I thought it was time I share some of the most anticipated books of the first part of 2023. There are literally hundreds or thousands of releases every quarter of the year, but I narrowed down the list to 10, so it’s just long enough to keep your interest.
I split this list by publishers and date of release in order to make things as easy to follow as possible. The short descriptions are quoted from the publisher’s sites as well as from Goodreads.
Let’s get started with the most anticipated book releases of the beginning of 2023.
A division of Macmillan publishers, Celadon Books was founded in 2017 by Deb Futter and Jamie Raab. Every year you can expect 20-25 very carefully curated books from thrillers to non-fiction. These are the two I look forward to reading this year.
Locust Lane by Stephen Amidon – Release Date January 17
“Stephen Amidon’s new thriller Locust Lane follows five families in a wealthy Boston suburb as they try to piece together the mystery of a local teen who was found murdered.
For fans of Mystic River by Dennis Lehane and Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng, Stephen Amidon’s Locust Lane is a taut and utterly propulsive story about the search for justice and the fault lines of power and influence in a seemingly idyllic town. Can anyone be trusted?”
It sounds like the type of book that is right up my alley.
One of the fifth biggest publishers in North America, they offer a wide range of books in every genre. It was hard to pick only a few, but these are the four books I’m mostly looking forward to this year.
The Girls who Disappeared by Claire Douglas – Release Date January 10
“In a rural Wilshire town lies the Devil’s Corridor. The haunted road has witnessed eerie happenings, from unexplained deaths to the sounds of a child crying in the night.
Four girls were driving home, and their car crashed; only one of them, Olivia, was found.
What happened to the girls who disappeared?
Journalist Jenna Halliday arrives in Wiltshire to cover the case on the twentieth anniversary of the tragedy. The locals aren’t happy with this outsider determined to dig into the past. Least of all Olivia.
They made it clear she was not welcome. Jenna starts receiving menacing notes, and someone is going to make her leave one way or another. She’s been warned to get out of this town before she suffers a dark fate and becomes another mystery attached to this place.”
This book seems like a great mystery for lovers of surprising twists.
Really Good, Actually by Monica Heisey- Release Date January 17
This is a new author to keep on your radar.
“Laugh-out-loud funny and filled with sharp observations, Really Good, Actually is a tender and bittersweet comedy that lays bare the uncertainties of modern love, friendship, and our search for that thing we like to call “happiness”.
A hilarious and painfully relatable debut novel about one woman’s messy search for joy and meaning in the wake of an unexpected breakup.”
I cannot wait to get my hands on a copy of this book.
The Fake Zoe Whittal
I had no idea the author had a book coming out this year, so imagine my joy when I heard about it!
“A con artist can make you feel like the luckiest person on earth just to be in their presence. But when the jig is up, they ghost, and you’re left wondering if you ever mattered.
After the death of her wife, Shelby feels more alone than ever. That is until she meets Cammie, a charismatic woman unafraid of what anyone else thinks and whose own history of trauma draws Shelby close. When Cammie is fired from her job and admits she is in treatment for kidney cancer, Shelby devotes all her time to helping Cammie thrive. But Shelby’s intuition tells her there are things about Cammie’s past that don’t add up. Could the most real thing about Cammie be that she’s actually a scammer?
Gibson, almost forty, meets and falls in love with Cammie not long after his divorce. His friends are wary of Cammie, and eventually, he feels something is off as well.
When Shelby and Gibson find out Cammie is a pathological liar, they struggle to understand what they really want from her. Sometimes they want to help her heal from whatever causes her to invent reality, and sometimes they want revenge.”
If you’ve been following me for a while, then you know I love this young Canadian author. This is my third book by her and I have high expectations for it.
Simon & Schuster
Another powerhouse in the publishing world, Simon & Schuster has been bringing readers great books to read for decades.
The Writing Retreat by Julia Bartz Release Date February 21
This book is actually published by Atria books, a subdivision of Simon & Schuster.
“Alex has all but given up on her dreams of becoming a published author when she receives a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. To attend an exclusive, month-long writing retreat at the estate of feminist horror writer Roza Vallo. Even the knowledge that Wren, her former best friend and current rival is attending doesn’t dampen her excitement.
But when the attendees arrive, Roza drops a bombshell. They must all complete an entire novel from scratch during the next month, and the author of the best one will receive a life-changing seven-figure publishing deal. Determined to win this seemingly impossible contest, Alex buckles down and tries to ignore the strange happenings at the estate. Including Roza’s erratic behavior, Wren’s cruel mind games, and the alleged haunting of the mansion itself. But when one of the writers vanishes during a snowstorm, Alex realizes that something very sinister is happening. With the clock running out, she’s desperate to discover the truth and save herself.”
This book has been referred to as a propulsive thriller, so I’m very intrigued!
A Death at a Party by Amy Stuart – Release Date March 7
I read this book in January and liked it!
“In this tense, spellbinding thriller set over the course of a single day, a woman prepares for a party that goes dreadfully wrong.
Nadine Walsh’s summer garden party is in full swing. The neighbors all have cocktails, the catered food is exquisite. Everything’s going according to plan.
Nadine, the devoted wife, loving mother, and doting daughter, finds herself standing over a dead body in her basement while her guests clink glasses upstairs. What happened? How did it come to this?
