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The 30 Best and Most-Anticipated Books of 2022 (So Far)

New releases from old favorites and standout newcomers.

most anticipated books 2022
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There's just nothing like cracking open a fresh, new book. I was always that kid getting in trouble for reading under my desk, working my way through the classroom bookshelf and then the school library, huddled in a corner with a paperback during recess. Imagine my delight when I got older and realized that reading and writing about books could be a career! Books offer an escape when the real world feels too stressful or scary, can spark even the most dormant imaginations with fantasy or historical fiction, send a chill up the straightest of spines with a good thriller, melt even the most hardened hearts with a steamy romance novel or give us a chance to walk in someone else's shoes through nonfiction or memoir.

And this year's crop of new releases will do all of that, and more. Some of your favorite authors have new books out that rival their previous releases (here's looking at you, Jennifer Egan!) and a whole host of debut authors also put out stellar reads that will have you hungry for their next one before you reach the last page. These are the best and most-anticipated books we've found so far for 2022, with something for fans of every genre and style. Of course, we have to acknowledge that "best" might mean something different to everyone. There are as many reading appetites as there are readers, so if your favorite book of 2022 doesn't make our list, don't despair. Let us know in the comments, and you might just inspire someone else to pick it up, too.

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1
Released in January
Fiona and Jane by Jean Chen Ho
Viking
Now 35% off

Fiona and Jane are best friends, navigating their tumultuous teenage years together, as well as their family histories and all that comes with them. But when Fiona moves across the country, their bond weakens and threatens to break. This novel about the power of female friendship will give you a gorgeous peek into both women's perspectives on a shared story that has as many facets as they do.

2
Released in January
The School for Good Mothers by Jessamin Chan
Simon & Schuster
Now 33% off

Frida's daughter Harriet is everything to her. But when she makes a terrible one-time mistake, the state decides that she has to prove her ability to be a good mother in order to remain one at all. This scarily prescient novel that's reminiscent of Orwell and Vonnegut explores the depths of parents' love, how strictly we judge mothers and each other and the terrifying potential of government overreach.

3
Released in January
30 Things I Love About Myself by Radhika Sanghani
Berkley

Newly single freelance writer Nina isn’t exactly flourishing, especially after she has to move back in with her depressed brother and her overbearing mother. But when she finds herself reading a self-help book in jail on her 30th birthday (long story), she embarks on a journey toward self-love, learning lessons most of us could stand to hear, too.

4
Released in January
Shit Cassandra Saw: Stories by Gwen E. Kirby
Penguin Books
Now 18% off

Just because Cassandra can see the future doesn't mean she's sharing what she finds there. In this wildly inventive collection of stories, Kirby explores the power of feminity in its many forms – including as brazen witches, virgins who can't be sacrificed and even cockroaches who catcallers fear. It's laugh-out-loud funny, sometimes brightly painful, thought-provoking and completely original.

5
Released in January
How High We Go in the Dark by Sequoia Nagamatsu
HarperCollins
Now 22% off

When an archaeologist witnesses the unleashing of a long-buried plague, it changes the course of history. This hauntingly beautiful story focuses on how the human spirit perseveres through it all. With everything from a cosmic search for home to a theme park for terminally ill kids and a talking pig, it’s a lyrical adventure that feels fantastical yet familiar.

6
Released in January
Notes on an Execution by Danya Kukafka
William Morrow
Now 36% off

Serial killer Ansel Packer is going to die for his crimes in 12 hours. But as the clock ticks down, we get to know the women who passed through his life, including his desperate mother and the homicide detective who became obsessed with his case. It’s a chilling, surprisingly tender tale of how each tragedy ripples through many lives.

RELATED: 25 Best True Crime Books of All Time to Unleash Your Inner Sherlock

7
Released in January
Good Rich People by Eliza Jane Brazier
Berkley
Now 24% off

The rich live differently than the rest of us, and that's never more evident than this chilling account of one family that plays a sick and twisted game with their tenants. When one (an interloper herself) decides that she's not just a pawn, nobody wins – or do they?

8
Released in January
Devil House by John Darnielle
MCD
Now 28% off

Fans of true crime, police procedurals and books that stick with you for weeks after you reach the last page, don't sleep on the latest from the multitalented Mountain Goats singer. It follows a true crime writer who's trying to figure out what really happened at a dilapidated former porn store where locals (and lore) say the Satanic panic resulted in death, but the truth goes so much deeper than that.

