27 Books We Can't Wait to Read This Winter

The most exciting books we're adding to our To-Read pile ASAP.

book preview winter 2022
Maggie Rossetti/Thrillist

While the movie and TV industry has had a rough go of it the past two years, the outpouring of new books has remained steady. (Minus the recent supply-chain issues and, uh, that one Italian guy who conned publicists for advance copies of releases for his own novel. Anyway!) This year, like each before it, promises a slate of new titles from new and returning authors that's already made our to-read wishlist daunting, and so we've done our best to comb through the longlists of anticipated releases to highlight some of the most exciting books coming out this winter and spring. With a little something for everyone, here are the novels, essay collections, and memoirs we can't wait to read in 2022.

January 18
Succession's Logan Roy himself has already made headlines for his raucous memoir that doesn't hold back dishing on any of the actor's opinions on his industry and his peers. Targets include Johnny Depp, Michael Gambon, Game of Thrones, and many others in a marvelous "fuck you" to civility. As he told Deadline, he doesn't care if this makes him "vulnerable." "Listen, I’m too old, too tired and too talented for any of that shit," he said. Amen. —Esther Zuckerman

Devil House by John Darnielle

January 25 (MCD)
Novelist and Mountain Goats frontman John Darnielle returns with another book of the weird and unexplained, set inside a house that was the site of Satanic Panic-inspired murders in the 1980s. Bestselling true-crime writer Gage Chandler is offered the chance to stay in the house, which happens to be the home of a close childhood friend. But his research soon leads him to a mysterious puzzle that unravels the core of his own work and who he is. —Emma Stefansky

Eating to Extinction by Dan Saladino

February 1 (FSG)
Prominent BBC food journalist Dan Saladino chronicles the homogenization of the world's food, from the paltry variation in plants consumed on world cuisine to the four corporations that control most of the world's seed supply. Food homogenization is bad for business, for culture, for the environment, and for taste itself, and in this book Saladino travels the world to experience our most at-risk foods—from East African honey to an Aboriginal Australian root vegetable—before they're gone forever. —ES

February 1 (Tin House)
Consider us suckers for magical-realist stories about strange monsters and bogeymen. Kim Fu's story collection, all 12 of them set in self-contained worlds, blends folktale fantasy with the wholly human, including themes of death, sexuality, and shame. From haunted dolls, giant sea creatures, and a girl who grows wings on her legs, Lesser Known Monsters is a modern mystical playground. —Leanne Butkovic

Moon Witch, Spider King by Marlon James

February 15 (Riverhead)
The sequel to Marlon James' groundbreaking epic fantasy set within a volatile network of African kingdoms retells the story of the first book from a completely new perspective. Moon Witch Sogolon, the enigmatic antagonist of Black Leopard, Red Wolf, takes center stage in this installment, chronicling her century-long feud with a manipulative chancellor and his king, a pair knit so closely together they are like the eight limbs of a spider. —ES

February 15 (FSG)
Joining the canon of smart writing about dumb TV, which includes recent additions like Captive Audience and Tacky, is Lehigh University associate professor Danielle J. Lindemann's snapshot of what the "funhouse mirror" of reality TV says about us as a society. Drawing on academic research, True Story asserts that we can better understand social institutions and constructs by reflecting on our lowest-common-denominator entertainment. —LB

February 22 (William Morrow)
George Miller's Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) is a near-perfect film, one of few sci-fi movies to be truly recognized by the Oscars, yet is infamous for its hellish, lengthy production in the Namibian desert. “I don’t understand how they’re not still shooting that film, and I don’t understand how hundreds of people aren’t dead," director Stephen Soderbergh said in 2017. Now, building on his own must-read oral history from 2020, New York Times pop-culture reporter Kyle Buchanan paints a fuller picture of how Fury Road happened with more than 130 interviews, from its years in development hell to the pressurized shooting conditions that basically made its stars Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron enemies. —LB

