A new year brings exciting new reads, and 2022 is set to be no different. Whether you want romance, grief, or murder (or all three), or prefer fact over fiction, you’re bound to find a page-turner. Without further ado, here are some titles that we are excited to get stuck into this year:
Black Cake, Charmaine Wilkerson
Estranged siblings Byron and Benny are reunited at their mother, Eleanor’s, funeral. They inherit a voice recording that contains family secrets and final requests and a family recipe for a traditional Caribbean black cake. In Wilkerson’s stunning debut, Byron and Benny must mourn their mother while they piece together the murder mystery that shaped Eleanor’s early life.
Matthieu Aikins, a Canadian journalist who has reported from Afghanistan and the Middle East since 2008, provides extraordinary insight into the journey of refugees fleeing war and seeking a brighter future. In 2016, Aikins left his passport and identity in Kabul in order to accompany his friend to Istanbul and across the Mediterranean into Europe. We are given an intimate insight into one family’s journey in the ongoing humanitarian crisis.
True Story: What Reality TV Says About Us, Danielle Lindemann
Sociologist Danielle J. Lindemann dissects Reality TV as a genre and what it reveals about structures of race, class, gender, and sexuality in wider society. She explores the genre, from humble MTV beginnings to the reality star in the White House, from Keeping Up with the Kardashians to Survivor, providing scholarly insight in a language that is easy to digest. Deep dives are always more engaging reads when the author is clearly passionate about their chosen subject, and Lindemann is a self-proclaimed reality television lover. True Story is perfect for any pop-culture enthusiast or fan of American reality shows.
Wayward, Vashti Bunyan
This beautiful memoir illustrates Bunyan’s journey on horse and cart from London to the Outer Hebrides in 1968. It is also the journey that led to the originally commercially unsuccessful 1970 album, Just Another Diamond Day. A true story of both freedom and hardship, of learning to navigate through the world on our own terms.
Young Mungo, Douglas Stuart
Protestant Mungo and Catholic James are the star-crossed lovers against the unforgiving environment of a Glasgow housing estate. This powerful novel does not shy away from matters of masculinity, sectarianism, family, and the violence that is laced across these themes. Winner of the Booker Prize for his debut, Shuggie Bain, Stuart’s latest work is set to live up to the hype.
People Person, Candice Carty-Williams
Author of the bestselling Queenie, Williams returns with her signature humour and beautifully written drama. Dimple Pennington feels her life is lacking any direction until the siblings she vaguely knows are brought together by a major event, forced to reconnect with each other and their estranged father, Cyril Pennington. Queenie was a masterpiece, so it is no wonder that we cannot wait to see what Carty-Williams has in store for us next.
You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty, Akwaeke Emezi
Five years after a tragic loss, Feyi Adekola is ready to dip her toe back into the dating pool. What follows is a whirlwind of opportunity: a luxury island, glamourous accommodation, gourmet meals and cocktails at sunset. Will Feyi risk this once-in-a-lifetime chance for a forbidden romance? Emezi’s work addresses what it means to honour your grief while embracing the possibility of finding love again and is already getting adapted for the big screen.
The Murder Book, Mark Billingham
In the latest instalment of Tom Thorne’s life, the detective must track down the woman who has committed a series of gruesome murders, unaware that he may be set to lose everything he has worked so hard for. Billingham consistently creates gripping thrillers that are impossible to put down, with Thorne as the maverick DI at the heart of his novels.