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We have a good feeling about 2022, in part because there are already plenty of highly anticipated new novels and nonfiction books being released in the months ahead. In the nonfiction deparment, journalist Will Sommer explores the dark world of QAnon in Trust the Plan, and the greatest works from true crime author Patrick Radden Keefe are being collected in a new book. There’s also new poetry forthcoming from Ocean Vuong, plus some exciting new science fiction and fantasy novels. It’s only February, but already it’s shaping up to be a great year for readers.
Didn’t get a chance to finish everything on your 2021 book list? That’s alright. Books tend to stick around, unlike Snapchat DMs, so you’ve got plenty of time to catch up while you’re waiting on the most anticipated novels of 2022. And with everything happening right now, it might feel good to let go of your phone for an hour or two, settle into your favorite chair, and crack open a new book. Trust us, reading is good for the soul, especially since we’re all suffering from technology overload right now.
Our most anticipated books of 2022 can be found below, along with their expected release dates. Most of these books can be purchased for pre-order via Amazon and other booksellers.
1. To Paradise By Hanya Yanagihara
Yanagihara’s hotly-anticipated third novel is centered around a townhouse in Washington Square Park over three different time periods and with three sets of characters. All three settings include a butler named Adamas, but the similarity ends there. The first section is about a gay couple in 1983 set in the Free States, where gay marriage has always been legal. In a 1993 Manhattan besieged by the AIDS crisis, a young Hawaiian man lives with a wealthy partner and hides much of his past. Perhaps the most interesting to us might be the third section, set in 2093, decades after a plague has changed the world, and a successful scientist’s granddaughter is living with the aftereffects of a vaccine.
After the huge success of her second novel, A Little Life, readers will flock to Yanagihara’s latest, and most engaging, work. Unlike most of the titles on our list, you don’t have to wait to enjoy Yanagihara’s latest novel, as it was released last month.
Release Date: January 11, 2022
2. How to Take Over the World by Ryan North
Esteemed Marvel comics writer Ryan North has delivered a hilarious yet accurate how-to guide on surviving in the current climate, and it’s one of the most anticipated nonfiction books of 2022. With serious nerd cred based on his work for Marvel, North takes us into apocalyptic territory with his humor, wit, and uncanny ability to question the science behind such schemes. If you’ve ever wanted to know if any of those situations in the Marvel movies could have actually happened, then North is here to give it to you straight. The great twist of the book is his ability to show us how these ideas may actually save us in the end. If you’re into comics, Marvel, or Ryan North, then this book about how to accurately design a death ray and maybe save the world at the same time might be for you.
Release Date: March 15, 2022
3. Either/ Or by Elif Batuman
If you loved The Idiot, which you should have, as it was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, then you’ll love Batuman’s follow-up. Bautuman’s earlier novel followed the aloof yet hilarious protagonist Selin in her first year of college in 1995 and her subsequent education on the internet. It was a book about how to be a person when you’re unsure of everything and find everything absurd. Either/ Or returns takes readers back to Selin’s world, this time for her sophomore year . If you enjoyed her stumbles into love and her journey to Turkey, then you’ll want to tune in to find out what happens next.
Trust us on this, if you need to buy both at the same time, by all means, do it, and do it now. This laugh-out-loud book will keep you hanging on even as the world outside grows wilder and darker. After all, who wouldn’t love to take a quick trip back to the mid-90s?
Release Date: May 24, 2022
4. Time Is a Mother by Ocean Vuong
The most anticipated books of 2022 include plenty of fiction and nonfiction, but we couldn’t resist including some poetry as well. Time Is a Mother is the second poetry collection by the brilliant Asian-American poet Ocean Vuong, and if you love poetry, then this should absolutely be on your 2022 reading list. With the success of his first collection and first novel, Vuong has delighted and stunned readers across generations with his subtle eloquence, genius, and talent for finding just the right word to make you feel everything you’d forgotten you could feel. The second collection of poetry centers the death of his mother and all of the poems that are in here will leave you breathless with their fierce intimacy and beauty.
Release Date: April 5, 2022
5. Trust the Plan by Will Sommer
Are you interested in QAnon but tired of unhelpful podcasts and endless articles without any meat in them? Journalist Will Sommers has been reporting on this group for years and has decided to put together his findings into one hugely helpful book that takes the reader on a journey from beginning to end, starting with the origins of QAnon to the fateful day of Jan 6th. He writes about where they might be headed, and how we can stop them. For the political investigator in all of us, this book will keep you up at night as you breathlessly explore the depths of QAnon.
Easily one of the most anticipated books of 2022, this nonfiction title will be published next month by Harper Collins.
Release Date: March 8, 2022
6. Moon Witch, Spider King by Marlon James
In the science fiction and fantasy department we have the newest book by Marlon James, a National Book Award finalist. For fans of the first book in The Dark Star trilogy, the sequel is finally coming your way. If you loved the first book, then you’ll enjoy catching up with the characters as they traverse the African landscape and Sogolan takes center stage, giving her theory of what happened to the missing boy that led the action-packed first book. James has a talent of bringing his characters to life, and here we get to see Sogolan tell her own tale and fight for the right to have a voice.
Release Date: February 15, 2022
7. Trust by Hernan Diaz
This historical fiction novel centers on the lives and dramas of Benjamin and Helen Rask. We can’t even begin to explain the plot of this novel, so we’ll let the publisher Riverhead Books take it from here: “Even through the roar and effervescence of the 1920s, everyone in New York has heard of Benjamin and Helen Rask. He is a legendary Wall Street tycoon; she is the daughter of eccentric aristocrats. Together, they have risen to the very top of a world of seemingly endless wealth — all as a decade of excess and speculation draws to an end. But at what cost have they acquired their immense fortune? This is the mystery at the center of Bonds, a successful 1937 novel that all of New York seems to have read… A story within a story, this beautiful book untangles the truth behind the Rask family through the gaze of a girl determined to find out what really happened.”
There are a lot of parallels between the 1920s era and our current age, and Hernan Diaz is back with a novel about the past that’s perfect for the present. Diaz was a finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize and the PEN/Faulkner Award, and the author’s sophomore novel is topping lots of lists of the most anticipated novels of 2022.
Release Date: May 3, 2022
8. When Women Were Dragons by Kelly Barnhill
We just can’t resist a novel with a fun “What if?” premise, and what a premise this book has. This epic feminist fantasy novel is set in the 1950s, as “thousands of women have spontaneously transformed into dragons.” Kelly Barnhill’s narrator, Alex Green, knows it’s a taboo subject to broach, but she very understandably wants answers. Where did her missing Aunt go? Why do people never talk about this historical event? Where did these women go, and what will happen to those left behind? Told from the perspective of a world much like our own, Barnhill seeks to answer the ceaseless question that haunts all of us: why can’t we accept others for who they really are?
Release Date: May 3, 2022
9. Rogues: True Stories of Grifters, Killers, Rebels, and Crooks by Patrick Radden Keefe
Are you a true crime buff? Do you love The New Yorker? Then get excited for this nonfiction collection of Patrick Radden Keefe’s greatest true crime essays, which have been pulled from the pages of the legendary literary magazine for your enjoyment. Told with the voice of a seasoned journalist, Keefe offers the best true crime stories, from money laundering to black arms deals. This will be the jewel of your true crime collection.
Release Date: June 28, 2022
Rogues: True Stories of Grifters, Killers, Rebels, and Crooks by Patrick Radden Keefe
10. The Last White Man by Mohsin Hamid
If you were a fan of the novel Exit West — a book about doors that magically took you to other cities and ultimately led to a mass migration of refugees — then be sure to keep an eye out for Hamid’s next book. Anders, the protagonist, wakes one morning to find that his skin has turned dark, and when he checks the news, he finds that he is not alone. Many people find themselves frightened or thinking that this turn is permanent, and that the long-established order is finally being overturned. Through this lens, Anders finds himself at odds with love and loss, and he tries to reach a greater place of intimacy with his friend Oona.
Release Date: August 2, 2022