9
Released in February
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You by Ariel Delgado Dixon
Random House
Now 28% off

Two sisters' paths repeatedly diverge and intersect through this story about trauma and reckoning with it. Through life in an abandoned warehouse just outside NYC, stints at a wilderness rehabilitation center and a scrabble to find their footing as young adults, this is a sharp and unsettling story of two girls' ongoing search for their own place in the world and how their history shapes who they become.

10
Released in February
Very Cold People by Sarah Manguso
Hogarth
Now 27% off

Midwesterners, New Englanders and anyone from small town America will recognize the contours in this quietly beautiful novel about what it feels like to grow up an outsider. It's a starkly lyrical exploration of the darkness that lies underneath a lily white community with an emotional resonance that sneaks up on you and won't let go.

11
Released in February
Where I Can't Follow by Ashley Blooms
Sourcebooks Landmark
Now 24% off

In a little mountain town hit hard by poverty and the opioid epidemic, there's a chance at escape. Magical doors appear to some people as a way out, but once they step through, there's no turning back. This fantastically real, absorbing novel explores what it would feel like to have an escape hatch from the hardships of life, and the agonizing decision whether to leave everyone you love behind.

12
March 2022 Release Date
The Last Suspicious Holdout by Ladee Hubbard
Amistad

From the author of The Rib King comes a collection of stories about the Black residents of a southern suburb in the years between the beginning of the Clinton administration and Obama's election. It's about racism, the war on drugs, class and struggle, but at its heart, it's a portrait of a community. While it doesn't flinch away from the hard truth, it's also filled with love and a steely kind of hope.

13
March 2022 Release Date
When We Were Birds by Ayanna Lloyd Banwo
Doubleday
Now 15% off

This eerily magical, richly atmospheric novel follows Darwin, a devout Rastafarian whose poverty forces him to cast off his religion to become a gravedigger, and Yejide, one of a line of women who have the power to usher the dead into the afterlife. Darwin gets mixed up in some funny business and Yejide is looking for a way out of the life she's been handed. When they're drawn together, they discover whether their love can rival the forces working against them.

14
March 2022 Release Date
Disorientation by Elaine Hsieh Chou
Penguin Press

Ingrid has hit a wall in her PhD research on poet Xiao-Wen Chou when she comes across something that suggests he may not have been who he seems. Before she knows it, Ingrid has blown open a scandal that threatens her relationship with her fiancé and her best friend, her academic department and even her own self-knowledge. This is a fresh, hilarious and thoughtful satire that'll make you think about cultural identity in a whole new way.

15
March 2022 Release Date
Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel
Knopf
Now 10% off

If you loved Station Eleven, you'll adore this dystopian novel that's about time travel as much as it is about love and family, and what happens when we lose sight of what's truly important. It takes the reader from a plague-ravaged earth to moon colonies, from 1912 to the near future in a triumph of science fiction for those who think they hate science fiction.

16
April 2022 Release Date
The Candy House by Jennifer Egan
Scribner
Now 10% off

You don't have to read A Visit From the Goon Squad to love this sibling novel to Egan's stellar hit. The revolutionary technology Own Your Unconscious allows users to store and access their memories – and other people's. Through complex and intimate intertwining narratives, it follows a cast of characters' experiences with Bouton's creation, and how its consequences echo through the decades.

17
April 2022 Release Date
End of the World House: A Novel by Adrienne Celt
Simon & Schuster

What do you get when you take Groundhog Day, add a dash of the apocalypse, a little French obsession and mix in female friendship and romantic entanglement? This firecracker of a book that gets weirder and more bizarrely funny the more pages you turn.

18
April 2022 Release Date
Nobody Gets Out Alive: Stories by Leigh Newman
Scribner

The Alaskan wilderness is unforgiving, and so is life for the people who live there. In this arresting collection of stories, we meet people who are fighting not only the snowy tundra, but addiction, heartbreak, complicated families and the demons so many of us carry with us, regardless of when or where we live.

19
April 2022 Release Date
When We Fell Apart by Soon Wiley
Dutton

Min can’t believe his Korean girlfriend Yu-jin died by suicide, right before graduation. As he embarks on a quest to uncover the truth, he learns more about Yu-jin’s life as the daughter of a high-ranking government official, the true nature of her bond with her roommate So-ra, and his own bi-racial identity. This compelling, propulsive novel is as complex as the characters it follows.

20
May 2022 Release Date
You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty by Akwaeke Emezi
Atria Books

A sharply original novel about love, friendship and the journey grief takes, this one will ring true for so many of us these days. Five years after losing the love of her life, Feyi's BFF, Joy, wants her to get back out there, but when she does, Feyi finds herself thrown into her future without a net. For anyone who's been feeling a little lost, let this book give you some inspiration.

