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There's nothing like curling up with a new read. It's time to escape into new worlds full of rich characters and stories to give you some January motivation.
From a contemporary twist on Homer's Odyssey to A-lister approved fiction to the highly anticipated Hunger Games spinoff novel, we've handpicked 20 of the best food-for-thought books to jump-start your 2020. Some are available now, and others for pre-order. Our favorite? My Year of Rest and Relaxation's Ottessa Moshfegh's sophomore effort: Death in Her Hands.
Can't decide on just one? Why not have reading on-the-go with an Kindle Unlimited or Audible membership?
Check out our picks below!
An Orchestra of Minorities Hardcover by Chigozie Obioma
Narrated by a guardian spirit, this rich book tells the story of Chinonso, a young poultry farmer whose soul is ignited when he sees a woman, Ndali, attempting to jump from a highway bridge. Saving her life, the two fall in love, this novel is a contemporary twist of Homer's Odyssey.
Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid
There's a reason this is Reese Witherspoon's January book pick: Such a Fun Age is a page-turning and big-hearted story about race and privilege, set around a young black babysitter, her well-intentioned employer, and a surprising connection that threatens to undo them both.
Death in Her Hands by Ottessa Moshfegh
Curl up with a new fiction favorite! We recommend Ottessa Moshfegh's highly anticipated 2020 novel that's available for pre-order! If you loved My Year of Rest and Relaxation, you're not going to want to miss this suspenseful tale about an elderly widow whose life is upturned when she finds a cryptic note on a walk in the woods that ultimately makes her question everything about her new home.
Hitting a Straight Lick with a Crooked Stick: Stories from the Harlem Renaissance by Zora Neale Hurston
Hitting a Straight Lick with a Crooked Stick is an outstanding collection of stories about love and migration, gender and class, racism and sexism that proudly reflect African American folk culture.
American Dirt: A Novel Hardcover by Jeanine Cummins
Imagine if you owned a small bookstore and a charming man, Javier came in and picked out four of your favorite novels? What if you also found out he was the the jefe of the newest drug cartel that has gruesomely taken over the city. That's exactly bookstore owner Lydia's troubles when her husband's tell-all profile of Javier is published, none of their lives will ever be the same.
Followers by Megan Angelo
Orla Cadden is a budding novelist stuck in a dead-end job, writing clickbait about movie-star hookups and influencer yoga moves. Then Orla meets Floss—a striving, wannabe A-lister—who comes up with a plan for launching them both into the high-profile lives they dream about. But it's a plan where people can get hurt...
Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love by Dani Shapiro
From the acclaimed, best-selling memoirist, novelist and host of the hit podcast Family Secrets, comes a memoir about the staggering family secret uncovered by a genealogy test: an exploration of the urgent ethical questions surrounding fertility treatments and DNA testing, and a profound inquiry of paternity, identity, and love.
You Know You Want This:
You Know You Want This brilliantly explores the ways in which women are horrifying as much as it captures the horrors that are done to them. Among its pages are a couple who becomes obsessed with their friend hearing them have sex and a ten-year-old whose birthday party takes a sinister turn when she wishes for "something mean."
The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel
In this captivating story of crisis and survival, Emily St. John Mandel takes readers through often hidden landscapes: campgrounds for the near-homeless, underground electronica clubs, the business of international shipping, service in luxury hotels, and life in a federal prison.
The Mirror & the Light by Hillary Mantel
In this wrap-up to Mantel's trilogy on the life of Thomas Cromwell, Anne Boleyn has been separated from her head, and the blacksmith's son from Putney is sitting pretty. But not for long: rebels rouse in England, traitors scheme abroad, invasion remains a constant threat, and Henry VIII's third wife dies delivering his much-wanted son. Henry might demand loyalty, but he's loyal to no one, so Cromwell must watch his back.
Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother's Will to Survive by Stephanie Land
Maid explores the underbelly of upper-middle class America and the reality of what it's like to be in service to them. "I'd become a nameless ghost," Stephanie writes about her relationship with her clients, many of whom do not know her from any other cleaner, but who she learns plenty about. As she begins to discover more about her clients' lives-their sadness and love, too-she begins to find hope in her own path.
Long Bright River by Liz Moore
In a Philadelphia neighborhood rocked by the opioid crisis, two once-inseparable sisters find themselves at odds. One, Kacey, lives on the streets in the vise of addiction. The other, Mickey, walks those same blocks on her police beat. They don't speak anymore, but Mickey never stops worrying about her sibling. Then Kacey disappears...
The Better Liar: A Novel Hardcover by Tanen Jones
When a woman conceals her sister's death to claim their joint inheritance, her deception exposes a web of dangerous secrets in this addictive new thriller for fans of Megan Abbott, Gillian Flynn, and Paula Hawkins. Available Jan. 14, pre-order now!
Craving more books? Check out these true crime must-reads and beach read faves!
—Originally published Jan. 3, 2020, at 3:00 a.m. PT