We’ve already told you what’s new and exciting when it comes to movies, TV shows and video games in 2022. And since there’s a lot of 2022 ahead of us, let’s take an updated look at our selection of some of the year’s most anticipated books so that you keep adding titles to your “Want to Read” shelf on Goodreads.
Since thrillers, mysteries, romance, YA offerings and science-fiction tend to be readers pleasers, we’ve included a bunch of those, as well as some historical fiction, memoirs and poetry.
Fiction Books That Have Already Debuted in 2022
Fiona and Jane by Jean Chen Ho (January 4, 2022). The Taiwan-born and Southern California-raised Jean Chen Ho writes her debut novel with this tale of two young Taiwanese-American women and friends who grow up in Los Angeles and float in and out of each other’s lives when Fiona moves to New York.
Daughter of the Moon Goddess by Sue Lynn Tan (January 11, 2022). Another debut novel on this list is from the Malaysia-born Sue Lynn Tan, who studied in London and France and lives in Hong Kong. The YA fantasy novel, which is the first part of a duology, tells the story of Xingyin. Her mother has been hiding her after she stole the elixir of immortality and was exiled. But when her magic manifests and is discovered, Xingyin needs to leave her mother and embark on a dangerous quest to save her.
To Paradise by Hanya Yanagihara (January 11, 2022). After the heartbreaking A Little Life, Hawaiian author Hanya Yanagihara returns with this novel that spans three centuries and is set in an alternate version of America in 1893, 1993 and 2093. The book offers “three different versions of the American experiment, about lovers, family, loss and the elusive promise of utopia,” according to Penguin Random House’s synopsis.
Reminders of Him by Colleen Hoover (January 18, 2022). Bestselling romance author Colleen Hoover returns with this story about Kenna, a woman who’s been in prison for five years and goes back home trying to reunite with her 4-year-old daughter. The task proves difficult, and her only link to her daughter is Ledger, a local bar owner. As the connection between the two of them grows stronger, Kenna must find a path to atone for her past.
Black Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson (February 1, 2022). This historical fiction debut novel by Charmaine Wilkerson follows two siblings as their mother dies in present-day California, leaving them an unusual inheritance: a traditional Caribbean black cake made from a family recipe and a voice recording in which she talks about the past. The siblings could find their way back to each other, and to their mom, with this family history.
House of Sky and Breath (Crescent City #2) by Sarah J. Maas (February 15, 2022). You can always count on the prolific Sarah J. Maas to keep delivering 700-plus-page volumes every year. While she’s still at work with her A Court of Thorns and Roses long series, Maas returns now to Crescent City for a second installment in which Bryce and Hunt are trying to get back to normal after saving the city. But, of course, war is always looming.
Gwendy’s Final Task by Stephen King (February 15, 2022). And while we’re talking about prolific authors, let’s mention one of the most illustrious ones. Master of horror — and of posting cute photos of his doggie on Twitter — Stephen King proves once again in 2022 how much of a non-procrastinator he is. In his new novel, Gwendy is a novelist and rising political star confronted by her past. At 12, a stranger gave her a mysterious box. It offered treats but also destruction: None of its seven-colored buttons should be pushed.
The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley (February 22, 2022). After the success of The Guest List — it received the Goodreads Choice Award in Mystery & Thriller last year — Lucy Foley returns with a new puzzle. Broke and alone, Jess asks her half-brother Ben if she could crash at his place for a bit. But when she gets to his Paris apartment, not only is Ben not there, but the place seems way nicer than what he could have afforded. With her brother missing, Jess starts questioning what may have happened and tries to find answers among the building’s neighbors.
Gallant by V.E. Schwab (March 1, 2022). After the bestselling success of The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, V.E./Victoria Schwab returns with another fantasy proposal good for adults and YA audiences alike. In Gallant, Olivia only has her mother’s journal as a memento of her past. When she’s invited to Gallant, she feels at home there, even if no one was expecting her and half-formed ghouls are haunting the place. She wants to uncover what secrets the place holds.
The Recovery Agent by Janet Evanovich (March 22, 2022). After the success of the Stephanie Plum and Wicked series, bestselling author Janet Evanovich launches a promising new series. Gabriela Rose is a recovery agent hired by people and companies who want to recover all kinds of valuable things. But when she’s forced to work for her own family, Gabriela ends up in the jungles of Peru looking for the Ring of Solomon and the lost treasure of Cortez. The main problem is that her ex-husband, Rafer, is the one who has the map that could take her to the treasure.
Time Is a Mother by Ocean Vuong (April 5, 2022). After his heart-wrenching epistolary novel On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous, the Vietnamese-American Ocean Vuong goes back to his origins with this poetry collection in which he searches for life after his mother’s death. “Vuong contends with personal loss, the meaning of family, and the cost of being the product of an American war in America,” reads the book’s synopsis.
Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel (April 5, 2022). If you, too, read Emily St. John Mandel’s post-apocalyptic and hopeful tale Station Eleven during the early months of the pandemic, you may want to know more about the Canadian author’s upcoming science-fiction work. In Sea of Tranquility, a detective in the black-skied Night City is hired to investigate an anomaly in the North American wilderness. He’ll discover a series of lives upended there.