21
May 2022 Release Date
Trust by Hernan Diaz
Riverhead Books

This masterpiece of a book-within-a-book explores how public perception and reality can get twisted, especially if the subject at hand is mythically famous. At first, you'll think you're reading about a Wall Street tycoon and his enigmatic wife. And you are, but that's not the whole story. You'll just have to dive in to find out the rest.

22
May 2022 Release Date
This Time Tomorrow: A Novel by Emma Straub
Riverhead Books

Dig out your old band T's and crack open this charming family saga about a woman who's celebrating her 40th birthday when suddenly, she wakes up on the morning of her 16th. Her ailing father is alive and well, and she gets to spend just one more day with him. Unlike other time travel stories, this one's not about figuring out how to get back to the present but how to appreciate it when you do.

23
May 2022 Release Date
Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt
Ecco

In this beautiful novel about friendship and family, an aging octopus named Marcellus spends his nights sneaking snacks from other aquarium tanks and hiding away treasures he finds along his travels. And Tova, the elderly janitor, dedicates herself to keeping the place sparkling clean after the tragic loss of her son and then her husband effectively stalls her life. But the two have a lot to teach each other, especially when a stranger arrives who will come to mean more than anyone realizes.

24
May 2022 Release Date
The Latecomer by Jean Hanff Korelitz
Celadon Books

It's a slow burn, but this complex and layered story of the Oppenheimer family is worth hanging on through every torturous turn. The triplets are desperate to escape each other's orbit almost from the moment they're born via IVF, even as their mom tries desperately to create the family she's long dreamed of. When the fourth of her frozen embryos is born as a last attempt years later, the wheels really start coming off. It's a twisted, borderline depraved family story like no other.

25
May 2022 Release Date
You Have a Friend in 10A: Stories by Maggie Shipstead
Knopf

From the Booker Prize-nominated author comes a collection of tightly woven, sharply drawn short stories that explore love, longing, destiny and human entanglement. Each story is a fresh discovery and an exciting surprise, and you won't want to miss a single one.

26
May 2022 Release Date
The Hacienda by Isabel Cañas
Berkley
Now 22% off

Pro tip: Don't read this gothic horror right before bedtime, especially if you're prone to nightmares. When Beatriz arrives at Hacienda San Isidro, she hopes it'll be her salvation. But almost right away, strange and terrifying happenings reveal that there's something very wrong at the home. With her husband away (and that might be for the best), she relies on a young priest, Padre Andréz, to help her. But he's no ordinary priest, and this is nothing a little holy water will fix.

27
June 2022 Release Date
Lapvona: A Novel by Ottessa Moshfegh
Penguin Press
Now 15% off

Delightfully weird and full of the richly painted characters and captivating story that makes Moshfegh a master of her craft, this historical fiction throws readers back into Medieval times so completely, you can smell the sheep dung. You'll meet a motherless shepherd, a sadistic lord, a wet nurse with occult powers and a priest whose own faith is tested by devastating famine and drought.

28
June 2022 Release Date
Counterfeit: A Novel by Kirstin Chen
William Morrow

Ava Cheng has always played by the rules, but all that's gotten her is a dusty law degree, an unsatisfying marriage and a toddler whose tantrums are seriously out of control. When her former college roommate Winnie recruits Ava to help move counterfeit handbags from her native China, she's drawn into a scheme that's larger than life. But once Winnie disappears, Ava is, quite literally, left holding the bag. This one's as flashy as a designer store window, and just as enticing.

29
July 2022 Release Date
Fire Season by Leyna Krow
Viking

When a fire tears through Spokane in 1889, shysters and opportunists rise from the ashes. One of those is banker Barton Heydale, who sees shaking down his fellow citizens as a renewed reason to live. That, and sheltering the prostitute Roslyn with whom he's fallen madly in love. But when the fire investigator (and con man) Quake Auchenbaucher comes to town, he and Roslyn fall for one another, too. This story is darkly funny, deliciously devious and hugely inventive, a magical twist on the allure of the American West and who goes there to seek their fortune.

30
July 2022 Release Date
Human Blues by Elisa Albert
Avid Reader Press

Provocative, fast-paced and darkly funny, this irreverent novel follows controversial folk singer Aviva Rosner through her shocking album release to mixed reviews, international tours and fertility struggles as she tries to reconcile her own longing for a baby with her distrust of technological intervention. It's an energizing read for anyone who's ever been told, "Oh, you're just on your period," albeit a challenging one.

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