a stunner in store for history fans this year. A Fever in the Heartland: The Ku Klux Klan’s Plot to Take Over America, and the Woman Who Stopped Them is another narrative, page-turning history from the author of The Worst Hard Time and The Big Burn, this time zeroing in on 1920s America at the height of the Ku Klux Klan’s terror. Egan tells the story of D.C. Stephenson, the Grand Dragon of Indiana, who had governors, judges and pastors in his pocket and who even claimed to have a phone that provided a direct line to the president. This was a time when the KKK baldly broadcasted its message of white supremacy to the whole nation, and A Fever in the Heartland reveals how one woman changed that forever.

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A Living Remedy by Nicole Chung

Ecco | April 4

In her bestselling 2018 memoir, All You Can Ever Know, Korean American author Nicole Chung grappled with the ways she benefitted from and was wounded by growing up in a white adoptive family. In her second memoir, A Living Remedy, Chung digs deeper into the dynamics of family, class and how guilt mixes with gratitude when one generation becomes more successful than the last. When her father died from kidney disease at age 67, Chung had to face the wealth and health care inequalities that hastened his death—inequalities she knew that she and her children would not face. It’s a tender personal story with powerful social and political ramifications.

This Isn’t Going to End Well by Daniel Wallace

Algonquin | April 11

The beloved author of Big Fish and five other novels will publish his first work of nonfiction this April. This Isn’t Going to End Well: The True Story of a Man I Thought I Knew is a memoir about Daniel Wallace’s late brother-in-law, William Nealy, who died by suicide in 2001. From the time Wallace was 12, he admired his big sister’s impossibly cool boyfriend, and later husband. Nealy was a cartoonist, mountain rescue specialist, professional drummer, author, sculptor, construction worker, civil rights activist and a dozen other things—the definition of “larger than life,” up until his death at age 48. After that, Wallace began to uncover the secrets Nealy had kept hidden all his life, and This Isn’t Going to End Well outlines the complicated, tender truth about one mythical man.

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You Could Make This Place Beautiful by Maggie Smith

Atria | April 11

In 2020, poet Maggie Smith released the much-needed book Keep Moving, a bracing collection of quotations and essays about life after divorce and what comes next. In You Could Make This Place Beautiful: A Memoir, Smith unfurls the full story for the first time, dispatching scenes from before and after her marriage to create a kaleidoscope of a memoir. Along the way, Smith vies with patriarchy, motherhood and work as she carves a path through loss and seismic change. This book will be a lifeline to readers looking for ways to pick up the pieces and turn them into a beautiful collage.

Alexandra Petri’s US History by Alexandra Petri

Norton | April 11

Humorist Alexandra Petri, a columnist for The Washington Post and author of Nothing Is Wrong and Here Is Why, has more laughs up her sleeve. Alexandra Petri’s US History: Important American Documents (I Made Up) is like a compilation of McSweeney’s best listicles and articles, except they’re all about American history, and they’re all written by one very funny person. Spanning 500 years of real history, each of the book’s entries constructs a fake historical document: Francisco de Coronado’s letter to Charles V; an toy ad for Puritan parents; John and Abigail Adams’s sexts; and many even more ridiculous entries from the satirical archives. This book is a must-read for history buffs with a sense of humor.

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The Wager by David Grann

Doubleday | April 18

The bestselling author of ​​Killers of the Flower Moon—the film adaptation of which, directed by Martin Scorcese, will be released this year—returns with another gripping, twisty narrative history. The Wager: A Tale of Shipwreck, Mutiny and Murder tells the story of a British ship that washed up on Brazilian shores in 1742 after months of being marooned off the coast of Patagonia. The crew was welcomed and celebrated—until another ship washed ashore in Chile six months later and those on board accused the first group of being not heroes but mutineers. If you’ve ever wondered how Lord of the Flies might have played out if it had been adults instead of children stranded on that island, David Grann has the shocking answer.

Honey, Baby, Mine by Laura Dern & Diane Ladd

Grand Central | April 25

Actor and cultural icon Laura Dern teams up with another icon—her mom, actor Diane Ladd—for their first book. Honey, Baby, Mine: A Mother and Daughter Talk Life, Death, Love (and Banana Pudding) records conversations between mother and daughter on work, love, relationships, professional success and more, born out of the long walks they took together while Ladd was recovering from a sudden life-threatening illness. The book will include photos, recipes and other familial tidbits, ultimately creating a rich mosaic of two legendary women as they formed a deep friendship.

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Our Migrant Souls by Héctor Tobar

MCD | May 9

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and novelist Héctor Tobar (The Last Great Road Bum) showcases his social science expertise in Our Migrant Souls: A Meditation on Race and the Meanings and Myths of “Latino”. As a Los Angeles native and the son of Guatemalan immigrants, Tobar understands all the ways that the label “Latino” fails to capture the huge and hugely diverse swath of people who identify themselves with that term. Using both his own experiences and the stories of his Latinx students at the University of California, Irvine, Tobar crafts a galvanizing portrait of Latinx people’s humanity, anger and beauty, crisscrossing the terrain of pop culture, history and identity with singular dexterity.

Better Living Through Birding by Christian Cooper

Random House | May 9

Remember in 2020 when a white woman called the police on a Black guy who was just bird-watching in Central Park? (Of course you do.) That man was Christian Cooper, and his memoir is called Better Living Through Birding: Notes From a Black Man in the Natural World. Cooper likes to observe the migratory birds who stop in Central Park every spring on their journey back home, and his book will explore what all that time looking at the skies has taught him about safety, self-acceptance and life as a gay Black man in America. In addition to revealing more about Cooper’s life, including his work as a writer for Marvel Comics, Better Living Through Birding will also serve as a handy how-to for aspiring birders.

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King: A Life by Jonathan Eig

FSG | May 16

A new biography of Martin Luther King Jr. is coming this May from Jonathan Eig, who has previously written biographies of Muhammad Ali, Al Capone, Lou Gehrig and Jackie Robinson. Eig writes in the book’s introduction that his biography is the first to make use of several recently released resources, including FBI documents, White House telephone recordings, materials that belonged to King’s personal archivist and an unpublished memoir by King’s father. Chances are high that within King: A Life’s 688 pages, new revelations will come to light, and a complicated, admiring, honest portrait of an American icon will emerge.

Quietly Hostile by Samantha Irby

Vintage | May 16

Humorist, essayist and TV writer Samantha Irby expands her repertoire of hilarious writings (and animal-themed book covers) with Quietly Hostile: Essays. Now that Irby has entered the big leagues as a writer for shows like “And Just Like That” and “Shrill,” her life must be glamorous and refined. Just kidding! If you’re a fan of her other collections (Wow, No Thank You., We Are Never Meeting in Real Life. and Meaty), you already know that her life is just as busted as ever. (The marketing copy for this book mentions poison teeth, diarrhea and QVC, if that’s any indication.) But this is good news for readers, because once the calamities of Irby’s life have been processed through her singularly twisted mind, they become something funny, endearing and endlessly relatable.

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Raw Dog by Jamie Loftus

Forge | May 23

Comedian and podcaster Jamie Loftus (“The Bechdel Cast,” “My Year in Mensa,” “Lolita Podcast,” et al.) turns her attention to the illustrious hot dog in her debut book, Raw Dog: The Naked Truth About Hot Dogs. Part memoir and part social critique, the book follows Loftus’ summer 2021 cross-country road trip as she documented the myriad forms of this quintessential American food. Along the way, Loftus delves into all the ways hot dogs embody issues of class and culture in the United States, illuminating the complex history of this backyard barbecue staple with her signature mix of intellect and unhinged humor.

Why Fathers Cry at Night by Kwame Alexander

Little, Brown | May 23

Acclaimed children’s and young adult author Kwame Alexander (The Door of No Return) will serve up a hybrid memoir for adult readers later this year. Why Fathers Cry at Night: A Memoir in Love Poems, Recipes, Letters, and Remembrances spans Alexander’s experiences as a son, husband and father, sharing intimate glimpses of missteps and triumphs throughout his life as he has worked to understand what love is and how to share it with those he cares for. Interspersed throughout these personal stories are original poems, family recipes and other unexpected offerings, making for a uniquely varied reading experience.

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Women We Buried, Women We Burned by Rachel Louise Snyder

Bloomsbury | May 23

Journalist Rachel Louise Snyder, author of the acclaimed 2019 book No Visible Bruises: What We Don’t Know About Domestic Violence Can Kill Us, will tell her own story for the first time in Women We Buried, Women We Burned: A Memoir. When Snyder was 8, her father joined a strict evangelical church after her mother’s untimely death. This inspired a rebellious streak in Snyder, who eventually found herself kicked out of high school and living in her car. From there, Snyder recounts her jagged path to becoming the renowned journalist she is today, through years of reporting abroad and honing her understanding of women’s unique precarity in the world. It promises to be a gripping memoir of learning to survive and defending others’ right to do the same.

Pageboy by Elliot Page

Flatiron | June 6

Oscar-nominated actor Elliot Page, who has portrayed so many beloved characters’ stories over his career, now shares his own story in Pageboy: A Memoir. Page wrote in an Instagram post that until recently, he never felt like it was the right time to write a memoir, especially as he wrestled with gender dysphoria before his transition. But once he felt at home in his body, he could finally carve out the space to tell the truth about his life and experiences. Those truths can be found in Pageboy, which recounts Page’s journey toward coming out as queer and trans, and the ways that stardom both fulfilled and delayed his dreams for his life. We expect it to be the kind of book you cheer for by the end, as the author learns how to be true to himself at last.

