Happy new year, fellow book lovers! I have one word for you to start off 2022 and that is “BOOKS!” What else would it be?! We all know that’s why we’re here. There are so many ups and downs in our lives. But one steady constant is the unending source of amazing new books released each year! And a new year means keeping a new reading spreadsheet (or journal or tracker or…) There’s nothing like starting a fresh account of your reading on January 1! And to help you find things to read that you’ll love, here’s a preview of 22 exciting new books to add to your 2022 reading list!
From extraordinary debut novels, to exciting new books from beloved authors, to fantastic YA fiction — there’s a little bit of everything in this list to help you find those must-read books to read in 2022. And you know me, I can’t help but recommend as many books as possible. So you’ll find a few bonus recommendations thrown in here and there. Because this is only the teeniest fraction of incredible offerings coming our way in 2022. Here’s to a new chapter (pun intended), friends, full of lots of great things to read. (P.S. Keep in mind that the release dates are shifting wildly all the time.)
Our Crooked Hearts by Melissa Albert (June 28)
This is Albert’s first release since her bestselling Hazel Wood series! It’s a witchy YA fantasy about two young women in the past and present. Ivy learns over one strange summer that there’s something unusual and sinister about her town — and it has something to do with her mother. More upcoming YA fantasy for your TBR: The Kindred by Alechia Dow (January 4), Gallant by Victoria Schwab, and The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea by Axie Oh (February 22).
The Trayvon Generation by Elizabeth Alexander (April 5)
From The New York Times best-selling, Pulitzer Prize finalist author and poet comes a powerful work about the challenges facing young Black America. Alexander started off with an essay she wrote to her children’s generation, which went viral after it was published in The New Yorker. This book is an expansion of that, about the power of art and hope to change lives in the face of America’s unending racial injustices. More powerful nonfiction for your TBR: You Don’t Know Us Negroes and Other Essays by Zora Neale Hurston (January 18) and South to America: A Journey Below the Mason-Dixon to Understand the Soul of a Nation by Imani Perry (January 25).
Queen of the Tiles by Hanna Alkaf (April 19)
Najwa Bakri apprehensively returns to the world of competitive Scrabble a year after the mysterious death of her best friend, Trina, the former champion. But she’s second-guessing her decision when Trina’s Instagram account becomes active again and begins sending out cryptic messages. How many puzzles can Najwa solve in this exciting YA mystery? More upcoming YA mystery for your TBR: Anatomy: A Love Story by Dana Schwartz and The Agathas by Kathleen Glasgow and Liz Lawson.
Home Field Advantage by Dahlia Adler (June 7)
Amber McCloud’s senior year as a cheerleader is shaken up when the quarterback of the football team dies. The replacement quarterback is Jack — short for Jaclyn. The town and the team is in an uproar over a girl playing football, even though Jack is amazing. And Amber is busy living out the high school cliché of the cheerleader falling for the quarterback. More upcoming YA romance for your TBR: Sunny G’s Series of Rash Decisions by Navdeep Singh Dhillon (February 8) and Right Where I Left You by Julian Winters (March 15).
Mickey7 by Edward Ashton (February 15)
This is going to be a big hit in 2022, especially with fans of The Martian. In a future where people can be cloned, and the world is exploring space, Mickey signs up to be an “expendable” on a mission. That means whenever something dangerous needs to be done, he does it. And if he dies, they make a new body and upload his consciousness into it. But when his seventh iteration is thought to be dead and they make an eighth version, there’s one too many Mickeys. And that means trouble for Mickey7. More upcoming sci-fi for your TBR: Dead Silence by S.A. Barnes (February 8) Goliath by Tochi Onyebuchi (January 25) and The Employees by Olga Ravn, Martin Aitken (translator) (February 1).
Book of Night by Holly Black (May 3)
Black, the beloved bestselling author of books for middle grade and teen readers, is making her first foray into adult fantasy! This is an exhilarating dark tale about Charlie, a so-so bartender and a master thief. When Charlie is called upon once again to rob secrets from magicians for other magicians, her latest job drags her into a world of murder and magic. More upcoming fantasy novels for your TBR: Redwood and Wildfire by Andrea Hairston and The Starless Crown by James Rollins (January 4).
