24 Books We Can’t Wait to Read: January 2024

Cover of 24 Books We Can’t Wait to Read: January 2024



The Storm We Made by Vanessa Chan – January 2 (Marysue Rucci Books)

“In Vanessa Chan’s spellbinding debut, one woman’s desire to change her destiny shapes the future of a colonized nation. Combining cinematic grandeur with nuanced storytelling, The Storm We Made offers the hidden history that only fiction can reveal: the everyday yearnings of people surviving a brutal occupation, children trying to make sense of the unspeakable, and the search for love. I’ll never forget this book.” –Jessamine Chan, New York Times best-selling author of The School for Good Mothers


Nonfiction by Julie Myerson – January 2 (Tin House Books)

“This glitteringly painful novel, so steady and clear in its analysis of addiction, creativity, and the factors that determine female and familial identity, is the book [Myerson] was intended to write, and she has elevated it into a template for the re-making of self by means of a transformative and radical honesty.” –Rachel Cusk


Rabbit Hole by Kate Brody – January 2 (Soho Crime)

“Kate Brody’s Rabbit Hole is a smart and edgy mystery that kept me turning pages feverishly from start to finish. I found myself tumbling down the rabbit hole right alongside Teddy, the novel’s flawed and fascinating protagonist, desperate to solve the mystery of her troubled sister Angie’s disappearance. This is a story about girlhood, grief, the slippery nature of memory, and our society’s true crime obsession, and Brody delivers insights on these themes in prose that is both raw and beautiful. As we follow Teddy on her downward spiral, we are forced to ask: How much is the truth worth?” –Alexis Schaitkin, author of Saint X


The Fetishisht by Katherine Min – January 9 (G.P. Putnam’s Sons)

The Fetishist is so reverent and so unruly, so delicate and so explosive, such a merge of chamber music with the mosh pit, so devastatingly sad and devastatingly funny and alive and generous with its abundance of life! I mourn Katherine Min, and am grateful this fiery novel of hers insisted its way out of Katherine’s laptop and into the world. Hats off to Kayla Min Andrews for clearing the path.” –Susan Choi, author of Trust Exercise


Sugar, Baby by Celine Saintclare – January 9 (Bloomsbury Publishing)

“Celine Saintclare’s captivating debut, Sugar, Baby, is, on its surface, about the limitless power of beauty, but underneath that narrative lurks a second, darker one, in which Saintclare shows us in heartbreaking detail that there are indeed limits to what that power can buy. Sugar, Baby is an elegantly crafted bait-and-switch, where a story about the ease and glamour of sex work cracks open to reveal a deeper and more delicious secret: that the true sweetness of life lies not in the comfort of being kept, but in the autonomy we are able to maintain for ourselves. And the beauty of that kind of living-hand-made and hard-won-is priceless.” –Destiny O. Birdsong, award-winning author of NOBODY’S MAGIC


One of the Good Guys by Araminta Hall – January 9 (Gillian Flynn Books)

“The best book I’ve read in a long time. One of the Good Guys is a dark, whip-smart thriller that’s also laugh-out-loud funny. Hall answers #metoo and the masculinity crisis with nuance and insight. A must read.” –Sarah Langan, award-winning author of Good Neighbors


River East, River West by Aube Rey Lescure – January 9 (William Morrow & Company)

“In Aube Rey Lescure’s beautiful debut novel, familiar narratives of adolescence are scrambled across lines of class, race, and national difference. As her characters deepen with each chapter, she makes us feel the inexhaustible mystery of other lives. A moving portrait of the love between a mother and daughter, River East, River West portrays, too, our powerlessness against the riptides of history.” — Garth Greenwell, author of Cleanness


Holiday Country by İnci Atrek – January 9 (Flatiron Books)

“A hypnotizing and beautiful book about a young woman caught between languages and cultures, and aching to become whole, Holiday Country is painfully honest and wrenching about how desire eclipses reason. I was wholly entranced by the blistering sunshine and salt of the Aegean, by Ada’s propulsive yearning to rewrite history and orchestrate her own fate, and frequently held my breath as I read. İnci Atrek has written a fiercely original and transporting coming-of-age novel with swoon-worthy prose and an unforgettable heroine.” –Caitlin Barasch, author of A Novel Obsession


