22 New Books to Add to The Shelf in 2022
We dive into 22 brilliant page turners that we can't wait to get lost in throughout the year
A Prayer For The Crown-Shy, Becky Chambers
The sequel to Becky Chambers’ A Psalm for the Wild-Built follows Siblings Dex and Mosscap, and the discoveries of a monk and robot that are sent to live with human society. When attempting to integrate with human life the robot is faced with existential questions of humanity’s primal needs, emotions and irrationality.
Base Notes, Lara Elena Donnelly
Perfumer Vic Fowler has developed the skill to create perfumes that trigger immersive memories. This morally shady side-hustle attracts the underworld of New York, with clients willing to kill for the chance to relive the past. Vic must complete an expensive commission whilst eluding a persistent PI, only time will tell if they make it out alive.
February, Thomas and Mercer
Booth, Karen Joy Fowler
A historical novel centred around the family dynamic of the Booths. John Wilkes Booth is one of the most infamous saboteurs of American history, responsible for the assassination of President Lincoln. The novel focuses on controversy, strife and the trauma that binds families together.
March, G.P. Putnam's Sons
Either/Or, Elif Batuman
Either/Or is the sequel to Bautman’s 2018 Pulitzer Prize finalist, The Idiot, and it’s a witty coming of age novel that follows Harvard freshman Selin as she struggles to find a lover in college. Picking up where the first left off, Either/Or is an exercise in social observation against the backdrop of Selin’s less than ideal sophomore year.
May, Penguin Press
End of The World House, Adrienne Celt
A comedic and thought-provoking tale of two young women trying to desperately repair their broken friendship – locked in the Louvre, with the apocalypse raging outside. A brilliant showcase of how to craft authentic voices by Adrienne Celt leaves a novel with real heart begging to be read.
April, Simon & Schuster
Gallant, V.E Schwab
Gallant is a dark fantasy novel about a girl who discovers an alternate realm of shadows and evil upon investigating an old journal left by her maddening mother. As she walks between the worlds of light and dark, she finds herself inextricably caught between both. Will she be drawn into the darkness deeper or will she become a protector of the light instead?
March, Greenwillow Books
How High We Go In The Dark, Sequoia Nagamastu
In 2030 an arctic expedition releases a dormant climate-plague, changing the lives of humans irreparably as they fight to survive, adapt, and ultimately rebuild the human legacy over the course of multiple centuries.
January, William Morrow & Company
Let’s Not Do That Again, Grant Grinder
From the author of The People We Hate At The Wedding – Let’s Not Do That Again follows the frantic journey of a mother running for US Senate whilst trying to save her campaign from the reckless behaviour of her bohemian and aimless children. A charming display of wit, these family dynamics speak of what we have to learn from each other, how we can accidentally overlook what’s most important, and how to move forward together in a very strange world.
April, Henry Holt & Company
Moon Witch, Spider King, Marlon James
The much-anticipated sequel to the critically acclaimed first novel in James’ Dark Star sci-fi trilogy – Black Leopard, Red Wolf. Moon Witch, Spider King retells the adventure of the first novel from the perspective of Moon Witch Sogolon. Blending history and mythology in the form of a fantasy epic, this novel is well worth keeping on your radar if you’re a fan of mystical world building.
February, Riverhead Books
Must Love Books, Shauna Robinson
Workhorse Nora Hughes’ love for her dream job is crushed when her editorial assistant salary is dramatically cut. When Nora gets a second job at a rival publisher she becomes stuck between the two, confused and anxious about the future but certain that she must carve her own way forward.
January, Sourcebooks Landmark
Olga Dies Dreaming, Xochitl Gonzalez
Family drama Olga Dies Dreaming follows the complex family dynamics of two sisters with drastically different careers. One a wedding planner for the wealthy elite, the other with political aspirations – their lives are thrown together when their estranged mother and radical political activist returns home to reconnect.
