Must-read books of 2022

From fantasy sequels to an Oprah-approved dramatic novel, pre-order these exciting new titles now to get ahead of your 2022 TBR list.

Culture

Is your New Year hoping to be filled with extra time spent with a book in hand? Well, 2022 is set to be a stellar year for exciting new reads, and our bookshops won’t be short on nail-biting thrillers and heart-stopping romances. Start your recommended reading lists here.

Moon Witch, Spider, King by Marlon James

Moon Witch, Spider, King by Marlon James, £20 (Penguin)

For fans of high fantasy, you won’t want to miss the second book in Marlon James’s epic trilogy, Moon Witch, Spider King, which is out in February. Since scooping the Man Booker with A Brief History of Seven Killings, Marlon has introduced readers to his fantastical, gruesome and enthralling vision of mythic and ancient Africa. The first book, Black Leopard, Red Wolf was a hit, and this second instalment is guaranteed to keep you hooked deep into the night.

Black Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson

Black Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson, £12.99 (Penguin)

Family intrigue, identity, race, belonging – all wrapped up in Charmaine’s beautiful style of storytelling. Black Cake certainly has all the ingredients for a bestseller and it’s already generating tons of hype. Available from February, this is the story of two estranged sisters who are brought together after the death of their mother. There’s an inheritance they need to work out: one is a voice recording their mother has left, while another is, strangely, a traditional Caribbean black cake. The book has gained a host of fans already – and Oprah Winfrey is set to make a major drama series of the story for Hulu.

Ugly by Anita Bhagwandas

Ugly by Anita Bhagwandas, £16.99 (Blink)

As a beauty journalist and broadcaster for the likes of Stylist and Marie Claire, Anita Bhagwandas is perfectly placed for a deep dive into the politics of cosmetics and beauty standards. She says, “When I started uncovering where these beauty standards started, unpicking why they’ve been perpetuated and unmasking how they’re still being upheld; I felt my sadness alleviate and a sense of injustice start to rise up. This book is about how to finally break free from those limiting beauty standards, because feeling ugly has nothing to do with us." We predict this book will have you and all the women in your life talking! Out in June.

Hope and Glory by Jendella Benson

Hope and Glory by Jendella Benson, £14.99 (Orion)

Coming in April, this is the fiction debut of journalist and Black Ballad writer, Jendella Benson. It’s been described as "a thoughtful exploration of Nigerian heritage and how tradition and history shapes families and the relationships within them". The rights have already been snapped up by a major TV company to turn it into a drama, with writer of Olivier-winning play Gone too Far! Bola Agbaje in place to adapt the novel. It follows Glory as she arrives back in Peckham, from her seemingly glamorous life in LA, to mourn the sudden death of her father. She finds her family falling apart and a huge secret left to uncover…

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