Winter 2023 Books Preview: 16 titles not to miss

Winter 2023 Books Preview
Winter 2023 Books Preview

Ah, mid-January, when the New Year's resolutions fall away, and Netflix and lethargy creep in. But the book world of 2023 has more to offer, we promise, than the chaotic memoir of one exiled ginger prince.

Below, 16 of the most intriguing titles due this season, from fantastical Indian epics and fizzy domestic dramedies to intimate tales of love, loss, and K-pop.

<i>Age of Vice </i> by Deepti Kapoor

Kapoor's sprawling, mobbed-up thriller — a story of crime, punishment, and class divides set in turn-of-the-millennium New Delhi — feels like the first big novel of the year in nearly every sense: a glossy triangulation of The Godfather, The White Tiger, and How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia poured across 544 colorful, chaotic pages. (A GMA Book Club pick, it's already slated for a series adaptation on FX.) (Out now)

Age of Vice by Deepti Kapoor
Age of Vice by Deepti Kapoor

<i>The Survivalists </i> by Kashana Cauley

A young Black lawyer falls in with a crew of Brooklyn doomsday preppers in Cauley's tart, timely debut. Perennially single Aretha is on the partner track, but lonely enough to be primed for a guy like Aaron, a coffee entrepreneur with cool-guy charm to spare; their meet-cute takes a turn when she moves in with his survivalist roommates. (Out now)

The Survivalists by Kashana Cauley
The Survivalists by Kashana Cauley

<i>Really Good, Actually </i> by Monica Heisey

Jon and Maggie meet at 19 and marry at 25; 608 days later, it's over. Actually is not a memoir, but Heisey, whose TV writing credits include Schitt's Creek, did her own time as a twentysomething divorcée, and that lived experience pulses through her confiding and delightfully crass debut. Come for the crying and masturbating and post-split Tinder roundelays; stay for the mordant, messy wit that lights up nearly every page. (Jan. 17)

REALLY GOOD, ACTUALLY by Monica Heisey
REALLY GOOD, ACTUALLY by Monica Heisey

<i>Love, Pamela </i> by Pamela Anderson

Will it be a tell-all, or a tell-some? Until Love lands on shelves, only Anderson's publishers know for sure. (It will also be partnered on day of release with a Netflix documentary.) But after maintaining her Mona Lisa silence throughout Hulu's recent Pam & Tommy juggernaut — and the many spotlight-seared years that preceded it — the actress, Playmate, and canonical blonde has more than earned the chance to share her truths. (Jan. 31)

Pamela Anderson's Book: Love, Pamela
Pamela Anderson's Book: Love, Pamela

<i>Big Swiss</i> by Jen Beagin

Oh, you know, just another novel about a woman living a dilapidated Hudson Valley farmhouse filled with bees, working as a transcriptionist for a boho sex therapist and falling into a passionate secret affair with one of his clients, a terse Swiss siren named Flavia. Beagin (Pretend I'm Dead) may have found the best vehicle yet for her nihilist whimsy; Killing Eve's Jodie Comer has already signed on to star in a series for HBO. (Feb. 7)

Big Swiss by Jen Beagin
Big Swiss by Jen Beagin

<i>Victory City </i> by Salman Rushdie

After surviving a near-fatal attempt on his life last year, we're lucky to have Rushdie at all. Here, the master of magical realism returns to form — comparisons to his Booker Prize-winning 1981 classic Midnight's Children have been made — with a teeming, richly textured fable about a young girl in 14th-century India anointed by the goddess Pavanti with extraordinary world-building powers. (Feb. 7)

Salman Rushdie, Victory City
Salman Rushdie, Victory City

<i>My Last Innocent Year</i> by Daisy Alpert Florin

A college senior reckons with the aftermath of what might have been sexual assault by a fellow student — and tumbles into a love affair with her married professor  — against the backdrop of Clinton-Lewinsky-era America in Florin's resonant, coolly composed debut. (Feb. 14)

My Last Innocent Year by Daisy Alpert Florin
My Last Innocent Year by Daisy Alpert Florin

<i>I Have Some Questions for You </i> by Rebecca Makkai

After 2018's gorgeously devastating AIDS-era chronicle The Great Believers, Makkai swerves toward Serial in her latest, a doorstopper whodunit about an L.A. podcaster and professor who returns at 40 to teach a guest course at the New Hampshire boarding school she once attended on scholarship, and find answers to the death of her charismatic roommate more than 20 years before. (Feb. 21)