The Candy House by Jennifer Egan (April 5)
Egan returns to the world of her Pulitzer Prize–winning novel A Visit from the Goon Squad with this “sibling novel.” This time Egan follows several characters over decades as they work through the melding and advances of technology and life. More upcoming anticipated sequels for your TBR: Fevered Star by Rebecca Roanhorse (April 19), Tracy Flick Can’t Win by Tom Perrotta (June 7), and Nona the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir (September 13).
Woman of Light by Kali Fajardo-Anstine (June 7)
The author of the amazing award-winning collection Sabrina & Corina returns with her highly anticipated first novel. It follows five generations of an Indigenous Chicano family in the American west, documenting family secrets, love, loss, and survival. More anticipated debut novels from authors with published story collections for your TBR: Our Wives Under the Sea by Julia Armfield (July 12) and Checkout 19 by Claire-Louise Bennett (March 1)
Olga Dies Dreaming by Xóchitl González (January 4)
This will prove to be one of the biggest debuts of 2022. It’s an incredible story of two siblings: Olga, a wedding planner for the filthy rich, and her congressman brother, Prieto. Their lives are about to be blown apart when their estranged mother turns up in NYC to visit as a hurricane bears down on their home country of Puerto Rico. More upcoming debut novels for your TBR: Black Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson (February 1) and Yinka, Where Is Your Huzband? by Lizzie Damilola Blackburn (January 18).
Unlikely Animals by Annie Harnett (April 12)
Hartnett follows up the success of Rabbit Cake with this humorous and heartrending tale of a family in a small NH town. Emma returns home to help her mother take care of her dying father and her recovering brother. Instead she gets sucked into a whirlwind tale of ghosts, nature, and a missing childhood friend. This is the new John Irving novel you have been waiting for. More exciting upcoming sophomore novels for your TBR: Clean Air by Sarah Blake (February 8) and Glory by NoViolet Bulawayo (March 8).
Survive the Dome by Kosoko Jackson (March 29)
A young Black aspiring journalist becomes a part of the story in this sci-fi thriller. After another police killing of a young Black man, residents of the city of Baltimore lead a city-wide protest. Jamal Lawson is there to cover the story, but then the government uses a new total militarized tactic: the Dome. It covers the city, trapping people inside and keeping information from getting out. More upcoming YA sci-fi for your TBR: Cold the Night, Fast the Wolves by Meg Long (January 11) and The Blood Trials by N. E. Davenport (April 5).
Easy Beauty by Chloé Cooper Jones (April 5)
Destined to be one of the biggest memoirs of the year, this is Jones’s story of disability, motherhood, and existence. Jones was born with a rare congenital condition called sacral agenesis, which affects her posture and gait, and causes her physical pain. In Easy Beauty, she captures her feelings on being pitied and judged for her appearance. More upcoming memoirs for your TBR: Another Appalachia: Coming Up Queer and Indian in a Mountain Place by Neema Avashia (March 1) and The Man Who Could Move Clouds: A Memoir by Ingrid Rojas Contreras (July 12).
Rogues: True Stories of Grifters, Killers, Rebels and Crooks by Patrick Radden Keefe (June 28)
The author of the excellent investigative true crime books Say Nothing and Empire of Pain returns! This time, he’s offering up 12 tales of true-life wrongdoing and wrongdoers, including a wine forger, a black market arms dealer, and a death penalty attorney. More upcoming true crime books for your TBR: Catch the Sparrow: A Search for a Sister and the Truth of her Murder by Rachel Rear (January 25) and Scoundrel: How a Convicted Murderer Persuaded the Women Who Loved Him, the Conservative Establishment, and the Courts to Set Him Free by Sarah Weinman (February 22).
One for All by Lillie Lainoff (March 8)
Get ready for an exciting gender-bent retelling of The Three Musketeers, in which a young girl with a chronic illness dreams of being a fencer like her father. Tania de Batz is tired of being thought of as weak. So with her trusty sword in hand, she trains to be a Musketeer, and finds friendship and adventure. More upcoming YA retellings for your TBR: Travelers Along the Way: A Robin Hood Remix by Aminah Mae Safi (March 1) and What Souls Are Made Of: A Wuthering Heights Remix by Tasha Suri (July 5).
