Most Anticipated Books of 2020!

Hi everyone, I’m here today to do a video
that I normally do towards the end of the year where I talk about my most
anticipated books for next year, so in this case for 2020. There are so many
books coming out next year, as there are every year, some of them haven’t been
announced yet, some of them I’m just not aware of, so I have picked 20 titles that
I am aware of and I’m excited about to talk to you about today, not 20 because
it’s 2020, but maybe I should say that because it sounds good …but just because
it’s a smallish number that we can talk about without being here all day.
Whenever I make videos like this people always ask how I find out about books
that are coming out: I work in the publishing industry so publicists send me
AI sheets, additional information sheets, telling me about upcoming
releases but also I actively go out and research and you can do this yourself if
you would like to; if you go to a publisher’s website they have all their
catalogues that list all of the books that they’re publishing in the next 6 to 12
months, and that’s publicly available so you can go and research those
yourself. So as I said I have 20 books to tell you about today,
if covers have been released for the books I’ll insert images here, some of
them haven’t been yet. I have four of them in proof form and all of the books
will be linked down below if you would like to go and find out more. They are
not in any particular order. The first one is the Snow Collectors which I do
have a proof copy of and this is by Tina May Hall and it’s coming out in March
2020. It says “haunted by the loss of her parents and twin sister at sea, Henna
cloisters herself in a northeastern village where the snow never stops. When
she discovers the body of a young woman at the edge of the forest
she’s plunged into a mystery of a centuries old letter regarding one of
the most famous stories of Arctic exploration, the Franklin expedition,
which disappeared into the ice in 1845, and at the heart of this mystery is
Franklin’s wife, Lady Jane. Henna’s investigation draws her into a gothic
landscape of locked towers, dreamlike nights of snow and ice, and a crumbling
mansion rife with hidden passages and carrion birds.”
I’m really excited to read that and I’ll be reading that in the next few months
so I can review it before it comes out. I’m just going to go through the
ones that I have next to me first, this is The Island Child by Molly Atkin and
this is coming out in January, so very very soon, it says “the island is a gift
for some, a prison for others. Rich, haunting and rooted in Irish folklore,
the Island Child is a spellbinding debut about identity and motherhood and the power of stories. Next on my pile here is The
Crying Book by Heather Christle, and this is coming out in February, this is
Heather Christle’s first non-fiction book, I love her poetry and this is an
exploration of grief and it’s written like this. It reminds me in format and
in tone, from the parts I’ve read, of Maggie Nelson’s books, so I’m really
looking forward to getting to that. I’ve heard really, really good advance
reviews for that and then finally for the books that I have proof copies of,
this is Escape Routes by Naomi Ishiguro and this it’s coming out in
February, so also soon, this is a collection of short stories and Naomi
Ishiguro is Kazuo Ishiguro’s daughter, it says “a space obsessed child conjures a
vortex in his mother’s linen cupboard, a musician’s fascination with the birds
who flock to her balcony offers a startling new perspective on the city, a
rat capture summoned to a decaying royal palace is plunged into a battle for the
throne of a ruined Kingdom, and two newlyweds find themselves inhibited by
the arrival in their lives of an outsized, watchful stuffed bear.” So let’s
move on to the books I don’t have copies of yet I actually don’t have any books
myself coming out in 2020, it’s the first year for a while that I won’t have a new
book coming out which is nice and also scary because it feels like I should
have a book coming out but it’s definitely fine not to; I had two out this
year, so it’s fine not to have a book out 2020. I do have two books coming out
that I have contributed to, however, one of them I’m not entirely sure of the details yet
so I won’t tell you about that excuse me two seconds, sorry that was
just the postman, as I said one of the books I don’t have all the details of
yet so I’ll tell you about that later but the other one I think is coming out
in May and it’s called Outsiders, it’s a short story anthology and I’ve written a
new short story to go in that. The theme of the collection is outsiders and it
will contain stories by me, Irenosen Okojie, Kirsty Logan, Julia Armfield
and lots of other people, I think it’s going to be really great, so if you fancy
pre-ordering it I will link it in the description box down below. Next coming
out in February is Homie by Danez Smith, this is their next full-length election
it’s their third one, they had ‘insert boy,’ ‘don’t call us dead’ and now ‘homie’ and
this is an exploration of friendship and I’m so excited about it because ‘don’t
call us dead’ was just so flippin brilliant. Next on my list I’ve written Summer by
Ali Smith question mark, I don’t know if this is coming out in 2020, I assume that
it is — the final book in her seasonal quartet, so far we have had Autumn, Winter
and Spring all of which have been brilliant, I think they’re getting better
as they go on and I am really really excited about Summer. If you haven’t read
the previous three, I encourage you to do so. You don’t have to read them in order,
they are stand-alones, but thematically they do link. Next on my list is D by
Michel Faber which I think is coming out in September, it’s published by Doubleday
and it’s Michel’s first children’s book, he’s the author of The Book of
Strange New Things, the Crimson Petal and the White and many
other excellent books. This is his first book for children and I read the very
beginning of it when he started writing it a while ago and really enjoyed it.
This is about a young girl called Dhikilo, who feels as though she doesn’t
have a past or a country, the country that she’s from — she’s told — is completely
made up and then one day the letter D disappears from the alphabet and things
start to get difficult and she has to travel to another world in order to try
and get the letter D back. I’m sure it’s going to be really charming and also
wonderful and exciting. I really look forward to reading it in full, and as I
said I think it’s coming out in September. Next on my list
I have Glass Town by Isabel Greenberg and I very helpfully didn’t write down