2022’s Most Anticipated Fiction Books
Blind Spot by Paula Hawkins (April 14, 2022). After Paula Hawkins’ latest novel made it to Ask Media Group’s mystery-themed book club last year, we couldn’t leave her new work behind. Best friends Edie, Jake and Ryan see their world torn apart when Jake is brutally murdered and Ryan accused of it. Edie is devastated and alone, living in the remote house she shared with Jake. The problem is that somebody is watching…
Book Lovers by Emily Henry (May 3, 2022). Master of contemporary romance novels Emily Henry — she’s the author of the aptly titled Beach Read and People We Meet on Vacation — returns with this story about Nora, a literary agent whose life is books. When Nora decides to go away on vacation with her sister Libby, she keeps bumping into Charlie, a bookish editor she’s known for years who has never piqued her interest.
I Kissed Shara Wheeler by Casey McQuiston (May 3, 2022). After One Last Stop and Red, White & Royal Blue, LGBTQ+ romance royal Casey McQuiston returns with this YA novel. In I Kissed Shara Wheeler, Chloe is vying for the valedictorian title at high school when her main rival, prom queen Shara Wheeler, kisses her and then proceeds to vanish. Chloe is not the only person Shara’s kissed. The three kissed-ones try to untangle the clues Shara’s left behind and find her.
The Daughter of Doctor Moreau by Silvia Moreno-García (July 19, 2022). After Mexican Gothic and Velvet Was the Night, the Mexican-Canadian author Silvia Moreno-García returns to Gothic horror ingredients with this reimagining of The Island of Doctor Moreau set in 19th-century Mexico.
We Deserve Monuments by Jas Hammonds (November 29, 2022). Here’s yet another YA offering with crossover appeal for any age with this debut novel by Jas Hammonds. Avery is a 17 year old forced to leave her life in D.C. and live at her terminally ill grandmother’s home in a small Southern town. She copes with her mother and grandmother’s constant arguments by finding friendship in Simone, her next-door neighbor, and Jade, the daughter of the town’s prominent family. The novel explores the racist history of the town and how it’s marked its residents while dedicating time to the coming of age of Avery and the romance that blossoms with Simone.
Memoirs and Nonfiction Books That Have Already Debuted in 2022
Putting the Rabbit in the Hat by Brian Cox (January 18, 2022). Craving some more behind-the-scenes Succession drama after the controversial New Yorker profile on Jeremy Strong? Maybe try this Brian Cox memoir. The actor who plays the patriarch and media mogul Logan Roy in the HBO hit recounts here his working-class childhood in Scotland all the way to his days on the Emmy-winning TV show about a very dysfunctional family.
The Lonely Hunter: Why the Search for Love Is Broken by Aimée Lutkin (February 8, 2022). The 30-something single writer Aimée Lutkin found herself surrounded by couples at a party. After being asked about her love life and arguing being alone could be the endgame, the author went on a search to try to answer some fundamental questions: Why is there so much pressure to be in a relationship? Why is everyone so uncomfortable around single people? Why does it seem like your real life can’t start until you meet The One? And is it possible to be single without being lonely?
We Should All Be Feminists: A Guided Journal by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (March 1, 2022). After her 2014 essay “We Should All Be Feminists”, adapted from her TEDx Talk, Nigerian author and feminist icon Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie revisits her work with this Guided Journal. The journal is meant to encourage readers to define feminism in their own voices and tell their stories, as well as featuring prompts, quotes and important events in the history of feminism.
Burning Questions: Essays and Occasional Pieces 2004–2021 by Margaret Atwood (March 1, 2022). Why do people tell stories? What do zombies have to do with authoritarianism? How can we live on our planet? How much of yourself can you give away without evaporating? The Handmaid’s Tale author and feminist icon Margaret Atwood penned this series of essays trying to find the answers to these and other burning questions.
All the White Friends I Couldn’t Keep: Hope–And Hard Pills to Swallow–About Fighting for Black Lives by André Henry (March 22, 2022). “In this personal and thought-provoking book, Henry explores how the historical divides between Black people and non-Black people are expressed through our most mundane interactions, and why this struggle won’t be resolved through civil discourse, diversity hires, interracial relationships, or education,” reads Penguin Random House’s synopsis of this work by musician and writer André Henry.
2022’s Most Anticipated Memoirs and Nonfiction Books
Finding Me: A Memoir by Viola Davis (April 26, 2022). Actress and producer Viola Davis gets personal with this memoir that covers her childhood days coming of age in Rhode Island and spans to her present day. The Academy Award-winning Black actress has not only dominated TV but has also managed to transition into an incredibly prestigious film career.
Paradise Falls: The True Story of an Environmental Catastrophe by Keith O’Brien (April 12, 2022). Journalist Keith O’Brien’s work of narrative reportage tells the story of Lois Gibbs and Luella Kenny, two mothers who, in the 1970s, exposed a toxic waste dumping site that was causing a public health crisis and polluting their neighborhood in Niagara Falls. It was uncovered that the city’s largest employer, Hooker Chemical, had been disposing of thousands of tons of toxic waste in the town’s canal.
Bi: The Hidden Culture, History, and Science of Bisexuality by Julia Shaw (June 28, 2022): Psychologist Julia Shaw takes a scientific approach to sexuality with this exploration of bisexuality. Shaw, who is bisexual herself, explores the complexities of the human sexual experience both from a personal and scientific perspective and writes about the invisibility of bisexuals in our society.
Under the Skin: The Hidden Toll of Racism on American Lives and on the Health of Our Nation by Linda Villarosa (June 14, 2022). Linda Villarosa’s 2018 New York Times article “Why America’s Black Mothers and Babies Are in a Life-or-Death Crisis” exposed the flagrant racial disparities in the U.S. healthcare system when it comes to childbirth. With her new work, the author exposes the reasons why Black people in America “live sicker and die quicker” compared to white people.