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Entertainment Weekly


The 50 most anticipated books of 2018

Posted on

Viking; Macmillan Children's; Riverhead Books; Penguin Press; Little, Brown and Company and Knopf

50 books we can’t wait to read in 2018

With 2017 winding down, it’s time for us to look ahead to what’s bound to be another fresh, exciting year in books. We’ve looked through hundreds of titles, and out of that very promising group, we’ve selected the 50 that stood out the most. Read on to find out what to look out for in 2018, and click the publication dates to make all the pre-orders your heart desires. Additional reporting by Isabella Biedenharn.
Mysterious Press

The Bomb Maker, by Thomas Perry 

Thomas Perry’s latest thriller promises to be twisty, timely, and pulse-pounding: It explores how a mind and a culture transform a simple machine into an act of murder. (Jan. 2)

Gnomon, by Nick Harkaway

Britain has become a surveillance state in this strikingly ambitious vision of the near future. Though dystopias are the flavor of the moment, Harkaway writes with the kind of haunting, immersive specificity that sticks like glue. (Jan. 9)
Random House

The Largesse of the Sea Maiden, by Denis Johnson

One of the very best short-story writers of his time died last May, but not before he could complete one final collection. The Largesse of the Sea Maiden is both extraordinary in its own right and as a memory of its author. (Jan. 16)
Flatiron Books

The Hazel Wood, by Melissa Albert

One of the most anticipated debuts of the year — having set off an auction frenzy — The Hazel Wood is a contemporary fantasy of an aggressively literary bent, centered on a 17-year-old whose mother is stolen away. (Jan. 30)
Random House

The Monk of Mokha, by Dave Eggers

Eggers tells the remarkable true story of Mokhtar Alkhanshali, who comes from a family of Yemeni coffee farmers, and who lived through a civil war while creating a thriving business. Eggers spent years traveling around the world, interviewing Alkhanshali’s friends and family, to accurately profile a Muslim-American living in troubled times. “My story tells the story of what makes America great,” Alkhanshali told EW recently. “This is the story of the American dream — and it’s especially important during our times now, because that dream is under threat.” (Jan. 30)
Algonquin Books

An American Marriage, by Tayari Jones

Tayari Jones provides an essential contemporary portrait of a marriage in this searing novel. An American Marriage gorgeously evokes the New South as it explores mass incarceration on a personal level. (Feb. 6)
Penguin Press

Feel Free, by Zadie Smith

Fresh off her brilliant novel Swing Time, Zadie Smith returns to the world of essay-writing in this thoughtful and beautifully argued collection. Divided into five sections, Feel Free casts a journalistic yet humane eye on everything from social media to global warming to a deep love of libraries. It’s a reminder not just of the author’s talent, but her range as well. (Feb. 6)
Counterpoint Press

Heart Berries, by Terese Marie Mailhot

A luminous, poetic memoir that centers on one woman’s coming of age on the Seabird Island Indian Reservation in the Pacific Northwest. (Feb. 6)

The House of Impossible Beauties, by Joseph Cassara

Joseph Cassara’s passionate debut delves into the queer Harlem ball scene of ’80s and ’90s New York. There are plenty of swirling elements here, true to the milieu — addiction, AIDS, violence — but Cassara’s touch is empathetic and vibrant. (Feb. 6)

How to Stop Time, by Matt Haig

Matt Haig’s time-shifting, heartfelt novel is about a man who’s been alive for centuries and is searching for an ordinary life. Oscar nominee Benedict Cumberbatch is already attached to star in a film adaptation, which Anthony McCarten (Darkest Hour) is writing. (Feb. 6)

I Am I Am I Am, by Maggie O’Farrell

The subtitle, “Seventeen Brushes With Death,” tells you much of what you need to know about this gloriously unconventional memoir. Maggie O’Farrell deconstructs our relationship to death by recounting the many times she’s neared it. (Feb. 6)
Little, Brown and Company

