Book Club / Culture

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

best new books 2024

Many of us can barely consider writing 2024, let alone think about what's in store for the year ahead. But for the sake of morale, we're offering a glimpse of things to look forward to in the New Year, starting with our reading material. There's a life-affirming memoir from Salman Rushdie and debut fiction from Bri Lee. As for the rest? Keep scrolling for a list of book titles to file away for when you've burned through your TBR pile these summer holidays.

 

Come and Get It, Kiley Reid

Release date: January 30

Back in 2019, before the mass Black Lives Matter protests sparked by George Floyd's murder, Kiley Reid launched her debut novel which picked apart performative white allyship. Now, Reid returns with her second novel, Come And Get It, which Millie Cousins, a senior resident assistant at the University of Arkansas. Millie wants to graduate, get a job, and buy a house, so when a visiting professor and writer offers her an easy yet unusual opportunity, she lunges at the chance. Set before Me Too, the novel is billed as "a tension-filled story about money, indiscretion, and bad behavior".

 

Come Together, Emily Nagoski

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Release date: January 30

In recent years, hoards of sex educators have popped up with a goal to advise and embolden us to lead fulfilling sex lives. What sets Emily Nagoski apart is her empathy-first, shame-free approach that is backed by research and science. Almost a decade since she debuted Come As You Are, Nagoski prepares to launch Come Together, which aims to demystify and debunk untruths about desire and sex in long-term relationships, while providing a compassionate and rigorous roadmap to sexual satisfaction.

 

Thora, Tilly Lawless

Release date: February 15

A while back Tilly Lawless confirmed she had two books in the works, a genre-bending memoir and a novel. The former debuted in 2021, and the latter, Thora, will land on bookshelves from February 2024. Set in 2009 in the familiar Mid North Coast setting of Lawless' Instagram captions, Thora follows Rhiannon, who is forced from her local high school to one in Coffs Harbour. Separated from her best friend Ellie, the teenager quickly becomes obsessed by Vanora, a student at her new high school who shares her dysfunctional home life.

 

Grief is for People, Sloane Crosley

Release date: February 27

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.

 

Who's Afraid of Gender?, Judith Butler

best new books 2024

Release date: March 19

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.

 

Until August, Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Release date: March 24

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.

 

Dirt Poor Islanders, Winnie Dunn

Release date: March 27

Winnie Dunn, the general manager of Sweatshop Literacy Movement, will release her debut novel in 2024. 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.

 

Wandering Stars, Tommy Orange

best new books 2024

Release date: March 26

In the first novel since his 2018 debut There There, 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".

 

The Husbands, Holly Gramazio

Release date: April 2

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.

 

Like Love, Maggie Nelson

best new books 2024

Release date: April 2

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.

 

The Work, Bri Lee

Release date: April 3

Bri Lee will launch her debut novel in 2024, which is important intel for anyone who has followed the industrious Australian author's work thus far. The Work takes place between Manhattan and Sydney, slipping behind the curtain of both cities' art scenes as it follows the romance between Lally, a wealthy gallerist, and Pat, a "a scholarship boy desperate to establish himself in Sydney's antiquities scene". A tug-of-war between love and power, talent and entitlement, ambition and privilege, Lee's critical observations of institutions and social dynamics have found a new medium. Importantly, The Work is smutty too!

 

The Alternatives, Caoilinn Hughes

Release date: April 16

Some of my favourite novels explore the dynamics between sisters – which is why I'll be reading The Alternatives by Caoilinn Hughes in the New Year. 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.

 

Knife, Salman Rushdie

Release date: April 16

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.

 

Martyr! Kaveh Akbar

Release date: April 30

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.

 

Long Island, Colm Tóibín

Release date: May 23

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.

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