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Moby Dyke by Krista Burton

Simon & Schuster | June 6

Krista Burton’s first book, Moby Dyke: An Obsessive Quest to Hunt Down the Last Remaining Lesbian Bars in America, chronicles a road trip for the ages: visiting the last 21 lesbian bars in the United States (down from 206 in 1987). Creator of the blog Effing Dykes, Burton set out to discover where all these bars went, what the remaining ones have to offer and what queer spaces, places and rituals have been lost as LGBTQ+ communities have become more accepted by the dominant culture. Some of Burton’s personal narrative is also woven into her cultural analysis, such as coming out to her Mormon parents and traveling cross-country with her husband, who is transgender. It all sounds like a wild, wonderful ride.

The Questions That Matter Most by Jane Smiley

Heyday | June 6

Beloved novelist Jane Smiley (A Thousand Acres, Golden Age, Perestroika in Paris) dips back into nonfiction for the first time since 2005 with The Questions That Matter Most: Reading, Writing, and the Exercise of Freedom. Touching on the aesthetic, ethical and contextual aspects of reading and writing, Smiley’s 18 essays reflect on favorite authors, famous works from the English canon, the writing life and more. The Questions That Matter Most offers a peek into a great literary mind as it puzzles over the tricks and triumphs of other masterful writers, from ​​Franz Kafka to Alice Munro.

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A Most Tolerant Little Town by Rachel Louise Martin

Simon & Schuster | June 13

Historian Rachel Louise Martin (Hot, Hot Chicken) continues her work of documenting the politics of memory across the South in A Most Tolerant Little Town: The Explosive Beginning of School Desegregation in America. Martin’s second book recounts the events of September 1956 when a small town in Tennessee became home to the first school to undergo court-ordered desegregation after the Brown v. Board of Education ruling. There were death threats, violence and protests. The National Guard had to intervene. And in the years that followed, townspeople were reluctant to talk about it. Martin seems to have gotten through to them at last, however, because her book is based on interviews with over 60 of the town’s residents, resulting in a patchwork portrait of a pivotal moment in civil rights history.

How to Stay Married by Harrison Scott Key

Avid Reader | June 13

Harrison Scott Key, whose first book, The World’s Largest Man, won the Thurber Prize for American Humor in 2016, is back with another funny and deeply felt memoir. How to Stay Married: The Most Insane Love Story Ever Told tells the harrowing (but also somehow hilarious) story of Key’s realization that his wife was having an affair with a family friend. As he tangles and untangles faith, forgiveness and fidelity, Key takes readers along for a memorable caper, trying to right past wrongs, reckon with his failings and pave a better path forward, all with his sense of humor intact.

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100 Places to See After You Die by Ken Jennings

Scribner | June 13

“Jeopardy!” champion and author Ken Jennings (Planet Funny) has written a travel guide we hope you won’t need anytime soon. 100 Places to See After You Die: A Travel Guide to the Afterlife splits the difference between an informative compendium of afterlife legends and locales, and a satirical travel guide for anyone crossing the river Styx (or descending into Sheol, or ascending to Valhalla). So go ahead. Study up on the customs of potential future resting places, learn the lingo and figure out what to expect when you get there—or how you should behave now to ensure your entry—all while having a laugh at Jennings’ witty descriptions.

Adult Drama by Natalie Beach

Hanover Square | June 20

In 2019, Natalie Beach published an essay in The Cut about her dysfunctional friendship with full-time social media influencer and part-time grifter Caroline Calloway. In the days and weeks that followed, no one with a smartphone could talk about anything else. That viral essay leaned heavily on Calloway’s actions and difficulties, but in Adult Drama: And Other Essays, Beach tells her own story. This memoir in essays seeks to capture the absurdist humor of becoming an adult, with all of its professional, romantic, personal and existential crises. We’re excited to hear more from Beach, and to find out what kinds of sharp observations she’ll make about finding your footing in a world off its axis.

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August Wilson: A Life by Patti Hartigan

Simon & Schuster | August 15

Patti Hartigan is a theater critic who knew legendary playwright August Wilson personally, and we’re eager to get her authoritative take on his life and work in August Wilson: A Life. Wilson is responsible for some of the most revered plays of the 20th century, including Two Trains Running, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and Fences. His work explored Black Americans’ experiences over the last century and made him a key figure in the Post-Black Arts Movement. Based on interviews with Wilson’s friends, family and colleagues, Hartigan’s biography will shine a welcome light on this essential American artist.

Discover all of BookPage’s most anticipated books of 2023.

Masters of history, memoir, biography, social science and more reach for new heights in 2023.

A mystery told through iPhone voice transcripts, Jacqueline Winspear’s first standalone novel in nine years and the very first release from Gillian Flynn’s new imprint: 2023 will be a year for the record books when it comes to mystery and suspense. 

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The Twyford Code by Janice Hallett

Atria | January 24

Janice Hallett’s debut mystery, The Appeal, used emails, texts and letters to track a drama club tearing itself apart—to the point of murder. For her next trick, Hallett tells a story entirely through fictional audio transcripts, voice notes recorded by Steven “Smithy” Smith as he tries to unravel the secrets of a mysterious children’s book and its connection to the disappearance of his former English teacher. 

Exiles by Jane Harper

Flatiron | January 31

After a couple of standalones, Jane Harper returns to Aaron Falk, the sleuth who starred in her first two mysteries. Aaron is searching for a woman who vanished one summer night, leaving her baby tucked safely inside a pram, and his investigation may reveal terrible truths about his best friend and his best friend’s family.

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Unnatural History by Jonathan Kellerman

Ballantine | February 7

Milo Sturgis and Alex Delaware’s latest case delves into sticky questions of art, exploitation and activism as they hunt for the murderer of a wealthy photographer whose portraits of homeless people may have resulted in his death.

The Cliff’s Edge by Charles Todd

William Morrow | February 14

Nurse Bess Crawford is still adjusting to life after World War I and considering whether she has deeper feelings for her friend, Simon Brandon. But that task becomes even more difficult when she is drawn into a vicious family feud in the Yorkshire countryside with unforeseen consequences for the people closest to her.

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Murder at Haven’s Rock by Kelley Armstrong

Minotaur | February 21

Kelley Armstrong’s bestselling Rockton series has one of the most creative premises in mystery fiction: The secret town of Rockton exists completely off the grid in the Alaskan wilderness, the perfect place for criminals, fugitives and anyone in need of a second chance. In this spinoff series, Rockton’s erstwhile police chief, Casey Duncan, is building a second town to improve upon Rockton’s success—and then a body is discovered in the woods outside the worksite.

Scorched Grace by Margot Douaihy

Gillian Flynn Books | February 21

Even if poet Margot Douaihy’s debut mystery weren’t the first book released under Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn’s imprint, we’d still be itching to get our hands on it. A whodunit set in New Orleans starring a queer, chain-smoking, tattooed nun? Send it to us immediately

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What Have We Done by Alex Finlay

Minotaur | March 7

The acclaimed author of Every Last Fear and The Night Shift is back with another tale of past horrors reaching into the present. Five former residents of Savior House, a group home for teenagers that was shut down 25 years ago after the disappearances of some of its inhabitants, reunite after someone begins hunting them down. 

A Sinister Revenge by Deanna Raybourn

Berkley | March 7

Beloved Victorian sleuths Veronica Speedwell and Stoker Templeton-Vane return in their eighth adventure. This time, they’re trying to save the life of Stoker’s brother Tiberius, whose group of friends are being stalked and killed for reasons unknown. In a move that will especially please historical fiction fans, Tiberius plans to hold a house party at his ancestral estate to lure the killer out of hiding. If drama is what you seek, a house party is where you will surely find it.

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I Will Find You by Harlan Coben

Grand Central | March 14

Harlan Coben is one of our greatest living thriller writers, and instantly engaging hooks like the one in I Will Find You are a big reason why. To wit, David Burroughs didn’t kill his son, Matthew, but he was convicted and is now serving a life sentence for the terrible crime. When he receives evidence that Matthew is still alive, he has no choice but to break out of prison to clear his name and find out what actually happened.

Red London by Alma Katsu

Putnam | March 14

Well-known for her historical horror novels, Alma Katsu is also the author of espionage thrillers inspired by her previous career as a senior intelligence analyst. Red London will reunite readers with Red Widow’s Lyndsey Duncan, whose latest mission is to ferret out Russian assets in London.

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So You Shall Reap by Donna Leon

Atlantic Monthly | March 14

There’s something of a holy trinity of wholesome, modern male sleuths. Louise Penny’s Inspector Gamache, Martin Walker’s Benoît “Bruno” Courrèges, Chief of Police and Donna Leon’s Commissario Guido Brunetti are all cultured, empathetic, complicated detectives who solve crimes while enjoying lives that fill readers with envy. Of late, Leon’s been giving readers snippets of Guido’s past, and this latest investigation is no different: The murder of a Sri Lankan man, found in one of Venice’s canals, has a startling connection to Guido’s student days. 