Behind You Is the Sea by Susan Muaddi Darraj – January 16 (Harpervia)

Behind You Is the Sea sweeps readers along as its characters search for love, dignity, and belonging while carving out their own unique destinies. The result sometimes defies cultural tradition and risks deep losses, but these characters always land closer to their personal truths. With tenderness and fitting humor, Muaddi Darraj deftly weaves multiple Arab American voices into a resonant chorus of humanity.” — Sahar Mustafah, author of The Beauty of Your Face


Beautyland by Marie-Helene Bertino – January 16 (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

“This book is endlessly surprising on the sentence level, but also as a story, and also in its tenderness. We might all need the unexpected love and perspective of a child alien at this point in human history. Beautyland is beautiful and hilarious and transcendent. It honestly feels like a message from another planet. Marie-Helene Bertino is an otherworldly talent.”

–Tommy Orange, Pulitzer Prize finalist and author of There, There


City of Laughter by Temim Fruchter – January 16 (Grove)

City of Laughter has the sparkle and fire of something truly rare. Deeply developed and carefully crafted, this novel is chock full of wit and tenderness and an incredible amount of heart. Temim Fruchter is a steady hand when it comes to assessing the deep tangle of fraught family dynamics. History sits inside itself here, its heartbeat echoing out into the future, rippling like silk. Without question, City of Laughter is one of the most thoughtful and thought-provoking books I’ve ever read.”–Kristen Arnett, author of the novel With Teeth


MARTYR! by Kaveh Akbar – January 23 (Alfred A. Knopf)

“Kaveh Akbar is a radiant soul, a poet so agile and largehearted it comes as no surprise that his first leap into fiction is elegant, dizzying, playful. MARTYR! is the best novel you’ll ever read about the joy of language, addiction, displacement, martyrdom, belonging, homesickness for people longed for but forever unknown, the way art as eruption of life gazes back into death, and the ecstasy that sometimes arrives–like grace–when we find ourselves teetering on the knife-edge of despair.” –Lauren Groff, author of Fates and Furies 


The Bullet Swallower by Elizabeth Gonzalez James – January 23 (Simon & Schuster)

“An utterly original, wild ride rendered by Gonzalez James’ masterful hand that turns the traditional redemption narrative on its head. In cracking open her own family legends, The Bullet Swallower brings to vibrant, three dimensional life the people and history of the Mexican and Texas border. Full of heart and humor, the magic in this book is not what is invented, but that it makes you wonder what it is, in all our histories, we may have forgotten?”–Xochitl Gonzalez, New York Times bestselling author of Olga Dies Dreaming


Bad Foundations by Brian Allen Carr – January 23 (Clash Books)

Bad Foundations by Brian Allen Carr is a raw and ferocious journey into the heart of the working class. It bleeds desperation and devours hope. Brian Carr is a blue-collar Raymond Carver, a Midwest Philip Roth who opens the pulsating wound that is the myth of the American Dream.” –S.A. Cosby, best-selling author of RAZORBLADE TEARS and BLACKTOP WASTELAND


Broughtupsy by Christina Cooke – January 23 (Catapult)

“Christina Cooke’s Broughtupsy is a fiery debut novel that breaks new ground. It recounts the coming of age of an Afro-Caribbean lesbian who travels home to Jamaica from Canada seeking solace and finds her sense of self threatened by the triple undertow of grief, alienation, and homophobia.” –Naomi Jackson, author of The Star Side of Bird Hill


Dead in Long Beach, California by Venita Blackburn – January 23 (MCD)

“Utterly original and bitingly funny, Dead in Long Beach, California is one of the most riveting compendiums of what makes us tick and ticked off. Hair, online dating, grief, ghosts, mental health, death, global warming, childrearing, and relative fame are only a handful of the topics that Venita Blackburn tackles with ease, revealing a mind that is truly one-of-a-kind. And this novel is a testament to the belief that, despite our world’s madness and mayhem, we can and will do better. Blackburn’s presence in this literary landscape isn’t only refreshing, it’s necessary.” –Mateo Askaripour, author of Black Buck


Tender Hoof: Stories by Nicole Rivas – January 26 (Thirty West Publishing House)

From the author of the flash fiction chapbook, A Bright and Pleading Dagger, comes the debut story collection, Tender Hoof: Stories. In these pages, Rivas compactly merges the brutal with the surreal, blurring the line between safety and danger, sinner and saint. Twin girls accept a strange man’s invitation; a young author’s purported reincarnation leads to fame and misfortune; a lone bicyclist cycles her way through a lifetime of peril; not even a fairytale can save children from the flaws of their parents. With blade-sharp prose, Rivas creates a profound cast of characters that generate momentum till the very last page.


