10 books you should read in 2024
10 books you should read in 2024
For everyone seeking a literary adventure in 2024, this curated list unveils a selection of books we can’t wait to read and that traverse genres, styles, and perspectives, offering a roadmap to intellectual discovery and emotional resonance. Some of these books are yet to be released this year.
We Should Not Be Friends: The Story of a Friendship
By the time Will Schwalbe was a junior at college, he had already met everyone he cared to know: the theater people, writers, visual artists and comp lit majors, and various other quirky characters including the handful of students who shared his own major, Latin and Greek. He also knew exactly who he wanted to avoid: the jocks. The jocks wore baseball caps and moved in packs, filling boisterous tables in the dining hall, and on the whole seemed to be another species entirely, one Will might encounter only at his own peril.
All this changed dramatically when Will collided with Chris Maxey, known to just about everyone as Maxey. Maxey was physically imposing, loud, and a star wrestler who was determined to become a Navy SEAL (where he would later serve for six years). Thanks to the strangely liberating circumstances of a little-known secret society at Yale, the two forged a bond that would become a mainstay of each other’s lives as they repeatedly lost and found each other and themselves in the years after graduation.
From New Haven to New York City, from Hong Kong and Panama to a remarkable school on an island in the Bahamas–through marriages and a divorce, triumphs and devastating losses–We Should Not Be Friends tracks an extraordinary friendship over decades of challenge and change. Schwalbe’s marvelous new work is, at its heart, a joyful testament to the miracle of human connection–and how if we can just get past our preconceptions, we may find some of our greatest friends.
Release date: 23.03.2024
The cult Japanese bestseller about a female gourmet cook and serial killer and the journalist intent on cracking her case, inspired by a true story.
There are two things that I can simply not tolerate: feminists and margarine.
Gourmet cook Manako Kajii sits in Tokyo Detention Centre convicted of the serial murders of lonely businessmen, who she is said to have seduced with her delicious home cooking. The case has captured the nation’s imagination but Kajii refuses to speak with the press, entertaining no visitors. That is, until journalist Rika Machida writes a letter asking for her recipe for beef stew and Kajii can’t resist writing back.
Rika, the only woman in her news office, works late each night, rarely cooking more than ramen. As the visits unfold between her and the steely Kajii, they are closer to a masterclass in food than journalistic research. Rika hopes this gastronomic exchange will help her soften Kajii but it seems that she might be the one changing. With each meal she eats, something is awakening in her body, might she and Kaji have more in common than she once thought?
Inspired by the real case of the convicted con woman and serial killer, “The Konkatsu Killer”, Asako Yuzuki’s Butter is a vivid, unsettling exploration of misogyny, obsession, romance and the transgressive pleasures of food in Japan.
Release date: 23.03.2024
Release date German version: 14.02.2024
When the enslaved Jim overhears that he is about to be sold to a man in New Orleans, separated from his wife and daughter forever, he decides to hide on nearby Jackson Island until he can formulate a plan. Meanwhile, Huck Finn has faked his own death to escape his violent father, recently returned to town. As all readers of American literature know, thus begins the dangerous and transcendent journey by raft down the Mississippi River toward the elusive and too-often-unreliable promise of the Free States and beyond.
While many narrative set pieces of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn remain in place (floods and storms, stumbling across both unexpected death and unexpected treasure in the myriad stopping points along the river’s banks, encountering the scam artists posing as the Duke and Dauphin…), Jim’s agency, intelligence and compassion are shown in a radically new light.
Brimming with the electrifying humor and lacerating observations that have made Everett a “literary icon” (Oprah Daily), and one of the most decorated writers of our lifetime, James is destined to be a major publishing event and a cornerstone of twenty-first century American literature.
Release date: 11.04.2024
Release date German version: 18.03.2024
Andy loves Jen. Jen loved Andy. And he can’t work out why she stopped. Now he is without a home, waiting for his stand-up career to take off and wondering why everyone else around him seems to have grown up while he wasn’t looking.
Set adrift on the sea of heartbreak at a time when everything he thought he knew about women, and flat-sharing, and his friendships has transformed beyond recognition, Andy clings to the idea of solving the puzzle of their broken relationship. Because if he can find the answer to that, then maybe Jen can find her way back to him.
Andy still has a lot to learn, not least his ex-girlfriend’s side of the story.
From the bestselling author of Ghosts and Everything I Know About Love: a sharply funny, beautifully observed and exquisitely relatable story of heartbreak and friendship, and how to survive both.
The major new novel from the international bestselling French author Édouard Louis – about social class, transformation, and the perils of leaving the past behind.
Édouard Louis longs for a life beyond the poverty, discrimination and violence in his working-class hometown – so he sets out for school in Amiens, and, later, university in Paris. He sheds the provincial ‘Eddy’ for an elegant new name, determined to eradicate every aspect of his past. He reads incessantly; he dines with aristocrats; he spends nights with millionaires and drug-dealers alike.
Everything he does is motivated by a single obsession: to become someone else. At once harrowing and profound, Change is not just a personal odyssey, a story of dreams and of ‘the beautiful violence of being torn away’, but a profound portrait of a society divided by class, power and inequality.
Release date: 08.02.2024
The German version Anleitung ein anderer zu werden can be ordered already
The Ministry of Time
In the near future, a disaffected civil servant is offered a lucrative job in a mysterious new government ministry gathering ‘expats’ from across history to test the limits of time-travel.