Vera Wong’s Unsolicited Advice for Murderers by Jesse Q. Sutanto

Berkley | March 14

Jesse Q. Sutanto, the bestselling author of Dial A for Aunties, returns with a mystery sure to please fans of The Thursday Murder Club and all the similarly clever tales starring older characters that followed in its wake. When Vera Wong finds a dead body in her tea shop, she decides to embark on her own investigation by closely observing her customers, certain that the man’s killer will eventually return to the scene of the crime.

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A Tempest at Sea by Sherry Thomas

Berkley | March 14

The Lady Sherlock series is one of the best spins on the Sherlock Holmes canon and a wonderful historical mystery series in its own right. Sherry Thomas’ saga follows Charlotte Holmes, a brilliant detective who solves crime while pretending to be her fake brother Sherlock’s assistant, and in this seventh installment, she is on the hunt for an important dossier aboard the RMS Provence. Of course, someone is murdered on the ship, but Charlotte must hold back from solving the crime in order to continue her search for the dossier (and protect her identity—she’s recently had to fake her death, you see). Does Charlotte stand a chance at resisting such a tantalizing case? Most likely not.

The White Lady by Jacqueline Winspear

Harper | March 21

After 17 acclaimed historical mysteries starring British sleuth Maisie Dobbs, Jacqueline Winspear is introducing a new character for her fans to adore. The White Lady follows Elinor White, a 41-year-old former spy living in a small English village in 1947. When her neighbors are threatened by a powerful gang, Elinor will have to call on all her training to protect her new life.

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The Last Heir to Blackwood Library by Hester Fox

Graydon House | April 4

If you love gothic novels, you probably already know and love the deliciously gloomy work of Hester Fox. Her fifth book takes place after World War I and follows Ivy Radcliffe, a woman who is shocked to learn that she’s inherited a crumbling estate in Yorkshire that contains an epically creepy library.

The Soulmate by Sally Hepworth

St. Martin’s | April 4

Sally Hepworth’s 2022 thriller, The Younger Wife, was a marvelous combination of complicated character dynamics and soapy thrills a la Big Little Lies. So there are high hopes for her next novel, which will take on a time-honored trope of female-driven suspense novels: What if my perfect, beloved husband was actually a murderer?

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The Only Survivors by Megan Miranda

Marysue Rucci | April 11

Bestselling thriller author Megan Miranda’s latest novel follows a group of former classmates who all survived the same tragic event. As they gather to mark the 10th anniversary of the incident, one of the classmates disappears. Knowing Miranda, the plot will be perfectly constructed, the characters endearingly spiky and the twists shockingly prescient.

The Last Word by Taylor Adams

William Morrow | April 25

Taylor Adams hit it big with No Exit, which is now a movie on Hulu, and topped himself with the superb Hairpin Bridge. The Last Word’s premise will be hilariously, uncomfortably familiar for any book lovers who are perhaps . . . a bit too online. A woman who posts a negative review of a famous author’s latest horror novel gets into a fight with said author on the internet—and then disturbing incidents start happening around her isolated home.

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The Way of the Bear by Anne Hillerman

Harper | April 25

Tony Hillerman’s Leaphorn & Chee mysteries are finally getting the prestige TV adaptation they deserve in AMC’s “Dark Winds,” which means a whole new audience will find their way to Anne Hillerman’s continuation of her father’s work. Her eight installment will see Jim Chee and Bernadette Manuelito investigating two mysterious deaths that seem to be tied to the Bear Ears area, one of the most beautiful places in the Navajo Nation. 

For You and Only You by Caroline Kepnes

Random House | April 25

America’s favorite stalker is back, and he has another outrageously named woman to hunt. The new love of Joe Goldberg’s life is named Wonder, the setting is Harvard University, but Joe himself will never change. Thank goodness.

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Small Mercies by Dennis Lehane

Harper | April 25

It’s been six years since the acclaimed author of Mystic River and Shutter Island released a new novel, and Small Mercies sounds like a doozy. Set in Boston in 1974, this suspenseful novel will follow Mary Pat Fennessey, whose search for her missing daughter sets her on a collision course with the Irish mob as the city teeters on the brink of violence over the desegregation of its public schools. 

Sing Her Down by Ivy Pochoda

MCD | May 23

Ivy Pochoda’s new thriller sounds like a Western version of “Killing Eve,” which is something we never knew we needed but now need desperately. It follows two incarcerated women, one of whom insists that the other isn’t as innocent as she pretends to be, sparking a deadly game of cat-and-mouse.

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All the Sinners Bleed by S.A. Cosby

Flatiron | June 6

S.A. Cosby never shies away from the darker corners of crime fiction, exploring morally gray characters and challenging situations with a humane, clear-eyed intelligence. His next book will be no different: All the Sinners Bleed follows Titus Crown, the first Black sheriff in a small Southern town who must reckon with all the contradictions of his position when a teacher’s murder uncovers a tangle of corruption, crimes and secrets.

Mrs. Plansky’s Revenge by Spencer Quinn

Forge | July 25

Spencer Quinn has already gifted readers with the Chet & Bernie series, which follows a PI and his German Shepherd as they solve crimes and enjoy being each other’s best friend. (It is exactly as adorable as it sounds.) But now he’s starting a new series that could become just as beloved: Mrs. Plansky’s Revenge will be the first adventure of Loretta Plansky, a widow in her 70s, who, after losing her savings to a scammer pretending to be her grandson, sets out to track him down and recover her funds. 

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Prom Mom by Laura Lippman

William Morrow | July 25

Laura Lippman’s novels combine careful plotting with extremely messy character behavior, resulting in singularly page-turning reads. True to form, her latest thriller begins with a plot straight out of the trashiest of tabloids: When she was a teenager, Amber Glass was accused of killing her baby on prom night after her date, Joe Simpson, abandoned her. With something like that in your past, you’d get the hell out of dodge too. So why is Amber back in town, and why are she and Joe circling each other once again?

Evergreen by Naomi Hirahara

Soho Crime | August 1

The author of Clark and Division, one of our best mysteries of 2021, returns with Evergreen, her second Japantown Mystery. It’s 1946, and Aki Ito and her family have finally returned to their home in Los Angeles after being incarcerated in a detention center and resettled in Chicago. Aki’s next case puts her in an extremely delicate position: Her husband’s best friend, Babe Watanbe, is suspected of elder abuse, and it turns out that’s only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the potential crimes of the Watanabes.

Discover all of BookPage’s most anticipated books of 2023.

Complicated new cases and twisty plots await in the 26 mysteries and thrillers we’re itching to read.

2023 will see the return of some of the internet’s favorite writers (Samantha Shannon! TJ Klune!), the genius behind the Murderbot Diaries heading back to fantasy and Chuck Tingle (!!!) releasing his debut novel.

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The Terraformers by Annalee Newitz

Tor | January 31

It’s a delight to be alive at the same time as Annalee Newitz, author of equally brilliant fiction and nonfiction. Newitz is returning to sci-fi after their marvelous Four Lost Cities, a historical exploration of ancient metropolises, with The Terraformers. The epic novel will explore the conflict between nature and capitalism on the planet Sask-E, which a powerful corporation transforms over the centuries into a world suitable for human life. 

Don’t Fear the Reaper by Stephen Graham Jones

Saga | February 7

Horror-obsessed teen Jade Daniels is back, and unfortunately, her town of Proofrock, Idaho, is once again in danger in this sequel to My Heart Is a Chainsaw. Another killer is on his way to the town, a man obsessed with getting revenge for 38 Dakota men who were hanged by the United States government in 1862, and it will take all of Jade’s survival skills and genre knowledge to stop him. 

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Our Share of Night by Mariana Enriquez, translated by Megan McDowell

Hogarth | February 7

Only two story collections from Mariana Enriquez, an acclaimed Argentinian writer of speculative fiction and horror, have been translated into English (Things We Lost in the Fire and The Dangers of Smoking in Bed). Our Share of Night is her first translated novel, and this frightening tale of a father desperate to protect his son from the cult his son’s mother belonged to could be Enriquez’s big breakout.

The Magician’s Daughter by H.G. Parry

Redhook | February 21

If you’re the type of SFF reader who loves fantasy as much as historical trivia, you probably already know about H.G. Parry’s gloriously nerdy Shadow Histories duology. The series suffused the Enlightenment and the age of revolution with magicians who, in addition to arguing about civil liberties, debated whether restrictions should be placed upon sorcery. Parry’s next novel, while still a historical fantasy, is noticeably more whimsical in tone: The Magician’s Daughter is the story of a sheltered orphan who lives on Hy-Brasil, a secret island off the coast of Ireland, and must venture into the outside world after her guardian goes missing.

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A Day of Fallen Night by Samantha Shannon

Bloomsbury | February 28

The Priory of the Orange Tree, one of the internet’s very favorite fantasy novels, has everything a genre fan could want: an intriguing world with fascinating historical parallels, a gorgeous love story and unbelievably cool dragons. Priory was said to be a standalone novel when it was first released, but apparently, author Samantha Shannon just couldn’t resist. Fans are wild with anticipation for A Day of Fallen Night, which is set in the same world as Priory but almost five centuries earlier.

