Books We’re Looking Forward To In 2019

New books are undoubtedly the most exciting part about the new year. Naturally, our 2019 #TBR list is extremely long but for the purposes of this article we narrowed it down to the top 10. From Young Adult (YA) fiction to African authors, Indian politics and contemporary feminist theory, here are the books we cannot wait to get our hands on.

An Orchestra of Minorities by Chigozie Obioma, January 8 (Published by Little, Brown and Company)

In a contemporary twist on Homer’s Odyssey, this book is narrated by the chi (spirit) of a young Nigerian poultry farmer named Chinonso who falls in love with a woman named Ndali. But social class holds the two apart and Chinonso must do everything in his power to be her social equal. This one is about destiny and determination – and coming from Obioma, Man Booker Finalist and author of The Fishermen, we expect it’s going to be a great read.

The Far Field by Madhuri Vijay, January 15 (Published by Grove Press)

Set in a remote village in northern Kashmir, this book gives us an intimate look into Indian/Kashmiri politics. Pushcart Prize-winner Vijay writes about a woman who travels from her privileged life in Bangalore to Kashmir in the wake of her mother’s death. Examining politics, class prejudice, and sexuality through the lens of an outsider, with deep reflection on grief, guilt, and the limits of compassion this book promises to be a good one.

Gingerbread by Helen Oyeyemi, March 5 (Published by Random House Large Print Publishing)

This is a story influenced by the mysterious place gingerbread holds in classic children’s stories. Oyeyemi weaves a tale of a surprising family legacy, in which the inheritance is a recipe. The book explores themes like jealousy, ambition, family grudges, work, and wealth, showing that somehow, gingerbread seems to be the one thing that reliably holds a constant value. Considering that it’s written by the award-winning, bestselling author of Boy, Snow, Bird and What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours this promises to be bewitching to say the least.

On The Come Up by Angie Thomas, February 5 (Published by Balzer + Bray)

After her powerful book The Hate U Give and it’s equally great film adaptation starring Amandla Stenberg and Regina Hall, Thomas cemented herself as one of our favourite YA author of all time. To say we are excited about her new book On The Come Up is an understatement. The book follows 16-year-old Bri, an aspiring rapper who changes the life of her family when her rap goes viral for the wrong reasons. It’s about struggle and dreams and hip-hop and art – what’s not to love?

Bangkok Wakes to Rain by Pitchaya Sudbanthad, February 19 (Published by Riverhead Books)

Ghosts haunt the novel written by Thai-born Sudbanthad: even the ghosts of buildings. Sudbanthad writes up a collage of the lives of the historical inhabitants of a house in Bangkok and how their lives are shaped by memory, home, and upheaval. From a jazz pianist and a missionary doctor, to a Thai photographer this book promises to be a rich telling of different characters. Giving the human history of about a century in Bangkok, we can’t wait for this one.

The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls by Anissa Gray, February 19 (Published by Berkeley)

Some of our favourite books come from Black women writing about women and identity. We are anticipating award-winning journalist Gray’s debut novel. Exploring mothers, daughters, identity, community, and family this book follows a trial and the toll it takes on an American family. Take it from us, this book is one we’re going to be talking about for years to come.

The Dragonfly Sea by Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor, March 12 (Published by Knopf Publishing Group)

Set on an island in Kenya, award-winning author Owuor writes what promises to be a beautiful coming-of-age novel about a young woman struggling to find her place in the wide world. Ayaana joins a voyage to the Far East where she discovers friends, enemies, violence, love, beauty, and joy. This looks like a charming story packed with adventure and the lessons we learn when we make choices. This one is high on our list.

The Witches Are Coming by Lindy West, May 7 (Published by Hachette Books)

With a title like this, you can bet that we’re licking our lips in anticipation. Combining two of our most favourite things – pop culture and feminism – columnist and best-selling author West presents The Witches Are Coming. In it, she explores patriarchy, political correctness, rape culture, and #MeToo explaining why Trump’s election into power in America was in many ways a foregone conclusion. Promising to be funny as well as intellectually stimulating, we’re counting the days to this one.

Travelers by Helon Habila, June 18 (Published by W. W. Norton Company)

In his latest offering, internationally acclaimed writer Habila examines the lives of “travelers” – both self- willed exiles and refugees. While traveling with his wife in Berlin, a Nigerian scholar discovers that there’s no real difference between his privileged, secure existence and the stories of other Africans: a transgender film student seeking the freedom; a Libyan doctor who lost his family in the waters of the Mediterranean; a Somali shopkeeper who tried to save his young daughter from a marriage forced on her by an al-Shabaab commander. It’s a story of home, identity, migration, exile, and compassion – and it sounds exactly like something we have to read.

Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell, August 27 (Published by First Second)

For YA diehards, Rowell is releasing a beautiful graphic novel in collaboration with Eisner Award–winning artist Faith Erin Hicks before the other side of the world experiences “fall” (that’s Autumn for us). It’s about two teens’ last night working together in a pumpkin patch – which turns into an epic adventure.

Featured image via Pexels 

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