when this is coming out, I think it’s February or March, but again I’ll link it
down below, this is her new graphic novel she is the author and illustrator of A
Hundred Nights of Hero and The Encyclopedia of Early Earth. Many people
have written about Glass World which is the imaginary world that the Bronte
siblings came up with but I find the whole concept really fascinating so
she’s imagined it in graphic novel form and them going on adventures there which
I think sounds brilliant, and next on my list is a new novel by
Daisy Johnson which is coming out in July and it’s called Sisters, it’s about
two sisters called July and September who find that they have slightly
unusually strong connection with each other, they suffer school bullying so
they move across the country with their mother to an old long abandoned family
home and it says “there, inside the house, the tension among the three women
builds while outside the sisters meet a boy who tests the limit of their shared
experiences. With its roots in psychological horror, Sisters is a taut
powerful and deeply moving account of sibling love.” So I’m really looking
forward to that one. In May we have a new novel by Carys
Bray which I am super excited about, I’ve read everything that she’s written,
I think she’s fantastic, her last novel if you want to read something in the
meantime, is called the Museum of You, I think my favourite book by her is her
short story collection which is called Sweet Home. This new one is called When
the Lights Go Out and as I said it’s coming out in May, and it’s about a
husband and wife called Emma and Chris Abrams. Chris is preparing for the end
of the world and indeed it does look like the floods are about to come.
It is a climate change novel and I’m really excited to read that. Coming out
later in 2020 probably in the autumn or around that time is a new novel by Sarah
Moss (hurray!) called A Day like Today. It’s a multi-narrative set in a Scottish
trailer park and it’s about the animosity that those living there feel
towards a new family who’ve just moved in. It’s giving me vibes of Ghosts Wall.
I love everything Sarah writes so I very much look forward to reading.
Next on my list is a debut novel called If I had your Face by Francis Char,
which is coming out in April, it describes itself as a “glittery, dark
novel about four competitive women living in South Korea.” Also coming out in April
is a poetry collection called Rue by Kathryn Nuremberger, which centres around
female scientists and I really like the sound of that. Next on my list it’s a
book I am potentially very excited about, I’m just not sure, so I want to
wait and find out more about it, it’s coming out in March and it’s the new novel from Emily
St. John Mandel who’s the author of Station Eleven, which I really liked but I
haven’t always been drawn to her other writing, so I want to wait and find out
more about this but it says “from the award-winning author of Station Eleven, a
captivating novel of money, beauty, white-collar crime, ghosts and moral
compromise.” So it’s on my list with a question mark and I’ll come back to it later. Next is one I recently heard about called
Sansei and Sensibility by Karen Tei Yamashita and it’s coming out in May,
it’s a short story collection with characters from Jane Austen novels reimagined but in a really different way so it says “these characters examine the
contents of deceased relatives freezers, tape record high school locker room
chatter, cart the contents of a household across the country, or collect a
community’s gossip while cleaning their inhabitants teeth. Mr. Darcy is the
captain of a football team, Mansfield Park has materialized in a suburb of LA,
bake sales have replaced balls, and station wagons not horse-drawn carriages
are the preferred mode of transit.” I am very much here for this book. Next on my
list is a book that’s coming out in March called English Monsters by James
Scudamore. I haven’t read any of his books before but the blurb of this one
particularly intrigued me. I’ve heard really good early reviews, so this is
about a 10 year old boy called Max who is sent away from home to a boarding
school where he makes friends with lots of people but then secrets get unearthed and
it spans “several decades, English
Monsters is a story of bonds between men, some nurturing, others devastating, it
explores what happens when care is outsourced in the name of building
resilience and character, and presents a beautiful and moving portrait of
friendship” and then there is a new book from Evie Wilde coming out which I’m
really excited about and it’s called either the “Bass” Rock or the “Base” rock
I’m not sure how you pronounce that, I will find out before the book is
published, so it’s about the lives of three women which are linked across the
centuries. “In the early 1700s Sara, accused of being a witch, flees for her
life; in the aftermath of the Second World War
Ruth navigates a new house, a new husband and the strange waters of the local
community; and six decades later the house stands empty, Liv mourning the
death of her father catalogues Ruth’s belongings and discovers her place in
the past and perhaps a way forward. I really love the way the Evie plays with
time in her books and I particularly enjoyed her novel All the Birds, Singing, which
if you haven’t read I would very much recommend. I have two books left on my
list the first one is a cookbook and it’s coming out in June by Rukmini
Iyer, it’s called The Roasting Tin around the World. You guys probably know that I
love the roasting tin cookbooks, there is at The Green Roasting Tin, The Roasting Tin and The Quick Roasting Tin. If you love delicious food, which i think is all
of us, and you like easy recipes that make it look like you’ve made a big
effort when you haven’t, then I really recommend these books, particularly The
Green Roasting Tin, Lauren from Lauren and the books raved about them, I bought them
haven’t looked back, they’re great, and then finally the last one on my list is
a new novel by Ottessa Moshfegh, and it’s coming out in May it’s called Death in
her Hands it’s about a woman who’s out walking her dog and she discovers the
body of a dead woman with a note attached saying “this is Magda, I didn’t
kill her, I don’t know who did” and she becomes obsessed with finding out who
Magda it is and who killed her and why. So those are all the books that I wanted
to mention today, as I said they’ll all be linked in the description box down
below, are there any books coming out next year that you’re very excited about?
Do let me know because I would like to hear about them. I hope you’re having a
great start to the week and I’ll speak to you very soon. Lots of bookish love x