The Adventures of Amina al-Sirafi by Shannon Chakraborty

Harper Voyager | March 7

Shannon Chakraborty’s Daevabad series is one of the best fantasy trilogies of recent years (and a well-deserved BookTok favorite). She returns with what looks to be a rollicking good time: a fantasy adventure following the titular pirate, who comes out of retirement to rescue a former crewmember’s kidnapped daughter.

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The Curator by Owen King

Scribner | March 7

Owen King (yes, son of that Stephen) has written short stories, horror and literary fiction, but his latest novel is best described as a high-concept intellectual experiment, filtered through the lens of fantasy. Set in a vaguely Dickensian city that has recently undergone a revolution, The Curator follows former maid Dora as she searches for answers about her brother’s mysterious death, which she believes has something to do with the Museum of Psykical Research.

Lone Women by Victor LaValle

One World | March 21

The idiosyncratic author of The Changeling goes west with the frightening story of Adelaide Henry, a woman in turn-of-the-century America who flees to the frontier to hide a terrible secret. As with all of Victor LaValle’s novels, the less you know going in, the better.

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A House With Good Bones by T. Kingfisher

Tor Nightfire | March 28

T. Kingfisher hops back and forth between fantasy and horror, bringing her gift for endearing characters and spiky wit to each genre. Her next horror novel, A House With Good Bones, is a Southern gothic drama that will mix scares with family secrets.

One for My Enemy by Olivie Blake

Tor | April 4

Olivie Blake’s Atlas series made the jump from self-publishing phenomenon to bestseller, and there’s more where that came from, with book after book being released from Blake’s archives. First there was the contemporary romance Alone With You in the Ether, and now there’s One for My Enemy, a modern fantasy set in a New York City where two rival witch families teeter on the edge of all-out war.

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In the Lives of Puppets by TJ Klune

Tor | April 25

“Pinocchio but with robots” pretty much sounds like the perfect plot for TJ Klune, he of the adorable characters and perfectly measured whimsy. Throw in a Swiss Family Robinson-esque home in the trees, and we’re sold.

The Ferryman by Justin Cronin

Ballantine | May 2

It’s been seven years since Justin Cronin brought his bestselling Passage trilogy to a close with City of Mirrors. This spring, he returns with another tale of sci-fi apocalypse, but this time with a heady metaphysical twist. On the isolated island of Prospera, safe from the world beyond, citizens live long and happy lives until they are “retired.” Their memories are wiped, their bodies are restored and they return to the island to live a new life. But of course, as it is with most so-called utopias, things aren’t what they seem, and Prospera isn’t the paradise its people think it is.

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Witch King by Martha Wells

Tordotcom | May 30

Martha Wells, the gleeful genius behind the Murderbot Diaries, pivots to fantasy for the first time in years with the story of a powerful mage who gets murdered, gets resurrected and is faced with a world that has changed a lot while he’s been gone.

The Reformatory by Tananarive Due

Saga | June 27

The iconic, bestselling writer of various speculative genres, Tananarive Due turns once again to horror in this novel set at a segregated reform school in 1950s Florida, where a young boy realizes that the spirits of other children who have died there are haunting the property.

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Camp Damascus by Chuck Tingle

Tor Nightfire | July 18

Is Chuck Tingle the opposite of a milkshake duck? The mysterious, wildly prolific erotica author’s outrageous oeuvre has been delighting those in the know for years, and that was before we learned that Chuck Tingle is: 1) a real person who really does love writing erotica and isn’t just doing it for the bit, 2) a hilarious troll who firmly rejected the reactionary movements that attempted to game the Hugo Awards and 3) an advocate for freedom, love and LGBTQ+ rights. The gay conversion camp-set horror novel Camp Damascus is his first full-length book, and will introduce him to audiences that are not terminally online but still sorely need his earnest, joyful perspective on life and love.

Immortal Longings by Chloe Gong

Saga | July 25

Young adult author Chloe Gong looked to Romeo and Juliet for her first two books, As You Like It for her third and now Antony and Cleopatra for her adult fantasy debut, Immortal Longings. Her Cleopatra stand-in is Princess Calla Tuoleimi, who takes part in a magical contest with the hopes of assassinating her reclusive uncle, who will make an appearance to greet the winner of the games. Along the way, she forms an alliance and then a relationship with aristocrat Anton Makusa, and must decide between her quest and her new love.

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Masters of Death by Olivie Blake

Tor | August 8

Within Olivie Blake’s impending flood of new books, Masters of Death sounds like the most lighthearted: It’s a romance between Viola Marek, a vampire real estate agent, and medium Fox D’Mora, to whom Viola turns for help in figuring out who murdered a man haunting a house she really needs to sell.

Starter Villain by John Scalzi

Tor | August 29

Sci-fi author John Scalzi gifted readers with the absolute romp that was The Kaiju Preservation Society last year, and it looks like he’s still in his “screw interplanetary politics, let’s have some fun” phase. Starter Villain will follow a protagonist who inherits their uncle’s supervillain business, a hilarious concept made even funnier by the fact that this business is apparently staffed by “sentient . . . computer-savvy cats.”

Discover all of BookPage’s most anticipated books of 2023.

Discover 18 books we can’t wait to escape into.

The YA books we’re most looking forward to in 2023 will push boundaries, revisit beloved characters and, above all, remind us why we love reading.

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These Infinite Threads by Tahereh Mafi

HarperCollins | February 7

National Book Award-nominated author Tahereh Mafi’s first YA high fantasy novel, This Woven Kingdom, was everything you could want from a writer known for her deep grasp of character psychology and world building. A retelling of “Cinderella” that became an instant bestseller, This Woven Kingdom ended on what BookPage reviewer Annie Metcalf called a “whopping cliffhanger,” so we’re eager to resume the story in These Infinite Threads.

She Is a Haunting by Trang Thanh Tran

Bloomsbury | February 28

If you haven’t heard the buzz about this debut horror novel by now, you might want to plant more bee balm in your yard. The cover reveal for Trang Thanh Tran’s haunted-house tale basically broke the bookternet last fall—and deservedly so, because artist Elena Masci’s cover art is both stunning and deeply unnerving. As creepy as the novel’s cover is, we suspect it’s nothing compared to the nightmares that await within its pages.

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Stateless by Elizabeth Wein

Little, Brown | March 14

Raise your hand if you’ve gasped and/or sobbed while reading one of Elizabeth Wein’s historical fiction masterworks. We know we’re far from alone in this, which is why we can’t wait to soar away with Stateless, which follows a group of top-notch pilots on a weeklong race all over Europe in 1937. After a detour into code breaking in her previous novel, The Enigma Game, we hope Wein’s incredible knowledge and passion for flying retakes center stage in Stateless.

The Witch and the Vampire by Francesca Flores

Wednesday | March 21

We’ll be honest: Francesca Flores’ debut fantasy novel had us from the title, but when we learned that it was a queer reimagining of “Rapunzel” with a friends-to-enemies-to-lovers story arc, we started counting the days until The Witch and the Vampire’s late March publication date. Witches, vampires and all things paranormal are having another moment in YA, and we couldn’t be happier about it.

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The Quiet and the Loud by Helena Fox

Dial | March 28

Australian author Helena Fox’s debut YA novel, How It Feels to Float (2019), has become a quintessential BookTok success story. Videos hashtagged with its title have been viewed hundreds of thousands of times, and many BookTokkers praise Fox’s depiction of her protagonist’s mental illness and grief. Readers have been patiently waiting almost four years for Fox to publish another book, and The Quiet and the Loud—which explores similar themes of mental health, family and hope—promises to be worth the wait.

Stars and Smoke by Marie Lu

Roaring Brook | March 28

If there’s one thing we love, it’s an author with range, and at this point, we’re beginning to wonder if there’s anything that bestselling author Marie Lu can’t do. Dystopian thrillers? Check. Cyberpunk sci-fi? Check. Historical fantasy? Check. With Stars and Smoke, Lu adds “espionage thriller” to this list, as the novel follows a pop superstar-turned spy and the gifted agent posing as his bodyguard.  

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Blood Debts by Terry J. Benton-Walker

Tor Teen | April 4

A deadly curse, a magical New Orleans family, twins setting out to heal intergenerational trauma and solve a 30-year-old cold case—if you’re thinking that debut author Terry J. Benton-Walker packed a lot into Blood Debts, you’re not wrong. Benton-Walker’s narrative and world building both seem incredibly ambitious and intriguing, and we can’t wait to see how he untangles it all.

Funeral Songs for Dying Girls by Cherie Dimaline

Tundra | April 4

Vancouver-based Métis author Cherie Dimaline’s 2017 dystopian YA novel, The Marrow Thieves, was an acclaimed bestseller in Canada, while her first book for adults, Empire of Wild, was one of our favorite debuts of 2020. Dimaline followed these with a Marrow Thieves sequel in 2021 (Hunting by Stars), but Funeral Songs for Dying Girls will be her first standalone YA novel in seven years. Although it contains similar speculative elements as her previous works (in this case, ghosts), its contemporary setting marks an intriguing departure from the Marrow Thieves world, and we love to see writers as gifted as Dimaline setting themselves new challenges.

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Silver in the Bone by Alexandra Bracken

Knopf | April 4

Alexandra Bracken initially found success during the dystopian YA boom of the early 2010s with The Darkest Minds, the first volume in a four-book series that was eventually adapted into a movie co-produced by “Stranger Things” producer Shawn Levy. In the years since, Bracken has built on her early success with time-travel romances, a supernatural middle grade duology and 2021’s Greek mythology-inspired blockbuster Lore. With Silver in the Bone, Bracken brings her considerable talents for breakneck pacing and complex world building to a new arena: Arthurian legend. 

The Making of Yolanda la Bruja by Lorraine Avila

Levine Querido | April 11

They say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but . . . just look at the incredible cover of Lorraine Avila’s debut YA novel and its gorgeous illustration by artist Blane Asrat. As soon as we saw it, we couldn’t wait to learn more about The Making of Yolanda la Bruja, the story of a teen girl who, as she waits to be initiated into her family’s magical brujería traditions, begins having upsetting visions about the son of a prominent local politician.

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Imogen, Obviously by Becky Albertalli

Balzer + Bray | May 2

Becky Albertalli’s 2015 William C. Morris Award-winning debut novel, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, helped to usher in a welcome wave of LGBTQ+ YA fiction that readers are still happily surfing today. Albertalli could have coasted on Simon’s success for the rest of her career, but instead, she’s explored new dynamics across three solo novels, a novella and three co-authored novels and established herself as one of contemporary YA fiction’s most beloved writers in the process. Imogen, Obviously draws on some of Albertalli’s own experiences to tell a story about identity, honesty and, of course, falling in love.

Warrior Girl Unearthed by Angeline Boulley

Holt | May 2

Angeline Boulley’s Firekeeper’s Daughter was one of the most exciting debut YA novels of 2021. Readers loved its gripping, twisty mystery and breathless prose, and the novel was optioned to be adapted into a Netflix TV series by Barack and Michelle Obama’s production company. This year, Boulley returns with another thriller, which she has described as starring “an Indigenous Lara Croft” named Perry Firekeeper-Birch. Warrior Girl Unearthed also features a gorgeous cover illustration by Caldecott Medalist Michaela Goade.

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Nigeria Jones by Ibi Zoboi

Balzer + Bray | May 9

Few authors combine vibrant, word-perfect prose and a keen grasp of narrative pacing the way Zoboi does, let alone across as many genres and categories as Zoboi has worked in: The author has written acclaimed bestsellers in every category of children’s publishing, from picture books (The People Remember, a Coretta Scott King Honor book) to YA novels (American Street, a National Book Award finalist) to nonfiction (Star Child). The titular character in Nigeria Jones is the daughter of Black separatists, and she begins to question the very foundations of her life when her mother disappears.

The Grimoire of Grave Fates, created by Hanna Alkaf and Margaret Owen

Delacorte | June 6

The Grimoire of Grave Fates isn’t a short story anthology as we usually think of them: a collection of contributions on a common theme. It’s more like listening in as 18 of our favorite YA authors play a role-playing game inspired by Clue, each contributing a chapter about the magical Galileo Academy for the Extraordinary, where students are trying to solve the murder of a professor. Hanna Alkaf and Margaret Owen lead a contributor list that includes Darcie Little Badger, Julian Winters, Kat Cho, L.L. McKinney, Mason Deaver, Tehlor Kay Mejia and more. 

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Everyone Wants to Know by Kelly Loy Gilbert

Simon & Schuster | June 13

Ever since her debut novel, Conviction (a finalist for the 2015 William C. Morris Award), Kelly Loy Gilbert has been on our auto-read list—as in, we automatically want to read everything she writes. All of her books (and there are only three of them, so you could catch up between now and June) combine achingly beautiful prose with subtle storytelling that always leaves us in awe and often in tears. Everyone Wants to Know explores the impact of reality TV fame through the story of a teen girl who has grown up in the spotlight gets burned when a private conversation draws public ire.

Discover all of BookPage’s most anticipated books of 2023.

Discover the 15 YA titles we’re resolved to devour this year.

2023 will yield a bumper crop of books for readers small and not-so-small, including new releases from Newbery Medalists Jerry Craft and Kwame Alexander, and collaborations between Mac Barnett and Christian Robinson, Grace Lin and Kate Messner, and Kelly DiPucchio and Loveis Wise.

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Once Upon a Book by Grace Lin and Kate Messner

Little, Brown | February 7

It’s difficult to imagine an author-illustrator dream team more thrilling than Kate Messner and Grace Lin, both of whom have proven their authorial expertise in picture books and novels alike. Their collaboration is an ode to imagination and the sheer joy of reading as only they could create together.

On Air With Zoe Washington by Janae Marks

Katherine Tegen | February 14

Any new release from acclaimed middle grade author Janae Marks is cause for celebration, but a sequel to her bestselling debut novel, From the Desk of Zoe Washington, the story of a girl who dreams of becoming a successful baker and sets out to discover whether her father was wrongly incarcerated, has us doing happy dances in our office chairs. On Air With Zoe Washington finds the titular hero juggling new family dynamics and new challenges at the bakery.

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Finally Seen by Kelly Yang

Simon & Schuster | February 28

Kelly Yang burst onto the middle grade scene in a big way with her 2018 debut, Front Desk, which spent more than six months on the New York Times bestseller list and won the Asian/Pacific American Award for Children’s Literature. What’s even more impressive, though, is the momentum Yang has maintained ever since, publishing four more middle grade novels, two YA novels and a nonfiction picture book, Yes We Will: Asian Americans Who Shaped This Country, featuring artwork by 15 illustrators. Yang shows no signs of slowing down in 2023, with two books on the way: Finally Seen, which follows a girl who immigrates to America from China five years after her parents and little sister, is coming in February; and Top Story, the fifth book in Yang’s Front Desk series, is scheduled for publication in the fall.

My Baba’s Garden by Jordan Scott, illustrated by Sydney Smith

Neal Porter | March 7

Author Jordan Scott and illustrator Sydney Smith’s first picture book together, 2020’s I Talk Like a River, was an extraordinary depiction of the bond between a young boy who stutters and his empathetic father. We loved it so much, in fact, that we named it one of our 10 best picture books of the year. Repeat collaborations between authors and illustrators tend to be exceptions in picture book publishing rather than the norm, so we were surprised and delighted to learn that Scott and Smith have created another picture book together, this one a sensitive exploration of the relationship between a boy and his grandmother. 

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The Many Assassinations of Samir, the Seller of Dreams by Daniel Nayeri, illustrated by Daniel Miyares

Levine Querido | March 7

Daniel Nayeri’s 2020 middle grade novel, Everything Sad Is Untrue, broke him out in a big way, and for good reason. His mostly true story about an Iranian refugee named Khosrou who journeys to Oklahoma by way of Italy was inventive, hilarious and deeply moving. Among the honors it received were the Michael L. Printz Award and the Middle East Book Award for Youth Literature. Everything Sad Is Untrue took Nayeri 13 years to write, so we’re a little relieved that we only had to wait two and a half years for his next book, The Many Assassinations of Samir, the Seller of Dreams, which follows a boy who travels the Silk Road with a fast-talking merchant.    

Twenty Questions by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Christian Robinson

Candlewick | March 14

We would be here all day if we offered a comprehensive list of all the awards and honors garnered by these two talented creators. Instead, we’ll just say that they’re two of the most successful and interesting people working in children’s literature today, and we’re over the moon that they’re making another book together after 2015’s Leo: A Ghost Story. We look forward to discovering Twenty Questions, and to the thoughtful and imaginative conversations it will surely inspire.

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Remember by Joy Harjo, illustrated by Michaela Goade

Random House Studio | March 21

Muscogee writer Joy Harjo, the 23rd Poet Laureate of the United States, has published two picture books in addition to her many acclaimed collections of poetry and works of nonfiction, but it’s been awhile—14 years, to be exact. Although the text of Remember is not a new composition (the poem was originally published in Harjo’s 1983 collection, She Had Some Horses), the boundaries between poems and picture book texts can be blurry, and Harjo’s imagery-laden verse seems perfect for adapting. We fully expect that 2021 Caldecott Medalist Michaela Goade’s illustrations will leave us breathless.

School Trip by Jerry Craft

Quill Tree | April 4

In 2020, Jerry Craft’s New Kid became the first graphic novel to win the Newbery Medal. Craft followed New Kid with a sequel, Class Act, which saw Jordan and his friends Drew and Liam take on eighth grade at Riverdale Academy Day School. In School Trip, the trio will face their biggest adventure yet: traveling to Paris.

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Big Tree by Brian Selznick

Scholastic | April 4

Brian Selznick‘s best-known books are also his biggest. The Invention of Hugo Cabret, the longest book ever to win the Caldecott Medal, clocks in at 544 pages. Add in Wonderstruck and The Marvels and you’re at a whopping 1,824 pages, many of which are illustrated in Selznick’s signature soft graphite. But young readers don’t love Selznick because he writes big books. They love him because of how he dives, seemingly without fear, into big ideas. Big Tree sees Selznick take on a whopper even by his own standards: It’s an entire novel told from the point of view of a sycamore tree seed whose name is, naturally, Louise.

How to Write a Poem by Kwame Alexander and Deanna Nikaido, illustrated by Melissa Sweet

Quill Tree | April 4

We adored How to Read a Book, the first picture book that Newbery Medalist Kwame Alexander created with Caldecott Honor illustrator Melissa Sweet. New books from either of these gifted creators always go onto our TBR lists immediately, but the prospect that Alexander might share some insights into his creative processes in How to Write a Poem has us even more excited than usual.