Her role is to work as a ‘bridge’: living with, assisting and monitoring the expat known as ‘1847’ – Commander Graham Gore. As far as history is concerned, Commander Gore died on Sir John Franklin’s doomed expedition to the Arctic, so he’s a little disoriented to find himself alive and surrounded by outlandish concepts such as ‘washing machine’, ‘Spotify’ and ‘the collapse of the British Empire’. With an appetite for discovery and a seven-a-day cigarette habit, he soon adjusts; and during a long, sultry summer he and his bridge move from awkwardness to genuine friendship, to something more.
But as the true shape of the project that brought them together begins to emerge, Gore and the bridge are forced to confront their past choices and imagined futures. Can love triumph over the structures and histories that have shaped them? And how do you defy history when history is living in your house?
Release date: 14.05.2024
Revolutionary Acts: Love & Brotherhood in Black Gay Britain
In this landmark work, Jason Okundaye meets an elder generation of Black gay men and finds a spirited community full of courage, charisma and good humour, hungry to tell its past – of nightlife, resistance, political fights, loss, gossip, sex, romance and vulgarity. Through their conversations he seeks to reconcile the Black and gay narratives of Britain, narratives frequently cleaved as distinct and unrelated.
Tracing these men’s journeys and arrivals to South London through the seventies, eighties and nineties from the present day, Okundaye relays their stories with rare compassion, listening as they share intimate memories and reflect upon their lives. They endured and fought against the peak of the AIDS epidemic, built social groups and threw underground parties; they went to war with institutions (and with each other) and created meaning within a society which was often indifferent to their existence.
Revolutionary Acts renders a singular portrait of Britain from the perspective of those buffeted by the winds of marginalisation and discrimination. It is a portrait marked by resilience and self-determination, inspired by the love and beauty Black men have found in each other.
Release date: 07.03.2024
The Bullet Swallower
Elizabeth Gonzalez James
A dazzling magical realism western in the vein of Cormac McCarthy meets Gabriel García Márquez, The Bullet Swallower follows a Mexican bandido as he sets off for Texas to save his family, only to encounter a mysterious figure who has come, finally, to collect a cosmic debt generations in the making.
In 1895, Antonio Sonoro is the latest in a long line of ruthless men. He’s good with his gun and is drawn to trouble but he’s also out of money and out of options. A drought has ravaged the town of Dorado, Mexico, where he lives with his wife and children, and so when he hears about a train laden with gold and other treasures, he sets off for Houston to rob it—with his younger brother Hugo in tow. But when the heist goes awry and Hugo is killed by the Texas Rangers, Antonio finds himself launched into a quest for revenge that endangers not only his life and his family, but his eternal soul.
In 1964, Jaime Sonoro is Mexico’s most renowned actor and singer. But his comfortable life is disrupted when he discovers a book that purports to tell the entire history of his family beginning with Cain and Abel. In its ancient pages, Jaime learns about the multitude of horrific crimes committed by his ancestors. And when the same mysterious figure from Antonio’s timeline shows up in Mexico City, Jaime realizes that he may be the one who has to pay for his ancestors’ crimes, unless he can discover the true story of his grandfather Antonio, the legendary bandido El Tragabalas, The Bullet Swallower.
A family saga that’s epic in scope and magical in its blood, and based loosely on the author’s own great-grandfather, The Bullet Swallower tackles border politics, intergenerational trauma, and the legacies of racism and colonialism in a lush setting and stunning prose that asks who pays for the sins of our ancestors, and whether it is possible to be better than our forebears.
An exuberant debut, The Husbands delights in asking: how do we navigate life, love, and choice in a world of never-ending options?
When Lauren returns home to her flat in London late one night, she is greeted at the door by her husband, Michael. There’s only one problem—she’s not married. She’s never seen this man before in her life. But according to her friends, her much-improved decor, and the photos on her phone, they’ve been together for years.
As Lauren tries to puzzle out how she could be married to someone she can’t remember meeting, Michael goes to the attic to change a lightbulb and abruptly disappears. In his place, a new man emerges, and a new, slightly altered life re-forms around her. Realizing that her attic is creating an infinite supply of husbands, Lauren confronts the question: If swapping lives is as easy as changing a lightbulb, how do you know you’ve taken the right path? When do you stop trying to do better and start actually living?
Release date: 02.04.2024
The Great Divide
A powerful novel about the construction of the Panama Canal, casting light on the unsung people who lived, loved, and labored there.
It is said that the canal will be the greatest feat of engineering in history. But first, it must be built. For Francisco, a local fisherman who resents the foreign powers clamoring for a slice of his country, nothing is more upsetting than the decision of his son, Omar, to work as a digger in the excavation zone. But for Omar, whose upbringing was quiet and lonely, this job offers a chance to finally find connection.
Ada Bunting is a bold sixteen-year-old from Barbados who arrives in Panama as a stowaway alongside thousands of other West Indians seeking work. Alone and with no resources, she is determined to find a job that will earn enough money for her ailing sister’s surgery. When she sees a young man—Omar—who has collapsed after a grueling shift, she is the only one who rushes to his aid.
John Oswald has dedicated his life to scientific research and has journeyed to Panama in single-minded pursuit of one goal: eliminating malaria. But now, his wife, Marian, has fallen ill herself, and when he witnesses Ada’s bravery and compassion, he hires her on the spot as a caregiver. This fateful decision sets in motion a sweeping tale of ambition, loyalty, and sacrifice.
Searing and empathetic,The Great Divide explores the intersecting lives of activists, fishmongers, laborers, journalists, neighbors, doctors, and soothsayers—those rarely acknowledged by history even as they carved out its course.
Release date: 05.03.2024