Come and Get It by Kiley Reid – January 30 (G.P. Putnam’s Sons)

“Kiley Reid is an expert at teasing apart the messy, complicated, nuanced layers of social dynamics, and has a rare gift for making the unknown feel intimately familiar and the familiar feel brand-new. In Come and Get It, she’s crafted a story that moves with the momentum and inevitability of a snowball rolling down a mountain. I couldn’t put it down, and I didn’t want to either.” –Emily Henry, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Happy Place


The Cleaner by Brandi Wells – January 30 (Hanover Square Press)

“Welcome to the office building at night, an eerie and yet totally mundane ship helmed by one woman desperate for connection and valiantly, perhaps delusionally, striving for meaning in her work. Brandi Wells’ The Cleaner is laugh out loud funny, but its project of validating unseen labor is totally serious. This is a book that celebrates humanity, even while tearing down the corporate culture that denies it in the drollest and wittiest of ways.” –Julia Fine, author of Maddalena and the Dark


How We Named the Stars by Andrés N. Ordorica – January 30 (Tin House)

“Andrés N. Ordorica has captured the crushing isolation of navigating an elite college for the first time, all while experiencing a powerful, yet unattainable first love. Named after his family’s late uncle, Daniel wrestles with the continued impact of loss even as he finds glimpses of comfort. This novel is an extended meditation on the relationship between joy and grief, and how it can bind and heal both a life and a family.” –Analicia Sotelo, author of Virgin


Interesting Facts about Space by Emily Austin – January 30 (Atria Books)

Enid is obsessed with space. She can tell you all about black holes and their ability to spaghettify you without batting an eye in fear. Her one major phobia? Bald men. But she tries to keep that one under wraps. When she’s not listening to her favorite true crime podcasts on a loop, she’s serially dating a rotation of women from dating apps. At the same time, she’s trying to forge a new relationship with her estranged half-sisters after the death of her absent father. When she unwittingly plunges into her first serious romantic entanglement, Enid starts to believe that someone is following her. As her paranoia spirals out of control, Enid must contend with her mounting suspicion that something is seriously wrong with her. Because at the end of the day there’s only one person she can’t outrun–herself.


Your Utopia: Stories by Bora Chung, translated by Anton Hur – January 30 (Algonquin Books)

Your Utopia is full of tales of loss and discovery, idealism and dystopia, death and immortality. “Nothing concentrates the mind like Chung’s terrors, which will shrivel you to a bouillon cube of your most primal instincts” (Vulture), yet these stories are suffused with Chung’s inimitable wry humor and surprisingly tender moments, too. Chung’s writing is “haunting, funny, gross, terrifying–and yet when we reach the end, we just want more” (Alexander Chee). If you haven’t yet experienced the fruits of this singular imagination, Your Utopia is waiting.




1000 Words: A Writer’s Guide to Staying Creative, Focused, and Productive All Year Round by Jami Attenberg – January 9 (Simon Element)

In 2018, novelist Jami Attenberg, faced with a looming deadline, needed writing inspiration. Using a bootcamp model, she and a friend set out to write one thousand words daily for two weeks straight. They opened this practice to Attenberg’s online community and soon hundreds then thousands of people started using the #1000WordsofSummer hashtag to track their work and support one another. 1000 Words is the book-length extension of this movement. It is about becoming–and staying–motivated, discovering yourself and your creative desires, and approaching your craft from a new direction. It features advice from more than fifty well-known writers, including New York Times bestsellers, Pulitzer Prize winners, and stars of the literary world.


Sex with a Brain Injury: On Concussion and Recovery by Annie Liontas – January 16 (Scribner)

Sex With a Brain Injury is a rhythmic genre-bender: Maggie Nelson meets concussion; Olivia Laing of the walking wounded. Annie Liontas writes like an alchemist, braiding humor, humanity, and history into the personal narrative of her injuries and healing. I loved this book.” —Melissa Broder, author of Death Valley


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