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The Firefly Summer by Morgan Matson

Simon & Schuster | May 2

Since publishing her debut YA novel, Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour (2010), Morgan Matson has become known as one of the most thoughtful writers of contemporary YA fiction. Across six books, she has offered grounded and relatable depictions of friendships, families and first loves. We’re eager to see Matson try her hand at middle grade fiction with The Firefly Summer, which follows a girl getting to know her late mother’s large extended family for the first time.

Big by Vashti Harrison

Little, Brown | May 2

Bestselling author-illustrator Vashti Harrison’s luminous digital art is irresistibly appealing, whether it’s in Harrison’s own Little Leaders biography series or in picture books written by former NFL player Matthew A. Cherry (Hair Love), Academy Award-winning actor Lupita Nyong’o (Sulwe) or Questioneers author Andrea Beaty (I Love You Like Yellow). Big is Harrison’s first fiction picture book as both author and illustrator, and it follows a young girl’s evolving relationship to her body.

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Becoming Charley by Kelly DiPucchio, illustrated by Loveis Wise

Knopf | May 2

At their best, Kelly DiPucchio’s picture books have a perfect balance between laugh-out-loud humor and just the right amount of heartfelt sweetness. Over the years, DiPucchio has also worked with some of our favorite illustrators, including Greg Pizzoli (Dragon Was Terrible), Stephanie Graegin (Super Manny Stands Up!) and Claire Keane (Not Yeti). Becoming Charley, the story of a nonconformist caterpillar, features illustrations by Loveis Wise, who has quickly become known for their bright color palettes and engaging artistic style in picture books such as Jeanne Walker Harvey’s Ablaze With Color and Ibi Zoboi’s The People Remember. 

The Sun and the Star by Rick Riordan and Mark Oshiro

Disney Hyperion | May 2

2023 will bring so many delights for longtime fans of middle grade fantasy superstar Rick Riordan that we hereby declare it a Riordanaissance! Riordan’s boutique imprint, Rick Riordan Presents, will publish at least five new novels inspired by myths and legends from China, Korea, Mesopotamia and more. May will bring The Sun and the Star, a new novel co-authored with Mark Oshiro and starring fan-favorite characters Nico di Angelo, the son of Hades, and Will Solace, the son of Apollo. Then in The Chalice of the Gods, coming in September, Riordan will revisit Percy Jackson himself as he tackles his biggest quest yet: getting into college. Although the first season of the Disney+ Percy Jackson adaptation won’t be released until 2024, we bet that Riordan and the show will continue to drop all sorts of tantalizing tidbits throughout the year. 

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Martina Has Too Many Tías by Emma Otheguy, illustrated by Sara Palacios

Atheneum | June 20 

After starting her career by writing nonfiction picture books, then transitioning to middle grade novels, Emma Otheguy published her first fiction picture book in 2021. With illustrations by Ana Ramírez González, A Sled for Gabo was a warmhearted tale of a boy experiencing his first snowy day and finding creative ways to join in the wintry fun. Martina Has Too Many Tías features illustrations from Pura Belpré Honor illustrator Sara Palacios, whose work we’ve loved in picture books such as Rajani LaRocca’s I’ll Go and Come Back and Mitali Perkins’ Between Us and Abuela.

Discover all of BookPage’s most anticipated books of 2023.

These 15 picture books and middle grade novels are at the top of our TBR lists as we begin a new year of reading.

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Oh, the possibilities that await in a new reading year! For readers who like to plan ahead, the editors of BookPage spotlight some of the books they’re most looking forward to this year.
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November 9, 2022

12 fantasy romances you have to read

Escape into magical worlds full of love and adventure.

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Freya Marske’s follow-up to her acclaimed debut, A Marvellous Light, is a stunning, sensual companion novel that follows the threads of the same overarching mystery: a threat to the magical community in Edwardian England. A Restless Truth focuses on Maud Blyth, sister to A Marvellous Light’s Robin, as she discovers her own strengths and explores her sexuality in this magical murder mystery. 

Maud is working as a lady’s companion for the older and sometimes aggravating magician Elizabeth Navenby aboard the transatlantic ocean liner Lyric. When Mrs. Navenby is found dead in her room with several valuable items missing, Maud suspects foul play. As Maud learns more about her employer’s life, she realizes the murder may be connected to the mission Robin and his partner, Edwin, pursued in the first book in the series: to protect three artifacts so powerful they can affect all of the magic in the world.

A delightfully brash and boisterous cast of possible suspects and allies drives the story. There’s Lord Hawthorne, a gentleman with a reputation for sexual prowess; Alan Ross, a shady journalist with a keen ear for gossip; and Violet Debenham, an alluring actor-turned-heiress whose scandalous past only makes her all the more enticing. As they turn the decks of the Lyric upside down in their search for the killer and the objects they stole, Maud is the relatable center of the storm. She’s an immediately engaging protagonist, both because of her desire to prove herself to her brother and the magician community and because of her evolving understanding of her sexuality. Marske conjures yet another spellbinding romance, this time between Maud and Violet, who is as sharp-tongued and adventurous as Maud is wide-eyed and curious. Sparks fly between the two young women upon their first meeting, but will their connection last after the murder is solved? 

A Restless Truth is a thrilling mystery and a lush historical fantasy that will leave readers breathless—both from its exciting plot twists and its captivating romance.

Freya Marske’s follow-up to A Marvellous Light is a stunning, sensual love story wrapped in an exciting murder mystery.

Given our culture’s widespread embrace of all things nerdy and the ever-increasing popularity of romance novels, it’s no surprise that readers are flocking to stories of true love in magical realms and soulmates bantering their way through intergalactic intrigue.

The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches

Mika Moon has a large following online, dazzling her audience with potions and her sparkling personality. The difference between Mika and other young women posing as witches with vlogs is that Mika is actually a witch. Taught to keep her abilities under wraps by her overbearing guardian, Mika knows that the biggest rule of witchcraft is that you never talk about witchcraft. Still, she believes her online activities are innocuous enough: After all, who would truly believe that witches exist? When a mysterious estate called Nowhere House entreats her to come and train a group of three young witches who don’t have control over their powers, Mika is immediately intrigued—and worried. After all, generations of witches have stayed safe by not congregating or doing anything suspicious. But she goes anyway, armed with nothing but her trusty dog, Circe, and a winning smile. At Nowhere House, Mika quickly runs into problems, not just from her young charges but also from Jamie, a testy librarian with trust issues who can’t decide if Mika is the answer to their problems or an even bigger problem herself. But as Mika settles into her role, she begins to understand that Jamie’s thorny exterior guards a man who may not be nice but is kind. And his steadfast presence might just be enough for Mika to lower the walls around her own heart.

In The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches, author Sangu Mandanna tells a story of found family, taking chances and, of course, romance. Mandanna combines two classic rom-com tropes—forced proximity and a grumpy-sunshine pairing—with the charm of the English countryside, evoking restrained yet fluffy tales of governesses and duty but in a modern setting. Like a good cup of tea, Mandanna’s novel warms you from the inside out. It’s got just enough sugar and cream to bring a smile to your face but not so much that it seems saccharine.

—Laura Hubbard

Eclipse the Moon

Jessie Mihalik returns to her Starlight’s Shadow series with Eclipse the Moon, an action-packed, sci-fi romance with a central couple that readers will adore.

A hacker and bounty hunter aboard the spaceship Starlight’s Shadow, Kee Ildez needs a break from the ship’s close quarters and the presence of one of her alien crewmates, steely Valovian weapons expert Varro Runkow. She thinks a few weeks of solo investigation on the space station Bastion, where someone seems to be trying to start a war between the humans and the Valovians, will help her shake off her frustrating attraction to Varro. But her plan is upended when she realizes that he has followed her onto the space station. As tensions rise between human and Valovian designers during a fashion exhibit, Kee tries to stay professional and keep her mind on her mission. The peace between the two races has been tentative at best, and even something seemingly innocuous could plunge the galaxy into war.

Mihalik moves the plot along quickly, mixing deadly intrigue, fast-paced action and political diplomacy. Kee and Varro are incontrovertible heroes, and Mihalik embraces the idea of good triumphing over evil, giving Eclipse the Moon a vaguely old-fashioned, space Western-esque feel. Their romance unfolds slowly, as their mutual attraction comes to a head amid the danger on Bastion. The mystery plot often takes center stage, which will please more drama- and action-oriented readers. But Mihalik knows her audience and makes sure to include some very steamy moments amid all the dangerous tension and close combat.

—Amanda Diehl 

A Taste of Gold and Iron

A Taste of Gold and Iron is a slow-burn romance wrapped in a fantasy novel full of court intrigue. Alexandra Rowland’s latest novel opens as Prince Kadou of Arasht has made a grievous political misstep, one that leaves two of his own bodyguards dead and angers both his sister, who happens to be the sultan, and the father of her child. In an attempt to save face for the royal family, Kadou is temporarily banned from court and assigned a new bodyguard, Evemer. Evemer’s disdain for Kadou is matched only by his dedication to formality and protocol, but what he lacks in congeniality he makes up for in skill and dedication. As Kadou and his household are pulled into a conspiracy of break-ins and money forgery, Kadou will have to trust Evemer if he is to pull the royal family out of harm’s way.