January, Flatrion Books
Pure Colour, Sheila Heti
A speculative human anthology about ‘the first draft of the world’, a bizarre and premature version of the planet designed by an omniscient artist – where people can morph into objects, spirits roam freely through portals and the artist who created it all slowly becomes tired and frustrated.
February, Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Reclaim the Stars: 17 Tales Across Realms & Space, Zoraida Córdova
A teen friendly and mind-bending anthology of speculative sci-fi short-stories from Latin American diaspora authors, edited by novelist Zoraida Córdova. The stories within range from warring space princesses, haunting tales of ghosts and mermaids in the Caribbean, to spiritual swamps and even undiscovered realms.
February, Wednesday Books
The School For Good Mothers, Jessamine Chan
This debut novel follows a mother who’s forcefully placed in a dystopian government reform programme for ‘troubled mothers’ after her husband leaves her for his mistress. This transgressive psychological page-turner explores questions of what it means to be human when faced with the intense pressure of looking after a child despite being down on your luck.
January, Simon and Schuster
Sea Of Tranquillity, Emily St. John Mandel
A sci-fi novel with very human depth, featuring various places in time and space – Sea of Tranquillity explores the politics of government-sanctioned time travel, taking our protagonist on a journey concerning morality, time, love, and illness from locations that range from 1912 Vancouver Island to a moon colony in the early 2300s.
April, Knopf Publishing Group
Sour Grapes, Dan Rhodes
Quite literally the first new novel of the year, this satirical observation of the literary world ruthlessly sets its sights on authors, publishers, critics and clichés while constructing an instantly readable narrative. Sour Grapes follows the residents of a traditional English village as they prepare for their first ever literary festival, attracting the menacing Wilberforce Selfram, an author/critic who doesn’t suffer fools gladly.
January, Eye Books
The Candy House, Jennifer Egan
A multi-narrator epic about searching for meaning in a world devoid of reason, where memories are no longer our own and instead shared on public platforms. This novel features characters from Egan’s 2010 novel, A Visit From The Goon Squad – creating a shared universe of memorable and authentic voices.
The Lighting Rod, Brad Meltzer
A follow up to Brad Meltzer’s New York Times bestseller, The Escape Artist. The Lighting Rod yet again follows the adventures of Zig and Nola, this time unravelling the mystery of a closely-guarded military secret from the Cold War. After the death of a seemingly well-to-do military officer and family man after an altercation during the break in of his family home, the autopsy reveals a secret so shocking that it compromises the safety of America itself…
May, William Morrow and Company
The Silent Sisters, Robert Dugoni
From the author who brought us The Last Agent – an American sleeper cell agent in Russia goes silent, leaving one man to hunt them down and discover what really happened. Former CIA agent Charles Jenkins pulls himself back from the brink of retirement to close the case on this espionage thriller, sporting a range of disguises and gadgets in an attempt to return to Russia undetected.
February, Thomas and Mercer
The Woman in the Library, Sulari Gentill
Four strangers sitting at a table in the public library are instructed to remain seated following the shrill scream of a woman. Upon investigating the noise, a lifeless body is found. The strangers strike up conversation and friendships are quickly forged amongst the shared trauma, but unfortunately for them, one of them is the murderer. This kitchen-sink twist on the ‘whodunit?’ formula is one to keep an eye on this year.
June, Sourcebooks Landmark
This Time Tomorrow, Emma Straub
A heartfelt father-daughter story that breathes fresh life into the concept of time travel, playing with the question – what if you could go on holiday to a time in your past? When 40-year-old Alice wakes up suddenly in 1996, back in her 16-year-old body but now equipped with a matured perspective on life, how will her relationship with her distant father change?
May, Riverhead Books
In Paradise, Hanya Yanagihara
An interconnecting story of three drastically different Americans living in alternate versions of the US. From the Gilded Age, ‘90s, and a dystopian future, In Paradise is a bizarre and shocking tale that considers the futility of chasing an American dream that never came to fruition.
January, Pan Macmillan