The nine best books to read this New Year
Whether it’s your New Year’s resolution to read more books or you’re just looking for some inspiration, we’ve lined up the best picks worthy of a spot on your bookshelf. From juicy thrillers to heartfelt romances and laugh-out-loud comedies, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
Apples Never Fall by Lianne Moriarty
Worldwide bestselling novelist Lianne Moriarty is back with her ninth novel about a family with a seemingly idyllic life, who are plunged into chaos when their mother disappears. 69-year-old Joy Delaney goes missing on Valentine’s Day after sending a confusing text message to her four grown-up children. Telling the story through split-time narratives from multiple perspectives, the author lays out the foundations of her characters’ lives, with each layer adding another level of intrigue to their mother’s disappearance. This slow-burn thriller is a return to a style for which Moriarty has become known and loved.
Don’t Laugh It’ll Only Encourage Her by Daisy May Cooper
This memoir from one of British comedy’s rising stars is packed full of heartwarming and hilarious anecdotes. Following the success of award-winning BBC comedy This Country, Cooper looks back on her difficult childhood growing up in rural poverty in Gloucestershire and her journey to fame. Behind all the laughs, it serves as a powerful reminder to find light – even in the darkest times.
Midnight in Everwood by MA Kuzniar
Kuzniar’s gothic debut adult novel puts a spellbinding twist on the much-loved tale The Nutcracker. Set in Nottingham in 1906, the story follows Marietta Stelle, a young ballerina who is set to give her final performance before turning 21 and marrying into society. But when a mysterious stranger arrives and builds an elaborate set for her performance next door, the protagonist soon finds herself in the dangerous and mysterious world of Everwood. If you’re looking for some much-needed winter escapism, then this book will transport you to a wonderful world of magic.
The Sight of You by Holly Miller
Unlike other traditional romances, Miller’s novel poses a heartbreaking question: would you choose love, if you knew how it would end? Joel has spent his life haunted by visions of the future, while Callie has been unable to let go of the past after the death of her best friend. They form a beautiful bond, but it isn’t long before Joel has a dream of how it’s going to end. The author offers a unique twist on the typical love story in this life-affirming read that will stay with you long after you’ve put it down.
Circus of Wonders by Elizabeth Macneal
Following the success of her debut novel, The Doll Factory, Macneal is back with another standout read. Set in 1866 England, we meet a young girl, Nell, who is kidnapped and forced to join Jasper Jupiter’s Circus of Wonders. It isn’t long before she becomes the star attraction, threatening to eclipse the fame of the showman who bought her. Macneal writes in gorgeous detail, whilst exploring big themes such as power, ownership, fame and invisibility.
The Night She Disappeared by Lisa Jewell
As a writer who is no stranger to creating page-turning thrillers, bestselling Jewell is back with another clever and compelling read. Steeped in mystery, readers meet 19-year-old mother Tallulah who goes out one night on a date, leaving her baby with her mother, Kim. Except she never returns and her disappearance remains unexplained. Told through three timelines, the novel keeps you hooked throughout and desperate to find out the truth.
Magpie by Elizabeth Day
Day’s latest novel tackles motherhood, greed and obsession in an engrossing story that sees one woman desperate to get what she wants, no matter the consequences. Marisa and Jake are blissfully in love and soon start trying for a baby but find their relationship tested when a lodger, Kate, moves in and quickly takes an alarming interest in their relationship and the baby they’re hoping to have. The novelist seamlessly weaves together sensitive topics – including infertility and mental illness – into a punchy and gripping thriller with a cleverly crafted plot.
The Road Trip by Beth O’Leary
For a taste of feel-good romance this New Year, O’Leary’s latest book ticks all the boxes. It tells the story of Addie and Dylan, two exes, who find themselves forced together on a road trip to a friend’s wedding and are pushed to confront their traumatic break-up two years earlier. The Road Trip is a slight departure from some of O’Leary’s previous comedic books as it delves into several gritty subjects, but it still maintains her trademark wit and humour.
The Invitation by A M Castle
This book is a great option for fans of Lucy Foley, Sarah Pearse and Agatha Christie. Castle takes readers to an island off the coast of Cornwall in her new psychological thriller. 13 old friends gather for a wedding at Tregowan Castle, but by the next evening only 12 are still alive. When a violent storm leaves them trapped and cut off from the mainland a tense and twisty whodunnit unfolds.