Political intrigue dominates much of A Taste of Gold and Iron, so those looking for a book that primarily centers a love story would do well to look to other avenues. However, for readers who enjoy forced proximity and bodyguard romances, A Taste of Gold and Iron offers both, wrapped in a delightful package of espionage and royal duty. In addition to their deft handling of multiple conspiracies and political disputes, Rowland also impresses in their nuanced depiction of anxiety. Kadou has panic attacks that leave him vulnerable to manipulation from both political opponents and his own staff. The story’s acceptance of Kadou’s anxiety expands A Taste of Gold and Iron‘s focus from romantic love to trust and vulnerability as well.

—Laura Hubbard

These reads from writers Sangu Mandanna, Jessie Mihalik and Alexandra Rowland have a couple to root for and a world to get totally lost in.

In Francesca May’s stunning, gorgeously composed fantasy debut, Wild and Wicked Things, a dissipated coven of witches and a meek young woman become unexpected allies.

Annie Mason has led a quiet and ordinary life. When her estranged father dies shortly after the end of World War I, she reluctantly travels to Crow Island to take care of his estate. The island also happens to be the very place her former best friend, Bea, resides in a fancy house on the sea with her new husband. Crow Island is famous across the land for its faux magic parlors and fake spells and potions, but Annie soon learns that its inhabitants also practice true, darker-than-imagined magic. When she rents a summer cottage next to the infamous Cross House, where a coven throws lavish parties that feature Prohibited magic, Annie is given an opportunity to find a place—and maybe a person—that actually feels like home.

May seamlessly transports readers to the shores of Crow Island, straight into the shoes of Annie and de facto coven leader Emmeline Delacroix. Annie is whisked away by the island’s enchantment, and May’s prose echoes F. Scott Fitzgerald to capture the finery and wild parties of the era. And while Annie originally thinks she’s being bewitched by the coven’s magic or the island, she comes to realize that she is simply following her innermost desires. The supposedly cursed island gives her time and space to come to terms with grief over lost loved ones and her internalized shunning of her sapphic sexuality. Emmeline’s inexplicable and undeniable magnetism is a clever plot complication but also the perfect setup for a passionate, slow-burning queer romance that feels forged in destiny.

Under all the glamour, Wild and Wicked Things is also a nuanced exploration of intergenerational trauma and abusive relationships. Emmeline hovers over her adoptive siblings, Isobel and Nathan, even though their abusive guardian, coven founder Cilla, is long gone. Annie finds herself in a similar situation as she tries to shield Bea from a marriage gone wrong, and she and Emmeline bond over their roles as protectors and healers. But nothing is truly black and white, from the witches’ backstories and intentions, to Bea’s desires, to Annie’s past. May does not shy away from the macabre, and every twist is better and eerier than the last.

May’s thrilling fantasy takes familiar tropes, mashes them with a mortar and pestle, sprinkles them with a bit of herbs and throws them into the cauldron, creating a fresh and exciting take on witchy historical fantasy.

Wild and Wicked Things is a stunning, gorgeously composed historical fantasy with a compelling queer romance at its heart.
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In The League of Gentlewomen Witches, India Holton returns to the Dangerous Damsels, her magical romp of a series complete with flying houses, adventuring pirates and tenacious witches. In this fast-paced enemies-to-lovers romance, a witch destined to take over a secret society teams up with a roguish pirate captain to recover a stolen amulet.

Charlotte Pettifer is a descendent of the famed Beryl Black, founder of the Wicken League, which fosters the talents of both young and experienced witches. It’s Charlotte’s birthright to lead the league, just like her ancestor, and she’s always thought that her destiny was also her dream job. But a treasure-hunting pirate makes her reconsider her future. When Beryl Black’s long-lost amulet resurfaces, Captain Alex O’Riley sets out to claim it—and so does Charlotte, by stowing away on Alex’s flying house.

India Holton reveals which fictional sorceresses she’d want in her own coven.

Close quarters turn Charlotte and Alex’s rapid-fire banter into a sort of foreplay, but despite their mutual antagonism, their romance skews more toward the sweet and heartwarming end of the spectrum. The dashing, daring Alex provides the perfect foil for buttoned-up and duty-bound Charlotte. It’s not exactly a grumpy-meets-sunshine pairing—more like a stuffy character falling for a free-spirited one. Alex oozes charm; he already made a grand first impression in Holton’s debut, The Wisteria Society for Lady Scoundrels, and he will further secure his spot in readers’ hearts here. They will immediately understand why Charlotte is envious of Alex’s freedom, especially as the weight of becoming the head of the Wicken League looms over her. His very existence and infectious spontaneity make Charlotte waver on her commitment to the league. Can she really live the life she wants while also fully committing to the role of leader?

Holton takes readers on a wild ride through a fun, limitless world, where frivolity and whimsy reign supreme and skilled swordwork and grand displays of magic abound. It’s all a hodgepodge of delightful silliness, with over-the-top action, exaggerated villainy and the fact that it’s possible to fall in love with your sworn enemy while recovering an ancient amulet. Think Mel Brooks meets The Princess Bride with a dash of Austen-esque comedy of manners. And then crank that all up to 11.

It’s impossible to know where the series will go next, but after finishing The League of Gentlewomen Witches, readers will be completely on board for more of Holton’s imaginative, rollicking romances.

Mel Brooks meets The Princess Bride, with a dash of Austen-esque comedy of manners, in India Holton’s imaginative, rollicking romance.
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A River Enchanted, Rebecca Ross’ adult fiction debut, is an elegant fantasy novel of homecoming and mystery. With its lyrical prose and tight world building, this story is both modern and timeless, drawing from the traditions of genre greats like Steven Lawhead and marrying them to the sensibilities of modern works like Genevieve Gornichec’s The Witch’s Heart and Tana French’s In the Woods.

The novel opens with the prodigal Jack Tamerlaine’s return to Cadence, the isle of his youth, a land where magic and spirits run free and gossip is carried on the wind as easily as smoke. He soon learns that young girls are going missing on Cadence, seemingly plucked from the air by a formless spirit, leaving no trace of them behind. Adaira, heiress to the laird and Jack’s childhood nemesis, has summoned Jack back to the island to help her find out exactly what has happened to the girls—and to get them back before it’s too late. She wants him to sing down the spirits as her mother once did so that Adaira can ask them what matter of mischief is afoot. But as Jack and Adaira delve deeper into the mystery, the spirits begin to suggest that a far darker secret lies behind the loss of the girls.

Already known for her young adult fantasy novels, Ross has created a world both rich and wonderful in Cadence. The island is full of so much magic, so many feuds and stories—enough that capturing them all in one novel, even a nearly 500-page one, seems a difficult task. But somehow Ross succeeds, guiding readers through the intricate warp and weft of the island and its traditions and creating a brilliant tapestry full of mystery and wonder. And while Ross does revel in world building, she doesn’t tell her story at a remove. The four characters that the book centers on—Jack, Adaira, guardsman Torin and healer Sidra—are vibrant and fully realized, keeping the myth-making quality of the book at bay and instead grounding the story in these characters’ heartaches and fears, their desires and attractions. A sublime mix of romance, intrigue and myth, A River Enchanted is a stunning addition to the canon of Celtic-inspired fantasy.

A sublime mix of romance, intrigue and myth, A River Enchanted is a stunning addition to the canon of Celtic-inspired fantasy.

Heather Walter’s debut novel, Malice, transforms the familiar fairytale of Sleeping Beauty into a captivating fantasy romance between the storybook Princess Aurora and the dark sorceress Alyce.

Walter’s immersive world building plunges readers into the Briar Kingdom, built on a system of inequality and discrimination. The fae, known as Graces, are kept as magical servants for cold-blooded mortal nobles. The Graces can create beauty and light, but Alyce’s magic seems to produce only ugliness and pain. Known as the Dark Grace, Alyce is the last descendant of a type of fae known as the Vila, and her relationship with the other fae is complicated—some avoid her, all fear her and most are willing to throw her under the bus. 

When Alyce decides to attend a masquerade ball despite not being invited, she is outed as the dark fairy by one of Princess Aurora’s failed and jealous suitors. Alyce flees, but Aurora runs after her and Alyce is shocked at how down-to-earth the princess is. Aurora must find her true love by age 21 or she will be cursed to sleep forever. She has been kissed by many noblemen, often strangers, to try and break the curse, but none have succeeded. As Alyce and Aurora grow closer, the Dark Grace becomes determined to find a way to break the spell.

Told through the puckish voice of Alyce, Malice is a sympathetic take on the traditionally one-dimensional figure of the dark fairy. Alyce’s wry wit and determination to save Aurora make her instantly sympathetic, a refreshing change from other fairytale retellings that attempt to conjure some meticulous, outlandish backstory to explain the evil doings of a nefarious character. Alyce is feared, yes, but for things she’s had from birth and can’t control. Her growing love for Aurora and her increasing resistance to the status quo shine through her gloomy outlook, and as she learns about the history of Briar and the truth behind the treatment of the fae, Alyce learns some unexpected truths about her powers as well.

This heartfelt, ever-escalating story of true love burns bright, encouraging readers to brush aside shame or condescension and follow their hearts.

Heather Walter’s debut novel, Malice, transforms the familiar fairytale of Sleeping Beauty into a dark and compelling fantasy romance between the storybook princess and the dark sorceress Alyce.

