I have an ever-growing list of books I want to read which will be published in 2019, even though it is extremely unlikely I will get round to all of them in the next 12 months and more will inevitably distract me as the year goes on. Here is a selection of some I will be looking out for. All publication dates where known apply to the UK only and may be subject to change.
Among fiction titles, there are numerous sequels and instalments of series due in 2019. Spring by Ali Smith is the third book in the Scottish author’s seasons cycle following Autumn (2016) and Winter (2017) with Summer presumably following in 2020.
A part of me wonders if The Testaments by Margaret Atwood would ever have been written if the TV adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale hadn’t been so successful. Set 15 years after the original book, the new volume won’t be based on the grim storylines of the second season broadcast last year, but it’s safe to assume that it won’t be a light and cheery read either.
Talking of TV, I have been meaning to read Olive Kitteridge after watching the excellent HBO series starring Frances McDormand last year. A second book Olive, Again by Elizabeth Strout is due to be published in the autumn. I will also need to catch up on the Jackson Brodie novels as Big Sky by Kate Atkinson will be out in June and is the fifth book in the crime fiction series.
There is no word yet on a publication date for The Secret Commonwealth by Philip Pullman but the follow-up to La Belle Sauvage was said to have been a work in progress when the first volume in the Book of Dust trilogy was published in 2017, so hopefully there shouldn’t be much longer to wait.
Of stand-alone literary fiction, Machines Like Me by Ian McEwan due in April is set in an alternative 1980s London, while Sweet Sorrow by David Nicholls about first love will be out in July. Grand Union by Zadie Smith is the author’s first collection of 20 short stories (10 new and 10 published over the last two decades) which will be published in the autumn. She is also writing her first historical novel entitled ‘The Fraud’ although there is no word yet on when this will be released.
Two translated fiction titles I’m particularly interested in are The Colours of the Inferno by Pierre Lemaitre (translated from the French by Frank Wynne) due in the autumn which is the second part of the Between the Wars trilogy after The Great Swindle and The Capital by Robert Menasse (translated from the German by Jamie Bullock) out in February which is a timely satire about the EU and its institutions.
Many of the non-fiction books I read are in some way related to medicine and health due to my interest in the Wellcome Book Prize. Mother Ship by Francesca Segal is a memoir about the birth of the novelist’s premature twin daughters and is her first foray in to non-fiction due in June.
Out this month, The Library Book by Susan Orlean is about the devastating fire at Los Angeles Public Library in 1986 which destroyed or damaged over one million books. In February, Another Planet by Tracey Thorn sees the singer-songwriter take a poignant look at growing up in suburbia in the 1970s.
The Secret Civil Servant: The Inside Story of Brexit, Government F**k-Ups and How We Try to Fix Things promises to lift the lid on what really happens in the corridors of Whitehall and will arrive on shelves in March. Finally, an as-yet-untitled memoir by Louis Theroux is due in the autumn reflecting on the documentaries he has made with a focus on the time he spent with Jimmy Savile.
Which 2019 books are you looking forward to reading?