Book Club / Culture

What should you read next? The books to look out for in 2024

What should you read next? The books to look out for in 2024

Horrifyingly, we are already getting close to the half-way point of this year, but what better balm for our terror than the gentle ritual of turning pages on new book?

This year has already produced some fantastic new reads that we've added to our physical book stacks and Goodreads lists, but there are also plenty more scheduled for release later this year. If you're in need of some reading list inspiration, keep scrolling for a list of book titles to file away for when you've burned through your TBR pile these summer holidays.


1. The Work by Bri Lee

Release date: Out now

Genre: Lit Fic

I was lucky enough to receive an advance copy of Lee's debut novel The Work about a month ago and devoured most of it over the course of a single weekend. All of Lee's usual biting commentary and wit is still present in her fiction – with the added elements of a little smut and art history know-how. The Work follows the romance between wealthy NYC gallerist, Lally, and Pat, a Sydney-based antiques dealer desperately trying to establish himself. It centres on a lot of poignant dichotomies between love vs. career, greed vs. ambition, and art vs. money – and I was lucky enough to have a conversation about the book with Lee herself.


2. Antiquity by Hanna Johansson

Release date: Out now

Genre: Queer Fiction / Swedish Literature

Antiquity is another new release stacked upon my desk that ended up being whisked with me on a whirlwind work trip to Melbourne. Translated beautifully by Kira Josefsson from Johansson's original Swedish, the book is idyllic and haunting – a companion perhaps to novels like Call Me By Your Name or even Lolita. Set upon a Greek island one summer, the book's balmy story is told from the point of view of a woman visiting her artist friend and teenage daughter – spending languid days together swimming, eating fruits and navigating their own psychological intricacies.


3. Long Island Compromise by Taffy Brodesser-Akner

Release date: 9 July 2024

Genre: Lit Fic / Historical Fiction

From the author of NYT best-seller Fleishman is in Trouble, this soon-to-be released novel from Brodesser-Akner is said to be dark and exhilarating. Set in the 1980s, we follow wealthy businessman Carl who is kidnapped and held for ransom, finally deal with the post-traumatic fallings out of the incident when his mother dies forty years later. It's a book said to span generations, winding through generations and history of Jewish-American life, focusing on themes of wealth, trauma and the American soul.


4. The Alternatives by Caoilinn Hughes

Release date: Out now

Genre: Lit Fic / Irish Literature

This one is high up on our lists, especially after Bri Lee gave it such a glowing review in our upcoming May issue. Hughes' tale about sisterhood set upon the Irish countryside is warm, fierce and tackles issues like climate change in a head-on way that still feels appropriate to the format of a novel. It follows the four Flattery sisters who were orphaned in childhood and are now single, well-educated and in their 30s leading disparate lives charged by a desire to contribute meaningful work. That's until the day their oldest sister, a geologist troubled by a dying earth, intentionally vanishes and the siblings must return to the Irish countryside together to find her.


5. Peripathetic by Cher Tan

Release date: Out now

Genre: Non-Fiction / Essay Collection

Melbourne-based essayist, critic and writer Cher Tan's new book presents a series of nine original essays on the topics of identity, liminality, authenticity and the internet. Her writing is permeated with her own lived experience as a first-generation migrant woman  and blends cultural criticism, auto theory, (inter)net writing and memoir to offer insights on our rapidly changing internal and external worlds.


6. Grief is for People by Sloane Crosley

Release date: Out now

Genre: Memoir / Mental Health / Self-Help

I first encountered Sloane Crosley through her acclaimed novel Cult Classic, a witty and wry tale about the absurdities of modern dating. Now, in her first memoir, Crosley turns her razor-sharp observational skills on grief, unpicking a period in which her home was burglarised and, exactly a month later, her closest friend Richard died by suicide.


7. Who's Afraid of Gender? by Judith Butler

Release date: Out now

Genre: Non-Fiction / Gender Studies / Philosophy

Ever since their 1990 book, Gender Trouble, Judith Butler is widely considered an authority on gender theory. Now, rather than submitting a new theory, Butler intends to interrogate the way gender has become a key battleground in right wing ideology today.


8. Until August by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Release date: Out now

Genre: Novella / Romance / Spanish Literature

It's not often that publishers are handed posthumous novels from literary masters. They must be patting themselves on the back. Until August is Colombian writer Gabriel García Márquez final novel, however he requested that it not be published. There's much speculation around why; Márquez was diagnosed with dementia, and critics weren't kind about his last published book. However, Márquez's sons have overrode this wish, stating that "Until August was the result of our father’s last effort to continue creating against all odds". It follows Ana Magdalena Bach (happily married; a mother) as she makes her annual trip to the island where her mother is buried to take a lover. Sensual and contemplative, the book is said to meditate on desire, freedom, and regret.


