Regardless of whatever else 2020 has in store for us, it’s at least promised to be full of amazing new stories, from thrillers to historical fiction. There are even some nonfiction titles that have us intrigued! Here we’ve listed just 8 of the books that have piqued our interest, but we’re sure we’ll love many more releases in the coming months. Which of these new books are you most looking forward to in 2020? Let us know in the comments below!
June 23, 2020
Nothing Can Hurt You
This haunting novel was inspired by a true story and is already being touted as the Gone Girl for the new decade—color us intrigued. The year is 1997, and student Sara Morgan has been found dead. Her boyfriend confesses to the murder, though his plea of temporary insanity gets him acquitted. “This novel feels wholly new—Goldberg elegantly destroys all the ‘dead girl’ tropes we’ve tired of, and in doing so reinvents the thriller for a new generation—her heroines, like her voice, are wise, darkly funny, and often startlingly beautiful” (Rebecca Godfrey, The Torn Skirt).
March 10, 2020
The Mirror and the Light
Anyone who has read Wolf Hall (or seen the BBC Two miniseries) and Bring Up the Bodies is excited for the final book in Hilary Mantel’s trilogy about the life of Thomas Cromwell. This novel picks up in 1536, right when Anne Boleyn loses her head at the order of her husband, the king. At that moment, Cromwell is in the king’s good graces—but he knows that that’s no guarantee of safety under Henry VIII’s regime. Even though anyone who knows their history already knows how this story ends, Mantel’s prose has us betting this will be one of the best new books in 2020.
January 14, 2020
Everyone’s talking about this upcoming dystopian thriller in which the government appoints internet celebrities to be on camera 24/7. Marlow is one of these celebrities, and though she hates it, she doesn’t have the courage to flee her corporate sponsors. But when she finds out a secret about her birth, she finally decides to break free and find out the truth. If that’s not enough to intrigue you, Abbi Jacobson of Broad City called this book “pure gold”—that’s all the recommendation we need.
March 24, 2020
New York sommelier Victoria James isn’t exactly a new author—she’s written and contributed to other —but Wine Girl is her first published work that isn’t just about wine. This memoir outlines James’s path to becoming the youngest sommelier at a Michelin-starred restaurant (she was just 21 when she got the gig), a job that was both glamorous and gritty. Her deeply personal account of dealing with groping patrons and abusive bosses as she rose to the top of her field is “funny, bracing, disturbing, and above all necessary” (Bianca Bosker, Cork Dork).
June 9, 2020
When Sam hears about a shaman who performs “open soul” surgery on emotionally damaged people, he’s hooked. A Los Angeles transplant fresh from New York, Sam is desperate for someone to help him get the fresh start he’s looking for. But is a shaman really the answer—or does Sam need to deal with the ghosts in his memories all by himself? Listed as an “LGBTQ Book That Will Change the Literary Landscape in 2020” by O, The Oprah Magazine, this novel may be one of the most talked-about of the year.
February 25, 2020
The Splendid and the Vile
No one writes narrative nonfiction quite like Erik Larson, the New York Times bestselling author of Devil in the White City and Dead Wake. This time Larson has tackled Winston Churchill, tackling the period directly after Adolf Hitler invaded Holland and Belgium, when the Blitz began. As Hitler’s bombing campaign began, Churchill needed to hold his country together—and convince the United States that Britain was an ally worth fighting with.
January 21, 2020
A Long Petal of the Sea
Chilean author Isabel Allende is master of both magical realism and sweeping epic love stories, including one of her most famous, The House of the Spirits. In this work of historical fiction, Allende examines the Spanish Civil War through the eyes of Roser, a young and pregnant widow, and Victor Dalmau, an army doctor and brother of her deceased lover. To increase their chances of escaping to Chile, the two marry before boarding the S.S. Winnipeg, a ship chartered by Pablo Neruda: “the long petal of sea and wine and snow.”
May 19, 2020
The Battle of Songbirds and Snakes
Yes—the world of Hunger Games is coming back! While very few details are available about this novel, we do know it’s a prequel, set in Panem 64 years before the events of the first book. That puts readers at the Tenth Hunger Games, and while Katniss certainly won’t be there, it is possible we’ll learn about a much-younger President Coriolanus Snow, who would have been 13 at the time.