  1. Hey Jen, your hair looks very cute today! Watching your videos is like coming home in the winter to a cozy living room 🙂

  2. Personally I can’t wait to read Susannah Clarke’s Piranesi and I’ll be re-reading Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell (and re-watching the excellent BBC adaptation) in anticipation 🙂

  3. Three books coming out in January about which I am very excited:
    A Long Petal of the Sea by Isabel Allende – Victor Damlau, a Doctor, and his sister-in-law Roser Bueguera are forced into exile from Spain in the grips of civil war to Chile. They board a ship chartered by Pablo Neuruda (one of my favourite poets). It spans four generations and is about the "battle of freedom and repression as it plays out over the world"

    The Doll by Ismail Kadare – I think this book came out a few years ago in Albania but has only now been translated into English. Kadare won the international Man Booker prize and this book is about his mother, the doll of the title, living in her husbands stone house with dungeons and a stern mother in law. She fears her son will exchange her for a better mother when he becomes a famous writer.

    Braised Pork by An Yu – This book is about Jia Jia who one morning walks into her bathroom to find her husband is dead. Next to the tub is a sketch of a strange watery figure she can't forget. She goes on an odyssey across Beijing and beyond.

    I decided that next year I want to read more works of translated fiction, which is how I discovered these new releases, though I have read Allende before.

  4. This is all fab! I had no idea Kazuo Ishiguro's daughter is also a writer. And I'm so happy to hear Homie is coming out here – so exciting! New Carys Bray. New Sarah Moss. New Evie Wyld. 
    Off the top of my head, I'm looking forward to Garth Greenwell's new novel Cleanness and did you know Martin MacInnes has a new novel out called Gathering Evidence? I think I recall you liked his first novel Infinite Ground.
    Bring on 2020! 📚🎉

  5. The Glass Hotel has been on my bookcase for a while and I thought I would read immediately but I just didn't. I might pick it up again this weekend.

  6. Yaaaay I've been waiting for this :DDD Oh I had no idea Sarah Moss has a new novel coming out, awesome!!! 🙂 I'm a little intrigued by Beheld by TaraShea Nesbit (ok the cover really speaks to me haha) and How Much of These Hills Is Gold but I'll wait for reviews. The books I really anticipate are by Sarah Moss and Ali Smith. Also, will read the next volume of Marlon James fantasy series but I'm not sure when it comes out. I would also like to read Glass Town but I feel like I should read the Bronte juvenilia first and I am not sure when I get to it. Though I really should, having read and loved all the Bronte novels. <3

  7. Oh my gosh, I wasn't excited about book releases in 2020 until I watched this. Daisy Johnson 💗, Carys Bray 💙, Sarah Moss 🧡, Otessagh Moshfegh 💚 and that crying book sounds fab.

  8. Hi Jen! I was wondering if you've read 'Kindred' by Octavia Butler? I know it's been out for many decades now but I'd love to hear your thoughts x

  9. Lots of these sound amazing … I am super excited for Danez Smith's new poetry !! Love thier work so much ❤️

    There are so many books next year I am excited for ; The new Yaa Gyasi novel , Trent Dalton's new book , Robbie Arnott's new book and there are probably heaps more !! Love that buzz feeling of the brand new year of books 😘

    Thank you for sharing these with us❤️

  10. can 't wait for Allah99 by Hassan Blasim, world's greatest living author in my opinion, along with Ngugi wa'Thiongo, but my favourite books you've got me into are Sarah Moss and Carys Bray, who i must get onto, and Claire Keegan

  11. The Snow Collectors couldn’t have ticked anymore of my “literary-loves” boxes if it had tried. 😂 I’m definitely buying that.

  12. Lucy Jones, the author of Foxes Unearthed, is coming out with a new book next year called 'Lost Eden' about human's relationship with nature, I think it takes a psychology angle – and I'm beyond excited for it.

  13. Completely out of topic, but I love your hair like this! 🙂 And I always enjoy listening to you recommending/talking about books. It's the one thing I do when I need some cozy time 😀

  14. Two people on my short list of necessary writers have new novels coming in 2020. Louise Erdrich / The Nightwatchman in March; Stephen Graham Jones / The Only Good Indians in May.

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