As my first year focused almost-full-time on Tolstoy Therapy, I’ve read a lot in 2023. From five-star historical fiction to life-changing books about finding a new path, 2023 has been a great year for new books.
Which begs the question: what new books will 2024 bring?
As the year comes to a close, I’ve been researching the best new books of 2024 to keen an eye on, preorder, and add to reading lists.
Featuring both new releases from favourite authors (Matt Haig, Maggie Nelson, Katherine Arden) and other books that have caught my attention, these are the books I’m looking forward to reading (and hopefully recommending) in the year ahead…
The best new fiction books of 2024 to look out for
The Bullet Swallower by Elizabeth Gonzalez James
Preorder The Bullet Swallower for January 23
If the idea of Cormac McCarthy meets Gabriel García Márquez sounds incredible to you, add this epic family saga turned magical realism western to your reading list for 2024.
It’s 1895 and Antonio Sonoro, a Mexican bandino descended from a long line of ruthless men, sets out to rob a train laden with gold that’s passing through Houston. Jump to 1964, and Jaime Sonoro is living a comfortable life as Mexico’s most renowned actor and singer… until he finds out about a book that claims to tell the entire history of his family.
Faebound by Saara El-Arifi
Preorder Faebound for January 23
Described by Samantha Shannon (The Priory of the Orange Tree) as “a romantic fantasy of epic proportions”, Faebound is more than just a pretty cover. When two elven sisters – a warrior and a diviner – become imprisoned in the intoxicating world of the fae, danger and love lie in wait.
The Women by Kristin Hannah
Preorder The Women for February 6
Love Kristin Hannah? Fans can look forward to the latest novel from the bestselling author of The Great Alone and The Nightingale in February.
Set in 1965 between sunny Southern California and the harsh realities of the Vietnam War, The Women is one woman’s story of going to war, finding courage under fire, and building life-changing friendships.
The Warm Hands of Ghosts by Katherine Arden
Preorder The Warm Hands of Ghosts for February 13
The more I research the best new books of 2024, the more it looks like a year of excellent historical fiction. This new release from the bestselling fantasy author of The Bear and the Nightingale looks especially fantastic.
Set in 1917, Katherine Arden weaves the story of a combat nurse searching for her brother – a man believed dead despite eery signs that suggest otherwise. Diana Gabaldon (Outlander) describes The Warm Hands of Ghosts as “A wonderful clash of fire and ice—a book you won’t want to let go of.”
Anita de Monte Laughs Last by Xóchitl González
Preorder Anita de Monte Laughs Last for March 5
A campus setting, race and class divisions, the art world, time and perspective jumps… for all of the above, add Anita de Monte Laughs Last to your TBR list. (You might recognise Xóchitl González’s name from her debut, Olga Dies Dreaming, or her Pulitzer-nominated columns for The Atlantic.)
In 1985, the body of Anita de Monte, a rising star in the art world, is found in New York City. By 1998, her name is all but forgotten. But when Raquel, a third-year art history student learns Anita’s story, she realises that her own relationship eerily mirrors that of the forgotten artist.
The Great Divide by Cristina Henríquez
Preorder The Great Divide for March 5
Celebrated by Ann Napolitano as “a gorgeous, sweeping epic”, The Great Divide casts a light on the tapestry of unsung lives in the shadow of the construction of the Panama Canal, from laborers to activists, fishmongers, journalists, doctors, and soothsayers. With a current Goodreads rating of 4.30, I’m so looking forward to reading this.
Like Love: Essays and Conversations by Maggie Nelson
Preorder Like Love: Essays and Conversations for April 2
If you adore poetic and raw writing that gets to the core of what it means to love, think, create, and be human today, pick up a book by Maggie Nelson.
Following the success of Bluets and The Argonauts, Like Love is a revelrous collection of essays about art and artists, drawn from twenty years of Maggie Nelson’s work.
A Witch’s Guide to Magical Innkeeping by Sangu Mandanna
Preorder A Witch’s Guide to Magical Innkeeping for April 2
If you loved the cozy witchy vibes of The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches, Sangu Mandanna’s sequel looks just as enchanting and heartwarming.
Pick this up for a book about second chances, falling in love (with an icy historian), and reclaiming lost magic, set in a quirky inn in Lancashire run by witches – alongside a semi-villainous talking fox.
The Familiar by Leigh Bardugo
Preorder The Familiar for April 9
From the bestselling author of Ninth House, Hell Bent, and the Grishaverse series, The Familiar is Leigh Bardugo’s anticipated historical fantasy set during the Spanish Golden Age.
In the new capital of Madrid, Luzia Cotado secretly relishes her magic during dull and tiring days as a scullion. But when her calculating mistress discovers her talents, she demands those gifts be used to her advantage. Her whims throw Luzia into the world of Spanish royalty where the line between magic, science, and fraud couldn’t be more blurry.
Funny Story by Emily Henry
Preorder Funny Story for Apr 23
What’s summer in the 2020s without a beach read by Emily Henry? Perfect for reading on the beach (or on staycation, or otherwise during your commute), Funny Story is Emily Henry’s joyful new novel for 2024 about a pair of opposites with the wrong thing in common.
All Fours by Miranda July
Preorder All Fours for May 14
From the New York Times-bestselling author of The First Bad Man comes this sexy, hilarious, and unabashedly curious novel about a forty-five-year-old female artist upending her life, seeking a new kind of freedom, and pushing the boundaries of her romantic and domestic life.
The Last Murder at the End of the World by Stuart Turton
Preorder The Last Murder at the End of the World for May 21
Best known for his 2018 novel The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle (not to be confused with Taylor Jenkins Reid’s bestseller), Stuart Turton’s new book for 2024 has an intriguing premise.
After a deadly fog swept the planet, one idyllic island stands apart in a world of chaos and destruction. However, when one of the island’s beloved scientists falls prey to a terrible crime, it becomes clear that their security system has been lowered.
Unless the islanders solve the mystery in 92 hours, the fog will smother them. Which forces the question: what really happened?
Lies and Weddings by Kevin Kwan
Preorder Lies and Weddings for May 21
Whisking us away to the black sand beaches of Hawaii, the bachelor pads of LA, and England’s oldest county estates, the forbidden romance within Lies and Weddings is just as volcanic as the terrain of the decadent tropical wedding that Rufus Leung Gresham finds himself.
If you loved reading or watching Crazy Rich Asians, keep an eye out for Kevin Kwan’s brand new juicy, hilarious, and luxurious story of love, money, criminality, and the lies we tell about them all in May 2024.
Bear by Julia Phillips
Preorder Bear for June 25
On an island in the Pacific Northwest where rugged nature meets the luxury vacation homes of wealthy mainlanders, the lives of two sisters are upended by an expected visitor in Julia Phillips’s (Disappearing Earth) new novel.
With one of my favourite book covers of 2024 so far – and told with the magic of a modern fairytale – Bear unfurls a story of family, obsession, and a mysterious creature lurking in the woods.
The Life Impossible by Matt Haig
Preorder The Life Impossible for September 3
A year with a new book by Matt Haig is surely a good year. What do we know so far about Matt Haig’s new book for 2024, The Life Impossible?
Over on Instagram, Matt shared: “I won’t give you even a hint of a spoiler but it’s a proper life and death and the universe book, covering love, pain, growing old, mathematics, the ocean, ecology, foreign lands, and the ability to start again from any point and find hope where it seemed lost.”
That, it turns out, is exactly what I want to read in 2024.
For more of the best books to read now, check out: