I have an ever-growing list of anticipated books due to be published in 2020. Here are the titles I am looking forward to reading the most. All publication dates where known are for the United Kingdom only.
In non-fiction, Notes from an Apocalypse by Mark O’Connell is the Wellcome Book Prize-winning author’s second book after To Be a Machine. Due in April, it will explore how we get to grips with the future and the possible end of the world in an age of anxiety.
Also due in April, Fake Law: The Truth About Justice in an Age of Lies by The Secret Barrister promises to be an equally eye-opening account as his/her bestselling debut book of how the legal system really works, this time focusing on themes of ignorance, corruption and fake news.
The Unusual Suspect by Ben Machell has an interesting premise – the journalist’s non-fiction debut out in May is a true crime account about the case of Stephen Jackley, a convicted robber with a Robin Hood obsession and Asperger syndrome.
The Spy Next Door by Ben Macintyre will be out in the autumn and will examine the life of Ursula Kuczynski, a Communist and veteran spy who lived in the Cotswolds.
One Two Three Four by Craig Brown is said to be “part biography, part anthropology, part memoir” about the Beatles and will be published in April. I really enjoyed Brown’s highly original biography of Princess Margaret Ma’am Darling and his account of the most iconic band of all time sounds equally entertaining.
In translated fiction, The Lying Life of Adults by Elena Ferrante is the Italian author’s first new fiction to be translated into English by Ann Goldstein since the Neapolitan novels in the early 2010s and will be out in June. I am also looking forward to Earthlings by Sayaka Murata (translated from the Japanese by Ginny Tapley Takemori) after enjoying Convenience Store Woman in 2018.
I also hope that The Colours of the Inferno by Pierre Lemaitre (translated from the French – TBC but possibly Frank Wynne again?) finally arrives, as I included it in my most anticipated books of 2019, but now appears to be out this autumn instead. It is the second book in Lemaitre’s between-the-wars trilogy which began with The Great Swindle.
In other fiction, A Day Like Today by Sarah Moss is due out in autumn, intriguingly described as “a multi-voice narrative set in a Scottish holiday park over the course of one fateful rainy summer’s day”.
Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell is the author’s first foray into historical fiction having previously published contemporary novels over the last two decades. Out at the end of March, it is inspired by William Shakespeare’s son who died aged 11 in 1596.
Scabby Queen by Kirstin Innes is the Scottish author’s second novel out in April following her Not The Booker Prize-winning Fishnet and is a portrait of a political activist.
D, A Tale of Two Worlds by Michel Faber is said to be “a modern-day Dickensian fable” which has taken Faber a mere 35 years to write. Having previously announced that he was retiring from writing novels, it will be great to see one of the most inventive contemporary authors return with a new book in the autumn.
Finally, Rodham by Curtis Sittenfeld is due out later in the year. I enjoyed reading American Wife a couple of years ago, which is loosely based on the life of Laura Bush, and in her latest novel, Sittenfeld turns her attention to another First Lady, Hillary Rodham Clinton. Hopefully this will expand on some of the ideas seen in ‘The Nominee’ a story in the 2018 collection You Think It, I’ll Say It.
Which new books are you looking forward to reading in 2020 and beyond?