9. Dirt Poor Islanders by Winnie Dunn

Release date: Out now

Genre: Fiction / Australian Literature

We're big fans of Winnie Dunn, the general manager of Sweatshop Literacy Movement, here at RUSSH (she's even a panellist on our Literary Showcase for 2024) and are so excited to get our hands and eyes across her newly-released debut novel. Dirt Poor Islanders follows Meadow Reed, an Australian-Tongan woman who grows up in Mount Druitt dirt poor, and must reconcile her roots and culture with her own personal ambitions.


10. Wandering Stars by Tommy Orange

Release date: Out now

Genre: Historical Fiction

In the first novel since his 2018 debut There There (which was a Pulitzer Prize-finalist), Cheyenne and Arapaho author Tommy Orange weaves a tale of how three generations of a single family are touched by the real-life Sand Creek Massacre of 1864, in which more than 230 Cheyenne and Arapaho people were killed by the US Army in Colorado. Wandering Stars is said to be a "devastating indictment of America’s war on its own people".


11. The Husbands by Holly Gramazio

Release date: Out now

Genre: Fiction / Romantic Comedy / Magic Realism

The tyranny of too much choice is both a privilege and debilitating. In her new novel The Husbands, Holly Gramazio explores this dilemma in world where her protagonist Lauren need only journey to her attic to find "the one" – that is, an endless supply of husbands all with their own redeeming qualities. With praise from Marian Keyes and Gabrielle Zevin, and a promise of total absorption, this is a romantic comedy we'll be enjoying in the New Year.


12. Like Love by Maggie Nelson

Release date: Out now

Genre: Nonfiction / Essay Collection / LGBTQIA+

Two decades of Maggie Nelson's most incisive essays have been bound to create Like Love, a collection of profiles, reviews, and tributes that critically engage with love, friendship, queerness, feminism, and all the ways they intersect. Arranged chronologically, Like Love will be treasured by readers of Bluets and The Argonauts who hope to gain insight into the author's frame of mind while writing these titles.


13. Knife by Salman Rushdie

Release date: Out now

Genre: Nonfiction / Memoir / True Crime

After surviving an attempt on his life, spurred on by a 30-year-old fatwa against him, Salman Rushdie meets violence with art in Knife. The book is an intimate account of the traumatic event, Rushdie's survival, and the mental toll following, resulting in a life-affirming meditation on art, loss, and the power of words.


14. Martyr! by Kaveh Akbar

Release date: Out now

Genre: Nonfiction / LGBTQIA+

Cyrus Shams sees martyrs everywhere, from his mother whose plane was shot down senselessly over the Persian Gulf to his father whose job had him kill chickens at a factory farm in midwest America. A drunk, a poet, an addict, Cyrus' obsession leads him to unearth the mysteries of his family history, where he finds himself before a terminally ill painter in Brooklyn Museum who may have information about his mother's past.


15. Long Island by Colm Tóibín

Release date: 23 May 2024

Genre: Fiction / Irish Literature

Colm Tóibín will deliver the long-anticipated follow up to his Booker Prize-longlisted novel Brooklyn in 2024. It finds Eilis and Tony twenty years into their marriage, when an Irish stranger knocks on the door of their Long Island home with a revelation that will force Eilis to question the life she's created and turn her back to the Ireland she left behind.


16. Intermezzo by Sally Rooney

Release date: 24 September 2024

Genre: Lit Fic / Irish Literature

Few contemporary authors have reached the dizzying heights of success that Irish novelist Sally Rooney has these last few years, and so the anticipation for her upcoming fourth book Intermezzo this September is palpable amongst the literary community. Although the cover is yet to be revealed, we do know a couple of things about the book so far. Namely, that Rooney's novel will follow two brothers in the aftermath of their father's death, and should encompass the now-signature Rooney musings on grief, redemption, desire, Marxism, and class tensions.


17. The Deed by Susannah Begbie

Release date: Out now

Genre: Fiction

From the Richell Prize-winning NSW author, this story of sibling rivalry and the messy – sometimes volatile – complications of grieving and greed. Begbie's observations are astute and perceptive, nagivating the ways in which we approach death and politics around entitlement and inheritance. And of course, complicated family dynamics.


18. All I Ever Wanted Was To Be Hot by Lucinda Froomes Price

Release date: 3 September 2024

Genre: Autobiography

If you're a young Australian on the internet, there's next-to-no excuse for not knowing Froomes. She's a comedian, an internet personality and a writer with some of the most hilarious takes on niche Australian culture that we know of. Whether she's spoofing Love Island on her Instagram during COVID lockdowns or taking the piss out of the state of Real Estate – she's normally got us in fits of laughter through our phone screens. Her debut book, an autobiography, promises all of her hilarious insights and more – and we can't wait to get our hands on it.


19. My First Book by Honor Levy

Release date: Out now (overseas) and August (Australia)

Genre: Political fiction

One of the other most exciting new releases to come up on our radar is Californian writer and Gen Z voice, Honor Levy's debut – a book slated to echo with the kind of raw honesty and wit that only comes from unfiltered youth. Peeling back the layers of adolescent angst and existential musing, Levy’s debut isn’t just a book; it’s a daring exploration of the chaotic beauty that defines our coming-of-age narratives.

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