Some of My Most Anticipated Releases of 2022

Ninety-nine 2022 releases have made it onto my Goodreads shelves so far. I’ve read about 10 already and will preview some of them tomorrow.

This year we can expect new fiction from Julian Barnes, Carol Birch, Jessie Burton, Jennifer Egan, Karen Joy Fowler, David Guterson, Sheila Heti, John Irving (perhaps? at last), Liza Klaussman, Benjamin Myers, Julie Otsuka, Alex Preston and Anne Tyler; a debut novel from Emilie Pine; second memoirs from Amy Liptrot and Wendy Mitchell; another wide-ranging cultural history/self-help book from Susan Cain; another medical history from Lindsey Fitzharris; a biography of the late Jan Morris; and much more. (Already I feel swamped, and this in a year when I’ve said I want to prioritize backlist reads! Ah well, it is always thus.)

I’ve limited myself here to the 20 upcoming releases I’m most excited about. The low figure is a bit of a cheat: with a few exceptions, I’ve not included books I have / have been promised. I’ll be scurrying around requesting copies of most of the others soon. The following are due out between January and August and are in (UK) release date order, within sections by genre. (U.S. details given too/instead if USA-only. Quotes are extracted from publisher blurbs on Goodreads.)

U.S. covers – included where different – rule!

N.B. Fiction is winning this year!

 

Fiction

To Paradise by Hanya Yanagihara [Jan. 11, Picador / Doubleday] You’ll see this on just about every list; her fans are legion after the wonder that was A Little Life. Another doorstopper, but this time with the epic reach to justify the length: sections are set in an alternative 1893, 1993, and 2093 – “joined in an enthralling and ingenious symphony, as recurring notes and themes deepen and enrich one another.” [Proof copy]

 

UK cover

How High We Go in the Dark by Sequoia Nagamatsu [Jan. 18, Bloomsbury / William Morrow] Amazing author name! Similar to the Yanagihara what with the century-hopping and future scenario, a feature common in 2020s literature – a throwback to Cloud Atlas? I’m also reminded of the premise of Under the Blue, one of my favourites from last year. “Once unleashed, the Arctic Plague will reshape life on Earth for generations to come.”

 

Heartstopper, Volume 5 by Alice Oseman [Feb. ?, Hodder Children’s] I devoured the first four volumes of this teen comic last year. In 2020, Oseman tweeted that the fifth and final installment was slated for February 2022, but I don’t have any more information than that. Nick will be getting ready to go off to university, so I guess we’ll see how he leaves things with Charlie and whether their relationship will survive a separation. (No cover art yet.)

 

How Strange a Season by Megan Mayhew Bergman [March 29, Scribner] I enjoyed her earlier story collection, Almost Famous Women. “Bergman portrays women who wrestle with problematic inheritances: a modern glass house on a treacherous California cliff, a water-starved ranch, an abandoned plantation on a river near Charleston … provocative prose asks what are we leaving behind for our ancestors … what price will they pay for our mistakes?”

 

A Violent Woman by Ayana Mathis [April 7, Hutchinson] Her Oprah-approved 2013 debut, The Twelve Tribes of Hattie, got a rare 5-star review from me. About “an estranged mother and her daughter. Dutchess lives in Bonaparte, Alabama, a once thriving black town now in its death throes. Lena lives in Philadelphia in the 1980s. Her involvement with the radical separatist group STEP leads to transcendence and tragedy.” (No cover art yet.)

 

there are more things by Yara Rodrigues Fowler [April 28, Fleet] I so wanted her 2019 debut novel, Stubborn Archivist, to win the Young Writer of the Year Award. I love the cover and Hamlet-sourced title, and I’m here for novels of female friendship. “In January 2016, Melissa [South London native] and Catarina [born to well-known political family in Brazil] meet for the first time, and as political turmoil unfolds … their friendship takes flight.”

 

UK cover

Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel [April 28, Picador / April 5, Knopf] This is the other title you’ll find on everyone else’s list. That’s because The Glass Hotel, even more so than Station Eleven, was amazing. Another history-to-future-hopper: “a novel of art, time, love, and plague that takes the reader from Vancouver Island in 1912 to a dark colony on the moon three hundred years later, unfurling a story of humanity across centuries and space.” [Edelweiss download]

 

Search by Michelle Huneven [April 28, Penguin] A late addition to my list thanks to the Kirkus review. Sounds like one for readers of Katherine Heiny! “Dana Potowski is a restaurant critic and food writer … asked to join [her California Unitarian Universalist] church search committee for a new minister. Under pressure to find her next book idea, she agrees, and resolves to secretly pen a memoir, with recipes, about the experience.”