Mrs., by Caitlin Macy

This could be the next Big Little Lies. Set on New York City’s Upper East Side, Mrs. follows three women whose paths collide when their children attend the same preschool. (Feb. 13)
Random House

White Houses, by Amy Bloom

Bloom charts the intoxicating love story of Eleanor Roosevelt and Lorena Hickok in this emotionally stirring and bracingly intimate work of historical fiction. (Feb. 13)
Random House

Educated, by Tara Westover

Bound to draw comparisons to The Glass Castle, this memoir centers on a young girl who was kept out of school and went on to leave her survivalist family to get her PhD. (Feb. 20)

Sunburn, by Laura Lippman

Few manage psychological suspense as consistently gripping as Laura Lippman, so consider us signed up for her next thriller. Sunburn is a modern noir in which two lovers with great intentions and terrible luck wind up in a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse. (Feb. 20)
Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

I’ll Be Gone in the Dark, by Michelle McNamara

At the time of her unexpected death in 2016, McNamara — an accomplished armchair detective — was working the cold case of a man she dubbed “the Golden State Killer.” Though she wasn’t finished with her book when she died, she’d written enough of it that her widower, Patton Oswalt, and her publisher, HarperCollins, were able to knit her masterful prose together. “Patton’s just been leading the way — he just got how Michelle thought about the book,” editor Jennifer Barth said to EW. “If Michelle had been married to somebody else, I’m not sure that we would have pressed on with the book and been able to help make it happen in the way Patton did.” (Feb. 27)
Macmillan Children's

Children of Blood and Bone, by Tomi Adeyemi

Twenty-four-year-old Tomi Adeyemi’s YA debut is looking like a phenomenon. Kicking off a Black Lives Matter-inspired fantasy trilogy, Children of Blood and Bone has already reportedly sold film rights around the seven figures and is generating buzz for its sharp racial commentary. The author calls the book an “allegory for the modern black experience,” and finds fantasy the perfect mode for conveying complex ideas without getting preachy. It’s a process that’s taken her years to refine and perfect — “It’s been rewritten 100 times,” she cracked to EW — and the fact that it’s culminating in a potential movie franchise still stuns her. Adeyemi has some casting ideas, though. “I have a huge crush on John Boyega,” she gushed. “What if he’s in the movie? Then I can meet John Boyega!” (March 6)
Little, Brown and Company

The House of Broken Angels, by Luis Alberto Urrea

In one of the spring’s must-read fiction titles, Luis Alberto Urrea tells a layered, complex, galvanizingly authentic story of the Mexican-American immigrant experience and what it means to live two lives across one border. The book is set to be released at the time DACA is set to expire under the Trump administration. (March 6)
Europa Editions

Trick, by Domenico Starnone

Jhumpa Lahiri translates this poignant, achingly observed new novel from Ties author Domenico Starnone. A 4-year-old goes to stay with his grandfather, a celebrated illustrator whose reputation is gradually fading. (March 6)
Hub City Press

Whiskey & Ribbons, by Leesa Cross-Smith

This wrenching debut, from an author Roxane Gay has called a “consummate storyteller,” takes place in the aftermath of a fatal shooting and offers a powerful close-up of one family trying to heal. (March 6)
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Tyler Johnson Was Here, by Jay Coles

Exploring the current climate of police brutality and viral culture, this harrowing YA effort is based on its author’s own experiences with tragedy and loss, a personal touch felt across every page. (March 20)

Tangerine, by Christine Mangan

This promises to be one of the best debuts of the year. Christine Mangan demonstrates echoes of Gillian Flynn and Patricia Highsmith in this tightly wound, exotic story of one woman’s new life in Morocco. (March 27)
Riverhead Books

