Best Books to Read in 2024

The literary world is buzzing over the most anticipated books of 2024. From gripping novels by established authors to groundbreaking works by emerging voices, the selection of books to read in 2024 promises a rich tapestry of storytelling that will captivate, challenge, and inspire readers. 

Whether you're searching for transformative narratives, thrilling adventures, or profound insights, you are sure to find your top 10 books to read in 2024 in our list. 

This curated selection highlights the best books of 2024 and showcases the diversity and dynamism of new books 2024 has to offer. 

As readers eagerly await these releases, 2024 books are poised to spark conversations and enrich the literary landscape. 

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A. Contemporary Fiction

1. Percival Everett | James

Pulitzer finalist Percival Everett presents a novel reinterpretation of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn through James, focusing on the narrative of Huck's enslaved companion, Jim. This enthralling thriller depicts Huck Finn's daring escape down the Mississippi River, feigning death to elude his violent father. 

Simultaneously, Jim conceals himself on an island upon discovering the imminent threat of being sold into slavery and torn away from his loved ones. Everett's James delves deep into themes of freedom, resilience, and the bonds of friendship amidst the harsh realities of pre-Civil War America.

2. Xochitl Gonzalez | Anita de Monte Laughs Last 

From the New York Times bestselling author, Xochitl Gomzales, celebrated for Olga Dies Dreaming, emerges a compelling novel that delves into themes of othering, erasure, power, and legacy, as seen through the experiences of two women of color in the art world across different eras. 

Anita de Monte, on the brink of fame in 1985, meets a tragic end. Decades later, Raquel, an art student in the 1990s, discovers de Monte's work and story, igniting a quest filled with questions and unsettling parallels between her life and de Monte's.

3. Rowan Beaird | The Divorcées

The Divorcées by Rowan Baird, which will be launched on March 19, transports readers to the Golden Yarrow Hotel in Nevada, where women in the 1950s endure a prolonged wait to file for divorce.

Set against the backdrop of a decade when women's quest for independence required extraordinary measures, this novel unravels the stories of those determined to forge their own paths.

4. Ursula Villarreal-Moura | Like Happiness

Like Happiness by Ursula Villarreal-Moura, which will be launched on March 26, transports readers to 2015, where Tatum Vega finds solace and new beginnings in Chile, living with her partner, Vera, and embracing her role at a local museum.

This serene life stands in stark contrast to the tumultuous decade she endured in New York City, caught in the orbit of the enigmatic and renowned author M. Domínguez. However, this tranquility is disrupted when a US reporter reaches out for an interview regarding assault allegations against Domínguez, forcing Tatum to confront the unresolved complexities of their past relationship.

5. Kristen Hannah | The Women

Growing up under the protective wings of her conservative parents on the serene Coronado Island in California, Frankie has always embraced being the quintessential good girl, committed to making the right choices. However, as the tides of change swept through the world in 1965, she envisioned a new trajectory for her life. 

Motivated by her brother's deployment to Vietnam, she makes the bold decision to join the Army Nurses Corps, stepping in his footsteps. In the midst of Vietnam's harrowing battlegrounds, Frankie finds herself just as unprepared and naïve as the young soldiers around her, confronting the harrowing realities of war and the profound disorientation of returning to an America that no longer feels familiar.

Kristen Hannah's book launched on February 6. 

6. Tommy Orange | Wandering Stars

Tommy Orange, a Pulitzer Prize finalist, presents a powerful historical fiction narrative in his new novel, exploring the impact of the Sand Creek Massacre of 1864 on three generations of a family. This tragic event saw over 230 Cheyenne and Arapaho individuals mercilessly killed by the U.S. Army in Colorado.

Orange's story centers on the descendant of a massacre survivor, a young boy who is forced into the Carlisle Indian Industrial School, where the educational agenda aims to obliterate Native American heritage.

Wandering Stars then leaps to 2018 in the wake of a shooting to draw a poignant connection between past atrocities and their lingering effects on the present.

B. Romance

1. Emily Henry | Funny Story

Emily Henry, the queen of romantic comedies, captivates readers once again with her latest offering.

Emily Henry's new book in 2024, titled Funny Story, delves into the lives of Daphne and Miles as they tread through the aftermath of heartbreak with a unique revenge scheme.

