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23 Brand-New Books to Start the New Year Off Right

Book covers for "Making Numbers Count," "Worn," and "Yonder"
Avid Reader Press/Pantheon/Simon & Schuster

The new year is the perfect time to add some new titles to your bookshelves! This January book list is zero self-help and lots of fresh titles that’ll capture your interest and imagination.

This year, steer clear of the self-help titles and trendy picks that probably will be gathering dust by March. Instead, pick out a few new books that will stand the test of time, teach you something new and interesting, or just entertain you for a little while. No matter what your book preferences are, there’s definitely something new coming out this January that will pique your interest!

30 Things I Love About Myself

Nina’s life hits rock-bottom on her thirtieth birthday, leaving her to pick up the pieces both personally and professionally in this novel by Radhika Sanghani.

When she stumbles across a self-help book about learning to love yourself, she decides to embark on a journey to treat herself with more kindness and find 30 things she loves about herself before her next birthday. Out Jan. 4.

The Maid: A Novel

At the start of Nita Prose’s thriller, Molly, a hotel maid who struggles with social skills and interactions, enters the room of a wealthy guest, only to find him murdered in his bed.

Molly’s unusual habits make her into a police suspect, so she and her friends are working overtime to find out who really committed the crime before Molly is blamed for something she never would have done. Out Jan 4.

When You Get the Chance: A Novel

This tongue-in-cheek YA Mamma Mia riff from Emma Lord centers on a theatre-loving teenage girl on a mission to find her birth mother.

With her drama-club rival (turned possible love interest) reluctantly along for the ride, she takes big risks and hopes for big reward as she narrows it down to three women who might be the mom she’s been searching for. Out Jan. 4.

How We Eat: The Brave New World of Food and Drink

If you’ve ever wanted to learn more about how food gets to our tables—and how these processes can improve—Paco Underhill’s lighthearted but fact-filled book is for you.

Underhill, an expert on consumer habits, breaks down what the future of food could look like and how we can make a creative, sustainable, and delicious future. Out Jan 4.

The Last Dance of the Debutante

Julia Kelly’s novel takes place in 1958, where a long-held British tradition comes to an end with the announcement that it will be the final year of high-society “presentations” to the queen.

Among this final batch of debutantes are Lily, an intellectual who’d rather be studying; Leana, the charming but dangerous scion of a powerful family; and Katherine, who has career ambitions beyond high society.

Along with other young women, they struggle with finding their place between traditions of the past and possibilities of the future. Out Jan. 4.

Yonder: A Novel

Jabari Asim sets this novel on a plantation in the 19th century American South. A group of enslaved Black people find each other, help each other survive, and pass along stories, language, and love.

Their bonds become complicated as love grows between members of their community, and the arrival of a preacher whispering about independence changes their lives forever. Out Jan. 11.

A Flicker in the Dark: A Novel

Stacy Willingham’s mystery thriller is all about how the past never really goes away. When Chloe was twelve, her father confessed to being behind the disappearances of six teenage girls.

Today, Chloe is a psychologist who thinks she’s put her traumatic past behind her. But when teenage girls start to go missing again, she starts to wonder if she’s just paranoid or if the parallels she’s seeing could crack the case. Out Jan. 11.

All I Want: A Novel

Darcey Bell, author of the bestselling A Simple Favor, returns to the world of suburban psychological thrillers. A young couple impulsively moves into a fixer-upper mansion with a creepy history in upstate New York.

Soon, their marriage grows distant, and they begin to wonder if the house’s eerie history is repeating itself with their own family. Out Jan. 11.

Weather Girl

For a wonderfully witty romance, look no further than Rachel Lynn Solomon’s latest. At a TV station, a meteorologist and a sports reporter team up to “Parent Trap” their bosses, with the hopes that happier bosses will mean more opportunities for them.

Their plan has at least one unexpected consequence, though: a budding romance between the two meddlers themselves. Out Jan. 11.

Making Numbers Count: The Art and Science of Communicating Numbers

Have you ever said, “Oh, I’m not really a numbers person”? It’s easy to change that with Chip Heath and Karla Starr’s creative book all about truly understanding what numbers mean.

From visualizing techniques to mental tricks to understand differences of scale and much more, it’s the perfect way to gain a better understanding of the world—and maybe erase some memories of that math class you hated. Out Jan. 11.

The Paris Bookseller

Kerri Maher tells the story of a young American woman who opens a bookstore in Paris in 1919: Shakespeare and Company, now one of the most famous bookstores in the world.

Her store attracts the attention of some of the top writers of the “Lost Generation,” and when Ulysses is rejected and banned, she risks it all to publish the book herself. In the process, she opens the door for disasters that threaten her livelihood and her beloved bookstore community. Out Jan. 11.