The Female Persuasion, by Meg Wolitzer

It may be hard to believe, but Wolitzer began working on her layered new novel — about a timid college student who finds a mentor in a famous Gloria Steinem-era feminist — years before the polarizing 2016 election. But once those events transpired, she decided to add a “coda” to the book’s end, projecting her characters into the future of our current landscape. “I wanted to add a layer of darkness and uncertainty,” Wolitzer explained to EW, “as the world got into this strange moment for women.” (Apr. 3)

Look Alive Out There, by Sloane Crosley

Crosley may have put essays aside for her 2015 novel The Clasp, but she returns with her particular brand of sardonic wit in this new collection. The tone, she told EW, is “somewhere between jaded misanthrope and easily amused child.” (Apr. 3)
Little, Brown and Company

The Recovering, by Leslie Jamison

This ingenious mix of confession and criticism combines Jamison’s own story with iconic tales of addiction — Raymond Carver, Billie Holiday, Amy Winehouse — to create a sweeping panorama of the recovery movement. (Apr. 3)

Varina, by Charles Frazier

Charles Frazier realizes the Civil War on an intimate scale in his fourth novel, returning to the time and place of his iconic best-seller Cold Mountain. Varina explores one woman and her children’s escape from Jefferson Davis, and their journey through a country torn by war and stained by its past. (Apr. 3)

Flying at Night, by Rebecca L. Brown

Rebecca L. Brown paints a sensitive portrait of a mother caring for her autistic son and abusive but brain-damaged father, the two of whom connect in surprising and complicated ways. (April 10)

God Save Texas, by Lawrence Wright

Wright is taking readers on a definitive, nuanced tour of one of the most controversial states in the U.S. God Save Texas moves backward and forward, getting beyond the stereotypes of Texas to locate its soul. (Apr. 17)
Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg/Getty Images

A Higher Loyalty, by James Comey

What will James Comey reveal in this anticipated memoir? Publisher Flatiron Books isn’t giving much away, just saying that the former FBI director promises to give a vital lesson on sound leadership, drawing on his own experiences to provide a manual that certain world leaders desperately need. (May 1)
Cover photograph by Nan Goldin, Amanda in the Mirror, Berlin, 1992; Jacket design by Peter Mendelsund

The Mars Room, by Rachel Kushner

Kushner has twice been nominated for the National Book Award for Fiction — an impressive feat considering she has only published two novels to date. Her new book paints a probing portrait of contemporary America in its women’s correctional facility setting. (May 1)
Anissa Hidouk

On the Come Up, by Angie Thomas

Coming off of her debut sensation The Hate U Give, Angie Thomas returns to the world of Garden Heights in her second novel. Centered on an aspiring teen rapper, On the Come Up asks what happens after you get what you think you want in life. (May 1)
Atria Books

The Seasons of My Mother, by Marcia Gay Harden

Academy Award winner Marcia Gay Harden makes a literary statement with this moving story of her relationship with her mother, who was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. (May 1)
Fotosearch/Getty Images

Barracoon, by Zora Neale Hurston

Zora Neale Hurston, the legendary African-American writer best known for Their Eyes Were Watching God, compiled and wrote a study of the last known survivor of the U.S. slave trade before her death. More than a half-century later, we’ll finally get a chance to read it. (May 8)

That Kind of Mother, by Rumaan Alam

Coming off his celebrated debut Rich and Pretty, Rumaan Alam’s sophomore novel returns to themes of family and culture in a powerful tale of a white mother raising a black son. (May 8)

Warlight, by Michael Ondaatje

The author of The English Patient transports readers to post-WWII for a decade-spanning exploration of memory. (May 8)
Random House

The High Season, by Judy Blundell

Judy Blundell’s delectable summer read is eliciting comparisons to Meg Wolitzer and Curtis Sittenfeld. It focuses on the extreme lengths one woman goes to after her perfect life is thrown for a loop. (May 22)

The Outsider, by Stephen King

King’s new novel begins with the discovery of an 11-year-old boy’s corpse, and from there chronicles a disturbing, macabre investigation. (May 22)
Ollie Grove

