Making a January list of “books to look forward to” is a hopeless task; there will be hundreds and hundreds of books out in the new year, each of them potentially thrilling to somebody. But here’s a representative list of just a few that caught my eye. Here’s hoping all of us find plenty of good reading in 2023!
“Age of Vice”
by Deepti Kapoor (Riverhead Books, Jan. 3).
A ton of buzz surrounds this novel, already sold in 20 countries and set for an FX television adaptation. Taking place in contemporary New Delhi, it’s both crime drama and family saga, with a wealthy, corrupt family at its center.
By Prince Harry (Random House, Jan. 10)
Like everyone won’t be talking about this one. Let’s hope that Harry hasn’t blurted everything out in his Netflix series already.
“Pat in the City: My Life of Fashion, Style, and Breaking All the Rules”
By Patricia Field (Dey Street Books, Feb. 14)
Now in her 70s, the influential costume designer behind “Sex and the City” and “The Devil Wears Prada” looks back on a lifetime of style.
By Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah (Pantheon, April 4)
From the bestselling author of “Friday Black,” this dystopian novel examines the American prison system through the lens of a profit-raising program in which two female gladiators must fight for their freedom.
“A Living Remedy”
By Nicole Chung (Ecco, April 4)
The author of the elegant memoir “All You Can Ever Know” returns with a second book, writing about the illness and death of her adoptive parents during the pandemic, and about class, inequality and grief.
By Curtis Sittenfeld (Random House, April 4)
Not sure why this one isn’t coming out for Valentine’s Day? The slyly funny Sittenfeld, whose previous novels include “Rodham” and “Eligible,” here spins a love story involving a late-night-TV sketch writer and a pop star.
“The Wager: A Tale of Shipwreck, Mutiny and Murder”
By David Grann (Doubleday, April 18)
I couldn’t put down Grann’s “Killers of the Flower Moon” a few years back; now he’s back with another potentially mesmerizing nonfiction saga — an 18th-century tale of shipwreck and survival.
By Dennis Lehane (Harper, April 25)
Lehane, whose mesmerizing crime novels have inspired numerous movies (“Mystic River,” “Gone Baby Gone,” “Shutter Island”), is back with a stand-alone thriller set in 1974 in south Boston, where a young woman has gone missing and a young man is found dead.
“The Making of Another Motion Picture Masterpiece”
By Tom Hanks, illustrated by R. Sikoryak (Knopf, May 9)
Apparently the Oscar-winning actor is a pretty good writer too? This novel is about the making of a superhero film and the comic books that inspired it — and includes a book-within-the-book bonus of three comics created by Hanks.
By R.F. Kuang (William Morrow, May 16)
A new-author sensation isn’t who she says she is — or the race she implies that she is — in this highly anticipated, timely novel from bestselling fantasy author Kuang.
“King: A Life”
By Jonathan Eig (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, May 16)
Eig, author of “Ali: A Life” and “Luckiest Man: The Life and Death of Lou Gehrig,” writes the first new major biography of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in decades — and the first to include recently declassified FBI files.
“Sing Her Down”
By Ivy Pochoda (MCD, May 23)
I loved Pochoda’s elegant, tough L.A. noir “These Women” two years ago. Her latest is described as a feminist Western thriller, in which two unexpectedly freed cellmates pursue each other — and the truth about their crimes.
By Colson Whitehead (Doubleday, July 18)
I hadn’t realized that Whitehead’s terrific 2021 heist novel, “Harlem Shuffle,” was the first of a trilogy. The second, set in the early 1970s, continues the story of furniture store owner Ray Carney, who’s determined to stay on the straight and narrow — but it’s not easy.
By Elizabeth Acevedo (Ecco, Aug. 1)
Acevedo, who won the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature with her novel “The Poet X,” here makes her debut in fiction for adults with a family saga of Dominican American sisters, one of whom has the gift of knowing when people will die.
“Learned by Heart”
By Emma Donoghue (Little, Brown, Aug. 29)
The Irish-born Donoghue is perhaps best known for “Room,” but her historical novels (“The Wonder,” “Frog Music”) are a joy. This one’s set in the early 19th century in York, where two girls at boarding school fall dangerously in love.