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Fantasy romance is climbing the charts. If you're looking to dip your toes in—or want to discover a new favorite—here are 12 excellent selections.

A sweet and touching portrayal of friendship, heartbreak and healing, The Key to My Heart by Lia Louis is a poignant romance with astute observations about life after loss.

It’s been two years since her husband, Russ, died, and 32-year-old Natalie Fincher is still grieving. She’s lost her passion for the dreamy cottage she lives in, and she’s lost the chance to be part of the musical she wrote. She finds comfort talking to her friend Shauna, a motherly figure who owns a coffee shop at London’s St. Pancras railway station where Natalie has been playing the public piano. Although she is not interested in dating, Natalie placates her best friends, who are desperate to reignite her love life, by approaching handsome, good-natured Tom during a night out and asking him to pretend they’re starting a fling. Tom quickly becomes a friend, and when someone starts leaving Natalie sheet music in the piano bench, he attempts to help her find her anonymous music angel. 

Louis (Eight Perfect Hours) portrays life transitions with tender credibility. She immerses readers in Natalie’s past with well-placed memories of her life with Russ, which are triggered in the present by constant bittersweet reminders, such as their cottage that she still lives in. Natalie is a likable protagonist, trying to balance her grief and self-doubt with the expectations of her friends and family. Some of the repartee between Natalie and her best friends, especially about her sex life, can feel overly sophomorish and superficial, especially given the depth of Natalie’s first-person narration. But it also highlights her friends’ uncertainty and discomfort with addressing Natalie’s loss—and their own eventual growth. 

The Key to My Heart is an enticing and moving portrayal of the heart’s power to heal after the loss of a loved one. 

The Key to My Heart by Lia Louis is a poignant romance with astute observations about life after the loss.
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Love stories set during the holidays are almost always good-natured, but this year’s standouts take good cheer and good will to another level. Personal transformations and turning points abound in these empathetic and festive happily ever afters.    

So This Is Christmas

Author Jenny Holiday takes readers on a third trip to the fictional country of Eldovia in So This Is Christmas. Management consultant Cara Delaney arrives in the small Alpine country to modernize the operations of a luxury watch company partly owned by the royal family. Matteo Benz, equerry of the king (think executive assistant), has been tasked with helping Cara but gives her a cold welcome. A traditionalist, he’s concerned her proposed changes might adversely affect his beloved country and its citizens. They parry, they clash, they kiss and find themselves consumed with thoughts of each other even as they investigate problems at the company. There’s time for hot chocolate and admiring the snowy beauty of Eldovia, but can two high-powered professionals from different countries admit to love and find a way to be together? This delightful charmer is the ultimate holiday escape. 

Kiss Her Once for Me

Comics artist Ellie Oliver is at a low point in her life when she agrees to marry Andrew, a near-stranger, in Kiss Her Once for Me by Alison Cochrun. He needs a wife to secure his inheritance, and she desperately needs the money he offers her to become that wife. What could go wrong? Only that Andrew’s sister, Jack, is none other than the woman Ellie fell in love with over one magical night the year before—and now they have to spend the holidays together. To make matters even worse, Ellie and Jack’s fling didn’t end well and Ellie has promised Andrew she’ll pretend they’re marrying for love. From there, Cochrun piles on the rom-com fun: stranded at a snowy cabin with a single bed, the obligatory admiring of wood-chopping prowess, the “we better get out of these wet clothes” gambit. It’s not all holly jolly, however. Ellie’s vulnerable first-person voice gives readers intimate insight into a mind and heart prone to second-guessing, and the family drama that occurs during the merriest season is a reminder that Christmas rarely proceeds as planned. It’s a satisfying romance with a few tears to balance its fresh-baked sweetness.

A Merry Little Meet Cute

A plus-size adult film actor stars in a Christmas TV movie in A Merry Little Meet Cute by Julie Murphy and Sierra Simone. Bee Hobbes (aka Bianca Von Honey) hopes to keep her sexy alter ego secret from everyone at the decidedly PG-rated Hope Channel, including her co-star, former boy band wild child Nolan Shaw, who is trying to take his personal brand in a more straight-laced direction. Nolan was Bee’s biggest teenage crush, and unbeknownst to her, he is one of Bianca Von Honey’s biggest fans. They keep those truths from each other for a short while, but soon their mutual attraction is burning up the set. What happens next is as predictable as it is enjoyable: multiple fiery love scenes and hilarious attempts to fool their co-workers. Bee and Nolan are energetic, self-deprecating and honest narrators, and a fab cast of supporting characters add more sparkle to this spicy holiday fare.

Just Like Magic

Sarah Hogle’s Just Like Magic is the type of book the words over the top were made for. Narrator Bettie Hughes unwittingly summons the Holiday Spirit—call him Hall—just in time for a Christmas vacation with her dysfunctional extended family. Bettie is way, way down on her luck, so she’s elated when Hall tells her that he will make all her wishes come true . . . until she’s expressing sufficient holiday cheer, of course. (Bettie mischievously supposes that accomplishing that task could take just about, oh, forever.) The plot’s frenetic pace matches Hall’s feverish ideas for how to make this Christmas the best ever; as a human for the first time, he wants to experience it all. Bettie and her relatives are insufferable at first, but as Hall’s magic takes hold, their charm begins to shine through. It’s impossible to predict where this clever romance will go next. Bettie and Hall are an unlikely pair, and their unlikely story will steal hearts. 

Season of Love

A Jewish artist gets a chance to save the family Christmas tree farm in Season of Love by Helena Greer. When her estranged but still beloved Great-Aunt Cass dies, Miriam Blum discovers that Cass named her part-owner of Carrigan’s, a tree farm and inn that caters to uber-fans of the holiday season. The other owners include Miriam’s childhood BFF and Noelle Northwood, the farm’s manager. Noelle sees Miriam as an interloper and is resolved to dislike her, no matter how sexy Noelle may find her. While determining what to do with the property, Miriam and Noelle are forced to face their pasts and end up intimately connecting over family, regrets and momentous mistakes. Told from both women’s perspectives, Season of Love is an emotionally driven holiday romance with definite heft. Miriam and Noelle both have baggage to unpack before they can risk falling for someone, and Greer shows how the season of snow and hope can also be a time of self-reflection. Readers will root for Miriam and Noelle to heal their hearts and begin to fully live—and love.

So This Is Christmas and A Merry Little Meet Cute were published by an imprint of HarperCollins. More than 250 union employees at HarperCollins have been on strike since November 10, 2022. Click here to learn more about the contract that the HarperCollins Union is seeking or to find out how you can support the strike.

Whether you like your love stories merry or melancholy, these books will make the season bright.
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In The Gentleman’s Book of Vices, Jess Everlee’s soul-stirring debut, a fan obsessed with an illicit book finds true love with his favorite author.

Handsome Charlie Price is a respectable accountant by day and a “finely dressed and finely drunk” rake by night. When his exploits land him under a mountain of crushing debt, he makes a deal with his parents: If they pay what he owes, he’ll do whatever they ask.

Since that compromise, almost nothing in Charlie’s life has been of his choosing, not his comfortable London town house, not the servants who spy on him, not his bank job and not even his sweet fiancée, Alma. Until his wedding, Charlie’s committed to taking pleasure in two things: cultivating his collection of erotica and spending his free time with his gaggle of devoted friends at his hedonistic gentleman’s club, The Curious Fox.

The circumspect and cautious Miles Montague also leads two lives, albeit much more quietly than Charlie. Heartbroken and shaken by an experience that Everlee keeps mysterious at first, Miles runs a respectable bookshop but writes England’s most infamous erotica in his off hours under the nom de plume of Reginald Cox. 

Cox happens to be Charlie’s favorite author, so when Charlie learns Cox is an unassuming bookseller, he visits the shop to ask him to autograph his most infamous novel (and Charlie’s most treasured possession): Immorality Plays. In 1883 London, being exposed as the author of an explicit text would mean legal and life-threatening danger, so of course, Miles assumes anyone asking for him by his pen name must be a blackmailer. It’s the queer Victorian version of a meet-disaster turned meet-cute. Miles and Charlie’s attraction is electric. Even though both know their relationship has a firm expiration date, love blooms in the blissful interregnum between their meeting and Charlie’s impending wedding. 

Fans of KJ Charles, Cat Sebastian and Alexis Hall will find much to enjoy here. There are shades of Charles’ Unfit to Print (pornographer/bookseller lead) and A Seditious Affair (the well-wrought BDSM and the tightknit circle of friends centered on a private gentleman’s club) as well as Hall’s Something Fabulous (the slapstick humor, mistaken identities and genderplay). While the characters are a bit slow to develop and the plot isn’t as distinctive or refined as the best works in the subgenre, Charlie and Miles’ chemistry is sweet, and Everlee’s writing reaches its peak in their love scenes, which soar with emotional intensity. With its potent blend of queer eroticism, found family and unabashed swoon, this romance is a resonant winner.

This book was published by an imprint of HarperCollins. More than 250 union employees at HarperCollins have been on strike since November 10, 2022. Click here to learn more about the contract that the HarperCollins Union is seeking or to find out how you can support the strike.

An erotica devotee and an infamous author form an electric connection in Jess Everlee’s emotionally resonant queer Victorian romance.

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