The Death of Mrs. Westaway, by Ruth Ware

Ruth Ware’s latest page-turner begins with a woman receiving a letter bequeathing her a large inheritance, and gradually unpeels the dangerous, mysterious circumstances around how it came into her hands. (May 29)
Sonia Recchia/Getty Images

Calypso, by David Sedaris

David Sedaris’ latest book of essays is scheduled to arrive this summer. We’ll follow one of the great humorists of our time wherever he goes. (June)
Little, Brown and Company and Knopf

The President Is Missing, by Bill Clinton and James Patterson

Bill Clinton, novelist? Believe it. He has teamed with James Patterson for a subject that he can reasonably be considered an expert on: the presidency. This mystery explores the how and the why after the POTUS suddenly vanishes. (June 4)
Riverhead Books

Florida, by Lauren Groff

These lush short stories were inspired by the Fates and Furies author’s own complex feelings about motherhood — and living in Florida. “I think fiction comes out of ambivalence,” Groff explained to EW. “You have this passionate love [for something], and an equal and opposite feeling of distrust or danger.” (June 5)
Simon + Schuster

Sex and the City and Us, by Jennifer Keishin Armstrong

Fresh off the success of 2016’s Seinfeldia, EW alum Armstrong turns her critical eye toward another beloved program, tracing its roots from Candace Bushnell’s original newspaper column through both films — and the ways Carrie’s story has influenced women’s lives. (June 5)

Bearskin, by James A. McLaughlin

Rice Moore is sucked back into the life of crime he tried to forget in one of the year’s most buzzy, fascinating thrillers. McLaughlin uses a string of bear killings to create a suspenseful, emotionally resonant journey through one man’s dark past. (June 12)
Little, Brown and Company

Give Me Your Hand, by Megan Abbott

No one teases out the nuances of female relationships, desires, and secrets like Abbott (You Will Know Me). In her new novel, she delves into those themes in the world of science, when two former friends find themselves competing, as adults, for the same job. (July 17)
Ted Thai/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

Little Man Little Man, by James Baldwin

James Baldwin’s powerful, essential children’s book — the only one he ever wrote — is getting a reissue this August courtesy of Duke University Press. Described by the brilliant late author as “a celebration of the self-esteem of black children,” the book’s new edition features contributions from his nephew and niece. (Aug. 24)

Clock Dance, by Anne Tyler

Pulitzer Prize winner Anne Tyler has been steadily writing for more than 40 years now, selling more than 5 million books and writing nearly two dozen novels across her lifetime. Her latest, Clock Dance, is a bittersweet tale that digs into the mundane routine of a woman who decides it’s never too late to change direction and choose one’s own path. (Fall 2018)
Ulf Andersen/Getty Images

Lake Success, by Gary Shteyngart

The satirist turns his attention to one family’s seemingly perfect life in his latest novel, tracing its implosion and fixating, in equally tender and biting terms, on the chaotic fallout. (Sept. 4)
Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert/Getty Images

Killing Commendatore, by Haruki Murakami

The story of a portrait painter, Commendatore is an epic volume that blends Murakami’s signature magical realism into a freshly fantastical context. Readers have been waiting to get their hands on this one for months — it won’t disappoint. (November)
Donald Bowers/Getty Images

News Wars, by Jill Abramson

The product of a seven-figure book deal, News Wars is promising to be the definitive report on the disruption of the news media over the last decade. Abramson, the former executive editor of the New York Times who was controversially fired some years ago, seems like the perfect person to tell that story. (End of 2018)

Bad Blood, by John Carreyrou

One of the most celebrated investigative reporters of his time, John Carreyrou most recently received plaudits for his damning exposé of Elizabeth Holmes’ health technology company Theranos. He’s now got a whole book on the “sham” of Theranos — with a film starring Jennifer Lawrence and directed by Adam McKay also in the works. (2018)