The world of literature is going strong, supported by a flourishing crop of new and rising authors while a smattering of renowned mainstays have remained fruitful. With as many as a million new book releases each year, though, it’s hard to know which titles are worth your time.
That's why we've compiled this list to look at some of the best new books for 2023 — what’s left of it, at least. These suggestions will span a range of genres and will provide a solid list for the rest of this year’s reading.
The literary world was shocked when Javier Marias, Spain's most renowned living author, died of COVID complications in late 2022. He left behind what now must be the final work in his Your Face Tomorrow series of intertwined intellectual espionage novels. Marias' work was characterized by its deeply introspective, mysterious narratives that frequently involve the clandestine.
Set against the backdrop of a small Spanish village, Tomás Nevinson unwinds the story of a British Secret Service agent who falls in love with his treble of targets, and it is unexpectedly the final work of this great author. Available in May.
The History of a Difficult Child
There are a slew of great reads from debut writers coming up, and The History of a Difficult Child is among the best of them. Decorated first-time author Mihret Sibhat was raised in a small town in Ethiopia before her family moved to California, and her powerful novel is told through the eyes of a girl raised in just such a town as her family endures the country's civil war. Available in June.
Sarah Rose Etter
Sarah Rose Etter made a big splash a few years back with The Book of X, so book nerds have been abuzz about her upcoming release, Ripe, and with good justification. A ribald skewering of our tech-bro world gone awry, Ripe is one hell of a fun, thought-provoking, not-infrequently uncomfortable (in a good way) read. Available in July.
Persepolis 20th Anniversary Edition
The recent protests in Iran have the potential to change not only that country, but also the world. This renowned graphic novel tells the story of a girl experiencing the 1979 Iranian revolution and then its immediate fallout; this 20th anniversary edition will help you have a more complete understanding of the context. The first time both parts have been joined in hardcover, it features a new introduction from the author discussing the current situation in Iran. Available in August.
Teju Cole made his name on his stellar debut, Open City. Now, with Tremor, he delves into troubling questions surrounding race and history in what is without question one of the most anticipated reads of the year. While Tremor is only Cole's second novel, he is already considered one of the greatest minds of contemporary literature. Available in October.
A Man of Two Faces: A Memoir, A History, A Memorial
Viet Thanh Nguyen
Vietnamese-American author Viet Thanh Nguyen hit the literary scene like a meteor with his debut Vietnam War novel The Sympathizer. That one won the Pulitzer Prize and is currently being turned into a mini-series directed by Park Chan Wook with Robert Downey Jr. playing all the white guys. Nguyen's new memoir tracks his experience as a refugee growing up in the U.S. and explores how that shaped his perspective on the U.S. and Vietnam. Available in October.
Tim O'Brien is legitimately part of the American canon thanks to his great Vietnam War novel, The Things They Carried. While he's written several other highly recognized novels, this will be his first in 20 years. As such, while little is known about the book at this point — except that it's an examination of American society via a bank robbery and fugitive story — fans of the writer are eagerly awaiting it. Available in October.
A single English novel out, and Chilean author Benjamín Lebatut is already among the most celebrated writers of his generation. Now he's following up with The MANIAC, a mind-bending narrative that explores AI, the complicated impact of science, and the nature of reality. Literary and science nerds alike are psyched. Available in October.
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