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2017 was a big year for books. During a time when the news cycle was often too much to handle, we turned to books to help us cope and make sense of the world. Authors told some incredible stories in 2017. There were imaginative fiction novels, moving memoirs, and deep-feeling poetry collections galore.
We hope you’re all caught up on the best books of 2017, because it’s time to look ahead to everything 2018 has to offer our bookshelves. Even though it’s barely the New Year, there are already hundreds of books in our TBR pile. It’s nearly impossible to narrow down everything we want to read to just a few titles; this list hardly scratches the surface of what’s to come for literature in the New Year. But we had to start somewhere.
On this list, you’ll find some recognizable names delivering much-anticipated follow-ups. You’ll also learn some new names, and quickly add them to your list of favorite authors. And if you fall in love with some of these premises, great news: Many of them have already been optioned for film and TV.
Here are 19 of the books we can’t wait to read in 2018. Mark them as “Want to Read” on Goodreads now, because they’re going to be huge.
If you knew the date you were going to die, how would it change how you live your life? The Immortalists is a book told in four parts. It follows the Gold children — Simon, Klara, Daniel, and Varya — in adulthood as they live with their death dates, told to them at a young age, in the back of their minds. The Immortalists is a haunting meditation on mortality. You’re going to be hearing a LOT about this one. And even though it isn’t out quite yet, the television rights were already acquired.
2017 was the year of the book club thriller, and the genre’s popularity is showing no signs of slowing down. The first one you’re going to want to read is The Wife Between Us. A few months ago, the film rights were sold to the same team that gave us Girl on the Train. (Ever heard of it?) You’re gonna love it.
Imagine a world where abortion is illegal, in-vitro fertilization is banned, and every embryo has the right to life, liberty, and property. Red Clocks is a dystopian novel, but some days, it’s a near future that doesn’t seem too far off. The book will seriously make you think about motherhood, freedom, and survival. Oh, and it comes out just in time for the 45th anniversary of Roe v. Wade.
Call Me Zebra is one of the most original stories we’ve read in a long time. 22-year-old Zebra has lost both of her parents. And in an attempt to reconnect with her family history, she travels the world revisiting some of the places they’ve lived. Her own stories are magnified by the stories of her only companions: books. A delight for the true bibliophile.
Tom Hazard appears to be a regular 41-year-old man. But in reality, thanks to a very rare condition, he’s been alive for hundreds of years. How to Stop Time is a time traveling love story. It’s a coming-of-age tale that continues for centuries. It’s The Time Traveler’s Wife meets The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, yet it manages to be even more unique. Benedict Cumberbatch scooped up the film rights to How to Stop Time in early 2017, and will executive produce and star in the film version of Haig’s novel.
In 2016, Sarah McBride spoke at the Democratic National Convention, making her the first openly transgender person to address a major party convention. She’s a prominent activist for LGBTQ rights doing important work around the world. But before all of that, she was a teenager struggling to figure out who she was. And in 2018, McBride is publishing Tomorrow Will Be Different: Love, Loss, and the Fight for Trans Equality, a powerful memoir about her life. Did we mention that Joe Biden, America’s favorite uncle, wrote the foreword?
We think we know how women won the right to vote. But in reality, there’s a LOT that we don’t learn in school about the road to ratifying the 19th amendment. The Woman’s Hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote is an extremely well researched read that will teach even the most knowledgeable feminists a thing or two about the suffragists.
You probably immediately recognized Mari Andrew’s illustration style when you saw her book cover. After all, she’s one of your favorite Instagram follows. But did you know that in addition to being a gifted artist, Mari is also a talented writer? (She once published her thoughts about her dating history explained through Gilmore Girls on HelloGiggles.) Her debut collection of essays, Am I There Yet?: The Loop-de-loop, Zig-zagging Journey to Adulthood, contains stories and illustrations about all the lessons she learned in her 20s. Mari has an enviable way of identifying the thoughts you didn’t even know you were having, and perfectly putting them into words. She brings us joy every day on Instagram, and we can’t wait to have her words on our bookshelf.