 

UK cover

Very Cold People by Sarah Manguso [April 28, Picador / Feb. 8, Hogarth] The debut novel from an author by whom I’ve read four nonfiction works. “For Ruthie, the frozen town of Waitsfield, Massachusetts, is all she has ever known. Once home to the country’s oldest and most illustrious families[,] … it is an unforgiving place awash with secrets. … Ruthie slowly learns how the town’s prim facade conceals a deeper, darker history…”

 

UK cover

True Biz by Sara Nović [May 5, Little, Brown / April 5, Random House] Her 2015 Girl at War is one of my most-admired debuts of all time, and who can resist a campus novel?! “The students at the River Valley School for the Deaf just want to hook up, pass their history final, and have doctors, politicians, and their parents stop telling them what to do with their bodies. This revelatory novel plunges readers into the halls of a residential school for the deaf.”

 

You Have a Friend in 10a: Stories by Maggie Shipstead [May 19, Transworld / May 17, Knopf] Shipstead’s Booker-shortlisted doorstopper, Great Circle, ironically, never took off for me; I’m hoping her short-form storytelling will work out better. “Diving into eclectic and vivid settings, from an Olympic village to a deathbed in Paris to a Pacific atoll, … Shipstead traverses ordinary and unusual realities with cunning, compassion, and wit.”

 

UK cover

Horse by Geraldine Brooks [June 2, Little, Brown / June 14, Viking] You guessed it, another tripartite 1800s–1900s–2000s narrative! With themes of slavery, art and general African American history. I’m not big on horses, at least not these days, but Brooks’s March and Year of Wonders are among my recent favourites. “Based on the remarkable true story of the record-breaking thoroughbred, Lexington, who became America’s greatest stud sire.”

 

UK cover

Briefly, a Delicious Life by Nell Stevens [June 23, Picador / June 21, Scribner] I’ve read her two previous autofiction-y memoirs and loved Mrs Gaskell & Me. The title, cover and Victorian setting of her debut novel beckon. “In 1473, fourteen-year-old Blanca dies in a hilltop monastery in Mallorca. Nearly four hundred years later, when George Sand, her two children, and her lover Frederic Chopin arrive in the village, Blanca is still there: a spirited, funny, righteous ghost.”

 

A Brief History of Living Forever by Jaroslav Kalfar [Aug. 4, Sceptre / Little, Brown] His Spaceman of Bohemia (2017) was terrific. “When Adela discovers she has a terminal illness, her thoughts turn to Tereza, the American-raised daughter she gave up at birth. … In NYC, Tereza is … the star researcher for two suspicious biotech moguls hellbent on developing a ‘god pill’ to extend human life indefinitely. … Narrated from the beyond by Adela.”

 

Nonfiction

The Cure for Sleep by Tanya Shadrick [Jan. 20, Weidenfeld & Nicolson] Nature memoir / self-help. “On return from near-death, Shadrick vows to stop sleepwalking through life. … Around the care of young children, she starts to play with the shape and scale of her days: to stray from the path, get lost in the woods, make bargains with strangers … she moves beyond her respectable roles as worker, wife and mother in a small town.” [Review copy]

 

The Invisible Kingdom: Reimagining Chronic Illness by Meghan O’Rourke [March 1, Riverhead] O’Rourke wrote one of the best bereavement memoirs ever. This ties in with my medical interests. “O’Rourke delivers a revelatory investigation into this elusive category of ‘invisible’ illness that encompasses autoimmune diseases, post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome, and now long COVID, synthesizing the personal and the universal.”

 

UK cover

In Love: A Memoir of Love and Loss by Amy Bloom [April 7, Granta / March 8, Random House] The true story of how Bloom accompanied her husband Brian, who had Alzheimer’s, to Dignitas in Switzerland to end his life. I’ve read quite a lot around assisted dying. “Written in Bloom’s captivating, insightful voice and with her trademark wit and candor, In Love is an unforgettable portrait of a beautiful marriage, and a boundary-defying love.”

 

Home/Land: A Memoir of Departure and Return by Rebecca Mead [April 21, Grove Press UK / Feb. 8, Knopf] I enjoyed Mead’s bibliomemoir on Middlemarch. The Anglo-American theme is perfect for me: “drawing on literature and art, recent and ancient history, and the experience of encounters with individuals, environments, and landscapes in New York City and in England, Mead artfully explores themes of identity, nationality, and inheritance.”

 

UK cover

Lost & Found: A Memoir by Kathryn Schulz [April 28, Picador / Jan. 20, Random House] I loved her 2010 book Being Wrong, and bereavement memoirs are my jam. “Eighteen months before Kathryn Schulz’s father died, she met the woman she would marry. In Lost & Found, she weaves the story of those relationships into a brilliant exploration of the role that loss and discovery play in all of our lives … an enduring account of love in all its many forms.”

