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Books to look forward to in 2022

Here are just a few to put on your reading list in the new year.
Mermaid Confidential cover
Mermaid Confidential cover [ William Morrow ]
Published Dec. 23, 2021

Hope you’re caught up on your 2021 books, because the 2022 list is rolling right in. Here are just a few notable books being published in the coming months.

January

What can we get for Serge Storms to celebrate Tim Dorsey’s 25th novel about Florida’s most lovable serial killer? A silver shiv? Mermaid Confidential finds Serge and Coleman taking a break from road trips to move into a condo complex in the Keys, where rowdy tourists are ruining the neighborhood and smugglers are in the middle of a gang war.

Crime fiction writer extraordinaire Laura Lippman’s latest is Seasonal Work: Stories, a collection of short stories and one novella about fierce women (including an appearance by Tess Monaghan) dealing with betrayal, secrets, heartbreak, murder and more.

Alafair Burke’s new thriller, Find Me, revolves around a young woman found after a car wreck, her memory gone, 15 years ago. She recovers but never regains any knowledge of her past. Then she disappears, and NYPD homicide detective Ellie Hatcher fears that could be tied to a serial killer

After the death of Robert B. Parker in 2010, former Tampa journalist Ace Atkins was chosen to continue Parker’s beloved Spenser series. Bye Bye Baby is the 50th Spenser book, and Atkins’ 10th and last. Spenser is hired to protect rising young political star Carolina Garcia-Ramirez, who’s getting death threats from white supremacists that are more frightening than the usual troll drivel.

Gish Jen is known for her novels, such as The Resisters, but her new short story collection, Thank You, Mr. Nixon, is a delight. Focused on the experiences of Chinese immigrants who find themselves caught between two cultures, the stories are witty, insightful and beautifully crafted.

If you were a fan of Hanya Yanagihara’s bestselling 2015 novel A Little Life, you’ll welcome To Paradise, an epic triptych of stories set in 1893, 1993 and 2093. All are connected to Manhattan; the first two are set in alternative histories of America, the last in a post-apocalyptic future.

The latest posthumous publication by Zora Neale Hurston is You Don’t Know Us Negroes and Other Essays. It collects Hurston’s essays, criticism and journalism over more than 30 decades, showcasing her penetrating, sometimes contrarian insights about race, gender and American culture.

February

Before Anne Rice died earlier this month, she and her son, author Christopher Rice, completed a trilogy with Ramses the Damned: The Reign of Osiris, in which the pharaoh, made immortal by a magical elixir, awakes in Edwardian England after centuries of sleep. No word on whether there are any more vampire novels in the vault.

The second book in Jamaican author Marlon James’ Dark Star trilogy is Moon Witch, Spider King. It takes a different perspective on the tale told in the first book, Black Leopard, Red Wolf, continuing an exuberant fantasy epic full of monsters and heroes, woven from African myth and evoking everything from J.R.R. Tolkien and Neil Gaiman to Marvel Comics.

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British author Lucy Foley made bestseller lists with The Guest List, and she’s poised to do it again with The Paris Apartment. Jess, a young woman whose life has gone sideways, goes to stay with her half brother. His apartment in Paris is just as charming as she’d hoped ― but Ben’s not there, and his neighbors aren’t talking.

March and beyond

Those who bow down to all things Dolly Parton, as we should, will want to preorder her collaboration with James Patterson. Run, Rose, Run is set in the Nashville music business and combines mystery and romance. (March)

One of the books I’m most excited about is Jennifer Egan’s The Candy House, a “sibling novel” to her brilliant, mind-blowing 2011 novel, A Visit From the Goon Squad. This one revisits some of Goon Squad’s characters and its experimental structure. (April)

Douglas Stuart made a huge splash in 2020 with his heartbreaking debut novel, Shuggie Bain. He’s back with Young Mungo, about two young working-class men in Glasgow falling in love in a homophobic culture. (April)

Every Cloak Rolled in Blood is billed as James Lee Burke’s most autobiographical book yet. Novelist Aaron Broussard, who appeared as a young man in 2020′s Another Kind of Eden, is mourning the sudden death of his daughter when he is drawn into a confrontation with a violent criminal network. (May)

Tom Perrotta’s darkly satirical 1998 novel Election was made into a memorable movie starring Reese Witherspoon as Tracy Flick, a madly competitive high school girl. His new book, Tracy Flick Can’t Win, brings her back in midlife, an assistant principal competing for the principal’s job. What could go wrong? (June)

At this point, many fall books don’t yet have titles or publication dates. But we can expect new books from Michael Connelly — he says this one puts Harry Bosch in the lead — and Lisa Unger. There’s also a new novel coming from Barbara Kingsolver.

I’m usually not excited about movie star memoirs, but this one cuts through the gloss: Back in the 1980s, megastar (and mensch) Paul Newman started taping his memoir, wanting to get it down in his own words. His family has decided to publish it. No title or date yet, but this one’s on my list.

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