If you’re getting your next year’s reading list sorted, there are plenty of good books to choose from.
But which authors will rise to the top of the bestseller list?
Of course, The Duke of Sussex’s Diary Spur (Bantam, Jan. 10) is likely to smash January sales, but there’s buzz around several other pageboys throughout the year, both in fiction and nonfiction.
The coronation in May is supposed to lead to some royal books.
“It looks like it’s going to be a really good year because we have tons of great books in every region,” says Pia Carvalho, Waterstones’ Head Novel Buyer.
Richard Osman’s fourth book in The Friday Murder Club series (so far untitled, Penguin, Sept.) will no doubt be another hit on the run from crime, while booksellers can expect plenty of interest in Victory City (Jonathan Cape, Feb. 9), Sir Salman’s novel. Rushdie’s next, written before he was attacked in New York.
“There has been a real impact of BookTok (an internal community Tik Tokwhere people give recommendations to each other) which had a huge positive impact on the book trade.
“Certain genres have really benefited from it, including the romance that blossoms,” says Carvalho. She adds that there will also be a continued push for diversity and recognition for authors of color.
People with large online followings may be making their mark in 2023, predicts Carolyn Sanderson, associate editor of trade publication The Bookseller.
Increasingly, TikTok is having a huge impact on what gets posted.
She continues, saying that mental health, lifestyle, and savings guides will be mainstream rather than the traditional New Year’s stack of diet and exercise books. “It’s more about mental health and lifestyle and saving, and people avoid.”
Here are some of the books experts predict will be big in 2023.
Happy Place by Emily Henry (Viking, April 27): A current star of romantic fantasy gives us a tale about a couple who go to their cottage every year to soak up the sea air with their best friends. But this year they are lying on their teeth, as they broke down six months ago and did not tell anyone. Can they fake it for a week without their friends finding out?
Romantic comedy by Curtis Sittenfeld (Doubleday, April 6): From the international bestselling author of American Wife and Rodham comes this story about a successful screenwriter for a legendary comedy TV show and her long search for love, where she falls for a pop star.
Old Babes In The Wood by Margaret Atwood (Chatto & Windus, March 7): The award-winning author of The Handmaid’s Tale presents this collection of 15 short stories, ranging from two best friends who don’t agree about their shared past, to the right way to stop someone from choking.
Thrifty Kitchen by Jack Monroe (Bluebird, Jan. 5): Sanderson anticipates this book with money-saving recipes and will be a huge home hack. “She is a great activist to highlight food poverty and the plight of low-income people.”
Crystal Road by Georgina Easterbrook (Michael Joseph, March 16): With over a million followers on TikTok, Easterbrook’s guide on how crystals can boost self-confidence and improve all aspects of your life can be a big deal.
“It cuts across pretense, which began with Rhonda Byrne’s book The Secret (Simon & Schuster), showing the life you really want,” Sanderson says.
Statement: Vice Deeper by Roxie Nafousi (Michael Joseph, Jan. 5): The follow-up to the bestselling Manifest aims to take people deeper into their healing journey.
Shrapnel Bret Easton Ellis (Swift Press, Jan. 27): In his first novel in 13 years, the bestselling author of American Psycho presents this terrifying tale that follows a group of privileged high school friends in Los Angeles when a serial killer strikes the city. Set in 1981, the story explores the emotional tapestry of 17-year-old protagonist Brett and his obsession with a murderer.
A Death in the Parish by Richard Coles (Orion, June 8): If you prefer relaxed crime, you can pick up the second in the genre of Celebrity Vice, which sees the return of Canon Daniel Clement attempting to maintain order in Champton Village while investigating what appears to be a ritual murder.
Year of the Locust by Terry Hayes (Bantam, June 8): From the bestselling author of I Am Pilgrim, the Richard and Judy book phenomenon, comes Hayes’ second novel. In it, his hero Kane travels to the Badlands where the borders of Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan meet to infiltrate a man with information vital to the safety of the West. Instead, he meets an adversary who will take the world to the brink of extinction.
Pageboy by Elliott Page (Doubleday, June 6): The Oscar-nominated actor, the first openly transgender man to appear publicly on the cover of Time magazine after coming out as transgender in 2020, charts his life in a memoir packed with behind-the-scenes details and intimate interrogations about it. Sex, love, shock and Hollywood.
A stone in the throat of Asma Mir (Title, 18 May): A fascinating memoir from the presenter and co-presenter of the Radio Times Breakfast Show (and former presenter of Saturday Live with Richard Coles) who recalls her story as a young girl of Pakistani descent growing up in her native Glasgow, parallel to her mother, who was sent abroad to Scotland after marrying a man she barely knew.
There’s also upcoming memoirs from Paris Hilton, Jon Snow, and Melanie Sykes, while Geordie Shore star Charlotte Crosby talks pregnancy and motherhood in Me, Myself & Mini Me (title, March 2), and Tess Daly offers a 4-step fitness and well-being lifestyle guide to being happier, healthier (Bantam, March 16).
‘Cli-fi’ (climate fiction)
Byrnam Wood by Eleanor Catton (Granta, March 2): The creator of The Luminaries brings us a new psychological thriller about a guerrilla group farming the land in unclaimed spaces like abandoned gardens and roadsides, who bump into a man who bought the land and made a shelter to protect himself from the coming apocalypse.
Going Like a River by Shelley Reed (Doubleday, April 6): One of Doubleday’s major titles of 2023, this towering, soulful tale of female resilience centers around a breathtaking portrait of our natural world — its trees, mountains, and light.
Breathe by Sadiq Khan (Hutchinson Heinemann, May 25): The Mayor of London was diagnosed with adult asthma when training for the 2014 London Marathon and became passionate about climate change. This seven-step guide aims to lobby for tough action on this issue.
Godkiller by Hannah Kanner (HarperCollins, Jan. 23): Pre-orders are doing well for this story about a world where gods are overthrown from the inhabitants’ beliefs—and not always a force for good. The protagonist seeks to obtain it.
Small Worlds by Caleb Azumah Nelson (Viking Penguin, May 11): From the award-winning bestselling author of Open Water comes his sweeping new novel of fathers and sons, faith and friendship, set over three summers in the life of a young British-Ghanaian musician from south-east London.
The making of another major masterpiece by Tom Hanks (Hutchinson Heinemann, May 9): The Academy Award-winning actor is certainly well-placed to write this debut novel that charts the story of how a massive, star-studded superhero action movie was made, spanning 80 years. It features a colorful cast of characters including an egotistical movie star and an eccentric director. The novel follows the best-selling collection of short stories written by Hanks.
Quietly folded: simple Origami art To Calm Your Mind by Lee Kim Goh (Ebrey, March 2): “We have coloring books to calm yourself down, but we’re moving on to origami. According to the publishers, origami is the 10th most desirable skill on YouTube, and this author has over 2 million followers on TikTok, so he might be doing well.”