 

Poetry

Inside the Storm I Want to Touch the Tremble by Carolyn Oliver [Aug. 19, Univ. of Utah Press] Carolyn used to blog at Rosemary and Reading Glasses. The poems she’s shared on social media are beautiful, and I’m proud of her for winning the Agha Shahid Ali Prize. “Inside this debut collection, girlhood’s dangers echo, transmuted, in the poet’s fears for her son. A body … is humbled by chronic illness. Stumbling toward joy across time and space, these poems hum with fear and desire, bewildering loss, and love’s lush possibilities.”

 

Themes arising: crossing three centuries; H & I titles, the word “brief”; moons and stars on covers. Mostly female authors (only two men here).

 

Do check out these other lists for more ideas!

Callum’s

Kate’s

Kirkus

Laura’s

Paul’s

Rachel’s

Plus you can seek out all the usual lists (e.g. on Lit Hub and virtually every other book or newspaper site) … if you want to be overwhelmed!

 

What catches your eye here?
What other 2022 titles do I need to know about?

29 responses

  1. Lots of crossover between your fiction list and my list! I’ve been disappointed by two Shipsteads now (I also didn’t like Seating Arrangements) so I don’t think I’ll be reading anything else by her. The Meghan O’Rourke sounds great and the Novic’s on my Goodreads TBR. I loved Manguso’s writing in The Two Kinds of Decay so I’m considering Very Cold People, though the blurb doesn’t really appeal.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s hard to imagine what Manguso’s fiction will be like. I’m wondering if her novel will end up being a little like Eileen?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh dear, I hope not!

        Like

    2. I just recently found out about a new Emma Donoghue novel coming out in August.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh so exciting! I’ll look it up!

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      2. Haven: A medieval setting that wouldn’t normally appeal to me, but she can probably make it work!

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  2. Search plus Very Cold People snagged my attention and I’ll read anything by Amy Bloom. I read the Egan earlier in the week and am still cogitating.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The idea of a sequel to Goon Squad didn’t appeal to me at all…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. SOOOOOOO EXCITED for the new Emily St. John Mandel!! And the Megan Mayhew Bergman too. Emma Straub and Jennifer Egan have new ones coming out too that I’m interested in.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ooh, I didn’t know about a new Emma Straub! I’ve read two of her novels and loved them.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Very excited for the Amy Bloom memoir I hadn’t heard was coming out. I haven’t read anything from her in ages and always love her. And while time hopping and futuristic novels aren’t generally for me, I follow Nagamatsu on Twitter and he seems lovely. Think all this time hopping is due to writers (and readers) being sick of this modern day nonsense? Oh, and “bereavement memoirs are my jam” has me lol-ing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s an interesting trend. I feel like people are desperate for some continuity, to feel that our present lives have meaning through connection to the past and to future generations.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you so, so much for this inclusion (what a list!) and for your kind words, Rebecca! Golly. (I too am especially excited for Sea of Tranquility, and years ago on the blog I reviewed a Michelle Huneven novel—quiet and assured. I’ll look for her new one, too!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re welcome, Carolyn. I don’t know if/when I’ll be back to the States this year, but if the timing works out I’ll be sure to pre-order your book.

      I hadn’t heard of Huneven before seeing her new one on that Kirkus list. The blurb is irresistible!

      Like

  6. Thank you for the ping back, Rebecca

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m excited about the Anne Tyler (obvs), the new Candice Carty-Williams novel, and a few other interesting novels and nonfiction works I have on my NetGalley shelf (argh re the reading the print books ON my actual SHELF …).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You have a proof copy of French Braid, I think? Will you read it early?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No, I don’t (yet?). The PR woman who I begged to send me a copy said she had put me on the list, but nothing has arrived yet. Have you got one?

        Like

      2. No, I haven’t requested one. My library always buys her new books, so I was just going to read it that way.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. New fiction from Julian Barnes is always a good thing…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I would say I agree, but I’ve not got on well with his last few. The description of this one sounds intriguing, though. Miss Jean Brodie fare?

      Liked by 1 person

  9. A few intriguing titles here, but I’ll only mention the Emily St John Mandel — I’ve yet to try anything by her but 2022 might be the year I give her a go!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I have the ARC for Booth and am looking forward to reading it as well!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Booth is even a bit of a local character for me as I grew up 30 miles from Baltimore.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. So many promising books! I am very excited for To Paradise by Hanya Yanagihara and Horse by Geraldine Brooks! 📚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad you spotted some that appealed.

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  12. I’d missed that Jessie Burton and Liza Klaussman had new books coming. Will check them out. I’ll probably pass on the new Brooks, Fowler and Shipstead – they don’t appeal enough (and I’m still getting over the effort that was Great Circle). The memoirs by Schulz and Bloom are both going straight on my list.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. And you knew about some novels I didn’t, so I guess we have been looking at slightly different corners of the literary Internet 🙂 I take your point about Shipstead et al., but I’m hoping their work in different genres will be more to my taste. Bereavement memoirs are sure to draw the two of us in!

      Liked by 1 person

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