Rebecca Makkai, I Have Some Questions for You
Rebecca Makkai, I Have Some Questions for You

<i />Oscar Wars: A History of Hollywood in Gold, Sweat, and Tears </i> by Michael Schulman

Schulman, a longtime staffer at The New Yorker, may be the last great writer of profiles that actually pierce the glassy, impenetrable surface of the celebrity-industrial complex. (Yes, that was his piece on Succession star Jeremy Strong that lit the internet's hair on fire in late 2021.) Wars arrives in the sweet spot between the Jan. 24 nominations and the March 12 ceremony — just in time for awards-show junkies to inject this delicious (and meticulously researched) bitchery straight into their veins. (Feb. 21)

Oscar Wars: A History of Hollywood in Gold, Sweat, and Tears by Michael Schulman
Oscar Wars: A History of Hollywood in Gold, Sweat, and Tears by Michael Schulman

<i>Users </i> by Colin Winnette

Every novel with a vaguely dystopian take on modern tech culture gets the "Read it if you watched Severance" tag these days, but Winnette's sharp, Charlie Kauffman-esque thriller earns it: When Miles, the lead creative at a virtual-reality company, receives what seems like a series of anonymous death threats on creamy stationary, his career and home life spiral; follow his existential IT nightmare all the way down. (Feb. 21)

Users&nbsp;by Colin Winnette
Users by Colin Winnette

<i>Pineapple Street </i> by Jenny Johnson

Let us now praise purely escapist novels that fizz and pop — like this breezily consumable debut about a wealthy Brooklyn real estate family and the working-class millennial who marries into it, for better or worse. Jackson,  an editor at Knopf, has a golden ear for the gilded social stratas of New York money, and all the cocktail benefits and secret codes that come with them. (March 7)

Pineapple Street&nbsp;by Jenny Jackson
Pineapple Street by Jenny Jackson

<i />Old Babes in the Wood </i> by Margaret Atwood

At 83, the woman whose Handmaid's Tale forever altered the landscape of literature (and later, of course, episodic TV) refuses to rest on any late-career laurels. This Old Babe still has books in her — or at least another collection of singular short stories, be they about octopus aliens, the séanced spirit of George Orwell, or seven interlinked tales that trace one couple's singular marriage across decades. (March 7)

Old Babes in the Wood by Margaret Atwood
Old Babes in the Wood by Margaret Atwood

<i>Now You See Us </i> by Balls Kaur Jaswal

The jacket copy trumpets it as "Crazy Rich Asians meets The Help": When one of their own is accused of murdering her employer, three Filipina domestic workers in modern-day Singapore join together to ferret out the truth in the latest from Reese's Book Club alum Jaswal (Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows), a breezy, bustling novel that leans as much towards character study as unsolved mystery. (March 7)

Now You See Us: A Novel By Balli Kaur Jaswal
Now You See Us: A Novel By Balli Kaur Jaswal

<i>Biography of X</i> by Catherine Lacey

If Meg Wolitzer's The Wife met TÁR, it might read a little like Lacey's Biography — an enveloping, surreally tilted exploration of one woman's attempt to make sense of her late spouse, a towering artist whose core truths remain elusive to her grieving widow even — or perhaps especially — in death. (March 7)

Biography of X&nbsp;by Catherine Lacey
Biography of X by Catherine Lacey

<i>Y/N <i /> by Esther Yi

The title stands not for "Yes/No" but "Your/Name" — a signpost of online fan fiction that Yi's deeply alienated protagonist, a Korean-American twentysomething living in Berlin, learns when she falls headlong into obsession over a K-pop boy-bander named Moon in this piercing, feverish, and frequently astonishing debut. (March 21)

Y/N by Esther Yi
Y/N by Esther Yi

<i>Romantic Comedy<i /> by Curtis Sittenfeld

A comfortably schlubby writer for a late-night sketch show unexpectedly connects with a dreamboat guest host — but can she flip the script on famous-person romances that only seem to favor the ordinary when they have XY chromosomes? That's the basic thesis for Sittenfeld's canny, primetime-ready latest. (April 11)

Romantic Comedy By Curtis Sittenfeld
Romantic Comedy By Curtis Sittenfeld

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