Twice a Quinceañera by Yamile Saied Méndez (July 26)
From the author of Furia comes a fun romantic comedy about making the best of a situation! When Nadia gives her cheating fiancé the heave-ho one month before their wedding (and her 30th birthday), she has a big dilemma. With a venue already paid for and guests arriving from all over the world, she decides to throw herself a second quinceañera! And the fact that her college fling runs the venue is icing on the cake. More upcoming romances for your TBR: Bet on It by Jodie Slaughter (July 12), Book Lovers by Emily Henry (May 3), and Delilah Green Doesn’t Care by Ashley Herring Blake (February 22).
Secret Identity by Alex Segura (March 15)
Travel back to 1975 with this exciting mystery! Carmen Valdez is thrilled to be an assistant at Triumph Comics, where she hopes to make her dreams of having her own comic come true. When a coworker offers to get her comic “The Lethal Lynx” published, but then keeps her participation a secret, she’s devastated. And then he’s murdered, and she’s terrified. More upcoming mysteries for your TBR: Like a Sister by Kellye Garrett (March 8), The Book of Cold Cases by Simone St. James (March 15), and The Violin Conspiracy by Brendan Slocumb (February 1).
The Hacienda by Isabel Cañas (May 10)
Fans of Rebecca and Mexican Gothic, this is for you! After Beatriz’s father is executed following the Mexican War for Independence, she accepts a proposal for marriage from Don Rodolfo to save her life. But when she arrives at his estate, it’s immediately apparent that things are not right. His sister refuses to live in the main house, and there is gossip about the fate of his first wife… More upcoming horror for your TBR: Jawbone by Mónica Ojeda, Sarah Booker (translator) (February 8) and Just Like Mother by Anne Heltzel (May 17).
Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel (April 5)
While the world is now able to watch the adaptation of Mandel’s Station Eleven, we are also getting a new novel from her! With wonderful characters living a century in the past to a moon colony several centuries in the future, it’s a story of love and loss and a longing for home. I think it’s her best yet, and that’s saying something! More upcoming speculative fiction for your TBR: How High We Go in the Dark by Sequoia Nagamatsu (February 8) and A House Between Earth and the Moon by Rebecca Scherm (March 29).
Memphis by Tara Stringfellow (April 5)
And this is a remarkable debut that is sure to make a huge splash this year. It follows several generations of women from a Black family in Memphis. From the segregated south to the present day, it’s a story of heartbreak and hope as they work to change their lives for the better. More upcoming debut novels for your TBR: We Do What We Do in the Dark by Michelle Hart (May 3) and The Boy with a Bird in His Chest by Emme Lund (February 15).
Night of the Living Rez: Stories by Morgan Talty (July 5)
These are 12 incredible stories about being Penobscot in the 21st century, set in a Native community in Maine. They are haunting, insightful, and just plain excellent. More upcoming story collections for your TBR: The Last Suspicious Holdout: Stories by Ladee Hubbard (March 8) and Rainbow Rainbow: Stories by Lydia Conklin (May 31).
Daughter of the Moon Goddess by Sue Lynn Tan (January 11)
I have seen this mentioned on upcoming YA lists, but this marvelous debut fantasy novel is an adult title. It’s a fantastic coming of age story about Xingyin, who grew up on the moon, and is now on a dangerous quest in the Celestial Kingdom to free her mother from imprisonment. More upcoming fantasy books for your TBR: Siren Queen by Nghi Vo (May 10) and Nettle & Bone by T. Kingfisher (April 26).
Time Is a Mother by Ocean Vuong (April 5)
And the amazing Vuong returns with his first poetry collection since Night Sky with Exit Wounds and his first book since On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous. These are deeply personal reflections on life since the passing of his mother and profound thoughts on surviving grief. More upcoming poetry collections for your TBR: Bless the Daughter Raised by a Voice in Her Head: Poems by Warsan Shire (March 1) and These Trees, Those Leaves, This Flower, That Fruit: Poems by Hayan Charara (April 12)
And if you’d like to learn more about upcoming books, we have fun ways for you to do that! Book Riot has our weekly New Books! newsletter, and be sure to check out All the Books!, a weekly podcast where we discuss our favorite new releases of the week. It’s available wherever you get your podcasts! Still want to learn more? YOU ARE MY PEOPLE. Here are more great ways to keep up with new book releases.