Daughter of the Moon Goddess: A Novel (Celestial Kingdom, 1)

Sue Lynn Tan’s debut fantasy is inspired by the legend of the Chinese moon goddess. A magical young woman discovers her powers and travels to find out the truth behind them.

What she doesn’t know is that she grew up deliberately hidden from the powerful Celestial Emperor, and that in leaving her home, she has opened the door to a dangerous adventure that will require everything she has to save her mother. Out Jan. 11.

Hotel Portofino

In J.P. O’Connell’s historical fiction novel, a wealthy British family opens a hotel on the Italian Riviera in the 1920s, completely unaware of what’s to come.

At first, their biggest struggles are getting guests and navigating their complicated love lives, but the rise of Mussolini and his followers turns things deadly serious overnight. Out Jan. 18.

Akata Woman (The Nsibidi Scripts)

The third and final installment in Nnedi Okorafor’s fantasty series follows Sunny, a woman with powerful magic, as she sets out on her greatest quest yet. With the help of her closest friends and allies, she’s sent to retrieve an item from a dangerous realm, and its guardians are not likely to give up very easily. Out Jan. 18.

Yinka, Where Is Your Huzband?: A Novel

Lizzie Damilola Blackburn’s debut novel is all about love, family, and finding yourself. Yinka is a thirty-something British-Nigerian woman who is smart, successful, and educated, but in the eyes of her traditional family, she’s incomplete until she finds a husband.

In her attempts to find a date for her cousin’s wedding, Yinka instead finds out more about her relationships with the other women in her family and about what she really wants in life. Out Jan. 18.

Camera Man: Buster Keaton, the Dawn of Cinema, and the Invention of the Twentieth Century

This work of nonfiction from Dana Stevens is much more than just a biography of famed comedian Buster Keaton.

While tracing the ups and downs of Keaton’s life and career, the book also looks at what was happening in the rest of the world at the time, from the political and legal battles of the day to the concurrent rise of the film industry and its transition from silent film to “talkies.” Out Jan. 25.

Seoulmates

A journey to find her birth mother in Korea instead takes Korean-American woman Hara down an unexpected path in Jen Frederick’s sequel.

Not only does she have to navigate the challenging waters of her new family and the expectations they have, but she finds herself stuck in a forbidden love story that might force her to make choices she’s not sure she knows how to make. Out Jan. 25.

Violeta

Iconic author Isabel Allende’s latest book follows one woman over the century of her life. Violeta, born in 1920, ends up bearing witness to the intense upheavals of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

As she recounts her memories in a letter to a loved one, she reveals her observations about some of the century’s most infamous moments. Out Jan. 25.

The Magnolia Palace: A Novel

On the run after being falsely accused of a crime, artist’s model Lillian talks her way into a job as private secretary for Helen, the heiress of the wealthy and mysterious Frick family.

Fifty years later, in the 1960s, another model and a curator stumble across the secrets of the Fricks and their famous house as Fiona Davis’s novel unfolds. Out Jan. 25.

Worn: A People's History of Clothing

Sofi Thanhauser’s nonfiction book takes a deep dive into clothing from a very human perspective.

Tracing the stories of five of the most common clothing fibers over the course of hundreds or thousands of years, the book provides a new look at human history and how what we wear holds so much meaning. Out Jan. 25.

The Roughest Draft

Emma Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka go meta, co-authoring a book about co-authors. Years ago, Katrina and Nathan were the co-authors atop the literary scene—until a falling-out they’ve never talked about sent them both their separate ways.

Forced to reunite to write one more book to complete their contract, the pair are stuck confronting their past issues and admitting what has always been between them. Out Jan. 25.

Her Hidden Genius: A Novel

Marie Benedict’s latest historical fiction novel follows the true story of Rosalind Franklin, a scientist whose work was behind the discovery of DNA — but who went uncredited for years.

The story follows Rosalind’s incredibly groundbreaking discovery, as well as what happened next and how she was lost to history—and rediscovered. Out Jan. 25.

The Accomplice: A Novel

There’s something very strange about best friends Owen and Luna, the main characters in Lisa Lutz’s thriller. The opposites-attract friends have been close since college, even after a tragedy tore their circle apart.

Years later, when Owen’s wife is mysteriously murdered, Luna is forced to reckon with the secrets she’s always ignored if she wants the answers to what really happened. Out Jan. 25.

Amanda Prahl Amanda Prahl
Amanda Prahl is a freelance contributor to LifeSavvy. She has an MFA in dramatic writing, a BA in literature, and is a former faculty associate focusing on writing craft and history. Her articles have appeared on HowlRound, Slate, Bustle, BroadwayWorld, and ThoughtCo, among others. Read Full Bio »

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