Rewind to that morning, when Nadine is in her kitchen, making last-minute preparations before she welcomes more than a hundred guests to her home to celebrate her mother’s birthday. Her husband is of little help to her and her two grown children are consumed with their own concerns. Nadine’s mother knows that today isn’t just a birthday party. It marks another anniversary as well.
Still, Nadine will focus just on tonight. Everyone deserves a celebration after the year they’ve had. A chance for fun and a chance to forget. But it’s hard to forget when Nadine’s head is swirling with secrets, haunting memories, and concerns about what might happen when her guests unite.”
I do recommend it if you like character-driven thrillers. Check out my review here:
St Martin’s Press
St. Martin’s Press has Macmillan Publishers as a parent company. Based in Manhattan, they bring readers more than 600 titles each year, from many different genres.
Maame by Jessica George – Release Date January 31
Just the cover alone makes me want to read this book.
“It’s fair to say that Maddie’s life in London is far from rewarding. With a mother who spends most of her time in Ghana (yet still manages to be overbearing), Maddie is the primary caretaker for her father, who suffers from advanced-stage Parkinson’s. At work, her boss is a nightmare and Maddie is tired of always being the only Black person in every meeting.
When her mum returns from her latest trip to Ghana, Maddie leaps at the chance to get out of the family home and finally start living. A self-acknowledged late bloomer, she’s ready to experience some important “firsts”. She finds a flatshare, says yes to after-work drinks, pushes for more recognition in her career, and throws herself into the bewildering world of internet dating. But it’s not long before tragedy strikes, forcing Maddie to face the true nature of her unconventional family, and the perils—and rewards—of putting her heart on the line.
Smart, funny, and deeply affecting, Jessica George’s Maame deals with the themes of our time with humor and poignancy: from familial duty and racism to female pleasure, the complexity of love, and the life-saving power of friendship. Most importantly, it explores what it feels like to be torn between two homes and cultures and celebrates finally being able to find where you belong.”
This book seems like a nice family saga book. I hear great things about it, and I’m hoping to get a chance to read it soon.
The Audiobook subdivision of Macmillan publishers has a lot of new releases this year. This is the first one that caught my attention.
What Lies in the Woods by Kate Alice Marshall – Release Date January 17
This book is also published in print by Flatiron Books, or as an audiobook by Macmillan Audio.
I’ve recently started loving audiobooks because I find it’s a great way to multitask, especially when on the road.
“Naomi Shaw used to believe in magic. Imagining a world of ceremony and wonder, she and her two best friends, Cassidy and Olivia, spent the summer roaming the woods twenty-two years ago. They called it the Goddess Game. The summer ended suddenly when Naomi was attacked. Miraculously, she survived her seventeen stab wounds and lived to identify the man who had hurt her. The girls’ testimony put away a serial killer, wanted for murdering six women. They were heroes.
And they were liars.
For decades, the friends have kept a secret worth killing for. But now Olivia wants to tell, and Naomi sets out to find out what really happened in the woods. No matter how dangerous the truth is.”
If this book doesn’t seem intriguing to you, I don’t know what to say!
Penguin Random House
I’ll wrap up this blog post with two books from another significant publishing house, Penguin Random House.
I Have Some Questions For You by Rebecca Makkai – Release Date February 21
The Great Believers by this author was one of my favorite books ever, so it’s understandable that I cannot wait to read anything else the author writes.
“A successful film professor and podcaster, Bodie Kane is content to forget her past. The family tragedy that affected her adolescence, her four largely miserable years at a New Hampshire boarding school, and the murder of her former roommate, Thalia Keith, in the spring of their senior year. Though the circumstances surrounding Thalia’s death and the conviction of the school’s athletic trainer, Omar Evans, are hotly debated online, Bodie would like to let sleeping dogs lie.
But when the Granby School invites her back to teach a course, Bodie is inexorably drawn to the case and its increasingly apparent ﬂaws. In their rush to convict Omar, did the school and the police overlook other suspects? Is the real killer still out there? As she falls down the very rabbit hole she was so determined to avoid, Bodie begins to wonder if she wasn’t as much of an outsider at Granby as she’d thought. What if she knew something that might have held the key to solving the case back in 1995?”
Although a different style from her previous novel, this hypnotic novel will surely be another favorite of mine.
Pineapple Street by Jenny Jones – Release Date March 7
I’m currently finishing this book.
“A deliciously funny, sharply observed debut of family, love, and class, this zeitgeisty novel follows three women in one wealthy New York clan.
The eldest daughter in the old-money Stockton family, Darley, made the classic feminine mistake and gave up her job for her children. She eventually realized she’d sacrificed more of herself than she intended.
Sasha marries into the Stockton family and finds herself the outsider looking into the fishbowl, wondering if she will ever understand their ways.
Georgianna, the baby of the family, falls in love with someone she can’t have, and must confront the kind of person she wants to be.
Pineapple Street is a smart, escapist novel that sparkles with wit. Full of recognizable, loveable if fallible characters, it’s about the quirks of someone else’s family.
I received the advanced reader’s copy of this book from NetGalley and love it! The review is to come shortly, but I think it may be one of my favorites of the year so far!
This sums up the list of the ten most anticipated book releases of 2023 so far. I will most likely do at least one more later in the year. Until then, keep reading friends!