Upon discovering their former flames are now a couple, they concoct a plot to feign a romance, aiming to spark jealousy in their ex-partners. However, the fine line between pretense and reality becomes increasingly blurred. Funny Story promises a heartwarming exploration of love, loss, and the unexpected paths to healing, solidifying its place as a must-read in Emily Henry's repertoire of romance novels.

2. Kate Spencer | One Last Summer

Kate Spencer, author of In a New York Minute and cohost of the Forever35 podcast, delights fans with the ultimate summer camp rom-com, One Last Summer.

Clara Millen, in dire need of a break, eagerly anticipates rejoining her friends for their traditional summer getaway at her beloved childhood sleepaway camp. However, her excitement turns to nostalgia and turmoil upon discovering the camp's imminent sale, leading to an unexpected reunion and a fervent encounter with her former camp adversary, Mack.

As Clara revels in the most vibrant summer of her life, she's faced with a daunting decision: succumb to the allure of this idyllic escape or confront the reality of the life she thought she desired. Set for release on June 11, One Last Summer promises a captivating blend of nostalgia, romance, and self-discovery.

3. Danica Nava | The Truth According to Ember

Danica Nava is a pioneering voice, one of the first Native American authors to pen a romance novel for a major publisher with her captivating book, The Truth According to Ember.

The story introduces readers to Ember Lee Cardinal, who, in an attempt to secure her dream job, conceals her heritage by passing as white on her application. The plot thickens as Ember forms a connection with IT specialist Danuwoa Colson, who shares her Native American background. However, their budding romance faces obstacles, as workplace relationships are strictly prohibited. A scandalous incident during a work trip propels Ember into a blackmail situation, forcing her to confront her identity and make a critical decision: remain silent or embrace her truth.

The Truth According to Ember promises a deeply moving exploration of identity, love, and integrity.

C. Thriller & Mystery

1. Tana French | The Hunter

In The Hunter, set to release on March 5, Tana French, a virtuoso of detective fiction, revisits the quaint town in western Ireland, the setting of her previous work, The Searcher. Here, Cal Hooper, a Chicago PD retiree, having unraveled one enigma, finds himself ensnared in a new mystery, this time involving the girl he has come to cherish as a daughter.

2. Kiley Reid | Come and Get It

Kiley Reid was inspired by The Secret History for her eagerly awaited follow-up to the widely praised Such a Fun Age.

Set in 2017, Come and Get It centers on Millie Cousins, a senior RA at the University of Arkansas, whose straightforward ambitions are upended by an intriguing offer from visiting professor and author Agatha Paul. Suddenly, Millie finds herself entangled in a world rife with wealth, spiteful pranks, indiscretions, and egregious misconduct. With her characteristic keen observation and cutting humor, Reid skewers the academic world in this incisive comedy of manners.

3. Rachel Hawkins | The Heiress

Rachel Hawkins is acclaimed for her mastery of the Gothic thriller genre. In her latest novel, The Heiress, she unveils the story of Jules and Camden McTavish, a couple ensnared by the allure of a cryptic legacy within a family estate in the Blue Ridge mountains.

Camden McTavish, having once dismissed the entirety of his adoptive mother Ruby's estate, faces a pivotal moment where he must confront his past. In this process, he uncovers a profound truth: inheritance extends beyond physical possessions to include the legacy of our ancestors' misdeeds.

D. Fantasy

1. Veronica Roth | When Among Crows

Fans of fairy tales will be captivated by Veronica Roth's latest modern fantasy offering. Renowned as one of the leading dystopian writers of her era, Roth introduces an inventive take on the Slavic myth of Baba Jaga, weaving a narrative rich with monsters, knights, and witches.

When Among Crows features Dymitr, a knight who has paid a steep price—half his soul—for the power to wield a sword forged from his own spine, embarking on a quest to defeat creatures, including the formidable witch Baba Jaga. He encounters Ala, a woman cursed with a deadly legacy from her mother, who sees a potential remedy in a mystical flower. The agreement: one witch's demise for a magical bloom that could lift Ala's curse, provided she can accomplish this feat before the flower withers in a day.

2. Sarah J. Maas | House of Flame and Shadow

The Crescent City series stands as a monumental urban fantasy saga, teeming with magic, mystery, and witty exchanges.

