Hello, January 1st. We’ve been anticipating your arrival for a while now. Today, we cracked the spine on our new planners, shook the dust off our “I can’t” mindsets, and snapped into resolution mode. The first of the year marks new beginnings, exciting promises, and a renewed sense of hope. With brand new goals and New Year’s resolutions in mind, we’re ready to take on everything the year has to offer.
We’ve been looking ahead to a new year for quite some time. 2017 was a tough one for many reasons, and we’re glad to see it go. We know 2018 won’t be perfect, but at least for today, everything still feels fresh, shiny, and new. January 1st is a great day to look ahead to what we want to accomplish this year. And that includes reading more books.
There are so many books we can’t wait to read in 2018. It’s only the first of the year, but our TBR piles are already overflowing with literary fiction books, deeply felt memoirs, rousing young adult titles, and moving essay collections. But for now, we’ll take it one week at a time.
Here are 10 books coming out this week that will help you set the tone for 2018!
1Halsey Street by Naima Coster, out January 1st
Penelope is a failed artist who moved back to rapidly gentrifying Brooklyn to care for her sick father. Mirella is her estranged mother living in the Dominican Republic who wants to reconnect. Told in alternating perspectives, Halsey Street will make you think about what happens when you go back home but barely recognize your past. Start 2018 off right with this incredible debut from Naima Coster.
2A River in Darkness by Masaji Ishikawa, out January 1st
We often turn to books to help us understand people, experiences, and worldviews different from our own. If you’re looking to further your education in 2018, pick up A River in Darkness: One Man’s Escape from North Korea. In his memoir, translated from Japanese, Masaji Ishikawa recounts his turbulent childhood and life under a totalitarian regime in North Korea. Yes, you’ll learn about the country’s politics, leaders, and economy. But more importantly, you’ll learn about the people who live there and what it’s like to be on the lower end of the social hierarchy.
3My Friend Fear by Meera Lee Patel, out January 2nd
We’re often told to avoid our fears at all costs. But rather than ignore them, Meera Lee Patel thinks we should see them as opportunities to make changes. So she wrote My Friend Fear: Finding Magic in the Unknown to help us do just that. In fact, she even dedicated the book to her fear: “For my fear, who stays with me like moonlight in the darkness and always leads me to the magic.” It’s filled with inspirational words of wisdom, gorgeous watercolor drawings, and plenty of reminders that no matter how lost or afraid you might feel, you are not alone. My Friend Fear: Finding Magic in the Unknown will set the tone for the 2018 you deserve.
4Rookie on Love edited by Tavi Gevinson, out January 2nd
You love Rookie. You love Tavi Gevinson. And now, you’re going to love Rookie on Love, the collection of essays, poems, interviews, and comics from some of your favorite writers — edited by Tavi Gevinson. They’re all about love, and we predict you’re going to love them all.
5Green by Sam Graham-Felsen, out January 2nd
Green is a young adult novel, but the themes it tackles are anything but. It tells the story of Dave, one of two white kids at his school. He befriends Marlon, a Black classmate, who stands up for him at lunch and changes his perspective of Black culture. As they become close friends and Dave learns more about Marlon’s life, Dave realizes just how many advantages he’s been given because of the color of his skin. Green is set in Boston in 1992 and is a coming-of-age story about class, race, religion, privilege, and, ultimately, belonging. It’s just the right amount of heartbreaking.
6You & Me & Why We Are in Love by Aurelia Alcaïs, out January 2nd
This short and sweet book of vignettes celebrates love in every form. Every time you read it, you’ll fall in love with Aurelia Alcaïs’s poems and illustrations all over again. It’s the charming collection your coffee table needs, just in time for Valentine’s Day.
7The Lost Season of Love and Snow by Jennifer Laam, out January 2nd
Whenever we can’t deal with the present, we step back in time with a historical fiction novel. The next time you need a break from reality, turn to The Lost Season of Love and Snow. It tells the story of how one woman, Natalya, goes from being the admired wife of a poet to the villain accused of playing a role in his death. Oh, and there’s an epic duel. Sold.
8Someone to Love by Melissa de la Cruz, out January 2nd
Here’s another young adult fiction novel from one of the best writers in the genre, Melissa de la Cruz. Her latest novel, Someone to Love, is about Olivia, the daughter of a politician who’s under enormous pressure to be perfect 24/7. Heads up: This one comes with trigger warnings about eating disorders and self-harm.
9Promise Not to Tell by Jayne Ann Krentz, out January 2nd
It’s freezing cold outside right now, and Promise Not to Tell is just the book that will warm you up. Before an artist takes her own life, she sends a gallery owner named Virginia a picture. And that picture suddenly makes Virginia question everything about her own past. Bet you didn’t know that “romantic suspense” was a genre.
10The Analyst: Poems by Molly Peacock, out January 3rd
Make 2018 the year you get more into poetry. And start with Molly Peacock’s newest collection. Every time you read it, you’ll connect with her words in a different way. Never has a line break been so musical.