Paradais by Fernanda Melchor, tr. by Sophie Hughes

March 1 (New Directions)
Mexican author Fernanda Melchor has cited David Lynch's Lost Highway as inspiration for her new English-translated novel, the second following 2020's Hurricane Season. The Lynchian nod, the plot description, and early reviews all make this a late-winter standout, a violent, vulgar story about two teenage boys who plan to commit a horrendous crime in the upscale gated community called Paradais. —LB

The Doloriad by Missouri Williams

March 1 (MCD X FSG Originals)
A Matriarch, her brother, and their family of children born of incest live on the outskirts of an empty city in the wake of an environmental catastrophe that ended humanity as we know it. Determined to keep the hope of the human species alive, the Matriarch sends one of her daughters as a marriage offering to a group of human survivors she has dreamed about. But when her daughter returns, her reappearance shatters the fragile order the Matriarch has built around them. —ES

March 1 (Penguin)
Just about everything Sarah Polley does is exquisite—from her work as an actor in seminal films like Go to her directorial work like Away from Her and Stories We Tell. So of course we expect her book to be no different. In this collection of six essays, Polley unpacks her life, using a technique she learned when recovering from a concussion. —EZ

Girls Can Kiss Now by Jill Gutowitz

March 8 (Atria)
The title says it all, folks: TV shows, movies, and songs these days are gayer than ever, and Very Online writer Jill Gutowtiz explores this shift in a collection of personal essays examining lesbians in pop culture—past and present—and her own journey with sexuality, including the pivotal moment when Orange Is the New Black premiered on Netflix. Expect this to be an equal mix of illuminating analysis and laugh-out-loud anecdotes. —LB

Glory by Noviolet Bulawayo

March 8 (Viking)
Nearly nine years after her novel We Need New Names was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, Noviolet Bulawayo is back with Glory, inspired by the coup of Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe, who began his political career as a liberator and ended it as despot. Set in a fictional kingdom of animals, its longstanding ruler Old Horse suddenly falls and the inhabitants rise together and demand change, turning a potentially dense political showdown into a surreal venture that lays the struggles of social upheaval bare. —LB

March 8 (Hanover Square)
Already a sensation in South Korea, The Old Woman with the Knife follows 65-year-old Hornclaw, an aged female assassin who accidentally develops a connection with a doctor and his family after suffering an injury. But the only thing more dangerous than her job is emotions, and Hornclaw already feels the danger closing in. —ES

Monarch by Candice Wuehle

March 22 (Soft Skull)
Candice Wuehle had me at "Jon Benet Ramsey." The poet's new novel follows a former child pageant star as she discovers ties to her previous glory and a deep state government program. Add an occult wellness guru to the mix, a heaping of mommy issues, and a queer romance for taste and this might just be my ideal book. —Kerensa Cadenas

Ancestor Trouble by Maud Newton

March 29 (Random House)
Veteran magazine journalist Maud Newton grew up in a fundamentalist household, with an ancestry that involved murder, mental institutions, Puritan-era witches, the Great Depression, and a lot of rescue cats. Newton’s debut book is a memoir that traces her genealogy as a way of using history to explore the present. —Matthew Jacobs

How Strange a Season: Fiction by Megan Mayhew Bergman

March 29 (Scribner)
In each of the short stories in this collection, a woman grapples with a personal ecological conflict that gives way to the bleakness of climate-change issues wreaking the earth's natural resources. Megan Mayhew Bergman, who teaches literature and environmental writing at Middlebury College,

builds poignant scenarios big and small, from a woman building a terrarium of rare flowers as a heartbreak cure to a peach farmer battling drought. —LB

The Candy House by Jennifer Egan

April 5 (Scribner)
Jennifer Egan's last novel was the historical Manhattan Beach, but she returns to the frenzied style of her Pulitzer Prize-winning A Visit from the Goon Squad with her latest, The Candy House. Described as a "sibling novel" to Goon Squad, the center of Candy House is a tech executive named Bix Bouton, who has developed a product that allows people to access any of their memories. —EZ

Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel

April 5 (Knopf)
Another time-hopping tale from the author of Station Eleven, Sea of Tranquility follows two people, one living in the past and one living in the future (and on the Moon, no less), both connected by the mysterious melody of a violin. When a detective is hired to investigate an anomaly in the woods of Earth, he discovers something extraordinary that upends the fabric of time itself. —ES

Woman, Eating by Claire Kohda

April 12 (Harpervia)
One of my favorite books of the past several years has been A Certain Hunger by Chelsea G. Summers, where a woman's appetite took us to strange and dark places. And I'm thinking Claire Kohda's Woman, Eating might just be its spiritual cousin. A vampire, Lydia is living away from home for the first time. She's hungry for all the things she can't eat and is figuring out who she is as a woman and an artist by letting her appetite guide her. —KC

April 12 (Pantheon)
One of America’s preeminent cultural critics is back with a memoir that explores her identity through the people who shaped her life: her parents, jazz artists, fellow writers, athletes. She reflects on Bing Crosby, W.E.B. Du Bois, James Baldwin, Josephine Baker, George Eliot, and others, using her always-elegant prose to illuminate her sense of self and culture at large. —MJ

Fight Like Hell by Kim Kelly

April 26 (Atria/One Signal Publishers)
Didn't you know? Unionizing is all the rage right now, and for good reason as capitalist exploitation demands more and more of workers without the wages to match. Organizer and journalist Kim Kelly goes back through the history of the labor movement in the United States, from under-told stories of past figures who demanded fair rights for workers through to the modern-day resurgence of unions. There's nothing more beautiful than worker solidarity. —LB

Liarmouth by John Waters

May 3 (FSG)
The first novel from the legendary director of Multiple Maniacs and Serial Mom follows Marsha Sprinkle, liar, scammer, enemy of dogs and children, hated by her family and on the run, dubbed Liarmouth—until she meets the one guy who can make her tell the truth. —ES

This Time Tomorrow by Emma Straub

May 17 (Random House)
Just ahead of beach reads season, novelist and owner of Brooklyn's Books are Magic Emma Straub is publishing her latest with a loose sci-fi bent. On the eve of her 40th birthday, Alice is transported back in time to her own adolescence and reunited with her revitalized father, ailing and out of touch in the present. What will she do differently? How will she fully appreciate this gift of time travel she has so unexpectedly been given? —ES

You Have a Friend in 10a by Maggie Shipstead

May 17 (Knopf)
In her first collection of short stories, Maggie Shipstead, whose 2021 novel Great Circle was one of our favorites of the year, creates fantastical and original realities and characters to play around in them, from a bitter male novelist to a love triangle in the big sky country of Montana, a doomed Romanian honeymoon, and a child running from a cult. —ES

Either/Or by Elif Batuman

May 24 (Penguin)
Selin, beloved protagonist of Batuman's critically beloved The Idiot, is back, starting her 1996 sophomore year at Harvard and reeling from a summer of changes and shifts. The drama and intrigue remind Selin of the rich novels in her literature syllabus, and she intends to live her life as such, mastering the art of college parties, flirting, sex, and international travel. —ES

May 24 (Atria)
National Book Award finalist and New York Times bestselling author Akwaeke Emezi follows her 2020 novel The Death of Vivek Oji with this bewitchingly named novel that Michael B. Jordan's production company has already picked up to develop into a movie. It's about an artist, Feyi, grieving five years after the sudden death of the love of her life in a tragic accident. Encouraged by her best friend to get back out there, Feyi embarks on a wild, whirlwind, sexy summer of jet-setting to tropical islands and rooftop parties as she moves into a new chapter of her life. —LB

Sleepwalk by Dan Chaon

May 24 (Henry Holt)
A 50-year-old microdosing mercenary with a heart of gold learns he has a daughter from a sperm donation who's half AI, and embarks on a road trip across the United States to help her escape the fate of a plot schemed by his mysterious, no-good employers. Dan Chaon's latest novel has a plot with intrigue in spades as his latest protagonist abandons life off the grid for a high-octane, country-wide expedition. —LB

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