House of Flame and Shadow continues the journey from the worldwide bestsellers House of Earth and Blood and House of Sky and Breath, resuming after a heart-stopping cliffhanger that had fans clamoring for more.

Bryce Quinlan finds herself in an entirely new realm, while Hunt Athalar is determined to reunite with her at any cost. As they navigate a world filled with foes and unfamiliar faces, discerning allies becomes crucial to their survival and to finding their way back to one another.

E. Debuts

1. Yulin Kuang | How to End a Love Story

In her contemporary romance debut, How to End a Love Story, Yulin Kuang, known for directing Emily Henry's Beach Read and People We Meet on Vacation, explores themes of regret and second chances.

The novel introduces readers to Helen Zhang and Grant Shepard, whose lives were irrevocably intertwined by a tragic accident 13 years prior, leading to a long separation. When Helen, who has since become a bestselling novelist, joins the TV adaptation of her popular YA series, she unexpectedly finds Grant as a lead writer on the project. Reunited, they confront their memories of each other and their shared past.

The book delves into whether Helen and Grant can reconcile their history to embrace a genuine connection now.

2. Carolina Ixta | Shut Up, This Is Serious!

Carolina Ixta's debut novel, Shut Up, This Is Serious! represents a standout addition to the reading list for 2024. It delves into the lives of teenage best friends, Belén and Leti, navigating through their tumultuous journey. Belén's poor decisions jeopardize her graduation, while Leti faces an unplanned pregnancy, hidden from her prejudiced parents.

Ixta's young adult novel highlights the power of chosen family and enduring friendships, showcasing the resilience of youth in overcoming generational challenges to forge their paths.

3. Bethany Baptiste | The Poisons We Drink

Bethany Baptiste's debut, The Poisons We Drink, is set to be one of the most anticipated books of 2024, weaving a captivating love story with a dark twist.

Venus Stoneheart finds herself in the perilous world of illegal love potion brewing, a risky endeavor to sustain her family after her mother's murder. This act of defiance against the law and the powerful elites in DC showcases the lengths to which Venus will go to secure justice for her loved one.

Of the books being released in 2024, Baptiste's novel promises a journey of vengeance, protection, and the complexities of love while exploring the depth of sacrifice.

4. Myah Ariel | When I Think of You

Myah Ariel's debut, When I Think of You, is a must-have on your 2024 reading list, offering a fresh take on contemporary romance set against the backdrop of Hollywood's allure and complexity.

The story follows Kaliya Wilson, whose fading dreams of filmmaking are reignited with a job offer from Danny Prescott, a renowned director and her former lover, setting the stage for a tale of love, ambition, and redemption.

As they navigate the treacherous waters of Hollywood politics and rekindle their connection, Kaliya must decide whether her career is worth sacrificing their second chance at love. Drawing from her personal journey in Hollywood, Ariel captures the essence of her characters' experiences with vivid emotion, making it a compelling read in 2024.

5. Nishita Parekh | The Night of the Storm

Seeking refuge from a hurricane at her sister's luxurious residence to protect her son, Jia Shah finds herself caught in the same house as a killer.

In her debut novel, The Night of the Storm, Nishita Parekh revitalizes the locked-room thriller genre by centering the story around a multigenerational Indian American family. Prior to this deadly twist, Jia was already navigating challenges, including an ex-partner demanding custody, her son's suspension for fighting at school, and judgment from her relatives. Now, with murder complicating matters, Jia must ensure her and her son's safety and avoid being wrongfully accused of a crime.

6. Analeigh Sbrana | Lore of the Wilds

An enthralling mix of magic, an enchanted library, and a riveting love triangle await in Analeigh Sbrana's debut romantasy novel.

Set in a realm dominated by the unforgiving Fae, 21-year-old Lore Alemeyu finds her village ensnared within a vast, forested enclosure. Against all odds, she forges a pact with a formidable Fae lord, embarking on a mission to document the treasures of a mystical library long forgotten by time. Amidst her quest for forbidden magic, Lore relies on the assistance of two captivating Fae males, navigating through flirtation and burgeoning desire. As the stakes rise, Lore faces the peril of not just a mortal end but the potential surrender of her heart to the very beings responsible for her people's captivity.

F. Biographies & Memoirs

1. Salman Rushdie | Knife

On August 12, 2022, Salman Rushdie endured a stabbing attack that resulted in the loss of vision in one eye and impaired functionality in one hand, with the latter gradually improving.

