New year, new books? Many new year resolutions are shaped by the idea of reading more. Here are some anticipated page-turners expected in 2019, to help you turn over a new leaf.
An Orchestra of Minorities by Chigozie Obioma
Release date: January 3, 2019
Obioma provides a modern twist on Homer’s Odyssey, merging it with pre-colonial Igbo mythology, which becomes a backdrop for his forbidden love story in Umuahia, Nigeria. Chinonso, a young poultry farmer falls in love with Ndali, but her wealthy family shuns the pairing as he is uneducated. This heart-wrenching epic depicts the tension between determination and discrimination, when a frustrated Chinonso attempts to gain an education and confront prejudice.
The Wall by John Lanchester
Release date: January 17, 2019.
This dystopian novel focuses on the wall that has been built along Britain’s perimeter, enclosing the island nation, and protecting it from rising sea levels. Joseph Kavanagh is a defender, a national service expected of all young people, to protect the wall. He patrols the wall every night keeping out the Others: marginalised victims from the intensifying environmental crisis. The novel captures the social anxiety of our time – isolation, political unrest, migration, climate change – and questions if we are living in a dystopian world already.
Era of Indignation by Amber Tamblyn
Release date: March 5, 2019
Amber Tamblyn, child actress turned filmmaker, activist and a founder of the Time’s Up organisation, insists on the end of sexual assault, harassment and inequality in the workplace. Her passionate and deeply personal feminist manifesto narrates how she came to manage her own destiny and empowers women to improve society.
Sissy: A Coming-of-Gender Story by Jacob Tobia
Release date: March 5, 2019.
Jacob Tobia’s light-hearted, eye-opening memoir recounts what it is like to grow up not associating with a socially constructed gender category. Their honest, comical anecdotes from childhood stress the importance of trans-inclusion, instead of gender-based prejudice, and highlights the trauma an ascribed gender can have on a young person. This insightful novel depicts the frivolity of masculinity and femininity, whilst providing a healthy, open-minded worldview.
Machines Like Me by Ian McEwan
Release date: April 18, 2019
The novel occurs in an alternative 1980s London after Britain has lost the Falklands war, Margaret Thatcher is in a power battle with Tony Benn, and Alan Turing has developed artificial intelligence. McEwan queries what makes us human through a love triangle between Charlie, Miranda and Adam, some of the first synthetic humans. This highly anticipated novel questions if machines can understand human emotions.
Cari Mora by Thomas Harris
Release date: May 16, 2019
The Silence of the Lambs author has returned, 13 years since his last novel, with a dark thriller about evil, gluttony, and compulsion. It focuses on $25 million worth of gold hidden beneath a mansion in Miami, where caretaker Cari Mora unfortunately works. Harris depicts human monstrosity through his focus on Cari’s fight for survival against the armed group who track the gold.
The Testaments by Margaret Atwood
Release date: September 10, 2019
Margaret Atwood’s awaited sequel to her bestselling feminist dystopia The Handmaid’s Tale. This modern classic ambiguously ended with Offred being placed in a van, which hopefully carried her outside of Gilead, to freedom. The Testaments is framed by the testimonies from three Gileadian females and is set 15 years after Offred was plunged into the unknown.
The Year of the Locust by Terry Hayes
Release date: October 3, 2019
Terry Hayes, writer of Mad Max, is publishing the anticipated follow up of bestselling novel I Am Pilgrim. This high-concept thriller depicts a scientific breakthrough, a government plot, and Luke Truman’s attempt to prevent the unravelling downward trajectory of events. Hayes’ novels always promise plot twists that challenge the typical thriller genre, and this book is certainly no different, leading to unrelenting suspense and action.
– Megan Ratcliffe.