The start of a new year means lofty resolutions, clean slates and, most excitingly, a fresh crop of books to devour. Spanning continents and decades, January’s highly anticipated releases cover murder mysteries, self-love journeys, redemption stories and so much more.
7 Books We Can’t Wait to Read in January
1. Really Good, Actually by Monica Heisey
One woman's messy search for joy and meaning in the wake of an unexpected breakup takes center stage in this deeply funny and relatable debut novel by comedian and screenwriter Monica Heisey. Its protagonist, Maggie, is fine—really good, actually. Sure, she's broke, her graduate thesis is going nowhere and her marriage only lasted 608 days, but she’s only 29 and determined to embrace her new life. To do so, she takes up nine hobbies, eats hamburgers at 4 a.m. and attempts to get back out there, sex-wise. With the support of friends, Maggie barrels through her first year of single life, along the way grappling with modern love, friendship and what it really means to be happy.
2. The Dream Builders by Oindrila Muhjerjee
After living in the U.S. for years, Maneka Roy returns home to India to mourn the loss of her mother and barely recognizes the country. The city where her father now lives is nothing like the part of India where she grew up, and the more she sees of this new, sparkling city, the more she learns that nothing is as it appears. Told through the perspectives of ten different characters, this debut novel by Oindrila Mukherjee, an associate professor of creative writing at Grand Valley State University in Michigan, dives into class divisions, gender roles and what it takes to survive in a society that is constantly changing and becoming increasingly Americanized.
3. Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone by Benjamin Stevenson
“Everyone in my family has killed someone. Some of us, the high achievers, have killed more than once.” That’s how narrator Ernie Cunningham opens this compelling mystery. While attending a tense family reunion at an Australian ski resort, Ernie finds himself in a real-life whodunit when a stranger winds up dead in the middle of the family’s festivities. As everyone tries to figure out what happened, Ernie describes other deaths, past and present, that his family has been involved in. Pitched as Knives Out and Clue meet Agatha Christie, Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone seeks to keep the reader guessing until the very last page—and maybe even after that. (And yes, it’s already slated to be turned into a limited series for HBO.)
4. The Reunion by Kayla Olson
Liv Latimer grew up on TV. The star of a popular teen drama, Liv spent her adolescence trying to be as perfect as her character on the show. But after the death of her father and the betrayal of her on-screen love interest and off-screen best friend, Ransom Joel, Liv wanted nothing more than to retreat from the spotlight. But now, 20 years after the show's premiere, the cast is invited back for a reunion special. When two former teen stars reconnect at the reunion, they discover their feelings for one another were not merely scripted.
5. Age of Vice by Deepti Kapoor
In New Delhi at 3 a.m., a speeding Mercedes jumps the curb and kills five people. It's clearly a rich man's car, but when the dust settles there is no rich man at all—just a shell-shocked servant who can’t remember what happened leading up to the accident. Shifting through time and perspective in contemporary India, Age of Vice is an action-packed story about the seductive wealth, startling corruption and bloodthirsty violence of the Wadia family, whom just about everyone is a little bit afraid of. The second novel by Indian-born novelist (Bad Character) and former journalist Deepti Kapoor is a compelling story about false friendships, forbidden romance and the consequences of the choices we make.
6. How to Sell a Haunted House by Grady Hendrix
In this latest from thriller vet Hendrix (The Final Girls Support Group, Horrorstör) Louise dreads returning to her parents’ house in Charleston after their deaths—not least because of her mother’s collection of hundreds of—unsurprisingly creepy—puppets and dolls. She doesn't want to learn how to live without the two people who knew and loved her best in the world, and she doesn't want to work with her underachieving and resentful brother, Mark, to get the house on the market. The process becomes even trickier when their mother’s favorite puppet, Pupkin, comes to life…and isn’t happy about potential relocation.
7. Drinking Games: A Memoir by Sarah Levy
On paper, writer Sarah Levy (whose work has appeared in The New York Times, Vogue and more) was thriving. She was 28, living in New York City and working a great job. But behind closed doors, her relationship with alcohol was becoming toxic. Part memoir and part social critique, Drinking Games explores the role alcohol plays in our formative years, and what it means to opt out of a culture completely enmeshed in it. Her candid and darkly funny debut turns a critical eye toward the cycle of working hard, playing harder and trying to look perfect in both spheres.