In this book, Rushdie channels the profound personal journey of recuperation from this violent episode into his most recent publication.

In a conversation with TIME earlier this year, Rushdie articulated that writing this book served as a pivotal element of his recovery, offering him a means to assert dominion over the experience rather than being overshadowed by it. This endeavor marks a significant step in not only reclaiming his narrative but also in navigating the aftermath of the trauma.

2. RuPaul | The House of Hidden Meanings

The Emmy award-winning author RuPaul delves into his rich personal history in The House of Hidden Meanings, offering an introspective journey into his life before the fame of Drag Race.

This memoir navigates his first four decades, from his early years in San Diego through his formative time in the punk scenes of Atlanta and New York City.

The House of Hidden Meanings transcends the typical celebrity memoir, aiming to serve as a profound manifesto of RuPaul's existence, revealing the bedrock of the individual beneath the layers of makeup and persona.

3. Billy Dee Williams | What Have We Here

Billy Dee Williams' memoir, What Have We Here, offers an intimate glimpse into his illustrious career spanning iconic roles in Brian's Song and the original Star Wars trilogy. This memoir is a must-read in 2024 for anyone eager to delve into the life of a cinematic legend.

4. Philip Gefter | Cocktails With George and Martha: Movies, Marriage and the Making of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf

In his 2024 book, Philip Gefter offers an in-depth exploration of the trajectory of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? from its inception in the vibrant art world of New York's Greenwich Village to its iconic status on Broadway and in film.

Through a unique point of view, Gefter delves into the tumultuous journey of the play, highlighting its seminal place within the 1960s cultural landscape of New York City. The volume examines the groundbreaking impact of the play and its cinematic adaptation. It also draws intriguing parallels between the tumultuous relationship of its lead characters, George and Martha, and that of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, the most celebrated married couple in the art world of their time.

One of 2024's anticipated books, Gefter's work presents a compelling narrative as dynamic and layered as a night out with George and Martha, offering readers a new perspective on a cornerstone of American theater.

5. Katie Gee Salisbury | Not Your China Doll: The Wild and Shimmering Life of Anna May Wong

Amidst the dazzling allure of Los Angeles' Jazz Age and the burgeoning Hollywood scene, this debut chronicles the life of Anna May Wong, the pioneering Asian American movie star, positioning her as a central figure in cinema history. This narrative promises to be among the best reads for 2024, spotlighting an unsung heroine who paved the way for future generations of actors like Constance Wu, Sandra Oh, Awkwafina, and Lucy Liu.

Rising from her humble beginnings in her family's laundry business, Anna May Wong captivated audiences alongside Douglas Fairbanks in The Thief of Bagdad. Despite her success, Hollywood's restrictive typecasting drove her to seek opportunities overseas, where she became a global sensation, starring in films across Berlin, Paris, and London and captivating high-profile figures worldwide. Her triumphant return to Hollywood marked a turning point as she actively combated the industry's racial prejudices, striving to transcend the limiting roles of the China doll and dragon lady.

6. Allison Pataki | Finding Margaret Fuller

Margaret Fuller's life, brimming with the richness of a pioneering spirit, would be covered by history books if she were a man. Fortunately, Pataki's new novel, featured among the best new books of 2024, revitalizes Fuller's remarkable narrative.

This novel traces Fuller's journey from her connection to Henry David Thoreau and the Transcendentalist movement through her role as the co-founder of The Dial magazine to her groundbreaking tenure overseas as the first female foreign news correspondent amidst Italy's tumultuous fight for unification.

Pataki masterfully lends a voice to this defiant woman and fervent activist, portraying Fuller as she defied societal norms and aimed to alter history on her own terms, making it a standout among the books of 2024.

& The Year Is Still Young

As we look ahead to the literary landscape of 2024, the titles mentioned embody the essence of innovation, resilience, and profound storytelling that define the year's most anticipated books.

From reimagined classics to explorations of personal and historical narratives, each book promises to captivate readers with its unique perspective and narrative depth.

These selections not only reflect the diverse tapestry of contemporary literature but also underscore the enduring power of storytelling in shaping our understanding of the world.

Eager readers can look forward to a year filled with exploration, discovery, and the unparalleled joy of diving into the pages of 2024's most anticipated books.

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