WD's Most Anticipated 2020 Book Releases

Looking for more new books to add to your to-read list? The editors of WD reveal the 2020 book releases that they are most excited for.
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Looking for more new books to add to your to-read list? The editors of WD reveal the 2020 book releases that they are most excited for. 

2020 Book Releases

From Robert Lee Brewer, senior editor

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The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz

By Erik Larson

Biography, Crown, February

“Larson’s name alone is enough to get me interested in a book, after devouring his previous titles like Isaac’s Storm and The Devil in the White City. He has a way with navigating through history that is compelling and page-turning, and I can’t wait to see how he unfolds this story of weathering the Blitz.”

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The Sun Down Motel

By Simone St. James

Suspense, Berkley, February

“Everyone’s familiar with a shady-looking motel. I’m already creeped out about this novel that looks at the same mysterious Sun Down Motel from two timelines (1982 and 2017), knowing that the person from the 1982 timeline went missing. If it’s even half as spooky as I’ve already built it up in my mind, it promises to be an incredible read.”

From Amy Jones, Senior Editor

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Amnesty

By AravindAdiga

Urban fiction, Scribner, February

“I loved Adiga’s 2008 Booker Prize-winning novel The White Tiger, and the subject of this book promises to be just as complex. An undocumented Sri Lankan immigrant to Australia has knowledge that could solve a murder case but if he speaks, he’ll draw attention to himself. While the story takes place on the other side of the world, its themes are sure to have resonance in the U.S.”

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Little Gods

By Meng Jin

Literary fiction, Custom House, January

“This book is described as a cross between two of the best books I read in 2019: Home Fire by KamilaShamsie and Asymmetry by Lisa Halliday. Beginning on the night of the Tiananmen Square Massacre, this is a debut novel I can’t wait to get my hands on.”

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The Lying Life of Adults

By Elena Ferrante, translated by Ann Goldstein

Literary fiction, Europa Editions, June

“Two summers ago, I read every Elena Ferrante novel translated into English. Beginning with My Brilliant Friend, I read one right after another, pausing only to go to the bookstore to buy (or order) the next one on my list. Only one paragraph is available from the U.S. publisher about this newest novel, but I’ll be one of the first in line to buy it.”

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The Antidote for Everything

By Kimmery Martin

Women’s fiction, Berkley, February

“Martin’s debut novel, The Queen of Hearts, was the perfect complement to a slew of ER reruns I’d been watching in 2018—relationship drama paired with emergency room drama. But, it seems her second novel tackles a decidedly more controversial topic: whether a hospital can instruct its physicians to stop treating transgender patients.”

Read our interview with Kimmery Martin from the release of her first book, Queen of Hearts.

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The Mirror and the Light

By Hilary Mantel 

Historical fiction, Henry Holt & Co., March

“At long last, the highly anticipated final book in Mantel’s trilogy about Oliver Cromwell is set to be released, taking place shortly after the beheading of Anne Boleyn. The first two novels in the series, Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, both won the Booker prize in an unusual feat—with the third do the same?”

From Ericka McIntyre, editor-in-chief

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A Long Petal of the Sea 

Isabel Allende 

Historical fiction, Random House, February

“I have long loved Isabel Allende. Her book House of the Spirits was my introduction to magical realism. It led me to pick up the books by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, another of my literary loves. In her latest work of historical fiction, she’ll tell the story of twoyoung people fleeing the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War, and I cannot wait to get my hands on it!”

Read our 2002 interview with Isabel Allende.

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Verge: Stories

Lidia Yuknavitch

Short stories, Riverhead, February

“I discovered Lidia Yuknavitch at her first book, the shocking and brilliant memoir, The Chronology of Water. Yuknavitch is a challenging writer. She is not for everyone, but if you love her (and I do), you will follow her anywhere. With her novels, Dora: A Headcase and The Book of Joan, she broke boundaries and rules aplenty to create some of the most exciting fiction of the past decade. This story collection will offer more innovative writing, I am sure.”

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The Glass Hotel

Emily St. John Mandel

Literary crime mystery, Knopf, March

“Mandel’s last novel, Station Eleven, was one of my favorite books in recent memory. It was the book that finally convinced me that just like beer, I really do like sci-fi! Mandel is a gifted writer, and The Glass Hotel, about a complex crime and a woman gone missing, promises to be a thrilling ride.”

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The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

Suzanne Collins

YA Science fiction, Scholastic, May

“I read all three Hunger Games books back to back to back, in about eight days. Like beer and sci-fi, I had also been lying to myself about liking YA novels. Turns out, I love them! Suzanne Collins proved me wrong. I am so excited to read this prequel to The Hunger Games. And it will be a challenge to read it in fewer than two days, I am sure.”

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Untitled Owens Family novel 

Alice Hoffman 

Historical fantasy, Simon & Schuster, fall 2020

“Readers here know how much I love Alice Hoffman (our October 2019 cover star). Her books Practical Magic and TheRules of Magic follow the Owens family and are among her most beloved. So you can imagine how loudly this bookworm squealed when she announced on her social media pages that a prequel to those books about Maria Owens is coming the fall of 2020. Absolutely cannot wait for this one! Write faster, please!”

From Cassandra Lipp, Managing Editor

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Wow, No Thank You

By Samantha Irby

Essays, Knopf, March

“Listening to Samantha Irby recount her life's mishaps is seriously addicting. This writer has a hilarious voice that I just can't get enough of, so I'm really excited about her third collection of essays. And have you ever seen cuter cover art? I want to hug this book and that bunny.”

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Postcolonial Love Poem

By Natalie Diaz

Poetry, Graywolf, March

“It’s been eight years since Diaz released her American Book Award-winning debut collection, When My Brother Was An Aztec, so I can’t wait to experience the power of her follow-up. Because Diaz’s poems are power, as the Mojave and Latinx poet gives a voice to those who the nation has sought to erase through its creation. “I am doing my best to not become a museum of myself. I am doing my best to breathe in and out. I am begging: Let me be lonely but not invisible,” she writes in her new collection, which promises to build a future for the bodies of language, land, rivers, suffering brothers, enemies, and lovers carried in its pages.”

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Homie

By Danez Smith

Poetry, Graywolf, January

“What’s not to love about Danez Smith, a poet who creates beauty, rhythm, and humanity out of close examination of a society oppressiveto all those considered “other”?In Homie, Smith comes to terms with the difficulties of surviving in a country overrun by violence, xenophobia, and disparity, in a body defined by race, queerness, and an HIV-positive diagnosis. But this isn’t the focus of Homie—rooted in the loss one of Smith’s close friends,Homie is a celebration of the joys and guiding light of friendship. Smith’s last collection Don’t Call Us Dead was a finalist for the National Book Award—will Smith take home the prize with Homie?”

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