We absolutely adored Abbi Waxman’s The Garden of Small Beginnings. And if it’s possible, we’re even more in love with her much-anticipated follow-up, Other People’s Houses. It’s about four families, carpool mom drama, and all the interesting and unexpected things that go on inside, well, other people’s houses. April’s book club pick is set in stone.
You All Grow Up and Leave Me: A Memoir of Teenage Obsession sounds like something straight out of a Stephen King novel. But it is, in fact, a memoir. When Piper Weiss was a teenager, she was one of “Gary’s Girls” — her tennis coach, Gary Wilensky, was her mentor and took a special interest in her. But when she was 14, he killed himself after a failed attempt to kidnap one of her peers. It came to light that Wilensky was a child predator and stalker with a torture chamber up in the Adirondack Mountains. 20 years later, in You All Grow Up and Leave Me, Weiss examines the event from both her teenage perspective and as a reporter. Like we said, it’s so wildly chilling, you might forget that it’s a true story.
The Hate U Give was hands down one of the best books of 2017. And now, Angie Thomas is blessing us with another story from Garden Heights. Details about On the Come Up have been kept closely under wraps — Thomas hasn’t even released a cover yet — but it. Is. Coming. And we. Can’t. Wait.
Stories of sexual harassment and assault in Hollywood and beyond flooded the news in the last few months of 2017. But this doesn’t mean that sexual harassment and assault are anything new. Roxane Gay, feminist saint, is editing a compilation of essays about violence and harassment. We can’t wait to read what contributors, including Gabrielle Union and Ally Sheedy, have to say.
The Pisces is about love, lust, anxiety, angst, and mythical sea creatures. It follows Lucy, a woman who moves from Phoenix to L.A. to mourn a breakup. But instead of finding peace, she just feels lost — until she meets Theo. Come for the gorgeous cover, stay for the merman erotica we never knew we needed.
If you’re anything like us, there’s still a Luckiest Girl Alive-shaped hole in your heart just begging to be filled. Which is why we’re so happy that Jessica Knoll’s The Favorite Sister comes out in May. It’s about five successful women on a reality TV show called Goal Diggers. Spoiler: The season ends in murder.
Keiko Furukura’s parents are thrilled when she takes a job at a convenience store. She was always a bit strange as a child, and the socialization of a workplace is good for her. Fast forward to 18 years later, where — yup —Keiko still works at the convenience store at age 36. She’s never had a boyfriend before, but when a new man is hired, all of that might change. This sweet, charming book offers an insightful, cultural story about comfort zones and the pressure to conform.
We’re still obsessing over Camille Perri’s debut novel, The Assistants. And we’re cheering that Perri is coming back with When Katie Met Cassidy. It tells the story of Katie, a 28-year-old whose life is turned upside down when her fiancé breaks off their engagement. Katie befriends Cassidy, a woman who changes everything she thought she knew about love and sex. Yes, When Katie Met Cassidy is a rom-com. But it’s also an important commentary on the taboos of women owning their sexuality.
Every time we read the premise of Baby Teeth, all the hair on the back of our neck stands up. Simply put, it’s about a sweet little girl who wants to kill her mother. While Hanna has the appearance of an angel, she’s anything but. All she wants is to get her mom, Suzette, out of the picture so she can live with her dad. And it. Is. Bonkers. Do you have goosebumps yet?
Clare, a recently widowed woman, decides to attend a film festival in Havana that her late husband bought tickets to. But once she arrives, she sees him standing there, plain as day. When he’s supposed to be dead. Clare follows him around Havana, reflecting on their marriage and searching for answers. The more you read, the less you’ll know what’s real and what’s not. Will somebody make The Third Hotel into a movie already?!
Nicole Chung’s memoir, All You Can Ever Know, follows her search for her Korean birth parents. She was born premature and adopted by a white family in Oregon. As she grew up, Chung began to wonder if the too-perfect adoption story she’d heard as a child was actually the truth. She’s spilling the family secrets in print sometime this October.